#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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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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#RPGaDAY 2016, Day 18: Using Relationship Maps

This question is spawned from the IndieGameADay thing, which pokes fun at1 #RPGaDAY with questions such as

  • What kind of shit-fit did you throw the last time someone tried to schedule your convention game in a ballroom like you’re playing fucking Pathfinder or something?
  • What was the very saddest thing you wrote on an index card? and
  • What is your fondest memory of a game you thought was fun before you knew better?

But they had a really interesting question for day 2 — once you take out the snark — about relationship maps which was What game created your most elaborate relationship map? How much of it did you actually use?

Well now!

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  1. I’m being charitable. []