East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Back to the Valley

Today I wrote a short story.
This has been a busy month, and indeed in the last two weeks I have submitted ten stories – but wait, I’m not that good.
The fact is, between August and September, I had to work on a couple of big projects that took up a lot of time. The little time left I used to relax, or to start working on a few shorts, that languished in various states of completion while I put much effort in the big ones.

By October the big projects were out of the way, and so I picked up the various half-finished things I had laying around, finished them and mailed to various editors. One already bounced back, but that’s part of the game.

Then, yesterday, two things happened.

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Local history and roleplaying games

One of the unexpected side effects of researching a supplement for a roleplaying game set in the area where I am currently living is discovering a huge amount of local history that I did not know.

Like, that a local chap was mentioned in the Divine Comedy (the Medieval poem, not the band).
Portrait-de-la-comtesse-de-Castiglione_referenceOr that a local castle was owned by the Countess of Castiglione, lover of a number of kings (including Napoleon the Third), spy and courtesan, striking 19th century beauty and allegedly a practitioner of the dark arts that used the “Liber Potestate”, a popular grimoire.
Which is quite good, considering the supplement I am writing is for a horror game.
And then no end of battles, of strange brotherhoods (and even an “arch-brotherhood”) and other weirdness, and of castles that were razed and disappeared, including one that was supposedly about 300 yards from where I am sitting. Quite interesting.

Anyway, we are now at 15.000 words on the sourcebook project, and we still have a lot of work to do.

This is how I’ll spend my Easter weekend.

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Easter Game-Designing Marathon

italia-doppelgangerIt all started with my cell-mate Alex Girola publishing a roleplaying game based on his work, the stories in the Italia Doppelganger. After years that I kept talking about doing an Aculeo & Amunet game, and got bounced back by publishers, Alex went the indie way with his game, and was quite successful.

So we were talking this thing over, the other day, and I mentioned my current work with my brother, and the things we are planning, and one thing led to another, and I ended up getting a license to publish a supplement for the Italia Doppelganger game, based on my own Horrors of the Belbo Valley stories.

And you can keep the money!

… Alex said.
Well, why not? Continue reading