Schedim's Blog

RPG meandering and stuff

Webcomic review 4: The Space Between

Oki, this is another one that I quit, The space between. I didn’t want these reviews to be a row of snarky diss of people efforts, but the ones I finish off first is also the ones I didn’t stand to continue reading.

This one put me off for two reasons, the style and the lame script. The drawing style is perhaps an attempt to embrace naivety, but comes of (to me) as awkward body anatomy and lazy cut and paste. The script, even when trying to adress admirably important questions falls flat, and the rest is lame jokes that other has made better.

Where Tween is dour, repressed and drepressing by choice (that is my feeling), The Space Between is flippant and shallow due to the authors failings. So this one is no loss to miss …

Webcomic Review 3: Tweep

I can directly say that I didn’t finish this one, I struggled until about 90% and couldn’t finish it out of pure ennui … 

Tweep have at the surface the perfect set up, relistic slice of life and interesting characters, romantic relations … buuuut, the drawing style is pretty dour and the colour scheme is …. dour. The body position of the characters is something in between Quasimodo and a Galapagos turtle. Their face shape is in two versions, male and female and both with a facial expression of unhappy disdain (mostly), which makes it hard to differ characters from each other at times. The banter is (with one exception) similar, so it doesn’t matter after a while who is saying what as they look alike and sound alike…

And they are so frakking repressed, I mean a webcomic doesnt need to be NSFW for me to like it, but some passion is nice, here the most risque moment are a qoute from Monte Python … It is like they are cookie cuts from a Victorian Novel, or a Hugh Grant movie, with the whole cast being his clones. Dour visuals, and repressed characters become to much for me, in the end I just wanted to scream and shake them!!

Webcomic Review 2: Penn and Aggie

Next of the “Slice of life” comics I have got addicted to is “Penn and Aggie“. The drawing style actually made me bypass this comic several times as I’m not particularly fond of the “Archie” style. Actually even the thought of the Archie comics I read as a small whelp gives me shivers, I think I only had one issue and never again of that…

Anyway, I started reading it as it was coming up again and again when I searched for “slice of life”, “relationship” and “romantic” webcomics. It starts as a pretty regular american-college-drama-whatever, but slowly moves into something more, and the ending ripped the heart out of me. 

I was really, really sad that the author ended that web comic, and then I learned of the spin off Punch n’ Pie, sadly the creator broke of that too. Understand, and agrees with his reasons, but it still leaves me feeling sad and  abandoned, as I wanted to spend more time with those characters…

Web comics Review 1: Blaster Nation

Lately I have been on a binge of web serials and web comics, probably in some kind of attempt to fill up a black hole in my soul…

Anyhow, I thought I could write a line or two about those I pursued to the end. I use Comic Rocket for organisation of my reading. That place seems legit as it direct link to the creators page and thus do not hijack hits.

I start with a low point, to get rid of it, namely Blaster Nation the drawing styl isn’t impressive, the main protagonist is bland beyond the pale, the side cast is overshadowing the main charater and still succeed to be boring (and a bit of despicable). The only interesting stuff happens in the last, say 10%, of the story, a interesting and adorable love story with some human emotions and interaction … and then they creatirs drop the story…. I was flabbergasted! And sad, because the last few strips really touched strings in my heart.

Now the creators of that only seems to produce Rock Cocks which is mildly amusing and highly NSFW.

Next time I start with those that are better to spend time on…

The funnel of realisations

While tinkering and toiling with the Nifelhel version of the Dungeon’God concept, I was struggling with the starting point for the characters. I had some vague idea that they where Thawed that suddenly waked up to their destiny, but it never sat well with me, it lacked … something. It caused me to wander away from it for a while.
But a couple of days ago when I was sitting and reading the fabulous “5th edition funnel” I realised, that this was how people and heroes was introduced into the world!

Dungeon’God was fishing them out of the limbo where the abandoned population of Nifelhel went, resurrects them with the absolute minima of functionality and equipment. Then have them run the gauntlet of a Dungeon to create som conflict-power that Dungeon’God subsist on. The terms forced upon them to gain their freedom and life renewed was either to find keys hidden away in a weird dungeon complex or be the last surviving of five.

My thought is that with, say, five players, there are twentyfive zero-levels characters that are divided between them. Either randomly or by drafting, or something in between, this becomes the players “team”. When a character is killed all remainder team members may raise a physical stat (evil yes) but as the dungeon proceeds witteling them down there will probably be assymetric deaths, one player may lose more of the team than other players. To adress that the player with more characters must than another player, must chose one character to be transferred. The up side is that the gifting player may raise one non-physical ability one step in all the remaining characters. Lastly, if the player has more than one character left when the five keys are found and used, the key wielding character may raise Cha with one point per remaining character, and the remaining characters becomes the henchmen of that character.

The continuation of that campaign would be something “OSR-standard” sandboxy thing for level 1 to 9. Focusing on bringing back the world of Nifelhel by carrying it piece by piece from the depth of the Dungeons. The world would be formed by decisions made by the players, what magic to release, what creatures to bring with them, what spirits to assist and what practices to support. Also above ground there would be numerous other adventure parties forming factions and pusing their own agenda. One important thing would be to rescue others from graves, creating more population (and possible henchmen).

And THEN at level 10, it turns into an application of Kevin Crawfords fantastic Godbound. Not only influencing the world but becoming the worlds actual creator (or one of them at least). Here the players will face old enemies and new dilemmas, and perhaps the great question it self, what to do with the Dungeon’God and the contract made with him by the old gods.

An epic journey!

But I think I start with the funnel …

About Elven Hair and Digesting Cellulose

What has these to things to do whith ech other? Well I was driving a long stretch the other day and I was idly thinking about my elves in Forgotten Space  and their  peculiar digestion tracts. As I may have mentioned earlier the Elves are actualy the seed pods of a great tree and thus have a metabolism very different from humans. One of many apparent differences are that the lack intestines, the oesophagus ends in a stomach like cavity in which the food is treated with strong enzymes and sharp rigdges. Anything that isn’t digested or unsuitable as a nutrient is reduced to a fine grained particles and covered in cellulose crystals. These microscopic crystal nodules  are transported through the elf body (waste products from cells are treated much the same way) and are in the end deposited on the skin of the elf.

This  means the elf leaves a trail of a fine white glittery powder and explains why all elves prefere loose and little clothes as the poweder otherwise builds up under the garments and creates uncomfortable and unhealthy cakes. The powder is a psychoactive substanse and highly after sought.

The elves thus prefere food that is easily digestible and is high energy in content, alcoholic beverages are more or less staple food, the ethanol not effecting them in the same way as humans, being high in energy and seldom having a lot of undigestible pollutants.

Which in the end brings me to the new realisation about the elves digestion, as they eat a lot of fruit and vetabilic matters (cellulose is readily digestable to them and acts much simlilarly a protein to humans) they need a way to get rid of excess cellulose matter. And this is of course the hair! Elf hair is actully thin strands of polycellulose, and can grow extremely fast when a cellulose rich diet is had. Also it is easy to colour by ingestion different types of food containg certain pigments and the most self conscious elves creates spectacular effects by ingestion of food in series that creates patterns in the resulting hair.

A Larch … No a Goblin!

After a day with tutorials and a couple of false starts I have successfully created my protagonist, the Goblin. I used UMA (for Unity3D) as I also can use it for the horrible Adventurers that will plague the dungeon.

image

There certainly is some things I want to adjust later on (like edit away the belly button) but for now I have a goblin that runs around. Anything fancier than this will have to wait until a couple of higher priorities are knocked of the list.

I also have decided to use the demo scene from Decrepit Dungeon Lite as the base for Goblins First Dungeon. It saves an awful lot of time and the layout is actually quite good. I just make the props movable and put in some more stuff to make it a bit more interesting.

The priority thing rigth now is to create a simple inventory system so the kleptomania afflicted goblin can pick up stuff and put it somewhere.

I was going to use a ready for use system that look like exactly what I wanted, but at a closer look it seems to have trouble with Unity 5 and if I have to comb through code anyway, I can do it from the ground up myself and learn some C# at the same time.

So whats up?

Well, as I have mentioned before I have been engrossed in programming lately. While the more tangible stuff will appear over at schedim.com in form of useful applications I was thinking of discussing the more farfetched and rambling stuff here.

I want to keep this blog alive, and as my RPG creativity is funneled into algorithms and  functions I can at least write about the worldbuilding parts and some design decisions.

The project I want to share is a little RPG demo project, the name changes from time to time, but lets call it Goblin Grove for now. The concept is a game in the Dungeon Master/Dungeon Lord genre, but from a goblins view. A pesky goblin crawls out from under a stone in a small disused dungeon and tries to make a living and build a goblin kingdom there, despite disruptive adventurers and quarrelsome monster hirelings.

Some ideas I will recycle from my earlier Dungeon’God ideas, but the greater span of that concept is not my goal to cover here. Instead this will be a Goblin, a small dungeon and a piece of landscape around.

So, some practicalities; I will use Unity3D as the game engine and as far as possible use free assets and tutorials to create the physical framework and focus more on the gameplay instead. I was thinking on creating a 3D model of a goblin myself, but realised two things, 1) I’m not a 3D artist in budding and 2) it is not actually what I was most interested in doing. So I leave the goal of learning the Mechanim importing part of Unity3D for now and instead use UMA, a ready for use (well nearly so) Avatar creator to create my Goblin protagonist. I’m working through a series of YouTube tutorials and hopefully have something to show in a couple of days or so.

So, until then, take care out there!

 

I do play some still…

Actually we have played Rappan Athuk for .. two years(?) now. We started using Pathfinder, but it wasn’t really suited for the task so now we have switched over to 5e. It wasn’t really to my liking as I love to tinker with my character and explore the boundaries of systems. But 5e suits the rest of the group better and the aim of the campaign in general, that I have to admit.

Anyhow, it meant that my supertinkered Pathfinder character (a grendelblooded, crossblooded Earth Giant Sorceress) had to be converted. As the 5e system is sleek and quite elegant it wasn’t so difficult, but the DM and I had to create mor or less the whole  character idea from scratch (within the 5e framework).

So I start with my Sorcerer origin:

Deep Earth Magic

From the deeps below the Underdark the Giants brought forth a magic as slow and strong as the roots of the mountains. Those with a drop of Giant blood may now and then learn to use these powers.
You can speak Giant and use other alphabets (e.g. Dwarvish) to read and write. Additionally, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with Giants, your Strength bonus is added to the check.
Voracious Glutton: You do not regain all your Sorcerous points after a long rest. Instead you regain two points every sixth hour if you take a short rest and consume a large meal (and digest it properly afterward). If you get no food for 12 hour you have disadvantage at all applicable rolls.
Strength of the Mountain:Your resilient body provides you with (starting at first level) increased hit point maximum with one point per Sorcerous level. Your thick hide also have a AC of 13+Dexterity, if you wear no armour.
Hammer of the underworld: From the 1st level you can treat any two handed weapon causing bludgeon damage as you where proficient with it, in addition you add another dice to any critical you roll with that weapon.
Hide of Stone: At 6th level you may spend 3 Sorcerous Points as an action to gain Resistance versus Piercing and Slashing damage for one hour, in addition, when you cause bludgeon damage in combat you add your Charisma modifier as damage.
Assume ancestral form: When reaching 14th level you may Polymorph into a Stone Giant by spending 2 Sorcerous points as a bonus action. This size can be kept for an hour and be maintained for longer time by spending one Sorcerous Point per hour. Only clothes and equipment of organic and stone materials increases in size with you.
Travel the Stone: At 18th level you may pass through uncut stone as it was water by spend one Sorcerous Point each 10 minute, if still encased in stone when the times is up, se the spell Stone Meld for effects.

 

Really, really long time no writing

Since summer I have been completely focused on improving my skill in dealing with computers. As the assignments are soo boring that my brain kind of turns to dust by just reading them I have had not achieved a decisive victory so to say …

Instead I started to write my own little app and now after a week of work of learning how to set up a webserver and connect that to my little application I can proudly present the grand opening of ….

Srchedim Production

That is the place I will place the products of my imagination that I deem be of some use for general consumption, while this will be .. well … a bit more meandering.

My first product placed there is this little app that produces the data for a family tree. It simulates a family for 50 years and creates some data about their life (more details forthcoming). My thougth is that it will be suitable to put into one of these family tree programs that are freely avaiable and used as backgroud for a character or NPC in a roleplaying game.

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