<![CDATA[LOST CAT GAMES - Blog]]>Mon, 16 Oct 2017 22:56:03 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Hotfix for version 0.4.02]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:19:12 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2017/08/hotfix-for-version-0402.htmlI've gone ahead and fixed a few issues, most notably the rules for hiding, which hadn't been updated along with the rest of the rules. Also, I fixed an issue with the chapter header font and put a section header back where it belonged.

Fixed PDF here: http://lostcatgames.com/stvhs0402.pdf]]>
<![CDATA[Version 0.4.02 Shakes Up Combat]]>Fri, 18 Aug 2017 12:33:13 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2017/08/version-0402-shakes-up-combat.htmlUPDATE: Implemented a hotfix in the wee hours of the 21st. Most importantly, it corrects the stealth rules. The link below has been updated.

Version 0.4.02 has turned out to be a fairly daring update. For one thing, I can't promise you these changes are fully field-tested. They're not. But in my continuing efforts to fail faster, I bring them to you so you might stress test them and let me know where I've erred and where I've hit on something good.
There's three major headlines to this update.

#1: This update does away with opposed rolls. When a roll is made against another character, the number to beat is that character's relevant stat +10, always.

#2: With this load removed from the system, baddies have gained "reactions", leading to adversaries that put up a greater fight without dragging combat out over more and more rounds.

#3: I've conducted a major sweep through Perks, improving a great deal of them.

There were some other things I wanted to slip into this update, but time was not on my side. That said, I'm going to begin work on the next update immediately, and in a very real way I already have, so expect that sooner than later.

Check out 0.4.02's complete change-log below.

GAME-WIDE
  • You can no longer implement a Script Change in the same scene you picked a Script change concept.

  • Bad Guys and Villains now have "Reactions" during combat, making combat more dynamic and interesting.

  • Opposed rolls are being replaced with static numbers, specifically the relevant stat +10. This should speed up combat and allow for easier balancing of combat.

  • Gamble Attacks now give the attacker a blooper die, rather than an epic die for the defender.

  • While a character is prone, attackers get an epic die to melee attacks against them, rather than the prone character getting a blooper die to DEF rolls.

  • Attacks against a character behind cover will now get a blooper die, instead of the covered character getting an epic die to their DEF roll.

  • Other similar changes throughout. Basically, if something used to augment a DEF roll, it now augments the attack instead.

  • Various value adjustments have been made to Bad Guys and Villains to accommodate this update's major changes. DEF and HP has largely been lowered a bit and various other tweaks have been made.

  • TEMPORARY DOWNGRADE NOTICE: The baddies are currently not listed in perfect threat order, and furthermore their current threat values are highly suspect. I will be addressing these issues soon!

TROPES
  • Minor changes to Blind Master, Dual Wielding and Martial Artist due to the game-wide changes.

  • Minor changes to a handful of Fortes and Bloopers.

  • SENTIMENTALIST: The Never Let Go special ability now requires you to have failed a consequential roll first.

PERKS
  • Combed through Perks, looking to streamline and make more interesting.

  • Various wording changes that hardly changed actual meanings, but added clarity.

  • ADRENALINE RUSH: This previously under-powered perk now also grants +1 STR.

  • CALMLY WALK AWAY: Tweaked.

  • CRUNCH TIME: Totally retooled.

  • DRAMATIC REVEAL: Removed. It's a fun idea and one I definitely want to revisit, but for now, especially with a lot of recent substantial changes to the game, I think it's important I nail down the fundamentals. Playtesting with a Dramatic Reveal character basically puts a big asterisk on the results and is not helpful for fine-tuning the game in its current state. 

  • EVIL EYE: Changed how it upgrades from picking it a second time.

  • EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: Replaced by the more interesting Demolition Man.

  • GLANCING BLOWS: Removed. A new perk called "Reshoot" picks up a bit of Glancing Blows' purpose.

  • JOHN WOO: This was pretty under-powered. Substantially changed.

  • LASER FOCUSED: This previously under-powered perk now also grants +1 ACC.

  • MASOCHISTIC: Totally retooled.

  • MR. ROY ROGERS: Totally retooled.

  • MY BODY IS LITERALLY A WEAPON: Now has (Blooper: Replaced Limb) in place of nebulous "penalties".

  • NOOOOOO!: Tweaked and buffed.

  • RESHOOT: New perk!

  • SEXY NERD: Slight tweaks.

  • SLEEPER HOLD: Tweaked.

  • SMACK-TALKIN': Tweaked.

  • SMALL BUT FIERCE: Significantly more useful now that its special ability is once per scene, however it now requires a token to use. Altogether a nice buff.

  • STILL BREATHING: Buffed, and no longer requires character sheet augmentation to boot!

  • THE MORE THE MERRIER: Totally retooled.

  • WHERE'S MY MARK: Totally retooled.

  • WINNING SMILE: Got buffed a bit.

  • WIRE WORK: Totally retooled.

  • WORDS OF WISDOM: Totally retooled.

  • YOU SICK SONOVABITCH: More healing, less often. This is now a more interesting and less tedious perk.

ITEMS
  • Skateboard and Smoke Bomb were both adjusted to match the game-wide changes.
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<![CDATA[Up to date fillable character sheet]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 11:34:40 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2017/06/up-to-date-fillable-character-sheet.htmlFinally got around to creating a fillable version of the newest character sheet. Get that bad boy right here: http://lostcatgames.com/stvhsfillablesheet.pdf]]><![CDATA[StVHS DITCHES ACTION POINTS IN VERSION 0.4.01]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 23:48:31 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2017/05/stvhs-ditches-action-points-in-version-0401.htmlHot on the heels of version 0.4, Straight to VHS takes a significant step forward today with version 0.4.01!

AP (or Action Points), have been in StVHS for a long while now, but have been growing increasingly vestigial. Earlier versions of the game leaned pretty hard on the AP system, with features like being able to turn in tokens to gain AP, and movement costing AP. But as the game has been refined over time, we've been narrowing in on StVHS' promise of being an easy to learn, and quick-moving RPG, with just enough mechanical meat to guide the players and give interesting choices.
So, what have we ended up with? AP has been replaced by a simple system of Major and Minor Actions (and the occasional "Super Action") that changes very little about what you can do on your turn. This new system loses two areas of fidelity granted by the AP system:
  • If something previously cost 1 AP or 2 AP, it's now a Minor action.
  • The small handful of items that cost 4 AP to use will now be either a Major or Super action.

Essentially, instead of five possible AP costs, we now have three action types. This results in quicker, less fiddly action sequences, and makes it easier for Directors to assign an action type to the crazy things players do.

While the new action system is certainly the headliner, this update brings more changes than that, including the brand new Survivalist Trope. Let's see that sweet sweet bullet list!


GAME-WIDE CHANGES
  • Replaced the AP system with a system of Major and Minor actions (along with the occasional Super Action). Much easier to explain, much smoother in play. Very little fidelity lost.


  • Cinematic Actions have been renamed to "Special Abilities". The reason is two-fold. "Cinematic Actions" was an intermediary term that required explanation. Twice, the rulebook introduced them by explaining that they were special abilities. Secondly, the new system of Major and Minor Actions made the term "Cinematic Actions" feel clumsy and clashy.


  • Fixed up the Weapon Workshop, tweaking values and correcting errors. Generally resulting in cheaper weapons.


  • Adjusted prices and some details on example weapons.


  • Included an updated version of the character sheet, now built right into the rulebook PDF.


  • Reintroduced bookmarks to the PDF.


TROPE-SPECIFIC CHANGES
  • Blind Master: Finally improved, and hugely so! This trope had been edging towards the chopping block for a while, but is now a Trope I'm excited about!


  • Born Wild: The "something to swing on" character feature has been turned into a a once-per-scene special ability.


  • Crime Robber: No longer has that silly feature about rolling a 15 when a cop sees you.


  • Cyborg: The "Calibration" special ability can now be used in action sequences as a super action.


  • Gangster: This one also had that feature about rolling a 15 when a cop sees you. Gone. Also, Gangster's special abilities now explicitly disallow your entourage members acting before your first turn in an action sequence.


  • Mad Scientist: I'm pretty sure I just goofed up the stat bonuses on the last update. They got nerfed a bit in this update.


  • Sniper: Removed. Wasn't very interesting to play, nor did it really represent a desired film trope.


  • Survivalist: BRAND NEW TROPE!
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<![CDATA[playtest straight to vhs version 0.4]]>Fri, 12 May 2017 12:48:51 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2017/05/playtest-straight-to-vhs-version-04.htmlUPDATE: Fixed the misplaced text for Batshit Crazy's "Conspiracy Theorist" cinematic action. Also, updated the page numbers in the artist credits and fixed various typos.

Straight to VHS gets a huge update today (download the game for free HERE). There's a lot to unpack, so for sanity's sake I'm gonna be brief with some of the big points

  • I'm calling this a "Playtest" update because I haven't had time to thoroughly test out a number of changes that have been made in this update. That said, I expect only very minor changes may be needed.


  • We've completely rebuilt the document in Scribus, resulting in a much better looking PDF. That said, features like bookmarks and self-linking didn't make it in time for this update. Expect them soon though!


  • Similarly, I haven't built a new character sheet for this new PDF. For now, I've included links on the site, and in the PDF itself, which will take you to a character sheet PDF (AS OF 5/24, THIS SHEET IS NOW OUT OF DATE WITH THE CURRENT VERSION).


  • Expect updates soon that will build upon the excellent new foundation of the version 0.4 playtest. 


  • This update brings some really great changes to the game, for real!


Alright, time to dig into the change log.
GAME-WIDE CHANGES


  • Look at how pretty...


  • Significant reordering of the book. Critical information about how the game is played is given first, then character creation, and then in-depth teaching of game rules.


  • "Epic dice tokens" have now been renamed to "tokens". This small change makes the rulebook a bit more pleasant to read.


    • Changed the criteria for earning tokens directly from the director. The new criteria move away from "who can make me laugh the most?" and are more about making cool decisions.


  • Cover, Hiding and Pulling It Together are now all clearly covered in the How to Play section.


  • "Days" have been retooled and renamed to "Acts" because "days" was hugely inaccurate and dumb and bad. Mea culpa.


  • Showing weakness through your lowest stat has been changed. Now ANY consequential roll with your lowest stat will work, however you'll be taking an automatic 2. It's simpler, more interesting and more narratively satisfying


  • Stat Tweaks are gone. In their place is more robust stat boosts from Tropes. This streamlines character creation nicely. Due to this change, I do fully expect to need balancing tweaks in upcoming updates.


  • Bad Edits now cost a token. Bad Edits don't always get remembered and furthermore aren't always needed. But they'd been available every scene and for free. This created a sense that to play the game "efficiently" you need to get in the habit of utilizing your Bad Edit as often as possible, turning the ability into something that needs to be "tracked". By making it cost a token, Bad Edits are more about noticing the right opportunity, not just utilizing your arsenal.


  • Changes to being knocked prone: There's no longer a weird persnickety rule about not being able to move if you have a "very close" move distance and are knocked prone. However, everyone now gets a blooper die to DEF rolls while knocked prone.


  • Expanded on the importance on integrating the heroes into the story in the partially new "Integrating the Heroes" section.


  • Refined the explanation of Dramatic Effects and Pulling it Together.


  • Created a single method/philosophy for ruling all variety of combat actions, nullifying the need to memorize or keep around a list of various combat actions and how to rule them. An optional list is retained solely for the purpose of providing examples for unsure and new Directors.


  • The "Assist" action on that list has been simplified to granting an epic die rather than a numerical bonus with a dependency.


  • The "Grab" action on that list (and on relevant Bad Guy entries) has been simplified to uniformly reduce the move distance of the grabber and grabbed.


  • Added text throughout the Bad Guys section, elaborating on individual baddies and abilities and sometimes just offering advice on directing action sequences.


  • Removed armor from the Other Items list.


  • Added clothing sytles to the Other Items list.


  • Fixed a number of typos and formatting errors. Some were meaningful, such as the Speed of Plot perk lacking underlined text.


  • The "Bad-Movie Mindset" page has been removed. Various other text had rendered it redundant.


  • The "Optional Rules" section has been removed. My reasoning here is that the game remains unfinished and that I need to get the core game in tip-top shape before worrying about this sort of stuff.


  • New and improved text throughout! More information is bullet-pointed or otherwise presented in a clearer fashion.


TROPE-SPECIFIC CHANGES

  • First of all, as stated above, all tropes have had their stat bonuses and penalties turned up in the wake of "Stat Tweaks" being cut out of the game. These stat changes will doubtlessly be getting tweaked as time goes on.


  • Gumshoe: The blooper has been changed from "Friends and Family" to "Emotions."


  • Jack Burtonesque: Can no longer show weakness anytime you roll with a forte. Instead a new cinematic action allows you to show weakness by expressing your confusion. Additionally, the cinematic action "The Check Is In the Mail" has been removed and the trope's DEF bonus has been raised all the way to +6.


  • Ninja: This has had a weird blooper of "Computers" for a while which was only half-fitting and threw a pail of water on Techno Ninjas (which sound awesome!). So now, Ninja gives you the option of choosing either Technology or Emotions as your blooper.


  • Road Rash: The "Get to tha Choppa!" cinematic action now requires you to turn in a token rather than spend 1 AP. Got rid of the clunky "4-wheeled vehicles" blooper.


  • Though Art From the Past and Though Art From the Future have been reconstituted as the new and much more flexible Otherworldly trope.

  • Removed the "Haunted" trope. Mechanically complex, and.... just not all that tropey. I'm open to bringing it back in another form, but for now it's not something I would want in the final game.


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<![CDATA[A BEEFY STRAIGHT TO VHS UPDATE!]]>Sat, 31 Dec 2016 04:11:56 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2016/12/a-beefy-straight-to-vhs-update.htmlUPDATE: Fixed an issue with the new character sheet.

We're ending the year right with the huge update to Straight to VHS version 0.3.9. The bulk of this update lives in the Tropes section, where lots of cool and streamlining changes have been made. The other big change is to what happens when a character reaches 0 HP. Also, improvised weapons should now be a more interesting part of the game. 

There's gonna be a lot of stuff going on with Straight to VHS over the next several months. I hope you'll feel the inclination to bookmark lostcatgames.com or subscribe to our subreddit or like our facebook page in order to keep up with the latest and share your thoughts... Oh, there's a twitter account too! Alright, enough of that. On to the bullet points!
GAME-WIDE CHANGES
  • Changed how characters die! In short, you're bleeding out but still conscious at 0 HP. While at 0 HP, you start filling death checks until you die or get healed. I think the new system is more fun, more sensible and more dramatic.


  • Improvised weapons now have their attack bonus lowered by 1 after each time they're used. This is to encourage more dynamic and interesting use of improvised weapons, where the hero switches from one item to another. This was vaguely encouraged before with a line about how "improvised weapons tend to break" but this codified approach is overdue and ought to be a big improvement. See basically any Jackie Chan fight scene for an example.


  • Added a comment to the Cinematic Actions section, making clear that cinematic actions can be used outside of action sequences. This might seem obvious to some, but might not have occurred at all to others.


CHANGES TO TROPES
  • Batshit Crazy: The lie/truth-about-the-world mechanic has been retooled as a cinematic action that costs a token to use. However, the player now asks a specific question of the Director and an answer is always given. Additionally, the "Inappropriate" cinematic action now requires a "serious" moment rather than an "emotional" one. 


  • Batteries Included: The "Electro-Slurp" cinematic action now requires you to touch a powered device, and it grants one epic dice token, rather than two. Previously, it was far too easy to load up on tokens with this cinematic action.


  • Beastmaster: This trope has been renamed and merged with "Monkey Man" to form the new trope, "Born Wild".


  • Born Wild: New Trope! Well, sorta. It'll look pretty familiar, but improved.


  • Bumbling Sidekick: Added the "Whoops" cinematic action. The trope no longer allows you to grant an epic dice token when you roll and use a 1.


  • Chest of Wonders: Been renamed as Chesty. Otherwise unchanged.


  • Coward: The "Meatshield" cinematic action can now be used once per scene, as opposed to only once per day. However, it now costs an epic dice token. A nice little buff.


  • Die Hardly: A stat bonus was reduced from +3 to +2. Die Hardly's ability to stay conscious at 0 HP has been updated to fit the new death mechanics. The "Makin' Me Angry" cinematic action now grants two epic dice tokens instead of one.


  • Doctor: At the end of a scene, the Doctor now has the option of erasing a death check instead of healing damage. Added the new "Check-Up" cinematic action. Also the "Patch Job" cinematic action now gives the option of using an epic dice token to heal double the amount. Doctor's stat penalties have been raised to 3.


  • Dual Wielding: Removed the feature that allowed you to get in a defensive posture. You're now required you to get hit or miss an attack while wielding a single weapon in order to show weakness (previously, any attack or defense roll with a single weapon would show weakness). Changed the "Keep 'Em Coming" cinematic action to a once per scene ability (previously once per day) and capped it off at the third attack. Missing that first attack as a once per day ability was just awful.


  • Famous: REMOVED IT. Flavor-wise, mechanics-wise, I just don't think it was a good trope.


  • Haunted just got some wording changes, but I think this trope eventually needs something, or otherwise might follow in Famous' footsteps...


  • Man/Woman of Action: The "Bull in a China Shop" cinematic action now grants an epic die token instead of 2 AP. Added the new "Bloodlust" cinematic action!


  • Man/Woman of the Cloth: The "Gonna Need a Miracle" cinematic action now also makes any rolled 1 show weakness for the character that rolled it.


  • Monkey Man: This trope has been renamed and merged with "Beastmaster" to form the new trope, "Born Wild".


  • Net Hacker: The Net Hacker's ability to hack is now represented with the cinematic action "Hackatronic" with assist from another new cinematic action "Double Hack". Success is now automatic except in regards to "military-grade equipment". Altogether, Net Hacker feels more solid and approachable.


  • Ninja: Now automatically shows weakness after a failed consequential acrobatics roll, as well as stealth rolls. Gained the once per day "Smoke Bomb" cinematic action.


  • Old Geezer: The "Go On Without Me" cinematic action is now (basically) a more beefy version of the "No Body, No Death" perk. Much more interesting than another once per scene method of earning an epic dice token.


  • Protagonist: The "Captive Audience" cinematic action now has an alternate result for use outside of action sequences.


  • Road Rash: Minor change here. Previously, it said "If an enemy knocks you off a motorcycle or manages to destroy your motorcycle..." The wording has been changed to include your own damn screw-ups.


  • Snot Nosed Brat: The Snot Nosed Brat can now erase a death check at the end of each scene instead of rolling to potentially avoid death.


  • Sophisticated: Slightly higher stat penalty. The "Well-Connected" cinematic action no longer requires a good roll to use, but instead requires an epic dice token. A sister cinematic action, "Well-Endowed" has been added.


  • Stoner: This trope gets another pretty heavy set of changes. Maybe we'll stick with 'em this time? Stoners no longer get Tough Breaks on rolls of 3 or less. The "Herbal Enthusiast" cinematic action is out; it was uninteresting. The whole getting snacks thing has been made into a proper cinematic action. A brand new cinematic action called "High-Jinx" has been added. And finally, both stat bonuses got lowered by one.


  • Street Tough: Been rebranded as "Rock and Roller". Different stat loadout, new "Get Down" cinematic action and the "Get Rocked" cinematic action now has an alternate effect for use outside of action sequences.


  • Vampire: Blood Sucking has been turned into the cinematic action "Blood Sucker", which is once per scene and heals you by the FULL amount of damage you dealt. Additionally, while transformed into a bat, the Vampire gains a second use of "Blood Sucker". A couple minor changes include that any two rounds of damage in one scene from vampiric weaknesses will show weakness (rather than two consecutive ones), and Bat Form clarifies that the transformation doesn't have to last until the end of the scene. Oh and the ill-fitting "animals" blooper is gone. In short, the Vampire trope isn't a mess anymore!


  • Voodoo Master: This update brings a nerf to the "Voodoo Hex" ability. The blooper dice don't last until the end of the scene, instead they last until the target succeeds with the affected stat. Still really good, but not overwhelming!


  • Werewolf: The "Awooo!" cinematic action now grants two epic dice tokens instead of one. Aside from that, took out some unnecessary words that were cluttering up the place.


  • What a Scoop!: Been renamed to "Nosy Reporter". Increased the trope's stat penalty and added the new "Mightier Than the Sword" cinematic action. Also, the "Story of the Century" cinematic action has been renamed to "What a Scoop!" because I really love saying that phrase with an old-timey accent.


CHANGES TO PERKS
  • Masochistic: This one has slipped by me for a while... It said you get a +2 to your next roll after taking damage and had a nice little caveat about how being hit multiple times didn't cause the bonus to stack into a bigger bonus. Still, as written, this meant if you were attacked three times before your turn started, you'd get +2 to the second and third defense roll as well as a roll you made on your actual turn. That's too much awesome for one perk. It's been changed from "your next roll" to "one roll on your next turn".


  • Smack Talking: Previously this said your target only avoids the penalty on rolls that deal damage to you. I've changed this to any rolls that target you.


  • Still Breathing: Brand new perk related to the new death mechanics!


  • You Thought I Was Down: This had to get changed due to the new death mechanics. The result is a pretty insane perk that does something pretty incredible, but only after things have gone quite wrong... Smart pick? Probably not. Cool pick? Mmmhmm!
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<![CDATA[Version 0.3.8 rises]]>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 01:49:08 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2016/12/version-038-rises.htmlHello VHS adventurers! Straight to VHS has now been updated to version 0.3.8. I've been working on some larger features that aren't ready to be included in the game yet, so this is a pretty small update, which is summed up with the bullet points below.
  • The Stat Tweaks got changed to a loadout of +4, +2, -2, -4. This should be faster to allocate and result in more interesting stats.
  • Removed the mechanic that allows players to turn in epic dice tokens for AP. I don't think it was a terrible mechanic, but players practically never choose to use it and it was bloating up the rules. Additionally, on the rare occasion a player did decide to use it, it could result in an overlong turn that leaves the other players waiting.
  • Added "Zombie" and "Specter" to the Bad Guys section.
  • Did some minor tinkering with items.
  • Some wording changes throughout. For example, the "meaningful rolls" needed to show weakness are now "consequential rolls". Another example: in the "Bad Movie Mind-Set" section, I replaced the words "move things forwards" with "make interesting choices". This stuff isn't very sexy, I realize, but it's resulting in a more polished, more helpful rule book.


Also, I realize that in my quest to release an update each month, I missed November by a day. I'll be sure to release another update before 2016 ends (finally!). 2017 will bring version 0.4, a lot more time away from the dayjob and likely a new approach to both updates and playtesting.
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<![CDATA[Faster, Sleeker Action in StVHS version 0.3.7]]>Fri, 28 Oct 2016 21:13:36 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2016/10/faster-sleeker-action-in-stvhs-version-037.htmlIt's a little bit late (not even a fortnight), but Straight to VHS version 0.3.7 brings some welcome streamlining to the game's action sequences. Let's have a look at the change log!
GAME-WIDE CHANGES
  • The old system of feet/squares of movement has been replaced by a new "move distance" system that allows for faster, looser battlefield navigation. The old system is still presented (with some minor changes) in the Optional Rules section and is recommended for those who like to use a grid when playing.
  • Figuring out initiative has also been streamlined a bit. Characters' ATH scores are used as static initiative scores, though at the start of an action sequence, players can use an epic die token to jump forward in the turn order.
  • Many cinematic actions and standard actions (like pushing, grabbing, disarming, tackling) were adjusted for the new move distance system.
  • Some example items and options in the weapon workshop were also adjusted for the new move distance system.
  • The "Ghost" bad guy is now really bad at staying dead.

TROPE/PERK SPECIFIC CHANGES
  • Removed the "Quick to Act" perk, which didn't work with the new initiative system (plus, it was never a popular option).
  • The "Martial Artist" trope now requires the player to succeed by 5 or more when defending melee attacks in order to move themselves or their attacker up to a SET distance. The resulting movement is less finicky and more awesome!
  • The "Jack Burtonesque" trope now always allows you to use any 20s you roll (even when rolling blooper dice), instead of getting an automatic 20 when rolling doubles. It no longer grants the "Initiative" forte.
  • The "Man/Woman of Action" trope now has a a "Destruction" forte, instead of an "Initiative" forte.

I'm itching to see what the wider response is to the changes brought on in this version. I suspect further refinement will be needed for some of these changes, but I hope folks will voice their opinions on whether the new movement system (in particular) seems like a step in the right direction or not.

Keep an eye on Straight to VHS in the next few months! The holidays might keep me a little busy, but I expect to have more chances to get good work done than the last couple months (which have included family emergencies, medical procedures, a trip out of state, a suddenly fried computer and more). Also, I just got a lens prescription for the very first time and can now see 700% more words, so that's a new asset.

Game on!
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<![CDATA[StVHS SPRAYS LEAD IN version 0.3.6]]>Sat, 17 Sep 2016 22:44:55 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2016/09/stvhs-sprays-lead-in-version-036.htmlOne month after the last update, Straight to VHS has been updated to version 0.3.6. The biggest change this update brings is the removal of reloading as a game mechanic. I think there were some nice qualities to having reloading, but for most other players I talked to, the good was outweighed by the bad.

A few other things happened too, but I'll let you see for yourself in the changelog below. I do wanna give a heads-up for the future though: Some personal matters are going to be digging into StVHS development and playtest time in the next couple of months (life is crazy, yo). I'm still committed to monthly updates through at least the end of the year, but the time frame for launching a crowdfunding campaign might get knocked back a month or two. I've been eyeing March, but something like May is a possibility. 
GAME-WIDE CHANGES
  • Significantly changed the text in the "Setting Up the Movie" section and moved that section to the beginning of the "Directing 101" part of the book.
  • Lowered the Defense stats on Bad Guys and Villains in a desire to see more hits!
  • Removed "reloading" as a gameplay concept. Weapons don't have reload numbers and you'll never spend 2 AP to reload your weapon
  • A couple items in the ranged weapon list now have a 4 or 5 AP cost to use.
  • Added "Costs 5 AP to use" to the ranged column of the Weapon Workshop.
  • Added "Smoke Bomb" and "Rope" to the list of "Other Items".
  • Added a quick bit about what it means for cover to be "absolute" in the "Don't Attack! ... Struggle!" section. In part, this is for the revised "Elite Shooter" perk mentioned below.

TROPE/PERK SPECIFIC CHANGES
  • The sniper rifle granted by the "Sniper" trope has a 5 AP cost to use.
  • Added the "Words of Wisdom" perk.
  • The "Elite Shooter" perk now makes it so that your enemies don't benefit from cover against you unless the cover is absolute. Previously, this perk made reloading cost only 1 AP. 
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<![CDATA[Update! Version 0.3.05 is out.]]>Thu, 18 Aug 2016 03:10:07 GMThttp://lostcatgames.com/1/post/2016/08/update-version-0305-is-out.htmlEDIT: Formatting issues have now been fixed!

Sorry for the long wait everyone, but Straight to VHS version 0.3.05 is here at last!

As well as an update, today's gonna bring another change as well: monthly updates! Straight to VHS updates are going to become a more regular occurrence through the end of the year. This doesn't mean content will be shoveled out regardless of its level of completion, merely that whatever is ready to be released, will be released. So look forward to the next update on or before September 18th.

Now, let's take a look at the changelog for today's update.
GAME-WIDE CHANGES
  • Added "Ninja Boss" to the Villains section.
  • Added Sniper, S.W.A.T. Team Member, and Beefcake Warrior to the "Bad Guys" section.
  • Some very uninteresting minor tweaks to some preexisting bad guys.
  • "Defensive Maneuver" has been removed from the action guide. (In my experience it was never used much, and it wasn't particularly fun or interesting to use.)
  • The "Assist" action no longer requires that a character has a positive relevant stat to assist another character. It does, however, still require you to "explain how you're assisting". (the prerequisite wasn't needed and was just another thing to have to remember)
  • Added some text to the beginning of the "How to Play" section that more clearly lays out the roles of Director and player.
  • Added a note to the "recommended viewing" section in regards to Sharknado and similar films. Short version: "cherish sincerity".
  • Tightened some language throughout.

TROPE/PERK SPECIFIC CHANGES
  • The "Talking Animal" trope now gets larger stat bonuses than it used to. (buff!)
  • The "Batshit Crazy" trope's "Trainwreck cinematic action now costs 3 AP instead of 4. (because reasons)
  • The "Coward" trope no longer allows you to hide for 1 AP (because being able to hide five times is not interesting). However, it now extends its dual epic dice beyond attacks on enemies who are simply unaware of you, and now includes surprise attacks of any kind. (deploy fake-out diplomacy!)
  • The "Famous" trope no longer grants the ability to escape grabs with 1 AP. (because being able to try escaping a grab five times is not interesting)
  • Clarified some language in the "Gumshoe" trope's "Analytical" cinematic action.
  • The "Know-It-All" trope's "Get a Bead on 'Em" cinematic action now costs 3 AP instead of 4. (because reasons)
  • The "Man/Woman of Action" trope now grants an epic dice token when you use a bad edit. The "Scene Stealer" cinematic action, which granted an additional bad edit each day, has been removed. (this seems more useful, more fun and easier to keep track of)
  • The "Man/Woman of the Cloth" trope no longer lets you persuade with 1 AP. (because being able to persuade 5 times is not interesting)
  • The "Martial Artist" trope no longer gets a +2 bonus to DEF while not using any sort of armor. It has also gained the "Whirlwind" cinematic action. (Goodbye book-keeping, hello new ability.)
  • The "Paid Sponsor" trope's "Withdrawals" cinematic action got tweaked a little. Most notably, it now requires a roll of 17 or higher, previously it was 15.
  • The "Police Cop" trope grants a "weapon worth up to $230" now instead of a "weapon with a +4 bonus". (Taken literally, the old text would allow some shenanigans with the weapon workshop.)
  • The "Protagonist" trope no longer grants a +2 bonus to a stat, but now grants "No Body, No Death" as a bonus perk. (Protagonist needed something fun added and I think No Body, No Death is a fitting solution)
  • The "Psychic Mindfreaker" trope has been revamped. It is no longer a guessing game reliant on the personal interpretations of the player and Director. Now the rulebook actually spells out how it works. This seems like a good idea. The result is a slightly more complex trope, but regardless it is now easier to wrap one's head around. The method of showing weakness has also been improved.
  • The "Road Rash" trope's "Back in the Saddle" cinematic action now requires you to go through an action sequence without a bike. (before, any scene would do, and that took all the narrative punch out of this)
  • The "Shredmeister" trope's "The World is a Playground" cinematic action now specifies that "If this is used outside an action sequence, using the skate-park feature must serve some kind of purpose." (This was added to avoid having Shredmeister players feel compelled to pointlessly use the cinematic action each and every scene to gain two epic dice tokens.)
  • The "Road Rash" trope's "Get to tha Choppa!" cinematic action now costs 1 AP rather than 2 AP. (this is more in line with the normal cost of scanning one's surroundings)
  • Amusingly, the "Snot-Nosed Brat" trope was accidentally worded in such a way to suggest that snot-nosed brats could die at 0 HP. And I quote: "Any time you would get killed and on each subsequent turn at 0 HP or less, roll a d20. You only die on a 5 or less." Yeah, this has been fixed to "Any time you would get killed and at the start of each subsequent turn at deadly HP levels, roll a d20. You only die on a roll of 5 or less."
  • The "Werewolf" trope saw some minor changes. An AP cost here, a stat bonus here. (a minor buff)
  • The "Wheelman" trope now requires that you go through an action sequence (not just any scene) without using a vehicle to show weakness.
  • The "Wrestler" trope's "Special Move" cinematic action now requires that you've already dealt damage to your opponent THIS SCENE.
  • The "Druid, or Possibly Farmer" perk has had its "weather prediction" epic turned into a straight-up ability to predict the weather. (because that was a stupid thing to roll for)

As a whole this update cleans up a bunch of specific rough edges for the players. A number of Tropes have shed uninteresting features and some problematic wording. Looking ahead, the sights are set on slightly bigger game. There's one beast in particular out in the woods that needs taming, or else it needs killin'. They call it "reloading".
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