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Everything posted by lawrence.whitaker

  1. The process was much the same as with an InDesign book. Create the Master Pages, set up the paragraph, heading and character styles, then tweak the layout elements on the Master Pages and main pages with the sizing of the guides and so on. I tend to import manually and selectively, using linked text frames with autoflow turned off. That is, I have the Word Processor manuscript open at the same time, and cut and paste text into a Publisher text box, pausing when I reach an element (such as a table, piece of art, boxed text, etc) that requires a different kind of work to be done in Publisher. I then pause, work on this element, and position, and then continue with the text paste. Once I've completed a chapter or major section, I go back through and apply heading and paragraph styles, adjusting for spacing, flow, widows and orphans, and tweaking where the separate graphical elements need to go, and whether they're kept in-line with the body text, or float free. The book builds up in this way, and always in a single document. The three big challenges I had with Publisher were: 1. Art needs to be carefully linked to its source files, and if these links become broken - which can happen quite easily - it can be a devil to correct. Doable, but deeply annoying. A couple of images somehow delinked in the production file following all the proofing, which meant there were blurred images in the final PDF download that just shouldn't have been there. The TDM logo image also shifted or replicated somehow, and this wasn't spotted. So Publisher's image handling still needs some tweaking by the developers; it's not quite as slick as InDesign's yet. 2. The file size increases hugely with art and other graphics, and this caused the software to slow down hideously the longer you work on a file. When it came to adding page hyperlinks for 'page XX references', it was taking a massive amount of processor power, and several minutes, for even small text changes to be processed. In part, it's because Lyonesse is a very big book, but also because Publisher handles graphics in a weird way, and imports linked images, but doesn't embed them - which is presumably how they get delinked when a file is saved. 3. Indexing is bloody awful. And as the file size increases, it gets slower, and slower, and slower... Overall though, Publisher is far, far nicer to use than InDesign. It feels friendlier. It's a doddle to create styles, update them, copy them, and edit them. Wrapping text around an image is much easier than with InDesign. Despite slowing down, Publisher is far less prone to crashing. The Studio feature (allowing you to swap between Publisher, Designer and Photo personas, if you have these other two apps installed) is simply brilliant, and I used it a lot. Managing assets, like tables, text boxes, certain graphics, etc, is a doddle using the Assets pain. Spellchecker is better. Find and Replace functions are far superior to InDesign. I wouldn't go back to InDesign at all. Publisher can only improve. InDesign, I've found, is getting clunkier. Soon, Adobe will stop supporting older operating systems, and then I won't be able to use the latest version of their hideously expensive Creative Suite at all. Affinity came along at absolutely the right time.
  2. Magic users still get STR+DEX as the base in the Combat Style; they simply don't get skill points to develop it from their class/culture.
  3. If one opponent has a skill >100, the Combat Style is reduced to 100, and the number of points above 100 are subtracted from the opponent (see page 51 of Mythras). So if Anathaym has Spear & Shield 120%, and she's fighting Bestatrix 98%, Anathaym effectively fights at 100% and Bestratrix fights at 78%. Bestatrix now has about a 25% chance of failing a roll, while Anathaym has a 5% chance of failure: Anathaym should win a Special Effect and cause damage much more frequently than Bestratrix - and it's the Special Effects that actually speed up combat. This means that very long combats are quite rare in Mythras. Plus, when one factors in the rules for weapon reach and fatigue, high skills can be whittled down moderate numbers quite quickly. Good use of Special Effects, such as Overextend, also reduce an opponent's ability to retaliate; while other effects, such as Trip, Stun and Bash, can be used to eat-up a high-skilled opponent's Action Points, denying them the opportunity to fight effectively. Our advice for newcomers to the system is always to try the rules as written first, and study the many options one has in combat. You should find that we've anticipated the situation of highly skilled opponents drawing combat out, by building in a number of different ways to either reduce the skill of an opponent, or their effectiveness in other combat areas. The Combat Training modules: Breaking the Habit and Take Cover! are very useful in helping you get to grips with Mythras combat, as they're designed to show you hwo to make the best use of situations, reach, Special Effects, and other tactics that help you gain the right kind of edge. https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/4057/Design-Mechanism/subcategory/8030_32283/Game-Aids You'll also find some very engaging discussions about combat and tactics on the TDM forums: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/designmechanism/rules-and-mechanics-f6/
  4. Most likely Unearthed Companion.
  5. It's not easy getting hold of a copy. Ebay has one listed at CAD$210 (so about USD$154). Plus, there weren't many adventures published for it. There's the start/setup for a campaign in the Ringworld Companion, and a so-so adventure, using characters from the novels, in Different Worlds, but Chaosium lost the license before they could really develop the game line.
  6. Tonight, 8.30pm EST, I'll be the Q&A guest on Random Worlds, answering questions about Lyonesse. To join: https://tinyurl.com/randomworldsIRC Log to be posted at: https://gmshoe.wordpress.com
  7. Elfquest is based on a graphic novel series by Richard and Wendy Pini. The characters are elvish characters of various clans, but beyond that, I can't tell you much more, as I'm not really familiar with the game or the comics. Ringworld is based on the Known Space novels by Larry Niven. This is hard SF, and the Known Space series covers a huge number of stories set against man's expansion across the galaxy, and their encounters with some strange and hostile species, including the cat-like Kzin, the Puppeteers, and the extremely dangerous Pak. The game itself is based around the exploration of the titular Ringworld, which is the focus of several novels (although at the time of the game's production, Niven had only written two: Ringworld, and The Ringworld Engineers). Characters are Known Space natives who travel to the Ringworld for exploration. So while there's a reasonable amount of background information on Known Space for the purposes of character creation, the game is actually highly focused on the Ringworld itself: it's size (which is absolutely immense), ecology, and peculiarities (such as maps of the planets of Known Space embedded in one of the immense oceans). The game is very good. The rules are a version of RQ3, with a very different action system based on 'impulses' that counts up through a combat round, with different actions taking different numbers of impulses to complete. Skills are based on cascading branches, allowing for characters to have a solid grounding as generalists in scientific areas, but higher skills in specialisations. So, a character could have Mathematics 48% (Hyperspace Probabilities 85%). This means that the character has a 48% chance of success with any kind of math problem, no matter how specialised it is, but when working on Hyperspace Probabilities, where they are an expert, an 85% chance of success. It's a little clumsy, but does reflect the root/branch nature of science and other areas pretty well. Where the game shines is in describing the Ringworld itself: it's perhaps the best reference work for the novels you can find, and it articulates and explores concepts mentioned in the books in ways that make sense and really give you a good grasp on how huge and complicated it is. The creatures book is also very good, with many new sapient species described, and how they fit into the strange ecology of the Ringworld, alongside species from the books. To get the most out of the game, you also need The Ringword Companion, and a good knowledge of the novels themselves - at least the Ringworld stories, but many of the Known Space short stories are incredibly useful too, especially Protector.
  8. Mythic Babylon is in layout and art commissioning. There's a very good podcast on Mythras Matters where the book's authors discuss more about the content. https://www.buzzsprout.com/266482/1479823-1-4-by-the-mythras-of-babylon
  9. Lyonesse features in this month's Grognard Files podcast. https://thegrognardfiles.com/2020/05/22/episode-38-lyonesse-rpg-with-lawrence-whitaker/?fbclid=IwAR3ltpLMbc0Dr0dXeszZbDgx9WI_un-1ppkWcJuzKjXvW19mEu6IeK0DBoI
  10. Here in Canada, lockdown and isolation rules are mandated Provincially. In Ontario, there's some tentative easing, but Doug Ford's administration is being cautious about this, and I think his stance overall has been pretty good and measured. There haven't been the hysterics seen in parts of the US, and on the whole Canadians, while wearying of the isolation and social distancing regs, are taking things pretty much in their stride. Where I live, there have been only a handful of cases, 1 death, and the rest are recoveries - but still, the community is taking things seriously, and continuing to abide by the iso and SD guidelines.
  11. Regarding the disclaimer you'll find on the credits page... First, Mythras doesn't have an Open Game License. We do have a Gateway License that 3rd party producers can use, if they wish to base their game on the Mythras mechanics. Secondly, for its first edition, SABRE's producers directly used a fair amount of verbatim text, lifted straight from the Mythras rulebook, without permission, and without using our Gateway License. This material was then made Open Content because SABRE chose to publish using the OGL, which was a clear breach of both the OGL, and our copyright. Following productive discussions with SABRE team, we agreed on the disclaimer you now see, as long as SABRE completely rewrote those sections of the game that were in breach of copyright.
  12. Magic comes in two forms. Fairy cantraps are simple, relatively low level spells, evocatively named, usually used by fairies, but also known by human magicians. Simple and quick, but with wide ranging effects. Sandestin magic involves summoning sandestins, magical creatures that specialise in creating a specific magical effect. Sandestins carry out the magic on behalf of the magician, with the spell actually being detailed instructions on what the sandestin needs to do. This form of magic can be very powerful, can be scaled, and effects combined. But it is magic point intensive, and there are backlash effects for overspending.
  13. Part Two of the Lyonesse scenario 'In High Dudgeon' play through, featuring Loz, Inwils and the InCrowd, is now on YouTube. Sir Jedny of Thrusk Donkey Jousts for the first time (how does he fare?); The Festive Fellows investigate the local blacksmith; Serfod encounters a stranger cloaked in sunlight (and gains a new admirer); and a confrontation in the tavern leads to some rather entertaining violence involving tankards. Tune in to discover more... https://youtu.be/3LEPGtYChLg
  14. https://youtu.be/EeCbXeTONTQ In which Inwils and the InCrowd find themselves In High Dudgeon, with me in the GM's chair. Beware! Contains spoilers for a forthcoming Lyonesse adventure.
  15. Based on the award winning fantasy trilogy by one of Science Fiction and Fantasy's greatest wordsmiths, Lyonesse transports you to the Elder Isles, where King Casmir plots to seize control of the Ten Kingdoms, assassinate his foes, and prevent a disturbing prophecy from being fulfilled. Elsewhere, the magicians Shimrod, Murgen, and Tamurello are locked in a private battle of wit, will and magical intrigue. All the while, the brutal, disdainful Ska are drawing their own plans of conquest. And in the immense Forest of Tantrevalles, the secretive fairies watch all that happens with wry amusement, and occasionally meddle in mortal affairs for reasons of their own. Players in Lyonesse take on the roles of adventurers of the Elder Isles, seeking fame, glory, profit, magic, or simply the promise of a good meal and a soft bed for the night. Characters can be mercenaries or spies in the service of one (or several) kingdoms; oath-sworn knights eager to do battle with their lord's enemies; thieves, tricksters or even honest merchants, out to make a just living (sometimes). Perhaps characters are aspiring magicians, keen to emulate the likes of Shimrod, Tamurello, or even the mighty Murgen himself. Lyonesse is a complete roleplaying game. This book contains everything needed (except dice and friends) for creating fabulous adventures in the Elder Isles. Exhaustive information on the kingdoms and lands of the islands; full rules for characters, skills, combat, magic, and monsters. Great care has been taken to recreate the style and atmosphere of Jack Vance's novels, so that Games Masters and Players can fully immerse themselves in the Lyonesse setting. Special rules for creating towns, taverns, tavernkeeper, and even lovingly described meals are all included, emulating the quintessential elements of the books. Don your armour! Take up your weapons! Sharpen your wits! Get ready for adventure across Hybras and beyond! We're delighted to announce that Lyonesse, the roleplaying game based on Jack Vance's award-winning trilogy (Suldrun's Garden, The Green Pearl, and Madouc) is available to buy from our DrivethruRPG store in Print+PDF versions. We're offering the game in hardcover and softcover formats. The softcover is slightly cheaper than the hardcover (and yes the prices really are meant to be that close - one of the quirks of POD publishing), and both formats are Print On Demand, largely because in these uncertain times, we do not know how long it will take our regular printer to get back to normal operations, and our distributor, Alliance, is still closed for business. The book costs $79.99 (hard cover), $74.99 (soft), or $25 (PDF only). You also received a free download of the main interior maps at full size, regardless of the format you buy. For UK, Europe and Australian customers, Aeon Games will also be producing Lyonesse, and you should keep an eye on their store for release details.
  16. It's almost, almost here.More proofs arrived today, and here are some pictures of both the hardcover POD version, and the softcover. The quality of both is very good. The ink on the softcover interior seems a little heavier, and on mine, the top edge of the page border has been ever so slightly trimmed on the softcover - but that could be a local print house issue. There's no difference in the source files used. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well built the softcover feels. The glue is very firm, the pages flip nicely with no fear that anything will detach, and it feels quite luxurious. We've used the premium quality paper in both versions, and it certainly lends to the book's overall production quality. The hardcover will sell at US$79.99, and softcover at US$74.99. The PDF will be free, and you'll also receive a PDF of the three colour maps from the book, at a larger scale than in the main PDF. All the PDFs are internally hyperlinked (save for the Index), and bookmarked.And we'll be making everything available for sale on Friday, 1st May. Watch this space for the announcements.
  17. An interview with Mildra the Monk in his Monastery... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8LRhc4i4Ok&feature=youtu.be
  18. All kinds of reasons... Streamlined and highly consistent set of game mechanics that are designed to handle everything from gritty historical fantasy, through to horror, SF, and superheroes (and with supplements/scenarios that do just that). An innovative, engaging combat system that creates a plethora of intriguing tactical situations that go far beyond the 'I hit/You parry' paradigm, and doesn't rely on whittling the opposition to death to win a fight. All kinds of Passions and social mechanics to support character development and conflicts of all kinds. Five fully developed magic systems, from simple cantrips through to god-invoking miracles, and powerful sorcery. Complete in a single book... ...yet supported by more than 30 high quality scenarios, setting books and campaign supplements. A free quickstart version, Mythras Imperative, can be downloaded from the files section here at BRPC. There are also plenty of video discussions of the Mythras rules, along with game streams, via Inwils YouTube channel, and monthly 'Mythras Matters' podcast. I'll also be GMing for this cast of characters very soon, with the video being hosted on Inwils' channel. Oh, and there's a 'Where I read...' Mythras thread currently developing at RPG.net. Plus, the team behind it are really, really awesome...
  19. Lyonesse uses an optional Affluence system for abstracting wealth. Here are the pertinent rules: Affluence is determined by Social Class and is, like Skills, expressed as a percentage value. A Critical Success means the character is easily able to meet the costs presented, and in a way that might even encourage better service or a discount. A Successful Affluence roll means that the character can afford to pay what is required for what is needed, within reason. If the roll Fails, then the character is unable to meet the asking price: perhaps funds have been mislaid, left behind, or stolen. If the Affluence roll is failed, the character can try to persuade the vendor to provide the goods or services regardless in one of the following ways: • Spend a Luck Point. • Try to convince the vendor to either lower the price, accept a different form of payment (physical or mental services, for instance), or to lend credit. To do this, the character must match either Commerce, Deceit, Eloquence, or Influence against the vendor’s Willpower. If successful, then the negotiation succeeds too. If the attempt fails, so does the negotiation. There are a few rules to observe when using the Affluence Rating to obtain things: • Only call for an Affluence Roll if necessary or dramatically appropriate. It is not necessary to have every character make an Affluence check for every meal bought, every scrap of clothing purchased, or every drink consumed. • The character with the highest Affluence can attempt to cover expenses for everyone in the party, although the Affluence roll will usually be at a penalty. • Games Masters can apply a Difficulty Grade to the Affluence roll to make things easier or harder, depending on the circumstances. For example, if a character wants to buy a piece of exquisite jewelry, the Games Master may apply a Difficulty Grade of Formidable or Herculean to the Affluence Rating, reflecting the price charged by the jeweller. Conversely, paying for repairs to a favourite hat that has been damaged in a duel might attract a Difficulty Grade of Easy. • Affluence can be used as a Skill to augment another skill, in appropriate circumstances. For example, a character from a wealthy background could augment his or her Influence with Affluence if trying to impress or coerce someone of lower social standing. However, the reverse would not be possible: the same character would not be able to use Affluence as an augmentation if dealing with a King or Queen.
  20. Wealth is described in the Mythic Rome Characters chapter, page 134 onwards ('The Value of Goods and Services'). 'Ships & Shield Walls' contains the mass combat rules, which are similar to Mythic Britain's. While designed for classical armies with hand to hand weapons, there's no reason why you can't use the same rules for modern/futuristic battles.
  21. https://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/18/18651.phtml The game should see release by the end of April.
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