Saturday, April 5, 2014

Last day for the Breachworld RPG Kickstarter... free stuff to be had!

We're very close to the end of the Breachworld RPG Kickstarter, and it has gone great! We can finish strong by getting in new pledges in the last day. If we hit $11k, and every $500 beyond that, I'm writing and putting out a new advanced character type for free to all backers.

You can read all about it in THE LATEST UPDATE.

The best thing anyone can do at this point, other than pledge support, is to talk about it. Tell everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Funding goal met! We're not done yet!

An open message to my friends and supporters:

Thank you.
I mean it. You have decided to invest your precious time and money into learning about and supporting the passion project of one writer, gamer, and publisher, and it will now come to fruition. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done between now and the day I drop the first package in the mail, but I have seen the support and the dedication that you have shown. It inspires me. It humbles me. It motivates me. I will not let you down.
Meeting our funding goal is only the first step down this road. With the funds that have been pledged, I can produce a fun, complete, and exciting game with great art from great artists, but more and more it becomes clear to me that Breachworld can be more than that. I think that together, as a community, we can take this momentum and ride it through KS close-out on April 6. Push through stretch goals. Improve and improve and improve not just the actual core book that embodies the beginning of Breachworld, but the enhance the setting at large.
We can add to the scope of the world. Develop new challenges, enemies, allies, and environments for your players. Build layer upon layer until this post-apocalyptic Earth is bursting with detail and the opportunities for adventure.
When we cross that next line at a full sprint, we will find that we still have the energy to go further, and faster. We'll have found that we can shape a world of our own to explore, conquer, or destroy, and we'll want to keep doing it, together. Together.
That's what I have learned from this experience, so far. I've always believed that collaboration and community were key in the gaming world. I've observed that honest dialog and engagement yield only positive results. I've said time and time again that as a publisher, my job is to support you, the gamers. I believe that. The Kickstarter process has only made all of that so much clearer.
In the next day or so I'm going to work on rebranding the main Kickstarter project page to adopt our new focus, and to put all eyes on our new stretch goals and add-ons, in addition to making the funding levels as clear as possible. In the mad rush of getting funded, some things probably aren't as clear as they could be. I want to be sure that everyone is getting the best possible deals, and gets exactly what they expect, plus is aware of what's available for an extra buck or a "pay what you want" contribution.
With all that said, I just feel the need to again say, "Thank you for your support." It means the world to me. I take the faith that you've placed in me very seriously, and I promise that you won't be disappointed.
So, let's drive on! Tell a friend! Roll up a character! Hit me up with questions or suggestions! Let's keep riding this wave and see where it leads.
Together.

Friday, March 14, 2014

FREE Breachworld RPG preview now available

I'm pleased to report that the Breachworld RPG now has a free, 77-page preview available. You get a sampling of every section of the book, making it totally playable if you want to give it a run.

Get it HERE at DriveThruRPG.com, and remember to spread the word.

The Kickstarter is humming along, but we still have a ways to go. If you like what you see in the preview, then please consider supporting the Kickstarter campaign, which ends on April 6.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Breachworld RPG: Player Races preview

Howdy, friends and fans.

The Breachworld RPG Kickstarter campaign is humming along! We're at 56% funded with 26 days remaining, but that's still a long way to go. If you haven't checked it out, now is your chance.

To sweeten the deal, I've assembled a low-res, draft layout of the Player Races section, featuring the introductory text and five of the Player Races, with concept art. Keep in mind that this is all draft material, and the page size is as it will be laid out for the book printing, so it has larger margins than it will in the final product, after it's trimmed. It's very rough, but it should give you some idea of what sorts of things will be included in the final product.

You can see images of the pages below, or download a PDF HERE. Be sure to tell a friend so we can keep this train rolling all the way to funding, and beyond.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

I know a guy: Leveraging a character's contacts

Who doesn't love some good espionage in their RPG? Whether you're playing Ninjas and Superspies or Call of Cthulu or even a classic fantasy setting such as Pathfinder, one of our most common gaming standbys is one of the players making use of a valued contact. Sometimes this is just old-fashioned role-playing, but often we even see "knowing a guy" as a mechanic. Whether a character has a set number of contacts to use, the ability to utilize a contact at a set frequency, or has some sort of percentage chance of finding a useful contact, the results are basically the same: a character uses his or her background or profession to gain an advantage in obtaining something needed for the campaign, usually information, money, or equipment.

A downside to this sort of element, whether it's just the GM and the players talking it out or a systematic part of the game, is that it can turn too routine. The last thing you want is to remove this chance for some good role-playing from the equation, so let's talk about a few ways to keep things fresh.

Friday, March 7, 2014

You can now own the all-new Breachworld RPG



Friends,

The time has come. The Breachworld RPG Kickstarter is now live. We have 29 short days to see this come to fruition, and I know that we can do it.

Please consider supporting this effort. In addition to pledging (for which you get some great deals on what will be a great book), you can help by sharing this link on your Facebook, "liking" Jason Richards Publishing using the #Breachworld #RPG #Kickstarter tags on Twitter and Google+, talking about the project on reddit, RPG.net, and other forums.

I'm nervous and excited. I both want to succeed, and also to be sure not to let down those who support me. This is a team effort, and I'm here to serve. If I can answer your questions or hear your comments, please drop me a note.

Let's get excited, and let's spread that excitement! What are you waiting for?! Go Breachworld, go!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Breachworld logo and Kickstarter news

Well, this is getting very close to being done. I'm not going to lie, I am freaked out. The only time I can remember being so nervous in a professional situation is when sitting for my Professional Engineer exam.

A huge hurdle was crossed when the new Breachworld logo was delivered. It's simple, will work in a lot of different mediums, and I think gets the point across pretty well. The additional banner text is okay for now, but will need to be reworked as well. (Actually, as I type this, I realize that somehow the logo got off-centered from the text, but I'll fix that and update this post tonight.)


Pretty slick, I think.

It's really just on to submitting the actual Kickstarter for review now. I'm waiting on the last edit of the intro video, but may just go ahead and submit anyway. I'm pretty sure I can add the video later.

Soooo nervous. Time to see if y'all really like me, I guess!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Creature design talk, part 6: The Look!

We've reached the last installment of our creature design talk, and I've saved my worst for last: What does this thing look like?!

The Look

Seriously, this is my absolute weakest area of creature design. It drives me up the wall, but I fall into the same ruts over and over again. I'm not the only one. If you look around at gaming manuals and sourcebooks, you'll find that this is actually one of the more difficult parts of design, at least if the goal is to be creative and innovative.

Ultimately, there are a few different approaches that I try to use when designing the "look" of a creature.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Creature design talk, part 5: Layers

Welcome back to our continuing discussion of creature design for your RPG. So far we've discussed creature motivation (part 1) and creature encounters (parts 2, 3, and 4). Today the topic is how we as game designers and Game Masters may layer our creature designs.

Layers

Layers are what I call the different levels or phases of an encounter with a creature (or any encounter, really). It usually comes into play when dealing with "boss" level challenges, but can work well in random or lower-tiered challenges as well.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Response to a new Palladium Books podcast

Hello, one and all. Happy Friday.

Just a quick post today to discuss a great new podcast centering on everything Palladium Books. Take a quick break and head over to Radio Free Palladium, produced by the great Zachary Houghton. Zack, as you may remember, formerly had a blog known as RPG Blog 2 (was just RPG Blog before some cyber-squatter snatched up his domain during a sabbatical), and founded the Megaversal Ambassadors program for Palladium.

Zack's format is different than other podcasts we've seen, in that it's less than 30 minutes (perfect for your commute), and he is looking to tackle some very specific things about Palladium's games, and gaming in general.

For his first episode, Zack discusses the perceived lack of game balance in Palladium's various RPGs, particularly Rifts. He then goes on to discuss some of the overlooked utility of the Rogue Scholar O.C.C. I wanted to touch briefly on that first issue, regarding game balance.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Creature design talk, part 4: Even More Encounters

Let's talk some more creature design! We've already been through creature motivations and two rounds of discussing types of creature encounters. Today we'll go through the final phase of discussing creature encounters, then move on to some new monster-related business.

Even More Encounters

So far we have discussed Hunters, Trappers, and Giants. Each brings a different type of game play to the table, and a different type of challenge for your players. While this list isn't in any way exhaustive, it hits a lot of the high points of types of encounters you might have. One thing that these doesn't address, which I think is important to consider, are non-combat creature encounters.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New logo for Jason Richards Publishing

Well, this is exciting! Just received my new logo. I love it! Don't you love it? Tell me how much you love it!

I'm going to get this same artist to do my Breachworld logo, based on some concept sketches I dreamed up. I'm psyched, as this was a big step, marketing-wise, before I could launch the Kickstarter. Check that one off the list!


Monday, February 17, 2014

Creature design talk, part 3: More Encounters

Welcome back to our discussion about creature design for your game, whether that be a classic pen-and-paper tabletop game, a game utilizing minis, or even a video game. We have previously discussed the motivations of creatures, and then continued with types of creature encounters. Today we continue that last subject where we left off.

More Encounters

So far we have talked about two types of encounters: Hunters and Trappers. Next up is a favorite for gamers who love nothing better than to haul a suitcase full of carefully-packed minis to their games, but works well in any valor of role-playing.

Giants

Taking a step back, I suppose I could call this encounter type a Solo, but I think that term is a little broad for these purposes. For those who may not be familiar with the term, a Solo is typically some sort of a boss battle for a party of characters, especially in miniature gaming. A Solo is a badass that can take on a whole party at once. But, a Solo can take many forms and isn't usually strictly speaking a creature or monster, but is usually more sophisticated and adaptable. (By the way, if you want a great discussion of creating Solo battles, check out this old post from The Angry DM.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Creature design talk, part 2: Encounters

Let's pick up our discussion on creature design, shall we? Part 1 dealt with the motivations of creatures and why they might come into conflict with your characters. We talked about malevolent creatures, those that react to the characters, and then those that are so alien that conflict is inevitable.

Encounters

I think it's only natural to follow that up with what that conflict might look like. How do animals, creatures, and monsters engage the player characters when it's time to throw down? I can't possibly cover every possibility, but I think there are some high points worth emphasizing.

Hunters

This is the easy answer, and probably the most common. The monster might just be evil and looking to cause some pain, or may be hungry and see a character as food. Maybe the party has wandered into its territory and it feels threatened. Whatever the motivation, the encounter turns on the creature actively hunting the player characters.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Creature design talk, part 1: Motivation

Creature design is an important part of any RPG experience, whether you're designing for a video game, using tabletop minis, or doing it all in your head (which is my default when I game). They can be equal parts mood material, random encounter, and a puzzle to solve. Each beastie can be classic, weird, nostalgic, or even comical. There are few better ways to add variety to your game than designing really good monsters for your player characters to throw down with. It's something that's been on my mind lately, so I thought I would spend a few blogs going through some of my thoughts.

Motivation

I thought this would be a good place to start, as it is one of the very broadest ways to classify your creature encounter. If we think about the real world and the abundance of variety provided to us by mother nature, we can see lots of good examples of different things that motivate animals into having some sort of encounter with humankind. We can also refer to some classic examples from movies, video games, and other media to provide examples.

We examine the possibilities below the jump.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Breachworld RPG page previews

I'm not sure if people are generally interested in nerdy layout talk, but I really enjoy it, so I'll blog away.

I'm sitting here, doing some layout work on my day off, and I think I've finally locked down my boilerplate for a lot of the text and headings, seen in the following three images (click for a bigger picture). I kept looking for something with more "pop" for the top header, but I think this might work out okay. With the graphical page background, I think there is enough going on so that the layout isn't too boring. Plus, there are advantages to staying relatively vanilla if people are going to be using tablets and e-readers to view the book.

These pages are the first three of the Character Creation section (obviously) and includes some bonus information in that it contains the skill list. The colored headers and footers of each inset box will vary with each section, to help you pick out what you're looking for as you flip through. I still might try to add that color tag to the top heading, somehow, or include a colored tab on the side of the page for reference.

These images are generated from the book layout, so they still have the gutter and the trim edges included. If the page size looks a little funny, that's why.

Think I'm going to move on to the Player Races section next so I can showcase something with some art!

Let me know what you think.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kickstarter Video Preview!

I told you things were happening! I reviewed the first version of the Kickstarter promo video today, and it shows a lot of promise. A few edits here and there, and it will be hot to trot. Check out a screen grab from the video and see for yourself (you can click on the image to get a better look):



And, if that's not enough, I also just got off the phone with the great Chant Macleod, genius voice actor and all-around kick-ass guy. He'll be doing the voiceover track for the video. Win win win.

More to come! Get the word out! Tell literally everyone you know! This is going to be great.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Great article for small publisher pub: The Play-and-Win

I'm not going to steal the thunder so rightfully belonging to Jamey at Stonemaier Games, but the concept that he's pushing here is a great one. Basically, at a convention, small publishers submit free copies of their product. Attendees can then check it out to give it a trial run, and then turn it back in. If they liked the game, they put their name in the hat. At the end of the day, a name gets drawn and the winner takes the game home! Brilliant!

So, check out the whole post, which is masterfully done.

http://stonemaiergames.com/an-open-letter-to-small-game-conventions-from-a-tiny-publishing-company/

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Signs of Life

I'm not claiming a triumphant comeback quite yet, but seeing as this is the first post in my blog for longer than I would care to admit, it's at least something. I may have been absent from this corner of the web, but I have not been idle. Big new developments are imminent.

If you don't keep up with me on Facebook, you might not know it, but my new RPG is about ready to launch its Kickstarter. I'm developed enough to do the thing today if I really wanted to, but I'm sorting out some minor details before I get started. Getting logos created (or recreated), pulling together some preliminary art, and generally arranging all of my ducks into tidy little rows.

"Soon soon soon!" is the cry of the procrastinating hobby writer and blogger, I know. But seriously, soon.

In fact, you can now bounce over to www.breachworld.com and see that there is progress. It will just redirect you to this humble, neglected blog for now, but that's a start.

This blog will get a facelift and maybe even a slight reformat. I'll also be culling out some old stuff that's not-so-great, but the gaming and geekery materials will remain mostly intact.

I give you permission to maybe get your hopes up, just a little bit. Start telling friends. Follow on Facebook and keep an eye for some new stuff on Twitter. I'm gonna tease the hell out of this thing and by watching closely, you'll get a good preview of what's to come.

Soon.