Category Archives: DevJournal

Catch-all category. Also, for when the developer is just talking about stuff that happened, or that got done.

Mercenary Mondays: Monthly Meetings

Usually Alan posts the “Mercenary Mondays” feature, but Howard dragged him into a meeting with the Schlock Mercenary chief of operations, Sandra Tayler, and the better part of the afternoon was spent on boring things like page counts, card design, price points, and profit margins. Then, adding insult to injury in the “make work from play” category, we scheduled regular meetings each month so that Alan and I can check in with Sandra, who will be the driving force behind turning all of the writing,…

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Amorphs? Broken.

Alan keeps whining about how overpowered Sergeant Schlock would be in a game setting. I find this amusing. Also? Problematic. This is one of those things we need to solve, because while it’s totally okay to have some characters be tougher and more versatile than others, it’s a lot less okay to have a game in which everybody who did NOT play an amorph is bored. I’m considering building a “there go the piano lessons” mechanic as an automatic weakness for amorphs.  During every combat…

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Howard’s To-Do List

I keep thinking that the Schlock Mercenary universe, or “Schlockiverse” as we’ve come to call it, is pretty well fleshed-out. Then Alan runs a play test, and comes back with crazy questions like “how much does it cost to get blood nannies like the Toughs have in the comic?” or “do mercenaries get exemptions to gun-control laws?” (My answers were “the players should be able to afford this” and “that depends on the law, the location, and the gun.”) While a huge part of the…

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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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Mercenary Mondays: The Primacy of Defense

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an going series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development! Additional Note: Sympathies and sadness to the affected at CCP and White Wolf (one of the oldest and one of my personal favorite RPG companies). Their RPGs live on at www.theonyxpath.net. You should all check it out.  One of the hardest struggles in designing and balancing an RPG will always be combat. It gets harder when you approach the science fiction genres due to…

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Mercenary Mondays: Defining Schlock

Ooof. What a weekend. Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out. It rocked. Launched a new campaign with my “once a month on Friday group”. We settled on Iron Kingdoms. You can expect a write-up about that shortly, but I suppose that’s not why you’re here is it. You wanna here me talk about the Schlock RPG. Alright, alright. I’ll get to it. When you set out to make anything new, roleplaying game, film, story, anything, you need to have a plan of attack. A…

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Mercenary Mondays: Characters!

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an going series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development! A good story, in any form, can live or die on it’s characters. Strong characters can often drive a story past any of it’s faults, flaws or shortcomings. Weak characters, expose those same issues to the reader. As the imitable Joss Whedon said: “You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.” And…

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Mercenary Mondays: Dice!

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an going series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development! As any good roleplayer knows, dice are the key element of any game. The chance of randomness, failure and success is delivered, and interpreted through dice. The Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game uses 3 six-sided dice (abbreviated as 3d6). All rolls in the game use this particular combination of dice. The particular color combination you see in the picture to your right is important. The…

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Mercenary Mondays: Trust!

Note: Mercenary Mondays is an going series of posts about the Schlock Mercenary Roleplaying Game and it’s behind the scenes development! This is what my Google Drive is currently showing. Yes, that’s probably what you think it is…or what the title says in the picture below. Isn’t that just super exciting? I wanted to start off with a discussion of the underlying principles of my design theories behind the Schlock Mercenary RPG. Here is a link to Jeff Grubb’s theory of “high/low trust” roleplaying systems. To…

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