Off-Topic Tuesday: Embrace the Grind

Sometimes, I feel like having such varied interests works against me when it comes to making a brand out of myself. Also working against me? Not liking the idea of making a brand out of myself. The common wisdom, available in photoshopped images of lightning on mountains and tweets ending in #truth, says that I should just “be myself.” I try to run with that idea, but I think it sometimes leads to confusion.

Bruce Buffer - It's Time

“It’s TIIIME… to discuss preconceived notions about acceptable interests in geek culture.”

During a discussion of interests, someone I had only recently met through gaming circles said, “Oh, so you’re a bro.” I didn’t really know what that meant. After some thorough research –apparently, I must be a pretty nerdy “bro”– I was happy to learn that I was grossly misclassified. The source of the confusion? My disinterest in several popular science fiction and fantasy series combined with my interest in mixed martial arts. MMA is, apparently, “bro” territory.

Instead of launching into the “well your interests are dumb, too” death spiral that powers the internet, I’d rather explain one of the reasons why MMA speaks to the writer in me. Continue reading

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Christmas in July at DrivethruRPG

It’s that time of year again when Santa realizes that gamers already read through all the gifts he brought them at the end of last year! Of course, his charity only extends so far, and maybe you weren’t all that nice so far this year, so instead the good folks at DrivethruRPG.com and RPGNow.com are running a massive sale all week long. There’s plenty of good stuff to be had and some pretty deep discounts on select products.

I’d also be remiss in mentioning that my own products are on sale this week, including the brand new Five Fantasy Barkeeps, Volume 2: Suspicious Motives!

Christmas In July at DrivethruRPG

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5 Fantasy Barkeeps is Released!

5 Fantasy Barkeeps, Volume 1My fantasy RPG supplement 5 Fantasy Barkeeps, Volume 1 is now available for download over at DrivethruRPG.com.

To celebrate, it’s time for Happy Hour. I’ve added my favorite coconut mojito recipe to the pages of the Demonom-nom-nomicon here on Broken Binding and I invite you to drink deep and read up on my system neutral supplement that puts five developed NPCs with ready-made hooks right at your fingertips.

Mojitos + gaming = Happy Hour.

Continue reading

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5 Questions for Choice of Games

Steam LogoIn case you didn’t know, Choice of Games is a company that’s been putting Interactive Fiction back on the map. Their apps are available through nearly every provider, and they represent a new era in the classic Choose Your Own Adventure style but with the added depth that working off of an electronic device can provide. Now, in very big news, two of their IF novels, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy and Heroes Rise: The Hero Project, are now available on Steam! They are also Steam’s very first text adventure games, an impressive milestone indeed.

Choice of Games logoIn the grand tradition of networking, I was introduced to friend-of-a-friend, Jason Stevan Hill of Choice of Games. You see, fellow author Andrew G. Schneider (author of Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed) introduced me to Alana Joli Abbott (author of Choice of Games’s Showdown at Willow Creek and Choice of Kung Fu as well as Into the Reach and Departure) who introduced me to Jason. Jason, in turn, graciously provided me with plenty of information and advice about Interactive Fiction. He spared a few minutes for me to answer some questions about Choice of Games adding Steam to their distribution channels. Continue reading

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Reading List – Voices From Chernobyl

My typical reading selections rarely fall in the “uplifting” category. In talking to fellow gamers and writers I’ve also learned that I read far less so-called “genre” fiction than what is typical for someone who often enjoys writing in the science fiction and fantasy fields. Instead, I spend a lot of time on non-fiction and “not genre fiction.” (As usual, I don’t want to get into my thoughts about labels for fear of digressing too far.)

Voices from ChernobylI just finished Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster and, if you have any doubt at all, this book does not fall in the “uplifting” category either. I find uplifting and moving to be two very different things. It might occasionally have an optimistic moment, at least relative to what surrounds them, the book is more notable for such a raw presentation of human emotions and vivid look at human perspectives, not only about disaster and tragedy, but also about self-delusion and grim necessities. Continue reading

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Andrew G. Schneider, 5 Questions for the Author

Undercaffeinated and Overexposed

I had the pleasure of making Andrew G. Schneider’s acquaintance after two of our articles for Dungeons & Dragons Insider contained some overlapping material. (Both adventures were set in the Chaos Scar, but Andrew’s “Scarred for Life” connected nicely with my adventure “Reflections of Ruin” thanks to an exceptional ogre and the Deck of Many Things.) We continued to correspond and commiserate about the joys of freelance and have even managed to get a game or two in on occasion.

Recently, Andrew published not one but two novels so I took a few minutes to lob some questions his way, chat about YA fiction, and see what he has planned now that Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed: The Tale of a Coffee Shop Princess are off his desk. Continue reading

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The Eternal Rest in Dungeon World

Dungeon World

Last week I mentioned that my system neutral fantasy game supplement The Eternal Rest is currently on sale over at DriveThruRPG.com on the Drunken Goblin page. I also indicated that I’d been thinking about Dungeon World and adding some moves to further supplement The Eternal Rest. I wrote the PDF around the idea that its hooks could be put to use in any rule set and would leave the mechanics up to the game master.

With Dungeon World on my mind lately, I decided to take my own challenge and bolt on a few straightforward mechanics to The Eternal Rest. Even if you aren’t familiar with Dungeon World (and why not?), each of those moves can still be looted for added hooks to spin off from my PDF. Continue reading

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