Aside

Future layout/theme ideas for website and Youtube Channel

I’ve recently read some very insightful posts on the various online roleplaying communities that I am a member of, some of these have made me give thought to how good a job my own channel and this website do with communicating my aims to the audience, and what those aims actually.

So I sat down and thought about what the aim of this site and my Youtube channel is and I came up with the following:

To provide tips and advice for roleplayings, broadcast games showing that advice in action and highlight games that offer innovative mechanics or assistance to the GM.

Going forward I am going to make that phrase my mission statement and feature very little on my channel and this site that does not somehow help with that; luckily I seem to have been thinking about this on a subconscious level for a while, so a lot of my older stuff actually does this already.

There are also a couple of other things I like to do in the future:

  • Stick to a more regular schedule of releasing videos, at the moment I’m thinking Saturday each week.
  • Film a more vloggy un-edited video each Monday talking about RP stuff I’ve done during the week.
  • More clearly divide the various different shows (GM Tips, RPG Bugbears, etc) that I do.
  • Attempt to edit some of my actual plays to remove dead-air, shorten the videos and make them more watchable so that people can see the mechanics and running of a game in action without having to wade through so much footage.

 

 

BrigadeCon 2015

 

To those of you who aren’t aware BrigadeCon is an online tabletop RPG convention that was started last year by theĀ Youtube RPG BrigadeĀ and has been continued this year by a talented team of organisers. You can find details on the convention by clicking on the link below:

http://brigadecon.org/

Basically the Con is 24 hours of online gaming (normally using Google Hangouts), panels and giveaways; last year was great fun with people from different timezones getting together and gaming.

So what am I doing for Brigade Con 2015?

Well last year I ran a couple of panels for the convention whereas this year I’m going to be running two games, you can find details below:


 

The Thing from the Hillssun-birds-people-cartoon-girl-guns-smoke-west-hat-coat-glow-red-steel-2
(Fate Accelerated, Wild Blue Setting)
“Just a few generations ago, the people of what would be called the Blue Lands came in search of wealth and fleeing religious persecution. When they arrived, they found a land steeped in magic, valuable resources… and the Folk, inhuman and amazing magical beings. Unfortunately a war erupted for the Blue Lands, and the settlers won – pushing the Folk far to the west of this vast continent and establishing a kingdom in the Blue Lands.

The Blue Lands is now wealthy and wondrous, taking full advantage of the miracle mineral Cobalt, and the Skywood trees that grow lighter as they go older… even floating into the sky! But too, now are Powers: men and women born in the generations since arrival with gifts of superhuman talents and abilities unknown, and the numbers keep growing…

In order to negate potential dangers of Power abuse resulted in the creation of the Queen’s Wardens, the law-enforcement organization of Major Powers answering only to Queen Aurora V and no limit to their remit to defend the Blue Lands. With vengeful Folk, sky pirates, bandits, noble intrigues, monsters and more… get ready pardner.”

Word has reached the Wardens that something is killing the calves of Emerson Kleebergers herd in the ranching town of Edge Hill, threatening to stop the precious flow of food to Cobalt City; at his wits end Kleeburger has dispatched a message to the Queen begging her to send someone to investigate.


 

EdwardWaltonWilcox-Circus_in_the_Field-2009_bitumen_on_panel_24x36in.Why so Serious?

(NWOD werewolf using simplified rules system)

“There’s something wrong in your territory, there have been a rash of strange death, each victim dying with a rictus grin etched on their features; the deaths started when Bobos Circus of the Fantastic moved into the area, but strangely none of the mortal authorities seem to have made the connection, leaving it to the supernatural guardians of the small town of Strangehaven to track down and hunt the cause of this laughing plague.”

This game is a NWOD werewolf game where the players will portray members of the Uratha pack who claim the sleepy American town of Strangehaven as their territory; the game is for 3-4 players and uses a simplified version of the NWOD system more suited to one-offs, there will be a selection of pre-genned characters available as the pack finds themselves with a deadly mystery on their hands. Can they determine it’s cause and end the strange plague or will the small town die laughing?

Picture by Edward Walton Wilson, used for non-profit purposes, no challenge intended to any copyrights.

Status

All about Aspects: What I’m hoping to do with my first PWYW PDF

I’m going to be started work soon (within the next couple of weeks) on my first solo PDF, I’ve been published in a book joint-authored byĀ Johnn FourĀ and myself (Mythic Gods & Monsters) but in that I wrote content, Johnn handled the layout, posting the pub to leanpub and pretty much everything else (and did an excellent job); this will be the first time I’ve actually published anything entirely as a solo effort.Ā When I was thinking about what I wanted to do for the publication I turned to my favourite system Fate; initially I thought about doing a ‘world’ supplement (and may still get around to doing that later) but I really wanted something that a lot of people could just pick and use and that would immediately be useful in their games.

Aspects are one of the core mechanics in Fate and are used to define everything from momentary advantages, to significant parts of a characters background, signature equipment and even interesting parts of the terrain or environment; however, it’s also a mechanic that a lot of people have expressed confusion about or find bewildering. I can understand this, after all, being confronted with a game mechanic that relies on description and that you can feasibly do almost anything with can be a little overwhelming.

An analogy I’ve often used is the if an artist is giving a blank canvas and told ‘paint me something, anything’ it can often be difficult to get started since there are so many possibilities, however if they are given a bit of guidance or once they are over that initial hurdle it can be a lot easier to begin the act of creation. This is what I want to do with my PDF, provide some structure and ideas that can be taken and used in people’s game to speed up creation of Aspects without unnecessarily restricting the.

One of the things I’ve picked up whilst writing for Johnn Four is that he’s very much a fan of articles that provide content that GMs can take and use in their game rather than in more general advice; this is something I greatly respect since there is a lot of general advice out there (not that this is a bad thing, I enjoy giving advice on my Youtube Channel), if I’m going to create a PDF then I want it to be something that has a use.

So I’m starting to hash out what I want the contents to be and thought I’d jot down my ideas at the moment:

  1. A brief explanation of how the aspect mechanic works and some suggestions for incorporating it into non-Fate games. This will be the introductory chapter of the book.
  2. The main meat of the book will be a number of madlibs that provide a basic structure for an aspect you can then plug in words and phrases related to specific genres; each of these will be provided in tables so that people can roll on them if they want a random outcome, or they can simply make choices if they are using them as a starting off point.For example: A high conceptĀ madlib might goĀ I am a [ occupation ] who [ event ] until [ traumatic event ]; you could then plug any number of different words/phrases into the madlib.I am a disheartened academic who researched the occult until I read from the forbidden tome.I am a savage warrior who spend years mastering the sword until my home village was destroyed by marauders.

I’m hoping that I can feature a number of tables that have general suggestions as well as some that are more genre specific; for instance, whilst there are almost as many savage warriors in sci-fi as their are in fantasy, the same is not true of sorcerors. Each of the entries in the book will have suggestions for how they can be compelled/invoked as an aid to players and GMs, and also some suggestions for tailoring them for different types of game.

Given that this is my first solo-effort in regards to publishing, I’m not entirely certain how long the PDF is going to take to write and I’m pretty much doing it as a one-man-band both because the issue with aspects is something that a number of people have mentioned to me, and also because I want to see whether it is going to be feasible for me to release more solo stuff in future. Hopefully once it’s done I’ll be posting it for purchase (on a PWYW basis) on each Leanpub or Drivethru RPG (once I’ve looked into their processes a little more).

Hope you’re as excited about this next phase forĀ Red Dice Diaries as I am šŸ™‚

Circuit board tree image designed by Mastermindsro, you can see the full design here; used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.