Artistic Freedom: A Manifesto

It has long been the goal of the artist, regardless of the chosen form, to make a full-time living as an artist. Authors want to write; painters want to paint; musicians want to sing…and none of them want to do anything else. When they begin, artists have a love of their art that rivals the deepest of romances, but as they confront the realities of selling their work –– of needing to impress an audience –– they begin to sacrifice

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What is Your Jadepunk Tale?

I call a Jadepunk campaign a Jadepunk Tale. As anyone who roleplays can tell you, a campaign can be a single game session or a twenty-year adventure. Since Jadepunk has been out for awhile, I’d like to get a sense of how other people are playing the game. What tales are you telling? Who are the archnemeses of your players? What’s your Jianghu society’s name? Even if you aren’t running a game of Jadepunk currently, what would your Jadepunk game be

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“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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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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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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Intrepid Stories: Too Close to the Sun

Intrepid City 0:2 TOO CLOSE TO THE SUN By Ryan M. Danks The XS–9 rocketed out of Earth’s atmosphere. Propelled by prototype plasma engines, the experimental air/space hybrid plane was the pride of Valiant Industries’ R&D department, which they claim is light years ahead of their competitors. Colonel Cole Stewart leaned into the cockpit and watched the pilot, Captain Martin, fly. “You should be strapped in,” Captain ‘Marty,’ as Stewart’s team took to calling him when they boarded, said. “‘Should,’” Stewart

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Intrepid Stories: Justice

Intrepid City 0:1 JUSTICE By Ryan M. Danks Aaron Adams sprinted down the alley, police sirens at his back. He shifted the semi-automatic pistol into his left hand and pulled the door to the chop shop open. “C’mon,” Aaron called behind him. Mal’s breath came hard as he ran through the door. Inside the garage, he struggled to catch his breath while checking the ammunition in his pistol. Aaron, his breathing as steady as if he had taken a brisk walk,

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