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

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Crone Kickstarter: I’m a Stretch Goal!

"BRAVE"   (Pictured) THE WITCH ©2012 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.Over on the Crone Kickstarter, the project is now fully funded and starting to hit some stretch goals. It’s currently just over $2,500 in funding. Personally, I hope it raises another $7K. Why? Because look at the stretch goal for $9,250:

$9,250 Legend by Stephanie Bryant – “A comet heralds an otherworldly visitor. Is it an angel, or an abomination?”

Yep. I’m on deck to write an adventure for this system, if they hit $9250.

If that isn’t reason enough to kick in $5-10, how about this: You get to play a witch. An elder, powerful, magic-using woman. A witch! She’s a witch, I tell you!


Game Designer Meetup and Playtest

On Monday, I was late to the Board Game Designer Meetup (it’s every 2 weeks) because I stopped in and visited a friend who opened a game shop this week. They’re still in their “soft open,” with the grand opening scheduled for April 5th, which is also International Tabletop Day. I’ve volunteered to run games for that, as well as start running a biweekly game night (probably board games to start out) at the shop starting in April.

Anyway, I was a bit late, so I missed any announcements, but I did bring Night of the Barrel for playtesting. I anticipated that this game can take 30-60 minutes. One guy won the game in about 3 minutes, without the 2nd playtester (we had 3) getting a turn.

So, that needs work, obviously. We discussed and brainstormed a lot of the ways to fix it, and how you would play and package this game, from the coaster aspect (“but, are you really going to want to pay $20 for a game that is one-use only?”) to where you’d play it (in a bar), and how. A third member stopped by to encourage me to re-theme the game to be more family/kid friendly (I will present without comment the confirmation that he did not make any such suggestion to the male designer who brought a game 2 weeks ago about welfare moms tricking potential dads into taking paternity tests….), which I politely appreciated, made a note, and moved on. I did point out that, ultimately, this game’s theme of beer has little bearing on the actual gameplay itself, but he kept trying to push me towards making it kid-friendly.

In general, I had fun. It’s always challenging to see your idea hit the table and fail, but both of the players, even the one who didn’t get his turn, enjoyed the game and said it’s one they would play again, if it had some replayability.

Two Free Microgames

Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about games, and reading games, and wanting to design games.

A couple of years ago, Wil Wheaton issued a challenge to “just make stuff.” It was limited in scope– for one day, just make something, and then release it for others to enjoy.

I make stuff all the time, of course. Between knitting and gaming and writing, I’m in a state of pretty much nonstop creativity. My shower should really have a whiteboard in it… and now I have a product idea…

But I digress. “Make something.” What came out of Wheaton’s challenge was Threadbare, a stitchpunk RPG about broken toys in a broken world. It’s still in beta, but I’m getting excited about the possibilities. Threadbare is a cool setting and an interesting world. If I were going to release/publish it, I would definitely make a variation that is powered by Apocalypse World and/or a Fate setting (if not a blend of both). The setting and concept are far more interesting, in my opinion, than the clunky mechanics that I come up with.

As a result of all the time I spend thinking and writing about games, I’ve started to write some games. One great way to practice writing games is to enter game design contests, like the one for The Dungeon of Lost Coppers hosted by Dyson Logos, or the Night of the Barrel on that ends tonight, by Matthew Bannock. The ConTessa convention was a great source of inspiration and contests. For that one, I wrote this little microgame called d3 GUM: Generic Universal Microgame.


It’s a universal tactical RPG that uses a d3, with an optional rule for using a fudge die instead of a d3.

It’s actually not that robust of a game, but I enjoyed making it. I describe it as “Gurps as a d3 microgame” because it’s super-crunchy for such a small game.

It fits on a quarter piece of paper, double-sided. I’m considering having it printed up as postcards, because I think that’s hilarious.

I also  made this little game:


It’s another microgame. This one fits on a 4″ coaster, and is a story game about beers conspiring against each other, for glory. This is my entry into the Night of the Barrel contest– the other entry as of today is a really neat game, also pub-themed, that reads like a crossover between The Hangover (the movie) and Baron Munchausen (the game).

This is the third game I’ve made, like, ever, aside from writing countless adventures to run my players through as a GM. This week will also challenge my creativity as I am running two games online– one is the first adventure in a new Dungeon World campaign (The Five Shores), and the other is a 2-session arc of Timewatch for the Wednesday night D&D group (you may remember them as the TuesdayDnD group… we had a scheduling change).


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