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9    *Change:* _Swords Without Master_

SWoM changed my perspective so much that I published my own hack of it AND started a completely new hobby! It taught me to trust my own narrative voice in a way that 15 years of indie games hadn’t. I learned to trust it so much that I’ve spent the last several years writing sword-and-sorcery fiction, with more than a dozen short stories and a novella completed, and a novel in the works. This game is magic every single time.

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Played Murderous Ghosts: The 2017 Halloween Party edition tonight, and it rocked.

It feels just like the one-on-one game, except the non-MC players share control of the lone explorer.

The hook is the you're an urban explorer in an abandoned mansion, and inside that mansion are ghosts that want to murder you.

It's available on @lumpley's Patreon (, and it's a delight.

4. You reach someone else's mind, who is near you at that future time. It may or may not be evident to you whose mind you reach.

5. You and your future self swap consciousness. You carry on from that future time, and your future self is doomed to repeat the intervening hour from now on.

And in big letters:


A spell found in an old notebook:

You extend a plasmic tendril into your own mind, an hour into the future. You may ask the GM one question and, if you like, one or two followup questions. The GM must answer them truthfully from the point of view of your future self.

1. You may ask one question, but no followup questions.

2. Your future self is disoriented by your contact and query, and must regather themself.

3. You reach yourself 10 minutes hence, not an hour hence.


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oh no i got bit by a stapler now every full moon i'm a stapler

please, constance, lock me in the tower or all of our correspondence and receipts and diaries and the library and the toilet paper will all suffer

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Now I'm explaining to him how he's the official spokesperson of the youngs everywhere, to which he answers, "honestly dad I stopped listening like 10 minutes ago."

My 12-yo would have me believe that while the youngs today really do say "heck [x] right in the knees," they never add, "it's really chapping my chaps."

Also a little boring? But believe me that's FINE.

The ol' discography has cycled on to New Order and honestly it's a psychological relief.

I mean stop the presses but Closer is a heck of an album.

All I'm saying, brain, is that there's probably a reason why Joy Division isn't our usual Sunday morning listening. But you're the boss.

It never fails. I see the words "Vancian magic," and my brain leaps up with excitement that somebody's read Vance carefully and has something insightful to say about whimsy, wonder, danger, and irony.

But nope.

I know that as I grew up, whenever I'd do something that my dad didn't understand or agree with - which was often, and more often the older I got - he'd think about this. He'd take it as perspective on my choices and it would help him accept them.

Now he's gone and it's one of my prayers: may this be true of me.

Before I was born, my dad had a dream about me.

I was grown. I was sitting on a rock in the sunshine, reading a book and eating an apple.

A mule walked by, pulling a plow. There was no one working them.

I'd never seen a plow. I watched the mule go. I watched the plow bounce and drag on the ground behind it. I watched for a long time, my dad said. I watched until I understood.

Then I set my book aside, righted the plow, put my weight to it, and got to work.

John Trudell says that when you begin to think and act coherently, the next step will become manifest. Idries Shah says that when you make yourself a worthwhile student, a teacher will find you. I find a catch in myself, that I always hold my full intention in reserve.

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Hey, over on the King Is Dead Kickstarter, we're previewing a couple of the complete minigames. If you've been curious, check it out!

I somehow successfully arranged my life and affairs so that for legit business reasons I got to watch Wings of Desire this evening, for the first time again in probably 20 years. Now I'm all, Als das kind kind war.

I hate everyone and everything from now on with the pure and exhausted hate of a self-employed small business owner who's filed their taxes with only 2 hours left on the clock.

I feel like screaming, throwing up, and bursting into tears. Instead I'll go calmly help get my kids to bed.

Nighty night, friends.

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