I have a dream…
Not a very profound one, but hopefully a practical one.
November is National Game Development Month, and it looks like I have next week off. I want to see if I can get Echelon to the table.
Reviewing my current roadmap from several months ago, such as it is, I see
In terms of development, I think I’d like to go:
- very core
- several ‘B/X quick starts’ to exhibit (and test) various rules elements that are not core
- several ‘H/M quick starts’ modeling the transition from Expert to Heroic, then play in the Heroic and Master tiers, exhibiting rules that become more relevant and to test new parts
- several ‘C/L quick starts’ (though that’s probably becoming a bit ingenuous given the amount of material I expect to be incorporated at this point) modeling the transition from Master to Champion, then play in the Champion and Legendary tiers, exhibiting rules that become more relevant and to test new parts
- Rules Cyclopedia-style publication with ‘everything’.
Not all of this can be done in a month, I expect. Let me think about the pieces identified above, and what I might be able to achieve in a month.
- very core. I expect I can get the very core together. This is primarily task resolution (“I just tried something, did it work?”) and elements that would span the framework. This is mostly together in my head, I need to got it on paper.
- ‘B/X quick starts’. I expect I can get parts of this usable. They may depend pretty heavily on Revised System Reference Document material such as feats and spells, but that’s okay for now. As long as I can demonstrate character and monster builds centered around different character concepts (much like classes), at least for a few levels, I’ll be satisfied. This is a ‘B/X’-range thing, so I don’t need it to incorporate the gonzo power that will come later. Combat, spell casting, divine channelling, maybe one or two other significant abilities. I won’t try to perfect them yet, and there may be multiple versions or choices available for each. Get some monsters of various types.
- ‘B/X’. Probably not as polished or pretty in layout as I’d like. That can be fixed later, this is for play, not publication.
I think this could happen by the end of November. I may even be able to start dipping into the H/M material as it comes up with the B/X work if it’s cheap for me to do it, but I’m not going to stress over it. If a spell list only goes up to third level that’s fine, I can fill in the rest another time.
Thankfully, I think I understand the Basic and Expert tiers reasonably well, so it shouldn’t be horribly arduous to take care of these tiers. I’ve found when designing talents that they really get hard around the Master tier and above.
Let’s see how this goes.
Have you got a plan for playing Eschelon too? It’s part of the aim of NaGa DeMon – often the hardest.
It shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve just started a Wednesday group exploring a megadungeon I recently outlined. I’m also in a Friday night group that normally explores Wampus Country, but sometimes we do something else — this week we’re off to Carcosa to rescue our wizard, who was foolish enough to draw from the Deck of Many Things and got Donjon. I’m also in a group that meets most Saturday nights, originally as part of the D&D 5e playtest, then into Erik Tenkar’s ACKS or Die!, and lately playtesting Greg Christopher’s Ambition & Avarice.
I’m a little richer than most when it comes to potential playtest groups 🙂
… and if it weren’t my blog, Akismet might have kicked that comment out as too many links…
Any useful ancillary tasks? Creating example characters etc?
Give me another day or two. I think I’ve covered most of the key elements I need for the core framework. Let me get it all in one place and start churning out some talents, then you should be able to start making characters. I’ve got lots of resources I can pillage to do that, though they may not be particularly balanced… but balance isn’t a key goal at the moment, so much as proving this’ll work.