#RPGaDAY 2017, Day 3: Finding Out About New Games

The #RPGaDAY writing prompt for today is “How do you find out about new roleplaying games?” — a question I don’t have a good answer for. I mean, I used to read message forums and know about cool things that way. I also used to enter the neighborhood bookstore and stumble across something new. This is how I found out about Shadowrun, through a copy of Bug City sitting on a shelf at a Hastings in a slowly-dying mall in Bryan, Texas. It’s also how I found out about 7th Sea. (But that was at a used bookstore, a month or two after I discovered Shadowrun, so my big college era game was more cyberpunky than swashbuckly.)

I guess these days it’s social media.

Well, that and working on layout for books then getting told what’s coming out down the line but I can’t tell anyone about it until the company makes an announcement.

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#RPGaDAY 2017, Day 2: A Game I’d Like to See Published

Today on #RPGaDAY: “What is an RPG you would like to see published?”

Probably one based off of Mass Effect.

Nicole Linross of Green Ronin, the company that publishes a roleplaying game based on Bioware’s other big IP, Dragon Age, said that they have been in talks with the Mass Effect team and Bioware’s licensing team over the years, but to no avail. The sticking point comes from the Mass Effect team, it seems. “The most recent time we dusted off our [Mass Effect RPG] proposal for them,” she writes, “licensing asked US why we ‘didn’t want’ to do the game and when we told them we’d be more than happy to do it, they merrily went off to the ME team who wasted no time in telling licensing they were *still* not interested.” This is a good company who has been working with the owners of Dragon Age (which has had its share of problems with approval turnaround times), so they know Green Ronin delivers fantastic good-quality work. But the Mass Effect people are just “not interested in taking Mass Effect to tabletop, it’s as simple as that.”

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2017 ENnie Awards and Layout Influence on a Line

7th Sea was nominated for seven ENnies. Products I worked on have been nominated for (and won) ENnies in the past, but not all of the awards are things I feel I should get an award for. Like last year Urban Shadows was up for Best Rules and Product of the Year. If Urban Shadows had won Product of the Year, I would have gone out and gotten a copy of the medal because layout has to do with creating the whole product. It won Best Rules, which had nothing to do with me, so I am okay with no award for Thomas.

7th Sea‘s Mark Richardson, our staff cartographer, was nominated for Best Cartography this year. Discussing the nominations, we realized this is the only award with nominations for 7th Sea products that was as close to 100% a single person’s award. Mark may have had guidance and feedback from others on the John Wick Presents team, but it’s as close to 100% his sole work as anything else JWP put out there.

This stood out to me because we’re pretty much working as a team on the products. On Pirate Nations, there are dozens of people who made that book into a thing that could be nominated for Best Supplement.

If we look at Best Writing, if a 7th Sea book was nominated for that, we’d have a lead developer, about six writers, two “additional” writers, two to four editors and proofreaders, and even me involved, sharing the credit. (Although my contribution to the writing is more in line edits, where I have collaborated with the lead developer to rewrite short passages to make copy fit into the space the design allows. Minor stuff, really.) But if we look at Unknown Armies (which is nominated), I would say that at least 97% of that is all Greg Stolze with some edits from proofreaders and maybe some developmental editing. On Unknown Armies, that was a creator’s vision going through the product; on 7th Sea, we have a developer for the book guiding a stable of writers through an entire work.

So I’m going to look through the nominations for product I’ve worked on, and show you how much input your layout artist has on each of these.

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