Cross-post from the newly-live Brittanis.com website.
Cross-post from the newly-live Brittanis.com website.
Ahh, the shoe is on the other foot and the whining and nerdrage from the 4E fanboys can be heard throughout the internets. Thing is, if they’d actually READ the rules, they’d realize that 4E is all over the place in there.
So here is what I see: a conversation about 5E comes up, and before you can count to 20 (seconds or posts, depending on your conversational medium), somebody who loves 4E and only 4E pipes up about how their version of the game is getting screwed. They complain that all the 4E elements of the game are going away, and they have no love from the designers. Usually here is where some comment about “4E is going to the way of the dodo in favor of pandering to crusty old grey-haired grognards who whined all the way through the last edition” comes up.
I have a couple things to say to these kinds of folk:
2) YOU ARE WRONG. If you’d actually stop and take a look at the playtest rules, you’ll see 4E all over the place in there.
And there is a lot more, but really– the bones of 4E are in there, just as much as 1E, AD&D, and 3.X are in there. As far as I am concerned, it’s a remarkably successful mashup.
And one more thing: THIS IS A PLAYTEST. If you’re so pissed off that you feel 4E isn’t being represented, make sure you say so in the playtest feedback AND DO SO IN AN INTELLIGENT, CIVILIZED MANNER.
I guarantee you that, “5E iz teh suxxors! I’m never giving my money to Wizards ever again!”— whilst incredibly ironic to those of us who have been around for more than 1 edition — won’t get you anything, and won’t make anyone listen to what you have to say. Make your case in concise language in the playtest feedback forms, and use specific examples. That’s why it’s a playtest— so everyone can speak up and get their opinion heard. But if you come across as a douchebag (like many of the 3.X fans did at the beginning of 4E… never forget that this is a cycle, folks), you comments will have about as much weight as those of a douchebag should.
Which is to say none.
(oh, and if this is your first time to my blog and you’re feeling inclined to write a flame about how I’m just a grognard and I hate 4E, I suggest you read through my backlog of posts before you prove yourself to be exactly the kind of asshat I’m talking about in the post above. I *WILL* mock your stupidity.)
So if you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve got a bit of a Semi-Secret Project going on. Once the website is up and running, I’ll go full-on public with it, but for now, I’m still putting the pieces together slowly, one at a time. One of the pieces of that plan happened today, and I’m going to share it with you.
Part of what I’m working on is a Small Business, tentatively named Lionheart… something. Might end being Lionheart Crafts, or Lionheart Smithy, or… any number of other ideas, but one of the main things I want to be offering is custom crafts made for gamer type folk, and in order to do that I have to learn how to mold, cast and sculpt stuff in order to facilitate that endeavor. Which, while being deployed to Afghanistan, is a bit of a challenge. I have decided to work on the skills and knowledge necessary for the work while I’m here, in my free time. That way I’m ahead of the curve when I get home stateside and can jump into production…that’s the plan, anyway.
So today– Memorial Day Monday which also happens to be my 32nd Birthday, I decided to really get started on that project. The first thing I have to learn how to do is make a silicone mold of an item. I am, at heart, an uber-geek, so I figured a tower of dice would be really appropriate. For this project, I’m using the Smooth-On Starter Kit I acquired from The Engineer Guy— I’ve got something like 50 emails back and forth with their customer Service department making sure all of this would work getting shipped to A-stan, etc. Great people.
Next step is to put a light coat of Mold Release (to keep the silicone from sticking to the dice) on the dice tower and let it dry.
Next gets to the cool part– the liquid silicone. Chemically, the silicone that will eventually make up the mold is a two-part equation, in this case measured by volume: 1 unit of Part A (blue) and 1 unit of part B (pink) are measured out into separate cups. As soon as they are combined, the chemical reaction starts, so it pays to measure first and pour once (to steal a carpenter’s adage.)
After the component materials are measured, you pour them into a single mixing container together and then stir…
And then continue mixing for three minutes. It seems like FOREVER, but when you stop having steaks of individual pink and blue in the liquid and have a uniform lavender color, you’re doing it right.
Once the components start mixing, you’ve got about 30 minutes of working time before the silicone begins to really set up. So, it’s pouring time!!
Pour into the lowest part of the mold. This lets bubbles surface easier. With a slightly conical coffee cup as a mold box, this wasn’t really an option for me, so I just did the best I could. This is a Proof of Concept, after all. I’m not all that concerned with getting it “perfect” yet.
More pouring… also, showing off my tattoos from Done-Rite Tattoos in Kansas City. Ben there is an AMAZING artist, and his work on my arms is almost a year old but looks BRAND new. The sword handle is perfectly straight when my arm isn’t bent.
Now… we wait. For 16 hours, for the silicone to solidify and cure. So tomorrow morning, I’m going to see how well I followed the directions, and then hopefully pour some liquid resin epoxy into the mold and make a replica dice tower!
The whole process outlined in these pictures took me less than 30 minutes. Once I have practice, I can see it taking less than 10 minutes.
(web design courtesy of Christopher B. Nelson, the best money I’ve spent yet on the Brittanis project. In all seriousness, if you’re looking for AMAZING-quality web design and equally impressive customer service, get ahold of this guy.)
So that is a sneak peek of what I’ve been working on the last couple months. More to come in the next few weeks!
I’m looking for artists and/or costume designers for a Live-Action RPG rulebook, capable of designing multiple looks for both male and female characters of various races as detailed in the rulebook.
Looking for theater-style costume designs like the ones below– not too detailed, but enough to let potential players get a feel and style for the various races, ethnic groups and factions of the game world.
If interested, please send samples of your work and/or portfilio links as well as price rates to email@example.com.
Thanks, and feel free to pass this around to anyone you might think interested!
I really, really mean that. The game you play, regardless of what you might think or what delusions of grandeur you might have, is NOT ABOUT YOU. Suck it up.
This post inspired by:
In philosophy, agency is the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose those choices on the world. It’s my belief that in our everyday lives, humans in modern society feel an absence of agency. Most of our capacity for meaningful choice is illusory; our daily lives are routine, and our scope of choice limited by lack of opportunity or resources. Very few people really can “change the world” in even a small way. Almost all of us lock on to meaningless decisions, such as what football team to support, or what color to dye our hair, as a means of expressing our need for agency. Unfortunately, intelligent people – the sort most likely to enjoy an RPG – feel the lack of agency far more poignantly than most, and often experience existential depression as a result. If you’ve either felt, or know someone who has felt, existential depression, this will probably make sense to you.
Regardless of what fabulously railroady plot you have designed and scheduled, it’s the player’s right and honor to screw it the hell up. Period, end of conversation.
Even if the players have knowingly signed on for an inherently structured series of events like an Adventure Path, it’s still not the GM’s job to force the players onto a particular track. It’s our job to facilitate the game they want to play; it’s our job as GMs to work with the players BEFORE THE GAME STARTS so that we are running a game we will have fun running as well. But once the game begins, it’s all about them– it *has* to be, or the time you spend at the table chucking dice with your friends is wasted. If the choices their characters make have no way to change the story, then you’re not roleplaying– the players are merely acting out your pre-written story.
The real glory and magic of RPGs happens in the moment when you see the player’s eyes light up when they realize that a choice they made has MATTERED– seeing the results of the village they saved from rampaging goblins, watching the BBEG get taken down a notch (before the final confrontation), or just interacting with an NPC they know and care about– all of those moments happen specifically because the players made a choice, and that choice changed the world. It means you allow your players to fail, and fail HARD if that’s the way it goes. Whether from a bad dice roll or a poorly-made choice, the consequences of the characters actions MUST matter, which means that we as GMs must put our egos on the shelf as soon as we sit down to play.
We are here to facilitate THEM. Without them, we are lonely nerds reading books about the fun we could be having. The game isn’t about the GM, it’s about the players. Remember that first and always. Your game will be better for it.
Most roleplayers are SMART, too. They’ll figure it out with a quickness if you’re bamboozling them.
Looking for folks who can work to a client’s specifications in a professional, timely manner. I’ve been trying to contact folks individually, and I’ve been flaked out on three times already.
I am getting ready to go into full production mode on a project I am working on and will need:
So… if you’re in one of those fields looking for some freelance work, put your contact info in the comments. Please have a working professional portfolio with examples of your work ready when you supply contact info. Thanks!
Also– if you’re reading this and have a recommendation for someone you have worked with before, please let me know. I’m all about word of mouth marketing.