How RPGs are Illustrated

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesHow RPGs are Made

Introduction

I recently hired a new disabled illustrator to join the Survival of the Able team. Like I did when hiring an editor, I gave them a sample design to illustrate for me to see if they were a good fit. Here’s the final result:

Agnus swings a torch at a zombie.

This illustration depicts Agnus, one of the iconic characters from the book, fighting a zombie. It didn’t start out looking like this, though. In fact, we went through a few rounds of sketches and edits before seeing the final product. Before I could do that though, I had to find an artist for the job.

Looking for Illustrator

Representation is important to me, and that’s especially true for Survival of the Able. I wanted to make … Continue reading

How RPGs are Edited

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the seriesHow RPGs are Made

I have been hard at work preparing for the Survival of the Able Kickstarter, with a tentative mid-October 2019 launch. That means preparing and planning the campaign, but it also means hiring artists, editors, and layout professionals to help finish the book.

Since Survival of the Able is all about representing people with disabilities, it’s important to me to hire a diverse team. I put out the call to Twitter to find a disabled editor, and within hours was talking to someone who wanted to help.

Side note: Before working with a new team member, I like to order some sample work to see if they’re a good fit. It’s important not to ask for work on spec–that is, it’s important not to ask for someone to give you a sample of any work without paying them for it. If they don’t work out then you’re out a little money, … Continue reading

New Art for Survival of the Able

Four weary travelers huddle around a campfire, oblivious to the zombies lurking in the nearby shadows. Two of them discuss food using sign language.

 

This is the first art for Survival of the Able, illustrated by the talented Amy Ashbaugh.

If you have read the First Draft or seen the character sheets (both of which you can download here), you may recognize the characters in the image. Johanna, Vasco, Agnus, and Gerardus are all here, along with some unwanted (and unsuspected) guests. They aren’t seasoned adventures who have learned to set up regimented watch schedules and sleep in shifts; these are just ordinary folks who have been thrust into the wilderness and forced to learn how to survive.

Pretty soon I’ll be wrapping up the … Continue reading

Psi-punk SRD Now Available

Have you ever heard the saying “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of done?” Well, despite being familiar with that wisdom, I let it happen.

More than a year ago, I started collaborating with the Open Gaming Network to bring you a Psi-punk SRD. While it has technically been available for roughly an entire year, I held off talking about it and sharing it because it was still in a rough format. As it turns out, there was a lot of work involved with preparing the System Reference Document and converting it to HTML.

Although the state of the website is still less than perfect, I realized I have held off too long in sharing it with everyone. It’s functional. It’s good enough. It’s not perfect. That’s okay.

As an added bonus, I added the Fudge and Fantasy Fudge … Continue reading

New Post on Fudge Genie Website

I recently wrote an article for Fudge Genie about using a re-roll mechanic in the Fudge system. You can read that post here.

If you’re not familiar with Fudge Genie, it’s a spiritual successor to an old website called Fudge Fafctor. Now defunct, Fudge Factor was a great place to find all sorts of tips, tricks, and tweaks for written by people who love the Fudge RPG system. Some of the game mechanics in Psi-punk, including the way we handled reloading firearms, were inspired by articles from Fudge Factor.

Now that Fudge Factor is just an archive, Fudge Genie has stepped up to take its place. My article is only the third to be posted to the site, but hopefully it will pick up steam and eventually become home to some great Fudge RPG discussion.

If you’re a … Continue reading

Review: Power Outage RPG

Power Outage Cover

Game Info

Publisher: Go Nerdy

Writing: Bebarce El-Tayib

Year Published: 2019

Pages: 190

Visit the Power Outage page on RPGGeek.

Introduction

There are a lot of kid-friendly RPGs on the market. Just check out this list of them on RPGGeek. To my knowledge, however, there is only one RPG designed specifically for kids which also was designed as a guide for parents and educators of children with disabilities. That honorable distinguishment goes to Power Outage, a new game by Bebarce El-Tayib.

Naturally, when If irst heard about this game I knew I had to get my hands on it. I needed to see what others were doing in terms of accessible games, and the promise of a super hero themed RPG designed to teach youngsters and parents … Continue reading

Survival of the Able Beta

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the seriesSurvival of the Able Updates

I recently finished the layout on the Survival of the Able beta. The content is almost identical to the First Draft I posted about previously, but this time it is in an easier-to-read, easier-to-navigate PDF.

Currently I am looking for beta readers and playtesters to give it a look and provide feedback. For anyone who can offer their time, I am offering:

  • Your name in the Special Thanks section of the final book
  • A complimentary PDF copy of the final book
  • $10 credit toward Accessible Games products on DTRPG if you read and provide feedback
  • $20 credit instead if you are able to playtest the game and provide feedback

I need to capture email addresses so I know who to send appropriate coupon codes to, so I’m not placing an open download link here. If you are interested in beta reading or playtesting the game, please use the … Continue reading

Survival of the Able Glossary

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the seriesSurvival of the Able Updates

Introduction

I recently added a glossary to the Survival of the Able manuscript. This wasn’t included in the first draft, but I feel it adds a lot to the overall readability of a book so I decided to include it even for the ashcan.

This glossary offers a broad overview of what you can expect to find in terms of game mechanics, so it makes a great overview. It is posted here so you can take a quick peak for yourself.

One thing to note: This game shares a lot of terms with Fudge and Fate Core, but it doesn’t use those systems directly. You may be familiar with Fate Points, for example, but they dont’ work identically to the same mechanic in Fate Core. They’re similar enough that I thought using the same name would help people tie the concepts together … Continue reading

Survival of the Able First Draft Complete

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the seriesSurvival of the Able Updates

I first started thinking about Survival of the Able about four years ago. Since then, progress on the project has been slow going thanks to some major life events, but I finally set a goal to have a preview out by GenCon so I have been focused lately on delivering that.

Now I am proud to say that the first draft of the game’s manuscript is complete. From here, I’ll read through it a couple times and make sure there isn’t anything else that must be included in the GenCon preview, then it’ll be on to layout so I can prep an ashcan edition.

What’s an ashcan, you ask?

An ashcan is a beta copy of sorts. A simple book without all the artistry and pagentry of a complete release. The ashcan will be distributed in hopes of building some recognition and gaining some feedback before I finalize the book.

You … Continue reading

Having a Learning Disability and Teaching Games

Learning Disabled and Teaching Tabletop Games is a great article written by James Cole and featured on The Geeky Gimp. IN the article, James talks about his gift of being a great board game teacher and how his experience with having a learning disability has shaped that skill.

I particularly like how James talks about different types of learners, including visual, aural, and kinesthetic learners. Like James, I have taken a few courses on adult learning theory and picked up a lot of useful information about how to work with people who have various learning styles and needs.

James also adds some great points about knowing your audience, teaching to their level, and picking the right game for the right group.

Whether or not you have a disability, there’s a lot of great information in this article about how to teach tabletop games to new players. I recommend … Continue reading