Meet our new art director…
–noun, plural -men.
In modern apprenticeship systems, a journeyman is a man who has a tradesman certificate that required completion of an apprenticeship. This is the highest formal rank, that of master having been eliminated; it allows them to perform all the tasks of the trade within the area where they are certified, to supervise apprentices and to become self-employed.
As the descendant of hard-working and hard-drinking Eastern European immigrants, the iconography and symbology of the “working man” resonates in me like a genetic memory. For over a hundred years the men of my family have been creators. The first generation came to America from countries that don’t evenexist anymore. They tilled the land, built towns, forged lives in a strange country, and toiled endlessly in the hellish steel mills of Eastern Ohio, Western PA, and Northern West Virginia. Their sweat, and much of their blood, tempered the steel that forms the bones of our great cities. Their sons were masons, carpenters, bricklayers, farmers, ironworkers, and steelworkers. They worked ceaselessly building this country, and in what they had of leisure time they built their own homes, made music and musical instruments, made art, brewed and distilled, and even found the time to win a war. Their sons, my father among them, were creators, too. Engineers, mechanics, contractors, welders, ironworkers, and entrepreneurs. Like their fathers, they created for work and they created for play. They built lasting things, great things, and took pride in a job well done. Now here I am, not a bricklayer or a carpenter, but a creator nonetheless. This is my inheritance, the creative impulse, an I’m here to tell you about a new creative endeavor that I’m about to embark upon.
Okay, so that may have been kind of a
florid and overwrought over-serious way of pitching you my latest hare-brained scheme, but them’s the breaks. What is this new hare-brained scheme you ask? Why, it’s Journeyman Games! Journeyman. No, Journeyman. No it doesn’t have anything to do with Steve Perry, why? Anyway, Journeyman Games is this crazy idea I have that was largely inspired by both Jason Richards and my new friend Jess Hartley. What Journeyman Games is not is a full-on game company. I’m not ginning up my own rule set, I’m not hiring artists, I’m not renting a warehouse or printing books. What it is is basically a name I can work under to publish some gaming PDFs. These will be products like the original HarnMaster: fully fleshed out settings that are easily adaptable for use with any rule set. Here’s what I have so far:
A.E.G.I.S vs. S.P.I.D.E.R.
AvS is set in the early sixties during the Cold War (ask your parents, kids), and revolves around different national super-secret espionage organisations made up of men and women with minor super powers trying to keep each other in check. AEGIS, the American agency, is tasked specifically with neutralizing SPIDER, the Soviet agency (again, ask your parents.) It’s a little serious and a little pulpy, much like Ian Flemming’s James Bond novels. Some of you may have heard me talk about AvS before, and may have even played in one of my AvS games like Vladivostok Sea Monster or Prodigal Son,so you kind of get the idea.
Set in a much reduced, crumbling city that was once a proud industrial powerhouse, this is a modern horror setting about specially trained police officers trying to stem the rising tide of supernatural phenomena that threatens to swallow their city whole. The cops are either possessors of paranormal talents, or have had a frightening brush with the paranormal that has marked them for life. Along with fighting monsters and investigating hauntings and exorcising abandoned churches, they also walk beats, drive scout cars and deal with regular workaday crime.
Unnamed Space Setting
This one is probably the least developed of the three. It takes place a few hundred years in the future, and is the story of the human diaspora as we leave our planet and develop our solar system. It’s largely a hard science setting, no FTL and no aliens for example. People have left Earth because there simply wasn’t enough room or resources, not due to any horrible cataclysm. The story basically revolves around the conflict between a United Earth Navy which is underfunded and undermanned, and the well fed and well equipped private military fleets that protect the numerous corporate and industrial interests in the system. Sort of an exploration of the conflicts between actual serving members of our military and private contractors like Haliburton and Blackwater.
So there you go. I want to develop these settings further, really make them breathe, then probably sell them on DriveThruRPG as PDFs for a few bucks a shot. I’m under the impression that people do this sort of thing, so I figured I’d give it a whack. Stay tuned.