Sunday, June 30, 2013

16-Bit Adventures, now in PDF.

+Erik McGrath

16-Bit Adventures: a Tabletop JRPG.

Kupo Moogle 16-bit Adventure JRPGKupo!
16-Bit Adventures Beta PDF

It is not finished but the system is usable. I felt it better to get this out there so people could read it and maybe even play it, despite it needing much more polish than it has right now. Though it doesn't look it, I have spent much of my free time in the last week working on this. The hardest part has been taking my notes and getting them onto the page in rules-like format.

Those familiar with Power Point may recognize that I have done all the layout so far using it. At my skill level there is no easier way to do it that I have found. The page size is optimized for web viewing, if you print this out you will have a fair amount of white space at the top and bottom of each page (it's in landscape). The only parts I have printed out are the character sheets, though and those benefit from space to keep notes.

Especially since I haven't added a space to track GP or XP on them, I expect the most frequently asked question will be: how much XP does it take to level? I expect this because I just noticed that I have not written it down anywhere. The answer is it takes your current level squared times 100 to reach the next level.

I.e. 100xp for LV2, 500 for LV3, 1500for LV4, etc. These are the total  amounts needed for each of those levels. If you play like we do and reset to 0 when you level then it would be 100, 400, 900 etc.

I expect there to be more oversights like this. CJ normally does the editing but he was unavailable this week.

Next Steps in 16-Bit Adventures

Over the next few days I will be making a PDF version of our playtest game: Adventures in Firstown. Hopefully it will illustrate by example how I have interpreted the tables and guidelines in the rules PDF, particularly how I have done the quests.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

16-Bit Adventure Playtest and Updates for Sudden Death and Battle Tank

+Erik McGrath

16-Bit Adventures

This past Sunday we playtested 16-Bit Adventures. I GMed and the 5 PCs were:
+Jillian McGrath as Monk
+Laura Fallon Andersen  as Thief
+Alysia Haneef as Black Mage
+Christopher Andersen as Red Mage
+Rashid Haneef  as Fighter.

Starting equipment was sparse and starting GP was not even close to enough to outfit everyone so just like in the source material they were forced to go out into the wilderness under-equipped.

I wanted to create a strong feel of old school gaming in this so the townspeople acted much like 16-bit NPCs and talking to everyone was vitally important to learn about the surrounding wilderness as well as to gain some quests and eventually learn where the nearest dungeon was.

I've added a pic of the character sheets for Red Mage and Monk so you can get an idea of what is tracked in play. The main thing to notice is that mages have fewer lines in their inventory, 5 instead of 10. This matters since each line can only hold 1 item, though some items can stack. A Wolf Pelt takes up an entire line on its own, but Potions can stack to 10. A single Potion still fills the line though.

So let's have a look at what I've learned from this experience.

The Good

The system itself ran smoothly with the offense vs defense of the classes and monsters working as expected.

Combats were very, very fast. The longest one took about 5 minutes which was good since we played through about 3 dozen total.

XP from monsters defeated and quests completed worked out well. The PCs earned a total of 161XP, 45 from quest completion and the rest from straight out grinding. The quest rewards could stand to be about 10-25% higher in my estimation. PCs need 100XP for level 2 and 400 more for level 3 (500 total). Monsters are worth Level^2 as a base, Goblins are 1XP, Skeletons are also level 1 but they are worth 2. Wolves are 4xp while Ghouls and Slimes are 6.

The Needs Improvement

The rate of GP gain was much too low at first though so we had to wing an increase in play that seems about right. Monsters each have a basic amount of GP they drop and the PCs get to roll for loot after the fight using the highest Agility Die of the party for each type of monster with a bonus for the number of each type. In this case it was the Thief's D12. On 4, 10 and 16 the loot of the monsters improves based on monster type and level. A party with a level 2 Thief also enjoys the Finder 1 ability which automatically improves all loot rolls to the next tier which is in many cases the only way to get the 16+ loot drop.

I made up all the loot as we went and will be using that to make some solid tables now that I know what feels right in play.

Monster AI took too much time to emulate. Instead of choosing how the monsters would act and which of their abilities they would use I randomized it all and it simply took too long. For instance a Goblin attackign the party had to roll to determine target (which was 2 rolls in the inefficient way I was doing it) and then roll again to pick its attack (Standard or Goblin Punch) and then it rolled the actual attack vs the target's Evasion.

A faster way to do this is needed, assigning numbers to the party based on marching order and combat row before hand seems the best way.

Sudden Death

Sudden Death has hit a plateau, I think its time we go for it though so look for a How to Play video in our next blog post.

Battle Tank

Time constraints due to the sudden inspiration for 16-Bit Adventures coming together have slowed down adapting the art for our PNP but its still coming along otherwise. One advantage of this idea is that we will be able to do Assault on Laser Shark Lagoon in this format pretty easily and if that works the other planned expansions will follow quickly.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

New creations and updates for Sudden Death and Battle Tank

+Erik McGrath

Its been a month since I've posted which is a terribly bad habit that I intend to break immediately. At the very least I will be posting on Sundays from now on since its the day I have the least to do.

So first some news.

Due to a mad fascination with 8-Bit Dungeon by +Levi Kornelsen  I have decided to make my own adventure game aimed unabashedly at emulating Final Fantasy at the tabletop. And because this is a sequel I have update the graphics to 16-bit.

It's called 16-Bit Adventures. You can see a the Job write-up for Fighter and Thief to the right. That page contains every thing you need to know to play those Jobs from levels 1-10.

Sudden Death

Playtesting is going well if slowly due to my and +Christopher Andersen's time constraints and technical difficulties (frex, at our last gaming night the only toilet in the house broke and it became plumbing night). After this round of feedback is in we will be making a dedicated effort to get a kickstarter going so that we can publish the game with finalized art by +Laura Hamilton.

On the right is Laura's sketch which the current Sudden Death playtest version uses for its artwork. On the left is the final version she did which will be used for the production version.

The PnP doc will also be updated with the finalized art if the campaign is successful, albeit at a reduced resolution.

Battle Tank

The realities of being a tiny, part-time  gaming outfit have harshly taught us here at Inspired Press that we just can;t afford to produce Battle Tank for the price point we want and we aren't yet prepared to handle going for a higher price. Making the game cost more will require a massive upgrade to the board art and token sculpts that we are not in a position of pursue.

But that doesn't mean we intend to abandon the project, we're just going to tone it down. Since my main goal is to make it so other people can play it we've decided to create a PnP version using our existing art and some modified drawings for foldable stand-ups for the tokens. The board is already done so its just the tokens that need to be put into usable form. Once complete it will be free to download on our webstie at