Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

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Emiricol
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Emiricol » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:31 pm

I know it's probably pointless to ask :) but is there a timeline on Companion and FC? I've got a solo campaign diary all spruced up, just waiting for those to start playing! My protagonists are kind of a-holes, but at least they're interesting...

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Thu Feb 18, 2016 11:07 pm

It's more than halfway through February and I still have to finish up either book, but the weekend is fast approaching and that means I might be able to make some progress. I'm to the point of locking down content in the Companion so that I can finish up the remaining pieces and start thinking about getting it put back into InDesign and prepared for released. First Contact is farther out, but I did work on that some this week to break the book back out to be more consistent with the current chaptering/organization scheme I'm using in other drafts, and I was working through the traits to make sure how they were going to end up.

I'm still vaguely optimistic for March for at least one of these books to be out. I'm not sure I can get both, however. It's just a question of which one gets written and completed first.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:17 pm

A request for comments this time!

I'm adding a chapter to the Companion that is going to be effectively CM advice that tries to explain issues that players might run into when they setup and run a campaign, as well as different ways to approach campaign play (ex: solo campaigns). This is going to be the second chapter of the book, right after the introduction.

Is there any topics that you guys think are key to include? I want to make sure I am as thorough as possible and give people the assistance that they need. That way this book can truly be a CM's Companion.

Back to writing!
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby BroAdso » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:56 am

Solo campaign advice would be helpful, as would a one or two page "quick reference guide" to turn resolution orders and things to remember to do. Some organizational suggestions - your record sheets at the back are a nice start to this - would also he helpful.

Thanks for all your hard work - this kind of independent writing and design is a hard row to hoe, I have no doubt.

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:22 pm

BroAdso wrote:Solo campaign advice would be helpful, as would a one or two page "quick reference guide" to turn resolution orders and things to remember to do. Some organizational suggestions - your record sheets at the back are a nice start to this - would also he helpful.

Thanks for all your hard work - this kind of independent writing and design is a hard row to hoe, I have no doubt.


I have about six full pages dedicated to solo campaigns in the Companion so far, and am trying to take the feedback to add some more tips and tricks to the mix. Some of the topics that I've seen requested were covered at least to some degree in the Campaign Guide, but I'll still see what I can do to expand upon that in this book.

I'll try to draft up a quick reference guide for turn resolution and see what I can do. That sounds like something that would be good to just throw up as a free download on our site.

Trying to fit in rules writing as a hobby is difficult, no doubt, and that's part of the reason that it's taken so long to get 2E off the ground and to the point that we can start rapidly iterating off of it. It is to a point now that I can sit down and comb through it and finalize rules changes and get content where it should be, which is a great place to be at.

My goal is to keep pushing forward on the Companion chapter-by-chapter until it is finished. That doesn't always work, as I do find myself having to update rules in another book to keep everything in sync, but I want enough references between the books that we'll be in a better space than in 1E with keeping track of which optional rules modify things in other books (at least for those rules that we know about right now!).

At the moment I'm still finalizing the advanced star system rules in Chapter 3, but that's almost finished. Then I'll move on to the Politics and Diplomacy rules, which are also nearly finished but need some last minute changes to integrate some development feedback. Content through Chapter 4 brings the draft up to almost 100 pages in the Google Docs -- so there's a good chance this will end up as big as the Campaign Guide after all. But that page length might change considerably once it's dropped into InDesign for layout.

Highlights from this weekend's development include Gas Giants and Asteroid Belts being kicked back to being uninhabitable, but you can build siphoning stations and mining bases, respectively, for 10 EP a piece to develop them. This makes for a cheap upfront investment, but these are bases that have to be built in place by transport fleets using the pipeline rules, and they're easy for an enemy to destroy. The siphoning stations have the added bonus of being able to act as a free supply depot if you have 3+ at the same planet, while mining bases can boost construction capacity at another planet in the same system.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby BroAdso » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:47 am

Sounds great! How much tweaking did sector-based movement require? I'm particularly interested in that because it's germane for a Star Trek setting. Looking over the last edition's rules, it shouldn't need too much change to port over.

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:55 pm

BroAdso wrote:Sounds great! How much tweaking did sector-based movement require? I'm particularly interested in that because it's germane for a Star Trek setting. Looking over the last edition's rules, it shouldn't need too much change to port over.


The sector based movement doesn't require hardly any tweaking now that the base CG map generation rules are assuming a hex map. That makes it easy to just use the hex map as the default and run with it. Warp lanes remain the same for building fast routes between systems.

The only thing that I did do away with was the possibility of hexes not containing anything. Now it's just 1 system per hex, same as the standard rules. I may add a note that players could use the -2 System Importance Table modifier first described in With a Purpose if they want to have the possibility, albeit remote, of a hex just not containing anything.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:00 am

A question for players: in organizing the Star Systems chapter, the question has arisen as to how the elements in that chapter should be presented. Right now, I have the Star related rules (Star Types, Multiple Star Systems, Flare Stars, etc) as separate entities, because you could choose to play with one, all, or none. The Advanced Star System rules for systems with multiple planets are then in their own section.

Would it make more sense to just lay out all of the rules together as if they went together, and then add a sidebar or discussion at the back of the chapter saying that you can use them in a modular fashion, or keep them separated?

The reason I ask is because one contributor asked about the possibility of rolling them all together because he felt that it would make it easier for players to run through a single advanced system generation sequence, and I can see some advantages to that. As it is, if you wanted to use the Star Types with the Advanced System Generation you'd have to look up the rules in two spots and integrate them on the fly rather than having a single system generation process.

What are your thoughts?
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby murtalianconfederacy » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:47 am

I'd roll them all together. I've always tended to the thought that all rules were modular--so you can tailor a campaign to what you want/what the source material feels like. State at the start of the chapter that, as with all rules, you can take all, none or some of the 'following' rules for your campaign, then hit 'em with the rules. That's my £.02.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Emiricol » Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:31 pm

I think I agree - it's kind of a pain to flip back and forth, especially using PDFs. I'd rather have one sequential process laid out with sidebar about how to remove certain elements.

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby japridemor » Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:17 pm

I also vote to roll them all together. :D

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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby aelius » Sun Mar 27, 2016 3:30 am

Count me on the all together side.
Its easier to just not use some of the rules than it is to find the advanced rules and add them in on the fly.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:31 pm

I'm coming back out of my development stasis to report that I'm in the process of finishing up the last few remaining sections of the Companion 2E rules draft. I've had a lot of help the last month getting things put together, and right now the book is sitting at 160+ pages before I put it into InDesign for final layout.

By this weekend I hope to have the last remaining content edits/updates finished, examples added, and everything else ready to go so that I can have the development team take a final pass as I get art ready. Then I can start laying out the book.

In the meantime, as I've been finishing up the Companion, I have also managed to get 40 pages written on another related book that is kind of an overflow for ideas that didn't fit in the Companion.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby Tyrel Lohr » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:56 pm

Another quick update: I have to make final changes to Chapter 5 & 7 (Exploration Campaigns and Non-Player Empires, respectively), then I think the Companion rules draft will be nearly complete. Once that goal is met, I'm going to begin a final round of playtesting to make sure that none of the rules are broken, double check or write additional examples to go into the book, and otherwise get ready to start laying out the book.

I'm waiting on feedback from the development team on Chapter 5, and while I wait I'm moving on to Chapter 7 (NPE) to finish that up and write the integrated diplomacy examples.

I may also take some time later today to have some fun and write on rules for our other future books. We had considerable spill over of extra content into another supplement that is probably 1/4 of the way towards completion, and now that the Companion is more or less locked down I can also go back to First Contact and start hammering out changes to the alien empires rules and get those ready for playtest.

I want to maintain momentum long enough to get the Companion done in the next month. I leave on vacation July 21, and by that time I want to have the book in a state that I can order a print proof to review upon my return. I'd love it if I can get to that point before I leave, so I could have the book to review while I'm on vacation, but I think that's overly optimistic.

This is all to say that we're very close on this book, and the rest of our outstanding content should cascade from here. This was the last major piece of the foundation we needed to lay down for 2E, and once it's done it'll be time to open the floodgates.
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Re: Your Wishlist for Companion and First Contact?

Postby PaulB » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:10 pm

Edited.

Had a rule idea, but thought I should submit any rules ideas to Tyrel/Jay directly.


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