Accursed RPG – It’s Go Time!

Accursed RPG cover by Alberto Bontempi

Well, this escalated quickly.

This is it! Today is the day, friends. Today is the day that John, Ross, and I send Accursed out into the wild. Well, sorta into the wild. If you’ve been following along over at the Accursed RPG blog and on our facebook page, and I know you have, you’ll know that today, Friday September 13, is the day when we launch the Accursed Kickstarter. You’ve watched us grow. You’ve read the blog articles about the Witches and about Morden and about the Accursed, the tragic heroes who dwell within it. You’ve seen the art we’ve posted. Now, friends, you have a chance to do more than just observe. With the launch of our Kickstarter you, yes you, can help us bring our killer new project to market. Would you like to know more?

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GenCon Trip Report 2013

Yea though I walk through the valley of suspect hygiene, I shall fear no body odor...

Yea though I walk through the valley of suspect hygiene, I shall fear no body odor…

Well, we’re home. That’s right, The Wife, The Littlest Tsarina, and I have returned from Indy with sore feet, frayed nerves, bags full of awesome junk, and a handful of good work contacts. Oh, and stories. Lots of stories. Sadly, Eldest Tsarina couldn’t attend this year because, seriously, wrangling a three month old and a bright, willful, opinionated, highly motivated three year old at GenCon is crazy talk.Neither the wife nor I are that strong. Anyway, we got through it without losing our minds, without getting con crud, and with Wil Wheaton spending ten minutes chatting up the Littlest Tsarina. You, however, don’t care about that. You’re here to hear about stuff like how Accursed did and Space Hobbits eating a servitor. So, without further ado, here’s the Amalgamated Fiction – Detroit GenCon 2013 Trip Report. (Spoiler Alert – You’re going to hear about Wil Wheaton and the Littlest Tsarina)

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Only the Harebrainedest Schemes

On a Roll

 

Awwwwwwwwwwwww, yeah. The kids’ll love this one

So, you guys have known me long enough to know that every so often I get a harebrained scheme into my head and then go crazy at it until it either gets done, I run out of steam, or get distracted and go ride bikes. Some of them, like my Savage Robotech conversions, actually worked. Others, well, let’s just say I ride a lot of bikes. Not this time, though. No, this time it’s for real. I know I’ve mentioned my good friends and colleagues Ross and John before. Solid dudes. Good designers, good writers. Well, the three of us have the best harebrained scheme. We’re making a game! An actual, factual, really real RPG that, if the Good Lord is willing and the creeks don’t rise, you will be able to buy, with money, and actually play inside of a year. Seriously. Would you like to know more?

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In the Town that Walt Built…

Pretty as an airport.

Never in the history of mankind has anyone described something as “Pretty as an airport”, and with good reason.

(Note: I did, in fact, write this in the air. Sadly, I couldn’t actually figure out how to post it from there, so you get it from my comfy room in downtown Orlando. Enjoy.)

Well hey there, friends! So, here I am, somewhere around 25,000 feet over Ohio in a cramped, oversold 757 speeding south to Orlando. Now, truth be told, I don’t care much for Florida. In fact, my opinion on the whole state can pretty much be summed up by Bugs Bunny and his giant saw. Having said that, I’d suffer all kinds of indignities for this trip, including sitting behind an incredibly obese, red-faced, middle-aged meathead with his seat back aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way reclined, encroaching on what little space is available to me for work. But I digress. Anyway, here I am on my way to the Sunshine State to talk about space. Yep, tomorrow is the day join some of the greatest minds of our generation to talk about what to do with the International Space Station. Crazy, right? I mean, seriously, it’s like a reverse of the “not my job” segment on Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. You know, where a bunch of radio dorks invite someone super important and accomplished onto their show to ask them ridiculous questions about the history of astrology or butts or whatever strikes their fancy. In Orlando, it’s going to be all this brain power, all these eminent scientists and engineers and rocket surgeons and thinkers….and me. A dude who writes about spaceships and giant robots for a living. I’m not going to complain, though. Because, seriously, I’m super stoked about it. Honestly, this is as close to being an astronaut as I’ll probably ever get, and being an astronaut was the end-game of my whole life plan when I was in fifth grade. That was a good plan too, man. Waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the Cylon’s plan. Good grades, Air Force Academy, flight school, F-16 pilot (I’ve always had a soft spot for the Viper, but now I’d probably rather be an A-10 driver), major by the age of 36, then bam!, astronaut time. But then reality set it, it turned out I was terrible at maths, then what with the distractions from girls and RPGs and model airplanes and books about dragons and obsessively reading about aircraft and all I got kind of sidetracked and here I am. I guess I don’t have any complaints, though. Hell, in hindsight, I’d have made a terrible military man what with my low tolerance for bullshit and even lower tolerance for authority. Anyway, so, yeah. Gonna talk about Space. I’ll write more about it tomorrow night after the conference, give you guys a taste of what went on, then probably do a larger post about it next week sometime in between writing about Orks, SPEHS MARINES, and future-past wild west demon apocalypses. So, stay tuned. This should be pretty good. You know, if I don’t just break down and start babbling about space like the Space Core.

A World of (Internal) Darkness

What's a tortoise?

Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your mother…

In the years that I’ve been in the semi-public eye as a game writer, I’ve never made any bones about the fact that I’m in therapy. In fact, I credit my therapy for being in the industry at all. Without my shrink and her withering eye and her sphinx-like demeanor and her habit of giving me just enough rope with which to hang myself, I would not be here today. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s like every joke you’ve ever seen about laying on the couch and talking about your feelings, and sometimes it’s like the goddamned Voight-Kampff Test. Today, I had a pretty harrowing session wherein I talked about writing and about how what a writer writes says a lot about said writer, including many things he may not know or would prefer to keep hidden. So that’s what we’re gonna talk about. (Note: This post is going to take some personal and, perhaps, dark turns. If you’re not interested, and I can’t blame you, please allow me to draw your attention to this hard-hitting expose of Wesley Crusher which is, without a shadow of a doubt, completely unsafe for work.)

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You Guys Will Never Believe What I Found…

Big ol' stack of nostalgia

Look. At. This.

Oh man, you guys. You’ll never believe what I found! Well, I didn’t find these, a friend of mine did. Anyway, that right there in the picture is a stack of Dragon Magazines! Twenty-five Dragon Magazines to be exact, from the years 1982 to 1985. Can you believe it? My buddy and bandmate Stephen scored the lot of them in a used bookstore in Nashville for the princely sum of twenty American dollars for the whole lot. He called me from Nashville and was like, “What’s Dragon Magazine?” and I was like, “Why do you ask?” and he was like, “Cause I’m looking at a box full of them, and they’re, like, a dollar a piece.” Then I blacked out a little because I think I had a joy-induced aneurysm. When I came around Stephen was still on the line, and I believe I said something like, “BUY THEM ALL FOR ME!” which he was kind enough to do. And now here they are, twenty little time capsules from the golden age of gaming. What does this mean for you? I’m glad you asked! Starting  Friday I’m going to begin a weekly review section called “One from the Vaults”, wherein I’m going to review old-school gaming literature. I’m going to start with these Dragons, then branch out into old games and modules and such, many from my own collection. So stay tuned, we’re gonna get our grognard on.

A Problem of Perception

The Pros from Dover

We’re the Pros from Dover.

Once upon a time when I was just starting out, a document came across my desk that I was asked to edit. I was the second set of eyes on the document, the first being the company’s “Head Editor”. I’m not gonna mince words here kids, it was a fucking disaster. It was still full of misspelled words and crimes against grammar. I brought this up to the boss, who immediately jumped to the Head Editor’s defense with the statement, “You have to remember, he’s not a professional editor.” Excuse me? This is a man who, for twenty years, worked as “Head Editor” for this company, a position he still holds today. His name is in countless gaming supplements as “editor”. He gets paid to do the job of an editor. That’s the fucking definition of a professional! So, what is this? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s a problem of perception, of ourselves and our industry, that absolutely pervades this business.

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Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus

It rises from the ashes…

Welcome to Amalgamated Fiction – Detroit, Gentle Readers. What’s all this crap you ask? Well, let me lay it out for you. Motor City Gamewerks is gone. Like the grim, deadly foundries and factories from which I took my imagery for that site, it’s been torn down and replaced by a cleaner, more efficient, forward-looking site! Why did I do it? Well, read on.

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