Creative, Broken Brains

It’s World Mental Health Day today. This isn’t something I’d planned to have ImagiNation out for, but there it is.

As I have, doubtless, bored you all to tears over by now I suffer from depression and it has been particularly bad this last couple of weeks. That means all I can really bring myself to do is lay around and beat myself up for not working harder. My depression most often manifests in a bone-weary tiredness, lack of concentration and self-belief. Qualities obviously necessary in the self-employed.

Weirdly, people say I’m very productive but I would be a lot more so without these issues.

I believe gaming can help people with a broad range of issues and I know I have personally benefited from the escape and the opportunity to safely deal with some of the things that grind me down. I’ve also seen it help people with anxiety, social disorders, autism spectrum issues and others.

Gaming is many things, role-playing is many things. It can be purely a game, it can be an exercise in art and self expression. It can be taken seriously and it can be entirely frivolous. I’m not suggesting that every game session be therapy, but just that it presents a safe environment in which we – as players or especially the GM – have a massive degree of control that we don’t have in real life, and a safety net from the fact that outside the game there are no consequences.

Here’s a direct link to my game inspired by my experiences. Something I have made to explore these issues and their link with creativity. It’s a stereotype but it’s one that fitted well for the purposes of a game.

ImagiNation150

You are free to host, torrent, copy and distribute ImagiNation anywhere you want and however you want so long as you don’t charge.

Hardcopies can be bought HERE at close-to-cost.

The Description System – Unleash the power of words

The Description system is the system powering the Neverwhere fan RPG and recent release ImagiNation.

Role-playing has long been credited with improving mathematical and social skills in tweens and teens but the ways in which it can improve English skills, descriptions, narrative and so on have been less championed. TDS is a system that encourages creative use of the English language.

Not that I want to put you off by making it sound all educational…

The Description System uses descriptive paragraphs to define powers, challenges, monsters, characters and everything else in the game world and minimises the mathematics involved to a single dice roll and some simple addition.

A powerful system and a good introduction to roleplaying, TDS would work well for off-the-cuff games and quick conversions of favourite settings as well as for more developed games.

This system is completely open. Do what thou wilt.

Download HERE

If you like and enjoy TDS and ImagiNation and want to encourage future free, fan-based or charitable projects, please consider supporting us by buying some of our other work or donating to our current fundraising campaign.

With the release of TDS as an entirely open system, my final obligation to the ImagiNation fundraiser is discharged, so hopefully that’ll show I’m a closer!

ImagiNation: RELEASED!

Get the PDF, FREE HERE or buy the hardcopy HERE

ImagiNation presents a world in which the realms of the imagination and the physical world have been brought into violent proximity to one another. The mainland of the British Isles has become infected with a nameless ‘something’ that has caused people’s nightmares, dreams, obsessions and fancies to take a very real and dangerous form, locking
them within a landscape of their own minds.

Britain no longer meaningfully exists. What remains of the uninfected British population is confined to the islands around the mainland, a ‘safe distance’ across the water from where this strange phenomenon has taken place. Northern Ireland has joined up with Eire through necessity as much as anything else and the largest remaining, unaffected population is to be found on the Isle of Wight in the south.

Britain is lost. Its population is lost.

Lost, but still there.

The country is still there, the buildings, roads, factories and schools underneath the overlay of people’s imaginings, sometimes shaping and inspiring them. The people are still
there, too – those who survive their own nightmares, drifting aimlessly, caught up in their own fictions, living, psychic batteries giving form and personality to their dreams.

Some are aware. Lucid dreamers. Able to shape the world around them. Some of them, typically children or those with particularly strong imaginations, shape the world around them much more strongly, subsuming and controlling the imaginations of others.

Collectively, people’s imaginations are channelled and formed by the media they consumed before the disaster. One might find talking rabbits at Watership Down or any
number of local legends and rumours brought to life from serial killers and vampires to dragons and ghosts.

Britain is blockaded by a multinational task force and ex-patriots who, if they choose to return to the islands, may never leave again. What’s left of British money and power is devoted to holding this quarantine zone and working towards a solution. The problem is that very few people are immune, only the mindless, or those who were already broken in some way. Monstrous, terrible things are being done in the name of saving the country. Those few individuals who can enter the zone of effect without being warped, twisted
or subsumed, those who can control this new, mutable, amorphous reality are particularly valuable. Sent into the mainland they search for answers, try to rescue people and just try to make sense of what has happened.

You play the part of one of these scouts. Part of a team probing the worst excesses of the collective unconscious, looking for answers, looking for a cure.

ImagiNation: Imminent & Artwork!

ImagiNation should be ready very, very soon as all the art is in and done and all the text is done and edited.

Rowena Aitken who did most of the art for the game is selling the originals, so get in quck while you can to buy them!

Rowena Aitken Art Sale

ImagiNation

Much like radiation, the energies of the Monad can often be washed out of the atmosphere with rain, manifesting as strange fancies that fall from the sky.

ImagiNation

Conjured from the minds of a million children, childhood friends are left to fend for themselves and to learn how to survive in the ‘real’ world.

ImagiNation

Your imagination is not, necessarily, always under your control and your nightmares and fears can rapidly get out of hand.