Hello! I’m Voodoo Dolly, the mascot for Fool’s Moon Entertainment Inc! I’ll be reporting on anything new coming from the company, and give you exclusive, behind the scenes looks at everything we’re working on.
So, a little bit about me before we start. I was initially a character designed by ShifterCat, one of our editors, for a high school art project. The VP of the company was smitten, and when it became time to do a company logo, I was his first choice. The amazing Malcolm Earle drew up the design you can see on the right, and we’ve never looked back since.
Now, on with the show.
FMEI is over a decade old, and was launched to release the initial roleplaying game Fool’s Moon. We’ve come quite a long way since that mammoth project, and while it isn’t completed, the world that was made is quite alive and kicking. A number of our future projects will use the core setting from that concept — the fictional city of Trois Portes – the City of Three Doors. You’ll hear more about the city in the future.
The first RPG release made under the company name was Mhar Fantasy, created by Greg Older. We’ve since moved on, but that was our first product. Later came Fox Magic, and the creation of the Story Point System (SPS). You’ll be hearing a lot about it’s sister, the Advanced story Point System (ASPS) in a moment, it’s the company’s primary game engine. Later, through our friends at Silver Games LLC we released Widdershins. This used a very light-touch game engine designed for quick and easy play. Now, through FMEI, we’ll be releasing a version of Widdershins which will be using both the original engine, and the Advanced Story Point System.
The Advanced Story Point System (ASPS) is built on the original game engine for Fox Magic. Through ASPS, we’ve stripped down the setting-specific rules, and made a core engine which can be used for any game world you desire. We’ll be releasing the core ASPS engine soon, allowing people to buy the engine, design their own games, and let us promote their work.
The beauty of the ASPS engine is that it’s flexible without either watering down the game into becoming generic, or so technical that it’s a chore to use. The creator selects what attributes to use, what parts of the character are important, and how they interconnect with the core engine. Once those choices are made, the designer decides how technical any given aspect needs to be. Once this is done, the engine takes over, your sheet is ready, and you’re able to play.
Because the core engine is the same across any setting, characters can shift from one setting to the other with no change to the character sheet at all. Even if the games use different attributes, different abilities, or different components, they all tie into the same engine, meaning that a character from one game can walk into the other game instantly, and be played with no alterations.
The game also scales instantly. One player can decide to play a normal, everyday human, another can play a superhero, and another can play a dragon, and the game engine doesn’t care. This is because the attributes used aren’t an indication of ‘how good you are at this thing’ – it’s an indication of how much you feel that attribute is important to your character’s persona.
To use an example from the game everyone knows – there, you can have a Dexterity from 3 to 18, with 3 being ‘clumsy’, and 18 being ‘dextrous’. In ASPS, that doesn’t follow. 3 would mean ‘Dexterity means very little to my character image’, and 18 would mean ‘Dexterity is incredibly important to my character image’. Neither tells you how dextrous the character is. Just how important it is that you can use your dexterity in a scene.
So what determines how dextrous you are? Usually, your character’s Concept or Background. If you write down your character is a Skilled Juggler or Acrobat or something else on your sheet, that will inform the game master your character is dextrous. You’re always considered to have the skills that make sense for your background or concept. If your background or concept applies to an action you’re doing, you get a bonus. Your Difficulty to perform an action is lower. And, usually, you don’t need to roll at all.
Your concept is ‘Juggler’ and you’re juggling? No roll. You’re good. Oh, you need to do something that requires incredible hand-eye-coordination? You’re probably good. You might not even need to make a roll. Now, if you want to show off just how good you are, you want a high attribute. If it’s more of a background thing? No high attribute needed.
The presumption is always, you’re as good as is reasonable for your character to be. Also, you will have the skills, income, and tools that would be appropriate for your background or concept. If more granularity is needed for this, the designer (who is probably your game master) will add it to the game.
A character might have: Fireball: Inflict Ongoing Escalating Burn Condition. In another setting, the character might have: Fireball: Spend 1 Story Point. Inflicts 1 Physical Wound and the Burnt Condition to everyone in a 10 meter radius. Range: 100 meters. The first is more narrative. The second is more crunchy. Both are considered ‘correct’ and can be used. It all depends on what the designer or game master wants for their particular setting.
If you have any question, throw me a comment, and I’ll do my very best to answer you! I’ll try to have another quick post up for you soon! Have fun!
– Voodoo Dolly
– Official Mascot of Fool’s Moon Entertainment Inc.