This season, we’re calling on gamers to help us collect rice and upper-cut hunger in the face, at least for the season. Our goal is to collect 1 million grains of rice by Christmas, and we can only do it with your help.
Lots has been going on, so stick with me for all the Hot News. We’ve got some great offers to tell you about that you don’t want to miss.
When Flamingos Attack is the first official adventure for Claustrophobia!, and the perfect introduction to the game. It’s more than that though, as it sets the scene for a larger campaign I’m designing.
January was an excellent month for Claustrophobia!, and so putting aside time to support the game was a natural next step. That’s the thing about this industry; fan support is vital to the growth of any game, so I deeply thank you for getting behind us on this.
We’re just putting the finishing touches on a new Pathfinder Roleplaying Game compatible adventure too. Contagion’s Kiss is a location based adventure, with the PCs needing to break into a defended keep to solve the mystery of the poisoning of the town’s wells. We have some fun surprises hidden within!
Contagion’s Kiss will be available by the end of the month.
Claustrophobia!, the game of gnomish insanity, is done, and on June 1st it will go live on Drive Thru RPG.
I couldn’t be more excited (or nervous). Donovan did some amazing work on the layout, art and design, and you’ll finally get to see that, along with added content about the world of garden gnomes and more. We’ve worked hard to polish the game and I’m sure fans old and new will be really pleased with what they see.
You can keep up to date with all things gnome on our Facebook page. We would certainly appreciate a like if we can get it too.
The Claustrophobia Beta Test is officially over. Thank you to everyone who sent in their feedback, which has been included in the latest version of the Beta Test on DriveThruRPG. Even though the Beta is over, you can always send me your feedback, I’d love to hear from you.
The book is off to the graphic designer for illustrations and layout. Watch this space for future updates.
An intense round of Claustrophobia play testing is underway and bearing fruit. Today we’ve got new combat rules for you. Instead of team based combat, the new rules let individuals shine and make sphere choices much more intuitive.
The steps for combat are:
Choose a sphere.
Attack and Defence
Determine Hits and Deal Damage
Choose a Sphere
The Sphere you use in combat is determined by what you’re trying to do. You should have a good reason for using the sphere, and the DM always has the final say.
Physical: you’re trying to wrestle, punch or otherwise physically harm your opponent. Use this when fists are flying and your goal is to capture, wound, knock-out or kill your enemy.
Mental: you’re trying to confuse, outwit or mentally outmaneuver your opponent. Use this sphere if you’re engaged in a hacking war, trying to beat your opponent at a puzzle or strategy game, or racing a rival scientist to a breakthrough.
Social: you’re trying to negotiate, intimidate or in some way rise socially above your opponent.
Choose a sphere secretly with your sphere cards. This does not need to be the same sphere as the sphere you are using for your attack. Every PC and NPC then reveals their sphere card.
Physical: you are using muscle to gain the advantage, such as sprinting to a vantage point, throwing sand to distract your enemy or charging them.
Mental: you are using cunning to gain the upper hand, luring them into a trap, surrounding them in a clever cross-fire or using some other ruse.
Social: you are using social manoeuvring, diplomacy or intimidation to gain the upper hand in the coming fight.
Each character rolls and puts aside any successes. Total the value on these successes to determine the order of advantage (highest advantage goes first). If you get no successes, you go in the total die score order after characters with successes. Ties should dice off separately. Any 1’s rolled to determine advantage don’t count as losses.
Example: Two gnomes are fighting a flamingo. Gnome one rolls a 5 and 3 and gnome 2 rolls a 5 and 2. Their total is both 5. In this case gnome 1 goes first. If the flamingo rolled two dice, with a 4 and a 4 (2 successes), it would go first.
Attack and Defence
Choose a target for your attack. You may roll as many dice as you have listed in that sphere, or less, but you must roll 1 die. Your opponent must use the same sphere and rolls defence in the same way.
Determine Hits and Deal Damage
Roll and compare. You score 1 hit and 1 wound for every success you score over what your enemy scored. Any ties go to the defender. Any ones rolled which are left unmodified are wounds taken by the target of the attack. The winner describes how their attack succeeds.
Distribute the removal of dice randomly between the losers stats, either by rolling dice or by using the sphere cards.
If the defender gets more successes, they score no hits on the attacker.
Combat then moves to the character with the next highest advantage.
This year I’ve narrowed my scope down to four projects and I thought I’d fill you in on my plans.
I’ll be writing for ICON again this year. If you don’t know, ICON is one of the big role-playing conventions in South Africa. With 10 RPG modules and 2 LARPs scheduled, it promises to be a 3 day role-playing extravaganza. Watch this blog for more!
Continuing with adventure modules, this month I’m doing the Gamers Lifestyle Boot Camp. The goal: publish my first full adventure module on DTRPG. Since I started Rising Phoenix Games three years ago, the goal has always been to publish my modules, making them available to more people. I’ve deliberately held off from publishing for now, but everything will change come August this year or next when my contract ends. So, although you might have to wait, I’ll be toiling away in anticipation. And, to kill two giant eagles with one magic missile, my Boot Camp project is also my ICON module. Yes, sneaky hobbitses indeed.
For a new challenge, I’m helping a friend craft the story for an indie X-Box game. No spoilers yet, but this will be a great chance for me to hone my story telling skills.
Claustrophobia! is getting sleeker. The gnomes are working frantically on page layout and a cover design and I’ve spent some time tightening up the main themes of the game. After a little more simmering I’ll be getting back to you for your opinion. Be sure to join the Facebook group to keep in touch with developments.
Finally, I started working on a Flash game last year. Why a Flash game? Well, it’s something I learnt in university and hadn’t touched for awhile. I must say, picking it up again was easier than riding a bicycle and a great way to end off 2013. Will Rising Phoenix Games go the route of digital gaming? That remains to be seen. I watched an interesting video recently by Jonathan Blow that has me thinking about what makes a good game and I feel I could deliver something really interesting. So, with two digital projects set for 2014, let’s see where this takes us.
Phew. That’s a load. The quote for yesterday’s Boot Camp was “We overestimate what we can do in a year. But we underestimate what we can do in an hour.” That’s from Yax at www.dungeonmastering.com. It certainly might be the case here, but I have worked hard to lay a good foundation and now it’s just a matter of getting stuck in.
It’s cute and pretty good, considering I did it on the same day I wrote the game for the 1KM1KT contest. But I wanted and needed a better logo for the Beta, which resulted in this:
Now that’s more like it; weighty words to crush a little garden gnome. This was perfect for the Beta, but I don’t want to stay in Beta forever, and so it’s time to move on to something way cooler. Perhaps even darker and more emotive, something that really grabs the imagination! And so I went to my brother, who works as a graphic designer and illustrator, and he came up with this sexy little number:
I think you’ll agree, this is epic! With Don’s art and the fiction I’m writing for the book, this looks set to be a proper role-playing game that we can all be proud of. And that means you too, I’d love you to join the effort; download the game, play it and give me feedback (details in the book), or buy a print from Redbubble and show us your support. All play testers will be credited in the book, which is a great opportunity for you to build some rep in the RPG industry. Also, any money we make now gets pumped right back into the game, so when you buy something you really are helping us make the game more awesome!
I posted an update to the rules for Claustrophobia! yesterday which includes the following updates:
Clarifications of many of the rules and standardization of terms throughout the book.
Improved layout of the monster entries to improve readability.
Added details about the Claustrophobia! Art Project.
Inclusion of a basic Glossary of Terms.
Many formatting tweaks.
Be sure to download the latest version of the rules now.
The Art Project
The Art Project on RedBubble is a showcase of the final book art for the game. Here I’ll be posting works from time to time, giving you the chance to wet your appetite and tell us what you think about the art. By buying stickers and t-shirts you help us fund more artworks and improve the final edition of the game.
Later this month and in early August I’m off on holiday, so I’m not planning any updates until late August. This time will be a chance for me to unwind, regroup and come back stronger than before. If you’re off on holiday I hope you have a great time and safe travels too.