An absence from the blog doesn’t mean inactivity today – it means that a lot has been changing. In all cases, for faster, easier rules. Here are some examples:
Half Damage – when defensive posture was modeled after Final Fantasy, it made perfect sense: back away from your enemies and their close-range weapons become less effective. That translated to dealing half damage. The problem was that “half damage” is relatively complicated and slow. It required multiplication, which was the only time that happened in the game. It raised the question: at what point in dealing damage does this multiplication occur? After the damage die? After protection? Can I just use a d4 instead of a d8? Let it suffice to say that weapons can still attack beyond their range (but not too far…), and they are limited to one point of damage when they do.
Power Timing – Spells, now called “Powers” to emphasize genre agnosticism, had the potential in Modos 1.4 to take effect during the casting of them. This required at least two additional rules, for the payoff of being able to use (essentially) multiple Fire powers in a row for one low MP cost. I axed it. Now, powers take effect on the final Magic action, after paying the MP cost, and a Magic user wanting to blast multiple targets in a row can simply use Magic (Fire) for three consecutive actions.
Gear Elements – Character elements are neatly divided from gear; the former are attributes, powers, and skills, while the latter are just stuff that gets listed under “gear.” This doesn’t have to be the case. I had been keeping a special category of gear separate from the rest, because it “increased the effective power of a character.” What didn’t occur to me at the time was that character elements also do this, and doing so meant that the gear was acting like character elements – blurring the line I just mentioned. With this distinction made, it’s pretty obvious that gear can act like elements, and vice versa. So this category of gear, now called Special Items, can be character elements if they are effectively permanent possessions, or just listed as gear if they are temporary possessions. For example, a pair of goggles that let you see infrared and shoot lasers are pretty hefty for a first level character – something the GM probably doesn’t want the character to use all the time. But if that character levels up a few times, taking the Owl’s Eye perk and a point or two in Magic (lightning), those goggles could be a regular feature of that character.
More stuff – redefining Range, altered perks, smoother Power entries – has popped and will pop up, to be streamlined and re-assimilated. I’ll keep you posted.