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CitizenKeen

Osmium - Galaxies of Fantasy Adventure

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A cursory read through indicates it is a high quality supplement. I did catch a few typos, but I didn't think to note them... There are also plenty of spots where the text just needs tightening up, but isn't actually incorrect. For example, similar racial abilities sometimes use slightly different phrasing, and those abilities should all be as consistent as possible.

The setting content is not particularly to my taste, so I'll try to refrain from giving irrelevent feedback on it. Overall it feels a little bit like Starfinder (which is good), your writing has energy, inspiration, and throughout are passages which catch even a disinterested eye.

I presume you're using 'found' art. Most of your selections are great, and really sell the world you're presenting. Though a few feel somewhat out-of-place, like they're depicting a different setting entirely (namely the illustration of two wizards dueling you used in the magic section). I also noticed you used the same art for both the Elf and Explorer entry; one of the two needs to change (see below for reasoning)*. Finally, I would suggest raiding some Starfinder and Warhammer 40k inspired art for some more modern looking mages.

* The best reason is ease of use, unique art is like a landmark when navigating a document, and that elf is a particularly striking landmark. My brain can much more quickly recognize the art than the text it accompanies. The next best reason is that it is less professional looking to recycle art in the same document (and often indicates a low budget or lack of inspiration).

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2 hours ago, Varlie said:

This looks amazing.  The amount of work and thought put into this is evident. 

Thank you. Positive affirmation is always welcome!

49 minutes ago, Cantriped said:

A cursory read through indicates it is a high quality supplement. I did catch a few typos, but I didn't think to note them... There are also plenty of spots where the text just needs tightening up, but isn't actually incorrect. For example, similar racial abilities sometimes use slightly different phrasing, and those abilities should all be as consistent as possible.

The setting content is not particularly to my taste, so I'll try to refrain from giving irrelevent feedback on it. Overall it feels a little bit like Starfinder (which is good), your writing has energy, inspiration, and throughout are passages which catch even a disinterested eye.

I presume you're using 'found' art. Most of your selections are great, and really sell the world you're presenting. Though a few feel somewhat out-of-place, like they're depicting a different setting entirely (namely the illustration of two wizards dueling you used in the magic section). I also noticed you used the same art for both the Elf and Explorer entry; one of the two needs to change (see below for reasoning)*. Finally, I would suggest raiding some Starfinder and Warhammer 40k inspired art for some more modern looking mages.

Thank you for the constructive criticism. This is definitely a second draft. I've released this into the wild a little sooner than I otherwise would have, because it's very much a "living document" - as I read through and find typos, I can fix them everywhere for everybody. And right now, the site is primarily for my own group, so my professionalism standards aren't as high as they usually would be. I need to do some templating on the Talent phrasings, and the Summer Elf name generator isn't remotely where I want it to be.

I don't mention Starfinder in my Acknowledgements, but I think I should, along with Spelljammer. They're not really inspirations, but more like parallel evolutions that I think I should acknowledge the existence of.

Your point on the elf and the value of art as a landmark is well taken. Thank you.

Regarding the duel... I think you caught the problem - there just aren't that many paintings of wizards fighting on space stations. Space fantasy isn't a well-explored area of art, and where it is explored, the branding (WH40K, Star Wars, etc.) is so present it's hard to use it somewhere else.

Again, thank you very much.

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8 hours ago, gilbur said:

Looks great, but would be better in a PDF format, so we are not fixed to the computer when running a game...

Part of the goal of this supplement is to get away from PDFs. I want features of the modern web in my supplements - rollable tables, tables that can be filtered before I roll on them, modal dialogues for supplementary information.

For example, if I want to refer players to the Cybernetics talents, there's no way to do that in a PDF in a succinct way. With a website (and this is in staging), I can link to "All the Cybernetics Talents".  Or "All Elf Minion groups". Or whatever.

Plus, a PDF or any fixed format prevents it from being a living document. You have to worry about versioning, etc.

Making it as a website isn't for everyone, but the same can be said about PDF. Making it as a website works for me.

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8 hours ago, CitizenKeen said:

For example, if I want to refer players to the Cybernetics talents, there's no way to do that in a PDF in a succinct way.

it is possible in pdf (i have "Knowledge, PDF Spec" at 5)

  • LibreOffice Writer (my version is 6.0): is succinct using Bookmarks and Hyperlinks and then export as PDF or HTML or EPUB
    (having Meta/PDF Data support enabled in Export Config).
  • Scribus: does allow HyperLinks, but only to pages not to an exact topic or Bookmark -- so milage may vary.
    (having Meta/PDF Data support enabled in Export Config).
  • pdfTeX/LaTeX: is succinct using hyperref package -- in ConTeXt it is standard.
  • texinfo: it is standard for all output media that supports hyperlinks (HTML, PDF, XML, Info)
  • almost all Markdown/PegDown/Asciidoc Converters have support for all output media that supports hyperlinks (HTML, PDF)

sorry for getting so OT ...

c

Edited by Terefang

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12 minutes ago, Terefang said:

it is possible in pdf (i have "Knowledge, PDF Spec" at 5)

  • LibreOffice Writer (my version is 6.0): is succinct using Bookmarks and Hyperlinks and then export as PDF or HTML or EPUB
    (having Meta/PDF Data support enabled in Export Config).
  • Scribus: does allow HyperLinks, but only to pages not to an exact topic or Bookmark -- so milage may vary.
    (having Meta/PDF Data support enabled in Export Config).
  • pdfTeX/LaTeX: is succinct using hyperref package -- in ConTeXt it is standard.
  • texinfo: it is standard for all output media that supports hyperlinks (HTML, PDF, XML, Info)
  • almost all Markdown/PegDown/Asciidoc Converters have support for all output media that supports hyperlinks (HTML, PDF)

sorry for getting so OT ...

c

Sorry, you misunderstand me.

Right now, if I want Talents to be sorted by Tier (and who doesn't), and then by alphabetical (seems natural), there's no convenient way in a static document to say "See all Cybernetic talents".

Whereas on my talents page, you can limit the display to only show Tier 2 Cybernetic talents. (I've added HTML GET parameters in the next build.)

It's not just about linking, it's about curating the display. Which a static document can't do. The "Secret Thigh Holster" talent will always be on page 192, and all you can do is point to it. But it's going to be right next to the "Secret Lover" Talent, even though that has nothing to do with cybernetics.

With a dynamic document, the Talents can be filtered. That's a huge feature for me.

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6 minutes ago, CitizenKeen said:

Right now, if I want Talents to be sorted by Tier (and who doesn't), and then by alphabetical (seems natural), there's no convenient way in a static document to say "See all Cybernetic talents".

i understand, but we have thousands years of printing-press, and how did they solve it ? by using thematic indexes !

if we keep the skills/talents in a database anyway, auto-generating these is a spiff.

 

PS: sorry, but my programming monster inside seams to take the lead sometimes.

Edited by Terefang

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Honestly, most people who can access a PDF can also access a webpage on the same device. You can also copy and paste or save/print a webpage. Would be pretty easy to make it into a PDF if that’s your thing.

The only real advantage of a PDF over a webpage is that a PDF doesn’t require somebody to host it. Webpages can be abandoned, PDFs are more permanent.

All said, I like your site. Very navigable. Very easy and intuitive to use. Lots of content. Good work.

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15 hours ago, Terefang said:

i understand, but we have thousands years of printing-press, and how did they solve it ? by using thematic indexes !

if we keep the skills/talents in a database anyway, auto-generating these is a spiff.

 

PS: sorry, but my programming monster inside seams to take the lead sometimes.

As a programmer who spent a couple years as an academic journal editor, I get it. I'm no stranger to LaTeX or theme indices. Let me walk you through another scenario I envision:

Printed Scenario: "As Grace the Guide takes the PCs through the Wandering Wood, she warns them foul beasties might be about. For every day the PCs spend in the Wandering Wood, roll on Table 13B: Wandering Woods Wandering Monster Table. Shoot, my d20’s across the room. So I get up and go get it. I roll a 14. The PCs are ambushed by a Goblin Bandit King (page 117), two (2) Goblin Archers (page 116), and a pet Warg (page 233). Okay, so I click the hyperlink and get the Bandit King, but then I have to back and get the link for the Archers and Warg, or remember what page they were on, and either print or write down their stats or store them somehow for easy reference in play.

It could be better.

Web Scenario: As Grace the Guide takes the PCs through the Wandering Wood, she warns them foul beasties might be about. For every day the PCs spend in the Wandering Wood, roll on Table 13B: Wandering Woods Wandering Monster Table. [Click here to expand table]. I click, and underneath the paragraph I’m reading, the table expands (and collapses if I want to keep reading). There’s a button that says “Roll” and I click it and a row is highlighted. 14. The PCs are ambushed by a Goblin Bandit King (link), two (2) Goblin Archers (link), and a pet Warg (link). Additionally, under the table, all three stat blocks are inserted into the narrative. Not only that, but they all have randomly generated names and distinguishing features from Table 32G: Goblin Names and Table 32H: Goblin Distinguishing Features.

14 hours ago, AnomalousAuthor said:

Honestly, most people who can access a PDF can also access a webpage on the same device. You can also copy and paste or save/print a webpage. Would be pretty easy to make it into a PDF if that’s your thing.

The only real advantage of a PDF over a webpage is that a PDF doesn’t require somebody to host it. Webpages can be abandoned, PDFs are more permanent.

All said, I like your site. Very navigable. Very easy and intuitive to use. Lots of content. Good work.

100% agree. The Osmium site is all client-side, so I intend to mark certain milestones with a zip of all the files that can just be downloaded and run at a time when I'm no longer doing this (or when you're offline).

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Sorry, Just thought I would ask a simple question as When I run a Game we try not to get on the Internet as it distracts from the game for some people. In my froup of players I am the only one who usually does alot of Research on the web then I print out for my players to look over and use if they want to.

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17 minutes ago, Myrrik said:

Love the site so far. Looking forward to seeing what else you come up with (The Update 1 sounds like a biggie  :)  )

 

It's all done except the character sheet and the adventure. Writing an adventure you've already run and fleshing it out for "what might happen" (but only at other tables) is... emotionally taxing.

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Regarding Ranged Weapons and Starting Gear:  I was going through Ossium's gear tables, and noticed that all of the available ranged weapons are rather expensive, at least compared to the suggested starting wealth of 500+1d100. Many are far more expensive than similar items from the GCRB. Meanwhile the melee weapon prices seem to be fairly comperable (if a bit higher or lower) than their GCRB or RoT equivalents.

This is a fine design decision by itself, where I think a problem arises is in the careers section. Namely careers like the Envoy, Explorer, or Healer which force you to choose between a ranged weapon worth 400 or a melee weapon worth 20-250 (not counting shields).

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6 hours ago, Cantriped said:

Regarding Ranged Weapons and Starting Gear:  I was going through Ossium's gear tables, and noticed that all of the available ranged weapons are rather expensive, at least compared to the suggested starting wealth of 500+1d100. Many are far more expensive than similar items from the GCRB. Meanwhile the melee weapon prices seem to be fairly comperable (if a bit higher or lower) than their GCRB or RoT equivalents.

This is a fine design decision by itself, where I think a problem arises is in the careers section. Namely careers like the Envoy, Explorer, or Healer which force you to choose between a ranged weapon worth 400 or a melee weapon worth 20-250 (not counting shields).

Yeah, so - For the first major update (ME1), I've been refactoring costs. (I basically grabbed the costs of weapons from a scifi weapons handbook PDF I found here.) But, melee weapons aren't costed accurately. But, if you do cost them accurately, they're out of wack with reality ($250 for Brass Knuckles, if I recall). So it's something I'm working on, but I don't feel like there's an obvious solution.

I'm tempted to house rule a "Brawl weapon" item quality that makes it -100.

I care less about the Careers than I do about the general inconsistency. I tend to run gear-porn games with lots of narrative, so if a character is picking their Career Skills based on a difference of 100 bucks.... eh. I've currently got bigger problems to solve.

But it's a problem, I acknowledge.

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I would suggest that you calculate everything based on consistent guidelines, and then apply an arbitrary discount to the "beginner tier" items so that a reasonable selection of starting packages can be bought using the 500+1d100 budget. For example, such items might only cost half, or even a quarter of what the guidelines otherwise indicate.

This is not to say you should remove the starting packages, they're super flavorful. I just like having the alternative. I would suggest you adjust them such that everyone starts with either a knife or 'knuckles besides any other equipment the package included.

Edited by Cantriped

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6 minutes ago, Cantriped said:

I would suggest that you calculate everything based on consistent guidelines, and then apply an arbitrary discount to the "beginner tier" items so that a reasonable selection of starting packages can be bought using the 500+1d100 budget. For example, such items might only cost half, or even a quarter of what the guidelines otherwise indicate.

That might very well be a future update. That being said, I'm not planning on supporting "buy your own starting gear" any time soon. I have to strike that balance between "make the site useful to random people" and "make it useful for me", and I never have "buy your own gear". It's always "pick a roll and grab the traditional gear and let's get going - if you need something special ask".

Your points are well taken and I've noted them in my build plans, thank you.

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I've pushed an update ME1 to the site. Bug fixes, plus new features:

  • An Adversaries section. It's real sparse right now, but now I can just write a JSON adversary and have it show up.
  • A Vehicles section. Even sparser.
  • A Random Character Concept generator, which pairs a Species with a Career and then picks a tag of Talents that aren't suggested by the Career to make it something of an oddball.
  • I've reverted to a Ranged (Light) vs Ranged (Heavy) paradigm.
  • Started adding some grenades.
  • Initial outline of the Seven Wastes Sector (our home). More will be making its way there soon as my players explore.

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