#AprilTTRPGmaker People who’ve helped you?

f05cff5a4bfd71d088eaf9dfe657839b--best-friend-cards-best-friends-funnySteve Jackson Games gave me (us) our first break (though I’m still sore over Munchkin).

Ubermunchkin, who wrote that first book with me.

My dad who nurtured my interest in sci-fi, fantasy and games.

Mongoose Publishing who gave me my first freelancing gigs.

Dave Allsop who trusted me with his baby.

Angus Abranson, the nexus point of the UK gaming industry and a good friend.

Long time artistic collaborator, Brad.

DarkZel – miss you all the time buddy.

Bar, who invested money at the worst possible time to do so but doesn’t hold a grudge.

The friends who stood steadfast during the storms of controversy – you know who you are.

Everyone who has supported the DarkZel scholarship.

#RPG #TTRPG #My30dayWorld – What Mystical Material is Valued in Your World?

combat_alchemist_at_work_by_fstitzThe raw stuff of magic exists in a separate realm from the main, material reality and is channelled into the reality and made manifest by various forms of practice. At its base magic is the source of everything, every rock, every tree is just a material expression of magic. The same way a sphere passing through a two-dimensional plane manifests as a growing and shrinking circle. Magic is brought through and made into things – effects, items, fireballs and so on – by patterns of speech, gesture, writing, patterns and other configurations. Raw magic rarely makes it through to the real world, and so it is rare, mystical and valuable…

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#AprilTTRPGmaker How do you document ideas?

QSIUF1523029281I keep ideas everywhere, on scratch paper, in computer text documents, on my phone, in videos or audio files I’ve made where I’m rambling about game design. I set them as reminders in my phone for days and weeks to come to make sure my memory is jolted semi-randomly by them.

I get more ideas than I know what to do with, which can become rather frustrating. I’ve probably forgotten more game ideas than I’ve produced to completion.

#RPG #TTRPG #My30dayWorld – How Safe is it to Travel in Your World?

mountains landscapes rocks fantasy art the elder scrolls caravan the elder scrolls iii morrowind_www.artwallpaperhi.com_78

Fantasy worlds, or at least the interesting ones, are full of monsters, megafauna, hostile tribes, peoples and humanoids and – in this setting – mutated and twisted lands and creatures on top of that. So, travel is – putting it mildly – incredibly unsafe. The consequence of this is that cities are fortresses – as much or more than in the real world – and only well-plied and well-patrolled roads are truly safe. This is an idea I have used before, and only seems sensible in most fantasy worlds in games that I’ve ever read or played in, but is rarely implemented. It’s an idea almost as old as my independent RPG career, first showing up in Cloak of Steel and cemented by a viewing of Attack on Titan…

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#AprilTTRPGmaker How many playtests?

crash-testing-dummiesIt’s very hard to get playtesters for anything. It’s hard to get the attention in the first place, then to find people willing to playtest the game, then getting those people to actually play it and then getting them to give useful feedback. So many people are wedded to one system or one campaign that it can be virtually impossible.

I get playtesting done as best I can, simulating scenarios by myself to test out different aspects of the game with different characters. Like editing your own work, this is tricky, as you know exactly what you meant and don’t necessarily see the errors. For similar reason, playing with your regular group is helpful, but not likely to be hugely helpful.

One of the boons of producing material electronically is that it is relatively easy to update it later on, to ‘patch the game on the fly’. It’s annoying when computer games companies do this by not releasing a complete product, but it is useful from a game designer’s perspective when you find things that need correcting.

So, most of the time, no playtesters. I wish it were otherwise, but it’s just not that practical for a small, indie company.

#RPG #TTRPG #My30dayWorld – Who Dominates the Political Spheres of Your World?

014e08dd227fb5c8a7ff229228a6067d.jpgThe main and obvious split in the politics of the world I’m describing is between the revolutionary and expansionist Comity and the various monarchical nations that remain, as well as the thaumatocracies (magic rules)of the remaining Philosopher Kings. Being a fantasy setting, with many different races and peoples and large an dangerous monsters, there’s plenty of scope for other groups and forces acting on a smaller level and for wilderness, since most of civilisation will be fortress-farms and walled cities…

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#AprilTTRPGmaker Favourite design tools?

imageThere aren’t really any tools that are made with roleplaying games in mind, other than map makers.

For that purpose I tend to prefer to import things into photoshop and do it there where everything’s a lot more powerful and adjustable.

On a day to day basis I use many of the following, some of which you may also find useful in your work, in one way or another.

Some of these are websites.

Some of these are programs.

Some of them are just ways of working things out in rough before moving forward with them.

Working for yourself, you may also find various tips and tricks for motivation helpful, but everyone is different and what gets me motivated may not get you motivated.

  • Openoffice
  • Grammarly
  • Filmora
  • Manycam
  • Audacity
  • Text-to-Speech (helps with editing)
  • Photoshop
  • InDesign
  • Notepad
  • Scratch paper and biros
  • Whiteboards
  • A Brother laser printer
  • The power of imagination
  • Picfont
  • Social Media
  • Youtube
  • Wikipedia
  • Reference Books
  • Online dice rolling sites
  • Pornhub