About two years back – if memory serves – when a lot of kids started manifesting and asking for better environmental policies and immediate action, someone observed that it wasn’t surprising if a generation that had grown up with fantasy novels in which kids confronted authoritarian governments now wanted to take direct action to right what they perceived as wrongs.
And indeed, I have always said, when talking about the positive effects of roleplaying games, that you can’t spend one afternoon every week, for years, playing a hero, without some of the principles rubbing off on you. Yes, we’ve all played rogues and adventurers, but in the end we were the good guys and – if the master was worth their keep – we never went off the rails.
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).
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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 →