Tuesday, January 1, 2019

TAG Sessions: 2018 in review

Looking back at 2018, productivity wasn't as good as I had hoped. Despite giving my attentions to writing for the year, I sadly had to brave through certain challenges that suggest maybe I need to still make a few more adjustments.

The year opened with Prince Valiant (link) being released and me being part of the  Prince Valiant : Episode book! (link)

I still struggle to accept the fact that I was in a book which included luminaries such as Justin Achilli, John Wick, and more.

Then there was the invitation to be part of CONclave at iAcademy.

It was nice being able to share knowledge about game mastering once more. Despite reports to the contrary, I haven't turned my back on the local scene to focus on my writing. But I guess that's the more acceptable narrative for some, simply because it implies I'm selfish enough to keep knowledge to myself. Truth of the matter remains, I'm more than happy to participate and share knowledge when given the invitation to do so.

Was also very grateful at Greasy Snitches (link) inviting me to be part of their victory celebrations afterwards. I remember going to this alone (my partner was out of the country) and being terrified of coming face-to-face with certain people. Thankfully, the night went well actually and it felt nice to be part of the community again.

There was some love in the form of media nods.

The first being a mention as one of the people who have been influential in shaping the local gaming industry (which is awesome given I'm not one of those ultra connected or talented folks out there).

The second mentioned my game and Project Tadhana's games as ways to explore the Filipino and Asian experience. Special congratulations to Nathan Briones whose hard work and sheer talent can be seen in every single page.  You truly uplift your team to new heights and create inspiring work!
Read this one here: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/679171/2-tabletop-rpgs-that-explore-the-filipino-and-asian-experience/story/

I also tried dipping a bit into fiction writing.
Thanks to the Community Creators options offered by the Storyteller's Vault, I wrote so far two mini novels for Vampire the Masquerade and one for Exalted.

Red Sickening Lights, Manila (link) and Blood Red Pearls (link) are Vampire the Masquerade stories set in the Philippines. Red Sickening Lights, Manila is the first book of the Reconquista saga, a story that explores the Camarilla’s attempt to regain control of the Philippines, a Ventrue Justicar’s search for an old enemy, and the unexpected bonds that form between two people. It is an insidious tale of revenge, obsession, and love.

I'm pretty proud of these, despite the fact they're probably just okay for most fiction readers. If there's more response to the books, I just might release a Manila by Night setting book based on these stories for others to enjoy too.

The reception wasn't as huge, but at least I was happy to see there were some readers. The vampire stories were even the reading material for a Vampire RPG group called the DSC Tabletop Gaming Club.

Sid's Real Life (link) on the other hand is my love-letter to Exalted and my attempt to give it a different feel than what most expect from that game. This book is a romantic comedy and yet also houses an incredible unfolding story. Inspired by shows like Pushing Daisies and The Office, this book is quite different and I'm very proud of it.

TAG Sessions was also part of a few events this year.
There was the Retrocon 2018 which was a mini-convention held in The War Room. Sparking from what literally began as just a conversation online about missing old games, a bunch of us very quickly created a humble yet fulfilling RPG event.

We had fun exploring a lot of old school rpgs. I ran a Marvel Super Heroes game and had quite a host of players. 

Then there was our participation in the 9th Philippine International Literary Festival! That was quite an amazing event, with us also meeting a few more local tabletop game designers.

We had a booth, and I was also asked to be the moderator for a talk in the event. It was an amazing feeling. I do hope it won't be the last time a government sponsored event has tabletop present in the festivities.

This year marked the end of one of my favorite campaigns too, our 7th Sea duo-campaign that had two different groups part of a singular awesome story.

I'm going to miss those fun sessions. It was a super blast exploring Theah and having that massive conspiracy narrative. The undertaking was incredible and I was very happy that everyone enjoyed the game big time.

The Eclipse Phase: Forks mini-campaign also ended and admittedly it has given me a larger appreciation and respect for the game system.

Was also part of a few more Kickstarters this year. These included:

Josh Jordan's John Silence, an amazing surreal non-violent RPG.

Alan Bahr's Tiny Supers, which makes playing superhero rpg sessions amazingly easy.

The North Sea Epilogues, which brings an RPG element to the North Sea universe of games!

I was also asked to guest in the podcast, Jianghu Hustle.   

You can listen to the episode here. I was able to share my love for the old movie, The Legend of Zu, which was a funny moment given the hosts of the show watch the OTHER Legend of Zu movie! We ended up talking about both and exploring the world of Xianxia stories.

There was a second podcast I guested in, but I haven't heard yet if its been released so I can't say anything about it yet hehe.

Itras by: Menagerie, which I wrote for, won Indie Supplement of the Year for 2017. In this book, I was able to contribute a Manila-inspired setting to the Itras By world. From having an Indie Groundbreaker Runner-Up award, to being part of something that won a Silver ENnie, I'm feeling pretty happy with this other award. There's always that Imposter Syndrome voice whispering that you didn't really earn it, but the fact it happens again and again helps one be more accepting of it.

Tadhana finally has gone digital and to support Project Tadhana's worldwide reach, I wrote a romance inspired story for them, called Kundiman,  for free. I truly believe in their work and I am very happy to see them reach a wider audience.

There's the angle of work that was written and finally released this year. These include work from freelance gigs or kickstarters I was invited to some time ago.

Tiny Frontiers Revised (link) offers an awesome easy-to-get-into spin on the science fiction genre for RPGs. For this game, I wrote up a sort of inter-galaxy Amazing Race microsetting for it.

Cold Shadows (link) on the other hand is an incredible narrative-first system that allows one to play John le Carre (link) style spy stories.  I wrote up a solitaire, one on one, and other variant rules for the game.

Cities in Shadow (link) is the city setting companion book for Cold Shadows. I helped write up the Manila chapter for those Philippine based spy stories.
While Dreamchaser: RomCom (link) added a romantic comedy genre book to its game lineup. I totally don't mind that more and more people reach out to me or ask me to write-up romantic comedy material for their games. There should be more games where love is a welcome story angle.

Tiny Wastelands
(link) is your post-apocalyptic go-to game for quick and dirty gaming. I wrote up an animal focused supplement for it for those who'd want to play something inspired by Isle of Dogs, Tokyo Jungle or Watership Down.

You & I: Roleplaying Games for Two (link) is a fantastic collection of 15 different types of games for two people. I was very happy to get a chance to be part of this.

Fragments of the King (link) is a Lovecraftian supplement book for John Wick's Curse of the Yellow Sign game. I was asked to write up a Philippine-inspired play on the Yellow King mystery.

Un Momento Unico (link) is the Spanish edition release of my game, A Single Moment.

I remain at awe looking back at all the stuff I've worked on so far and how far I've gone from simply being a guy who loved playing games. And I do hope to at least inspire more local writers and creators to reach high and tap an international market. The world needs more Filipino creators and voices.

 And there's the Community Creators stuff I've released for 7th Sea.  These, in many ways, were me finding ways to also share the ideas that appear during game sessions. I'm very grateful at the interest they've generated.

Red, Red Winter (link) is a Winter Horror adventure set in the mountains of the Highland Marches.

Young Heroics (link) is my sourcebook for having children as heroes in your 7th Sea games.

The Syrneth Codex (link) was my Syrneth artifacts book of ideas, with an exploration on a character called Warren Cassaday, who kinda was my version of a Doc Savage/Indiana Jones Hero.

The Silent Devushka (link) is an Ussuran Horror Mystery adventure which has inspiration from old Russian fairytales.

Serafina's Choice
(link) is my Vodacce Rescue Mission that goes in a different direction that most would have expected.

And the Single Sheet Sourcebooks. These were my attempts to make quick and easy resources that GMs can use to get ideas or prompt new twists into their games. These can all be found in DrivethruRpg.

Finally, on my indie game publishing, I have a bunch of projects that are in different states of being done.

First, my Studio Ghibli inspired game, Cat's Dream, which was already 95% done suddenly had to be delayed when I wanted it to have a bit more meat and time had to be focused on two other major projects. But I'm hoping to get this out.

Secondly, there's Once Upon a Time in Jianghu. After a lot of consultation, writing, and playtesting, the final version of the game is almost complete. The edits Rob Vaux sent to me were eye-opening and I'm mapping down every chapter to answer the questions he brought up. This game should also hit Kickstarter mid or late 2019.

Finally, there's the A Single Moment, The Director's Cut.
This practically ate my entire year, and watching what was once a tiny forty page book has now expanded into a tome with guest writers and lots of settings to explore. Keep an eye out for this book which should be hitting Kickstarter anytime in the coming months!

So thank you, 2018.
This review tried to stay objective and keep things simple.

But here's hoping 2019 will be less... rough.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Chosen Lord: A Single Moment Actual Play

Chanced upon another Actual Play of A Single Moment. This game was quite remarkable as it also educates the listener to a lot of interesting tidbits of information that can enrich their own games in the future.

 And very insightful chatter here.

Admittedly, the structure is designed to make the "underdog" have the bigger chance of getting a better "ending" at the end of each Chapter. It feels odd at first, but it actually works as you get to it with more games.

Thank you for playing!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Un Momento Unico!

Finally received my own copy of the Spanish edition of A Single Moment.
The book is just beautiful and I do hope it finds a larger audience there as well. Grab a copy of this here: https://www.thehillspress.es/

So far, I found one Actual Play of the game in Youtube! I do hope to find even more people playing this version of my humble game.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

2018, your 12 new game challenge is complete!

So this 2018, I finally completed my 12 New Game Challenge! And to be honest, that was just an awesome thing to feel. Despite the lack of huge events or monthly mini-conventions, I still find ways to introduce more people to different game systems as well as new people to the hobby.

For the 12 New Games for 2018
1) Pasion de las Pasiones
2) Protocol: Virtuax
3) Protocol: Dead Things in the Walls
4) Tiny Dungeon 2e - Legacy: War of the Widows
5) Tadhana
6) Once Upon a Time in Jianghu
7) Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition
8) Changeling the Dreaming, 20th anniversary
9) Itras By
10) Eclipse Phase
11) Call of Cthulhu
12) Bluebeard's Bride

2017 New Games
1) Pugmire
2) Monster of the Week
3) An RPG Musical, using Scion
4) Black Stars Rise
5) jim pinto's soon to be announced game
6) Carcass: Exodus
7) Praxis: Black Monk
8) Forget Me Not: Florida
9) "Microscope": Star Wars
10) The Quiet Year
11) Forget Me Not: Murderhobos
12) Praxis: The Black Monk - Chapter 1
13) Praxis: Odin's Eye

2016 New Games
1) Pocket Odyssey
2) Marvel Heroic Role-playing Games
3) Fiasco: Bookhounds
4) Wield
5) #TagRPG
6) Mutant City Blues
7) 7th Sea, second edition
8) Curse of the Yellow Sign #3
9) Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine
10) Inspectres
11) A Single Moment
12) V20

2015 New Games

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Big Books Coming Your Way...

Been quite productive this year with two major releases currently in its final stages of writing.
The first, is the long-awaited next chapter of A Single Moment.  At long last, the book is coming out with a new edition with lots of playsets, as well as a few new rule options that many have been clamouring for!  A Single Moment remains my baby, being the first ever solo indie release I formally created and despite the rough waters it plowed through, it has now reached a whole new level of awesomeness. I do hope you like it!

Second, my upcoming wuxia inspired game, Once Upon a Time in Jianghu has just found its editor and we're working on tightening the flow of the text. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say who it is already, so I'll wait for Gallant Knight Games to make the formal announcement.  But yeah, this Powered by the Apocalypse game has a few new tricks up its sleeve, including allowing GMs to roll dice when the bigger bad guys come into the scene, four ranges of results, and a complete absence of "stats" which might raise some eyebrows.

Then there are the minor stuff.   Released a few more 7th Sea community creators stuff, such as another one page sourcebook for Obscure Objects that Heroes might uncover, and a first part book on Syrneth Artifacts found by my Indiana Jones analog character.

On the Vampire side, I just released the second part of the Reconquista Saga, as the vampire narrative set in Manila continues to draw blood.  Blood Red Pearls is out and I do hope people like it. A cool RPG club in Daytona State has copies of the first book for their club activities. I do hope they enjoyed it.

Lastly, the preview for 7th Sea: Khitai came out and I was floored to see the sections I wrote for it in the doc! So happy to have a greater presence of the Philippines in the setting and I do hope people like my take on the Kiwa  Islands and the role Tawalisi plays in the region. I even got to add a Manananggal to the setting, which is just awesome!

So yeah, lots on the plate and I am very thankful that my Patreon Backers continue to help fund my exploits!

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Syrneth Codex

Warren Cassaday, Archæologist from Avalon, has been travelling around Théah for the last fifteen years, in search of Syrneth Ruins. This Codex is the first collection of the items and places he has found.


keywords: Syrneth Artifacts, Explorer’s Society, Invisible College

The North Sea Epilogues RPG on Kickstarer

Very happy to be part of this new project.

Garphill Games and Dice Up Games are proud to bring you The North Sea Epilogues. This is a new roleplaying game, designed by Tim and Kristin Devine and set in the North Sea universe of games, including the award-winning Raiders of the North Sea.

I am honored to be listed among amazing creators and writers here.
I do hope you all check out the Kickstarter and support it!


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