Saturday, February 27, 2010

Empire of the Domains mini-game

One of the things I miss from the early days of playing role-playing games is the sense that your hero was becoming important in the world. I don't mean just saving the world or traveling to other dimensions and slaying demi-gods. We played for the goal of your character eventually becoming "name level" and earning a castle and land to rule.

Another thing I enjoy is when your character can make a permanent change in the world. Once an evil tyrant was deposed that nation would be changed by the leader who replaced the tyrant, or sometimes that replacement leader would be you! This is often referred to as an "end game", and it seems that fantasy RPG's have very much lost their end game. Nowadays it's all about gaining levels and getting more powerful stuff. Cool things to be sure! But where is the satisfaction of completing a campaign? Maybe in this day and age it is too hard for a majority to keep their gaming group together long enough to play through a whole campaign. Or maybe rpg's are so fun nobody wants the campaign to end. Whatever the reasons I think there is room for this style of play to return.

With the Dungeoneer RPG being able to have a regular meeting time is less of an obstacle. Much like how a boardgame is played in 1 session, Dungeoneer RPG can be played in a single session, or generally as few as 2-3. But still maintaining the satisfaction of a campaign. This makes the end game an imperative.

The end game for Dungeoneer RPG is a little mini-wargame called "Empire of the Domains". Your heroes accomplish world domination one nation at a time by defeating evil tyrants, slaying horrible beasts, even by leading armies to victory. Eventually your hero will be a king, a clan leader, or rule a wizard's guild. This progress is tracked on the world map where the side your heroes choose will slowly take over the world one region at a time as you succeed in your adventures. These sides can be classic good, neutrality, or evil, or whatever factions your gaming group chooses to come up with.

Upon achieving 10th level your hero will join the immortal ranks of great heroes before him or her, and the world will be forever changed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dungeoneer RPG layout

First I want to thank all of those who send emails encouraging me to complete the Dungeoneer RPG. You don't know how much your emails mean to me. If you have any Dungeoneer questions don't hesitate to ask: tldenmark at gmail dot com

Dungeoneer fan Michael Klein asks "Hello, I am writing to inquire about whether or not the Dungeoneer RPG project was still alive."

Thank you Michael for your question. It is an important one. The Dungeoneer RPG has been in development at least since 1995, and a beta version was available for a few years through Lulu.com. It is no wonder that 5 years later Dungeoneer fans may wonder if a published RPG will ever be released.

Each Dungeoneer expansion I have ever made has been a bit like giving birth, okay, that's hyperbole. But, creating 55 or so unique pieces of art in addition to a well designed card set that is fun is no easy task. But, I've complained enough about the challenges of game design on this here blog. You want results, not excuses!

With each Dungeoneer set I like to convince myself that I am increasing the quality of the design and art. And the RPG is the ultimate expression of that philosophy. Is that true though? It is easy as an artist and designer to sit here in the shelter of my studio and tell myself I'm making this better than any Dungeoneer set, but I know when this is published the various forums and blogs will tell me the truth whether I have succeeded in making a compelling game experience or not (Den of the Wererats, great job Thomas! Epic: Call of the Lich Lord, not so much. At least you redeemed yourself with Wrath of the Serpent Goddess.).

I love designing and illustrating this game. I love it so much that I keep spending more time creating art, designing, and laying out pages. But eventually it has to get out the door and to the printing press or all the work is for naught. So I want to say emphatically that yes I intend to publish this game. I don't have any illusions about revolutionizing the industry or making a hit game, this is simply a labor of love and all I hope for is that others have fun playing it.

So, to give this post something substantial, worth your precious time to peruse, here is a layout test I recently did. This is the chapter heading for Character Races in the Player's Guide. Enjoy.