Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Back in the saddle again (ADOM Lite RPG update)

Hi everyone!

I'm back from a wonderful vacation to Namibia (that's the main reason for my silence during the past couple of weeks... Internet was kind of a problem during our trip - if it was available it usually was so slow that it was not fun to do much). Here'a a quick update of what happened in the meantime.
I intended to use the vacation to finally focus more on the ADOM Lite RPG and partially was successful with that. While I had planned to write and layout directly in Indesign I only did this a couple of times, fiddling more with classical pen & paper to wrench out designs for certain subsystems of the RPG. I also spent a bit too much time fiddling with images (but I love doing that, so...).

What I did:
  • I fiddled more with racial and class abilities in the RPG. Classes are still not quite done but getting there, races are not pretty much finished (really finished) except for one or two images I'm still unhappy with (hurthlings, trolls, drakelings maybe).
  • I spent way more time than intended on the random dungeon generation subsystem of the RPG. As solo dungeon exploration is the prime feature of the computer RPG it IMHO also should be the strongest feature of the pen & paper RPG (although nothing in the game will prevent more classical RPG pursuits). It took me a number of attempts to hopefully now find a way to randomly generate interesting dungeons for exploration - the next step here is to get my ideas in a more structured and readable form into Indesign.
  • I toyed with the combat system (which is way different from the one in the computer RPG), having a somewhat hard time to find the right balance between "fast" and "ADOM enough". That now also hopefully has been tackled.
  • I battled with space requirements but got some IMHO great inspiration for the monster lists - now I just need to purchase some more art to make this work out. Hopefully I will manage to include more than enough interesting and challenging monsters.
  • I worked on the content of the bonus booklet for the boxes that will be created and have a pretty good grasp of its content by now.
  • I have changed my opinion about the map to be included - right now I intend to make it an old-style hex map of the Drakalor Chain as this probably will offer more play value than a more artistic rendition. But I need to talk with Krys about this.
The revised time plan for the ADOM Lite RPG now is that I want to finish the first draft (including layout, I usually can't separate these two things) by end of May latest and then get the draft to a number of people who offered to help with proofreading, etc. I'm not yet sure how to manage this best as I want to keep integrating suggestions and changes as simple as possible but there will be a solution for that when time comes.

Here's a teaser of one of the new pages (with some holes, but you get the drift):

So in summary I made decent progress on number of issues although I also managed to enjoy the holiday ;-)

Read ya soon!


  1. Looking good so far, found a typo in the gnome entry. Under expert Leathercrafters you have "sell for tice the normal price." You forgot the w in twice. Sorry I don't like to point out these things a lot, but I figured you would like to know. If you do need help proofreading, I am available. Just contact me.

    1. Another editing nitpick: "six feet 10 inches" should either be "6 feet 10 inches" or "six feet ten inches." You shouldn't mix how you represent numbers.

    2. And there's more than just that, but that's the error that jumps out at me. The pages look pretty nice, though.

  2. It looks nice.

    One more typo:

    "Can see perfectly well during under the night sky."

    I assume you meant either "during the night" or "under the night sky".

  3. Thanks a lot - all will be fixed. I see the definite need for careful proofreading ;-)) (but given the fact that I myself haven't checked anything so far I'm not overly concerned ;-) ;-) )

  4. Looks great! I love the layout. Can't wait to see the dungeon generator you worked out.

  5. The content looks good, but I do have this feedback:
    Whitespace. Why do virtually all RPG books lack it?

    1. LOL, I know what you mean - as I'm fighting that in presentations all the time ;-)

      But sadly there is a reason for it: Budget. The main costs (besides invested time) for producing the RPG are printing costs and in order to not cut too much money away from the actual computer game the crowd funding campaign stated that the RPG book will be limited to 64 pages. So that's it. A complete RPG with all rules, dungeon generator, monsters, spells, treasures in 64 pages. Not even basic D&D managed that. That's why whitespace sadly would come at a premium.

      There are still some things I am going to do to reduce visual clutter (e.g. the now black tables probably would look much better and less intruding in some shade of gray) but in order to fit everything I want into 64 pages the book needs to be kind of heavy on content.

      The only alternative (IMHO) would be to reduce the rules to such a bare minimum that they could carry any arbitrary label and would not really be related to ADOM...

    2. Well, in the interests of space, you can certainly reference standard D&D rules by page number and say, "For more details see here:" or something, and just focus on describing the aspects that separate ADOM from that.