Showing posts from January, 2019

Lack of posts

I had great intentions to start this year off with plenty of posts about all sorts of things, but moving house has taken it's toll. Hopefully some more posts are on their way soon. Here's some shots of the move so far.

Where to Find Me

With G+ closing down, an online friend (Kit La Touche) has come up with a way to track people in their various social media homes. I thought it was a great idea and have decided to share it with you all.

Other Strangeness Character Guide

After reading bits and pieces of the 500 odd pages comprising the two starter books for the new FFG edition of Legend of the Five Rings, I'm looking at the pocketmod books that form the basis of my Other Strangeness game. I'm undecided... ...a lot of that 500 pages is providing context and background information for the setting, or explaining how elements of play tie into that setting. Since Other Strangeness is generally designed to use the real world as a basis for it's play environment, then modifies it according to the collaborative choices of the game's players, it doesn't really need this. The actual rules of the FFG game are a bit convoluted, and feel a bit counterintuitive at times, they're partly explained multiple times in a way that builds up the concepts from various perspectives. The way these fundamental rules are explained could fill multiple pocketmods, each of which doesn't actually explain the rules... as an example, I've had t

City Trip

The big move is coming, so I took one last trip into Sydney with my wife to make sure I spent my store credit at Games Paradise , and do those things in the city that just won't be possible living a few hundred kilometres from any kind of metropolis. A few urban referenced shots were taken, comic shops were visited, Chinese baked goods were consumed, as was sushi, quirky stationary stores were explored... ...these are things I'll miss about living in Sydney, particularly the way certain parts of it look just like they belong in a cyberpunk setting, and other parts look no different than I've remembered them for decades. I particularly went in to get myself a copy of Blades in the Dark, but the store was out of stock, so Leah ended up getting Sushi Go Party Edition... ...and I got the starter books for Fantasy Flight's incarnation of Legend of the Five Rings. I'm digging through these now, and might have a bit of a review shortly. But the way hou

Current List of Potential Animals to Mutate

One of the things that always bugged me about the Palladium game "TMNT and Other Strangeness" was the fact that most of the animals available were mammals, with a lesser number of birds and reptiles... I think there might have been a couple of amphibians in the mix, but certainly no fish, and the only insects or invertebrates in the game appeared much later in the "Mutants in Orbit" supplement as monstrous NPCs. One of the things about the TMNT comic is that it had anything and everything among the characters in its pages. So, with that in mind, I've been deliberately creating a list of character options that cover all those other non-mammalian critters, and have aimed to focus on drawing a lot of those mutants to explore potential options that many players might not consider as immediately fun. Here's the current listing, which isn't comprehensive at all, but tries to cover a wide variety of different animal types. I'll probably narrow down

Other Strangeness GM Guide

Here's the second part of the updated rules for Other Strangeness. In this case it's the guide to the player who facilitates the flow of the story. Note that this is not the player who provides the story, because like in the other games generally produced by Vulpinoid Studios, the story is a collective endeavour that unfolds organically as the characters engage with the world around them. Here's the link to the pocketmod.   There will probably be additional hints about running things scattered through the other pocketmods in the system, but this should be enough to get a group started. The next booklet will be the guide for players to create characters, then a guide to create locations that might function as characters hideouts or places of interest, and then a guide to creating items. after that I'll present a few sample characters, places, items, and story hooks, before finally offering the various animals, cultures, and occupations that allow players to

Other Strangeness Core Rules

I've experimented with a few release formats over the years, sometimes offering products as PWYW, sometimes offering them free of charge, sometimes just hoping they'll get a bit of exposure toward products I intend to sell at a bit of a profit. I still haven't worked out the best option, but here's my current plan... the current incarnation of Other Strangeness occurs as a series of pocketmods, but it's also foreseeable that the game will be printed on a series of cards and distributed in a small tin of some kind. It's designed to be a simple little pick-up and play game. After the first alpha draft release. there was some feedback from a few sources that the font was a bit hard to read. So here's an amended version of the core rules for the game. Character creation rules are coming shortly, along with a few other necessary components for play. Here's the Core Rules Link

RPGs in the Classroom

I've been interested in the idea of using RPGs in an educational context for a while. So when I was alerted to this article about using D&D in a STEM setting , it got my interest. This is something I'm going to try working on this year, as I head out to a rural community to teach practical crafting and artistic skills, and whatever else I end up teaching. I'm hoping to find a few more scholarly articles, to back up my plans, and justify the ideas if I'm queried. I've often found people in my gaming groups have an overwhelming desire to learn quirky facts to inject them into games at critical moments, or use obscure knowledge to justify actions attempted during a game, so the aim would be to instill this curiosity in a group of students... getting them to want to learn, so that they might gain advantage in whatever game I run. Similarly, if I choose to run domethong crunchy, then the addition multiplication and modification of numbers becomes a mathematical

Other Strangeness Version 2.0

I've shared various elements of the new incarnation of my mutant animal game in a few places. Mostly to private groups on various social media platforms to get some preliminary feedback. The first round of that feedback has come in, and now I'm ready to share it with a wider community. This next round of sharing will be done over the next few days, with the game released in pocketmods each day. One for the core rules, one for character generation, a GM's guide, etc... until the whole initial playset is shared. I'm suspecting about 8 pocketmods at this time. Keep an eye out over the next couple of days, and let me know what you think.

Russian Translations

Thankyou Yu. Sergeeva for your translation of one of my blog articles into Russian. It's always great to know that my thoughts and writings are being read by people in various parts of the world and that my small contributions might be influencing other parts of the design community. I probably wouldn't have even noticed this ping on my radar except for the experiment I did last month where I didn't make any posts at all on the blog and simply looked at the traffic every couple of days to see what happened. Strangely there was s little bump of traffic from a Russian site, and it didn't look like a porn site so I investigated... it looks like I'm even a hashtag over there , with my entire ' Worldbuilding 101 ' series translated to Russian. This was a little series I'm pretty proud of, so I consider this a great piece of flattery and praise. It makes the whole effort feel worthwhile.

So bad it's almost decent

My nephew was given three games for Christmas. He got a starter set for Warhammer 40k... that's going to be an expensive hobby for him if it takes hold. He also got the D&D 5th edition starter set... which is also going to be an expensive hobby. I'll probably get roped into runn9ng a few games of each. Since I've bern collecyinb miniatures for 25 years and have been roleplaying for about 30. I can see both of these games really hooking him if he gets the right crowd, but can also see him turning away if he has a couple of bad experiences. We'll see how things go. It's the third game that I found surprising. I despise Monopoly, and I've generally avoided Fortnite, but no one else wanted to play the game against my nephew so I took the hit for the team. I figured he'd get bored and I'd only end up wasting an hour or so. The basic premise of the game follows some of the tropes of Monopoly, moving around the board, collecting properties, go

2019 - A year to move forward

You may note that there were no posts during December 2018, that was fairly deliberate, just to see how many people might keep visiting the blog without new things to lure visitors in. It's actually more than I was that was an interesting experiment. It wasn't all an experiment though, part of the reason for not posting is the fact that I'm in the middle of moving house and drastically changing my life. The last seven years have seen me studying and retraining, but thst phase of my life is over. At the end of 2018, I started teaching, and at the start of 2019 I begin my first contract as a teacher of Industrial and Visual Arts.  The blue dot indicates where I live now, the red pin indicates where I'm heading... roughly 770km between the two. This month will see that move taking place. Fingers are crossed that it all goes smoothly. Having a regular invome again should mean the ability to order game proofs quicker, and prototype a few ideas tha