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It's hard to get decent bread in Denver. It doesn't rise right because of the high altitude, so commercial bakers use extra yeast and you get this. You absolutely can't toast it. It turns into a loofah.

@paulczege I'm french, this is not bread, end of discussion ;p

If you wanna make your own, I can hook you up. I love baking, and baking at altitude.



 

April TTRPG Maker post 19


#AprilTTRPGMaker
19. Favorite themes to explore?
The moral quandary. Ethical dilemmas you can't hack or shoot your way out of, that make people dig into their characters and think about what they'd do. People finding potential within themselves they weren't previously aware of. Consequences. Situations where there isn't necessarily a white hat and a black hat, but people on opposite sides of an issue both with some validity to their argument. Family. Development of relationships. Who are these people when they're not out adventuring? What kind of lives would they lead if left to their own devices?
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
We really need to reclaim this as game terminology. It's...the variant game after the game.


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

18. What are some underlying messages in your work?

My games tend not to be about pushing messages. Messages that are there anyway tend to be things like:


  • Art matters
  • Art is not sacred
  • There is no One True Way
  • All worldviews are wrong
  • Everything wants
  • Power confers neither nobility nor wisdom
  • Heroes aren't


 
Bummer.
Andrew Ragland doesn't like this.
Marketing told them the back end wouldn't be enough to cover production costs maybe?

Probably also a turf war over who gets to do "live" animal animation.



 
First time I actually ask #Optasm for advice.
"A Kickstarter for #Azathoth, or Just a Pre-order with a PayPal Button?":


 
The best thing about Sleepy Hollow was how Ichabod Crane's semi-regular outrage at our society's liberty, privacy, and tax violations educated viewers about how far we've fallen from our first principles. I'd watch a whole show about him running fr office.







 

April TTRPG Maker post 18


#AprilTTRPGMaker
18. What are some underlying messages in your work?
Actions have consequences. What you do will affect your character and the game world, in ways you did not expect and may not want. The playing field is not level, never has been, and probably never will be, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't fight like hell to make it so. The right person in the right place at the right time can make a difference, choose wisely. A small course correction now will make a big difference down the line. Violence is the easy answer, but rarely the right one; the right answer will often be the hard one. Good people make hard choices and see them through, sometimes at great personal cost but for the benefit of the larger community. Question authority. Challenge the established order. Is there a better way to do things? All people have the right to be themselves and be let alone about it. Don't worry about how you will be remembered - worry about who will be around to remember.
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
On your turn, you may want to pull things off your hands and make sure you are not the only one who can make it better.


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

17. How does your identity influence your work?

I guess I’m supposed to use this response to virtue signal, or something? I dunno. I can say that a somewhat recent change to my identity—becoming a father— “influenced my work” by reducing its volume.


 

April TTRPG Maker post 17


#AprilTTRPGMaker
17. How does your identity influence your work?
The same as everyone else's - while I can attempt to see the world from a different viewpoint, in the end, I'm stuck with 56 years of being white, male, not all that visibly queer (although I've been making an effort to present as more so lately), American, from a working class rising into middle class background. Reading about the concept of "seeing by becoming" is one thing, being able to do it is quite another. I've traveled extensively across my own country, and have been to Denmark, England, Wales, Singapore, and India, but while that has made me aware of gaps in my knowledge of the world, and broadened my view a bit, I can't claim any degree of expertise in those cultures. My work includes a wide spectrum of gender presentations, orientations, and identities, and what is hopefully a reasonable spread of ethnic / cultural identities, but being too poor to afford a diversity consultant for each of the many cultur... Show more...
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
It's sometimes so hard to know what the kiddo is talking about when I ask him about school. For days he's read a "Peace book" that has "Donald Trump on the cover" during reading time, and I'm getting ready to ask his teacher what's going on.

It's this book.

Ha ha ha ha ha!



 
Um... yes.
Crowdfunding (x)


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

16. How does your environment inform your work?

The answer I want to give this question only works by providing examples that I’m not allowed to mention due to agreements I have made. But, maybe that’s as good of an answer to today’s question as any.


 

April TTRPG Maker post 16


#AprilTTRPGMaker
16. How does your environment inform your work?
The current global and local political and social environments drive a good deal of what I present in my game systems. Steampunk is based partly on accelerated technology, often without consideration for the human and ecological costs. The "punk" in the name implies social conflict, and the possibilities for class warfare were every bit as strong in the Gilded Age as they are now. The parallels become obvious, to the point where my challenge is to not belabor them. More immediately, the cities I have lived and worked in over the years have all become part of my settings. The research opportunities of living in New York are vast, and the ethnic neighborhoods should not be overlooked in the process of visiting the big museums. Spending time in Singapore made me realize how little I knew of Asian history, a gap that I have attempted to fill. Artists are sometimes told, draw what you see. I write what's around me.
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
I like taking my kiddo to game stores that have a board game library to play games he's never played before. There's one not far from us now, and there was one near us in Michigan before we moved. And sometimes he likes a game enough that I want to buy it. 1/4


 
You don't really need game jams if you're a self-fulfilling tabletop game creator even just once before. Like I have 700 6x9 plastic zip bags left from a carton from before. "Hey Paul, design something to use those bags!" Reality is a continuous game jam once you've shipped one.



 
Gene Wolfe was a big influence on me, and a big influence on The Clay That Woke in particular. I'm not fannish about many writers, but I always hoped I'd have a chance to meet him.
Author and Grand Master Gene Wolfe, 1931-2019


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

14. How are your game mechanics and characters intersectional?

Ah. That kind of "intersectional". I have to replace my earlier, better, response to what I originally thought this question was asking.

Given my response on Day 3, you might suspect that being intersectional really isn't a design goal of mine. Sadly, you'd be right. That said, it's not something I avoid either. I tend to write assuming that the reader isn't a white dude and won't necessarily be playing a white dude. My examples feature characters of all stripes. If I ever actually commissioned or used art, it wouldn't have white dudes in it. You know, the easy stuff. Content-wise, I don't feel qualified to tightly focus on intersectionality, so tend to just leave a void, where someone who is could make it work for them in play.

As for game mechanics, apart from maybe safety tools, it's hard to see how they could be intersectional without exhibiting the problem they aim to solve. Maybe something that somehow guaranteed each voice at the table equal time and equal weight?


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

15. Favorite tropes to subvert?

Art is orthogonal to commerce.

Killing and looting is heroic.

Reality matters more than perception.

Worlds where magic is real resemble some particular time/place on Earth.


 
My kiddo is such a dawdler at getting ready for school in the morning, *except* if I tell him he can give himself a few minutes to play Pinball FX 3 if he gets dressed quickly.


 
I wrote this in the text of a storytelling game in January, 2009. Can you even imagine how much worse it gets in the one I wrote in November, 2016?
#Azathoth



 

April TTRPG Maker post 15


#AprilTTRPGMaker
15. Favorite tropes to subvert?
Top of the list, stereotypical personalities by Profession / Discipline / character class. Earthdawn has a Discipline called the Nethermancer, a magician who works with True Patterns, astral space, spirits, and explores the boundaries between life and death and other states of existence. Traditionally, they're creepy. If you're going up against a Horror, the big nasties of the game, you want one with you, but even then, they're uncomfortable to have around. Always the question of whether their studies of the Elder Gods have driven them mad. In my ongoing Earthdawn campaign, I have a Nethermancer NPC, Rayechka, a dwarf woman of sunny disposition who dresses like a hippie, patchwork peasant skirt, muslin blouse, ankle and wrist bracelets, a flower in her hair and maybe one painted on her face. She firmly believes that it's better to negotiate with the spirits than to command them. She bakes bread to let off stress, lives in a tiny, ch... Show more...
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
Best RPG thread of the week:


 

April TTRPG Maker post 14


#AprilTTRPGMaker
14. How are your game mechanics and characters intersectional?
The default Human illustration is a female PoC. The sample characters for the Professions are evenly divided male and female, with varying presentation, and spread across the major ethnicities of the British Empire. The character build chapter explicitly calls out gender identity and presentation as a player choice, and notes that there are no game statistic effects of either, but there will be roleplaying and social effects. We included a section on Gilded Age-era prosthetics, and how they actually work (or don't). The London Sourcebook includes a wide variety of characters, ranging across ethnicity, physical ability, gender orientation, identity, and presentation, social class, and background. We spent considerable effort working out a plausible alternate history that gave women the vote substantially earlier than in our own world, with different explanations for each of the nations based on that nat... Show more...
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
Taxes done. What an ordeal. Apportioning line items between two states when you moved across the country four months later than your spouse is a nightmare. Boardgames with the kiddo today :) Then I need to dig into all the stuff I neglected to get the taxes done.
@paulczege Glad they are done!



 
Kiddo: "Daddy, Lance says a hexagon is a five-sided figure and a pentagon is a six-sided figure."

Daddy: "Did you tell him what's right?"

Kiddo: "Yes, but he didn't listen to me."

Daddy: "Is Lance the same one who said Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild was the last one because...


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

11. Shoutout an underloved creator.

It's always surprised me that you (or, at least, I) don't hear more people mentioning Sarah Newton. Maybe people sing her praises in places I don't frequent. I mean, they must. Her work has won Ennies, after all. But her name isn't dropped in conversations as often as I'd expect. (Can you, for example, name her Ennie-winning game?)

Her Monsters & Magic is still unique among retro-clones, in that it is the only one that immediately motivated me to want to play it.

And, looking at her list of credits now, I hadn't realized she had a hand in a bunch of titles I recognize.

And, no doubt there are any number of mouthbreathing jacklegs who will line up to tell you Monsters & Magic isn’t “really” OSR as well.

Au, here is your comment in context! It looked very weird in Mastodon. Time to choose just one platform.



 

1879 Blog: Novelas of New York


In which we discuss George Leslie, the closest New York in the Gilded Age had to a supervillain. Seriously, this story has it all - secret identities, mansions, hidden lairs, the whole bit.
https://fasagames.com/1879/1879-novelas-of-new-york/
gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)



 

April TTRPG Maker post 13


#AprilTTRPGMaker
13. Participate in streamed games?
I haven't done anything streamed yet, or on a VTT. I've been running games on audio chat clients for a number of years, though. We started with Skype, but then Microsoft bought it and removed a couple of features we'd been using, and the call quality suffered. We moved to Google Hangouts for a while, but then that started having call quality issues, especially for users with low bandwidth. We migrated to Discord a year or two back, and have been very happy with it. I now run all my regular games on private channels on the FASA Discord server. If you're running Earthdawn or 1879, and would like a private channel of your own, let me know.
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

12. How to make work inclusive?

Not a direct answer to this question, but adjacent. And more interesting than what I thought I’d be writing today: From Brittney Cooper being interviewed on The TED Radio Hour, in response to the question “why do you think it’s so difficult for white Americans to talk about the past in frank and empathetic way?”:

“…white Americans see themselves as people who work really hard, and they believe in the myth of meritocracy. We’re all indoctrinated into this myth. It’s the American myth, right? You come to this country, you work hard and anything is possible for you. And so, anyone who doesn’t have the things that they say they want, they don’t have them because they ‘didn’t work hard’. And so then, when you have to listen to people of color po... Show more...


 
Recognizing a work of genius is hard. It functions in ways you haven't been trained to appreciate. Recognizing a creator who will make more than one work of genius in their lifetime is even harder.


 

April TTRPG Maker post 12


#AprilTTRPGMaker
12. How to make work inclusive?
It seems to me that the best way to do this would be as part of an inclusive team. The greater the diversity behind the creative effort, the more likely the end product is to be inclusive. For those of us who do not have a team to work with, and cannot afford to pay ten cents a word for a team of diverse freelancers or thirty dollars an hour for a diversity consultant, the best we can do is go back over our work and try to spot areas where we can be more open, watch for appropriation, and hopefully get at least a few other people to look it over before the work goes out to the public. You should never do the final edit on your own work, after all - this is fundamental to all writing regardless of genre and market. Beyond that, regardless of your background, ability, identification, presentation, and other factors, remember that your viewpoint isn't the only one out there.
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)



 

April TTRPG Maker post 10


#AprilTTRPGMaker
11. Shoutout an underloved creator.
Kyrinn Eis deserves more attention than she's getting. Her work, that I have read, has been thoughtful, focused more on motivation and consequence than on grand and epic battle. I've gamed with her, and what looked like a typical belowground encounter that in classic gaming would have erupted into a fight with evil tunnel dwelling nonhumans turned out to be a lost work party that we were able to rescue and take back to the surface. Also, anyone who includes a Bibliomancer in their game system gets major props from me. Look her work up, it's worth the effort.
#AprilTTRPGMaker gaming (x) rpg (x) steampunk (x) ttrpg (x)


 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

10: How are your games dismantling colonialism?

On a checklist of privilege, I pretty much check every box, so my job in this area is largely to shut up and listen. Further answering this question would do neither.


 


 

@paulczege seems humid for a library.

@Jaye Foster
It's not. It's Denver. It's a super dry climate. The haze is glare through the window and a bad front camera lens on my phone.

@paulczege I am relieved for the books.

Fading Suns! Nephilim! Kult!!!



 
#AprilTTRPGMaker

9. How do your games distribute power among players?

Not very well. This is an area I need to think harder about. I tend to favor games with a game master role, even though a) I’m not that great of a GM and b) most of the original games I’ve made have been GM-less.

In writing a chapter in Fourth World, I did come across a useful phrase, though: Plurium Interrogationum. This is the idea of asking a question containing assumptions that have to be conceded as true to even answer it, known by a number of other monikers (e.g. “establishing questions”, etc.). It makes for a good in-game method of spreading around narrative authority in a GM’d game.