“Make 100” 2023 – Limited Edition Bookmarks

As you’ll see in the sidebar, I’ve launched a Kickstarter project to make a limited-edition set of Bookmark HP RPG bookmarks, hole-punched for a ribbon or chain. At the moment, it’s been live for about 10 hours and is 71% funded, with 53 of the 100 sets pledged.

As with most things nowadays, I launched it on a whim. Which I have to admit is a refreshing situation after all the years of killer deadlines. Focal seizure management now means going with the flow, chasing squirrels, being able to drop things to help with work around the farm.

Our House on Rupert Court, and Other Horrors,
on DriveThruRPG
“Make 100” is an annual Kickstarter promotion in January, and I barely got this project in under the wire, not having planned one at all. But in the afterglow of having recently completed a D13 RPG adventure anthology, I found myself mulling promotional “Make 100” emails that have come in over the month. These short little KS projects are low-stress and fun, another opportunity to interact with the tabletop hobby community from out here in the boonies. It’s how the premium edition of the original D13 RPG came about, for example.

Speaking of that D13 adventure anthology, it’s a collection of three unforgiving 10-page adventures: “Our House on Rupert Court,” in a 1950’s suburban community; “Ice Road Terror,” involving the early history of the Canadian Ice Road phenomenon; and “Ghan in the Night,” a luxury train trip through the Australian Outback.

Next up, a sword and sorcery sourcebookmark for the BNHP line, in time for Gary Con. Followed by a space opera setting, and then a mini-deck of 21 adventure cards for all the BNHP settings.

That’s a summation of the first few months’ plan for 2023. I’m having fun. Here’s hoping you are too!

Peppermint Has a Bite!

Peppermint movie poster

We all know the old trope: “When bad guys killed his family, he set out for revenge!”

Except in this case the “he” is “she”; Jennifer Garner plays the lead; and the plot is more multifaceted than you might expect.

Don’t get me wrong. This is absolutely a formulaic, violent, bloody shoot-em-up. But I enjoyed every minute.

Garner’s presence, in this plot, puts Stallone to shame. Only Jason Statham or Matt Damon could have played the role as engagingly. Maybe Liam Neeson. (Note that the director did Taken.) Possibly Eastwood or Bronson in their prime—assuming their script was this well written.

Time for me to go looking for more Garner films in this vein.

GM-Less Cthulhu et al

Cover images of Bookmark Cthulhu with Cut Up Solo Lovecraftian Dialogues and Cut Up Solo Case of Charles Dexter Ward You may have seen my mention of the “Cut Up Solo” oracle series by Parts Per Million. Each oracle is an automated spreadsheet of 5-word snippets from a public domain novel (such as Dracula) or series (John Carter of Mars, for example). It outputs a group of four 5-word snippets with each press of F9, and you browse the list to see what role-play scene it suggests to you.

It’s a great spur not only for solo play, but also GM-less group play. My old high school buddy Jim Cotton and I have adventured together on Mars, for example, and had great times with it. That was even the genesis of the mass battle rules on the Game Host’s Guidebookmark of the Bookmark HP RPG.

So you can imagine how happy I am to announce that PPM and I have launched a Cut Up Solo Lovecraft/Bookmark Cthulhu bundle on DriveThruRPG!

(A Dracula bundle is not far behind.)

A Post-Twitter Post Post

Photo by Josie Weiss on Unsplash (bird deleted)

As Twitter (a) implodes under Musk’s whimsy, or (b) morphs into a far-right tool—muting journalists and progressives—or (c) both, I’ve been exploring other social media options, one of which is Post.news.

Earlier, in my Mastodon post, I mentioned being unenthused about digging into Post, because Mastodon has gained my attention more, and WordPress can integrally connect with Mastodon.

In retrospect, that laziness on my part was a shame, given that my Post account was approved early, while others still await approval. (To be honest, more “shameful” than “a shame.”) But I’ll return to that approval process in a bit.

Digging into Mastodon meant learning strategies for connecting with friends from other places, including Twitter. In the process, I discovered that many of the people I followed on Twitter, especially public figures, were moving to Post or setting up a second account there. Locating them was easy with the Twitter search phrase “post.news filter:follows.” (Thank you, Post user “Becca has ADHD” for sharing that!)

Enough pre(r)amble. Let’s talk about Post itself.

I’ll be keeping accounts on both Mastodon and Post. See “Tribes of Mastodon” for why there. In Post’s case, the reasons are less clear in my mind, but Post feels different.

Consider its purpose statement, “A Social Platform for Real People, Real News, and Civil Conversations.” A statement somewhat similar to Musk’s original stated aim to make Twitter “the de facto public town square.” Which he has since replaced with a mission statement as the “most respected advertising platform in the world.” I say “replaced,” because I don’t believe the two can coexist. Allow me a moment to compare those three aims.

As grammatically trivial as it might seem, the conceptual difference between “a” and “the” is enormous, especially “the de facto.” The article “a” is social, allowing alternatives. “The” is definitive, exclusive. The world doesn’t need a de facto social media any more than it needs a de facto language, a de facto government, or (in my line of work) de facto role-playing rules. (I’ll leave that last for a future post.)

“Real people, real news, and civil conversations.” In my experience so far on Post, all three are accurate. What especially stands out most for me is the news, though that may be a result of the types of people I’m following. Real people, yes, because each application is curated. Civil conversations, again yes, because that’s clearly stated from when you join, and comments are moderated.

Post strikes me as more sedate than other social media (in the Oxford Languages’ sense of “calm, dignified, and unhurried”). I’m encountering less frivolity. Not less friendliness, but in nowise chatter. It feels more like blogging, in part because the amount of formatting possible in each post is similar to the controls here on this WordPress site of mine.

Post is the very opposite of Hive. In an earlier post I likened Mastodon to a party spread through the many rooms of a mansion. In terms of that metaphor, I’d say Hive is a rave, with technological fires put out as they crop up. And Post might be thought of as preparation for a soirée.

I like raves, but you kinda gotta swim in the noise, without much hope for conversation, and sometimes the jostling hurts.

More casual parties in a multi-chambered estate are pleasant, too, though the topics are distinctly disparate, and I’m trying to track more than one.

And I’m not yet certain what this soirée is all about. The tech is being rolled out slowly, making sure each thing works as it’s supposed to, including the human interaction. But it’s fun to watch the preparations and decide which vantage point might best suit me.

But let me emphasize, these impressions are only that: impressions. Of a fellow dipping his toes into each new venue as real-life allows. Over the past many weeks, Chez Smith and Hofpar have gone through two bouts of covid, a wellhouse fire, frozen pipes, and my own transition through new focal seizure meds; and in the duration of all that, I’ve also been busy continuing to design and publish games. So this blog post is the comments of a preoccupied generalist, while others are enjoying the deeper dive of a specialist in one service or another. I’m just musing. YMMV.