New Year, New Beginnings

Welcome to my first post of 2015; what a start we’ve already seen! Christmas and New Year passed seemingly in the blink of an eye, followed swiftly by three members of KPLangers celebrating their birthdays over one weekend. We’re slowly settling into some kind of rhythm for the year now that festivities and preparations have successfully borne fruit, and as a family are looking ahead to some great times together. Hopefully you’ll enjoy sharing some of these moments with us as our year progresses.

 

Both Helen and I have seen our year start successfully as we take our first steps along our independent, yet mutually supported, business ventures. Helen created Happy Feet Childminding towards the end of 2014 following a successful and outstanding Ofsted inspection of our home. It didn’t long for Helen to gather her first children to mentor following receipt of her official certification as a childminder; I have no doubt that Helen’s passion, creativity and diligence eased any doubts prospective parents may have had at leaving their little one in someone else’s care, and have absolutely no doubt that Happy Feet will continue to grow – particularly as the whole of KPLangers continue to show their character by helping and supporting when they can. Helen has continued to build upon these initial foundations by taking steps to create Happy Feet’s own website, which is already very much taking shape!

 

Alongside Helen’s and Happy Feet’s success I’ve had my own personal success, which is coupled closely with outstanding news for Red Scar. Founding a business has been a steep, sharp learning experience, although I’ve had invaluable support from both Chris Birch, founder of Modiphius, and Toma Feizo-Gas, founder of Vulcan Design Forge and Senior Art Director for Red Scar. I make no apologies for mentioning this again if you’ve been following my posts from the start; I’m honoured by (and slightly in awe of) the support these two industry stalwarts have shown me since the outset. To cut to the quick: Toma, myself and Red Scar have been presented with the opportunity to produce a full-fledged adventure for Modiphius and the Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition Roleplaying Game. Add to this the fact that we’ll be creating one of the first official standalone adventures produced for Mutant Chronicles since its 2nd Edition days, and you may begin to appreciate how truly honoured I am to not only be able to write for Modiphius, but also to be able to work alongside Toma on Red Scar’s first official venture as we create almost everything Modiphius will need to put together an outstanding adventure. We’re already hard at work as we look to create a product fit to take its place amongst their award winning catalogue of roleplaying game material. Check back in for regular updates both here and at Modiphius as this progresses.

 

We’re also in the very final stages of wrapping up a presentation to an established American publisher of roleplaying game material. Again, I can’t give away any specifics, but I can tease you with two outstanding character pieces which have been produced by the team over at Vulcan Design Forge. It’s really something to see my original visions and initial tentative direction become a reality, particularly as it’s hard to convey how much work and direction takes place to bring an image like this to you. I really only have Toma to thank  as I present these to you: for placing faith in me, for invaluable guidance and instruction, and for stepping in when my direction lacked…well…direction! The first of these pieces is the final render of Red Scar’s very own Kyra Red – I think you”ll agree this is a fitting character piece to the very lady who lends her name and background to our company. The second character piece is of someone I very much enjoyed creating as I wrote the material for this work – Red Scar present to you Perseline: local soothsayer, witch and potion-maker extraodinaire. More than that I cannot say unfortunately 😉Kyra RedPerselineFinally then, over on the KPLangers facebook page, I revealed the fact that I had entered Paizo‘s RPG Superstar 2015 competition. I was very happy with my submission – which I can now reveal below – until I realised I had committed a basic and cardinal error in my submission. I set to voting with a vengeance as soon as the first round allowed, yet slowly began to question why I hadn’t come across my own item as I did so. I appreciate there is a cull prior to voting being opened, yet I had been quietly confident that my item would have had at least made it past this first obstacle. A few niggling clues in some of the entries I had been furiously voting on led me to re-examine both my own entry, and the submission guidelines. To my horror, I realised I had busted the 300 word limit by 34 words. My tired eyes had assumed the entry required 300 words of descriptive text, exclusive of the statistical format surrounding it. On a second read, with more attentive eyes, it became clearly apparent that the 300 word limit was inclusive of the format surrounding it. Game over then, I thought. To the credit of Owen K.C. Stephens, game designer and lead judge for the competition, I was advised to wait for the round finalists to be revealed, as there was an outside chance my entry could be chosen as one of the four wild cards. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case, so it only remains for me to say best of luck to those who did make it through. I shall strive to make a better account of myself next year following this  simplest of errors. Lesson very much learnt! Here then is the final edit I submitted:Rod of Sinful Torment

I hope you all achieve your own goals and personal success throughout 2015, best of luck in your endeavours! As always, please feel free to leave a comment; I’d be particularly interested in your thoughts on Kyra, Perseline and my RPG Superstar entry 🙂

 

(Un?)Necessary Disclaimer:  I can take no responsibility for any of the links highlighted in this post. Where possible, I have provided a link to an author’s official page or a company’s official site. Where this hasn’t been possible, I have provided a link to the relevant Wikipedia page. The links provided are used at your own risk.

Season’s Greetings!

With the holidays upon us, Christmas imminent and the New Year following closely behind, I wanted to put fingers to keyboard one last time this year to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I would also like to thank you all for following, supporting and nurturing me; some of the support I have received really has blown me away, so I hope I return the favour and make you all proud of my achievements.

 

Like most of us I imagine, Christmas has been a particularly busy time for the KPLangers crew and myself. In between manically sorting presents, cards and visits to family there has been the usual day job to attend – ironic, as I work shifts – alongside copious amounts of plotting and writing to develop. In amongst all of this I made time for a 24 hour round trip to Dragonmeet in London, where I ran the Mutant Chronicles demo table for Modiphius, though more on that later.

 

2014 has been a turbulent year for me, with high and low points. With Red Scar Publishing going from strength to strength though, I’m very much looking forward to 2015 and what it may bring! There are plenty of exciting developments on the horizon, not only for Red Scar, but for the whole gaming community in general. As I look back on my personal development for 2014, while I by no means consider myself an accomplished writer yet, I’ve certainly learnt a lot this year and had plenty of opportunity to practice my art. Fantasy has been my staple diet ever since my father handed me a battered copy of the Fellowship of the Ring at the tender age of 10. I had every suspicion that this copy had also spent some time submerged in water during one of his post work baths; it wouldn’t be the first or last time he had dozed off whilst reading in the bath. I managed to devour the entire trilogy within two short weeks regardless, and then spent many an hour with a good friend hunting Uruk-hai and Nazgûl in the woods close to our school. My love for fantasy grew as I also discovered the authors I consider to be the literary greats of my teens: Margaret Weis & Tracey Hickman, R.A Salvatore, Robert Jordan, Robert E. Howard, David Gemmell and Terry Brooks. I enjoyed plenty of other titles, but I would consider these to have had the greatest influence on my young imagination. I also supplemented these with short forays into science fiction, enjoying works by Michael Stackpole, Timothy Zahn and Arthur C. Clarke. Add an unhealthy dose of horror from Stephen King, H.P Lovecraft, Brian Lumley, James Herbert and Dean Koontz and I think you’ll begin to build a picture of how my impressionable young mind sought a release for the creativity these works inspired.

 

In 1989, at the age of twelve, I was introduced to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and was swept away on the infinite possibilities of adventure! I fought running battles with my father at the time as he initially resisted my exuberance for a game that carried some considerable stigmata back then. He did relent eventually; as soon as he realised that we weren’t sneaking off to slaughter animals so that the freshly harvested blood could be used in satanic rituals. My first character was an unhealthy wizard named Saruman – original I know. I’ve played a broad spectrum of systems since then, which has gone hand-in-hand with the literary works I’ve read throughout my lifetime. I’ve had many highs and some lows along the years, and have been blessed to have remained in contact with several of the key members of my group throughout; some of whom I still game with. Fantasy, though, has always remained my staple genre and I have always considered myself, if anything, a budding fantasy writer. This year I’ve not only had the opportunity to break myself free of this self-imposed pigeon hole, but I’ve also recently been offered the chance to combine science fiction and horror writing together to produce a roleplaying adventure! More to come on that in the new year, alongside updates for Red Scar, my other literary works and the long overdue Fate Core review.

 

Dragonmeet was a huge success for all involved. Many thanks to Chris Birch and Modiphius for inviting me up and allowing me to represent them by running demo games of Mutant Chronicles and Achtung! Cthulu – despite not having played Call of Cthulu for approximately 20 years! I met some great people on the day and talked with some very talented creative minds. I also had some great feedback from the people who sat at the demo tables with me; hopefully you all enjoyed playing as much as I did GM’ing! Highlights for me were having the chance to meet the Modiphius family – who are a kind and welcoming bunch of superstars – running the MC demos, meeting the team behind Mutant: Year Zero, chatting to the guys at Prodos and Mantic and taking a look around the huge selection of stands and wares on display. A low point for me was missing the Steve Jackson/Ian Livingstone seminar – the one seminar I’d promised myself I would attend. When I finally realised I was late for it, I hustled my way to the seminar room door and yanked it open: only to find my view, and the entrance, blocked by a wall-to-wall crowd of bodies. Disappointed doesn’t quite cut it.

 

I’ll leave you with a photo of me doing my best to provide an overview of the Mutant Chronicles setting and the 2d20 system. Sat on my left as you look at me is a respected game developer and writer, whilst out of shot to my right is a full time writer and developer for Modiphius who is currently working on the Mutant Chronicles RPG. No pressure then.

 

Dragonmeet

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Catch up with you all in 2015!

 

(Un?)Necessary Disclaimer:  I can take no responsibility for any of the links highlighted in this post. Where possible, I have provided a link to an author’s official page or a company’s official site. Where this hasn’t been possible, I have provided a link to the relevant Wikipedia page. The links provided are used at your own risk.