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).
Read the full article here:
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:
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.
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.
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.