Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Thousand Posts: Millennial RPG Lists & Beyond

This is my 1000th post.

Sturgeon’s law suggests there’s 100 high quality posts hidden around here. I did a rough estimate based on sampling and came up with an average word count of about 1700. That means I’ve got roughly 1.7 million words here. Again, apply Sturgeon’s law as needed. 

I began with the brilliant idea of only titling my posts by date. I ditched that after the first year. When I reread I my first few years of posting I wince. In year two I got some nice attention from RPG Geek but also had some local gamers shit over everything I’d done. It took some time to get the wind back in my sails after that. Eventually I did; I blogged some over at RPG Geek and then stopped; I got on G+ and started online gaming; I helped start Play on Target; and I began to trace the roots of various rpg genres. Things rolled on from there. I've changed the page template just once and might do it again…maybe.

But that’s looking back, I’m going to look forward. Here’s what I’m doing, trying to do, and going to be doing for the foreseeable future:

1. I’m going to finish out the Post-Apocalyptic RPG Histories soon. Then I’ll put together an overview of 2014 releases for each of the previous genres. I want to take some time to edit and reformat the existing lists and figure out a way to release them as single electronic publications. I’d like to increase my Patreon program, but I’m not sure of the best approach.

2. I’m going to hit refresh repeatedly on Friday the 31st and not be too disappointed when I don’t win an ENnie.

3. I’m going to have Right of Succession ready to go for a Kickstarter late this year or early next. We may have Gen Con booth space, so I’d better be ready.

4. Related to that I’m going to get Action Cards into a solid beta state. I want to get it out there so other people can play around with it. That means making the cards and pdf available thru DriveThru and/or Game Crafter. I’m trying to boil down the essentials of the game for the beta doc. Also I got a this new logo done by the amazing Aaron Acevedo.

5. Again related, I’m planning to go to Metatopia once more this year. I’m thinking about driving since I hate airports so much. Plus it’d be significantly cheaper. I have some slices of Action Cards to test out as well as a couple of other things.

6. I'm going to finish this comic pitch with Art Lyon for this publisher's next open submission round. 

7. I want to get Play on Target back on to a regular release schedule. That might mean non-regular host episode series and/or increasing our GM Jam frequency.

8. I want to keep to a 1-2 posts per week schedule. As I mentioned in my interview with Dr. Tom the Frog (plug!), the blog’s a way for me to keep writing and generating content. It sometimes feels like it pulls away from other projects, but there’s a chunk of useful material here. I’ve dropped most of it into Scrivener- now I have to figure out how to cut, reduce and distill the best parts. Even after 1000 posts, I don’t know how to measure success so I don’t try to. Some focus on comments, but that creates worry when posts don’t spark responses. I’m afraid that a desire for argument and reaction might negatively shape my writing. OOH I want to get better at commenting on the other excellent blogs I read.

9. I'm going to do another clearing pass of books and games before the end of the year. I want to set some ground rules for myself about what stays and goes. I've seen others do it, surely it can't be that hard?

10. I’m going to do more and more varied online gaming. I’ve started work towards that. I want to plan and run an online campaign; something like my earlier Changeling Lost Vegas game. Aimed towards shorter arcs, and trying to see what I can learn from that.
I’m going to continue to be immensely grateful to Sherri Stewart the love of my life. I’m very lucky she’s the person she is. I’ll also be thankful for the amazing new gamers and new friends I’ve met online.

OK, so to round out the blogging about blogging, I give you TEN LISTS OF OTHER THINGS WHICH OCCURRED TO ME.

TEN RPGS I’VE RUN THE MOST (from high to low)
  1. Action Cards
  2. GURPS
  3. Champions
  4. Mutants & Masterminds
  5. Classic World of Darkness/Storyteller Hacks
  6. Rolemaster Classic
  7. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1st ed)
  8. Rolemaster Standard System
  9. James Bond 007
  10. Exalted

TEN HABITS TO BREAK
  1. Cake
  2. Watching Reddit trainwrecks
  3. Steam Sales
  4. Creating a Vast Nest of Cups and Plates Around My Workspace
  5. Always wearing dark colors on G+ because I heard they were slimming
  6. Cake
  7. Turtling Down When I Could Be Out Doing Something
  8. Buying Figures Without Finishing at Least Some I Already Have
  9. Visualizing my accidental death at the hands of every random new object or situation (Unwanted Final Destination Thoughts Syndrome)..
  10. Cake

TEN MINIATURES I NEED TO PAINT NEXT
  1. Mice and Mystics base set
  2. Silver Moon Starter Set for Bushido
  3. Skorne Praetorians from Hordes
  4. Infinity Japanese Sectorial Army
  5. Crimson Skies planes repaints
  6. Confrontation Ninja Gobins
  7. Clan War Nagas
  8. Orc Warriors of the Wind from Confrontation
  9. Reaper Mouslings
  10. Infinity Cyber-bikers

TEN GAMES I WANT TO RUN
  1. The current zeitgeist has me thinking about a Post-Apocalyptic campaign. Some of that comes from working through the history of these rpgs. But Mad Max: Fury Road, Mutant: Year Zero, and Legacy: Life Among the Ruins have me seriously considering it. I don’t think I’ve ever run true PA and I’m not a Fallout fan, but I want to give it a try.
  2. I really want a police procedural game, with relationships and mysteries. I don’t want the police to have powers, but I do want the world to have at least some strangeness. I love Gotham Central, so I want something like that. Maybe a modification of Mutant City Blues? I want the investigation to be important but not everything to the game; questions of corruption, morality, and drama should be there as well.
  3. I dig what I’ve read of Blades in the Dark, though I have to wrap my head around the changes in the most recent version. I’ve only played a little of the key source material- Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed and Thief. I’d like to do BitD with a cosmetic shift, making it less Western-looking. A hodge-podge city with various cultures, and given my love for it, perhaps a little low-key wuxia. So something closer to Jadepunk but not quite that powered.
  4. I have a new idea for how to do Magic, Inc.
  5. In upcoming portals for Ocean City Interface, I’m going to get to do tangential versions of two things I’ve always wanted to run: Crimson Skies and Mage: The Sorcerers Crusade- the latter significantly more tangential than the first.
  6. I’ve been working my way through Phil Lewis’ Wrath of the Autarch. I got just a taste of it at Origins. I want to try this out, though to do it justice seems to require a serious commitment of sessions.
  7. Trying to figure out how to do Codici Malefactus. While cool, The Warren’s not a great fit. Cairn’s a little odd and not quite to my liking. Might be FAE.
  8. I love, love Kingdom. But so far I’ve only played it in single session bites. I think we’ve only ever gotten through two Crossroads. I want to try and play out a story over several sessions.
  9. I want full-on wuxia game of some kind. It doesn’t have to be classic "legendary times." But I want high punching action and weirdness. Feng Shui is cool, but having read through the 2e book, I’m more taken by the setting than the system. I’m thinking of how to handle this via some kind of Apocalypse World engine.
  10. Eventually I want to do my galactic political drama set in Fading Suns. The tale of a family rising up and battling others for dominance. Maybe my version of Dramasytem with the procedural bits torn out and replaced with some Fate mechanics could work.

TEN BEST ONION AV CLUB COVERS
  1. Screaming Females “Shake It Off”
  2. Punch Brothers “Reptilia” 
  3. GWAR “West End Girls”
  4. OK Go “Tempted”
  5. Trampled by Turtles “Owner of a Lonely Heart” 
  6. Screaming Females “If it Makes You Happy”
  7. The Polyphonic Spree “Heart of Gold”
  8. Field Report “Chicago”
  9. Trampled by Turtles “Rebellion (Lies)” 
  10. The Swell Season “Two-Headed Boy”

TEN GAMING BOOKS I CONSISTENTLY RETURN TO
  1. Things We Think About Games
  2. Microscope
  3. City of Lies (L5R)
  4. Fate Core
  5. GAZ3 The Principalities of Glantri (D&D)
  6. Citybook: Nightside
  7. Villainy Amok (Champions)
  8. Kingdom
  9. Creatures & Treasures (Rolemaster)       
  10. Covenants/Order of Hermes  (Ars Magica)

TEN BEST ROCK BAND SONGS TO SING (imho)
  1. “Dani California” Red Hot Chili Peppers
  2. “PDA” Interpol
  3. “Walking on the Sun” Smashmouth
  4. “Abbey Road B-Side Medley” The Beatles
  5. “Spaceman” The Killers
  6. “Clocks” Coldplay
  7. “Beethoven’s C***” Serj Tankian
  8. “Ironic” Alanis Morissette
  9. “Hey Bulldog” The Beatles
  10. “Portions for Foxes” Rilo Kiley

TEN RPG MECHANICS I DIG
  1. Aspects from Fate
  2. Keys from Lady Blackbird
  3. Icons from 13th Age
  4. Core/Secondary Clues from GUMSHOE
  5. Dramatic Poles and Scene Power from DramaSystem
  6. Teamwork from Blades in the Dark
  7. Collaborative World Building from Microscope
  8. That Thing Keith Stetson Did in His Prototype at Metatopia
  9. Collective Places from Ars Magica
  10. Zones and Relative Distance from Fate/13th Age

TEN RPG GENRES I MIGHT DO HISTORIES FOR
  1. Generic RPG Systems
  2. Cyberpunk
  3. Western
  4. Pulp
  5. Mecha
  6. Anthropomorphic
  7. Espionage
  8. Representation of Asian Cultures (a more analytical overview)
  9. “Historical”
  10. Swashbucklers & Pirates

TEN “GRAIL”/HUNT-DOWN RPGS
  1. GURPS War Against the Chtorr
  2. Planescape (most things to replace what was lost in the fire)
  3. Birthright nation books
  4. Nobilis 2nd Edition
  5. Someone to fully explain Weapons of the Gods/Legends of Wulin to me
  6. Exalted (filling in gaps in my 1st and 2nd edition collection)
  7. Ars Magica (filling in gaps)
  8. Statosphere for Unknown Armies
  9. Way of Shadow/Book of the Shadowlands for Legend of the Five Rings
  10. MERP region and location books

TEN BELOVED POSTS
  1. The Wayward Notebook (and The Pinterest Board with the Full Notebook) A great prop for a game which had some problems. 
  2. 13th Age: System Guide for New Players My favorite of these guides and one that helped me get a handle on the game. 
  3. Creating Memorable NPCs Decent post which references some of my earliest and messiest posts. Has useful tools. 
  4. The Place of Dead Games: GURPS Last of a series of three and a good conisderation of what I like and have liked. 
  5. Cat Rambo Taught Me D&D My awesome sister. 
  6. The Many Names of Gamemasters (Updated) More than you expect. 
  7. History of Superhero RPGs (Part One: 1978-1982) I love superhero games and this series is where I began to really hit my stride with these.
  8. Powers of the Titan’s Age: New Icons for the 13th Age Had fun coming up with this. 
  9. Thanes of Whiterun: Skyrim via Hollowpoint A great session showing this game's strengths. 
  10. History of Amphibian RPGs Because it is awesome 
10x10x10=1000. There you go. Hope you've gotten something out of the blog so far. Disagreements, refutations, and like-mindedness can be added to the comments below.