Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Building Character

The website now features characters for use with "The Magic Belt of Oz" fastplay adventure on the Download page. You can use them for any game you care to run with the system, but they will be included in the adventure to get players started quickly.

They are all canonical characters, but you may find some differences from what you expect. This is mostly because they are created as starting characters under the rules. It's as much a test of the character creation system as it is a test of any other mechanic. I think I did a pretty good job, overall.

What do you think?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For the Love

I recently discovered that I have a competitor. At first, I was unsure how to respond to this. My first reaction was territorial. RPGs are a small market by themselves. Oz RPGs would inevitably be a much smaller market. Could 2 games survive in the same very small niche?

I sent off a very guarded email to the designer of the other game. He was not interested in being adversarial. He offered some comments on my game and I gave him some on his. We've decided to just make the best game we each can do and let the chips fall where they may.

I recently had a conversation with Brad McDevitt, artist, industry veteran, and all around heck of a guy, about the state of the gaming industry. He said that through much of the '80's and early '90's, the gaming industry was rather friendly. Then Magic: The Gathering came along. And Magic made money. It made mad money.

Suddenly, all of these guys who were in the business for the love of the game realized that there was an actual hope of making serious money. And the love of money drowned out the love of the game. Publishers became much more adversarial, trying to get larger and larger pieces of the pie and making sure that their former friends didn't.

I have realized that I'm doing this for the love. I'm doing this to see my name in print. I'm doing this because I want to be able to say that I did something with my life. I'm doing this to show the world that I can.

And that's what really matters, in the end.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Happy Birthday, L. Frank Baum!

On this day in 1856, Lyman Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, New York. I can either copy and paste from Wikipedia or let you read it yourself if you want details on Baum's life and work. He would be 152 if he were still alive today.

For those who would rather watch, check out Jared Davis' Wonders of Oz series or this short video he prepared for Baum's 150th birthday 2 years ago to see the Baum legacy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Magic Belt of Oz

The fastplay adventure, "The Magic Belt of Oz," is proceeding well. I have a plot outline ready and am building characters. I'm including pregenerated characters for two reasons. 1) Fastplay adventures generally don't include character creation rules and 2) a lot of people will be playing for nostalgia, so being able to play classic characters is a boon. I should be able to post the characters to the website in a day or two, with at least a rough draft of the plot by next week's update.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Don't quit your day job!

Even though I'm pretty sure no one's reading this, I still feel the need to apologize for not updating yesterday. But then, there are those who say that a true test of character is what you do when no one is telling you to do it.

It does take a lot of character to make it in the gaming industry. Most publishers, writers, artists, etc. do not take home enough money to pay all their bills. This is especially true for me, as I have not yet produced a product to bring money in. So we all work the day job, and do what we love at night. And sometimes, they interfere with each other.

No new updates on the site. My latest phase of the project is a fastplay adventure, and I'll let you guys know when that happens.
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