What are you working on right now?


#21

Lost Roads is a fantasy game about facing the hardship of climate migration in a bygone age. As nature is exploited within an inch of life, cataclysmic storms gather speed and shape-shifting horrors surface. Heedless of death on the horizon, humans continue to extract and waste.

Generations after the collapse, the Tarnished—occult rebels, misfits, and outcasts stripped of their way of life—band together in enclaves using ever-decreasing mystical power to struggle for survival, rescue loved ones, reclaim heritage, blaze trails, and reach safe haven before the Long Storm.

I’m excited because it’s my first game. Secondly, I’m interested in the subject matter: a dystopian cautionary tale about the extreme outcome of environmental neglect. We are past the point of no return. The collapse happened. The world we know has disappeared. Now we’re trying to avoid human extinction in a dangerous environment through resistance, mitigation, and adaptation.

My hope is to complete it before reality catches up with fantasy.


#22

The elevator pitch
Project Cassandra - Psychics of the Cold War. A group of individuals brought together by a secret government project develop psychic powers, predict an assassination attempt and are forced to act when the conspiracy behind it tries to have them silenced.

Why you’re excited about it
Laregly because it’ll be my first full game and it has been close to completion for far too long. Mechanically though I really like some of the approaches for the psychic abilities and the fact that it is designed specifically to tell a single story. Part of that is that the players define large parts of the scenario at the start of the game but thanks to the characters possessing limited precognition they also know those details. For example they might know that they need to find a Russian spy hiding out at a diner but not why they need to find them or what will happen when they do. It really changes some of the dynamics of framing and linking scenes if everybody knows in and out of character that a certain event is going to take place right from the get go.

What your hopes are in relation to it
As it’s my first game I’m keeping my hopes low. If I get even one person that plays and enjoys it I’ll be over the moon.


#23

One thing I’m working on is noodling around with how to mash together several games I love (Swords Without Master, Misspent Youth, Dramasystem) to make a game about weird, flawed, surreal superheroes. This would be a game like Doom Patrol or The Umbrella Academy, where superheroes are imperfect and vulnerable people with strange abilities, facing stranger threats, where their personal relationships matter as much as their superpowers.

I’m excited about it because it goes more toward what interests me in the superhero genre, the weird fringes of the genre and how being a superhero would put bizarre and hard-to-cope with stresses on the lives of the protagonists.There’s a lot of ways this could fail, so I’m hoping it works on any level at all. I am trying to make a GMless game by combining 3 GM led games, so who knows if that will work. Plus there’s issues of tone and genre, to get the story to be surreal and weird but not let it become gonzo and silly.


#24

It’s really cool and exciting to hear about all these projects!


#25

Plunderlight is currently available as an “early access” title on itch and DriveThruRPG. (On a semi-related note, DriveThru seems to have really bad search engine optimization. Couldn’t find it in the first four pages of Google results; itch was first, followed by a review Sticky Bunton did of one of the first early access version).

The Elevator Pitch

From what it says on the sticker:

Plunderlight is a dark fantasy role-playing game about ambitious characters following their convictions in a world of stark iniquity. . . We play to find out if the characters’ convictions drive them to disaster and sorrow, wealth and fame, or to revolution.

I’m considering changing the intro to better emphasize that the game is about ambitious underdogs who are trying to change the world.

It’s designed for play in late medieval/early Renaissance type settings, similar to WFRP or Zweihander, with more focus on building character centered fiction.

It’s an original system that’s heavily influenced by different aspects of Apocalypse World, Blades in the Dark, Fate Core, and The Burning Wheel.

What I'm excited about

The start of every campaign involves the group answering questions together to create a customized setting. I’ve gone through this process with two groups so far, and I’m looking forward to further tuning it. It’s definitely one of my favorite parts of the design.

I’m also trying to tune it to be easy to hack, and the format involves a lot of white space in the margins for making notes directly in the printed text. This is an idea I got after reading Whitehack and thinking about the OSR school of play and design. My brain jumped to early printed books, which made a lot of room for marginalia.

Hopes and Dreams

Plunderlight is currently in active playtesting. Once the rules and layout and more finalized, I want to get some illustrations done and release it PoD. Maybe do a Kickstarter for an offset edition of the game.


#26

On and off I’ve been playing with the nuts of a game about writing letters back and forth to your betrothed, in a gothic romance genre. The ides is that both sides have a Hope/Despair track, but I’m not sure yet how to throttle that mechanic or how to prompt story ideas; using a tarot deck seems pretty on point.
I also like using the idea of having it be physical mail, so that the paper and the ink itself become part of the game.


#27

I’m working on a Slings & Arrows inspired RPG

  • The elevator pitch
    

You play actors in a play, creating the play during the Show Phase of the game. The themes and conflicts of the play Echo in your Real Life and your relationships are challenged. It’s Life Imitating Art

  • Why you’re excited about it
    

I love the TV show and think it’s a really cool and interesting way of mixing two stories into a single game. There’s a cool amount of discovery and the Show phase could be almost completely between the players with the GM mostly coming into the Real Life Phase or the Show Phase can be more traditional. Playing with the Echoes of the play’s themes in the real life leads to interesting things.

  • What your hopes are in relation to it
    

Get it out there. I mostly want to see it finished and available because I know there are at least a few others who want something along these lines.


#28

The pitch: The Long Stair is a surreal story telling game that takes us on a journey through the Past, Present, and Future.

Players embody one of three perspective, taking turns role-playing The Wanderer as they encounter the obstacles that have shaped their very being.

Born out of the art and structure of The Tarot, The Long Stair is designed to be an evocative and emotional game of improvisational story telling guided by ritual and inspired by the cards.

Why I’m excited: The Long Stair tells a story about a single character we discover in play. As players learn more about this character, we call back to what we’ve learned before and play off of the contributions of our fellow players. This makes for a fantastical and surreal play experience unmoored from the “reality” of most other roleplaying systems.

What’s more, using the Tarot means every game can be easily randomized to touch upon the themes of the cards, and each experience results in a visually engaging record of the story we’ve told together.

What are my hopes: Once I’ve finished the rules text, I hope to have improved my skills with layout and design such that I can provide an evocative prototype and entice an artist with partnership on this project. Getting the layout and visuals down will be very important to the final realization of The Long Stair, and I want to create a rich inprovisational game that can inspire people and not confuse them with obtuse rules or a lack of example text and illustrations.

Maybe, if I’m lucky, I can even partner with an artist to create a custom Tarot deck for the game and launch a kickstarter with it as a major draw.


#29

These are all delightful. Thankyou for sharing.

I guess I’d better answer my own question.

I’m writing Last Fleet, a PBTA game inspired by Battlestar Galactica (the recent iteration, not the original) about the last surviving fleet of spaceships, fleeing across space from an implacable, inhuman adversary. You play officers, pilots, engineers and politicians struggling to keep the humanity alive and hold the fleet together. The game is focused on the theme of pressure - on the fleet, on resources, on the individual characters.

I’m excited because it’s a game I really want to exist! BSG is one of my all-time favourite shows, and I want to capture that mix of pressure, paranoia, camaraderie and tension that I loved about the show. The playtests so far are really encouraging me to think I can do it justice.

I’m also excited because my initial call for playtesters seems to be revealing that I’m not the only one who loves it. So my hopes are that this will be met with enthusiasm and excitement. I plan to bring it to Kickstarter, one way or the other.


#30

I don’t have a name yet for what I’m working on, but my elevator pitch is: I’m writing a game set in frontier America inspired by some mechanics from Dark Designs in Verdigris and Trophy. It’s a weird western in a vein similar to Bone Tomahawk and Cormac Mcarthy’s Outer Dark, with some inspirations from the heroics of some of the more traditional Cowboy movies (more Eastwood than Wayne). It deals with the liberation for outcasts in moving west, and is contrasted by the threats of the US government and not understanding the occult forces of the land.

I’m excited because it’s not a game that celebrates manifest destiny, it’s a game that celebrates the freedom from “civilization.” It doesn’t disparage native Americans and other minorities that were present and is truthful about the inhumanities done to them by the US. I’m excited mostly because I just want to play and run it myself.

I don’t have any big hopes for it, I mostly just want to get something substantial out there in a zine format. Probably just as a free product, but if I’m happy enough with it I might see if it will sell for a couple of bucks on itch or something.


#31

I’m working on a procedural courtroom trial game in the lines of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and courtroom shows (as opposed to real trials, which are way more boring). Although there are a couple of other games in this design space, they don’t do exactly what I’m trying to do (they’re both LARPs and focused on being funny/weird).

I’m actually excited because it’s my first “real” experiment with game design (not counting my 200 word game that was never played or playtested). I’m still in the research phase but I have some ideas for mechanics. It’s supposed to be a short, one-shot game, based on cooperative/competitive creation of the crime through evidences, witness testimonials, and such.

My main objective is just to have something playable one day. I’m not in a rush :slight_smile:


#32

Visigoths vs. Mall Goths is a tabletop roleplaying game and dating sim about the conflicts and romances among the warriors who sacked ancient Rome and 20th century spooky teens, set in a mall in a Los Angeles suburb in 1996. There are a lot of bisexuals.

Here are some reasons why I’m excited about it:

  • I made an entire mall setting with 17 stores and 23 clerks who have personalities, best friends, and exes. Everyone who’s played it agrees that it’s a really fun setting!
  • I think my embarrassing traits mechanic is cool and funny.
  • The book is going to have great art and guest adventures (I’m working hard to make it so!).
  • I miss being an alternative rock teen bisexual in LA in the 90s!

I’m planning to do a Kickstarter this Fall. The core game is finished and extensively playtested, and I’m currently working on all the logistics of the other contributors. If anybody wants to GM it for The Gauntlet, let me know and I can get you a text-only playtest copy – I’m always looking for more feedback on the GM instructions.


#33

Elevator Pitch

Autumn Triduum is a Powered by the Apocalypse game of darkness, sisterhood, and faith. Something sinister is threatening your convent this hallowmass season. How will you and your sisters rally to renounce Satan and all his works? How will your faith be tested from All Hallows’ Eve to All Saints’ Day to All Souls’ Day? The game’s playbooks are based on archetypes of religious sisters: Will you be the naive Novice, the crotchety Elder, the alarming Mystic?

tldr: Nuns vs. Evil, PbtA-style.

Why I’m Excited

There is not enough (non-exploitative) media about nuns. To me, the game is a way to explore my own faith and to tell stories centered on women religious. The horror aspect functions as a hook, but the moves (particularly the epilogue move) draw focus to developing the characters’ relationships with God, their sisters, and their vocations.

Players have been excited to trigger the moves (Rebuke someone, Comfort the afflicted, Resist temptation, etc.). I really enjoy designing for the game to be a one-shot, with a specific structure that moves through the the titular three day period of All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day. I’m working on giving each day its own mood and feel.

Hopes

I want to continue playtesting the game with diverse audiences and bulk out the GM-facing side so I can see more folks running it. I would love to publish it in the next year or so!


#34

I SO want to play out a run of BSG that ends properly and not in the ecclesiastical hogwash of the recent series. Keep my e-mail handy for playtesting!


#35

(Raises hand with hopeful look…)


#36

Are you a Joe R. Landsdale fan, by any chance?


#37

That sounds really cool. Are you doing any playtesting yet?


#38

I’ve been wishing for a “weird supers” game along the lines of Doom Patrol or The Maxx for awhile now. Now seems like a particularly ripe time for it.


#39

I love that pitch. I really need to give King Machine a look.


#40

(Raises hand with hopeful look…)

For you, absolutely!