Saturday, August 15, 2015

Expanding On My Fantasy Heartbreaker Ideas

Image originally from Big Fish Games
A little while ago, I posted on the various gaming projects I have going. I haven't really gotten anywhere on any of them for various reasons, mostly having to do with work and other obligations. I did make a comment elsewhere which caused me to think about expanding my thoughts on one of them, though.

Whoops. Wrong "Heartbreaker".
One of the projects I mentioned was "MOHb", my very own roleplaying Fantasy Heartbreaker (loosely interpreted). That is a game that would incorporate the things that I like from various other games into one, hopefully cohesive, whole. It's that qualifier to be "cohesive" that is the important element. It wouldn't be hard to just slap together the various systems in which I'm interested and jury-rig the game at the table, but to make them work together smoothly would be a work of design. It's that design work, in fact, that keeps me from just slapping together something, putting a cover on it, and selling it at I have (perhaps too much, considering how difficult it's been for me to publish any gaming materials other than this blog) some pride of craftsmanship that keeps me from doing it half-assed like that.

So, I figure that, for now, I can just discuss where I see that project going. I'll describe the systems that interest me and why, give an overview of some of my initial thoughts, and throw it all out so that you readers can see something of how I think about gaming. It's not really a work of staggering genius - I am, after all, just thinking of ways to tie together the disparate designs of others in pursuit of an experience that I think I'd like.

The comment that got me thinking about that today, was in a YouTube comment thread (now incorporated into Google+) on a video that rehashes the old "D&D combat isn't realistic because armor shouldn't make you harder to hit" chestnut. I started out by giving the normal rebuttal "D&D combat is abstracted in these particular ways", and a couple comments later noted what I'd like to see in a roleplaying game's combat system: "I'd like a combat system that incorporates the detail and tactical choices of GURPS (including some of the high-detail options like 'The Last Gasp', which regulate the pacing of combat in an emergent way), the naturalistic scales of Swordbearer, and the descriptive wound system of Hârnmaster."

This is your last warning.
What I'll do is go through a notional outline of my ideal game and describe what I'd like to do. WARNING: LOTS OF VERY GEEKY, NECKBEARD, GROGNARD, WHATEVER-YOU-WANT-TO-CALL-IT DISCUSSION FOLLOWS. Also, since it runs long, you get a cut-tag.

Character Creation

It's my opinion that, even if a point-buy design system is available for characters, a random system should also be available that is neither significantly better nor worse than any design choices available. I have a slight preference for the random generation to be the primary method, with point-buy being a modification of that. That said, any character "skills" or similar abilities should be given some measure of decision on the part of the player. My thinking is that innate attributes should be under less player control and learned skills and abilities should be under more player control.

OK, one more warning.
For traditions' sake, if nothing else, I'd like the innate attributes of a character to center on an average human rating of around 10, with a logarithmic-style variation (perhaps every 5 points is a doubling of ability or some such thing, so that a person with a strength rating of 15 would be able to lift twice as much as a person with a rating of 10 - or whatever, I haven't settled on any details here yet; another option I've been considering is that a ten-point increase would bring a tenfold multiplier, which is roughly a 25% increase in ability per point of increase, or doubling ability every three points - giving a character with a strength rating of 18 the ability to lift about 6.3 times as much as one with a strength rating of 10, and a strength rating of 20 would be ten times as strong). Despite the apparent math involved, these things could be reduced to a simple table, since the change is regular. Both TORG and GURPS use variations of this method (TORG in the basic game mechanics, giving a tenfold change per five points of rating, GURPS in the "Size and Speed/Range" table, which gives a tenfold change per six points of rating, so that a size of 1 yard is a Size Mod [SM] of -2, while a size of 10 yards is a SM of +4). The precise variation would depend on how "granular" I end up wanting the ratings to be. More granularity gives a tendency toward more complexity as smaller effects become measurable in the game's systems, and less granularity gives fewer distinctions between characters. For instance, using the TORG method of a multiple of ten per five points of rating means that most characters (in a human scale) would be rated within ±2 of the average ability, and the very furthest limits of human ability might only get to around ±3 or whatever, depending on the specific ability (strength could probably go higher than intelligence, for instance). Depending on various issues, though, I may find that it's better to simply scale each innate attribute differently, so that strength is rated as above, while intelligence is on a more linear scale, like "10pts of IQ per point" or whatever. The main point being that an average human would have a rating of 10 or so, rather than working from an average of 100 or 5 or whatever other number.

My current thinking is that innate attributes would be things that can be simulated for the character, rather than abstract things like "reasoning" that can't really be measured and are more of the realm of player ability. I'm considering a list of attributes that includes Physique (strength, toughness, size, and so on), Coordination (precision of movement), Health (resistance to disease, rate of healing, cardiovascular fitness, etc), Empathy (or "Sensitivity"; the ability to discern motivations and emotions of others), Willpower (mental durability), Perceptiveness (ability to notice or find things), and Leadership (natural talent with getting others to follow your lead). Obviously, these aren't revolutionary, but I think that they are a useful set of fundamental character descriptions.

The next part of character creation is the set of learned abilities, usually called "skills" or the like. I have gained a new appreciation for limiting skill lists, even folding them into a single "class" or "template" for ease of character creation. I do confess, though, that I would prefer a template-style system, in which the character class would be designed from a set of options, allowing the player the choice of taking the pre-made template or building their own. I think that the best presentation of this would be to give the templates first, then provide a section or supplement that describes the method of putting together custom templates.

I have another potential system in mind which could be presented as a generation template, though it would be more difficult to implement. That would take the idea of treating a template as "previous experience" in the given profession and give a slightly flexible number of "hours of training" or similar measure of time spent improving skills, and then plug that into the normal training rules. I don't know if that would really work as well as I'd like, though. Maybe for a computer game. Still, I'd like to play around with the idea to see if I could get it to work.


So, how would these trained abilities work? I have a love for the old RuneQuest method of giving skills a percent chance of success. However, I'd prefer a roll-high system, for aesthetic reasons. That could lead to the Rolemaster method of rolling percent dice and adding the skill as a bonus to derive a result. There are reasons to prefer a bell curve roll instead of the linear roll of RQ and Rolemaster, too. I do like the open-ended (or "exploding") style of roll that Rolemaster used, so maybe a roll of 2d10, with each 10 being re-rolled (either add 9 and re-roll or replace each 10 with a 2d10 roll). That would mean that skills would probably be rated on the 20-scale for the most part. Talent, or base ability, with a skill would be based in some way off of the innate abilities (or stats, whatever I end up calling them). Probably I'd borrow an idea from RuneQuest  (and similar games) and give a small bonus to the skill and also to the ability to improve the skill. For instance, the talent bonus might be used to aid the skill, and also to the roll to improve it, so that if a character has a skill of +10 and a talent of +2, they would get a total of +12 (in addition to situational modifiers) to succeed with the skill, while to improve the skill they might need to make a roll of 10 or more (based on the +10 skill rating), with the roll modified by the talent of +2, so that the roll would need to be 8 or more. Maybe the target number should be some value plus the current skill level. It will be worth playing with different values to see what works best. In any case, I want to emphasize here that the improvement will not be tied to the initial choice of template/class.

A lot of skills should have default levels. Depending on how detailed I want the skills to get, that might either be only to a fixed number or it might be to other skills (so that "short sword" skill could default to "sword" skill at a penalty). I might divide combat skills up by stylistic considerations such as linear vs circular footwork and the like. Not really sure yet.

In addition to regular skills, I'd like to have special abilities. These would be similar to the Feats of WotC-era D&D and follow-ons or the Perks and Advantages of GURPS (or, for that matter, like the special abilities in Kits from 2nd edition AD&D, or even class features from all of the D&D editions). These would probably be treated as similar to skills, but with a specified training time (that would probably be modified by innate abilities, and maybe even skills). Another game that used a similar system was Top Secret, though not until some Dragon magazine articles and an official release with the Top Secret Companion. Those were the "College Courses" of that game.

I'd like to have "special use" systems for various activities. Social interaction, domain management, crafting/inventing, and combat come immediately to mind as areas that could use detailed presentations. The goal is to give the players options that they can use to tune their characters' approaches to events in the game.

Waterhouse does magicians
better than anyone.

One reason that I'd want a detailed approach to social interaction is that I intend that the magic system should be subtle, extremely so. The only "supernatural" element would be the existence of spirits, which would be independently-willed NPCs that the magicians would have to convince or coerce into acting as the magician wishes. Other magical abilities would be things that Rolemaster called "adrenal skills" and that FuRPiG (PDF link) called "patharchy". These are things like boosting strength or endurance, or the ability to make Sherlock Holmes-style inferences based on subtle cues. I'm not sure if I want to include "subtle influence", such as pushing someone to do something without communicating with them, but I might. I'm also not sure if I want to give powerful magicians the ability to communicate with animals and plants, similar to the way that Gandalf whistled up Shadowfax or communicated his captivity to the Great Eagles by moth courier (in the film version, at least). Two other magical abilities that I am considering but haven't decided on are the ability to become invisible (or at least less conspicuous) and the ability to travel astrally. Chances are that I will end up including all of these, suitably limited to keep them from being magical replacements for technology. In any case, I want to have "conversational hypnosis" and the like (having been on the receiving end of this, I am certain that it is a real thing), which could be used to good effect. Some other abilities that I want to include are visualization (a special ability of mental preparation), harmonious action (the ability to make temporary and limited apparent use of skills that the character doesn't actually possess by acting in harmony with the world), spirit perception and channeling, various sorts of probability alteration/luck, the gift of foresight, the ability to access ancestral visions, and the ability to sense the history of objects or places. There may be other, similar abilities of the sort that could be explained by other means or explained away. The main point is that magic should be largely about knowledge, influence, and relationships, not (for the most part) power and control - though control over self seems appropriate.

As for magical influence over growing crops and the like, I give you this quote from John Michael Greer's excellent book, Green Wizardry:
"The wizard of the early Middle Ages was a freelance intellectual whose main stock in trade was good advice, though that came well frosted with incantation and prophecy as needed. He had a working knowledge of astrology, which filled the same role in medieval thought that physics does today, and an equally solid knowledge of ritual magic, but his training didn't begin or end there. According to Picatrix, a wizard needed to have a thorough education in agriculture; navigation; political science; military science; grammar, languages, and rhetoric; commerce; all the mathematics known at the time, including arithmetic, geometry, music theory, and astronomy; logic; medicine, including herbal medicines and poisons; the natural sciences, including meteorology, mineralogy, botany, and zoology; and metaphysics - in effect, the sum total of scientific learning that had survived from the classical world."
 So, a lot of "magic" is just judicious use of normal skills. Basically, the main difference between magic in my Fantasy Heartbreaker and a materialist rationalist's concept of the world will be the definite existence of spirits (and maybe, perhaps just for drama's sake, nonphysical and nonlinguistic communication, but I am going back and forth on that; it's also possible that I will include such things as an option for higher-powered games).

Some of the works that I am consulting in designing how magic will work include, but are not limited to (and in no particular order), Invisibility by Steve Richards, Enchantment by Peter Paddon, Astral Dynamics by Robert Bruce, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance by Ioan Couliano (aka Ioan Culianu), Scientific Magic and Putting on the Wolf Skin both by Wayland Skallagrimsson, Naturalistic Occultism by IAO131, Postmodern Magic and Magic Power Language Symbol both by Patrick Dunn, The Science of the Craft by William H. Keith, Jr. (yes, the very same author and artist of many Traveller adventures, articles, and other material), A God Who Makes Fire by Christopher Scott Thompson, The Science of Dune edited by Kevin R. Grazier, pretty much everything I can get by Claude Lecouteux that has been translated into English (though I still haven't gotten a few of his books), Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits by Emma Wilby, How to See Fairies by Ramsey Dukes, The Magician's Reflection by Bill Whitcomb, Religion and Magic in the Life of Traditional Peoples by Alice and Irvin Child, The Secret Commonwealth by the Rev. Robert Kirk (in two editions found in other works, The Secret Commonwealth and the Fairy Belief Complex by Brian Walsh and Robert Kirk: Walker Between the Worlds by R.J. Stewart), the blog The Well of Galabes,* various grimoires and similar books I have access to, and The Lord of the Rings (which has some excellent descriptions of magic of the sort I want hidden in plain sight, as it were). In addition, I am looking at, specifically, the ways that some related ideas are handled in GURPS, especially GURPS Low-Tech and the three Low-Tech Companions (and most especially GURPS Low-Tech Companion I: Philosophers and Kings). Spirits are difficult to get right, but looking at RuneQuest (mainly the 3rd edition from Avalon Hill, but also Nash and Whitaker's Sixth Edition from Moon Design Publications, as well as Cults of Prax and Cults of Terror written for the 2nd edition) and Dogs in the Vineyard are giving me some ideas for ways to handle them. There are also some ideas in GURPS, such as in GURPS Spirits for 3E, in the Creature Feature supplement for Chill from Pacesetter, and in a few other games and gaming supplements that I think I can use.

Combat And Physical Feats

There are three main sources that I am interested in adapting and integrating: the wide range of player options in GURPS, as well as various specific elements such as GURPS Technical Grappling, "The Last Gasp" (an article covering short-term fatigue that informs emergent behaviors resembling actual fights), and the like; the natural, human-scale measures of Swordbearer (based on the pace of 2.5 feet/30 inches and the instant of 4 seconds, though I may or may not use those specific measures); and the descriptive wounding system of Hârnmaster. I'm also looking at ways to incorporate the subtle differences between various weapons, such as between a backsword and a saber or between the various pole weapons. I am especially interested in morale systems and systems (such as, perhaps, fear checks) that push players toward morale-style decisions in an emergent way. I'm also pretty set on incorporating ideas from Dave Grossman's studies on violence, such as On Killing (which is excellent up until that last chapter where he wrings his hands over videogames), to limit players and NPCs from indiscriminate murder sprees (though, as he notes, some people are sociopathic or psychopathic and can commit violence with fewer mental constraints - but I want the players to understand that such characters are, in fact, sociopaths and psychopaths; as well, there are known ways to "trick", as it were, humans into killing each other).

The problem with this, of course, is that it promotes combat to a centerpiece of the game, since a fight takes time and generates considerable interest (in opposition to the early D&D philosophy of just getting it over and out of the way as quickly as possible). That is mildly concerning, but my experience is that players (and I include myself here) tend to find an enjoyment in combat as its own end regardless of the emphasis or lack thereof in the rules. Combat is a significant feature of adventure stories for good reason, as it is dramatic in a character sense, carries significant narrative weight, has notable consequences, and so forth.

Combat should interface neatly with any other rules for physical activity and perception, as it shouldn't be relegated to a distinct and separate "combat game" that has little direct bearing on the rest of the game. Jumping, climbing walls, noticing concealed persons or objects, acrobatics, and so on should all be usable as easily in combat as out of it. Similarly, the injury rules should be available for falls and similar physical failures and integrate neatly there.

Thinking forwardly, rules for riding animals and vehicles should integrate easily into the combat system, with a provision for adjusting scales to handle very fast or very large vehicles or creatures. Initially, I only see need to cover cavalry, chariots, and wagons/carts on the ground, along with ships and possibly airships, plus animals at least up to the size of large dragons (or giants). In the long run, though, I hope to be able to handle fighter jets or even spaceships using the same basic systems with adjusted distance and time scales (1 space is 1000km and 1 turn is 1000 seconds instead of 1 pace per space and 1 or 4 seconds per turn, or whatever), and those vehicle systems should also integrate into the mass combat system (see below). In fact, Swordbearer already includes some initial scaling, since it also includes the intermediate scale of 1 period of 20 seconds (or 5 instants) and the bloc of 50 feet (or 20 paces), plus the travel scale of quarter hours of 15 minutes and leagues of 6000 paces or 15,000 feet (which comes out to ~2.841 miles or nearly exactly 4.572km).

Another scaling issue is moving up to massed combat. There are at least two scales involved here, which we can call "skirmish" and "battle". On the skirmish level, there should be rules for handling NPCs, at least, up to around 50 or so on a side, without having to generate detailed wound results for every hit. A simple roll to hit, to defend, and to remove from play should be enough at that scale. The battle scale should provide options for table and abstract play, where either the players can push around units like a board or miniatures game, or else just resolve the whole thing with skill checks and general decisions about the tactical direction they want their troops to take. It should also integrate the skirmish and personal combat systems by allowing the greater battle to generate individual or small unit encounters for the players' characters directly. The mass combat system should also integrate well into the Domain Management subgame.

Domain Management

I have mentioned before that, in my very first roleplaying game session (AD&D 1st edition, back in the summer of 1979), I played a Magic-User. The stingy DM required that, since I was new, I must start at 1st level. This was, as it turned out, unfair since he was running the adventure as an expedition to the Tomb of Horrors, but I didn't know anything about that, I just had a sheet of paper with some numbers. I couldn't figure out what I might want to buy with the 2d4x10 gold pieces I was given (I don't remember the exact number, but I think that it must have been on the high end), outside of the basics like clothing, so I asked if I could hire people to help my character out. The DM had never had such a request, so looked it up in the Dungeon Masters Guide and discovered that I could hire mercenaries. I spent the majority of my money on that, and to make an already lengthy story short my character was the only survivor of the expedition because the DM didn't know how to handle NPCs in those numbers and I was able to just send soldiers into every trap. Good times.

The point of that story is that I have never lost my appreciation for holding the reins of power. One of my criteria for deciding if a game is good, or at least complete, is if it has systems to handle my characters running an army or nation. I loved the Birthright setting, the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, and the series of articles in Dragon magazine that rationalized the economics of the D&D game's domain management rules. Chivalry & Sorcery included extensive notes on running a manor, and similar concepts are in some of the Hârnmaster supplements. GURPS, in the Low-Tech series, has included extensive, useful notes on the topic. I've reviewed Realms of the Unknown, which is a game centered entirely on the domain management level of play. So, I have a lot of ideas to draw upon for including a domain management level of play. One thing I hope to do is integrate the domain management with the rest of the game, so that a physical feat that can be performed by an average character is also the basis of larger-scale domain activities. If a character can dig at a certain rate, that should also be the basis of the actions of miners digging for resources. If a character can make a sword in X amount of time, that should be the basis of domain-level smiths making swords. Those things just need to be averaged out and so abstracted to a usable level to handle dozens or hundreds of swordsmiths.

Crafting And Invention

Relevant to domain management, as alluded at the end there, is the ability of characters to build things. I'll confess that this is the area I have thought through least at this point, but I hope to include a method for determining how quickly objects can be made, at what cost in resources, and with what final quality. The systems should be able to be scaled up to uniform industrial manufacture without requiring it (so that the process of building at lower levels of technology can be replicated as well). Large and complex items, especially, should be individualized, so that one ship is not identical to another (even if generally so), a spacecraft might have particular quirks unique to it or to its design, and so on. The smaller and less complicated an item, the more ability to replicate it relatively uniformly (coins are largely the same even in the iron age, but ships - even ones of the same nominal class - are uniquely individual up into the 20th century at least). That leads me into the invention rules, which should allow a character to come up with a concept, build a prototype, and determine if it has any design flaws that need to be addressed (or which can be tolerated) in further prototypes, then transfer that design to the crafting process. Again, this should cover time and other resource expenditures. To a great degree, many of these issues are addressed in GURPS, so I imagine that I'll be drawing on that game for much, though other games like Hârnmaster cover other areas that are mostly ignored in GURPS, so I'll probably be drawing on those as well.

Social Interaction

The final major area of the game is the interaction of one character with another in ways that aren't physical or violent. This is going to be the strangest section of the game to work on, since it will be the one with the most admonitions to ignore it in most cases. A lot of what will be included should be worked out by roleplaying, but on the other hand I also want to be sure that players (and Referees) understand clearly that combat is not the only way to interact with settings that use the game rules. One of the reasons, I am told, that players tend to resort to combat is that extensive combat rules imply that combat is a major function in the game. So, I want to include similarly extensive rules for social interactions, since I want to imply the value of nonviolent interaction as well. Happily for me, most of this has already been written (in GURPS, naturally, as the Social Engineering series of supplements), so I can pretty much just work through those materials and adapt them to the specifics of my game system. I'll need to include a reaction table, of course, since that is central to any social interaction game system.

The social interaction section should be able to handle everything from merchant and diplomatic negotiations to seduction and wooing, and much else besides. Again, to some extent all of this should be able to be ignored. If the characters are clearly suitable for marriage and have no reason to hate each other, then the wooing process can be greatly streamlined mechanically and resolved through roleplay. Similarly, diplomacy might depend more on player skill and domain management-based NPC goals than character sheets and reaction tables. On the other hand, the social interaction rules could be used in a "oracular dice, eventful sandbox" style of gaming to resolve the interactions of NPCs with each other (probably away from the table, by the Referee).

Final Thoughts

If you've read this far, thank you for paying attention to my ramblings. It's actually taken me a couple of days to write this out, which sort of annoys me, but I think that I needed to do it. I'm presenting it to be read so that I can justify it to myself, and also for comment. Is there anything I missed? Are there other gaming issues than Character Creation, general Skill Use, Magic, Physical Feats/Combat, Social Interaction, Crafting/Invention, and Domain Management? (Offhand, I just thought about families and dynasties, which are a somewhat separate issue than Domain Management, but I think that I can fold that area into that section and perhaps character creation.) Do you like where I'm going with this or is it something that you'd hate, and why? I mean, not that I am demanding that anyone answer but I invite the discussion, assuming that there is (or can be) anything more than just "It is/isn't my cup of tea". Certainly, one of the weaknesses is the potential relative complexity of including so many elements, but I want it to be as comprehensive as possible while still allowing for situational rulings. I think that it should be obvious that the whole project could be described as "GURPS with random character creation, descriptive wounds, and a more robust and usable domain management", and that is a great part of my interest here. I do like GURPS, and I like the idea of it even more, but the lack of any way of easily making characters randomly (especially, but not exclusively, for NPCs) annoys me on an aesthetic and practical level. As well, the descriptive wounds of Hârnmaster (and to a much lesser extent, the old BTRC "house system" of TimeLords, SpaceTime, and Warp World) have spoiled me for hit point-based systems forever.

What a real-life "superhero" fight looks like.
Phoenix Jones in the news.
In the longer term, I envision eventually writing supplementary material to cover more pulp-style magic, with its flying fireballs, teleportation, and whatnot, superhuman powers, wuxia/chanbara-style martial arts, science fiction technology, and so on. I don't really want to think about those things from the outset, though, and I fully intend that the basic tone of the game (a sort of gritty realism) shouldn't be fundamentally compromised by those. I don't want it to be a "Universal" game in the sense of trying to be all genres, but rather a game that can incorporate various tropes and potentially wild abilities into the central game assumptions. So, superheroes would be more like Watchmen and Wild Cards than DC Heroes or Marvel Super Heroes. Pulp fantasy would tend more toward Lovecraft and Howard than Dragonlance and the Forgotten Realms. Wuxia would tend to be more like Legendary Weapons of China or even Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon than Kung Fury or Hero. And so on. I should point out that this isn't because I dislike the latter styles at all (can you imagine disliking Kung Fury? What sort of monster would do that?), but because that isn't the tone that I prefer in my gaming.

*As an aside, you could do a lot worse than that list of books and blog if you were interested in learning what magicians in the real world think they are doing, and if you wanted to learn actual magic. The first two or three in the list and the William H. Keith, Jr. one, along with the Robert Kirk editions, are perhaps a little more controversial than the rest, but magic is nothing if not transgressive. In fact, on the transgressiveness of magic, I'd recommend Apocalyptic Witchcraft by Peter Grey.


  1. Even though it took you a couple days to write, it can be useful (if not downright important!) to nail down your concepts. Putting 'em in written form allows yo a set of notes to work from (against which you can test any system/rules you right up to see how they stack against your priorities) and gives you the ability to "walk away" from the project for a breather and still come back to a memory jogging thesis on What Was Important and Why.

    That being said, as you go through the design/writing process, you probably shouldn't be too attached to ALL of it, as some aspects might be found to be "not fun" in testing. Once you're at the gaming table, a lot of neat concepts can lose their luster (or simply not work well with other concepts). Make sure you're testers (players) are on-board with what you're trying to accomplish...there's nothing more frustrating then finding the testing process sabotaged by grumpy players who were expecting (for example) fireballs and ended up with "crop magic."

    The scope of what you propose is pretty ambitious...not sure if there's a way for you to start a little smaller, and then "add on" various aspects of (what I'd consider to be) the ingrained campaign setting you desire. Try-boiling it down to what would be on a 1-4 page "quick start" and then build up from there. Keep your core notes of priorities (like what's listed here), but start with the basics and then "ramp up."

    Good luck!

    1. Those are some excellent suggestions. I've written a lot of the character creation already (though not finished yet!), along with some initial parts of combat and magic, but I'm trying to stick with the raygun fantasy game first, and probably the MegaTraveller retroclone next.

      Like you note, this document and the other notes I've made (both in the blog and in my project folder) have mainly been directed at letting me stay focused on the inspiration as I set it aside for the other projects.

      One of my main priorities in finding people to playtest it will be to try to write a summary "proposal" so that they can see if it's something that might interest them. "Super-psychology" instead of "Fireballs and lightning bolts" will be one of the important points made in that document.