I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year now, and I’ve had a whole bunch of fun doing so. In fact the more time I’ve spent on it, the more I’ve realised that I have way more creative impulse than I ever imagined. I have written a few things for my own little DriveThru account, but I know they have limited appeal. It’s great fun writing adventures, but if no one gets to play them, then it seems a bit of a waste of time and energy. Sure, I’ve had some pretty positive feedback, but I did some market research, and when people buy into a pre-written adventure, they do so because it should save them time and energy as games masters. Everything I have done has been purely system neutral, simply because I have no ties to any system that would allow to me to charge even the smallest amount that DriveThru recommends.
After a conversation on an RPG forum, I decided to see if there was anyone out there who owned a system that would be happy to let me play around in their sandbox. I tried a few avenues, but got a very quick response from the guys over at 6d6 Fireball. After a hugely successful Kickstarter – the first UK based RPG to make use of the crowd sourcing website – they were on my radar in a big bad way. After a couple of quick meetings I was on the job, writing an adventure for their modern horror setting, Rebel Flesh. Because they’re currently in the middle of a complete system overhaul – moving away from card based character sheets to save money on printing the game – it’s a great time to be involved. I get to join in on the play test sessions, and get the skinny on how things are progressing as the weeks go by and they get ready for a full relaunch.
As I say, it’s been great fun, and I still have a long way to go until my project is delivered, and in no way am I stepping back from the commitment I’ve made, but playing in someone else’s sandbox has its own disadvantages. I’m playing with toys that don’t belong to me, and if I don’t use them correctly, I might break them. This isn’t to say that the lovely chaps over at 6d6 have been anything but welcoming; it’s my own worries about doing something wrong that has me nervous about trying new things out. Rebel Flesh is a fully fleshed out world, with a back story and characters that I find myself treading carefully around.
So, if I want to be able to write things that I have total control over, the best course of action seems to be to make something of my own. I have toyed around with the idea of putting some work in front of the fine people over at Pinnacle, and that’s still something I have on the horizon, but there’s a whole lot more I need to learn with regards to consistent writing style – luckily 6d6d has similar ideas about pacing and language, so that’s going to be great practice – and professional looking layouts. Putting something together myself that I expect to sell will be a great way for me to hone these skills.
It will also give me the opportunity to think about a lot more things than just the next plot point. Since I’m creating the whole thing from scratch, that means I need a system of my own too. There are some great systems out there in the creative commons that can be used towards what i want to do, but I’ve found that the games I enjoy the most, are the ones that marry system and setting well. Not just a dice mechanic because it’s needed, but one that adds to the feel of the world I am playing in. And since I’m making the whole world myself, and hopefully managing to tread some new ground, I really do need a system all of my own too.
A few of my regular readers my be a bit worried that my writing will now be devoted to game design. Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen on here. I know that there are game design blogs out there, but Shortymonster isn’t one of them. It will continue to be a sounding board for ideas, and tips to GMs and players on a whole range of subjects, with information on my new game living on a blog all of its own. If something big happens, I may very well link to it on here, but general day to day stuff won’t clutter up this page. Although the page has only just gone live, feel free to head on over. I’ll be adding some basics to it over the next couple of days, and making it a bit prettier too.
Just in case you’re wondering though, the game will be called Rise of the Automata, and takes place in a Steampunk universe ravaged by a war between humans and robots.