Skill Synchronization

We’ve taken a break from our next Character Pack to work on a project that has been percolating for a while: synchronizing the skills between the various Kalos Mechanism games.

The modern skill list (as seen in Bulletproof Blues and Rough Magic) and the futuristic skill list (as seen in ZeroSpace) were easy enough to sync. That required only a few adjustments in the skill examples. The archaic skill list (as seen in Warlords Of Kruhl) required a little more work. Some skills (such as Computing) have no counterpart in an archaic game, while other skills (such as Piloting and Science) are different enough that a name change was unavoidable.

Another issue with archaic games is the heavy emphasis on religion: unlike modern and futuristic games, gods are often real in archaic games, so a new skill, Religion, was needed. (In modern games, religion falls under the umbrella of the Culture skill.)

Hand-to-hand CombatHand-to-hand CombatHand-to-hand Combat
Mental CombatMental CombatMental Combat
Ranged CombatRanged CombatRanged Combat

Evangelists Of Mars cover

Still working on the print version of Bulletproof Blues third edition (revised). We need to make sure the files are perfect for the printer, or they reject them. In the meantime, here is the updated cover for Steven S. Long’s “Evangelists Of Mars”.

Evangelists Of Mars cover

Is it possible to play “wrong”?

Many years ago, there was a computer program called SimCity. In the designer’s notes, they said that although it was marketed as a game, it really wasn’t — it was a toy. A game has an objective, which you either accomplish or you don’t. A toy is something you play with, however you like. The only objective of a toy is to have fun playing with it.

Tabletop roleplaying games are not truly “games” — they are toys. Do whatever you want with it. As long as you are having fun, the toy is serving its purpose. There is no “wrong way” to play a tabletop roleplaying game. Correction: there is one wrong way. If anyone at the table is not having fun playing with it, then either someone at the table is playing wrong (being a bad player, in other words), or that particular roleplaying game is not suited to the tastes of that particular group of players (which doesn’t make the game good or bad; it merely means that group would have more fun playing something else).

(As a side note, I submit that this is one element that distinguishes tabletop roleplaying games from so-called computer roleplaying games. Computer roleplaying games most definitely have objectives, and it is clearly possible to play them wrong.)

Character Sheet Helper tedium

Ugh. Updating the pregen characters to the new version of the Character Sheet Helper is the most tedious thing ever — mainly because I keep making one. Small. Change. And then I have to start over.

I’m currently on version 3.24. Yes, that is 24 versions of the BB3 Character Sheet Helper.. I swear, I hope this is the last one.

Update: 25. Auuuuugh!

Character Sheet Helper update

While updating characters on the Kalos Universe web site, I got really tired of deleting unused headings (for characters without Complications, for example), and removing blank lines from the Movement section (for characters without Teleportation, for example). So I dug into the TextSheet and WikiSheet tabs of the Character Sheet Helper, and made it so that you no longer have to do any fiddling — just copy and paste! So much less hassle. I have already updated the Google Sheets version, and the next LibreOffice Calc version will be uploaded to DriveThruRPG some time this week.

Bulletproof Blues 3.2 update

August already? How time flies. So what are we up to?

We are still working on Character Pack 4, which we hope will help promote what we are calling the “second printing” of Bulletproof Blues 3. It’s not really a second “printing”, of course, because we have not yet created a print version of BB3. However, it does correct a few errors, and further simplify a few rules that we felt still need simplification.

We are also updating the characters in Character Packs 1 & 2, as well as the characters from Ruins Of Atlanta, which are featured in Character Pack 3.

Once all of the Character Packs are complete, we will update Ruins Of Atlanta and Evangelists Of Mars. We do not have any plans to make those printable.

Once those are done, we will finally release the updated “second printing” of Bulletproof Blues 3 in PDF. Then, at long last, we will work on the printable version of Bulletproof Blues 3.

This is all a lot of work, and I wish I could tell you when it would be completed. Certainly, I would tell you if I knew.

At the moment, we are not sure if we will release these projects on DriveThruRPG as we complete them, or if we will wait and release them all at once. There are good arguments to be made either way.

In the meantime, here is the illustration for Pare Man, the sidekick to Negro Matapacos. The illustrations for Pare Man and Negro Matapacos are both by artist Marcos Martinez. As with our other character packs, the characters and images in Character Pack 4 will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.

Pare Man (Marcos Martinez)

Character Pack 4 sneak peek: Reaver

Here is another sneak peek at Bulletproof Blues Character Pack 4. This is Reaver, a Brazilian man who was abducted by aliens and given the ability to manipulate electromagnetic radiation (not to help him or humanity — just as an experiment to see what would happen). The illustrations are by artist Matthew Orders, also known as “Mro16“. As with our other character packs, the characters and images in Character Pack 4 will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license.