I am launching Planet News in an effort to update this site more regularly and keep you informed about Peril Planet games. The plan is that once a month I will do a quick round-up of what has been going on over the last thirty days or so, and what I am planning for the next month. So, lets get on with it.
While I wrote FU way back in November for NaGaDeMon, I only got around to putting it up on RPGnow/DriveThru RPG in March. I don’t have a good reason why. Since then it has had a hefty number of downloads, which is great – I want people to get out there and play it. Free RPG’s always do well on those sites and I have had a steady download of 2-5 every day for the past month (after an initial flood of downloads). I want to put out a few expansions for FU during the next quarter. Before I talk about them further, though, I want to talk about my “big picture” for FU. I really like this game, and it is the culmination of literally years of work (my seven-year-old was not born when I first started work on its predecessor). I think it “has legs” for a light, loose, universal game. With slight mods and tweaks it works for all sorts of genres and adventures. My big picture is to put out a variety of supplements that fill all kinds of niches, and my inspiration is the totally awesome TWERPS. Not all the FU add-ons will be comic like TWERPS, but I can see the game’s potential to fill that niche. TWERPS wasn’t free and while the core rules of FU will always remain available, I will more than likely provide a for-sale “expanded” edition, as well as a hardcopy book. Some of the expansions will be free, but others will not. I would really love to hear your feedback on this idea. I would also love to hear suggestions for what to call the add-on documents – modules, expansions, supplements, or something else?
So what’s on the not-too-distant horizon for FU? I have been toying with taking some of my older games and campaign settings and porting them over to the system and have begun to make some notes on this. I want to use these to showcase some of the options that were given in the sidebars of the game. I have fleshed out details for “sanity” rules and magic for one such project. It was always my intention to build a more detailed combat system that could be plugged into the game – something with an abstract map, manoeuvres and possibly a health/damage system. I have been putting this together, but it is proving more challenging than I first thought to hit the right balance between minimal rules and tactical options.
The Beast of Limfjord
Since its release in January The Beast has been doing really well. I am currently working on The Bear King’s Fury, a supplement with two additional characters and a new plot outline. It has been really fun to explore the world further, creating new characters that expand the mythology but still tie in with the five characters in the original game. I have a couple of other ideas for supplements that further build on The Beast percolating in the darkest parts of my mind – but they will have to wait for a later time.
I wrote Verge more than two years ago now, but it has been on my mind ever since. I love the setting, and have slowly been adding to it, building layers and depth and exploring it in my own time. It was the subject of my 2009 NaNoWriMo novel, and I have also been jotting down tidbits about the language and locations of the City. While I love the setting of Verge, I am not that fussed on the game system. I don’t feel the system captures the grim and gritty feel of dark fantasy or cyberpunk. As well as wanting to focus on making the setting come alive through the mechanics, I also want it to be a little “crunchier”. I don’t have a reasonable reason for this, but I want to have some granularity, rules for fighting styles, and a way to drive characters to make hard moral choices. Playing Burning Wheel recently showed me that you can have a story-driven game with a lot of mechanical depth, and I plan on exploring this further.
I have been working on a wargame for a very long time. In fact, before I ever published my first 24-hour RPG, let alone had a website, I was working on a wargame. It is both my first love and the rock upon which I seemed bound to dash myself. Listeners of Here Be Gamers will be aware that I have been playing and playtesting a game with my good friend Rob Lambourn for some time now. The truth is I have ended up with two very different games, as ideas have diverged, opportunities arisen and goals changed. Both are at about the same point – soundly playtested in-house and in need of a thorough re-write. I will be making a decision very soon about which to proceed with and preparing a playtest document for release.
Well, that is about the state of things at the moment. I will leave it there, so that I can get to work on some of these projects!