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Topics - Zenguy

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brainstorming & development / Steampunk World alpha 0.80
« on: August 17, 2015, 07:12:56 PM »

Steampunk World has been going though the mill of playtesting and rework, and I've been learning what the process of producing a game is really like. 

While many parts have proven sound, I don't think there's any part that hasn't been reworked or at least tweaked.  Concepts, playbooks and whole sections have been abandonned; major areas have had extensive overhauls (some of them several times) and there are others I still want to revisit.  The process is taking far longer than I expected, but the improvements are worth it and the game is finally starting to convey the flavor and style of play that I'd envisaged for it - what started as a Steampunk/Sci-fi cross over is finally turning into a true steampunk game. (It's also, much to my surprise, now got a following of nearly 100 people on Google+!!!)

Anyway, here's the link to the current basic moves and playbooks (va0.80/81):

If you want to follow progress directly, the G+ community is at:

Would love to know what you think and any feedback, comments or suggestions you might have.

Meanwhile, it's back to playtesting, gathering feedback, writing, rewriting, revising, more playtesting, more feedback, more...

Steampunk World - Alpha draft A0.60 for testing and critique

All feedback gratefully appreciated:
- What do you like?
- What don't you like
- What doesn't work as well as it should?
- What’s good enough? 
- What wants or needs to be better??

Please tell me what you think so we can make this even better :-)?
If you're on Google+, would love to have your input in the Steampunk World G+ community.

Beyond (previously Adventures in Hazardous Space) is going to Steampunk!

Hi, here's the latest version (A1.71) of Beyond: Adventures in Hazardous Space (vA1.71)
Everything has had work! Key changes are:
- new, more comprehensive setting creation
- new group and character story rules
- changes to Basic moves and several new Universal moves
- new 'assistant' mechanics
- 4 new classes, 1 new race, changes to all the existing classes and races
- lots of clarification and playtesting tweaks

There's some work on using ships and bases, more classes in he wings, however the biggest thing that's coming is Beyond is taking a sideways step into Steampunk!

My long term plan for Beyond had been to do sci-fi first then expand it into steampunk (I love both genres and the rules are designed with that in mind).  However with relatively empty sci-fi PbtA space suddenly filling with great games like The Sprawl and Uncharted Space, rather than thread on their toes, I've decided to flip things around and focus on steampunk. 

What you have here, therefore, is possibly the last sci-fi version of Beyond for a while (though I may roll out the ship/base rules and sci-fi versions of new classes just for the benefit of anyone who's using these rules).

As for Steampunking this, apart from needing a more steampunk name,  there's a bunch of flavor to change and social mechanics to add, new classes, revised races, etc.  (No, I won't just be putting gears on it!)

I would still love any feedback you may have on the sci-fi version.
And, if you're interested in joining the Steampunk journey I'd love to hear from you.

- Michael D

Uncharted Worlds / Uncharted Worlds on Kickstarter
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:43:51 AM »
Uncharted Worlds is now on Kickstarter and has raced past its funding target already!

Check it out/support it at

the nerve core / Uncharted Worlds on Kickstarter
« on: February 27, 2015, 12:39:59 AM »
Sean Gomes space opera hack, Uncharted Worlds, is now on Kickstarter and has raced past its funding target already.

If you're into some Apolcalypse powered space opera gaming check it out/support it at

brainstorming & development / Beyond: Adventures in Hazardous Space
« on: December 02, 2014, 06:15:33 AM »
"Beyond is a sci-fi RPG, based on the successful Apocalypse World and Dungeon World systems, that's all about playing the sorts of space adventures that make for great TV, movies and books."

The flavour: co-op adventure on the edges of known space and Beyond.

The design goal: produce the system I’d love to use for RPG'ing any (or all) of my favorite future space TV shows, movies and books

A few of the design principles I’ve endeavored to follow:
•   The characters are the stars of the show
•   Back the fiction all the way
•   Any character can do (or try to do) anything (aka ‘railroading sucks’)
•   When tech can do everything, Expertise rules
•   Future tech, alt tech, aliens, starships, sci-fi combat, space settings - they’re all cool but keep the complexity to the fiction
•   Players can use their favorite setting, including all its own tech
•   Borrow techniques from successful TV shows and movies
•   Death to accounting
• (And again) the focus is on the characters and what they do

What Beyond isn’t:
• Military sci-fi – think Firefly rather than Starship Troopers
• Full Cyberpunk – Beyond has implants and hacking, but not cyber-reality
• Post apocalypse/alt-earth – Earth is just another planet (probably)
• Social/political – more action focused (every character can influence but the overall flavor is co-op adventure)

I'm sure there's a lot more work to be done, especially around things that we've taken for granted or and getting key concepts across to people who aren't familiar with the game.

There's also a whole lot still to come, mainly for the GM (Episodes, Factions, NPCs, Foes, Locations, Adapting Beyond, Hazards, etc.), but there's more playbooks I want to add for players plus a ton of examples and of course things like quick ref Player and GM sheets.

However, there should (hopefully) be everything here you need (assuming a willing GM) to play and enjoy some sci-fi adventuring based on the Apocalypse.

All feedback gratefully appreciated:
- What do you like?
- What doesn't work as well as it should?
- What’s good enough? 
- What wants or needs to be better??
- What needs major surgery?

Dungeon World / The Elemental Monk - feedback please
« on: July 30, 2013, 12:55:17 AM »
Here's another (draft) version of a monk - all feedback, criticism and suggestions to improve it gratefully accepted.  Plus, of course, I'd love to hear how great it is and what you really like about it :-)

Why do yet another Monk?
There's some great cuts of a Monk class out there (as will be obvious from the number of things I've borrowed from other Monks). However, I was looking for a Monk that:
a) was straight forward to use (i.e. didn't rely on a complex mechanic - aka accounting - for its moves/flavour),
b) had access to the moves/abilities of movie and anime 'monks' (the ones that studied in an asian monastery); and
c) was distinct from other classes.
While the other Monks all have some of this, I couldn't find it all in one package, hence the attempt to do this as a new class.

The principles this Monk has (hopefully) followed:
1. It is a dynamic martial artist whose combat style emphasises a) reflexes/movement to evade attacks and create advantages, b) well placed blows rather than brute force damage.
2. It has enhanced movement abilities and reflexes.
3. It has simple (optional) elemental abilities
4. Its control over its own bodies gives it (optional) healing and survival advantages.
5. Being a Monk is a vocation, not a job.
6. The Monk is a distinct from other classes - it is not a martial arts version of another classes e.g. Cleric (healer monk), Druid (nature monk), Fighter (warrior monk), Thief (ninja).
7. No accounting or similar mechanic is required to play the Monk.

LAdies and gentlemen, for your comment and critique, I present:


Elf: Illothin, Selariel, Mefanis, Teigan, Angasil, Genfaron, Feolin, Darothis
Halfling: Cudry, Thorn, Meada, Keraldan, Rill, Tremell, Comfrey, Bartly, Lannar
Human: Lan Wu, Ethan, Zarraza, Francoro, Mayoki, Sillar, Hiyao, Drenet, Mal

Wise Eyes, Penetrating Eyes, Calm Eyes or Laughing Eyes
Bald, Tattooed Head, Hooded, Tonsure or Pony Tail
Simple Robes, Travelling Robes, Dignified Robes or Loin Cloth
Lean Body, Round Body, Compact Body or Built Body

Lawful: Work to right an injustice or restore someone’s honour
Chaotic: Prove your kung-fu is superior
Good: Protect those who cannot fight

Elf: Your natural grace gives you +1 to the Wind Flows Over the Water and Wind Flies Over the Mountain moves
Halfling: When you Defy Danger and use your small size to advantage, take +1
Human: You are naturally aggressive; take +1 Forward on your first move in combat

___________ fights well, one day I will surpass them.
I will earn ___________’s respect as a Monk.
___________ is undisciplined and dangerous, I cannot trust them.
My master warned me about ___________.

Starting Moves
Martial Arts
You have mastered a school of martial arts. Choose a style (all are Hand range, Precise, and 0 weight.)
? Ancient/formal
? Animal imitating
? Classic grace
? Hardened fury
? Loose/drunken
Choose two elements/enhancements:
? Fire Melts the Rock. Your powerful attacks do +1 Damage
? Rock Breaks the Wave. Your skilled blocks and deflections give you +1 Armour
? Water Seeks the Slightest Flaw. You seek out weaknesses in your enemy’s defences: +2 Piercing
? Wind Buffets the Tree. Your style targets nerve centres. When you hit chose one effect:
•   Confused
•   Disable 1 limb
•   Shaky
•   Sick
•   Stunned
•   Their control of their magical power is loosened
•   Weak
? Enlightened Combat. You fight with an awareness of the whole battle: When you hit with a 7-9 take +1 Forward or grant +1 to an ally.  When you hit with a 10+ take +1 Forward and grant +1 to an ally.
? Tools Obey the Craftsman. Your style includes weapons: +1 damage when using a weapon and add the weapon’s range(s).

Enhanced Senses
Your well trained senses mean you are never caught by surprise.

Monk’s Evasion
When you wear no armour and carry no shield, you get 2 Armour.
Wind Flows Over the Water
When you run across a surface that cannot hold your weight (e.g, wall/ceiling), roll +Dex.  On a 10+, you make it across smoothly. On a 7-9, you make it across but expose yourself to danger (the GM will tell you how).

Your Load is 9+STR. You start with one Dungeon Rations (5 uses, 1 weight), a staff (1 weight) and your monk’s robes (0 weight) describe them.
 Choose one:
? Book of Wisdom (0 weight)
? Monastic Symbol (0 weight)
? Prayer Beads (0 weight)
Choose two:
? Adventuring Gear (1 weight)
? Antitoxin, Poultices and Herbs (0 weight)
? 2 Healing potions (0 weight)

Advanced Moves
When you gain a level from 2-5, choose from these moves:
? Confound Your Enemies
When fighting multiple enemies or one-on-one against a clumsy foe you gain +1 armour.
? Elemental Shield
When you use your mastery of the elements to protect yourself or another, choose an element (Fire, Water, Air, Rock/Earth) you have mastered in your Martial Arts and roll +Wis.  On a 10+ you create a shield of this element in front of you.  On a 7-9 the shield appears, but choose one:
•   You draw unwanted attention to yourself or put yourself in a spot
•   You take -1 ongoing to Elemental moves until you meditate and re-attune to the Elements
•   The effort drains you of 1d4 Hit Points
? Hurricane Uproots the Tree
When you attack an opponent to disarm or throw them, roll +Dex.  On a 7-9 chose one, on a 10+ choose two:
•   Disarm them
•   Throw them in a direction of your choice
•   They are Stunned
? In Harmony with Nature
Take a move from the Druid class.  Treat your level as one lower when choosing the move.
? Master’s Wisdom
When you think about what your master would do in a situation, you will think of an insight relating to the current situation. Ask the GM a question about the situation as if you were asking your Master. Roll +Wis. On 10+, the advice is helpful and clear. On a 7-9, it’s potentially relevant but vague.
? Mastery of the Body
Once per day you may enter a deep trance from which you cannot be woken. Make a +Con roll. On a 10+ choose two; on a 7-9 choose one:
•   You are healed an additional 2d6 Hit Points damage
•   You are healed of one Debility
•   While in the trance you appear dead and do not breathe
•   You are aware of your surroundings and may exit the trance at any time
•   The trance takes 1d4+2 hours only, instead of the usual 8
? Mastery of the Elements
Choose one extra element/enhancement for your Martial Arts.
? My Opponent is My Teacher
+1 to your Martial Arts when fighting a foe you have fought before.
? Spirit Senses, Spirit Moves
Your heightened senses and reflexes help you evade danger. +1 to Defy Danger.

When you gain a level from 6-10, choose from these moves or the level 2-5 moves:
? An Honourable Vocation
When you approach someone with humble dignity, roll +Cha.  On a 7-9 they show you respect and consideration. On a 10+ they consider you an honoured guest and treat you and your companions accordingly.
? Elemental Fury (Requires Elemental Shield)
When you channel a blast of elemental energy at an opponent, choose an element you have mastered in your Martial Arts and roll +Wis.  If you roll 10+ the blast is successful.  On a 7-9 the blast is successful, but choose one:
•   You draw unwanted attention to yourself or put yourself in a spot
•   You take -1 ongoing to Elemental moves until you meditate and re-attune to the Elements
•   The effort drains you of 1d4 Hit Points
? Elemental Purity
When you are exposed to harmful special effects (e.g. poison) conveyed by physical touch or proximity, roll +Con.  On a 10+ you are unaffected by those special effects.  On a 7-9 the special effects are reduced but not completely negated (the GM will tell you the reduced effects).
? Fortress of Qi (Replaces Monk’s Evasion)
When you wear no armour and use no shield, you get 3 Armour.
? Grandmaster of the Elements
Take a Martial Arts enhancement/element a second time, doubling its effects. If you choose an element, your Elemental Fury with that element does +1d8 damage.
? Strikes like Lightning
When you hit with your Martial Arts attack you do an additional 1d6 damage to the same or an adjacent opponent.
? Turn Your Enemies On Themselves
When you are attacked while in melee with multiple enemies, roll +Dex. On a 10+ you deflect the attack from you to an adjacent enemy.  On a 7-9 you take half the damage and deflect the other half to an adjacent enemy.
? Wind Blows the Leaves
When you deflect a missile attack, roll +Dex.  On a 7-9 you deflect the attack away from its intended target but thereafter its path is out of your control (GM will tell you where it goes). On a 10+ you catch the missile or redirect it to an adjacent target of your choice.
? Wind Flies Over the Mountain (Replaces Wind Flows Over the Water)
When you leap and fly to a new location, roll +Wis.  On a 7-9, you make it but expose yourself to danger (the GM will tell you how). On a 10+ you arrive safely.  On a 12+ you disappear and (choose one):
•   Reappear at the new location and take +1 Forward
•   Hold 1 to reappear at will at the new location

[In the process of creating this I've borrowed a number of superbly appropriate moves from other versions of the Monk and other classes.  These may have been renamed to match the Elemental flavour of this Monk and there may be other tweaks I've lost track of (I've been working on this as a whole, so individual changes have got a bit lost).  Some moves I've borrowed have appeared in multiple places, making their true origins unclear. If anyone can identify the correct origin of any moves in here, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit.]

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