[19:05] <+Ken_Spencer> Writer and Rocket Age Line Developer at Cubicle 7.
[19:06] <+KurtWiegel> Youtube Game reviewer for Game Geeks
[19:06] <+Lee_Szczepanik> I’m co-owner, Production Manager, and Head Writer for Daring Entertainment. Probably best known in Savage Worlds for the War of the Dead and World of the Dead line
[19:06] <+LawrenceWhitaker> Lawrence Whitaker, publisher/co-writer RuneQuest 6, before that Mongoose (RQ, Traveller, some Conan), and before that Chaosium (Elric/Stormbringer).
[19:06] <+TimK> I’m the writer of Hearts & Souls (Supers), and High Valor, and the guy behind Silverlion Studios
[19:06] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Cynthia Celeste Miller here. I’m the president of Spectrum Games and have had a hand in Cartoon Action Hour, Slasher Flick, Macabre Tales, The Big Crime and Capes, Cowls and Villains Foul. I also do a bit of freelancery for Shadowrun.
[19:06] <+CJCarella> You may remember me from such books as Rifts Phase World, GURPS Martial Arts, Witchcraft and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG.
[19:06] <+JasonDurall> Jason Durall has spent twenty years as a writer, designer, and playtester in the pen-and-paper industry, working for companies like Chaosium, Guardians of Order, Decipher, Mongoose, Margaret Weiss Productions, Cubicle 7, Phage Press, and Rite Publishing. His most recent work has included material for The Laundry, World War Cthulhu, Magic World, and he is the
[19:06] <+RPGPundit> I’m the RPGPundit. Savior of RPGs and History’s Greatest Monster, depending on who you ask. Owner of theRPGsite, famous blogger, and writer of “Forward… to Adventure!”, Gnomemurdered, Lords of Olympus, and Arrows of Indra.
[19:06] <+JasonLBlair> Little Fears, Streets of Bedlam (Savage Worlds), and my day job is as a video game writer for Volition (developors of Saints Row, Red Faction).
[19:06] <+JasonMHardy> Shadowrun line developer. Also wrote some Battletech novels/stories, and d20 stuff back in the day.
[19:06] <+JasonHolmgren> Artist for “Joe Genero”, “Knights of the Dinner Table”, “Finieious Fingers” — now director of Sanguine Games (Ironclaw, Noggle Stone, MyriadSong)
[19:07] <+NathanMaher> Head of Nightingale Publishing, creator of Spooks! Welcome to the Great Beyond
[19:07] <+JasonDurall> My day job is as a writer for MMOs such as Wizard101, Pirate101, and other unannounced titles.
[19:07] <+AndrewPeregrine> Freelancer writer, mainly for Cubicle 7 on Doctor Who and especially Yggdrasill, Kuro and Qin. Bit of work with Margaret Weis and Onyx Path. Publish my own stuff as ‘Corone Design’
[19:07] <+DavidFChapman> Writer and designer of Doctor Who Adventures in Time and Space, writer and line developer for Conspiracy X 2.0, and creator of WILD.
[19:07] <+ToddBogenrief> Todd Bogenrief, director at Fasa Games, writer, and line developer for Fading Sun and Noble Armada
[19:07] <+RossWatson> Creator of Accursed for Savage Worlds, designed Rogue Trader & Deathwatch, former line developer for Warhammer 40,000 roleplay, developer for a bunch of other stuff along the way.
[19:07] <+HalG> Gamer, designer, writer, art director-working on/worked on Fall of Man, The Awakened, Bluffside for d20, C&C and soon PF-worked with Thunderhead Games, Mystic Eye Games, Samurai Sheepdog, TPK Games, RGG, Troll Lord
[19:08] <+RPGPundit> (oh yeah, also Consultant on D&D Next, editor credits in Corporia, writer/consultant for the upcoming Raiders of R’lyeh)
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[19:08] <@Abstruse> Dan’s wrangled me once again into helping moderate this thing. I’m Darryl Mott Jr. and I write the tabletop gaming column for Ain’t It Cool News. I also own and produce the GAmer’s Tavern Podcast Network and co-host the Gamer’s Tavern podcast along with Ross Watson, who always forgets to mention that in his bios :p
[19:09] <+JamesSutton> Ex-RedBrick and FASA Games founder, now playing in my own sandbox — Capricious Games — working on Blue Planet material and new games for the sake of my own sanity and sense of self-worth.
[19:09] <+RossWatson> It’s true. I’m bad about that. Sorry. Also host of Gamer’s Tavern podcast.
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[19:09] <+KurtWiegel> Wow there are an acre of us aren’t there?
[19:10] <~Dan> I don’t do things halfway.
[19:10] *** Dan is now known as DanDavenport
[19:10] <+LawrenceWhitaker> I’ve never seen so many Jasons gathered in one place…
[19:10] <+AndrewPeregrine> lol
[19:10] <+JasonDurall> It is a bit excessive
[19:10] <+JamesSutton> A veritable gaggle of gamers
[19:10] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> It’s a Jason Convention. 😀
[19:10] <+RossWatson> With this many Jasons, we could take over the world.
[19:10] <+JasonHolmgren> It’s a generation thing.
[19:10] <+JasonMHardy> It’s the internet. Jasons are everywhere. Change your name now. Join us.
[19:10] <@Abstruse> I’m not changing my name solely because I think more people know me as Abstruse than as Darryl ^_^;;
[19:10] <+JM_Thompson> Does anyone have a golden fleece?
[19:10] <+CJCarella> Too many Jasons, not enough Argonauts?
[19:10] <+JasonLBlair> My question is why there are so many non-Jasons around. I feel like I was misled.
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[19:11] <+JasonMHardy> Non-Jasons are indeed suspect.
[19:11] <+JasonDurall> Form a circle, Jasons!
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[19:11] <+KurtWiegel> Curses! found me out!
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[19:11] *** DanDavenport sets mode +v Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream_Publishin
[19:11] <@Abstruse> If you want to change your nick, you can do it with the command /nick NewName
[19:11] <~DanDavenport> Okay! Did we get the get the intros out of the way?
[19:11] <~DanDavenport> Howdy, Shane!
[19:11] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream_Publishin> Hi Dan
[19:11] <+JM_Thompson> Howdy Shane
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[19:12] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> Hi everyone
[19:12] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Hey there, Shane.
[19:12] <+AndrewPeregrine> heya
[19:12] <+TimK> Hi Shane
[19:12] <+Ken_Spencer> Hello Shane
[19:12] <+RPGPundit> Currently smoking: Brigham Anniversary pipe + Image Latakia
[19:12] <+KurtWiegel> Hey Shane
[19:12] <~DanDavenport> Okay, folks! Everyone ready to get this party started?
[19:12] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> You bet!
[19:12] <+JasonLBlair> Yeah, let’s jason this jason!
[19:12] <+JM_Thompson> Yes, indeed
[19:12] <~DanDavenport> Heh.
[19:13] <+KurtWiegel> snrk
[19:13] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> That’s Smurfarific.
[19:13] <+DavidFChapman> Sure, though I may fall asleep. Am typing while in bed…
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[19:13] <~DanDavenport> I am now opening the floor to questions from the audience!
[19:13] <+AndrewPeregrine> The brit endurance test begins!
[19:13] <~DanDavenport> Audience members, please submit your questions in #rpgnet-audience.
[19:14] <~DanDavenport> I’ll go ahead and get things rolling.
[19:14] <+RPGPundit> Its 9pm here. This is lunchtime hour for me. Also, Currently Smoking: nothing, because The Wench has cooked up an amazing Chicken Curry for me to eat while typing.
[19:14] <~DanDavenport> I’ve observed that when it comes to genre simulation, there are two general approaches:
[19:14] <+Lee_Szczepanik> Blah! My dinner is two floors away. 😦
[19:14] <~DanDavenport> (1) Simulating the environment.
[19:15] <~DanDavenport> (2) Simulating the narrative.
[19:15] <~DanDavenport> Do you favor one or the other, and why? (Assuming you agree with my premise in the first place, of course.)
[19:15] <~DanDavenport> I will direct this to….
[19:15] <~DanDavenport> LawrenceWhitaker!
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[19:16] <+LawrenceWhitaker> I do both. The rules handle the environment, the scenarios and setting books handle the narrative element.
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[19:16] <~DanDavenport> Well, let me clarify a bit before we open the floor to responses…
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[19:17] <~DanDavenport> By the narrative element, I’m speaking in terms of rules meant to simulate the sorts of things that happen in the source material. For example…
[19:17] <+JasonHolmgren> A good game won’t separate environment from narrative. For example, if characters can fall off a cliff, lose 10% of their HP, dust themselves off and keep running, they’ll behave differently than a game that kills them for just falling 10 feet. They’ll do different things, which leads to different stories.
[19:18] <~DanDavenport> Basic Roleplaying presents superpower rules that let you build a superhero. They don’t do anything to try to guide what that superhero will/can do as part of the narrative.
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[19:18] <+AndrewPeregrine> That is the tricky part, figuring out what you want to encourage to reflect the genre
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[19:19] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> As many of you know, genre emulation is my bread and butter. I guess I favor the first approach to a certain degree, but the second approach is still a part of what I do. Before I even start thinking of game mechanics, I tear the genre apart, looking for nuances, tropes, common factors, etc. Then, I figure out how I can best bring those elements to life.
[19:19] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Concocting ways to do that is my favorite part of game design.
[19:19] <+JasonDurall> I don’t know if it’s ever that simple. Many popular games are hybrids, taking an existing rules set and adding a setting to it.
[19:19] <+RPGPundit> The term should be “emulation” not “simulation”. Simulation implies you are making a simulacra, a potemkin village, a facade. Emulation means you are trying to create a virtual world.
[19:19] <+JasonHolmgren> Rules endorse behavior. To quote one of my favorite examples, the Doctor Who:AiT&S game gives everyone ‘story points’, which can emphatically be used to either mod die rolls or to change the story. That’s appropriate for a romantic, emotion-charged game like Dr.Who. It wouldn’t be as appropriate for, say, WH40K, which is grim and deadly.
[19:19] <+TimK> I emulate the genre. Myself. If the genre is about hard physical truths, then I aim for that. If the genre is narrative in nature, I aim for that. I still build a core mechanic that simulates the truth of the setting/genre.
[19:19] <+JasonDurall> I’ve worked a lot in licensed games, and some of them were excellent matches of system and setting, and others were a bit of a stretch.
[19:20] <+LawrenceWhitaker> If I’m writing a setting book – and I’m working on Mythic Britain right now – I have a certain feeling/atmosphere in mind I want to capture. I focus very much on the narrative structures needed to capture that, rather than specific rules to ‘game’ the world. I know that the RQ rules will handle the environment, so all I need to do is tweak a few rules here an
[19:20] <+AndrewPeregrine> Doctor Who is an excellent example becasue it had to let you play characters like Jo Grant but also Captain Jack. Very trick to do both effectivly
[19:20] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Rules do indeed endorse behavior. In Slasher Flick, for example, I have the Genre Point system in place to give players reason to have their secondary characters do all the stupid things that horror movie characters do in the movies.
[19:21] <~DanDavenport> (brb — please continue!)
[19:21] <+RPGPundit> If you are talking about Emulation, then the question becomes irrelevant, because what you are trying to Emulate is the “physics” of the genre, the very core quantum level of it. The world thus becomes one where in that virtual reality the laws fit the kind of thing that allow the genre conventions to succeed.
[19:21] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> They do stupid things or genre appropriate things and they get rewarded.
[19:21] <+JasonMHardy> What TimK said. Some genres are strongly tied to setting, so evoking that setting helps gets players involved, like the medieval high fantasy genre. Noir has its environments–dark, shadowy streets–but is also largely a matter of narrative, and if you spark the right story, it feels like noir, no matter the setting.
[19:21] <+RossWatson> I think that while this is an interesting question, the premise does possess a flaw — not all genres include environments as a significant element. Those that do, I often think of them in terms of the tropes and elements that the environment brings to the genre rather than the other way around.
[19:21] <+AndrewPeregrine> To a certain degree some of the answer is ‘what would be cool’ because you also want it to be fun to play as well as fit the genre
[19:21] <+TimK> In a supers game (H&S) I focus on the flexibility of physics for the characters–and focus on their nature, the characters, heroism, its price, and outcomes within a comic book genre.
[19:21] <+Ken_Spencer> Yoou have to match the narrative to the style of play that works best with the genre. Look at skill lists. Environmental emulation means you have thousands of skills if not more. These aren’t need for every genre of game.
[19:21] <+RPGPundit> No narrative manipulation is then needed on the game designer’s part; though GMs may still engage in some ground rules (ie. superheroes don’t kill people, just because).
[19:21] <+JasonHolmgren> You can wind up with big problems when a game’s story goes one way, but the rules go another. D&D is notorious for trying to tell stories that the rules just don’t emulate. The typical example is the ‘man dying by the side of the road’ — what kind of bastard are you, that you have all these healing spells and don’t use them?
[19:22] <+AndrewPeregrine> The narrative is certainly up to the GM, but they do need us to give them the right tools to make it work
[19:23] <~DanDavenport> (back, sorry)
[19:23] <+TimK> Exactly. AndrewPeregrine is on the nail. Give tools, to make the genre work from the game side.
[19:23] <+JasonHolmgren> When Eberron came out for D&D3, there were big problems. How do you run a murder mystery (in the narrative) when the rules let you raise someone from the dead so easily (using the envornment)? … The two have to work hand in hand.
[19:24] <+RPGPundit> Ken: no, “thousands of skills” would almost certainly be bad genre emulation.
[19:24] <+Lee_Szczepanik> See, I never consciously consider the two. In War of the Dead, I created the basic zombies to emulate what we see in the Romero style Shamblers. The rules were there in Savage Worlds, it was just a matter of putting the pieces together. So, since I typically work in SW, I focus more on the setting/world narrative: the NPCs, stories, events, et cetera
[19:24] <+RPGPundit> Jason: that is a problem in some D&D games, where the author/gm tries to add “storytelling” to the mix.
[19:24] <+CJCarella> I’d say the simulation aspect is more like the skeleton – it needs to be robust enough to support the overlying narratives – note that even within the same genre you can get very different conventions and flavors – superheroes run the gamut from Galactus-type threats to down-and-dirty “Hell’s Kitchen” stories.
[19:24] <+ToddBogenrief> Definitely AndrewPeregrine – a good GM can make any setting work within a rules set but it is much nicer if the rules are helping them accomplish that task rather than fighting the rules to get the genre they want in play.
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[19:25] <+JasonDurall> And sometimes narrative tools can get in the way of players having fun.
[19:25] <+JasonMHardy> I agree with Todd–you can tell a lot of stories with D&D, but you can’t tell a lot of stories _easily_.
[19:25] <+JM_Thompson> Never let the rules get in the way of a good story 😀
[19:25] <+TimK> That’s always the reason, I feel Gm’s are important, to make sure the tools and players interface.
[19:25] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Very true, Todd. That’s why each of my own games is very specific to the genre that they are intended to emulate. They aren’t universal at all, in that respect. Just try running cyberpunk with Macabre Tales. LOL!
[19:25] <+CJCarella> My preference is for a system that is versatile enough to accommodate different playing styles and get out of the way of GMs and players, who in the end will be the ones deciding how to conduct their narrative.
[19:26] <+Ken_Spencer> RPGPundit: Exactly, you need to right ones for the genre. Skills tell the players and GM what is going to be important in a game, what the system expects you to use to interact with the story in a mechanical way.
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[19:26] <~DanDavenport> (Yes, I think this format is working much better. 🙂 )
[19:26] <+JasonHolmgren> A great comparison would be to try and play FASA’s Doctor Who vs. the new Who RPG. The old FASA rpg was an old-skool RPG with quick death, a gazillion skills on a curve, and cumbersome math. It had no rewards for emotional role-playing, nor did it have provisions for high- and low-powered characters.
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[19:26] <+RPGPundit> You shouldn’t be “telling stories” with D&D AT ALL.
[19:26] <+AndrewPeregrine> Absolutly, you don’t want the game to fail to allow other fun just becasue it doesn’t quote fit the designer’s view of the genre
[19:27] <+AndrewPeregrine> Wow, my spelling is awful I’ll try and type slower!
[19:27] <+RPGPundit> RPGs aren’t for telling stories. Stories are a byproduct, like they can be byproduct of fishing or golfing.
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[19:27] <~DanDavenport> (Welcome, Sean_Punch! The current topic under discussion is simulating the environment (e.g., what Superman CAN do) vs. the narrative (what Superman WOULD do).
[19:27] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’d argue the complete opposite
[19:27] <+RossWatson> @JasonHolmgren, that’s an excellent example of how games have evolved to allow for more genre emulation and storytelling that leverage the tropes of the source material in a much more efficient way.
[19:27] <+JasonMHardy> I think RPGs are for lots of things. I love stories, and that’s one function of RPGs for me.
[19:28] <+CJCarella> IWell, RPGPundit, I think that’s in the eye of the beholder 🙂
[19:28] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I disagree with that assessment, but that’s the beauty of RPGs… there’s a lot of room for different beliefs on the issue.
[19:28] <+Ken_Spencer> I certainly aim to tell shared stories both around the table and in my writing.
[19:28] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’m a “story first” type of designer and GM.
[19:28] <+JasonDurall> “Genre” too, is a tricky subject. I’ve see far too many games dissolve quite quickly based on differences of opinion between the designers and the players about what a particular game’s genre is.
[19:28] <+AndrewPeregrine> The trick it to let each group play the game they want, and not insist they play one way or another becasue of the designer’s bias
[19:29] <+KurtWiegel> I’ve told dozens of stories in just as many systems. Its all finding the right match for a group.
[19:29] <+NathanMaher> Sadly, I’m stepping out. I’m triple booked on appointments today. Much to my own personal regret.
[19:29] <+TimK> Later Nathan
[19:29] <~DanDavenport> Thanks for stopping by, NathanMaher!
[19:29] <+NathanMaher> Glad I could stop by.
[19:29] <+Lee_Szczepanik> I would have to disagree. My group and I play RPGs solely for the cooperative story telling. Otherwise, we could just go play miniatures, CCGs, or even Poker.
[19:29] <+JasonHolmgren> Genre is like obscenity. We know it when we see it. 🙂 While you might have players being picky about what is and what isn’t, a good RPG at least gets you in the right ballpark.
[19:29] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> See ya, Nathan.
[19:29] <+CJCarella> Different people want different things from their time spent around a table with their character sheets. Some people just enjoy the “sport” aspect of the game – the competition between the player characters and the environment. Others enjoy the storytelling aspect more.
[19:29] <+RossWatson> Every group and every campaign has their own needs — I’ve never found “the one answer” that works for every gamer, everywhere.
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[19:29] <+RPGPundit> From a practical pov, RPGs are a crappy, crappy way to “tell stories”. That’s the very basis of the Forge Swines’ protests against them.
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[19:30] <+DavidFChapman> Must agree that I prefer systems to be so “in the background” that they don’t get in the way of the story.
[19:30] <+KurtWiegel> My group is made entirely of actors and musicians. We focus on story first and for most.
[19:30] <+Ken_Spencer> I find them to be excellent ways to tell stories with a group of people, and best of all not know how to get to the end, it at all.
[19:30] <+JasonHolmgren> The purpose of the RPG is to get us all in the same ballpark. You don’t NEED a rule-book to tell you how to play make believe. There are dozens of RP chats going on, RIGHT NOW, on this server. … A good rules system sets up the ‘ground rules’ for what we’ll let fly and what we won’t.
[19:30] <+KurtWiegel> *cough*unisystem*cough*
[19:30] <+JasonDurall> I’d also argue that many people pick games because they want to experience the designer’s bias
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[19:30] <+TimK> A common frame of reference JasonHolmgren, to build upon.
[19:30] <+JasonMHardy> That’s weird, then, that I can think about so many stories I could relate about games I played. And not just in how they were played, but in the story told throughout the game.
[19:31] <+RossWatson> The Jasons bring up an important point here: there’s a difference, IMHO, between the RPG as a game and the RPG as an experience. I tend to celebrate the latter over the former, but there’s elements of the former that drive the latter.
[19:31] <~DanDavenport> Well, let’s clarify that point a bit…
[19:31] <+CJCarella> I’ve been playing RPGs for decades now, and even while running the crunchiest “roll-playing” systems imaginable, my players and I always ended up crafting a more orless coherent story.
[19:31] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> +1 Jason Hardy.
[19:31] <+Lee_Szczepanik> Exactly JasonHolmgren. That why my group and I have a single, specific system we prefer (and even got long distance mileage out of Diceless Amber in the 1990s)
[19:31] <+JasonHolmgren> “Game” vs. “experience” could be a huge debate.
[19:31] <+RPGPundit> Holmgren: Right. So the existence of those chat rpers proves you don’t need RPG mechanics for story-making. The “ground rules” of RPGs, besides this, are NOT about how to make story but about how the “world works”.
[19:31] <+JasonMHardy> Or not a debate. I’ll take “both.”
[19:31] <~DanDavenport> When you say “telling a story”, are you talking about literally, deliberately creating a narrative, or are you talking about creating a series of events that, in retrospect, is a story? As in, “Here’s what happened in this adventure”?
[19:32] <+AndrewPeregrine> Its the beauty of RPGs that they can be so different, often within the same group at the same time
[19:32] <+RPGPundit> If you wanted to make a bunch of rules where the goal was to “make story” you need to make something totally different than what RPGs look like. Hence, Storygames are not RPGs.
[19:32] <+Ken_Spencer> RPGs are a lot like life, the narrative tends to happen after the events.
[19:32] <+JasonHolmgren> @Pundit, as the author of Joe Genero, I have to argue differently. Rules are story. If I’m playing an RPG where guns do 3 HP per hit, and I have 100 HP, I’m not scared of guns. If I have 1 HP, I am scared of guns. How I treat the world is directly based on rules.
[19:32] <~DanDavenport> Ken_Spencer: Agreed.
[19:32] <+JasonMHardy> Dan: In life, that’s what stories are. A series of events that we form into a story.
[19:32] <~DanDavenport> JasonMHardy: Right. I agree.
[19:32] <+KurtWiegel> We focus on a narrative and bend the rules to fit it.
[19:33] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’m not entertained when RPGs are just a series of combat encounters. I can do that with miniatures games. What I look for is a game system that will help tell a cooperative story and help give some drama to it all.
[19:33] <+Sean_Punch> Though I think it’s important to distinguish between games where the mechanics self-consciously recognize “we’re telling a story right now” vs. ones where they support internally consistent results so that when you recap the events as a story at the end, the story makes sense. Neither is better than the other, but my experience is that you can rarely make a s
[19:33] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 Cynthia
[19:33] <+JasonDurall> I’m playing in a Star Wars: Edge of Empire game right now where one guy at the table is utterly about his character’s story arc and his personal journey, and another views the sessions as a series of combat encounters with dull interludes setting up the next encounter.
[19:33] <+CJCarella> I tend to agree that the rules should be primarily about “determining outcomes” of things that are up for debate (the old “I shot you, you’re dead” “DID NOT” arguments during play), but a system can also add storytelling elements beyond that.
[19:33] <+Sean_Punch> . . . single rules set do both.
[19:33] <+JasonDurall> It’s fascinating to see the differences at the same table.
[19:33] <+JM_Thompson> I use to know a guy whose “rpg experience” was that the story was just that bit that connected combats.
[19:33] <+TimK> Indeed.
[19:34] <+KurtWiegel> JM I was having that discussion with someone today
[19:34] <+RPGPundit> Holmgren: if you’re in a game, and you have 2hp, and a random goblin kills you, its not “story first”. You’re playing an RPG. On the other hand, if you decided not to do that, or the rules didn’t in the first place, because of “story”, you’re not playing an RPG.
[19:34] <+ToddBogenrief> @JasonDurall fascinating and sometimes frustrating. 🙂 My Edge of the Empire game has the same type of dynamic and when planning adventures it makes it a pain for me, the GM.
[19:34] <+RPGPundit> Every game MUST have the “buck stop” somewhere. If your top priority is “let’s make a story”, then the story ends up over-ruling the rules.
[19:34] <+AndrewPeregrine> and the problem would be?
[19:34] <+KurtWiegel> And Icall that a good night.
[19:34] <+RossWatson> Edge of the Empire is an interesting example where the game elements drive the experience, with the explicit mechanics of the way the dice work in that game.
[19:35] <+RPGPundit> If the top goal is “let’s play a game”, then you won’t create the best possible story. Only the best possible with the crappy rules you have. Hence, RPGs are not made for stories.
[19:35] <+JM_Thompson> Kurt: It was totally alien to my style of play
[19:35] <+LawrenceWhitaker> Pundit – only if the GM lets it.
[19:35] <@Abstruse> Okay, got a new question!
[19:35] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> That’s where the “adding” drama” part comes in RPGPundit. I like weaving a story around that kind of thing. The 2-HP thing helps keep the story exciting as it plays out.
[19:35] <+JasonHolmgren> @Pundit, I’m sorry to hear that you define RPG as not having a story. 😦
[19:35] <+DavidFChapman> We are all just stories in the end…
[19:35] <+KurtWiegel> We’re just starstuff baby….
[19:35] <+AndrewPeregrine> Everything has an end, only the sausage has two
[19:35] <@Abstruse> We’re going to start this one with CJCarella: <+DrNate> What sort of Pet Peeves do game designers have?
[19:36] <+RPGPundit> I’d rather let the WORLD “weave”. I don’t do Railroading.
[19:36] <+Lee_Szczepanik> I need food. brb
[19:36] <+CJCarella> Well, I wouldn’t dare speak for game designers, because we are a wildly different and contentious group (in case anybody hasn’t noticed).
[19:36] <+JasonMHardy> “Railroading” is not the same as “telling a story.” The story, in RPGs I enjoy, has multiple tellers, and it’s not GM fiat. But I’m stepping on the toes of the next question.
[19:37] <+AndrewPeregrine> Is that pet peeves in design, or gaming in general?
[19:37] <+RossWatson> Oh, this is a good one.
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[19:37] <+JM_Thompson> or pet peeves in general?
[19:37] <+RPGPundit> “Multiple tellers” destroys Immersion, the real goal of RPG play.
[19:37] <+CJCarella> Yeah, that was going to be my next question.
[19:37] <+CJCarella> What sort of peeves – I have them about design, gaming in general, players, etc.
[19:37] <@Abstruse> CJCarella: Well, I figured what your pet peeves are and the others will jump in with their take when we open it to the floor. I’d say in game design and/or gaming
[19:38] <~DanDavenport> I agree.
[19:38] <~DanDavenport> So, what game design elements bug you?
[19:38] <+KurtWiegel> I don’t like a book that has to tell me every five pages how different and special it is.
[19:39] <+RossWatson> [waits to see CJ’s answer]
[19:39] <+AndrewPeregrine> While the ship has well and truly sailed on this one I hate the Crunchy/Fluff description in gaming. It implies the more rules the more bite, even if they are unessesary, and that setting is optional
[19:39] <+CJCarella> Okay, then. I get irritated by gamers/designers who think their way is THE way. Clearly people have many diverse wants when it comes to gaming and there is no one-size fits all answer to them.
[19:39] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 a lot!
[19:39] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> Hear him
[19:39] <+JasonMHardy> +1 from me too.
[19:39] <+KurtWiegel> Preach!
[19:39] <+TimK> Agreed. Multiple styles, directions, and such weave the tapestry of gaming.
[19:39] <+RossWatson> One-true-wayism is one of my pet peeves, true.
[19:40] <+ToddBogenrief> +1
[19:40] <+RPGPundit> Mine is relativism “oh we have to listen to all ideas equally, all must be equally right and true even if its clear that facts say otherwise”.
[19:40] <+CJCarella> Also, the idea of Wrong Fun. If it’s fun, it ain’twrong.
[19:40] <+AndrewPeregrine> Once you release a game into the wild it should be up to the gamers to decide how it plays
[19:40] <+JasonLBlair> I agree with CJ.
[19:40] <+JasonHolmgren> My biggest peeve is *segmented initiative*, where the Players are roll for different order numbers, seemingly just to jumble them up, while the NPCs all act at exactly the same time, like some hive mind. Many RPGs devote a lot of rules and space to it, and it just confuses things.
[19:40] <+JasonDurall> In a vaguely related answer, I dislike the notion of “optimal builds” in crunchier games… it implies that there is a best way to roleplay a type of character
[19:40] <+RossWatson> Possibly the one I think is the most problematic for me, personally, is games that make your boost mechanic (bennies, hero points, etc.) the same thing as your experience points (spent to improve your character).
[19:41] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Art that doesn’t match up to the descriptions in the rulebook text. If a setting says that elves are all tall and lanky, I don’t want the art to depict them as short little Keebler bastards.
[19:41] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 RossWatson
[19:41] <+CJCarella> RPGPundit, that’s the other extreme – two sides of a bad coin 🙂
[19:41] <+Sean_Punch> As a system custodian, I have trouble with writers who think games writing is creative writing, not technical writing. Ultimately, you’re writing a “how to” manual, catalogue, or history/geography text, like it or not.
[19:41] <+JasonHolmgren> Making experience = bennies means that the players who DON’T take risks and don’t do things level up faster than those who don’t, and that doesn’t make a lot of sense.
[19:41] <+Sean_Punch> And as a gamer, I have trouble the games where I can see the writer would’ve been happier writing a novel than telling me how the game works.
[19:41] <+AndrewPeregrine> I also really hate mixing ‘story points’ and ‘experience points’ so the less awesome stuff you do the more character improvement you get.
[19:41] <+TimK> My major pet peeve is a game that gives me a “Look at this awesomeNPC and his abilities/powers/stuff the game can do..” and then you can’t build said character in the game.
[19:41] <+JasonHolmgren> Er, wait… No I don’t make sense. 🙂
[19:41] <+RPGPundit> CJ: its the last refuge of the person losing an argument.
[19:42] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 TimK.
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> Also, Swine.
[19:42] <+JamesSutton> +1 TimK
[19:42] <+ToddBogenrief> Another +1 for TimK
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> and Gnomes.
[19:42] <+RPGPundit> I think those are all my pet peeves.
[19:42] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’m also moving away from complex “point buy” systems. In the newer games I’ve written, you’ll see that I’ve been moving away from that.
[19:42] <+RossWatson> @TimK, I’ll push back a bit on that — I think, in the larger sense, it is OK for NPCs to be exempt from the rules that PCs have to follow, mechanically.
[19:42] <+Ken_Spencer> When there is more system mechanics than setting.
[19:42] <+LawrenceWhitaker> Rulebooks that begin with bloody fan-fiction.
[19:42] <+JasonMHardy> I agree that rules text needs to be clear and usable, but I also have a pet peeve when people don’t have fun in their books. I like text that engages me, no matter where that text may be.
[19:42] <+RossWatson> On the other hand, it is a real bummer when example characters presented as “You can/should play this” don’t match up to the game’s mechanical framework.
[19:43] <+AndrewPeregrine> I don;t mind a little fiction to set the mood, but too much is a waste
[19:43] <+TimK> RossWatson: Its alright, to mention them, but don’t make them examples of rules/play/anything.
[19:43] <+RPGPundit> Lawrence: YES!. On a larger scale, RPG writers who are really just failed frustrated would-be novelists and want to take it out on us.
[19:43] <+ToddBogenrief> Is it OK if we develop the rules but hire other writers to write the fiction?
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[19:43] <+ToddBogenrief> 🙂
[19:43] <+RossWatson> @TimK, agreed, they shouldn’t be examples if they don’t follow the rules that the PC’s do.
[19:44] <+JasonDurall> Why would that not be all right?
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> No. RPG-book fiction is always awful.
[19:44] <+RPGPundit> I’ve never seen any that served any purpose other than pretentiousness
[19:44] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> +1 Jason Hardy. I like to enjoy reading rulebooks. It’s okay to be clear and concise without being stiff (not that anyone was advocating stiff writing, mind).
[19:44] <@Abstruse> RPGPundit: 2XS by Nigel Findley is one of my favorite novels of all time, gaming-related or not.
[19:44] <+JM_Thompson> I disagree. I think that the fiction in the book can give me an understanding of the setting….especially if I am not familiar with the property.
[19:44] <+CJCarella> Hey, I like doing both game design and fiction, although I think I’ve always tried to keep the ratio in RPG books skewed towards the former (never more than 10% fiction in an RPG book).
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[19:45] <+JM_Thompson> I am in the same camp as CJ on that one.
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> I tend to prefer examples of play instead of fiction.
[19:45] <+ToddBogenrief> @RPGPundit I get where you are coming from but I do like some of the fiction in game books to set a mood for the game or give me an idea of what kind of game it is trying to be.
[19:45] <+Ken_Spencer> ToddBogenrief: My fiction skills are poor, so I hire someone else to do that part.
[19:45] <+CJCarella> (the one exception being my last book, which was primarily a short story collection with some RPG notes at the end)
[19:45] <+JasonMHardy> Again, I disagree with RPGPundit. There’s bad stuff, but I’ve read stories that set the mood and bring you into the world.
[19:45] <+RossWatson> Here’s an example that hurts my gamer soul — I love the HERO books, but the 5th edition rulebooks were just dry as the desert. In look and feel, they were textbooks, and not having any “fun” in the game writing (as JasonHardy says) really hurt its overall appeal
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> I’m not absolute about it, but I usually end up skipping those sections.
[19:45] <+JM_Thompson> Examples of play help me learn the game, not the setting… fiction will help me with the setting.
[19:45] <+JasonDurall> I think good examples of play can do both.
[19:46] <+AndrewPeregrine> Examples are vital, if only to help clarify the rules
[19:46] <+TimK> Examples are important.
[19:46] <+DavidFChapman> And if you can get a qualified fiction author for the subject (Chris Golden for Buffy, Jac Rayner for Who) then it’s like official added bonus…
[19:46] <+JasonHolmgren> I used to love Hero System, but 5th edition is a giant dry book, yes.
[19:46] <+LawrenceWhitaker> I’ve nothing against fiction being used to explain the setting; it’s when I have to wade through a 20 page, poorly written short story before I can get into the game itself that causes my bile to rise. Little snippets of fiction that help illustrate the rules are fine – as long as they’re scattered through the book and appropriate.
[19:46] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Castle Falkenstein pulled off the whole “novel AND rulebook” approach beautifully, in my opinion.
[19:46] <+RPGPundit> Abtruse: my favorite novel is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
[19:46] <+ToddBogenrief> I’d like to mention my one pet peeve – When a game puts down another game as an example of how great it is.
[19:46] * +JasonHolmgren pours a 40 on the curb for Aaron Allston. 😦
[19:46] <+KurtWiegel> I would like more examples of play. There was one in Fading Suns once that was a mechanical description then the narrative version. Helped enormously.
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[19:46] <+RossWatson> Rest in peace, my friend Aaron Allston. (
[19:46] <+TimK> I am sad we lost Aaron Allston, I loved his books.
[19:46] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I agree, Todd. That’s tacky.
[19:46] <+ToddBogenrief> Game should stand on its own and not have to try to lower others to elevate itself
[19:46] <+CJCarella> As with many things, toxicity is in the dosage – I’ve found some RPG books to have way too much (often badly written) fiction that I mostly skip, when they could have used those pages for more rules and crunchy stuff. On the other hand, a set of rules that reads like a tech manual bore me as well.
[19:46] <+LawrenceWhitaker> Todd, +1
[19:46] <+JasonMHardy> Example of play are very, very useful.
[19:47] <+JamesSutton> The combat example, Kurt.
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[19:47] <+JasonDurall> Todd – I agree completely.
[19:47] <+RossWatson> +1 to Todd
[19:47] <+JasonMHardy> And yes, RIP Aaron Allston!
[19:47] <+Sean_Punch> A meta-pet peeve is the idea that “games” are things that can have settings and support fiction. What’s wrong with generic games?
[19:47] <+RPGPundit> You know, literature. Most gaming fiction is just bad fan writing.
[19:47] <+TimBrannan> Hello all. sorry I am late..
[19:47] <+JM_Thompson> Like those pitches we get … “My game is just like D&D, only better.”
[19:47] <+AndrewPeregrine> Hiya Tim!
[19:47] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Hi, Tim.
[19:47] <+KurtWiegel> That was it James, thanks
[19:47] <+KurtWiegel> TIM!
[19:47] <+TimK> Allo Timbrannan!
[19:47] <+JasonDurall> My feeling is that games should be more-or-less atomic, standing alone. There’s no reason to insult another game, or even allow another game to define it.
[19:47] <+JasonLBlair> Welcome, tim!
[19:47] <+JM_Thompson> TIM!!!!
[19:47] <+TimBrannan> Andrew! Kurt! Tim!
[19:47] <+CJCarella> +1 Todd – it’s never all right to tear others down.
[19:47] <+TimBrannan> James!
[19:47] <+JasonHolmgren> @Sean, I’d have to argue there is no such thing as a generic game. For example, it would be really hard to model Justice League using GURPS.
[19:47] <+RossWatson> Anyone else remember back in the 80’s, there were settings distinguishing themselves in professional advertisements as “We have no elves!”
[19:47] <+TimBrannan> good to see you all.
[19:47] <+TimK> Agreed JasonDuall
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[19:48] <~DanDavenport> Welcome, TimBrannan!
[19:48] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Talislanta.
[19:48] <+RPGPundit> So did anyone here work for White Wolf? Because they were all about insulting not just other games (D&D) but other gamers.
[19:48] <+TimBrannan> Thanks Dan. Thanks for inviting me.
[19:48] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Even though Talislanta had a bunch of elf-like races. Heh.
[19:48] <+TimK> Sean_Punch: Not every game works for every genre, a game that does pulp well, may have a hard time with realism. They can be tweaked, but that’s often writing a new set of rules, hence, the same as writing much of a new game.
[19:49] <+Sean_Punch> @Jason: Well, I think there’s the Platonic ideal of generic games that support all genres, no matter what, equally, and then the market reality where they support a good chunk of genres well enough. It’s not calling the latter “games” that peeves me.
[19:49] <+KurtWiegel> I can’t believe I’m going to agree with Pundit here but I remember that
[19:49] <+JasonDurall> I wrote a few things for the magazine, but never for the World of Darkness.
[19:49] <+TimK> Cynthia: I’m not sure, I think the “Elf like” are mostly humans in Talislanta.
[19:49] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Sean for using ‘platonic ideal’. =D I think FATE has proven that people respond really well to generic games.
[19:49] <+CJCarella> I have chased the idea of the Universal Game System most of my design life 🙂
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[19:49] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Really? I recall a bunch of races, many of which seemed like elves to me. Perhaps my memory is way off.
[19:50] <+TimBrannan> I will admit, I bought Talislanta because of the ads in Dragon.
[19:50] <~DanDavenport> New question: <Sman_X> What would you recommend to someone who wants to get into game making as classes, activities, etc.
[19:50] <+RPGPundit> Remember? They were doing it well into the 2000s. They used “role-playing not roll-playing” unironically and mocked D&D gamers as “unwashed masses” in their NEW WoD corebook
[19:50] <+KurtWiegel> CJ I think you were really close, but I squee a bit I’ll admit
[19:50] <~DanDavenport> I will address this toooo… Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream!
[19:50] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’m not sure we need one, I like a system that has something specific to just that setting
[19:50] <+RossWatson> There’s another interesting note about universal games here; GURPS was celebrated by the market not so much for its universal system but rather for its amazingly detailed sourcebooks that covered a huge variety of settings, genres, and tropes.
[19:50] <+JM_Thompson> I love GURPS over FATE as a generic system, but then I figure we have different games because there are different preferences.
[19:50] <+TimK> Cynthia: Pointed ears and magic do not make elves. The closes to elves were Green Men, who were symbiotic plant people so 😀
[19:50] <+Sean_Punch> Strangely, I play GURPS and FATE both. 🙂
[19:51] <+CJCarella> AndrewPeregine – I’m sure you don’t need one; other people do. Goes back to what I said, different people seek different things.
[19:51] <+TimK> I like Gurps and adore Fate, mostly because I like the simplicity of Fate.
[19:51] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> LOL! I realize that. My memory is likely just “off”.
[19:51] <+RossWatson> Actually, I credit universal systems like GURPS and HERO for giving me the systems design “bug.”
[19:51] <+TimK> No worries Cynthia, I’m a die hard fan of Tal, and wince when that comes up.
[19:51] <+AndrewPeregrine> True, I certainly don’t think we shouldn’t have one, and GURPS is fine work
[19:51] <+CJCarella> +1 RossWatson, ditto.
[19:51] <+TimBrannan> I’ll take a stab at the question. For me english classes, writing, and mythology.
[19:52] <+RossWatson> It’s like learning to program at a basic level when you use things like that to create your characters, antagonists, or even define how things “work” in your campaign.
[19:52] <+Sean_Punch> @Ross: Well, GURPS might’ve been “celebrated” for those supplements, but it wasn’t bought for them. Sales were and continue to be strongest for pure game-mech supplements. The adaptable-to-other-games products were never winners on the spreadsheet.
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[19:52] <~DanDavenport> Hmm… No word from Shane. Want to field that one, CynthiaCelesteMiller?
[19:52] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> What would I recommend to someone who wants to get into game design: Play tons of games with tons of different people. Learn to write. Learn to edit. Learn to meet deadlines. Develop an insanely thick skin. Have an alternate source of income to pay the bills.
[19:52] <+TimK> I used Gurps for my Horror goto game for decades–players never knew to expect espionage, aliens, or low level supers, and then HORROR. 😀
[19:52] <~DanDavenport> (Oh, n/m!)
[19:52] <+CJCarella> GURPS remains the gold standard for generic rules, IMHO. 🙂
[19:52] <+TimBrannan> Oh. and do everything that CJCarella told me to do! 😉
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[19:52] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’d offer, just start writing a game you want to play. Then refine it inot one other people will.
[19:52] <~DanDavenport> (Welcome, MikeOlson!)
[19:52] <+LawrenceWhitaker> +1 to all what Shane’s said.
[19:52] * +JM_Thompson agrees with CJ (again)
[19:52] <+JamesSutton> +1 Shane
[19:52] <+RossWatson> @Sean_Punch thanks for the clarification, I’ve never seen any numbers on sales, so I can only speak to my experiences with gamers. 🙂
[19:53] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> What do you mean by “classes and activities”, Dan? Like in school, etc.?
[19:53] <+RossWatson> +1 Shane
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[19:53] <@Abstruse> CynthiaCelesteMiller: I believe so.
[19:53] <+TimK> Experience is importance. Believe me playing lots of different games and understanding them, is important.
[19:53] <+JasonMHardy> Shane’s got it!
[19:53] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Shane.
[19:53] <+RPGPundit> I’d say spend about 20 years playing and reading all kinds of RPGs. First and foremost. Second, get a history degree.
[19:53] <+AndrewPeregrine> + Tim
[19:53] <+CJCarella> +1 to Shane, especially the thick skin 🙂
[19:54] <+TimBrannan> thick skin helps
[19:54] <+JM_Thompson> RPGPundit: and done!! 😀
[19:54] <+RossWatson> IMHO, a good game designer plays lots of different games, experiences a lot of what the market has to offer. I try to never turn down an opportunity to try something I haven’t played before.
[19:54] <+TimBrannan> if the first bad review sends you crying then you are in the wrong biz.
[19:54] <+TimK> I’ll be honest, I’ve sat through some of Dan’s Q&A’s and there are times when I want to ask the designers if they’d played X or Y game because they’re often covering identical ground (as far as I can tell.)
[19:54] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’d talk to principals, organizers, etc. and try to convonce them to implement such classes and activities. Good luck. 🙂
[19:54] <+CJCarella> RPGPunding, that means I should be about ready to start sometime next week 😉
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[19:54] <+JasonMHardy> No! No thick skin! Go onto any and all forums and rage against those who defy you! Rage! Rage! RAAAAAAAGGGGGEEE!
[19:54] <+CJCarella> (Pundit I meant)
[19:54] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> You can take classes to improve your English skills, but there are plenty of ways to improve them outside of school.
[19:54] <+TimK> It may be lack of experience some of the time, and it may be choice, only one of those can be remedied
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[19:55] <+KurtWiegel> Tim I think thats for almost any creative endeavor. I’ve had grant and paper reviews that have made me cry.
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[19:55] <+Ken_Spencer> Play, play, play, and draw on your non-RPG background. Then write, write, write. I came out of academia and my first works were horribly dry.
[19:55] <+TimK> Indeed Kurt. Every novel writer I’ve talked to has told me to “Read.” Every single one.
[19:55] <+CJCarella> True, Kurt – there be haters everywhere, and nothing burns hotter than NERDRAGE.
[19:55] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> And since we’re in RPGs, learn as much about math and statistics as you can.
[19:55] <+TimBrannan> Grant reviews…..the horror. Glad I don’t have to beg in academia anymore
[19:56] <+Lee_Szczepanik> Guys, my 4 year old boy just got hurt falling down the steps. I gotta jet.
[19:56] <@Abstruse> I’d suggest an odd one. Technical writing classes. It’ll help you professionally outside the industry and it will help you with writing game rules in a clear, concise, and entertaining way.
[19:56] <+AndrewPeregrine> Believe in what you are doing, but don’t be blind to critisism.
[19:56] <+TimBrannan> Yes STATS! (cause that is what I taught for 12 years) 😉
[19:56] <+TimK> Later Lee, take care of your wee one.
[19:56] <+Sean_Punch> I’ve been contracting freelancers for two decades, dozens of writers all told, and there’s no One True Skill Set.
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[19:56] <+RossWatson> In my experience, there’s generally three types of RPG writing “skills.” There’s lore writing (writing the setting), there’s adventure writing, and there’s rules writing. The last bit is often considered “design” by most people.
[19:56] <+Sean_Punch> I’ve had good content from writers’ writers, organized scientists, and even tidy-but-boring accountants. The one common thread is learning how to make deadlines and respond positively to criticism, so I’d say, “Hold down a day job and prove you can keep it and advance at it.” Cynical, I know. 😛
[19:56] <+RossWatson> Bye Lee!
[19:56] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 Ross
[19:56] <+CJCarella> +1 to Sean.
[19:56] <+RPGPundit> Again,though, I’d say “make sure you know what you actually want”. If you really want to be a novelist or a scriptwriter, then don’t write RPGs or Adventures. Go do your novel.
[19:57] <+TimK> I might also suggest talking to other people in the field of games. Find out why they make their choices.
[19:57] <+Sean_Punch> @Abstruse: Games writing IS technical writing. People just hate to accept that. Ultimately, you are creating manuals for use, not writing nice stories to read, poetry, news items, or journal articles.
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[19:57] <+JasonMHardy> Good point, RossWatson. So knowing what you’re interested in and where you might fit is good.
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[19:57] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Sean.
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[19:57] <+RossWatson> Absolutely talk to other game designers. Use opportunities like Gen Con. 🙂
[19:57] <+TimBrannan> +1 Sean_Punch
[19:57] <+AndrewPeregrine> A day job that also lets you write is pretty vital. Is it a good question to ask if anyone here has RPGs as primary income?
[19:57] <~DanDavenport> New question: <+xyphoid>we’ve had a few years of rpg kickstarters now. what are the lessons?
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[19:57] <~DanDavenport> How about… JasonLBlair?
[19:58] <+JM_Thompson> Doug Niles was giving a panel once, said that the secret of being a successful game designer/author was to have a working spouse.
[19:58] <+RossWatson> [waits for Jason’s answer]
[19:58] <+RPGPundit> Sean: that’s a good point, in terms of what a publisher wants from a freelancer.
[19:58] <+CJCarella> I managed to live exclusively off RPG writing for maybe five years out of 24 or so…
[19:58] <+MikeOlson> Technically, RPG writing is my primary income, but that’s just because I’m a full-time dad and don’t have any other income. My wife’s the breadwinner. She wins a lot of bread.
[19:58] <+Ken_Spencer> JM_Thompson: +1, doubling as stay at home dad and general house husband here.
[19:59] <+JasonLBlair> Heh. First: Be realistic about your deadlines. Know what you can produce and in what time frame. I overestimated by ability to deliver with Streets of Bedlam and that was a big mistake.
[19:59] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> BRB
[19:59] <+JasonLBlair> Second: Know what you need money-wise to get it done. That I *did* do correctly. I publish my own stuff but I need it to run in the black.
[19:59] <+CJCarella> And for about another four or five years it was my primary source of income (out of 2 or 3 total revenue streams). Most of the rest of the time, it’s ranged from less than beer and pretzel money to 20% or so.
[19:59] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Jason Blair.
[19:59] <+Sean_Punch> Oft-missed is the reality that what the publisher wants is essential. That stuff gets to press, and shapes the market, and eventually becomes what gamers want. If that weren’t true, we wouldn’t have had decades of class-level or boxed adventures.;)
[19:59] <+AndrewPeregrine> Don’t forget shipping costs 🙂
[20:00] <+JasonMHardy> Darn it, AndrewPeregrine! I was just about to say that!
[20:00] <+AndrewPeregrine> 🙂
[20:00] <+TimBrannan> figure out what you need the kickstarter to do for you and your game.
[20:00] * +JasonHolmgren has had 3 successful crowd fundings and has delivered on all 3 of them. We have 2 more successful ones in the queue right now.
[20:00] <+JasonLBlair> Third: Be open and honest when things go awry.
[20:00] <+JasonHolmgren> Have a plan. And have a budget. Don’t price your margins razor-thin — make some MONEY, darn it. (As an aside, what happened to Mike Nystul?)
[20:00] <+TimBrannan> yes JasonLBlair!
[20:00] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 /JasonLBlair
[20:00] <+RossWatson> Delivering on your promises is huge. Remember that Kickstarter is a forever-existing sample of your integrity.
[20:00] <+JasonLBlair> And, yes, shipping. Shipping DOUBLED in between when the Streets of Bedlam Kickstarter ended and I started shipping books. That…was unpleasant.
[20:00] <+CJCarella> +1 to AndrewPeregrine – shipping costs are a pain 🙂
[20:00] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> KS: The same advice applies with crowdfunding as with most things. Double your expected needs and set that as your goal. Double the time you expect it will take and make that your ETA. And plan to spend A LOT OF TIME on it. Way more time than you want or have.
[20:00] <+TimK> Talking to Kicksterter people, the less I’ve had hammered into me is: Make sure to take into account Postage AND Taxes. Also, keep your backers informed.
[20:01] <+DavidFChapman> I’m idling… Story of my life…
[20:01] <+JasonHolmgren> I promise not to plug TOO much, but we just spoke on this crowdfunding issue at Midwest Media Expo. (Link: http://www.sanguinegames.com/2014/04/26/self-publishing/)http://www.sanguinegames.com/2014/04/26/self-publishing/ is a transcript for budgeting your crowd-funding.
[20:02] <+RossWatson> We did a podcast on this, didn’t we Darryl?
[20:02] <+MikeOlson> From what I’ve seen of KS management, I hope I never have to run one. I’m really, really happy we didn’t Kickstart Atomic Robo.
[20:02] <+JasonMHardy> Assume that while your Kickstarter is running, you’re not going to get much else done. Managing the Kickstarter and communicating with backers will take a lot of time.
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> The big lesson from what I see for the writer, is to have MOST of your core book already done before you do the Kickstarter. Trying to do most of it after almost always means you’ll be months and months late.
[20:02] <+LawrenceWhitaker> Don’t launch the Kickstarter until you have 80-90% of the writing complete. Don’t introduce stretch goals that will increase the word count.
[20:02] <+Sean_Punch> As a salaryman for 20 years with the same not-terribly-small publisher, I’ll admit that my stance is all about publishing houses and line continuity. KS and other approaches are apples to those oranges. It’s hard to say what lessons are transferable. Ask again in 10 years.
[20:02] <+ToddBogenrief> Plan your Kickstarter ahead of time. Plan for success, just in case
[20:02] <@Abstruse> RossWatson and I recently did an episode of Gamer’s Tavern on Kickstarters with board game designer Jamey Stegmaier and Malifaux designer Mack Martin a couple of weeks ago.
[20:02] <+CJCarella> I found this page invaluable when planning my KS: (Link: http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/)http://stonemaiergames.com/kickstarter/
[20:02] <+RossWatson> Oh, one thing I learned is to have three plans. Plan to fail, plan for if you just barely succeed, and have some kind of a sketch of a plan in place for if you wildly succeed.
[20:02] <+RPGPundit> For the customer: invest at your own risk. You should try to deal with people who are very trusted, and not just because they have a nice blog but who have actually produced RPGs; or have people on their team that have.
[20:03] <+JasonHolmgren> Anyone who tells you ‘our kickstarter was TOO successful’ is a publisher who is bad at math. Don’t buy games from someone bad at math. 😉
[20:03] <@Abstruse> CJCarella: Yep, that’s Jamey’s site. The guy’s probably the best source for info on gaming Kickstarters.
[20:03] <+ToddBogenrief> +1 JasonHolmgren
[20:03] <+JasonHolmgren> Spike Trotman is writing a book on KSing, too — in general, not just for games.
[20:03] <+CJCarella> He is the man, yes.
[20:04] <+JasonMHardy> There needs to be a book solely about the Ogre Kickstarter. Totally epic story.
[20:04] <+AndrewPeregrine> Pretty epic game package too 🙂
[20:04] <+DavidFChapman> As long as the book isn’t as big as the Ogre box…
[20:04] <+Sean_Punch> Oof
[20:04] <+JasonMHardy> Indeed. And the book would help make clear some of the mistakes to avoid!
[20:04] <+LawrenceWhitaker> I have to duck out. Very early start in the morning, and some things I still need to do. This was fun, and great conversations. Thanks for inviting me Dan. Night, all!
[20:04] <~DanDavenport> New question from me, a two-parter: (1) What genre/subgenre have you never tackled that you’d like to try, and (2) what other author in here would you like to see tackle a genre they haven’t tried before?
[20:05] <+MikeOlson> The great thing about the Ogre box is that when you die, they can bury you in it.
[20:05] <~DanDavenport> Thanks, Lawrence!
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[20:05] <~DanDavenport> I will address this tooo… MikeOlson!
[20:05] <+MikeOlson> What’s that now?
[20:05] <+RossWatson> I’m struggling to think of a genre that CJ Carella hasn’t touched on.
[20:06] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Back.
[20:06] <+Sean_Punch> One last note on “What activities?” Make sure your life includes non-geeky stuff, too. And preferably at least one physical activity . . . we’ve lost too many greats to bad hearts. 😦
[20:06] <+JM_Thompson> Has CJ done anime?
[20:06] <+RossWatson> Once you do Rifts books, you’ve touched just about every single genre out there. 🙂
[20:06] * @Abstruse wants to see RossWatson do superheroes…
[20:06] <~DanDavenport> MikeOlson: Is there a genre you’ve never attempted that you’d like to try, and is there another author in here who you’d like to see tackle a specific genre they have never tried?
[20:06] <+JasonHolmgren> I love modern-day horror as a genre. We haven’t published in that genre because it’s super-saturated.
[20:07] <+CJCarella> Haven’t done a Brony RPG (looks longingly skyward).
[20:07] <~DanDavenport> …
[20:07] <+TimBrannan> hahaha
[20:07] <+RossWatson> LOL
[20:07] <+KurtWiegel> cough choke gasp
[20:07] <+JM_Thompson> Id publish that CJ 😀
[20:07] <+AndrewPeregrine> Give it time…
[20:07] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> 1) I would love to design a good wrestling roleplaying game. I’m a fan of several of them and have worked on one (WWE Know Your Role), but I would like a chance to do one myself.
[20:07] * +JasonMHardy goes to fetch my very limited Shadowrun 5 Brony Edition.
[20:07] <+MikeOlson> Oh, uh… I don’t really know a whole lot about, like, Gundam-style transformy mecha-type vehicles, but they really appeal to me for some reason, so… something with that. But I don’t have a good grounding in the genre.
[20:07] <+TimBrannan> it would sell I am sure.
[20:07] <+DavidFChapman> I did talk to Hasbro once about that…
[20:07] <@Abstruse> CJCarella: I have some friends I can put you in touch with maybe…
[20:08] <+JasonHolmgren> Hasbro owns both WotC and My Little Pony.
[20:08] <+JasonDurall> Historical horror
[20:08] <+TimBrannan> I have never done SciFi but would love too.
[20:08] <+AndrewPeregrine> I want to see TimBrannan do a Charmed style rpg, but only if i get to help!
[20:08] <+CJCarella> a wrestling game would be interesting, Cynthia. Count me in to do the Mexican Luchador version 🙂
[20:08] <+MikeOlson> FWIW, the Fate Core Kickstarter generated a MLP consultation, so that’s out there somewhere.
[20:08] <+JasonDurall> and a children’s game
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[20:08] <+CJCarella> Cool.
[20:08] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> 2) I want to see Jason Blair do cyberpunk. With his particular personality, I think we’d get something awesome-crazy!
[20:08] <+RossWatson> Lucha Ponies?
[20:08] <+Sean_Punch> I’m really into Argentine tango these days . . . kind of wish a game about dance would be salable, though we all know it wouldn’t be.
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[20:08] <+TimBrannan> AndrewPeregrine, you and me. We would rock it.
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[20:08] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> +1 CJ. 🙂
[20:08] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 cynthia. The Western genre gets short-shift.
[20:08] <+JasonMHardy> I grew up on high fantasy, but only did very limited work in there. I’d like to see if there is anything new that can be done in that genre. Though I’m not confident there is.
[20:08] <+RossWatson> I’d like to see Jason Durall’s take on post-apocalypse.
[20:08] <+KurtWiegel> I want someone too make a Glee rpg.
[20:08] <+TimK> I have a little something of everything in the works. Except “straight” real world stuff.
[20:08] <+AndrewPeregrine> Tim, next Gen-Con chat over alcohol we’ll figure it out! 🙂
[20:08] <+RPGPundit> Sean: You need to come see it in person. I live just a hop away from Buenos Aires.
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[20:09] <~DanDavenport> (Audience members: Please not that you’ll need to join /#rpgnet-audience to submit your questions. Thanks!)
[20:09] <+JasonLBlair> Very kind, Cynthia. I’d love to do a cyberpunk game.
[20:09] <@Abstruse> (Those of you in the audience who have questions, type /join #rpgnet-audience and ask away!)
[20:09] <+JasonHolmgren> One thing I don’t understand is why there’s a gazilion modern-day themed video games, but modern-day action thriller gets really short shrift in RPGs.
[20:09] <+MikeOlson> I don’t think I have any particular requests from anyone… I don’t really have a man-someone-should-make-that-game Holy-Grail game.
[20:09] <+RossWatson> Personally, I’d love to do something with tournament fighting (a la Street Fighter, although that’s very similar to Celeste’s Wrestling)
[20:09] <+TimK> I’d like to see Cynthia do something with a humor focused game.
[20:09] <+Sean_Punch> @RPGPundit: Uruguay, yes?
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> Yup.
[20:10] <+TimBrannan> Cynthia could keep doing Cartoon Action Hour and I would be thrilled to death.
[20:10] <+JasonHolmgren> I’m hard pressed to suggest what writer to write what. 🙂 You all know your stuff so well.
[20:10] <+RossWatson> @JasonHolmgren, Bourne in 60 Seconds?
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> Which is really where tango started.
[20:10] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> That would be fun, Tim. I once almost designed a sitcom-based RPG.
[20:10] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thanks, Tim. 🙂
[20:10] <+RPGPundit> I used to live one block away from the place where “La Cumparsita” was actually written.
[20:10] <+DavidFChapman> I’ve never written or even GM’d fantasy… Ever…
[20:10] <+TimK> Your welcome CCM 😀
[20:10] <+JasonHolmgren> Then I will say I’d like to see Chapman’s take on a fantasy game.
[20:11] <+Sean_Punch> @RPGPundit: No milonga is complete without Gerardo Matos Rodríguez, but I digress.
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[20:11] <+CJCarella> Yeah, I want to see David write up a nice dungeon crawl 🙂
[20:11] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> And thanks to Tim Brannan too. I almost missed his comment.
[20:11] <+TimBrannan> np!
[20:11] <@Abstruse> New Question From DrNate (paraphrased): Why did you get into game design?
[20:11] <@Abstruse> From DrNate (paraphrased): Why did you get into game design?
[20:11] <+RPGPundit> I also go drinking at “bar Fun-Fun” where Carlos Gardel used to drink, and wrote his tango to their signature drink, the “uvita”.
[20:12] <@Abstruse> Let’s address that one to JasonMHardy first.
[20:12] <+JM_Thompson> I have never published a fantasy game (though I did design one) but never designed or published a Western (though I would like to do a weird west setting, but Deadlands pretty much has that covered)
[20:12] <+Ken_Spencer> I am already writing the thing I love, but I would like to explore other ‘pulp’ sub-genres some more. As far as other writers, I would like to see some of my fellow C7 folks do something in the retro-pulp sci-fi genre.
[20:12] <+JasonMHardy> I wish I had a more interesting answer than “Because I really like games, and writing is fun,” but that’s about it.
[20:13] <+AndrewPeregrine> They let me in and couldn’t find the door out 🙂
[20:13] <+RossWatson> And I’ve got to bail, thank you for inviting me Dan! Some great questions from the audience tonight. 🙂
[20:13] <+JasonHolmgren> I got into game design because I was mad at bad rules, and I was mad at how games were ignoring popular genres. If you don’t like what’s out there, make your own. 😀
[20:13] <+JM_Thompson> There is a door out?
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[20:13] <~DanDavenport> Thanks, Ross! Take care!
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[20:13] <+JasonMHardy> I’ve been playing RPGs for over thirty years and board games for about that long, and when opportunities came about to work in the field, I dove in after ’em.
[20:13] <+JM_Thompson> Later Ross, have a good night
[20:13] <+JasonMHardy> Later Ross!
[20:13] <+RPGPundit> For me the reason was the same motivation as all other RPG activities: Revenge.
[20:13] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> At first it was because I loved the idea of RPGs, but wasn’t satisfied with D&D. I thought I could do it better. I know that’s douche-baggy, but that was my thought at the time. I then created what is the worst RPG this side of FATAL called Inter-Galactic Wars. I ripped off everyhthing, including Wookalars from “Private Eyes”. After that, I discovered…
[20:13] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> that I just LOVED the whole process.
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[20:14] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I was 13.
[20:14] <+KurtWiegel> CCM THATS Impressive
[20:14] <+MikeOlson> I got into game design — professionally, I mean — because Chris Birch asked me to work on Legends of Anglerre. Then I stayed in it because hey, now I’m working in the RPG biz.
[20:14] <+HalG> I saw what I thought was something that was not done yet and went for it.
[20:14] <+TimK> I started writing my first game when I was 14 (or so) because at that time there wasn’t a game for the genre I wanted (and I looked)
[20:14] <+DavidFChapman> Yeah, that sums it up. Loved Ghostbusters, figured “someone must have actually written this work of genius.” Then spent 20+ years trying…
[20:14] <+MikeOlson> CCM, much respect for Private Eyes. One of my wife’s inexplicable favorites.
[20:14] <+JasonDurall> Thanks, Ross… I’d love to do post-apocalypse
[20:14] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Ha! Thanks, Kurt. The game was terrible. 🙂
[20:14] <+TimBrannan> I don’t think there was a time when I wasn’t writing something for games. I played and next thing I knew I was writing my own spells and monsters.
[20:14] <+TimK> I made a horrendous mess, and over the years kept working on other things and finally came up with some that worked.
[20:14] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> +1 Mike
[20:14] <+AndrewPeregrine> I first off just wanted to make my own. But in the case of my first publiished stuff is was the desire to be a bigger part of a game I really loved (in that case 7th Sea and CJ’s Buffy)
[20:15] <+Sean_Punch> I was a broke graduate student, my supervisor dropped dead, and I was told “too bad, so sad.” Then Steve Jackson said, “Hey, you’re great at math, good at rules, and fairly literate. Want to work here?” I looked at my negative bank balance and agreed.
[20:15] <+KurtWiegel> CCM: Send me a copy and I’ll review it.
[20:15] <+JM_Thompson> I think I pretty much started off in “design.” I played once and was hooked
[20:15] <+CJCarella> I’d been playing RPGs for about a year, then got a copy of GURPS Man to Man, which for some reason captured my imagination. After reading every GURPS book I could get my hands on, I knew I had to contribute to it. I submitted a Martial Arts Article to Roleplayer, and made my first sale. After that, I couldn’t stop.
[20:15] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> If only I still had those hand-drawn, stapled-together books. 🙂
[20:15] <+Ken_Spencer> I needed something to do with my brain. I had just left work to stay home with my son, living in a small rural town where the locals don’t like my kind, and I was taking break from gaming. Creativity had to get out somehow, and an rig.net column did the trick. Now I am hooked.
[20:16] <+TimK> Poor Ken….
[20:16] <+Sean_Punch> I stayed in because I can work from home on creative content, which lets me set my hours and exercise my brain. But I won’t lie: I just needed the job at first, though I was certainly a huge RPG fan at the time, or SJ wouldn’t have asked.
[20:16] <+MikeOlson> Am I the only one who got into game design in my mid-30s? You guys were all teenage savants.
[20:16] <+JasonLBlair> My first design was called WORLD COMBAT. It was FASERIP with the table slightly adjusted. It was about as awesome as you’d imagine.
[20:16] <+JasonDurall> It was a natural evolution from playing D&D and then wanting to do it myself, and discovering how easy games were to modify and add to
[20:16] <+JasonHolmgren> +Jason Blair, I’d play that. 😀
[20:16] <+HalG> 30’s here as well.
[20:16] <+Ken_Spencer> I was 34 when I landed my first rpg.net column.
[20:16] <+KurtWiegel> I’m still not in. I’m just a consumer
[20:16] <@Abstruse> MikeOlson: I’m 34 and I’m just now getting a toehold in the industry in the most backward way possible.
[20:17] <+TimBrannan> D&D is fertile ground for “I can do that” I think.
[20:17] <+DavidFChapman> 30’s was first paid gig, but started trying at about 19…
[20:17] <+RPGPundit> Mike: I was an old man before I actually wrote a pro RPG. Though of course I think most gaming teens try to write their own rules, and I was no exception.
[20:17] <+JasonMHardy> I’ve been playing for a while, but didn’t get any sort of paying work until I was 29.
[20:17] <+TimK> My first game was 2005…I’d tried freelancing, but it was all start ups at the time and they all fell through.
[20:17] <+AndrewPeregrine> I think I was in my 30s too, but it feels so long ago… 🙂
[20:17] <+ToddBogenrief> I wanted to play Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and every other awesome late 70’s / early 80’s movie and TV show and hadn’t heard of Traveler. So I wrote my own. 🙂
[20:17] <+CJCarella> I was 23 when I made my first sale and either 23 or 24 when I sold my first book, back in olden times, before cell phones and stuff.
[20:17] <+JM_Thompson> My first paying gig was from Eden
[20:17] <+JasonLBlair> I got into game design because I wanted to do something creative with my life. I was 23 and working a job I hated. Published LITTLE FEARS at 24 and didn’t look back.
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[20:18] <+MikeOlson> I didn’t even think of making my own game in my teens or 20s. Later I started to hack Hero System a bit, but that’s it until Anglerre.
[20:18] <+DavidFChapman> Same here JM…
[20:18] <+ToddBogenrief> And my own was suitably horrible… I apologize to all my friends for making them play it. 🙂
[20:18] <+MikeOlson> I guess I tried to do a Game Chef before that, but I didn’t see it through because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing.
[20:18] <+TimBrannan> My first paying gig was at Eden as well.
[20:18] <+JamesSutton> 37 when I fell into the “industry” (by accident) and that’s over a decade ago now.
[20:18] <+TimK> (First game published rather) I’d been writing them for years..:D
[20:18] <+KurtWiegel> I’ve often debated and been encouraged by friends and family to try designing and wringing, but bluntly I’m too scared. I’ll stare down and NSF panel all day long but one comment on my creativith=y and I’d fold
[20:18] <+JM_Thompson> I entered professionally at 30
[20:19] <+JasonHolmgren> My cartoon “Joe Genero” started to make fun of bad game design decisions, or at least bizarre ones. … Did these designers just not have good math skills? Turns out, the answer was yes, most of them were really bad at math.
[20:19] <+Sean_Punch> I started freelance editing in 1994 . . . so I was 27 at the time.
[20:19] <+Ken_Spencer> I published my first paying piece five months after I decided to try writing (two adventures in Vini, Vidi, Vici from Alephtar games).
[20:19] <+JasonHolmgren> But this was before 1999, before d20-SRD came out and shook everything up, by being a harmonious system. It’s a different era now.
[20:19] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I sent submissions to EVERYONE from the age of 15 until about 25. Nobody wanted me, but I got great words of sdvice and used them to improve. So when PDF publishing became a thing, I jumped in and shoehorned my way into the game biz. People seemed to respond to it, so I’ve been going ever since.
[20:19] <+RPGPundit> I’m very bad at math, which is why I have quite a few math-nerd playtesters
[20:19] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Cynthia.
[20:20] <+CJCarella> Oh, the other reason I submitted my first article is that my then-wife said that if I was going to waste so much time and money on games, I might as well try to make some money back off them….
[20:20] <+ToddBogenrief> +1 Cynthia
[20:20] <+AndrewPeregrine> In my case I was doing stuff for myself in my teens, but I don’t think I had the discipline to write until 30
[20:20] * +TimK holds pompoms for Cynthia and other writers
[20:20] <+JamesSutton> +1 Cynthia
[20:20] <+TimK> “Rah rah!”
[20:20] <+JasonMHardy> CCM makes a valuable point about persistence.
[20:20] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> LOL!
[20:20] <+CJCarella> +1 Cynthia.
[20:20] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Persistence is definitely key, IMO.
[20:20] <+TimBrannan> My wife told me any money I make on games I can spend on games. So….
[20:20] <+JM_Thompson> I am right there with you CCM. I basically stayed. And I like to think that each release is better than the last one.
[20:20] <+TimBrannan> +1 Cynthia! And we are happy you did.
[20:21] <+RPGPundit> Well, as to the “how” I started: I got a famous blog first. Then a famous gaming forum. After that, writing the RPGs (and finding publishers so I didn’t have to be one of those pretentious ‘indie’ publishers) was easy.
[20:21] <~DanDavenport> Question from Hoshi_Haruna: How do you deal with people’s differing perception of character ability and setting assumptions? Addressed to JasonDurall.
[20:21] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thank you. 🙂
[20:21] <+CJCarella> Yeah, I’m glad e-publishing has allowed people to open their own doors.
[20:21] <+ToddBogenrief> Definitely, persistence can pay off. And practice. First attempts can be rough but we can learn a lot from them and keep improving.
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> I try to be as clear as possible in the setting and rules material about what the tone of the world is, how things work, and what characters in that setting know/believe.
[20:22] <+JasonDurall> Not always successful, unfortunately.
[20:22] <+Ken_Spencer> Now I wouldn’t have any other job, and will keep writing full time even after my son starts kindergarten in the fall. I’m certainly not going back into archaeology.
[20:22] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Me too, CJ. 🙂
[20:22] <+HalG> Sorry I have been so quiet but I do need to run, take care and great answers!
[20:22] <+RPGPundit> I think that question was on account of the Diceless system?
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[20:23] <+Sean_Punch> I have to jet. Sorry to bail so early . . . thanks for the chance to unleash my crazy-talk!
[20:23] <~DanDavenport> Bye, Sean_Punch!
[20:23] <+JM_Thompson> Farewell Dr. Kromm 😀
[20:23] <+JasonHolmgren> Hoshi’s question could be taken two ways: (1) what the PLAYER thinks the character can do, and (2) what the RULES say the character can do.
[20:23] <+RPGPundit> JasonDurall: Not sure I recall, but were you more clear about just what each rank does than Erick was with Amber?
[20:23] <+JasonDurall> But I think it’s essential to be clear up front about what players can potentially do, even if it is to set pie-in-the-sky limits.
[20:23] <@Abstruse> Thanks for joining us, Sean_Punch
[20:23] <+CJCarella> See ya, Sean!
[20:23] <+Ken_Spencer> Se ya Sean
[20:23] <+TimBrannan> thanks Sean
[20:24] <+Sean_Punch> Cheers, guys. I usually close the bar, but I have Stuff tonight.
[20:24] <+RPGPundit> I know for example, in Lords of Olympus (my own Diceless RPG) I used a bit more structure to delineate what the ranks can do. Also, not being stuck to the Amber Novels setting meant it wasn’t as big a problem
[20:24] <+JasonDurall> RPGPundit – I tried to clarify more
[20:24] <+JasonHolmgren> (1) If the player thinks the character can be Legolas or Aragorn, but the rules only give them 30% chance of success, that’s a game-design issue that needs to make a player’s mortality VERy clear at the start.
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[20:24] <+JasonDurall> As with LoO, I didn’t have a fictional setting to contrast against the rules, so the setting was more-or-less designed to suit the rules
[20:25] <+AndrewPeregrine> It isn’t too much of a problem with a new setting as it can usually be tweaked to adapt. But a lot of licenced products give people different preconceived ideas which can be tricky to balence
[20:25] <~DanDavenport> Question: Who is your biggest gaming hero — whether here or not 🙂 — and why?
[20:25] <+JasonHolmgren> (2) If the game rules let the character get away with things that the player thinks the setting should do… that’s a failure of the game design to resolve setting to mechanics.
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> Yeah. The real problem was for Erick Wujcik, who had people disagreeing about just how powerful amberites were, based on different readings of the novels.
[20:25] <~DanDavenport> I will address this to KurtWiegel!
[20:25] <+JasonHolmgren> My biggest gaming hero was Aaron Allston. —
[20:25] <@Abstruse> Nigel Findley here.
[20:25] <+RPGPundit> In Lords of Olympus you play the children of Olympian Gods, so there’s no one complaining.
[20:25] <+KurtWiegel> You SOB…..
[20:25] <~DanDavenport> 😀
[20:25] <+DavidFChapman> Ha!
[20:26] <+CJCarella> Nigel Findley, yes.
[20:26] <+KurtWiegel> OK, Its CJ. Crawling away now.
[20:26] <+TimBrannan> Easy. CJCarella for WitchCraft and giving me a chance on Ghosts of Albion.
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> I’d say Erick Wujcik.
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> Erick Wujcik, definitely.
[20:26] <+JasonDurall> He mentored me in game writing and also was a good friend.
[20:26] <+RPGPundit> Gary Gygax started it all, of course, but Erick was my mentor.
[20:26] <+JasonHolmgren> Aaron Allston had a unique ability to merge mechanics with setting. In his games, there’s no difference.
[20:26] <+KurtWiegel> Dan I knew you were going to do something like that….
[20:26] <+CJCarella> Erick was a great guy, I got to know him briefly during my Palladium tenure.
[20:26] <~DanDavenport> <.<
[20:27] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Wow. Biggest? There’s so many. But if I had to narrow it down, it’s probably Mike Pondsmith. His work of Castle Falkenstein had a profound effect on how I developed as a game designer. The way he brought that setting to life with game mechanics alone just made me re-think what RPGs can be.
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> Even when Phage Press fell apart, we ended up crossing paths quite often when we were both at Ubisoft.
[20:27] <+DavidFChapman> CJCarella, easily. And George and Alex at Eden for letting me write using CJ’s rules.
[20:27] <+JasonMHardy> I step away for a second, and Abstruse steals my answer. When I talk about rules being fun to read, he’s who I have in mind.
[20:27] <+TimBrannan> DavidFChapman +1
[20:27] <+Ken_Spencer> Both Ed Greenwood and Kenneth Hite gave me some kind words and good advice when I was starting out. I should also thank David Chapman for the Vortex system.
[20:27] <+JM_Thompson> Erick was one of my favorites, I do miss him. Got to know him briefly.
[20:27] <+RPGPundit> He was amazingly nice at answering my annoying emails when I was a nobody
[20:27] <+AndrewPeregrine> Its a tough question because there is a lot of talent out there.
[20:27] <+JasonDurall> Among the living, I’d say Robin Laws. I love his “Robin’s Laws” book.
[20:27] <+TimK> Hrms, I’m not sure I’ve got an answer for that. There are too many people who made and impact. It might b e S.John Ross, whose advice I don’t always agree with but who generally speaking makes sense to me.
[20:27] <+MikeOlson> Gaming hero… depends what I’m playing!
[20:28] <+JasonHolmgren> I’ll agree with Andrew that there’s a lot of talent out there. Well, and in here, in this chat, too. 🙂
[20:28] <@Abstruse> Nigel Findley was an incredibly creative person taken away from us far too early. His books for Shadowrun alone were amazing and the plot threads he left dangling are so amazing they’re still hanging around the game today.
[20:28] <+DavidFChapman> Thanks Ken!
[20:28] <+MikeOlson> But Ken St. Andre is one.
[20:28] <+KurtWiegel> Page for page unisystem has been my best playing fun.
[20:28] <+JamesSutton> Tough to pick one. Probably Greg Stafford, for his work on Glorantha as a fictional world, and his work on King Arthur Pendragon as a realization of the Arthurian world (Prince Valiant too).
[20:28] <+JM_Thompson> And then there is me, but I think its cause Dan had an extra seat 😀
[20:28] <+TimBrannan> In truth I have picked up more than one of all your products and thought “wow, why didn’t I think of that!”
[20:28] <+JasonDurall> Ken is great. I’m a huge fan.
[20:28] <~DanDavenport> JM_Thompson: Nonsense. All are welcome. 🙂
[20:28] <+CJCarella> +1 Abstruse couldn’t have said it better myself.
[20:29] <+TimK> Ken St. Andre is awesome.
[20:29] <+JamesSutton> Yes he is.
[20:29] <+JasonDurall> Stormbringer 1st edition is still my favorite RPG.
[20:29] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’d have ot add John Wick because I still have a love for 7th Sea. But the whole Vampire team gave me a game that gave me a lot of amazing sessions
[20:29] <+MikeOlson> I played a bunch of D&D in junior high, but I *loved* T&T.
[20:29] <+DavidFChapman> I’d have to add the team who wrote Ghostbusters.
[20:29] <+JM_Thompson> That is an awesome game.
[20:29] <+TimK> Oh! Jeff Grubb as well.
[20:30] <+RPGPundit> And for me if you said greatest living RPG-hero, sadly taking Wujick and Gygax off the list, it would be Jonathan Tweet. For Over the Edge (which was the other part of the equation with Amber to make me a great GM), for Omega World, and for helping to save gaming with D&D 3e
[20:30] <+KurtWiegel> Shane Hensley and Savage worlds also taught me that tactical doenst mean suck
[20:30] <+RPGPundit> (and while we’re at it, who I think was the quieter but more competent part of the Tweet-Cook partnership)
[20:30] <+JasonLBlair> Shane Hensley for being such a great supporter and friend throughout the years. Many many others as well.
[20:30] <+RPGPundit> (who somehow never gets enough credit)
[20:30] <+MikeOlson> I feel kinda like a heel for saying these guys, because I get to work with them now, but: Fred Hicks, Rob Donoghue, Lenny Balsera.
[20:30] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Jeff Grubb is another hero of mine. His MSH RPG was so evocative and fun. Plus, I also enjoyed his Buck Rogers High Adventure Cliffhangers RPG. VERY underrated work.
[20:31] <+MikeOlson> If it’s a game I love, and your name’s on the cover, it’ll stick with me big time.
[20:31] <~DanDavenport> Nothing wrong with that, MikeOlson!
[20:31] <+Ken_Spencer> Steve Perrin and Greg Stafford for their creation of the BRP, probably the single system I have played the most.
[20:31] <+KurtWiegel> Evil hat is doing some awesome stuff right now I’ll agree.
[20:31] <+TimK> Indeed. I also kinda like this Cynthia Celeste Miller, for being a friend and standing behind me at times.
[20:31] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 Ken, i’m still stealing ideas from Pendragon 🙂
[20:31] <+MikeOlson> Speaking of which, Atomic Robo: The Roleplaying Game is now available for preorder.
[20:31] <+TimBrannan> That’s the problem. There is so much good stuff.
[20:31] <+MikeOlson> Just throwin’ that out there!
[20:31] <+TimK> I wish I knew when they’d be shipping..:D
[20:32] <+TimK> I’m a big Atomic Robo fan
[20:32] <+KurtWiegel> I can’t review it tomorrow because I just got it to review but I’m really impressed with what I saw in there.
[20:32] <@Abstruse> DavidFChapman: Sandy Petersen, Lynn Willis, Greg Stafford wrote the Ghostbusters RPG for WEG.
[20:32] <+Ken_Spencer> +1 Andrew, some of my fondest gaming memories are from Pendragon game. It really taught me how system and setting can influence each other in positive ways.
[20:32] <+MikeOlson> Okay, now that I’ve plugged my thing, I gotta go give the baby a bath. I’ll be back.
[20:32] <+TimK> Later MikeOlson
[20:33] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> And right back t you, Tim. You and I kind of broke into the business together and formed a tight bond.
[20:33] <+JM_Thompson> Ive been working up a Pendragon campaign myself, just got 5.1 in the mail.
[20:33] <+DavidFChapman> FATE’s probably the one game I really want to play but never have. Seriously need a game group…
[20:33] <+JM_Thompson> David, wouldnt mind you coming here to play… but think the commute would be a little rough 😀
[20:33] <~DanDavenport> Question: In retrospect, what was the biggest game design mistake you ever made, and what would you have done differently?
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[20:34] <~DanDavenport> Let’s put that one to… Tim Kirk!
[20:34] <@Abstruse> (Sniped by literally two seconds!)
[20:35] <+TimK> My biggest mistake was not taking more time with Hearts & Souls 1E, making sure I had a full setting for it, and alternate PC generation rules for those who just HAVE to have mechanics.
[20:36] <+KurtWiegel> I ned to put the kids down for bed and make plans to see Spider Man tomorrow with the family. Thanks for the opportunity all. Its been a lot of fun.
[20:36] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Making the first edition of Cartoon Action Hour so damn crunchy. I don’t think at that point, I completely understood how to emulate a genre without tacking on a bunch of unnecessary rules. I learned that the simpler your core engine is, the easier it is to build upon it with rules that emulate the genre. Less can be more.
[20:36] <+TimBrannan> See ya Kurt!
[20:36] <+TimK> Admittedly, at the time I am not sure I could have taken the time. I’d suffered a serious setback, become mentally ill, and simply couldn’t get more done at that moment. Despite that, I persevered with what I had.
[20:36] <+AndrewPeregrine> Bye Kurt
[20:36] <+CJCarella> See ya Kurt!
[20:36] <~DanDavenport> Bye, Kurt1
[20:36] <~DanDavenport> !
[20:36] <+JasonDurall> I would have stripped down the skill descriptions in BRP.
[20:36] <+TimK> Later Kurt!
[20:37] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Bye, Kurt.
[20:37] <+JasonMHardy> Not building enough D&D 3.0 characters before I did some adventure writing for AEG. It showed in the NPCs.
[20:37] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’ve had a few things I’d want to change in retrospect, but often the mistakes teach you more
[20:37] <+JamesSutton> Folks, it’s been a pleasure as always. But work is calling and I am being dragged into that quagmire. Thanks for hosting, Dan. Y’all are a great bunch of people. Keep up the great work!
[20:37] <+TimK> Later James!
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[20:37] <+TimBrannan> see ya james!
[20:37] <+JM_Thompson> Later James, Kurt
[20:37] <+JasonHolmgren> I think our Usagi Yojimbo RPG is too complex, for what it was trying to simulate. It could’ve been a lot simpler.
[20:37] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I was still so elated for you when H&S was released though. I remember all the crud you went through and considered the game a complete triumph.
[20:37] <+AndrewPeregrine> Damn, we are losing too many non-Jasons!
[20:38] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> That last comment was for TimK.
[20:38] <+JasonLBlair> THEY ARE WEAKENING MY BROTHERS
[20:38] <+JasonMHardy> They’re just getting out before they’re absorbed.
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[20:38] <+TimK> 2E needs to be stellar though.
[20:38] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Bye, James.
[20:38] <+Ken_Spencer> With Northlands Saga I should have stuck to my guns and made it more of a sword and sorcery with strong historical tones rather than another D&D genera mash-up.
[20:38] <+TimBrannan> I made no mistakes! 😉 Seriously though I should have defined what an Occult Poet in Ghosts of Albion can and should do better.
[20:39] <+TimK> I want to be an occult poet…
[20:39] <@Abstruse> Question From Mytholder (edited): What’s one non-RPG book you keep finding yourself turning to for reference or inspiration?
[20:39] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Who *doesn’t*?
[20:39] <+CJCarella> I probably should have toned down the power levels in some of my Rifts books. I got carried away in a power player frenzy.
[20:39] <+TimK> CJCarella: Not sure how that would have sold, that seems to be a thing for Rifts.
[20:39] <@Abstruse> My caveat: Tolkien is a given. Let’s start with AndrewPeregrine!
[20:40] <+AndrewPeregrine> Ouch, tough one
[20:40] <+JM_Thompson> I would have liked it better. CJ, but I learned to live with it.
[20:40] <+CJCarella> TimK the books sold well but got a lot of hate, esp. from GMs.
[20:40] <+AndrewPeregrine> Actually, should I admit I never finished Lord of the Rings?
[20:40] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> No, you should not.
[20:40] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> The old Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. That thing was so inspiring. The amount of unbridled creativity and enthusiasm was enough to get my creative juices flowing everytime. Sure, the system was… wonky, but that book was just awe-inspiring.
[20:40] <+RPGPundit> CJ: your RIFTS books were mostly masterpieces.
[20:40] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> 😉
[20:40] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> 1st edition 40K, that is.
[20:41] <+CJCarella> Thank you.
[20:41] <+CJCarella> Wikipedia.
[20:41] <+CJCarella> Oh, I guess technically that’s not a book 🙂
[20:41] <+RPGPundit> you’re welcome. To keep my rep, though, I’d add that your later wiccan wish-fulfillment didn’t much appeal to me
[20:41] <~DanDavenport> CJCarella: Well, I suppose you could print it all out and bind it…
[20:41] <+AndrewPeregrine> It depends on the game you are working on really. I refered to Matthew Sweet’s ‘Inventing the victorians’ a lot for Victoriana but not so much for Doctor Who
[20:41] <+TimK> One book? Funk and Wagnell’s Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend (1950’s version)
[20:41] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’ve never been a Rifts fan, but I still bought CJ’s books for it. Just so imaginative.
[20:41] <+JasonDurall> Kate Monk’s Onomastikon as a reference
[20:41] <@Abstruse> CJCarella: Close enough. Possibly cheating, but close enough :p TVTropes is another site like that.
[20:42] <+CJCarella> No problem, it was not a lot of people’s cup o’ tea 🙂
[20:42] <+RPGPundit> And to answer Mytholder’s question: The Holy Books of Thelema, and Aleister Crowley’s “The Vision and the Voice”.
[20:42] <+JasonHolmgren> My #1 go-to book is “The Magician’s Reflection’ by Bill Whitcomb.
[20:42] <+JasonDurall> Inspiration… ER Eddison’s The Worm Oroboros
[20:42] <+TimBrannan> Reader’s Digest “Strange Stories & Amazing Facts”
[20:42] <+JasonMHardy> Perdido Street Station. China Mieville said he pretty much just wanted to write a monster manual, but his editors insisted he put in a plot. The imagination on display there is awesome.
[20:42] <+CJCarella> (that was to RPGPundit)
[20:42] <+CJCarella> Thank you, CCM 🙂
[20:42] <+TimBrannan> and the Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology.
[20:42] <+DavidFChapman> Harry Potter.
[20:42] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> In fact, that was the only case in which I bought game books for a game I wasn’t into. That’s how good the writing was.
[20:43] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> You’re welcome.
[20:43] <+JM_Thompson> I never really made it through Perdido Street Station, the creatures were interesting but I was not all that involved in the plot.
[20:43] <+TimK> That’s a good one Timbrannen, I miss my copy
[20:43] <+AndrewPeregrine> I keep wanting to write a game that forces me to make more use of my Dune Encyclopedia… 🙂
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[20:43] <+JasonHolmgren> Ooh, Perdido Street Station.
[20:43] <+TimBrannan> TimK which one?
[20:43] <+JasonHolmgren> Totally NOT ripped off to make Eberron. 😉
[20:43] <+Ken_Spencer> No single book, but I start a project by going to the library and just walking the stacks and pulling out titles that might be interesting, reading passages, and taking note. I also like to go to galleries and just sit and muse.
[20:43] <+AndrewPeregrine> Thats why i loved PSS, I forgot there was a story and just wanted the characters to walk around more of the city!
[20:43] <+JasonLBlair> Another vote for Wikipedia. I’ll lose hours to that site.
[20:44] <+TimK> Encly. of Withcraft and Demmonology
[20:44] <+JasonMHardy> Of course, in Shadowrun, we often refer back to Blade Runner and William Gibson, as irritating as he might find that.
[20:44] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> This is a non-answer to Mytholder’s question, but I don’t have a single book I keep going back to. I overdo it and wind up getting a library for every game I work in. Working in Delta Green I have a huge pile of histories of espionage and the war on terror and forensics and Lovecraft and so forth.
[20:44] <+JasonDurall> If anyone can ever wrangle the rights to a Dune RPG, I’m onboard… doing anything.
[20:44] <+TimK> My typing fails
[20:44] <+JasonHolmgren> Oh wow. I hadn’t considered Wikipedia as a ‘book’.
[20:44] <+RPGPundit> yes, wikipedia is also great
[20:44] <+DavidFChapman> 1001 Dreams. John Dies at the End.
[20:44] <+ToddBogenrief> Dune RPG would be awesome
[20:44] <@Abstruse> When I do cyberpunk, there’s a book I pull out for inspiration called Future Stuff. It was nothing but abstracts on stuff that was in development in the late 80s/early 90s and “just a few years away”.
[20:44] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> For The One Ring I have a growing pile of things about Anglo-Saxon Britain on top of everything by Tolkien. For Godlike I have shelves piling with WW2 books. And so on.
[20:44] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Jason is correct. The SR freelancers even recently had to consider those works. 🙂
[20:45] <+JasonMHardy> JM_Thompson: The plot of Perdido Street Station does not exactly travel like a rocket at the start, but I was wrapped up enough in the world that once the craziness was really amped up, I was hooked.
[20:45] <~DanDavenport> Question: What is your proudest RPG accomplishment? If you could only be remembered for one RPG contribution, what would it be?
[20:45] <+ToddBogenrief> I just re-read the Foundation series by Asimov… you may see some inspiration from that in future Fading Suns / Noble Armada products 🙂
[20:45] <+CJCarella> Nowadays, when I write I have Wiki open on the side, and will use it at least a couple times a day.
[20:45] <~DanDavenport> Let’s put that to… RPGPundit!
[20:46] <+JasonMHardy> CynthiaCelesteMiller: If I don’t reference Blade Runner enough in freelancer discussions, our art director punishes me.
[20:46] <+RPGPundit> Dan: that’s a very tough question. In terms of games, I’m about equally proud of Lords of Olympus and Arrows of Indra. However, I would also say that I’m exceedingly proud, and have probably influenced the hobby more, through my blog writing and from the very existence of theRPGsite.
[20:46] * ~DanDavenport nods
[20:46] <+RPGPundit> But hopefully, the thing I’m most proud of is something I haven’t done yet.
[20:46] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I would want to be remembered as the designer who was successful at emulating any genre that I attempted.
[20:46] <+JasonDurall> It hasn’t been published yet.
[20:46] <+AndrewPeregrine> For me, it was when some guys came back to the stand at Dragonmeet having just played Victoriana and wanted to tell me what an amazing time they’d had. It someone loved your game, even just one its all worth it.
[20:47] <+TimBrannan> RPGPundit Arrows of Indra is one of my faves.
[20:47] <+JasonHolmgren> My proudest RPG accomplishment was when GenCon LLC awarded our company the “Most Valued Marketing Partner” award, in recognition of our aggressive outreach to get non-role-players to role-play.
[20:47] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> LOL@ JasonMHardy
[20:47] <@Abstruse> JasonMHardy: Just so you know, if you put replicants in Shadowrun, there’s a section of the fanbase that will revolt more than if you introduced aliens :p
[20:47] <+RPGPundit> Tim: Thank you very much! I think it filled an important niche.
[20:47] <+TimBrannan> it did.
[20:47] <+DavidFChapman> Proudest accomplishment – Doctor Who. What would I like to be remembered for? – getting the Harry Potter license. Impossible, but I can dream of the future…
[20:48] <+AndrewPeregrine> I keep hoping we can do that together Dave 🙂
[20:48] <+RPGPundit> I wrote Lords of Olympus to help “resurrect” Amber. But Arrows of Indra I did because no one had done a decent India-themed RPG before.
[20:48] <~DanDavenport> For myself, it was going to GenCon and have someone say to me excitedly, “Your name’s Davenport! You review games!!”
[20:48] <+TimBrannan> For me. As much as I love my witch books, I have to say Ghosts of Albion.
[20:48] <+JasonHolmgren> @Chapman, you know, not a month goes by when I wonder why no one ever made the boarding-school-for-magicians RPG.
[20:48] <+CJCarella> I’d have to say Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. It dealt with a show I dearly loved, it was a gorgeous-looking book, and I felt like I accomplished what I set out to do.
[20:48] <+JasonMHardy> Abstruse: It is an inspiration, but yeah, we can’t and shouldn’t copy everything. And you wouldn’t believe I have to tell certain freelancers to stop it with the alien suggestions already.
[20:49] <+JasonMHardy> Oh, and speaking of Shadowrun: Shadowrun 5 would be my pick.
[20:49] <+RPGPundit> Jason Hardy: Someone did. Unfortunately that someone was Ian Warner, who has a few issues…
[20:49] <~DanDavenport> Although… I’m also stupidly proud of what I and my fellow ops have made of #rpgnet.
[20:49] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> My proudest accomplishment was overhearing my youngest son telling his friend that I’m a “famous game designer”. I didn’t have the heart to bust his bubble, but the sentiment really and truly touched me. The fact that my child was proud of me is the best accomplishment I can imagine.
[20:49] <+Ken_Spencer> Proudest moment: when the son of one of my wife’s co-workers said, “Your husband is Ken Spencer, the guy who wrote Rocket Age!” As far as being remembered, I’ve only been in the industry for five years, give me time.
[20:49] <+DavidFChapman> Buffy did set the level for how to do licensed games right, CJ.
[20:49] <~DanDavenport> CCM: That’s awesome. 🙂
[20:49] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> Buffy was a great adaptation.
[20:49] <+JM_Thompson> CCM: Same here.
[20:50] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thank you.
[20:50] <+JasonMHardy> CJ: Being proud of the Buffy game is a very legit feeling.
[20:50] <+JM_Thompson> And with Buffy CJ was forced to watch the series, repeatedly… must have been horrible 😀
[20:50] <+JasonHolmgren> The Buffy RPG is a golden example of rules = setting, yes.
[20:50] <+CJCarella> +1 CCM
[20:50] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> My proudest: Resurrecting The Unspeakable Oath and developing the new Delta Green RPG.
[20:50] <+TimBrannan> Buffy is darn near perfect.
[20:50] <+TimK> My proudest moment is really having friends who play my games, as a choice, even when I’m not there.
[20:50] <+JM_Thompson> 🙂
[20:50] <+Ken_Spencer> CCM+1, my son told me the other day he wanted to be a game designer.
[20:50] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> 🙂
[20:51] <@Abstruse> Question! <Sman_X> How has communication helped you overcome problems that are outside your direct control? (with thanks to TimK for editing) Starting with JasonLBlair.
[20:51] <+CJCarella> Thank you.
[20:51] <+MikeOlson> My proudest RPG accomplishment is Atomic Robo, if people like it. If they don’t, then I’m going to retreat into a life of solitude and contemplation in which “pride” is an alien concept.
[20:51] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Very cool, Ken. That’s what all game designers dream about, I think. Bonding via game design.
[20:52] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> @Mike: I’m sure folks will like it. But on some odd, weirdo chance that they don’t just jump on the saddle and keep plugging away. 🙂
[20:52] <+JasonLBlair> Can you clarify that question? I’m not sure I understand.
[20:52] <+MikeOlson> Jason, are you doing a bit?
[20:52] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> Ha
[20:52] <+JasonLBlair> I’m not.
[20:53] <+JasonLBlair> But I did fully expect someone to think I was.
[20:53] <@Abstruse> JasonLBlair: Yeah, that was the problem we had… Basically something that you needed to work with someone to get through a roadblock or problem rather than just buckle down and fix it yourself.
[20:53] <+MikeOlson> Well, you got my hopes up.
[20:55] <@Abstruse> Here’s the other phrasings we went through…
[20:55] <@Abstruse> <Sman_X> What kinds of problems have they personally experienced that needed to be talked through instead of just worked through (issues outside of their control?)
[20:55] <@Abstruse> <Sman_X> What kinds of problems have you had come up in game making that require good communication? no real preference
[20:55] <@Abstruse> Hopefully one of those will clarify this now overly-ironic question ^_^;;
[20:56] <+JasonHolmgren> Problems at the gaming table? Or problems in the design stages?
[20:56] <+JasonLBlair> Any time you hand off anything to someone else, communication is key. I’ve almost always handled everything myself, from art direction to writing to print buying to marketing.
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[20:56] <+JasonLBlair> But, at my day job, I’m one cog in a 200-person machine.
[20:56] <+ToddBogenrief> As a line developer brought into a project that already had a team of writers and developers I have found that communication between us all as a team is a great way to work out ideas, inspire each other, and just have someone to use as a sounding board for new ideas.
[20:57] <+JasonLBlair> And making video game is far harder than developing tabletop games.
[20:57] <@Abstruse> (For the record, I’ve been rolling dice to choose who to address questions to unless directed by the asker…apologies if a question isn’t appropriate to your wheelhouse.)
[20:57] <+JM_Thompson> Woot! Im a choice on a random list 😀
[20:57] <+AndrewPeregrine> With everything often quite piecemeal I find the tricky part that needs a chat is production, when you need to get the artist, writers, layout, producers etc vision together so the game works for everyone
[20:57] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Spectrum Games is comprised of five people: myself, Norbert Franz, Barak Blackburn, Stephen Shepherd and Ellie Hillis and we have to be in constant communication with each other or else pretty much any of our products will stagnate or fall apart. So, my answer is: communication is key for me all the time.
[20:58] <+TimK> I think its important to talk through any problems even ones with your own writing road blocks/design road blocks, because you never know what someone will say and how that can help resolve yourissues
[20:58] <+Ken_Spencer> My biggest communication problem is getting people to read and pay attention to the style guide and setting elements. If a certain species doesn’t have binary gender, don’t submit something where an NPC is male or female.
[20:58] <+TimBrannan> I guess understand that your ideas are fundamentally limited by your own experiences so to have the widest appeal, listen to the widest number of voices. Just avoid design by committee.
[20:58] <+ToddBogenrief> I get the added role of being the production director across all the lines too – so if communication falls apart for layout, art, editing, or anything else, nothing gets done.
[20:58] <+JasonHolmgren> I +1 everything everyone just said. 😀
[20:58] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I have had the same problems, Ken.
[20:58] <+JasonDurall> My day job requires I provide creative leadership to a team of roughly 50 concept artists, environment artists, f/x artists, character artists, designers, and worldbuilders. So communication is critical.
[20:59] <+DavidFChapman> +1 Tim!
[20:59] <+CJCarella> +1 TimBrannan
[20:59] <+MikeOlson> Laying out Robo over the past month or so, Adam Jury and I were in constant contact just about every night. When I’d get antsy or stressed out, we’d have a Hangout and not get anything in particular done other than reassuring me that everything was under control. Indispensable.
[20:59] <+JasonMHardy> Shadowrun, Fifth Edition required two summits in Seattle and several virtual meetings with the rules committee to work out where we wanted to go. Since everyone involved were Shadowrun people, there was disagreement. It took work to figure out ways forward.
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[21:00] <+JasonMHardy> MikeOlson: I endorse using the services of Adam Jury in any way possible.
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[21:00] <+JasonHolmgren> In terms of communication … we live in the future. What used to take mail, or faxes, or FedExing, si now done *instantly* over the Internet. I used to have to wait WEEKS for proofs, for drafts, or corrections. Now they’re done in minutes. Hell, we’re having this talk, right now.
[21:00] <+MikeOlson> Oh, so good.
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[21:00] <+CJCarella> Working with editors SJGames was vital. Most of the rest of the time I’ve done pretty much whatever the heck I wanted (which of course means any errors or problems are solely my fault 🙂 )
[21:00] <+MikeOlson> Adam’s the most patient person on the planet.
[21:00] <+Ken_Spencer> Communicating via internet is great, but there are limits. I sometimes miss my days as a crew chief on a dig when I could just pull someone aside and let my height and voice do the underlining of core concepts.
[21:00] <@Abstruse> JasonHolmgren: No more “Make it quick, this call is long distance!”
[21:00] <~DanDavenport> (Welcome, Jeff!)
[21:00] *** Abstruse sets mode +v JeffCombos
[21:00] <+JeffCombos> Hey everyone!
[21:00] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Adam has been very helpful to me when I have graphic design issues. He’s such a great guy and always willing to help.
[21:00] <+TimBrannan> Hello!
[21:00] <+AndrewPeregrine> Huzzah!
[21:01] <+TimK> Allo Jeffcombos
[21:01] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Adam Jury, that is.
[21:01] <+RPGPundit> There are few communication issues that can’t be resolved with sufficient levels of profanity
[21:01] <+JasonHolmgren> Sadly, I fear we all have too many stories where the opposite is true — where a LACK of communication resulted in problems. 😦
[21:01] <+ToddBogenrief> Even with Internet communication being awesome I still find that a phone call or even face-to-face meeting still solve problems that an email can’t
[21:01] <+JM_Thompson> I love working with Richard Iroio
[21:01] <+MikeOlson> From my point of view, Adam put up with a lot from me, and the result is a great-looking book.
[21:01] <@Abstruse> For those who don’t know, Adam Jury’s stated he’s about to start doing teaching videos on InDesign on YouTube soon, so keep an eye out for that.
[21:01] <+CJCarella> +1 JasonHolmgren
[21:01] <+Shane_Ivey_Arc_Dream> Got to go! Have a great night, everyone.
[21:02] <+MikeOlson> Certainly working on Robo has gotten me more interested in layout.
[21:02] <~DanDavenport> Good night, Shane!
[21:02] <+MikeOlson> Night Shane!
[21:02] <+TimK> Later Shane
[21:02] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> That’s great news regarding tutorials from Adam!
[21:02] <+AndrewPeregrine> Night!
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[21:02] <+Ken_Spencer> ‘night Shane
[21:02] <+JasonLBlair> I’m out as well. I had fun. Have a great night, folks.
[21:02] <+ToddBogenrief> Some Indesign pointers would be AWESOME
[21:02] <+CJCarella> The worst is when both editor and writer think they are on the same page – until the first draft is in and they realize they weren’t.
[21:02] <+JasonMHardy> Working with good layout people initially got me interested in layout, then showed me how far my skill set and vision is from being good at it.
[21:02] <+ToddBogenrief> I try to help the layout people but I think I hinder more than help most days
[21:02] <+CJCarella> Good night Shane and Jason.
[21:02] <@Abstruse> Thanks for coming JasonLBlair!
[21:02] <~DanDavenport> Bye, JasonLBlair!
[21:02] <+MikeOlson> Admittedly, one thing I really like about Adam was that he’s happy to do whatever I ask him to do.
[21:02] <+TimBrannan> goodnight!
[21:02] <+AndrewPeregrine> Bye
[21:03] <+TimK> The best layout person I’ve ever met is in this room, and I wish I had her skill..
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[21:03] <@Abstruse> JasonMHardy: In my experience, knowing how bad you are at something is just as important as being good at it. At least then you know when to seek professionals and know your limitations.
[21:03] <+Ken_Spencer> One of the great things about working at C7 is that I can trust the art department no matter what.
[21:03] <~DanDavenport> Possibly self-serving question… What do you look for in a review? Let’s put that to… JeffCombos!
[21:03] <@Abstruse> Though if someone had told me how bad I was at audio production, I would’ve never started a podcast and gotten a six month crash course in the subject.
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[21:04] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> You’re far too kind, Tim. Thank you. That said, I’m still learning. And that’s good because I still have a lot TO learn. 🙂
[21:04] *** Rasyr is now known as FHG_Tim
[21:04] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Bye, Jason.
[21:04] *** DanDavenport sets mode +v FHG_Tim
[21:04] *** FHG_Tim is now known as TimDugger
[21:04] <+JeffCombos> Can you clarify the question, Dan? As in a product review or reviewing content for publication?
[21:04] <~DanDavenport> Hello, Tim!
[21:04] <+Ken_Spencer> Bye CCM
[21:05] <~DanDavenport> JeffCombos: A product review.
[21:05] <+TimDugger> are we tag-teaming now?
[21:05] <@Abstruse> This is relevant to my interests as well
[21:05] <+JeffCombos> Well, naturally I look for someone who likes what I did. 🙂
[21:05] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> @Ken: I’m still here. 🙂
[21:05] <+JM_Thompson> I know enough about layout to know that I need to hire out of that particular skill set. I know where my deficits are.
[21:05] <+Ken_Spencer> Sorry CCM, confused on this end.
[21:05] <~DanDavenport> (JeffCombos/TimDugger: We’re addressing questions to one person initially, then others can respond.)
[21:06] <+JasonMHardy> Good point, Abstruse. Understanding limits is good. But if people want to see the limitations of my layout skills, look at the Shadowrun April Fool’s products from 2012 and 2013 …
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[21:06] <+RPGPundit> Currently Smoking: Davidoff 400-series Apple + C&D’s Pirate Kake
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[21:06] <+JeffCombos> But seriously, when I submit a product for review, I like to know two things: 1) how big is they’re audience 2) How honest is their feedback
[21:06] * ~DanDavenport nods
[21:06] <+JeffCombos> * their
[21:06] <+AndrewPeregrine> Whether a review is good or bad you want to know the reviewer ‘gets’ what you are trying to do.
[21:07] <+JasonHolmgren> I look for a review where the reviewer has actually played the game in question. Far, far too many RPG reviewers don’t even play one session. You wouldn’t trust a video-game reviewer who didn’t play the video-game.
[21:07] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> In a review, I look for neutrality and thoroughness. I don’t expect anyone to just post positives. I need to take my lumps too. If a reviewer doesn’t like something (or anything) about my game, I want them to say so.
[21:07] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> No prob, Ken. Easy to do. 🙂
[21:07] <+JM_Thompson> I dont get upset at a bad review that shows that they actually read the book in question, or that they are not submitting the review out of spite.
[21:07] <+RPGPundit> I’ve received literally HUNDREDS of RPG books to review, and am pretty well known as a reviewer; and I’ve consistently heard three things that publishers want when they send me a review:
[21:07] <+CJCarella> +1 Jason and CCM
[21:08] <+Ken_Spencer> I like depth in a review, a simple, “This is great, love it”, might be nice for the ego but doesn’t tell me what was good and what was bad, and thus doesn’t give any true feedback.
[21:08] <+TimDugger> For reviews, I want honesty, and perhaps having the author of the review keeping a clear line between descriptions and personal opinions
[21:08] <+RPGPundit> First, the confidence in the fact that if they spend money to send me a review they know I WILL write the review. Apparently, this is a huge problem publishers have, where they send books and then get no review for it.
[21:08] <+TimBrannan> completeness (did they read it all) and clarity (can they explain what they liked or not). They can hate my book as long as they tell me why they hate it.
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[21:08] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 RPGPundit, yes, it is a very big problem, especially for the indies, to get reviewed.
[21:08] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 TimBrannan
[21:09] <@Abstruse> I know one thing I do in reviews is do my best not to be negative. I’ll still point out what I see as flaws, but I just hate the idea of slamming the work of a small publisher.
[21:09] <+JasonMHardy> I want the reviewer to have understood what the game is trying to do. Sometimes they are caught up in what a game isn’t or how it isn’t the game they would have made, rather than understanding what it is. They don’t have to like it, not by any means, but they should try to see what it is doing on their terms.
[21:09] <+CJCarella> An informed review, from someone who read the whole thing and played it, and which goes into why they liked/didn’t like something, and making clear what their preferences are, so people know where the reviewer is coming from.
[21:09] <+TimDugger> Yes, clarity is a good word…. I want to be able to use reviews to improve future products!
[21:09] <+RPGPundit> Second, that I have a proven track record of writing reviews that are lengthy and complete, and where I don’t pretend to be unbiased, but at the same time try to present a perspective where I talk about what audiences might like a product, even if I don’t.
[21:09] <+JM_Thompson> I have had people hate a book, tell why they hated it and the reason was no where in my book.
[21:09] <+TimBrannan> Heck I have bought games that have gotten terrible reviews just to see if it was really that bad.
[21:09] <+JM_Thompson> TimB: So have I
[21:09] <@Abstruse> If there’s too many flaws to not be negative, I’ll just not review it. (though if any of you have sent me something to review, it’s a time issue right now, not a quality one)
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[21:09] <~DanDavenport> (wb, Jeff!)
[21:10] *** Abstruse sets mode +v JeffCombos
[21:10] <+RPGPundit> Third, that I have a very proven track record of producing sales from my reviews, because of the size of my audience. Games I review get bumps in sales, even if I give them a bad review. Apparently there are as many people willing to buy a game just because I hate it as there are who will buy it because I loved it.
[21:10] <+JeffCombos> Sorry about that. My keyboard died.
[21:10] <+JeffCombos> You know you’re working a lot when your keyboard dies in the middle of a Q&A session!
[21:10] <+Ken_Spencer> My worst review experience: A reviewer claimed that naming the assemblage of freemen in Northlands Saga the Thing and Allthing showed a lack of creativity.
[21:10] <+TimBrannan> RPGPundit I have bought games you have hated. Though I discover you usually hate them for good reasons.
[21:10] <+JasonHolmgren> “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” (Oscar Wilde)
[21:11] <+JeffCombos> +1 Jason
[21:11] <+TimK> Ken_Spencer: Oh bless you, I know that one.
[21:11] <+TimK> I’ve had mostly good reviews, but its always the single bad one that hurts..
[21:11] <+RPGPundit> TimBrannan, living proof of the “Pundit Bump” at work!
[21:12] <+CJCarella> LOL, Ken.
[21:12] <+JeffCombos> I think the worst review I’ve received was for dice, strangely enough.
[21:12] <+RPGPundit> I think its problematic when someone provides a bad review that isn’t based on what’s actually in (or fails to be in) the book. I’ve written loads of bad reviews, but they always focus on what’s actually going on in the book.
[21:12] <+TimBrannan> I prefer to review games I like. I like being an evangelist.
[21:12] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> The worst review experience I had was an early review for Cartoon Action Hour: Season 1. The reviewer hated 1980s cartoons and set about beating the hell out of the game on that basis alone… and then ending with something like, “If you like those awful cartoons, this game might be okay.”
[21:12] <@Abstruse> I don’t do negative reviews because of the site I write for. Ain’t It Cool News gets hundreds of thousands of views a day. Giving a negative review with that kind of power feels like kicking a puppy 😦
[21:12] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Ken. I’ve had reviewers complain about Usagi, citing, ‘It’s just 17th century Japan!’ .. As if doing lots of research and rules-integration is, you know, something anyone could do. It’s just history, after all, not made up stuff. (??)
[21:13] <@Abstruse> Especially since it’s a general geek audience rather than a gaming audience.
[21:13] <+RPGPundit> I make it very clear that I review everything I get, and everyone knows that I can and will slam books I think are bad. So everyone knows what they’re getting themselves into.
[21:13] <@Abstruse> Is that the wrong mindset to have as a reviewer in your opinion?
[21:13] <+MikeOlson> When it comes to reviews of books with my name on them, all I ask is that the reviews be unceasingly positive.
[21:14] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’ve certainly done negative reviews, but there is usually always something positive worth mentioning in even the worst
[21:14] <+RPGPundit> Mind you, I’ve only had very very few complaints from the authors themselves (one being my latest review of Isle of the Unknown).
[21:14] <+Ken_Spencer> When I review things for my rpg.net columns (A Bit of History and The Future) I make sure to set down and play the game first. I think reviews that are just read throughs miss a lot.
[21:14] <+RPGPundit> In fact, I know there are some forge/storygame writers who have sent me their books HOPING I would utterly savage them in the review because it would guarantee them sales.
[21:15] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> @Andrew: That’s because you never had to review FATAL. 😉
[21:15] <+AndrewPeregrine> True
[21:15] <~DanDavenport> When I review a game, I do my best to make sure that I’m not just expressing my own tastes.
[21:15] <+TimDugger> There are plenty of games out there that read a bit differently than they play — so actually playing before reviewing should be a given (one hopes)
[21:15] <+AndrewPeregrine> Not going anywhere near that one 🙂
[21:15] <+JasonMHardy> I wouldn’t complain to a negative reviewer. They’re just doing they’re job, and complaining about it tends to not go anywhere good.
[21:15] <+CJCarella> At the very least I’d like a thorough reading of the book, and if the reviewer didn’t actually play it, then the review should state that.
[21:15] <+DavidFChapman> Abstruse I think it’ll depend on the publisher. A little indie could suffer a crippling setback and never publish again but Wizards will survive.
[21:15] <@Abstruse> CynthiaCelesteMiller: Over on the Gamer’s Tavern podcast, the Game That Shall Not Be Named is the only thing I bleep out.
[21:15] <~DanDavenport> If a game’s not for me, I try to figure out who might like it.
[21:16] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Hahahaha!
[21:16] <+RPGPundit> I disagree with the notion that you MUST play a game to give it an accurate review. There’s something called experience. Plus it depends on if the reviewer has professional skills to analyze the material.
[21:16] <@Abstruse> DavidFChapman: Oh, companies like WotC, Paizo, Fantasy Flight, Steve Jackson, etc. put out something bad, they’re going to get a bad review.
[21:16] <~DanDavenport> +1 RPGPundit
[21:16] <+AndrewPeregrine> I almost wonder if there is something good in it, but I’m not reading over a thousand pages to find out 🙂
[21:16] <+JasonHolmgren> I’m not a big fan of the trend of Youtube shows that resemble review shows… but are instead where publishers pay money for promotional consideration.
[21:16] <+TimDugger> Pundit — there are always exceptions, but I was speaking generally…
[21:17] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’ve read a huge chunk of it out of morbid curiosity. So far, I haven’t found anything.
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> In many cases, running an RPG product is as likely to be misleading as anything else, since a group might run a product and have a bad experience (even if hte product is good), or have a great experience (thanks to good GMing or Player skills) even if the material is crappy
[21:17] <+TimBrannan> I sat down and read FATAL one day. No. I despaired for humanity.
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[21:17] <+AndrewPeregrine> Double points for endurance CCM 🙂
[21:17] <~DanDavenport> Follow-up: If a reviewer just flat-out doesn’t get your game, would you rather they refrain from reviewing it?
[21:17] <+RPGPundit> So I review what’s written, with the understanding that in actual play a lot will depend on factors beyond the text.
[21:18] <+JeffCombos> For someone that does a lot of reviews, I’m not sure anyone would have time to play everything they review. But I think actual play reviews are preferable. After all, what would you say to someone that only reviewed a board game by unboxing it and looking at all the pieces.
[21:18] <+JasonHolmgren> @Dan, no such thing as bad publicity, I suppose. :`)
[21:18] <+TimDugger> RPGPundit: +1 – very true
[21:18] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I try to remain professional at all times toward other games. FATAL is my sole exception.
[21:18] <@Abstruse> I think you should at least have a dry run. I’ve reviewed RPGs I haven’t played, but I made characters and ran them through an encounter or three. Rules that don’t make sense on paper can make sense at the table.
[21:18] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thanks, Andrew.
[21:18] <+AndrewPeregrine> There are some games that prove they do/don’t work when you actually play them, but time usually means you can’t play everything
[21:18] <+JM_Thompson> Though I do dislike the tendency to say nothing when its good.
[21:18] <+Ken_Spencer> I have found that there are things that can be picked up in the play that might not pop luton a read, or things that are underlined in play that really need to be in the review but aren’t a big part of how a game is written. Its like play testing after the fact.
[21:18] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Abstruse.
[21:18] <~DanDavenport> JasonHolmgren: Well, in my case, I’m thinking of Burning Wheel. I just did NOT get that game. At all. I literally felt defeated by it.
[21:19] <+RPGPundit> JeffCombos: if that someone was a board game designer, trained in game design in some way, and able to visualize how game play would run, then its probably not as big a problem as you make it out to be
[21:19] <+JasonHolmgren> Likewise, rules that look good on paper may actually break down when you play the game.
[21:19] <+JasonMHardy> I figure reviewers can work out their own methods. Their audience should help them understand how well those methods are working.
[21:19] <+RPGPundit> Hardy: good point!
[21:19] <+JasonHolmgren> @Dan, I’d still trust a review where the reviewer TRIED to play it, then felt defeated by it.
[21:19] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> +1 JasonMHardy
[21:19] * ~DanDavenport nods
[21:19] <+JeffCombos> There are precious few people who fit that description, Pundit.
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[21:20] <+JeffCombos> But I will agree with your point.
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> The invisible hand at work!
[21:20] <@Abstruse> This question came up in the last Q&A, but I’m curious as to this panel’s opinion. Is there any licensed IP you feel would make an amazing RPG that hasn’t been licensed? Starting with JM_Thompson
[21:20] <+TimK> …:D
[21:20] <+RPGPundit> JeffCombos: I agree, there are few people with those kinds of skills. Thankfully for gamers everywhere, I’m one of them.
[21:20] <+JasonHolmgren> Speaking of the tail wagging the dog, I have to wonder about this trend in gaming of 600+ page books filled with rules, and the positive reviews they get. Is it because the book was huge, and the reviewer thought huge must mean good?
[21:21] <+JeffCombos> You are, as always, the exception to the rule, Pundit. 🙂
[21:21] * ~DanDavenport chuckles
[21:21] <+RPGPundit> They’ll put that on my gravestone.
[21:21] <@Abstruse> JasonHolmgren: As a reviewer, I’m going to say no. At least not here.
[21:21] <+JM_Thompson> Yes, there are. 😀
[21:21] <@Abstruse> JasonHolmgren: I’d rather 60 pages that work than 600 pages of mess.
[21:22] <+JeffCombos> +1 Abstruse
[21:22] <+RPGPundit> Holmgren: I wasn’t sure that was a trend; but in my case, at least, the size of a book has nothing to do with the review it gets. Though if a game is especially pretty, or physically well-bound, good art, etc, those are all things I note.
[21:22] <@Abstruse> JM_Thompson: Okay, and how about the implied, “and which?” :p
[21:22] <+MikeOlson> Dr. Grodbort’s Infallible Aetheric Oscillators. I’ve talked to Greg Broadmore about an RPG at San Diego Comic-Con a few times, but, like, that guy’s got better things to do, I think.
[21:23] <+MikeOlson> I’d still like to do it, though.
[21:23] <+AndrewPeregrine> Harry Potter!!!!! *sigh*
[21:23] <+TimBrannan> I have said it before, but I would love to do “Harry Potter” or a game based on “Charmed”. yes it is a silly little show, but there is so much I could do with it.
[21:23] <+DavidFChapman> Harry Potter (one day, you will be mine… One day…) (the license that is, not Potter himself, that would be weird)
[21:23] <+TimBrannan> Andrew and Dave, we could rock a Harry Potter game.
[21:23] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’d like to do 24, and have the game run in real time (I sort of have a plan)
[21:23] <+JasonDurall> Off the top of my head, I’d throw in X-Files, Heavy Metal (the comic), Mass Effect, Kull, Dragaera, Agents of SHIELD, etc.
[21:23] <+TimDugger> re: Licensed IPs — Personally, while I feel that there are tons of interesting settings out there, I would personally go with something that is similar to, but not built from the licensed IP as I feel that licensed IPs tend to restrict players (and start arguments about what is or is not canon).
[21:23] <+JasonMHardy> Keeping up my status as a China Mieville fanboy, I’d love a New Crobuzon RPG. There isn’t one out there, is there?
[21:23] <+DavidFChapman> James Bond…
[21:23] <+JasonHolmgren> @Hardy, I heard one was in the works.
[21:23] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thundarr the Barbarian, naturally. Of course, it should be powered by Cartoon Action Hour: Season 3. 😉 Another one is Sons of Anarchy. I think it could be fantastic, with its backstabbing, character interaction, crime themes, etc.
[21:24] <+AndrewPeregrine> I think Adamanat was doing one
[21:24] <+JasonDurall> Most could be assembled out of parts, but the licensed property would have the edge
[21:24] <+MikeOlson> Was.
[21:24] <+JasonHolmgren> @Chapman, Victory Games made a James bond RPG.
[21:24] <@Abstruse> For me, it’s Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera, Burn Notice, and Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.
[21:24] <+MikeOlson> I mean, maybe is!
[21:24] <+JM_Thompson> For me, I am wanting to do Keith Laumers Retief of the CDT and Tamora Pierce’s Alanna series
[21:24] <+TimK> I think I covered Thundarr, and Astro City, but I’d like Armored Core. Its a video game series with novels, magazines, and 8 or so games.
[21:24] <+JasonDurall> Adamant is doing the New Crobuzon game, but I suspect it’s backburnered
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> Cynthia: Someone once did a Thundarr free-rpg using the Over the Edge rules
[21:24] <+JasonHolmgren> +1 Retief!
[21:24] <+AndrewPeregrine> Much as I love certain IPs, it seems ot me the most successful RPGs have all been original properties
[21:24] <+TimBrannan> I talked to Kim Harrison about the Hollows a couple years ago. More than I could afford.
[21:24] <+Ken_Spencer> The Pelbar Cycle of novels. A great post-apocalyptic setting that just screams to be made into an RPG. You have tribes, cities, distinctive cultures, and no magic, super science, or other such (not that that stuff is bad, but it would be a nice change to go without it).
[21:24] <+JasonHolmgren> No question: the #1 IP that should’ve been licensed for RPGs but wasn’t, was Harry Potter. You start low level, there’s a framing device where you all meet, and there’s a structure to your adventures, with clear goals and consequences. There was flexibility for both mundane and magical adventure, and a clear path to character growth. There were clear opportunities for both combat and for social interaction. It
[21:24] <+JasonMHardy> JasonHolmgren & JasonDurall: Interesting! I’d love for it to move forward.
[21:24] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Yes, it was pretty spiffy too, RPGPundit.
[21:24] <+MikeOlson> Kurt Busiek has said that the San Angelo supplement for Champions is the Astro City RPG as far as he’s concerned.
[21:24] <+JasonDurall> Andrew… do you think so?
[21:24] <@Abstruse> TimBrannan: Maybe with the series ending the price will come down?
[21:24] <+RPGPundit> afk, one sec
[21:24] <+DavidFChapman> +1 for Burn Notice.
[21:25] <+CJCarella> Charles Stross’ Laundry Books would be pretty nifty.
[21:25] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’m thinking few things did as well as Vampire, Shadowrun to name two
[21:25] <+JasonDurall> I mean, we’ve got Call of Cthulhu, various Star Wars games, MERP, etc. all doing quite well
[21:25] <+JeffCombos> I was just thinking the other day that Bioshock might make for an interesting RPG. You can play it before the fall, knowing that it is coming, and have all these characters with tech skills, plasmids, and political conflicts baked in.
[21:25] <+TimBrannan> I still have her phone number and her lawyer’s.
[21:25] <+JasonHolmgren> +Carella, there’s a Laundry RPG.
[21:25] <+JasonDurall> CJ – already out
[21:25] <+JasonHolmgren> Cubicle 7 puts it out.
[21:25] <+JeffCombos> It’d be an underwater, 1950’s version of Paranoia.
[21:25] <+TimBrannan> she is awesome btw.
[21:25] <+JasonDurall> X-COM
[21:25] <@Abstruse> DavidFChapman: Burn Notice is kinda cheating…I mean it’s basically a pink mohawk Shadowrun game without the magic, cyberware, or decking.
[21:25] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> @JeffCombos, I would totally buy into that idea!
[21:26] <+CJCarella> lol, I was sure if I mentioned something, it’d turn out it was already done – shows how out of touch I am with RPGs 🙂
[21:26] <@Abstruse> I still can’t believe no one’s grabbed Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera…
[21:26] <+AndrewPeregrine> I know its wrong but I want to do Vampire Diaries using the Smallville system
[21:26] <+JasonDurall> Night Watch
[21:26] <+JasonDurall> (the Lukyanenko books, that is)
[21:26] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 JasonDurall
[21:27] <+TimBrannan> AndrewPeregrine that is actually brilliant.
[21:27] <+AndrewPeregrine> Terminator would also work really well
[21:27] <+DavidFChapman> Riddick
[21:27] <+JasonDurall> The Matrix might have worked
[21:27] <+TimDugger> I would like to see something done with the Allie Becstrom books, by Devon Monk
[21:27] <+AndrewPeregrine> Did i hear there was a Matrix game planned but the film guys interfered too much
[21:27] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I would also kill to see an official GI Joe roleplaying game based on Larry Hama’s comicbook series (Marvela and the new-ish continuation).
[21:27] <+JasonDurall> Andrew – that’s a part of the story, yeah
[21:27] <~DanDavenport> Question: Fairly recently, I was surprised to learn that I had gained a reputation for being “the guy who knows everybody” in the industry. This surprised me because I’d imagined the RPG industry as being pretty close-knit. How wide is your circle of friends within the industry?
[21:28] <+JasonHolmgren> I was waiting for the City of Heroes tabletop, but that never materialized.
[21:28] <@Abstruse> What about Brent Week’s?
[21:28] <+AndrewPeregrine> TimBrannan I keep meaning to talk to MWP
[21:28] <~DanDavenport> Let’s put that to DavidFChapman.
[21:28] <+DavidFChapman> I know peeps who enquired about The Matrix… Too expensive, and the Wachowskis basically wanted to do all the writing…
[21:28] <+JasonDurall> I’m always baffled at the IPs Hasbro is sitting on that aren’t RPGs
[21:28] <+TimK> I know maybe a dozen people personally.
[21:28] <+JasonHolmgren> @Durall, I always wondered why Hasbro never made a NeoPets RPG.
[21:28] <+JasonDurall> Transformers, GI Joe, Pokemon, MLP, etc.
[21:28] <@Abstruse> (JasonDurall: I can answer that, but outside the Q&A)
[21:28] <+TimK> Or Transformers..or..yeah
[21:28] <+CJCarella> You and me both, JasonHomgren – I actually spent a lot of time writing the damn rules, for nothing.
[21:28] <+DavidFChapman> Oh, hello… Okay… Let me think…
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[21:29] <+JasonHolmgren> @Carella, seriously? I’d heard rumors. Weird.
[21:29] <+JeffCombos> JasonHolmgren: I was in a playtest for the CoH game at Gen Con. It was awful, I’m sorry to say. I’m not surprised it never materialized.
[21:29] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> My network in the industry is relatively wide, but not nearly wide enough. I want to know everyone, because I love being around others who share this crazy love of game design that I have. It’s so refreshing.
[21:29] <+JasonHolmgren> CoH RPG was Unisystem, wasn’t it? That was a great base.
[21:29] <+TimBrannan> City of Heroes would have been great.
[21:29] <~DanDavenport> Jeff: Likewise.
[21:30] <+JasonDurall> ah well.. money left on the table
[21:30] <+TimK> The problem with licensed cames when the license is changeable…
[21:30] <+AndrewPeregrine> DavidFChapman and I knew each other before we got into the industry
[21:30] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> +1 TimK.
[21:30] <+DavidFChapman> Odd one as I rarely get to conventions, so my gaming professionals circle is mostly facebook. However, if I didn’t know Angus through Masquerade, I’d probably never have got Who off the ground.
[21:30] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Like DC, for example.
[21:30] <+JeffCombos> JasonHolmgren: The base was fine. The problem had to do with sticking to close to the MMO play style and not using the game to give life to characters outside of the kill and loot world they lived in online.
[21:31] <+TimBrannan> So many people here from the Buffy playtests. I know most from facebook, G+ and Gen Con
[21:31] <+AndrewPeregrine> I’ve certainly met most of my industry friends at cons too
[21:31] <+JasonHolmgren> You go to the cons, you meet a lot of people in the RPG industry. … Seeing the explosion of self-publishers, I’d have to say there’s a LOT of people I’ve not met.
[21:31] <+CJCarella> Used to be wider, but after six+ years not going to conventions or doing much RPG writing, not very wide atm.
[21:31] <+JeffCombos> I’ve met lots of people at conventions, and got my very first writing gig by being in the right place at the right time.
[21:31] <+ToddBogenrief> I never meet anyone at cons. 😦
[21:31] <+TimBrannan> Case in point I make an effort to say hi to Andrew and all the C7 guys. Mostly because I am insanely jealous of them all.
[21:31] <+JasonDurall> I’
[21:31] <+CJCarella> The COH design problems were being worked on, but then the license deal fell through.
[21:31] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 JeffCombos
[21:32] <+JM_Thompson> I have met quite a few in person, also like to think that most of my network I can call friend.
[21:32] <+JasonDurall> I’m finding I enjoy the tiny regional cons far more than the giant megacons
[21:32] <+ToddBogenrief> Well, except lots of players.. I guess because I run games all day and never get into the exhibit halls. 🙂
[21:32] <+Ken_Spencer> I don’t know very many people in the industry outside of passing mentions and things like this. I live at the edge of civilization anyway, so I only meet up at conventions, mainly GenCon, which is in my home town so it is a choice between networking and seeing old friends and family.
[21:32] <+JeffCombos> But weirdly enough, there are several people I used to game with who later entered the game industry and are now peers. It’s pretty great.
[21:32] <+DavidFChapman> Chats like this are invaluable. Really need to get to GenCon one year. Yeah, knew Andrew from Masquerade too!
[21:32] <+AndrewPeregrine> TimBrannan we need you on the team too!
[21:32] <+TimK> That’s mean Ken_Spencer: And I can’t afford to go to cons. Alas
[21:32] <+JasonHolmgren> It’s harder to find me at gaming cons, because I don’t get tables at those, anymore. GenCon gave us the most-out-reaching award because we get tables at NON-gaming cons. =D
[21:32] <+TimDugger> Yeah, going to GenCon would be nice.. hehe
[21:32] <+JeffCombos> CJCarella: I’m glad to hear that. I loved CoH and would have loved to see it polished up.
[21:32] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Chats like this do help create a sense of community.
[21:32] <~DanDavenport> I’m glad. 🙂
[21:32] <+JasonMHardy> I’ve met some, but I’m still kind of holed up in my little corner. I’ve been to GenCon for 14 years in a row, but I’m usually in the Catalyst booth or my wife’s art booth, so I don’t meet too many people.
[21:32] <@Abstruse> Before I started the column, I only knew Jeremy Stromberg from Fantasy Flight. Since the column and now the podcast, I’d say half to two-thirds of my Facebook friends list are RPG designers. Most of whom I’ve never met in person.
[21:33] <+CJCarella> JeffCombos yeah, the problem was one of the guys at Eden, a guy with NO game design experience, decided he’d be perfect to write the book. The result was horrible. I got brought int late to fix it.
[21:33] <+TimDugger> Abstruse: I never turn down a free meal.. if you are ever in my area….
[21:33] <+TimDugger> 🙂
[21:33] <+DavidFChapman> Same here. Btw, if you haven’t friended me yet on Facebook, do find me!
[21:34] <+JeffCombos> CJCarella: That’s too bad. I would have loved to see what you did with it.
[21:34] <+RPGPundit> I’m on G+
[21:34] <@Abstruse> TimDugger: I’m not a meal buyer, more of a meal cooker. I will get the first round at the bar though :p
[21:34] <@Abstruse> And now you know my secret to how I know so many game designers :p
[21:34] <+TimDugger> I rarely, if ever, drink
[21:34] <~DanDavenport> Vaguely related question: Who would be your RPG “Dream Team”?
[21:34] <+MikeOlson> Always wondered what happened to CoH.
[21:34] <~DanDavenport> How about… ToddBogenrief!
[21:34] <+CJCarella> I was a huge fan of CoH, was devastated when NCSoft killed it.
[21:35] <+TimK> Me too CJCarella, Me too.
[21:35] <+DavidFChapman> I read the final draft of City of Heroes post CJ work and it was amazing…
[21:35] <+AndrewPeregrine> Any three of the gaming heroes mentioned above 🙂
[21:35] <+Ken_Spencer> I do know Chris Fitzpatrick at Crocodile Games from 90s LARPing days, that’s something, and Brian Roe who does the short fiction for Rocket Age is an old gaming buddy.
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[21:36] <+ToddBogenrief> Wow … tough question
[21:36] <+JM_Thompson> I wouldnt mind having a fantasy game penned by Frank Mentzer, or any game by CJ Carella and David Chapman
[21:37] <+TimK> Cynthia Celeste Miller, CJ Carella, and….Jason Blair, I think. I’ve great respect for their stuff…
[21:37] <+JasonDurall> Depends on the game
[21:37] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> I’ll have to cop out here and say that the team would be too large to afford to assemble. 🙂
[21:37] <~DanDavenport> 🙂
[21:37] <+ToddBogenrief> I’ll +1 that
[21:37] <+JeffCombos> Call me spoiled for choice, but my Dream Team would be different depending on the property. Some people I know gravitate to different rule systems or settings and I’d want to put together a group of people who were all working on something because it was “their thing.”
[21:38] <+DavidFChapman> I think if we all got together, everyone here, we could make the ultimate RPG experience.
[21:38] <+TimBrannan> yeah depends on the game/genre.
[21:38] <+JasonHolmgren> Dream team: Warren Spector and Aaron Allston for the rules & setting, Denis Loubet for the art. (BTW, ‘Martian Dreams’ can be downloaded from GoG.com for free. ^.^ )
[21:38] <+CJCarella> And I must bid you all good night – want to put in at least a couple hours of work on the final draft of Doomsday Duet before going to bed 🙂
[21:38] <+JasonHolmgren> @Chapman, what a wonderful thing to say. =D
[21:38] <+JeffCombos> G’night CJ!
[21:38] <+TimBrannan> See ya CJ! Great to see you again.
[21:38] <~DanDavenport> Well, real quick: My dream team would be CJCarella and JeffCombos. 🙂
[21:38] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> But, if I had to assemble a 5-man team to work with us at Spectrum Games: Tom Filsinger, Tim Kirk, Mike Pondsmith, John Wick and Robin Laws.
[21:38] <+CJCarella> It was a pleasure, count me in for the next round 🙂
[21:38] <+ToddBogenrief> It would be awesome to have a chance to work with all the industry pioneers but I feel like I would be overwhelmed.
[21:38] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Awww, thanks, TimK.
[21:38] <+DavidFChapman> Good to chat with you again CJ!
[21:38] <+AndrewPeregrine> +1 Todd!
[21:39] <+Ken_Spencer> Bye CJ
[21:39] <~DanDavenport> Have a good evening, CJCarella!
[21:39] <+AndrewPeregrine> Bye CJ
[21:39] <+TimK> Its True. So many great people who write though its tough
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[21:39] <+TimK> Later CJ
[21:39] <@Abstruse> Bruce Cordell and Ari Marmell for the monster book, Richard Baker writing adventures, Adam Jury doing the layout…hmmm…that is a tough one…
[21:39] <+AndrewPeregrine> The trick would be having them work well together. I know I’m a nightmare to work with 🙂
[21:39] <+JasonMHardy> A while ago I got to work with a group of people doing stuff under the heading of The Wanderers Guild. Led by Andy Hopp, it had a lot of talented writers and artists–Karen DuMez, Elizabeth Harper, Trevis Powell, and more. They were tons of fun to work with.
[21:40] <~DanDavenport> JeffCombos has a remarkable vision, and CJ’s brilliant at bringing settings to life. (Well, so is Jeff, but I’d just like to see them work together. 🙂 )
[21:41] <+JeffCombos> I’d be happy to play second fiddle to CJ on rules.
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[21:41] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> As much as I’d like to stay, my stomach is giving me fits (thanks, Pizza Hut!). So, I’d better bow out. This has been a blast, though. Thanks for having me. 🙂
[21:41] <+TimDugger> JeffCombos: I think anybody would…
[21:41] <@Abstruse> Something tells me if Andy Hopp, Robert Schwalb, and I got in the same room, it’d und up a Hunter S. Thompson-esque adventure…
[21:41] <+JeffCombos> G’night Cynthia. Feel better!
[21:41] <~DanDavenport> I hope you feel better, Cynthia! Have a great evening, and thanks for coming!
[21:41] <+TimBrannan> Bye CCM!
[21:41] <+TimDugger> bye CCM
[21:41] <+AndrewPeregrine> Feel better CCM, bye
[21:41] <+DavidFChapman> Great to chat CCM!
[21:41] <+JasonMHardy> Abstruse: I’d be willing to be a fly on the wall in that room.
[21:42] <@Abstruse> CynthiaCelesteMiller: Thanks for joining us! Feel better!
[21:42] <+JasonMHardy> Later CCM! Feel better!
[21:42] <+Ken_Spencer> By CCM, for reals this time.
[21:42] <+CynthiaCelesteMiller> Thanks, gang. Bye!
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[21:42] <@Abstruse> JasonMHardy: I’ve only hung out with them independently and they tend to bring out the worst in me…I’d hate to see what they’d do in concert with one another…
[21:42] <~DanDavenport> I adore that lady. 🙂
[21:42] <+JM_Thompson> Later Cynthia
[21:42] <+TimK> She’s awesome.
[21:42] <+JM_Thompson> That she is TK
[21:42] <@Abstruse> Question: <+DrNate> What kind of Hobbies do you have outside of gaming? How about TimK for that one…
[21:43] <+ToddBogenrief> Time for me to get some sleep all! Thanks so much for inviting me in!!
[21:43] <+Ken_Spencer> Greg stolze on system, Kenneth Hite on setting, and Jon Hodgson on art.
[21:43] <~DanDavenport> Sleep well, Todd!
[21:43] <+Ken_Spencer> ‘night Todd
[21:43] <+JeffCombos> Sleep well, Todd!
[21:43] <+JasonMHardy> Later Todd!
[21:43] <+TimBrannan> see ya Todd
[21:43] <+ToddBogenrief> and great meeting you all!!!!
[21:43] <+TimK> I write novels (well A novel) and I draw, I spend time with my friends and dogs. I read a lot.
[21:43] <@Abstruse> Ross Watson would have to be art director for me. If you’ve seen how gorgeous Accursed is, you’ll understand.
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[21:44] <+TimBrannan> Hobbies. I also cook and help my wife in her garden.
[21:44] <+TimK> I’m not a frustrated novelist though. Novels have been easier to work on than games for me lately *LOL*
[21:44] <+TimDugger> Hobbies: I read…. a lot!! I read mainly fantasy/scifi, but have been known to read cereal boxes if nothing else were handy. I also like to ride my motorcycle (as often as I can)
[21:44] <+JM_Thompson> I read, collect sci fi memorabilia, fan of anime, I am also a historian by training and an amateur paleontologist. I am also quite the lego architect 😀
[21:44] <+DavidFChapman> Don’t have time for hobbies! Spend any time not writing RPGs writing fiction, watching too much TV, movies and reading. Rest of the time is pesky day-job…
[21:45] <+JasonMHardy> I enjoy several sports. I play a fair amount of basketball for someone who is dorky and uncoordinated, and I’m a huge Cubs fan.
[21:45] <+JasonDurall> Cooking, travel, reading, art
[21:45] <+AndrewPeregrine> I do a lot of lighting design for theatre, and also study Japanese sword.
[21:45] <+RPGPundit> Freemasonry, Pipe Smoking, Sorcery.
[21:45] <+Ken_Spencer> I paint some minis every now and then, play X-Wing a bit, but mostly I read and play Rome: Total War. I also garden and do the landscaping, and bake.
[21:45] <+JasonMHardy> I also spent about a decade in public policy research, so I keep a toe in politics.
[21:46] <+JeffCombos> When I’m not working on games (of various stripes), I’m reading, watching movies, or traveling. Oh, and apparently I’ve picked up a taste for doing mud runs like the Tough Mudder.
[21:46] <+TimK> Oh and I try and be a sensible religious person, in opposition to some of my “faith”
[21:46] <@Abstruse> I know Ross Watson had to leave early, but one thing I think’s pretty cool is that he recently took up training in kung fu a few months ago.
[21:46] <+JasonHolmgren> Everything goes back to gaming. 🙂 I teach courses in business and computer science, but those are both related to self-publishing and vidya-games.
[21:46] <+DavidFChapman> I really wanted to type ‘I collect spores, moulds and fungus’ but I don’t do any of that…
[21:47] <+AndrewPeregrine> I also spend a lot of my time resisting the urge to own a cat 🙂
[21:47] <+JM_Thompson> I am owned by cats 😀
[21:47] <+TimDugger> AndrewPeregrine: I have 4 I can send you
[21:47] <+TimDugger> ^^
[21:47] <+AndrewPeregrine> Resisting Tim! Resisting!
[21:47] <+AndrewPeregrine> 🙂
[21:47] <+TimBrannan> I also play a lot of D&D with my kids.
[21:47] <+Ken_Spencer> I used to have amore active lifestyle until I blew out my knees, hips, and ankles. Indiana Jones stuff is not good for the body. I am trying to get back into yoga and tai chi.
[21:48] <@Abstruse> Okay guys, one last question. What do you think the current state of the gaming industry is and where do you think it will or should go in the future?
[21:48] <+JM_Thompson> My son is part of every one of my gaming groups. Its awesome
[21:49] <@Abstruse> Let’s start that one with Ken_Spencer…
[21:51] <+Ken_Spencer> There are more great games being produced than I could afford to buy or have time to play. I live in a small, isolated, and edge of civilization town and we have a thriving gaming community mostly of people 25 or younger. There are a lot of great talent in the industry, the internet has allowed fans to connect in new ways. I do not see the doom and gloom.
[21:51] <+AndrewPeregrine> It is possible the market might make it hard to earn a living doing it. But I think there will probably always be RPGers and with self publishing being so easy there will always be someone making games for them.
[21:51] <+Ken_Spencer> Andrew +1
[21:51] <+DavidFChapman> I couldn’t have said it better myself.
[21:52] <+JM_Thompson> Ken +1
[21:52] <+JasonHolmgren> The future of tabletop-RPGs will always be split between the two impulses of ‘hardcore’ gaming (nostalgia, rules-complexity, grognardism, high price tags) and ‘casual’ gaming (easy to pick up, low cost of entry, grow out of it every 5 years). If the hardcore are allowed to drive the future product, table-top gaming will continue to recede from the public consciousness, much like how comic books already have.
[21:52] <+TimK> I think all of creative endeavors are facint a technological sea change. With 3-d printer, desktop publishing, and more we’re making ways for people to produce more material, and earn fans, and new models for those fans to pay for such things.
[21:52] <+TimDugger> Current State: It is slowly shrinking at a slightly faster rate than it is growing — something that has been going on for years and years.. Where is will/should go? More difficult and personalized question, but I think that eventually there will be more and more integration with CRPGs, until you eventually get where you can play one that combines the graphics/computer capabilities of CRPG…
[21:52] <+TimDugger> …with the control that GM has in a traditional RPG. Aonther aspect that will eventually happen is customizable RPGS — where you basically build your RPG for a game from a select list of options and then can purchase the PDF (and perhaps even POD)…
[21:52] <+TimBrannan> I certainly see more creatives entering the biz with the traditional barriers eroding away.
[21:52] <+DavidFChapman> With Deadlands being made into a series for Xbox, there’s hope that games will attract an additional interest to the curious…
[21:53] <+AndrewPeregrine> There needs to be some sort of ‘awareness push’ but i have no idea how, or what company might be big enough to lead it. But things like ‘Tabletop’ are doing a fine job
[21:53] <+RPGPundit> I think RPGs went very wrong at some point in the 90s, got a bit better around the turn of the century, then got even more misdirected. Now, things are getting better again. After failed experimentation with trying to radically change the hobby, I’d say the future now belongs to those who are focusing on the core of what makes RPGs great.
[21:53] <+JasonHolmgren> I salute the designers of D&DNext for making their game specifically to address the ‘complexity barrier of entry’.
[21:53] <+JeffCombos> The industry has evolved a lot in the last few years, with Kickstarter breathing new life into game publishing and with PDF sales continuing to rise. And as the average age of gamers rises, we’re seeing a lot of second generation players as well.
[21:53] <+JasonMHardy> I think tabletop gaming as a whole is growing, while tabletop RPGs are not. I think finding more ways to get people to cross over from one type of tabletop gaming to RPGs would be more fruitful than the effort to get people from computer RPGs.
[21:53] <+JasonDurall> Smaller, purer, more esoteric, more personal
[21:53] <@Abstruse> You’ve also got the potential for a Tabletop-like show for RPGs depending on how their IndieGoGo campaign goes.
[21:54] <+RPGPundit> JasonHolmgren: You’re welcome.
[21:54] <+AndrewPeregrine> I work in theatre and the story is similar in some ways. Cinema took theatre audiences, as did television, but there is still a dedicated audience and the medium has endured for centuries
[21:54] <@Abstruse> With D&D making appearances on shows like Community and Big Bang Theory on top of the classic IT Crowd and Freaks and Geeks episodes.
[21:54] <+JasonMHardy> Though I should add that games like Shadowrun Returns have brought some crossover potential to tabletop SR, so I haven’t given up hope on getting people in through that channel.
[21:55] <+TimBrannan> Plus there is the Deadlands show on Xbox live
[21:55] <@Abstruse> JasonMHardy: I still remember the guy who tweeted when Dragonfall dropped, “I hope there’s a good wiki out there for this game because I’m making it into a PnP RPG!”
[21:56] <+TimK> Hehe..
[21:56] <+JasonMHardy> Abstruse: I will decide to take that remark as a positive thing and not shake my head or anything.
[21:56] <@Abstruse> He was very thoroughly corrected on that matter.
[21:56] <+TimK> To be fair the systems in Dragonfall/SR returns is simpler than current SR…
[21:57] <+JasonMHardy> TimK: That’s true, though partly because a lot happens under the hood of the computer.
[21:57] <@Abstruse> TimK: Which is simpler than every other edition of Shadowrun before it…
[21:58] <+TimK> Well, I think in some ways 4E was simpler, ut that’s my issue 😀
[21:58] <+JasonDurall> All right… I think I’m calling it a night.
[21:58] <+JasonDurall> This has been a lot of fun.
[21:58] <+DavidFChapman> With that, I’m gonna have to bail. Need to squeeze three hours of sleep in before the dayjob calls. Thanks everyone – catch you on the next one!
[21:58] <+JasonMHardy> I kinda decided I was okay with Shadowrun being on the more intense side of the spectrum.
[21:58] <~DanDavenport> Bye, DavidFChapman!
[21:58] <+JasonDurall> Good night, all!
[21:58] <+AndrewPeregrine> I think its probably getting too late for me too.
[21:58] <+JasonMHardy> Night!
[21:58] <+JeffCombos> Good bye, DavidFChapman!
[21:58] <+TimBrannan> See ya DavidFChapman
[21:58] <~DanDavenport> Since we’re wrapping, up, I’d like to thank you all for coming today!
[21:58] <+AndrewPeregrine> Night to you all, been lost of fun. See you for the next one!
[21:59] <+RPGPundit> I don’t have to go anywhere; so if there are people who want to continue we probably can, either here or on the main #rpgnet chatroom
[21:59] <@Abstruse> JasonMHardy: I played a decker in 2nd Ed before VR2.0. You can’t scare me! :p
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[21:59] <+JeffCombos> Thanks for having me, Dan!
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[21:59] <+TimBrannan> Dan thanks for having me here!
[21:59] <~DanDavenport> My pleasure!
[21:59] <+TimDugger> thanks Dan
[21:59] <+JasonHolmgren> Yes, thanks for having us. 🙂
[21:59] <~DanDavenport> Thanks for all the great work you guys do!
[21:59] <+Ken_Spencer> It is that time isn’t it? Good night to all and see you next time. Its been fun!
[21:59] <+TimBrannan> I can stay on for just a bit
[21:59] <+JasonMHardy> Abstruse: You have truly fought the good fight.
[21:59] <@Abstruse> Thank you all for coming, and feel free to drop by over at #rpgnet
[21:59] <+AndrewPeregrine> Thanks Dan, bye Tim, Dave and everyone 🙂
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[21:59] <@Abstruse> They’re a friendly bunch and several other designers hang out as well.
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[21:59] <+JeffCombos> I’m going to take off too. Mars calls to me.
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[22:00] <+JasonMHardy> And thanks for organizing and hosting this Dan! And to Abstruse for helping with the moderation!
[22:00] <+RPGPundit> Dan: please send me a link to the transcript as soon as you have it up. I’ll post a link to it on the blog tomorrow
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[22:00] <+TimDugger> Yes, Dan thinks of us as Pokemon… gotta catch us all…
[22:00] <~DanDavenport> Yes, Abstruse was invaluable, as usual!