This article on  NĂ¼shu  intrigues me. Especially with regard to my game "Familiar".  One of the key elements of that game is the idea that there are books scattered around the world filled with arcane knowledge that might be capable of awakening individuals into the mysteries of magic. Familiars are creatures of the spirit world who manifest in the physical world to act as magical catalysts, and for much of human history the majority of them have been drawn to powerful people who could make a substantial difference to the societies around them. In recent history, more familiars have seen the error of this, realising that the powerful have little desire to change the world because they already have power and tend to be complacent.  It's the underdogs, the victimised, and the downtrodden who have the strongest desire for change.  It's a language like this that could feasibly hold the keys to a form of mystical awakening, and a group of familiars who have kept its secret

The Altered Carbon RPG

 I pledged to the Altered Carbon RPG Kickstarter when it was going. It was meant to have been shipped in August 2020, but I guess COVID has stuffed up a lot of things this year. I have finally managed to have a look at the second version of the backer review copy of the game.   It looks alright. But as I read through it, I'm seeing lots of fiddly systems and subsystems. The core system looks interesting and fairly sturdy, with a system that's going to be a bit counter-intuitive to most gamers of mainstream systems. It's a roll under system, where characters start with a big die (a d12) as a crude level of skill/potential, and gradually get their die lower as they train and improve. Easy tasks have a high target number, while hard tasks have lower target numbers. Certain effects like having specialised equipment or training, seem to let you roll multiple dice (then pick the best result), while other effects modify the target number.  There's a few variations depending on

Further Beneath the Glass and Steel

I've been generating a few more images for the current run of Beneath the Glass and Steel, where everything used to generate the images is either freely available, or public domain. Most of the aim at this point has been developing filler images with a range of cyberpunk environments, backgrounds, and key subjects that might work to illustrate concepts in the text... it's a case of rounding up those phantom authors who've been owing me stories for the zine since March.    

Unpublished comments, now published

I'm trying to get back into the habit of posting something here every day... and so far it seems to be working... it's just the habit I'm redeveloping so far, rather than trying to post meaningful game related things.  As a part of re-acquainting myself with the redesigned back-end of Blogger, I've found a bunch of comments on the blog dating back over the past three years. Comments that I didn't even know were there. I'm also getting stuck into the "Beneath the Glass and Steel" 'zines, particularly the images that will be going into them. Here's a sneak peek.   

October Artworks

 Most years, when I remember it, I do Inktober. This year I've been hearing controversies about Jake Richmond, the guy who founded Inktober ( here's a link to someone else's blog if you're interested , but I thin there were a coupleof other issues too), and was tossing up whether to participate. DeviantArt has specifically cancelled it's promotion of the event.  I usually try to combine a pair of lists to push myself artistically, then follow through into November by designing a game for NaGaDeMon inspired by my October works. Or I use Inktober to develop the artwork, then format them into a game. Johanus Battey shared a possible listing of artworks in the "RPG and Fantasy Writers and Artists" group on Facebook, so I'll probably be combining that with the Inktober listing. The list from Johanus The Inktober List That gives me... Fish Goblin Wisp Elf Bulky Demon Radio Redcap Blade Dwarf Rodent Bard Fancy Cleric Teeth Ratfolk Throw Sword Hope Wizard Disg

Weird Days

I'm opening up the blog now to see what's been happening in the months of my absence.  It's been a weird year with the whole Australian summer bushfires leading prettymuch straight into the COVID-19 plague, and assorted chaos unfolding in the world as we watch the USA walking a fine line between anarchy, civil war, and impending fascism. I haven't had much chance to post here, but I keep meaning to. I've also been meaning to get a lot more work done on game design, whether that means a playable version of "Familiar", a playable version of "Bring Your Own Miniatures", or some expansion ideas for "The Law". Maybe next year.  I haven't even participated in any of the regular design contests that play out through the year. I did set up a Kickstarter that I've been struggling through (because many of the components needed have had trouble shipping due to COVID.   I really don't want to start anything else. I've got a break no

Breaking the Mould

It's hard to create something a bit different. People have expectations. If you don't meet their expectations, they think you've done it wrong. If you shatter a paradigm, they think you're insane. Technically you are, especially if you consider sanity to be the socially accepted expectations and explanations of the world. If sanity is the consensus, and you do things against the grain of the consensus, then by defnition you are insane. So you need to manage expectations carefully.