things to read: Penny Nichols, a review.

I’ve had a lot of difficulties writing lately. I’ve been feeling.. cornered and trapped, almost as if I were in a rut. It’s been day in and day out, feeling I can’t write about the topics that come to mind BECAUSE I SHOULD BE WRITING ABOUT TABLETOPS OH MY GOD WHY AREN’T YOU DOING THAT. There’s been a haze, a fog around my brain as I try to figure out what to do and what direction to go in.

When I picked up Penny Nichols—a graphic novel by MK Reed, Greg Means, and Matt Wiegle—I didn’t know what I was expecting and was unaware of how much I needed to read it.

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Love & Riot

This is kind of a vent piece for me. I’ve been thinking about the protests a lot and I’m… frustrated at it all.

Love & Riot is a Lasers & Feelings hack focused on being part of a protest just as all hell is about to go loose. I penned this down for all the folks that wanted to be down there but couldn’t: be it from having immunocompromised families, being part of the military and therefore unable to critique the government, being trapped across the borders, or just wishing you could have done more.

I understand that this is not necessarily an accurate game depicting the protests. I’m hoping it doesn’t come off as insensitive. Hopefully what the game can do is help you feel some sort of better.

Black Lives Matter.



YOU ARE PART OF A PROTEST ABOUT TO GO SOUR. Your goal is to join together with your fellow protesters and help the cause, all while trying to protect each other as well as avoid arrest. QUINN, THE MAIN ORGANIZER, has been recently arrested, leaving you and your impromptu allies to fend for yourselves.

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The Fight at the End of the World

In light of all the riots lately, I feel it appropriate to share this one song from one of my favorite series of all time: Umineko, When the Seagulls Cry. Spoilers.

It’s called Worldend Dominator and you can find it here:

It’s a song that only plays at the end of the 2nd chapter, when Rosa and Maria are at the end of it all and have to run away from the hordes chasing them down, aching to eat and kill them. Rosa, armed with shotguns, works with her young daughter Maria, defending them from the oppressive forces trying to devour them.

In the times we’re at now, it just feels thematically appropriate.


Sanderson’s Laws of Magic

I’m a huge fan of Bryan Sanderson’s ideas on magic. I just wanted to collect it all here and perhaps share it with the rest of yall.

Sanderson’s First Law of Magics:

An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic.

Sanderson’s Second Law of Magics:

Limitations > Powers.

Sanderson’s Third Law of Magics:

Expand what you already have before you add something new.

Skill List for [In Bloom]

So I’m currently making a new tabletop called In Bloom. It’s all about knights and adventurers trying to save the world from a global “Bloomtinder” spell that turns all the plants evil.

I’m not talking too much about it right now, but I’ve so far developed a skill list I’ve divvied into TASK categories, or Trick, Attack, Social, and Knowledge skills.

—Trick Skills
Acrobatics:: Dextrous and nimble maneuvers.
Athletics:: Physically intensive maneuvers.
Crafts:: Creation and repair of items.
Stealth:: Hide and avoid detection.
Survival:: The ability to thrive in nature.
Thievery:: Handling locks or stealing.

—Attack Skills
Bladefaire:: Bladed weaponry, parrying.
Gaeal:: Weather, nature, terraforming.
Hexery:: Buffs, curses, enchantments.
Precision:: Aiming, targeting, ranged weapons.
Smashary:: Heavy weaponry, smashing.

—Social Skills
Insight:: Discovering lies and motivations.
Investigate:: Find clues and information.
Perform:: Impress or impersonate others.
Persuade:: Convincing others via lies or logic.
Provoke:: Intimidating away or goading others.
Notice:: Detecting fleeting or immediate details.

—Knowledge Skills
Academics:: Scholarly study and knowledge.
Cryptology:: Study of ancient or coded languages.
Local:: Knowledge of towns and rumors.
Medicine:: Application of health and poison.
Nature:: Knowledge of flora and fauna.
Tactics:: Study of strategy and weaponry.
Theurgy:: Study of magic, blight, and Beacons.

The categories don’t actually do anything other than tell the player ‘hey, taking skills in this section helps you do x-thing better.’ Which I think is already well worth the divvying.

Could I be homeless?

I think I’m trapped in this idea that whenever I make posts to my blog that they have to be special, big, nuanced or some form of announcement. I feel like I’m constantly trapped in a cycle of needing to generate content because I’m such a small voice in such a big void surrounded by larger planets all singing out their epic thoughts into space.

Twitter has me fucked up a bit.

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Epithet ICRPG Updates

HI FOLKS. I noticed a bunch of people checked up the Epithet ICRPG page recently and I just wanted to update yall on the progress of that. You can find the original post [here].

I know I said that I was done with this, but as we’re going on through playtesting in the podcast (yes there’s a podcast called Epithet in Flames using this system and we’re currently recording season 2) there are clunks here and there I’m trying to fix up and make clean. As is, I’m currently planning on doing a few things. First off let’s talk about versions:

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[TLog] Consequences w/the most Agency?

[Original Thread]

“the more I read about the quantum ogre, and the more opinions I pick up as to why/why it isn’t a problem, the more I realize that my biggest takeaway from all of this is that a GM should be delivering on the consequences of the choices not taken by the players.”

“if you can accomplish that much, then you’re already not summoning the quantum ogre(at least as it pertains to story) because you’re acknowledging that each decision has its own brand of consequences unique to them.”

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[TLogs] The Rise of the NetGM

*I tend to rant on twitter in a manner I should probably have done so on my blog. So I’m adding twitter-logs or TLogs to my limited number of posts. Mostly to track my thoughts.*

[Original Thread]

“I never really liked running campaigns online. I have a few folks I could possibly blame for that but honestly, I just hated how much time I could waste just building maps.”

“After reading Sly Flourish’s Lazy Dungeon Master yeaaars ago, I got sold on the concept of needing to prep only 1hr per 4hr game. I liked the idea in that it left a lot of room in a campaign for the players to fill in, but mostly I liked the challenge.”

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Fudging Rolls & Why the game has meaning

I saw a twitter post today about fudging rolls. It’s not like I don’t typically see people asking questions like this on the daily, but there was just something about seeing it as a yes/no poll that kinda set me off on wanting to talk about it? I tried to do a messy 20-tweet-long rant until I realized: wait, this is why I have a fucking blog for this stuff.

Alright so anyway.

My main point: Fudging rolls are complicated! It can’t be summarized as a yes/no binary!

What I mean by this is that there’s no definitive ‘you should fudge’ vs ‘you should never fudge’ because there’s honestly a time and place for each.

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