My group of five player characters recently arrived back on the world of Kryn after a mission took them to one of the planet’s four orbital moons. They returned by means of a warp gate built by the Technoss, a civilization that died out millennia ago, and ended up in one of their surviving data sanctuaries miles beneath the metropolitan sprawl of The Capital. It was here they learned how the Technoss blended magic and lost technology to create database and computer structures utilizing Metea, an organic plasmid substance that can store and transmit information in the form of thought-energy.
Here at BloodLetterPress, we’re all about supporting other designers and creatives like us in their kickass projects. One of the ways we do that is by interviewing these creators in the hopes that readers gain a deeper understanding of the ideas and the feelings that forged their work. But it’s also 2018, and we know that ain’t nobody got time to read a 3k word in-depth interview.
So here’s our solution; if someone can do an “elevator pitch” of a product, it’s also possible to do a carefully-curated interview in a similar time restriction; in this case, you can read this interview in the same amount of time it takes to get from the ground floor to the top floor of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in their super-fast elevator.
Our subject is Sean Billson of Timeless Caverns production studio. They are the lead designer for Fuel Priest, a game that was just successfully funded on Kickstarter! We gave them five hard-hitting questions about their game to inspire and excite new fans, and to spotlight more local creators in our community.
BLP had an amazing time running our game Stars Fall Up with folks who attended Jiffycon this past weekend! A huge thanks to all who showed up and hung out with us. Seeing people be excited about the game makes us 1020% more excited about it as well, and personally speaking, it makes me want to keep making supplements for the game.
So here’s our first offering. Below you’ll find six pre-generated character that we used at Jiffycon for our SFU session. They’re totally free to use and remix however you feel like, so go nuts. The character templates are purposely vague to allow for a great amount of customization from players, while not having to fret over coming up ideas for backgrounds and #tags.
Gryphonson Brews is a brewery and mixer founded by Kvelis Gryphonson, a wild elf paladin of the trickster god, who settled down after receiving a signal to retire from her deity. She has turned her adventuring fortune into a successful business in specialty liquors. Most Gryphonson Brews are made with mundane ingredients and can be found in taverns throughout the land, but the high-end Limited Collection, themed after challenges or locations the owner encountered as an adventurer, is made with exotic ingredients. One or two new brews are added to the Limited Collection every year, while old brews may retire from production.
In my last article about NPCs, I wrote that NPCs are memorable when they’re consistently useful or adversarial to the party. Outside of exchanging goods and money with the PCs, or harrying them at every turn, how can you make your party care about an NPC? Here are twenty possibilities.
I’m currently preparing to play a wizard in a D&D 5e game that a friend of mine is running (my first ever wizard, in fact. I prefer the sorcerer playstyle, but I wanted to branch out). My wizard is exceptional because, as part of a curse, he has perfect recall of his own memories and those of his parents and grandparents.
While I’ve played elves and other long-lived races before, this curse/blessing had me keenly considering the implications of a character with a very large scope of experience—specifically, how that large scope would impact that character’s approach to ethics, systems of right and wrong.
More Books in the Wizard’s Library (some translated into Common by the Society for a Vernacular Zenith)
1: The Internality of Externality, by Zygwiliv Abraskos (written in cypher, book appears inside out [covers in middle])
2: Lachrymosa, by Slaugreb Uvashi, S.V.Z. Classics edition (sahuagin epic poem with appendices, printed on shark leather)
3: The Infinite Staircase, various authors (wooden front cover opens by rotating and pulling up, pages form double helix)
4: A Self-Censoring Introduction To The Far Realm, by Hadrius Fellweather (alien on cover, book seems entirely blank)
5: Construction of the Arcanist’s Sentinel, by Royal Demiurge Penzugar Eshiiki (all pages have been ripped out and stitched back in; many are upside-down)
6: On Predestination and Temporal Malleability, by Fasaal Ibn-Ezesh (iron cover, roll on morphic time table to read)
7: A Brief History of the Multiverse, author unknown (in Celestial, foreword by SVZ, literally impossible to finish)
8: Performance Of & Protection Against Advanced Scrying Techniques, by Anonymous (watchful eyes in every margin)
9: The Hotel Pinfeather, by Mayberry Slipjack, signed (a pocket dimension concealed in every page of this pulp comedy)
10: Spoor, Castings, and Corprolite: A Scatology of Common Burrowing Monsters, by Regros Dupara
11: Cross-Cultural Responses to the Self-Materializing Monolith, by Harazu Falasheer, trans SVZ (rakshasa sociologist)
12: The Final Debate of Atliskadriavythets and Rizuvakralandor, trans. by SVZ (transcript of two-dragon dialogue)
13: Will of Iron, Hand of Steel: Somatic Integration in Martial Arts, by Wolfram Ahensi, Diamond Way Grandmaster
14: Living Texts: Decoding the Mysteries of the Snake Readers, by Ridharrow McCall (recently assassinated)
15: Witchcraft And The Threat It Poses To Society, by Lt. Holburn Greaves (leader of the Order of the Brilliant Dictum)
16: Hail and Fire: A History of The Cloud Mountain Coven, by Gaelrendor Futhrim, trans. SVZ (illusions help tell story)
17: Vagrancies I:1: Spells I Developed On The Road, by Sleestack Lightning (issue #1 of journal from famous adventurer)
18: An Ethnography of The Cult of the Magic Missile, by Alexi Sumbreal (perfect hole burned through middle of book)
19: When All Signs Correlate with Sorcery: Recognizing and Aiding Youth with Magical Potential, by Rastault venTaragin
20: A Study in the Language of True Naming and the Words of Power, by H.S. Begraven (noted member of SVZ)
Look for more installments of Books in the Wizard’s Library in the future. -ð
Welcome to Xed (Crossed) by Design, a new article series in which I’ll be examining a game feature that two different creative mediums have in common. In this inaugural post, I’ll be looking at the dynamics of puzzles and player interaction in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and table-top roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons.
Here I’m going to make a case that we can study Breath of the Wild to learn how to make better puzzles and encounters in table-top roleplaying games.
This is the second Dev Log for Stars Fall Up. One good piece of criticism I got about the last Dev Log was that it was more about my personal philosophy on game design, rather than focusing on my process or the mechanics. It’s true, and the latter is where I want to be focusing with these Logs.
However, I’m also letting myself write about what’s buzzing about in my mind most, so a balance may have to be struck. This Dev Log is more about “game writing” than “game mechanics”, and I’m fine with that.
So, I’m writing about working on my game while I should be working on my game. Great.
For those who haven’t seen it on our Current Projects page, Stars Fall Up is a TRPG I’m working on—or, more descriptively, a mini-RPG for Us Damn Millennials.
A design factor that’s been on my mind a lot with this project is simplicity. That’s the word my brain goes to, but the full concept has more facets than the word “simplicity” can portray. I’m talking about simplicity in the way of “stripped of non-essential fluff and mechanics”. It’s the minimalism of game design. To be honest, this kind of simplicity is my modus operandi for creating games; I want to make games that other people who have little to no knowledge of TRPGs can pick up and be encouraged, not daunted, to try them out. I want mechanics that don’t feel like they have to be comprehended like the rules of a board game before any kind of fun can begin.