• Be Sonnetary!

    Why buy flowers that fade?
    A sonnet lasts forever!
  • Brief Bio

    Lester Smith is a 2-term past president of the WFOP, a 4-time Origins-winning game designer, and a former JavaScript teacher for the HWG. He works days as a Writer/Technologist for the educational publishing house Sebranek Inc, nights and weekends as president of Popcorn Press.

  • Meta

  • Current Project:

  • Fencing Poker Deck

  • Other Card Games…

    Monster Con card game
    Invasion of the Saucer People card game
    Wolf Man's Curse card game
  • Suggested Reading

  • Undying Games

    Dark Conspiracy roleplaying game
    now by 3Hombres
    Dragon Dice game
    now by SFR Inc.
  • Cons I’m Attending

  • Games

    A pair of old six-sided diceIn the fall of 1984, during a layoff from General Electric, I sold a “capsule review” to Space Gamer magazine. A month later they accepted my “Mind Duel” board game. Within a year, I was working full-time as a designer and editor for GDW, then TSR, with a bit of freelance for FASA, West End, and Flying Buffalo. While I now work days in educational publishing, the game-design bug continues to bite.
    Photo by sean_hicken

    Elder Sign: Omens – Review

    Lester Smith : June 28, 2014 7:19 pm : Announcements, Game Design, Miscellany, Review
    Elder Sign: Omens - Android screen shot

    Elder Sign: Omens – Android Apps on Google Play.

    w00t! I just beat Ithaqua using Jenny Barnes alone, and scored 6,920 points to boot! This completes my self-appointed “Jenny Barnes Alone Against the Mythos” adventure series—not exactly a recommended play style, though enjoyable. (You’re better off with a complete cast of four adventurers, of course.)

    But I’m getting ahead of myself.

    If you’re not familiar with Fantasy Flight’s Elder Sign: Omens app, here’s a quick overview. The app is based on the Elder Sign board game of Lovecraftian horror, which involves bunches of cards (characters, mythos monsters, locations, items, allies, and such), nine specialty dice (with symbols for investigation—1-, 2-, 3-, and in some cases 4-point—lore, peril, and terror, with one special “wild card” symbol), and a couple zillion counters for health, sanity, clues, characters (to mark their location), and secondary monsters. Oh, and a snap-together clock face with plastic hands you move to keep track of time, because something bad usually happens at midnight.
    more »

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    Chambers & Chimaeras* in Time for Nexus!

    Lester Smith : June 17, 2014 8:54 pm : Announcements, Game Design, Popcorn Press

    Chambers & Chimaeras*In preparation for this weekend’s Nexus Game Fair, I’ve been working a bit lately on the “Chambers & Chimaeras*TM” setting of the CORE RPG.

    In particular, the game’s combat rules had to be made safe for Saturday morning TV. So weapons do no physical damage to living targets. They only “Awe.”

    Also, given that heroes in cartoons tend to run around bare-chested, while a villain’s minions wear full plate mail, I’ve made armor a skill inversely related to your rating with it. The less armor, the more effective.

    Should be fun!

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    I REALLY want this to succeed!

    Lester Smith : June 15, 2014 9:51 am : Announcements, Game Design, Review

    The more I’ve been running CORE RPG playtests, the more I’ve been wishing for a portable map and counters app. This Kickstarter project looks like just the thing! (And the guys building it are really nice.)

    So please help boost the signal. Get the word out to all your friends?

    That’s really all I’m asking for Father’s Day this year. :-)

    —Les

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