Monday, September 20, 2021

Cursed Blades (Swordtember)

 

I've already contributed to the Swordtember on the Instagram, but I realized I haven't posted any random table in a really long time! Soo, prepare a d10!

  1. It permanently attaches itself to the wielder's hand
  2. All damage dealt by the sword is also drained from the wielder's Hit Points
  3. Wielder becomes deaf and mute when the sword is drawn
  4. All healing magic directed at the sword's owner drains his/her HP instead of healing
  5. Sword hits automatically but deals maximum of 1 damage
  6. Wielder becomes blind for 1d6 minutes for each natural 1 rolled to-hit
  7. Each time the sword is drawn it drains 1 HP from its wielder
  8. The blade attracts insects and vermin - also the giant ones
  9. Each time the sword is drawn it produces a very loud sound of a bell
  10. The sword deals 1d4 additional damage but if its wielder is on full HP all attacks miss

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Step up in the cross-section mapping

I love cross-section maps. In many cases, they are much more evocative and inspiring than ordinary maps of the regions (I'm not talking about dungeons and hexcrawl). And Pain rulebook will contain mainly such maps.


Also, I realized that I made some progress with my maps. Here is an example from January 2012:

And here is the most recent one I made for my current project:

 

Of course, the second one is much more abstract. But I fell in love with artpunk.

 

If you like my work and want to support me, please consider joining my Patreon.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Pain RPG - the Trophy Room

 

Located in the maze of dungeons between Upper and Lower Cities, the Trophy Room is the largest known (has anyone actually seen it?) collection of skulls, skeletons and taxidermied animals in the entire City. Some of them originate from before the Fall.

>> some were brought from the outside
>> off-world artifacts
>> from the Shattered Moon
>> and beyond

Some outcasts from the Biologists claim that some of the trophies are still alive in huge vats, operated by the keepers bound by the ancient oath.

***

I've come up with an idea for this place about three years ago, when I started to work on Pain again, after years of hiatus. But it doesn't end there!

As I mentioned in this post, most entries in the description of the setting will have a short random tables, called the Emblems. In Trophy Room's case, I went much farther. I made a table of random trophies. A d% table. And I managed to finish it in one and half days!

Here are the first 20 entries from the table:

  1. The Clockwork Crow
  2. Blue Neural Core, preserved in a jar
  3. Preserved skinless crocodile
  4. A petrified troglodyte
  5. Skull of cybernetically enhanced human
  6. An Extraplanar Decahedron
  7. Spider-squid in a water tank
  8. An Ultraviolet Ladybug
  9. Stuffed Newt Drake
  10. A huge, eyeless, albino fish
  11. Head of an enormous, four-eyed ape
  12. Six-winged Swordfish
  13. Dreamvoid Spectre in a stasis field
  14. Skull of a Rat Man
  15. Rust Gnasher's egg
  16. A Void Spawn chrysalis
  17. Huge Quartz Anemone
  18. Stuffed Beetle Man
  19. A Graveborn Larva
  20. Toad Warrior's head

If you enjoy my work, consider dropping me few coins on Patreon. I will post a full table there!

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Pain progress report 8/2021

 

 

Things are getting better for the game. I took an over 2-months break from working on the game (here I explained how I managed to get back on track) but now I enjoy designing new stuff even more than before.

GENERAL PROGRESS

  • I rearranged the entire rulebook. In my previous vision, almost all lore about the game world was packed into one huge chapter, the Book of Keys. It was fun design-wise but I realized it would be a totall mess to find particular information there, despite being sorted alphabetically.
  • I can't speak for other designers, but when I rearrange the old stuff in the project I'm working on, I always come up with some new ideas and re-evaluate the ones that already exist. Thus, I completely removed the descriptions of three locations (or maybe four), as I found them being too shitty. I mean, they weren't bad per se - but they were noticeably weaker than the rest. Also...
  • ...I realized that I can't describe all places shown on the map. It always pissed me off in some products (I'm looking at you, World of Darkness) that everything was already fully described, leaving no place for my own ideas. Moreover - for me, things that exist only on the map and not in the world description add more mystery to the whole picture.
  • So, as I kicked out three locations, I've already added two more! The Obsidian Maelstrom (for the sake of things described in the previous point, I'll leave you with the name only.... for now) is already described, the Shrines of Vortex still await being fleshed out.
  • I... rather dislike detailed encumbrance rules, I always stuck with common sense. But I know that many folks prefer at least some description of how much junk can characters carry, so I added literally three sentences about it to the rules section.
  • The Emblems were born - short lists of random items and quotes (mixed together) for almost each aspect of the setting. I need to make almost 500 of them, so far I have slightly over 100.
  • More quotes. There will be almost no typical descriptions of the game world - everything will be presented in form of quotes. Lots of them. I managed to write about 15 new ones. I have no ideas how many quotes are already made - probably hundreds.

And all of this within one week! Which brings us to the second part of the report, which is...

THE PACING

I enjoy working on this game alot. But I enjoyed it before - and burned out. Now I must keep the right tempo and not strain myself too much. Now I try to create something new every day - but not too much. Also, I don't push myself. Right now I'm not bound by any deadlines - so I exploit this fact, haha!

Quick advice to all of you - IF YOU EVER COME UP WITH AN IDEA TO CREATE A D666 TABLE WITH AT LEAST TWO SENTENCE DESCRIPTIONS FOR EACH ENTRY - DON'T TRY TO FINISH IT IN ONE MONTH!

 

If you enjoy my work, consider dropping me few coins on Patreon.

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Patreon

 

So, I decided to give it a try. I'm not very good at self-promotion, I'll keep it simple - if you enjoy my work here (and here as well), please consider droppin me few coins. The money will most likely circle back into the community.

I will still post new stuff on both my blogs, but I want to spam the Patrons with much more info - many texts I currently write for Pain (and probably also for the Void Blade), as well as both finished artwork and WIPs of them.

SUPPORT THE CAUSE!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Pain RPG website

Actually, the page (blog) for Pain RPG is up for quite some time, but I only recently started to fill it up with some information. I will post there mainly artwork and excerpts from the rulebook (however bear in mind that all the texts are prior to proofreading). Enjoy!

Also, as you can probably see, you can also find the link in the navbar.

LINK

 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Story about hitting the wall and filling the void

I knew it would look like that. It's like playing games with my mental issues - and cheating to win, haha!

I plopped into a creative abyss with Void Blade. I managed to write several pages of text and random tables and made two full pages of laid out artwork and text. And created half of a map. And then I hit a wall, again. 

Guess what happened next... 

After half a day spent in brawling with depression (played ADOM, had an amazing run, got torn into shreds by Cat Lord), my brain was immediately filled with an urge to work on Pain instead. And it actually worked - currently I'm filling the gaps in the descriptions.

Also, I realized that there is a significant flaw in my mindset - it's like a clearly visible pit in front of me, and it's filled with manure. And I still hop into it, each time. 

I often thing "I must do this", "I must do that". And that's okay. Life forces us to do things all the time. And in many cases, it's rather wise to do some things. But - at least in this case - the problem is not that I must design some less-fun stuff, like equipment lists and monster stat blocks. The problem is that it took me DECADES to figure out that it depends solely on me HOW I will make these things. How I will design them and how I will present them in the rulebook.

What does it mean for the game? From your perspective - not much. From my point of view - everything has changed. And I must hack out the significant portions of the manuscript, and rework it. But it will be fun.

Two posts in a row? I must be outta my mind!

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Void Blade

 


I knew that I will need to take a rest from writing Pain. But it seems that it will be longer than two months - I'm still quite burned out and overwhelmed by the work that still must be done (writing-wise - I'm not even thinking about the artwork yet!). Luckily, I feel much better nowadays.

I think there's something seriously wrong with me - even when I feel burned out, I still MUST create something. Always. It's bigger than me, and much more powerful than my laziness, haha.

I was thinking about making some third-party Mörk Borg stuff (thanks, guys, for the amazing license! I think I will add something very similar to Pain, once it's done) for the last few months. And now, when I hit the wall with my own game, it is time to make it.

So, welcome to Void Blade - a Dead World hidden inside the Dying World.

There will be six new classes, six new monstrosities, tasty random tables and a map, even more convoluted than the map in the MB rulebook!

I don't want to share too much info for now, as it's always possible that I'll hit yet another wall or that my depression will kick in once again and delay everything. Maybe I should apologize for it in advance? :D

Okay, that's it for now, maybe except one more mockup (this time I work both on images and text simultaneously) - please ignore the fact that it is slightly cut on the bottom edge - it is just a mockup after all.



Monday, April 26, 2021

Pain (RPG) and stress

 

Oof. I missed the March update.

Well, I took a break from designing the Pain and writing the rulebook. After completing a huge, d666 Sync Omens random table (216 entries, whew!) I was totally burned out. But I feel like I should be able to work on it again.

Why I took a break? Because I could. I have no deadlines and no commitments. I made no promises. And I believe that's the only way to make this game as good as it could be. To minimize the stress associated with the project and maximize the fun. 

That's why there will be no Kickstarter campaign for the game.

I do believe that I could do it right. Calculate everything properly, manage to print and deliver the game in time. But I will be honest with you - even the thought about the responsibility is scaring the shit out of me. There are way too many variables which aren't dependant on me. Hell, we are living in the interesting times. Everything can become worse literally every single second. And I couldn't even imagine the levels of stress I'd experienced during the KS campaign and after it.

I'm battling depression for years. And one of the most important things I learned about the daily struggles with mental illness is that stress is making everything worse. And stress + depression could easily make everything spiral out of control. And it could issues with any aspect of fulfilling the campaign.

Okay, that's one extremely chaotic post! To make things even more convoluted, I will end it right here!

Feel free to ask any questions or express your opinion about my decision (or current weather, haha) either here or on my MeWe account (I stopped updating FB Ortix profile some time ago, as FB sucks ass).

 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Pain - glimpse of the game mechanics

 

Yup, entire ruleset on one page. Of course I expanded it in the Pain manuscript, which by the way is now over 110 pages long. Still, even though I slowly see the end on the horizon, it's still relatively far away.

And then I must make the artwork :)

Monday, February 1, 2021

700th post! PAIN Character Classes

 

For the last two days we were working hard to figure out what Character Classes we want to include in the game. So, after almost boiling our brains due to the overheat, we came up with the following list. They both fit the game world perfectly and also are full of its dark atmosphere.

I think it's a pretty good post for the 700th blog entry!

CHAOS WARRIOR [to embrace the Machine's corruption] 

DEATH CULTIST [follower of the Assassin's philosophy]

DOOMED SENTRY [I've seem too much on the surface, time to delve down]

ENLIGHTENED PILGRIM [in a search of Wisdom of the Depths]

FORLORN AVENGER [going to the Depths Below to avenge his fallen ones]

INSPIRED ARTISAN [and inspiration lies deep under the City of Pain]

LOST MOON SAGE [the Crimson Ones must be punished for the Moon's destruction]

LUCID DREAMER [they need my ability to dream]

MASTERLESS GUARDIAN [looking for a purpose, down there]

REPENTANT SINNER [salvation thru service for the Seekers]

RESTLESS CHRONICLER [someone have to write it down]

ROGUE TINKERER [in a search for the Artifacts]

SHADOW ARCANIST [not all magic is demonic, although all magic is destructive]

VERMIN SPY [servant of the deity known as the Chaos Rat]

XENOLOGIST [not all life is extinct... but all life is dangerous]

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Pain progress report 2/2021

 

I started working on the current iteration of the game in May 2018, while the first concepts began to appear in... 2005. But for the first time in countless millenia, I feel really full of energy for the game.

So, today I have a big announcement!

I've finished working on the setting! 99% of the world's descriptions are now ready. I worked on it on a daily basis and even reduced my roaming thru the local forests to focus on Pain ;)

Of course, there's still much to do, namely:

  • The game mechanics (based on even more streamlined Perilous Ages ruleset) - as I absolutely love working on game rules, I think I will do it in the following weeks. I must playtest it ASAP!
  • At least 20 random Artifacts (it won't be easy, as so far I created over a hundred such items for my previous projects, haha);
  • Circa 30 maps of various size and detail;
  • About 100 pieces of artwork. It will be pretty time-consuming, as I decided to release this game in full color!

Also, this time I will do a proper proofreading of the game. I want to release it in physical form (as premium as possible!), so I want to make it as perfect as I am able to.

More info really soon!

Oh, and I think you'll be interested in seeing the list of actual content made so far! Here it is:

INTRODUCTION

  • Welcome to the Nightmare
  • Modular game, modular setting

THE UNLIFE

  • General appearance of the Unliving Ones
  • Feeding
  • Healing and body augmentations
  • Connection ports and interface

THE SEEKERS

PAIN IS ETERNAL

  • Layers of the City
  • What Lies Below
  • The Outside

THOUSAND SECTS

THE HOLLOW ONES

  • The Black Dust

THE FALL

  • The Machine 

THE ARCHONS

  • Blood of the Gods
  • Asccension
  • The Architect
  • The Alchemist
  • The Assassin

IMMORTALS

  • The Grey Wanderer
  • The Silent Observer
  • The Masked One
  • The Watcher
  • The Hunter

THE BOOK OF KEYS

  • What do we know about the Book
  • The Abyss
  • The Archives
  • The Altered Ones
  • Awakened Ones
  • The Arena
  • The Ashen Spirits
  • The Black Druid
  • The Bone Forest
  • The Book of Names
  • The Chaos Rat
  • The Chimney Towers
  • Chronicles of the Lost
  • Cosmology
  • Dark Iron
  • The Dead Tree
  • Death Pits
  • The Dust Sword
  • Excavation Station
  • The Fossilized God
  • The Furnaces
  • The Gatekeeper
  • The Great Father
  • The Guarded Passage
  • Human Skulls
  • The Inverted City
  • The King
  • The Knights
  • The Lake
  • The Last Star
  • Lower City
  • The Lower Outpost
  • The Map Room
  • The Mines
  • The Moons
  • The Necropolis
  • The Portal Fortress
  • Portals
  • The Prison
  • The Resurrection Monolith
  • The Rift
  • Rust
  • Sorrow
  • The Sunken Spires
  • Thorns
  • Tower of Mirrors
  • The Trophy Room
  • The Unknown One
  • Upper City
  • The Void Moth
  • Warding Pillars
  • Watcher's Outpost
  • The Waterfall Cave
  • The Waterfall Passage
  • THE FOOTNOTES COMPILED

MOST IMPORTANT INDIVIDUALS FROM THE CITY

COGNITION CARDS

  • Origins
  • Card Suits
  • Known Cards
  • The Moon

THE CRIMSON ONES

  • The Red Moon
  • Ritual of the Seven
  • Demonic Flesh

UNSORTED TEXTS

 

Sunday, January 3, 2021

MMXXI - Pain progress report

 


Wow... three posts in 2020...

This time I decided to give up on any RPG-related plans. I just try to do my part of work but without any promises to anyone - even myself.

BUT I think there is one thing I could share with you - progress I made with designing Pain since my last post.

You know me - bullet point list incoming!

  • I'm currently revising everything I wrote so far - condensed text fits into 27 A4-sized pages. And I rather remove stuff than add new. I simply rip out anything I'm not entirely satisfied with. This should help with, well, finishing it!
  • Yup, only twenty seven pages. But when divided into chapters and fit into B5 format (which will be the final one - or at least I think so) they already take 77 pages. And that's without even touching game mechanics.
  • Moreover - many entries must be expanded. Some really important figures and places are only described in 2-3 sentences. But for now I hit the wall and my brain is empty. So I focus on other aspects of the design.
  • No artwork touched so far, except the first attempts to design a logo. I posted some initial doodles on my Instagram.
  • I often switch methods of designing new stuff - sometimes I write only on Google Docs, sometimes I use pen and paper. The latter works especially well with revisions - but geez, applying the changes to the GDocs is PITA! But there is no way around - I tried a tablet but it was even worse than relying on a laptop! Good thing is that I borrowed one and had not spent any money on my own device.

I really hope that I will finish this game in MMXXI. But we all know how things are looking now. Still - expect no excuses for my laziness. If i drop it for several months due to me being too lazy - I will let you know haha.

Okay, I think it's enough for now. Still no promises - but I will TRY to post at least monthly updates on topic of this project. And it's more than sure that I will drop some less-important stuff on my IG (link above).

Stay tuned and be safe out there!

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