It’s been quiet on here for a couple of months. My apologies for that. A lot of stuff has happened. A short recap before I get to the point is in order.
So what’s been up?
In March, we had a son. He’s great; life is (even) better with him around.
He is a bit of a wild one, though, and he’s been taking up quite a bit of my time with his antics. He’s our first, so I am constantly confused and panicking (not really a change, come to think of it). He seems pretty happy, though, so I’m sure we’re doing something right.
As I announced back in August 2016, I now focus exclusively on writing and game design. Since that time, I completed five manuscripts. Three of those suck. Two of those are fun.
One is a tale of sword and sorcery set in a world of flying fungi and floating islands. It revolves around a hero and his lover who get involved in the ruthless politics and wars of an ambitious princess. The other manuscript is a thriller, a story of a girl sociopath coming of age. She manipulates two pliable high-school students into planning a massacre at their school, then sits back to watch the world burn.
Very different stuff, both entertaining reads.
I’ve been pitching these novels to agents for the past few weeks and will keep doing so over the coming months. The going is tough, but I never expected it to be otherwise. Meanwhile, I’m working on my next, and I get better with every sentence I write.
The Stage Role-Playing Game has taken a bit of a backseat to all this mayhem. Yes, we have been playtesting, but most campaigns I ran I concluded by now. I simply lack the time to play. Or maybe I’m prioritizing differently. Either way, I had to slow down. There’s other people running games and playtesting the Stage, so results will keep coming in, and I intend to pick up the slack with the one campaign I do still run.
Our findings so far are that the Stage is a pretty damn awesome game. When it works, it works magnificently: it requires teamwork in ways I’ve not seen other tabletop role-playing games achieve, and it’s extremely rewarding to use these mechanics to your benefit as a player. On the other hand, it fails in several departments as well. Some rules are too complicated, some are too simple. Especially the role of the GM is administration-heavy, and the outcome of some challenges or the proper ways to tackle them don’t always make sense or (more importantly) aren’t always fun.
So, there’s room for improvement. Writing the rulebooks for the Stage was a big job, however. I did the rewrite back when I was still working full-time as a lawyer. It took me about nine months. The originals took me much longer, like a year and a half or something, and there were versions before those, too...
Writing core rulebooks is fun and challenging work, but I’m not going to do it again until we’ve tested every stage of the game to my satisfaction. Right now, we’ve tested the early-game and the mid-game (to an extent) but practically none of the end-game. That means playtesting needs to continue for a while. I have no idea for how long.
The Good News?
You can join the fun and get busy playtesting. The Core Rulebook is online here for free. And you can drop me a line if you want some setting material to test. I can set you up with a fantasy setting with a Baltic Sea twist, a fantasy setting with a Black Sea twist, and/or a science fantasy setting that has lots of magitech, laser guns, and spaceships, which is all any sane person should ever need. All I ask is you let me know what you think. If you want to spar, feel free to link up with me, too.
And This Place?
I’m going to get back to posting campaign logs on Mondays/Tuesdays, hopefully bi-weekly, but don’t pin me down on it. I’ll do my best to reconstrue what happened using my woefully disorganized notes and my failing memory. When I catch up, I’ll still publish logs of any campaign we’re still running.
And of course, if I have any thoughts to share, I’ll chuck them on here.
That’s it for now!
Questions? Hate? Love? Want to give me money? Want to be my agent? Let me know, here!