Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Few Updates

Still doing what I can on Adventures in Oz: Beyond the Deadly Desert, so I just have the time to post a couple of news bulletins.

Over at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, it's Teach Your Kids to Game Week. Not only is AiO at the top of the list (alphabetical order, of course), it's also on sale. Save 10% if you buy this week.

If you're anywhere near Jacksonville, North Carolina, don't forget to check out JaxCon this weekend. Oz author Ron Baxley Jr. will be there with illustrator Gwendolyn Tenille Adams to promote his book Cabbages, Kings and Even (Odd) Queens. He'll also come with not just one but TWO copies of Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road that he'll be giving away

And finally, the Kickstarter over to the side hasn't gotten any attention over the last week and is starting to think you don't love it. There are less than two weeks left to contribute.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Beyond the Deadly Desert Preview: The Wheelers

For everyone who lost sleep over these guys in Return to Oz, I give you a slightly more Ozzy (or Evian?) take on THE WHEELERS!


But she looked at each letter carefully, and finally discovered that these words were written in the sand:


"That's rather strange," declared the hen, when Dorothy had read aloudthe words. "What do you suppose the Wheelers are?"

-- Ozma of Oz

The Wheelers try very hard to give themselves a very fierce reputation. They write warnings in the beach sand of their territory. They frighten everyone they meet with fierce yelling. Their clothes are brightly colored and elaborate.

It's all a show. Since the Wheelers have wheels instead of hands and feet, they cannot use weapons or other tools. While they can move swiftly on even ground, their wheels falter on rocky or uneven terrain. They only control a small territory in the land of Ev. Occasionally, they venture into other parts of the country, but their bullying nature makes them unwelcome guests.


A Revealing Question About Clothing

The simplest question is perhaps the one that could reveal the most about the Wheelers: How do they get dressed in the morning? Do they have servants or slaves of another race within their territory? Are they dressed by their mothers, who have developed hands or simply improved dexterity in their age? Or are they dressed by magic? Do they have magical clothes that go on by themselves, or a spell that every Wheeler learns to cast?

Their single appearance in the stories give us no answers to this question. Enterprising Narrators could come up with their own answer which could lead to any number of adventures.

[End Box-Out]

Wheeler Characters

The main thing to remember about building a Wheeler is their lack of arms. They should be required to take the No Arms trait. Playing up the bully aspect of a Wheeler would call for a high Presence skill, but low Wits. A Wheeler might choose to take a specialty in “wheeled speed”.

The Wheelers are unlikely to have Soldiers or Sorcerers, or else they would be taken more seriously by their neighbors.

Remember, if you want to see this book completed, please give to the Kickstarter. If I get the full amount, you can get access to Adventures in Oz: Beyond the Deadly Desert before anyone else. If not, you lose absolutely nothing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cast an Ozzy Spell: If It's Not One Thing, It's Another

Any game designer will tell you that coming up with rules for magic is one of the toughest parts of the process. And making those rules fit the mold established by an existing work is even tougher.

One part of the rules I've never been fully happy with is Transmutation, the magical practice of transforming objects. In the book, I use a 1-5 scale to estimate the severity of change with few real guidelines. But I haven't had anything better to go on. Until now.

My current idea rates a transmutation on four points: Form, Function, Size, and Substance. Whenever a transmutation would change one of those things, the Power of the spell goes up by 1. If a category is severely altered, the Power can go up by 2. Let's run a few examples to illustrate.

Hanky Camp: This spell will transform 3 handkerchiefs into tents to allow a group of travelers to camp comfortably. From hanky to tent is a definite change to Form (1) and Function (1), as well as a severe change to Size (2). Substance is still very much the same, as both hankies and tents are made of fabric. Power 4

Mrs. Yoop's Breakfast: To start her day, Mrs. Yoop transmutes a pot of water into coffee. Form, Function, and Size are not significantly affected by the change. The main factor to change is Substance, making this only a Power 1 effect. Her “Rocks into Fishballs” spell is similarly a simple change in Substance, with the other factors staying significantly the same.

Try this rule out and let me know how it works for you.

Also, keep those contributions coming on the Kickstarter. According to that little widget over on the right, I'm only 3% funded and I have only 27 days to get the rest. And remember, according to the Kickstarter rules, if I don't get everything, I get nothing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Swift Kick In The Pants!

A lot of people know November as NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. While I may indeed have a novel in me, there's something else that I know you want more: Adventures in Oz: Beyond the Deadly Desert.

But publishing an RPG book isn't just a matter of writing it. Art, editing, layout and a number of other things are important as well. But all of those things cost money, and I don't have a whole heck of a lot of that. Sales aren't terribly strong in my little niche of a niche, so my motivation to complete the project has somewhat wavered.

Then I discovered Kickstarter. Rather than having to take out loans or owe my soul to family members, I can simply plead for the money I need in front of the entire Internet. My goal is to raise $3000 over the next 30 days. (Link Here:

There are a couple of particularly nifty things about Kickstarter. For one, if I don't make my entire amount, nobody pays anything. For another, creators are encouraged to offer prizes to their contributors. And I am. Smaller contributions will receive digital copies, while larger contributions will receive print copies. Some contributors can even receive a special thank-you in the book itself!

Hopefully, with these two powerful motivators, NaNoWriMo and Kickstarter, I can get Beyond the Deadly Desert into the hot little hands of my voracious fans.
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