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So... Westward is officially delayed. I apologize for the delay, as it is my fault. Why, do you ask? Well, I am in the AF Reserve and am being activated for six months. I will continue to work on it while I am gone, but this slows down our production schedule. With that, we are solidifying, committing to, and announcing a publishing date of October 1st, 2012. We will have the majority of the book laid out already by then, and I think that you will be quite happy with the completed core book. We are already very far along, but we are keeping a higher bar for ourselves this time around, and will work to continue improving on our product. You can expect more from Westward, than Azamar. The intent with Azamar is to produce a quality product, with a world of depth of an inviting story. As well, I will update this post soon as we launch our Kickstarter pre-order event, (and helping to fund Azamar). If you have ANY questions or concerns or anything you just want to yell at me about, now is the time. I report on March 5th. - J.
I also prefer game systems that provision the ability for a Character to have superpowers or magical abilities that can be used without rationing. Despite my preferences however, Cinematics and the core behind what d6 offered originally with Star Wars (and the idea of spending Character Points for rolling extra dice in "dire" situations) held to a specific ideal to drive the scenes and the action in them with special events. My peception of it at first was very narrow, but eventually I arrived at the conclusion that a Character in these systems was designed to "survive" along through a story. Often, a player gets lucky with dice so there is little or low spending of Character Points to drive a story and more luck driving it (the SW d6 wild die for instance). What I always saw as a detraction from SW d6, was that you didn't have enough Character Points to make using them in game make sense for driving the story. If you want Cinematic or Superheroic action in a game, then the "fuel" for that fulchrum in a gaming system and the core mechanics behind it should also be provided readily. Character Points were few and far between in this regard, and making that "Hero" took a very long time and lots of dedicated playing, or completely ignoring that base of delvering experience. We used that as one of our core principals in creating Cinema6. We designed it to be Mutable and have intergrated that into its core design, so that GMs and Players can agree on a workable system that either includes or discards these certain aspects so that the game play experience feels more fluid to them. Magic is driven at its core through a set of rules revolving around "Special Abilities" which are activated by Cinema Points. The principal behind that being what you described that you strongly dislike. So what sets a Magic user apart from another Character? Their ability to fight and defend themselves easily? We took this into account, and have Mutable rules, that basically allow a Magic User to utilize a "Magic Focus", like a Fighter might use a Sword, except it provides for Ranged attacking, like a Thief or Archer. However the Magic User is as normally ineffective in hand to hand combat as a similar Thief or Archer without dedicating the experience to those Melee/Brawl/Grapple Skills, however nothing prohibits them from doing so in the Cinema6. In c6, we use our Willpower Skill, which allows a Magic User to utilize the basic Magic Focus (ie - an Amulet, a Ring, Staff, or Wand) as the Skill for successfully and accurately firing a bolt of Magical Energy. The "Make and Model" of the Magic Focus (ie - not all Staffs are created equally) varies, so a better Magic Focus may have better Range or better Damage or both, or have some sort of Elemental effects, etc. Like all Ranged Weapons in Cinema6, the damage varies by range, however it is driven by Willpower as well (making Magic Users arguably more powerful since they can pickup a random Magic Focus and it deals damage partially based on their Willpower Skill, like Throwing a Dagger) however weapons like Bows and Guns have static damage, since they truly don't have added benefits from a Skill with Damage, more than they do overall Accuracy. A lot of this isn't immediately evident in our Beta R1 Documentation, but it is very clearly indicated in our Beta R2 release which should be our sometime soon. The same concept of using Willpower, "to exert one's will on the surrounding universe", to utilize specific supernatural abilities is an easy and elegant method for leveraging them when a GM does not want to make players spend lots of experience over usability. - J. JElliot@wickednorthgames.com http://www.cinema6games.com