In the last two months I’ve done a lot of work for Evil Hat Productions, setting up adventure modules for play on the virtual tabletop app Roll20. After setting up three Fate Worlds (The Secrets of Cats, Deep Dark Blue, and Red Planet), I worked on the five Fate of Cthulhu modules and these were just approved by Roll20 today.
Our team is now working on more Fate goodness and on Monster of the Week adventure modules. It’s so exciting to see these go live!
I’ve been trying to blog for months now. My admin board is littered with false starts, posts I started writing and never finished. It’s clear that I don’t have the energy, inspiration, and/or time to produce long posts anymore. So I’m going to attempt a return to shorter but more frequent blurbs, including actually posting back-dated earlier attempts so I have at least something. Why? Because in order to write professionally and regularly, I need to write more consistently. So here goes; a bunch of unconnected dots will slowly appear.
This is the second half of the #MayRPGQ2018 challenge for tabletop role-playing game enthusiasts from Brie Sheldon.
May 18: Where do you play that most encourages your creative side?
Big Bad Con. This convention is my Christmas, it’s the best weekend of the year. People who show up there are ready to say yes, to try new things, to take risks. Its effect stretches on through the year for me, recharging me with enthusiasm and ideas. Continue reading “#MayRPGQ2018: Part 2”→
The news I alluded to in a recent post have been officially announced: in addition to acting as project manager for new books in the Fate line, I am now also stepping in to replace Leonard Balsera as Fate Line Developer for Evil Hat Productions.
Lenny is stepping down to be able to keep up with his own increased responsibilities as COO and Creative Director of John Wick Presents. He has been with Evil Hat and working on Fate in its various forms for nearly 15 years. He is instrumental in creating some of the features I like best in Fate Core, the current version of the system. He is savvy, personable, knowledgeable, creative, and who knows how I will be able to follow such an act!
It’s tremendously flattering to have been invited to fill in the role of line developer for Evil Hat’s flagship line, and even more so when picking up the mantle after someone like Lenny. And it’s wonderful to be associated more closely with Evil Hat, since they have been such great people to work with and for.
One of my official mandates will be to bring even more diversity to the talent pool in all roles (writers, system developers, editors, artists, and so forth.) I will redouble my efforts to attract to our projects skilled people who are as diverse as the world I see around me.
Finally, I will also be scouting for new third-party games based on Fate for which the creators would like printing, distribution, and marketing support. Of course such games need to fit in with Evil Hat’s release windows, quality standards, etc.
For May, we have another neat challenge for tabletop role-playing game enthusiasts, the #MayRPGQ2018 challenge from Brie Sheldon. It has questions for the even days of the month.
May 2: How do you introduce yourself?
To other gamers, I usually mention my long-time online handles, dating back 20 years: Anemone, Evil Anemone, Méchante Anémone, and variations thereof. If I know we have gamer friends in common, I mention them. And to publishers, I mention that I have written for Atlas Games, Evil Hat Productions, Generic Games, Vigilance Press, and ZombieSmith, and that I am project manager for the Fate line at Evil Hat (plus awesome new responsibilities I’ll talk about later this month.) I do have gamer business cards I use at conventions! Continue reading “#MayRPGQ2018: Part 1”→
Final round of Kira Magrann’s cool challenge for April, the 30-day tabletop role-playing game maker or #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge.
Day 25: Being a tabletop role-playing game designer means…
Argh! This kind of question makes me worry about gate-keeping. I feared at the beginning of this challenge that many people would self-select out because of impostor syndrome.
I think of the definition as flexible and inclusive: if you create games, supplements, scenarios, settings, rules, playbooks, worksheets, and other tools to share with the world, if you listen to constructive critique and try to improve, if you keep polishing your work, then I’d say you are a game designer.
I’m not saying that keeping your meticulous DM campaign notes since the first game of D&D you ran in 1979 and trying to run games in that compendium at every convention makes you a game designer. Based on my training as an engineer, I think that in order to qualify as a designer:
You need to articulate what it is you are trying to create.
You need to separate the product of your work from your own identity, enough to listen to reasonable criticism.
You need to want to improve the product of your work even if the improvement goes in a new direction.
You need to keep informed about approaches other designers have used to solve similar problems so you don’t try to reinvent the wheel or publish fantasy heartbreakers.
You need to think of several different solutions to every problems rather than pre-select based on bias.
You need to try, evaluate, reject or refine, and try again until your design can be pronounced good by comparing to your objectives.
These are features of design, any kind of design. It’s not about how many copies you sold, or how long you have been working on an idea.
Part 3 of Kira Magrann’s cool challenge for April, the 30-day tabletop role-playing game maker or #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge.
Day 13: Biggest influence?
In roughly chronological order:
Over The Edge by Jonathan Tweet (Atlas Games); Robin’s Laws of Good Game-mastering by Robin Laws (Steve Jackson Games); Truth & Justice and The Zantabulous Zorcerer of Zo by Chad Underkoffler (Atomic Sock Monkey Press); Fate Accelerated by Clark Valentine, Leonard Balsera, Fred Hick, Mike Olson, and Amanda Valentine (Evil Hat Productions).
Over the Edge
Truth & Justice
The Zorcerer of Zo
But the funny thing is that I also got influences from games I thought were deeply flawed such as:
Primetime Adventures, The Esoterrorists, Burning Empires, Apocalypse World,
Kira Magrann started a cool challenge for April, the 30-day tabletop role-playing game maker or #AprilTTRPGMaker challenge. Everyone who participates in creating RPGs is invited to chime in! Kira’s list of daily questions is included at the bottom of this post. They’re mostly short answers on Twitter and other social media, but I thought I would re-post them here in small groups, with better grammar and a few more characters.
Day 1: Who are you?
I’m Sophie Lagacé, a Canadian expatriate living in the San Francisco Bay, avid gamer, convention organizer, blogger, and game writer. I write and manage projects for Evil Hat Productions, and write freelance for Vigilance Press, Atlas Games, Generic Games, ZombieSmith, etc.