Thursday, February 25, 2016

Aioskoru Adventure seeds

Aioskoru Centaur Region Adventure Seeds

For this blog post, I wanted to present a few adventure seeds for thee Ekouinmanus Kapos region of the world, to help progress the adventurers into the content. The world content can be found on the Aioskoru World section. Statistics for the NPCs can be found in various sources. See the monster reference page for details. Specific regional info can be found on the Ekouinmanus Kapos page.

Goals: Meeting the centaurs, gaining trust, meeting secondary main figures, meeting scorpion centaurs, meeting the goblins.
  1. The adventurers are surrounded by a patrol band of centaur. If the group tries to negotiate a way to prove that they are friendly, the leader will ask them to scout out and confront an enemy scorpion centaur camp which has been making their way too close to their area a few hills over. In return, they will allow their entry, escorted to the nearest village to meet a village elder.
    • During the adventures observation of the centaur, they see a messenger come. A few minutes later, it or another one leaves the camp
  2. The patrol band's scout report several dead from several local horse free ranging horse herds. Freedom from horse slavery is important to the centaurs. They would like the adventurers to investigate, find, and bring the culprit to justice.
  3. A great illness has broken out in one of the small centaur tribes killing a few older centaurs, far away from even a medium villages. Their tribe lacks a healer. The chief would like you to go get help from the healers in the closest village. The send with you a token as a sign that you are sent representing their tribe. 
    • The healer send the adventurers into hills inhabited by goblins and giant bees to collect ingredients to make a healing antidote.
    • A mystical mortician has arrived at the tribe to perform the death ceremony. After that, the corpses of the dead must be escorted along with the mystical mortician  to the centaur cemetery to insure safe passage into the Plains of Grazing. The centaurs believe that any interference or successful attack on the funeral procession means that those that died will not reach the Plains of Grazing.
    • Naraxeth, head of the mystical morticians is coming to observe the one that the adventure party helped escort. He is son of the last king, nephew of the current king Cykr
  4. A messenger has arrived. The medium village or local guard post is expecting the arrival of Iletrel, military leader of the entire centaur land tomorrow. Any help to prepare them to receive the military leader would be helpful: cleaning, gathering wood, organizing, getting food together for the dinning halls, etc.
    • Rumors may be over heard either by the leaders or soldiers of increase in goblin infestation.
  5. A farmer needs tools to help prepare for the upcoming planting/harvesting/fertilizing (any season except winter) of alfalfa - the staple food of centaurs. His/her normal help has been out injured/sick. He/she has a list of tools needed as well as the damaged tools. 
    • The adventures can go to the tool vendors or ironsmith to try getting the tools repaired. The smith may ask them to procure iron ore and or coal from the mines. On the way to the mines or in the mines is a good place for confronting goblins. Once dealt with and raw materials obtained, the story can lead into the field work, with more interaction with goblins and enter into a the goblin story arch.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Expanding Fate Approaches

Normally, Fate Accelerated (FAE) uses Approaches instead of abilities and skills.

A few alternatives expand the approaches. This blog post looks at a method to expand approaches.


Approaches are defined as
"there are six approaches that describe how you perform actions."
The six approaches are careful, clever, flashy, forceful, quick, and sneaky.

Approaches vs Abilities (stats) and Skills

I see approaches as already accounting for natural abilities and learned skills mixed together forming "how" a character performs actions, normally separated in other games. A few proposals have attempted to expand or explain the dynamic interaction of approaches

One common expansion of Approaches

Some people expand the approaches by adding modes or categories of skills. These categories sort of mimic skill bonuses to a point. To me, that type of system moves away from what FAE does in the first place. It almost uses the approaches as ability scores.

Bidirectional Approaches

I was interested in expanding the types of approaches. Rather than having one approach, have two polar opposite values for each approach. Having two methods of doing actions might add an interesting dynamic towards storytelling. A character can either do it one of the established methods, or a method opposite of the established method. Doing so would create contrasting methods of doing actions.

Normally, the approaches are unidirectional. As the approach rating increases, it means your character gets better in how they perform the action. However they perform the action in one manner or quality.

Rational of Bidirectional Approaches

When I looked at 'Clever', what came to my mind was that psychology says that there are 'thinkers' and 'feelers'. Thinkers think out their solutions, but feelers follow emotions to solve their problems. Clever, I thought, focuses on thinking rather than feeling. Feeling out solutions isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is just different than thinking.

I then looked at 'Careful'. Careful to me is someone cautious and alert. I thought about the opposite is being carefree and spontaneous. Sometimes it is better not to think about things and just to jump in and act. Sometimes a person can overthink things out and miss opportunities due to delaying action.

'Flashy', although dramatic in groups, doesn't help when a character is in isolation. In fact, a highly flashy character should struggle when there are no people around, like many charismatic social butterflies. Quiet social introverts would thrive when trying to do things on their own. They are self starters.

Does someone always have to be forceful? What about characters that want to heal or be helpful? Someone that doesn't want to be aggressive, rather passive. Someone that is friendly and has higher degrees of friendliness - which isn't the same as charismatic flashy characters that put on a show.

Is being quick always a good thing? Sometimes slow is better. Someone that is accustomed to doing things quick has a difficult time slowing down. They can be impatient. Just as someone slow from the countryside can have trouble speeding up when they go to a major city.

While sneaky and deception is good for backstabbers, sometimes being upfront, direct, and to the point is better, calling out battles and confrontations. Direct people get to the point and don't skirt issues.

Basic model of Bidirectional Approaches

  • alert/casual, for careful
  • brainy/instinctive, for clever
  • social/lone-wolf, for flashy
  • hostile/friendly, for forceful
  • speedy/slow, for quick
  • deceptive/direct, for sneaky

Psychological basis - Meyer's Brigg & Five Factor

careful - sensing 
clever - thinking/feeling conscientious
flashy - extrovert/introvert - extroversion
forceful - perceiving - agreeableness

I consider two additional Approaches to complete a standard psychological model.

adaptable/unchanging, for innovative. 
based on - intuitive - openness

willful/crazy, for stable. 
based on - judging - neuroticism

A Bidirectional Approach model

careful - alert/casual
clever - brainy/instinctive
flashy - social/lone-wolf
forceful - hostile/friendly
innovative - adaptable/unchanging
quick - speedy/slow
sneaky - deceptive/direct
stable - willful/crazy

In another post I will continue this proposal continuing to how this model could be used dynamically and how they relate to Fate Core skills.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Alone: Gameplay

The Story

Generate a Random Event
Catalyst: It’s a Trap
Location: Guard Station

Someone forgotten from the past has trapped Andra near a guard station.

“Out to finish what they started? “[G: Yes] Hear Booming Voice, See slitted eyes,

More than one? [G: Yes] Difficulty: 4

“You’re still alive! We’ll take care of that,” echoes a booming voice.
Hear sudden loud popping sound.

He must seek safety shelter in the nick of time.

Does Andra get out of the way in time?

[E: Y! Regeneration, Superstition] [belonging : light]  [Jera: effort pays off] .

Not only that, Andra does get out of the way and sees someone that triggers a memory from his past. Also Off to the site, a glint of a metal scrap shines catching his attention.

[Card: Name : Zahra, Vice: Wrath, Catalyst: A broken heart]

The familiar face is  Zahra,  a jealous acquaintance from the past who once seemed interested in him.

Does Zahra have anything to do with the past tragic event? [E: Y Training]
Zahra had been joined with a group of people and was taken under their wings in this mob like organization. It is the same mob that attacked and killed her family.

Is Zahra jealous of this new adopted family that Andra has created ?[G: N, Tool]

[Love interest: tower,crown, heart] [They have grown emotionally distant, They surpass you in wealth,property, or status in an important way. Your relationship has recently become more serious in some way, or you have broached the subject.]

Zahra is using this attack against Andra to increase her rank in the mob.

Did Andra get involved with someone else? [G: Yes, confuse container, hear: smashed pottery, see: bright streaks, belonging: child’s toy]

She was going to give Andra a gift with something he had wanted since a child. When Zahra had seen Aindra with this other person, she threw down the gift and it smashed to pieces on the ground, tears falling down her face. She committed herself to the mob at that moment.

Instead of love, Zahra received great wealth, her feelings having become distant and pushed aside.

Back to story

Does Zahra go for the shiny object to use as a weapon? [G: Y!, Monument][belonging: religious object]

It is a metal statue of one of the local gods.

He reaches down and grabs the statue. Holding it close he looks out towards where the attackers were.

What does he see, smell, or hear? [Card: See: shining chrome, hear: rapidly approaching sirens, smell: a pungent fart, 3]

He feels nauseous as he sees Zahra running at him, holding a shiny sword in hand above her head charging at him with three others behind her.

Does he throw the statue at Zahra? [E: N, Deny Dream]

He is struck with terror at this former person who was interested in him is now going to be killed by her hands.

Is Jiffar nearby? [G: No]
Is there anyplace else to go? [E: Yes, Museum, see: tapestries depicting mythic scenes -> theater, Isaz= puzzled , confused]

Confused by what is going on and him being all alone, he notices the theater door open nearby.

Does he run towards the door, if so how fast? [G: Yes, 6, smells burning candles]

In he runs into the theater. Immediately the scent and flickering of burning candles assaulted his senses.

Does he shut the door? [G: Yes, eliminate purity]

He shuts the door and uses the statue to jam it into the handle so it can’t be opened.

The door is shaken, pounded on, and then slammed several times.

Does the door break? [B: Yes, Weaken Rebellion, catalyst: earthquake]

Little by little, the door cracks and shatters. They are breaking into the door, despite him thinking that it would be strong enough to hold.

Is there anyone else in the room? [G: Yes, d6 3, Bargain Aura]

Yes, three people that seem to be looking to deal art pieces are in the museum.

“People are attacking me,” he said to the three other.

Do they come to help? [E: No, hear: blast of horn]

They turn, scream, and shout while running out of the main room and down that hall.

What comes to Andra’s mind? [remember stockpile]

Andra senses that things may get worse. He spots the candles around the room and considers lighting the door block and door on fire. He grabs a few candles and throws it onto the pile.

Chance of catching fire [E: Yes]

The furniture quickly bursts into flames. The shaking of the door soon ceases. But now he has a different issue: the burning room.

[Spend fragment on vignette]

He then remembered seeing, when he came in, a bunch of water in the corner of the museum. End of Vignette

He shouts out “fire” to alert the museum.

He runs over, lifts the large jar of water, carries the water over to the door, and dumps it.

Does it extinguish the fire? If not, how much? [E: No 6]

Over half of the fire is put out. He looks around to see if anyone has come to help.

Has anyone come to help? [G: Yes, rearrange solution]

Those that ran off have now returned. They quickly come determined now to save the art pieces.

Soon the fire is extinguished.

What happens when now? [RE: Bargain source]

“We thank you for saving our precious art from the vile deeds of those chasing you,” one person says.

[belonging: massive inheritance, name: Hassan]

“No problem,” Andra says hiding his involvement in starting the fire. “I don’t know why they were trying to break into here and chase me.”

"I'm Hassan and this is my collection of art being displayed. It is priceless."

"I'm Glad I could help."

"If you should ever need any help, you can find me in the mercantile district. I own the rare artifacts business on Straf Street."

"I'm Andra, " he said, bowing to the older dealer. "I bid you farewell," he says with a smile.

End of Beat
I feel like this part of the story has run it's events.


[Restore Lookout]
Outside, he wanders until finally finding Jiffar a few streets down. How has your shopping been, Andra? I bumped into and old friend," he said.

Andra smiles and then does a half-cough, half-giggle. "Me to," he says recalling Zahra. "And I made a new friend," he said, thinking of Hassan. "Maybe a good new friend"....

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Creating a fantasy language

Several popular fantasy languages exist in different fiction worlds.

Tolkien's Quenya, Valarin, Dwarven, Elfin, Black Speech, Mannish, Adunaic and several scripts are widely known as structures that underlay the very foundation of his Middle Earth writings.

The structures lead to a naming system that remains somewhat consistent throughout the series.

For Aioskoru, I wanted to use less known and more ancient languages as a basis.

For humans, I had heard of Proto-Indo European is the theoretical language spoken at the latest before 3500 BC. Older than than many languages. It is the common ancestor of Latin, Greek, Celtic, Germanic, Indo-Iranian, Armanian, Balto-Slavic, Anatolian, and Albanian with generally accepted confidence. I would find what I could about known words and then add my own vocabulary, based on the same families of languages. I would simplify my own grammar if the real grammar seemed too complex. In a nutshell, I would take what I could, and create what I needed.

For elves, I saw that Proto-Austronesian would be interesting. I know Filipino rather well, and so I could fill in the holes with my existing knowledge of one of the important Austronesian languages. It is a related cousin of Malaysian, Polynesian, and Oceanic languages.

For Orc and Goblin, I decided to corrupt the human into goblin and elf into orc languages.

In the future, I have plans of making the dwarf languages out of ancient Middle East language.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Quick free world maps using GIMP filters and Donjon fractal maps - Part 2: Getting different types of maps

Quick free world maps using GIMP filters and Donjon fractal maps series:
Part 1: Getting a fractal map,
Part 2: Getting different types of maps,
Part 3: More accurate 3D maps with mountains,
Part 4: Zooming and resolution,
Part 5 Expanding the Zoom Limits.

Part 2: Getting different types of maps

In the last tutorial in part 1 (here), I showed you how to find a map, record the seed #, change the water and ice levels, make layer, and make 3D top perspective maps using GIMP.

With that seed that you recorded in part 1, I will now show you how to find additional types of maps for your world.

Take the your seed # from the Fantasy World Generator to another Donjon map maker, the Fractal World Generator 

Although they look very similar, this tool will create different types of maps. It will not create the grid or biome terrain maps.

It will create polar and other maps.

Donjon Fractal World Generator

Verify that you have the correct map, change the seed #, % water, # ice, and iteration to 25000 settings to find that map.

  1. Enter your seed # into the Random Seed box to replace the new random seed #.
  2. At first we will keep the Map Projection and Atlas at Square and Atlas so that we can verify that we have the correct map.
  3. Make sure to enter the same % Water and % Ice as your prior map.
  4. Image height is the size of the map. At 400 (pixels) your map will be small, 400 pixels high. The maps that you downloaded and saved from part 1 were 2000 pixels high, which is the max size. Use 400 at first until you verify that you have the correct map. Change it to 2000 later to get a full map.
  5. Iterations is something new. The default of 5000 will be wrong for the map that you saved. 25000 will be the correct iteration for your prior map. If you entered the correct seed and changed the iteration, you should see your correct map in the preview window. Iterations seems to be sort of like geographical changes over time. If you count back from 25000, you can see the world change slowly and sometimes even rapidly like volcanic activity and land forms sinking into the water. For now, keep it at 25000.
  6. Rotation will actually change which part of the planet is center to the map, up to 360 degrees. 0 degrees should be your default from the prior tool. So if you didn't like your default center from part one, with this tool you can change the center of the map.
  7. Click Create to see what is created.
  8. If the map is the same, except smaller, as your prior map, then you have the correct settings. If not, check your seed # and your iteration 25000. Also make sure your rotation is at 0 for now. Double check your water and ice settings.
Now that you have the correct seed and settings, you can now find more maps for the same world.

Map Projection:

Atlas is the default view
Mercator cuts off the poles and creates linear longitude distance lines. This will stretch the east west land forms as the distance away from the equator increases. It will look very similar to your first map.
Transverse Mercator uses the current rotation longitude as an equator and piles the world horizontally around that longitude showing both poles. So it acts as a vertical map, instead of a horizontal map.
Aioskoru Transverse Mercator map

Icosahedral shows how the polar areas could be unpeeled if more 3D diamond shape, instead of a flat world to account for the polar distances. 
Aioskoru Icosahedral map
Mollweide Maps use an oval instead of the peeled diamond shape
Aioskoru Mollweide map
Sinusoidal maps use a combination diamond and oval shape.
Aioskoru Sinusoidal map
Spherical maps will create two hemispheres depending upon where your Rotation setting is set. My 0 degrees is center of the first hemisphere. 180 degrees is center of the 2nd hemisphere. If you change the Rotation setting it will put center whatever your rotation in degrees and center the 2nd will be the opposite side of the world. Remember to save both spheres if you are saving them with different names to your world folder.
Aioskoru Sphere 1st hemisphere

Aioskoru Sphere 2nd hemisphere

Three types of Polar Maps
Polar Orthographic, Stereographic, and Gnomonic. I will only post the first one.
Aioskoru North Pole

Aioskoru South Pole

Animated Map
I skipped over and will do last because it takes up more space. I will only show a 100 pixel version of the world. You can build yours with a larger height and size. Be aware that large animated GIF globes will take longer to load and take up more space. Now you can see your world alive and moving.
Aioskoru animated map 100 pixel version

Use the part 1 tools on these new maps

With many of these maps, you can use the techniques from part one to make layer and 3D maps.