A Post-Apocalypse for Hire

In between numbly scrawling through Twitter and news updates about the state of my country and the world at large, trying to focus on what remote learning might look like for my class next term, and attempting to keep my kids entertained, there have been a few little rays of sunshine…

Red Scar Publishing just released Devil’s Run, a role playing game set in a post-apocalyptic America. The game is designed to use it’s own spin on the Modiphius in-house 2D20 system, with additional support for playing using the Savage Worlds system. I had the opportunity to write various bits and pieces for this core book, and while I had a lot of fun writing some of the background material, the piece I think I am most proud of is the section on group creation which can be found at the end of the character creation chapter. I really enjoy the 2D20 system, and obviously, yes, I am biased. Having said that, I really do like the in-game economies at work between the players and the game master, it adds a lot of story and agency to the game experience.

Devil’s Run is a lot of fun. I know this game has been a labour of love for Marc over at Red Scar, and it shines through every aspect of the game. I am thrilled I had the opportunity to work on it, and even more thrilled that Marc has the opportunity now to take a breath, and enjoy the feeling of having it out in the world. Who am I kidding, Marc is too busy to get to take a breath… but the sentiment remains!

Like everything everywhere at the moment, the production and shipping of the physical game is being held back by the global pandemic. Devil’s Run is available digitally on the Red Scar website, through DriveThruRPG and through the Modiphius Webstore.

Alongside the release of the core rules book, the first of the Collaborative Campaign adventures has been released online. I had an absolute blast developing and writing this adventure, and I hope anyone who has a chance to play it has half as much fun as I did! Life and Death (Echoes) is the name of the campaign, and the first adventure is called Out of the Night. My playtest group caused absolute mayhem (not unusual) when we were testing this adventure, and my fingers are crossed that anyone who gets the chance to play it leaves an equal amount of wreckage in their wake. If you’re a GM who’s planning to run this adventure, I hope you get a kick out of the Scene headings… and that they help set the appropriate mood!

You can find this adventure on the Red Scar website and Modiphius webstore, and on DriveThruRPG here.


Lastly, some news for the Infinity Role Playing Game, from Modiphius and Corvus Belli: the Mercenaries book is very soon to be released digitally. Like Devil’s Run the physical copy will need to wait, but very, very soon the book will be available from all the usual online conveyors of digital RPGs.

I wrote a few of the chapters in this book, and tried to sow a whole collection of adventure ideas and seeds throughout. There is a lot of awesome background material, a ton of neat equipment, some excellent rules and guidelines for running a mercenary company in the Human Sphere, and a whole bunch more! Plus, the cover art, by Bagus Hutomo, is just stunning!


That’s enough from me tonight, where ever you are, whether you made it this far or otherwise, I hope you’re safe, well, and looking after yourself!

PanOceania…

Bright heights and laser lights, busy days and pulsing nights…

-L-Ease, Maya Star

The PanOceania source book for the Infinity RPG has been released! I wrote the opening chapter and the background to the planet Acontecimento in this book, and as always it is a pleasure to see it after it’s gone into layout and accompanied by art. The team at Modiphius do a fantastic job, and I am very proud to have had a small part to play in the creation of this book. The art work throughout is excellent, and there is plenty of stuff in there for die hard fans of the setting, and for those who want more, more, MORE for their game sessions!

I have had an absolute blast exploring the science fiction worlds created by Corvus Belli. In PanOceania I really hope that game masters and players alike find a mix of enjoyable background material, as well as plenty of ideas and seeds for adventure and mayhem!

PanOceania. The Hyperpower. Life at the top of the G5 nations ensures a certain amount of privilege and power. It also brings its fair share of enemies. Born from an intercontinental alliance on Old Earth that pioneered the race to the stars, PanOceania has led the transhuman revolution without ever once looking back. 

Stewards of no less than three entire star systems and numerous colonies on several other worlds, the Hyperpower is also the largest proponent of ALEPH, the benevolent AI that oversees many of the functions that allow the vast PanOceanian empire to operate. Overseen by ALEPH, their policies set by lobbies, and their faith guided by the Church, most PanOceanians soak up glamorous holovids depicting the herculean might of the latest cutting-edge TAGs or the glorious charge of power-armoured Knights and bask in the sanctity of their technological superiority. 

Scratch beneath the surface of the neon and chrome, however, and all is not as harmonious as the Mayacasts would have you believe. On the ocean planet of Varuna, Libertos fight ever more violently to free themselves from a subversive occupation, whilst all across PanOceania’s territories, dispossessed Ateks struggle for recognition from an interstellar institution that refuses to acknowledge their existence. With new gear and fresh insights on the mightiest of Hyperpowers, this sourcebook will take you deep beneath the sparkling surface of PanOceania’s dazzling exterior.  

  • Details on the three key star systems that are home to the PanOceanian empire: Acontecimento, Neoterra, and Varuna.
  • Focused Lifepaths that allow players to immerse themselves in the diverse aspects of the Hyperpower, including Croc Men, Hexas Agents, and Knights.
  • Additional armour, equipment, and adversaries specific to PanOceania, including the innovative sensarecorder tech, the mighty Seraph TAGs, and stats for several unique adversaries.
  • A treatise on the Helots and their culture, plus several Lifepaths that provide an opportunity to play a member of this enigmatic amphibious race!

PanOceania is available in the Modiphius webstore here!

A kick…

I’ve contributed to a number of games and game books at this stage, in the last five years these have been for Spartan Games and Modiphius Entertainment, but it still gives me a little kick to see the final product. These are two books I wrote for, both for the Infinity RPG, and both now available from Modiphius.

GM

Cover art by Ho Seng Hui

Haqq

Cover art by Ho Seng Hui

As much of a kick as it is to see my name listed in the writing credits, I think seeing the final piece, a product owed to many hands, is what is particularly pleasing. The covers for both these books look fantastic. I particularly love the cover of the Haqqislam sourcebook, because as much as I love a good action scene, I am a sucker for space ships, and the one on the Haqq cover looks great.

Scrolling through the PDF I love seeing how it has all come together, the interior design and layout, the art, the work of all the other designers, writers and people involved in bringing the book to fruition. I wrote some 20,000 words or so for the Haqqislam book, but reading through it is only one small part of the larger whole. Sitting at the keyboard into the wee hours can feel like an act in isolation, but seeing something come together, from a team spread all over the world, for a company based in the UK, and the licence from a company based in Spain, is a pretty neat thing to ponder.

 

 

 

Infinity and one…

Freelance writing for the role playing industry is a funny thing in my limited experience. Flurries of activity, followed by periods of waiting. I have loved it though, and have loved being a small part of the Modiphius Entertainment team; supportive, geeky, gamerly beasts that they are.

The quiet of the Christmas period has in turn given way to the busy season again. I managed to get a novelette written in the downtime (and begin a short story), as well as blog a bit, but now the clarion call to action has me looking carefully at my schedule and blocking out time to get my freelance obligations completed.

Infinity RPG Core-Book

The next two months are going to be busy, I have three projects queued up, with the prospect of more at the end. I will be receiving sections already drafted back from Corvus Belli and my editors with notes on what needs changing, fixing or removing, and I have also had to turn down a project or two for lack of time.

Last year, around September, I tested myself by writing as much as I felt I could manage over the period of around a month. I wrote somewhere close to 50,000 words that I was happy to submit. It’s not a huge amount for those who are experienced, but it pushed me, and pushed me hard. I wanted to test myself, to see what I could put out, what I was comfortable with, what sort of word rate I could manage in a day, a night, an hour. All told I worked out I can typically manage between 1000 and 2000 words a night. Not a huge amount for many, but comfortable for me. I have a job to go to during the day, and a family I’d like to see, so I need to be careful not to burn too much time, or put myself under too much pressure.

The deadlines, though, are closing, and over the next month and a half I will need to get somewhere close to 50,000 words written to meet them. It could have been more, it could have been much more. But thanks to the month I spent pushing myself I have a better grasp of what I am capable to achieving. There was a time when I would have said ‘yes’ to every opportunity, and even now responding with the occasional ‘no’ hurts. But it’s something I need to do, I recognise that. The one thing I do not want to do is to put myself in a position where I can’t hit a deadline.

Now the challenge is to get my routine up and running again. Last year it was writing at least 1000 words a night, every night. After my schedule throttled back over the Christmas period, and has been slowly ramping since, I need to get that back. Getting my routine going again means only one thing: putting my backside into the seat and typing…