Thursday, March 17, 2016

It feels really good to get back into self-publishing

For the past several months, I've been hard at work on several ideas for future gaming sourcebooks. In addition to my bigger ideas and ones I've worked on for a while, I had a few smaller side projects here and there. Two of them were for systems I liked and read a lot but have yet to publish anything for...until today.

The first project was for White Star, a science fiction role-playing game heavily derived off of Swords & Wizardry. The classes within the core rulebook could emulate a number of space opera heroes, but felt sparse in the technical wizardry department. The gunslinger, the pilot, the robot, all mainstays of science fiction. But one other popular archetype was missing.

When setting out to make the class for White Star, I thought of the most common attributes from shows and film, and there was quite a lot to go around. Causing explosions, jacking into vehicles and robots to control them, uploading their consciousness into cyberspace, tracking down seemingly unreachable data and people...the versatility reminded me of spells, and at that point that's what I decided to go with.

A tech-based "spellcaster" who gains limited-use programs known as Exploits to pull off neat tricks useful in and out of combat. Everything else came simply after that.

My other project's been one I've been working on for a longer time. It dated back to my early experiences with 13th Age, a role-playing game made by two of the lead designers of 3rd and 4th Edition D&D. The game incorporated the best of both worlds in many cases, but there were still shortcomings here and there.

The Fighter class in particular felt limited in the options it had, but the concept of special abilities known as maneuvers learned as you leveled was a neat concept. So the idea of expanding upon that for new talents and abilities broadening the available fighting styles and some out of combat utility manifested in my next project. I used Path of War and Tome of Battle for inspiration, in that both present diverse martial styles for warriors, some of a near-supernatural nature.

Although I released both on the same day, the 13th Age one took longer due to less familiarity with the core system, resulting in more proofreading and stress-testing than usual to make sure things work. Right now I'm happy about finishing two projects after a year-long gap between them and my last. As for what the future may hold, I'm thinking of tackling adventures for old-school D&D.