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Baby it’s cold outside. Let’s roll dice


So I’m getting ready for a new gaming con. I will be running Into the Nexus at the Midwinter Gaming Convention in Milwaukee in January.

If you are in the midwest and want a fun diversion from the cold I suggest looking at the Midwinter Gaming Convention. It’s at the downtown Hilton and whole place is being used for games. Larp, Tabletop and boardgames. This is a smaller con than I usually do but I like it because we can get into some more storytelling aspects of Nexus that usually gets overlooked at bigger shows.

Anyway, if you want to get tickets or rooms or whatever. Click on the links and register.

That being said I will be making some changes to the Darkmore missions and games for this years Gen Con and any future cons that will see their first light at the Midwinter. It will now be all Darkmore adventures. We will start with Darkmore Besieged the game of choices and consequences. Do you figure out who is the spy but not stop the reinforcement of troops? Do you ignore a powerful Magical artifact in lieu of getting better siege equipment? The choice is always yours, especially the really bad ones.

In 2018 Gencon we ran Crash Landing. a prototype of a style I wanted to try. Where in Darkmore Besieged you have time to figure out what you want to do and execute it. In Crash you were on a clock and the clock was unforgiving. By the end “More are Coming” were the words that made my players scream in frustration and terror.  It had some good moments and some tedious ones. So I decided to make a change.

This year we will continue Darkmore the next night with Darkmore Strikes Back. If you played the night before (and didn’t die) you will keep your character and keep going. New players will jump in and you will have to deal with the consequences of the night before. Did you kill the baroness? Well her captain of the guard is pissed and coming after you. Did she escape? Yeah she ain’t happy. Did she have unknown allies who are unhappy with your little coup? You’ll just have to find out.

 

More will definitely be coming.

 

Ta Ta

J

 

 

 

Opening the Flood Gates!


Gencon Registration opened for the games and we sold tickets like crazy. It wasn’t Infinity War numbers but it was pretty great all the same.

Darkmore is sold out.

Crash Landing still has 9 seats left so if you are interested go get you some.

We WILL be taking generics at the table so if you can’t get a regular ticket you can use those instead. (FYI you will need ten hours worth for each session)

Crash Landing will be a very different experience this year as we will be adding some multimedia environment variables to the action. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully a thrill ride for all involved.

I want to send thanks to my regular players who keep coming back year after year. (looking at you Kincaids). You all are the best and I’m happy you enjoy it enough to keep playing.

I’ve got some cool stuff for this year and some great surprises.

 

I am really excited and can’t wait to show you.

See you all in August.

Ta

J

 

 

 

 

Polishing things up and undoing Disney Programming.


I have made some adjustments to characters and classes. I added the Anarchist and the Aristocrat (Not Aristocat like I kept typing over and over again)

Anarchist

Aristocrat (Not Cat)

I’ve polished up some descriptions and made the menus a little easier to navigate through. Take a look and checkout the fantastic artwork and basic descriptions of the classes.

Ta

 

J

Gen Con Book first printing! 


I have the D20 version printed up and ready for the editor.

Will be ready for the two long games I’m running at this years Gen*Con

Darkmore Besieged and Slave Ships Revolt.

 

Hope to see you there!

 

IMG_0097

Assets, Complications, and Triggers… oh my!


Gen Con games are accepted and will go live on Sunday.

Print book is progressing nicely and I will have intro copies ready for sale at the convention.

I have been working on signature assets and triggers for each of the Archetypes. I have quite a bit of the artwork done for each of them including the cover page.

Looking forward to doing both the new Cortex+ games and the Original Pathfinder version.

I have added new missions and puzzles to the Darkmore Besieged adventure so it should be an interesting time for returning players.

Looking forward to seeing new players and returning ones.

83 days left to go!

J

 

 

 

 

Granite


Excerpts from Hybris, a History by the herald Goog’ell

 

 

“Captain”

“Captain”

“Captain!”

“Yes Lieutenant?” Captain Percyville responded.

“The Eyelendian warship is coming around for another pass” Lieutenant Dundee responded. He was clearly agitated and having trouble keeping his composure now.

“Let’s go have look then shall we” The captain said. He stood up and grabbed his uniform jacket. when he put it on he flung it over his head in his unusual manner that was required due to an old battle wound that left his right shoulder not fully functional.

The Captain and his lieutenant left the Captain’s quarters and made their way up to the deck. The ship was in tatters. Bodies of sailors lay everywhere. Most of the passageway’s bulkheads lay in splinters. The last attack from the Dwarven nation had taken its toll on the ship. Through several doors you see out to sky through the holes in the hull. The ships magic the only thing keeping the contents from flying out.

Percyville kept a steady and constant pace up through ship. Dundee struggled to keep up behind him. They stepped over bodies, debris, and the occasional fire as they made their way to the deck of the ship.

“How many Q’anics[1] do we have left?” Percyville asked

“Three Captain”

“Any Terra[2]?”

“No Sir, All Sol[3]. The Zhen siblings”

“Really? Fantastic!”

Dundee failed to see how this was fantastic. Much of the damage on the ship was due to the Zhen’s reckless casting, not the enemy warships. The last attempt by them to hit the Eylendians resulted in their own vessel being engulfed in a tornado of fire and molten stone. They had taken out one Eyelandian ship so they were fine with the results. The ship however was still burning in some places and their main mast has been turned to ash.

As they came to the top deck the captain looked around at what had transpired in the last few minutes since he had gone below decks to attempt to send for reinforcements. Hundreds of sailors lied dead or dying on the deck. Most of the still living had third and fourth degree burns.

“Damage report Dundee”

Dundee sighed. He had known the captain hadn’t been listening to the three times he gave this report on their way topside.

“Starboard engines destroyed. Irreparable while in the air. Port Engines. Damaged and being repaired as we speak. Hull breaches on port and starboard sides. Main mast destroyed” By our own people he thought. “Main rudder destroyed.” Also by their own people. “We can go one direction at half speed while gradually listing to the starboard side.” He said this mechanically and without emotion as he had the past three times. He knew the captain just wanted the facts.

“What’s the butcher’s bill?”

“Three hundred twenty-eight souls lost” No point giving false hope about the sailors on deck. With those burns, they were dead. Their minds just hadn’t caught on yet.

This got the captains attention. His posture changed to almost a slouch and he turned to face Dundee.

“That leaves nine people on board this ship. We couldn’t even run it if it was working”

“Yes Captain. I know. Should we attempt to land on Granite?”

“No. In fact. Hell No. Find me the Zhens”

“Yes Sir.” Um no. Dundee thought. This was a bad idea in a sea of bad ideas. Nothing good would come from telling those maniacs that all was lost.

The lieutenant hadn’t even moved three meters when a large plume of fire appeared before him and a tall human woman walked through the flames. Dundee just rolled his eyes at the grand entrance. Sol Q’anics are known for these cheap theatrics to make it appear that they travel through fire. Everyone knows they can’t. They know everyone knows they can’t. Yet, they still do it. Every. Single. Time.

“Sol’Zhen[4], where are your brothers?” Dundee asked.

“Down with the two of the crew trying to restart the port engines.”

And here Dundee had thought he couldn’t have been told worse news today.

“What!? No. No. Tell them the stop what they are doing and come topside. The captain needs you three” Dundee stated. His voice attempting to contain the terror that stemmed from the thought of those two working with anything mechanical.

“Don’t look at me with that tone little man. We are the only q’anics left. You aren’t going to get the engines running with only your hopes and dreams.”

“Just call them”

“Very well.”

As Dundee watched she closed her eyes and spoke to her brothers. He knew that something about their manipulation of the possibilities let all practitioners speak to each other in their minds. It was always disconcerting to experience however, because they constantly spoke their side out loud.

“Captain needs us.” “Yes I know that.” “I didn’t ask.” “I didn’t care.” “I still don’t care.”

“They are on their way” she said. “Port side engines are functional.”

“Really?” Dundee had been sure the last sound he would going to ever hear was the whooshing sound of them being engulfed in a ship sized fireball. “Excellent.”

“Stuck at full throttle.” She said with no more emotion than that of someone telling you the time.

“And of course it is” He already could feel the ship starting to gain momentum

About a minute later two more fire plumes burst from the deck to the right of the lady Zhen. Two large human males stepped through them. Both clearly out of breath from running up 5 flights of stairs and across the deck.

They looked like their sister. All three raven haired with slightly slanted eyes. All three over two meters tall. All three lean and wiry from constant battle. They dressed identically. Their sleeveless red robes held to their bodies by a still somehow shining  breast plate that held the Zhen family crest engraved into the metal. A giant “Z” engulfed in flames. The two men were exactly identical. Twins were common among Q’anic families. It was believed that they would bring their doppelganger through while still in the womb. They only difference in the males was one had his left ear burned off. While the other had a pretty sever burn on his neck. Their sister other than being female was pretty much a triplet. She showed no signs of losing control of her magic however. No visible scars, burns, or permanent loss of hair.

The four of them walked over to where the captain was now standing. They looked over his head and could see the fleet of Eylendian warships heading towards them. Their oars sticking out the sides all moving in perfect unison through the sky.

“Captain, I have the Sol’Zhens”

“Q’anics.” The captain said. “Our ship is a lost cause. Although you have restored power we have no controls and no ability to do much but start and stop. The dwarves will be upon us soon and they will not be pleasant once they take the ship. As you know this particular breed is not known for they well keeping of prisoners.”

Everyone nodded. They had all heard the stories or known someone who knew someone who had encountered the Eylendian attack fleet.

“I have one more order as your captain. A way we can get through this with some dignity and maybe even a little glory.”

The five huddled together and listened while Captain Percyville told them his plan. When he was done. The five stood there grim faced and solemn.

“Sol’Zhen, you understand what I want? What must be done?”

The two males nodded. Their sister just stood there, as always, stone faced and silent.

Dundee? You understand what must be done?”

“Yes Captain.”

Dundee ran across the deck and through the hatch. He was doing his best to not trip over the bodies and debris. He bound down the steps taking them two and three at a time. As he hit the bottom step he heard the first horn call of the Eylendian ships. It’s bass tones resonating through the entire vessel. The familiar signal known to all. One long note followed by one lower and longer.

Surrender and Prepare to be boarded.

The lieutenant listened to the signal blast again then continued his run towards the engines rooms. As he approached he heard the sounds of arguing mixed with steam venting. He entered the port side engine room and was almost floored by what he saw. Three crewman were hanging by a large wrench attempting to unstick a bolt that was almost a meter across. Dundee didn’t know all the specifics in engine maintenance but he guessed they were trying to relieve the steam pressure on one of the engines. This task usually done either with magic or a full crew.

“Men!” Dundee screamed, trying to be heard over the venting. They didn’t hear him. He yelled again and one finally saw him and let go of the wrench. Dropping to the ground. The other two followed suit.

They snapped to a salute. Disciplined to the end Dundee thought mournfully. He wondered if it would stick to the very end. He returned the solute.

“We need to shut off the engines men. Complete stop”

The one Dundee thought was named Alen responded “Aye sir. So you know sir, the port #1 engine will not be able to be restarted. It’s pressure valve is wedged open. We will need a proper q’anic to get her goin’ again.” His tone was clipped and curt on the word proper. Apparently the Sol’Zhen boys didn’t leave a good impression.

“I know. Your orders now are to shut off the engines then hide. We are about to be boarded and are going to report all hands lost. Do you best to not be captured men. “Dundee said. hoping his card playing skills were benefiting him right now.

“Aye Sir” the three said together and went to activating the emergency engine shutoffs.

Dundee ran back up the stairs. “I really wish I had one of those handy fire plumes” He said out loud to an empty stairwell. Then he laughed. He laughed almost the whole way back to the deck.

He got to back to the deck and saw the captain standing alone. He was looking up at the huge oared ship floating overhead. He walked over to his captain whom he had served for 4 years and never really liked or respected and said. “Done”

“Thank you, lieutenant. You are a good sailor. It has been an honor.”

“Thank you Captain. For me as well.”

They both looked up at the fleet of a dozen oared Eylendian ships surrounding them. Ropes begun being fling out of the ship directly overhead and the large shadows of dwarven sailors started descending them.

“You think the Zhens will do what you asked correctly.” Dundee asked, still looking up.

Captain Percyville let out a small laugh. “It’s certainly possible.”

Over 20 dwarven sailors descended the ropes now. Climbing down hand over hand. Dundee always marveled how men so large and bulky were always so graceful.

Just as the first boots thudded on the deck. Dundee felt a rush of air and heard the whoosh  he had been expecting earlier. He closed his eyes and waited for the heat.

[1] Q’anic. Human slang for magic user. Short for Quantum Mechanic.

[2] Terra. Practitioner of Earth magic.

[3] Sol. Practitioner of Fire Magic.

[4] All Q’anics add their discipline to their family name. Not at all confusing when there is more than one family member with the same discipline.

GenCon 2016! 4 games Submitted


Holy Toledo I’m back from a too long absence. Not much new to report. Have been doing some play testing with the new Cortex+ game system and so far I really like it. I will get a real test at Gen con this year when I run it for strangers. I hope to have comment cards to I can see what People liked and didn’t like about the game mechanics.

So Here are my games for Gencon this year

Game ID Event Title Start Time Duration Actions
RPG1684092 A Hybris Theory – Into the Nexus Thu @ 1:00 PM 4 hrs Duplicate
Cost: $4
RPG1684081 Slave Ship Revolt – Into the Nexus Thu @ 6:00 PM 10 hrs Duplicate
Cost: $10
RPG1684102 Very Huge Saga – Into the Nexus Fri @ 1:00 PM 4 hrs Duplicate
Cost: $4
RPG1684082 Darkmore Beseiged – Into the Nexus Fri @ 6:00 PM 10 hrs Duplicate

 

I have decided to keep my big games using the Pathfinder system and the Death Gate Cycle Material. Disappointed as I am that MWP decided on a different direction. It doesn’t stop me loving the series or the games I built around them. It is what those game players have come to enjoy and I do love running them.

As for a game I want to publish. Into the Nexus will be all original material.

Speaking of that. New logo and Webdesign on the blog. New artwork will be posted soon and I should have a pre-release book for sale by gencon.

 

That is all for now. Someone broke their monitor and I need to see how the hell they managed that.

 

Ta

J

 

Unsocial Media 2 – The Legend of Curly’s Gold


It’s been 30 days since I decided to fast from social media. I didn’t abstain as I would have liked due to my use of it for social gathers but I didn’t post daily (or even weekly) to Facebook. I unfollowed everyone on my friends list and unsubscribed to any group that I had not actively participated in.

It is a joy. I took me about a week to not look everyday to see what new info wasn’t going to show up. Took a few more days to figure out what to do with my time. I wasn’t spending my nights reading over peoples constant complaining about the life they themselves chose. “News” that was fake but they were too lazy to check before posting. Preaching about their faith they love but don’t truly follow because they can’t give up bacon. The nonstop barrage of meaningless crap people post to seem funny or pious or happy being alone or happy being in the relationship they are in.

e.g.  Post #1 “Today I will not be around negative people” Post #2 “Fuck the haters” (this second one seems negative) or

Post #1 “Kicked him to the curb! I don’t need a man to be happy. The single life for me” Post #2 a week later “Found a real man. He is so perfect, we are moving in together”

Now I myself was a contributor to this. I bitched endlessly about whatever was annoying me. I thought it was cathartic. It wasn’t. It was making me angrier and angrier. I wasn’t helping myself with these I was just spouting vile. And thanks to Facebook’s “On this day” I discovered I was repeating myself!

So did I take this time to work on Nexus? Nope. I used my time to spend with family and friends. I talked on the phone, sometimes for hours. I texted people and had actual private conversations. I played games with friends. I cooked. I played Zelda. I had long conversations in the kitchen with my wife.

I enjoyed my life.

I didn’t watch what others were doing and either get angry at them or jealous of them. I just didn’t care. I focused on my own and I feel better for it.

Will I stay off of Facebook? I don’t know. I hope so. Maybe use it to share photos of my family for people who don’t get to see them as much as they’d like.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I have a newly modded Commodore 64 to play Might and Magic on.

TaTa

J

 

P.S. Next post will be Nexus game related. I have run a couple of sessions with the Cortex+ rules and am liking its new direction.

 

 

 

 

 

Unsocial Media and the Letting go of the familiar D20


Last Saturday I ran my first Into the Nexus game using the Cortex+ system. It was kind of nerve wracking. I have been working on this game for so long in the familiar D20 system that I was worried it wouldn’t go well or that my players wouldn’t be able to enjoy themselves as much. My fears were unfounded. It was a great night of gaming. I made some notes and will have to make some adjustments but I think this system will really work for the game. We had craziness abound and the the complication/opportunity mechanic adds some real depth and unpredictability to the story without it being as random and unruly as the D20 mechanics could be. Being able to add a D8 complication of Warrant for Arrest to each players dice pool is much cleaner than just having tons more encounters and fights that just take up the gameplay.

I think my favorite part of the Cortex+ conversion has been the Talents. No longer bound to tons of unnecessary math that feats and skills of D20 can yield, I was able to add some really fun and entertaining Talents for each of the Archetypes and some good generic ones that anyone can use. I was able to crank out 10 pages of Talents in about 3 hours and my players really enjoyed using them in game play.

One issue, and I hesitate to use the word “downside” , but it is kind of sad for me is that the dice pool mechanic does not lend itself to larger groups. I need to set a cap on players and I’m not used to having to do that. It will take some getting used to but I feel I will get a more robust game experience if I don’t have more that 6 players.  This will cause me to make some adjustments for the Con but I have some great GM’s that help me so I don’t think it will cause too many problems.

I ran a very small test mission after character creation and it went longer than expected but I fell that was due to too many players and some people still figuring out how to use the dice pool mechanic. I will adjust accordingly for the next session and see if the flow improves.

Lastly.

Monica Valentinelli, author of the Firefly RPG, wrote in her blog about taking the month of September off of social media (Facebook and Twitter) to focus on her creative works. I have been letting that idea rattle around in my head the last few days and I feel it is a really good idea. I am not a huge Twitter user but I do sometimes get lost in the mindlessness of Facebook. I feel my time would be better spent doing…almost anything. Facebook has devolved into a bunch of angry whining and protestations (without actually doing anything about it). I am guilty of it myself and have been finding myself more and more angry about something someone posted. Angry to the point of it ruining my day because of the shear stupidity of it.

I don’t need that in my life. I am a curmudgeon to begin with. I don’t that particular fire fueled. So, For the month of September I will not access Twitter at all and my Facebook will only be used for my game page and game related posts. I have unfollowed all of my friends and groups so my newsfeed is blank. I was going to deactivate the account to just have my wife change my password and not give it to me until a friend of mine reminded me that we only talk on Facebook Messenger. So I will keep the account active for that purpose and Nexus related material. My friends have my phone number, they know how to find me. I don’t need to spend my days yelling at gun nuts and people who take that toupee’d Presidential candidate seriously. My hope is that this will let me focus my time and needs on more creative pursuits.

My game needs to be finished…and that Commodore 64 won’t be modding itself.

Ta for now.

J

 

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