Sunday, January 28, 2018

Map! Fief Bend Digital (PWYW) Release

Map! Fief Bend 'has been released into the digital wilderness. It's available at DriveThruRPG & RPGNow. Like all Map! products you can get it for the exorbitant price of Pay What You Want (PWYW). Map! Fief Bend is finished. This one is pretty decent.

(Disclosure: Product images on this page include affiliate links. I receive a token % if you purchase something on the landing page. Thank you for your support.)


Map! Fief Bend
Map! Fief Bend

Map! Products are in full color, providing a visual location for the Referee (DM/GM) to populate, and for the player characters to discover. This product contains a master PDF (preview). Each map depicted in the PDF is included in Zipped PNG format. Each map format has a print friendly (300 DPI) version, as well as a virtual tabletop (100 DPI) version. For an exact account, click on the image and check it out over at DriveThruRPG.com

This Download Contains:

  • Map! Fief Bend PDF (preview)
  • Print Friendly, Zip File PNG (300 DPI); four files total
  • Digital Friendly, Zip File PNG (100 DPI); four files Total
  • My appreciation: Thank you. Please take the time rate, review and comment.

Notes: Hexagon measurements are at 5ft per side; graph is at 5ft sq. (standard). This product is not for use in commercial products.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Maps! Fief Bend & Smugglers Dock

Fief Bend is very close to completion. I wanted this post to actually be the digital release post, but ultimately I've squandered an enormous amount of time this week. Edit Post: Fief Bend is finished you can get it right here.

(Disclosure: This review includes affiliate links. I receive a token % if you purchase something from the landing page.)
 
I've been busy updating my blog, reading this book: How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog, which is obviously about blogging/money (Ha!); and trying to figure out how "the Facebook" actually functions as a platform. For the most part, two of those were enormous wastes of time... The book was decent enough to get a couple ideas from at least. Also, for once in very long time, I'm very behind on some of my freelance writing stuff.

Map! Fief Bend Working
And because it's been noted twice before... Those little squares in the center is my color palette (will not be in the final render). All that's left on this one, is finishing up the road,  and couple of color details.

Smuggler's Dock is progressing nicely... But with this one I need to do some-things I've never done before. Also, the details of the sandy beach is creating it's own problem; lack of black lines of any kind, beside the buildings & dock, might be another. This one is for an upcoming 5E (I think) adventure book Kickstarter, so maybe I'm trying too hard?

Smuggler's Dock Working

Not that you asked for it but that's that, for the progress report. Though I've certainly noticed each of these projects eating up more and more time... The overall quality has certainly gotten better. If I can get caught up with the writing, Fief Bend should be available for purchase right before the end of this month.

Like all products in the Map! line Fief Bend will be available as a Pay What You Want product at DriveThruRPG.com: here, and RPGNow here... Essentially free, but if you have guilt about getting something for free... I gladly accept tips! No amount is too small and every little bit helps me keep these projects going. And if you have already: Thank you for your Patronage!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Posthuman Studios: Open Call for Your Whispering Muse

Posthuman Studios is seeking RPG freelancers interested in making their mark on an official Eclipse Phase release; A serial style project titled: "Your Whispering Muse." Article ideas should be refined to a short 100 summary. If your piece is accepted, you'll be expected to expand the summary to a more robust piece at around 3400-5400 words. Rate of pay upon delivery of a final draft, is a flat rate of $200; or roughly about 3 to 6 cents/word.



Posthuman Studios open call page
Details on submitting to "Your Whispering Muse" open call is here. (Posthuman Studios site) Best of luck, if you decide to pitch. I'm thinking of giving this one a shot... The submissions page is encouraging with the sort of content they want; specificity is good thing, as is limiting the pitch to 100 words. They don't want to waste your time and don't want you, to waste theirs.

Disclosure: Product images on this page below this disclosure include affiliate links. I receive a token % if you purchase something on the landing page. Thank you for your support. 


Eclipse Phase 1E & 2E Quickstart Rules
The first and second edition Eclipse Phase Quickstart Rules are on DriveThruRPG.com here; or click on the product image above (affiliate links). I'll be looking over these myself and see if I can craft anything before the weekends out!

If the submission call for Eclipse Phase isn't your cup of coffee, but you're still interested in writing/creating for the role-playing game (RPG) industry, check out my RPG Submissions Open Page (link to that page); a list of RPG and third party publishing companies, that pay freelancers for RPG content, reviews, news, and other various things. Know of such a company, and aware of an open call? Contact me, or leave a comment.


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

RPG Gag Comic Pinterest; The Gnome Thief

I've been working on a couple of RPG/gag comic ideas for KoDT's Parting Shots and I just realized; I never posted the first edition of the Gnome Thief... Remember, Knights of the Dinner Table (KoDT) is currently looking for gag/comic submissions for Parting Shots. If your submission is accepted, you'll receive a copy of the issue in which the work appears, and flat rate payment of $25. I'm just a self appointed messenger and occasional submitter.


Image Linked to Pinterest Board



Also, I started Pinterest Board for RPG Gag/Comics. Similar to most social media stuff. I'm new. No idea what I'm doing... However, if you'd like to check it out, the board is here. I'd really enjoy including other's work on this Pinterest Board, so if you know someone; please cast your summoning spells, a +name if you're on G+ or via the Facebook. I found nil, nada, nothing, in regards to boards which delve into this niche. If you're aware of such a board, send me a link! (Help!?!)

Details on submitting your comic/gag ideas to Kenzer and Company, for Parting Shots is here.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Gallant Knight Games; Submissions Open

:::
Gallant Knight Games (GKG) recently put out an open call for RPG content. Specifically, they are looking for your best 100 word pitch for a superhero themed, micro-setting. Accepted pitches will be included as stretch goals, as part of the Tiny Supers Kickstarter, which is set to debut this May.

If your pitch is accepted and the stretch goal (for your piece) is met, you'll be expected to expand the 100 word pitch, into a superhero themed, micro-setting of 1500 words. Rate of pay is $0.10/word. I've copy/pasted the call below. But if you're interest click here, and head over to the submission page on GKG's website.

:::Snip:::
 
Tiny Supers is coming! And we want you!
We’re opening up the floodgates, and allowing anyone who wants to submit a pitch for a micro-setting to do so. Anyone is welcome to apply, and this is a paying gig, at the Gallant Knight Games standard professional rate.
Some details about micro-settings: 

  • Micro-settings are 1500 words in length.

  • Your pitch shouldn’t be more than 100 words long.

  • There is no rules writing involved (just “fluff”.)

  • You won’t have to start writing until your stretch goal is hit on the Kickstarter.

  • You will be paid the GKG standard rate of $0.10 USD per word (ten cents USD per word.)

  • We’re aiming to have Tiny Supers on Kickstarer in May, and you would be expected to deliver the final product to us for editing by the end of June.
We will be leaving the Open Call open through April 1st, so if you want to submit you have some time!

:::End Snip:::
 

Many thanks to Egg Embry who shot me an email about GKG's open call.

If the submission call for Gallant Knight Games isn't your cup of coffee, but you're still interested in writing/creating for the role-playing game (RPG) industry, check out my RPG Submissions Open Page (link to that page, which is also a tab at the top); a list of RPG and third party publishing companies, that pay freelancers for RPG content, reviews, news and other various things. Know of such a company, and aware of an open call? Contact me, or leave a comment.    


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Progress on Map! Feif Bend and the Start of Map! Smuggler's Dock

I'm very close to finishing Fief Bend. How close? 100% It will be finished before February. I'd say it's about 50/50, and I might even be able to finish it by next week. (head down, mash buttons) The problem is, I've been slightly distracted with a new project... This is the last project update for Fief Bend before I publish it on One Book Shelf (DriveThruRPG.com & RPGNow.com).

When we last left off...

 
And where we are now...


Overall this is ok. I need to figure out what I'm doing with the road. Add some rocks. Greenery and shrubs about the church is a must. With the crop fields? Not sure... Maybe it's early spring? Crops aren't ready?

A screenshot of the new project...

 
 
Needless to say this one's in the works... I haven't set the colors yet, or more to point decided if I like the colors I'm using. And I'm only on the first two layers (Buildings & Terrain), and there are a lot of other features of this map... errr... yet to be Mapped!. This is going to be offered as part of a crowdsourcing project (crosses fingers). Technically, this is the first official time I will be paid (real money, yo) for creating a map, for someone's crowdsource... I pumped to do it! I'm labeling this one as: Smuggler's Dock.   


Saturday, January 6, 2018

Review Burp: RPG Review Submission Schedule & Updates

Lots to get to in this months Review Burp. The last few of months (Oct-Dec) I've received an interesting variety of RPGs in the mail. I figured I'd give each of these a good old fashioned product plug going forward; take a pic as they arrive, and include them with my monthly Review Burp posts. Each of these look rather excellent. Here is what has arrived (in no particular order) very recently:

Starfinder Core Book & Alien Archive Pawn Box; Published By Paizo
 
Linked to Starfinder Site; click and arrive

Operation Whitebox; Published By: Small Niche Games
Pic Affiliate Linked DriveThruRPG.com; click and arrive at the product page.


Barbarians of Lemuria: Mythic Edition; Published By: Filigree Forge
 
Pic is affiliate link to DriveThruRPG.com; click and arrive at the product page.


Shattered Dawn Player Guide & Arcmaster Guide; Published By: Shattered Dawn Tabletop Games


Pic is affiliate link to DriveThruRPG.com; click to arrive at the publisher page


Also, because it's the top of year I thought now would be a good time to give a basic refresher on the current review schedule. I have a decent sized list for both Knights of the Dinner Table and EN World. Some of these were part of the review call, I put out late summer of last year. Whether the product you sent was a PDF or a physical book, your product review is not forgotten.

EN World (2 reviews per month; average)

Accepted Review Pitch List:
Mazes & Perils Deluxe; PDF, review written
OneDice Supers; PDF, review written
Starfinder: Alien Archive (Pawn Box); Physical Product, started
Heroes Wear Masks; PDF, not yet
Conan; PDF, not yet
Deadlands Players Guide; PDF, not yet

Yet to Pitch:
Shattered Dawn; Physical Product (arrived just after my pitch list to EN World)
Hunted (DMs Guild); PDF
Aces & Eights Reloaded; Pending Kickstarter

KoDT (1 review per month)

On the Schedule:
Operation Whitebox; Physical: review submitted
Krendel Core; PDF: review submitted
Barbarians of Lemuria: Mythic Edition; PDF & Physical Product, review written
Starfinder Core Book; physical product, starting soon
Blood Shadows; PDF, review written
The Crying Blades and/or Crying Hack; PDF, not yet
Save the Day; PDF; started, but asked to hold for updates; not sure
Death of Legends; PDF, not yet
Nefertiti; physical book; holding review, published reviews of other publisher RPGs recently

I plan to keep the list in this order. My RPG Review guidelines are here (or up on the contact me tab), but I'm not accepting PDFs at this time. I'm determined to finish the list of PDFs I currently have. Next review call should be around late summer. While I've been doing my best to get this list knocked out, if you're a publisher of RPGs, here is a couple of RPG Reviewers you might query about reviews... Links to each persons contact info is attached to the name.

RPGs for kids: Egg Embry (EN World, featured reviewer contact page)
RPGs Call of Cthulhu and Lovecraftian inspired: Matthew Pook (on Facebook)

Last month, I published two RPG reviews with EN World and one with Knights of the Dinner Table. I'm shifting the schedule so that my Review Burp will cover RPG reviews from the prior month, and I already wrote content concerning KoDT #250, which came out in December. It's here is you want to look. With EN World I wrote reviews for Sins of the Father by Third Eye Games (link to publisher site) & Swords Edge by Swords Edge Publishing (link to publisher site).

Disclosure: Text and cover images below here, include affiliate links to drivethrurpg.com. I receive a token % if you purchase something on the landing page. I don't make much, but thank you for purchasing through these links, they help support me and this blog. Thank you for your support.

Swords Edge
Sins of the Father
Sins of the Father is a unique RPG, which uses standard decks of the playing cards for game mechanics. It's a storyteller RPG, which the character's souls, have been bartered to a Dark Lord in exchange for Dark Gifts. It doesn't come with a setting, but you can scope it how you prefer. I'm imagining it very good for one-shots, or off nights when not all your players show up. The review on EN world is here.

Swords Edge is a storyteller ruleset for a variety of potential settings. One of the most interesting things about this RPG is how the writing encourages story and sharing the narrative. This is Swords Edge Publishing's third successful Kickstarter, and though each RPG has the features common to narrative strong RPGs, each is also rather unique. The setting you'll run with Swords Edge is open, but the ruleset includes five potential setting skins (in brief) to get you started. The review on EN World is here.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Apocalypse Prevention Inc 2nd Edition: RPG Review

API 2nd Edition
Welcome to a review of Apocalypse Prevention Inc., 2nd Edition. This is a review of the PDF, which is available at DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com as well as at the Third Eye Games Store, (link, to the store). This product is available in full color and black and white; Print and PDF. Apocalypse Prevention Inc., 2nd Edition was brought to life via Kickstarter around the tune of 6.5k internet bucks. Mash some buttons and it can be yours.

Disclosure: Product images on this page and the banner below may include affiliate links. I receive a token % if you purchase something on the landing page. Thank you for your support.  

Apocalypse Prevention Inc. 2nd Edition is an interesting RPG. The product blurb puts this as an RPG which offers action, horror and a twist of humor. The setting is modern day. The player characters will be asserting the role of earth saving, hero agents. The primary duty of each player character is keeping humanity safe from all demonic and supernatural threats. Each character will be a member of a secret organization called (you guessed it!) Apocalypse Prevention Inc. The game borrows its scope from a number popular media franchises, but in my mind given its action heavy combat system, this RPG is custom made to follow either a Hell Boy or Men in Black sort of game experience. I prefer Hell Boy. The wealth of options and detail makes Apocalypse Prevention Inc., 2E a game that you would, and likely should make your own.

Despite itself and this is my first criticism, horror is mentioned as a theme, but beyond character choices I didn’t see enough execution in the writing for horror to fit. Whenever I think of horror I’m looking for mechanics and game themes similar to Call of Cthulhu or to a lesser degree Vampire the Masquerade, or RPGs which feature negative consequences, in some way as a mechanic. What can I say? The horror elements just weren’t dastardly enough. If you’re in the market for a horror RPG API 2E is a tough fit in my mind. What this RPG does feature is an interesting mix of races/demons many of which players have the option of utilizing as characters and in turn the GM may also utilize as foes. You could theme your game towards horror, as many these optional races borrow from classic horror tropes but the manner in which their written really fits the action and humor themes a lot better.

What Apocalypse Prevention Inc., 2E has is a lot of character options, as well as a robust combat system. Since I already started, let’s get into it by talking about some of the fiddly bits otherwise known as game mechanics.


Apocalypse Prevention Inc., 2nd Edition utilizes its own system coined the Dynamic Gaming System 2.0 (DGS). DGS is a medium leaning toward the heavy side of crunch. I’ll let the game speak for itself:

“The DGS 2.0 system uses a combination of bonuses from Attributes, Skills or even Race abilities to accomplish tasks. Most tasks are performed by rolling 1d20 (one twenty-sided die) and applying modifiers (bonuses or penalties) relevant to the situation. For every 5 they roll over their Difficulty, the player receives a Boost (pg. 171) for additional positive effect.” (PG 169)

In most cases, players are hoping to meet or beat the Difficulty set by the GM. However, in cases where the player may have a result within 5 of the Difficulty, this is considered a Near Success. The character accomplishes the task, but also suffers a negative consequence.

Near Successes & Boosts offer an interesting amount of variation to any given check. Though mechanically different, I’m reminded of how HackMaster creates variation with the use of penetration dice (noted as d4p etc.). Near Successes and Boosts also entails that when gauging combat encounters the number of combatants involved (vs. characters) is as equally important from a balance standpoint as the foe(s) being faced. If the characters are outnumbered this is never a good thing. There are also some well laid out suggestions to balance boosts through variation, whether to increase or decrease the number at which boosts are achieved by foes. This in turn could be used to lower the variation overall for both the characters and foes, as well as stretching it further, used to modify Near Successes.

Affiliate Banner Linked to Drivethrurpg.com
Old School RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

 
A bit of an aside but something essential, is that the game offers a lot of functional advice (and advanced options) for using the ruleset in a way more supple than most RPGs. This approach is very effective in allowing players & GMs to tweak the technical/mechanical aspects in a game into a game they want to play. I liked the approach and more importantly the execution of these sections and it is certainly something to consider before letting API 2E find its way to your table.

Since I’m already there, combat is robust and unique. Players roll a D20 and receive an initiative bonus from their agility (AGY) and Intellect (IQ). These scores are added together with the highest number going first. And this number is used as a Staggered Initiative. Each action, which characters and foes perform, has a specific speed rating and whatever this number, that number is subtracted from the characters Staggered Initiative total. Actions are capped at two per round for beginning characters, the amount of actions increase as the character gain experience. Each Reaction has a speed rating, but does not qualify as an action. Actions/Reactions are well defined similar to how spells or psionic abilities are defined in other games. I liked this feature and it provides players and GMs a good definition or theater for combat encounters to happen. The detail of this combat system should make it less daunting to new players. Here are your actions, they take up x speed rating; here are the reactions, the take up y speed rating. It’s involving, but laid out in a straight forward manner.

Character creation in API2 provides a lot of options. Players select a concept then have a choice of either a human character or choosing from among 20 character (species/race) types. All races not human are considered Demons (for their innate and often unnatural aptitudes) many of which hail from distant dimensions. The other types of demons presented are borrowed from classic horror tropes. While it’s aptly presented combining aliens and classic horror will likely make this RPG a bit of a mash for some.

Character creation utilizes a point buy system for players to make the character they prefer without utilizing a character classes. Characters start with twenty-five (25) points to distribute among the six core attributes. How points are distributed is balanced with a soft cap of 8, which is when spending points beyond 8, the cost is doubled. Skills are selected in a similar and utilize a point buy. Next are Gifts and Drawbacks. Each character race starts with a specific listing of Gifts and Drawbacks and is awarded a certain number of Bonus Points (BPs) to spend on Gifts. Drawbacks can be chosen and each has a certain amount of BPs which is awarded to the player character and can be spent with character creation. More likely than not Drawbacks will be chosen based upon the character concept that was put forth in step one. The last steps are choosing gear and calculating Derived Stats of which there are thirteen (13).

Not that it’s a good calculation, because hopefully you will have some peers to help you along, I created three different characters as a test for this system. The very first time it took me just short of two hours (lol), the second and third time each too a little less than an hour. The amount of features and my inherent need to min/max the detail of this system makes character creation probably more fun, than it should be. At least concerning this nerd it did. If you’re looking for a quick game, there is a nice section which features 12 pre-gen agent characters for players to use.

(Disclosure: This review is property of Kenzer and Company and republished here with permission.)

Beyond character creation there are systems in place which feature Magic Disciplines, Fighting Styles and Cybernetics. For a game without character classes players certainly have a lot of way to mix options in the sort of character they can create.

In total Apocalypse Prevention 2E measures in at 231 pages and is laid out in two column style featuring black & white illustrations on the interior. The cover art is by Daniel Wong and the interior art features illustrations by Mike Mumah, Daniel Wong, and Herbert Kwan. Originally, I thought that all the illustrations were by Mumah, but that’s a credit to the production as the art plentiful and consistent throughout.

Overall, I have a favorable impression of Apocalypse Prevention Inc., 2E. Certainly, if I can get some more regular games going this game has a slot-especially if I can convince my group for a few one offs. From there who knows? The only criticisms I have are in regards to horror as a theme which was mentioned previously and that a few sections of the writing (some sentences were a bit long and/or too many commas) could use an edit. Still, the enthusiastic style of the writing is hard to miss and the overall layout is well organized. I defiantly recommend giving it some play.