Tuesday, September 3, 2019

New World, New Times, Mutation...


Just a quickie to say that things have changed.

Nothing major, just the basic look and some logo designs. The Autocratik Logo has evolved over the years... originally it was designed to look like Debs and myself holding a red flag, to symbolise how we were being revolutionary - ha! As if. Anyway, back then, when I was a comic publisher, it was the shape of the mast head of a comic - and had the full name - "Autocratik for the Masses" - which was a play on REM's album, Automatic for the People.

When I thought about going it alone again in the world of publishing, doing things my way, the name Autocratik seemed to be apt again and I redesigned the logo. It was a development of the Soviet propaganda art that I always loved, and hence the logo used a Russian "D" - it looked like an A to western audiences, hence A for Autocratik, but in my head it was D for Dave and Debs.

And, with #RPGaDAY ending a few days ago, I thought now would be a great time to rebrand a little. Nothing too major, just losing the Russian lettering and avoiding any confusion. So the new logo is the ultimate in minimal A's...

The typeface of the logo's different now as well. It used to be Impact, which is pretty common. And it's also cut off from the bottom - no it's not a cropping error... it's intentional. Makes the A's look like cool triangles. I like it. It's simple and basic...

Now I just need to do some new normal business cards and do a new T-shirt for Dragonmeet.

www.autocratik.com now directs to this blog, rather than the holder site. All the links from there are presented on the top here, and you can click those to directly follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 31: LAST

Custom Doctor Who Micro Universe figure that's supposed to look like me - well, as detailed as the micro universe got.
Custom Autocratik dice thanks to the awesome www.chimericdesigns.co.uk

Day Thirty-One of #RPGaDAY 2019 - and the final word for this month-long exercise in spreading a little love for tabletop roleplaying games is LAST.


"This isn't meant to last, this is for right now..."

Had to squeeze some Nine Inch Nails in there somewhere.

What has LAST got to do with today? Well, it's the last day of #RPGaDAY 2019. That's an easy one.

Is it the LAST #RPGaDAY? Well, that's up to you.

Is it my LAST #RPGaDAY? Not sure. Next August is a long way off - things may change dramatically before then.

What's the LAST thing I want to say about #RPGaDAY this year? Thank you. Thank you everyone who took part, joined in, spread the word, got involved, made videos, podcasts, blog posts, tweeted, posted on the Facebook page, took photos, painted things, drew things, or just engaged with other #RPGaDAY-ers.

Without you, this wouldn't be possible and it would have come to an end years ago.

In the meantime, please keep reading the blog as I stagger through my creative ramblings.

Until next post - Stay multi-classy!!

Friday, August 30, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 30: CONNECTION

Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
#RPGaDAY 2019 nears its end. Just two more posts to go. Day Thirty is all about CONNECTION, and that really is what #RPGaDAY is all about. Connecting with other gamers, with creators, players, streamers, painters, fans, and making new friends. Finding new games to play, new gamers to talk to, and connecting with the gaming community.

While we're connecting, support those who want support. Share the cool stuff you discover, spread the word of the awesome games that are out there, and the amazing creators who are making them.

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, August 29, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 29: EVOLVE

Robin is certainly a character who has Evolved! Cool Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk

Day Twenty-Nine of #RPGaDAY 2019 is EVOLVE, and I'm sure (like me) your gaming has evolved over the years. If only I knew then, what I know now. Well, that's true of many things really, not just gaming.

Anyway, back in my dim and distant youth, RPGs were all about killing monsters, taking their stuff, and getting the XP to get better at killing monsters and taking their stuff.

There was no character development - short of gaining XP and becoming more powerful so we could adventure some more. There was very little in story, especially the games I used to run. It was all about throwing bigger and bigger nasties at the characters and letting them fight it.

I guess, it wasn't until I'd had a break from gaming. Everyone had gone off to Uni and I didn't game for ages. It wasn't until I went to Uni myself years later, and was introduced to the local gaming group who were engrossed in a game of Vampire: The Masquerade. Gradually, over time, I experienced the delights of stories, character development, tension, and more. I mean, they were all there to be experienced in our old-school games, but we were too young to really think about it.

The games have certainly evolved since those first ones I played back in my youth, but I like to think my gaming style and tastes have evolved with them.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 28: LOVE

Ms Mad Love herself, Harley - custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Eight of #RPGaDAY 2019 and we're nearing the final few posts for this year. Thank you to everyone who has taken part this year, and those who have kept going this long! Today's word is LOVE.

Love of this hobby is what started #RPGaDAY, trying to get people talking positively about the games they play, about the friends they've made, and I appreciate every single one of you who has taken part and shared their posts over the years. Thank you.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 25: CALAMITY, DAY 26: IDEA and DAY 27: SUSPENSE

Spider-droid has seen better days, time for a hot bath! Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Much like the Doctor said, "I got away from me, yeah." Day job, deadlines, and so on has meant I'm three... yes, THREE... days behind on #RPGaDAY 2019.

*Insert Charlie Brown Aaugh!*

Time to catch up!

DAY 25: CALAMITY

Not really sure what I had in mind for CALAMITY - I guess the thing I always think of when it comes to RPGs and calamities is the good ol' fumble. At least that's where I remember it starting. Fumble tables, when you roll so badly that you really - I mean, REALLY - mess it up big-time. That kinda escalated over the years to become "disasters" or "Despairs" or the like.

Are they good for the game? It's a bit of both really - there's the advantage that it really shakes things up, adds some challenge and often some humour, and can lead to some exciting story developments. However, I've noticed a trend in "Fail Forwards" thinking - you don't get what you want, but something helps with the plot. Can they both exist in one game? Hmmm...


DAY 26: IDEA

Well, that's always my problem. I have too many ideas for games and not enough time / resources / connections / money to produce them. Possibly the best known of these ideas is the Harry Potter RPG I'd love to write if I could only fund the massive licensing deal and convince J K Rowling that RPGs are a great idea. Then there's the Ka-Tet RPG I wanted to write - roleplaying in the many worlds of Stephen King. I tried for that one, but it was just as the movie deal was being signed for the Dark Tower, so they said it wasn't a property they were interested in licensing out.

Problem is, I watch things and think "That would make a brilliant RPG" - the most recent one was watching 3Below: Tales of Arcadia. Connected to the amazing Trollhunters, and the third series Wizards coming later this year, it would be a great RPG...

And Twin Peaks...

Maybe I should just stick to working on WILD...


DAY 27: SUSPENSE

Onto today's post, catching up slowly! SUSPENSE! Hate to bring it up again, but our most recent game of Fria Ligan's ALIEN was one of the most terrifying experiments in suspense building I've had at a game for a while. I'm guessing it's because the scenario just kept piling on the tension in the form of infections, secret player character motivations, the knowledge that at least one of the xeno/neomorphs was on the loose in the ship - it meant even moving from one area of the ship to the next was full of suspense.

Great! If very stressful.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 24: TRIUMPH

A triumphant toast! Hurrah! Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Four of #RPGaDAY 2019 and the word is TRIUMPH. I guess this would be the best opportunity at "tooting my own horn" as they used to say - and relating a task I was triumphant at. Rather that turn the focus on me, I'm going to turn the attention upon a most triumphant character - Qedra Kovu - Zabrak Jedi apprentice, and new recruit for the resistance before the real Rebellion had even started coming together.

While the battle raged on upon the planet's surface, Qedra piloted his Aethersprite in the edges of the atmosphere, trying to take out as many TIE Fighters as possible, before they could reach the surface and decimate those who would resist the Empire. The Aethersprite did well, but it was eventually destroyed, hurtling down to the ground. But was Qedra killed? No. Was he defeated? NO!! He stood on top of that burning ship, riding it down like a surfboard. Guiding it with the Force. Aiming the flaming wreckage at the Imperial ground transporters. Jumping off at the last minute as the ship exploded, taking out one of the transporters - Qedra landed on another, fired up his lightsaber and started hacking his way into the canopy...

Epic.

Unlikely, but it's what Star Wars is all about. MOST TRIUMPHANT!!


Friday, August 23, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 23: SURPRISE

Gi Shatta Gasha! Jabba also says that the Autocratik dice are thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Three of #RPGaDAY 2019 is a SURPRISE! This one I'm going to leave to the words of wisdom of my wife, Debs -

"You can sometimes surprise your players, but your players will always surprise you."

And Debs is always surprising when she's gaming. Keeps the GMs on their toes!






Thursday, August 22, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 22: LOST

Mr Frodo, sir... Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty-Two of #RPGaDAY 2019 is LOST.

Initially, I thought about writing about the TV series. I was obsessed with that series, so much so I even started working out how LOST could be done as an RPG. This was back when I was doing stuff for Eden Studios, and thought a Cinematic Unisystem version of the game would work perfectly.


Of course, it never happened, and then there was that ending of the series which I won't go into... Such a shame. I really loved that series. Got very into it - read Bad Twin, did the online Alternate Reality Games, followed the clues...  Maybe I'll go back to my rewatch. I started a few years ago after managing to get the set on BluRay at a good price, and the opening episodes were still jaw-droppingly great. I loved every moment except that ending.

Anyway, this isn't really talking about RPGs is it? My amazing wife suggested I should write about the fine line between the characters getting lost and the players getting lost - and I must admit I hate that feeling of simply not knowing which direction to go in during a game. Thankfully, we have a great GM who plants lots of adventure seeds, and gives us the freedom to go off on a tangent.

I think I need more practice before I can do that.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 21: VAST

That's a VAST Heroclix figure! Goliath!
Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
It's Day Twenty-One of #RPGaDAY 2019, and today's word is VAST. I could use this as an excuse to recommend you listen to some VAST (Visual Audio Sensory Theater) - I'd definitely recommend the first album, that features the single Touched, which you may recognise from an episode of Angel.


When it comes to roleplaying games, all I can say is that it is a truly unique gaming experience where the scope of every game is truly VAST. There are so many games out there, beyond Dungeons & Dragons, where you can really experience everything you could imagine. From the wonders and terrors of deep space, to the personal struggles of high-school. From inner demons, to outer demons. Gods, monsters, dragons, down to the most personal dreams. There is no computer game that can come close to the range of stories and adventures you can play in these games.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 19: SCARY & DAY 20: NOBLE

Ardent Zungar - whoever they are. They look a bit cross...
Day Nineteen of #RPGaDAY 2019 was the word SCARY, and I completely failed to write this one up in time. Mostly as I was doing something pretty SCARY and went for a job interview. However, it was (thankfully) nowhere near as scary as I thought it could have been, and far less scary than what I'd originally planned to write for today's entry - which was about Fria Ligan's ALIEN RPG.

I know there was an ALIENS RPG many, many moons ago, but I always wondered why no one had attempted a new version of an RPG in the ALIEN universe. Luckily, it fell into the hands of Fria Ligan, the force behind the awesome Tales from the Loop, and we recently played the introductory adventure you get when you preorder the game.

And it was freakin' tense. We'd stumbled across a ship, adrift for decades, and went aboard hoping to unravel the mystery (and gain some tasty salvage).

Needless to say, no one survived. None of us - alien, infected, human or synthetic. All of us toast. Two whole ship crews went out after three incredibly tense sessions with arms being ripped off, ships piling into each other, and plenty of running down corridors with those flashing yellow lights and the computer alert repeating "WARNING: SELF DESTRUCT ACTIVATED"...

Fab. Looking forward to seeing how it'll work in campaign play as the xenomorphs are TOUGH. I know they are in the movies, but they're one hit killers. Nasty! Also want to see how the stealthy sneaking around rules work that Fria Ligan were talking about on the podcasts.

Awesome stuff.

And that brings me up to today.

Another one of those custom Dr Who Micro Universe figures I made, this time the Donna Noble "Runaway Bride" mini,
custom Autocratik dice made by www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Twenty of #RPGaDAY is the word NOBLE. The only thing I could think of talking about when it comes to nobility was my go-to character class in AD&D, which was Paladins. But as I'm sat here writing this one, I thought maybe this is a good chance to mention Nobilis again. I know, it's a slightly off-centre interpretation for the day's word, but I did want to say how much I love the 2nd Edition of Nobilis.

The cover of 2nd Edition Nobilis - The "Great White Book" as it's known.
It's so pretty, a marvel of graphic design and layout, and one of the first narrative-driven games I've owned. The sad thing (or should that be scary, to tie in with day 19's post) is that I've still never played it.

It is one of the benchmarks of RPG design and production in my opinion, and something I can only aspire to achieve with WILD.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 18: PLENTY

Plenty of Batmans... Batmen... something...
Custom Autocratik dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Eighteen of #RPGaDAY 2019, and I had PLENTY of opportunities to write a cool blog post today about something. I had some notes somewhere about how having PLENTY is not a motivating factor in games - it's more the absence of having something that gets people going...

Sure, I had plenty of opportunities, but then BBC1 was showing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and before I knew it, it was over and sleep beckoned. Sorry...

I'm hoping to do better tomorrow, but I know I have a big day ahead on Monday so it may not happen until later...

I'll catch up! Honest!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 17: ONE

Clea, singing - "I can't remember anything, Can't tell if this is true or dream..."
Day Seventeen of #RPGaDAY 2019 is "ONE", and rather than break out into singing Metallica (which I've been known to do on many occasions), I thought I'd briefly take this opportunity to go solo in a different way...

I guess this is a continuation of yesterday's DREAM as well. I've been working on WILD, my RPG of dreamshare technology, for so freakin' long now you wouldn't believe. I've been doing research into dreams, and dreaming... and most of the books on dream interpretation and lucid dreaming advise that one of the first steps is to start keeping a record of your dreams - a dream journal.

I didn't get very far, but recently I've been told about a form of solo RPG where you keep a journal - the game itself is almost guiding you through storytelling, creating a work of fiction inspired by (sometimes random) events or prompts. I have no idea how it works, and I really want to check some of these cool solo RPGs out, and part of me is really intrigued to see if I could make an offshoot solo WILD game merging the solo journalling RPG with dream journalling.

Definitely need to check out some solo RPGs like this. Any good suggestions where to start?

Friday, August 16, 2019

#RPGaDAY 2019 - DAY 16: DREAM

There could only be one choice of figure to go on the DREAM space -
Dream, or rather in this case, Daniel, of the Endless.
Custom Autocratik Dice thanks to www.chimericdesigns.co.uk
Day Sixteen of #RPGaDAY 2019 and the word is one that resonates closely with me - DREAM. After all, I've spent my spare time off and on for the last eight+ years working on an RPG of Dreamshare technology - WILD.

I've always been fascinated by dreams, and tried early on to incorporate them into my games. I distinctly remember trying to re-play the entire of A Nightmare on Elm St as a Call of Cthulhu adventure... And when I was trying to get into game writing, I was eagerly writing Ghostbusters scenarios and sending manuscripts to West End Games. After Spooky Science (Weird Science with yogurt gods) and Back to Transylvania (time travelling with vampires) I started mashing up John Landis' "Into the Night" with Elm St, but didn't get very far before WEG decided to move on to different game lines. Into the Nightmare was going to be a scenario with the Ghostbusters venturing physically into the dream realms to face dream demons and night terrors.

Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to continue my desire to game in the many worlds of dreams...