Monthly Archives: April 2010

Earth Delta Alpha 1.4

Earth Delta Alpha 1.4

Let’s see, this is the Alpha 1.4 of Earth Delta which is my spin on Gamma World, soon to be followed by the Beta, which will feature Omega-class robots and more Psi powers… is there any way I can work more Greek letters into this? "Kappa" gets almost no respect. Neither does "Omicron". But I digress. (Big shock there.)

Anyway, here is what I hope will be the final Alpha of Earth Delta, to be followed by the first of probably many betas. Two things wall off "alpha" from "beta". First, feature and mechanical solidity. Once I declare beta, there will likely be no major mechanical changes — I won’t alter the core mechanics of classes or how mutations work or the like, though plenty of values will be tweaked and changed. Second, there will be enough "stuff" in place to run an actual game from level 1 to 10… not as full, rich, or robust as a "release version", but enough so that each category of items has several viable choices — that means human gifts, tech items, mutations, consumables, and all the rest will have more than 1 or 2 placeholder items. At the point I declare this to be in beta, there’s no excuse for wholly missing subsections of the rules. (This does not include sections I’ve already decided are "non core" — for example, PC Robots may or may not be in beta, but they’re not a requirement. On the other hand, you’d better be able to use the races I’ve declared "complete’ to generate a range of reasonable, balanced, characters.

How long from Alpha to Beta? Not sure. My very loose goal, right now, is the end of May. Depending on how things go, there might be an "Alpha 1.5" between here and there, as I like to keep the site active to remind people this project is still alive, but I will do that primarily if there’s been another major shift in mechanics, not just if I’ve added 15 more monsters and 20 more tech items.

 What’s in this new version? You can read on, or you can just follow this link to jump to the PDF.

As always, in case you got here by accident, the explanation: Earth Delta is Lizard’s take on "Mutants And Mayhem" roleplaying, ala classic Gamma World, with rules based on the Fourth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

Continue reading

Earth Delta Design Diary 4/18/2010

Slouching Towards Beta

It’s very easy to assume projects are abandoned on the Internet. Recently, doing some searches for things and checking out old bookmarks, I spent a fair bit of time wandering through the ruins of once-proud websites. "Community" sites set up with a dozen different boards, none with any posts on them since 2003 (save for those which didn’t filter spammers, which were filled with "new" posts delivered there by hard-working Russian robots.) Thus, these design diaries, which are not just records of my random neuron firings over game design (TLDR for pretty much all of them:"This is HARD!"), but also serve as a reminder to my hypothetical readers that, yes, I’m still working on it. Actively. I just broke 100K words, and the Scholar, subject of so much hemming and hawing on these posts, finally hit level 10.

So at what point does an Alpha become a Beta?

Read on!

(Oh, for those coming in late… Earth Delta is my take on "Mutants and Mayhem" style adventuring, using the rules from Dungeons & Dragons, Fourth Edition.)

Continue reading

Earth Delta Design Diaries, 4/9/2010

Monsters And Statistics

So, I have this dim view that soonish… maybe by the end of April, if I have time… I will officially declare Earth Delta to be in Beta. This involves deciding exactly what needs to be done to establish "Beta State". I want the game to be playable to level 10, which means as cool as power armor and death machines might be, most of my design work is focused on filling in the Heroic Tier experience, with just enough stuff for higher levels to:

  •  Satisfy my desire to work on them
  • "Scout out" high level stuff to make sure nothing I do at low levels will break
  • Serve as a "teaser" for interested readers as to where the design is going.

Since one of my core design goals is that Earth Delta not be relegated solely to the "Beer & Pretzels"/"Pickup Game" ghetto, making sure that "epic level play" is supported is important, but it has to rest on a solid foundation of low level play.

Until now, I’ve been mostly making monsters based on whims, or whenever a horrid pun comes to mind. Certainly, some has been niche-driven; I knew there had to be mounts, there had to be Cryp… er… Cataclysm Cult representatives, there had to be hungry plants, and so on. However, design has mostly been driven thus far by simply getting an idea and running with it. I decided to take a good look at what I’d done so far, and work out what tactical, as opposed to conceptual, niches were unfilled.

Continue reading

Earth Delta Design Diaries 04/04/2010

Of Scholars And Snagators

Well, I’d hoped to be able to release the first true Beta of Earth Delta this weekend, but that ain’t happening, and probably not next weekend, either, since there’s a local SF con that will be digging in to my "sitting around writing up mutants" time. A lot of stuff is coming together nicely. I’ve rounded out mutations and human gifts, begun filling out the tech item treasures, and added in more monsters and the like. I have some nifty ideas for the Survivialist (Ranger) I need to finish up on. The Scholar, however, continues to be a real pain. Read on for more whining, and maybe a cool preview monster or two!

Continue reading