Thanks to a successful Kickstarter for the new tabletop RPG, The Curse of the House of Rookwood is already available to backers as a pdf and scheduled for print late spring. In addition to the core rule book, Nerdy Pup Games is also publishing scenarios (written by a number of contributors, myself included) that explore alternate takes on Rookwood’s otherwise British Gothic setting.
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.
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.
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.
Book Review: Winkie by Clifford Chase (Grove Press). I have about as much patience for silliness as I do for writing commentary. That is to say, I rarely indulge, and if I do, it had better be good. So when my mum told me I needed to read a book about a teddy bear who wills … Continue reading More human than human?
Book Review: Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer (Pantheon). Traveling to Venice for the Biennale, journalist Jeff Atman feels as bound to write a story about contemporary art as the author is determined to tell us a story about Jeff Atman. Art expositions, acute observations, bellini-swigging festivities, and the fineries of drunken and high-on-cocaine … Continue reading Flowing through art and death