Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bodies In Translation – Gear and Foci vs. Stat Pools In The Strange

In The Strange, player characters travel into limited worlds called recursions; seeded from myths, novels, movies, and comics. Each time a PC steps into a new world, their body and mind adapt so that they become part of that world in a process called translation. For example, when Katherine Manners translates from Earth to the fantasy recursion of Ardeyn, she gains a general understanding of that world and its languages and arrives wearing appropriate clothing.

An oddity of translation is that—except for cyphers—travelers don’t take their gear with them. Instead, their gear goes into abeyance. It isn’t lost; the gear is returned to travelers the next time they come back to a previously visited recursion. Continuing the previous example, when Kate returns from Ardeyn to Earth, she doesn’t bring back the magic implements, spirit companions, or gold coins she found on Ardeyn. On the other hand, she regains all her gear from Earth: her trusty revolver, her fractal arm tattoo, her Earth clothing, as well as her expensive smart phone.

On the other hand, your character's stat pools remain constant between alternate worlds. How does that work? (Answer: Check out the full blog at the MCG site where it just went live.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Meet the main characters in Myth of the Maker

Thanks to the magic of Kickstarter, my novel Myth of the Maker is a reality. Publication date is pending, but I'm working on the 2nd draft even as we speak. Want to know a little more about my novel set in universe of The Strange? Alright: Meet the novel's four main characters. Rather than write up a bio for each of them, I've provided a short excerpt from the first chapter in which each character appears:
Carter Morrison
The planetovores breached the starting grid. Jason had attacked me, trying to select himself as the one to return home. He’d panicked. Only one of us could print back to Earth. He hadn’t understood all the implications. There’d been no time to explain. He said I was a selfish prick, and worse.
Was I? Maybe.
But the whole fucking planet was on the line.
Katherine Manners
The port scanner failed to turn up a single open connection. The spoofing attack hadn’t fooled anyone. And the packet sniffer was a complete bust because there just wasn’t any data. Kate’s usual techniques, plus a few of Raul’s paranoid schemes, had been for nothing. BDR’s servers were locked down.
So Kate resorted to social engineering. It was a cliché, but only because it worked. Success just required a bit of play-acting. Picking up the phone and pretending to be an angry supervisor threatening the job of a confused customer service rep had gotten her results before.
Not this time.
Jason Cole
The Lord of Megeddon had many names. To some, he was War. To others, Legion. To most, he was simply the Betrayer. But among himselves, he was Jason.
Homunculi peered at Jason from their stations on either side of the exit. Each was a copy, but their bright scarlet coloration denoted their status as inferior clones of the original.
Of him.
Elandine, Queen of Hazurrium
Sword in hand, Elandine walked the borders of the Strange under a red sun. So close to the edge, the light seemed old and used up. Beneath her boots, the land was convulsed. Long ruts dragged scars down to the west as if made by the monstrous talons of a colossal Stranger unable to retain its grip on Ardeyn. The occasional cactus and thorny tree drooped, wilted with pestilence.
The splintered landscape was Ardeyn’s edge, where only the insane or suicidal trespassed. Beyond it drifted a sporadic scatter of free-floating skerries like barnacles on reality’s border. And beyond them lay the Strange. She rarely glanced that way.
Elandine traveled a path parallel to the chaos that spurned all rules, not into it. The Strange would not try her strength, not today.
The Maker willing, it never would.