Sean Hillman and I met to talk about his game, or proto-game, just notes really, Empire of the Dragon Lotus. For me it's a callback to about ... fifteen years ago, into the hothouse of the Forge and Sean's participation there. I think his original notes on the game from back then are in one of my stacked piles of papers.
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Here's where I post about my current role-playing game design consulting, with the permission of the clients. Sometimes it's a text piece, sometimes it's video or audio. Sometimes it's a discussion, and sometimes it's a playtesting session.
I do not insert my own design, writing, or editing into others' games. I engage with your goals and your aesthetic priorities to help you see your way through the questions or struggles you may have, to provide new information or perspectives, to play a little bit, to listen, and to ask the tough questions. Check out any of the posts and videos to see how it goes, and whether you'd like it.
- If you want to become a client, please click on the "Come into the Lab" link to contact me for initial discussion.
- If we agree it's a good fit, then the fee is 1000 SEK + VAT (250 SEK) for three sessions.
Dan and I go way back although we hadn't met or interacted directly before; he was in at some of the earlier Forge days and has good memories. It's nice to talk with someone with those.
Prompted by our discussions in the comments across posts here, Lorenzo Colucci brought the relevant mechanics of his game in design, Crescent (working title), for some high-focus work with me.
Given the ambitious purpose of Tales of Round Table, it's useless merely to read and opine about it - one has to do it. But then again, given that the purpose concerns first-time and, preferably, entirely naive users, perhaps any of us "trying it out" is compromised past the point of utility. I'm not that far down the road, but clearly, as distinctly not the target audience as I am, it's risky to present a personal conclusion as genuinely informed.
I've moved into playtesting for Levied Souls, with the help of friends at Spelens Hus. It's a long-term project with plans for multiple sessions, and so this first session was for character creation. By player request, it's also audio only, athough I have set it up as a video for helpful captioning and occasional textual comments.
Patrons will recognize Zac Porcu as the instigator and interlocutor in the huge discourse on role-playing that made available to them a few years ago, and viewers here may recall the Sorcerer Musik game that he and Jann played in. He and Jann are now working on a role-plyaing game composed of easily-used cards transported in a small, nice-looking box.
Here's one of my favorite things: consulting with someone I didn't know about a project I didn't know about. Jeff McNeil has been working on his game Levied Souls for some time, and it's beaten into pretty much manuscript phase, just shy of actual layout. I've learned that this is not my favorite phase to consult.
Psychopomp is another of the many initial/proto game designs that Justin is musing over and playtesting, and he wanted to make sure it got into the scorching too. I had to think pretty hard about how to go into it, because it fits so strongly into a particular aesthetic and an existing set of variables, that I couldn't see any way to address it "on its own." So I took a risk, setting the whole conversation as a series of comparisons with existing games.
I rarely get the chance to dig right into one of my most favored and preferred role-playing mechanics, the dice pool. Notwithstanding that I have yet to discover a reasonable description of what any such thing is, meaning, in a defining sense, applicable to various versions.
Justin and I shifted over to one of his other designs in progress, Origin, which has a nice values-based resolution idea and lends itself to "but that wouldn't be right" play among superheroes.
Part 1 (embedded below) goes right into my critique of one of his values-axes, i.e. a polarized spectrum, to address the perceived many/few or Trolley question as it applies to superhero stories.