Epublisher Recommendations – VATMOSS

Childrens-Pub-Lunch-in-ChislehurstHello there fellow small publishers,

If you’re not aware – and you should be – tax-related DOOM is about to descend upon microbusinesses that sell to Europe from the UK and, it seems, between other EU countries. Microbusinesses used to be VAT exempt so as a sole trader or small business earning under around £80k a year. Not having to deal with VAT saves a great deal of time and while you can’t reclaim VAT on equipment if you skip registering, you also don’t have to wrangle with the whole mess.

From January 2015 however, if you sell to Europe, that is all going to change in relation to electronic goods (software, ebooks etc). Now you’ll have to pay VAT at the rate of the country the purchaser is in. That varies from country to country and in order to deal with this you’re obligated to register for VAT in the UK.

Suddenly you’re liable for keeping all these records, complying with Data Protection, holding those records for ten years and dealing with the whole complex issue.

For very small/micro businesses this isn’t really worth it. Its a lot of time, effort and risk for relatively small returns.

Your options are:

  • Stop selling e-products to Europe (physical products are unaffected).
  • Register and deal with all the hassle.
  • Sell via a third party site that will deal with all the mess for you.

My recommendations and the ones I intend to do with regard to Postmortem are:

  • No more direct e-sales, period.
  • Channel all sales via 3rd party sites (Amazon, RPGNOW, Drivethrufiction etc).
  • Maximise/offset costs of using 3rd party sites with affiliate links etc.

This should be hassle free with the advantage of not losing too much money.

I may have some things wrong, so seek professional advice and consider your own situation, this is just my present understanding of the situation.

#Gamergate Card Game Ready for Testing

GG17Hello everyone.

I need a few volunteers to do some final playtesting of the Gamergate card game I’ve been working on.

It’s a two-player, adversarial game where SJWs and Gamergaters vie over Ethics Breaches either to expose them or to get away with them.

Before I finalise everything and get this out for purchase, I want to be sure I’ve got things working right and that my explanations are adequate.

So I’m looking for volunteers.

Time pressure is an issue, so keep the following in mind:

1. I need you to report back by Sunday/Monday.

2. You’ll need to be able to play the game, several times, in that intervening period (ideally 3+ times).

3. You’ll need to not be afraid to make suggestions.

4. You’ll need to be able to print and prepare the cards yourself for this test. Preferably you’ll have a colour printer as that makes things much easier.

If you can fulfill these requirements, please contact me at grim@postmort.demon.co.uk and I’ll send you a PDF of the test files.


#RPG Headhunter (RiftsPost)

Headhunters are mercenaries and bounty hunters. They combine military experience and personal augmentation to match the horrors of the wilderness.

Stunt: Partial Cyborgisation I
Armour +1, natural, one extra physical stress.

Stunt: Partial Cyborgisation II
Cyborg power bonus +1 to any strength based rolls. Cyborg speed bonus +1 to any speed or agility based rolls.

Stunt: Partial Cyborgisation III
Pick three additional aspects relating to additional cybernetic implants placed in your body.

Refresh: 3

Headhunters start with LEB1 Light Espionage Armour +2 protection and the other materials found in their character description.

#RPG Glitter Boys (RiftsPost)

PPO800-Rifter-18-Poster-Printers-ProofGlittering suits of armour and the heroic pilots who are synonymous with them, Glitter Boys don their armour in a way nobody else can – though others can indeed pilot the suits. Fighting the good fight for money, reputation or because its the right thing to do, their shining armour stands as a beacon in the darkness.

Stunt: As One Machine
Only when piloting Glitter Boy armour, the Glitter Boy gains a universal +1 to all actions while in that suit.

Stunt: Glitter Boy Armour
You start with a free, full suit of Glitter Boy armour, fresh off the production line, broken out of storage or passed father to son.

Stunt: Free Stunt
Pick or create your own additional stunts to customise your character.

Refresh: 3

Glitter Boy Armour
Optical Sensors
Targeting Systems
Sealed Systems
Slow and plodding

Scale: +1
Armour: 3 (5 versus energy weapons)
Physical Stress: OOOO

Innate Skills:
Athletics: +1
Physique: +3
(Use character skills otherwise)

Boom Gun: 1,000 round capacity, 1 shot per turn, +5 damage, mega-damage.

NB: Most vehicle scale weapons do not have the mega-damage trait, they’re simply powerful and large enough to damage large structures anyway. The Boom Gun as a signature weapon, and given the relatively small size of Glitter Boy armour, does to mega-damage, meaning it ignores target scale bonuses to armour.

#RPG Cyber-Knights (RiftsPost)

pacyberknightCyber-Knights are chivalrous, wandering warriors, writing wrongs in the post-RIFTs wasteland.

Stunt: Inner Strength
Cyber-Knights can spend FATE to summon a Psi-Sword (+2, Mega-Damage) and/or a Psi-Shield (+2 Armour) out of pure psionic energy.

Inner Strength can be augmented with more stunts later on, which can be used to do the following:

  • Free summon: Swords and shields no longer cost FATE to be summoned.
  • Increased Damage: Increase sword damage by +1, up to a maximum of +5.
  • Increased Protection: Increase shield protection by +1, up to a maximum of +5.
  • Twin Weapons: Two Psi-Swords can be summoned and used together, this costs two FATE points.

Stunt: Inner Spirit
Cyber-Knights start with three basic psionic powers from the following list: Alter Aura, Empathy, Mind Block, Object Read, Resist Fatigue, See the Invisible, Sense Evil, Sense Magic, Sixth Sense, Speed Reading, Summon Inner Strength, Total Recall. Additional Psi-Powers are each considered a stunt.

Stunt: Cyber-Armour
Cyber-Armour is bonded plating and is innate to the Cyber-Knight. It grants them +1 Armour and an extra point of Physical Stress. Buying a second stunt in this upgrades the Cyber-Armour to Living Armour, upgrading it to +2 and another point of Physical Stress.

Refresh: 3

#RPG Platonic Atlantis

arena1973Atlantis (The Isle of Atlas), the lost island or continent, is a pretty damn tired old trope at this point, but it’s also one that many of us have consistently gotten wrong. The Atlantis we think of, the lost scientifically advanced state of philosopher kings and magic, is the complete opposite of what Plato was positing when he was talking about Atlantis.

Atlantis is written as an allegorical naval power, a rival to Ancient Athens – which was Plato’s stand-in for his idea of the perfected Republic – and is also intended as an example of the very opposite of all the qualities he intended to be desirable.

To construct a truly mythologically fitting Atlantis, then, we need to example Plato’s Republic and then to invert it.

The Republic posits a perfect state as being analogous to a perfected individual with their psyche in good order. Plato arranged his ‘state’ psyche along these same lines. The state would be ruled by its intellect – the class of philosopher kings, defended by its spirited and passionate heart – the soldiers and military – and supplied by its appetite – the merchant class.

The societal intellect would be a ruling class of ‘philosopher guardians’, raised in state-run boarding schools with their upbringings controlled to produce perfect, intellectual, selfless rulers dedicated to knowledge and embodying that Plato considered ‘good’ in a dictatorship where everyone has their role.

Atlantis, then, must be a disordered society and one where nobody knows their place, however, to be a true rival to Ancient Athens it must also be powerful. One can see Atlantis, then, as being some sort of ‘socially Darwinian’ free-for all with each and every person contributing via their own particular strengths, in a ‘might makes right’ society.

There would be no strict classes there, only roles that people took on. Success would be the only metric and obedience forced, coerced or extracted voluntarily. It would be a treacherous place with institutional slavery and no guiding moral principles other than ‘succeed’. If it were technologically advanced it would only be because its own philosophers – unfettered by morality or any other forms of reticence – could advance by similarly ruinous and inhuman methods as the Nazis used.

What we end up with, then, is a constant state of flux where the strongest vie to be in charge. This could create a powerfully militaristic society – when they could agree – and one of surpassing cruelty and lack of empathy. A perfect villain, despite the fact that Plato’s Republic – being an absolute dictatorship – looks pretty evil too to modern eyes.

What could their offence against the gods have been to earn them disfavour and to see them sunk? Perhaps a second Prometheus, seeking to steal the knowledge of the gods, or perhaps their worship of the Titans instead of the gods (it is the Isle of Atlas after all) was finally too much of an insult to bear.

In a gaming context this Atlantis would be a cruel, piratical, conquering nation with the cruel attributes and power of the Titans. A warlike people given to constant warfare upon one another and therefore tough, hardened and always prepared for battle. Their accomplishments would be made on the backs of the slaves that their culture owns and their willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

In many ways, a much more thrilling opponent than the wise philosopher kings of current interpretations of Atlantis.

#Gamergate – #Weheart Games too – that’s the point

A response to weheart.github.io – We feel it is the actions of ‘Social Justice Warriors’ who with shaming, mob tactics, blacklisting, mass blocking, insults, harassment, threats and attempts to control games media, production and content who have damaged the gaming community and we’re making a stand against it. Both sides are predominantly left/liberal. We’re just anti-authoritarian and want things to progress naturally.