Monday, June 29, 2020

Announcing #RPGaDAY2020

[Image Description: graphic looks like a classic tabletop RPG, in green and yellow colours. There are 31 hexagon shapes, numbered 1 to 31 with a word each. The list is in this post. At the top left there is the following text “RPGaDay2020. RPGaDay is back for a seventh year! This August we’re asking tabletop gamers everywhere to get creative and use these words as a daily prompt to talk, paint, write or film something cool, positive and awesome about our hobby!” on the top right it says “use #RPGaDay2020 to join the conversation!”. At the very bottom it says “presented by autocratik, with a graphic from @willbrooks1989″ with the small symbols for twitter and instagram next to it. /end ID]

August isn't too far away and that can only mean the imminent arrival of #RPGaDAY - an internet incentive to try and get the world talking in a positive and encouraging way about tabletop roleplaying games. 

Every day during August (remember, AUGUST, don't start yet) check out the cool graphic above designed by the awesome Will Brooks. See what the word prompt is for that day, and write, post, blog, vlog, podcast, draw, paint, sculpt, sing, interpretive dance... anything at all, about tabletop gaming inspired by that prompt. Keep it positive, remember we're all about positivity and inclusivity.

To inspire you (hopefully), Anthony Boyd, my co-host for the last five years of #RPGaDAY and I have made a little video to tell you more...

As we get nearer the time I'll upload the awesome dungeon crawl map created by Dunromin University Press as an alternative to the regular graphic. 

Below you'll also find the list of prompts in plain text, and I'll add translations as they come in.

See you in August!

#RPGaDAY2020 Prompts

1    Beginning
2    Change
3    Thread   
4    Vision
5    Tribute
6    Forest
7    Couple
8    Shade
9    Light
10    Want
11    Stack
12    Message
13    Rest
14    Banner
15    Frame
16    Dramatic
17    Comfort   
18    Meet
19    Tower
20    Investigate    
21    Push    
22    Rare
23    Edge
24    Humour
25    Lever
26    Strange
27    Favour
28    Close
29    Ride
30    Portal
31    Experience

The RPGaDAY2020 Prompts in Spanish, translated thanks to Roberto Micheri.
  1. Comienzos
  2. Cambio
  3. Hilo o Enhebrar
  4. Visón
  5. Tributo
  6. Bosque
  7. Pareja o Par
  8. Sombra o Sombrear
  9. Luz
  10. Deseo o Necesidad
  11. Pila, Apilar o Montón
  12. Mensaje
  13. Descanso
  14. Estandarte o Consigna
  15. Marco o Esqueleto
  16. Dramático
  17. Comodidad, Consuelo o Alivio
  18. Satisfacer, Cumplir o Reunirse
  19. Torre
  20. Investigar
  21. Empujar
  22. Raro o Extraño
  23. Borde, Ventaja o Límite
  24. Humor
  25. Palanca
  26. Extraño
  27. Favor
  28. Cerrar
  29. Montar o Paseo
  30. Portal
  31. Experiencia

We've also had the prompts translated into German by ShineShadow and Michael L. Jaegers, many thanks!!

1 Anfang
2 Veränderung
3 Verlauf  
4 Vision
5 Tribut
6 Wald
7 Paar
8 Schatten
9 Licht
10 Wollen
11 Stapel
12 Nachricht
13 Ruhe
14 Banner
15 Rahmen
16 Dramatisch
17 Komfort  
18 Treffen
19 Turm
20 Nachforschen  
21 Drängen  
22 Selten
23 Grenze
24 Humor
25 Hebel
26 Seltsam
27 Gunst
28 Ende
29 Reiten
30 Portal
31 Erfahrung 

And translated into Swedish, thanks to Rickard Falk! Thank you again!

1    Början
2    Förändring
3    Tråd
4    Vision
5    Hyllning
6    Skog
7    Par
8    Skugga
9    Ljus
10    Vilja
11    Stapel
12    Meddelande
13    Vila
14    Baner
15    Ram
16    Dramatisk
17    Tröst
18    Möte
19    Torn
20    Undersöka
21    Trycka
22    Ovanlig
23    Kant
24    Humor
25    Spak
26    Främmande
27    Favör
28    Nära, Stänga
29    Rida
30    Portal
31    Erfarenhet

And translated into Italian, with many thanks to Daniele Di Rubbo! Awesome!

1. Inizio 2. Cambiamento 3. Filo 4. Visione 5. Tributo 6. Foresta 7. Coppia 8. Ombra 9. Luce 10. Bisogno 11. Catasta 12. Messaggio 13. Riposo 14. Stendardo 15. Cornice 16. Drammatico 17. Conforto 18. Incontro 19. Torre 20. Investigare 21. Spinta 22. Raro 23. Margine 24. Umorismo 25. Leva 26. Strano 27. Favore 28. Chiudere 29. Cavalcare 30. Portale 31. Esperienza

Translation for RPGaDay Portuguese(BR) by Richard ‘Bat’ Brewster and Eric Souza.

  1. Começo
  2. Mudança
  3. Discussão / Fio 
  4. Visão
  5. Homenagem
  6. Floresta / Bosque
  7. Casal / Dupla
  8. Sombra / Tom 
  9. Luz
  10. Desejo
  11. Pilha (de coisas)
  12. Mensagem
  13. Descanso
  14. Estandarte / Bandeira / Insígnia
  15. Moldura
  16. Dramático
  17. Conforto
  18. Encontro
  19. Torre
  20. Investigar
  21. Empurrar
  22. Raro
  23. Limite / Borda
  24. Humor
  25. Alavanca
  26. Estranho
  27. Favor
  28. Fechar
  29. Montar
  30. Portal
  31. Experiência
With many thanks to Maciej Jesionowski, the prompts have now been translated into Polish. 

1.    Początek
2.    Zmiana
3.    Wątek
4.    Wizja
5.    Hołd
6.    Las
7.    Para
8.    Cień
9.    Światło
10.    Potrzeba
11.    Sterta
12.    Wiadomość
13.    Odpoczynek
14.    Sztandar
15.    Rama
16.    Dramatyczny
17.    Komfort
18.    Spotkanie
19.    Filar
20.    Zbadać
21.    Pchać
22.    Rzadkie
23.    Krawędź
24.    Humor
25.    Dźwignia
26.    Dziwny
27.    Sprzyjać
28.    Blisko
29.    Jazda
30.    Portal
31.    Doświadczenie

And into French with many thanks to Sebastien Allard & Francois Letarte

RPGaDAY est de retour pour sa septième année! Ce mois d'août nous demandons aux rôlistes de partout de faire preuve de créativité et d'utiliser ces mots comme point de départ pour parler, peindre, écrire ou filmer quelque chose de cool, de positif, ou d'impressionnant à propos de notre hobby! Utilisez #RPGaDAY2020 pour rejoindre la conversation! Débutez ici! 1. Début 2. Changer 3. Fil 4. Vision 5. Hommage 6. Forêt 7. Couple 8. Ombre 9. Lumière 10. Vouloir 11. Pile 12. Message 13. Repos 14. Bannière 15. Cadre 16. Dramatique 17. Confort 18. Rencontrer 19. Tour 20. Enquêter 21. Pousser 22. Rare 23. Tranchant 24. Humour 25. Levier 26. Étrange 27. Faveur 28. Fermer 29. Chevaucher 30. Portail 31. Expérience Vous avez réussi!

And into Portuguese thanks to Felipe Teixeira Holzmann:

1. Começo
2. Mudança
3. Tópico
4. Visão
5. Tributo
6. Floresta
7. Dupla
8. Sombra
9. Luz
10. Quero
11. Pilha
12. Mensagem
13. Descansar
14. Faixa
15. Moldura
16. Dramático
17. Conforto
18. Conhecer
19. Torre
20. Investigar
21. Empurrar
22. Raro
23. Borda
24. Humor
25. Alavanca
26. Estranho
27. Favor
28. Perto
29. Passeio
30. Portal
31. Experiência

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Chatting about Games

Yesterday I was kindly invited to chat on a fairly informal hangout on Twitch, chatting with Kalum from the Rolistes podcast. It was my first time talking live on a Twitch stream, but I think it went okay. You can watch the whole thing on Youtube - 

Anyway, during the video I talk about a lot of stuff. So I thought it would be best if I add links to the various things mentioned...

Star Trek Adventures - the RPG I was working on last time I talked to Kalum at Rolistes, which I had to drop out of. Check out the Modiphius page here.

#RPGaDAY - check out the Facebook page for RPGaDAY so you get the latest news and find out the prompts.

Doctor Who Roleplaying Game - what I'm working on at the moment can be found at the Cubicle 7 Games site.

WILD - The roleplaying game of dreamshare technology. You can check out the new site here

Qistina Khalidah - the fantastic artist who I'm so sorry I mispronounced on the chat - who did the amazing cover art for WILD. You can find Qistina at Qissus online, or the Artstation here

Aegean RPG - game of mythical Greece published by we evolve

The Gaslight Club RPG - game of Westworld like hosts by we evolve. 

Okay, take care everyone. 

Stay safe!!

Friday, June 5, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Books That Hooked Me (Part 10)


The final entry in my ten books that have had a massive impact on me, and another one I came to rather late. I know lots of people who had read and loved Ready Player One but it wasn't until the film came out that I felt the need to satisfy my curiosity.

It was a weird one - there was that awful marketing campaign with the poster with Wade's leg being ridiculously long, and the 80's movie tie-in posters that were parodies of things like Back to the Future and The Lost Boys, but echoing at the back of my head was the constant voice saying "didn't people I know love this book?"

I was curious, but was no longer working in the book industry so I did what anyone did and I got the free sample 20-odd pages as a download on iBooks, just so I could check out the style and whether I'd like it.

It was great, but there was something weirdly familiar about it.

The film came out, and it was just as the local cinemas were having this realisation that attendance was down - no one wanted to pay £15-20 a ticket, and in order to get bums on seats they dropped all their prices to £5. Debs was at work, and I had a day off, so I paid my £5 and saw it one afternoon shortly after it came out.

I really enjoyed it. Far more than I thought I would. So much so, I told Debs about it and we went to see it together the following week.

The movie came out just before my birthday, and Debs always struggles to think of what to get me - and I really don't want or need anything. But that year I asked her to get the me book so I could finish reading beyond the sample, and see how it differed from the movie.

Didn't take long to finish the book, really enjoyed it (though I could see The Shining sequence working better for the movie than the repeating the whole of Wargames line for line...

But the thing that really stood out was the writing. Over the years, I've read so many books that have inspired me to write, and a few that have really heavily influenced my style. I mentioned my write like Chuck Palahniuk phase, that followed my write like Stephen King phase. But when I finally started writing for myself, especially for the NaNoWriMo novel I did, and the start of its sequel, I felt I stopped trying to sound like other writers and just be me... and that's what Ready Player One sounded like in my head as I read it.

It read like something I would write. Not just for its obsession with the 80s, but the language just felt like someone (Ernest Cline) was tapping into the way I thought and wrote. Really weird...

I read Armada, his follow-up book which is heavily influenced by the classic 80's movie The Last Starfighter. Probably owes as much to that movie as Ready Player One owes to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tron.

But if anyone wants to know what my fiction writing style is, without actually reading any of my work, just check out Ready Player One and you'll get a good idea. It's quite uncanny.

That's it. Final blogpost about media for a bit. The dayjob looms ever closer, as the lockdown is easing (far too early if you ask me).

I'll post as often as I can, but until the next time, stay safe and look after each other.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Books That Hooked Me (Part 9)


Okay, confession time. You know there have been things in these blogposts where I've confessed that there have been films, TV series and the like that I dismissed completely - only to actually check them out for myself and discover that they are fantastic. Well, Lev Grossman's The Magicians trilogy is one of those.

I remember the first one coming into the shop about the time I left the bookshop. The cover was trying to jump on that Dan Brown vibe that was big at the time, following on from Lev Grossman's previous book, Codex. The covers kinda matched - you know, keeping the theme for the author just like Dan Brown, and then I read the back of the book and the blurb made it sound like Harry Potter meets Dan Brown. And foolishly, I discounted it. Didn't give it another thought.

What a doofus.

Debs, being the massive Harry Potter fan, and fan of all fantasy novels, read the trilogy (she was still working in the bookstore) and really enjoyed them.

Then, along comes the trailer for SyFy Channel's new TV series The Magicians - based on the trilogy of books. The trailer looked brilliant, and Debs said to me "You should read the books, they're really good!!" and after the second season aired in the UK (at some stupid hour in the morning because UK TV has no faith in good genre TV) I finally did.

I honestly don't know why I didn't read it the moment it came in. I absolutely love them. The added advantage is that the novels kinda start the same with Quentin Coldwater going to Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy, meets Penny, Alice, Eliot and Margo/Janet, and learns about magic and the costs it brings. But, about a quarter of the way through it goes off in a different direction. Sure, there's Fillory, the Narnia that Quentin used to read about like an obsessive Potter fan, and The Beast, but it's very, very different in places.

There are huge sections that made it feel almost like you're reading a really cool Dungeons and Dragons game (especially the end of the first book).

Man, just thinking about it makes me want to reread it.

Maybe that's another one of its strengths. While I know the TV series really well, and love it, the books are different enough to make me want to reread them multiple times to experience a different timeline. (Something the TV series cleverly addressed, making it feel like the events of the books could be just another timeline up to a point).


Since the trilogy, and the TV series, there's been a graphic novel retelling the first book from Alice's point of view rather than Quentin's, and there's been a cool comic series of a new class going to Brakebills - a class of Hedges.

If anything, I actually think that The Magicians has even more potential as a tabletop RPG than Harry Potter. Certainly more possible. Especially when you think you have the "magical college" side of it, along with the non-academic magic users, and then there's the whole of Fillory - a whole magical world to game in...

Maybe one day...