Colored bricks

Updates on Game Design

Armageddon Accelerated

  • Start over as a second-chance soul bonded to an angelic host in this urban supernatural roleplaying game of dealing with unfinished prior life business while working for HALO to prevent the End Times.
  • System: Dresden Files Accelerated

I’ve managed a handful of playtest sessions online in 2021. The game feels about 65-85% there mechanically and 95% there thematically/narratively. A few rounds of testing should guide further refinements.

Blood & Violence

  • A traveler’s tale wrapped in magical realism storytelling and a map-making roleplaying game between truth and reality, beauty and danger along the road.
  • System: In-house tokens and dice

I have run this game a couple of times and it’s not there mechanically yet. Part of my mind wants there to be a token economy for the Blood and a dice economy for the Violence. I feel like spending dice as tokens and rolling dice as dice would accommodate that but I’ll need to test it. In my head and heart, this game is a mixture of written and visual poetry that flows out on the map panels and the rules and during play with the journal as an artifact for players and for in-game potential. The game needs more playtesting.

Dark Well

  • “Explore the Unknown” in this modern-day paranormal conspiracy thriller roleplaying game.
  • System: In-house tokens

I was fortunate to get some wonderful feedback from a couple of great people and have implemented changes from that and the game is better for it. The recent online playtesting has confirmed some issues with probability for results and so I have a new version to test at some point.

Division Hex (formerly Shadow Hunters)

  • Join up and fight side by side with other paranormal agents in this thriller roleplaying game to counter paranormal terrorism in the world.
  • System: Genesys

Changing the name from Shadow Hunters mostly because there are a lot of things called Shadow Hunters already. Shifting the focus away from strictly hunting mutants to something wider in scope or similar to Ghost in the Shell but for the paranormal. Need to continue with Talents and scoping out the content for playtesting.

LEGENDS (formerly Feudal Fairy World)

  • Explore relationships between heroes and their world in this fantasy roleplaying game inspired by ancient myths and Arthurian Legends.
  • System: PbtA

I revisited this game to have it reviewed for an online design event. The feedback from Magpie Games was well articulated and useful. Since then I have made several changes, including the name from Feudal Fairy World to LEGENDS. We’ll see if it works or not as a brand. What’s taking the longest for me is in my revision of the game from almost completely the ground up with playbook moves and other mechanics that reinforce the themes, arcs, and point back to the world. This version is more rooted in Arthurian legends than previously and so I’ve been listening to courses and audiobooks about them for insights.

Found

  • Science fiction thriller roleplaying game about belonging.
  • System: In-house to Cortex Prime

After getting the primer done, converted over from a prior ruleset, I’m ready to playtest this game.

NetWhere

  • A science fiction roleplaying game of adventure between truth and reality with you as hackers on the run.
  • System: Psi*Run modified

This game is pretty much done for now, but I need to finalize it and then put it up on itch.io — I feel some anxiety about it, and that’s why I really should move forward on it.

NightMirror

  • A Gothic Horror game about the search for humanity and salvation through a world of monsters and madness through the lives of seekers like you and your companions.
  • System: Psi*Run with tarot cards

I have started work to create an alternate version of the rules on cards. In either case, the game is doing well in its rough form.

Secret Strike Force

  • Pulp military action roleplaying game about combating BADD and defending the world.
  • System: Cortex Prime

Due to revisiting some nostalgia, I decided to create this as a love letter to myself. I hope to run it as a one- to five-shot at some point.

Space Station Omega

  • Sci-fi roleplaying game of political dramatic action among the stars.
  • System: Cortex Prime

I’ve edited a fair amount of this game and playtested it for 10-sessions online. When I have time I will review the recordings and notes for more edits. However, I’m really more concerned about the terms of the Cortex Creator and the Cortex Codex as that will impact how far I continue to work on this game.

StarFall

  • A sci-fi post-terraforming of Earth roleplaying game about a community surviving on the unforgiving frontier of the unknown.
  • System: PbtA

I’ve done some editing on this but it’s a long way off in development.

Time & Tempus

  • Sail through time and space with Captain Tempus as one of their Crew.
  • System: For the Queen

I playtested this a few times and have feedback to contemplate before further revisions.

Vigilance

  • You are reborn as Living Laws to a community mythic fantasy roleplaying game about loss, humanity, and justice in a fallen world.
  • System: In-house dice

One group suggested a name change that was more referential to the time period around the Bronze Age. I haven’t examined this yet but will try to remain open to it should development proceed. I need to rework the mechanics. Players love the character sheets.

Within Reach

  • Exploring solitary confinement with the hand you’re dealt.
  • System: LARP with cards

Nothing new on this game recently.

Playtesting

Welcome to the AquaVertigo Playtesting post.

The following games are in playtest:

If you are interested in participating in a playtest of one or more of the above games, please let me know in the contact form below.

    Games I'm Interested In (required)

     

    Gamehole Con 2018 My Little Scythe

    Gamehole Con 2018

    I attended Gamehole Con in Madison, Wisconsin, for the first time in 2018, where I got to hang out and play a few board games with my friends, such as My Little Scythe.

    Additionally, I was able to playtest several games which I have in development. See below:

    Friday, 1-4PM – Dark Well: Ground Zero

    The game began with an overview of related genres and influences, and introducing the four players to the eerie world of Dark Well. This was the first time that I had tested the diceless / random token-based system.

    Friday, 7-10PM – Armageddon Accelerated: Miami Viceroy

    The game began with an overview of the setting and with Fate Accelerated. Two had experience with Fate Accelerated; one had familiarity; one had none, but had just purchased Fate Dice.

    Saturday, 1-4PM – Blood & Violence: The Road Not Taken

    The game began with an overview of influences and the concept of magical realism at the heart of the game with the four players.

    Saturday, 7-10PM – NightMirror: Walking Over Our Graves

    The game began with an overview of the genre of gothic horror and influences with the five players.

    Sunday, 1-4PM – Games on Demand Indie Grab Bag

    I had table tents for six games for the four players to choose from: Armageddon Accelerated, Blood & Violence, Dark Well, NightMirror, Space Station Omega, and Vigilance. The group selected Space Station Omega (SSO).

    Gamehole Con 2018 Space Station OmegaSetup: The players leaned heavily into their love for The Expanse and we built an exciting story involving space miners, a space religion, and an Earth-centric military power, with a mafia-like sub-organization and in-laws generated from the character relationships.

    Story: There were a number of nice character moments in between the larger scenes and actions. Ultimately, all major factions put aside their differences, coming together and locating the terrorist cell. The game closed in a wonderful final scene the characters all contributed to dealing with the threat in their own way.

    System: SSO is currently somewhere between Cortex Plus and Cortex Prime. The goal is to embrace Cortex Prime once it is more done and then tweak for the needs of the game. The creation of our Space and Station continues to really get the players excited and invested in the game. We made heavy use of complications and opportunities generated, and mostly used simple actions.

    Blood & Violence

    Blood & Violence

    A tabletop roleplaying game of magical realism travel tales with Vagrants who collect and share stories, influencing the World.

    Story – What Is Blood & Violence the Roleplaying Game?

    They say the World is vast and uncertain, modern and ancient from dusk to dawn. The World is connected by travelers, like you moving in and out of distant Civilizations: strange hollow lands that speak to you and remind you of where you came from—why you’re with them, fellow Vagrants, you companions of the Road, and in this World. Each day brings new Hopes, Needs, and Fears—some you share, some you steal, perhaps one day you’ll know when it’s time to leave the Road behind you for Blood & Violence.

    A rare kind of people, called Vagrants, move between Civilizations along the Road searching for new Stories to learn and share throughout the World, with Hopes, Needs, and Fears as their companions. Eventually, Vagrants settle down as a Civilian, become a Legend, or wander forever as a Reaver along the Road.

    Vagrants come from all walks of life and any Civilization. They are people who, for whatever reason, have decided to leave their old life behind to travel along the Road. Many take on alter egos. Few use or share their real identities. Some ply old or pick up new trades. All Vagrants share Stories with those they meet for good or ill results, changing lives and reshaping the world.

    Magical Realism Travel Tales

    Magical Realism

    In magical realism stories, the world is still grounded in the real world as we might know it, but fantastical elements are considered normal in this world with the lines between fantasy and reality blurred. This includes talking objects, dead or spirit characters, telepathy, robotic caretakers, moving landscapes, and so much more as normal aspects. As a result, the magic of the stories are left unexplained.

    Also, stories in this style do not necessarily follow a typical arc of beginning, middle and end, and some magical realism stories are used to critique society, especially in parts of the world that were colonized or oppressed and exploited by outsiders.

    Travel Tales

    This refers to the journey stories of Vagrants’ experiences along the Road and visiting with different civilizations. Part of the game involves mapping the World on notecards and using this map to help define the goals and way that they’ll proceed.

    Long-Term Play

    Blood & Violence is meant to be played in an episodic format with Vagrants entering and exiting as the story or players need. The Vagrants are travelers in search of stories to learn and to share with others, and along the way the Vagrants influence the lives of those they meet. Some Vagrants decide to settle down in a community giving up their traveler ways, or become a Reaver and roam the Road forever, or possibly become Legends of the World.