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Items tagged with: AprilTTRPGMaker

#AprilTTRPGMaker

27. How do you market your work?

Whenever I release something, I post to my blog about it. I try to find some online space relevant to the the contents and post about it there. For example, when releasing Fourth World I found some #Earthdawn and #DungeonWorld groups and forums and posted about it there. I don’t track metrics of how effective (or not) this is.

Mostly, I don’t really market. I, probably naively, assume that anyone who really cares about what I make is subscribed to the RSS feed of my low traffic blog.

(Worth mentioning: on Friendica, if you paste the URL of an RSS feed into the “Add New Contact” box, it will add that feed much like a user. This can be overwhelming for blogs that post a lot, but is very helpful for low-traffic feeds you might not check often.)
 
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30. If you were in charge of the ttrpg industry, what would you change?

Being in charge of the ttrpg industry would imply that there really was such a thing as "the ttrpg industry", which would mean a bunch of healthy companies producing cool stuff, rather than one small niche company, a handful of vastly smaller niche companies, and a bunch of small press hobbyists.

In such a fantasy land, I would use my questionable authority to do the following:

  • Everybody uses open licensing.
  • Large companies (there are many in this fantasy land) fund artists to create open licensed art (somewhat like the Eclipse Phase hack packs).
  • Holders of out-of-print or "dead" IP release open licensed versions, even in just text.
  • Companies consider part of their business (even maybe the primary part) as harnessing the creativity of their customers, allowing them to build and share cool stuff they build on top of the companies' product line.
  • More software support for tabletop games, also open source.
  • All of this is magically profitable.
 

April TTRPG Maker post 30

#AprilTTRPGMaker
30. If you were in charge of the ttrpg industry, what would you change?
I'm not sure I'm arrogant enough to answer this question with any degree of authority. I mean, the industry isn't a homogeneous organization, or even a consortium; it's a sort of collective silo of companies ranging from WoTC and Paizo down to one person putting out their indie game in PDF because they can't afford a print run. Trying to provide any sort of sweeping generalization just seems to be overreaching. I might suggest an advertising fund, contributed to on an as-able basis, that promotes ttrpgs outside of the existing target groups. We could all use more players, a larger market to divide up amongst us, and if we all chipped in according to our ability, ttrpgs in general might profit from letting people know what's out there. This could be done on a smaller basis, like a consortium of smaller publishers working to let people know there's more to ttrpgs than D&D. I dunno, just spitballing. I'll be over here in my corner, staying in my lane, and not pretending like I have any grand solutions to the problems facing us all.
 

April TTRPG Maker post 29

#AprilTTRPGMaker
29. Exciting 2019 RPG Trends?
The market and industry have grown wide and deep enough in terms of available and forthcoming product that I'm unable to track it. I've been head-down over my own product lines, trying to get product out and stay in my lane. Once in a while I come up for air and see some cool stuff, but scattered data points do not make a trendline. I'm not the right person for this question.
 
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26. Favorite online community?

The shared geography of real-life communities creates certain dynamics that can’t exist in an online space. So, there really isn’t any online space that is actually a “community”. But even accepting a wider definition, many spaces that claim to be “online communities” aren’t. G+, for example, while easily my favorite social space by far, wasn’t at all a “community”. My current favorite social space, the rpgtable.top Friendica instance, isn’t a “community”. Dumpshock was a community (probably still is, I don’t hang there anymore), as was patternspider.net. The unofficial Exalted wiki was a community that transformed into another community, then disintegrated. I liked all of those. It’s pretty clear that the Gauntlet is really a community at this point, but I’m just an outsider looking in on them, since I don’t like playing games online.

So, I dunno. If I can even be said to have a favorite online community, it doesn’t exist any more.
 

April TTRPG Maker post 26

#AprilTTRPGMaker
26. Favorite online community?
It would be disingenuous to say it's the one where I'm posting this (https://rpgtable.top), as I'm one of the admins, and we're still building the Friendica instance in terms of participation, so I'll just link-drop instead. I spend much of my time on Discord, on Tenkar's Tavern (where I'm just another game designer among dozens) and on the FASA Official Discord (where I'm the instance owner), and on Mastodon (where I'm just some random person on tabletop.social). Discord tends to be the most active and thus the most engaging for me. I used to be very active on G+ but we all know how that went. I maintain a presence on FB for advertising, which is about all it's good for anyway.
 
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25. A rad diversity consultant?

Open to suggestions.
 

April TTRPG Maker post 25

#AprilTTRPGMaker
25. A rad diversity consultant?
James Mendez Hodes, @James Mendez Hodes. Seriously, if you haven't read his work on why diversity consultants exist and are needed, go look this guy up. Right now. His work says way more about this topic than I ever could.
 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

16. How does your environment inform your work?

The answer I want to give this question only works by providing examples that I’m not allowed to mention due to agreements I have made. But, maybe that’s as good of an answer to today’s question as any.
 
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14. How are your game mechanics and characters intersectional?

Ah. That kind of "intersectional". I have to replace my earlier, better, response to what I originally thought this question was asking.

Given my response on Day 3, you might suspect that being intersectional really isn't a design goal of mine. Sadly, you'd be right. That said, it's not something I avoid either. I tend to write assuming that the reader isn't a white dude and won't necessarily be playing a white dude. My examples feature characters of all stripes. If I ever actually commissioned or used art, it wouldn't have white dudes in it. You know, the easy stuff. Content-wise, I don't feel qualified to tightly focus on intersectionality, so tend to just leave a void, where someone who is could make it work for them in play.

As for game mechanics, apart from maybe safety tools, it's hard to see how they could be intersectional without exhibiting the problem they aim to solve. Maybe something that somehow guaranteed each voice at the table equal time and equal weight?
 
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13. Participate in streamed games?

No.
 

April TTRPG Maker post 13

#AprilTTRPGMaker
13. Participate in streamed games?
I haven't done anything streamed yet, or on a VTT. I've been running games on audio chat clients for a number of years, though. We started with Skype, but then Microsoft bought it and removed a couple of features we'd been using, and the call quality suffered. We moved to Google Hangouts for a while, but then that started having call quality issues, especially for users with low bandwidth. We migrated to Discord a year or two back, and have been very happy with it. I now run all my regular games on private channels on the FASA Discord server. If you're running Earthdawn or 1879, and would like a private channel of your own, let me know.
 
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12. How to make work inclusive?

Not a direct answer to this question, but adjacent. And more interesting than what I thought I’d be writing today: From Brittney Cooper being interviewed on The TED Radio Hour, in response to the question “why do you think it’s so difficult for white Americans to talk about the past in frank and empathetic way?”:

“…white Americans see themselves as people who work really hard, and they believe in the myth of meritocracy. We’re all indoctrinated into this myth. It’s the American myth, right? You come to this country, you work hard and anything is possible for you. And so, anyone who doesn’t have the things that they say they want, they don’t have them because they ‘didn’t work hard’. And so then, when you have to listen to people of color point out all the ways in which that isn’t true, it disrupts a fundamental identity narrative for many white American folk about how they came to their prosperity.”

She continues with good advice, but for this particular question, the gist of the above is to suggest: question your own notions about what “merit” is and means.
 
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7. How to increase accessibility?

I never really thought about accessibility until I saw Jacob Wood's Accessible Guide to RPG Layout. I still don't think about it as much as I probably should, but since that was one of my firsts texts after I started laying out my own games, I keep a lot of it in mind- especially in regards to font choice and colors.
 

April TTRPG Maker post 6

#AprilTTRPGMaker
6. Long or short ttrpg texts?
That varies according to the game, the world, and the context. At a convention, or other demo, I want a short text that gets right to the point - what is cool about this game and world that makes it different from all others? Give me your elevator pitch. At home, I want a massive freakin' tome. I want Tekumel. Build your world in grand sweeping strokes, focus down on the minutiae of daily life, tell me a story of epic grandeur in a world that feels properly lived in. My current lust-game, the one I've been buying with the vain hope of ever playing it just because it's so attractive visually, textually, conceptually, is Shadows of Esteren. The core rulebook is nearly the size of 1st Edition Earthdawn, double the page count of Hillfolk, and I've devoured it slowly, savoring the richness of the world and the lushness of the content. Turning this around, I try to do the same with my own system - at conventions, provide one page, one sided, at most of background, an elevator pitch for the game world focusing on the divergence of history, the steampunk technology, the return of magic, the stable wormhole in Greenwich Park to another world, and get into character selection and game play within ten minutes at most, five if I can manage it. The game books, on the other hand, are chunky. The Players Guide goes into everything you need to play the game. The GM's Guide strolls leisurely through the game world and provides the level of detail needed for running an interesting campaign. The regional sourcebooks are richly seeded with details, plot hooks, odd NPCs, things you can hang a side quest or an entire adventure off of.
 
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5. Character or worldbuilding?

Image/Photo

I have reams full of characters. It's one of the first things that I try when I get a new system. It's one of the first areas of concentration in my designs. That said, the characters cannot stand alone and a world that is suited to the characters, and the characters are suited to, is key in bringing any narrative alive. So as I create the characters, they breathe life into my concepts for the worlds.

I tend to build characters more than worlds, but the worlds I spend more time upon. All that said, I really can't choose between the two.
 
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5. Character or worldbuilding?

Tough question. I think harder about world building, I suppose. And, I’ve written at least one specifically world-building game, where you create a world by destroying a painting. The weird thing is that I’ve always been attracted to worlds that were already built. (I have a history of diving deep into games with dozens of books about the setting, and terrible mechanics. Your Shadowruns and Exalteds and Eberrons and even BattleTechs and such.) I dunno. Maybe the worlds just speak more to me than people do.

I also totally love making the overly long back stories for my characters that modern GM’s tend to find unwelcome. Those should come back in fashion.
 
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4. Favorite type of game scenario?

I’m usually looking for something I can steal. That is, I’m probably not playing the game for which the scenario was written, but some other thing. I like a scenario that lets me drop it into what I am doing without too much shoehorning.

I also like pregnant stasis, where the scenario is set in a little bottle with all these complications in a subtle equilibrium, just waiting for some stimulus to come along and start gears moving. By the time it’s done, that place is never the same, neither are the PCs, and its all the PCs fault.
 
Thanks to Kira Magrann for #AprilTTRPGMaker

1. Andrew Ragland, line developer for FASA's 1879, the steampunk sequel to Earthdawn and replacement for Shadowrun in the FASA cosmology. I've previously done work for Earthdawn, Shadowrun, and Mage: The Ascension.
2. I'm a worldbuilder and storyteller. I like running sandbox campaigns and building conlangs, mapping ecosystems to look for empty niches that need critters created, and detailing out absurdly complex alternate histories. Currently I'm doing all of the above for a steampunk fantasy #ttrpg, 1879, and doing probably far too much research in the process. There's just so many stories out there, ones that actually happened and ones that gamers are telling to each other. I have a Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/wanderingbeekeeper where I'm building a classless, level-less mechanic with dynamic character attributes integrated into an early medieval, low-magic world.
 
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