November 29, 2013

Ways of the Force, version 1.2 (and other things)

Greetings, salutations, and various other modes of introduction.

Firstly, for those readers that live in the U.S., I hope your Thanksgiving was fun, semi-relaxing, and filled with plenty of good eats.

As the title notes, I'm now releasing Version 1.2 of my Ways of the Force fan supplement for use with Fantasy Flight Games' terrific Star Wars Roleplaying Game.

Ways of the Force, Version 1.2

On the mechanical side of things, the material takes into account new material and updates from the Age of Rebellion Beta, as well as some reworking and (hopefully) simplification of some of the new Force Powers, specifically the Injure power and the Resist Force minor power.  I'm quite pleased with how the specializations are set-up, so not major changes there other than swapping out a talent here and there.

However, the biggest change is in the formatting of this fan supplement.  Previous versions have been fairly "bare bones" and going right into the material, with the credits and such at the end.  Well, due to various experiences with some of the realities of web publishing, I've opted to change things up a bit in regards to how the document appears.  For starters, there's an actual cover page, with the credits page following right after.  Also added was a Creative Commons license agreement, something I've added out of semi-reluctant necessity given how one of my other projects was treated as "help yourself and do what you want" due to the lack of the CC license agreement in the document itself, leading to a series of events that I have no desire to repeat.

You might also notice that I've moved away from GoogleDocs and over to DropBox.  I've been having some issues with updating and replacing files on GoogleDocs (to say nothing of GD's lack of ability to track how many hits a file's gotten), and so I'm going to give DropBox a shot.   I've been using DropBox for a couple minor things, and I've been pretty impressed so far.  That and the preview versions of my PDF files don't look quite as garbled or washed out as the did on GoogleDocs.  Still, you'll need to download the file to your computer/netbook/tablet/device for it to look the way it should.

As for the other FFG Star Wars RPG fan project, the Unofficial Species Menagerie, going through the process of getting version 3.0 in order was certainly a learning experience.  In particular, that I should have stuck with my gut feeling and reached out to the person that I wanted to have do the "prettied up" PDF in the first place instead of the individual that I got stuck working with due to the lack of Creative Commons license issue that I noted above.  For all his remarks about my being "unprofessional" (mostly as I was trying to give various artists and authors a reasonable time to respond rather than the "right now dammit!" that he was insisting upon), he certainly screwed several things up, including the spelling of several alien species, and his own attitude was hardly what I'd call professional.  Particularly when Brian "Fiddleback" Casey in his role as editor of the Gamer Security Agency started up a separate thread to announce the newest version of the USM being available and the accusation that I deliberately tried to cut him out of the deal, when nothing could be further from the truth as I tried to arrange a simultaneous notification of both the low-resolution and high-resolution versions.

But that is in the past, and I'm happy to say that JegerGryte (check out his blog here) has happily agreed to step up to the plate in getting a corrected version of the Unofficial Species Menagerie.  He was my original choice as for who I wanted to work on the "prettied-up" version of the USM for the third version, and his work has been outstanding.  He's also shown to have no problems with feedback or about typos, which puts him well above the other guy in my book.  As I said, given the quality of work that he's done and the lack of ego in working with him, I really wish I had stuck to my gut and told "thedearth" to sod off.  Things are looking pretty good, so keep your eyes on the GSA for an update in the near future.

And speaking of the Gamer Security Agency, things are in a state of flux as near as I can tell.  Brian Casey has opted to move on to doing his own version, the Mad Adventurer's Society, and I think his notification that he was stepping down from being the GSA's primary editor has left everyone else a bit gun shy.  While the GSA is still up and still running, there's not been a whole lot of new content.

Also, given a listen to the latest episode of the Order 66 podcast "GMing A-Z with Jay Little" featuring the lead developer/designer of FFG's Star Wars RPG, Mister Jay Little himself.  There is some great advice on working with so-called "problem player" types, with an emphasis on the "working with" part as opposed to the traditional suggestions that focus more on "dealing with" those types of players.

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