Making Allies

I’m consolidating some of my far flung posts in different places. This is one of them.

I’m going through some basic business advice on making allies and as I read thoughts are popping out that I’d like to track. So here’s my disjointed notes so far.

Be strategic – Think about who you would like to have as an ally. What skills might they have? What resources? This might sound cold but running around asking everyone to be your ally is probably not going to be helpful.

Be a fan – You’ve heard the advice “be a fan of your players” that’s very similar to being a fan of other designers. Maybe they’re not making what you want to make (and that’s good) but find things in their technique or some other aspect of their work.

Compromise – Try it their way. It might not be the direction you wanted to go but try following their suggestions and see what happens.

Communicate – Ask people what they need to start a project on an idea they’re talking about. Ask them what they need to finish a project. If they ask for something you can’t offer, say so and then counter offer with any skills or resources you think could help. This doesn’t have to be you doing work. If they need a skill you don’t possess, do you know someone that does?

Give dignity – Even if you’ve been doing something for fifty years and they’re brand new, treat them as an equal. Talk about what you think they’re doing right and ask for more.

Respect Input – Even if you won’t use what someone is telling you, thank them and let them know you’ll keep it in mind.

Spend time – If they’re local or if you’ll be at the same con, make the time to at least say hi and have a chat. If you do end up working together, possibly meeting up on hangouts or Skype, is a good option for being friendly.

Your allies’ allies are your allies – That’s it I just wanted to write that.

Give credit liberally – Don’t hold back. Strive to have your next title page full of credits. Look for opportunities to credit people even if it’s just a “Thank You” section.

Don’t drop an ally – Maybe you hate their new project. Don’t give up on them yet, even if what they are currently up to just isn’t your cup of tea.

Reciprocate – When you’ve been done a good deed, do what’s practical to return a favor.

Say no politely – There will be times where you can’t help and things you can’t do. Say no politely and let them know what to expect from you in the future.

The Lost Solo RPG

I always wanted to make a solo RPG and today I came up with something of a formula for how to make one. This is very preliminary but I put together a game I’m calling The Lost, about a small starship that is trying to get back home.

The Lost

I’m hoping to be able to use the structure here to do other RPGs but for this one, I would like to expand on the moves and the hazard tables.

Update

I added a few moves and clarified some language.

Updated again 4-16-18

Added two new navigation hazards.

Whisperers using Gut Reaction

Some time ago, my son and I did some world building on a modern day setting where people were being turned into monsters. The monsters look like regular people but they take victims and turn them into more monsters.

The players are hunters, regular people that have lost loved ones to the monsters or “agents” that are pulling strings for a shadowy organization.

This time we’re telling it with a little twist. It’s said that the Whisperers will destroy the world but who are the whisperers?

The trick to this setting is that it can’t be all written down because knowledge is the real power in this game. That fits pretty well with the Gut Reaction RPG that I just wrote.

So here it is, Whisperers

World Door – Chapter 7 Guardian

Guardian

Melsa left the grehawk. It let out a awful shriek and tried to get up. Although it was dying, it was still dangerous.

As it stumbled to get up it’s huge talons nearly crushed me. They caught my shirt and tore it down the middle. My arrow quiver belt ripped as the claw caught it, lifted me up and and slammed me to the ground. As it was, the bird was unaware it could snuff out my life.

I reached into my quiver and grabbed an arrow. About the time I pulled it out and tried to jamb it into the grehawk’s foot it stumbled backward, releasing me from it’s pin. It’s huge wings, each three times my hight thrashed around.

It shrieked again. Now laying on the ground with it’s talons grasping up at the air, like if it could grab the sky one more time it might be free. It’s beak opened and closed, gulping down air. The huge bird’s eyes rolled back in it’s head. It let out one more shriek, gasped again and then lay dead. Continue reading “World Door – Chapter 7 Guardian”

Jump Temp – The AI’s Entrance

I imagine AIs in Jump Temp as having more of a personal user interface. Imagine as you call out the AI’s name, it responds, not just by voice, but also by a visual interface. Small projectors around the ship turn on and seemingly the wall opens up like there was a door there all the time and the AI’s avatar steps through it and starts to interact with you like it’s any other person. The avatar of most AI’s are that of a handsome man or woman but there are plenty of creative avatars that an AI could adopt. Of course the “door” isn’t real, it’s just an image being projected and so the AI’s avatar is also a product of the projection.

So in reality, there are a lot of people that spend a good amount of time talking to the walls. Of course that’s probably where they embedded microphones so it helps the AI hear them better.

Jump Temp – Ram Scoop

Need to refuel but far away from home? Or maybe you’re not so keen on running into certain law enforcement officials, you know, for “personal” reasons. A ram scoop may be right for you! Sure it’s technically dangerous, and the course you pilot to skim over those gas giants could destroy the ship if you’re off by a few dozen meters, but it’s free.

Ram Scoop – Starship System
Cost 1d
System pool 1d

Conditional: Requires a 3d12 challenge using ship drive systems and the ramscoop’s system pool to pilot just over the atmosphere of a gas giant and collect hydrogen and oxygen from it. Provides one 1d of fuel replenishment for each time the rolls to defeat this challenge are ten over the challenge roll.

Properties: No Deplete

A Jump Temp Song

“Born Under A Wandering Star” Lyrics
Lee Marvin

https://youtu.be/NTymtAbaG08

Now for a more Jump Temp version

I was born under a wandrin’ star
I was born under a wandrin’ star
Drives are made for boiling, holds are made to pack
I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back
I was born under a wandrin’ star

Grav can make you prisoner and the flares can bake you dry
Stars can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry
Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
Which with any luck will never come true
I was born under a wandrin’ star
I was born under a wandrin’ star

Do I know where hell is, hell is in hello
Heaven is goodbye forever, its time for me to go
I was born under a wandrin’ star
A wandrin’ wandrin’ star

(Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry)
(Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry)
(Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to)
(Which with any luck will never come true)
(I was born under a wandrin’ star)
(I was born under a wandrin’ star)

When I get to heaven, tie me to a tree
For I’ll begin to roam and soon you’ll know where I will be
I was born under a wandrin’ star
A wandrin’ wandrin’ star

I left the chorus in the original lyrics because I like the contrast.

Actually, I always think of Jump Temp when I hear the album “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling and especially “Take Flight

RPGs need a Keurig

I like drinking coffee when role playing, but what I mean is that there needs to be a way of taking the complicated rules and choices of an RPG and encapsulating them into an easy to use package.

A coffee capsule cost more but it’s easier to process when you want coffee. It also comes in smaller doses.

Can you tell I just woke up and made coffee?

I’m really not sure how to apply this yet, it just seems like it could work if someone tried.

Everything Is Light

I’ve completed my first Novella length work and I’m really excited about the result. Based on the original short story I posted here some time ago, the story grew very organically. I’ve heard from writers that their stories sometimes just appear on the page as they write and that was the case with Everything Is Light.

The story follows a simple trapper from what would be the equivalent of a bronze age town, but residing in a different universe from ours. The physics of this world are different from ours and follow their own laws and logic. Our main character Airin is drawn into a hero’s journey, where he’ll have to choose between the possibilities opened up by a genius ready to change everything.

The story is suitable for young adults and has several illustrations. It’s a quick read for an accomplished reader and a fun jaunt through another world.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

I Didn’t Do It!

Want a murder mystery party game? I Didn’t Do It! is a great game for up to eight players. Each player is a suspect except one who is the investigator. The suspects have to account for themselves over the last 24 hours, only they may not be able to substantiate everything they say, and more evidence can contradict what they’ve said.

The mechanism for finding the murderer isn’t to establish evidence, it’s by finding inconsistencies in the alibis that the suspects give that the investigator hones in on who the murderer is. So, say enough to be convincing, but don’t say too much or you might become the prime suspect.