2014 : Day 18 or W.I.P.s

Since I have decided to try and ePublish this collection of short stories after I am done with the Legion URPG ePublishing project, I need to decide which stories will make it into the book and also brainstorm a few others to add real meat to the bones of the book.
I currently have 3 stories In Situ that can be finished and incorporated : Gecko”s novella, The Nautilus, and Cass and the 16th step. All of them are based in the same Arcology ( the first wasn’t planned this way but all three so far have had interlinking ties and I suppose I subconsciously kept them within the same “‘verse”. )
I would like to have at least 5 stories of varying lengths make up this book. I might well add more later, or write another collection for a second book. These 5 stories should vary in length between short story ( no more than 15 pages maximum) and novella length ( no more than 100 pages).  Even at 4 stories total: 3 short and 1 novella, I am looking at about 72500 words total. This was derived by taking the maximum page count for each story by approx 500 words per page ( I need to figure out what the average word count per page truly is).

This got pushed back a little longer, but is still on track. The biggest setback was the tablet adapter that didn’t work. Leaving me with the virtual keyboard and USB keyboard. My phone was also screwed and now waiting on the replacement phone to be sent to me. I should also be getting my mini HDMI cable to have my tablet all on my HDTV. 12/5/13

12/6/13= this test is evernote with the usb keyboard, mouse and the HDMI connector to my little HDTV. There seems to be next to no lag now as there was using GDrive when i did my other test about an hour a go or so. This works for me as I am glad that the setup will be workable for my writing needs. Now to test and see if it will scroll as I type, and it sure did. the only real issue I can state that I have, is that the HDTV view does cut off a tiny bit of the screen on top, bottom, and each side; and since there is no way to choose the ovescan mode for HDMI, i suppose I am stuck with it. Still, not a bad and minor compromise for having a much bigger screen with which to do my writing, especially since the type comes in crisp and clear and is much bigger on the TV screen than it is on the tablet.

 201311081514: 
This is the plan to finally publish Legion Universal Role Playing Game in an ePublishing format, especially a digital format (specifically for Amazon platforms and Kindle devices). Originally I intended to give the game away, but realized my dream of finally getting published and Amazon has made it incredibly simple to publish writing works in a digital format. This will also allow the Core Rules Document (henceforth referred to as the CRD) as well as the Character sheet and further expansions or Plug Ins (for the mechanics portions and possibly “generic” game settings and worlds/mythos. 
The new plan is to:
Rewrite portions of the 2.1 CRD to allow for a quicker set up
Rewrite portions of mechanics to streamline game play to a more rules-lite approach while retaining the URPG aspect of the game
Write an updated foreword giving a brief history of the game and its revisions
Find copy write free artwork to include in the CRD (and further documents) or artwork from the Creative Commons for internal portions of the entire document set as well as Cover Artwork for each book.
Reformat the entire 3.0 CRD to fit withing the KDP and Kindle ePublishing model and guidelines
Add quick character Templates to make it easier to play the game quickly
Reconfigure inherent game tables to be either in a better read format (that supports and is supported on digital devices) or remove them altogether
Add the stock *(read as redesigned) Character Sheet to the 3.0 CRD
Pricing for this book should be between $3.00-$5.00 USD (all subsequent expansion, plug-in books, etc should only be $1.00)
There is no need for a players handbook, per se; but I hope to write a fairly comprehensive guide for Judges to better run the game mechanics and also any genre they chose to with Legion URPG.
Additional Resource Guides (henceforth referred to as RGD) include: Magic and Ley Spheres, Psionics and Superpowers, and Plug-In RGDs include: End of Days, Medieval/Fantasy, and Futurist/Cyberpunk. There may be other RGDs planned for later {possible} publication.
I also plan to work on and publish a website (not sure if I plan on buying a domain or using a free webs format again) to support the game launch in publication format and I will still retain the proboards website for the game as it has the history to back up just how long the game has been in production.
I have looked through the RPG books and documents available on Kindle and through the Amazon website for digital copies of games. I was shocked to find 2 things:
There aren’t many RPGs available for kindle devices
Because of the formatting involved heavy image documents didn’t work well across all Amazon platforms, or spotty work in PDF format, made most games virtually unreadable or load took forever.
I set out to resolve these issues using Legion URPG as a testbed for my writing (it is the most complete WIP I have and closest to a published format) which would not only allow me to start getting published, but also get my works out for others to read, enjoy, and share. I do not plan to make tons of money from this, nor do I plan to become famous using this platform. I may even have to change up the ideas and formulas as shown in this outline to better accommodate gamers and consumers. As a writer and gamer on a shoestring budget, I can understand the need for having the most robust version of document possible for the most inexpensive cost appropriate. I also WILL NOT be adding DRM to this project, and understand that it will probably be made available for free by Amazon from time to time and may very well have bootleg copies freely distributed. I also know that the subject matter I am tackling by making my first publication a tabletop game that most people choose not to/will not play which seriously compromises the ability for it to be seen. My goal is to make tabletop gaming still comparable to other forms of gaming, extend the longevity of gaming with imagination, getting new players to try a game like this, and keep the monetization of said project to as bare a minimum as possible. I also hope to be a trend setter in making gaming books more available to digital markets on devices which are already out there in the public, in other words: I do not want the Kindle devices to be tarnished further and make it aware that gaming books can indeed be made to work well in digital format on kindle devices with no hassle. I will be keeping the game format in D6 format as it is the easiest way to keep the game available so that ANYONE can play it or run it.

Maybe more to work on too.

~H.O.o.S

Happy New Year: An open welcome to 2014

While some of the world is already celebrating a new year, it has yet to come to pass in Arizona, USA. That’s the home of this Harbinging Owl, full of Syn and optimism that this new year will bring welcome changes.
   Not that I just expect them to land in my lap with luck, I know that things have to be fought for and sought out to reap the whirlwind and gain the success that is so wanted. So, here is to all of us who truly intend to better themselves in the coming year. I hope to finally realize a dream I’ve had most of my life: to be published. I am currently workin on a few projects that I WILL be getting published in 2014.

I know, because I refuse to give up on them and I am so close. Perseverance is key. May we all rise from our ashes anew and eager to realize a dream, only tl add more goals and keep moving dynamically forward. Blessed Be and Happy New Year (under a New Moon, no less).

-H.O.o.S

I am a G.M.

G.M. or Game Master. It is an older term for anyone who runs tabletop or Pen & Paper RPGs (Role Playing Games). As a natural storyteller, I was drawn to the 1st edition AD&D. I had played the tabletop DnD too, but found it awfully limiting in scope. With Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (the older TSR products) you were only limited by your imaginations and were free to get out of the dungeons. It allowed for far greater story themes and epic chronicles. 
I had even written my first PnP RPG game mechanics and world setting by the time I was 10 years of age. It was influenced by those medieval hack and slash adventures with a wonderful twist. I moved on to over 40 other game systems created by others. Everything from Traveller and Call of Cthulu to ElfQuest, and Shadowrun. So many games. I found I preferred Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, and Horror games especially. I even modded Shadowrun rules into White-Wolf’s Storyteller system to make the games even more interesting and very nasty.

Since 2003, I have been working on my newest game. Legion: Universal RPG. I have folded many of the older games I have created within its engine/mechanics and have made it easy to play any genre/setting. I did allow it to be downloaded for free to help push RPGs as a wonderful way to spend time with friends, entertain imaginations, and to do my part to spread the joy of real RPGs. I felt they were a dying art, and in many ways; I still feel that way.

I am now in the vein of restructuring the rules a little. Streamlining them for easier gameplay and fleshing out areas that need a little meat. With the advent of much easier self publishing (via internet and especially epub), I plan on hopefully getting the core book published into a few formats, especially on Amazon, and allow those with tablets/smartphones the ability to play and run games still on tabletop without much need for actual pencils and paper.

So, I am indeed looking for Playtesters in the Tucson, AZ area. Everyone who playtests will not only get their names mentioned in the credits of the game, but will also get one digital and one print copy of the core book(s) for free. My move to getting published means that I will indeed be charging for the revised game, but I will not be charging very much at all. Again, I am a gamer and I understand the need for inexpensive gaming habits. I know piracy being what it is that I won’t make much money on it, and I am no artist. I hardly have any commissioned artwork in the game, and have had to use whatever copyright free images that are suitable.

I may also eventually have another interesting publishing format available down the road. More on that at a later date.

Inspired by Tolkien and other authors who went above and beyond the scope of merely creating characters and a few set pieces, I really enjoy the creation of worlds and settings. I love Role Playing games in their truest forms where anything is quasi probable. Where Player Characters drive the plot and action and allow for suspension of disbelief within the confines of Free Will and Imagination. To me, there is nothing more pure than a group of friends coming together to collectively tell stories and engage their creative minds. There are no real linear rails, no right or wrong way to play; no true winner or loser.

I, like many GMs, used to play with pre-written adventures…but found them rather limiting too. I prefer the wonderful ad libbing and impromptu nature of gaming on the fly of stream of consciousness. I like to keep an outline of where the game might be headed, but allow the players to shape how and where the storyline is headed. Give them a great sandbox and allow them to play. Give them the descriptions that tease their minds eye, engage their 5 senses of their characters…and make the game world a living and breathing thing; and you’ll have gamers that will keep coming back for more.

As of late, I have been looking at free Apps for smartphones and tablets to help run games and I am chomping at the bit to play almost any tabletop RPG right now. Aside from playtesting Legion, I am looking for other games to play and troupes to play with. I need to get my game on…
And soon!

~H.O.o.S
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Howl by Fallen Comics

The creative group Fallen Comics, a comic book startup of which I am a team member and Editor-in-Chief of have launched our first Kickstarter campaign. It is for our first series Howl. Please, check it out, help back us, and even spread the word. Thank you for your support, we can’t do any of it without your help and appreciate it more than you know.

HOWL by Fallen Comics Kickstarter

© Thomas E. Brewer 2013 all rights reserved * Posted from WordPress for Android

Random Thoughts 1144111912

Whew, not enough time in the day for all of the writing and blogging and extra meh that I do on a daily basis. Been busy busy busy with work for Fallen Comics ( quick shout out to Robbie and Mike, hoping that Mike gets better very soon), and moderating Facebook pages, promoting, applying for 9-5 jobs, taking care of my very co-dependent Bruiser dog, and battling the flu and depression. Pretty busy indeed. I have been unable to find one of my old notebooks to get all of that work posted here digitally before it is lost forever; but the search continues. I know it can’t be very many places, so it has to be safe. It just proves to be elusive and wants to be well hidden for now.

image

Walking Bruiser, we came across a very unfriendly gato. Bruiser was raised with cats and consistently thinks they all will be friendly and want to play. Most cats are, well cat sized. He is not.

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Bruiser Chilling

So the cat decides that Bruiser is going to attempt to eat him, Bruiser wants to kiss and make up, cat shackles up. Swat on the nose with perfunctorily hissing and menacing appearance. Bruiser whimpers in defeat and off to the next bush to pee on. I feel for him. It isn’t easy being perceived a menace when you aren’t. It isn’t easy being stereotyped because of your breed, or appearance. Too many are oh so quick to judge, but get all pissed when they are judged in return. At least animals have the decency to let bygones be bygones and quickly move to the next order of business without remorse, regret, or any grudges.

In closing, for now; please support the arts. Show some love to the kind hard working creatives in your life or circles of life. Stop by the Fallen Comics website and even look them up on Facebook. I know this blog is a drop in the ocean of blogs in the platitudes of creative iconoclasts and trendsetters, free thinkers and boat rockers. Show some love by spreading the word. Sign up your email if you choose. ( I don’t like to spam people by sending them out by surprise. If you take the step to sign up, then I never forced you. ) But share, share, share. Don’t let a gato smack you on the nose…but if one does, walk away with humility and dignity, and move to the next enterprise with your spirit intact. 🙂 ~H.O.o.S.

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The Nautilus [draft 3.4]

Work in Progress
https://www.evernote.com/shard/s115//sh/1e7e9b6b-8c9b-45c7-a966-6b503e439c9f/8ff87f6a17563c58949a1553e6b78535

(My phone won’t let me copy and paste the link properly)

The above link points to a short story that I have worked on for the CyberKnights R.P.G. forums. CyberKnights RPG is a open Beta Android RPG game reminiscent of ShadowRun for the Genesis/SNES and earlier game types. It is still being currently worked on and updated frequently. I highly recommend the game for a few reasons. A) There are no permissions for the .apk download. B) The game is full of great CyberPunk gameplay C) While it isn’t the prettiest game you will find on your Android device it is massively deep. D) as it is Open Beta, it is still being worked on continuously. E) The forums will provide a wealth of information and help F) The Developers are on the forums and will not only answer you, but may take your suggestions and add them to the game. G) A storyline is being developed as you read this. CyberPunk is one of my biggest literary weaknesses. Call it our current race towards Futurism and constant need to be connected. FYI, there is a Necromancer movie coming soon. We can all thank Gibson, and the many other CyberPunk writers before me for laying down the foundation…and while many thought that CP (not to be confused with child porn) was dead, the new social networking / smartphone /connectivity issues we are all dealing with presently have and will bring about a resurgence for CyberPunk. …Mark my words… As for The Nautilus, please leave a comment or two. It seems the story has gotten away from me lately, and while this is a draft, it needs to be reigned in to short story length and breadth or expanded to novella standards.

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