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Weekend Reading

What do you do to chill out? I have been known to read a rulebook or two, just for fun. I can be really fussy. If a rulebook is over about 300 pages it has to be really great to keep my attention.

Recently, I have been playing Index Card RPG [ICRPG], a 400 page rulebook in case you are interested, and just as a counterpoint I have been reading some Operation Whitebox.

It is interesting how they control the power level within the game. The lever the writers use is simply hit dice. In a more realistic power level game you use d6 for hit points. In a cinematic game it uses d10s, and at the inglorious basterd level characters use d20s.

In a game where a rifle does 1d6, you can imagine what having d20s for hitpoints does to a players perception of danger.

By the time you reach about 3rd level every character is on a par with Captain America.

I do like characters to be successful. I think, to my taste, the mid-point, d10s for hit points is closer to the sweet spot.

I haven’t played this game yet, but I am a big Whitebox fan, Whitestar is a favourite system. Operation Whitebox is now firmly on my play list.

Another system I want to look at is ICONS. This was a pandemic freebie. It seems a bit mean to grab a copy of a free game and then not play it, or worse still not read it. It looks like it has some FUDGE or FATE dna in there from reading the game description. I already have both FUDGE and FATE solo rules on hand. I hope I can play this out of the box without having to tweak too much.

Either of these will give me something a bit different after my murder in Death Valley experience with ICRPG. Somehow, my character has managed to make Mad Max look like officer Dibble by comparison! I hove the ICRPG big guns.

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Storing Up Trouble?

This video explains a bit more about where I am with the whole store building process. It also touches on the problems that we experienced last year when RPGnow and DriveThruRPG merged. That was a week where no one sold anything because all the sites were down.

The store on this site is going to be my insurance policy should that happen again!

Having said that, DriveThruRPG is about to get a whole new interface, so there is a possibility that things may well go wrong!

In the video I mention that I want to get about 50 products up and online in the first pass. These will be all the actual solo rules and game systems sold by Parts Per Million in their digital format, PDFs mainly.

I also say that I want to get 250 products up eventually. The other 200 are not going to be solo game books, or not mostly solo game books.

What I want to experiment with is creating DM/GM shields for solo play, putting all your oracle stuff, and other useful random tables all on a screen. This is a quality of life product, making solo play easier to do, taking away the page flipping between tables.

I also want to get all the books out in print. This will be done with Lulu.com as the printer of choice.

Then I am going to create oracle card decks. Dice rolls, oracle answers, and prompts in a pick up and go card deck.

So you can see 50 PDF books, 50 printed books, 50 GM screens 50 decks of cards, the numbers swell quite quickly.

Then there is the idea of the patreon and solo rules for minority games. I suggested this a few weeks ago and the idea is growing on me. The rules would be free for the patreons, but I also have a home for them here.

Finally, there is 3Deep, Navigator RPG, and the Bare Metal Edition games. I want to build these up and make them into popular game systems. Someone said last week that I should create the next Ironsworn. If I were to do that, it would be by integrating solo into Bare Metal Edition games.

If you follow me on twitter, or facebook for that matter, you will see a lot of new product tweets. These get sent out automatically by the site. They are not a call to action for you to rush out and buy my stuff. They are more like progress reports on how my store building is going!

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Laid out flat

Today has been of doing layout for a fanzine I run for Zweihänder RPG, called Lowborn.

I laid out the first three submissions. The third one was a 5,000 word adventure with bespoke art and new monsters. This could and should be a standalone adventure rather than just earning a tiny royalty in a fanzine. The writer is a regular contributor, so I have included the adventure.

The next submission was a 23 page GM resource. There is no way I can put this in a fanzine.

I messaged the writer of this one. I have offered to help them publish their work in their own name. I am worried that this is a case of a talented writer undervaluing their work. This is a constant weakness in self publishers.

If I hear back from the writer I will let you know if we get to publish their supplement.

Fanzines seem to be a bit resurgent at the moment. My Rolemaster fanzine has been going for years, October will be issue#42. Every month I see more and more titles. Is this a result of the pandemic? People at home, not able to game, so they are writing about it instead?

It will be interesting to see how many of these new titles will still be going next year.

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One Lore – Solo Role-playing d100 lite

One Lore d100 lite solo roleplaying

I am 90% storm forward and 10% thinking and planning. A couple of weeks ago I read Lore 100 and I thought the system looked really cool. I wrote about Lore Sheets, and I liked the system and the game mechanic.

So, as usual, I stormed ahead and wrote the solo rules for the game.

The game plays really well as a solo system and I am pleased with it.

Today, I uploaded it to DriveThruRPG, as normal and everything is good.

WooCommerce

This evening, I was building the product page for my own store on this site. It has an option to list related products both on the site and on other sites. Great I thought, I can link to the core game. Lore 100 is not exactly a household name and this will signpost the game to people who don’t know it.

Off I went and added the base game as an add on to the solo rules, and that is when I noticed that Lore 100 is a free game. It comes in two flavors, Lore 100 and the Lore 100 SRDs. They even have their own take on an Open Game License, not the WotC OGL, that we normally see.

This leads to the realisation that I have a $4.95 rules supplement for a free game. Normally, it would be the other way around.

The funny thing is that the book is selling, and selling quite well. I am about to put up some more links to Sons of the Singularity, namely the Camlann Chronicles and Rational Magic. Both these books work perfectly with the Lore System, and it means that these can be played solo using One Lore.

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Lacking Talent

I am somewhat artistically challenged. I can do a lot of things but the two weakest facets of my personality are drawing and music. There is little or no need for music in solo role-playing books so that is fine.

Drawing and all the other visual arts, in contrast, would be an immense benefit, if it was something I could actually do.

What brought this on was a discussion about orcs.

I was a tweet this morning about OrcTober. I do like a good mega-thread and I was tempted, I was thinking I could get some ideas together, and then I saw Inktober. A 31 day drawing challenge. The chances of me producing anything passable everyday for a month is nil, but what if I signed up for one of these drawing courses, teach yourself to draw in a month, sort of thing. I could then share what I was striving for, and what I managed to produce.

The goal would be to be able to illustrate my own books, eventually. If you are a publisher, or aspiring publisher, you will know about the hundreds of dollars we spend even on simple stock art. Being able to create even simple ‘page fillers’, those small images you see in rulebooks that balance the columns of text, would save me about $100 a year.

Using off the shelf stock are also leaves you at the mercy of the limits of what is available. Some genres are over served, others, not so much.

So that is my goal. Throughout October, I am going to follow a course, learn to draw, and just for an added challenge, I will try to create at least one piece of stock art good enough to list on DTRPG for other publishers to use.

How hard can it be?

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