Saturday, 5 April 2014

New blog!

Head on over to to keep following the development of this project.

This blog will be on hiatus for a while until I figure out what I'm gonna do with it :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Stats, Attributes, Aptitudes... and more Stats!

Alright gang!

It's been a good run, but the time has now come for me to focus on Stats. The numbers on any given character sheet, from any given system and any given setting, that shapes and describes a character's abilities.

But first, a little info. I honestly thought I had my stats down and had moved on to other things, thinking that the stats I had already described would be more than enough for me to develop all other parts of character generation in a jiffy!

I was wrong! Oh dear God how I was wrong!

This week I have been punching away at the stats-section once again. After speaking to a friend of mine, who gave me multiple new ideas, not all of them pertaining to stats, I began to work on an aspect of stats I chose to name "Aptitudes". The idea was - and still is - that these aptitudes are inherent areas of expertise that we all have. Players put points in these aptitudes during the first step of character creation and these choices affect most of the future choices the players needs to make.
Aptitudes affect point costs for both skills, attributes and even talents. Therefore these choice are extremely important and the player needs to consider carefully where his points are spent in order to maximize output from his character.
Aptitudes are all intertwined though, meaning that you can't just add points to one aptitude and dump the rest in order to be a certain kind of character-type. All aptitudes affect multiple areas of both the character's psyche and physique, so dumping one aptitude, means you leave yourself open in some areas.

This time around I have decided to get this section of the rules done for good, meaning I need this to be finished in order to move on to developing the rest of the system. Talents for example, don't really work without some stats to affect. Spells or magic in general, won't really tell you much about what's going on besides the narrative effect, if there are no stats to buff or de-buff. This is the reason I've decided to keep at this untill it's done.

Thankfully, I'm going camping once again, with the geeks from my local gaming club ( and like last time, I've already asked a few of them to join me in a little sit-down to discuss a few areas of my book, in order to hopefully gain as much input as last time and perhaps run a few ideas by someone I don't usually speak to.

It's a short one this week, but hopefully the trip this weekend will yield a ton of new ideas to throw your way next week.

Untill then: Stay Classy and always remember to share these updates with as many people as you possibly can and join me on Twitter @ramucorp for more updates and nonsense!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Monday update!

Alright, so last week I told you all about how much great input I had gotten from camping with the fellas. This week I want to tell you about the part of the rules I'm currently working on and why.

Currently I'm spending my time trying to figure out what kind of system I want, in regards to which dice, how to use them and whether or not they should be added for a total or counted as a number of "successes" or "hits" as WoD or Shadowrun. I'm leaning towards a system based on the d6 and "successes", rather than a calculated total, due to the statistical advantages of this system approach, but I am in no way certain that this is where I'm going to end up.

Considering the system basis, I have spent the past two days trying to figure out which attributes I wish to use for different actions in the game. Quite frankly, as many of you know, I haven't even settled on which attributes I want in the game yet, so this is still a part of the system that is VERY much up in the air and subject to constant change, in sharp contrast to my system of magic, which I think is pretty much done (once again, thanks guys ;) ) and this, in fact is the subject of this update.

Up untill now I have been working with the following list of attributes and derived stats:

Might - Power and Stamina
Finesse - Dexterity and Reflexes
Mind - Reasoning and Memory
Willpower - Determination and Discipline
Charisma - Manipulation and Presence

Now these stats obviously make perfect sense in my mind, but having run them by ALOT of people, I have found that they may not be as obvious to everyone else, which is the reason I have been trying to change them in order to make them more accesible to others. This is not an easy task though, but last night I spoke to a friend on the phone (thanks again, Anders!) and was immensely inspired by listening to him going on about some thoughts he himself had had back in the day when he was trying to build a system of roleplaying. Alot of great points were exchanged and I think I have decided to not keep these stats and instead try to figure out what is needed for people to practice and hone their abilities and try to implement that in the game system.

One of the major points that was mentioned during last night's phone correspondance, was the idea of non-modifyable stats, meaning stats that you would need to really consider during character creation as they would never change and would have a major impact on what type of character you wish to play. This could be any type of stat from an inherent stat determining the character's ability to move in different ways to a general idea of what your character would be good at, having no practice or even prior knowledge of. The idea is, in itself, very abstract but once you start thinking it through, the idea becomes clearer and much more interesting. For example a stat that determines how well your character picks up and uses information in order to learn new skills and abilities would be a major consideration during character creation to nearly all character types - the warrior would need it in order to learn tactics and military history and appliance of strategies in different situation and against different enemies, the scholar would need this stat in order to pick up the numerous areas of knowledge he wishes to focus on and so on.

The idea of a stat like the one mentioned above is staggeringly interesting to me, as it enables a player to create an original character concept that actually makes sense during both early gameplay and lategame, as his ability to progress is not diminished in the same way as usual, when he gains xp or whatever sort of resource a system might use. Usually your ability to keep evolving and growing as a character is dampened the more time is spent playing the same character as your abilities become more expensive to develop - and just to be sure you all know this, I think this is fine and obviously it is done in existing system in order to balance things out and not make characters extremely overpowered in comparison to other players or NPCs, but it does feel like wading through a pool of mud at times, when your warrior just wants to keep hitting stuff and watching it break, but is penalized in every way because he's already unbelievably good at smashing stuff.

After my phone correspondance last night I obviously went straight to the computer and starting typing a few notes on the subject. So far, I've arived at the following:

Motor Skills - Determines your ability to develop skills in this category. Usually physical actions and movement skills.
People Skills - Determines your ability to develop social skills. Usually communicative skills, although some actions involve non-verbal abillities.
Cognitive Skills - Determines your ability to develop skills of a cognitive nature. Usually knowledge and Science-related skills.
Magical Aptitude - Determines your ability to manipulate magical energies. A certain level is necessary in order to learn magica paths.

Again, nothing is complete yet and everything is still very much subject to change, but these general skill categories or whatever they should be called, are extremely interesting to me as a kind of "top layer" of a character that gives a general idea of which direction he should be going, without limiting the character, should he choose to go another way later on. A great mathematical (cognitive) mind, with poor physical (motor skills) ability might choose to start lifting weights and practicing the martial art of Kendo (swordfighting), he may have trouble in the beginning but if he sticks with it and keeps practicing, eventually he'll begin to show signs of expertise in the areas chosen - I like that thought, very much in fact...

I think that should be the end of today's update, you can be sure I will be working on this subject for the entirety of this week at least and don't be surprised if next week's subject is exactly the same, although hopefully with new input and perhaps a bit more insight ;)

as always, tell everyone you know about this blog and follow @ramucorp on Twitter for updates, musings and general nonsense on a daily basis.

Stay Classy!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Going camping with "the guys" - in this case: "the nerds!"

This weekend (7th - 9th) I went camping with the guys (and girl) of our local "geek's"-club here in my hometown. It was basically a way for the club to "pay" the volunteers for their hard work during the past year - a great way to reward voluntary work imho.
We went up north to a big luxury hut, with indoor, heated pool, spa and sauna. Rooms for about 40 people, of which we only used 25, so LOTS of room for fun.

Before going on this trip I had planned to get some oppinions about Elrahna, the sundered realms, from people I don't usually involve in this project. I had planned to speak to them about the setting in general and if we had enough time, move on to a few other, more in-depth systemic subjects.
Honestly, I got WAY more than I bargained for! The guys were amazing in bombarding me with input and ideas for pretty much anything I chose to bring to the table.

I started off by showing Rasmus (R) my ideas for the paths of magic, in an attempt to make him name the paths I'd failed to mention. R didn't feel anything was missing initially (after I explained why I had deliberately left out the art of divination) so we just talked a bit about how I wanted it to work and how magicians would work in the setting. After a few more beers and alot more talk, Kåre (K) and Daniel (D) joined in and we actually started a great debate about the paths of magic in the setting. So good was this talk, that I actually ended up (at 5.30a.m.) with a completely new and revised list of magical paths, perfectly described and explained and to be quite honest I was feeling the proverbial "writer's high" at 5.30 in the morning, but we had to get some sleep at some point!

Magica Paths in Elrahna, the sundered realms

Enhancement - Enhancer

The practice of enhancing mundane items. This path is able to strengthen or otherwise better, mundane items in order to gain more out of them than naturally possible. This practice is more of a preparatory practice in a sense that most of the spells require lots of time to etch into the target item. These spells are short-term blessing that lasts for a set amount of time, determined at the time of casting. This practice is popular with craftsmen and artisans, who better their skills and products by blessing the process.

Illusions - Illusionist

The practice of creating illusions both in the physical world and in the minds of ones enemies. This path allows the mage to create visionary, sensory and auditory illusions, as well as creating ideas in the minds of a target. This practice is regarded in two ways depending on its usage: 1. The use of illusions – regarded as tricks, made by a harmless entertainer. 2. The use of mind-altering images – regarded as evil in its basest form. The ability to control another person’s mind is frowned upon to say the least.

Nature - Naturalist

The practice of manipulating natural laws and inhabitants. These spells focus on manipulating animals, controlling and calling different types of weather and gathering information concerning herbs and natural remedies. Often employed in rural areas, but very rare in civilized areas as these practices are regarded as heathen and in some areas even as being evil.

Necromancy - Necromancer

The practice of controlling and manipulating life and death. These spells are NOT evil in and of themselves, yet the fact that many of them deal with the Undead and the course of life and death often confuse the public and often cause the general public to pass judgment on the practitioners even before their abilities are fully known. Some of these mages are able to raise the dead and although this should never be confused with the Priests of Arranhar’s ability to revive a dead person, this ability is merely an animation of dead flesh and in no way affects or even considers the deceased’s soul. The Priests of Arranhar gain their ability to ressurect directly from Arranhar, the Lord of Life and Death

Coremancy - Coremancer

The practice of using raw magical force to imitate other’s powers and spells. Coremancers start by imitating the powers of other casters and learning how to counter and unravel magical spells and abilities. Coremancers are also capable of affecting the casting of spells in the moment of casting, modifying the parameters of a given spell to fit the Coremancer's wishes.

Entimancy - Entitist

The practice of summoning entities and binding them to the caster’s will. Affectionately called "Binders" by the general public. The entity is always hostile towards the Binder. This relationship requires the binder to constantly force the entity to obey. The strain on the Binder is so enormous, that the bond between the two must be constantly maintained. The practice is applicable in numerous situations, both for adventuring parties and to the general public. The Binders are often highly appreciated by the common folk, although some Binders have made a name for themselves in a rather negative way, due to their relationships with extraplanar beings.

Shaping - Shaper

This path grants the user the ability to shape his own form. What that means is, that the magician is capable of boosting his own attributes in all manner of ways. Usually a shaper is merely a "gifted individual", a soldier with uncanny reflexes and keen senses, an unusually precise cartographer, an incredibly strong dockworker, etc. Ultimately, the Shaper gains the ability to completely change his form to that of another sentient being, gaining the abilities, special qualities and appearance of this new form.

Honestly I'm extremely excited about these new paths. I think they are MUCH more appealing than the ones I had originally planned. I think these are original, innovative and they cover all the aspects of magic I had originally planned, so much better than I had imagined.

Thank you, guys! Kåre, Rasmus og Daniel - you completely blew me away with all your ideas and you've helped me much more than I could've ever hoped for!

As always, remember to follow @ramucorp on Twitter, for (nearly) daily updates :)

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Better late than never!

Alright, alright, so I'm already late on my promise from last week and for that, I apologise - but as the title says "better late than never!". I'm still determined to try to do an update each week featuring my current progress or whatever else is on my mind.

This week I have been working on the rules for the game. This part is WAY more complicated than I imagined and I'm gonna need to playtest this WAY more than I anticipated, but seeing as more people have asked to help out (thanks guys!) I'm fairly confident that this won't be a problem. What's going to be a problem is actually getting a system of rules together for actual playtime!
So far I've been spending time checking up on the rules of the systems I've played in the past, along with a couple of new systems ( and mostly to get some ideas of where to begin building, but obviously, the reading is also a way of getting to know the rules I'd like to get a chance to work on professionally ;) and I have to be honest: Fate Core Rules are REALLY making it hard to stay focused atm. these rules are awesome, plain and simple - check them out if you have the chance.
Alright back to Elrahna - I've started working on the basics - stats, skills, talents and combat. Stats are pretty much set in stone, as I think I have come to the conclusion that I want them in the game, although again Fate is making this hard to argue!
The stats are:

  • Might - Power and Stamina
  • Finesse - Dexterity and Reflexes
  • Mind - Reasoning and Memory
  • Willpower - Determination and Discipline
  • Charisma - Manipulation and Presence

Futhermore a system of "pools" is gonna determine how many actions a character is able to take before starting to suffer from exhaustion, both physically and mentally.

Lastly I'm still in a heated debate with my pillows and floorboards about whether or not "wounds" should be a part of this system or if the "Physical health" pool should be the only manner of determining when  character goes down.

I wan't this setting to be epic, heroic, dramatic and wonderful in every way possible, but at the same time I wan't the players (and the GM of course) to also feel a sense of danger in making their choices. Other systems offer lots of opportunities for heroics and drama, but very often the characters are never in any kind of actual danger. I wan't to change this. In Elrahna, there's always a chance for failure, a chance to get hurt, even a chance to die at every turn of a corner. I wan't this setting to be gritty, dark and dangerous, while at the same time offering all the fantastic and wonderful experiences as any other setting out there.

I realise that this may seem like a bit of a stretch, but think about it. We all want to be heroes. We all want to save the Princess from the Dragon. We all want the big, shiny treasure, but very often we're not willing to take the risks involved with all these and this is where I think most other systems and settings fail. The GM is very often reduced to the game manager, who basically just rolls a few dice and takes a few notes, while the players grind away at every challenge prepared for them. Elrahna is going to put the GM in the middle of things with new opportunities to throw the players a "curve ball" with intrusions and other unforeseen experiences that puts the players on their toes, while still keeping the story flowing.

The System
So far I haven't set anything in stone, regarding which type of system I want. The ones that are "on the table" are: d6(DC), d6(succes), d100(%), d100(DC) and stat-less (as mentioned above, this one is here ONLY due to the recent influence of Fate!). It all started with d100(DC) due to my early years of using Rolemaster as my go-to system, but since beginning to actually work on this thing I'm beginning to think this might not be the best idea. The reason for this is that Rolemaster, which is the only reference I have, was very math-heavy and often time-consuming on a level that made the story go into hibernation for long periods of time. Very often an entire night of gaming would revolve around a single combat, which isn't really what I'm trying to do here.
I need to figure out exactly what I want to do system-wise, before I can actually move on from here and I'm convinced a few playtests will be essential in making this choice.

Maybe that should be it for now. I think I will be spending my time figuring out a basic system type, before moving on from here. A few maps and such might be developed along the way, but for now, I think we'll leave the system to the playtesters.

Remember: @ramucorp on twitter for (almost) daily updates and other nonsense!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Late night update...

Just thought I'd give you guys a little late-night update, since I just finished the first of many islands of Elrahna.

Fern's Peak
A moderately sized island in the Pyranirran Empire. Famous for the Dragon's Cave in the center of the island. Noone has seen or heard from Fern the Fabulous (The Dragon, obviously) for more than 400 years and quite a few rumors have started, saying the mighty beast has died and his hoard of uncountable riches lies in the depths of his mountain lair. Noone has dared test these rumors, though... not yet.

The Empire has a rather famous Skyfortress on the island as well. The intimidating, yet wonderful Port Kharkas. Named for the mighty warrior who single-handedly defeated the mighty serpent Fravox, to save the entire region from utter destruction at the hands (and breath) of a Dragon gone mad. Port Kharkas is one of the best defended and largest tradehubs in the region, attracting both traders and adventurers inside it's mighty walls.

As I said: just a small night-time update, hope you like it :)

@ramucorp on twitter, help me spread the word!


Thursday, 30 January 2014

Elrahna, the sundered realms

Alright, so I've basically been non-existent in here for quite some time now and I just thought it might be time for a little update and an overview of 2014.

First of all, I'm still working on my role playing system: Elrahna, the sundered realms and to be perfectly honest I actually think work is progressing at an alarming rate! Been doing 3-5000 words a day for a little over 2 weeks now, which to me is quite alot, so everything is proceeding as I have foreseen!

Release for Christmas is going to be my ultimate goal, it's still very much up in the air if I'm going to be able to do this, since I have no idea what I'm going to be doing for cash over the course of 2014, so for now we'll just leave it at what's planned and not think about what might happen ;)

I will, over the course of 2014, be more active in here and update on the project as it progresses and probably some other stuff as well, but mainly the book-project. I'm planning on once a week for an update.

Now for this week's update I was thinking of doing my introduction on the book and how everything fits together.


The Setting

Elrahna is a world of wonder. Elrahna is a world unlike any other. Our Lord and Creator Boranis forged this world of ours eons ago from the fires of his World Forge. He created the mountains and gorges of Elrahna and when he gazed upon his creation, the Lord wept and the oceans and the lakes and rivers of the landscape were filled with tears of joy, for so filled with pride at his own achievement was the Lord that no crevasse was left unfilled. Lastly the Lord created the Eadhan and Shinabhan. Two equal beings of immense power, to guard and act as wardens for his creation. For the Eadhan, Boranis broke off a piece of his heart and forged the splinter into the first Eadhan created, in order to give to them, the noble and proud demeanor of their lord. For the Shinabhan, our Lord broke of a piece of his mind and gave it to the first Shinabhans, in order to give them scientific insight, while also providing industrious demeanor, for them to go out and keep building the world in the image of our lord.
-          Lord Tishar, Deity of Science, Lord of Knowledge, Keeper of the Call

Elrahna is a fantasy setting, for role playing games. It is a fantasy setting like so many before it and yet so unlike any other. Elrahna is a world of knights, maidens, dragons, magic, monsters and glorious heroes making their mark on the world. It is a fantasy setting laden with unspeakable horrors and uncountable treasures.

"But what, exactly IS Elrahna...?" - asked the wide-eyed little street urchin.

Elrahna is a world of bloody combat, unfathomable magic and mind-numbing mechanica. It is a world of colossal machines, resembling marauding, steel and wood robots. It is a world of all manner of magicians, warlocks, wizards and near-godlike spellslingers. Quite simply put – Elrahna is a setting wherein all of your favourite worlds and settings are collected and formed into one big, massive game world, where players and GM alike, can play the game however they like, be it high-magic, low-magic, action packed or investigation heavy or even horror and mood-based adventures. Elrahna offers it all.

The world itself is built on floating islands of massive proportions. If you think continents among a sea of clouds, you’ve got the idea. Astronomically speaking the world of Elrahna would more like be a bunch of enormous asteroids floating around a Gas Giant, but let’s not get bogged down in scientific nonsense and let’s try to keep up the illusion that magic is real and that every fibre of creation is permeated by magic.
Each island is most often ruled by a single Lord, King or otherwise politically powerful figure, although some islands are actually large enough to house more than one nation – such as the island of Pyranir, where the Pyranirran Empire is the largest nation, but others work hard to carve out their own place on the floating piece of land.

The floating continents of Elrahna do not move amongst each other as continents do. They simply remain fixed in space and therefore cartographers have no trouble making maps that are easily used by Sky Captains, piloting enormous and wonderful Skyships. Sky Captains are independent entrepreneurs, making their living from transporting both goods and the peoples of Elrahna, from one island to the next. Most of them are honest businessmen, if such a notion ever existed, but a few rotten apples do tend to have a mean streak and often take passengers to abandoned islands, dump them there and demand huge sums of chits for them to get to their destination, failure to comply – have fun on a small, uninhabited island with no chance of survival.

The mechano-magic of Elrahna is built on ancient and complex technology. Eons ago another “system” of magica was used on Elrahna, this magic was raw and often uncontrolled, until the emergence of the Eadhan and Shinabhan, two separate cultures with vastly different view on society, power, humanity and politics. These two cultures left lots of ancient technology in sealed tombs or “vaults” all around the world. During the sundering, these tombs were obviously mostly destroyed, but the ones that survived were spread on the floating isles that later became home to the cultures and races of present Elrahna and have now been discovered on a few islands and the power within has been harnessed to create the techno-monsters utilised in modern warfare. The concept of these “robots” called Mechano-Golems, or Me-Gos for short, is that the mechano-magic of the ancients is used as a conductor for power, which fuels the machine, while a magical bond between controller and Me-Go, servers as a way of issuing orders to the mechanical beasts. The controllers are called “Magineers” or affectionately referred to as “Techers” or simply “Mechanics”. Magineers often seem to others as loners or highly anti-social, since they spend most of their time talking to their gears and odd machinery. This is not true, though – most magineers are just like regular folk, but the amount of time needed to study the inner workings of Mechano-magic forces Magineers to spend most of their time alone and flooded with textbooks and manuals in order to fully control these spectacular fusions of magic and steel.

Magica in general is not just the war machines of the Magineers, but rather an all-consuming and all-creating force in the world of Elrahna. The giant ball of light, which the islands orbit, is actually a giant ball of raw, uncontrolled and quite frankly unfathomable magical power. All magicians draw their power from this near-inexhaustible source, to create the amazing and wonderful effects they use to build, break, probe, analyse, fight, fly and loads more. Every magicians on Elrahna understands that he is merely a diminutive piece of the mighty force that is Magica, therefore not everyone feels like harnessing these powers. Magica is not rare per se, the rarity in magicians is merely the fact that not everyone has the courage and ability to control these bursts of pure, magical force and therefore magicians - true magicians that is - are exceedingly rare.

Elrahna is a world that entails both wild unharnessed natural wonders and civilised, controlled and very familiar aspects of modern society in that both hunter/gatherer societies, shamanistic tribal societies and civilised and highly political and domesticated societies exists on the floating isles of Elrahna.

Next week I should be able to dig deeper into the systematic aspect of Elrahna, the sundered realms. Focusing on Magica, Character Creation and Encounters. 

In the meantime: Stay Classy!

As always, follow @ramucorp on Twitter for day-to-day updates!