Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Two snippets about Glorantha and The Gods War

Sandy Petersen's The Gods War kickstarter is ending in about twelve hours and I didn't get around to mentioning that I'd written a couple short bits about Glorantha involving that project. Even if you aren't in for the mythical battles, it's worth checking out Sandy's site for wonderful art.

Snippet #1 is something I wrote for Kickstarter and the Chaosium blog, statting up one of the miniatures from Sandy Petersen's The Gods War for 13th Age in Glorantha (you can never have too many broos).

Snippet #2 is something I wrote about growing up with Glorantha and having it become my favorite game world.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

PAX Schedule and beyond

We don't have an official booth at PAX this year, and by we I mean my company Fire Opal Media and the two other companies I work with most: Pelgrane and Chaosium. We will be at GeekGirl Con on October 8th and 9th in the same Seattle Convention Center.

I'll be around PAX a bit on at least Friday and Saturday, and definitely between noon and 2:00 on Friday at the table outside the Uncle's Games room, alongside Jonathan Tweet and Wade Rockett.

Here's the full schedule of of game designers who'll be at that table during the weekend. Vlaada Chvatil isn't scheduled to join us, but I'm glad his new version of Codenames is sharing the billing!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GenCon Notes: Lights! Camera! Action!

I had a great GenCon. So did most of my friends, both old and new. I’ll post a couple highlights, now and maybe later.

Lights!
Will Jobst and I left the exhibitors’ hall on Saturday night and went upstairs to watch the 13th Age and GUMSHOE games in the Pelgrane-focused game room. I admit that I was 13th Age-focused: where GUMSHOE is concerned, I’m not really a pro.

Early on, we were startled by what looked like impromptu chair dancing at a 13th Age table. Everyone’s hands went up in the air, the bass started thumping, hands spinning as disco balls. Turned out that the first time the sorcerer had used their dancing lights spell, the table discoed-out; and now it was a thing for the rest of the session! Dancing lights! I thought about filming it but decided to let it fly solo in memory.

The musical ambush left us happy and gave us a story to glide on the rest of the evening as we joined Steve and Paula Dempsey to ramble through the entire convention center.

Camera!
The night before the show, Eric Lang won the Diana Jones Award! I’d talked with him earlier in the day and he said he had zero chance of winning—he expected it to go to Pandemic Legacy by Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock. We agreed that if Eric won, I should yell “Daviau was robbed!” Which I did, utterly happy and knowing no one could hear me, since you can’t hear much of anything at the Diana Jones Award ceremony and certainly not when everyone is roaring for Eric!

Then I got to see Greg Stafford, last year’s winner for The Guide to Glorantha, hand the award over to Eric, and the whole thing made me so happy I *did* get out my phone to take a picture. I knew it would be crappy but I didn’t care, it’s the fact, not the photo. That’s Jeff Richard of Chaosium in the middle, and Luke Peterschmidt all shiny in the foreground.


Action!

I knew that Upper Deck would be releasing the Legendary game I designed, Big Trouble in Little China. It’s a playful take on the Legendary deckbuilding game system designed by Devin Low for the Marvel Legendary games. Big Trouble in Little China was a game I had a huge amount of fun designing but I wasn’t sure how much of a marketing push the game would be getting, given that the film has been out for awhile. I’d heard that there was something going on with the GenCon lanyards, but I didn’t know that everyone wearing a GenCon lanyard would have Big Trouble in Little China art around their necks. And I had no idea that Upper Deck was gonna set up a Big Trouble exhibit with the Pork Chop Express big rig in the dealer’s hall! Right alongside a bit of a Chinatown shrine and a signboard for Egg Foo Yong Tours. That’s some action. 


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Doubling Up on the Three Storms: Big Trouble in Little China preview

I'm headed to GenCon soon, where previews will no longer be necessary, though an occasional design note may still be relevant.


Today's quick show-and-tell introduces the two versions of the Three Storms. Upper Deck's original card list called them, for example, Battle Armor Thunder and Business Suit Thunder. I loved the observation that when Sorcerous Lo Pan is cackling, he has the battle armor Storms with him, or at least martial arts gear. When Rain goes to see David Lo Pan, he changes into his business suit as a responsible member of the Wing Kong Exchange.




You can see I had fun giving them business titles! Thunder, Public Relations is one of my favorite combinations of image and card name.

As to the toughness of these villains. . . they can cause problems, But in the film they seemed pretty bad at killing the heroes that mattered, so I enjoyed making them melodramatic problems that can  also offer solutions if everyone plays nice!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Lords of Death: Big Trouble in Little China preview

I was gonna write my next preview about the two versions of the Three Storms, but I don't have time to tackle that topic today. Instead, here's a henchman.


The Lords of Death seem like a bunch of low-lifes with awesome sunglasses, but nobody ever wants to tangle with them. In the movie it's always, "Ooh, Lords of Death. Don't wanna mess with them." So I tried to capture that with the game mechanics. You can beat the Lords of Death. Heck, anyone can beat the Lords of Death. But if you're not already hurting, you're going to be hurting. Of course, once you've taken out one, you should just keep on going, because you're not going to be hurt any worse . . . until you shuffle your cards and the Wound gets buried in your deck.


As a bonus, Upper Deck followed through with the Lords of Death sucker punch on the game's Wound card!

My GenCon Schedule, 13th Age, & Glorantha

GenCon next week!! I’m going to be spending most of time at the Pelgrane booth, 419. Chaosium is in booth 423, so the two places in the exhibit hall you’re likely to find me are actually a single space with a blue curtain in the middle. I missed last year’s GenCon and I’m looking forward to talking with so many friends as well as a couple hundred people I don’t know yet!

Five Panels
I’ll be on three 13th Age GenCon panels and one Pelgrane Press panel alongside creators and Pelgrinistas such as Aaron Roudabush, Cat Tobin, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Ken Hite, Kevin Kulp, Lynne Hardy, Robin Laws, Simon Rogers, and Wade Rockett. (ASH LAW, Cal Moore, and Jonathan Tweet aren't attending this year.) 

I’m also on one Glorantha/Dragon Pass panel with Chaosium people including Greg Stafford, Jeff Richard, and Chris Klug. We may also have Sandy Petersen, who is about to launch the incredibly cool Glorantha: The Gods War miniatures game, but I’m not certain Sandy is with us on the Thursday night panel.

13th Age Adventure Design Workshop
     Thursday 11 a.m.
     Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom A

Dragon Pass—Mythology, Magic, & Board Games
     Thursday 8 pm
     Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station C

13th Age GM Roundtable
     Friday 11:00 a.m.
     Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom C

13th Age Monster Workshop
     Saturday 12 noon
     Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom B

Swords, Spies, & Shoggoths: Pelgrane Press Panel
     Saturday 1:00 pm
     Crowne Plaza: Grand Central Ballroom B

More Glorantha
There’s also a big RQ and Glorantha celebration at 7:00 pm on Friday night with Greg Stafford, Runequest—50th Anniversary of Glorantha in Crowne Plaza Pennsylvania Station A. That’s during the ENnies, but the 50th Anniversary party gets my vote for its scheduled hour.

The other good Glorantha news is from the 13th Age in Glorantha Kickstarter. Jeff Richard has finished the manuscript of the Glorantha Sourcebook and is sending the augmented 13th Age in Glorantha manuscript over later this weekend. I have playtest feedback revisions to handle from the past couple months and a few small improvements, nothing that will take me long after GenCon. We’ll have both manuscripts at the convention to show off and we’ll have updates on publication timing after the convention. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

One and the Same Person, Jack: Big Trouble in Little China preview


I'm happy about managing twelve new schemes in this Big Trouble set! One of them is a riff on a scheme from an earlier Marvel set by Devin Low. A couple others restructure familiar ideas. The rest of the schemes create experiences that haven't been played before.

"One and the Same Person, Jack" is wacky challenging fun and one of my favorites. It's probably the closest I got to capturing the arc of the full movie in a single scheme. And it shows off an unexpected bonus: Upper Deck added fun art to each of the schemes!

Here are the two Masterminds who take turns taunting you:



The next preview will show off a couple members of the Wing Kong Exchange and the Warriors of Lo Pan, which will explain a bit more about what's going on during games of "One and the Same Person, Jack."