Power cut-induced creativity

So due to Storm Ophelia, I had to stay home from work today, and then we lost power for a few hours. It’s back now, but it meant I actually found time to write. So here’s what I came up with at the time.

 

Since I find myself stuck in a house with a horrible storm outside, and without power inside, I thought I’d do something minimal like powering up my laptop and writing.

And after reading a few .pdfs saved in various places, I was all ready to go. Then I opened LibreOffice and was confronted with the dreaded enemy – the blank white page.

I’ve got a good few ideas on the go, but my problem is most of them are stored online somewhere, and I don’t even have a mobile signal to check where I am with them (yay storms!). So now I have to try and work out where I am with any of my ideas and work from there, and it’s painfully obvious that I don’t keep enough of them in my head.

 

So, what do I have the potentiality to think about?

 

I’m still fiddling away at my idea for the Ginnungagap – Space Vikings! – in D&D. I know it’s possible to brew together something from all the rules for magic and lasers in the game, even without more settings and rules coming out all of a sudden.

I have ideas for how Elves and Dwarves fit in, how magic works, why lasers aren’t as lethal as a phaser set to disintegrate, how to tie firearms in without getting bogged down in whether they fire bullets or laser beams or plasma bolts or dark energy disks. I’m still not much nearer to a story for a series of adventures.

I keep saying that I’ll puzzle something together if I sit down and get players, and then I delay that because I want to pull more of the rules together, rather than getting it going and fiddling and nerfing in play, which I know I should do.

I’ve more or less decided that I’ll finish my book on historical Vikings, read Neil Gaiman’s book on Norse Mythology, and then be in a place I’m ready to get going with it. We’ll see if I can manage that.

 

The Old Crown still twirls around in my head, but not with any real progress going on. Again, maybe I need to just sit down and write, or maybe I should through it at other people and see what sticks. I’m hoping Winter will give me an excuse to do more work on it, in the long dark nights where I don’t want to go anywhere, but we’ll see if I manage that.

I’m not happy with the name anymore, but I’m even less happy with any alternatives that I can come up with. I have more ideas for stories and games, but there are deliberately more hooks woven into the setting because I’ve been working at it for longer and wanted to explore, and it’s filled with different factions competing with each other.

I should probably work out if I can make a game out of it, or what game I’d want to. I’ve played with D&D (4th edition) and with FATE (using a reputation stress bar, which was odd), and I’m pretty happy I can make it work with the Cypher system quite easily, just to keep the rules very light.

Of those, I think I’d be most inclined to go with FATE though, maybe try with Fate Accelerated, because with 3 or 4 aspects it would work quite well.

 

And then, Fantasy Flight have released the beta of the new Legend of the Five Rings rules, so now I’m interested in that again (first glance – ugh, custom dice and no roll and keep?). I’m sure I’ll have a better review of the thing at some point, but based on the skim I read this morning, I like that the core rules have moved back to focussing on the same areas as in the first edition of the game, more or less.

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Parts of a City

Over the weekend, I had a non-digital day, turned off all my tech and only used my phone as a cooking timer when I made a very late dinner.

I got a LOT of reading done.

And I also did some brainstorming.

 

So, here’s a few location ideas I listed for parts and places of a city, in a fantasy or sci-fi setting, I don’t think it really matters. You could drop these in as locations during character building, or in a shared FATE location construction, and draw some descriptions, plot hooks or Aspects out from them.

They’re a pretty mixed bag, but they sort of got bunched into groups as I was coming up with them.

 

The Grand Promenade, Arcades, the Avenues, Oldtown, the New Quarter, the Zocalo

The Estates, Villas, the Tenements, Outwall

The Barracks, Guildhalls, the Senate, the Conclave, Palaces

The Great Temple, Ecclesiarch’s Palace, the Pantheon, Synod

The Souk, Night Market, the Floating Market, the Goblin Market, Caravaners’ Bazaar

Wharves and Dockside, the Docklands, Moorings, Ferries, Underbridge, Rialto, Longbridge, Riverdown

The Rooftops, Birdtown, the Nest, Highperch, Towers, Hightown

The Maze, Warrens, the Spider’s Nest, Witches’ Den, Alleys, the Broken

The Pits, Night Quarter, Vice Houses, the Dens, Red Street, Flops

City takeover

The other day, I ended up having a scroll through some old blog posts and one caught my eye that I’d completely forgotten about.

Since I’ve written that post, new novels about that hinted-at history have begun rolling out, but I’m ignoring those until I get my hands on a copy!

 

Anyway, the point being, I’m now thinking about how this could be pulled off in an RPG. How best to apply the rules, and what rules? Taking over a city is basically the main goal in any Vampire: the Masquerade game for any half-decent coterie, so I might ignore that.

What then? FATE, D&D, Cortex, Savage Worlds all give potential, as does just homebrewing or mashing a few of them together. D&D would be easy to pick up for most of my players, but FATE might give me the god-like messiness that gives them the chance to really take on a city.

I may have been playing too much Saints Row and falling back on my love of the Authority comics in brainstorming this. And then I remembered the post I made before my original city takeover and thought about connecting the players to an old forgotten temple or something like that.

 

Anyway, we’ll see. So far, my options for a new RPG are either this, Space Viking D&D, or an intro Vampire game that people might be interested in. We’ll see. It’s been far too long since I rolled some dice!

A – Z March: Cyberpunk

A while ago I put together a cyberpunk setting to run in FATE, but I never really explored it beyond a couple of games. But I still have all the ideas in my head.

 

So, for the month of March, I’m going to try and run a post every day detailing one thing about the setting, and base it around a letter, much like my previous Old Crown A-Z from a couple of years ago.

The setting borrowed a little from a great game I played in five or six years ago, run by my friend Lewis. Eventually his setting was just ‘PUNK!’, featuring space travel and aliens and psionics and everything. Most of what I borrowed from him was the placing for my storyline (the Pacific) and a couple of nods here and there (the organised crime, the gangs, and so on). I know he pulled a lot from the old Cyberpunk 2020 setting, and his rules were based around the old World of Darkness ones, and it was a lot of fun, so I couldn’t really help myself when borrowing a couple of the elements.

I hope he forgives me.

 

Wish me luck!

Don’t call it a comeback

Because that would be far too premature!

It’s been about 18 months since I’ve posted anything to this blog, and maybe a year since I feel like I’ve written anything meaningful. But there’s still the constant buzz in my head of ideas, I’m just a bit crap at bothering to write them down anywhere!

 

So, why the sudden post now? Well, it’s January in a new year, and therefore as good a time as any to try and get back into my writing habit. I managed it a few years ago (at least the start of it), so hopefully I can push myself on a bit further this time. Maybe even fail to stop posting, and carry on going! Who knows?

 

What’s the plan going forward? Pretty much the same as before. I have a few ideas to riff on, an A-Z list for a few ideas ready to go, but I don’t have them written up and ready just yet (despite good intentions).

The settings I have going haven’t changed so much either.

I still have the world of the Old Crown, although a few bits and pieces have changed around. More on that at some point.

FATEpunk is still active in my head, though less thought out on that.

The mythic space opera D&D setting involving lasers and vikings and spaceships and giants is still bubbling away in my head. I have an adventure path planned, but I’m not happy at all with the start of it. The ending I think is great. If I actually sit down and refine it properly, I’ll post it all up here.

 

New ideas?

I’ve been playing a lot of Magic the Gathering, so I might throw up some decklists of things I’m tinkering with. Nothing too set in stone with that yet.

I’ve been looking at different writing prompts and trying a few things. Nothing really further than a few paragraphs so far, but hoping that’s just my lack of practice slowing me up, and I’ll get going again soon.

I haven’t kept too up to date with stuff going on in RPG land, new rules and settings and stuff. I might have to sit down and read a bunch of stuff, see if that can help me. I might do a few book reviews. I’ve finally started reading the M20 book, years after I meant to support the Kickstarter for it. So far It’s really good, but I’m still not that far in (under page 50). More to follow.

 

I might try and throw some stuff together about other books I’ve read, if I remember to. I’ve just finished the Pratchett/Baxter Long Earth series, so maybe a post or two about them.

 

Anyway, that’s all for now. Hopefully a post or two before February!

End of Week 1 of A-Z, what next?

Ok, so there’s only been two posts, but I’m counting it as week one!

I hope you’re enjoying this little look into the world of the Old Crown setting that I’ve been working on. I’ve written a couple of days ahead now and I’m really happy with how they’ve turned out so far. I’ve managed to actually plan all the letters and so far I’m pretty happy. I might juggle a few later in the month.

What else is going on? Well, I’ve changed the look of the blog. I’m still not so happy with the colours so they might change, but I think I’m happy enough with this layout. We’ll see though.

I’m planning on throwing extra posts outside the A-Z up on Sundays if I have one to write. If I’m feeling really productive, they may even go up as an extra post, but we’ll see how that pans out for the rest of the month.

So far I’m feeling pretty productive though. I’ve decided that the next foray into the world of the Old Crown will be using the Fate Accelerated rules, which by now I’m sure most are familiar with but are entirely free to download, and there’s an SRD here too.

I’ve run with the Fate Core before but was always put off a bit by Accelerated, but I don’t know why. The setting fits pretty well in my head with the rules, and it’s not too fiddly, and I don’t have to work out the magic or new stress tracks or anything because it all works right away. I might add a reputation mechanic for a +1/+0/-1 with various organisations, but again that’s not too fiddly and I don’t even have to really. So yay!

That said, conversions for 5E D&D are forming up too. I think I can convert most of the races pretty well with just a little bit of reskinning and minor fiddling. Backgrounds are easy enough to fit, the classes would need some work though (but I’m getting there!)

I’ve got a viking/norse-themed setting for 5E starting to form up pretty well too. I need to work more on the storyline and maybe monsters too, but I’m pretty happy so far and I know where I’m going with it, just not worked out the journey yet!

All in all, a good week! More to come soon.

Unexpected title generator failure

It’s my birthday this week. I turn 29.

I’ve been having a hard time getting the motivation to write recently, I don’t know why. I have plenty of time to do it, I just seem to lack the enthusiasm I wish I had.

Maybe that’s the problem – I’m wishing I was more enthusiastic when I could just try and do it regularly enough to form a habit.

That’s what I had been doing before, but due to losing Internet access for a while when we moved, I never really got the push back into writing that I needed I suppose.

Well, I’m going to try and turn over a new leaf, what with my birthday and all. Starting this week, I WILL be forcing myself to write and POST stuff, and not just mess about with little bits and fail to share anything.

I’ve been thinking about running an intro to my FATE setting over Hangouts too. It’s been a while since I did anything with it, but it would be nice to have a bit more feedback, and the push to get my ideas in gear might be useful too!

If anyone would be interested, let me know. I’ll drop an invitation out on various social media at some point soon too, see what I can scrounge up.