2 for Tuesday #1: Cosmothea Game Engine Update & Gates!

2-for-Tuesday-logoWelcome to our first 2 for Tuesday blog post! Yeah, I gave up on the Monday Minute. Mondays never worked for me, except the logo. And since you were probably busy on your Mondays reading all your favorite Monday blog posts like Caffeineforge and JDSFiction (and others — forgive me for the ones I’ve forgotten in my haste to get this post to you) now you have a bit more time to relax and enjoy our 2 for Tuesdays where we will give you two goodies for the price of one!

‘Nuff intro. Let’s roll!

Today’s “2” include an update on my work on the game engine and a look at gates in the Cosmothea Universe:

Cosmothea Game Engine Update
While my anthology, Arcane Synthesis: A Blended-Genre Anthology is my highest priority at QT Games, I am still working on the 5.0 rules and am still running playtests, so it’s far from forgotten.

I’ve been working on the skill system recently, doing a lot of revision and polish there, as well as creating new character sheets. That’s kept me pretty busy, but as both physical combat and social conflict resolution are part of the skill system, not their own systems, making sure the skill system shines is critical. I have not tried out my latest tweak to the skill system, as I’m still playtesting the previous one. It’s not a huge change, and the existing system works great, but this change would make it a bit simpler. If I do make this change, I’m confident it will be the last for this version of the game. The skill system still needs a lot of fleshing out of the individual skill descriptions, and plenty of examples of each. I may also include an optional uber-lite skill system as part of my Layered Complexity goal (where you decide how crunchy your game is), but that would be down the road.

As some of you know, the published version of the game would include at least 3 core resolution systems: 2D10, D20 and Diceless (though even in the diceless my personal preference is including our Cinematic Die – I’ve mentioned it before, but will be happy to discuss that another time). I am currently playtesting and polishing a whole new diceless mechanic (tabletop only so far). Again, I’m using the Cinematic Die with it (though it’s not required), so it’s not entirely random, but is far less random. In fact, this new diceless mechanic is shaping up very nicely so far, bringing in some more strategy into the game without undo complexity. It’s an easy mechanic, but much more playtesting (no doubt more tweaking as well) is required before it’s ready for official inclusion in the game. I am very excited about it, however! It looks very promising and it will also work with a skill system option I have planned for the game.

Cosmothean Gates
There’s a reason that Cosmothea used to be called Stargate (way back before the first Stargate movie was released, and I started worrying about product confusion. I wasn’t seriously pursuing publishing back then, but I had hoped to one day, and eventually changed the name to Stargate: Cosmothea and then Cosmothea as it seemed Stargate was becoming a big franchise that wasn’t going away). There are tons of gates all over Cosmothea. The early ones were created by the god Chronus and could be found on numerous worlds.

The ancient gnomes who cheated their way into advanced technology using time travel, and the mysterious Architects built many more stargates (which more and more often I find myself gritting my teeth and just saying gates and portals and even artificial wormholes – at least for the ones in space, which is most of the known Architect gates).  In the Cosmothea Universe, Earth is far, far away from the prosperous galactic empires, but is connected to Humanus Space by the gnomish-built Asteroid gate in the Sol system (specifically in our asteroid belt) with a twin in Humanus Space called Earth Gate, linking those vastly remote locations together. Twinned gates are usually more stable than non-twinned gates.

There is at least one known gate in each of the major galactic empires, but few are privy to their use, nor to their idiosyncrasies. The technology is too high, though you can be sure that scientists are routinely trying to decode them and the mammoth gates are being monitored ‘round the clock, with armadas standing by, should an invasion fleet or anything else unsavory come through.

Some of the gates have become damaged and unreliable over the eons, while others require special access requirements to be met in order to function as desired (and in most cases, to function at all).

There are still other gates in the Cosmothea universe, many of which were created by the gods and powerful mages, linking cities, regions, worlds and dimensions. Even the technologically superior taager who have been trying to reverse engineer architechnology (the technology of the ancient Architects) for centuries, have built their own gates).

Not all gates in Cosmothea are traditional (if such a term can be applied to something as fantastic as a gate). By that, I mean that some gates don’t seem to move you across distances at all, but once you step through, they instead move you through time or through dimensions while retaining the same geographical location. You can also find gates that either intentionally or due to malfunctions or sabotage, can change your appearance! There’s a couple gates on the world, Adara in a desert region that feels very Old West-ish (plus magic, of course) that infect travelers with a zombie virus) and more than one hidden gate exists that will alter all of your gear and clothing to match the tech level of the surrounding region (translating guns into magical racassas and f’lantii for example).

There are other bizarre gates that only allow certain species to enter or certain factions and odd gates like the God Gate, (which seems to be the only access point to a location I’m not ready to reveal yet) that drains and stores a god’s power when they pass through it, and doesn’t give it back until they leave. Some gates are one-way, others are two way and there are stargate projectors, gates that only take you to other gates and other strange and wondrous gates have always been a part of what Cosmothea is and have made for some killer adventures over the decades!

Ever had a cool adventure through a gateway? I’d love to hear your summary of the tale! Gates are a fun part of any universe and I know their not a unique concept, but they are part of what Cosmothea is and I can’t get enough of them, which explains why there are so many. I even made a career path that has to do with gates, but it isn’t part of the core rulebook as that book was getting too big. One day, Lord willing, the Cosmothea Blended-Genre RPG will make it on the market. But if you’ve got a hankering for some cinematic fun in a cool universe, let me know, and I’ll get you in the mix (if you’re local and we still have a seat at the table) or as part of our online playtest: Secrets of Cathor!

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting and hope to see you around for our next 2 for Tuesday! If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them! Have a great week all!


About Bob Whitely/QT Games

Welcome to QT Games! Mission Never publish junk or waste people's time. Publish only high-quality fiction and games. 'Nuff said. Company Overview QT Games LLC was created to publish blended-genre (fantasy blended with sci-fi, etc.) fiction, board, card and roleplaying games for a discerning gaming community. Unlike most small press, we have very strict standards: Only pro writing, pro editing and pro art. That means that if we can't get it right, we find someone who can. We pay well for what we don't do in-house. We don't cut corners on quality. This means we stand to make less money than other small publishers, but that's okay with us. We value your time and money, so we're willing to take the bullet. We've designed a large number of games and written a pile of stories. Now we're polishing some of them and getting them out the door. 'Bout time, we know. Good stuff ahead!
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2 Responses to 2 for Tuesday #1: Cosmothea Game Engine Update & Gates!

  1. jdsfiction says:

    Great post, Bob! I love your enthusiasm for the epic scope of the Cosmothea Universe. 🙂

    • cosmothea says:

      Thanks, Joe, and thanks for posting – it’s been a ghost town around here. I’m sure comics, and specifically Jack Kirby and his epic storytelling were major influences as to why Cosmothea turned out the way it did. Oh, I just posted a thread for cool things to put on a Cosmothea T-shirt for the Kickstarter. If you get a chance, check it out here: http://www.qtgames.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=759 !
      Btw, I made a whole section in the Public portion of the QT Games Forums so the public can toss in their 2 cents and brainstorm specifics for the Kickstarter. 🙂 Cheers!

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