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Another world description for an upcoming Traveller game. I'm writing these from the perspective of PCs arriving at the systems, providing information on what they would be aware of. It mostly expands on information found in the Traveller wiki.

https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/12/scaladon.html
#traveller #rpg

Scaladon
 
In our Zweihänder game, we are approaching the point of serious danger - having to go to a party with a lot of barons and other members of high society. Burning down heretical temples was so much easier.

https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/12/time-for-a-dress.html
#rpg #zweihanderrpg

Time for a Dress
 
Steel Aces 9: Back To The Beginning
John Barrister, now in his other persona, investigates the missing metahumans, only to find himself in in a trap set by whoever is behind the kidnappings
http://housedok.com/comic/playing-jacks-page-9/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
Playing Jacks, Page 9
 
Poll: Dec Adventure Seed
It's that time of year again, sleigh bells ringing, the Nazi's are scheming, and the Krampus's eyes are gleaming. Help support indie roleplaying games by becoming a #Patron & vote for your favorite tory idea!

Option 1: Stille Nacht II: Holly Has Fallen: This adventure follows the events of Stille Nacht with the Eisenreich's new plan to coopt Christmas into a sign of Nazi superiority. Using their Iron Sleigh led my a cybernetic monster thought to be long dead, the Eisenreich will unleash terror across the world. For those who want to catch up, here's a link to the original adventure: http://housedok.com/stille-nacht-the-iron-santa-initiative/

Option 2: Naughty!: For years the power of the Krampus has been contained, but he has stolen brother's sleigh and will soon bring justice to the world, for there are no good children left! If the heroes cannot stop Krampus, every living being will be caged, thrashed, and cooked down into coal.

Option 3: Unholy Knight: While people around the world celebrate, the Queen in Red has other plans. Crafting a ritual that taps into the spirit of the season, the Queen will open a portal to the Outer Realms, resurrecting Mordred, the Hell Knight once more and warping the lands around them to their image.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/poll-december-44411779?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=postshare

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #RPG #Superheroes #Superheroes #TTRPG
Stille Nacht – The Iron Santa Initiative
 
#Patreon Early Access: Playing Jacks, Page 9: Back To The Beginning

https://www.patreon.com/posts/playing-jacks-9-44368674?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=postshare

Patreon Exclusives

[Spoilers]Steel Aces, Extras: War Dogs in Metahumans Rising

With today's conic update the comic and game meet again. #Patrons add the War Dogs to your Metahumans Rising campaign!

https://t.co/bz6Mym10Mr?amp=1

Behind the Panels: Playing Jacks, Page 9

Enjoying the Steel Aces Comic? Check out Jake Perez's newest video!

https://t.co/6cB6Z6uHVa?amp=1

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
 
Adventure Seed: Gobbler III: Foulest Kaiju
It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, families are gathering, and giant radioactive birds are battling as cities fall in their wake.

Let them peck! Only One Will Cluck. Gravy Cover Us All!
http://housedok.com/gobbler-iii/

Enjoying our content and want to support independent independent RPGs and Comics? Join our Patreon at: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans
($2 a month unlocks all our content.)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Thanksgiving
Gobbler III: Foulest Kaiju
 
I'm mostly into Fantasy when it comes to RPGs, but running Traveller has forced me to think about the reasons why I tend not to run SF. Basically, I find it harder. Interested to know if other people come across the same problems.
https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/11/science-fiction-is-hard.html
#rpg #scifi

Science Fiction is Hard
 
PSI, Part 3: Investigations
With the setting, and some of the players established, it's time to look at how investigations might go, what threats investigators might encounter, and some tips and tricks for the GM to help keep things interesting.
http://housedok.com/psi-3/

Enjoying our setting development process and want to join us? Become a Patron at any level to contribute to the world of PSI!
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r

#TTRPG #RPG #Superheroes #PSI
PSI: Paranormal Special Investigators (Part 3)
 
Animal Powered 3: Capybara
The largest rodent on earth, not in politics. Capybaras are South American rodents who are remarkably fast, and amazingly cuddly. Which of course means a grappling speedster!
http://housedok.com/animal-powered-3-capybara/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Animal #CreaturePowers
Animal Powered 3: Capybara
 

NaNoWriMo 2020 - Hunting Blind

#NaNoWriMo #Writing #rpg

Illness means that I start out a bit behind, but I'm now 2000+ words into my entry this year.




I'm writing an adventure this year, supplementing it with a long-ish story as I'm sure the adventure itself won't get me to 50k.
 
Steel Aces 7: Price To Pay
Deeper and deeper down we go. Last time we saw Mel, she was being forced into an unmarked car. Things have not gotten better for her.
http://housedok.com/comic/playing-jacks-page-7/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
Playing Jacks, Page 7
 
Steel Aces 6: Changing of the Guard
When demoing Metahumans Rising, a common question was always, do I have a favorite Ace? each of the Steel Aces has a different appeal for me. However, Crossfire tends to be high on my list, as he can be anyone, or at least look like anyone. Also, quick shout out to our first Legendary (Comic) Hero who has a cameo in this week's comic.
http://housedok.com/comic/playing-jacks-page-6/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
Playing Jacks, Page 6
 
Adventure Seed: Poisoned Apples, Part 1
Who is the Dog Catcher, and why did the police let him go after being captured? It starts with a cellphone video, but quickly spirals into more. Can you uncover the truth, without being framed as a criminal?

http://housedok.com/poisoned-apples-part-1/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Eisenreich #Nazis #ACAB
Poisoned Apples, Part 1: Who Let The Dog Out?
 
Apparently we are getting near to the end of at least this part of our Zweihänder campaign, and we have managed to do what we've skirted around for several sessions - breaking into the church of the Order of Redemption. Whatever we've woken cannot be good.

https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/09/artefacts-and-relics.html
#rpg #roll20 #zweihanderrpg
Artefacts and Relics
 
Steel Aces 4: Dangerous Thoughts
Enter John Barrister.
http://housedok.com/comic/playing-jacks-page-4/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
Playing Jacks, Page 4
 
Just doing some background plotting for some Traveller adventures at the moment, and I've come up with some companies that I'll be using as background flavour. I have tried to come up with Vilani translations of the company names where necessary, though I doubt that the syntax is at all accurate.

https://blog.notasnark.net/2020/09/trojan-reach-companies.html

#rpg #travellerrpg
Trojan Reach Companies
 
Animal Powered 1: Alligator #MetahumansRising Web Enhancement
A is for alligator, check out our jaw locking, death rolling, leather skinned build for some brutal fun.
http://housedok.com/animal-powered-1-alligator/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Animal #CreaturePowers
Animal Powered 1: Alligator
 
For anyone that might be interested: Fudge is featured in this latest Bundle of Holding, which includes PDFs for the 10th anniversary book, Deryni Adventures, Terra Incognita, and a whole lot more:

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/Fudge

#rpg #ttrpg #fudgerpg #faterpg
 
Patreon Early Access: Comic, Steel Aces, No, don't be suspicious!
It's not just Pamela Price being taken away. Elsewhere in D.C...
Join Patreon for early access, and bonus content.
#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 31 - Experience

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-31-experience

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#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

**Prompt:** Experience

I've tried to do these before, but have never kept up with them past the first few days. With the exception of the last couple of days of the month, this time I did it!

1. What does that show me?
It is possible for me to keep up with a blog for an extended period of time.
2. What was different this time?
I've been trying this new method of planning out my day- keeping a [Zettelkasten](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettelkasten), and having daily notes. I put this, [another prompt that I was working on personally](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeeyonshim/wait-for-me-0), and my agile board for completing my campaign on it. I also tried to put everything for the day, and as I did things, I moved them to the completed area of the board. I also indicated what I was going to carry over. It's been helpful to me as I have pursued purchasing a house also, as there are a lot of little things that you have to do when going through that process. But for the other two areas it was helpful also- and pretty much in every area, including work. The tags and maps help me to get back to everything later.
3. Why did I miss the last couple of days?
Moving, which I think is a pretty acceptable excuse. But it also lets me know that I can have things interrupt, and because it is my deadline, as long as I'm disciplined enough to come back to it, that's OK too.
4. What about #RPGaDay2020 in particular?
It was a fun exercise. Some of the days were a bit challenging and forced me to think outside of the box. Some were a bit light because of that fact, but I think I made some interesting entries. It might be a bit harder to come up with topics for a blog outside of this, but this experience has caused me to seriously think about continuing, even if just for my sake.

Thanks to all that followed and/or commented! And thanks to the organizers!
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 30 - Portal

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-30-portal

Image/Photo

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Portal

A strange one. This one first sparked in me a memory of Portal. And from there... well you'll just have to go with me on this one. Portal is a game from Valve. It is a pretty unique game- or at least it was- that had a few things going on. First of all, you didn't know the whole story, or pretty much any of the story starting out. You were a blank slate. It was a first person game, where your only weapon was a portal gun that you learned how to use while solving puzzles. You could point it in one place, and make a portal, then another place, and make another. Then you could travel through them. Or push things through them. There was more to it, but that's not relevant to where this stream of consciousness took me...

... how many times have their been unique mechanics implemented in RPGs that invoke the feel just from playing? I love aspects in Fate, because they can be anything - especially with the Bronze Rule (Fate Fractals). But I'm not really familiar with any other games that even come close to the idea.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 29 - Ride

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-29-ride

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop




Prompt: Ride

I remember when I was younger, the hardest thing (next to finding people who wanted to play) was finding transportation to get to a gaming session. I spent about two hours on the bus to make it across town to a friend's house in large part because the bus didn't go directly to his house. And I remember more than once having to run after the last bus because I'd cut it too close, though I never actually missed the bus to come home. I also had to ride the bus to the store in order to even buy them as the city only had a few places to find them.

As I grew older, there were more people to play, and more places to buy the books, but even though the number of players is not decreasing, the number of stores where you can buy the books is rapidly doing so. Though I can buy from Amazon and other places on line, nothing compares to browsing in a store. The only places close that I can do that (or could before the pandemic) was Barnes & Noble. I wonder if I should gain more of a tolerance for a long ride to support those that are an hour away- after all, I did it when I couldn't drive...
 
Adventure Seed: Gene Jackers
Your heroes are in Chimera's sights. The techno-organic cult is looking to improve their shock troops and they want your blood to do it! Gene Jackers can be played as is, or spread out across other adventures, as Chimera slowly collects the genetic material they need to improve their soldiers.
http://housedok.com/gene-jackers/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Chimera
Gene Jackers
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 28 - Close

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-28-close

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

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Prompt: Close

If there's one thing consistent about Tabletop Gaming stores - it's that they close.

I can rattle off a few names: Oxford Games and Comics, The War Room, Sword of the Phoenix- there are many more. Making a living off of a niche industry is hard, and you learn to adapt or die. I worked for years for a game shop, and the owner stopped adapting. For a while he did, branching out into Poker Chips (as big a seller as Magic cards, believe it or not), Chilmark (another big seller), How to Host a Murder, Osprey Books - whatever he needed to do in order to turn a profit and allow the game store to remain in business. He became a distributor, supporting shops in smaller towns that the larger distributors wouldn't supply with favorable terms, and moved from prestigious places to others that were less so when the years became leaner. We'd even set up an online store for the shop, hoping that would bring more business in (and it helped me get some web work under my belt while I was in college), but nothing worked. I remember talking to him before the decision came down, and he said that he'd put away a lot from the best years, but it had been a few years since he actually turned a profit. With Diamond/Alliance swallowing up all of the smaller distributors, it was rare that he was able to actually get favorable terms by going direct. He could keep the place open for a few more years on the liquidity that he had in the business, or call it a day, and chose to do the latter, though he really didn't want to do so.

Now with the pandemic and quarantines, I'm not sure how many more that were just hanging on like he was will be forced to close. I can personally get games from Amazon pretty easily, but I'd rather support someone- but what do you do when there's no one to support. The closest store to me is almost an hour away. And given the shrinking number of stores, how long until there will truly be no one to support? It's a sad thought, but I don't really know of any real solutions.

What are some thoughts on how game stores can survive and even thrive in these troubling times?
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 27 - Favour

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-27-favour

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Favour

Though many adventures start with doing someone a favor, this particular spelling of the word directed my mind to another definition of the word- favour given by a patron or organization. When running a game, I like for my cities to be alive, and not revolve around the PCs. But I also want the PCs to be embroiled in the operations and invested in the outcome. It's hard to have a good balance between a patron railroading the PCs actions and being entangled with them of their own volition. I was able to get partway there with the city creation rules in Fate- first in The Dresden Files RPG, and then with Fate Core as it had it baked in. The organizations had their own Aspects that the PCs could find out about and tag for effect, helping to build the narrative around them. But this still gave little mechanical benefit when the organizations were not directly involved. I recently did a playtest for Swords of the Serpentine by Pelgrane Press, and the final piece of the puzzle slotted itself into places- the PCs have ratings with the different organizations- both positive and negative- to indicate their involvement. These ratings are fluid- as the PCs have positive or negative interactions with the groups, their ratings increase and decrease, and with an increased rating comes an increased presence, increased support, and increased obligation. This allowed for the PCs interactions to have an impact on how they maneuvered in the city, and made the city seem more alive in play. I just need to find out some way to represent the dealings that the organizations have with each other in a more dynamic manner without having to manually work these angles or randomly generate them.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 26 - Strange

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-26-strange

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

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Prompt: Strange

How do you inject a feeling of strangeness into your game? Not outright horror, though it can descend to that. But the subtle feeling that something is not quite right, to get the players' attention without crossing over that line to the obvious? I find the use of the other four senses a good way of calling attention to something that gives a creeping suspicion that the players are walking into something on the wierd side. The faint sound of flapping in the wind like the wings of a wounded bird. The sudden rise of goosebumps as the wind chills a few degrees. The cloying smell of decaying flowers. The heat parching the throat, making the player swallow. The slimy feel of the bannister, leaving a bitter, tingling residue on the hand. Even better, use the senses in strange ways, twisting expectations. The taste of copper on the tongue, heavy in the air. There is also the negative use of senses. The most obvious used ones are the wildlife going silent, but an example could also be the sudden stillness of the air.

The use of metaphors or onomatopoeia (as long as they don't fall into overuse) can also signal that things are a bit off. The delivery of these concepts is as important as what is actually said- if you're trying to jar your players, then even how you say it should invoke that dissonance. "As you make your way through the forest- SNAP!" This communicates viscerally that the player's stealth was compromised. "As your movements disturb the night, the natural sounds die down, and you hear swift movement in the forest off of your left shoulder."

How do you communicate foreboding strangeness to your players?
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 25 - Lever

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-25-lever

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Lever

When we played Rolemaster the companions were a bit overwhelming with all of the options, so we had to pare them down. Same with GURPS. This was my first introduction to Levers in designing a campaign. There are some systems that are ready built, and anything you do to them are outside those parameters are homebrew rules, and not necessarily well received or expected by the players. I like those well enough. But the toolkit RPGs GURPS, Fate (and FUDGE), Rolemaster- those were my bread and butter, being able to tweak little things by using optional rules that were included. Those made me prepared for using engines to design hacks- Powered by the Apocalypse, Forged in the Dark, GUMSHOE, Rooted in Trophy- those systems that are released to be able to adapted.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 24 - Humour

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-24-humour

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Humour

I've never been the type to crack a joke or think of something witty at a moment's notice. I've always been more logical and reasoned. Even when I have a rare moment of insight into the mind of jokester, it has always been rooted in something of a more logical origin. I like a good comedian, and a good comedy- I've just never had the mindset of creating that comedic moment. I preface this particular entry with that disclaimer so that it can be more clearly understood when I say that I just don't like comedic games. I've tried them, and they've definitely been something that has taken me out of my comfort zone, and unlike some other pursuits that do the same, I've not come out of them with any clearer understanding of the purpose nor how to participate. Toon, Paranoia, and a host of others. When humor is naturally injected as a result of the narrative, that's a different thing. We had a situation in our last Pathfinder game where the druid had trailed the party because he had some other gathering to do, and decided to wild shape into a dinosaur- I forget the type, but it was akin to a velociraptor- and pursue the party. He happened to come up on the necromancer from behind, and she turned, ready to take possession of a soon to be undead dinosaur for her entourage. That whole situation and the glee that the player described in her eyes, and the abject fear in the eyes of the dino as they rolled for initiative- her glee turning to sadness when he got initiative and was able to shapechange back to the druid, was hilarious! But that wasn't planned, and wasn't the point of the whole thing. The closest I've come to enjoying something in this vein was Tales of the Floating Vagabond, but that wasn't purely an exercise in humor, even though it was very much absurd. I know that some get great enjoyment from it, and recount their Toon or Paranoia sessions with mirth, but it just runs cold to me.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 23 - Edge

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-23-edge




#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Edge

Edgerunner- a person striving to survive and prosper in a 'punk type universe, derived from the fact that they're always on the edge between success and disaster. I was introduced to cyberpunk through William Gibson, as many were, and it immediately captured my imagination. Not too far into the future as to be unobtainable, but far enough to seem 'cool' and 'futuristic'. Though I played science fiction games, my first cyberpunk game was Cyberpunk in the black box with Friday Night Firefight as the combat system. I actually still have a shrinkwrapped copy, as I wanted to have a copy just in case something happened to my primary copy in the old beat up box. We moved from there to Cyberpunk 2020, and branched out into Shadowrun, Cyberspace, and GURPS Cyberpunk. Just on the other side of Cyberpunk lay Transhumanism, and delving into that in several books made me love the idea, but want it to be grittier than most transhumanist stories were- my sweet spot lay in the world Altered Carbon, Transmetropolitan, and Ray Winninger's Underground. I'm really not sure of the allure of the media- it's ugly, violent, and shows the worst, most cynical part of humanity. I suppose what I like about it is the fact that even in the darkest of places, if the hero is willing, he can be the brighter side. The Cases and Kovacs of the world. Sting put it best, I think, "At night, a candle is brighter than the sun." And though many of my heroes died in pursuit of that dream, they made for some damned good stories.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 22 - Rare

reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-22-rare

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Rare

I collect games to be complete and because I want to read and play them. I know I have a few rare pieces in my collection, but they are valuable to me for the content rather than the monetary value. Below, I'll detail a few that I know are valuable monetarily, but of value to me more for the content.

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I love the Black Company by Glen Cook, so when this was released, I had to have it. What I love about the Black Company is that at its root it is a character based story, set in a terrible war where the main characters have little power, and just struggle to survive. It later migrates a bit from those roots, but you can always trace it back to those beginning stories. Others that I have or wish that they'd make that are in the same vein are The Powder Mage series (already available for Savage Worlds) and Malazan Book of the Fallen (not adapted)




I love the Authority by Warren Ellis, for the characters and the themes of Superheroes on a level that we rarely see them, facing foes that are unlike those that I'd seen in comics before this. For all of that, the story was more rooted in the character study of the various heroes and how they dealt with the threats and others perceptions of them. Others in this same vein that I'd love to see adapted include Stormwatch and Planetary.

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At times, I think I prefer Dune to Star Wars, though it is a close fight. Where Star Wars leans on the melodramatic, Dune veers towards a more esoteric version of the future, based on things in the past that flow through its DNA. Though many don't like the Brian Herbert prequels, I love them- they are less dry than the Silmarillion and other prequels for Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and serve much the same purpose- to set the stage for the stories that we know and love. To be able to play in that world is quite intoxicating, even if I only use the book for reference rather than the rules.

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I started watching Supernatural when it was first released, but after the first few seasons laid it down, and didn't pick it back up until my daughter became interested in it. I love the mythology of the world, as messy as it is, and started to try to find the game after watching it with her, thinking that perhaps I could get her to try it. I found out that it was quite sought after, but found a reasonable copy on ebay at almost cover price. Before we could play it, our move came up, and I'm not sure where it is now. I hope it just got packed away somewhere, but I fear the worst. This one really hurt because of the interest sparked in her eyes when she saw the book.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 21 - Push

reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-21-push

#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Push

Every time that I've discovered a new group, it's been because I pushed myself to engage with someone outside of my comfort zone. I'm not a gregarious or outgoing person. Interactions tire me. I like gaming with others though, and miss it when I'm not. So after a group breaks up, in general, I've found myself going outside of my comfort zone to talk to others. I've me several of my lifelong friends in that way. When I moved, I fell in with some people at work, and we engaged with others to pull together a group. But they were all a lot younger than I, and going through life with children entering the picture in one way or another, and we gamed less and less, and as they left the company, it became really sporadic, until there were no more sessions. I found out a bit after that some them had gotten back together and were gaming. And I wasn't contacted. By that time, I'd really gotten back into online gaming- play by e-mail, roll20, play by document- and found solo gaming. I now find that I don't really crave that level of interaction in person, though I wonder if I'd see that need if I gamed in person again at a convention or some other function, and if I'm forgetting some aspect because I don't want to try again.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 20 - Investigate

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-20-investigate

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Prompt: Investigate

I've tried to run investigation games before- they've always turned out poorly. At first, I could blame the root cause on one thing- me as a GM. In preparing the adventure, I didn't follow the rule of 3s- have three sources of information, so that the players wouldn't get stuck by not seeing the clues or a faulty dice roll. But even after having that, in some cases, players just didn't see things in the same way that I did when making the adventure.

Then I found Gumshoe. For those who haven't heard of it, Gumshoe is a roleplaying system designed in 2007 by Robin Laws. It's designed to solve the flaws of players finding the clues by changing the focus of clues in a game to deciphering their meaning. It does this by having two different sorts of abilities - Investigative Abilities and General Abilities. Investigative Abilities center for the most part around professional skills, and as a professional, you are assumed to have more than a basic level of competency. Investigative abilities always work; there are no dice rolls involved. If a scene contains a core clue and a player character uses an investigative ability that relates to the clue, the character will find the clue.

A spend for an investigative ability costs points from the Investigative Ability pool, in exchange for additional clues. These clues are not necessary to solve the scenario, though they should give additional information or other benefits. Spent pool points from investigative abilities are refreshed between scenarios.

This method of telling a mystery keeps the onus of continuing the trail off of the players and off of me when writing the scenario, so that we can just narrate the story of what happens. It's one of my favorite systems now!

As a result of the DramaSystem Kickstarter, the SRD has been released, and can give a good overview of what the system is like before you dive in. The SRD can be found on The Pelgrane Press Site.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 19 - Tower



Stone Spire by JaimeNieves on Deviant Art

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-19-tower

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Prompt: Tower

Towers are a staple in RPG- the high spires in the villain's castle. Or the towers where a final defense is mounted in a siege. Even in sci-fi, you have the skyscrapers and, to take it to an extreme, the orbital elevators that tie a planet to the stars. Usually, there is some reason that you have to fight your way to the top. Some incredible hard-fought (or over the top depending on genre) prelude to the final battle with the Big Bad high above the ground below, or to rescue someone important. Think Trinity and Neo in the Matrix, or Bruce Lee in Game of Death. It's a trope because it works- it's a way to communicate to players that this is climactic and should be treated as such, and this will get harder as you rise in levels- akin to levels in video games. How can we take this trope and turn it on its head?

1. The Big Bad is out for a meeting. Or something that takes him away from the location. Of course, you have to give the players something for the battle that they just waged to get there, but it doesn't have to be that final battle. This is especially true in more modern day scenarios where executives don't always stay put.
2. A fight from top to bottom. The only way to enter the sanctum is from the top- it is the least heavily guarded location in the big boss's domain.
3. Use of technology or magic to get around the trope. In our long-running Middle Earth campaign, after we goofed and Sauron got the ring, we were able to get a magic item that boosted the mage's power enough to teleport us directly into Sauron's tower. Of course, that didn't end well, but it was a different take.
4. The boss at the top isn't actually the boss, but a fall guy. This fall guy has some seemingly insignificant clue to the bad guy's location. (Make sure you have at least 3 ways to get this information in case your player characters aren't as fast on the uptake as you'd like)

What are some other ways that we can subvert the Tower trope?

(the image above "Stone Spire" is courtesy of JaimeNieves on Deviant Art)
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 18 – Meet

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(just figured out I can just reshare from my blog)

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 18 - Meet
#rpg, #RPGaDay2020, #Tabletop

Prompt: Meet

It's funny that this topic should come up today- just yesterday, the Question of the Day on RPGGeek was related- what unlikely friendships have you formed because of gaming.

My Answer – Most of my friendships are from gaming, so I don't consider them unlikely. I'm not one to make friends in other manners- I'm a solitary person by nature. I've always gone to the movies alone, gone traveling alone, and just been alone. The only thing I don't necessarily like to do alone is game. I do game alone- I like solo role-playing as an activity. It helps me a lot with my writing. But this shared interest in gaming is what binds me together with others socially; in environments where gaming isn't a focus, I have a hard time with trivial things like 'small talk'. And of course, you can't conversate on heavier things, so I tend to fade into the background as a means of defense.
https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-18-meet
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 17 – Comfort

Reposted from: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-17-comfort

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Prompt: Comfort

My first thought at the prompt of 'Comfort' brought to mind the tendency of some in the hobby to find a system and stick with it, no matter the relative merits of the system. It might even be the first system tried- for some, there is that tendency not to stray from the system. I know that when I first started, I dabbled in several areas- from a start in AD&D 2nd Edition, I moved on to Marvel FASERIP and GURPS, adding Rolemaster once I went to college. I think that's one of the qualities I like about role-playing- the ability to get a different feel just by switching to a different system. Though I still buy and read a lot of systems, thinking about it I've seen a pattern. I'll have one primary system, and adapt everything to that system in order to run it more comfortably. I suppose that's no different than the gamers who stick with a particular system- my loyalties just switch from time to time as my sensibilities change. But, even for that, I still think that I'm more willing to try new things than most.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 16 - Dramatic

Reposted from: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-16-dramatic

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Prompt: Dramatic

Since I'm in the midst of creating this campaign world, Dramatic immediately leads me to one of the steps in my process that I've just started- creating Drama in the world. Drama- meaning to me, meaningful excitement. Not a plot. I've made that mistake before, plotting out too much, and wasting a lot of time on things that the players are not interested in. But dramatic hooks that I can play as the players decide that they want to follow them and find out what they entail with the players.

In my Drama document, I answered these questions in order to detail the dramatic hooks.

1. What are the major current affairs in the world (good and bad)
Detailing the city-state, I created a general outline of the relations with their neighbors- allies, frenemies, and outright hostilities. Also I gave a general overview of a couple of threads- an unexplored landmass that was recently discovered, a natural disaster that ravaged the southern farms, and forces stretched thin because the government is more concerned with the new area, rather than the plight of the outlying villages, as the food stores in the capital are not affected. Internally, a dissident group has been making waves, and rumors in the streets are that it is a group that was suppressed last year. The government denies this through the news sheets. There are developments of some new and exciting diversion for the rich, and there is supposed to be a large launch party with a celebrity chef serving up new culinary delights.
2. What are the threats the inhabitants of your world face
For threats, I went a bit more into the specifics of what a war means, and the general paranoia brought on by the cold war. There are natural threats everywhere other than the capital, and the safety of your home is based on what city you live in, and what sort of protections you can afford. But living in larger cities brings the threat of the government itself and its more draconian measures.
3. What are the everyday struggles of the people in your world
The struggles vary by where a person lives. In the Capital, the struggle is to survive against the draconian and sometimes mercurial rule of law. The lower castes have it worse, as they also struggle for sustenance and basic necessities. The larger hamlets have the same problem, but it varies depending on the ruler of the Satrapy. Villages don't have as much of a problem with the draconian law other than by the intermittent roving patrols that are supposed to protect them, but practically bleed them for the protection. That freedom is tempered by the constant dangers of the wildlife and the storms that wreak havoc to anyone unprotected out in them.

I'll have to go back and edit later, but I think that by focusing on the possibilities rather than the specifics of the plot, I can more ably react to what the players want to do once their characters are in the world.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 15 - Frame

Reposted from: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-15-frame




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Prompt: Frame

For all else different in the 1984 Dune movie, I loved the introduction from Princess Irulan. Specifically, I loved the quote, "A beginning is a very delicate time." That quote states a truism, as the beginning is the time when a think is not set, and is most prone to go in a different manner than you intended. It is the same with an RPG campaign, especially when you're the GM. How do you frame the entry into your world for your players, to get the correct feel across to them? It doesn't matter if you're making things up as you go along, or if you've spent a lot of time building your world, as a GM, you have a certain intention when starting a campaign, and it is for that reason that I think you have to set up your intentions in your players' minds even before they take their first actions in your world.

I think about this because I'm currently working on a world for Fate Core, and thinking back on my other experiences as a GM, and how I might have made the transition easier. I'm working through the world building process, and wondering how best to present it not just to my players, but in the material in case I use it elsewhere. Many products produce a quick start or a primer to the world- and I'm thinking that's the way that I will approach it, answering burning questions that will set the stage for the players.

1. What is unique about this world?
2. Why is the world the way it is?
3. What does it feel like to experience this world?
4. What are the recurring themes of the world?

Once I answer these questions, I will go into the specifics of the world, but I think if I answer those questions correctly, it should set the stage, and I can add some more specific factoids to the primer document to give the players some idea of what to expect as they start playing their characters.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 14 - Banner

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-14-banner

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Prompt: Banner

I play a lot of Play-by-Email, and have played quite a bit of Play-by-Post. One of the advantages of the medium is the ability to divorce the player from the character, since you aren't looking at them while you're playing, but instead focused on the prose. To make it even more immersive (and to keep an idea of the public facing stats) we use custom made banners in our posts. This idea was born from playing a lot of Amber in PbEMs- one of the ideas in Amber are Trumps- cards that depict people that can be used to contact them, and for travel. We always made Trumps to depict the characters, and that evolved into the banners. I find that it adds an element to the game- a couple of examples are below.

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RPGaDay2020 Prompt 13 - Rest

Reposted from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-13-rest




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Prompt: Rest

There are two types of games- ones that descend from the D&D trope that rest heals all wounds. You go to sleep, wake up, and gain your spells, or a certain number of hit points, or even less believably skill levels and class levels. It just magically happens when you rest for a specified period of time. Others try to model the real world, where you keep up with the time that has passed since you received a wound, and healing takes place as time passes. Or you get experience for succeeding (or failing) a skill and when you get enough of whatever measure you're keeping track of, the skill increases. My initial gaming was in D&D, GURPS, Rolemaster, and Champions, which skewed towards the idea that rest was a needed thing for adventurers to recover any modicum of effectiveness. I remember when we were playing the tomb of desolation modules and barely escaped into the desert. That trek was made worse by the fact that we'd just used all of our spells getting out of the place, and couldn't regain what we needed to survive because we couldn't really 'rest'. It felt arbitrarily punishing. I now play games that are more narratively driven, and the mechanism to recover from wounds and use of resources is more organic. It's ironic that in the simulationist vs story-game, most story games handle immersion a lot better than the games that have a rule for every little thing.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 12 - Message

reposted from: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-12-message




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Prompt: Message

A trope in gaming is for adventures to be delivered via message. A mysterious courier arrives, looking for the party. The phone rings in the middle of the night. It's so used because it gives an easy way to involve the characters without having to create a lot of background. It's also used as a way out of being written in a corner, i.e. if the PCs can't find the clue you're looking for, finding a more obvious message that leads them to that thread is a lot easier than watching them flail. As with all tropes, unless it's couched in a way that is a bit more original than the device would suggest, it can bring on groans, and sometimes even a resistance to take the lifeline. The trope can be subverted, as in an expected message being counterfeit, which is a good way to use the trope in an unexpected manner. But how can you use the standard trope without it being so easily identified as such? That's a good exercise to dwell upon.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 11 - Stack

From: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-11-stack

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Prompt: Stack

I find myself without inspiration- this prompt fails to arouse any sort of muse in me, even after a day of contemplation. The closest I come to a coherent thought is the stacks fo tokens in one of my first forays into RPGs. I loved the little games that came in the zip lock bags and plastic boxes. Car Wars, Ogre, and many others. But my first one was Starfire. It was what would be termed a 4X game today, filled with cardboard sheets of counters that you moved on a galactic map. My favorite parts of the 4X formula are the Explore and Expand phases. Yes, the Exploit and Exterminate are enjoyable, but building is more fun than destroying to me, and in those types of games, I go on long after I've won, expanding a building as much as I can. This game was no different, but I wanted something more than the game gave me, especially since I was playing alone. I started then, with the stacks of cardboard chits and the paper board expanding the game to the imaginary worlds and what happened when the dice were rolled. Who were those nameless troops dying on the planets, and what happened during the battles. I suppose that was my first foray into RPGs, and my first foray into hacking games.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 10 - Want

From https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-10-want

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Prompt: Want

What does your character want? It's a question that many times is left out, even when an in depth background is created, and even when we give objectives for our characters- sometimes we forget that root question that lies beyond the objective. I'm currently playing four characters in four different campaigns - Kenetsu Phar, 4th level brawler, 1st level rogue in a Pathfinder campaign, Nelson Crowe, 3rd Level Scholar in a Silent Legions campaign, Grayson Kitsch, God of Asymmetrical Warfare and Son of Ares in a Lords of Olympus Campaign, and Valentinian Decimus Merula, former Actor, now Exalt of Pasiap in a Lords of Gossamer and Shadow/Exalted game. Thinking about this question, I realized that I don't know what any of them really want. I have objectives- Crowe wants to master the cursed sword he is the caretaker of, Valentinian wants to secure the world that he is responsible for from outside influence and harm. But those are just goals. For all of the care that I put into each of their backgrounds, I've never looked deeper than that to see what they want at a basic level, and I think that's one of the reasons that I sometimes lose the 'voice' of the character- because I don't truly 'know' them, nor what truly drives them. It's a sobering thought.
 
Metahuman News
This is one we've been hoping to do for some time. Today we launch the Steel Aces web comic. Check out page 1 of the first story, playing Jacks. Today we also launch our Patreon page for bonus content, stories, and access to the Metahumans Rising Discord community.
http://housedok.com/comic/playing-jacks-page-1/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Metahumans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HouseDokPro

Website: http://housedok.com/

Print: https://studio2publishing.com/products/metahumans-rising?_pos=2&_sid=145b3fa95&_ss=r\

PDF: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/277614/Metahumans-Rising

#Metahumans #MetahumansRising #Superheroes #RPG #TTRPG #Comic #SteelAces
Playing Jacks, Page 1
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 09 - Light

reproduced from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-09-light

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Prompt: Light

Many people look at role-playing games as just a form of entertainment, and dismiss it as a waste of time. I know that they are more than that to me. They enable a dream of becoming known in the industry for my writing. Aspirations of releasing my own work. Practice for honing skills that I use on my job. To interact with a community that is of a like mind and I can talk about subjects that others might think are strange. And they're entertainment. Entertainment that in many cases is my outlet for stress and release of frustrations- to make the problems that I carry easier to bear. Not a waste of time, but something integral to my psyche and mental health. The patience and understanding that I give of things that go wrong in everyday life is made possible by this small measure of escape.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 08 - Shade




reproduced from: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-08-shade

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Prompt: Shade

In our Rolemaster campaign, we played through Moria, down into the depths of the Misty Mountains. We were a somewhat largish party- a ranger, two magicians, a sorceror, two warrior monks, a rogue, and my barbarian archer. Down into Khazad-dûm we travelled, a raggedy company if there ever was one. It was a rather monotonous trek through the dark and lonely tunnels- we heard hints of noise at times, but never encountered anything other than long dead corpses, and dust covered remnants of the dwarves that once lived there. At times, we caught signs that someone might have been here more recently- ashes burnt out but not old, scraps that were putrid but too fresh, darkened stains that were the signs of blood from battles more recent than the halls were supposed to have seen. Further down into the tunnels we went, arriving at what seemed to be former living spaces. The ranger held up a hand to be silent as he crouched, looking at some sign that only he picked up. He motioned for us to go ahead, silently, as he listened, moving slower, bidding us to close the shutters on the lamps, reducing the light we bled into the darkness. This made the space creepier, but as we moved forward, we finally heard what made him give the order- the sounds of beings speaking. "Orcs," he said simply as he unlimbered his bow. We all readied our own weapons as we followed his lead- and were set upon from behind. Other orcs had been tracking our presence, and we'd not sensed them. One of the mages took an arrow to the arm even as other arrows whizzed by like angry insects. Light flared, burning our eyes- but less so than our attackers, illuminating the orcs that crouched in a side corridor. We would have made to close the distance, if that same light hadn't also revealed the orcs in front of us, hands over their eyes- the light had interrupted their charge. After a bloody battle, we stopped to lick our wounds. In addition to the arrow taken by the mage, the rogue had taken a hard hit in the side, breaking ribs, and I'd taken a nasty hit to the head that had left my brain a bit addled. We should have kept moving. But the day had been long, and the battle fierce, so we just made our way to the closest room that we could find away from the bodies.

So tired we were, that we didn't even notice the shadow slipping away from the wall. The wraith hit the mage that was not hurt, chilling him, and the crit unfortunately silenced him. Despite that, my character noticed something strange moving beside the mage, and that something was off, moving to see what it was. The wraith attacked the mage again, killing him before he had a chance to come out of stun, but I was able to see the beast. I drew and shot, but hit only the wall. Moving to where the wraith was, there was no sign that anything was there- other than the dead mage. Someone else screamed out, hit by the undead shade, but after that hit, it retreated into darkness. We tried to fight it, but the GM used the shadows cast by our bare light and the darkness all around to great advantage. It was one of the first times that I'd seen someone use light and shadow so effectively to make us powerless, and instill fear- beyond that what the table was expecting. We did survive, but took horrendous damage, that would set the tone of the entire delve into the mines. In the end, we lost 3 out of the eight members of the party, and didn't even make it through Moria to the other side of the mountains that we were trying to reach.

It was a very good example of playing to an adversary's advantages to make them scarier than just numbers on a piece of paper, and was an encounter that we've never forgotten.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 07 - Couple

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https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-07-couple

Prompt: Couple

I know that many people game with their significant others, but I've only played World of Warcraft with one girlfriend- never #RPGs. I currently play #BoardGames with the family, but never have played just with my wife. When I did play WoW with my girlfriend, it was nice and also I could see myself falling into a malaise where our life was completely consumed with it when we weren't at work. I've seen some other friends experience the same as the hobby bled the sides of their lives together into one indistinguishable whole. I suppose that, and the fact that most of my significant others have been pretty dissimilar in interests has made me not want it.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 06 - Forest

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Prompt: Forest

This one surprised me, and I'm struggling with it. Though we have had to walk through forests at some point in almost every campaign, they have never been the focus of any adventures. I'm not sure why. We've had adventures in jungles, deserts, mountains, and just about every other biome. But the forests are neglected. The only time I can remember them playing a part was in media res, when the party was being chased through the forest by another party. That was an epic scene, but nothing other than that. I'll have to rectify that with this brought to my attention!
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 05 - Tribute

from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-05-tribute

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Prompt: Tribute

This prompt took a bit more thought, but quickly I came to the luminaries that preceeded us in the gaming industry, that blazed the way for the games that we enjoy. Greg Stafford was the first that came to mind- though I started with AD&D and Rolemaster, RuneQuest and BRP were large parts of the experience, especially as they were the systems used in Call of Cthulhu, which became the basis of most of the experience, leading to Gumshoe today. But tributes can also be made to those that shape my present day gaming: Vincent Baker, Fred Hicks, Robin Laws, Kenneth Hite, Greg Stolze- those and many more shaped my preferences and gaming style, and continue to do so today.
 

RPGaDay2020 Prompt 04 - Vision

from: https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-04-vision

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Prompt: Vision

Another prompt that spawns multiple thoughts about what I want to answer. On a personal front, my vision for my place in the hobby is as a writer and designer. Not for profit or really anything other than as a side gig- I know too many fantastic people that struggle to do that, and I don't want the hobby to be intertwined with the need for financial gain. I've made strides towards that, releasing a few things on my own, and taking on minor gigs in the industry. I want that to continue and grow to be more.

On a grander scale, I'd like the hobby to lose the stigma it has, and be more visible to those that might enjoy it as an outlet. There have been strides made towards this, but the "you play that game?" look is still prevalent, and it is definitely still misunderstood.
 

# RPGaDay2020 Prompt 03 - Thread

from https://write.as/chuckdee/rpgaday2020-prompt-03-thread

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Prompt: Thread

Since I moved several years ago, I have only been able to get one campaign going with people from work, and though that went for a while, and through four campaigns, it eventually petered out. I haven't been as driven to find a new campaign- I'm just not that good at even reaching out to try anymore. So my gaming currently consists mostly of play by email games. I find it a very good gaming and writing exercise, and since the play is asynchronous, you can play whenever you have time. Though I love playing with pretty much anyone in that fashion, I find that the best threads that I have in games are with writers that are better than me. It seems to push my boundaries and make me a better writer. It makes the game a bit more challenging and makes me put in more effort, but I've found it a rewarding exercise, that has paid off in making me confident enough to actually try to make a living from my writing. I've also made contacts in the industry that I otherwise would not have done.
 
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