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About AdAstraGames

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    Member: Rank 1 ( 15% )
  • Birthday 12/24/1969
  1. I use a "Declare, no conditionals, then draw cards and try to trade" mechanic in Minimus. While I like it for that, it's not going to appeal to people who want to play combat on a map. For D6 Dramatics, I largely ported the shot clock mechanism from Feng Shui: You roll 2d6+ and add your initiative to the results. (Init is based on Agility and Awareness). This is how many clock ticks you get. Each combat sequence starts from the highest total number of clock ticks and counts down. Each action you take takes anywhere from 3-4 ticks. Some actions can be aborted to (Parries and blocks) preemptively spending shots. Actions that take 3 or fewer ticks can always be done on tics 2 or 1. Longer actions will have their balance deducted from next turn's initiative round.
  2. The D6 Fantasy Magic system is a mildly cleaned up D6 interpretation of the Torg magic system. The Torg magic system was something you either loved (you were a neonatal protoengineer given a new toy), or dreaded (you hated having to design every bloody spell) or winced at (You GMed for two or more players who loved playing 'break the shiny math'). The fundamental commandment of D6 Fantasy magic is that the GM and the players both need to understand that the GM gets to say 'no', even if the rules say something is legal. Or they understand that they're playing a game of God-Wizards with Power Supreme. "Whoops, you failed a roll there, and, um, that fireball? Well, it disintegrated everything within a 30 mile radius. Including you." "COOOOOL!" "So, that was fun. Who's up for Chinese?"
  3. In D6 Dramatics, which was originally written for the Honorverse RPG project, I quickly came to the conclusion that space combat ha about as much place in an RPG as dead baby jokes do at a wedding reception. My solution was to give both sides a set of abstract stakes (effectively, character points), with the PCs having a Focal Point character and everyone else being supporting cast. It becomes a series of scenes: First, the Big Briefing Scene - players discuss, in character, what they need to achieve. GM sets up the action. On each exchange, the PCs and the GM roll dice. The players have a limited number of resources worth extra dice. In D6 Dramatics, if you lose the contest, you describe what bad things happened. This is very important. If the Focal Point PC loses the exchange, she describes what happens to her ship - and they lose one of the stake tokens. She knows where the other PCs are on the ship. So, it's in her best interest to describe something happening that the OTHER players can fix. (It's also in her best interest to spread out the spotlight time). That PC describes how they're fixing the problem she's presented to them and makes a skill roll; if they succeed, the stake token isn't lost. Each time a given PC is called upon to 'do their duty', they do so at a cumulative -1D penalty. (There are also some bonuses for heroic sacrifices, and 'character growth through seeing people you supervise die'.) It is a very good idea, during the 'staff meeting' scene for everyone to give the Focal Point PC a list of "cool things I'd like to do when I have the spotlight", so the Focal Point PC's player has a checklist of what to do. If the focal point PC wins the exchange, the Bad Guys lose a token. When the bad guys run out of tokens, the PCs win. The Bad Guys do NOT have Supporting Cast in the combat sequence, so they will eventually lose....and everyone gets a chance to Do Something Cool. Note that this works for nearly every kind of mass combat or Big Damned Resolution Scene.
  4. Sadly, this turns out not to be the case. http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/spacewardetect.php Very very short form: Anything with humans on it is going to require a life support section. That life support section is going to need to be about 296 K for room temperature, and will conduct heat to the hull. That conducted heat will be around 275 to 250 K. Background of space is 5K. It gets worse if you have onboard power generation. Unlike working in an atmosphere, or in water, there's no conducting medium to pull waste heat from your ship via convection, which means that the thermodynamics breaks down to either needing very large (and massive) radiators, or very small (and very HOT radiators). Bolzmann's law makes it abundantly clear that small-and-hot is vastly more efficient (radiator efficiency goes up at the fourth power of temperature). Any kind of drive that allows you to make reasonable course corrections at all - something that produces thrust in the tens to hundred of milligees range - is going to put out several megawatts of thermal energy to be detected, and will generally take several HOURS to build up a reasonable velocity. I design space combat games for a living; one of the (Attack Vector: Tactical) has several fans at NASA and US SpaceCom.
  5. I have too many projects on my plate at the moment as it is, and as soon as one or two of them clear off, there are others that are going to come in.
  6. ADB is a five person company; RPGs are a tertiary business line for them. They aren't in love with any RPG engine. They figure it's their setting that sells, and the RPG engine gets them a few more additional sales for fans of that engine. The book has to generate enough sales to justify the time spent in A) paying the writer to write it and B) paying someone in the office to proofread it and lay it out, including C) learning enough of D6 to understand what the heck is going on with the stats. They will not trust a writer to do this who doesn't already 'know and love' their setting, and none of the staff in the office 'gets' RPGs. That being said, feel free to offer to pick up the project; email design@starfleetgames.com and say you'd be interested in doing the conversion. Don't mention me or my products.
  7. I used to be ADB's marketing director. One of the people tapped to write the product was my business partner, Scott Palter. It may someday get done, but there has to be a business case for it. Unfortunately, the business case needs to cover a lot of editorial time and continuity checking, as well as paying the writer for it.
  8. Keep it fast to create characters. Keep it easy to GM; few rules that cover a multitude of circumstances with GM judgement are better than a Rule for Everything. Roleplaying games are about rewarding the kind of play you want to see. Simulation has a place in RPGs only in so far as the lack of simulation doesn't interfere with the willing suspension of disbelief. What most people call "Simulationism" in RPGs is "Explorationism". I prefer game mechanics to reward players for acting on their character's motives, to encourage thrilling description, and to do so with a lot of input from around the table consensus.
  9. In 2000, the RPG market had a significant boom with D&D 3.0. After that, it was experiencing 1-3% declines in total dollar sales through 2004 or so. Meanwhile, the number of units being published and sold was skyrocketing. There was another kick in sales volume expressed in dollars in 2004 with D&D 3.5 and the survivors of the D20 glut relaunching. Then there was a decline of 2-4% per year. It used to be that the conventional wisdom on games was you targeted 14 year olds, had them as customers until they were 21-22, and maybe picked them up again in their mid-30s when they either got divorced and suddenly had free time again, or could get their kids into playing with 'em. 14 year olds aren't coming into the hobby in the same numbers. Meanwhile, costs to print books have gone up, the number of publishers have gone up, and the market tends to be people in their 30s, who are picky.
  10. Ad Astra Games is an imprint of Final Sword Productions, and we use a modified version of D6 called D6 Dramatics as our house engine. We put a lot of thought into making it easy to migrate old D6 Classic characters to D6 Dramatics. The designer of D6 Dramatics is Ken Burnside
  11. Here is my current proposed text === Profession Dice A Profession is a two to three word description of what your character has spent extensive time and training doing. The GM can overrule overly broad professions, like "Secret Agent", or force them to be "Marine Aviator" or "Army Armor Officer". It is strongly recommended that any profession that has exposure to combat skills training be made as tight as possible, to allow players room to set up their niches. Not all characters have to have Professions defined. If you have a Profession defined, you have 2D that can be added to any Skill roll, provided it's something you'd have prior experience with. A Profession costs 8 skill pips at the start of character creation; it gets more expensive after character creation. See page XX. A character may have only one Profession, and it will always be 2D. A Profession can be changed after character creation just like skills can be re-allocated, but there must be a character story justification for it.   WHAT HAPPENED TO SKILL SPECIALIZATION? [sIDEBAR] Experience with D6 games shows that skill specializations cause problems. For specializations like "Criminal" as a specialization of "Law", they were reasonably balanced. However, it rapidly became the norm to take specializations in specific guns, because they were cheaper than buying whole dice, and generally just as effective. Rather than making a Marine sniper, by putting maximum skill dice in rifle and then taking two specialization dice in Barrett Model 82 .50 Calibre, Professions allow a character to take Marine Infantry for 2D, and then put 3D into rifle. This can give up to 5D for a Marine sniper, while also letting him do other things that a Marine would have had exposure to, like survival, tactics and leadership === I agree that the game should NOT have both options - it becomes more work to make a character if both options are present, and they can combine synergistically in ways that are unpleasant and take the dice pool out of 'reasonable bounds' very quickly.
  12. What if I limited Specialization dice to skills under Will, Awareness, Knowledge and Technique (effectively the four "Mental" attributes in my stat array?) Would that be better than chucking them out the airlock, or more hassle than it's worth? I've also been tempted to allow players to spend 6 Skill Pips on a +2D Profession. If you can justify it as having been something you'd seen before in the course of being a doctor, lawyer, bounty hunter, Naval officer, or garbage man, you can use your Profession dice to add to ANY skill. Given my druthers, I'd rather use Professions rather than Specialization Dice.
  13. I've been running some playtests, and have come to the conclusion that, while simulation-wise, specialization dice 'make sense', from an in game play perspective, they seem to be redundant with other things I have in D6 Dramatics. They are also causing a minor bit of grumpiness at the table. For those tuning in late, D6 Dramatics is a success driven system, and by giving a good narration of what you're doing, you can shift your success targets in your favor. There are also Goal Dice which are sort of like Fate Points and sort of not - it's not that hard to either Upshift your success range or work a Goal into a scene to get more dice. In that context, a specialization die or two simply doesn't rate that highly - you can usually improve your average success count more handily with a good description and an Upshift, and if you need more successes than the maximum your skill can generate, getting a Goal to fire is a better bet. Where it's causing table grumpies is this: One of my players was significantly better at picking 'specialization dice' that come up regularly than the other three. One of the other three more or less treated 'specialization dice' as "Feats from D&D"...and is getting grumpy that he can't get HIS specialization dice to come up as regularly as the other character's sets. The argument is that specialization dice allow you to make your character's abilities more 'unique', to preserve your niche in the party. I would prefer that people use their Goals to differentiate their characters. I've found that 'mechanical differentiation' is antithetical to a lot of the simplicity that D6 is built on, and that the people who want it are trying to play "D&D with D6". In any situation where that mechanical differentiation starts to matter, the people who don't get the advantage start mentally allocating their next few skill points to duplicate that specialization die. From a simulation perspective, it only makes sense that someone would have 5D in Law and 2D in specialization dice for Patent Law. It makes less sense for someone to have 5D in pistols and 2D in Desert Eagle .50 Calibre. One of those choices is spending 2 pips to set up a background skill. The other is using 2 pips to become MUCH more dangerous in combat. And there's the root of my problem. The value of a specialization die is entirely dependent on how easy it is to 'bring into the game'. I'm not sure that it's worth it to have them from the player grumpiness perspective and from the extra-work-for-the GM perspective. Opinions?
  14. In D6 Classic, a Wookie with a Brawling score of 8D is just as lethal as a Jedi using a Lightsaber for 8D. in D6 Dramatics, a Wookie with a Brawling score does 8D of level 0 damage. A Jedi using a Lightsaber for 8D is doing 8D of level 3 (or level 4) damage. Assuming someone wearing armor, they roll their Armor dice against either attack. If they're not wearing armor, they roll their Body attribute as Level 0 armor. Subtract Armor successes from weapon successes. If the weapon sucessess are greater, you may have hurt the target. Wound Level is a function of weapon successes times a table lookup. On the character sheet is a table, that goes 6 rows down (0 through 5) and goes 5 columns wide: Cross reference the damage level (row) with column (armor level). The result is how many wounds the target takes per success, rounding the final fractional wound level up. (Having it round down is a "make it more cinematic" option in the rulebook, and is chosen at campaign start.) (The values below include extended modifiers for vehicle weapons.) If weapon level exactly matches armor level, the multiplier is 0.75. If weapon level is one higher than armor level, the multiplier is 1.0. If weapon level is 2 higher, the multiplier is 1.5, 3 higher is 2, 4 higher is 3.0, 5 higher is 5.0 (which means 1 success will take you from "Alive and kicking" to "out of the fight".) Armor levels: 0: Street clothes 1: Light, flexible armor 2: Heavy flexible armor 3: Heavy plate armor 4: REALLY heavy armor, or enchanted plate [5]: Vehicular Armor, typical dressed stone wall. [6]: Tank Armor [7]: Battleship armor. Weapon level: 0: Bare fists, thrown rocks 1: 1 handed blunt weapons 2: 1 handed edged weapon, 2 handed blunt weapon, pistol 3: 2 handed edged weapon, carbine or Very Large Pistol 4: Magical 2 handed edged weapon, battle rifle 5: Sniper rifle, crew served weaponry, Age of Sail Cannon [6]: RPG, Tank Gun [7]: Anti-ship missile, battleship main gun Bigger weapons and better armor within their lethality range will have more dice.
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