Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Broken links fixed

I've gone through every link in every blog post and fixed all of them where I had linked internally to Scattergamed, since they all broke now that I've renamed the blog to PixelatedDice.  It would have been an unbelievable task to remake every post in a sequence link to the next, so I opted instead to cut off the links.  I figure if you want to see them in order, you can use the page tabs at the top or the archive links on the side.  By getting rid of those, it also eliminates my need to continue doing it from here on, so it should save me some tedium.

I also removed a lot of broken picture links from articles and the like, though I skipped over random update posts.  If you see a broken link or broken picture anywhere, let me know and I'll fix it (or remove it).

FissureVerse: Back on Track

Thanks to Ariduka for the art!

After my hard drive died, I finally got a new computer, and redid the work of the previous few posts. I also changed some vocabulary. I feel like there's too many Re- words in Actions, so I changed Refill to Enlist. I think I'll need to change one or two more Action words, but for now it works because it simplifies the term "Directly Refill" to a single word, and I corrected instances where I said Refill but meant Recruit. I've also changed the Discard action (which is the opposite of the Enlist action) to be "Dismiss", which should separate it from other instances of Discarding for other purposes. Also, the Discard Pile is now the Dismissed Pile (which means I sometimes have to say "Discard into your Dismissed Pile").

Optomites, Lugubrious, Academic, Mystics
Click to enlarge.
Optomites retains the same attributes and rules, I just changed the wording in hopes to be clearer. It may be the type of card that really needs to be explained two ways for everyone to understand. Originally, for art, I was thinking of some particularly happy, fluffy-type critter, something jolly with rainbows and cottontails. But, of course, as is the way of things, art strikes me funny and I find all kinds of interesting new ways to look at things. Now this card seems a bit more vicious. It's all good; it goes with the macabre theme of the game better and Emptiness could use a few more mad hatters.

If there was ever an Eeyore of FissureVerse, it would probably be Lugubrious. A bit the opposite of Optomites, too. I like how both are forest creatures, which is s common theme of Emptiness, though it's good to have other factions pick up a few, especially for a spin on a wizened old ent like this.

With Lugubrious, I'm half done with green cards!

Academic and Research have been a tough find, especially since they sound like they're the same thing. They are nearly the only two calm Frenzies left to find, so the rest will have to be mostly wild and vicious art. This is is some nice, chill-out style art for Academic that helps set it apart from other Frenzies, but the alien that's front and center fits with the game theme. The flavor text tried to push the theme of the card more to the teaching aspect of an academic person, so I can separate it more from Research.

Mystics gets a refresh to fall more in line with the sci-fi aspect of the game; it being too fantasy before. Also, the new art and flavor text both go better with the attributes.

I really like how all four have the same traveler meeting the main creatures of the cards. A few other cards do similar things, and I think it really helps make them look cohesive.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

New PC, new blog name

So I finally got a new PC and am slowly customizing it.  I tried to access my old broken hard drive and it is dead for good, so I lost a little bit of work and will have to redo a little bit.  Not too much is gone from FissureVerse or other creative projects; I just lost a lot of my music and games which weren't backed up.  But not the end of the world.

Bigger news is I think my blog name (Scattergamed) is getting dumb, so I'll be changing it.  Hopefully Google is smart enough to redirect to the new blog name for a period of time before decommissioning the old name.  Otherwise, it may appear like the blog has disappeared.  Since I won't know what I'm naming it until I figure out what's available, I can't even say right now what I'm changing it to.  Well, if you lose your bookmark or something, perhaps do a search for "FissureVerse" and my new blog will pop up.  That's all I got.

Edit: ScatterGamed is now Pixelated Dice. Also, I have to fix every single link I've ever made between posts, so that may take a while.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Computer go boom

Hard drive boot sector failed, so I am using a loaner until I can get my data off the old hard drive, then get a new computer.  I have a recent backup, so I haven't lost too much; probably a couple of posts' worth of FissureVerse cards need to be remade.  Not the end of the world, fortunately.  Just the slow process of putting everything in order...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

FissureVerse – The Prophet of Prophets Hitchhikes

Thanks to Hozure for the art!

Prophet of Prophets, Hitchhiker
Click to see bigger.
My original Prophet of Prophets placeholder was just a picture of Nostradamus, but copying a classic prophet look would be too cliché. I like the new look of the art far better, and I think it goes well with the stats, and the magic thorns coming up from the bottom are one way to explain the special rules. (The other way is to say the other Crusaders in the Field are filled with vigor from hearing that they will win from the Prophet so they fight better).

Hitchhiker has an Easter egg in the art: the character in the middle is literally standing on a giant hand. Ha! I was arguing with myself for a while over which card that art would go with, first thinking “Learning to Walk”, then thinking of various other Yellow and Green cards, but Hitchhiker is too good a visual pun to pass up. I also slightly modified Hitchhiker's stats so its Reason stat gets boosted while its Torment stat gets nerfed. This works to Hitchhiker's advantage, since it's now harder to be converted by Reason. I am currently stumped on flavor text, and I kind of do what something, since I could make it fit, but for now it will go without and I may revisit it later.

Next log: Four more cards after a hiatus...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

“__________ at the __________”

“__________ at the __________”
A 200 Word RPG, version 1

One impartial narrator keeps score, describes events and determines if judges solutions.

Shuffle. Draw one card each (apart from narrator). Hide your card (even from narrator). Discover your gender, outlook, profession:

Spade: Noble Man
Club: Devious Man
Heart: Noble Woman
Diamond: Devious Woman

Ace: Gambler
Two: Store Owner
Three: Barkeep
Four: Miner
Five: Soldier
Six: Rancher
Seven: Barber
Eight: Doctor
Nine: Veterinarian
Ten: Banker
Jack: Outlaw
Queen: Priest
King: Sheriff

Keep some (devious) secrets.

Every ten minutes, draw a new card; discover an event:

Ace: Murder
Two: Riot
Three: Acid rain
Four: Fever outbreak
Five: Wolves
Six: Fire
Seven: Locusts
Eight: Hold up
Nine: Flood
Ten: Lynch mob
Jack: Bandits
Queen: Stampede
King: Nothing new

At the:

Spade: Schoolhouse
Club: Jailhouse
Heart: Ranch
Diamond: Saloon

Ten minutes after the tenth event card drawn, the game ends. Reveal your own card.


Noble: solve each problem. One point for each successful solution.

Devious: let each problem continue into the next. One point for every continued problem every ten minutes (“nothing new” does not count as an event).

Players with the most points at the end win.

Kill a noble, you lose. Die, lose.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

FissureVerse – Lost Souls in Hiding

Thanks to Lastovka Dmitriy for the art!

Lost Souls
Click to see it bigger.
Lost Souls has always been a bit of a fun one to get art for. The term comes from the DOOM enemy, which is just a floating skull. I like how this art makes the Lost Soul look like a Grim Reaper, who himself is supposed to shepherd lost souls. I also kinda like how it's similar to Nomads, so The Noise is developing a Grim Reaper kind of theme, which of course goes well with what they stand for. I changed the extra rules to include that if a Zealot is killed (not just converted), the Frenzy is lost as well.


The location Paradox has been giving me a headache to find art for (well, the last few locations left have all been doing so). I've decided to mix things up a little bit. First, what was once Paradox is now Dimension Zed, and what was once Dimension Zed is a newly named location called Hiding. Kind of like how you can be in Denial, you can also be in Hiding. It struck me only when I found this art, which suggests to me there may be people in hiding in this picture, waiting for a terror to pass by (like mice when a cat's snooping about).

Saturday, July 2, 2016

FissureVerse - 3 cards get art

Thanks to Karol Sollich for the art!

Mirage, Bottom of the Universe
Click to embiggen.
You'd be surprised how difficult it is to find a good sand castle! I've been on the lookout for a good one for ages, and now that I've found some great art for it, that crosses off green locations completely.

Bottom of the Universe got something of a change in concept. At first, my idea was a macabre version of the Mos Eisley cantina, but this particular image just spoke to me when I found it. Perhaps that kind of cantina is deeper in that city, but overall in shows a bigger view of the location. Maybe the whole city is a scummy place to get some followers, not just the bar. I removed the old flavor text (“Come with me if you want to live.” ~Warrior's Adage) for space, but I think it's still a funny enough bit of text to remember and use elsewhere later.


Unkempt has always been meant to be a dirty person, but I like to push the religious theme of the game on occasion, so a dirty altar works well in this regard.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

FissureVerse: Starving and Steel get art

Thanks to Vincent Lefevre for allowing me to use his art!

Starving, Steel
Starving and Steel. Click to enlarge.
Starving gets an art update, but the rest of the card remains the same. I decided that I needed to update the art of a few cards now that FissureVerse is thematically coming together more.

Steel is a new Frenzy added to the pile to round out the Frenzy effects. I've also reinserted Distortion, and added a couple of new ones: Malicious and Unblinking. Malicious is a simple +1 Fire, and Unblinking is a simple +1 Water. I still have four more Frenzies I'll be adding, but they need names first.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

FissureVerse: 4 cards get art

Thanks to Trung Ta Ha for the art, who offers his work for free for non-commercial purposes.

The Signpost, Abyss of Emptiness, Path of the Righteous
Click to see bigger. All Blue today!
The Signpost had to be abstract in some ways, and my placeholder art even showed something like a two-headed creature as the Signpost itself. Both pieces work, but I think this final one works better for the Location being Emptiness' card: it's more soothing than scary.

Abyss of Emptiness gets a nice reboot. It adds the dimension of futility to the beliefs of the Blue faction. They believe that when all ends, there is nothing you can do. But they look into the Abyss with content.

Path of the Righteous keeps its old adage, but gets a new take on the art. Although I liked the seaward spin of the old art, perhaps too much water imagery might overwhelm the faction. This art is more of the lonely stuff like Trail of Emptiness, so it works with other cards of the sort on a more cohesive level.

Dripping was always tough because it always was abstract in the first place, so finding some solid art became a challenge. I considered 'dripping' to mean drooling sometimes, or slimey, but none of those worked for an Emptiness card. This art works far better, and goes along with the blue 'Of The Sea' theme. With the stat loadout, I expect it to be the kind of card that requires some skill to use well, with a quick Frenzy attached. But that's alright; not every card should be equally valuable in all situations.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

FissureVerse – Five Cards get Art

Thanks to Markus Härma, Riina Koivusalo, and Carl Beu for the art!

The Noisemaker, Shortened
Click to see bigger.
While most Crusader cards are alien races, a few of them are spaceships, and I've been having tons of trouble finding really standout ships that look completely unique. This art by Markus almost became Blue's Pirateship, but I decided it had the feel of The Noisemaker better, especially since of the gaping mouth of the thing. All the sharp teeth and pointy bits on it is very Noise-like. For flavor text, I had considered “Here comes the boom” (The Noise's slogan), or “Come on, feel the noise” (with or without misspellings), but I decided on something that sounds a bit more like a chant with big rolling bass drums behind it, the kind of chant you'd get from a galley of rowers.

With that, I'm now half done with Red Crusaders!

I also always knew I'd have troubled with the Frenzy Shortened, because it's a very abstract term (as are, like, half of them). This art by Riina is actually twice as tall and would not fit within the space, which makes the android inside seem like he's butting up against the top of the frame. I think it all works very well with the theme of the card. The name of the piece of art is “Thorns”, and it gave me the inspiration for the flavor text (that, and I'd recently read Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy, which is about the War of the Roses).

Observatory of the Infinite, Gate of Influence, Earth

Observatory of the Infinite looks a bit more interesting as far as being a more futuristic look than a modern-day observatory (which was the original placeholder artwork). Now, like other Green locations, it has more of an Ivory Tower feel to it.

Gate of Influence has gotten a lot darker. Originally the concept was something akin to the pearly gates of Heaven, brought to a place in the universe. The mechanic involved was the idea that by performing a rogation (a religious ceremony), you'd be closer to the entity that hears it here, and you would be rewarded for it. Now, not only that, but I've changed the flavor text to indicate that Solidity has a lot more power (or believes they do) over even things beyond the scope of the universe. And, like I am fond of doing, I attributed the quote to a crusader.

Earth gets to be a place like Grime or the Plains of Filth, where the world is far more post-apocalyptic than other locations. To separate it a little from those, I made it a place that The Noise might like to use as their own little place of spectator recreation.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

FissureVerse – Psalms gets art, and rules changes

Thanks to Joifish for the art!

Click to see up close.
I considered making this art a Blue card, especially since it has a nature theme. But the concept of Psalms in the first place is a rather Blue-like idea, so it fits just as well here. For flavor text, I considered making a new verse to the Song of the Walkers, but a four line verse might not fit, so I opted for a tweak on the lullaby instead. Hmm... “Lullaby” might make a good name for a new Rogation...

I've made some significant changes to the rules. I've added a timer to the game to give a sense of urgency, but it is not based on a strict time time, but on a number of moves. So a player can spend as long as they want to move without affecting the timer. Instead, the timer works off the Location cards. A number of Tokens is placed in a stack near the Locations. When all the Locations have been revealed, and need to be shuffled, one Token is removed from the stack. When the Locations need to be shuffled but there are no more Tokens left, the game ends.

I've made the number of Tokens something that players can decide themselves. A short game uses no tokens, so the Locations are only each revealed once and never shuffled and redrawn. Or players could decide to make a long game with, say, ten tokens on the timer.

I've fixed quite a few little rules as well:

If a player must Reinforce, but has no Crusaders to Reinforce with, they must discard cards into their Fearful Pile until they find a Crusader to Reinforce with. This whittles down the player's deck, so finding another Crusader later is not a slog. This also has the benefit of making players think carefully about their ratio of Crusaders to other cards in their customized deck.

I also changed the rules so on the event of a tie when converting by fire, the defending Crusader does not survive, but rather goes into the defending player's own fearful pile. So it eliminates the card from play, yet it does not count toward the offensive player's score at the end of the game.

Lots of minor tweaks have been changed in the rules in an attempt to clarify and make things more logical. The game is getting complex enough that I will also start needing to make a FAQ about specific cards, to answer questions like “What happens if the first Location Card is Haven, and no one can Reinforce?” (Answer: Players can still play Rogations, so the Round is not a complete loss).

Lastly, to make the cards once again in line with some vocabulary changes, I'll need to go through all the cards and fix text on them. That comes later. I'm lazy!

Friday, February 19, 2016

FissureVerse – Four cards get art

Thanks to Thomas Stoop and Darya Kuznetsova for the art!

Scribes, Cavernous, Hysteria, Earthlings
Click to see bigger!
Back when I did The Noise's “Winged”, I left the text area blank. I think that each faction should have one silent card, like each should get one silent location. Scribes is the silent card for The Infinite. I like to think that they're too busy writing to say anything. Maybe I'll change that in the future and give them a proverb or something, but I like the calm, studious silence the art describes by itself.

Cavernous is therefore Yellow's silent card. I think the triumph of the art speaks enough for itself; you can almost hear the cinematic music playing in your head as this beast breaks through the rock and escapes from its prison. I also like how the background is cave-like, but it also imbue my original idea for what 'cavernous' meant: heartless, as in: there's a big empty cavernous void in the chest where a heart should go. It looks like you could take a look up through this guy's ribs if you wanted, and what you'd find there would be anything but a heart.

I really liked how “Through the Mud” came out, using a quote of a Crusader. I thought the same concept would work well for Hysteria, so I arrived at a quote of Solidity's propaganda (being that “Propagandists” is a yellow card). The art might once have been used for my original take on “The Cracked”, but it makes more sense I think to make it a Frenzy.

Earthlings has a similar theme to The Derelict: powerful in the hands of Solidity, more powerful in the hands of their enemies. For The Derelict, I hope to paint them as a brainwashed people that are abused and held down by Solidity, and as that's all they know, they think it right until shown otherwise. Earthlings, on the other hand, just like the blood in bloodsports. Their fair-weather fans of whatever team is winning, and will gladly join the fight anywhere they have the opportunity to deal some damage.

Friday, February 12, 2016

FissureVerse – Three cards get art

Thanks to Pierre Raveneau for the art!

Numerologist, Servants of the Noise
Click to see scary people!
I've swapped Numerologist & Prophet of Prophets. I suppose the concept of both characters are similar, in that they are both essentially fortune tellers, so the mechanics of either could be applied to either. The mechanics of Numerologist now suggest a person who studies and understands something complicated, but might have a difficult time explaining that, while the old mechanic (which is now Prophet of Prophets') suggests someone who gives an army a confidence boost by reading the future.

For Servants of the Noise, like any Servants card, I needed to find art that both looks like a prototypical example of the faction while simultaneously being perfectly balanced in all attributes. Seems to be a rather contradiction in itself, so that does make it sometimes tough to find art for. In this case, however, I think it works. I changed the flavor text to be shorter and punchier because the Noise are a faction of few words.

I came up with the ironic flavor text a while ago for Monument of Solidity, but now the art really works. It looks like an earthquake might have just happened beneath the monument, and it's ready to come down. I do suppose, however, since the monument didn't come down yet, Solidity is right in its quote, which might be scarier. Perhaps a servant of Emptiness wouldn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

FissureVerse – Five cards get art, goal changes

Thanks to Esherymack, Victor Hugo Harmatiuk, and Mahea Rodrigues for the art!

Decomposing, Lifters, Irregularity, Corruption
Click to see big scary creatures!
Decomposing is a fairly simple card, so it didn't need to change much; the biggest trick was to find something that properly represented decomposition to something living. I could have gone with something leprous, of course, but the thing on this zombie's head gave me the impression of an experiment or it being applied, rather than happening naturally. I think it's therefore similar to Through the Mud.

Lifters has always been tough to find art for. I needed creatures that suggested brutal deviousness: brutal because they belonged to The Noise, and devious because they possessed some skill to increase the intelligence of other Crusaders, either by teaching, magic, or technology. I think these guys might lead by example. I opted for no flavor text because they seem like the silent type. Their gaze is enough to tell you how much they loathe you. Also, to keep Lifters in line with similar cards, I boosted their Reason stat.

Irregularity has had its water stat upped a tad to bring it in line with similar cards. I liked the carnival theme of the art, and I'm glad it ties to the Red Carnival Location card. I think that might become a bigger theme if the art comes my way to match. Of course, with a bloody red faction, there is but one ultimate reference to a carnival that can be used... perhaps my teenage self likes to wink at me from time to time.

Corruption has a similar theme to Decomposing as far as mechanics goes, so I tried to get something of a similar theme for both flavor text and card art. The difference being Decomposing is like a disease of the body, while Corruption is a disease of the mind.

Cosmic Disruption
Click to see, and read extra text.
Somehow I mixed up which artist (if any) disappeared off the face of the earth, and I accidentally replaced card art by Esherymack, who is still very much around. To make up for that mistake, I've gotten new art from Esherymack to use for a different card. Phew!

The only major difference between the old version of Cosmic Disruption and the new is that the special rules had to be more wordy to remove ambiguity, so the flavor text got chopped down.

I've also changed the rules for winning the game. I'd been having some trouble figuring out the most fair way of finding a winner. My first goal was for every player (but one) lose all of their Crusaders. While that's got a neatness to it, ultimately it might make for some exceedingly long games. So I had offered a timed game variant, which had players count up points after a certain period of time. While this also somewhat worked, there is the potential for a player who knows he's in the lead to take as long as possible to make a move, and thereby 'run out the clock'. My counter thought to this was to have what amounts to a shot clock, but really I don't like that idea at all.

So I've combined features of both goals into a unified normal objective. In two player games, one player will eventually lose all their Crusaders, and the other player will be the winner. But in three or four-player games (and I'm considering just saying the game is for three to four players, and leave the two player variant out), once one player has lost all their Crusaders, the remaining players count up points.

Lastly, the careful observer may notice the Base Set Components section of the manual (and in other places) got the number of Frenzies bumped up from 24 to 32. I came up with more Frenzies that are still fairly basic in nature, and compliment the current Frenzies, so I thought I'd include them in the base set, rather than save them for an expansion. Four of them still need names, so I'll introduce them slowly, as I get the art for them.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

FissureVerse – Five Cards Get Art

Thanks to Helen Norcott & Dreamgazer for the art!

Excursion, Trail of Emptiness, Yellow Fields, Green Pastures
Click to see the lonely vistas up close.
I see a running theme today: all of the cards have at least one person in them, but they all look quite lonely and bleak.

Excursion was a card I've had a hard time finding art for; I've had it as a 'maybe' for dozens of pieces of art so far, but none have ever quite captured what I was going for. Finally, I got a piece that works out well. The initial flavor text was “If you wander, they will follow,” which was a bit of a play on “If you build it, they will come,” but I guess after my last post and having Wanderlust in it, I'm all wandered out. I went for no flavor text on this one because I like the silence of the image alone.

Trail of Emptiness keeps its old flavor text. For a long time, I wanted to keep the great plains look of the placeholder art, with its lone buffalo and half-cloud-covered sky, because Emptiness is very much meant to be a take on Native Americans. But sometimes it's a little too on-the-nose, and this should be fairly sci-fi/fantasy, after all. So I think this new art keeps with the theme of the game far more, and gives off the proper vibe.

I love how Yellow Fields and Green Pastures are so similar in composition, with a lone figure towards the top left, and sweeping plains following; yet the flavor text says the very opposite of both cards. Yellow Fields is an even playing field, while Green Pastures is very unfair, because it's one man by the rock and an army coming for him. I think these two cards really show how Solidity and The Infinite think.

Romantic, but chilling.
I like how Wedding follows suit with the locations, being bleak and lonely, despite a wedding being a happy occasion. Wedding is unique in that it's the only Rogation that allows the required number of Crusaders in the Field of Play to be split between all Players. I did this partly for the sake of balance (why would you prevent Crusading if you had four Crusaders yourself?), and partly for thematic reasons: the wedding itself could take place between two members of different factions, or the witnesses could be from different factions. I also kinda like how the Rogation is “Lasting”. So sappy!

I've also edited the instructions a little, to clarify the rules a little be more, and I've reduced the term “Field of Play” to just “Field”. The newest version of the instructions can be found on the FissureVerse Google Drive.  I also went through and fixed a few cards that said "Field of Play" on them to be consistent.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

FissureVerse: Vermin, Wanderlust, Eclipse

Thanks to Theresa A Shultz and Olli Siponkoski for their art!

Vermin, Wanderlust
Vermin and Wanderlust.  Click to see big!
I'd been looking for more big scary creatures for the Noise, and this one was so big it can't even fit in the picture space. Now that I think about it, the Noise as a faction doesn't just represent its bloodthirsty religion, but includes all viciously instinctual creatures. I would doubt this sandworm would think of itself as religious, if it can even think.

With Wanderlust, the flavor text seemed naturally to be “Not all who wander are lost ~Tolkien” but I decided it would be too obvious. Instead, I decided to try to reach for something that captured the theme of FissureVerse itself more.

Eclipse also gets a refresh.
I decided I needed to replace the art from Eclipse because the previous artist seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. They deleted their DeviantArt page, so I could no longer provide a link to their work, and nothing turned up when I searched their username.*

This game will take ages to complete, so it probably wouldn't be worth it to go replacing art every time an artist disappears (thankfully it's only happened this once so far), but if it happens and I happen to find great replacement art, like this time, I'll pop the new art in.

*Edit: Somehow Esherymack (the original artist for Eclipse) has reappeared. I'm going to have to see about fixing that...