A long overdue update

Happy new year, and sorry for the long silence: I’ve been tinkering away on many different projects, meaning that each is moving proportionally slower than even my usual glacial pace. Here’s what’s up in terms of games I’ve talked about here:

A Silence in Heaven has had a small beta update over at parenthesispress.itch.io; I’m at the stage where I’m finishing the individual powers for Sphere+Element combinations, which is slower going than I had thought as I try to create as few duplicates or overlapping abilities as possible. Once all that skeleton is in place, I’ll go back and add more meat to the document.

Similarly, Skald has its core system in place and now I’m working on the kennings and galdr (abilities and spells) for character creation. I’m planning to do a setting write-up at some point, but I don’t want to be too derivative of other existing works such as Ragnarok: Fate of the Norns, which has quite a thorough overview of the Viking world and lore. The preview of that is also up over on parenthesispress.itch.io.

Now, concerning games I haven’t mentioned previously here, but may have alluded to elsewhere:

After bouncing back and forth on several core mechanics for Aphelion, I’ve settled on – brace yourself – Tarot cards. This time, however, I’m pulling inspiration from some very different sources. Traits are resolved somewhat like the core mechanics in games like Trollbabe or Lasers & Feelings, in that you have a numerical rating which requires a result higher than the trait’s rating for one type of action, and below for another. There’s also a pseudo-Celtic Cross spread managed and interpreted by the narrator known as the Crux, which fills in as Major Arcana are drawn and push the plot along to its inevitable conclusion.

I’ve got a rough framework for Jewel of the Sea, including the essential mechanic (a tripartite token economy), five decks of encounters for different locations, and three endgame decks that are chosen based on decisions or events during the course of the game.

With all this other stuff going on, I’ve handed over control of my collaboration with Tore Nielsen to him; I’m now contributing bits and pieces, but he’ll be in charge of the project overall.

Alright, now time to make 2020 a productive year!