Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photoshop returns!

Hey Dredlings,

After a windows update took my trusty Photoshop CS 1 out at the knees, (Adobe no longer support it, so I was left high and dry without a license) I finally decided to fork out for new the new creative suite package.  Plus I thought, hey, having InDesign and Illustrator will be a big plus in getting the final Skulldred publication looking slick.
Getting photoshop back means I will be able to revise the counters, cards and cover art to suit the new 3.2 changes.  Hurrah!

Hope everyone is having a good time, and keep that feedback coming in!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

3.2 errata so far

Hey 3.2 Dredlings,

Here is some errata that has popped up in the first reads.

Reference to 'champion' in warband chapter should read 'only one level 5 per warband'.

Disengage clarification: You disengage up to your base width away from engaged opponents, and may then perform other actions including moves.

On that note, I now think disengage can be performed after rolling the action dice. I was thinking it would be fun to have a risk roll here for excitement but it breaks the select-roll-think-act paradigm and therefore the flow. I will shift this to optional rules in the next edition, as it makes only a tiny difference.

Hope you are all having fun!

Word fur Winderz update

Hope everyone is enjoying the 3.2 document so far.

I spent this afternoon transferring my Skulldred Open Office document over to Microsoft Word.  I am jolly glad I did so far.  Once, that is, I found a custom script to create a 2003 style menu driven from the hell spawn monstrosity that is the ribbon (I hate ribbons in every program- worst bloody interfaces ever.  I still spit tacs about Autodesk adopting ribbon in 3DSMAX.)
I can now layout the page properly without weird things happening- though I applaud open office, (especially in that it continues using a menu driven interface), I have to mark them down on their formatting tools.  Now I feel I have total control on the document- every space, break and picture position.  It's heaven, and well worth forking out the dosh for.
The reason I mention this is that Word managed to pick up and quickly correct hundreds of little spelling and grammar mistakes in 3.2.  Spell effects now affect things, and winners beat losers, not loosers.
If your picking through the spelling in 3.2, relax- the next version will have caught the majority of mistakes, so its probably best to put down the red pen for now!

Friday, February 3, 2012

3.2 released!

Yes, it is finally released!  What do you think Derkeness?

Uh oh.  Derkeness is pleased.
After several monsterous long days hammering away at a keyboard I have finally managed to compile and send out download links to every registered member in time for the weekend.
My thumbs are killing me.

The new edition is clocking 147 pages- which means I have condensed a great deal from the body text.  This gives more room for more art and miniature pictures.  Speaking of which, Heresy minis are joining the party.  Expect to see Andy's lovingly crafted figures gracing our pages (I know Dave Stafford will be happy!).

Once my thumbs stop aching, I am looking forward to some time to finish painting the lovely Reaper, Grenadier, Hasslefree and Asgard (Viking Forge) minis awaiting me on my painting desk ready for the photo diagrams.

Now I am off for a well deserved rest.

Happy playtesting everyone!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Great arguments for d6 over d9

I have decided to keep with D6 from here on in and make Stardred d6 also.
The compelling argument was this. Skulldred is about speed and it is about no mental strain.
D6 are stable. Since the mechanic is totting, D6 do not tip during this process, making it harder to cheat. The spots are faster to read than numbers. I tested this for a half hour of speed cognition- testing and d6 win by a country mile. So much so, Stardred has to follow suit.
It also keeps the levels easy to comprehend. Novice, Regulars, veterans, elites, legends. Legends, as we have seen in playtest, really are legendary in performance. Plus D6 are commonly available and cheaply available in bulk packs.

3.2 has been recompiled for d6, and I am happy with it.

As Paolo said in his comment, it will mean a faster time to release now, as the numbers have been play-tested. Very good point- I could tinker forever but you guys are itching to get it. That's a damn good thing :)

Rolling out today.

The wait is over 3.2 is finished

Hey Dredlings,

The long wait is over.  With CANCON wrapped up and a break in my workload opening up I have had the time I needed to finished the last compile of beta 3.2 and its ready to start compiling for download tomorrow.  I hope a quick flick through will really make it all worth the wait.

It takes a few minutes to compile each playtesters personal copies, and there are a lot of playtesters, so it may be a day before you get your link.

This is the last of the experimental betas, trying out new things.  From here on I am picking mechanics purely from those that existed in earlier betas that worked the best.
Though magic needs thoroughly playtesting and may need revising heavily, the rest of the book is going to start being locked down, with wording, clarity and spelling being finalised for beta 4.0- so word worms grab your grammar books and pick at my spellink.  It is time to get this baby ready for flight.

My schedule now allows for revisions based on feedback directly after 3.2, so the development will be much, much quicker.  I simply have not had the time to get 3.1 done these last few months.

Old stuff

The good news for those fearing change is that the majority of the work on 3.2 returns to the more streamlined, gritty and popular beta series 2- with the return of the Action die, Dreadskulls, Downed/Dead damage system.  I like to experiment with wildly different ideas to try and get closer to the core principles I laid out at the start (maths free as possible, playable when drunk etc etc), and 3.0 totally missed the mark- adding too much complexity and taking out a lot of the fun.  Players of the beta 2 series will find themselves on familliar ground.

New Stuff

The two major changes in 3.2 is the trial of D8 dice and non deductive rolls.

Since it was quite easy to whack in, I decided to convert the rules to the D8 system.  It will always nag me if I didn't try it and its easy to change back.  It will also give me a head start for Stardred, as that will be a d8 system to accomodate drones through heavy mechs up to huge walkers.  If we can get the costs balanced for Skulldred in D8, then Stardred will be cross compatable.

Dont worry - you can still play with d6 dice, you just do not field higher than level 4 or size 6.  The notes on how to do this are included a few pages in.  If your feedback is about numbers, make sure to note if your using the D8 or D6 versions.  If you can give it a try and tell me how it feels compared to D6, that would be a real help.

Non deductive rolls takes out the step of deducting the losers roll from the winners.  Again its a tiny change to put it back, but removes one mental arithmetic step from every single roll in the game- so pays of big time if it works.
Both players now roll dice and the one with the most hits gets to apply all those hits to whatever effect is required.  In spells, its the spell potence, in shooting and fighting, its the damage caused.  Because this generally ups damage, the defense and kill numbers are adjusted.  This also makes the game more viscious, so more Dreadskulls are needed.

The big change to magic is that spellcasters charge power now, which they can do on the same turn as cast a spell- so a sorcerer can always get off a risky, weak spell.  The numbers and prices for spells are pretty close to random at the moment, so I expect spells to be waaay too expensive and hard to cast to begin with.  There are literally thousands of ways to combine spell effects, so I expect playtesting is going to throw up some nice cheats.  Ideally, spell casters should have no more than around 3 to 6  spells with a range of low level and one or two higher level spells they cast well.  Spells should be unreliable, and devastating to anyone who does not watch for portals.