Blog Posts

“Good Enough”

I began reading Star Wars: Ahsoka last night. I’m 70 or so pages in and it’s great so far. And by “great” I mean that, if it keeps the quality up through the rest of the book, it will earn a place on my shelf next to my all-time favorite series: The Ranger’s Apprentice (John Flanagan). What struck me about Ahsoka wasn’t all of the Jedi awesomeness (there’s plenty of that, too), but the authenticity, especially in regards to how Ahsoka interprets the world

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The Age of Anarchy

My latest Kickstarter just went live! Those of you who follow me on social media know that I’ve been working with Paul Mitchener to create the Perpetual Motion Engine gaming system. And The Age of Anarchy is the setting we’ve chosen to release the game. What is The Perpetual Motion Engine? PME is a labor of love that has been underway for several years now. If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know I love to tinker with gaming systems. That’s

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Second Letter From Kausao City

For those of you who aren’t caught up, I recently received a letter from Kausao City’s governor’s office describing how the Kausao City Post Office is being used to contact rebel sympathizers outside of the hegemony. After more than a week of searching for information regarding the seized letters mentioned in that correspondence, I received another letter. Here it is:   Jianghu Sympathizer, I’ll refrain from using names for mutual protection. In fact, it may be too dangerous to contact you at

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Kindle Sense Crimes

In the first years of the 21st century… So begins Equilibrium, the super cool movie that earned Christian Bale the role of Batman. I’m fairly sure that every reader of this blog has seen the film. (if not, what the hell are you waiting for? Don’t worry; there be no spoilers here.) The big problem of Equilibrium centers around what the Grammaton Clerics call “sense crimes” – observing anything that causes you to feel emotion. It was determined that the ability to “feel”

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Letters From Kausao City

I just received a strange letter from The Governor’s Office in Kausao City. Did you get it yet? It’s sort of…well, I’ll let you read it for yourself. I’ve attached the letter at the bottom of this post but transcribed it below for those of you who can’t read Túyangan:   From: Office of the Governor of Kausao City To: The Peoples of the Great Nations It has come to our attention that some employees of Kausao City’s mailing service have been

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How I Fell Into Game Design

Believe it or not, and probably unlike others in this industry, game design wasn’t my first choice for creative outlets; I sort of fell into it. In fact, it wasn’t even on the radar until a few months before I launched the Jadepunk Kickstarter. And after that Kickstarter happened, I fell into the gaming industry…hard. I’ve always been a game hacker, whether it was Mutants and Masterminds, GURPS, or Fate Core; whatever I’m playing tends to get a warped around my preferences. The reason

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Q1 Goals in 2017

In 2017, as part of my commitment to adding value to my community, I’m going to start posting my quarter goals throughout the year. (Maybe y’all can hold me accountable.) Personal My personal goals are pretty simple: Attend at least 24 martial arts classes (2+ classes/wk). Go on 12 dates with my wife (1 date/wk). Play 24 hours of video games, no more, no less (2 hrs/wk). Business These are the goals you’ve (probably) been more interested in hearing about.

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The Strength of the Comic Mini-Series

With the dozens upon dozens of ongoing monthly comic book titles that have been canceled in recent years, it’s a wonder why the Big 2 still pursue that as a business model for new titles (old titles have the staying power of time behind them, so they’re exempt from this rant). Here’s my trouble with releasing an ongoing series before the market has been primed: it’s hype. Period. They want to hype something that’s going to “last forever, so get on

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A Smarter Way to Publish RPG Settings

Most of the game design articles this week have centered around making games more accessible for new audiences. In this article, I’d like to touch on a method for 3rd party publishers to attract some of the extant RPG audience that’s out there. Go All-In with Setting Let’s face it; most 3rd party published supplements are new settings to be played with a particular system. This was the way I went with Jadepunk: Tales From Kausao City and Shadowcraft: The Glamour

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Back to Basics: RPG Mechanics in 20 Words

There are a lot of cool gaming mechanics out there. I mean, a lot! But many games (like Jadepunk, admittedly) were built on the complicated rubrics of other games. This overcomplication, I believe, has resulted in the kind of mechanical bloat that we see in some big name games that require 500 pages, or multiple books, to cover it all. I think it’s time to get back to basics. In my anecdotal experience, I’ve seen games spring from two places:

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