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When all seems darkest, and I feel so little hope, and then I see a couple good things.

The first good thing is another update from Eloy Lasanta about his game system book “The Pip System” soon to be on RPGnow.com and soon to be in my hands as a Kickstarter backer.

The next good thing is an update that a new revision of preliminary rules will be out from Green Ronin’s Cortex Prime system book. I backed that one, too so I get to see it Wednesday or soonish after.

And then to cap it all off, I went over to RPG.net and ran across a very funny comic called Fuzzy Thinking and then got my resident 14 year old boy in here to see it and a few pages more back issues of it, and not only did I get to laugh a lot, but it kind of made me feel like I could get out there and game a bit once again. It has been rather a while since I played with friends. Instead I have finished an Associates in the Applied Science of IT Services with honors, and I played a lot of computer games, mostly Subnautica these last few months.

So good things happen when you go looking for them. Has that ever happened to you? Comment below or on your favorite media platform, and tell how something funny has brought back your gamer mojo.

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If you don’t have a chronic illness, don’t talk about your spoons

The Secret Reason I am Not Gaming Anymore Won’t Surprise Some.

It is also why I don’t have the stuff to make videos and why I don’t finish my homework or clean up my office, bedroom, or yard. Mine is invisible and insidious, diagnosed as “neuralgia” which means basically “nerve pain we cannot explain or legally verify.”

Disabled, but denied disability, so a burden on my family, church, and friends.
Dependent on my disabled son and overworked underpaid wife.
Mental illness fueled by invisible wings of fire sprouting from between my shoulder blades with roots stabbing into my spine.

Pot holes and big rigs.

I cannot even face my truly officially disabled friends and family.

Poser.

Faker.

Bum.

Nobody says it. Maybe nobody thinks it. But I hear it all the same.

sewbiwan

EDIT May 18th, 2017:Several people have written to ask if they “count” as a spoonie because they have a mental illness like anxiety or depression. Yes, yes! It’s right now 6am in Seattle, and I’m about to leave on a trip with my husband to California to visit the Stanford Infectious Disease Clinic, where Jose Montoya is doing research into what causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I’m going to be a new patient, and see if they have any treatments that might help me. I’ll be back on Saturday, and I want to write more about this, but in the meantime, I want to apologize for failing to clarify what I mean by “chronic illness”. ANY chronic condition that causes fatigue, is a chronic illness. I’ve lived with panic disorder for over a decade, I’m painfully aware of the fatigue that it can cause. Depression, cancer, anything that is chronic…

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GM Tips #02 – The Social Contract, or the “Golden Rule” Of RPGS

Allow me to present the article written by a much more prolific game writer and commentator, Eric Evjen, on the importance of the social contract in setting up a role playing game. It may seem like a lot of it would go without saying, but that is a certain road to misunderstanding. A skewed expectation can harsh a whole game, for just one person or for the whole group.

Erik Evjen

As far as the scope of “GM Tips” goes, I want to make sure I cover things in a chronological fashion in the same way I go about starting my own campaigns. Obviously, you need to pick a game system to run (GM Tips #01 is a primer of some great d20 games to try out), but once that’s settled you’ll need to figure out how you want to run your campaign.

This is where the “Social Contract”, or the “Golden Rule” as I like to call it comes into play: I find it extremely important to sit down with my potential players and discuss what they’re looking for when they come to play in one of my games. Likewise, I also like to let them know what I’m looking forward to running or how I’m doing it.

What is the “Golden Rule”? Essentially, an agreement between the GM and…

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Free Books Always Read Better

And now there is a contest, or a drawing, connected with another Kickstarter. This one for expansions to the Leagues of Gothic Horror game, which uses the Ubiquity gaming engine. The setting is the world of 1900, and things go bump in the night. Go look it up and back it if it appeals to you.

LeaguesOfGothicKickstarters

The Ubiquity system uses any dice, and you have a pool of dice for each skill, the dice are rolled, and the even dice are counted and the odd ones are ignored. This is compared to a target number to determine the outcome. It was first released in Hollow Earth Expedition, and has since been used in games from all sorts of angles.

I love Kickstarters. I don’t often get to invest in them, but I think they are a great thing to happen to the creative communities, and especially for role-playing games. As I have said, I recently backed the KS for Eloy Lasanta’s creation, the Pip System, which was seen in earlier works such as Mermaid Adventures RPG. The system has been updated, refined and is now, since the KS did succeed, going to be published as a stand alone system book, but also in a new edition of Mermaid Adventures and one or two other settings. I signed up for the main book and two settings. I will probably forego my usual practice of printing and binding the books myself and buy POD copies from RPGNow.com.

 

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Kickstarters; The New RPG Business Model

Increasingly, I see new games being launched using crowdfunding platforms to advertise and get off the starting block. I have participated to several Kickstarter campaigns, and I would very much like to support several Patreon campaigns for various artists and writers but cannot afford to.

Of note at this time, the Pip System Kickstarter ends in a few days, but has crossed the line and will be published. I am sure the game will be fun and easy to play, and I have enjoyed what I have bought thus far from Third Eye Games, so I know their production quality will be great.

And then there is the campaign to make adorable plush owlbears.