Friday, June 14, 2019

B/X Mars preview and update

The book is still in DRTPG’s process.
I will offer the following
Adult content version- premium HC (is says color, but it will be black and white) Standard soft cover.
Rated T version: regular soft cover
And pdfs
I can’t say when, but soon.

The rated t-version will have altered and substituted art work.
There are no sexual situations in either version.
The adult version has quite a bit of full frontal nudity.
I have no regrets.

Here’s a faction:
The Nuphal, large sentient pachyderms, operating as a collective of clans, control overland trade throughout Zurzura and beyond

Place of Power The marketplace. 

The Shape of Things If it is a staple of life and cannot be produced within Xards or one of the other settlements it comes to the Dry Sea via nuphal caravan. Famed for delivering goods intact and in a timely manner, the nuphal clan caravans boast an excellent reputation. 
The Herd represents a key link in the highly illegal flesh trade. In fact, the Invisible Hand considers the nuphal caravans the only sensible way to transport slaves. Each clan runs a caravan. Currently, ten clans, each linked to the others through a weak form of ritualized telepathy, walk the sands of Mars. Each caravan follows the same unmarked route, known as the Golden Road at unevenly spaced intervals; a new caravan arrives in Xards without warning a month or two after the departure of the last. But occasionally a year or more will pass between visits.Individual nuphal act as caravan organizers, porters and guards. 
Additionally, the clans employ humanoid agents to further their ends within settlements and mercenaries to guard their expeditions. Despite the Herd’s use of sell swords, nuphal warriors know few rivals in their capacity for destruction, and, although rare, there are powerful Warp adepts among the ranks of the clans.

Goals To buy and sell whatever there is to buy and sell
Whatever there is to buy and sell.

Demeanor Herd markets and caravans entice with goods and revelry, and for most provide nothing but a good time. But some who drink and dance amongst the nuphal vanish into their midst, never to be seen again. 

Monday, June 3, 2019

What is best in life?

Finishing things is pretty cool
B/x mars is currently in its actual final stages. DTRPG went down on whatever day I tried to upload this thing, but didn’t see fit to email anyone until later I guess. I spent a day trying to figure out what was wrong with my pdf. @#$%*&, as spider-Man might say.
Now we wait. Waiting is not amongst the best things in life- unless you are unsupervised and have intoxicants.

Starting things is great too. With Mars done I’m returning to Cosmic Tales. Although I guess that’s finishing something too. It’s weird to use the other f-word around here so much.
I’m pretty excited about this. I’m working from enlarged photo copies of my roughs (Email if you want more detail) and it’s lovely. I got the idea from Erik Larsen.
My goals here are

Anyway, if you have anything you’d like to talk about now is the time to hit the comments. In a month I’m going to be building my cult of personality. It’s going to be all yes men all the time. Yes!


I’m wearing something slinky and waiting to hear from you- don’t worry though. i’m always unsupervised and I always have intoxicants. “Can’t” is for losers, though, so I like to call them INTOXICANS.
Now, I’m going to put in a floor, which also requires intoxicans.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


I’m waiting on proofs.
Here’s something for you to look at with longing.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Honor of the Dwarves

With Mars complete it’s time to move on.
Here is the first map for my next project,  a vanilla setting book titled  “Honor of the Dwarves”

I’m not sure about this map; it may be destined for the trash.

Anyway, it’s going tot take awhile. I have two months of silent running art practice and study time coming up. I gotta level up before I lose my shit.

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Goshdarn Batman

Golden Age/ Bill finger era Batman was a revelation. I’ve probably read close to 1000 pages of this stuff in the last week or two. It’s gritty; it’s fun; Batman and robin solve mysteries;  escape deathtraps share a bedroom (it was the Depression, nobody had their own room) and all kinds of other shit.

I have also decided that an unwillingness to directly kill other people in masks (the only other people they acknowledge as people) is a fairly frequent, although far from universal, component of the overall super villain profile. In this regard it is not unlike leaving clues to indicate your next crime. Below we have an example of both.
Anyway, these stories are miracles of compression, and, imo, a good example of how to put a comic together if you’re looking to do such a thing.  Also when it is at its best (when Bob Kane isn’t drawing it) I love the art style.
There are thousands and thousands of pages of this stuff. Hoopla has a good chunk of it.
Highly recommended.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Get it done

Getting it done. 
As I close on Mars, my first major RPG product, and with the relatively recent release of Cosmic Tales #1, I have a thing or two to say about getting it done. 

Okay, first things first. You need to decide on an art budget right away. Start saving that money up. 
That’s commitment. Relying on clip art or hoping to provide “exposure” for an artist isn’t going to do it. Maybe you have another way to generate commitment. Use that, but you still need to budget for art and start saving that money. (Just to be clear as far as my motivations go here, I am not currently accepting commissions). 

Yeah, that’s easy for me to say. If I had to pay for BX Mars art we’d be over 4k at this point- if I lowballed it. You’re not really in competition with people who can do both, however, there are only a few of us in the scene- and I’m not even there yet.  

That’s out of the way, except for the part where you pay a guy and he doesn’t deliver. That one goes both ways. Find out who delivers and who doesn’t. Find out who pays up and who does not 

Research is also commitment. 

We have now successfully placed one horse in front of the carriage. 


First Draft:
You can make an outline or not at the beginning. It won’t mater later. I suggest making an outline between your first and second drafts.

You need to write your first draft from end to end without going back and revising. It doesn’t matter if it’s garbage. It is a natural resource. Think of your first draft as mining the ore. Subsequent drafts draw out the METAL!

Never go back mid draft, no matter how fundamental the change. Make a note- and proceed from there as if you have already made the change. Fix it on your next pass. Frequently- you will want something very different by the time you make your next pass. Any time spent going back is time waisted. Get to the end; go back to the beginning. Rinse and repeat until you cry. Then do it some more. If you think you can do it all in one, tell me about it; I can always use a good chuckle.

Alternately, you can engage of an endless loops of pointless revision within the incomplete first draft. You’ll never finish this way. How can you finish something if you don’t get to the end? You fucking can’t. Have you been sailing for years and never seem to get any closer to the shore? That’s because you’re doing it wrong. 

That’s out second horse. Sometimes, however, it’s also the elephant in the room. 


Two Sentences.
You need to write a thing about a thing, but the well is dry. Write two sentences. Come back on your next draft. The second you put those ideas down they start to cook. Even if they are barely ideas. Expand and refine on your next pass. This is especially useful for list items like spells, monsters. or geographic details. 

Honestly, I suggest following the two sentence rule from end to end on your first draft. When you’re done, you’ll have an outline. Won’t that be swell? 

That’s our third horse. 

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t start planning your KS or fucking around with layout until you have a complete document. I made the mistake of doing the latter. The dwarf kick starter guy did the former. I lost some time. He lost his house. Be careful! And for the love of god, if you can afford it, find some poor bastard to do your layout. 

Four horses. 
You can get ready to roll. 

Additional advice. GTFO social media. Checking to see if someone has upvoted your clever comment 5000 times a day isn’t going to get you there. 
You need a strategy for this. I turn off the wifi, or leave my tablet on another floor of the house. I keep books and comics near where I work on my stuff, so if I need a distraction I don’t drift into  e-fugue. 

Limit how much you share along the way. Previews and such often provide some necessary affirmation. But in the long term, short term gratification is an icky self-indulgent distraction. Further, showing incomplete content, especially if it hasn’t gone through drafts, makes your abilities look like less than they are. 


Friday, April 26, 2019

Initial impressions- the Six Million dollar Man

Six Million Dollar Man
Initial Impressions

Every week or as often as I can manage it, I’m going to blog about Steve Austin, the Six Million Dollar Man (SMDM). I’m going to take a look at the stories; some of the actors that show up; discuss the social relevance of the show- and some of the surprising differences between TV then and now.  
The most important and shocking is that the show is not dumbed down even a little. Yeah that’s right, a 70’s show aimed at ten year olds asks more from you than GOT or even the Expanse. Way more. 

One of the things that struck me immediately as I watched an assortment of episodes scattered throughout the series, were the similarities between Steve’s arrangement with the OSI and the third Doctor’s arrangement with UNIT. 

However, in contrast to Doctor Who and most other science fiction franchises; SMDM skews more towards science fiction than it does science fantasy. Star Trek and Dr who level technobabble are in surprisingly short supply- really they’re absent altogether. 

What you can expect: Discussions of things like planetary conditions on Venus; cogent explanations of plate tectonics; speculation on robotics and space flight-  and not to mention the protagonist himself: Steve is a science fictional artifact, a fantasy projection of what prosthetics might someday be able to do- and in many cases, today, can. The original pilot was made in conjunction with a UC prosthetic research institute. 

The first season of the show is comprised of three television movies; each of the movies is self-contained, but also plays into a combined story. The second two movies are more espionage oriented and the third is the best of the three. The first pilot is a slow burn- I had expectations of action when I went in and was disappointed. I watched it again (i don’t know ) why, and I really enjoyed it.  
I found it absolutely impossible to dislike Steve. i want him to come over for dinner and bong hits. 

I’ll talk about the first of these movies next week.

We have the technology, if you’d like to watch along. The entire series is available to stream for free  NBC dot com or, alternately, the DVD’s are really cheap.