The Juggler

11Oct05

I’ve got a few balls in the air, gaming-wise. Here’s my current gaming-related to-do list, in no particular order:
(BTW, I don’t know how to use cuts to hide most of the entry behind a link, so I apologize for the length)

The almost-weekly PTA game

I’m Producer for the Monday night PrimeTime Adventures game with Kat, Michele, and my daughter Dalys. The series is called “Stakes” and it’s set in the Buffyverse. Michele’s character is this great, young acrobat who was marked as a potential Slayer. Thus, an NPC Watcher was dispatched to train her. He’s the ringmaster. He brought his niece along as his go-fer and Watcher-in-Training. That’s Kat’s character. As it turns out, just before the first episode, the previous Slayer died, and Kat’s character is the new Chosen One. Dalys’ character is a fortune teller who can sometimes actually see the future. But she can always communicate with her dead mom through her crystal ball. I can’t remember their Issues off the top of my head. Tsk tsk. Bad Producer.

The play-when-our-schedules-mesh Burning Wheel pirates game

I’m prepping a big post on this to lay out the three PCs, their BITs, and my first thoughts on Bangs. This is a tough one to schedule. We started character burning in May and finished it this past Friday.

The freeform roleplay with Kat

We’re still feeling our way. We’ve got this pirate story going on now. It’s pretty cool, but I still haven’t refound my confidence in my freeform abilities.

The biweekly Buffy game: We’re Slaying Here in Allentown

I guess this is the “big secret” I keep from my Forge friends. Paul was stunned when I mentioned it. I never post about it or mention it in any way. For one thing, I’m not running it, my friend Todd is. Only the first season is up at the website. We’re 2 episodes away from wrapping up the 2nd season. I play Desdemona “Desi” Stark, the Slayer in this post-season 7 version of Allentown. This doesn’t require much work besides showing up, but it’s still another ball in the air.

Preparing for Convention Events

I’ve only got one more convention in 2005: MepaCon in Scranton in November. In an effort to draw reluctant gamers to the table, I’m bending my own rule in the first event:

With Great Power… The Astonishing X-men

I don’t like running licenced characters with my own game. But if you’re going to bend the rule to appeal to “the masses” you might as well put “The X-men” name on it. Besides, I’ve been reading Joss Whedon’s series since it started and really liking it.

Burning Wheel The Boon

Yup, not only am I trying to learn how to run BW, but I’m writing my own scenario. It’s pulled from The Princess Bride and some of the kind of stuff that Kat and I do in freeform. You’ve rescued the princess from her captors and are returning her to her father to collect the boon you’ve been promised. It’s never that easy. But there’s 6 PCs to burn, which is a pain. The more characters I burn, the more I can’t stand burning characters. But it’s good for me. Reminds me of exactly what I like and what I don’t.

PrimeTime Adventures Buffy: The Vampire Slayer

THis is the easy one. I show up with the PTA book and blank character sheets. Maybe some pics of the characters downloaded from the net or scanned from Eden’s Buffy books. We redo a season or make up a new one right there at the table. I love the zero-prep games.

Scheduling the Indie Games Explosion at Dreamation

Tony and I agreed that for Dreamation, Tony would run the booth, and Kat and I would run the event track. Vinnie hasn’t given me a due date, so I haven’t gotten started yet, but it’s still looming and will take a decent bit of time in the coming month.

Fulfilling orders for WGP…

I’m still doing my own fulfillment. And I love getting the orders–about 2 or so per week at this point. But packing and running to the post office all the time is yet another ball in the air, thus:

Getting the IPR deal done.

I’m in negotiations with Brennan about offering WGP… through IPR. I’m waiting on a revised contract, then I’ll ship him the rest of my stock.

Getting the corrections found and made for the 2nd printing of WGP…

I’m going to need to order a 2nd printing before the end of October. Any typos spotted are most appreciated.

The WGP… PDF version

I’m supposed to be preparing a PDF version of WGP… for sale. I’m waiting for all the errata of the first printing to be incorporated before starting. Why convert mistakes to PDF and then just need to fix them?

Promoting WGP…

Kat keeps reminding me about this. It’s probably my least favorite part of the process. I’m constitutionally averse to saying “This is my thing and it’s cool and you should look at it.” Too much Catholic-bred humility, perhaps? Luckily, the game is pretty much selling itself right now.

Designing other games

Designing games is my favorite part of the whole shebang. Vincent says we should design to expose ourselves. I usually phrase it as “saying something about how I see the world.” In either case, I think that’s another reason I’m slow to promote WGP…. Since the game is done, I’ve said what I have to say about that aspect of the world. I’ve exposed that part of myself. Time to say something new–to expose another piece. Here’s a brief rundown on the games I have partially worked-on:

Limelight

This needs a serious reworking from its 2003-04 version. It’s a game about movie stars trying to balance Fame, Clout, and their own Integrity. Even with the reworking necessary, it’s probably closest to being playtestable. But I just can’t get myself excited about it.

Incarnadine: Roleplaying in a Shakespearean style

This is my Great White Game, as Ben Lehman might call it. The Greatest Game I Will Never Write. I may love Shakespeare, but I don’t know that I’m clever enough to render him in an RPG. I’ve been stumped on this one for a while.

The Game That ARIA Was Supposed To Be

I read a review of Last Unicorn’s Aria: Canticle of the Monomyth four years before I got my hands on the game. A game where the players had Player Nations in addition to Player Characters! Cool! In those four years, I kinda daydreamed about what the game would be like. When I finally got those thick, thick books, they weren’t what I was hoping for. Someday I’ve got to write the game I was imagining. I bough some Birthright stuff at GenCon for research purposes. Andy K’s supposed to be working on something like this, too, but only time will tell.

The Game of Storybook Fantasy

I’m not an real big fantasy fan, yet I live in a subculture of fantasy fans. My wife is a big fantasy fan. I rented 1982’s cheesy animated The Last Unicorn over the weekend. Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal sit on our movie shelves. We really need to get The Neverending Story. Kat has a whole shelf of fairy tale books. This is a type of fantasy that hasn’t been well-done by the RPG community. Y’know, like superheroes hadn’t been well done. ::wink:: TSoY is more sword-and-sorcery. BW is more Tolkien, Le Guin, and historical. Everway almost had it, except for being broken and tied to that whole Spherewalker concept. I had a single, strong game idea for this right before falling asleep on Friday and it kept me up for another hour typing it up. This one is the frontrunner as of this minute.

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8 Responses to “The Juggler”

  1. 1 Anonymous

    The Game That ARIA Was Supposed To Be
    Michael,
    Go to this site:
    http://www.dohrer.com/tim/rotu/rotusite/rotumain.html
    Download and read the Player’s Manual. Then email them and buy the Realm Controller’s Manual.
    Paul

  2. That is a whole lot on your plate.
    If you are going to read one X-Men comic in your life, might as well be Astonishing X-Men. They don’t get any better than that. Its great stuff.

  3. Call me Ishmael?
    You got way too much going on…
    Haven’t read Joss’ X-Men, but I did read Fray. Get that. Karl Moline is an excellent artist and really makes the story shine…
    I’ve been working on a Birthright done right game in my head for fucking years. It is my white whale. I myself went on a buying tear for the Birthright shit and found it to be wanting really. I wish you luck though.
    I’m guess the reason the type of fantasy hasn’t been done well is that it is directed at children and teenage girls. We all know there are few if any good RPGs for that demographic…

  4. Wow, that is a lot to do. It’s also really interesting to me to hear how much you dislike burning characters as that’s one of those things that I do for fun…
    Also: game that does fairytales right? Yeah, I want to see that too.
    Finally, if you really care, you can put things behind a cut by using the psuedo html tag “lj-cut” (just wrap it in angle brackets), you can change the text in the link by including text=”…” in the brackets.
    Thomas


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