Friday, December 27, 2013

New tool finished

The Creation Points Calculator is done and online. You can find it here

This tool is the one I have been working on for the last year (off and on). It's purpose is to address an issue I had with the Red Ash System and how it is current configured. This issue was a limitation of making truly powerful creatures, like demons or dragons.

The current rule is to use a flat value of 6000 for a playable species and 5000 for any non-playable species. These points were then used to buy traits, better stats, and so on. Any points left over would be your starting population to fill the world, that is yet to be created. I have fewer points for non-playable species simply because I did not think there would be a need to manage a population of monsters, demons, or even bears. But trying to make a dragon in Red Ash just kept coming up short of the grandeur I felt these creatures truly deserve.

A simple solution to this issue would be to toss more points at the problem. I tried 10k points, 20k points and while this works I felt it was...well a hack. I then thought I could make additional negative traits to "excuse" the added points being used, again to hack-ish.

The approach I decided on was to use a species life span and the various stages one goes through as a model to generate a base for these points. This allows Red Ash to generate a very wide amount of starting points and will require all in game creatures to have their age monitored and life stage advanced.

The stages are broken down into: Newborn, Infancy, Toddler, Child, Adolescent, Adult, mature and Elderly. Each stage has a significance in the game mechanics and all life will fall into these groups.

  • Newborn - The stage where the body is fully formed. But it is weak and helpless. The senses are not very acute and comprehension is limited.
  • Infancy - Shows a marked increase in the senses. The body becomes stronger and the individual can hold themselves up. basic locomotion can start here.
  • Toddler - Physical strength continues to improve and the individual can get around on there own. Agility and Coordination still need improvement. An understanding of basic communication starts (tiers 1-2 only). Mundane traits activate, like poison. I will need to add these values to the traits.
  • Child - Physical able to get around on there own with greatly improved strength, agility, coordination and senses. Communication skills are solid. Skills training can begin.
  • Adolescent - Reproduction activates but at a higher risk percentage to parent and offspring. Powered or other special traits activate. More advanced skills are open (tier 3-4)
  • Adult - Full maturity is reached, no penalties for reproduction. all skill tiers are open.
  • Mature - Increased risk for reproduction. Physical abilities begin to wane.
  • Elderly - No longer able to reproduce. Physical abilities continue to reduce. Mental abilities begin to reduce. At the end of this stage an individual will roll a 10% chance to die from natural causes. This percentage increases by an additional 5% per year that they continue to live.

In game terms this creates so very interesting questions that can be presented to the strategy player, it can also limit the rpg player in race selection when making a new character. but more on all this later.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Conception, Birth, Life and Death

In a game system one must wonder why bother to have rules to for reproduction and a lifespan. In truth, it is not needed. Unless you intend on creating a world with a dynamic population of species. A world that once the last of a species has been killed they are then extinct.

But population plays a bigger role in the real world than people give it credit. A population that grows to quickly can face issues of starvation, disease and the overuse of resources like water supplies. A population the does not grow quickly enough can be outpaced by their competitors. These issues can lead to war or even crime.

Dragons, the canon of fantasy rpgs, are often the target of adventures for the fame and fortune contained withing their lair. But what if this was the last dragon? Using the classic western dragon archetype, that being a powerful force of destruction, do you still seek the end of an entire species?

I'm not trying make a moral point. I am trying to raise the questions of the role that a population plays in the greater scheme of life and to this end I feel the need to justify the existence of a creature in the Red Ash World Engine.

As a game mechanic Red Ash will use life span and its stages of life, plus the rules for reproduction to determine the population points that a species has during the creation processes and the pace that a population can grow. Implementing these new rules will require me to remake the defined species and this will take some time.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Mansen Lin has added a new image to Red Ash, the Dwarf

One of the iconic figures of myth, lore and RPGs now has a new image within the Red Ash World Engine. A young dwarf warrior leans up against a wall after a battle. Stop in and take a look at Mansen's image here and in his gallery.

State of the game:

I have been thinking of make a change to the rules and possibly the website (again). For the website I am thinking of dividing the site into 3 sections.

  • First would be the species generation and focus on all rules involved with the designing of species.
  • Second would be the rules for classes, class advancement, class templates and skills.
  • Third would be the game rules such as combat, sight distance, mood and handling encounters, and related rules.

In addition I was thinking of making a change to the species creation process to contain a stages of life that would go from gestation to birth then through various stage of life until death. 

Why bother, you may ask. well My system has an imbalance with 1st level characters encountering a 1st level hydra. This needs to be better thought out. The life stages is one way to handle the difference without tossing an encounter level on it. So I can include a population of many creatures that exist in a world but may not be ready for encounters themselves.

I am still working on this and will make a post on what I will do later.

All the Best,
Chris J.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

New map added: The City of Rivers End

Small Map of the City of Rivers End

Finally got the city map done for the city of Rivers End. This will be a part of my upcoming adventure for the Red Ash World Engine and took me way to long to make. A large image can be seen here.

Each Hex is 10 meters in diameter or about 32 feet and 10 inches. The numbers on the buildings will be referenced in a small booklet that will give details about the building and its occupants. With a population of about 30,000 many of these structure will end up being 2 stories or more.

The purpose of the booklet will be to record a place like a city, town or dungeon at a specific period of time, its condition, inhabitants and so on. So when playing in the world you play in a specific time. I am thinking this will be separated into ages and kingdoms, but now I'm getting ahead of myself ;).

I will not make the population by hand but I will design a script (PHP) to do it and fill in the buildings details. I plan to model my data structures of off the information found at Medieval Demographics Made Easy. I will need to modify it to meet the needs of my system and society, but it is a great starting place.

My next map will be the small village to the south and maybe one farm that are also a part of the first adventure.

All the Best!
Chris J.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mansen Lin has added a Added a new imaage for the Saurian Species!

Mansen was kind enough to offer another image and this time for the Saurian species. Saurian are big, Titan sized reptilians known for their fierce social morals and a strict belief eat or be eaten.

Stop in a take a look at the new image on the species listing here or at Mansen's Red Ash Gallery with the bigger image here.

All the Best,
Chris J.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Image "Looking Down" by artist Mansen Lin

Mansen sent me a new image for the Red Ash system and I "finally" got to putting it fault of course. But I needed to think on just where I was going to place it and I was thinking on showing it on the main page.

The reason I felt so strongly about the image is I feel it represents some of the main reasons people play RPGs, the story and the adventure.

Mansen's image simply invites you into one of many story possibilities. The silver haired adventure escapes the burning city below. He climbs the cliff escaping the chaos below. Pausing he takes one more glance back.

Was he the cause of the burning city? Was he escaping it? Is he being hunted? So many possibilities from one image, well done Mansen!

I ended up not placing on the main sites page. Once I scaled it down it lost some details on the climber. I finally decided to add image support in the skills. So head over to the page for the climb skill and have a look at a great image by Mansen Lin!

All the best!
Chris J

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy 2013! ...a day late but there is a good reason...

I now feel safe in that the Mayans were wrong, or was it the people misinterpreting their calendar were wrong? At any rate I will be moving forward with the maps and I hope to get to the actual adventure (done/working) this spring/summer/fall. In the mean time I will keep chipping away at.

Mansen Lin sent me a new image....last week and I will post it as soon as I figure out the best spot for it. I will strive to get that up this week end.