jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I'm reading another FATAL and Friends, this time of a 90's-era RPG that was heavily inspired by World of Darkness. It's called The Everlasting, and it is, if anything, even more pretentious than OWoD.

How pretentious are we talking, here? Well, for starters, it calls your character sheet a "Protagonist Profile," and it calls the act of playing an RPG "Legendmaking." This is the example of actual play that it gives in Chapter 12: Storytelling: Rediscovering the Magic of Life:

Four people have gathered in a basement for a night of legendmaking. They have exchanged the light bulbs for red lights and have placed some lit candles on the large table they are seated around. Also on the table are two fake skulls, hand-scrawled directions to a haunted house on what looks to be the brown paper of a grocery sack, and everyone’'s cards, dice, and protagonist profiles.

I hope no one filled in their character sheets- excuse me, Protagonist Profiles, in red ink. :P

In all seriousness, though, seeing people like this book's authors describe RPGing in mystical, pseudoreligious terms, reminds me of Mormons talking about how amazing sex is once you're married. When the truth is, it's not something you have to do in a particular way, the most important things are to listen and make sure that you have people's consent and enthusiasm, and you're going to make lots of embarrassing mistakes but the best way to get better at it is by practice.

When I believed my own hype, so to speak, it just made me a perfectionist who was too scared to actually play. What helped more than anything else, in getting [community profile] capsulerp and the in-person game started, was opening up about my insecurity, letting go of the need to make everything perfect, and trusting my RPing partners to know and describe what they wanted.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

This essay was written as a response to Landmarks of Gaming Theory. It is meant to address problems which roleplayers and game designers experience, and to deconstruct a reactionary ideology which would in some cases prevent people from doing so. It is not meant to be the last word, so much as our personal starting point.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

This is Mira Fox, the character we play in FFXIV. Apparently there are a lot of RPers in Eorzea, and some of them even use Fate. Who would have thought?

(Please note that the use of "men" to mean people is a turn of phrase that is unfortunately common in Mira's world, and which she might be only beginning to question.)

Read more... )

Character sheet formatting (and the I'm a Keeper stunt, representing her species) yoinked from Knight Kat's character sheet. This is what the characters for [community profile] capsulerp will look like once we get them posted, so let us know if you have any questions ~

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Last night I posted a (kinda depressing) thing about not being able to do the online RP we've been planning. I pulled it after I'd calmed down and been able to rest, but I'm still not sure that we're stable enough right now to be "always-on," so to speak, and to be able to do things like reply to creative writing prompts on demand. Especially when things keep happening, multiple times in a week, that set us back and make it impossible to keep to any kind of a daily schedule.

That's not to say that we don't want to GM an RP, or that we can't, period. But I don't think the play-by-post format will work for us, because it takes a lot of effort to "shift gears" to be able to write for it. And having to do that on an as-needed basis, just in the character planning phase, has been making us dread posting on Dreamwidth and leaving comments unanswered.

Or not having our comments answered.

I think what would work better for us would be to schedule times to go on a chat app, or even a forum like here on DW, and GM a game for a few hours, all at once and with no interruption. It would give us deadlines to prepare for, and also help us relax in our "time off." It would also improve our responsiveness, since we're very good at being focused and on-task when needed and the problem is not knowing when we will need to do that (and feeling like we are getting further and further behind when we need just a day or two to stop doing it).

I'm going to just assume that no one wants to do a chat-based or "live" forum RP, right now, and consider the one we were working on dead. I'm probably then going to avoid Dreamwidth out of shame for awhile. If anyone wants to try this format, though, I guess we can talk about where to go next in the comments.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Yet another emotional crisis drove us underground, in the last few days. We're taking care of it (and ourself), with [personal profile] aliaspseudonym's help, but we're also having to do things like go out and get prescriptions refilled and try to make ourself play miniatures games (which is our only in-person social contact anymore).

So the RPG thing has been a little delayed. >_o

I'm told there's at least one other person who's interested, though, besides [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] sablin27, and I'm going to try to get in touch with someone from Steam who expressed interest as well. (For some reason I thought he subscribed here on Dreamwidth, since he commented here, and I was wondering why he never followed up.)

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We're still trying to do this Fate Core RP, but we're feeling like we're in a little over our head.

Insecure foxraptor is insecure )

tl;dr We're doing our best but we're afraid of messing up, and this is making us avoidant of working on RPG things.

However! We've kept to our schedule so far, and as of right now, we've contacted both [personal profile] redsixwing and [personal profile] sablin27 about the last details that need to be clarified on their character sheets. If we can get that sorted out, we are going to write the first public RP post this weekend.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

... sort of.

You can visit [community profile] capsulerp now, and see useful links that we have for players, including our earlier summary of the game's rules (which doubles as an application thread). Right now we're getting back to players about the last few things to finalize on their sheets, and trying to get character sheets and the site itself formatted.

Speaking of which, if anyone knows CSS better than we do maybe you can tell us how to style only the entry text (including list items and headings) to use our preferred sans-serif fonts, while keeping the weird sci-fi font everywhere else. It's atmospheric and all, but it's a little hard on the eyes for reading long blocks of text. >_o

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We're still feeling kind of icky and stuff, partly because our hormones have decided to change up our temperature tolerances >_o

Aaand we flip-flopped between Linux and Windows 8.1 a few times before settling on the latter, and finding ways to block a lot of the annoying commercialism, like Skype ads and "Upgrade to Windows 10!" banners.

But we're feeling better and less stressed now, and while we still have things to sort out we should be able to have a DW site up for the RP (along with the players' finalized character sheets) within a week or so.

We wanted to let everyone know, and also to know that we haven't forgotten to work on our fanfic or anything. Also, we somehow got three Malifaux models assembled, and are eagerly (and somewhat anxiously) awaiting next month's long-rumoured Tau releases.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Dungeons and Dragons (and its successor, Pathfinder) uses a mechanic called "alignment" to describe your character's morals. It consists of a Good / Evil axis and a Lawful / Chaotic axis, with the possibility of being "Neutral" on either or both.

A lot of people have discarded the alignment system, seeing it as neither a fun game mechanic nor a useful way of understanding people. We don't really like it as it's implemented in Pathfinder, but we feel like the Planescape campaign setting for D&D really showed what kind of potential it has both for storytelling and philosophy.

Planescape portrayed the Chaotic Neutral afterlife as a "Limbo" of swirling clouds of random matter, which change so often as to be essentially formless and static. It noted that there are "anarchs" who can reshape the landscape at a whim, but did not seem to think much of them.

We think that if someone were to make a game where you play as one, though, it'd look something like Microsoft's Project Spark ...

Click here if you can't see the video.

... either that, or the Internet.

Floating islands of games, stories, and content, connected by threads of imagination and lit by sparks of wonder. That's what we feel it'd be like, to live in a realm of pure creativity and personal expression.

We were always told that we'd get to create (and populate) worlds, in the Mormon afterlife. But that was always used as an excuse, to keep us from doing so here and now. We had to "endure to the end," first, and then somehow we'd go from a Lawful lifestyle of self-negation to an eternity of fulfillment. Either that, or we would be destroyed and replaced by someone who would be fulfilled as a Mormon.

I think our family of origin still wants that for us.

I think that's what all conservative religious people mean, when they talk about "loving the sinner but hating the sin."

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Incoherent rambling here, sorry about that. But as shiny as technology is, I'm not sure I really want to make a career of it anymore. Whether in writing about it or for it.

Partly because the opportunities are so limited. Not opportunities to be paid to write code (albeit in a probably-misogynist environment), but opportunities to be paid to write interesting code ... which, for me, is code to tell stories. Dozens of people work on AAA games, but only a handful get to use them to tell stories, subject to market pressures.

Even at best, in the "indie game" scene, you still spend a lot more time writing code and drawing animations than you do actually telling a story.

I personally think that the optimum feedback loop, for me, is writing the "code" for a tabletop roleplaying game, which is meant to be "compiled" by players and storytellers. I don't have to provide the art assets. I don't have to explicitly build in options for people's characters -- or if I like, I can do nothing but write options for characters. And I think part of the reason that it's more rewarding is because the debugging cycles are so long, so I have a long time to anticipate how people will react to something.

I still want to tell fiction stories ... and I still want to write a few games and apps. But the ones that I want to make, right now, are aids in GMing a game, or automations of "life sim" aspects of roleplaying games like Pathfinder that most people don't want to play at the table with five other people. Procedural stuff, like Ultimate Campaign's hexmap exploration system, or the Babylon 5 RPG's space trading system, that work best when one person's imagination fills in blanks around a series of random prompts.

I'm not sure I need to learn "programming" to be able to make those. There are things like Project Siena and the Windows App Studio that basically let you write stuff in Excel macros, or automatically generate code. The kinds of things no self-respecting developer would use to make The Next Big Thing, but that let domain experts create basic apps for their own field without special training.

I'm not sure when or if I'll do something like that, but I'm feeling depressed right now realizing software development as a career does not appeal to me. And that I'm old enough I should already have a career but don't, even though I used to. I'm trying to tell a new story, and give myself something to look forward to.

Maybe I should have been selling ebooks all this time, like people have been telling me for ten years or so now.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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