Nuclear Beasts Blog
Monday, April 26, 2004
Alternate Blog
I'm experimenting with MovableType, a more sophisticated but complicated piece of blogging software. I'm trying to switch my blogs over to it; we'll see how it goes.

So far I've moved Nuclear Beasts and the Game Rules over to the new system.

I probably won't be updating this one anymore, unless I run into problems with the new version.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Feng Shui Style Initiative
One thought to balance out different types of weapons and attacks is to use a Feng Shui style initiative system. It would probably work a bit like this...

First, everyone's initiative for the turn is determined by a Speed & Perception +12 roll, generally giving a result from 13 to 24. This means that the very fastest characters are almost but not quite twice as fast as those who roll the worst.

The GM counts down the initiative. When their number comes up, each character gets to perform an action, which reduces their initiative by 1 or more points. Then the GM continues counting down. Every time that he gets to your current initiative number, you can go again. The count stops at 1; after that, everyone rerolls and we start again.

The typical action takes 5 phases to complete. Swinging a really big weapon or doing something complicated could take more... really fast actions like pulling a trigger or attacking with a small weapon take less time. Very few things take less than 2 points... it's just too gross if a really fast character gets to do 5-10 things before slower characters get to act at all.

If you get attacked, you can dodge or parry, but defending yourself takes up 2 phases... sometimes there will just be too many foes or too little time for you to do anything else. Don't worry, you can still defend even if your initiative goes below 1... you just won't get to do anything else that round.

Some Edges could adjust these numbers... like giving a +2 to your Initiative or reducing the time required to perform a specific action by 1 or 2 phases.

Hm. I really don't know if I'd like this in practice or not. It's certainly more realistic than having everyone take 1 turn, but it's not as simple... folks have to keep track of their current initiative and those who roll well might get to take 2 or even 3 actions before anyone else goes. The typical person would get 3-4 actions, so getting 6-7 isn't too bad. The numbers could, of course, be tweaked.
Monday, April 19, 2004
Exterminators vs Sentinels
I'm thinking that I may need to change the names a bit, to better reflect how Beasts would see things.

The term "Exterminators" should refer only to those robots that hunt and kill Beasts, regardless of whether they are modern or ancient. War robots that ignore Beasts unless attacked or approached too closely should be called Golems (if they move around and do stuff) or Sentinels (if they mostly stay in one spot).

Thus, there are a few ancient Exterminators, but most of the ancient war machines would be considered Sentinels. I had originally assumed that they'd all kill Beasts on sight, but in retrospect I'm not sure that's a good idea. Any level of realism would mean that an ancient war machine with any working weapons would easily blow through any defenses that Beasts could muster... we're talking about stuff that makes an M1 Abrams look like an ancient hunk of junk. True, they might be a lot weaker due to wear and tear over the years, but really... you don't want enemies in the setting whose reaction to spotting Beasts is to fire a tacnuke at them.

I'd like for Beasts to be able to actually fight Exterminators, sometimes. So I probably want more of the ancient war machines to be Sentinel-types... they're watching for enemy armor and aircraft and they never find them. It's the "modern" machines that are murderous nightmares... built for the sole purpose of inflicting pain and death on anything capable of understanding it.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Jabberwock & Sentinel
Yeah, if I'm going to use "classical" monster names for weird mutant monsters, then there should definitely be a Jabberwock. Probably some sort of mutated or surgically altered Kukukuk or just a unique critter presumably created by an insane bioforge A.I..

Another good idea is to name a MANTID-style Exterminator "the Sentinel". This is because the robot spends all of its time scanning the sky and only turns its weapons on Beasts if they attack it or approach too closely. It has been known to destroy the mechanical horrors created in modern times if they pass too close.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Well, it's about time to get this back on track. The move is complete, a good portion of our stuff has been put away, and the only really major unpacking still to be done involves stuff that we don't really need, anyway. We still need to do our taxes, of course, but I'm hopeful that will be finished tonight.

So it's a matter of setting priorities and trying to get stuff done. There are several things I can work on, like:It would be good if I could get back into the "one entry per night" habit, but now it should be "do at least one useful thing for the project". The Blog itself shouldn't be the goal... working on a drawing would be fine, too.

I'm not sure if I should bother recording my progress online or not. I'll probably just add periodic progress reports here. Adding a bunch of "did some drawing" entries would be a waste of time. I'll just record major goals as they hit completion and write up various setting ideas here. So the Blog should still be of use, I just won't be updating it as often. I may go back and edit out some of the "junk" entries too, but I'm kind of reluctant... there's something to be said for not whitewashing history and all that.
Sunday, March 28, 2004
Ant Sutures
A cute bit from real-world primitive cultures... there are some ants in Africa that were used to suture wounds. Basically, you'd grab a soldier ant (one of the big, African ants about an inch long) and direct it to bite a pinched-together wound, pulling it tight.

Then you twist the ant's head off. The jaws will stay locked, holding the wound closed. The article I read implied that the jaws of the ant even caused some additional swelling, which helped keep the wound closed.

"Bullet" ants may well make it into Nuclear Beasts. They're large, tough and have a remarkably painful bite... the sort that's been known to cause folks to pass out from the pain.
Friday, March 26, 2004
Huge Move - No entry
No entries for awhile. We're finishing off the big move.

In fact, I'm going to try and break the "one entry a night" habit. It's not bad if I leave gaps... in fact, it's probably better than what I've been doing, which is leaving crappy, off-topic random commentary or fragmentary posts just to fill in for a day.

The blog needs to be a design aid, and I'm still working out what ways it works best.

My current goal is to lay off of entries until after we get moved in. Then I'll see about finishing off the Rules Blog instead of expanding this one.

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