Sunday, February 23, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014
I haven't forgotten about you all, my dearest readers. I have been hard at work on a number of secret and some not-so-secret projects.
Let's talk about the not-so-secret projects. I have been working with a few new artists I really like on some Legacies projects. While I cannot share much yet, expect some goodies to appear here very shortly. These are really cool pieces!
Second, for those of you who were in Denver this past weekend, we had some NeoExodus games running for most of the weekend, with an interactive! I haven't received any bombs in the mail and I have yet to see any effigies of me burning in the streets. I have to give a HUGE thank you to Chris-S who ran five slots and to D'Anne who ran the interactive. Chris has volunteered to run at Tacticon, so expect more games running there!
Next, I have been trying to put together a new web site for the campaign, to link some of the things that Facebook won't let us do. If you are not part of our Facebook community, join us now! That's where we are pushing everything and giving you the latest information and details about the campaign!
I have submitted a NeoExodus Legacies program for both Origins AND Gencon. More goodies are on the way. But, I can say that we will be working closely with the folks at PCI (makers of Arcanis and Witch Hunter) during those 2 events.
The other projects? Well I did say they were secret. But know this: If you are looking at trying your hand at becoming a writer, email JP now!
I can't believe the amount of exclamation points I keep putting. That's because it is an awesome time for us at First Ones Entertainment.
I have been meaning to blog about Winter Fantasy... but that might have to wait...
Now back to writing...
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Its hypnotic. And awesome to watch. Boobs are awesome to start... this is...
What was I saying?
Its hypnotic. And awesome to watch. Boobs are awesome to start... this is...
What was I saying?
Friday, February 14, 2014
With Genghis Con finally upon us (and me not going for the first time since 2006), games are running like crazy (word from Legacies are trickling in). I have been busy writing my first Serial Pulp adventure. Now that the con is upon us, time to share the love to everyone!
If you like it, don't be afraid of contacting the campaign administration. They would love to hear feedback and to get more people to play (and write!)
You can re-read my interview with James Stepanek. The interview was, I will admit my first initiation into the world of Pulp. I had known OF it, but never got into it. It is one of those genre that I like but never get into. Which is strange considering my attraction to the time period, the history and everything. Still I got to play shortly after that and really had a blast of it.
So talking to him by Facebook, I offered to write an adventure for it. Something that wasn't a war scenario. I had been thinking of this spy-theme story and thought it might fit in pulp. I will admit that when James offered "Set it in Finland," my heart sank a little. I knew so little about it.
But that only meant a challenge for me to read up on the events and learn the actors. Like most of the politics that lead into the second world war... It is fascinating.
As an added bonus, Pulp fans... this weekend RPGNow is having a sale!!! So check out this little pulp adventure! James was kind enough to provide me with the official campaign certs!
Get the adventure for yourself by clicking here!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Hey Legacies fans!
It is time to review the campaign guidelines! After a year and a half of operating on the same guide, we need to change things up a little.
A lot of the changes come from feedback that YOU, the players have shared with us over the year. I hope to get it completed before the summer con seasons. Ergo, have it all ready to go at this year's Origins, PaizoCon, and GenCon!
Things we plan to add:
- A Cohort Creation Guide: Use the Leadership feat!
- Crafting Guide: Build your own goodies!
- Put the additional resources in a web page we can update
- Offer the book through FOE rather than LPJ Design
- Offer options from more and new products.
- A small FAQ that is a hodge-podge of questions and small misc.
- Is there a class, archetype, ability or piece of equipment you would like to be included? One you would like us to ban? (and why?)
What can you do? I will be posting a number of discussion topics on our Facebook group. Your feedback is highly prized.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
I have been working on a number of side-projects among the madness that has been the last few weeks, in preparation for Genghis Con, AND my weekend off at Winter Fantasy. One of these is a small document on ruins I had been playing with for a short while.
This is a collection of notes and tables I have been using myself for years. I was searching for them the other day (because I misplaced one the pages) and thought "Man, having this as a pdf would really simplify my life!" This GOSTOR: Ruins was born!
What is "GOSTOR: Ruins"? Like all Gostor products, it is a light and simple framework. GOSTOR:Ruins aimed at GMs to quickly generate a set of ruins. Not the maps, but the story and details behind the ruins. Questions like "What happened?", "What do we see from the outside?", "Who lives there now?" Condensed in six tables, providing a total of over 825,000 combinations! Enough for you never to run out of idea!
Also a few pieces of advice on creating ruins from a fluff perspective.
Did I mention it was system-agnostic? It can be used with any game system!
You can get your copy of Gostor: Ruins on RPGNow
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I was going through some of my old stuff tonight and I found this. This Cert was the last thing I got as a player in the County of Urnst. I got myself wanted... Mousset was a Rogue/Bard/Temple Raider of Olidammara. He was a real sleaze ball and absolutely awesome to play.
Mousset adventured 3-4 times as a woman to avoid being found out. I played him at an interactive where I walked around with my own wanted poster asking people "have you seen this man?"
A lot of fun.
Last year at PaizoCon, I was running my NeoExodus Special, having a good time with a good group.
Then during a break, one of the players come up to me and hands me a book. I'm thank him, and wonder what he wants for it. "Dude it's free, just tell me what you think." Free book in return for an honest review? Yes. I can do that!
But I cannot.
The tag line says "A young pallitine in a dragon's world" does not feel quite right. But that's a great tagline. I think the tagline should be "A dragon in a young pallatine's world"...
Straight up analysis. There is a prologue and twenty-five chapters. They are logically broken up and feel natural. The boring parts are skipped, leaving us with the interesting part. Pet peeve of mine? Yes. This breakdown allows for the ebbs and flows of the story, and handle the changes of direction.
The story follows Taryn, a girl coming from difficult circumstances, and a life flirting with crime, prostitution and drugs. Over the course of the story, she meets with a pallatine named Thoman who takes her as his apprentice. From there, we follow her training until she is accepted as a full-fledged pallatine. Of interest to the readers: the way is not without many obstacles and setbacks. Making for a good read.
- Interesting take on paladins. The Pallatines are obviously a knightly order akin to D&D paladins. Unlike the typical game-paladin, each of them come with a background and a personality that does not make them feel like goodie-two-shoes. They want to do good and seek to do good, but wrestle with themselves and their past. They never use the "I'm lawful good so I do [this]" excuse I hear too often at the gaming table.
- Does not feel like I'm reading a recap of his home campaign, complete with a round-by-round description. Combats feel chaotic and rarely have a clear impression of what is happening as a whole. This means that the character, like the reader, is sometimes surprised by the sudden action or arrival of another one. To me, that's a strength. I found myself looking forward to the fight scenes.
- The story evolves, a lot. Sometimes it feels like a Harry Potter school story, that evolves into a travel tale. So the plot is not concise in that it touches a number of themes and flow. (also see the cons, I put that here because this is mostly a positive)
- Time moves forward. Yes, it sounds stupid but I like the fact that time passes, skimming over some parts I wasn't too interested in reading.
- The main character, Taryn, grows throughout the story in logical ways. Often through brutal experiences. Often sucks to be her! The established adults, not so much (then again, they are established people, I changed less in the last 5 years than I did when I was 15-19)...
- This is an intro to a series. Some will LOVE this. Me, I have this thing about series.
- This is something pretty small, but I would like
- A LOT of loose ends, perhaps a little too much of them. I would really like to know more about the Plague that affects the animals, more about the Barbarians gathering in the South, more about the secret cults, exactly what happened at the blacksmith's shop, who betrays them, etc...
- The biggest flaw of the story, in my opinion, is linked to the above. Some people will just LOVE that. Me? I don't like that. Some of the questions deserved answers: the scene at the blacksmith's shop had a great set up, but the fallout left me flat (loose end). I really expected a resolution from this and... Nothing. The matter is covered up in a way that made me think there was a greater conspiracy at work. It felt like it didn't fit the character of the persons involved.
I would say this book is a B. Most of the cons were things that annoy me, but that I know others love. I found myself enjoying the read more than I expected, which was a nice bonus. Give it a "+" to those who love multi-book epics.
One question I rarely find in these book reviews is the answer to the question: "Would I buy the next book in this series?"
Reluctantly, I have to say yes. I really want to see what will happen to Taryn next. You can get a copy of the book through Amazon.
I will also watch for future release from Roderick (and try to get him to write for FOE!)
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
JP, why haven't you been updating your blog? You keep asking yourself.
Well that's a good question. And one for which I have a number reasons.
The first was as a sign of respect for Carla's passing. I did not feel like writing and felt for my good friend LPJ.
I have been my constant playing of Star Wars: The Old Republic. I've been force-crushing my enemies for a few hours every night.
Second, I have been hard at work finishing not only one, but four adventures! Yes Four! At the same time! Talk about stupid... Let's not do that no more...
|Serial Pulp: Blow blow, thou Winter Wind|
October 1939. A new battlefield may break in Europe as Finland’s ambassador visits Moscow for talks that could lead to war or peace in the North. Helsinki is a hotbed of activity as people from every nation and allegiance flock to the Finnish capital to advance their cause.
A serial pulp adventure for characters level 1-11 (APLs 2-10)
|93-LC-03 Sugar and Spice|
In the Dominion, one never finds a cool day. The flames of anger and hatred are never far behind when the fate of a little girl is at stake. Part 1 of the Lost Child of Hasani series.
An adventure written for APLs 3, 5 and 7 (character levels 3-8).
|93-LC-04 Phrenic Nightmares|
Earlier this year, the Janus Horde unleashed a psionic horror upon Exodus, something that slept for centuries. A dedicated crusader seeks to protect her homeland and gain fame and glory for herself. And she once more needs adventurers.
This adventure is a sequel to 93-LC-02 Silver Lining. And uses material from Dreamscarred Press' Ultimate Psionics.
An adventure written for APLs 3, 5 and 7 (character levels 3-8).
|93-LI-02 Flames of Yesterday|
It was beautiful day in Curitzel until a shout emptied the small village. A single shape stumbled between the timber huts. Somehow, you seem to be the only ones who did not run away in terror. Perhaps you should have. The shout was of two simple words. FIRST ONE.
An adventure written for APLs 3, 5, 7, and 9 (character levels 3-10).
The introductory narrative can be found on FOE's RPGNow page.
All of these adventures will premiere at Genghis Con in Denver,Co and be available through RPGNow.com shortly after the con. The NeoExodus adventures will also be run at CincyCon in Cincinnati, Oh.
Oh yes! And now I have two more non-Legacies writing projects I need to complete (1 to complete, the other one to start). Some awesome news coming for Free RPG Day 2014!
I have been talking with other organized play campaigns regarding both Origins and Gencon. And guess what: LEGACIES WILL COME TO ORIGINS AND GENCON IN 2014!!!
Monday, January 27, 2014
A few things I personally did with LG, LFR, PFS and NeoExodus. Many of those are NOT what the PFS establishment will want you to do. But they work.
1- Under NO circumstances should you EVER cancel an event. EVER.
2- Show up ahead of time and talk to people in the store. Don't assume the store owner sells the product for you.
3- Be inclusive, sell your game to everyone you meet. EVERYONE
4- Don't get discouraged.
5- Never, EVER cancel an event (unless attending would be dangerous (and even then))
6- Work with the store owner, keep him in the loop of what's coming, when you plan to run more event. And ask them whether people have been asking about PF/RPGs, if he has other things running so you don't clash. NEVER leave these guys in the dark. The more they know, the more they will help you. The more they see you run events, the more they will pimp you and your game out.
7- You will have kids, noobs, morons, "old gooks who never played an RPG since 1991", the "guy who plays only obscure indy games in his basement" or the "guy with the same group since 1977". But you will gradually see more people and many of those people will be great players, and often some people you don't like initially turn out great (and vice versa).
8- Run in public, and make it seem awesome! So that people seeing you play will to play WANT to join you.
9- Talk to people who stop to look. Take a minute to give them a quick run down. Introduce the game, selling the high points. Always invite them personally to the next session, no pressure, but make them understand that if they miss it, they miss out on something really awesome.
10- While new players are important, make sure you talk with the old ones and keep them interested and engaged. Get the local "well-known GM" on your side.
11- One thing that always worked well for me: use a single point of reference. Don't direct people to a website AND a facebook AND a google group AND a meetup AND on-site AND on your phone. One place, one source of information, and direct the traffic there. This has a number of advantages for them but also for you: you don't have to scan or post updates to different places for people. Allows YOU more time.
12- Network, network, network, talk to people, email, skype, facebook (and direct all traffic to #11).
13- Rather than selling "PFS" focus on selling "RPGs". "Learn to Play" events (where you teach PFS) are often successful, expect kids and new.
14- Encourage players to buy at the store, never encourage purchases from illegal sources or online. This will really encourage the community and the store.
15- You're in charge, don't let any loudmouths talk over you or be over bearing to noobs.
16- Consider any money you put into this lost. (Includes meetup costs, advertisement, gas, meals, and the occasional purchase).
17- Never, EVER cancel an event unless attending would be dangerous (I mean snow storms)
18- Remember that the adventures are irrelevant, change whatever you want and need, focus on providing a quality, fun, entertaining game experience. People will remember how your orc limped, but not that he has 8 or 10 hit points.
Oh! And outside the gaming world, people don't know what Pathfinder is.
That's a collection of thoughts and ideas.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Here is the prologue to the interactive adventure that will run at a few conventions around the country in February and March, including Genghis Con in Denver, CO (Feb 14-17) and CinciCon in Cincinnati, OH (Mar 21-23). If you wish to run it locally or at a local con, contact JP@NeoExodus.com.
93-LI-02 Flames of Yesterday
It was beautiful day in Curitzel until a shout emptied the small village. A single shape stumbled between the timber huts. Somehow, you seem to be the only ones who did not run away in terror. Perhaps you should have. The shout was of two simple words. FIRST ONE!
An adventure written for APLs 3, 5, 7, and 9 (character levels 3-10).
Prologue to Flames of Yesterday
The dancing glow of the candle lit Arem’shehr’s pale flesh as she waited inside the cabin for her contact. Her one eye scanned the darkness beyond the broken window, waiting for a kalisan she did not expect to see. To be certain that he was the one she expected, her minions patrolled the grounds of the lonely house.
Goosebumps brought on more by anticipation than the chill evening air made her shudder delightfully. Already the meat-bags at her command brought her a number of new slaves; simple folk all of them: hunters, mercenaries, farmers, all without any future now that she had them. Chained and gagged, they had been neatly stacked under the floorboards for later enjoyment. She smiled in anticipation of coming recreation. How delightfully they would scream and convulse in pain as she enjoyed them. Arem’shehr paced the floor, walking slowly, each step with purpose. Her heels clicked on the wood. She knew her captives would hear and cringe at every one of her steps
Midnight had come and gone and dawn would be here shortly. Her steps landed louder. This was no longer fun, she thought to herself. Where is this pea-brained human-eater, she wondered, I have to be out of here soon. She fumed and paced back and forth, constantly looking outside.
As she leaned forward to look outside once more, she felt a cold blade at the back of her neck. "You are late," she said. A quiet chuckle was her only answer. "Do you have the crown?"
Again, a chuckle.
"Here is what you want. If you look in the satchel on the table, you will find the names of every one of Queen Thais’ generals and their location..." The blade shifted in her back as her assailant looked inside the satchel and pulled out the scroll.
A moment later, she heard clanking at the back of the cabin followed by the ringing of something rolling on the ground. Turning around, she barely saw the milky white skinned man jump through the thatched roof with imperceptible sound.
Then, her eyes landed on the bronze crown resting on its side by the wall. Arem’shehr held her breath as she reached for it. The ancient antelope design and the flower patterns were exactly as she read in the scroll. She smiled triumphantly as she held the crown aloft, resisting the desire to place it upon her own head. She did not need such trinkets; she is, after all, a divine being.
All this in return for a list she was planning to give to the Protectorate generals. This is a great day, and after this, a thousand sacrifices will cover the walls of the Father’s palace. Because of her, the slaves will return to their rightful place, and a glorious orgy of destruction and pain will descend upon Exodus.
Removing the planks of the floor, she saw the cowering, bound rewards she kept to herself as she pulled a young man to her. Kissing him softly, she whispered. "This is going to be a good day," and the screaming began.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
What do you say to a friend who lost someone very close to them?
Do you try to comfort him, knowing there is nothing that you can say that will ease the pain? Do you try to put a sympathetic face and act as if this sort of things happen all the time? Do you try to cheer him up? Do you try to schedule some activity you can do together? Do you tell him that though you are thousands of miles away, he is all you can really think about? Do you remind him that your door is always open to him? Do you raise your fist to Heavens in anger?
Do you say...?
What can you say to a friend to heal a wound that will never truly heal?
Do you talk about something similar that happens to you, knowing that your loss was nothing like his? Do you remind him of the good times? Do you tell him a funny story to bring a smile? Do you talk about faith, and provide some helpful verse? Do you tell him that in Heaven, our departed friend will wait for us with open arms?
Do you say...?
What can you do to make sure your friend knows you support him?
Do you cry alone, hiding that you are seriously hurt too? Do you hide those tears to spare him? Do you resort to humor, saying that she was a great person because she tolerated him?
What can you think when you know the world is a little darker now?
Do you try to find the Good Lord's purpose in this? Do you seek to turn this into new light in the darkness? Do you focus on the good times and the fun times? Do you tell him that she is still with us in spirit? Do you tell her that she gained some measure of immortality through your lovely son?
Louis, I feel and share your pain and tears. There is nothing I can say -or write- that sounds appropriate. She was always a ray of Florida sunshine and will be remembered. You have many friends - more friends that you know - all of which grieve with you.
I am here for you, brother. Just say a word.
Farewell Carla, we'll see you on the other side.
PS: For those that do not know, Carla Porter, LPJ's beloved wife, lost her battle with brain cancer today. See the official announcement on LPJ's blog.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
I was playing an online game today when Evan, my GM for the Reign of Winter game (my Thursday nights for the past six months or so). Sends me an instant message.
It went roughly like this: "Hey JP! They have NeoExodus classes listed." That's right. No further context, only a link. I was a bit wary. Knowing Evan, I saw that it was a tool that generates character sheets!
He asked me if I would use them. No, my character sheets are all in stat block form these days... so I only have 1 format, and GMs can easily go over them... Still I thought these sheet were really nice: you can add the logo (whether NeoExodus or any of the Pathfinder Adventure Path).
I cannot recommend these enough. Nice stuff. Oh! And they are free! FREE!!!
The link is http://charactersheets.minotaur.cc/build/pathfinder.
A big thank you to Dyslexic Studeos for adding NeoExodus into their product!
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I happened upon this this week...
NeonCon is coming back in 2014!
After some three years' absence, it is coming back. This con, which some saw as the "Gencon of the West" (after the death of GenCon West Coast), was always run as one of the big cons. Knowing the leadership, that's what they went for. There needs to be such event in the southwestern USA.
Learning of the 2012 cancellation really, really saddened me, I would've wanted - at the time - to make NeonCon be one of the major stops for NeoExodus. We had prereleased the NeoExodus book there in 2011, and premiered "Ruins of Trovaska" there that year.
In 2012, I was planning on having the official "launch party" for Legacies there a year later, rather than the soft launch we had. It was a major blow when I heard of the cancellation. Not only would I not go to Vegas, but my plans for big, public release were trumped.
So for two years, I stayed in touch with my buddies. Hoping against hope.
Then last week, I decided I would attend Arcanicon in Detroit. After debating, I decided to book myself a flight and head out there. I know. Detroit is NOT an overly exciting destination, but I really want to do more Arcanis. I don't see any reason to travel for PFS (since play has no impact on plot), but Arcanis... I can have impact and influence during major battles and interactive (like our players do in Legacies).
Passes a few days.
Then I saw the return of NeonCon, March 21-23rd of 2014... Now I have my plane ticket for Detroit...
So there you have it, NeonCon is back, I can't go.
I'm pissed at NeonCon.
Because as you all know, the world revolves only around me.