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war_ripper
24-12-2010, 06:51
so i have weird question, has anyone ever wrote a codex with there friends for at home or non-competitive "play". because I've always wanted to bring a few new races to the table, like a space rat ppl (scaven in space kinda thing). I also though it would help get a little perspective on what the game makers go through while writing. any thoughts on or trys on codex writing.

Charistoph
24-12-2010, 08:17
There are a few around. Some are just concepts they want to try, some are revamps of current codicies, and others are attempts at incorporating a popular culture army into the game (like Halo, for example).

I believe most of them are under Rules Development, but I haven't really looked in that area for a while.

One example I can provide is on the Tau Second Sphere site: http://secondsphere.org/index.php/topic,112.0.html that was originally started on the Tau Online site. There are some crazy ideas in it, but the thread there does walk through the collaborative process that is often used in a forum-based fan-dex (including a little fighting and bickering).

susu.exp
24-12-2010, 12:47
I think the general order is:
a) Work out the archetypal features of the army, both in gameplay and fluff terms.
b) Flesh out the background, noting ideas for units based on that background. Keep refining until the end.
c) Write up an early version of the list, including versions of the units you came up with.
d) Early playtest. Balance isnīt important at this stage, but whether the army feels right, based on the ideas you came up with in step a. If it doesnīt fell right, pinpoint the units that seem out of place and change them or drop them.
e) Later playtest. The army as it stands feels right, the tactics that work best with it are the tactics that are in the background. Now itīs time to play a lot of games and figure out whether there are no-brainers in the army list, or units you donīt really want to field for their battle power. You also want to see to the army being as evenly matched against other armies as possible. The main thing you do now is to adjust points values (youīve dealt with rules that donīt work in stage d). But as you do this, the focus of the army might shift a bit - be careful to avoid this. If neccessary revert to d.

One of the longstanding projects here is the varyngr development. Itīs got a huge background thread named "The death of the Squats" and Several Varyngr rules development threads. Hellebores list is at stage e now, at least IMHO the army feels right (at least with the lists Iīve played).

Note that getting there took us a long time, the developers at GW are doing this full time and they have access to more resources, hence they can do a codex book in a shorter time. But going through these steps certainly gives you insight into what it takes to write one. Just be prepared to be in it for the long (long!) haul.

Easy E
24-12-2010, 13:44
Short answer: Yes.

I find it is best to cut your teeth on smaller projects first. Specialists Games are a great place to start, because their rules do not change as often.

It might also be a good exercise to start with a special character, Apoc formation, or unit first. Again, to get the general feel for the process and how your gaming buddies will react to it.

ForgottenLore
24-12-2010, 17:01
Kompletely Kroot is a pretty good example of a balanced, well made Fandex.

http://z8.invisionfree.com/KompletelyKroot/index.php?

For advice on doing your own, like several have said, don't start trying to do a whole army. Make a few special characters and specific units first to start getting a feel for design.

When pointing your creations, always be conservative and make them a little expensive in points.

Get OTHER people to play your creations, at least a little bit. There is no substitute for outside playtesting.

Don't go crazy on special rules and exceptions, a little goes a LONG way. and always look at existing rules for a way to do what you want without introducing a new mechanic.

Dead7
24-12-2010, 18:21
you should really keep an eye on the power level of your dex. alot of fan 'dexs are way over the top because the writer really likes that army. try to avoid things like mephie or heavy 20 guns ;)