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Thornwatch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Last night I ran another Thornwatch play test. This time we worked on how deck advancement will function as well as testing out some new mechanics for skill test resolution.



Yes I know my cards are full of typos but cut me some slack. I’m making hundreds of these cards and this is still an alpha.



So Each character starts out with a 30 card deck. The idea is that as you adventure you can modify your deck by adding cards to it or replacing the ones you have.The max size of a deck is 60 cards but you don’t have to build it out that much if you don’t want to. In my game enemies deal wound cards that get shuffled into your deck. As you draw into them they go into your hand and since you can’t discard them they begin to build up. Each character has a number of wound cards they can have in their hand before they die. So adding cards to your deck has the advantage of making you less susceptible to wounds. The downside obviously is that with more cards in your deck you might not always draw into exactly what you want.

The idea is that someone like a warrior might choose to add cards to his deck giving him a wide selection of attacks and powers while also essentially increasing his “HP”. On the other hand a wizard might choose to keep his deck around 30 or 40 cards and simply focus on the spells he likes. He will be more likely to draw what he wants but also more vulnerable to wounds.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Coming Aparkalypse
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We have referenced Linkin Park once before, in another strip, which resulted in the kind of hurt one typically associates with the butt. “LP” is like a test strip for age; I can put it in my mouth, take it out, compare it to the color chart, and it will say “YOU ARE TOO OLD.” I was starting to think I had reclaimed some measure of my former vigor, in accordance with theory that age can fluctuate as it pertains to cultural product, but then I saw a sign someone had stapled to a telephone pole and the urge to tear it down was overwhelming. “Nope,” I said. “Still old.”
There is always a point in a song from The L to the P where I want to hurt one of the people making those sounds. I wouldn’t be able to pull that off, obviously. Look at them in the video; they are clearly wererats. It typically has something to do with this awful mephit they have what does their singin’. I don’t know what elemental plane he hails from, or what ritual is required to summon him - which of his dark appetites must be appealed to. Vis a vis Age, there is always the suspicion that a young man might be a wastrel, and one’s wastrel-guage is ever ready to make firm these doubts. We learned that there was a Linkin Park related “opportunity” to be had as regards Medal Of Honor: Warfighter, and locked the strip on its coordinates.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Coming Aparkalypse
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Iconoclast
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Iconoclast
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
People used to ask me what I liked about Donkey Konga, what was so great about it, which made me scrunch up my face. This is a game where you beat bongos with your friends; it needs to justification. It justifies itself. Fuck off.

Well, Borderlands 2 is a game where you play bongos on enemy faces, at range, with firearms. You and friends can even shoot the same face. When the face has been completely, um… played, treasure comes out. Again, you know, I didn’t know we had to convene the Council of Elrond on this shit. That all sounds pretty good.
I was in the room when Kiko came in, paused meaningfully, and said he wasn’t sure if Borderlands 2 was a very good game. Gabriel released a breath that I assume he’d been holding in since we played Tuesday night. He finds the guns and gunplay itself mushy. I thought for sure they’d like the spacecamp art, but Kiko talked a lot about enemies and palettes and the illegibility these things conspired to create. Neither had nice things to say about a quest system where you have to be “on” that specific quest to progress it. Come to think of it, neither had much nice to say at all.
Gabriel actually said there was too much loot, which took me several seconds to process. I asked him why it was a problem this time, when it had apparently been fine in Diablo III. He thought maybe it wasn’t okay in Diablo, either: after all, Diablo didn’t exactly stick. Several hours later, while he was drawing the strip, he paused his music because he’d figured part of it out. Here is me trying to paraphrase it:
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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OPC
Posted by News Fetcher on September 19 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel’s Guild Wars account was hacked with all speed, shortly after it had begun to germinate mentally. He received a mail that said someone - “hopefully you!” - had made a password change request. Spoiler warning, obviously! It wasn’t.

These games build their dependence giving you a little drip of sugar at a time, and the account was stolen right in the middle of the most reliable phase of absorption; someone else was playing the character when the game cracks open at about level 10 and light starts to shoot out of it. They levelled up a couple weapons, did nice things for people. People steal accounts to use as rebroadcasters for their lucrative Golds, but this was more like, I don’t know. Joyriding? I guess? All the bags got emptied, and the character is no worse for wear, but it’s just… weird somehow.

I have played it every spare moment I have, and I’m only level eighteen - I have no idea how reviewers got as far as they did, or what wedge of the game they managed to experience when they got there. I’m not saying that they’re bad people or that they didn’t do it, I’m just impressed. There are so many “games” present here, and you can choose one and play that to the exclusion of the others, in a game that will never be finished.
I like to make combos, that’s the only thing I can say with certainty. I love to play it, but I’m not anywhere near forming an opinion, and with Borderlands, Torchlight, and a renewed interest in League of Legends here to suck the air out, Guild Wars 2 seems destined to be a largely private affair.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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OPC
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Yeah!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
There has been a slight rebranding. Now you play as a powerful Thronguard from the Thronmarch.

-Gabe out

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Thronwatch?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Are you changing the IP?

(CW)TB

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Thornwatch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I had a major play test last Friday for my Thornwatch game. It was the first time I tried to run a full adventure rather than just testing combat mechanics. If you’re working on a game of your own I cannot stress enough just how important it is to get it in front of other people. Watching how my friends played it showed me right away what parts were working and what parts needed help.

The Thornwatch setting is designed to provide quick focused adventures similar to a television episode. They start with the Thornwatch group being summoned by someone in need. On Friday the night began with the following:

The Forest has alerted you to a call of distress. You move swiftly and silently through the Eyrewood, letting it guide you to your destination. When you arrive the scene is not a surprise to you.

You see a white barked Birch tree striped with black bands. The Birch Tree being the Symbol of Long honored traditions is the first part of the spell that brought you here. The second part is wrapped around the tree’s trunk. A wreath of thorns has been tied there in the fashion described by the old poems.The barbed wreath symbolising pain and sacrifice completes the spell and draws the Thornwatch (and binds them to the task). This wreath is tied in a Crow’s Loop knot telling you something needs guarding.

Huddled at the base of the tree cradling his bloody hands in his lap is a dirty middle aged man in filthy farmers coveralls. He is sobbing quietly and has not noticed your arrival.


Besides injecting some RP into the night I also added a new fifth class and tried some new mechanics that allowed players to help each other by augmenting each other’s attacks. So it was a big test for the game and it went great.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Adjudicator
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Torch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 14 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There’s lots to like, or not like, or to think and talk about as regards the onslaught of Wii U data. I happen to believe Wired’s Chris Kohler does it best; he’s got a psychic investment but it doesn’t cloud his analysis. The price is a concern at the individual level and also at the meta/tactical level, but if - like Gabriel - you saw your son gleam in the presence of the device, you might feel compelled to see that glow again.
FTL: Faster Than Light is out today, one of the first big gaming Kickstarters to bear fruit, and it’s a fruit I can’t stop biting. The best part is that it’s always reforming itself post-bite into some other fruit, and then I can bite that one. They have created a spacefaring meta-meal.
You just wanna tousle their hair. You know? That’s probably not okay to do. But this post is me grinning at them, a big one with only the barest hint of teeth, and essentially being like, “You did it. You said you would, you took money in, and you catalyzed it somehow into this space captain real-time boardgame thing. And it works, somehow. You beautiful bastards, it actually works.”
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Torch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 13 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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It’s not called c4rd warri0rz anymore
Posted by News Fetcher on September 13 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
So I posted some information about my tabletop game earlier this week. I got a ton of great responses and I really appreciate that so many of you think it sounds interesting. I’ve got a lot more mechanics than I posted about and I’ll be sharing those with you a little bit later. right now I wanted to address one of the big questions I got.

“An RPG needs a world and a story, what is yours?”

Well I’ve decided to set this game in the Eyrewood. Tycho and I have talked about the Lookouts and even the Daughters but this is an entirely new group. So just like I’m showing you the process of creating the mechanics, I’m also going to bring you in as I start building out the world.

So who is this new group in the Eyrewood and what are they like?

As the young Lookouts are so fond of singing “The Eyrewood stretches top to toe”. This is more true than even they know. The Eyrewood is a massive thing and the Lookouts can patrol only a tiny fraction of it. They watch their roads and guard their villages but they cannot be everywhere and truth be told, there are places in the Eyrewood that even a Lookout will not tread.

It might surprise you to learn that there are men who have left the Lookouts, or been forced to leave. Unsatisfied with its scope or critical of its rules, they are now outlaws and outcasts. They have walked away from their oaths and disappeared into the Eyrewood. There are many stories of these men and the hidden paths they walk. For those whom the Lookouts can not or will not help, these stories represent a last desperate hope. For it is said that if no one else can help you and you know the proper way to call them, they will come.

They are the THORNWATCH

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Forgive Me Father
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We came home from Sir Frederik of Meyers a couple years ago with a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Catshit and literally no way to lose.

We cannot lose in that scenario, not really, because if the game was as bad as everyone expected (it was worse) we would nest well in downy consensus. On the other hand if we found a game in there, somewhere, anywhere, then we’d have gotten some measure of our extortionate hundred and twenty dollar investment returned to us in the form of amusement.
The idea that (ahem) “NBA BALLER BEATS” might actually have a compelling experience written to any quadrant of the disc was inconceivable, we had no words for it in our language. Salting the kitty via social media</i> didn’t seem like an especially good indicator. We were like wry hyenas, ropes of lacy spit swinging off our lips, tearing into the package and gleefully wrasslin’ over its entrails. A basketball, yes. <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/09/12">How quaint.
We were able to maintain the heat beneath our rage kettle during the tutorial, where we both expressed precision disdain. It was about halfway through Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” that I realized that he was actually enjoying himself, and doing so in a wholly unauthorized way - a way that implied if not explicitly suggested that it was even possible to do so. He had deviated dangerously from the script.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Benevolence
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Like most sensate organisms, Gabriel didn’t know what he was supposed to think about the Wii U. Reasonable, perceptive creatures can’t be faulted for thinking that the enhanced controller was simply a peripheral, not terribly unlike the two fairly high concept peripherals they might already have been asked to purchase - one which is placed on the floor, of all places, and another that increases the resolution of the remote when used in space (?). The idea that a new controller would come out that has a teevee in there isn’t that weird.
Playing it at PAX sold it to him big, though, because the power of those asymmetric experiences is immense. His boy was there, and the young man was haunting his family ghost-style while everyone else scurried around in terror, and I can only imagine his face. We had lighter versions of this experience before - recall that, as the only people on earth who liked Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, we were receiving private correspondence from our parents, crafting, and all manner of things in a completely private way. But there’s so many ways to play with hidden information both competitively and cooperatively - it’s a staple of board and card games - that it’s easy to get excited about even the more obvious manifestations.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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C4rD //4rI0rZ (working title)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I ran my D&D group through a test of my new game on Saturday. I was nervous as hell but it went really well. It is a tabletop role playing game that attempts to express each class as a deck. I realize this is nothing new but none of the other games we’ve played have done it how I would do it. I figure there must be lots of people out there like me who want to make a game but just aren’t sure how to get started. I’m not a proffesional obviously but I’m having a lot of fun. I figure if I share my process maybe it will inspire some of you guys. I’m still ridiculously early in the development but here’s how I got started.

I knew I wanted to use decks for characters and so I started thinking about the WOW TCG. This is a game that my players and I loved, especially the raid deck mechanic. It was missing some stuff that we liked from D&D though. So I listed the things that I wished the WOW card game had:

-Character Progression

-Rules for adjudicating RP and Skill Challenge events

-Tactical grid based combat

-A more literal representation of the character as a deck

So with those ideas in mind I tried to imagine a card game that modeled the character as a deck of skills and powers. I started thinking about the Pokemon card game and began messing around with replacing the idea of “Energy” cards with “Skill” cards. So for example in Pokemon you might have a Fighting/Electric deck and in my game a Rogue would be a Strength/Dexterity deck.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Benevolence
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Cuspin’
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Now that PAX is over and I am still alive, I can look at all the shit is coming out and actually let it nest in my mind. I’ve been excited for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, and apparently it’s coming out in like ten days. Given the wide span between now and its original release, it seemed like a good time to stop and smell the technology.
Of course, Borderlands 2 comes out the same day; that seems pretty bad. I would not release a game on that day, if I could help it. Given the opportunity, I would release it on another day.
I was tantalized by SolForge at PAX, and it appears to have tantl’d Quarter To Three’s Tom Chick also. I honestly don’t know why this hasn’t hit its goal yet on Kickstarter, other than the fact that they’re trying to pitch something sorta high concept. That’s the only reason I can see for them not having met it, because this was one of the best demos on our showfloor. Gary Games has a very particular problem, something we are not unfamiliar with, in that they are essentially trying to Kickstart something free.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Card w4rriorz(working title)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '12 at 07:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
One of the things that came out of our Q&A panel at PAX this year was that I’m making my own tabletop game. Someone asked what exactly was in the sketchbook I didn’t want to show Tycho in this strip. I had not planned on talking about it for a while but the answer was notes for my tabletop RPG.

I’ve been a DM for about four years now and I feel very comfortable running games. One of my favorite things to do is cook up my own mechanics and rules for each of our sessions. It was very rare that my players would show up to the table and not find some new system I wanted to try out. I built all of these ideas on the foundation of D&D 4th edition but nearly every game started out with me saying “I want to try something and if it doesn’t work I’m sorry.”

Most of the time it worked though. Or if it didn’t work at the beginning of the night, with the help of my players we made it into something that did work. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much I liked coming up with my own game mechanics and so I started making notes for a game of my own. I started off by listing the games that me and my players loved. and then listing out the problems we had with each one of them. I set out to make a game that combined the things we loved and hopefully fixed the things we didn’t.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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