Hello, all! It’s been a while since I posted here and I thought I’d give an update.
First up, the good stuff. Three Rocketeers nears publication. I believe it’s just waiting on final art at this point and, well, that’s pretty darn exciting. The sample are that Fred has shared is absolutely phenomenal. I can hardly believe someone created such a beautiful drawing based on my words.
I have more work with Evil Hat, as well. I’m the systems lead designer on Fate of Cthulhu, a game which asks the question, “What if Skynet were Cthulhu instead of a malevolent AI?” Stephen Blackmoore is the lead writer and Sophie Lagace (whose War of Ashes RPG: Fate of Agaptus is just now available in stores!) is riding herd in an experimental role where she’s in charge of making sure the mechanics and setting text line up. Sean Nittner is our project manager. This is an exciting project for me. Action horror is quite the challenge in Fate and this is a project that comes straight from Fred Hicks and Chris Hanrahan. It’s a big vote of confidence in my abilities that I got assigned this project.
In addition, I’m riding shotgun as backup system developer on Rob Wieland’s RPG adaptation of Eric Vogel’s upcoming Kaiju, Incorporated. My job there is to help Rob make the game the best it can be. Design isn’t in the job description here; it’s more editor, coach, and sounding board. That’s going to be a fun challenge in its own way.
As far as non-game design writing goes, I’m writing a bi-weekly Star Wars column over at The Addison Recorder. The Recorder is a local Chicago blog focused on pop culture. My articles are focused on reviews and critiques of the current Star Wars canon from the movies, TV shows, novels, comics, and more. It’s a learning experience for me but I have a few articles up and a new one, about the Marvel Comics Lando mini-series, is scheduled to drop on Thursday. Each article I write I get better at actually critiquing the material without simply recapping it. I think my review of Lando is the best one yet. Previous articles have covered the first season of Star Wars Rebels, Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath, and the Princess Leia mini-series from Marvel. If you’re a Star Wars fan, I’d appreciate you keeping an eye on the Recorder for my posts.
At GenCon I made the acquaintance of Jim McClure and found out about his new podcast Talking Tabletop. It’s only a handful of episode in but it’s the best RPG interview podcast that’s going right now. The distinction of Best RPG Interview Podcast has been vacant for a few years, in my opinion. Ever since The Jennisodes wrapped, there’s been a lack of quality interview shows hitting the podsphere. Talking Tabletop is a worthy successor to that show and I’m excited to say that Jim was kind enough to interview me a few weeks ago. The episode should drop in November, right when Three Rocketeers is released. Keep an eye out for it.
Straight talk: I’m not going to achieve either of my personal writing goals for the year. First, I’m not going to Metatopia this year (combination of poor planning and procrastination on my part) and I’m not going to have Heroes Fall in shape to test in time, either. Second, I haven’t even touched my drafts of a Red Panda Adventures RPG and it’s October. No way I’ll have a draft to send Gregg. Lastly, I haven’t submitted a writing sample or application with Fantasy Flight Games for a freelance position with their Star Wars RPG line. That falls squarely on me. I have an in and I seem to be afraid of using it.
Eric Simons, the Chicago-based game designer behind Steamscapes for Savage Worlds, is working on his first Fate game. It’s called Rockalypse and he’s been kind enough to ask me to join his playtest group. Rockalypse is a game of musical combat in the vein of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or Six String Samurai. Eric has designed a fun “build your own apocalypse” for setting up campaigns. We’ve had a few sessions so far and it’s been a wild ride. Our band is Mariachi Esqueleto, a mariachi-[blank] fusion band where we change what the blank is each battle. So far we’ve had hip hop and punk fill in the blank. Eric’s made some changes to the flow of combat, as well, that I find very novel and I’m curious to see how our playtesting shakes out on it.
It seems I’ve inadvertently joined/helped start a Star Wars book club through Google Hangouts. Some of my players from the Edge of the Empire campaign I ran wanted to get together to talk about Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath once we’d all finished it. We managed to rope in Morgan Ellis, as well. The plan is to get together again soon to chat about Lost Stars by Claudia Gray. I can see it continuing for future releases. Next month we’ll get Battlefield: Twilight Company. If you’re interested in joining, let me know and we’ll loop you in for the next chat.
To close out, I want to share a new album from a band I absolutely love: Gloryhammer. Their sophomore album has hit and it’s got the epic fucking title of: “Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards.” The first album was called “Tales from the Kingdom of Fife” and was a concept album about a mythic Scotland that gets invaded by a necromancer and his army of enslaved unicorns. Angus McFife, the prince of Dundee, survives the attack and goes on a quest to find the Hammer of Glory so that he can free his kingdom from the evil sorcerer Zargothrax. Rise of the Chaos Wizards picks up a thousand years later when Zargothrax returns and Angus McFife XIII has to defeat him. Both albums are just epic power metal. The riffs are non-stop and the singer has some serious chops. The story is simple, mythic, and cheesy but I’m totally fine with that. In fact, I celebrate it. When I get to listen to a song titled, “Goblin King of the Darkstorm Galaxy” I really just don’t give a fuck if it’s cheesy if it’s good enough non-stop thumping metal.