The Forge Archives

Inactive Forums => Adamant Entertainment => Topic started by: Jürgen Mayer on March 04, 2002, 03:41:34 PM



Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on March 04, 2002, 03:41:34 PM
Changes I would like to see in UW2:

Better explanation of the Charms: what is a charm (spell or artifact or both, well we dicussed all this in the GO UW forums about a year ago, but be sure to give your readers the answer those possible questions in UW2), how can you learn one, why you won't just teach it to your friends (since you will prolly include the infos on Secrets from DownBelow, that should be covered)

An additional map of New York, marked with the locations of the described UnderWorld areas and domains, for us Non-NewYorkers.

The majority of the artwork in UW1 is great. But please get rid of those sketchy drawings (I'm sure you can guess which ones I'm talking about), better to have fewer pictures of high quality than to boost your pic count with some not-so-high-quality ones.

A line on the charsheet for negative traits. The majority of players I know use this option.

Schreckenskäfer spelled correctly. =)

Looking forward to the new edition!


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on March 05, 2002, 05:23:20 AM
Some quick responses:

Better explanation of the Charms: what is a charm (spell or artifact or both, well we dicussed all this in the GO UW forums about a year ago, but be sure to give your readers the answer those possible questions in UW2), how can you learn one, why you won't just teach it to your friends (since you will prolly include the infos on Secrets from DownBelow, that should be covered)

Yeah, that ties into the rules for Secrets, which will be appearing in UW2.  Briefly: Secrets are imbued with powerful magic, which gets less powerful as more people learn them.  Charms are low-powered Secrets, which are 'on their way out'...gradually losing power.  So, if you teach it to all your friends, you run the risk of completely depleting the power behind the Charm.

An additional map of New York, marked with the locations of the described UnderWorld areas and domains, for us Non-NewYorkers.

Hard to do, since a traditional map doesn't allow for three dimensions, and some of the locations are below others.  I'm trying to figure out a way to represent this without having to include a dozen stacked maps.   What I'm currently thinking is taking the subway map of NYC, and overlaying it with a grid, and just giving grid locations and depth in the location descriptions.  Not sure.

The majority of the artwork in UW1 is great. But please get rid of those sketchy drawings (I'm sure you can guess which ones I'm talking about), better to have fewer pictures of high quality than to boost your pic count with some not-so-high-quality ones.

Yeah, the sketchy ones are being dropped, as are ones that I didn't like but got included anyway.  We've got more material from the better artists, originally intended for DownBelow, and we've found some new artists as well.  So, I'm afraid that you'll have to settle for more pictures of higher quality.  :)

A line on the charsheet for negative traits. The majority of players I know use this option.

OK.  Good idea, and thanks for pointing that out.

Back to work,

GMS


Title: Three Dimensional Maps
Post by: Le Joueur on March 05, 2002, 06:45:04 AM
Quote from: GMSkarka
An additional map of New York, marked with the locations of the described UnderWorld areas and domains, for us Non-NewYorkers.

Hard to do, since a traditional map doesn't allow for three dimensions, and some of the locations are below others.  I'm trying to figure out a way to represent this without having to include a dozen stacked maps.   What I'm currently thinking is taking the subway map of NYC, and overlaying it with a grid, and just giving grid locations and depth in the location descriptions.

I suggest a (done to look as though transparent) isometric projection including 5 or 6 (duplicate perimeter) 'layers,' bunched up to the point that the 'near' edge of one overlaps onto the 'far' edge of the level below it.  If you keep the position of the "areas" relatively vague or symbolic and make the top layer an 'actual map' (with reference lines that 'drop down' like wells and have 'connection points' marked at each level - not as passages, just reference), it should all fit neatly onto one page, yet contain all the rough information.

If the above makes any sense (with this flu/sinus infection combo I have, how could it?), and you want clarification, send me a private message.

Fang Langford

Diagram:
Code:
                             ,,gad"Y8bg,,
   'Real Map'           ,,gad""'       ""Y8bg,,
                  ,,gad""'      @ Ref B     ""Y8bg,,
            ,,gad""'            |                ""Y8bg,,
      ,,gad""'                  |       Ref C X      ""Y8bg,,
,,gad""'                        |             |     ,,gad""'
 ""Y8bg,          Ref A 0        |             |,gad""'
     ""Y8bg,           |        |       ,,gad"8'
         ""Y8bg,       |        | ,,gad""'    |
             ""Y8bg,   |    ,,ga8""'          |
                 ""Y8bg8gad""',,8ad"Y8bg,,    |
  Upper Level          |,,gad""'|      ""Y8bg,8
                  ,,gad8"'      @           ""88bg,,
            ,,gad""'   |        |             |  ""Y8bg,,
      ,,gad""'         |        |             X      ""Y8bg,,
,,gad""'               |        |             |     ,,gad""'
 ""Y8bg,                0        |             |,gad""'
     ""Y8bg,           |        |       ,,gad"8'
         ""Y8bg,       |        | ,,gad""'    |
             ""Y8bg,   |    ,,ga8""'          |
                 ""Y8bg8gad""',,8ad"Y8bg,,    |
  Lower Level          |,,gad""'|      ""Y8bg,8
                  ,,gad8"'      @           ""88bg,,
            ,,gad""'   |                      |  ""Y8bg,,
      ,,gad""'         |                      X      ""Y8bg,,
,,gad""'               |                            ,,gad""'
 ""Y8bg,                0                       ,gad""'
     ""Y8bg,                            ,,gad""'
         ""Y8bg,                  ,,gad""'
             ""Y8bg,        ,,ga8""'
                 ""Y8bg8gad""'


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on March 05, 2002, 07:29:30 AM
Yeah, that does make sense....and the diagram helps as well.

Problem is, that it's much more complex than that.  The 'real map" top level is a map of NYC---309 square miles.  Putting that into a perspective model would lose detail. The UW is also more than just a few levels deep, which would make things even more complex.

It's definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges in producing UW2.

GMS


Title: The Cartographer is IN
Post by: Le Joueur on March 05, 2002, 08:54:00 AM
Quote from: GMSkarka
Yeah, that does make sense...and the diagram helps as well.

Problem is, that it's much more complex than that.  The 'real map" top level is a map of NYC---309 square miles.

Then you have to ask yourself what you want the map used for.

Quote from: GMSkarka
Putting that into a perspective model would lose detail.

Some abstraction is good (that's what maps are in the first place), otherwise maps would have to be actual size.  What a good map is has to do with what it is to be used for.  Are comprehensive street names needed?  Their main use is finding your way somewhere (something I assume you aren't planning for in UnderWorld).

I mean, you really need to ask yourself what you want the consumer to use the map for.  Don't put detail in unless it is either necessary or comforting.  Do not add detail for its own sake!  It's nice to have a map to give you a 'feel' for where everything is relative to each other but is it really necessary to know that one place is exactly 30' lower?

I figured actual depths would be somewhat vague and that all that was necessary was a rough relativity.  Thus the players could say to themselves, "Hey, that'd be all the way across town!" Or, "We're practically there, right above it, in fact.  All we need to do is penetrate two enclaves of nasties and battle one big baddie and voila!"

Quote from: GMSkarka
The UW is also more than just a few levels deep, which would make things even more complex.


Unless you're planning on having players calculate accurate trip times, more than just a relative position is largely unnecessary.  A map like I am suggesting could include things like borders and 'spheres of influence' quite easily, but leaves out a lot of 'local color.'  Metaphorically, do you need to know all the shops on Fifth Avenue or is it more where Central Park is from the Chrysler Building is from Fifth Avenue?  Likewise, you might consider 'detail inserts;' like 'here is Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, and Alphabet city, this insert gives the stores on Fifth Avenue.'

Several "levels" would abstract into a single layer allowing your to fix relative vertical position without absolute measure.  Think about how much of each "level" is 'empty' (without relevant detail); these areas are left blank or filled with objects of interest from immediately above or below as multiple "levels" are abstracted into fewer 'layers.'

Cartography is a hobby of mine, and I hate seeing pages of maps filled with so much empty space or inconsequential detail laid out flat so that you can only really conceive of them as completely separated 'spaces.'  I suggest putting it all together so a person can get a quick feel of how all the elements relate in three-dimensional space.  I may be wrong, but I get the impression that the UnderWorld is not clear and open to strictly horizontal traffic.  I guess I saw characters having to work their way across the realm moving up and down to find the path of least resistance.  A map like I envision would allow pockets of resistance to become obvious.

I guess it might all come down to how many 'points of interest' you are planning to display (and whether many of them fall into clusters that could be pulled out for detail).  Do you have any idea?

Quote from: GMSkarka
It's definitely going to be one of the biggest challenges in producing UW2.


I think the real biggest challenge was orchestrating it all together in the first place.  What we're talking here is just the icing on the cake; all the mixing and the blending are done (and quite well, my compliments to the chef).

Fang Langford


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Valamir on March 05, 2002, 09:13:52 AM
Well, I'll chime in with what I'd like in a map.

Just a map of the subway routes.  I'm very familiar with the DC Metro system, enough to know its NOTHING like the ones in New York.

With the subway system being so vital to the core concepts of the game, I'd want to have a better understanding of how it actually functions.  Including simple day to day type notes, like does it use tickets, or tokens, or express passes (in DC you get a magnetic strip cardboard ticket from a vending machine that carries a balance and then it debits the balance each time you ride based on what terminal you got on / off at).

I'd want a basic transit map with some caption notes on the major stops (I imagine there'd be far too many to do all of the stops).   Things like "very dirty", or "right next to the zoo", or "a vender here makes the best pierogies" type of stuff.

After that the various UW locations could really just be abstracted from that "Approximately 300 yards below A train stop 37" (or however they're referred to in New York.  In DC it would be "Approxiamately 300 yards below Shady Grove station on the Red Line"...which is actually an above ground station with the most available parking)

Capture the flavor of what makes the New York Subway system unique for those of us who don't really know it.  Then just include a basic transit map so we can get from Queens to Manhattan with some semblance of knowledge.  The rest is really just detail of the kind more suited to GURPs then UW, IMO.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on March 05, 2002, 09:17:09 AM
Y'know, you could use an abstract system for travelling through the UnderWorld and use maps for getting the "stats" I call this "paying tolls."

Say the distance from Street A to Bus Station B is seven coins (which you can quickly find on the gridded map). But then Joe the Tagger has a navigation ability which cuts the distance to six coins. Factor in their vehicle, five coins. Then just do a flip of those five coins -- any tails that show up mean that something has happened in between here and there. A one-tail obstacle is something minor (some beastie), while a five-tail obstacle represents something major (like a cave-in).

Or something. I dunno, it's a bit like a wandering monster roll.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jason L Blair on March 05, 2002, 09:22:07 AM
Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on March 05, 2002, 09:24:40 AM
I'd want a basic transit map with some caption notes on the major stops (I imagine there'd be far too many to do all of the stops). Things like "very dirty", or "right next to the zoo", or "a vender here makes the best pierogies" type of stuff.

After that the various UW locations could really just be abstracted from that


Well, that's pretty much what we had in the first edition.  We swung a deal with the Metropolitan Transit Authority to reproduce the official NYC Subway map, and for the locations in the UnderWorld that we talked about, we gave brief descriptions of where they were in relation to the subway stops.

I think that just expanding what we've already got---making the map flow across two pages, so it's easier to read, for example, instead of shrinking it to one page, and adding descriptions of the stations, as you suggest above--would work for me better than maps.

UnderWorld is a fairy tale....and locations aren't entirely fixed.  Plus, I'd want Conductors to be able to customize their own locations and stuff, which would be a lot harder if everything was spelled out and locked down.

GMS


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on March 05, 2002, 09:33:43 AM
Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen

Y'know, you could use an abstract system for travelling through the UnderWorld and use maps for getting the "stats" I call this "paying tolls."

Say the distance from Street A to Bus Station B is seven coins (which you can quickly find on the gridded map). But then Joe the Tagger has a navigation ability which cuts the distance to six coins. Factor in their vehicle, five coins. Then just do a flip of those five coins -- any tails that show up mean that something has happened in between here and there. A one-tail obstacle is something minor (some beastie), while a five-tail obstacle represents something major (like a cave-in).

Or something. I dunno, it's a bit like a wandering monster roll.


That's a great idea, Jared.  You interested in doing some freelance, or are you just "donating" the idea for a name-check?  :)

If you want to do freelance, let me know.  I'll figure out the specifics on how we're handling the map-grid idea, and get that info to you so you can flesh out your 'paying tolls' idea.

GMS


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: joshua neff on March 05, 2002, 12:46:39 PM
I think it's a fine line to walk. On one hand, for non-New Yorkers, there should be some detail, to help simulate the city & below. On the other hand, Gareth's exactly right (& not just because it's his game), UnderWorld is a fairy tale/myth, & nothing should be set in stone.

I love Over the Edge, but I wish there was more in the rulebook on how to make a weird place like Al Amarja, & less on what specifically Al Amarja is like. I think Gareth could easily do that in UW mark 2--have lots of good stuff to help a GM (or Conductor) & players (since I could see a lot of the setting being created by players, along the lines of intuitive continuity) create a fairy tale/myth landscape under New York (or any big subway city), rather than lots of details of what his New York UnderWorld is like.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: TSL on March 05, 2002, 12:54:02 PM
Quote from: Key20Jason

Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.


Now, now, Jason, you know Jared is insane as well as brilliant.  He may not know whether that's an insult, a compliment or an invitation. :)

As I recall, not to long ago I was reading some posts where Jared indicated that he was unsure if there was any design left to do, as most of it had probably been done in one shape or another before. Perhaps... but this idea, Mr. Sorensen is not only the best "wandering monster" idea I've heard for any system, but it's UnderWorld linked to boot.

Instead of a GM secretly rolling dice, you totally engage the players since the character doing the navigation would do the flipping.  The players would all know something was going to happen after the flip, not suspect.  The nature of any trouble would still be in the Conductor's hands, but the players would be all to painfully aware that they brought it on themselves, mercilessly ribbing the poor soul that did the navigating no doubt.  Throw in a few complications, like a second navigator being able to help out and your good to go.

This even goes along well with a Secret I created called "The Swiftest Road".

Bravo, Jared.

(I mean "well done" of course, Jared is more like a Librarian-Artificer.)


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jason L Blair on March 05, 2002, 12:57:09 PM
Quote from: TSL

Quote from: Key20Jason

Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.

Now, now, Jason, you know Jared is insane as well as brilliant.  He may not know whether that's an insult, a compliment or an invitation. :)


Trust me, Jared knows it's all three.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on March 05, 2002, 01:26:35 PM
Quote from: Key20Jason

Trust me, Jared knows it's all three.


OK....raise your hands if "Eww".

Thank you for buffing my mind's eyeball with THAT particular image.

Yeesh.

GMS


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on March 05, 2002, 02:34:07 PM
Quote from: GMSkarka

That's a great idea, Jared.  You interested in doing some freelance, or are you just "donating" the idea for a name-check?  :)

If you want to do freelance, let me know.  I'll figure out the specifics on how we're handling the map-grid idea, and get that info to you so you can flesh out your 'paying tolls' idea.


Um, sure. I'd be happy to help out.

Jeepers, I didn't think it was that good...I almost didn't post it. Glad I did. :)

Oh yeah -- you won't even need maps, really. Just a list of the tolls between various places mentioned in the game (bonus: make it look like a ticket you get at toll booths in NY/NJ).

So (making these up because I don't have UW within arm's reach):

From Barony of Cheese
to El Dorado - 3 coins (good roads, not too far)
to Kingston - 5 coins (farther than El Dorado)
to the Wastes - 6 coins (not as far, but more dangerous roads)


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jason L Blair on March 05, 2002, 02:38:08 PM
Quote from: GMSkarka

Quote from: Key20Jason

Trust me, Jared knows it's all three.


OK....raise your hands if "Eww".

Thank you for buffing my mind's eyeball with THAT particular image.

Yeesh.

GMS


In case you missed it, that was Gareth volunteering to hold the camera.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Gordon C. Landis on March 05, 2002, 03:13:52 PM
Quote from: Key20Jason

Quote from: GMSkarka

Quote from: Key20Jason

Trust me, Jared knows it's all three.

OK....raise your hands if "Eww".

Thank you for buffing my mind's eyeball with THAT particular image.

Yeesh.

In case you missed it, that was Gareth volunteering to hold the camera.


It's obviously been too long since someone reminded Jason he is a sick, sick man.

Jason, you are a sick, sick man.

Not that there's anything *wrong* with love between two Game Designers - I mean, I think it's *good* that in today's society such a love need not hide itself in closets and such.

Really.  I do.

But my arm is in the air, and I do say "Eww".

Gordon
(Will I buy the new edition of Underworld?  Magic 8-Ball says: "The odds are in your favor")


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on March 05, 2002, 03:37:06 PM
Quote from: GMSkarka

Hard to do, since a traditional map doesn't allow for three dimensions, and some of the locations are below others.  I'm trying to figure out a way to represent this without having to include a dozen stacked maps.   What I'm currently thinking is taking the subway map of NYC, and overlaying it with a grid, and just giving grid locations and depth in the location descriptions.  Not sure.


After reading about all the different opinions and thinking about, I have to admit that having a "hard facts"-map would take some of the fantasy feeling away. So a double sided map with some detail on specific landmarks would actually work best, no "this domain is exaclty here". Just give the conductor a better toolkit and let his imagination do the rest.

For Jared's system, just make a table like this:

Code:

            ! Crooklyn   ! Wonderland ! Old Bones  ! Vandeville !
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Crooklyn    !            !     3      !     6      !     4      !
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Wonderland  !     3      !            !     5      !     8      !
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Old Bones   !     6      !     5      !            !     4      !
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Vandeville  !     4      !     8      !     4      !            !
-----------------------------------------------------------------


Jürgen Mayer


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Adam on March 05, 2002, 06:34:43 PM
Quote from: Key20Jason

Fuck you, Jared, that's awesome.

I agree. About the awesome, not about the fucking... well, maybe about that, too.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Ben Morgan on March 06, 2002, 01:45:55 AM
Okay, I'm not gonna go *anywhere* near one side or the other of the whole "Eww" issue. It's just not my business. :)

A word on maps: It's not as important for me, as I live here in NYC, so I can get as many free subway maps as I want. However, including a *second* copy of the subway map, with all of the game-related details removed (ie: just the subway lines), would be nifty. Then this map could be photocopied and used by Conductors in individual games, and all manner of notes could be scribbled on it.

Just a thought. :)


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Adam on March 06, 2002, 01:52:21 AM
*digs around in nearly forgotten databases, glad that he's a packrat*

http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/nyct/maps/submap.htm for a colour version of the same map.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Valamir on March 06, 2002, 05:12:57 AM
Excellent resource Adam.  And a damn well put together site to boot.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Mike Holmes on March 06, 2002, 11:38:31 AM
How about more like a subway timetable, Jared? Kinda like what MM has above, but with the stops on the way?

The interesting thing about something like that would be that it would drag the characters through important locales on the way to other places. Allow them to shorten the trip and/or avoid these locales with Navigation rolls. But in general, they'd need to follow certain paths to get from place to place. This is cool becuse it is so fairy-tale, and gives you an idea of the "terrain" between two points. Reminds me of the paths in the game Magic Realm. Sure you can go off the beaten path, but that's when people get lost...

Just seems like a better representation of things than free movement in 3D. After all, this is underground.

Mike


Title: The Map Thing
Post by: Tim Gray on March 10, 2002, 12:57:47 AM
What I did was to print off a map from some subway site, then go through the book and mark on rough circles where the locations are. And really, that's all you need: a subway map on a reasonable scale, with locations roughly circled in felt-tip marker (or computer facsimile). If you wanted you could show depth with different colours or line styles (or just keep the confusing overlapping). Apply a bit of staining and crinkling and it's something you bought from a Tagger.

The layers with vertical connections version is good for explanation, but it's too modern, high-tech and precise. After all, locations routinely move around a bit to get comfortable, so exact guidelines have as much chance of getting you to the wrong spot as the right one.

For similar reasons a "timetable" of routes between stations would need to build in flexibility rather than being prescriptive about *the* route.

I support the idea behind Jared's travelling idea: think about the main activities characters will be doing and write the rules and support material accordingly. Eg travelling tunnels, visiting domains...


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on March 11, 2002, 03:36:00 AM
Quote from: MadMoses (hey, that's me!)

A line on the charsheet for negative traits. The majority of players I know use this option.


Additionally: IIRC, the old charsheet's wounding table was incomplete. There was only one space to check for each wound level, but there should have be three spaces for each one.

Jürgen Mayer


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Tim Gray on March 11, 2002, 07:35:49 AM
Plus temporary wound levels (not quite sure whether that's another 3 spaces for each one).


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: jordvortexan on March 13, 2002, 12:30:09 AM
A few things I'd like:

An INDEX. Please. Every game should have an index. Please.

A section on creating characters with out Guilds where they arent penalized.

I think that the choice and descriptions of Breeds is nice and they are quite open but the choices for Guilds are quite limiting. It seems to me that the UW would be loaded with folks who don't fit into such neat occupational catagories.

When I ran the game the only Guilds taken were Bravo and Tagger. The other characters were great concepts that were hampered by the system. Also the Guild requirements limits players from playing Newbies who just got downbelow.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on March 13, 2002, 05:36:34 AM
Quote from: jordvortexan

An INDEX. Please. Every game should have an index. Please.

A section on creating characters with out Guilds where they arent penalized.


Index - you should definitely include one.

Guildless Characers - I also encountered this problem once. Give us a few guidelines for characters who don't fit into a Guild. As it is now they are unplayably penalized.

Jürgen Mayer


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: jordvortexan on March 13, 2002, 08:32:26 PM
There's also the fact that the Feral don't really fit into any Guilds, they're one of my favorite Breeds but the Guild requirement makes them too handicapped.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on March 14, 2002, 01:41:01 AM
Quote from: jordvortexan
There's also the fact that the Feral don't really fit into any Guilds, they're one of my favorite Breeds but the Guild requirement makes them too handicapped.


Really? Don't have a problem with that. I had only one feral in my groups until now, and that was a bravo tiger assassin. But why aren't other guilds possible? A monkey tagger. A horse navigator. A rat nomad (hey, an unkillable rat!). A mole sapper.

Jürgen Mayer


Title: Response to "problem" with Ferals and Guilds
Post by: Tim Gray on March 14, 2002, 02:14:27 PM
In one corner of Wonderland there is a burrow. In the burrow lives the White Rabbit. Visiting unannounced is a poor idea, due to the various personal security and defence systems he has installed beneath the turf and in the tree trunks. It wasn't his idea to come here - some Homeless who liberated an animal research lab thought Wonderland ought to have a White Rabbit and brought him down - but he's got a nice spot and values his privacy. Under the gruff exterior there may be one or two soft spots, but don't put money on it. Caring little for the opinions or company of other Ferals, he has no qualms about using his manipulator arm rig.



BTW, the unkillable rat is brilliant.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jared A. Sorensen on March 14, 2002, 03:36:09 PM
Ferals. I LOVE the Ferals...but (and this is not some weird furry thing), it would be cool if the Radiance mucked with them a bit.

Radiance 0: Normal surface-world beasties
Radiance 1: standard UW beasties
Radiance 2: vaguely anthropamorphic beasties (ie: thumbs, bipedal)
Radiance 3+: weird "manimal" looking men and women (see http://www.daniellee.com for Daniel Lee's manimal photos)

This would rock the house.

THAT would be cool. Also, yes...the Undead (ie: ghosts) breed.  I was also gonna say Fey as well but really, they're just Legendaries.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on April 01, 2002, 01:03:59 PM
I thought about starting a new thread about this, but the subject of this thread covered it nicely, so I'll just add to it:

What would you folks like to see, in terms of progress reports/updates/sneak peaks of UW2?   It's going to be 7 months or so before the game is released, and I know that people are going to want to see things to keep their interest level up.

A new "game design" column is not an option, because there are too many of the damn things nowadays, and updating to a second edition doesn't involve a lot of design anyway.

I would still like to do *something*, though.  Any ideas?

GMS


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Valamir on April 01, 2002, 01:21:25 PM
How about a weekly/monthly/whatever "sneakpeak".

Maybe start off by making a list of all of the differences from trivial to signifigant (not including correcting typos of course) between the two, and then dedicating a thread to each.

The Graffiti art cover type of thread addresses the "Whats new with the cover" question.

The map thread was similiar, but could be updated when you decide how your going to go.

Maybe interior art would be another thread.  Which 1e pics got scratched, what artists are doing the new art, give some links to sites they have so we can check em out.

d20 would be another one...give a sample UW character class template or two (like Pinnacle did with their D20 version), and discuss how you translate head counts to d20 rolls.

Some key items from the supplement that never came out that is now going to be included in the core book.

I wouldn't expect a full blown "column" on each, but I think this would be a good place to start.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Tim Gray on April 01, 2002, 01:52:39 PM
Not just here - using the website is at least as important. The 'Godlike' folks did fairly well on that score. Make sure it always looks like something's happening, and that it caters for new interest as well as old timers like us. For instance, you may want to put up brief summaries of the Breeds and Guilds.


Title: What I'd like to see...
Post by: soundwave on June 09, 2002, 09:21:43 PM
What do I personally want to see in UW 2ed. ?

1. More of Clayton Graham's artwork! This guy kicks. I dunno what it is, but his amerime style really does it for me.

2. More adventure seeds/hooks. The random generator in the back of 1ed. is fine, but I would have preferred a few more pages of pre-thought-through adventure ideas, and have the random generator as a web extra.

3. Smaller font sizes, and closer-packed text. Maybe I'm just used to the font sizes White Wolf and SJ Games (among others) use, but UW 1ed. seemed a little like the essays I used to write in high school: large fonts and few words on a line, to make it look like there's more text than there really is. :)

Besides, with the space you'd save using slighter smaller fonts, and laying off on the justified text alignment, you could pack in more nifty stuff and Clayton Graham artwork. :)

4. Better written and edited flavor text / game fiction. I loved the story about Goodfella Robin and the poker game, but the opening piece of fiction could really have been much better, especially since it served as an intro to the book.

5. More consistency in the layout and design, and general production values. Respect to the Jaffe brothers, love their work and all, but Joshua Jaffe still had a lot to learn about readability and consistency when he was working on UW 1ed. Yes, his work in Last Exodus is vastly improved, but it still suffers from some jarring awkwardnesses.

6. An updated inspirography. This was one of the sections I found very useful in 1ed., and I like to see an expanded (though smaller fonted and paragraph spaced :) ) version in 2ed. This is where I first discovered the works of China Mieville and others, and more readers should have the chance to do the same.

7. Better designed character sheets. Yes, the two sheets in 1ed. looked nice, but I would've preferred a single full-page sheet, with space for character extras like exploits and equipment notes, as well as more readable design.

I realise most of this is design commentary, but hopefully it's helpful. :)


Title: Re: What I'd like to see...
Post by: AndyGuest on June 10, 2002, 12:13:20 AM
Quote from: soundwave

4. Better written and edited flavor text / game fiction. I loved the story about Goodfella Robin and the poker game, but the opening piece of fiction could really have been much better, especially since it served as an intro to the book.


Can't remember if I commented on this before or not. I like the opening text but found it a bit heavy on the in game details. That is to say, I couldn't follow the opening story until I had read the rest of the game, even though I'd followed the design columns.

So to put it another way, I like it, I think it should be in the book, but I think it should be towards the end of the book and something more newbie friendly should be at the beginning, perhaps something describing an upworlder coming into the underworld for the first time, so as to serve as an introduction for new readers.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jason L Blair on June 10, 2002, 12:21:30 AM
On the fiction tip, what I would like to see is something like the scenes from the UW soundtrack. Maybe you could introduce each section with something like that? Since you're merging the UW mainbook and Down Below, I'm not sure how UW2 is going to be structured so perhaps that wouldn't fit. I do like the fiction, though, and think it should be kept. Some people have a hatred of fiction, but those people tend to think RPG books should look like stereo instructions (Insert Stat A into Slot C of the UW2ed Character Sheet [see diagram]). Bah. Art, baby! ART!


Title: Re: What I'd like to see...
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on June 10, 2002, 01:27:35 AM
Quote from: soundwave
7. Better designed character sheets. Yes, the two sheets in 1ed. looked nice, but I would've preferred a single full-page sheet, with space for character extras like exploits and equipment notes, as well as more readable design.


I uploaded my custom, full page Underworld character sheet to rpgsheets.com, you can download it by clicking the following link:
UWCS.pdf (http://www.rpgsheets.com/cgi-bin/arcdb.cgi?action=dl&id=911)


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on June 10, 2002, 06:57:08 AM
A couple of comments to the recent spate of posts:

1) Clayton Graham artwork.  A lot of folks had exactly the opposite opinion...they HATED the anime-influenced stuff.   To be honest, I haven't made up my mind yet regarding what to do with that stuff.  Some of it (the Navigator, for example) I loved.  But others (the Bravo) not so much.  Not sure if I want more from him.  All of which is wrapped up in the big question:  is that style too much of a jarring switch from everything else.  My instinct tells me yes...Clayton's stuff is amazing, but only workable if I did the whole book like that.   I'd love to hear further comments.

2) Fiction.  UW2 is going to have a bunch of new fiction pieces of varying length, and I might be dropping some of the work from the 1st edition, depending on how space works out.

3) Layout.   It looks like I'm probably going to be doing that myself, unless I get a look at the sample pages that SOMEONE who recently posted said they were working up for me....  *ahem*

GMS


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: ReverendCuster187 on June 10, 2002, 08:24:13 AM
Heres my take on things;

1) The anime style artwork was great, and meshed well with the rest of the book, far better than a lot of the (frankly quite shit) other stuff in there

2) Fiction like the Goodfella Robin story and the interview with the subway worker is great, but the opener story left a lot to be desired. I think the emphasis should be on mystery and intrigue rather than action

3) Keep the hiphop/graffiti feel to the game. It is definately what sold it to me

Keep up the good work!


Title: Hey, I resemble that remark...
Post by: TSL on June 10, 2002, 11:48:59 AM
Nothing like getting complemented and insulted in the same sentence. LOL

As the party responsible for both the Goodfella Robin and the opening fiction piece, Down Below, I'll just tell you guys this:

Down Below was meant to be in pieces through-out the book, not one continuous story.  But I agree with all and sundry, if I had it to over again, I'd re-written it a few more times...

Hey, wait a minute... I get to do it over again.  Yipee!  

New fiction though, new fiction.  Hmm, maybe, after UW2 is out, I'll do a proper rewrite on the original story and put it up on the web.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Tim Gray on June 10, 2002, 12:40:27 PM
Fiction - off the top of my head the only really expendable bit was the Alfred Ely Beach thing. The rest were quite good - or would have been, with editing etc.

Maybe some of it could be used to paint pictures of what it's like to walk into a domain, what everyday life is like, etc.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on June 10, 2002, 04:36:19 PM
Quote from: GMSkarka
1) Clayton Graham artwork.  A lot of folks had exactly the opposite opinion...they HATED the anime-influenced stuff.   To be honest, I haven't made up my mind yet regarding what to do with that stuff.  Some of it (the Navigator, for example) I loved.  But others (the Bravo) not so much.  Not sure if I want more from him.  All of which is wrapped up in the big question:  is that style too much of a jarring switch from everything else.  My instinct tells me yes...Clayton's stuff is amazing, but only workable if I did the whole book like that.   I'd love to hear further comments.


I love Clayton's artwork; yes, it is different, but in a refreshing way.

If you think that his style doesn't mesh well with others, then take all his pics (and prolly Peter Johnson's stuff, which would go well with it) and do a whole chapter (maybe the action chapter, because most of their stuff is very combat oriented) with this art.

I know the budget is tight, but if there are some bucks left for art, I would recommend to select your [insert number of chapters here] favourite artists from 1st Ed., and hire them for some additional artwork specifically for the chapter you want them in, so that you have consistent artwork in every chapter. This also helps when browsing the book for info during the game: when I spot a Clayton artwork, I know I am in the combat section, for example. Use one artist to illustrate all the Breeds and Guilds. Use another one for the magic section, you get my point.

That's how I would do it. (Yes, I'm volunteering for UW2 art direction.)


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: soundwave on June 10, 2002, 05:53:29 PM
Quote
I know the budget is tight, but if there are some bucks left for art, I would recommend to select your [insert number of chapters here] favourite artists from 1st Ed., and hire them for some additional artwork specifically for the chapter you want them in, so that you have consistent artwork in every chapter. This also helps when browsing the book for info during the game: when I spot a Clayton artwork, I know I am in the combat section, for example. Use one artist to illustrate all the Breeds and Guilds. Use another one for the magic section, you get my point.


This has to be the best RPG visual design idea I've ever heard.

Not only is it functional and utilitarian, with the ability to locate chapters with visual cues, but it allows for both consistency and variety in artwork styles.

This one is definitely a winner.

As far as picking an artist to do the archetype portraits, my advice is make sure you get someone with a crisp, clean and recognisable style, so that readers do actually get some idea of what that Breed/Guild is all about. Also, it might be an idea to have the portraits depict either a) odd or unusual combinations of Breed and Guild, to show the variety possible and spark ideas (i.e. a Feral Artificer) OR b) common combinations, to illustrate traditional roles and mixes that work well together (i.e. a Junkman Bravo).

On a side note, I don't know what material that was planned for DownBelow you'll include in UW2, but I'd like to see one or two more Guilds added, particularly ones with a more social/communicative role, like diplomats and/or messengers. I imagine there's a fair bit of call in the world below for individuals who can communicate easily with those in many other domains, as well as people who know quick, safe routes between them.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on June 11, 2002, 01:24:37 AM
Quote from: soundwave
This has to be the best RPG visual design idea I've ever heard.

Thanks, but isn't that a totally obvious idea? It strikes me as odd that most RPG books still scatter artwork from different artists all over the place. The only reasons to do this are a) you want it that way (for whatever reason) or b) you have a tight art budget and therefore have to use what you can get.

Quote from: soundwave
As far as picking an artist to do the archetype portraits, my advice is make sure you get someone with a crisp, clean and recognisable style, so that readers do actually get some idea of what that Breed/Guild is all about. Also, it might be an idea to have the portraits depict either a) odd or unusual combinations of Breed and Guild, to show the variety possible and spark ideas (i.e. a Feral Artificer) OR b) common combinations, to illustrate traditional roles and mixes that work well together (i.e. a Junkman Bravo).


Seconded.

Quote from: soundwave
I'd like to see one or two more Guilds added, particularly ones with a more social/communicative role, like diplomats and/or messengers. I imagine there's a fair bit of call in the world below for individuals who can communicate easily with those in many other domains, as well as people who know quick, safe routes between them.


There's already a Guild with " people who know quick, safe routes between them", the Taggers. But messengers/diplomats are surely needed in the Underworld; they could be a subset of the Taggers Guild (if there are plans for sub-guilds?) or a Guild of their own that could also include people who transfer messages through magic or technicians who hijack phone lines and internet connections to use them in UnderWorld areas where the Radiance level allows it (heh, there could even be artificiers who are building steamtech robot messengers; an R2 unit built with a trashcan, anyone?).

Oh, and Gareth, keep the photos. They look great.


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: GMSkarka on June 11, 2002, 06:16:14 AM
Re: Social Guild--

We are adding at least one new Guild:  The Buskers (street musicians).  They fill the niche of the historical bards:  entertainment, news service, and messenger/diplomat.  More on this is coming in the column over at RPGnet in a couple of weeks.

Re: Photos--
Thanks, Jurgen.  Not only are we keeping the photos, we're adding a ton more.  It's the medium that I work in (I did a few in the 1st edition book), and I've also lined up a couple of new artists who also work digital, as well.

Re: Art Direction--

I'm not really into the idea of "lumping" artists together.  SCS tried that with The Last Exodus, and I'm not sure it was entirely successful there.  I think that if you can get your artists on the same page, thematically, there is no problem with variety throughout the book.

GMS


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: Jürgen Mayer on June 11, 2002, 06:49:31 AM
Quote from: GMSkarka
The Buskers (street musicians).  They fill the niche of the historical bards:  entertainment, news service, and messenger/diplomat.

Rock!

Quote from: GMSkarka
Not only are we keeping the photos, we're adding a ton more.  It's the medium that I work in (I did a few in the 1st edition book), and I've also lined up a couple of new artists who also work digital, as well.

Sounds good. The digital art of the guy who did the new cover fits UW well.

Quote from: GMSkarka
I'm not really into the idea of "lumping" artists together.  SCS tried that with The Last Exodus, and I'm not sure it was entirely successful there.  I think that if you can get your artists on the same page, thematically, there is no problem with variety throughout the book.

The reason why it didn't work with TLE is that the idea was there, but they didn't stick to it. The only chapter where they really did it was the history section. If you want to go with an idea, stick to it. (This sounds like "Design for Dummies," doesn't it?) I won't mind if you mix artists if the quality is top notch. But I would still advise to have the breeds'n'guilds illustrated by one (1) really good artist. (One for breeds and another one for guilds would be ok, too.) This section, where the players choose whom to play, has to have only the best artwork. If I see a picture of a breed, it has to jump out of the page and scream "PLAY ME!" If I show the book to a friend to get him interested in the game, and open it up at the artificiers guild, the picture has to make him go "I WANT TO PLAY ONE OF THOSE ARTIFICIER DUDES!"


Title: what I would like to see
Post by: ReverendCuster187 on June 11, 2002, 12:39:33 PM
I would agree that the Breeds and Guilds need some really good artwork. One thing I like is when a number of different examples of each are presented on the page, kinda like the races in d20. Personally, I think that the style used for the Bravo, Navigator and Tagger (PARTICULARLY the Tagger) would be perfect, maybe smaller, with a few more examples.


Title: Steampunk
Post by: Eddy Fate on June 13, 2002, 10:40:58 AM
Quote from: GMSkarka
Re: Social Guild--

We are adding at least one new Guild:  The Buskers (street musicians).  They fill the niche of the historical bards:  entertainment, news service, and messenger/diplomat.  More on this is coming in the column over at RPGnet in a couple of weeks.


Wow, this seems familiar - just like the old conversations on RPGnet a few years back.  :-)

Don't know if you covered this yet or not, but one thing I liked about the first ed but felt wasn't covered enough was the wonky "steampunk" garbage-tech.  The feeling that a certain device just shouldn't work adds a lot to the "alien yet familiar" atmosphere that really makes UnderWorld great.

But I will toss a "me too" out there - I also think the art direction looks phenom.