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RPGMP3 Newsbot

Member Since 14 Jul 2013
Offline Last Active Jul 14 2013 05:57 PM
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Topics I've Started

The Masters’ Trials: As I Walk through the Valley…

20 October 2017 - 02:14 PM

Outside the lost valley, three Masters approach the ancient Volcano; an Avenger from the Order of the Glowing Ambers swinging her Sword of Fury, a Warden from the Order οf the Celestial Tides spinning his Chain of Balance and a Loremaster from the order of the Scorching Winds, holding his Staff of Enlightenment. Together they will try to deal with this new threat…

They walk inside the entrance of Magmaroth’s Lair when its minions unleash a surprise attack.  The Avenger strikes a crushing blow at a fire Salamander and the Loremaster finishes it off. The rest of them go away for now and the Warden, with help from the little light that comes from the entrance, spots a small ring on the floor that looks like a Ring of Wrath; proof that other heroes tried to defeat Magmaroth before but failed.

They decide to approach quietly so they follow a Dark Tunnel. While doing so they bring in mind their teachings so that they can be better prepared to deal with their enemies. The Loremaster focuses on the rooms and senses another relic near them, belonging to a fallen hero. It is a Bracelet of Protection which he hopes will bring better luck to them than its previous owner.

Unfortunately, Magmaroth is aware of their presence and sends again its minions to crush them. They take some damage from these foul creatures but the Warden takes a deep breath and with the power of air and water, blows a rejuvenating gust that heals her companions. The Avenger, eager to strike back the minions, ignites the flame inside of her and kills 2 enemies at once. The rest of the minions however manage to inflict damage to the Masters before fleeing once again out of their sight. The Loremaster takes this chance to focus on his mastery of water technique, since it will definitely come in handy.

As the party approaches the end of Dark tunnels a dim light illuminates the entrance of the next area, a Rift Cave, tall enough to fit the worst fears of humanity and full of small holes. On the walls there are magical seals, symbols of power that reflect the presence of Magmaroth. Unfortunately before our heroes manage to decipher and destroy those marks, two Lava Efreets materialize in front of them and Fire Salamanders attack them rushing out from the holes. The Avenger swings her sword and attacks an Efreet hitting it twice and shattering it to dust, the Loremaster helps the Avenger and also takes care temporarily of the other Efreet, making it trip using just a bit of air mana. The minions however are still too many and they inflict massive damage to our heroes  but the Warden once more rejuvenates the party and makes sure they are up to the fight. Unable to kill our heroes, the minions go back to their lairs.

Following another Dark Tunnel, the three masters move as fast as possible, hoping no minions follow them. Unfortunately this is not the case and soon they found themselves surrounded by all kinds of enemies. Small Rock Elementals block their exit while Salamanders and Efreets spray lava and fire on them. Everything seems lost when the Warden takes the initiative to guide his friends while healing their wounds. She also recalls her teachings on how to tame the tide and remain focused even amidst chaos. The Avenger on the other hand, concentrates for a few seconds and then starts a series of blazing strikes on their enemies. In just a couple of seconds she is done, and her whole body is glowing with fire as two of their enemies lay on the ground. In the meanwhile the Loremaster manages to concentrate just enough to discover another relic full of magical energy: another Ring of Wrath.  He uses its power to help with their situations and urges the rest of the party to move further down the volcano. Although they continue to see magical Seals everywhere around them, they have no time to lose as the minions are still on their backs and hunt them down with menace.

The tunnels soon lead to a Lava Lake. As they try to move across it, stepping on the few stones that are spread across the lava, they realize it’s a trap. More minions appear, surrounding them and ready to devour them. The Masters however feel no fear. The Warden uses her Tame the Tide technique to focus and once again rejuvenates the whole party to prepare them for the fight. The Avenger then, invigorated by the Warden’s spell, holds her hands in front of her and they start glowing. She then lashes her burning fists at the minions with everything she’s got. Crushing blow after crushing blow she strikes salamanders, rock elementals and efreets, leaving piles of dust in their place. The Loremaster, using another Ring of Wrath that he found, strikes the remaining minions. With no enemy in sight they take a moment to decipher the magical Seals around them and soon they realize the sheer power of Magmaroth.

One of them is a Seal of Courage that helps the minions stay active and fearless in the presence of Magmaroth. After studying it for a few minutes the Loremaster finally realizes the magic that was used to put it in place and with the help of the rest of the Masters, they all get to break it once and for all. Unfortunately, there are still many more Seals spread through this wretched place, but they’ve gained enough confidence to know they can defeat the evil Magmaroth and clean this land from its presence.

Will they succeed?

The Masters’ Trials: The Wrath of Magmaroth is a co-operative dice placement game for 1 to 4 players. On sale in November with Pre-release at Spiel Essen in October!


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The Masters’ Trials: Here I go again, on my own!

12 October 2017 - 02:49 AM

In the past few years, more and more games have started to include ways to play them solo. This is usually easier in cooperative games where a single player can play the “role” of different players at once.

The Masters’ Trials is a cooperative game and right from the start we knew it had to be solo-playable. And not just “play with 2 characters as if you were playing with 2 players” solo. We wanted players to be able to take a single character and play on their own.

However, there was an additional challenge to consider. Each of the characters plays differently, having their own strengths and weaknesses. The game on the other hand has some specific threats that it throws at the players. How do you make it so that the challenge remains the same when each character deals with each threat differently? Something that may be too easy for one of the characters, may end up being way too hard for another  to deal with.

On top of that, in a multiplayer game, each character fills a different role, performing different tasks. The Avenger for example, will deal with most of the minions while the Mystic will focus on generating more and more mana to take down the Seals. If you take the Avenger out of the equation though, you are left with a Mystic who has to fight minions. To do that, he will have to focus on damage dealing spells which will result on him not being able to gather the mana he needs.

That problem bothered us quite a bit during the game’s design. We had asymmetric characters and each of them played differently in a multi-player game. They couldn’t all play the same in the solo game!

The solution to this problem turned out to be much simpler than we thought.

Instead of having a solo variant, why not have 4 solo variants?

In other words, since each character plays differently, why not make the solo experience different for each of the characters?

Indeed, this is what you will be getting when the game is released. 4 different ways to play the game solo. Each character has their own setup, their own special rules and a different win condition.

Do you want to do a ton of damage and kill minions?

Play with the Avenger. You will be facing more minions than normal and a tougher Magmaroth at the end but play well and you will be able to handle it.

Do you want to focus on mana?

Play with the Mystic. You will have fewer minions to care about but lots and lots of Magical Seals to break in order to defeat Magmaroth!

Do you like to collect artifacts?

Play with the Loremaster. The more Artifacts you ‘ll get, the easier it will be to defeat the evil elemental!

Can you survive for many rounds an onslaught of attacks?

Play with the Warden. You will have a companion that you will need to protect and you will have to survive inside Magmaroth’s lair for many rounds in order to win.

Each character offers a very different solo playing experience. On top of that, each solo mode has 2 difficulty levels for players to master.

If you like playing solo, make sure to check The Masters’ Trials. You won’t just be getting a game that plays solo. You will be getting 4 different single player experiences, all in the same box!

Vangelis Bagiartakis & Tassos Grigoriadis

The Masters’ Trials: The Wrath of Magmaroth is a co-operative dice placement game for 1 to 4 players. On sale in November with Pre-release at Spiel Essen in October!


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Real life critical fumbles – The office

10 October 2017 - 01:24 AM

Fumbles exist because sometimes even the most experienced and prepared adventurers have a bad day. In gaming terms fumbles can lead to you injuring yourself, injuring your friends or aiding your enemies, but fumbling in real life can be no less disastrous. Some days life just feels like one critical fumble after another.
 
Had a bad day at the office? Here are our real life critical fumbles:
 

01 – 25You accidently bought decaf coffee this morning – Initiative at -10
26 – 30In your haste to get something printed, you load the printer with the wrong paper and it jams. Spend 15 rounds trying to fix it yourself before sneaking off and pretending it wasn’t you.
31 – 40You open a window and all your papers fly everywhere. You must now spend 30 rounds picking them up and organising them.
41 – 50You accidentally call your boss ‘mummy’ -50 to all charm type skills
51 – 60You enter the toilets to find a colleague sobbing uncontrollably. Spend 60 rounds consoling them.
61 – 65Your computer breaks and you have to spend the afternoon working in the spare office with Kevin and his knock knock jokes – Make a resistance roll against rubbish jokes (less than 50 results in -10 to all skill checks for the rest of the day)
66Your new boss arrives and it’s your ex – All skill and RR are now at -20 as she makes life very difficult for you.
67 – 70Run too fast to a meeting and run straight into your boss as you turn a corner -5 hits each, both prone for 5 rounds
71 – 80The birthday cake you bought in for Susan in accounts had some bad eggs in it. Everyone is sick -50 to all charm type skills, all your relationships are ruined and pr at -10
81 – 85Miss your mouth and pour coffee all down your front -20 hits, A fire critical
86 – 90Get trapped in a lift. Unable to do anything for two hours whilst you await rescue
91 – 95Spill your coffee all over your computer causing it to break and starting a small fire -10 hits, B fire critical, any friendship you had with the IT team is now gone
96 – 99Whilst trying to fix your own computer you accidentally electrocute yourself -20 hits and C electrical crit
100In a hurry to find your next meeting you go into the wrong room where a voodoo cult are just discussing where they will find their next human sacrifice. Your last thought in this world is “why were they using a meeting room in this building anyway?” – Death


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The Masters’ Trials: Play it Again, Sam!

04 October 2017 - 07:49 AM

One of the key characteristics that The Masters’ Trials has, is the ability to customize your characters. Here is a brief description of how exactly this works:

In the game, each player has a board in front of them that represents their character. These boards consist of 3 parts:

The first part is the character’s class. There are 4 classes currently in the game:

  • Avenger: Emphasizes on dealing damage
  • Mystic: Adept at generating and converting mana
  • Loremaster: Good at searching rooms for artifacts
  • Warden: Focuses on healing and protecting the group

The second part is the Order in which the character was trained:

  • Order of the Glowing Embers
  • Order of the Everlasting Waterfall
  • Order of the Celestial Tide
  • Order of the Scorching Winds

Finally, the third part is the character’s weapon of choice:

  • Sword of Fury
  • Orb of the Elements
  • Staff of Enlightenment
  • Chain of Balance

The combination of these boards create a character. The one shown above for example is an Avenger of the Order of the Glowing Embers that carries the Sword of Fury.

Each board contains a different combination of starting abilities. Most of them are mana-generating abilities, with the rest focusing on dealing damage or gathering Insight.

However, each board also comes with its own deck of cards. When you create your character, you take the cards that correspond to your 3 boards and you shuffle them together. These cards will now be the deck from which you will be mastering new abilities during the game.

Matching a class with a different Order and a different Weapon allows for different combinations and a different playing experience. One Order for example may have more copy effects while with another one it may be easier to generate mana. One of the weapons may make it easy for you to hit multiple targets while with another one you will be able to push more damage through to a single target.

This gives you the chance to explore each character’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to try different things each time you play and discover new combos!

In the end, you can create characters based on your personal playing style, making each game much more memorable!

Vangelis Bagiartakis & Tassos Grigoriadis

The Masters’ Trials: The Wrath of Magmaroth is a co-operative dice placement game for 1 to 4 players. On sale in November with Pre-release at Spiel Essen in October!


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Director’s Briefing – October 2017

03 October 2017 - 01:20 AM

 
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.
 
 
Welcome
 
To the seventy-seventh Briefing and the tenth scheduled Briefing of 2017.
 
 
A Wedding in Axebridge
 
Wedding in Axebridge coverThe pdf edition of A Wedding in Axebridge has been released on OneBookShelf and is available now.
 
Buy A Wedding in Axebridge >>
 
A Wedding in Axebridge is an adventure module for four-to-six low-level heroes. It is set in the world of Mithra, but in an archipelago of the Shatterings far from the continents of Anias and Cyradon.
 
It has been updated to be consistent with HARP Fantasy and indeed its monsters are consistent with HARP Bestiary. It has new art and new cartography. One of the maps is not as clear as we would like so Terry and Joel have been collaborating to improve this. Once we are happy, we will upload an updated version of the pdf file to OneBookShelf so that everyone can have the best possible version. We will also be producing a slender softcover print version – this will be staple-bound, Axebridge is just too low on page count for a viable perfect bound cover.
 
 
Shadow World
 
Terry reports that he is closing in on completing his writing and reworking of the enhanced version of Jaiman. He is hinting that Emer IV is singing a siren song for his attention once Jaiman is finished.
 
 
HARP and HARP SF
 
On HARP Bestiary, Colin has completed his portion of the introductory chapter. Thom still has his designer notes to write, while John Duffield has demon stats and designer notes to finish.
 
I have been working on making revisions to the manuscript previously known as Something Wicked. The professions chapter has been duly revised and is marked done on my todo list. I have also revised the chapter on sorcery, a demon-inspired magic where knowledge of the truenames of Demons enables its practitioners to compel or bargain with these infernal beings. I am currently deep in a third chapter, wrestling with Greater Rituals and mana sources.
 
The manuscript formerly known as Something Wicked introduces five new types of mana that characters may utilise, namely black mana (an aggressive form of ambient mana), dark mana (sourced from Demons and the Abyss), elemental mana (sourced from the elemental plane), raw mana (sourced from the ethereal plane) and red mana (taken from life-force). It is quite possible that a character might wish to be able to draw upon multiple source of magical energy. There is an implicit assumption within the HARP rules that characters only develop one Power Point Development skill. Justifying how a single Power Point Development skill can cope with the varying natures of the mana sources and in particular the varying recovery rates among sources if a caster has the ability to tap two or more sources is challenging. GMs run the risk of requiring players record which spells used which mana (increasing book-keeping) or imposing ruling by fiat (the mana choice for the first spell of the day dictates the recovery rate for the rest of the day). Messy. However, nowhere in the published HARP rules that I can find have we explicitly ruled that characters may only learn one Power Point Development skill. So the simple solution is to declare that characters who wish to use mana from multiple sources need to possess the requisite Tap talents and need to develop Power Point Development skill for each mana type. As characters have varying racial Power Point bonuses, the racial Power Point bonus may only be applied to the primary mana source chosen by the character. This will prevent magically focused races becoming more powerful and will dissuade some players from buying 10 ranks in multiple PP Development skills just to optimise Development Point expenditure (as this is the obvious rules abuse.)
 
 
RMU
 
Jonathan and Joeri are battling with RMU Creature Law. I am pleased to report that they have broken through the logjam of the megaspreadsheet covering 843 creatures, which is a major victory. The creatures now have to be updated in line with the spreadsheet.
 
 
Until next time
 
Back to editing material and revising more of Something Wicked. The next scheduled Briefing will be in November 2017.
 
Best wishes,
Nicholas
 
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
 
 
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

 


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