Hammercalled Design Objectives (Or “Why You Should Play Hammercalled”)

I’ve become a bigger fan of planning recently as a way to prevent mission creep, and it was very effective for velotha’s flock, which released (mostly) on-schedule without any sacrifices to its core content.

So, as we move into Hammercalled entering regular testing by April and potentially being available to the public in its first wave release around that time, I want to share what my design objectives are for the game.

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Next Week’s Goals (March 12-18)

Because I often find myself sort of directionless throughout the week, I often have thought about making a short checklist of the week’s goals. Since i also want to increase my transparency with my audience, I figured I’d share the items on that list that pertain to Loreshapers and this blog.

I’m also going to go through and add markers to each of the points that I finish up over the course of the week.

So, with that said, let’s get to the list:

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Title Release Dates for March 2018

I put off writing today and I want to go to bed, so I’m going to just toss out some quick release dates for stuff.

I’m having writer’s block on Oskan’s Prophet/Rediscovery/The Legacy of Eight novel. I’m going to go back to drafting and keep what I can, but I’m putting it on the backburner for now.

The advanced player’s guide for velotha’s flock is due March 20 to DriveThruRPG. I don’t have self-publish privileges yet, but that should make sure that it gets up before March 23.

I’m also working on a combat/gear test for Hammercalled. That will take the form of its own independent mini-setting and game. The name is still in the air, but it’s a post-apocalyptic take on political intrigue. Or, alternatively, a vehicle brawler set out in the desert.

The four core mechanics I want to test here are:

  • combat
  • characters
  • gear
  • vehicles

Plus the very basic frameworks needed for a playable game.

Once those core mechanics are finished, I’m going to move to Street Rats. The setting will be somewhat different from the old Street Rats, but it will maintain a lot of the core feel. That’s to test:

  • super-technology
  • cyberspace (maybe?)
  • non-human characters
  • advanced talents and traits

Then we’re going to have an Othenar release, which will focus on:

  • magic
  • well, pretty much just magic, really, but that’s a heck of a beast

Once that’s done, we’ll bundle up the system and attach it to the Hammercalled system.

Is this a good idea?

I don’t know. It’s never been done. It gives us more time to build word of mouth before our big release, but it’s also going to be an adventure.

I hope you’ll stick with us through it.

Hammercalled Combat Revised, Part 2: Attack Actions, Move Actions, and Reactions

Yesterday I talked about how Hammercalled was getting a simple-but-fulfilling action system, today I want to go into more detail about how each of those actions can be used in combat.

One quick thing to remember is that actions can be used in any order, and can be used simultaneously, or split apart to different parts of the turn. This impacts my decisions in some of the defensive rules, since I want Hammercalled to be quick-playing and not get bogged down.

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Hammercalled Combat Revised, Part 1: The Action Economy and Initiative

I’ve gotten the idea that to get Hammercalled to the point that I want it to be at, I should probably break the development down into waves. The first wave of development is to focus on the gear and combat (the part of the game most currently developed, but also the most prone to needing a big overhaul.

When I started working on Hammercalled, I wanted a very complex combat system, but I’ve changed that to be more minimalist. I think that there are ways that I can still compete with and improve over equivalent market titles without falling foul of what I want to do here.

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velotha’s flock Update!

Updated velotha’s flock today with some narrative poems and minor changes throughout. I’ve been putting in old German printers’ work, all based on Bible stories, to add some visual spice to the narrative. I think it’s pretty obvious that I used a bunch of Bible stories as inspiration.

This is just a tiny little post to let people here know.

velotha’s flock Week 2 Update

velotha’s flock is now live on DriveThruRPG! It actually has been for a few days, but I… kind of forgot that I never linked to it here. Such is life, I guess.

Because velotha’s flock is “complete, but in progress” I figured I’d give a quick status update on the things that I’m changing/adding to the game, as well as other plans for velotha’s flock that should see fruition soon.

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Commentary on velotha’s flock Part 1: Eden, Wilderness, Promised Land

One of the things that I wanted to do with velotha’s flock is create an interesting world that people haven’t seen the likes of before, to make something that challenges their conceptions of what many of the basic tenets of the game’s world are.

Of course, I put a lot of the elements of the game down in tradition too, because I don’t want to explain anything and I want to reward readers and players who have a strong interest in intellectual pursuits for doing what they do best and finding connections between things.

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Velotha’s Flock: Making a Character

One of the things that we often forget to do when we design games is to really put some of the mechanics through a practical run, and sometimes we design it without really giving voice to why we do things and stuff gets thrown in and kept even after its intended purpose is done.

With velotha’s flock, I wanted to do a quick overview of what makes a character unique and interesting with a character system that may, on its surface, seem to lead toward similar characters.

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