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Wicked One Update

Demon, Devil, Evil, Monster, Alien, Cartoon, Head, Face

I am not a fan of lists. I find writing them is the fastest way to make my inspiration dry up. When I don’t need to create a list I am often fizzing with ideas. Tell me I have to write them down and suddenly I draw a blank.

So it has been all week, creating these d66 lists. I have four lists on the go at once. I am trying to fill in a few a day on each list, rather than trying to focus on one at a time.

In the meantime I have moved on to writing about different aspects of playing Wicked Ones. Today it is about Compelling Impulses.

Normally, the GM would compel you, and in return you can earn a Dark Heart.

Half of me want to create a random method of bringing this situation about. There is nothing to stop you from simply roleplaying when you feel your compulsion takes over, but I fear that if a solo player becomes focused on achieving a task, they may not stop and think of interesting ways of stymying themselves.

My working rule at the moment is to use one dice of a different colour. In this case the Blue die is the special die. If the special die comes up with the same number twice in a row, then you are Compelled, It is then up to you to decide to accept to refuse.

The goal is not to disrupt your game. If only one of the three dice used for a fortune roll is special, it is within your control to roll it or not. When the question becomes a sure thing, or you start to add more dice, the third dice is always going to be the special one. Once you have rolled it, put it to one side and leave it showing the same face upper most.

This idea is not really entirely my invention. The inspiration came from the old WEG d6 system, now called OpenD6. That has one special die, when it comes up six the die explodes and you roll it again adding the second roll to the total. Roll a another six and you add six to your total and keep on rolling the dice until it doesn’t come up six. The exploding die was always a different colour to the rest of your dice pool.

Our special die doesn’t explode, it is just going to prompt you to look at your compulsions and think “How can I use it right now, in this situation?”

If you think of a good one, mark off your new Dark Heart and play out the action. If the compulsion doesn’t seem to fit, there is nothing to trigger it, ignore the roll and carry on.

The chance of a die rolling the same result twice is one in six. That would be way to often for your compulsions to disrupt your plans. The goal is to have something remind you to use them, on a random basis, without having a special dice that is rolled, almost for no reason.

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2021 Plans for Print On Demand

I am starting my investigations into setting up with Lightning Source LLC. The intention is that they will do all the printing and fulfillment for my supplements.

The exciting part is the future potential. They have a big network, especially for digital formats. What I would like to go is get everything in my solo games store, and my fanzines on every site. The blocking factor is being exclusive to DTRPG. I am not too worried about this at the moment.

I want to get the print versions up and going. Then see where else I can get print versions on sale. That is enough for a start. That can include the Lightning Source outlets, Lulu, possibly Amazon, but not sure about them yet.

My Amazon plans are for joint Kindle/POD or even Kindle + FBA using offset print runs.

Offset is cheaper to get printed, per copy, and higher quality. I could get them printed and delivered directly to Amazon. They then deal with the pick and pack side of it, and the books would appear as Amazon Prime. Kindle Unlimited subscribers would be able to read them for free, but we get paid on a pay per view basis, getting a tiny cut of the readers subscription money.

The downside is that you pay for the entire print run up front. 100 copies would be about £350 once everything is taken into account. That is a big step forward and commitment.

Once I step on the Offset road, then I would be looking for a Distributor to get my supplements into bricks and mortar stores.

That is an entirely different ball game, and a task for another day.

Other ways of getting Print on Demand books on my own site is with Lulu. They offer two ways. The first is in partnership with Shopify. They will then give you a Shopify Plugin for WordPress and that will handing everything from payment processing, to print and delivery. The cost starts at $19.99 a month. My sales at the moment through this site are only $14.72/month.

The second option is a build it yourself route using Lulu’s API, application programming interface. API’s are often easy to work with, but not all of them. The fact that a paid for plugin solution exists implies that this one isn’t going to be easy to use. I do have some coding and programming skills. I *should* be able to do it.

The good thing for those two options is that they are automated.

With Lightning Source, I beleive, that I will have to recieve the order from the customer, then place the order with LS, who then do everything. The customer pays me, I pay LS. This is very much a two step and manual process.

I am hoping I am wrong. I want there to be an automated process for this.

I will wait and see what transpires.

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How Often Do You Visit DriveThruRPG?

How often do you visit DriveThruRPG? Someone messaged me and said that every time they go to DriveThruRPG there are half a dozen new things that I had put out. I normally try and publish something strictly "Solo" each week. On top of that I run two 'zines, and put out short adventures. Half a dozen things could be a month's worth or six weeks. So I am simply curious as to how often people visit that webstore.

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Wicked One…to thirty-six!

I was talking about using d66 tables in a previous blog post [Dark Bargaining] and this week my main task is to build those d66 tables.

This is one of the tasks that sounds easy when you think of the idea, but it becomes hard work really quickly when you have to actually write them.

One list of 36 options wouldn’t be too bad, but I have four lists on the go at the same time at the moment. The point of doing them concurrently is that I may have an moment of inspiration in one area at one point and for something different later on. Having different aspects open at once lets me catch more ideas as they happen.

On the plus side, I had a bit of a slowdown around Christmas, everyone needs a break at some point. Then, immediately after Christmas I had the DotD, which lead to the after sale, and that lead to setting up the next DotD, and for that I needed the print layout completed… and so on.

When you are on your own, things tend to cascade, a bit like dominos. The end result is that today was the first decent day’s work I have put into Wicked One this year.

The best bit was as I read through the document so far, I thought, yes, this is right. I definitely think I am on the right track.

I am one of those writers that likes to reward myself for completing a hard task by allowing myself to do a fun task afterwards.

When I complete the current four lists, I have written 44 entries of the 144 I need, my reward will be to tackle Adventurers. That is a part I have been looking forward to.

So, all being well, I will crack these lists, and get on to those nasty adventurers in the next few days.

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Dark Bargaining – Wicked Ones

I tried playing with the ideas I was suggesting yesterday, and to my taste, they were too slow. I like my solo games to skip along. One of the greatest things about the underlying system, blade/forged in the dark, is the idea of only playing the fun bits. That is contrary to the idea of having to work hard to get fun answers. Solo games should not feel like work.

Version 3, is using d66 tables. A d66 table gives you 36 possible results. 11-16, 21-26 and so on to 61-66. There is a d66 table of suggested Dark Bargains, but these are not suitable for solo play. In a solo game there is only going to be one monster player character. Throwing an allie under a bus to save yourself is not such a big deal in a solo game.

What I am going to need to create is 36 suggested outcomes for each of these game mechanics.

That seems easy enough to do. I just then need to bring everything else into line with this mechanical format.

The main oracle will still be based on the Fortune Roll. The more likely a question is like to be Yes, the more dice are rolled for the Fortune Roll.

The D66 rolls will be used for all the non-Yes/No situations.

I probably will not post an update on Wicked Ones tomorrow. These tables will take a while to build. I need to put them together and then run another playtest before nailing anything down.

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