The Flames (Part 1)

Herrek hadn’t gotten the chance to see Lethe before it burned. Born on the frontiers of the empire, he had always had his eyes turned home.

But the empire was too large, Lethe’s influence too wide-spanning, for just anyone to return home. Travel was expensive, and not without risks—how little they had known—so he had been stuck on a frontier world mired in dust, mud, and rebels.

The Hammer had been his chance to return to the land of his forefathers, to go back to Lethe.

He arrived to ashes, the burnt shell of a once-proud civilization.

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Goals (April 2-April 8)

Last week was productive in the form of a series of articles on archetypes over on steemit, but many of my original goals were not met, in part because of that shifted focus. With that said, I feel good about the things I got done.

Here’s the new goals:

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Sample Gear from Hammercalled: Armor and Weapons

I’ve said for a while now I was going to make some sample gear from Hammercalled, and I mean it. This post will illustrate a handful of different options that people have in creating gear, both at early-game and late-game power levels.

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Introducing The Ashen King

I’ve mentioned the Ashen King before, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone into detail about it.

When I start working on a setting, I write a short pitch for it. This isn’t necessarily final or binding, but it’s just a hook to get my ideas organized around:

When the war with the machines began, one man knew what had to be done. Sacrificing everything, he mounted a defense, and when the ash began to fall he crowned himself. That was too long ago for memory. Now Ignacius sits on his throne, watching the world return to the way it was, vibrant once more. But weeds have sprung up where there was was civilization, and his rule is fragile like his ancient frame.

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This Week’s Goals (March 19-25)

This is just a quick overview of my  goals for this week. I’ve actually gotten a lot of stuff done already today, so I’ll be putting in some stuff that’s already done too. velotha’s flock v3 was released last week too (and on schedule, though there were a couple more things I am probably going to tweak).

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Streamlining Hammercalled

I’ve been hard at work on Hammercalled recently. The real goal of this is to make up for some flaws I’ve noticed in playtesting, and moving toward the actual design objectives of the game. One of the problems was obvious over-complexity, and I’ve already talked about how I handle that in combat, but I’m going to be talking about some other changes I’ve been making.

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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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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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