Saturday, March 9, 2013

2012 in Review

Around this time every year, I review my gaming achievements over the past year against what I had planned.  Then I set some goals for the next 12 months.  So how did 2012 stack up?  Let’s see:

1. Finish and publish EPOCH
Check.  I published EPOCH on Halloween 2012.  In February 2013 I released a revised edition featuring new layout by Marcus Bone, and new card art by Doug Royson.  Print on demand cards were released in February and this week I released a print on demand version of the game book.  I am proud of EPOCH and encouraged by the steady sales that it has maintained, even though I don’t think it’s broken into mainstream gaming consciousness. 

2. Write a good selection of scenarios for EPOCH
Check.  I’ve personally written and published 5 EPOCH scenarios, the latest being included in the new collection Frontier of Fear.  There are a total of 8 EPOCH scenarios in print, with a further 3 in various stages of readiness for release, and another 5 that are still a gleam in the eye of their author. 

3. Run the Call of Cthulhu campaign Beyond the Mountains of Madness
Partial check.  The campaign is 90% complete, I hope to run the final sessions shortly.  I’ve posted about the campaign here. 

4. Run the Warpstorm Trilogy, a Rogue Trader campaign
Nope, this remains high on my list of games I want to run, and I hope to begin it as soon as Mountains is complete. 

5. Attend upcoming local tabletop roleplaying conventions
Partial check.  I attended Fright Night and Kapcon 22, but didn’t attend Day of Games or Confusion in 2012. 

6. Write and publish my Call of Cthulhu resource
Nope.  EPOCH has taken all my writing resources of late, and without any clear deadline, this project has languished. 

7. Write and possibly co-run a zany disco based game with Mike
Nope, sadly this did not come to fruition despite a series of e-mails proposing an awesome Bill and Ted style game featuring a ‘dice tower of power’. 

So, what goals for the next twelve months?  Here's my list:
  • Write and publish more EPOCH scenarios.  I’d like to see a total of 20 scenarios in print by this time next year.
  • Write and publish the EPOCH companion.  This includes some expansion rules and new cards for EPOCH as well as my mini-series rules and scenarios. 
  • Write a scenario for Esoterrorists.  Marcus has been talking about this, and if he still wants it, I’d be pleased to repay some favours and write an Esoterrorists scenario for him. 
  • Run the Warpstorm Trilogy for Rogue Trader.
  • Attend Day of Games and Buckets of Dice in Christchurch. 
Do you have any goals for the next year?

Monday, March 4, 2013

EPOCH in Spaaace

Yesterday I released Frontier of Fear, a collection of 4 science fiction scenarios for the survival horror roleplaying game EPOCH.   It is the first of what I hope will be several scenario collections, and it’s been an interesting, and thoroughly rewarding experience.

For me, science fiction and horror movies have a natural synergy.  The central theme of many of these films is an exploration of the unknown, leading to the discovery of an otherness which may prove hostile, or simply ambivalent to the plight of those who encounter it.  Yet in both cases it is the very human nature of the protagonists which ultimately condemns and, upon occasion saves, the characters.  In these films the characters, their strengths and weaknesses, and their relationship with one another, adds the all-important context for an encounter with the unknown.

For me, the elegance of Frontier of Fear is that while, as a player, you will likely recognise very familiar and classic science fiction tropes present in these scenarios – the act of creating a character and developing and exploring relationships with the other characters, while also trying to ensure your character’s survival with an interesting back-story, will keep the experience fresh and enjoyable.  At least, that was my experience in the scenarios I playtested for this collection.

I’m very grateful to everyone who contributed to Frontier.  Igor Divjak, Liam Jones and Andrew Millar have crafted some fantastic EPOCH scenarios, applying their very considerable creative talents to create an experience which I think will deliver some very satisfying gaming.  Andrew Smith did some remarkable, and invaluable work editing on a tight timeframe, while Doug Royson breathed some real life into the collection, providing a series of fantastic and evocative pieces of art.

I’m also grateful to all the playtesters, who spent some time and energy helping us take the rough edges off these scenarios.  The final product, I think, speaks for itself.

If you'd like a copy to review, please drop me a line.