Dev diary – character sheet design

Now that I’ve made the major design decisions for my steampunk ttrpg system, I have started to write the first draft in earnest. I know how I want the major parts of the system to work, and as such I know what attributes, characteristics and values I want players to be able record on their […]

Playing the Game(s) – TTRPG plans for 2023

A significant amount of my free time is spent creating ttrpg scenarios, systems and products, but a chunk of that is always carved out for actually playing them too. I’m an eternal GM (through choice – call it my control freak nature if you wish…), and I generally try and maintain four separate groups, each […]

Dev diary – Welcome to The Aether Throne

The Aether Throne is an alt-history version of our own world, in a time period resembling the late 19th century: the Victorian Age. In The Aether Throne, a distant Queen rules over a vast Empire, her prosperous rule having allowed huge advances to be made in science and technology. The powers of steam, clockwork, arclight […]

Dev diary – The Aether Courts

As a break from the mechanics of my steampunk ttrpg system, I’ve started to think about the setting and worldbuilding. Playing cards are a core mechanic of the game, and I have a magic system of sorts in the shape of aether. When I started to think about how I wanted magic in the game […]

Dev diary – It’s tricky

One of the key mechanics I want to include in the system uses playing cards. Now, I’m aware this isn’t the first game to use a deck of cards as a mechanic. Deadlands is one in the ttrpg space, and Malifaux is another in the skirmish wargame field. Interestingly, both have a steampunk/weird science/weird west […]

Dev diaries – Combat

I’m at the stage of design thinking for my steampunk ttrpg system where I’m considering how I want combat to work. I don’t want combat encounters to take place on a 5×5 grid or similar, but I do want range to be important. I also want opponents in combats to be able to be controlled […]

Dev Diaries – Jobseeking

The final part of character creation is selecting a profession. Like classes in some other systems, this will give a character a role (to an extent) and a set of skills and abilities that define what they are good (and not so good) at, and complement other roles in the team. Professions and character progression […]

Dev diaries – Mad skillz

So far, I’ve settled on my steampunk game characters’ primary attributes and secondary characteristics. I’ve also started thinking about some aspects of the gameplay, which I want to be a D20 roll vs a Target Number, with modifiers from a number of sources. One of these sources will be skills. I love games with character […]

Dev Diaries – Designing through design

I’m on to thinking about skills and professions now, and whilst my thoughts have still to settle and land on something, I decided to switch mental mode and design a page layout for the game that doesn’t exist yet. I enjoy doing design & layout, and Affinity Publisher makes this a pleasure. So this mockup […]

Dev Diaries – Secondary Considerations

A character in my steampunk ttrpg system (which I really need to come up with a name for soon…) is defined by four primary attributes: Fortitude, Dexterity, Wits and Charisma. Of course, those alone aren’t enough to describe each character’s specific variances and abilities. They will have professions and skills that describe a little bit […]

Dev Diaries – All About The Numbers

Now I have settled on the attributes in my steampunk system, I am now thinking about how players will use them. At the end of the day, I want this to be a D20 system, with most player actions requiring a roll to meet or exceed a target number. I’m fond of Paizo’s approach to […]

Last Christmas

The second of my Call of Cthulhu scenarios to be based on an idle social media post I made, Last Christmas is a one-shot scenario that takes a single premise and stretches into a full-blown investigation. ‘A scenario that is a literal interpretation of the lyrics to Last Christmas by Wham’ was the guilty post […]