Thursday, April 26, 2012

Jason's Google Bookshelf: The Influence of Sea Power on History 1660-1783

One of the most influential books ever written - it was used to develop military and social planning for a hundred years after it was published.  Although some of its conclusions are questionable (and certainly technology has invalidated much of the thinking presented here), it is ideal for the gamer who is trying to approximate how a military or political leader will be making their decisions in peacetime and in wartime - through deciding how their navies will be used.

As always, the e-book is completely free through Google Books.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jason and Ron Randomly Generate - Part 3

The Mastermind Affair(You can read Part 2 at Gamer: The Blogging.)

Nice job, Ron!

I agree with you that the early Marvel Superheroes game’s random character generation, as fun as it is, rarely produced characters that were balanced on their own - balance in that game was achieved in other ways. As much as I adored rolling up character after character in high school and putting them into a giant sheaf of characters that I could pull from for various things, most people just want to show up and play their character. This is not a real draw for most players.

What's interesting to me is that Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, balance is primarily achieved through the limited number of dice that can be rolled and the Plot Point economy. The choice of a single die between d12 and d10 really isn’t that significant - it does make a difference, but only at the margins. The typical die pool is large enough that the alteration of one or even two dice isn't crucial to your expected outcome. The differences that the stats create are created over a long period of time rolling a very large number of dice.

Plus, I like a guy who lives on the sun, little darlin, it’s all right. Great hero, Sunray. He and my Animal Master guy would make a great team.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jason and Ron Randomly Generate

I was chatting with Ron Blessing the other day on Google Talk when the topic came up of random character generation in supers games.  Random character generation has a long pedigree in fantasy gaming, but less so in supers, whose roots are typically found in the ultra-detailed point buy system of Champions.  Nevertheless, random generation of heroes was tried pretty early on, in Villains and Vigilantes (DNA forever, DNA supremacy), as well as the original Marvel Super Heroes game.

I thought a good way to share our thoughts on random character generation was actually to do it, and talk about it as we went through.  And we’ll comment on each other’s work as we go too.