STAGES: Let’s talk magic

The default world for STAGS suffered heavy damage due to mysterious “Event”. Think apocalypse Biblical style. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and such.

That was in the past. Unfortunately, what’s in the past is also the majority of knowledge, including that of magic. Nowadays, sorcery is but a shadow of what it once was and sorcerers are part sages, part conjurers of cheap tricks seeking and thriving on scraps of old wisdom.

Back, ummm... back off vile thing or I'm gonna...  ummm... ehehehe...
Back, ummm… back off, vile thing or I’m gonna… ummm… ehehehe…

In the past, STAGES featured limited list of spells split between classes. Currently Bucyrus is torn between continuing with it, or replacing it with class-relevant “icons”.

The idea is simple. You have a few slots, like:

  • WHAT (the effect)
  • ACTION (what will be done with it)
  • WHERE (who or what is the recipient of magical doing)
  • VARIATION (go wild)

Each class gets different spell icons. For example, typical Mage would get WHAT: Force (“invisible hand”), ACTION:Push and Pull, WHERE:Me(the Mage himself, obviously) and This(something or someone he might point at).

He could create for example “Jump” spell from it, meaning FORCE+PUSH+ME, which would result in him being thrown over a small chasm, or being elevated to the window one floor above. Were he to mix FORCE+PUSH+THIS and point at his enemy, it would result with “Invisible Punch” dealing some damage (since the guy wouldn’t be expected the “push”). FORCE+PULL+THIS would be something along the lines of telekinesis – selected item would fly towards Mage’s hand.

Bard would get WHAT:Emotions, ACTION: Banish and Invoke, WHERE: Us and Them.

Let’s try FEAR+INVOKE+THEM. At voila “Induce Fear” in hearts of our enemies. Or FEAR+BANISH+US. Bye bye to being scared.

And so on and so forth.

The system seems simple and entertaining, but it’s also very vague and it might be easily overused. Still, it’s so interesting.

Choices, choices…

STAGES: Let’s talk magic

STAGES: when we level up…

…it looks like this:

misc-campfire
So, what did we learn today?
  • When conditions are met, EVERYONE in the party levels up. Adventuring is a mutual effort and therefore all advance in same time. Sure, you could say that it’s not like this in reality, but this game isn’t about emulating the reality. It’s there to escape it. ;]
  • There are a few classes (let’s say between 10 and 15), each coming with it’s all ladder of levels. Each level – stage (everything’s a stage, yay!) – comes with a small bonus to hit points and a few abilities called “talents”. Usually when you level up, you gain all what certain stage has to offer. Only sometimes you’re facing a choice about what talent to select.

Continue reading “STAGES: when we level up…”

STAGES: when we level up…

STAGES: Stuff based economy

Perhaps you forgot about that, but Bucyrus didn’t. Stages rpg is still in production, heh, heh.

So, time for another simple concept: Stuff.

Instead of having an enormous inventory consisting of many items, players gather stuff. It doesn’t matter what the stuff actually is. It might be some trinkets, items, clothes, perhaps some valuables and so on, and so forth.

misc-items

Stuff lands in a shared pool and everyone is entitled to reach to the pool and exchange some stuff into items of his or her choice. There are conditions, of course. It’s not that you can reach for stuff in the middle of combat and pull a Vulcan canon, or insist that there’s a shiny, powerful, uber armor in there.

No. Each class have an access to different stuff.

Witch may exchange stuff into poisonous things, or items required for her special Possession talent to work. She might find a small dagger there – her inherent choice of weapon – or things that demon or ghost might find interesting in possible bargain attempt.

Infiltrator deals with locks, traps, he enters places and finds exists where there are no obvious one. Therefore pile of stuff might produce for him some lockpick, perhaps a line with a hook, or a pouch to carry valuables.

Then, there are common things. Everyone might exchange some stuff for valuables, or something edible. It’s not hard to find an improvised weapon, or things like a needle and a few scraps of material for patches…

But there are specific cases. If whole story relies on finding the correct key, it must be found. It won’t magically appear in the pile of stuff.

The list of possible choices is, of course, more complicated than that, but that’s just a concept.

So, how stuff might be replenished? Well, for starters, players find valuables instead of typical treasure. There’s no gold, no silver, no electrum pieces – upon exploring their world, player characters find valuable things. It works as sort of currency, valuables are what you pay with instead of coins, so it’s perfectly ok to simply “buy” some stuff when you visit a village or town, market, shopkeeper. The opposite situation is also possible. There’s no problem with exchanging stuff for valuables. After all, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

Player characters might also spend some time and gather stuff, especially in environment relevant to their specialization. So, a Sorcerer might stumble upon 10 points of either valuables or stuff in local library. Minotaur is sure to find some 10-12 points of stuff in almost every ancient ruins he might visit.

Finally, you can exchange items relevant to your class for stuff. Warden might immediately exchange prey he just managed to catch for stuff. Fighter is free to dispose a few knives or swords and gain some stuff points.

Such exchanges aren’t easy to accept. After all, Sorcerer donates books and Infiltrator might immediately transform it into tools of thievery – what madness is that? Thi sis outrageous and things don’t work like this…

Well, yes, but… It’s fun. It doesn’t have to reflect the reality and it allows to treat inventory in different way. ;]

STAGES: Stuff based economy

STAGES: COMBAT MATRIX small addendum

Bucyrus forgot to mention one thing when he tried to explain how combat works in STAGES Rpg.

Now we know that it’s a matter of selecting combat Action and placing your character on the Stage (and Field) corresponding to that Action. It’s all well and good, but for each Stage there are a few Actions, some work earlier, some later. So what if players decide to cheat and change their mind on the fly?

For example: someone looks at the Matrix and instead of Moving on Stage#3, he says that he wanted to Attack, because hey, situation changed.

Well… He can’t.

See, each Action is represented by cards. If there are no cards, one might simply write the corresponding number of chosen Action on a piece of paper. They are placed upside down near each character and revealed when time comes.

That’s it – when a card is selected and placed on the table, it’s impossible to change character’s Action. It’s already decided, the die is cast and such.

So, doesn’t it make the table and the Combat Matrix too cluttered too? Not in the slightest – if you remember that Stages isn’t about large scale combat.

Bucyrus hopes that it clears things a bit.

STAGES: COMBAT MATRIX small addendum

STAGES: Combat Matrix

It’s debatable, but in the end, combat makes one of most important (if not the most important) aspects of any given role playing game.

STAGES Rpg, the game Bucyrus develops, resolves combat like this…

Before you’ll read it, please bear in mind, that:

  • Bucyrus doesn’t know English very well. Because of that, his descriptions might be a bit harder to comprehend than they are supposed to be.
  • The combat looks complicated at first, but it’s not. It’s just a matter of remembering combat order, combat Actions and knowing that there are additional rules, purely optional and used only when situation calls for that.
  • Like everything else, when in doubt, the Stage Master is there to tell players when to roll, what is allowed and what is not.
  • There are accessories to be used in fight, for example, the Combat Matrix might be replaced by nicely looking board (Bucyrus works on it), and Actions might be represented by cards. Still, it’s all optional and the simpler way to resolve combat will be presented.
  • Many elements of combat (like for example the order of Actions – which one belongs to what Stage, etc) were changed for the sake of making them easier to explain – they won’t look like that in final version of the game.

So, without any further ado…

1. Draw a Matrix

stages-matrix_01

  • Rows represent Stages of combat. Columns represent Fields.

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STAGES: Combat Matrix

STAGES: STAGE Master’s MAP

And here’s part II of maps covering the land of Fantasia – this one is meant to serve the SM (which is just a localized title for the guy playing as the Dungeon/Game Master).

Anyway.

Please note the difference between the shape of the landmass and an addition of two more places – Savage Archipelago to the west and Desert Lands to the south-west. Bear in mind that those lands are not exactly where they seem to be. If players choose to embark on a geographical expedition, their SM is free to change the distances and the placement of those additional lands.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

And the rest of the set…

Continue reading “STAGES: STAGE Master’s MAP”

STAGES: STAGE Master’s MAP

Stages: player’s map

The map of “Fantasia”, the world used as the default setting for STAGES was presented here and there in the past (hi guys!).

Yeah, “Fantasia“.

Bucyrus knows there are at least 5 worlds sharing the name. Unfortunately, Bucyrus is both lazy and highly uncreative person and therefore 99% of names, titles, images and ideas were “borrowed” from things existing in our world. So don’t be alarmed when you’ll recognize some familiar elements, think “homage”, rather than just “thievery”. There’s a reason for that – initially it was supposed to serve as the background for entirely different game and no more than a few sessions, so it was just a quick job and for that there’s no need to strain brain cells. That’s why Bucyrus has chosen names from his spheres of interest, rather than spent whole days trying to come up with original names, which, truth be told, rarely works well.

The result was quite interesting and critically acclaimed by those a few people who tried to play the game. That’s why “Fantasia” was chosen for the default world.

The map itself was made in either Hexmapper, or Hexographer and then enhanced in Photoshop. It took a day or two to create it from the scratch.

This image served as both a map and, ummm… “A Gazetteer”. You know, “here be evil empire, here be ruins to plunder and here dragons to slay“.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

And here’s the clean version…

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Stages: player’s map