Very brief update.
Most of my focus this month is finalizing my main revisions of the Karma in the Dark ruleset for my new game, Crossing Worlds. My Friday design post will cover the process I've used for this revision.
A big focus has been on streamlining. I've been focusing on identifying the essential feeling I want to create with Crossing Worlds and removing, simplifying, or editing every mechanic to feed into that idea. One part of this process includes remaking playbooks.
While I like the idea of souls with flexible discipline choices, in practice I haven't seen many players mix and match between different archetypes (e.g. a player picks a Cyborg discipline and a Virtual Artist discipline). Almost everyone picks disciplines within their archetype, e.g. two Cyborg disciplines. At the same time, trying to create character sheets for every combination of souls led to a lot of paperwork.
I've decided to model the playbook layout more off some Powered by the Apocalypse games like Dungeon World: playbooks stretch over 2 pages. The first page has the essential information used by pretty much every charater; the second page lists all of the possible special abilities you can pick for your playbook (along with xp tracking).
For now, you pick a playbook and primarily pick special abilities that match it. You can pick up to 4 veteran abilities that pull from any playbook within your soul type (e.g. cyber, magic, or motral). While this limits many of the abilities to your archetype, it also opens up 3 disciplines by default, i.e. 12 different special abilities to choose.
For simplicity's sake, I've also layed out playbooks to match the vertical layout of the rulebook, so the sheets can be included in the main text.
This is a draft of the Tech Jockey playbook with the new layout.
The past few months have been a whirlwind of opportunities and work.
I've released a few small game projects along with one big release, Tides of Gold. Based on the response to Tides, and my own enjoyment in the game, I've been focused on playtesting, editing, and supporting some actual play content. This April I'm running two sessions on twitch.tv/actualplay. There is another one, possibly two AP's in the works I can't discuss yet. I've also started looking at possible publication options once the early access/testing period ends.
I've been working on a major design revision for Crossing Worlds. I am excited about the changes, but the amount of work needed is slow-going.
I picked up some freelance work. I had fun contributing to Glittercats Fine Amusement's game "More Kittens", which is an expansion on their GMless game Laser Kittens. I also took on several contracts for cultural consultation. Due to NDA's I can't say much now...but there are some interesting projects in development.
I started a Patreon to cover the basic operational costs for my design work. This was sped up by the coming changes to Patreon as well as my own need to pay for design software or devote time to more paid work. As a part of the Patreon I release a small, experimental game design each month. It's an interesting and challenging project.
I joined the project Voices at play, which is a mix of actual play podcast and TTRPG book club. It features marginalized people playing games by marginalized creators. We play a new system every two months, with weekly podcasts released, along with weekly features on marginalized creators. After we finish each system we have a roundtable discussion for the GMs and the players to discuss their experience with the game.
I've been doing some behind-the-scenes community development in several places. I can't discuss most of these projects yet, but I'm excited for the potential. There are cool things developing with community discussion, mentorship, and industry standards.
There is a theme to a lot of this... lots of work, lots behind the scenes, lots that I can't discuss openly (yet).
While I've enjoyed all of this work, I've felt scattered the last few months. I feel like my time and attention is being pulled in many directions. (In addition to the usual work, friends, family, etc.) So I've decided to try and refocus a bit.
I'm going to go back to using this website as my main hub for content. Instead of trying to manage Discord, Twitter, Itch.io, DriveThruRPG, Patreon, etc., this will be my point of contact.*
I've also decided to create a more predictable schedule for content for myself, as posted on the main page. Knowing me I won't keep to this 100%, but I want to get close.
The basic idea is:
This is schedule I can sustain and mostly reflects what I do naturally, just consolidating it down to one place.
*Patreon will continue to receive content. I will release my experimental games and related design posts there a month earlier than here.
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