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.

Guest posts, Red Scars and other news

 

Welcome back! I have a triple delight for you in this post, although I’ll let my good friend Mr J do the talking for me as I ramp up towards some of the news I have promised and teased you with in my previous blog posts:

 

This is Mr J writing a guest blog for the perpetually busy KPLangers. As we have read from his previous blogs he has a lot going on, so I thought I would help and write a little guest bit for his site. I must take this opportunity to state, with my tongue in cheek, that I’m disappointed he didn’t embrace ‘Kava Punch Leviathan’ as his production company name, but I can understand his reasons. I was really looking forward to the company logo incorporating a giant kraken holding a coffee mug in his boxing gloves!

 

I would like to start by saying that I’ve made a presumption in that, like myself,  the majority of us gamers and lovers of fantasy are closet authors who fantasise about writing a novel based on our love of the genre; I’d like to commend Mr L for making the whim of many into a reality – I applaud his efforts to date and wish him all the very best.

 

I thought I would provide a light hearted blog of lessons learnt over the years of gaming. I have roleplayed for many years, but sadly must admit that I can’t find the inspiration or the time lately. I am very happy to say that this has now been replaced by helping MrL with proof reading his creations and contributing where I can. I must add that when courting my wife I told her I played ‘poker’ with the lads when roleplaying; I feel humbly lucky she still accepted to marry a self confessed gambler… I can’t recall if my roleplaying confession was before or after the marriage! 😉

 

The main suggestion I can offer for an entertaining gaming experience may be obvious: it should be devoid of alcohol. It may seem like a good idea at the time and may even be amusing for a short time, but ultimately depreciates the experience as the sobriety disappears. One evening of note we played with a can of lager in one hand and dice in the other as the characters coincidentally ended up in the local tavern. One player was so convincing in his drunken roleplaying we wondered if he was going to pass out at any minute. We stayed in the tavern all game, achieved little, gave up holding the dice and concentrated on the lager hand.

 

Following on from this, I’d suggest always taking time with character creation. I have tried assigning pre-generated character sheets and it creates some strange reactions. One player took to randomly starting fights, made every effort to contribute random acts of violence and constantly caused disruption. There was no reining him in as he thought he was embracing the ethos of the persona generated for him. Needless to say the game wrapped up quite quickly.

 

On reflection, I have to say that the presence of the female sex in a predominately male environment has been a pleasant addition. I know there are some out there that disagree with this, and I don’t know if there are more or less ladies who game nowadays. Personally, I gamed with some delightful ladies who would experience a personality reversal when in character and would savagely assassinate mortally wounded foes for the ‘kill xp’, would be the first at the treasure pile to steal the prize pickings and would shamelessly conspire with the male players to get what they wanted. A very memorable campaign was run by a lady GM who provided a rich world, encouraged character-run storylines and benefited from her disregard of the rules; all of which lead to more roleplaying than dice rolling.

 

Which brings me onto my final train of thought: my favourite systems of the day were Werewolf and RoleMaster(RM), produced by White Wolf and Iron Crown Enterprises respectively. Both of these games have basic rule systems that allow free flowing sessions and limited interruptions. I don’t miss the character creation of RM mind!!

 

In my opinion, the components of a successful game are a symbiosis of a rich world complemented with enthusiastically interactive players and a lack of rule books. I have been guilty of self-induced disappointment by creating my version of the perfect campaign that the players had no chance of embracing due to my rigid vision. Some sessions are never forgotten and some should never have happened, but that is part of the fun!

 

These are just some of my thoughts on the subject, but my current perplexity is: what happened to the 90 minute blockbuster film?! Why do films have to be over 2 hours long now. I dread the thought that the 3 hour duration of Interstellar doesn’t become the norm!!

 

MR J

 

Thank you Mr J! Plenty of insight and food for thought, particularly on the ladies gaming front. I have very fond memories of the campaign you mention above: I’m pretty sure our character sheets may still be available and ripe for representation somewhere.

 

I’ve been teasing some important news for a few weeks now. Far from being neglectful of this I’ve been holding off until I have something very substantial to pass on. The big news? I have formed my very own publishing company! Red Scar Publishing is currently a small but very active team that is trying to bring you the very best in an rpg experience. Our team is pleased to announce:

 

i. Toma Feizo-Gas as Senior Art Director! Toma is the genius and director behind his very own Vulcan Design Forge – not much more need be said!I’m very honoured to be announcing this fact.

 

ii. We will be at Dragonmeet! Not only as Red Scar, but also in my capacity as a Silvershield for Modiphius Entertainment. Please come along and enjoy a game at the Mutant Chronicles demo table run by myself! Again, I’m honoured to be assisting Chris Birch as a practitioner of the 2d20 system.

 

iii. Red Scar! Say what? Yes indeed. I’ve set up my very own publishing team, registered the company and have our very first commission under our belt. Thank you all for your support in my journey so far; I began this as a writer with belief in oneself – very much bolstered by your support for which I can’t thank you enough – yet now find myself as Creative Director of a small and extremely talented team. Look forward to more announcements on this shortly!

 

I leave you all with a piece I wrote for the development of Red Scar’s very own campaign setting, plus the challenge of coming to find me at Dragonmeet this weekend. I look forward to answering your questions!