"Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute."— Fyodor Dostoevsky
Want to wind up an RPG designer? Imply they have no business or no credibility designing a game of a certain genre or with specific thematic content. It totally works on me apparently.
Tabletop games and the Nebula awards gets real (thread):
I was going to make the deadline "before the next departure or dismissal of a high profile aide or appointee". Hahaha, glad I didn't do that.
President Trump has exact requirements for what RPG texts he will read and play. This is the #tRumPG Challenge:
Design an RPG to President Trump’s requirements. Post it to social media by March 5th using the #tRumPG hashtag. As the judge I will pick two winners: 1) a game most likely to be tweeted about by Trump; and 2) a best game if you’re someone other than Trump.
You may not impeach the judge if you don’t like his verdict.
Some creative sins aren’t exclusive to game designers — plagiarism, cultural appropriation, sexism, crass commercialism, etc. But some sins are.
Creating game hack before ever playing the game as written.
Willful betrayal or abuse of player trust in the game.
What are others?
My journal is working hard to keep me from launching any creative projects before I get Traverser fully written for external playtesting (by enabling me to capture thoughts and enthusiasm for later about possible projects). Will it succeed? It usually does, but project ideas are fighting it hard this time. Still I would surely already have launched an OSRish RPG project or a YA novel project without its help so far, so I'm very grateful for all its recent hard work.
"It is not hard to imagine him writing a novel combining an immature and predatory tycoon (half Arnie Kott, half Jory Miller) who becomes the president of the United States, secret Russian political manipulation, an invasion of empathy-free robotic intelligences masquerading as human beings, and a breakdown in our shared understanding of what is real and what is fake."
Steve Bannon on RPG design:
"[D]on’t invent shit. Take something that works and make it better."
Having a journal practice is good for self awareness of the best of what's in you. You can know in dark and uncertain times that the jittery, anxious, stressed, flailing failure isn't who you really are. That there's another you you can recapture.
This afternoon I went back into an old journal looking for something, and cripes it's like I was totally a different person in the late summer of 2015. I'd been let go from a longtime wearying job in March and was living off severance from it. And I was on fire! I'd come up with #Threeforged and was running it. I was playtesting Traverser, had gutted out the core system and designed its current fantastic core system as a replacement. And I see now notes on another game idea with good potential.
Have you seen me talking about Traverser, my current project? It’s an RPG like The Clay That Woke, with fiction that reflects its mechanics and conveys its genre and themes. If you’re curious to see an excerpt of the fiction, and about the mechanics it reflects, check out the One-time Journal of Findings in RPG Design: