Thursday, November 20, 2008

Out of the frying dissertation into the deep Fudge

I've been done with the dissertation for a little while now. Woo hoo!

My brain has begun to decompress. I running an Eberron adventure for the group that I normally play in to cover for our usual GM a few weekends ago. I love GMing again. My group was great, the afore mentioned challenging player has left the group for graduate school and I loved the group's new configuration. Everyone cooperated, as GM, I was never left with that icky feeling that I was allowing players to do vile things to either each other or in the imaginary world. I have been running the stock Eberron modules from The Forgotten Forge forward. I only ran that particular weekend because our regular GM wasn't going to have prep time. I have been running the module almost exactly as it is in the modules. I've made minor NPC dialogue changes to make things alittle more relevant for the players. This was so that I could GM with a bare minimum of prep work when needed. I knew after the game that I was ready to GM my own world/campaign when I couldn't stop myself from thinking of all the changes I'd make to the module for the next session and how I'd alter the next module in the series to do the things that I'm more interested in.

That's when I picked up my Fudge notes and started getting back into it. Yikes! I had forgotten when I was stuck. I'm trying to make a Sci-fi campaign equivalent to GURPS TL 8-9. I've also been trying to build into the Fudge house rules an equipment list broad enough to satisfy my butt-kicker players. I've considered just taking the set from the text but it brings things right make into the cartoony, uber-powerful realm that dissatisfies me as a GM. Specifically, I prefer players to deal with problems rather than "Hey I've got a . Doesn't that just undo this entire plot line that you toiled over?" Um, yeah. GM downer, because then you have two basic choices: "Yes, you're right, let me scrap that plot line" OR "Oh, um, no, for reasons that you don't understand, it doesn't work, um, yeah." I've toyed with bringing in Holtzman fields from the Dune books to keep the door open to melee combat and to neutralize the impact of projectile and energy weapons entirely. I have considered shifting back to GURPS. Set the TL, exclude items or advances I don't want and away I go. Only problem with that is the Psionics system in 3e (which is what I would run) is BROKEN. Ultimately, I figure the weapons/armor combination will fall into place for Fudge.

The real challenge that I'm having is with the customizing the Psionics for this campaign. I say that this is the real challenge because I'm sure that if I get this right it will satisfy the butt kickers in the group. It is also a challenge because I'm very picky about super/magic/psionic powers. I never want them to be the ultimate go to option. I like them to have back fire consequences, limited use over time, blah blah blah. I don't like things that the butt-kickers don't always. I'm also not that fond of the Fudge psion system as it is so I've been tinkering with it. So far I've got Psionics powered and resisted by a Will attribute which all normal sentient creatures have. That way normal humans can resist Psions without having aPsionic abilities themselves. I've also broken psionic abilities up into different types. I'm struggling with setting the power level. I want a clear and beneficial progression but I don't want the top level of psions to be immune to overwhelm by mundanes. It always bothered me that a 15th level fighter in D&D could be surrounded by 1sts level fighter with crossbows and laugh, unafraid.

So that's what I tinkering with now. . . . when I have enough time to get into it. My mission in the next week is to finalize the psion action types (e.g., telekinetic, mind-afffecting, empathy, and others) and then begin fine tuning the power levels. I'm toying with the idea of allowing my players (and not just my GM lists online) preview the psion system to try to work out their feedback pre-game testing.

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