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RPGaDay 2019: Part 1

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I've been meaning to get to this, but it just hasn't happened. Life has been too busy...but here goes, the first seven.

I'm going to approach these prompts from the direction of my game design work with Vulpinoid Studios...

1. First Like most game designers, my first attempts were modifications of the systems I loved to play. I hacked, I cobbled together bits and pieces from different systems, and I threw away the bits I didn't like. I thought they were awesome, but they were probaby awful. They were basically a shiny mix of dazzling surface, with no decent solid core. 
The first game I designed from scratch was called Platinum Storm, it was also the first game I sold copies of at conventions. It ran off a percentile system, becase I thought they were great at the time. It was based on a pseudo-Japanese Empire, because I loved samurai and ninja. Of course, as a typical white guy in the early 1990s, most of my understanding of Japanese culture came from elusive anime and…

RPGaDay coming soon

I'm not doing well this year when it comes to blogging. Things have gradually been getting more hectic in my life, which has meant less time to spend typing away like I did in the past.

I'd been hoping to get started on the RPGaDay posts that are doing the rounds this month, but I just haven't had the chance. I've barely got the chance to write this now. Hopefully I'll be able to male two posts a day during the second half of August to catch up and finish on time.

Fall from grace

This article on Medium has been doing the rounds on Facebook.

It feels like only a year ago that people were still defending him and fawning over him... actually, I think that was only a year ago.

From what I've heard through numerous sources, this couldn't have happened to a more appropriate guy.

Physical Geomorphs (Part 2)

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I've done sequences of blog posts on mapping and geomorphs. I've also done a sequence on building terrain elements... so none of this is particularly out of the ordinary, it's just been a while since I've done a series of posts like this.


For this project of physical geomorphs, I need to work out what sorts of environment I'll be simulating with the tiles. For this, I'll think about the various types of miniatures in our collection, because there will be conflicts where one side or another has home ground advantage... there will also be a range of locations that are just fun to play scenarios in.


My wife has a small horde of undead miniatures, which would tend to imply a graveyard or necropolis of some type. She also has a horde of fantasy celts, so a suitable village, some forests, rolling hills, or farmlands might be appropriate. I've got a bunch of goblins and gremlins from various games, who might be found in swampy or bayou areas. I've also got a f…

Physical Geomorphs (Part 1)

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Yes, there's probably a better title for this sequence of posts... but that was first to come to mind.

In 2008-2009, at Gencon Oz, I met the team from Griffin who were spruiking their "Ultimate Table Top Terrain" (or UTTT) system. It's been that long since I've wanted to do something with their products, and a cursory glance across the internet seems to indicate they might not even exist any more (they do still have a Facebook group, so I'd love to hear if they're still active at some level)

Evidence of the UTTT product can be found scattered across the web, with images on Pinterest and general search engine results.


I liked the system because it was made up of hexes that could be linked together like geomorphs. The hexes were also a decent size, with 37cm (just under 15 inches) across the points of the hex, and 32.1cm (just under 13 inches) across the flats. A few hexes could be laid out, with half hexes, and "shards" to create a decent sized p…

Party Crasher

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I love this party crasher post.

It's the kind of style I'd love to see a whole game written in. Whenever I suggest this, or try to present something this way, I invariably get a bunch of people telling me how hard it is to read the text, how bad it is for cognition, and how generally unprofessional it looks.

I certainly pushed in this direction for The Law, and might go further in the sourcebooks for that game... but we'll see how things go.

Smoking Ceremony

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Today I watched a traditional smoking ceremony. I've seen a few of these in my time working with indigenous communities, and the commonalities between the ceremonies used by various groups across south-eastern Australia gives me a confidence to use them as a common ritual in Walkabout. The fact that they are used publically in front of non-indigenous Australians also means that there's no real fear of spreading secret knowledge to people who shouldn't be seeing it.
Given the opportunity, I approached the local elders who ran the ceremony, asking them if they'd be willing to share some of the stories. I usually tell people I'm writing a comic book when I first make contact with them, because this is something people quickly understand as a storytelling medium. It's after a couple of meetings that I reveal how much more there is to the project. At this stage, I've once again been welcomed into the community. I've been offered a guided tour of the local s…