Mischiefblog
I make apps for other people

Scenarios

My pre-Creative Commons content license

Posted by Chris Jones
On April 2nd, 2006 at 20:25

Permalink | Trackback | Links In |

Comments (1) |
Posted in General, Scenarios

I’m reentering the text of my “Basic Gaming System,” an Open RPG I’d written in 1991-92. I was enchanted to discover the following copyright notice on the inner-front cover.

Basic Gaming System
Copyright © 1992 by Chris Jones
All Rights Reserved

This game is made available free of charge. The only fee that may be charged for it is a copying fee not exceeding the basic fee for such copying services. You may own as many copies of this as you want. It is requested that you do not charge money for any rental or borrowing. Any changes, revisions or suggestions should be forwarded to the author. He gratefully accepts these, especially when they come through the Internet. Information should be free.

Chris Jones

cjones@miavx1.acs.muohio.edu
cjones@miavx1.bitnet

I still feel that way about the game, although it never made it to the Internet. The 32 page game manual was created in Pagemaker and the original files are probably gone or lost on some 1.2 MB floppy disk at my parents’ house, so all I have is one physical copy with 64 glued pages, printed by an IBM ProPrinter in 1992 and bound with a plastic binding clip.

This game came out of my playtesting experiences with a prior PnP game I’d written based on the settings from Sierra’s “Hero’s Quest” games. I hope to make both available in whole or part soon–as quickly as I can type and when I’m not working on other projects.

Amorphous terrain

Posted by Chris Jones
On March 8th, 2006 at 13:15

Permalink | Trackback | Links In |

Comments (2) |
Posted in Design Journal, Scenarios

Jeff Freeman has reposted an article on anamorphic terrain in CRPGS. Anamorphosis is interesting in that it takes a known map, a constant, and manipulates it such that it distorts the source–it’s not transformation, but is an extreme form of perspective that distorts the image. A definition and exercises in anamorphic art and math are available at Count On.

Anamorphosis can be one of the things that HRose/Abalieno has been beating his head against for a few weeks now: anamorphosis takes well defined rules, applies a well defined set of distortions to it, and produces predictable results. We look at medieval and ancient maps and try to find an anamorphic representation in them, in this way illustrating what separates today’s designers and developers from the maps’ illustrators: we generally don’t practice magical thinking, favoring certainty instead.
(more…)

Mob spawning in the text-only days

Posted by Chris Jones
On March 1st, 2006 at 12:02

Permalink | Trackback | Links In |

Comments (2) |
Posted in Design Journal, Scenarios

Darniaq’s complaint about immersion-breaking spawns reminded me of how I avoided the problem with a MOO I worked on in college. Text MUDs had it easier to use smoke and mirrors to make the world look consistent. Case in point: I designed a scenario, with the evil wizard tower dominating the valley of peasants. Fields to the east, woods to the west, mountains (with a cave leading to the rest of the game) in the south, and the tower in the north.

In the bottom of the tower, under the dungeons, were caves filled with orcs. When an orc was killed by a player character, it was swapped with a corpse object (with the appropriate treasure, naturally) which had a task to make it decay and disappear over the next 60 seconds. In the meantime, the orc object was reset and dropped into the spawning pits, a room with a one-way door that exited into the dungeon. The orcs would then wander out of the tower gang up, and perform their scripted tasks in the tower and valley (looting, pillaging, attacking) or get stuck in a room flagged as that orc’s home (say, a clearing in the woods).
(more…)

Tharton 1: History

Posted by Chris Jones
On February 15th, 2006 at 17:42

Permalink | Trackback | Links In |

Comments Off on Tharton 1: History
Posted in Scenarios

Tharton was originally written using PFS:Write circa 1987. It was developed for an AD&D campaign that I was trying to revive. This is not the original text and has been updated and revised to both improve the writing and make it more coherent.

In considering it’s applicability as an MMO world, Tharton is relatively small scale but would provide sufficient interest and opportunity for a few hundred players. Systems would need to be built for banking, trading, caravan visits, theft, muggings, guard duty, secret entrances to the sewers, politics, etc.

Tharton
A city setting

History

Tharton is a small keep town on the western border of the Kingdom of Tocrat, nestled in a pleasant upland valley and astride a significant trade route. It was founded about 50 years ago and has grown quickly, no longer the hamlet around a keep but a bustling town within well-defended walls.
(more…)

Unearthing ancient works

Posted by Chris Jones
On February 15th, 2006 at 17:34

Permalink | Trackback | Links In |

Comments Off on Unearthing ancient works
Posted in Scenarios

While moving my geeky bookshelves to the basement I found some old writing I’d done as a teenager for an erstwhile D&D campaign. Some of my earliest adventure modules were written in composition books and make for painful going, while toward the end of my PnP gaming in college I was working on game systems. What ended designing games for PnP and roleplayers was my introduction to LambdaMOO and the development of my own MOO cores and new worlds based around text-based MUDs. (The Dragonia MOO core is sitting on my PowerBook’s hard drive waiting for me to compile LambdaMOO on OS X.)

In between designing one-shot adventures and entire game systems was the campaign phase. My favorite work was Tharton, a town setting rich with NPCs and hooks for in-town and out of town adventures. I’m looking over the print out (the original file is on a 5.25″ 1.2 MB floppy, if it still exists) and updating it to make it more generic, more coherent (hey, I was 13!) and a tighter setting. Unfortunately, the map of Tharton is probably missing or hidden away in a closet at my parents’ house, so I’m also stuck with redrawing the town, but on the bright side I can make some serious improvements. Urban renewal is coming to Tharton!

If I have time, I’ll continue converting and updating these documents and posting them to my blog so that they’ll have a chance to survive the next 20 years.