Sunday, April 18, 2021

GOZR Chaos Doodles

I made a little collage of snips from GOZR pages in sketch or doodle stage and the other random bits that go into this project. Since it is a hand-to-pen-to-canvas creation, I can't really script or "write" it in the traditional sense. I can and will change everything as it hits the canvas. I change what I might have noodled out because I realize it is bad or I don't have physical space for it all or I want it to look differently.

I know. Who the fuck creates a game this way? It's a game. You play it, with people, probably at a table or online or whatever. It needs clarity, rules, clarity of rules. The answer to your question is I don't know. This is an experiment.

The chaos of creation!

One of the design principles I adopted at the start was repetition of important ideas. So maybe there's a key rule about how armor works and instead of having it explained in one place I repeat the rule 2 or 3 times throughout the text. This reinforces it but also makes it much easier to find the rule if you need to be reminded.

An outgrowth of that idea was to embrace happenstance elements. For example, there might be a little table of artistic skills your PC could possess. It isn't on the actual character creation pages because I didn't think of it at that time. So instead it might appear on a random ref page or just off to the side somewhere. If you, as a player, find this table you can roll on it. If not, nothing is really lost. It's just there if you want it.

I did that with gooz names too. I have multiple gooz names tables scattered through the book. This helps players find a cool name (or a lame one) and definitely will help the GM name random NPCs the characters bump into.

Let's test it. "The twisted alley seer scoffs at your comment and says [clattering of dice roll] 'Fools! I, Tadd the seer, cannot be intimidated!'". Yeah. So Tadd says.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Gooz Bravos

I have this page for GOZR with stats for a few common types of gooz you might encounter in Goozer City. I had the common gooz and the alley wizard and then it dawned on me I needed the common scoundrel, the gooz who is kinda like a PC but not. I decided "bravo" was a term I never used before and it fit. A bravo could be a thug or a thief or a merc.

Quick rundown of what the actual fuck I'm talking about:

GOZR is a hand-lettered, art-heavy RPG project I've been working on here and there for about a year. The core inspirational nugget are the goons that Den works with in the Den sequence of the movie Heavy Metal and Richard Corben's generally awesome weird looking characters. My idea was what if these guys inherited the earth and all the pretty people were dead? Sci-fantasy.

Regarding the stat block:

Threat = Pool of points the GM can spend to let the enemy circumvent the rules, such as taking extra actions or resisting magic.
DEF = Defense, soaking damage.
HP = Hit points.
Size = Duh. "G" means gooz size, or human if you will.
Pack = How many you might encounter.
Dmg = Damage.

I came up with this stat block early in the process and I like it. It's simple, six items you can easily remember. And it covers all the necessary bases for a game like this to function.

More on GOZR as it unfolds I'm standing at around 40 finished pages right now. The original target was 32 and there are still a few more things I need to get around to so this might end up in the 48 page range. Which... is kinda nice. Short enough that you find shit easily.


Sunday, April 4, 2021

The RPG Folder Was Too Hot

Continuing this intellectually-mindthrobbing series.


Dallas: the Television RPG: I snagged this by way of piracy out of pure curiosity. I needed to understand. I was largely underwhelmed by it but hey... what did I expect? An incredible storytelling revolutionary RPG that somehow nobody is talking about? Nah.

The game is bland as all hell, like many or most early RPGs. This came to us in 1980, a mere 6 years after the publication of D&D. So at this time a person with a little bit of pocket money could own all the RPGs in existence and actually play them. Wild, huh?

This game is about Dallas and nothing else. The rules are fairly simple. Everything is framed as episodes with scripts (script = adventure). Mechanics are kind of interesting. You have a few stats such as Coercion and Persuasion, which have two numbers. The first number is your strength and the second is your resistance. To see what you need to roll in order to Persuade someone, subtract their resist number from your Persuasion strength and roll under that number on 2d6. Kind of cool, but perhaps we could have come up with a slightly simpler way. Still... this is 1980 and at least the designers were experimenting.

For pete's sake, this game doesn't even have any combat rules. That is a HUGE departure from virtually all other RPGs of the time. All of the game mechanics are about social interaction, mostly negotiations. Which... makes sense, given the subject matter.

It is an object of it's time. The writing is just yawnworthy, like many older games. No flair. Nobody expected flair, I guess. Just stereo instructions.

I kinda wanted to play this but now I'm thinking not really. No shade intended. This was a cool experiment and I applaud its existence.


Feral RPG: Character Samples 2.0: By Jez Gordon.


I have seen Jez' work around for years but haven't really interacted with them nor closely followed the work. Which is weird because look at this cover and tell me this isn't my jam? I love it.

Honestly though I've seen Feral RPG stuff for years I just didn't know what it was. Seems that it is compatible with D&D 5e and you play mutant critters in a punk mutant future world. Cool. The word "gonzo" definitely comes to mind.

This book is a collection of characters and their awesome character sheets, such as Jimmy the Thing and Nyuk Nyuk the Knife. I have heard of this game project for years but I don't remember ever seeing a finished book. Check the website to see what's up with this awesome jam.




Hack & Slash Compendium I: by Courtney Campbell.

This is a collection of blog posts by Courtney. The art is by Courtney too, including that delicious cover. Not much to say about it because I haven't read it all but this is indeed where you can find the famous quantum ogre.


Another famous book that I have managed to not really look at until recently, despite the fact that I am a huge fan of both Chris and Luka. First, the cover is lovely, as expected.

This book is based on Labyrinth Lord, like all the other Hill Cantons books in Kutalik's series. I love me some Lab Lord. I sometimes have a sad because the wonderful Old School Essentials line seems to have killed Labyrinth Lord's influence for now. I mean... how cool is the name Labyrinth Lord alone? Badass.

Anyway... this is a setting book that is relentlessly focused on adventuring. You won't find any tedious boring histories of duchies or wars that nobody cares about. Instead, you'll find gamable rumors and plenty of hex encounters.

Did I mention the maps are by none other than Karl Stjernberg? Nice.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

GOZR: Gooz Enforcers

Goozer City has laws handed down by the Magistrates and the Enforcers police the people and beat the shit out of them to enforce those laws. It's fair, right?


 Check this post for details about the GOZR stat block.