All posts by Alan

Character Creation: Sophonts, Backgrounds, Commands, and More.

We’ve gotten a lot of character creation questions. I shall now endeavor to answer them. Let’s start with some design principles. As an RPG player, and as a designer, I’m a huge fan of modular game design. There are a few reasons for this. Easy to make. Easy to homebrew (which is always fun). Easy to expand. Easy for the reader to understand. Our character creation section is built in support of these principles. There are four steps to character creation: Select a Sophont Template Select Skills Select Background…

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Taking One for the Team or The Ablative Meat Shield Rule

One of the biggest innovations (yes, I’m gonna toot our own horn here) in Planet Mercenary: The Roleplaying Game, is what we have titled: “The Ablative Meat Shield” rule. The idea revolves around one that, while your characters are the title characters in a show, the real star is the mercenary charter as a whole.  It’s not just you, or your friends in the command staff, but the grunts, the support team, the mechanics. It’s everyone. This rule helps you tell their stories.

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How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Shurikannon

So Howard posted earlier today a spoiler of writing from the book. Not to be outdone, I’m posting one myself. But first, let me give you some back-story and example of how design and play-testing impacted this part of the game. During the early pre-Alpha days of the Schlock Mercenary playtest, we had a lack of weapons. Howard had really only canonized a handful of weapons, and obviously the players wanted more options than that. So I quickly handwaved a few companies into existence, statted…

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Rules Revisions, Playtestings, Updates

Hey SchlockTroops Fans! It’s been a long time. I know, I know, you missed me. It’s all good. Thought I’d pop in, give a quick update, and let y’all know how we’re doing. Schlock RPG Meetings are going strong.  We’ve got the point where we’re laying out the Kickstarter Campaign, looking into art, pricing books, and covers, and stretch goals. We really want to make this awesome and blow you out of the water. Part of the delay has been some hefty rule tweaks. In playtesting,…

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Find Me (Alan) at GenCon

If you didn’t already know, I will be at GenCon Indy week. My schedule is pretty crazy and packed but we’ll see what you can figure out. If you find me, we’ll be throwing together random tests and play of the Schlock Mercenary RPG. I fly in Wednesday night, and have a Pathfinder game with friends.  After that…see the schedule below. Thursday 2-6 pm: I work the Greater Than Games booth 7 pm: L5R RPG Grand Experience 8:30 pm: Demoing Gallant with Dungeon Crawler Radio Friday 11…

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Developing the Amorph

So Howard has blogged recently about the difficulties about amorphs as a player option. Some of you might ask, what are amorphs? Click here That. And since Schlock is really the defining (and title character) of the series, it’s hard to have a game with out the amorphs. So we’ve spent a lot of time dissecting, talking about and working on amorphs. Let’s list some of the powers our favorite amorph displays as a benefit of being an amorph? (These are based upon my reread…

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GenCon and Playtesting

Huh. Look at that.  That looks like  the drive of someone hard at work. Consider it a sneak peek of what’s coming down the pipeline as we discuss what we’re working on. We’ve already had a few requests to playtest the game and we understand the excitement. Believe me, I can’t wait to see what shenanigans and messes you all find and create. It’s gonna be fantastic. That being said, we’re currently not looking for new playtesters. We’ve got two groups going and we’re getting a…

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Mercenary Mondays: The Joys of Vegas

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an ongoing series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development! Phew.  What a weekend. So I went to Las Vegas over the weekend. I went for two reasons. First, I’ve never been to Vegas and I wanted to see. Secondly, It was the weekend of the Las Vegas Kotei for Legend of the Five Rings. What? That makes no sense? Indeed! Basically, Kotei is a L5R tournament for the card game, but the winners…

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Mercenary Mondays: Design and Simplicity

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an ongoing series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development!   I know, I know.  It’s Tuesday, and I’m late. I offer my sincerest apologies. One of the biggest influences on my design philosophies of RPGs is Dieter Rams. I was gifted a copy of As Little Design as Possible in college and it’s my go-to book for design focus. The Wikipedia article I linked will fill you in on the most important details, but I wanted…

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