Some Xenofiction palleoart stuff that I've done for the #FallingStarIsles last week... Was on Vacation the whole week so didn't do any "work".
Ok, the randomly generate a ttrpg adventure with tarot cards and turn it into html thing is live now.
First chapter of this game is called:
Lo and behold! The bellowing darkness crawls out of the muddy burrows of the gluttonous demons!
Finally got to writing my home game for the group that normally play-tests for me.
I have been putting this on hold for some time as I wanted to play some more Chants of the Spirit World, but never had a system I liked for it.. But cue Whitehack 3e. So far the game prep has been easy!
Nationality? Group! Race? Group! Path? Group! Constalation? Group!
Also wrote a class for Whitehack... The Valiant. All os peachy now. Finishing the Hykala stuff... And ready for the game thou.
So back to symetry... the "unnatural" one? Well that's mostly for 3 different "classes" of organisms that are going to be prominent as well:
1 - Snarejaws - based on various deep sea worms and other creatures like that...
3 - Softbellies - Fungoid creatures with intelligence
7 - Manyarms - mollusk creatures that look like sea stars / urchins
So after a few years of researching Xenofiction and Biology for #FallingStarIsles I think I know a bit of weird worldbuilding... Wana do an AMA?!
Xenofiction protip for all ttrpg designers:
Always look at your creature design and ask yourself "does this look chubby?" if the answer is no. You're most likely making it really underweight. Most creatures look a bit pudgy due to the musculature and fats on them. Some more fantastic creatures could be skin and bones; but generally... Creatures are pudgy! Add more meat to it!
I have been doing some more research on various primitive plants, fungi, and other types of flora (well fungi aren't in that... but we'll keep them for that for now 😅). This brought me to a few cool ideas and concepts. Specially for some more weird-er and creepy-er stuff that can happen in #FallingStarIsles.
Specially when you get to the point that it's going to be creepy from the STRANDs standpoint, not the players!
Now the other types of limbs? "1", 3, and 7? These are used for cyclic creatures. With radial anatomy compared to a binal symetrical natomy represented in the "natural" creatures. These with "unnatural", radial anatomy are used for starfish like creatures and squid like ones. Basically representing something so alien to the Strain that they are... Just different to them. They treat them like demons.
Now, creature plans were the ones where I focused...
Ichtian creatures (those based on fish), were given TWO limbs. Mostly for flippers, which some can use to traverse on land. "Standard" bodyplan is used for Strain and Strain-Kin, that's 4 limbs. Strain-Eaters were given a body plan of 6 limbs. Those were based on reptilia mostly.
Plants and fungi were "left alone" mostly. It's eh.... Weird. Plants are closer to prehistoric ones. Palms, ferns, and other kinds, with every "tip" of the plant being a fruit bearing one. Mostly going for berries / sack fruit. Fungi are just fungi, they were weird enough to be used as is.
Most fun thing about designing Xenofiction is making up "bodyplans". So I had the idea to do them "naturally" and "unnaturally"... Ther are even and odd body plans!
Even ones represent standard biology in the world with the limb numbers being 2, 4, 6.
While the "unnatural" biology is odd using numbers 1, 3 and 7. This is the basic "creature" design for the whole thing.
The thing is that I reoptimised the Core Resolution mechanic from 3d6+MOD VS 5/10/15 to
3d6+MOD VS S(3)/7/11/15/F(19)
basically it's a roll over... as you will always roll over 3 and never over 19... These are flagged as Auto Success (S) and Auto Failure (F). Making the system easier. Also this allows me to play with the idea of having gradation of 1-100 for Quality Levels of gear.
Been tinkering more and more and more with the #FallingStarIsles stuff as I've been finalising a few VRAČ options. I think I could get the working prototype finalised in a version that **I** myself like!
This becomes apparent when we get to the print costs and execution. If we're going POD (Inkjet type..) we don't care about that.
But on actual long run and bigger productions (And you should aim for those), you're going to save a lot by optimising for print early on. We're talking reducing your crowdfunding from triple or double digits, into single digits for print!
Well the actual goal might vary depending on additional work needing to be done, but just the print part? Can be reduced!
It lets you create a specific graphical entity / personality for your work. It's working towards branding your work as a unique experience itself. You're here to make your game pop out not only by fancy "art" but by consistency.
Sometimes a better layout is more important than having tons of art in your book!
Now you could be asking: but I can do all that while doing a publication and delete stuff later on from it to make a new document!
Yes you can, but you're basically doing things for that publication ONLY...
What about character sheets?
What about promo material?
What about other types of media?
Don't forget that you're not only going to write a ttrpg book and do the layout... You'll have to advertise it as well!
That's where the Book fo Standards comes to shine!
Sometimes when I came to a new problem in the book itself, I went back to the Book of Standards and checked if I had a rule for that situation, and generally I had. There were a few issues that had to be amended to the Book of Standards, but a good groundwork for a project saves time doing layout and editing.
This goes especially for typefaces and their usage.
I'm a Croatian Zagorec ttrpg developer and publisher. Currently a one person show, but haiving several Croatian freelancers that works for me from time to time.
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