A New War Starts | Alex Kierkegaard's Cosmic War Trailer by icycalm on 18 May 2022 09:48



icycalm wrote:
So after three nearly sleepless days and nights, I present to you the latest Cult Games trailer.

Headphones, Mics & Headsets by shubn on 17 May 2022 20:35

Regarding microphones, I used to use the HyperX QuadCast. It's pretty good as far as USB mics go. The gain can be adjusted and is quite powerful. The integrated audio interface provides monitoring, so it can mix your desktop audio with your voice and send it to a 3.5 mm audio output (voice monitoring volume can be adjusted in the Windows settings). The mute button is a neat feature. It comes with a stand, but can be mounted on a boom arm as well. One of the reasons I'm not using it anymore, other than wanting to upgrade to an XLR setup, is that I want the monitoring, but the integrated audio interface is not powerful enough to properly drive my 80 ohm headphones (DT 770). I used a FiiO A3 amp to boost the output volume, but that's a battery-powered amp that needs to be charged every so often, which is a pain in the ass.

I'm looking at other USB microphones for the purpose of this post, and the Rode NT-USB is looking pretty good. Maybe something to look at if you're thinking of upgrading.

My current setup is Shure SM7B, Yamaha AG06, Thomann FetAmp (same thing as a FetHead). If you want to go XLR but not spend that much, you could go for an Audio-Technica AT2020 or Rode PodMic for instance, AG03 for the audio interface (or something similar from Focusrite, Steinberg, Behringer, etc.), and if you need a preamp, FetAmp or FetHead.

Regarding boom arms, I tried the Tonor T20 and Rode PSA1. They're both good. The PSA1 is more expensive, but a bit longer and sleeker, and the springs are internal, whereas the T20's are external.

Commander selection by Jameson on 15 May 2022 08:42

I am using Vidicarus.


The Psychology of Real-time Strategy by icycalm on 14 May 2022 23:59

Full title wouldn't fit in the subject line: The Psychology of Real-time Strategy and Mankind's Planetary Annihilation


icycalm wrote:
...there is still something to be said about the cold logic of strategic calculation and sheer machinic efficiency in which PA thrives.

PC Line War by icycalm on 14 May 2022 00:52

Studio Centurion wrote:
Replay Again & Again. Randomly generate asymmetrical worlds to ensure no match or strategy is ever the same.

Select Your Starting Location. Choose where to begin in each world in an innovative and fair "picking phase" to gain your initial territory.

This sounds to me like no symmetry and spawn anywhere! Precisely what I use for all Cosmic War events, and what the entire PA scene has vehemently rejected since the beginning!

PC Line War by icycalm on 13 May 2022 23:01

Actually, there's no AI. It's 1v1 only, so I'll need someone to play against. Let me know if you want to play!

PC Line War by icycalm on 13 May 2022 22:58

Just bought this. It just came out on the 5th, and it may well be Game of the Month. I'll be streaming it as soon as I've finished this post and eaten something, so keep an eye on the Twitch channel to catch a glimpse of it.


What is Line War, and how did I find out about it?

I found out about it by searching for icycalm on /v/. There wasn't much info, but a tantalizing screenshot: https://arch.b4k.co/v/thread/598615859/#598618590


Anonymous wrote:
I'm playing that new Line War game now and having a great time. It feels somewhat new.

Because nobody has made a game more interesting than what we had 20 or so years ago. The genre hasn't grown conceptually since then. Every rts since is some kind of reskin with fewer features and a smaller playerbase. Icycalm figured this out. Why can't you?

I then googled it, and arrived at Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1309610/Line_War

Interestingly, a bunch of you have it wishlisted. I wonder where you found out about it. No one has bought it though except Adjudicator, and he hasn't even launched it. You guys must have added it without even reading about it, because if you'd scrolled down the page you'd have been blown away; or at any rate those of you who are into real-time strategy. This game sounds like PA2 in a LOT of ways.

First off, it's a super-macro game, just like PA, but even MOAR so. It accomplishes this by NOT giving you control of individual units. Instead, you draw lines to indicate commands that your units follow, hence "Line War"—which is a very uninspired and uninspiring name, that matches the blocky aesthetic and "eSports-only" design, but it's not like we've many options in the genre, so I'll take it. The unit designs are not actually all that different from PA's, and their low poly counts means you can have a lot of them on the screen, exactly as with PA.


Not bad at all, right? They aren't as cool as PA's, especially the robots, but they're very serviceable.

But the line-drawning command interface is brand-new and sounds GENIUS. That means that the stupid microing that top PA players employ to dominate in tactical engagements is OUT THE WINDOW, and strategy should dominate the wars. No doubt tactics will still matter, but nowhere near as much as in PA, where they pretty much dominate small matches.

Moarover, on their roadmap there are many features including "SEAMLESS WEST/EAST CYLINDRICAL WORLDS" which basically means planets! Just one planet, granted, but at least it's no longer a square bounded by invisible wars that your opponent can hide next to so as to have his "back" "against the wall".

And it doesn't even stop there. You build roads and bridges! You conduct trade and grow cities! You conduct espionage! These are basically 4X mechanics simplified to work in real-time! Kind of like Paradox's games, but with full tactical zoom-in. It's really all I'd like to see in PA2 in addition to full space battles of course. However, this game has even a little bit of that with an upcoming ORBITAL LAYER!

Many of these features aren't in the game yet, however, but I intend to find out exactly what is within the next hour or two. Check the Steam page carefully (making sure to click to expand the roadmap section) to see all the planned features. It is VERY exciting, and just as exciting is their focus on competitive play, both online and in irl arenas in places such as SPACE in Stockholm. They certainly sound more driven, committed and competent than the dickweeds from the PA scene that tried to host events before I took over.

I'll wrap this up with a cool explosion:


Check me out on Twitch soon, and grab the game if you want to play against me. There's only 1v1 right now (no campaign, but it is planned), but 2v2, 3v3 and FFA are coming, plus cool shit like this carrier:


GM-powered CRPGs (GMRPGs) by icycalm on 13 May 2022 03:02


icycalm wrote:
BrotherHanan's sets for the Dimension 20 show. They look like some JRPG, but with actual mechanics and interactive story. And it is only the beginning.

Notice how I unconsciously reach for cinema production terms like "sets" instead of traditional videogame terms like "levels" because that's what best describes what's happening here: This is a live interactive movie, and BrotherHanan is the set designer here.

PC TaleSpire by icycalm on 12 May 2022 21:54

https://twitter.com/BrotherHanan/status ... 3641845760





BrotherHanan's sets for the Dimension 20 show. They look like some JRPG, but with actual mechanics and interactive story. And it is only the beginning.

Zoom in the first pic to see how enormous the chamber is, and also the last pic to see the guy with the minigun.

Survival-builders by icycalm on 12 May 2022 20:34


Who tf is buying so many Rust copies?

Rust is continually in the top 10 games sold on Steam. It's selling more than brand-new Elden Ring, and ARK is selling just below it! They aren't even on discount!

Are game developers getting slower? by icycalm on 12 May 2022 19:05

Are game developers getting slower?


icycalm wrote:
Usually, I have all the answers, but this one stumps me, so I'll leave it here and you can tell me if you've any ideas.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 11 May 2022 23:08


I am streaming right now. This pic is mine, and THIS is the moment when the game's complexity hit me: when I got a second general (they are called "Wielders"), and the management of a town. This is certainly way deeper than the first couple of HoMMs I've played.

It's not Civ, but for a HoMM-like, it's complex. It's probably about as complex as Planetfall, give or take, but I enjoy its exploration and combat considerably more. We'll see about the town-building.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 11 May 2022 22:30

Prototyping Co-op / Team gameplay and more


That tells me there's no co-op campaign. They mean teams in multiplayer, which is even better. So I'll continue the campaigns on my own.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 11 May 2022 02:23

Early Access Launch Trailer


This is the best trailer yet.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 11 May 2022 01:02

Make sure you select 1080p60 because by default it gives 360p because it's a new upload.

Songs of Conquest (The Song of Stoutheart) with icycalm 1

So I played the first part of the first campaign, and it's very promising so far. It looks and sounds fantastic, and there's even quite a bit of challenge for what is essentially a tutorial. I lost almost all my units in the three main battles, and I'd be interested in replaying them to see how many I could save. I read in the Steam forum that the entire campaigns currently offered take 25-30 hours, and that sounds like a good adventure, if true. I am definitely interested in playing more.

I have a couple of minor complaints so far. You can't go wherever you want in the map, and large sections are off-limits even though there are no obstacles in your way, so it feels artificial. I don't remember how this was in Heroes of Might & Magic. Note that I've only played the first couple of games all the way back in the mid-'90s, and not for long either. Just a few big MP games with people in my university, and it was a riot back then. Not a serious strategy game, but very fun with a big group for an evening. If you've played Age of Wonders: Planetfall, it's the same thing, just simpler since it was 30 years ago; that's why I say that Planetfall isn't 4X, and neither is HoMM, or this. Another way to think of them is like Super Mario Kart as opposed to hardcore racing games.

So I can't draw direct comparisons with the series because I only played the first installments, but I can tell you that this is going in the right direction, with the introduction of city-building, which however I haven't seen so far in the campaign. But the adventuring is fun (with quite a bit of storytelling in there, kinda like the 2D Fire Emblems, but not as charming; though of course nothing is), and the tactical scenes are fast and quite furious, like a 3D version of Fire Emblem, with all the cool animations and whatnot. I only dislike the pixelated zoom-ins at the end of the battle, but someone on Steam told me you can turn them off in the options.

The tactical mechanics are interesting, though some aspects are somewhat goofy, as you'd expect of a system made by programmers. E.g. they tie your spellcaster's "essence" to how your combat units are stacked in the map lol. That doesn't make any sense whatsoever, as it ties spells to melee, which is the opposite of how spells should work. Spells should be a DIFFERENT thing to melee. And they say that you get more essence if your melee units aren't grouped up, which forces you to split them up, which results in inferior melee tactics. BUT listen: ALL videogames are like this. The Divinity: Original Sin games are even worse: they don't even have any classes, and anyone can do everything. So it's really nitpicking if you expect the tactics to make sense in a videogame made by programmers. What they have here is anyway better than Fire Emblem's rock-paper-scissors mechanics, so I can't complain. It looks like a solid system by videogame standards.

There is an "experimental co-op" mode that needs to be investigated. Is it for the campaigns? Then it'd be worth playing all of them with a friend. Can it also be used to set up teams in MP? We'll need to find that out. The biggest map in MP right now accommodates 6 players, but I've heard 8 are allowed, so maybe 6 is the recommended and you can pile on more anyway. Plus there is a mapmaker and people are already sharing maps. We should be able to make a mega-map ourselves for huge games.

I'll end this by commenting on something Diamond wrote on Steam:

Diamond Dawg wrote:
No simultaneous or asynchronous modes. If you're interested in multiplayer, stay away from this for now.

He's basically trashing the entire history of hotseat games here. I've been playing such games since the '90s, and this has never been an issue. Turns go super-fast here; this isn't Civ. So sure, if you have friends who are willing to wait months to play this with you, you may as well wait for simultaneous turns, that the devs are saying they want to put in. But if you know people who are interested in playing NOW, I'd say give it a try and see how it goes, because if they play without you, you'll have no one to play with half a year later. I will certainly be checking out the MP options soon and reporting back on them.

New units by icycalm on 10 May 2022 14:39

Couldn't find pics of the bugs, but there's video!

1v1 New Faction Bugs! [ALPHA STATE] (Community mod, and more at the end)

They don't look bad at all! They move around very differently than standard units, and they shoot fire. And they come with their own factory and even a research building for upgrading apparently. I like the strategic icons too.

Moreover, at the end of the video, there's a preview of yet ANOTHER faction called the Assimilators! Most of these units look bad or mediocre, but some look good. It could be because they are very early yet. But you can always just take the good models and use them for something else.

New units by icycalm on 10 May 2022 14:22

The bugs are included in the Scenarios mod! They even have a bug titan!

https://forums.planetaryannihilation.co ... st-1152227

ferretmaster wrote:
- Added Nug titan, an atlas like titan for bugs

We gotta try all this shit out! The possibilities with MLA/Legion/Union/Bugs PLUS the extra units from other mods, are limitless. Just need to find the time between running Fantasy Grounds and setting up TaleSpire, and it's unlikely I'll be able to maximize PA's potential without help from Robo, who's been slacking on the PA front.

New units by icycalm on 10 May 2022 13:53

Besides MLA and Legion, there is a third faction in the works called Union. It seems to be an entire faction inspired by the boom bots: https://forums.planetaryannihilation.co ... sion.73447


They don't have a complete roster yet, so they're "plugging the holes" with standard MLA units. But they DO have two commanders, as you can see. Nothing looks bad either, it all looks fairly acceptable.

So my thinking is to try and see if we can give these commanders and these units to AIs, to act like natives/barbarians. We could add as many of those as we want to our wars, and they will likely increase the war time by as much as we want, depending on the setup. Forget about trying to land somewhere "on your own": you can always be surrounded by enemies and have to fight for every scrap of land or water. Hell, if we give them enough eco boost we'll be fighting for our lives and might even have to ally against the AI.

Note that the Union project hasn't been updated in two years, so the question is if we can use these units even though they have no buildings. So we would either have to give them standard buildings, or make them work without buildings somehow. And this is where the Scenarios mod comes in: https://forums.planetaryannihilation.co ... rios.73550

ferretmaster wrote:
Bug Horde Mode

One of the most popular modes developed using scenarios is the bug horde mode.

In this mode each player spawns in with some starting units and a control tower (zapper)

around every minute there will be both distributed and clustered spawns of enemy bugs that will attack the nearest player. These spawns will not occur within the vision of a control tower (zapper) and you can build more to expand your control.

Enemy spawns will become larger based on time and the number of towers the player has. The waves will also scale exponentially to somewhat match how fast a pa player develops.

This mode scales linearly with each additional player.

While there is no direct win condition as of yet, the enemy ai will be killed if the sim speed gets below 15% as a kill switch. Covering the planet in control towers or ragging it effectively ends the game as well.

Unlike the Union faction, this mod is posted in the Released Mods board, so it's working. All we'd have to do is delete the kill switch and make the bugs use the Union units and just reprogram the spawning to be like a They Are Billions version of PA. Everything else in our wars will remain as normal, but with the additional timed horde waves making our lives more complex. This can be IN ADDITION to AIs with full functioning unit rosters; perhaps the AI can take Legion and the players MLA.

I am not sure if on top of the above units someone has also made actual bug units. I am still looking for those.

There are more cool weird mods like this, and I think if we combined all of them and subtly redesigned them, we could end up with something that qualifies as PA 1.5, that I would call "Alex Kierkegaard's Cosmic War". I should also be able to redesign the main menu to reflect this. One of the issues with this so far is that every new unit added to the game slows the sim down, but we have the server power now to not care too much about this, and soon we'll have even more power. It is time for PA 1.5 to become a reality.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 10 May 2022 12:14

Game has no randomly generated maps at present, which is a huge fail for this genre. Ciaróg was saying recently that he doesn't see the point of randomly generated maps, but for some genres it's crucial, and this is one of them. Rust is another, with its monthly wipes. Alpha Centauri another (and one of the reasons it beats Civ, which by its nature is inimical to non-Earth maps). Factorio another. There's just nothing that can beat the excitement of dropping onto a map you know nothing about, and for games that are made to be replayed countless times, especially in multiplayer, you need the random generator.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/867210/d ... 0991304652

ItsRay wrote:
I cant believe the devs, where is RMG ?!
Ive only watched the trailers, and theyre talking about different campaigns and lots of different skirmishes.

real talk right here, delete all the campaigns and every single skirmish if that means you bring in a random map generator. You are missing the most crucial feature of a game like this.

In Heroes you played the campaign 0-1 times. Maybe a rerun after several years. All in all, I would wager that time spent playing the campaign in HoMM3 amounted to less than 1% of total playtime. "Pre-made" skirmishes you would only play like 20% of all of them, and then maybe have one favorite map that you play like 5 times. Thats it, no one cares about skirmishes anymore.

Of course no one has concrete numbers, but I would wager that im being very generous towards campaign and pre-made skirmishes if I said that playing on Random generated maps amounted to AT LEAST 95% of playtime.

It's another case of programmers not knowing how to design the game, because they don't play games, so they wait for players to tell them how to design it. Problem is, there are casuals in this thread too who say they never play on random maps and just "finish" the game in a weekend by playing the campaign, so the question is which players will the programmers listen to? They themselves obviously prefer the casual solution, which is why they programmed the casual solution in the game and not the real gamer's solution.

I've no idea how playable the game will be to us at launch without a random generator. I think I heard that there IS a map editor in there, so we COULD make our own maps probably, as we do with PA (unless I heard wrong and there isn't a map editor yet). I wonder if in that case the game at least randomizes the starting positions.

In any case, they HAVE said they will put random maps in there during Early Access, and the game will only be like $30 at launch, so I still believe it's worth buying it and giving the devs the money, and then checking it out, and worst case scenario just waiting until the generator and other stuff are added in, just like we wait with so many cool niche games these days.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by Ciaróg on 10 May 2022 00:41

I want to play this if we can get a big group for sure.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 10 May 2022 00:23


https://steamcommunity.com/app/867210/d ... 0973824835

Munin wrote:
There's currently support for up to 8 players which can be both human and Ai controlled.

wes gonna needs moar ppl, and soon


WEB Hero Forge/Eldritch Foundry/ANVL by icycalm on 09 May 2022 21:44


https://steamcommunity.com/app/720620/d ... 1543202696

[MI]D793Super wrote:
Support for TitanCraft


Titan craft allows you to create your own monsters, I would love for support for this to be added just like what was done for Heroforge, That would be fantastic!

gazza-911 wrote:
They only support STL, which isn't suitable for TaleSpire.

STLs are uncoloured and are too high poly so it would degrade the performance.

They also make characters.


Competition is insane in this sector; I've lost count of how many stores there are. This means someone will launch an animated service soon, and destroy everyone. This will have to be targeted to VTTs, since you can't have animation on your table (unless through Augmented Reality glasses, which are in the works too, from several companies). The top 3D VTT is TaleSpire, and it will have to drive innovation here. Performance will be impacted by animation, but if it's only your characters to start with, the hit will be negligible, but the improvement in immersion will be tremendous because most of the time you're staring at your characters.

PC TaleSpire by icycalm on 09 May 2022 20:48

GENGUS, a very good builder who mostly makes encounter maps, many of which we will be using, just posted a selection of small work wagons: https://talestavern.com/slab/work-wagons




Imagine them without the bases for horses and drivers. They'll look fantastic in our massive terrain and detailed locations.

So now you'll have a wide range of choices for wagons, from these small ones to the larger ones I posted earlier.

A New Era of Real-time Strategy by icycalm on 09 May 2022 20:16

They're paying attention to our games. From the official PA Discord:

[ICARUS] Quildtide wrote:
If you play the kind of systems that most of the people active in multiplayer play, games usually max out around 1 hour simulation time; matches that go that long in sim time might be around 2 hours in real time though.

If you play the kind of systems that most of the people active in this discord play, you're going to usually see games end before sim time becomes different from real time, and you'll probably see games end within around 45 minutes real time.

However, there are certain groups out there that do enjoy games that wind up stretching out to 8 hours real time. It's possible if you like that kind of experience. Most people playing PA though aren't really a fan of that type of match.

PA is also really fast paced compared to a lot of similar games, so the people who choose to play PA over a similar game like Supreme Commander are often playing PA specifically for the speed.

That 8-hour war they keep referencing (they've made fun of it before, I just didn't bother posting the quote at the time) was a test to find the upper boundaries of our new server, so it was on a humongous 2500-radius planet.

2v2v2v2v2 cosmicwar.net Insomnia Cosmic War #4 with recoil (Team 3/5)


Now that we know where the limit is, the wars have been far more reasonably paced to 1-2 hours, often with no lag at all, and at huge planet sizes like 1700-2000 that no one else has even tried. Above 2000 will probably become playable later in the year with the new flagship CPUs from Intel and AMD, and then we'll try again 2500 radius to see how much more playable it will be.

New units by icycalm on 09 May 2022 19:55


[ICARUS] Tibbb wrote:


[ICARUS] Tibbb wrote:
Big things in the works

Looks like work is continuing on the titan factory.

Strategy by icycalm on 09 May 2022 19:55

MaréchalGryzzly wrote:
Mass dox can be a pain to counter when we aren't familiar with it, and it's true that it is powerful rn.
Your tank army will always be stronger than dox army so why dox win?

It's mostly about stacking, dox are fast so when they go out of the factory they go faster on the front line and compose the main army which means that let' s say 80% of what you invested in metal in units is on the Frontline while with tank they are much much slower and on the Frontline you may have only 50% of your investment rdy to fight
stacking is why you loose the fight versus dox, a dox player will always wait to have mass before attacking

So how do we solution this? We break the stacking.
First of all once you detect the full dox spam get Intel, radars to know from where the attacks are coming and position well your low army number full of tank.
Then just stack your tank, do not be agressive try to avoid loosing small groups of tanks , it's all about optimizing how much tank you will not loose. The more you loose dumbly the bigger the gap is with the dox.
OK your tank are stacked now in order to break the dox stacking you're going to produce mass air and quickly. For me you're a bit wrong and you can always do more air than your dox player and that's mainly how you ez it BUT if you can't : just prepare a suicide bomber run with like 10 fighters and 15 bombers and you erase that dox army.
The better you are with that suicide bomber run the better the strat will work, so you need to bombs at a good timing when opponent's air isn't here is possible and when there is less aa in the army you also need to no be scouted, hide your air and bombers fake that you have nothing. It require also to micro well your bombers to destroy as much dox as you can

Once you bombed the dox, take your stacked army and go fight
Usually I use my bomber at the exact moment when my land army is engaging opponent's army

PC|MAC Planetary Annihilation by icycalm on 09 May 2022 19:38

Marshall wrote:
When taking screenshots, you can hit CTRL-U and CTRL-Y to turn off UI elements and Icons so you have a clean shot :)

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 09 May 2022 03:36

https://steamcommunity.com/app/867210/d ... 6869412351

Munin wrote:
Simultaneous turns for multiplayer are planned, no worries!

So this won't be available at launch. It probably won't be an issue since we played these games in hot seat in the good old days anyway. And sometimes with more than four people, even.

PC|MAC Songs of Conquest by icycalm on 09 May 2022 03:30

Is there an exact release time on May 10th?
https://steamcommunity.com/app/867210/d ... 8063168936

Lavapotion wrote:
EDIT: It will be 18:00 CET! Price will be 29,99 USD/EUR.

So 16:00 UTC.

I probably won't be playing at that time, but might be playing later at night, or the next day at the latest.

If you aren't big on the genre you might want to wait for some impressions before purchasing. I'll certainly post something as soon as I can.

UE Watches and Rest by icycalm on 08 May 2022 21:57

Just as we've been cribbing some rules from AD&D 2E, we're grabbing this from PF2. Effective immediately, it applies to all Battlegrounds campaigns, unless the party doesn't want to keep watches, perhaps because they're sleeping in some inn or other "safe" location, in which case the sleeping time is 8 hours.




Brant Vallier @zebeev wrote:
Oh, by all means— most games I GM, it's easier to just handwave *8 hours pass, you're all rested and make your daily preparations*.

But sometimes you run into the simulationist or "um, actually" player at your session, and this table preempts the logic problem that ensues

https://twitter.com/toygunhitman/status ... 6110879744

joiless O. Hopewell @toygunhitman wrote:
This has more use than random encounters. First of all, it gives players a concrete scale of what resting and watches actually *look* like. Second, Pathfinder 2e has downtime activities built into the rules.

https://twitter.com/manueljsolisj/statu ... 8813272067

Manuel Solís @manueljsolisj wrote:
Page 500!


https://twitter.com/Pathenderspod/statu ... 6548359174

Pathenders podcast @Pathenderspod wrote:
Party size 4*
Total time 8 hours**
Watch duration***

* with
** minions
*** to do your busy work

https://twitter.com/LizWilcox79/status/ ... 2532277248

Elizabeth Wilcox @LizWilcox79 wrote:
So many early @DimensionPod discussions just completely resolved :) A beautiful table, for sure

P.S. Watch order is according to list order of profile images in the VTT, unless the players state otherwise.

P.P.S. The moral is, bigger parties move faster.

PC TaleSpire by icycalm on 07 May 2022 15:22

https://twitter.com/heimdal_3/status/15 ... 0901979136


If you add in your characters and the NPCs and enemies as paper minis, you can basically turn TaleSpire into Tabletop Simulator with this mod that imports 2D maps. It's a lot of work importing all the paper minis, and I am not sure what would happen with the line-of-sight of the 2D maps: I think it'd be gone and there'd be no way to readd it since TaleSpire only understands 3D line-of-sight. But I think it would definitely enhance the experience in most cases: e.g. with urban settings. We could have your 3D characters walking around the 2D cities. It'd probably be less janky than Fantasy Grounds with the biggest maps, which make FG chug. And you could add 3D TaleSpire assets such as say home furniture to the 2D maps!

All this would be too much work for the short-term, but I can see myself getting into it in the long-term for sure.

PC|MAC|WEB Foundry Virtual Tabletop by ChevRage on 05 May 2022 23:46

Foundry VTT Module Tutorial: Building in 3 Dimensions with Better Roofs, Levels and Wall Height

Looks like a pretty good bunch of 2D map modules. They'll allow you to make maps that have buildings with multiple floors to them without making separate maps for each floor. This type of functionality would have been very welcome in the senate building in War for the Crown.

It's not actually 3D like 3D Canvas, but it might come in handy for when you only have 2D maps on hand.

DM sign-ups by icycalm on 05 May 2022 23:08

Foundry will definitely be easier to use, but keep in mind that as far as maps go you’re much better off going with a dedicated mapmaking tool like Dungeondraft. It’s not just for dungeons, it can do anything, and the assets are so beautiful and easy to use that you can’t make anything ugly even if you want to. Look it up, I am planning to learn it.

Another thought that occurred to me is that the West Marches will be the perfect campaign for people to experiment with GMing. For first of all, TaleSpire allows unlimited GMs, unlike Fantasy Grounds which allows only one. You can have five GMs running the same campaign simultaneously, all of them controlling NPCs, adjusting cinematic values, typing dialogues or whatever, even across multiple boards in the same campaign simultaneously! This opens up incredible possibilities for co-op and PVP. Imagine two teams attacking a town from two directions, many boards apart, with the GMs coordinating the timescale. Or PVP scenarios with each team getting its own GM. Moreover, because we are in control simultaneously, I can step in at any time to aid you as needed, and then step out again. It’s the ultimate GM learning tool. And finally, the West Marches themselves are ideal for new GMs because they are light on the roleplaying and the urban environments, which are the toughest to run.

So as soon as I’ve established the campaign well, and we’ve all figured out the basics of TaleSpire, I’ll start getting people in who want to try GMing and giving them small contained environments at first, like say something simple like an ambush or a spider/wolf/etc. lair, and then we build up from there. Everyone who plays a follower is an assistant GM anyway, so whoever would like more duties can just ask and they shall have them.

We have amazing days ahead. I want everyone’s wishes and ambitions to be realized as soon as it is possible. You’ve all waited long enough for it!

DM sign-ups by ChevRage on 05 May 2022 17:08

Don't worry about not having any GM work for me at the moment. I just figured I'd sign up with the others so you know how many potential GMs you have on hand for the future.

And thanks for the suggestion, I'll be sure to check it out.

Regarding the conversion of the smaller adventures, I don't like that the maps drawn for those tend to be in black and white. No doubt for cheaper printing costs, and yet the converted adventures for Fantasy Grounds still have black and white maps like in the original document (or at least the one-on-one converted adventure I looked at does). So I was thinking of using Foundry VTT or TaleSpire rather than Fantasy Grounds, and then attempt to recreate the map in colour with the tools they offer. I'm leaning towards Foundry though, apparently it has an easy mapmaking tool of sorts.

DM sign-ups by icycalm on 05 May 2022 10:31

If a new GM wanted to run something in Battlegrounds now, I wouldn't give them a full Adventure Path right away, as even dan didn't ultimately run it at a level I'd be happy with. He needed to do a lot more work, and he wasn't doing it, and that's why I picked up War for the Crown from him. So to a new GM I would give a standalone adventure, and even better a 1st-level Pathfinder Society one-shot, where nothing would be at stake, either for the GM or the players. If they failed it, so what, and if the GM bungled it, so what. We're talking of a 16-page adventure. You could master it in an afternoon as GM, and of course I'd be looking over your shoulder the whole way. We have so many of them that a party could go from level 1 to 20 just playing them, or they could transition to regular standalone adventures (32- or 64-page) anywhere along the way (APs for comparison are 600 pages, plus special rulebooks and sourcebooks specifically designed for the campaign, so closer to 1,000 pages, and I am running FOUR of them now :). And once they reached the level cap, or TPKed, then it'd be time to think about giving this GM and this team a full Adventure Path. Even better would be to start with the Pathfinder Beginner Box for First Edition, and transition to Society scenarios right after.


Only problem is this box isn't on Fantasy Grounds yet. But it shouldn't be hard to convert ourselves, and indeed this box would be precisely the best way for me to learn how to do this, since I'll have to learn this ultimately anyway (since almost none of the PF1 Society scenarios have been converted, though many if not all of the PF2 have been).

The problem is that I have no GMing work to give you currently, as I run all our teams myself and don't want to part with any (and taking over mid-campaign is the absolute hardest thing a GM can try to do, which is why it took weeks for me to successfully take over War for the Crown from dan). We'd need to make a new party for me to give them to you, and the only "loose" player we have for a fifth party currently is leccosta, who'll be playing in West Marches. If he dies and feels like starting a conventional Fantasy Grounds campaign next, and your friend joins him, and we somehow get two more players, I'd be happy to let you run this group starting with the Beginner Box. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you manage to get four of your friends together and run them yourself, they'd only have to pay €100/month as a group (€20/person) if they wanted to join Battlegrounds, since I wouldn't be running them. Any single individual joining any of my other campaigns would have to pay €50.

As for one-on-one adventures with your friend, a suggestion I would give is Call of Cthulhu. According to James Jacobs, it's the best RPG ever, and just the other day I saw that Chaosium sells SOLO scenarios on their site, meaning without even any players, just the GM. So they probably also sell singleplayer ones. AND the rules are way simpler than Pathfinder, so perfect for a new GM. Check it out: https://www.chaosium.com/call-of-cthulhu-rpg

A bunch of CoC stuff is even on Fantasy Grounds, so you could begin learning that too.

PC TaleSpire by icycalm on 05 May 2022 10:00

In other news, we have the first pics of SPACE BATTLES in TaleSpire, courtesy of BrotherHanan who's creating the sets for the Dimension 20 show: https://twitter.com/BrotherHanan/status ... 3786185730



Wait until we have full Starfinder assets and more builders join in. Forget about Star Citizen, this is the revolution. Can you imagine ALIEN PLANET assets? With the Houdini tool you'll be able to generate entire planets lol. It'll be insane. Hurry up and unlock Starfinder in Battlegrounds! I will show you the route when I build our World Anvil maps later this month.

And a small update from TaleSpire also hit today, with a cool animated gif to demonstrate it: https://steamcommunity.com/games/720620 ... 5825343782

Bouncyrock wrote:
This patch includes the initial version of the Creature Move Ruler. The Creature move Ruler simply attaches to the Creature as you move them, allowing for quicker measurements while going in straight lines. We'll look into iterating on this feature in the future.


Dice by icycalm on 05 May 2022 09:31

https://twitter.com/BrotherHanan/status ... 9942276097

BrotherHanan TaleSpire Battlemaps @BrotherHanan wrote:
Fuck yeah. First time ever instantly rolling a Natural 20 on new dice!

#TTRPGs #ttrpg #nat20 #dice #DnD


Jesus christ BrotherHanan's dice setup is nuts. Blacks sure love bling lol.

PC TaleSpire by icycalm on 05 May 2022 09:22

That's amazing. I was beginning to despair that we'd ever get this working. This was the last piece of the puzzle to get West Marches started and realize 100% my vision. Absolutely nothing is missing now. I have to run two campaigns and one PA war this weekend, but starting Monday I am devoting 100% of my time to West Marches until we play the first game, which will hopefully be the weekend after. I'll be in touch so you can show me how to work this.

Incredible news.

Made in Greece by icycalm on 05 May 2022 08:06

Made in Greece


icycalm wrote:
And that's the purpose of the flag on all my sites: to remind you, EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU VISIT ONE OF MY SITES, precisely that you're not in Kansas anymore, that you're on GREEK ground now, and that you're STILL coming to us for philosophy and art theory and art criticism in the 21st-century—and even for game design and dating advice, and general cultural analysis.

PC TaleSpire by Robomoo on 05 May 2022 00:36

I got the terrain generation tool working and generated a random 400x400 forest map:


It's not that hard to set up, but it will be hard to learn to use Houdini properly to make the specific maps we want.

Your past D&D experience (including CRPGs and novels) by ChevRage on 04 May 2022 21:01

I've also run Lost Mines of Phandelver from 5E, not sure why I forgot to mention it before.

DM sign-ups by ChevRage on 04 May 2022 20:59

It's been a few years and I'm suffering withdrawal, so I'm signing up for DMing. I've pretty much run things for only a couple of years and feel like a complete newb whenever I do, so please don't give me anything too heavy lol.

I'll probably play some of those one-on-one adventures icy linked on Discord with a friend in the meantime. That is unless by some chance they are going to be part of Battlegrounds.

Hardware shortages by icycalm on 04 May 2022 08:20

3090 down to €1,879 on Nazi Amazon: https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Zotac-3090-T ... B08TZD9SH9

It's not one of the best models, but it's still a 3090.

They seem to have a lot of them too. Usually it would say they only have two or three, but now it just says "in stock".

They also have 3090 Tis for a few hundred bucks more.

However, with 4090 coming at the end of the year, it might be a bit too late to get a 3090 now, especially considering how large the speed boost is expected to be.

Next-Gen NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 With Top AD102 GPU Could Be The First Gaming Graphics Card To Break Past 100 TFLOPs
https://wccftech.com/next-gen-nvidia-ge ... 100-tflops


That said, it's the first time in my life that I am not really excited about any of this. What will I play with the 4090 anyway? I pretty much no longer play artificially stupid open-world games, and there aren't any good strategy/tactics titles coming out that could use the resolution boost. Everything is stagnating because of low subhuman IQ. The only games I am interested in are GMRPGs, and they have no use for 4090s. I mean, you CAN run a twice-larger TaleSpire board with it, but the entire group would have to have 4090s, not just me, so it's pointless, they will never buy it except maybe one-two guys.

I am still following this stuff out of inertia—I've been doing it all my life after all—but I don't care much anymore.

I will of course make an 8K system and run PA on it if crypto goes up.

Videogame Culture by icycalm on 04 May 2022 00:25

Musk says he got interested in technology and programming because of videogames, and that they’re good for kids: https://youtube.com/shorts/j9y75WHqIvg

PC|MAC|WEB Foundry Virtual Tabletop by icycalm on 02 May 2022 16:10

Argon Combat HUD

Insane work from TheRipper93 that dropped two weeks ago and I just noticed it. Don’t miss this video: full CRPG combat HUD but with a ton more information pulled straight from all the books you own. Imagine this plus animated tokens and spell effects inserted into Paizo’s new 4K Foundry adventure conversions. That’s how we will be playing Curse of Strahd and Kingmaker next year. The revolution is upon us comrades!