Thursday, August 20, 2015

Inspired update 8/15

+Erik McGrath

It's alive!

Time really gets away from me in the summer it seems. Time to talk about gaming to beat the heat.

Lately I've been going back to my original gaming passions: wargames and RPGs. The first Inspired-related thing I ever wrote was Celestial Warriors. Lots of fun, needs a new version. The first non-RPG game I've done is Battle Tank.

So I've gotten back to my roots by hacking some RPG settings and making wargame terrain.


I'm working on two setting hacks that are both using FAE. 

The first is a genre blend of cyberpunk and wuxia that I've done some short fiction about and that I am calling Chrome-Fu. I've changed the approaches to use the 5 Chinese Elements and liberally provide boosts when people use the elemental generation/overcome interactions. The character sheet has the wheel printed on it to help people remember what those interactions are.

The other is a Magic the Gathering game where we blend FATE with actually playing Magic. The colors+artifact are the FAE approaches and there is a separate hierarchy of meta skills to handle how the cards interact with play. This determines some basic things like Library, Hand size, color identities, rarity, and number of lands.


My terrain binge has been mainly hills and natural features. The hills are pink insulation board cut up then painted brown to seal them. I use spray glue (which would dissolve the foam, hence the paint) to add screened dirt for texture and then green flock for grass. Different amounts of green give me some different looks so I have some that's pristine green ground cover and some that's pure dirt to use in heavily contested scenarios where artillery and fire would have denuded the earth.

The pieces are pretty square, because it takes a lot more effort and material to get more natural features. I have some more realistic looking pieces, but I needed quantity of features to cover the table and that meant saving time more than anything else. I still cut and sand the edges to get sloped sides, and several pieces have multiple levels. One actual advantage of square sides is you can fit several pieces together and get larger plateaus free from gaps.

Aside from basic hills I've made a significant amount of hedges to use as bocage in both 1/72 and 6mm scale. The 6mm hedges double as waist high verge for 1/72. All told I have about 30 linear feet of hedge now. I've also made a few dozen shell-hole pieces on 3" bases. I use them to show both pre-game shelling and for Boots on the Ground for in-game changes to the terrain.

My next project is wire and obstacles. Some minefields would be nice.

Other games

Lots of things are still burning in the background. There's been some bumps and some re-alignment of priorities lately. The bump is mainly demands on our time from the everyday intrusions of life. The re-alignment is due to research and game-playing. Some ideas are getting dropped or at least pushed way off due to lack of direction on our part, and in the case of Drachenheim we've had to do some soul searching about what it can offer that's different from some great, similarly dragon-centric games that have come out lately.

I believe we have the answer to that question though so more news in the weeks ahead.