Category Archives: gaming

Astra Imperia Aide

I’ve recently begun working on a computerized play aid for Astra Imperia. This will relieve some of the book work by computerizing it. As a program of this nature is complex and I’ve only just started, there is no determined delivery date. Over on the Aurora forums, I have posted a couple screen shots of what I have currently.

Via Astrum

Via Astrum.

RPG set in space. Well, set in the universe of Astra Imperia. A lot is done on this one. Stuff left is some random event charts in character creation, a Xeno chapter for the space critters, and some universe fluff.

The system itself has remained remarkably stable over the development. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. At one point I did try to bolt EA onto the VA system, but it lost a lot of what I felt made EA unique. Enough meanderings.

Via Astrum draws inspiration from Traveller, Shadowrun/Cyberpunk, and numerous other sources. Players familiar with those games might be able to see where VA drew on those for inspiration. There is enough flexibility in the system to let a GM run a military style campaign, where all of the characters are military or some form of special ops, to a trader or exploration theme. Characters can be anything from military to mercenaries to pirates to college professors (think Indiana Jones here instead of your English Comp 101 teacher). The background only includes two alien races, but that is easily expandable.

For the future, I’m looking at an aliens book with more on the existing aliens and more aliens. I’ve also been thinking of a number of character class books, military, criminal, trader/megacorp, academic, and government to flesh out and expand the choices in character creation. Obviously a gear book is also something that would be good. One can never have enough gear options.

Again, people wanting to play test should get in contact with me.

Eldritch Adventures

While discussing the weapons in EA with a couple friends, it came up that overall the morning star is the best weapon on a speed vs. damage rate.

A bit of background. Combat in EA is not like most rpgs. Initiative is continuous, meaning you roll for your next slot as soon as you finish your turn. With a fast weapon and good stats, you can attack multiple times before someone with a slow weapon may attack. This is all very good, except the initiative was modified from a standard “everyone goes then roll again” system. The damages on the weapons weren’t as glaringly unbalanced then. So after a few hours of entering weapon damages and speeds into a spreadsheet and tinkering, I decided that certain classes of weapons will have an average speed. The ratio between speed and damage was going to be as near to 1 as I could make it. I should note here that when I say damage, I mean the average damage on the dice, excluding any bonuses; so 2d6 has an average of 7. This threw out my first idea that one handed weapons do one die of damage, two handed weapons do two dice, and polearms do three dice. Polearms are hard hitting but incredibly slow. Upside to them, anything you smack with it is most likely going to stay smacked.

So now the weapons are all “balanced” to a speed/damage ratio of 1. This means that the overall dps per weapon is consistent. The only variation now involved is character strength and skill. And armor.

Speaking of armor, the initiative process was to roll 1d10, add weapon speed and subtract character Speed. This is now roll 1d10, add weapon speed, add 1/2 armor DV (defense value), subtract the average of Speed and Perception. This makes moving in heavier armors slower as well as adding a perception component. One of my friends pointed out that how fast you move in a combat is not always about how fast you move, but also how well you notice openings. Hence the addition of Perception to the equation.

The only real thing left to finish up is the magic system. I don’t know how many times I’ve changed it, but each time it is because I am unhappy with it. All I really need to do is finish writing out the spell descriptions for a couple hundred spells. Tedious work, but it needs to be done. Then a lot of play testing. Which means people interested in running the same encounter over and over again to generate the data I need. Any volunteers?

My Gaming

I’ve been involved with role-playing games since 1980, and computer games since 1984 or thereabouts. I’ve played most of the table-top rpg’s out there. A few of my favorite, or go-to games are D&D (3rd Ed), GURPS, and Hero System.

Recently I’ve started to write games. I self-published a wargame called Astra Imperia. I’ve been working on a fantasy rpg called Eldritch Adventures and a science fiction rpg called Via Astrum. I’ve also been working on another wargame called Project:GOLEM, in addition to a second edition of Astra Imperia.

On the computer side of things, I’ve got a futuristic computer hacking rpg called CyberHack. I’ve also toyed around with a computer rpg based on Eldritch Adventures and a wargame based on Astra Imperia.