Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


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Fear of finishing, part 2

And let’s admit it, it is fitting that a post about the endless reworking / rewriting / tweaking / revising we do to our work in order to push the finish line as far as possible should have a second part.
I mean, the first was not quite finished, right?

Well, here is where I talk about academia, roleplaying games, and “the funny incidents that happen when you try and make your living as a writer” (remember? this was the topic of the comic book I was told to start posting instead of these useless words I am putting on my blog and nobody reads anyway).

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Playing along the Frontier

So you are working not on one, not on two, but on THREE big huge projects, each on of them with a deadline ticking. One project is fun, another is just what you always wanted to write, and the third you hate every minute of it but is paying the bills, so bend on that oar and push!
What do you do, then?
Simple, you invent a fourth big huge project just for yourself.

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Hamlet, James Bond and Rick Blaine

A new book in my ever-growing collection of volumes about writing, Hamlet’s Hit Points is somewhat different, because it is a book at least nominally aimed at game masters willing to improve the structure of their roleplaying scenarios, upping their game. But in laying down the foundations of a system to structurally map stories, Robin D. Laws manages to create a tool that works for games, for fiction and for movies/screenplays.

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Scheherazade

I’m taking a moment for a brief shout-out to my friend (and sometimes accomplice) Umberto Pignatelli’s latest game, Scheherazade, a roleplaying game that allows you to play into the Arabian Nights.
I’ll post a review here as soon as the game is released, but in the meantime, check out the gorgeous cover…


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A new Sword & Sorcery story

After the weekend I’ll have to deliver to my publisher a 20.000-words swords & sorcery novella. It’s a game tie-in job, and it needs to conform to the standards of the so called Old School gaming.
You know, Dungeons & Dragons-style.
A simple party. A linear mission.
Explore the dungeon. Kill the monsters. Get the treasures. Come back alive.

Should the readers like it, it might become the first in a series – and I’d really like it, because it’s turning out to be a fun job.
I still don’t have a title, but it’s a fun job.

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Hope & Glory – Talk Like a Pirate!

Ahoy, mateys!
Today it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, but I’d rather talk about pirates and other assorted ship-based scoundrels and adventurers.
And because I am still promoting like hell my game Hope & Glory, why not give a look at piracy in the skies.251845
After all, Hope & Glory is a game that features airships.
And indeed, the scenario The Man that would be Quinn includes piracy in the sky lanes, the piracy in question being loosely based on South Cina Sea piracy.
And Emilio Salgari.
We’ve been there already, and you know the Tigers of Mompracem did have an influence on my game.

But really, let’s talk about pirates and adventurers, and Hope & Glory. Continue reading


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Honobono and Dragon’s eggs

Honobono (仄々) is a Japanese word that is usually translated as “heartwarming” or “feel good”. It’s the sort of feeling associated with Hayao Miyazaki’s movies – stories full of adventure and excitement, but filled with decent people and built on healthy, affectionate relationships. The good guys win and the bad guys lose, and maybe some of them turn out not to be so bad either.

151366A few nights back, while in the whirlwind of the launch of Hope & Glory I discovered a Japanese roleplaying game called Ryuutama (literally, Dragonsegg), and I gave it a look and I was totally delighted.
Because it’s a good solid game, because it’s light on rules and strong on roleplaying, because it’s refreshingly different.
And yes, it’s honobono too, which is interesting. Continue reading