Blog for Stephanie Bryant, a writer with too many hobbies and not enough time.

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How to make things fast

Leila Johnston has a 6-minute video presentation she did at Ignite London recently about “Making Things Fast.” Not about speeding up stuff, but about making things very quickly.

It’s worth a watch, and it’s only 6 minutes long, but if you absolutely hate Internet video, here are the highlights, as interpreted by me:

  • Let go of your standards and ambition (Let go of the future.)
  • Let go of your ideas and collect them all the time so you always have new ideas. (Let go of the past.)
  • Over time, motivation drops, so do things quickly and be inspired quickly.
  • Improv. (Stay in the present.)
  • Let go of credit and statements of intent.

It’s like a how-to be an ENFP. You know us– we’re the ones who start a project and get bored withing 6 months to 2 years and need to move onto something else, whether the previous project is finished or not. Believe me when I say this, deeply and sincerely– Leila’s views will not work for everyone. In fact, if not for the vast parts of humanity who need to analyze, drill into details, be perfect, and pay great attention to the whole project all the way through, no bridge would ever have reached completion.

I’m putting it here as a reminder to myself that the “14 in 2014” challenge is about the process of making games, not the product of 14 games. I think my Game Designer Meetup group doesn’t understand “process for the sake of process” except in a learning environment, so I find myself repeating that this is a method for learning, not (necessarily) doing.

Making Things Fast – by Leila Johnston from chichard41 on Vimeo.

Ladies League of Invells

inverseworldOn Saturday, I began a new campaign. It was supposed to be a one-shot, but it sounds like my players all want to continue. I invited a handful of women, then a larger handful, until I had 5 RSVP’s for “yes,” and one of them dropped a few days beforehand. Three of the four had never played an RPG before, though they are all very imaginative and creative women:

  • Genevieve, playing Captain Sparrow of the Firebird. I met Genevieve at a local Pirate party, so her desire to play an eyepatch-wearing airship captain was little surprise. Sparrow is an earth-blessed Invells native from the Worldcrust. With silver skin and a flying cat for a pet.
  • Annie, playing Enn the Walker. I originally met Annie a couple of years ago at a steampunk group board game and high tea event I organized, but I’ve also gone to music events and the aforementioned pirate party with her, and seen her at Ren Faire and similar. Enn is a sky-blessed walker, with hawk wings. She is fascinated by gems and gemstones.
  • Wanda, playing Professor Beatrice Astrus, an earth-blessed Collector. I have known Wanda for several years through knitting and then through gaming, as she is both a knitter and an 8-bit video gamer. Prof. A collects secrets from the dead, and it appears as though her collection is mostly bones, but in fact, she truly collects the souls contained in those bones, and the secrets that they whisper. Prof A has a magical cockatoo named Rex who alerts her to treasures.
  • Patti, playing Aeos the Lantern. This was my first time meeting Patti, who is the sister-in-law of a game designer I chat with about TimeWatch rather regularly. Aeos is a sky-blessed who has a Little Light named Mara. Mara is willful, and blessed with excessive energy. Aeos seems to be something of a crusader for the light.

I intended this as a one-shot, to introduce some women to gaming, and also get to know Patti who has played RPGs extensively before. However, it went so well, the ladies wanted more adventures, so we scheduled a second session for 2 weeks from now.

The PCs began at Glass of Sands, an hourglass-shaped island in the Island Ring which shifts back and forth throughout the day. It’s a technological haven, but also a place of high taxes and hard work.

I’m not going to write up their full adventures here– that’s something I think players should really do. But in summary, we learned some interesting things about the world (some true, some not… some not true until the players suggested them!):

  • There are many people hidden from Sola’s light
  • The tax collectors are… kinda jerky
  • There is a terrorist organization on the island
  • About 20-25% of all the redfruit harvested disappears.
  • The monkeys do not eat redfruit, and aren’t big fans of bananas, either.
  • A small island recently crashed into the worldcrust
  • The local Lantern is blind and dying of cancer
  • Her Little Light is also dying, and has nearly gone out
  • There is a large gem made of lithium/dilithium that is absorbing Sola’s light (this one was invented by Annie, 100%)

In the next session, I plan to introduce more hooks tailored to their characters, and bring out some more significant threats. We’ll also discuss what their characters’ goals are in the world, and what we’d like to see as major opposing forces.

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