Wednesday, 15 March 2017

To be... Lycadican or not to be Lycadican.... that is the question

Comments from previous playtesters (and my brother) got me thinking recently about the name Lycadican. The recent direction I've been going is is quite different from that of the original Lycadican FRPG (version 5) which was very AD&D Second Edition with modifications to rules for things like attacks striking body areas, greater emphasis on proficiencies, a radically expanded magic system and of course a different game world with different races and character classes.

The current version that I've been working on is very very different. The game world has changed significantly. The geography has changed, the races themselves have changed or been massively expanded upon and the game mechanics themselves have changed in order to take into account new concepts. The magic system remains largely the same, however, but the largest change is probably in the theme. It's much more focused on the supernatural, concepts of Good vs Evil, Corruptibility vs Integrity and Secret Combinations vs Openness & Transparency (which has largely been abandoned by all as they hunker down behind their walls of false security and safety while they rot from within.) Also, I'm working to bring a more Carribean influence where the races will largely be split between European-flavored and Carribean flavoured.

All of that taken together has made me think hard about 'forking' this game off into something new. In preparation for that, I have obtained the domain name ( was taken) and have a draft of the document where the name Lycadican has been changed to Kabal.  I've also applied filters to the current art that I'm using as placeholders to keep with this theme and will be reworking the Asura race into something else.

More to come in the future.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Great map making tutorial

I never did finish my own set of tutorials, but it looks like someone has taking a similar approach. Checkout this site for a great tutorial on creating your own fantasy world

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Direction of the fantasy setting

Lately I've been debating with myself over the direction of this fantasy setting. Right now it's pretty broad, covering cultures such as a dark afro-caribbean to those with analogies to brutal-Norse/Scandinavian. These are all bound together by fairly dark overtones which are to me reflective of the global rise of extremism combined with the seeming corresponding increase in narcissism; at least within North America.
As my writing continues, this will continue to manifest as the introduction of Cult, Secret-Societies, Pagan Religions and different flavors of character Archetypes.
The questions I'd like help answering before I go too far are:
1) Is it too broad?
2) Is it too disparate?
2) Is it too dark?
What do you think? What would you like to see?

Friday, 16 October 2015

HELP!: To Roll or not To Roll.... that is the question

As I continue my revision of Lycadican and it's rules I'm always on the look out for an opportunity to improve things; right now I stand at a cross roads. I've been thinking of the proficiency system, how to determine the success or failure of a task and I need YOUR HELP to decide which way to go!

Option 1: The historical method:

  1. Add you Skill Level + the roll of the dice and take the result
  2. If the result is greater than a target number determined by the difficulty of the task (target numbers are about equal to 3 times the DL) you succeed. 
  3. If it's less you fail, but you can expend some Attribute points or Experience points to overcome this by bringing the total of Skill Level + Roll >= target number.
Option 2: A potentially newer method (with no dice rolling required):
  1. If your Skill level is greater than the difficulty level the task automatically succeeds.
  2. If the difficulty level of the task is greater than the skill level than you could spend attribute points so that your Skill Level + Points spent >= the Difficulty Level. You can only spend a maximum number of points equal to the level of the skill.
What do you think? Please leave comments below!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Mechanics, Mechanics, Mechanics

A group in Australia have been the first to give the new version of the game a kick at the can and the feedback has been slowly tricking in. Here are some of the comments I got back:

  1. The premise seems to be too dark. 
  2. It does not appear to be a game for beginners, but instead a master class game for mature players.
  3. There was some comparison to the feeling evoked by Robert E. Howard's or L. Carter's original Conan short stories.
  4. d10 based system seemed to them to limit the range of possibilities too much, they requested a change to a d20 base.
  5. In discussing character advancement there was concern that first level characters may be too strong and there was no way to advance Health Points, etc.
  6. There were concerns around depleting Attribute Pools and that this could disincentivize players from taking risks.
As a result I've done the following:
  1. I'm thinking about easing up on the mood.
  2. I'm looking to reduce the instances of modifiers where possible
  3. I've moved from a d10 only to a d10 and d20
  4. I've changed the way attributes work. Instead of being a static value rolled once and never changing, now, characters generate attributes initially that would result in values < 10. Attributes can increase through the spending of experience points, just like any other skill. Health Points and Defence Ratings increase as Attributes increase (and of course, attribute points increase as well.)
  5. There will be potions, spells and rest that can regenerate the points from an Attribute Pool.
The follow on to this is that in the end you may have characters that end up with the maximum attribute values (although I've made it quite expensive for Attributes to increase. The cost is exponential.) I may have characters also roll for their maximum attribute scores when they generate a character, but we'll see. 

I'm interested in hearing from the other designers the feedback they've received for their games and the modifications they've made as they went.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Theory of Magic, Pt 3

Planes of Existence

A Plane is a large manifested reality. For the sake of instruction it is necessary to define two terms. The first, “Reality-Plane” refers to a Plane of existence with emphasis on the fact that it is a Reality. The second term, “Planar-Reality" refers to the environment created by a Reality-Plane. This environment includes physical laws and other foundations of existence.

It is helpful to think of a Reality-Plane as a container for a Planar-Reality. A Reality-Plane gives rise to a Planar-Reality by creating the physical laws and materials that make existence possible, such as: matter, energy, gravity, electro-magnetism, force, acceleration, mass, inertia, and so on. This means that a change in the Essence that affects the Reality-Plane will directly affect the Planar-Reality. The objects contained in a Planar-Reality are manifestations of the essence.

Planes classification

The difference between Planes depends upon their stability and their types of Planar-Realities. Many times Reality-Planes can intersect and give rise to other Reality-Planes with higher degrees of Strong Order. Some Planes can exist only as unions or intersections between different planes within a Nexus.

Physical plane

This is the kind of world and universe we know of as material. Physical planes are shaped and governed by the physical laws of the reality plane in which they reside. A Physical Plane has the greatest level of Order and stability but is a Reality that emerges only by an intersection of Ethereal and Spiritual Planes.

Ethereal plane

The Ethereal Plane arises from a combination of two or more Spiritual Planes with an increased amount of Mana and a higher order that emerges as a result. On the Ethereal Plane a type of Spiritual Matter emerges that envelops spiritual entities and Psyches, clothing them in Spiritual forms. It is here that the Soul manifests and can access Mana in preparation to being manifested in a corporeal form on a Physical Plane.

Spiritual plane

The Spiritual Plane is not manifested with materially as is the Physical and Ethereal Planes. Within the Spiritual Plane there is no true matter, only Psyche (the intelligent consciousness of an entity,) perceptions and emotions. It is in such a Plane that the identity, consciousness and personality of a Psyche can have a sensible manifestation. The lack of true matter means that an experience on a Spiritual Plane is shaped almost exclusively by the beliefs and perceptions of the consciousness’s of those residing on the Plane. Depending on the personality of each being, the Planar-Reality can be quite different. In fact, it is shaped dynamically by the intelligences that inhabit it.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Theory of Magic, Pt2

Reality Manifestation

When a Strong Order arises a Reality may be born. Realities are the most important manifestations because they are the vessels for all other higher order manifestations. Realities provide the structures and laws that allow the existence, growth and change of all other things. Without a reality there can be no existence as we know it.

A Reality is formed when multiple Streams of Essence converge and intersect at a point known as a Nexus. When a Reality is first formed it must attain stability. Nothing we know of can force a Nexus to become stable. It either remains or, in an instant, dissipates, descending back into chaos. Nexus are continually born and die, but every so often, one remains. Some survive for a day, some a year, some a millennium, other have persisted for eons or longer; eventually they will all perish.

Once a Reality becomes stable it is very difficult to effect permanent change in it without an equally permanent intervention in the Streams that give rise to the Reality. One way to think of a Reality is as an island of stability in an ocean of chaos.