unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

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unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby Omnifray » 2:53am on 09 Apr 16

So my still-unplaytested little RPG Implodarc is now available through print on demand.

This is the direct access link:- http://www.lulu.com/shop/matt-west/impl ... 40768.html

This is not currently searchable via Lulu ("general access") because anyone who wants to buy it needs to know that it is unplaytested. It says so on the product page, but to be double sure, only those "in the know" will have the link to buy it.

Hence it is currently on offer with no author revenue. Whether Lulu makes a profit I do not know, but I am not currently taking any revenue from these sales.

I have ordered some copies and it worked out at slightly more than £4 per copy depending on exchange rates; maybe £4.50 ish, including discounts for multiple copies and a seasonal discount. (Edited:- as at 20th April 2016 it looks like about £5+VAT+P&P without discounts... but there are often discounts available... Lulu decides all that, and it depends on exchange rates.)

If anyone is interested in playtesting it, please let me know!
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby simonpaulburley » 8:50am on 09 Apr 16

I am not volunteering to playtest or - even - take a read through. Sorry, busy.

However, you might get more interest if you give a short description of the game's USP.

Ps. You'll find RPGNOW a lot cheaper than Lulu and you can use it even to produce items for proofing. I do.
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Re: unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby Omnifray » 11:40am on 09 Apr 16

There's a short blurb if you follow the link.

It's a nice, simple-ish RPG which gives clear options for players to individually decide (and change their minds as they go along) whether they want to treat it as a traditional RPG or as a narrative-oriented game. It has very basic setting details so you get some inspiration for a game-world but you make it your own.

It has a neat magic system that lets you focus on slow, powerful ritual magic, powerful, dangerous combat magic, more light-hearted magic, fortune-telling, minor illusions or scrolls/potions (or any combination of them).

CharGen is quick but varied.

It uses dice nicely! When you roll a 1, the dice implodes and you re-roll the next dice up (d4 to d6, d6 to d8, d8 to d12, d12 to d20). All rolls are opposed rolls (pretty much), so the odds work out nice and smoothly.

It has a really good index and the character sheets should save you a lot of time.

Any questions, I am happy to answer!

You can probably read the whole thing in about 2 hours.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby Omnifray » 1:52pm on 18 Apr 16

30 copies arrived today (by the slower of the two delivery options) but unfortunately although 20 of them are absolutely fine (very narrow outer margins and the edge of the frame of the character sheets maybe lost, but nothing material to the use of the book), 10 copies are defective (outer margins printed far too wide, text right up against the inner edge of the readable portion of the page, a small amount of text lost on some pages), so I have put in a complaint about that and hope to get either 10 good copies or a one-third refund.

Anyway looking on the bright side I have 20 perfectly usable copies and I might even get a game going some time soon.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby Omnifray » 2:03am on 20 Apr 16

A 3-person game of this should finally happen some time in the next 3 weeks. Feeling psyched!
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby Omnifray » 12:50pm on 22 Apr 16

So I had my first playtest of Implodarc last night and to my delight rather than having GM +2 players we were GM +5 players. Of these +5, two had previously gamed with me, one of them extensively and the other a fair bit, but the other three had never gamed with me before, and indeed I hardly knew two of them, and as for the third (the only woman present), that was the first time I had ever met her.

All five PCs were spellcasters, and four of them were the more dedicated kind of spellcaster (Magi). One of them even started the game with a minor artefact (!). After CharGen and the like we only had about an hour for actual gaming. Four of the PCs had been gathered together by a circus master for an evening meeting to advise him on a curse he believed had been laid on his circus by the Forest Imps of the Blackthorne Woods. As the game commenced, in burst PC 5 (a wizard bearing some resemblance to Gandalf), demanding an apology because one of the performers had (supposedly) ruined his tent. No sooner than the circus master had placated the furious wizard with an apology and a promise of a new tent, than in barged the stablehand in a panic. The lion was loose! The stablehand had seen some kind of a large bird, and the lion had got loose from the cage, and then the bird had flown behind the lion as the lion had escaped into the woods. The PCs bargained for remuneration to recover the escaped lion (alive!) for the circus master. The stablehand led them to the edge of the woods and pointed them in the direction he thought he had seen the lion and the bird go.

The PCs tracked down the lion only to find it at the base of a large tree by the main path through the woods, snarling up at a girl hidden in the upper branches. One of the mages sensed infernal magic in the area, seemingly of a kind similar to but not identical to sorcery (in retrospect I should have said similar to enchantment but never mind). We switched to combat time partly because some of the players wanted their PCs to cast magic. One of the PCs went looking for and found some stinky mushrooms (?). Two of the PCs tried to grow magical wings with sorcery but I had forgotten that under the rules I have written unless you roll really well the wings take quite a while to materialise (at least in terms of combat time - not very long for non-combat purposes). So while their wings were growing the lion drew closer. The only non-Mage climbed a tree to get out of the way of the lion. As the lion advanced, the PC with the artefact panicked and shot the lion with an arrow, causing it terrible injury. The Mage who was doing slightly better with growing his wings (this was the one who had demanded an apology from the circus master) tried to magically cause pain to the lion, which did work but not enough to make a real difference. The Mage who was doing less well with growing his wings had a second try at growing them (to get them to grow quicker), but there was a magical backlash and he suffered grave injury! (That's less than "terrible" injury though.) Then the non-Mage up the tree (who was also a spellcaster, but of a lesser kind, a Magician), magically caused pain to the lion, and got lucky, causing paralysing pain! He had brought rope, and trussed the lion up while it was incapable of movement.

Now the Mage with the better magical wings flew up the tree where the girl was, rescued her and asked where she lived so he could take her home. She related that she had been orphaned by bandits some three weeks ago and had been wandering alone ever since. She was, indeed, in a shabby state. Her rescuer inspected her as best he could to see if there was anything magical about her, and (after some dice rolls) he felt that there wasn't.

And there we wrapped up.

I think everyone enjoyed it and we spotted a few typos and other minor issues with the rules of a kind that I should be able to fix fairly easily without unduly compromising the size/format of the book, plus the players had some ideas for improving the format of the character sheet.

One of the players did his CharGen in about ten minutes before the game (with no help). Other people took longer over their choices and so on. Bearing in mind that we arrived at the venue at around 7:30 p.m. but I was still re-reading the rules to remind myself what I wrote two or three months ago, and we were still waiting for one of the group (the fellow whose Mage demanded an apology from the circus master) who wasn't ready to sit down with us until 8:15 p.m., after CharGen including establishing how PCs knew each other and the circus master, we started play at 9:30 p.m. and wrapped up at 10:30 p.m. I wasn't helping the players with CharGen because I was re-reading my own rules to try and remind myself what they were.

Anyway it all seemed pretty positive on the whole including, gratifyingly, from one of the players who said/implied she had been burnt out from gaming for a while before that game. One player (the guy whose magic caused him a backlash) seemed mildly less enthused than the others (in theory he's the Deputy GM if a situation that needs it arises) but I don't think he was unhappy with it.

When we will pick this up again I don't know. It cost two of us a £14 train fare each to attend the game (plus I spent £12 on taxis) but next time hopefully we can go by car. But we were intruding into an establishing gaming group and interrupting their ongoing game so it's not something we can do all the time.
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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Re: unplaytested Implodarc RPG in print (POD: Lulu)

Postby Omnifray » 1:09am on 13 May 16

Session 2:-

(Two of the original 5 players were absent this session.)

Downtime for absent players:- Alfred the Wizard was concerned that the girl he had rescued from high up in a tree (let's call her Yemma) needed to be found a home. He proposed to take her to stay with his friend Leyisha and her husband Gudrun, half a mile from the village of Shady Ham, 5 miles or so from the village where the circus is (I have no note of its name, so let's call it Little Ham). The party decided that Yemma might be less scared with Lottie also accompanying her, so Lottie (who had shot the lion) and Alfred took Yemma to Shady Ham while Ukko, Earnwolf and Axel made their way to Little Ham, where the plan was that Alfred and Lottie would meet up with them the following evening. Unfortunately, after Gudrun took Yemma in, it became obvious that Yemma was suffering disturbed sleep. Alfred and Lottie went to find herbs with calming properties. After one such trip (and stopping and chatting on the way with a few villagers who Alfred knew well), they returned to find Ukko, Earnwolf and Axel now at Gudrun's home, which was now awash with blood, and there was no sign of anyone else alive there other than the party members. And there we will start next time!

The GM had got mixed up and thought the lion was only gravely rather than terribly injured (still bad enough!) - maybe some demonically powered regeneration at play, that had only had full effect after the lion was already paralysed with pain and trussed up? Also I have been referring to the lion as female, which might be a continuity error, but this is not a terribly serious game, so it's fine.

Uptime:-

Ukko, Earnwolf and Axel travelled to Little Ham where they met the dance mistress of the circus, and the circus master himself. Needless to say the circus master was rather distraught at Amber the lion's injuries (or more specifically their financial implications for the circus), but Axel was highly persuasive and the party received the full pay for the whole group (including Lottie and Alfred).

The three party members present debated how to get to the Blackthorn Woods where they intended to find the Forest Imps who, the circus master believes, have cursed the circus. There were quite a few options but they settled on going first via the Grombul Hills, where there are known to be dwarves (fae), not particularly pleasant but not evil, oddly living in the Grimewyrld (there is something wrong with Elphyne in those hills), with the party then intending to cross the Bridge of the Dead over the River of Icy Tears, where it seems people confront visions of their ancestors or dead relatives. This would mean avoiding the Troll Mountains (including the faerie tunnel under them) (the trolls are as tall as tall towers) and it would mean avoiding the lands of Baron Edyar (who apparently has a great dislike of wizards), including Baron Edyar's hunting forests where only certain long-established locals may travel without the Baron's specific permission. It also meant avoiding the delays inherent in going the long way round on the Spice Road, and the dangers of the bandits on the shorter way round the Spice Road, going north of Harport (there are also pirates near that port).

The party spiked some meat with healing potions for Amber. Unfortunately it took at least 4 doses to get any positive effect [and the GM was only rolling as if the lion was gravely injured instead of terribly injured, which would have been harder - it must have been that demonic regeneration at work!]. Earnwolf also took a healing potion, which, remarkably, somewhat worked (he is now healing at double the normal rate).

The circus master was puzzled as to why the next evening Amber was still so withdrawn and depressed even after the healing potions took effect (the lion was admittedly still badly injured, but all the "friendly" beatings she had received by way of training had never dented her spirit to that extent). The party-members were also concerned as to why Alfred and Lottie had not turned up when they were meant to. The party-members present decided to use some Envisioning Ink to get answers from the spirits of fire. Since there were braziers near the lion's cage when it escaped, the party asked the spirits of fire how the lion had escaped. It took five attempts to get a successful vision. When it finally came, Earnwolf and Okko noticed only a swooping motion in the flames, but Axel noticed qualities symbolic of flight, youthfulness, femininity and sinisterness. He deduced that Yemma, the girl rescued from the forest, was the supposed bird that had been seen near the lion's cage, and had released the lion. (He was right!)

The remaining party members agreed pay with the circus master (without much negotiation on the basic figures) as follows:-

(1) 100 silver coins for proof regarding the curse;
(2) 100 silver coins for proof of dealing with the curse;
(3) 300 silver coins if the circus then goes for a month without effects from the curse -

... but all these may be reduced by 10% for each week of delay after 14 days. (It would take 4 to 7 days to reach Blackthorn Woods by the most direct routes, maybe 2 weeks by the shorter way over the Spice Road, and maybe 3 weeks by the longer way over the Spice Road in the other direction, but these are wizards!) Axel negotiated so that the pay would not be reduced if it was shown later that the curse had been lifted in good time, but the party were slow in returning with proof.

The party members present then decided to travel to Shady Ham the next morning to find Yemma, Alfred and Lottie, since based on the vision in the flames and Axel's interpretation of it they now believed that Yemma might be a demonic imp in some magical guise. (They were right!)

When they arrived in Shady Ham they found an old woman who was able to confirm that Alfred had passed through recently with a girl and a woman, and had gone to visit Gudrun and his wife ("the saucy one"), whose home, half a mile away on a small hill, the woman pointed out. She mentioned that Alfred and Lottie had recently gone north to find some herbs or some such in the woods. (Clearly Alfred had chatted with her on the way.)

On their way through Shady Ham towards Gudrun's place, the party members chatted to a confused old man who said something about screaming that he thought had just been children at play.

The party members made their way to Gudrun's place. As they arrived, Yemma was sitting outside playing in the dirt. With Scouting rolls, Earnwolf noticed that the shadow cast on her face by the sun was blacker than it ought to be, and Axel (with a particularly good roll) noticed that Yemma's shadow had horns. That seemed pretty conclusive!

Yemma explained that her new mother and father were sleeping now and did not want visitors. Too late! Ukko was already striding through the door to find a scene of carnage and severed heads. Combat ensued!

A hint from the GM was that the best tactic would be to beat seven shades out of the imp before trying to cast Banishment on it. One of the party members had some knowledge of demonic lore and would know that simply staving the demonic imp's head in without magic might well fall short of what was required to send it back to the Inferno. They would also know that casting Banishment on an imp could be tough (Spirit 6!). By softening the imp up with a whacking injury, you could make your task easier. So, for players new to the game, the hint seemed fair.

Axel staved Yemma's head in good and proper, inflicting terrible injury. Ukko tried to cast Binding Roots and the GM ruled that it had a minimal effect (it was cast in an outdoor environment but not a forest environment and as such should not really have worked at all but we hadn't read the spell description prior to the player's first roll). Earnwolf ensorcelled Axel's quarterstaff. The imp leapt on Ukko (who had opened the door to the cottage), losing its magical guise (its disguise as Yemma), but due to the terrible injury it had received its attack was ineffectual.

Axel (materially aided by the ensorcelment of his quarterstaff) then dealt the imp what should have been a killing blow, but it was still slowly regenerating. Then Earnwolf cast Banishment. 10 or 15 seconds later, while the imp was still motionless but regenerating, the sorcery took effect; seelie energy sucked the imp out of the Grimewyrld and banished it to the Inferno. Victory!

And now to do something about the mess, and the heads...
Looking for playtesters for the Implodarc Tabletop RPG. If you'd like to playtest it and post public feedback or an AP thread, ask me for the private link to download it, or I can e-mail it to you. At least compared to my usual stuff, it's meant to be simple and quick to play with quick CharGen.
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