Articles by There Is No Spoon 3

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    It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher shall appear.

    So it has come to pass, that after many shameful soft-scores in painting, I have decided to make the pilgrimage to the remote monastery upon Mt. Awesomeness.

    There in the rarified mists of airbrush white 10632b and the pure waters of wash 90815c, I had heard there was a Master - him of the Goose Feather brush (or perhaps it was Heath?) who once made 2 dragons sick from envy with a mere puff of smoke from his pipe and a flash of his color palette!

    My knees trembling from the hike up the 1001 base-coating steps, I threw myself at his feet and my face burning with shame (and poor fitness), told him I wished to learn!

    However, before we could begin, he demanded a demonstration of my skills...So here goes

    OK, this time for real... :WDG:

    I know right. <X

    So, after nearly hurting himself with laughter, the Master agreed to instruct me in The Way of the Goose Feather. We shall begin with possibly the greatest challenge he has ever undertaken from a complete nOOb, for not only is he instructing me, but I will be inviting the original master-painter of my model to join along.

    And here it is:

    That's right, no pressure, just a 4 y.o.'s pride and joy. I'm sure she will be delighted when she finds out daddy is going to basecoat all over her proud art that she spent carefully painting one rainy afternoon.

    For anyone who wishes to join me on my odyssey of painting knowledge, you are most welcome to sit back and enjoy the ride.... [Read More]
  • Hear ye, hear ye!

    Lo! On the day of the last sun, it did come to pass that a supplicant in a white tutu, one hailing from Santa Regina, dared the wroth of the Red-Tag Guards with a petition from his people regarding the echoing rumors of the Seven Dark Gods.

    An behold! Him of the Hidden Eating Implement was stirred to sympathy and, after consulting with higher powers, agreed to share what little wisdom he possessed (and it was indeed meagre...)

    Regarding all things Supernal: Would that mean going from four marks and four kinds of daemons to seven? Wouldn't that effectively double the amount of stuff in the daemons and WdG books?

    To which the answer is...It depends:

    For the Warriors of the Dark Gods
    This is not an increase from 4 to 7 Marks, but rather a decrease from 15 (Chosen, Daemon Prince) to 7 Marks. This will mean less to memorize for newer players, but more variety in terms of playstyle. The most obvious change will be loss of Marks on many units - particularly Core - because Marks will be signs of extreme elevation for only the most devoted followers, but this also enables a more powerful overall effect without damaging internal balance. Expect some interesting options in Special to help compensate for this...

    For the Daemonic Legions
    This will mean 3 new Greater Daemons most likely (for a total of 7), each with their own powerful army synergies or effects. Here the concept of "Greater" is being explored beyond simply being a Monster, all troop types are being examined currently. There will also be Mark-specific units - but like Warriors, not in Core - each optimized for its role, which will mean greater payoffs for good generalship within the army.

    Regarding Streamlining: I mean, I assume this means that you'd condense more stuff down and make the different daemons more similar, but I can't imagine it going over well if the existing gods lost their specialized daemons.

    Oh ye of little faith...

    Daemons will likely become more specialized; the units and especially the characters will be more differentiated than ever before. Special units will enjoy Mark efficiency to a higher degree and are being designed with the philosophy that a supernal will always choose the best possible form & abilities for its function.

    Regarding Monotheism: I don't like the whole 7 gods because I like to play monotheist and clearly we cannot have a 7 army in one book. So the whole point of monotheists lists will become irrelevant (or just as monotheists WoDG lists). Same daemons with different marks makes me going to play V1.3 for a long time with my friends...

    If by monotheist, you mean every model in the army has a Mark, then probably so. On the other hand, there are wider interpretations of the word if we think about it.

    This is a really delicate puzzle for the Army Design Team to solve admittedly; currently it is being discussed. What can be said is that Characters will still play a defining role in any Daemon army and other options such as blended Mark combos are being investigated.

    And lo! It came to pass that the repository of knowledge was empty, and the seer's vision of the future was indeed blurred.

    Thus Sprake the Blind Fool [Read More]
  • Greetings Fellow Gamers,

    A criticism that is occasionally raised by our players is that the 9th Age is too opaque in terms of its development and interaction with the general community. As a former public user and playtester, I remember well my own frustrations not knowing what was going on internally, which has resulted in me lobbying for a more informed community ever since. Well, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, it may well happen - and it did happen! In December 2016, @Shadeseraph and I were promoted to AvB with the express intention of providing our general community with more insight into what’s happening at all levels of the project.

    In many ways, it’s a great privilege to be able to read to discussions at the highest level. I am constantly astounded at just how much work is being shouldered by key staff members and the breadth of knowledge among those making the tough calls at the top regarding balance and design. On the other hand, when you see the sausage factory, you realize that the process of making sausages can be ugly before the final product is reached; no difference here, you're also exposed to the arguments, passion, pressure, and screw ups – because let’s face it, no-one is perfect, so why do we expect this in a voluntary project?

    Eventually Shade & I, after freaking out a bit at our new-found super-powers, sat down to hammer out some ideas to help share information with everyone without compromising internal trust or creating unnecessary drama. Then, as if on cue, we suddenly had 1.3 roll in faster than anticipated, Christmas holidays hit, and last of all the Freeze was implemented. Our little plan got derailed, but these things have to start somewhere, so here we go getting this blog on the tracks...

    The goal of this blog is to better inform our community's understanding of what’s happening internally.

    • Vision, decisions and planning (ExB)
    • Consultations (AvB)
    Game Progress
    • Background & art (BA/CDS)
    • Army redesigns (ADT)
    • Balancing (BT)
    • Rules development (RT/RTA)
    I’m aiming to provide bi-monthly updates, but these may increase in frequency if interesting/important developments are happening - and if I lag behind, give me a @call. If you are looking for spoilers – like Bear Cavalry for Dwarfs then prepare to be disappointed. Blonde Beer is in charge of PR, lives about 40 minutes drive away, and is much bigger than me, so I'll be taking no risks.

    What’s happening behind the scenes?
    Well as everyone is aware, there has been a freeze of the Rulebook, but what people might not know so much about is the why. This was due to several reasons both internal and external:
    • Externally, we were seeing players complaining about the lack of stability, and general attendance/activity was below average compared to earlier times. There was the idea of a 1.4 final tune-up floating around for a while, but if you could see the amount of work that went into 1.3 from the RT/BT/ACS and PR then it soon becomes clear that nothing is minor when it comes to 16 books.
    • Internally meanwhile, people were pretty tired and frustrated, especially among those juggling multiple design tasks – the risk of burn-out was becoming too high, especially for irreplaceable members, so the call was made to stop, focus on 2.0, and pause other developments.
    In terms of army design, the ADT receives a lots of great suggestions from the community via ACS, but these can be tricky to include. For example, recently it was suggested that WotDG should have 'bananas' in the army - and the WotDG ACS immediately up-voted the idea knowing that the community would love to have a new fruit. However, this concept went directly against the AWSW (Army Wide Strengths & Weaknesses) guidelines of a meat-only faction, and it was pointed out that there was already too much food on the table. Background also added that bananas were more of a Daemonic Legion thing, which led CDS to remark that 'fruit magic' seemed out of place then, and that perhaps WotDG should have 'gravy magic' instead.

    You see the picture.

    Then there are times when the ADT comes up with a brilliant idea about 'sausages' that doesn't quite fit the background but which gets CDS/ACS extremely excited, and so Background revisits the material and agrees to go with the stronger theme. Then CDS works on providing a sense of thematic consistency, ADT focuses on functionality, and BLT ask themselves if 'sausages' can be correctly priced. Right now, we have some pretty amazing 'sausages' in production!

    These kinds of cross-group discussions happen quite a lot, and this can also lead to 'animated discussions' about what the community will or will not accept. The necessity that existing models should always be playable is an important guideline, but this imposes certain limits on the Art, unit redesign, and internal balancing. Occasionally a model is kicked back to Background/CDS to provide clearer thematic direction, thus it's a far from a linear process and… [Read More]