Monday, September 30, 2013

Skulldred rising

I am now back spending some time on Skulldred in the hours my putty oven is full baking away on the host of Granbretan warriors for Hawkmoon.

I have been recovering quite quickly from my illness now- and am nearly back to normal energy levels.  I am working gradually longer hours, getting fit again and blowing off steam with a little braim dead hobby time as concentration has been in short supply, I focused on priming, cleaning, basing and other brain dead hobby chores.  Meh... It gets me by.  ;)

Skulldred has been nagging away in the back of my poor brain that good beta testing time is ticking away, so my goal has been to get the new free edition out so everyone can play the core basic game whilst I focus on Hawkmoon.

After all- most of the magic spells, scenarios, special terrain features and a good portion of the special rules and diagrams can wait while you bash each others heads in for a bit.  And play skulldred too.  ;)

Once it is ready I will post a link here to the free beta 3.3 edition.

Then when time permits I can finally colate all applications and get out the beta 4 closed beta edition to my poor subscribers.  I apologise for the automated messages when you email me about Skully, I know its a bit impersonal but I have been totally flooded with folk looking to play and uhg...  I am a bit nervous about opening the folder and return to the forum and see whats in there to be honest.  Still, its nice to be wanted I suppose.
Once everything is up I will need a moderator for the board.  Volunteers appreciated!

So... today I got the new measuring sticks, counters ready- this time around they are in a single PDF (thanks to my new tool adobe indesign) so printing to scale will be much easier.
  I also finished jigging the profile cards and just need to make the photoshop and gimp versions of the cardbuilder.

The rulebook is getting back under control... the problem with putting down a large book project is it takes time to familiarize yourself again with where we everything is- especially with a fuzzy head.

If anyone knows how to mail merge pre baked pdfs so each one has the recipient's email watermark on each page and custom name the saved file I would appreciate help.

Its nice to be getting back on my feet, and I look forward to giving you the shiney new edition of my baby shortly.

Thanks again for waiting!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blog update

Zap!  The blog gets an update!

I added a new menu bar with pages on how to sign up to the beta, and an illustrated summary of why the game is 'like toootally kewl'.  I also picked a new theme to keep things interesting.

A taste of whats coming...BLAM!

Hail Dredlings!

  So here is a tittilating taster of tonights tinkering... my latest poke at a profile card.

The brilliant Otherworld Ranger showcases new format

Once you have peeled your eyes off the gorgeous Otherworld mini model sculpted by Kev Adams (get well soon mate!) take a look at how the new format allows you to extend the picture all the way across the card if you need to, (it also has an option for a smaller framed box floating over a backdrop as before- if your image does not stretch that far.)   Much cleaner and nicer than before.

The stat boxes I have simplified so they are less busy, which gives you more focus on the picture. 

You may note the new statistic profile that spells BLAMS!  This is something I am trying out to help with remembering which stat is which.  The nice thing with this is you can note down characters in digit order (Kremmen Vargil: 34157)- like traveller ;0).

So taking a peek at the stats, Brawl is what was once combat dice.  Level is as before, Armor is 'to wound', Move is new- and Shoot is as before.  The sixth slot is for your own custom stat if your players use one.

So Move is basically an inverted version of size- its how many dice you pick up when dodging shots, falling, leaping, jumping and other forms of buggering about over terrain.  This is based on 6-size.
Note that size is no longer on the sheet, but is still a concept in character generation.  You pick a size, and that gives you the same amount of brawl dice.  It also gives you 6-size in move dice and sets your basic armor score.  The idea is that size is now implied in these other stats.

So for example, if you shoot a halfling with a crossbow.  The crossbow player picks up their shoot dice and rolls level or less to score a dice hit.  The halfling has a move of 6, so picks up 6 dice and rolls level or less to score a dice hit.  Winner has most hits.  Simples.

Armor is the number of hits you need to score equal to, or higher to peirce the armor and cause a wound.  This is the same as 'to wound' in earlier versions.  Double this is your instant kill score.  If your opponent drops its guard, this shifts down one step- so if you beat the armor score, you instantly kill them, otherwise you wound.  Most folk start with an armor of 2.

Oh... and you may also notice that the elf sorceress now has a loincloth!  That painting still needs some work.  :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Rising from the dead

Hey Dreadlings,
  So rumours of my death have been completely true- however a druid owed me a resurrection after he stiffed me on a love potion (fifty gold peices for rohipnol... see I.t. crowd for joke reference).
  I am slowly recovering from my illness and hope to return to my game writing desk after I comfortably get back to work.  In thr mean time I am doing little bursts of activity over on my kingsminis blog.

  Reading skulldred after the break was fun, I forgot just how far it has come along!
Hope your all well!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Todays progress

It was a Skulldred dedicated day today, and I got a whole lot done.  I had a sudden flood of applications this month, so if you have sent one in, I will get to yours shortly!

I can see there is a day or two more work to be done on the text document, especially since I merged together and shuffled several of the chapters into a more coherant form.

For example, the 'custom warbands' section into the 'how to read a profile card' section.  It is now one chapter that introduces the profile card and tells you how create a character and fill the card in as you go.  It cuts out a lot of redundancy and doubling up.
The whole book is now divided into three sections.   1: building your warband, 2: gameplay and then 3: scenario building, which includes terrain, found objects, bestiary and sample scenarios.  I realised the game really is just those three aspects and it made sense how to divvy the book up.  While your playing, your just referencing section 2 (or the cheat sheet at the back), when your looking to expand your game, you look at section 3, and while your making your warbands, you need section 1.  Makes sense... right?

Though I have avoided risky changes, there is one concept I would like to try in this edition, and that is how size/shooting/dodging/falling all work.  Instead of rolling under your opponents size, or getting bonus dice for their size, I have been using a new attribute called agility (or move/ evade/ dex/ dodge- whatever boils up as peoples favourite).  Basically it defaults to (5 - size).  Therefore bigger things have less agility and are easier to hit.
Characters roll under their level when shooting and dodging, but pick up their ranged dice or agilty dice respectively.  Hits are compared, and the winner is the highest hits.
The reason this mechanic is of interest to me, is that it means you can make archers with low combat, but high agility.  The silly thing with using combat to dodge, was that knights where better at dodging arrows than archers.  Not quite right.
A second benefit of agility dice is that they are used for falling, climbing and navigating tricky terrain.  This makes it a whole lot easier to remember the rules.  You fall 3 elevations, you need 3 agility hits to land safely.  Though big things get less agility, their natural toughness means they are less likely to be hurt by a fall- but are unlikely to make a long jump- which makes sense.
This also means a higher level model is more likely to dodge, make a jump or survive a fall.  Level plays more across the board.

This has a knock on effect to magic, of course, where larger creatures are more vulnerable than small creatures unless they are specifically tricked out to have magical resistence or magic counterspells themselves.  This may actually be a good thing in the 'scissor, paper, rock' basis of the game.  Big things are vulnerable to shooting and spells, but are awesome in combat as they are harder to wound and kill, and do more damage.  Note that I say effected by spells, not blown to bits by fireballs... a big creature still has a higher wound score- so its still harder to hurt.  A wizard may have to protect his monster with a shielding spell to get it in close.  Likewise a wizard can use big things to draw fire and use it as cover.  Until this change, big things are hard to effect by magic.  Is yoda right about size?  Should the wee little folk be able to dive out of the way of a freeze spell, but the knight on horseback cop it?  Is the only reason a dragon is not effected by spells because of its magical immunity, rather than its bulk?

Geesh, Its great getting back into Skulldred after so many months away!  Its going to be one awesome playtest, thats for sure.

Comments welcome as always.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hawkmoon vs Skulldred

I just had to drop everyone a note that I am currently sculpting the Hawkmoon range of minis- (yay! About time!) and its become my full day job.  I wanted everyone to know that I have set plenty of time aside this month to releasing the Skulldred beta, updating the mailing list and rebooting the forum.

Its a balancing act between making fans of both projects really happy with what I put out.  Michael Moorcock has been happy with the stuff so far, which is a mindf#$/ for me.

So whilst I poke endless chainmail links into the last Duke of Kohlns wardrobe and polish the cruel plates of the Granbretanian host I still have one eye on the A3 Skulldred poster in my room and am thinking of you all.

Kates been helping me with the edit, and she got me to strip all the visuals out to make editing less laborious- I had been thinking like a layout artist not a writer, and it was grinding along.  Now free from badly paginating art, the book flew along.  Now I just have to drop the visuals back in.

I took a couple of hours to explore POD book options before I rebuilt the book as A5 and found that a straight A5 for the printed version priced poorly compared to some of the other handbook sizes.  I think its more likely to be sorta like a decently thick graphic novel, allowing for decent horizontal table diagrams.  The great thing is I get to do full bleed, so art fills the page edge to edge.  This publishing malarkey is complicated innit?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Game board progress

Heres a quick iphone snap of a Mirliton barbarian warband on the Skulldred demo board.  All minis and terrain are work in progress.  Lots to do and cancon is a week away!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Lots of progress

Hail Dredlings!
I have been quiet over the xmas holidays, as I have been enjoying a break to catch up on last years back log of emails and paperwork before I go insane (well.  More insane).
Rest assured I have been beavering away on the rules in that time, as well as brain dumping for Dundred.

I also found myself tinkering for a day with ideas for a mass combat system akin to Hordes of The Things but without tables or predefined element types and using the skulldred maths free dice mechanics which I will post up in the playtest forums at some stage.  I nicknamed it Maraudred.
It uses elements of 4"x1 1/2" (I used mounting board covered in flock) with 3 casualties each (either remove figures or use casualty markers).  This lets you place 3 x 30mm base figures on each card, or a whole bunch of little ones.  Regardless of minis, 3 casualties and the element is destroyed (remaining figures routed or cut down).  Elements can rank up, line up and move as one and shuffle casualties.

It playtested really well- feeling like a fast wfb3 but with more strategy and detail.
So I will explore that a bit more later on, rather than be side tracked!   For now though its back to a full day on skulldred 3.3 for me tomorrow.

I will just leave you with a picture of some of the fifteen mil minis I am doing up for Splintered Light for the rulebook photos.  (On Proxie models 20mm bases)
I have some excellent Reaper, Iron Wind metals, Hasslefree, Guild of Harmony and Mirliton minis in my paint queue right now also headed for the glossy pages of 'Dread!  Cannot wait to paint them all up.

After that I gets to paints me Confrontation goblins and Undead for Arkalash reborn skulldred!  Exciting.

I am not going to set a due date for beta 3.3- its gonna be released when its good and ready.  But thats fairly soon ;)

Bye for now.