The Other Side

My friends and I had a Christmas party — remarkable enough in itself just because we actually got together for a special occasion for once — and one of the things we did was watching Kwoon. The actual episodes are hilarious, but the bonus features are actually funnier in a lot of cases. One of the longest shows Todd Roy, the main guy behind the series, promoting it at trade shows. Seriously, promoting the hell out of it. He’s got a really entertaining title and he really wants to get it on the air, and he hasn’t yet let up, even though each episode costs him thousands of dollars to make.

And I can’t help but think, I’m so not cut out for that kind of thing. I’m not that much of a people person, and while I do like to go to cons on occasion, I find them mentally draining. Both professionally and creatively I’m more interested in working hard at typing stuff on a computer, because to me dealing with lots of people starts fun but quickly goes to that place where it ranges from boring to irritating. Designing RPGs is fun and satisfying, and while it would be nice to get a little monetary compensation for my work, I’m not sure I’m the right sort of person to be trying to sell stuff, least of all as a one-man operation. Granted, I’m perfectly willing to do it without making any money so long as it doesn’t cost me much more besides time, and I think that’s the kind of people the RPG hobby needs more of, but there’s also something to be said for getting your work out there and having it experienced by people.

So, I really have no idea what to do about it, but then it’s going to be a while before I have something finished enough that I need to worry about it.

Eternal Saga
I have some really awesome friends, for gaming with and other stuff. Between my various friends at the aforementioned Xmas party, I recieved two CRPGs for PS2 — Makai Kingdom and Dragon Warrior VIII. Where a lot of tabletop RPG gamers (online at least) seem to complain about CRPGs as overly limiting, I take them as what they are (an entirely separate genre from tabletop RPGs) and enjoy them a lot when I’m in the right mood. So, another project that’s been on the back burner for a loooong time (and every now and then I take it off, rip it apart, and put it back together again) is Eternal Saga, a generic CRPG-inspired tabletop RPG. I tend to get inspired to work on it whenever I play CRPGs, which is why the project never quite dies. It could wind up being another fantasy heartbreaker, and it is yet another combat-oriented gamist RPG (a friend of mine remarked that it’s a lot like a sister game to Thrash — being based on a video game genre and all). I still haven’t worked out the main resolution mechanic, but I did come up with a few neat ideas here and there:

  • I stole the XP system of the .hack games, where every level is 1000 XP, but how much XP a given thing is worth depends on its level relative to yours. (In ES I’m using this so that rewards for roleplaying and whatnot always count the same amount towards your next level).
  • There are three character creation options: classes (pick one class and stick with it; like old-school D&D or a lot of MMOs), jobs (gain levels in multiple jobs ala D&D3e and FF Tactics), and point-based (no classes, like a lot of newer CRPGs, just points to spend however you like to create a unique character).
  • Bonus Points are spent on advantages and disadvantages, as well as starting gear. If the GM ups the starting level, the value of BP relative to GP increases for buying stuff.
  • A lot of things are based around construction systems (so getting those right is critical to making the game work) to let the GM easily come up with new classes/jobs, items, monsters, etc., since even within the same series no two CRPGs agree on the stats and whatnot for things. (OTOH the game will have a healthy selection of samples).

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