After the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, protesters across the U.S. have pushed for cities to de-fund their police departments, if not disband them entirely. Already this week, the Minneapolis city council has pledged to dismantle its police department. While many grapple with what it would mean to abolish the police entirely (in … Continue reading Defunding the police: Is it enough?
We must support, listen to, and learn from our fellow black and brown human beings during this state of emergency. We know racism is deeply rooted in this country. We must publicly acknowledge institutionalized violence against people of color and support positive change. I’m not writing to explain why “all lives matter” is an offensive … Continue reading To (white) family & friends:
I’ll confess, right now I just want to share my excitement about several new titles released in the past year or so… Let me also confess that I feel a bit biased as a fan of Modiphius Entertainment, because they’re publishing and distributing some of my favorite RPGs, all by Swedish game designers: Mutant: Year Zero, Symbaroum, and Kult: Divinity Lost.
One of my most memorable experiences, while working at Longfellow Books in downtown Portland, Maine, echoes in my mind 14 years later, as I contemplate how I invest my creative energy and what future I may still have as a writer.
For over a week, I’ve been struggling with my next blog post, and I feel so stuck in the muck of it that I’ve decided to just start over. The goal of my next post (this post) was to continue my reflections on my four-part soul concept, and to hopefully arrive at some conclusions. But … Continue reading Entering the darkness of the soul
The trick for creating the right “feel” for an RPG isn’t in the numbers as much as it’s in the words we use to define characters’ capabilities. How do we divide people up into universal attributes so we can quantify and differentiate their aptitudes? And more importantly for me—how do I implement my multiple-aspect soul concept while keeping attributes relatively simple? No one wants six to nine basic attributes, then four more special “soul” attributes piled on top of that. (Or at least, I don’t.) … I find the more stats that comprise a character, the less significant some of them become.
It’s been difficult deciding the next step. I’m torn between developing my own rules versus relying on the preexisting structure of a published game system. Even if that preexisting structure allows great versatility and customization, will it be the right fit for what I want to achieve? For instance, I’ve been reading about Powered by … Continue reading Plots & spontaneity
For a very long time, I’ve had a vague idea about writing (or “telling”) a sort of apocalypse story. Not post-apocalyptic, but of an apocalypse, a story about the world directly before and during its end. But I also say “sort of” because—I suppose like many post-apocalyptic narratives—the world doesn’t actually end. The world as we know it ends; the world and its inhabitants undergo dramatic change, the rules change. So to be more precise, I want to tell a story about the events leading up to the world-as-we-know-it falling apart, then paint the epic beauty that is that falling apart.