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eraofthefallen
06-23-2009, 02:58 PM
A new FRPG called 'Codename: Era of the Fallen' is now seeking playtesters. It emphasizes narrative storytelling, allowing for deeply immersive roleplaying, and encourages a different sort of play style centered around: character development, mature themes, ethical dilemmas, etc.

Codename: Era of the Fallen has THE most realistic combat system ever devised, which has been culled from the author’s extensive knowledge of the topic and subjected to careful tuning to establish just the right balance between detail and simplicity. Dice based combat is fast paced, intuitive enough to be easily understood, and quickly results in a decisive outcome. Just like real combat. Emphasis is placed on thinking through things instead of blindly rolling dice. The combat system is extremely flexible to suit many styles and preferences: from strict dice rules, to diceless, to a hybrid between the two.

Codename: Era of the Fallen also includes an expansive, incredibly intricate system of magic, which gives the player several well defined paths to choose from, and the ability to strike out in new directions, offering complete control over the development of the character’s powers. Through increasing specialization in one of 15 fields of magical study, the character gradually masters a subset of the primal powers which govern all things. A rich history rewards exploration with something new to be discovered and mastered at every turn. The numbers of ways in which the branches of magic can be combined and recombined is nearly limitless.

Codename: Era of the Fallen also has a lavishly detailed world for players to explore with a comprehensive and coherent cosmogony. It is a world of many secrets which allows for infinite expansion and encourages the players to become co-creators of their own worlds within worlds. It offers the opportunity for players to have a wide variety of possible experiences and guide their character down a path of their own choosing, light or dark within the narrative the Game Master creates as backdrop to character evolution.

More information and a stripped down version of the rules are available at: www.eraofthefallen.com (http://www.eraofthefallen.com)

trechriron
06-23-2009, 07:11 PM
I took a brief gander at the quick start rules.

How does damage work? I was confused by that.

Also, my standard diatribe I ask all game designers, especially those who produce fantasy games...

How is this game different than other fantasy games? How is it better?

If compared to D&D? Different? Better?

What do the characters do? What do you see adventures focused on in your setting?

You have made some big claims in your brief. Some tall orders indeed.

Can you elaborate more on the magic system? I saw a section of spells but I did not see the other stuff spoken of above.

Thanks!

p.s. - Welcome to the forums!

p.s.s. - The map is nifty! Classic feel, very well done!

eraofthefallen
06-26-2009, 07:37 PM
I took a brief gander at the quick start rules.

How does damage work? I was confused by that.


It's just your basic roll d6/d8/d10 whatever is listed for the weapon + your strength bonus. Not too different from other RPGs.



Also, my standard diatribe I ask all game designers, especially those who produce fantasy games...

How is this game different than other fantasy games? How is it better?


This is from the quick start guide on the website, I think it answers this questions nicely.

"For experienced RPG gamers, here is a brief summary of the core game mechanics and key differences with other RPGs.

Character Driven – You are not limited by a bunch of arbitrary rules based on notions of “game balance” when creating a character. You have creative control to express your character concept without having to rules haggle or sacrifice some elements to gain others.

Real Wounds – It is possible to die from a single well placed blow, regardless of how many HP you have. There are no unstoppable tanks, and there is real danger built in to every combat encounter.

Storytelling Focused – The emphasis is on telling a really great story without letting arbitrary dice rolls interfere or sabotage that. Game rules may be flexed for the sake of overall game play and narrative flow.

Choose Your Battles – Combat is based around a system of “Modifiers” or conditions which either favor you or the opponent. Engaging in combat when conditions are unfavorable, say you are sick or wounded, is very risky. Like real combat, you have to know when to run and fight another day when the odds are more in your favor.

Power With a Price – Magic contains incredible power, but such power is neither easy to obtain, nor quick to use. Spellcasting in combat is nearly impossible. You have to either plan ahead, get some distance, or use “on-demand” innate magical powers which are faster but weaker.

Simple Rules – the rules are designed to be intuitive and easy to grasp. Most of them are based on “Common Sense”. If you’ve spent a couple decades living, then you probably already have a good grasp on the basics. Like if you want to learn a certain skill, you just track down somebody with that skill and ask them to teach you. No fussing around with skill points and class based limitations.

Narrative Combat – Combat is storytelling just like any other scene in game play. The dice rolls (when used) are there simply to create a framework on which the GM layers specific details of what happens.

Choose Your School – There are several styles of combat taught in different schools which emphasize certain weapons and Combat Maneuvers. Likewise, magic is dominated by the Orders, or specialty schools that focus on a particular branch of magic. There is nothing forcing you to specialize, but with specialization comes increased effectiveness.

Brains Not Brawns – Like real combat, the key to winning is strategy and planning ahead. Outthinking an opponent will more often lead to victory than simply out fighting him.

Real Magic – Magic is not just about winning battles. There are lots of prosaic (but lucrative) uses for spells besides combat. Magic is used to create buildings and art, communicate over vast distances, and transport goods, etc. Wizards are well respected and well paid professionals, not crazy old men in funny hats.

Wide Open – The game world is mapped and defined just well enough to get a sense of it as a real place populated by real people. But there is plenty of unexplored territory left for you to fill in with your own races and empires and personal history."



If compared to D&D? Different? Better?


Without going on a rant about all the things I don't like about D&D, there are 2 big things that stand out in my mind. Combat in D&D, whatever edition, is seriously flawed. Take armor class for example, wearing more and heavier armor makes you harder to hit? That's backwards, armor makes you easier to hit but harder to damage. If you have some good armor you can just stand around on a battlefield all day yawning while surrounded by enemies who can't hit you. Real life doesn't work that way. Then there's the problem with HPs and how high level characters have so many they can take hit after hit and not go down. I've never seen anyone, not even the most badass, take a full hit from a battleaxe and not go down, armor or no. It leads to cocky players strutting into combat situations without bothering to think through the consequenses, not to mention monster bashing and power gaming galore.

The other big thing I hate is how D&D makes you roll every time your PC uses any skill. It's a big waste of time and a distraction from actually roleplaying because you have to break character to deal with dice every 5 minutes. And as a DM, who wants the dice to dictate whether your players wheedle that all important clue out of an NPC or get into that locked room? It makes much more sense to me for the DM to simply make on the spot decisions based on how much skill a PC has and whether it affects the plot.



What do the characters do? What do you see adventures focused on in your setting?


That's entirely up to the GM, but I try to give them a lot of room to operate in. One of my big complaints with other RPGs, is that if you want to play an "evil" (or just onery) character, you are stuck in this stereotypical one dimensional world totally lacking any depth. Things are just too black & white. My game world is less polarized. There is no real good and evil, just different perspectives and motivations. The "gods" were responsible for the greatest cataclysm ever to befall the world, yet most of the time they are helpful and benign. Not all necromancers are bad people or are power mad, some just have an affinity for the dead. etc



You have made some big claims in your brief. Some tall orders indeed.


;) I think I can back those up.



Can you elaborate more on the magic system? I saw a section of spells but I did not see the other stuff spoken of above.


Again that is seriously trimmed down. Only 5 out of 15 classes of magic are represented and of those only the most common spells are listed.

Thanks!




p.s. - Welcome to the forums!

p.s.s. - The map is nifty! Classic feel, very well done!

Thanks. :) I've actually done an even better map I'm using for a campaign. I hope to be running it at Origins next year.

trechriron
06-27-2009, 05:05 PM
So would you say you are looking to get combat closer to "realistic" as possible?

D&D is not trying to emulate realistic combat. It Never was. It is a game and the current edition does a great job of just stating that.

I will take a deeper look at it today.

EDIT: I assume you are wanting to publish this?

Are you a member of any organizations regarding RPG publishing? Forums?

eraofthefallen
06-29-2009, 05:07 PM
So would you say you are looking to get combat closer to "realistic" as possible?


Not quite. My goal is to make combat as realistic as possible, without disrupting game play. There is a trade off between realism, which requires detail, and the ease of use. Overly complicated and burdensome rules can really kill the fun.



D&D is not trying to emulate realistic combat. It Never was. It is a game and the current edition does a great job of just stating that.


That's a weakness in my opinion. As I mentioned before, it encourages bad behavior and it breaks the overall realism. The best works of fiction, movies and books, among which RPG gaming belongs IMO, adhere to scrupulous realism standards. Seeing a character in a noir detective film set in the 30's sporting a mullet kills the suspension of disbelief required to really get into the film. In an RPG, sneaking up on an unsuspecting and unarmored (but high level) NPC and stabbing him in the back, only to have him turn around and laugh does the same thing (unless there's some sorcerous reason he should have survived beyond having high HPs).




EDIT: I assume you are wanting to publish this?


Of course. This is the testing phase where I get feedback from players about which rules are confusing or interfering and any loopholes I didn't think about in the design.



Are you a member of any organizations regarding RPG publishing? Forums?

Not particularly. I have accounts on some other sites, indie-rpg, rpg.net, etc. Do you have some suggestions?

trechriron
06-29-2009, 11:23 PM
Yes. I found the GPA (http://www.thegpa.org/) (Game Publishers Association) to be indispensable when I researched the business. They are a top notch group of fellow publishers that help out new publishers and each other. A highly recommend you check them out!

Also, I would recommend you polish up the "why I made this game" and "why I am different than D&D" responses. One of the hardest parts of this biz is balancing on the thin line between selling your product and demeaning another. It's different when you're just a customer. As a publisher you want to avoid negative comments about other publisher's products. IMHO of course, but I think it's a good idea to think of some positive responses that help highlight the strengths of your game, how it plays differently than other popular fantasy games, while avoiding any judgments on your part. :cool:

It will help your image AND help potential customers gauge if they want to get into your game or not.

I am still taking a gander at this, real life got in the way.

Also, consider using the advertising sections of RPG.net, indie-rpg, GPA to create "official" play-test groups. Offer a free book to each player or what not. Some structured organized feedback will be better than random read throughs. :biggrin:

Just my two cents... :biggrin:

eraofthefallen
07-01-2009, 10:14 PM
Yes. I found the GPA (http://www.thegpa.org/) (Game Publishers Association) to be indispensable when I researched the business. They are a top notch group of fellow publishers that help out new publishers and each other. A highly recommend you check them out!


Thanks, I'll check into that.



Also, consider using the advertising sections of RPG.net, indie-rpg, GPA to create "official" play-test groups. Offer a free book to each player or what not. Some structured organized feedback will be better than random read throughs. :biggrin:


Right, that what the original announcement was about. I'm looking for playtesters who will give me feedback on the game. I've posted a similar announcement in other groups.

korhal23
07-01-2009, 10:48 PM
Actually, armor making you harder to hit makes sense. If you're wearing heavy platemail, the reason it's effective at all is that when you do get hit, it's supposed to deflect the blow. The way that I've always played d20 games is to take your base AC, and then add armor to it. If an attack would've hit you without your armor on, but it misses with your armor bonus, then the attack bounced off the armor. Also, I use the same theory for cover... if the bonus you receive from cover is what saves you, then the attack hits the cover. In a game with guns and bulletproof vests however, you're exactly right, armor reduces damage, and doesn't make you any harder to hit.

I'm interested in looking into your game, though, for sure (the part about armor as a complaint against D&D stuck out to me as odd is all). Always fun to read a new system. Reason being mainly that the RPG I'm writing is the total opposite kind of world where magic is commonplace to the point where almost everyone in the world knows some form of magic.

eraofthefallen
07-06-2009, 10:15 PM
Actually, armor making you harder to hit makes sense. If you're wearing heavy platemail, the reason it's effective at all is that when you do get hit, it's supposed to deflect the blow. The way that I've always played d20 games is to take your base AC, and then add armor to it. If an attack would've hit you without your armor on, but it misses with your armor bonus, then the attack bounced off the armor. Also, I use the same theory for cover... if the bonus you receive from cover is what saves you, then the attack hits the cover. In a game with guns and bulletproof vests however, you're exactly right, armor reduces damage, and doesn't make you any harder to hit.

I would consider any blow which makes contact to be a hit, regardless of whether it is deflected or not. And FYI, the only armor that I'm aware of that deflects blows is certain types of articulated full plate. These are designed with a profound understanding of geometry and use precisely placed curves, ridges, and angles to redirect the force of blows much in the same way a stealth jet redirects radar waves. Any other armor will not appreciably deflect anything. Try whacking the metal skin of a car sometime and see how well it deflects blows and you'll see my point.



I'm interested in looking into your game, though, for sure (the part about armor as a complaint against D&D stuck out to me as odd is all). Always fun to read a new system. Reason being mainly that the RPG I'm writing is the total opposite kind of world where magic is commonplace to the point where almost everyone in the world knows some form of magic.

By all means have a look see and find out if it is something you might like to play.

korhal23
07-07-2009, 05:16 PM
Well like I've said before, D&D abstracts the combat, and just doesn't care whether you were missed, or if you were hit but took no damage. I'm looking a bit more into your game, and I have a pretty good first impression. The reason I was interested is the RPG I'm designing is so opposite for magic... magic is everywhere, and understood to a degree by everyone, almost like math in a sense.... some people are better at it, some people are WAY better at it, but everyone can do some simple math. In my world, everyone knows some magic, and it's incorporated even into martial fighting styles, but some people are still mages in the truest sense and far superior.

Harwel
07-08-2009, 11:22 AM
Curious as to why you've eschewed standard dice notation in your quick start rules. Your dice notation is somewhat harder for me to read. Why "2 x 20d + 1" instead of the traditional 2d20+1? In one of your examples you write "6d-1", as a gamer of 30 years I look at that and my gamer brain says "ummm, 6 dice with HOW MANY sides?" :lol:

I honestly don't have much more critique than that, because I decided it wasn't for me when I read this passage:


You are not limited by a bunch of arbitrary rules based on notions of "game balance" when you create a character.

Maybe it's silly, but that completely put me off.

eraofthefallen
07-11-2009, 04:04 PM
Curious as to why you've eschewed standard dice notation in your quick start rules. Your dice notation is somewhat harder for me to read. Why "2 x 20d + 1" instead of the traditional 2d20+1? In one of your examples you write "6d-1", as a gamer of 30 years I look at that and my gamer brain says "ummm, 6 dice with HOW MANY sides?" :lol:

There wasn't any sort of decision to eschew "standard dice notation". That's just the notation I've been using for some 20 odd years and it makes sense to me. I wasn't aware there was any real standard for such things. All the games I've looked at have thier own unique dice notations. Maybe you're thinking of d20 as the "standard"? FYI - for me 6D-1 means roll a 6D and subtract one.

cliff
07-11-2009, 06:54 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Harwel on this one. If you haven't noticed a standard dice notation in gaming, then you haven't been playing games. The standard has been:

QdN+M

where:

Q = Quantity of Dice
N = Number of Sides
M = Modifier to Roll

Every game I've played has used a similar notation, some of them even going so far as to not bother explaining what it means... and I play a lot more games than just the d20 games.

You say every game you've looked at has their own unique dice notations, I'm really curious - what games are you talking about?

ronpyatt
07-12-2009, 12:33 AM
From what I've read this game looks interesting. The setting looks like it will easily fulfill your goal of creating great stories. I may be reading into this incorrectly, but I may have found in the Quick Start Guide what appears to be some contrary focal points.


You have creative control to express your character concept without having to rules haggle or sacrifice some elements to gain others.
You are highly encouraged to give your character a deep personality and a rich life history.Excellent ways to approach freedom in character design.

But then these statements...
Wizards are well respected and well paid professionals, not crazy old men in funny hats.
you can’t learn magic after the age of 8 yearsWhich appears to put rules restrictions upon characters ability to learn or discover magic later in life and removes the possibility of some becoming a crazy old wizards. These restrictions are fine, and I think they'll work very well in the game, but they don't seem to agree with the creative control expressed in the first quotes.

korhal23
07-12-2009, 12:46 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Harwel on this one. If you haven't noticed a standard dice notation in gaming, then you haven't been playing games. The standard has been:

QdN+M

where:

Q = Quantity of Dice
N = Number of Sides
M = Modifier to Roll

Every game I've played has used a similar notation, some of them even going so far as to not bother explaining what it means... and I play a lot more games than just the d20 games.

You say every game you've looked at has their own unique dice notations, I'm really curious - what games are you talking about?

This. In fact, I can't think of a game I've ever seen that writes it any other way.

eraofthefallen
07-12-2009, 10:51 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Harwel on this one. If you haven't noticed a standard dice notation in gaming, then you haven't been playing games. The standard has been:

QdN+M

where:

Q = Quantity of Dice
N = Number of Sides
M = Modifier to Roll


Wow, you guys are really hung up on this. I'm surprised it is such a big deal. Ok, so the way I notate is QxNd+M almost exactly the same only with the x and d and N switched. Again, it's just the way I've done things for some time now, but I'll take the massive negative reaction as feedback that it is confusing for others.



Every game I've played has used a similar notation, some of them even going so far as to not bother explaining what it means... and I play a lot more games than just the d20 games.

You say every game you've looked at has their own unique dice notations, I'm really curious - what games are you talking about?

Sorry, I have my books all packed up since I'm in the process of moving, but I seem to recall Riddle of Steel had an unusual dice notation system as well. And I'm thinking Chronicles of Amber too maybe.
--- Merged from Double Post ---

From what I've read this game looks interesting. The setting looks like it will easily fulfill your goal of creating great stories. I may be reading into this incorrectly, but I may have found in the Quick Start Guide what appears to be some contrary focal points.

Excellent ways to approach freedom in character design.

But then these statements...Which appears to put rules restrictions upon characters ability to learn or discover magic later in life and removes the possibility of some becoming a crazy old wizards. These restrictions are fine, and I think they'll work very well in the game, but they don't seem to agree with the creative control expressed in the first quotes.

I can certainly see your point and appreciate the question. The way I see it, it is not an arbitrary rules decision, like if I were to decide as a game designer that magic is too powerful and must be kept out of the hands of warriors. Rather the rule is more of what I think of as game world physics, like the unspoken rules about matter and gravity and so forth.

Certain things in the brain are hardwired. Neuro-linguistic skills for example. There is a window of opportunity in the developing brain for the acquisition of a language. This happens very early in life while the brain is still in a plastic state. Young children between the ages of 6 and 8 are quite adept at picking up language, but this ability rapidly falls off as the language governing areas of the brain become less malleable with further age. There are a number of skills which are the same way.

Since magic is linguistic in nature, it made the most sense for it to be acquired in the same fashion. BTW - children who do not learn language during this "window" find it nearly impossible to do so later in life. So to put this into game terms, if your PC really, really wants to learn magic later in life AND can convince a school to teach, then it could be done with a very significant penalty. Imagine trying to learn Mandarin after a lifetime of speaking English, with the kicker that if you have the slightest lisp or accent it can cause things to explode! :D

Oh, and the bit about men in funny hats was just a way to contrast my take on magic with the stereotypes. There is nothing stopping you from being exactly that if you want! In fact, there are a rare few in my game world. The Magic Mages come to mind. Armchair theorizers and practitioners of a "meta-magic", quite kooky the whole lot!

cliff
07-13-2009, 02:22 PM
Wow, you guys are really hung up on this. I'm surprised it is such a big deal.

Yeah, us gamers are weird that way. heh



Sorry, I have my books all packed up since I'm in the process of moving, but I seem to recall Riddle of Steel had an unusual dice notation system as well. And I'm thinking Chronicles of Amber too maybe.

Not familiar with Riddle of Steel, but isn't Amber diceless?