Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stalled on Troll Slayer

There have been a few good discussions that have got me thinking about Troll Slayer, and I've been pounding away on character generation rules. But the more I get into this, the more I realize I really don't want to design a new game. What I really want is to polish off Cold Iron and make it something complete and maybe tweak a few things. I've found myself slicing up character generation, cutting things out and such, and then realizing, gee, I think the only reason I'm cutting that out is to make Troll Slayer not Cold Iron.

Really, when it comes down to it, for me, Cold Iron is awfully damned close to a playable game. Sure, there are a few things here and there that I'd change. But the core mechanics, they work for me.

I'm also realizing that right now, I don't want to have to design a game, I just want to have a game that is playable, and that folks are interested in, and play the damned thing.



At 10:39 PM, February 26, 2006, Blogger Rob Muadib said...


I hear yah, Designing a game, and writing it up so other people can both understand and use it are two different things in a lot of ways. Designing mechanics usually just requires tinkeirng with excel tables and design notes and case-testing and such, which is generally kind of fun for us system wonks.

Now turning those design notes into rules manuscript that other people can read, understand, and use takes quite a bit of work, lots of writing, and can be drudge work of the worst sort (say writing up skill descriptions or something).

So maybe just playing CI for a while and keeping a note-book of house rules and tinkering with a few things might be more enjoyable to you at this point. You know playing the game, instead of writing about how to play the game.:)

Meanwhile, I finally finished redoing my core mechanic. (I stole the normal distrubtion idea, and adapted how you handled open-ended rolls (btw if you like my open ended roll convention/explanation feel free to steal it back.) And redid the core rules write-up for it.

You can find my post on it, including numerous charts and tables discussing the system wonkery behind it at my design journal,

I'd be interested to see what an engineering type thinks of it. I have been merciless in making both the use and explanation of it as simple as possible. (Never mentioning the words log progression, normal distrubtion or anything else that reeks of math geek system wonkery in the rules writeup:) )



At 8:55 AM, February 27, 2006, Blogger Frank said...

Thanks for the thoughts. I'll have to read your new CART when I have a chance to sit down with it.

One suggestion off the top though, try separating the descriptions of the mechanic as it's used in play from the description of how it works mathematically. I've found that most players don't need to understand normal distributions to be able to use the Cold Iron chart.

Also one other bit - please credit Mark Christiansen on the normal distribution chart, he's the one who came up with the idea, I'm just planning on stealing it for Troll Slayer...



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