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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Version 0.54 Released

Attention! This release requires the new resource pack version 0.54.

It's been a long time coming. From day 1, character development has been in RealmSpeak in some form or another. If you've played RealmSpeak at all, you've seen the grayed out radio buttons in the character chooser that indicate selection of other levels. That's because I designed the character data structure to handle development from the start. I realized, however, that there was not much point to development, until the game had matured to a point where it would really matter.

When you start a new game, look under the "Expanding the Realm" tab, and turn on "Development". This will open this ruleset, and allow you to play a real development game. If you are so inclined, turn on "Extended Development", and you will be able to progress onto the higher levels.

One thing that I implemented here that turned out to be pretty cool, is the concept of "Advantage Badges". These badges represent the advantages that your characters get, and act as a visual cue to what you can do. This is important when you are dealing with sub-level characters, and gives you the feeling of leveling up when you earn new badges.

When you get your first look at these things, be kind: I drew all of them by hand. That said, I'm open for improvement in this arena, and will glady entertain any graphics replacements for those I created. Keep in mind, however, I get to be the final judge, and wont promise that any image submissions will be used. If you do want to send one, they must be 32 x 32 pixels, and I would ask that they be GIF (but I can always convert them if need be).

What's not here? I made no attempt to deal with the rules that END a game when you achieve your VPs. No rewards beyond aquiring VPs is built in. For the most part, you are going to want a double-board, and multi-month game to make playing development worth your while. There's also no way to preserve a character from game to game. I imagine that will come someday, but its not there now.

One reason I'm hesitant to release this version, is that I'm sure that the way I've implemented the development rules is going to differ from how some of you are used to. For the most part, it follows the design in the 3rd-edition rules. There's also likely to be a few bugs in the implementation, though I can tell you that I've been playtesting this thing all week, and its pretty solid.

A fairly minor feature that I added is worth mentioning. When I first added seasons/weather, I put an icon on the main character frame, and though it took a lot of space, it looked rather nice. When I collapsed a lot of the functionality onto the character list window, the visibility of this icon went away, hidden in the calendar window. As one playtester pointed out, having the icon clearly visible added a sense of season to the play, and now that its gone, you lose that aspect of it. Well, I decided to add the icon back, but in a different place. Look in the options menu under Map Options, and you'll see a "Show Season Icon" option. Turn this on, and an icon will appear on your map display:

It shows the season, as well as the weather. If you are playing with seasons turned off, then the icon will not harass you.

Well, I can blather on about every detail, or you can just read what's new:

  • [604] - Character Development
    • You can select a character at less than level 4 ability
      • Fewer chits
      • Fewer spells
      • Fewer VPs
      • Possibily different starting inventory (or none at all!)
      • Different relationships
      • Fewer character advantages

    • Chits are gained with earned VPs
      • If VP assignment is turned off, then VPs earned in any category are credited, otherwise only those assigned categories count, and then only as much as you've assigned!
      • Look on victory point tab to see where you stand, as far as earned VPs, and how many you need to achieve the next chit or level.
      • Development progress bar on main character window gives you an indication of where you are, in terms of points, chits, and levels.

    • New levels bring new advantages (based on 3rd edition rules)
      • 1st advantage at 2nd level, 2nd advantage at 4th
      • Gaining optional advantages is varied (see 3rd ed rules)
      • Relationships are gained at 3rd edition: these are additive, so that if you are using grudges/gratitudes, your existing relationships still modify the ones you are getting.

    • Advantages are represented by a "Badge", shown now above the color magic/curses panel
      • Hover mouse over badge to see text
      • Badges appear as you get them (if using development)
      • Witch's Familiar badge can be clicked on to enable/disable the familiar (this replaces the ugly Familiar button added in v0.52)

    • Extended Development (if you turn the option on) allows development past 4th, with appropriate bonuses:
      • Level 5 = 15 gold
      • Level 6 = Random treasure from any native group
      • Level 7 = 10 Notoriety and 5 Fame
      • Level 8 = Take one horse from any native group
      • Level 9 = Get one BONUS phase every day
      • Level 10 = Get one weapon/armor counter from any native group *OR* record a new spell
      • Level 11 = Tagged as "Immortal", and no further advancement occurs

  • [975] - Right-clicking a clearing on the map, and choosing "Show Clearing Details" will give you lots of information about the contents of the clearing.
  • Added a new option to show the current season/weather icon on the map
  • [987] - New folders for handling seasonal tile graphics. If you are interested in working on new tile graphics, please contact me, and I'll give you more details.
  • [1004] - Character vulnerability is printed on the combat sheet

  • Some Pruitt Monster attributes fixed:
    • [1007] - Tomb Guard F/N is only 6 (not 9)

  • [1024] - Fixed a problem with Great/Light Elf not working.
  • [1022] - Trouble result on Commerce Neutral, will correctly roll on Unfriendly column (not Enemy column!)
  • [1017] - Fixed a bug that prevents hirelings from fighting back, when assigned randomly with Watchful Native rules turned on.
  • [1016] - Restored behavior of Map of Ruins in tiles with Ruins M or Ruins C chits
  • [1020] - Hired Leaders or Controlled Monsters that become unhired (expired term) will "drop" any hireling followers in the clearing.
  • [1026] - Following characters are no longer immune to the effects of frigid weather.
  • [1030] - Fixed a harmless bug generated after you leave the board.
  • [1031] - When you absorb a monster with a weapon/head, you can choose which side to play the weapon/head during combat.
  • Fixed a problem when LOTS of monsters are summoned at once, and you get a really tall narrow window that you can't close.
  • [1019] - Fixed an inventory validation problem when you have a pack horse.
  • [1032] - Tristar enchanted side cave clearings will behave like cave clearings now.
  • [1018] - Fixed a problem that occurs if you are using the Timeless Jewel, and running RealmSpeak with Java 1.6
  • [1038] - Problem with controlling a Wyrm (or any Pruitt Monster)
  • [1036] - Cannot play color chits while between clearings or between tiles anymore
  • [1040] - Fixed a problem that made it impossible to change tactics with Battle Bracelets or Elusive Cloak when you play a double-asterisk chit
  • [1041] - Combat will no longer pause on tactics phase when active character wearing Elusive Cloak is not in the clearing
  • [1042] - For purposes of weather fatigue, being between cave or mountain clearings, is the same as being in a cave or mountain, respectively.

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