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

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Santicore 2014 Delivers

This is my #nerdy9th post.

So, you know how around the holidays every year there’s some kind of Secret Santa exchange?

In the OSR/gaming world, that exchange comes in the form of Santicore, a swap of adventures, monsters, treasures, NPCs, and ideas that get requested, created, and then published online for everyone to read and use. This year, Santicore is 5 PDFs chock full of tables, artwork, maps, and ideas to use.

My submission is the Golem’s Spa, an underground  manufacturing complex for a giant robot, in the Adventures PDF. Here’s what the requestor sent me yesterday by email:

Wow, it looks like you put a lot of work into my Santicore request. Just to let you know I really appreciate it. The complex fits well with my vision and I will have fun working it into my campaign if things go that way.
It is a great twist that the Woman of Iron is sentient and witty, now how she acquired that consciousness is the question, as her male counterpart was a big destroying lug controlled by his nine smaller-size metal parts each fused to the body of a different wearer. I like the oozes too, this is obviously a different branch of dwarven civilization that sculpted this area! Lots to think about.

I had so much fun writing that adventure, although if I were going to revise it one more time, I’d include more of the feedback I got from one of my beta readers, who had great suggestions for demonstrating the long passage of time. I’d probably also do a finer edit on the whole thing– I noticed when I re-read it yesterday a couple of unclear descriptions. And hire a map artist, because, unsurprisingly, my maps are terrible.

There is no possible way I will ever make as much money as a game designer as I do writing technical manuals. Getting an email like the one above made my day and put a huge smile on my face.

(I don’t remember what my request was, but I’m pretty sure it was the “torture devices in a dungeon” entry, which is filed in Adventures.)

Last Monster on Earth

Here’s the pitch for something I’m thought-noodling about: Last Monster on Earth.

Two years ago, humanity was wiped out in some hideous and entirely fatal manner. Plague? Zombies? Aliens? Divine intervention? Eco-disaster? Who knows– what matters is that you survived.

Are you the last of humankind? Oh, no. For that, you would have had to be human in the first place….

The Bible almost got it right, though.

The “freak” shall inherit the Earth.

In Last Monster on Earth, you play a monstrous being in a post-apocalyptic wasteland of what was once Earth.

Who_stole_my_Cookies_by_Beloved_CreatureAs a group, the players determine what caused the extinction of humanity, and whether there are any human survivors (and if so, how the monsters relate to them).

They also identify one or more external threats that loom over the monstrous PCs. For example, if zombies took down humanity, those Zeds might not be too picky about eating werewolf brains. What killed the humans might be ready to pick off the monsters– and may have already started.

There are also the environmental threats– vampires have lost their ready source of human blood, for example. Werewolves no longer have the “hunt” to rely on. Cyborgs will eventually have a fuel or parts problem. Monsters once accustomed to lurking in the shadows and relying on humanity to give them cover are now thrust into the open, to sink or swim. PCs come up with the environmental challenges that the others must grapple with in the course of the campaign.

And of course, there are a few truly clueless ones, who believe they’re the sole human survivors of the disaster. And who don’t realize, or won’t admit, that their strange new powers might not be caused by the apocalypse, but might have been there all along.

The poor, deluded fools.

I’m thinking this will be an Apocalypse World hack, very close to AW in its mechanics and even setting. Really more like a hack/setting rather than a whole new game. But I’m also considering using the Fate framework, which would allow for much stranger aberrations of monsters in the world. All I know is that I dreamed this idea last night, and I really, really like it.

 

February 2015 Books and Games

Books: #51bookchallenge

#5: Silver Bullets, by Ryan States. (m, for podcast)

#6: Monster of the Week rpg game book (m)

Games: #51in15

#8: Summer Song (playtest) by Josh Jordan (2 players)

#9: The Whispering Road by Brent Newhall (2 players)

#10: Red November (3 players)

#11: Tanto Cuore (3 players, <30 minutes)

#12: Dungeon World: Dragon Slaying (9 players, con game)

#13: Loonacy (2 players, <30 minutes)

#14: Best Friends (4 players, con game, Games on Demand)

#15: FATE: Mecha vs. Kaiju (5 players, con game)

#16: Night’s Black Agents (6 players, con game, Horse in the Race)

#18: Spirit of 77 (6 players, con game)

#19: Epyllion one-shot (6 players, online game, female-written game)

#20: Dungeon World in Dragonia (4 players)

#21: Dungeon World one shot (6 players)

5-over-5 6-roleplaying-games=15-roleplaying-games

Leaving out games that are continuations of existing games/storylines/campaigns (Whispering Road, 13th Age, etc).

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