Category Archives: NaGa DeMon

Raising Azazel (a FUDGE game)

So you may remember that I wrote at the start of November that I was going to do the NaGaDeMon challenge this year.

I managed to write and publish my game, going by the name of Raising Azazel. It is a PWYW on Drivethrurpg.

The challenge I signed up for was a FUDGE specific one. There are lots of different challenges in the NaGaDeMon community and the FUDGE one suited me and was  technically a bit easier in that the core mechanics are already tried and tested. It then became more about creating the setting and the story background and then customising FUDGE to bring it all together.

A month is surprisingly short when you set a deadline at the end of it!

The game I released was virtually unedited, had only been played once and in hindsight has some rather important omissions such as there is space of the character sheet for experience but absolutely no rules for experience in the game.

I did create lots of bespoke art for the finished, and I use the word finished lightly, game but every single piece is in exactly the same size and format. If I were to do the page layout again I would recreate most of the art.

I wanted the rule book to be almost a graphic novel with all the background and game setting depicted that way. As it is you get one page of the graphic novel and then a few odd panels dotted through the book. Graphic novels are hard to write if you are rather talentless as a writer!

Still talking about layout there is one example explaining a rule that is separated off into a boxout but none of the others are. I think they all should be so they are easier to find.

Something that I had seen in Terry Amthor’s Shadow World books that people seem to love are his vignette scenes at the top of each chapter. I had wanted to recreate that but the problem is that these require artistic talent as a writer. I did come up with something rather cool. I grabbed a couple of public domain books, one on devil worship in the 19th century and one on astrology. I then changed the odd word here, inserted my characters names for historical figures and such like and used these as extracts from fictitious books. I think they were quite cool but I think I need one at the top of every chapter so that the layout is consistent.

On the topic of chapters. I thought that it would be cool to have the chapter names and headings in Latin as there is a church conspiracy running through the game. This was a bad idea! Did you know that Chapter Six in Latin is Caput Sex? That is neither scary or cool.

So I have a choice now. I can confine Raising Azazel to the depths of OBS, never to be mentioned again or I can revise, edit, fix and improve the game. As I enjoyed the work I have done on it so far I rather fancy the second option.

So I am planning to try out Indiegogo. In the new year, I am stacked out right now with projects, I am going to launch a campaign and try and get some funding to do the bits I cannot do well done properly. It will also teach me something about how Indiegogo works and how to run a campaign.

If you are still reading this and you haven’t already seen the link to Raising Azazel on the Stargazer’s World MeWe group then could I ask you to have a look and give me some critical feedback in the comments? I can then evaluate it and build a todo list that will become part of the Indygogo campaign.

Here is that link again http://bit.ly/RaisingAzazelSGW

Raising Azazel Fudge Character Creation

Character Creation Basics

I will confess that creating this NagaDemon game has meant I have read the Fudge 1995 rules in detail for the first time. Up until now I have been working off of other peoples derived games and their customisations and interpretations.

So I am now writing up my character creation rules and I am having three primary attributes. These are Mind, Body and Spirit. I was looking at that list for ages and I could not work out what was odd about it until I realised that RPGs seem to prioritise Strength over everything else. I can remember D&D being Str, Int, Wis. Rolemaster has stats in two groups of 5. The first are the development point stats and they start with Con and the second group starts with Str.

I think that Mind, Body, Spirit feels more natural when you say it than Body, Mind, Spirit.

I am giving players 11 points to spend on the three attributes assuming they all start at -3[Terrible]. So a character should end up with one Fair and two Good attributes if they spend their points broadly.

A fourth attribute I am stealing from Ghost Ops and that is Boosts, basically Fudge Points. I think Boosts sounds more dynamic and less fuzzy than Fudge Points. Everyone will get 4 Boost Points at the start of play.

For the skill selection I have stripped out the supernormal skills such as spell casting as I don’t want the starting PCs to have access to magic. This left me with 19 categories and about 150 specific skills.

I am happy with that scope and I am giving players 30 points to spend. The default skill level will be -1[Poor]. No skill can be above Superb.

I am also going to use skill specialisations. So Combat would be a skill category, Swords would be a skill, Rapier would be a specialisation. Each character will get 10 points to be spent on specialisations with no more than 2 points spent on any specialisation.

At the moment I have not included gifts and faults. As I don’t have long to get the game up and running, leaving these out make for a simpler system.

For the GM

I have detailed nine broad character concepts with the character’s reason for becoming involved in the conspiracy. This information is for the GM only. They[the GM] should work this into the character’s back story. These concepts are things like The Journalist, The Law Enforcer, The Cult Survivor, The Hacker, The Curate, The Scientist, The Conspirator, The Investigator and The Mystic.

What I am aiming for is a sort of hidden agenda where without giving the main conspiracy away immediately, it is intrinsically linked to the character.

Artworks

I do have a habit of procrastinating. I think of it as giving myself time to mull over ideas. One nice way to procrastinate is playing with the art to decorate this game. I am thinking along the lines of building it up like a graphic novel. Here is the first panel.

So so far this is all pretty run of the mill except maybe for the GM only element of character creation and the GM having a hidden agenda to weave the conspiracy into the characters’ back stories.

If you want to follow the creation process then I am trying to post more frequent updates to twitter, if you are into that.

Demonic Fudge anyone?

I will not be posting a NagaDemon post every day, this is not an RPGaDay sort of thing but as this is the first official day I thought I would kick it off with a post. I will continue to post updates on twitter using the @PPMGamer account.

So we know the rules are going to be FUDGE. It is also going to be objective FUDGE as I don’t like the subjective labels and scale. I like numbers for attributes and numbers for Target Numbers.

I also know some of that I want included in the game. I was swords, magic and monsters (for that read Demonic horrors).

I also want it to be modern day.

So how to get people to go through the hassle of carrying a sword in modern day London or New Orleans (another potential location for the cultists)?

So demons can only be harmed by iron weapons, which thankfully includes steel. That means that bullets are not going to cut it and you can leave your taser at home too.

So this gives the first hints at the setting and mystical backdrop. Iron has often featured in folklore. I grabbed this from Wikipedia…

“Cold iron” is historically believed to repel, contain, or harm ghostsfairieswitches, and other malevolent supernatural creatures. This belief continued into later superstitions in a number of forms:

I can include all of that in the culture of the game world.

I rather fancied have magic based around rituals and ceremonies rather than whizz bang fireballs and magic missile spells. I was bumbling around wikipedia looking up magical ceremonies and I came across a name, Authur Edward Waite who was into some rather dark stuff back in the 1890s. As it happens there are two of his books on Project Gutenberg. I did a quick Find on the html text for words that I would probably want to see in my magical rituals like ‘circle’, ‘demon’,  ‘Masonic’ and ‘evocation’ and they are all there aplenty. His book is hundreds of pages long so I am not going to read it but it is out of copyright so I will probably lift from it to add flavour and background. I don’t want to go and publish stuff that is potentially offensive so I will take the text into Word and then do a Find/Replaced to insert some made up words in place of anything that I do not feel that comfortable with.

One idea in Waite’s work is that Masons are completely innocent and not into anything dark at all, but within the Masonic hierarchy there is an inner church. I like that. It means that Murder Hobo PCs cannot just walk into a Masonic meeting and feel justified in slaughtering everyone.

So I think I have my rules and I think I have my setting.

I think I really should read the Fudge rules in a bit more detail before bending them but I now have enough to start with. If I go quiet for a few days then it is because I am reading rulebooks!

Oh, yes, the image at the top of this post is from Waite’s treatise on Alchemy which just goes to show that there are some odd people about!