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 I am very happy to say that this has now been replaced by helping MrL with proof reading his creations and contributing where I can.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!

The conflict of solitude

Has it really been that long since I’ve posted? Time  has certainly flown! It’s not been down to a lack of commitment or loss of momentum; more the opposite in fact. The demands of my undertaking have been pretty relentless to be fair. I wouldn’t like to be misunderstood here as I’m not bemoaning my circumstance or seeking pity. I’ve made a choice to change my life and I’m working hard to make it a reality, but there certainly is a lot to juggle. That said, I’d like to start this post by again thanking my wonderful, understanding, supportive and insightful partner in both life and love. My enthusiasm sometimes loses you, yet you always try your best to follow my thoughts. Big kudos also for the unremitting support Mr J has provided, including some wonderful contributions to my efforts. I’m working hard to see them in print for you. Again, also a big thank you to Chris Birch for his continued help in many aspects, despite being extremely busy himself on many of his own projects.

 

Working on this project has left little time for other pursuits I’m afraid, which means I’ve had no time to continue the story of Shaemus over on wattpad or even to produce the review of Fate Core that I’ve been promising. I have had a chance to read through the system though and I must say, I’m immensely impressed. So much so that I intend on making use of Fate Core in my project, though more on that later. Now, you may be asking yourself why such an established and polished system as Fate Core could possibly need another review. You’re probably right in thinking that it doesn’t, but I’d ask you to bear with me on this one please: think of it more as a learning process and chance for me to practice my reviewing skills. Which leads me neatly in to the title for my post. If you manage to find some time for some research I would highly recommend foraging for other people’s writing experiences. By that I mean how many different methods writers employ to allow their creativity to flow to you, the reader. I don’t just mean the methods they employ, which is clearly an important part of the process, but the whole experience: surroundings, mood, research, musical influence, et al. I’m of the opinion that there is no right or wrong answer, it is very much down to the individual. I prefer to write in solitude, sometimes in complete silence, other times with music which suits the mood for the piece I’m writing. My current employment will also sometimes see me complete an entire shift without having spoken to another living being. Although this respite from human contact is occasionally welcome, writing can sometimes be a lonely experience. Where am I going with this? Let me cut to the chase – please feel free to leave a comment, just so I know you’re out there and interested in what I have to say. You’re support in any small way through critique, suggestion or positive reinforcement makes this whole process more than the mere ramblings of an as yet unpublished writer and will let me know that I can overcome my enforced solitude by reaching out to you through the power of the written word.

 

On the gaming front it’s been a case of our group getting together to plan ahead and look at a date for a fresh start. I like to run games for my group which have sprung from my own creativity but unfortunately my undertakings have left me with no time in that area either, so we’ve taken the collective decision to run more pick up and play type games for the time being. To that end I’ll be rebooting the Carrion Crown Adventure Path from the third module, after having stopped near the end of the second some time ago – perfectly in time for Halloween. I’m very much looking forward to this as I enjoy a sense of horror and tension in my games. I’m sure you’ll hear about this in future posts! We did manage to squeeze in a play-test of the Mutant Chronicles 3rd Edition beta rules, using the short adventure and pre-gen characters provided with the RPGNow download. Chris Birch, founder of the Achtung! Cthulu and Mutant Chronicles publisher Modiphius, kindly sent through some updated character sheets for us to use, so we’re looking to further play-test Mutant Chronicles in a mass combat situation very soon. More to come on that also in future posts, particularly as the much anticipated finished product will be with us in November.

 

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the all-consuming project. It’s still very much progressing, though it will soon be taking a very different direction – self publishing through the power of Kickstarter! Before I continue in more depth on that, I’d like to tell you that the Paizo license submission was finished and submitted. Massive thanks to Toma Feizo Gas and the Vulcan Design Forge, Arthur Tanga and his creations and our map artist for all of the hard work to see that finalised! If I’m able to at some point, I will post it here for your comments as we were quite proud of the finished piece. I’ve had a tentative email response from Paizo and am awaiting further events, though I haven’t sat still. My intention has always been to take a step into the world of self publishing and, having had several conversations with experts in various fields, this will soon be a reality. Our team is hard at work on various iterations of the overall idea and product. We will very soon be releasing a small, free PDF which will introduce you to a kingdom building campaign employing the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Ultimate Campaign and Mythic Adventure rules; that’s right, a kingdom building campaign of epic proportions! Set on my home-brew campaign world of Tanrisal, this will be the first of a series of campaign arcs introducing players and GM’s to this rich setting. There will be seperate posts, pages and updates for this as we progress so please add, like or follow to receive your updates and pass the word around. As mentioned earlier, you can also expect Fate Core variants of this in the future! We are all massively enthused by this project and are very much looking forward to unveiling it to you as we progress. I don’t want to say too much more, as it will be the subject of future posts, but I’d like to leave you with a concept image produced by Toma for the central character from one of my stories over on wattpad, who will also be making an appearance in the forthcoming adventure series : Kyra Red. Bearing in mind that this is a concept sketch and not the finished piece, I think you’ll agree it’s a stunning piece and certainly does her justice.

Kyra Red concept sketch

I’d like to sign off with a challenge. I challenge one of my friends or followers to leave a comment on anything related to this post, be it your own writing experiences, thoughts on my self-publishing quest or the concept of Kyra. I shall look forward to replying!