Blog Posts

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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Tabletop RPGs as Solo Adventures

I’ve always found trying to play a roleplaying game solo to be of great interest (maybe because my best friend is my dog), but not a great exercise. Games just don’t support the format. But maybe they could? Maybe the old “choose your own adventure” stories hold a key here? If you’ve read them, you’ve likely had a similar rush to the one you get when you the GM tells you how terrible your decision turned out for you. If

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What’s the Future of Tabletop Roleplaying Games?

My thoughts on the Future of Tabletop Roleplaying Games I believe the future lies not in the multiple 300+ page tomes that must be consumed and memorized before play – because, historically, that has not attracted mainstream appeal – but rather in short documents that can be read and mastered in 20 minutes, and taught in 5 minutes. After that, a (short) tome of advanced rules can be released to give the full (traditional) experience of tabletop gaming. The topic is

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Flaws are Great and First Vlog Episode

Did you see my first Vlog post? It’s a follow up on the post I made here last week about letting perfect be the enemy of great. But I said something in it that I felt deserved its own post: “great things have flaws, and perfect things don’t exist.” And that’s so true. How many things have we seen, from Batman to Fortune 500 companies, that are great, but highly flawed? Can you name the perfect piece of fiction? What

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