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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Arduin Design Notes V

Okay so with some of the intangibles out of the way we sat down to get some of the fun parts done.  Figuring that everything had to start with the races (see earlier Arduin Design Posts, especially this one) it was time to tackle them.  Now, everyone, including us wanted to throw them all in the game.  Which was a daunting challenge.  So, to understand what I mean, pull out your handy Arduin Grimoire III (if you have them.  If you don't, consider grabbing a piece of history and getting them.  If that appeals, go here), and flip to the handy chart where David Hargrave outlined his new HP system.  If you take a gander at that chart you'll quickly realize that he lists nearly 50 races and that's not even close to all of them. This was as of AG III; he added reams more until his passing, some of which are in the later AGs.  Adding everyone of them was impossible. We would never get the book out the door if we did.  So it came to decision time and we pruned the list down.

The first alpha list had 39 races.  A lot of these fell out.  Most were very little known outside of a few fans so it was considered acceptable.  Some such as the Merfolk, Sea Elves, Avjuon were dropped out of necessity.  Introducing them and other underwater races required too much information to be stuff into the GM and other sections.  Same for a lot of the alien, mechanical and noncorporeal entities.  Even my favorite, the artificial intelligence, had to be dropped because of this fact.

In the end out of the alpha came around 30 races.  A few more were trimmed away during the beta (red dwarf, city elf to name two) and 26 races remained.  Not bad.  Most games are lucky to feature 10 so we thought that it was down justice.

Figuring out what races to put in was just the beginning.  Out decision with attributes (Arduin Design Post II for those interested) meant that we would continue with the trend of providing set attributes per race.  Additionally, a lot of perks, specifics and data about the races that was previously scattered all over was consolidated into each race write up.  Here is were we started putting in the implied yet never truly worked powers.  Deodanths and their time jumping ability.  Phraints and their jumping and special attacks.  Human adaptability and learning.  Shang and Zirin technological know how.  Racial memories.  And more, so much more.

In fact his work is what led to the breaking down of the old special rolls table into something completely different.

That discussion I'll save for our next design notes.

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