Firing On All Cylinders

Fantastic Team Midway meeting last night! We’ve been beavering away on rules and stuff and we’re at a point where we’re starting to be quite happy with the skills system we’re going to be using.

We’ve said before that our system will be cards-based and that a lot of character development is like a deck-building game where character development involved adapting your character’s stack of skills (his/her deck.) You might add cards that represent the skills your character has, or remove cards that either hamper your ability to draw the cards you want in a given situation, or that don’t give you the return on investment you feel you should get from your skills.

Our cards will all have four attributes – category, skill, effect and level. Skill checks can be made on either a category or a skill – “make a skill check against Military” for example, or more specifically “make a skill check against Sneak.”

Depending on the level, category and skill of a particular card it also has an effect in play. So possession of an “Astrogation” card allows you to operate the Astrogation station on a starship, but might also have an effect which allows you to perform some Jump maneuvering during ship-to-ship combat or follow another vessel when it Jumps. We expect there to be a lot of effects in the game, but that these should be “hidden” behind a comparatively small number of skills. Effects are also simple – we’re using the rule of “if the effect takes more than a sentence to explain, it’s too complex.”

We’ve got the first revision of our back-end computer program written as well. It allows us to create a database of players and a deck of cards for each player. The next step is to have it print out cards (if you’re interested we’re going to export to PDF and then print from there on the grounds that PDF has nice pixel-perfect formatting.) Once we’ve got that it’s usable.

In content update news, we’ve just added a timeline to the background HERE. We’re also, from next week, going to start adding information on player races. To that end we’ve got a poll going, which you can see to the right on our home page Which player race background would you like to see first? We’re going to drop one a week for a month… chunky blocks of chewy player background. Lastly, we’re enabling comments on the website as well, for those than can’t find their way to the forum!