Meanwhile elsewhere...

steveh

Rune Priest
Interesting blog posts I’ve stumbled across recently.

My comments may not make sense if you don’t read the linked post first.

Indie RPG Newsletter: Being an insider​


In this post, Thomas Manuel comments on the Quinn’s Quest review of Vaesen, particularly the bit about players not knowing Vaesen’s folklore and, therefore, the characters not knowing it either.

I have the same problem with many fantasy RPGs; I often stumble because even though my character should know something, I don’t.

When I’m GM-ing, I try to separate character knowledge from player knowledge – and I’ll tell the players things that their characters realise. Unfortunately, not all GMs are so helpful.

The Quinn’s Quest review of Vaesen is really good (I’ve enjoyed all his reviews so far). Quinn’s criticism of Vaesen’s reliance on a couple of key skills reminded me a little of Liminal, where I find that it’s essential to take The Sight and Lore (I know The Sight isn’t a skill, but even so).

The Alexandrian on preparation and scenario design​


The Alexandrian is nicer than I am. Rather than criticise The Zalozhniy Quartet’s scenario design too much, he uses it to create individual NPC timelines for the key NPCs and groups.

I’m a big fan of timelines (or countdowns or whatever) and often include them in my adventures, but I confess I hadn’t thought of separating them by NPC/faction. Something to remember, should my timelines get too unwieldy.

The Four Table Legs of Traveller​


Sir Poley talks extensively about the four table legs of Traveller:


In essence, he argues that your ship’s monthly mortgage payments drive you to travel and accept job offers that lead to interesting encounters and great gameplay.

I love how everything is interconnected. It feels like Sir Poley has discovered Traveller – because what he unearths isn’t obvious from reading the rulebook.

However, I’m not sure if it’s how I want to play Traveller, as I’m too fond of mysteries and overarching plots. But I can see now how Twilight’s Peak was meant to work. And if I ever get the urge to try a solo TTRPG, this might be fun to try.

(Elsewhere on his Tumblr, Sir Poley talks about character sheets, trade sheets, and other aspects of Traveller. And I agree with him – law level should be added to equipment.)

Gary Gibson on surviving as an author​


I recently read Europa Deep, an SF novel set in the next century about a mission to Europa, a Jovian moon. It’s a tale with augmented humans, sentient malware, transhumans, double agents, and weird alien life. It was right up my street, and I loved it. So I went looking for the author’s site and found this interesting post on surviving as an author without the support of a traditional publisher.


It’s interesting in lots of ways, but I was taken with Gibson’s comments on focus, and noting that his readers are fickle: “When you wander away from the style of books for which you built an audience while under contract, most of that audience isn't likely to follow you.”

I’m aware that I flit from topic to topic on this blog. Traveller. Conventions. ALIEN. Freeforms. Other London. Liminal. I’m sure that if I concentrated on one thing, then I’d get more attention. But I don’t have the staying power for that.

I don’t even use this blog to talk about Freeform Games much, and that’s my main income. Instead, my blog is a place for me to reflect on games I’ve played and read, and chunter on about other stuff.

Gibson notes the importance of BookBub to his income. I found Europa Deep via BookBub…


The best RPG cover of all time​


Traveller’s little black box was always my favourite-looking RPG. When I bought The Traveller Book, I threw away the Andrew J Keith illustrated dust jacket because I wanted to see the “proper” cover.

Knight at the Opera explains why Traveller’s cover is so good.

Continue reading...
 
However, I’m not sure if it’s how I want to play Traveller, as I’m too fond of mysteries and overarching plots. But I can see now how Twilight’s Peak was meant to work. And if I ever get the urge to try a solo TTRPG, this might be fun to try.

That’s how our campaign was working until Art died…
 
That was why Jack played the Captain as so uptight. The debt was significant… and she owed it. You folks were salaried. It was her business…
 
That was why Jack played the Captain as so uptight. The debt was significant… and she owed it. You folks were salaried. It was her business…

Ahhh, I'd forgotten that. Maybe a good reason to make all the PCs part owners of the ship?

(Hmm, I don't suppose maternity pay/leave is particularly generous in the Third Imperium...)
 
It was partly Jack’s decision - I did suggest we set it up as profit shares but he didn’t want to do that.
 
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