Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stetsons Are Cool

I changed up my Carnage schedule a bit.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Seems like I do that every year. This one won't be a big thing, though. I even got it submitted in time to get into the program book, so no errata or anything to worry about.

I had two Qalidar games and a D&D game listed. One of the Qalidar games had been turning out to be kind of a "meh" in practice. I think it was because I came up with it as a five-minute demo and then stretched it out into a four-hour convention session. There wasn't much there, and every time I added stuff, it turned into some other adventure that I didn't want it to be. Still, I was already committed, and you never know how things will turn out with a fresh batch of players.

Yesterday I was poking at my game shelf and noticed that Doctor Who, like a lot of games that I was definitely going to run next week, somehow got shuffled aside a long time ago. Well, okay, I actually did have a Doctor Who campaign for a few months with some local friends, and I ran the game several times at hoots and conventions. I guess I stopped because there was all this frenzy to be all promotional and expose people to Qalidar and blah blah all that. But I've realized that that was all kind of silly. If people don't find out about Qalidar, it's their problem, not mine. It's not like I ever expected to make a living off this stuff, so why spoil my fun by constantly shouting into the wind?

It's too late to do anything about Gen Con this year, but I thought, if nothing else, there's always BASHCon to look forward to. And, hey, the deadline for Carnage isn't up for a couple of days...

It's so easy coming up with Doctor Who adventures. Five popped into my head before I even made up my mind to play the game. The theme for Carnage this year is the Old West, so that helped narrow it down. Here's what I settled on:

Stetsons Are Cool
Doctor Who: Adventures in Time & Space
Saturday Afternoon 1pm-5pm
After the war criminal Magnus Greel's escape almost caused a catastrophic double nexus collapse, further development of Zygma beam technology was banned and all signs of its use carefully monitored. You've been sent to a primitive settlement in the wastelands of nineteenth century America because a new Zygma projection has been detected, and the dusty rat-hole of Scurl's Hollow is its only stable endpoint.

And that still leaves one Qalidar game (a new one that I'm eager to try out) and my D&D game (so jazzed about 5th edition!) on the schedule.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Look Down - Exhibit Hall Style

Now bring me GM number three-four-oh.
Events are in, as our new website shows.
You know what that means?

Yes! It means I'm free!

It means you get your yellow exhibitor's badge.
You're selling games.

But that was Tom's idea!

You wrote all these.

I thought
I might as well.
No one plays Tunnels and Trolls
so we were starving!

You will starve again
unless you learn to work it at the con!

You know I've been running games for nine-plus years,
to play at the con.

Five years you ran some games,
The rest you skulked around the show!
Yes, GM-three-four-oh-

My name
won't rhyme with "oh!"

But I'm still
Do not forget my name!
Do not forget me, GM-three-four-oh.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Nice Things About Writing Fiction

Working on Echo of the Dreamers and putting together Stars, Specters, and Super-Powers brought to mind several things I had forgotten. There's really a lot to love about writing fiction as opposed to writing RPG stuff.
  • I get to create characters, throw them together, and bring them to life. I can include NPCs in an RPG scenario, but the stars of the show are the players, and I don't even get to meet them. (Of course, if we're talking about playing games, that's a whole different deal.) 
  • I might still need a cover artist and maybe, maybe someone to dress up a map, but that's all I have to ask anybody else for, and I can get by without even those. Oh, and I guess I should pretend to need an editor. I hear that's all the rage with people who talk about being writers. Still, for the most part, I can do the job myself without having to muck about with humanity. 
  • There's no pressure to descend into the hell-pit of crowd-funding. While role-playing game enthusiasts are increasingly expecting frills that only piles of cash can provide, a novel is still all about the words. Throwing money at it might give you some advantages, but that's more about promotion than quality.
  • Graphic design is waaayy less complicated, and there's no need for cross-referencing, sidebars, or anything like that. The only person who needs to understand my notes is me.
  • Once I get going, fiction writing has a current that I can get swept up in. Sure, I have to plan it out in advance, but that plan gets revised constantly as I go along. In a lot of ways, I get to experience the same thrill of discovery that the reader (hopefully) will. I may know how it ends in general terms but, like Merlin says, "until you've tasted it, what do you really know?" 
  • RPG stuff is completely meaningless to non-gamers. Anyone can read a story. Well, almost anyone.
But still, glurb glarg rargh blargh. I hate conclusions.