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Christopher Mennell
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Basic Information
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Male
Birthday
July 27
Story
Tagline
Father, Writer, Role Player. I'm on a mission to break into the tabletop role playing game industry. Because "making money" is so 1987.
Introduction
I am a writer, with an interest in both blogging and tabletop game design. Specifically, I play and write about D&D, and am especially interested in games, formats, systems, etc. that would be considered "old school". I'm interested in more modern games as well, and am always open to new ideas and trying new things, but when it comes to storytelling and gameplay, I believe there is still a great deal of potential to tap with Dungeons & Dragons and its many variants.

I also enjoy SF and Horror, reading/writing fiction, and generally having fun and being social online. I'm definitely always up for a conversation, so feel free to reach out to me; it's a pleasure to get to know new people, and Google+ is awesome for making new friends.

I've also been blogging on and off since 2008. For years I operated as _The Secret DM_ (http://thesecretdm.com), occasionally taking time off from both blogging and gaming to focus on other things (work, family, etc.).
Bragging rights
I've had the esteemed honor of visiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, and it was a life changing experience. I also created the game project http://magecrammer.com.
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Writer

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Christopher Mennell

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OMG STRANGER THINGS!!! 😂😂😂
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I'm trying to test out Slack as a method for play-by-post gaming. Anyone interested?

I tried Spaces, and that didn't work out all that well.
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+Christopher Mennell sent you a link in a private post.
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This is a beautiful piece of game design; I love +Gus L's writing, and the fact he even provides explanations for why he uses certain rules, makes certain choices, it's just an incredible bit of insight, a lens into the mind, if only fleeting, of a brilliant person who thinks about gaming and storytelling with a purpose that isn't, surprisingly, the norm.
 
at long last - i would snap up a book of gus stuff in a flash
It's perhaps long overdue, and really this document has been sitting about, mostly edited, mostly complete for some time now. I've finally decided to release it and hopefully others will find it useful. In addition to being...
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Christopher Mennell

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Darn it...I was so eager to share +Khairul Hisham's artwork I didn't wait for the piece to be finished when I shared it before!

Here's the finished version, which looks even better (and I thought the WIP was good!)

Thanks Hish! I still can't believe this was just a request I had six hours ago...you work fast! And it looks great! It really captures the "80's SF RPG" vibe I wanted! Great job!

Looking forward to seeing what more you come up with for the various Houses of the League of the Buyers!

#AcrosstheStars #ATS

Image: A Garçon organizes appropriation documents for Hish, who is worried how much he'll pay in fines for the robot, a crashed starship, and insta-evac from the jungles of newly discovered Xanth.
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Updated with a description of the scene.
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Paid Commission

I'm looking to commission an artist for a specific piece of art. Something b&w preferably, A5, preferably done quickly.

Preferred style is old school, early to mid 80's SF art, the kind of art in classic Traveller and Spacemaster products.

The scene involves a bureaucrat, sitting behind a desk piled up with papers and forms, and a freelance space pilot/explorer, standing in his office, with a look of confusion and anxiety on his face at the piles of thousands of forms he has to sign to get paid for the job he just finished...and nearly lost his life over (maybe he's carrying some sign that things went bad, like his cockpit, or half of a robot partner, or something else to show it was a costly endeavor).

Thanks everyone!
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How soon do you think?
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#AcrosstheStars #ATS

Garçon:

A Head Banker, of a variety, who serves as the middle person between free agents and a House's financial, bureaucratic division.

All garçons are the same; a clone provided by Central Banking, on loan to each house. Some houses employ multiple garçons. They all look the same: obese, bald headed, sickly pallor, with a demure, sly smile and a grim yet jovial laugh. They are basically human computers, able to process transactions and write up contracts that are beneficial to the houses they serve, and Central Banking as well.

Sometimes they are abused by their houses; tattooed and pierced and branded with house symbols to show ownership. If one is killed, it will be replaced within 12 to 24 hours, depending on vat-batch processing.
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In his circles
129 people
Have him in circles
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Mike Lawson's profile photo
joseph guyett's profile photo
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Jim Hanson's profile photo
Oli Palmer's profile photo
Mark Plemmons's profile photo
Forrest Aguirre's profile photo
vishal kumar's profile photo
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Christopher Mennell

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Received an incredible and in depth response from +Fred Hicks regarding my recent blog article, and I'm now feeling a great deal better about who +Evil Hat Productions are and the direction they are moving in, in terms of diversity.

The conversation continues, so hopefully I will have an updated post for the blog over the weekend!
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Thanks again!
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Evil Hat made a big announcement yesterday. A lot of people seemed excited about it. In this blog post, I take a deeper look at what this announcement means, and why I was disappointed by this latest "pivot".

+Ariana Ramos +Gennifer Bone +Evey Lockhart +Khairul Hisham +Juan Ochoa +Alex Mayo +Christopher Hopkins +Kiel Chenier
Evil Hat made a big announcement yesterday. They have decided it's time to act like a professional game company. This means they are switching from the method they used to follow to do business...a feast or famine format of r...
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Zak (who I have blocked, so I haven't seen his side of this conversation) has a tendency to stalk mentions of me online so he can cast anything from it in the most negative possible light. For what it's worth.
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I've set up a private community (thank you +Moe Tousignant for the suggestion!) dedicated to my discussion and sharing of anything related to Across the Stars, in case anyone is interested in joining.

Feedback is welcome, but not necessary! You are more than welcome to come in and just lurk.

I hope you're all well!
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I'm interested
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#Acrossthestars #ATS

On the League and its Insistence on Using Paper

Some question not only the League's seemingly endless streams of forms and contracts and reports required for filing, but also their bizarre requirement that all documentation be turned in on physical paper, a Byzantine method of acquiring and recording information.

Representatives of Central Banking state that it has to do with security; computer systems are, inevitably, prone to hacking. When it's pointed out that paper documents can be forged, the reps respond with a calm smile, as if they're in on the joke, and reply, "Who uses paper? Who could possibly forge anything that relies on such antiquated technology?"

Of course paper documents are easy to forge, especially when an entire governing body depends on their usage (word is the illicit Epson dot matrix business is booming, actually), but that isn't the point.

"Time" is what it's all about. Time and control. Relying on ancient printer formats that take forever to print forms, jam easily, and suffer various other malfunctions, slows any attempt to get anything done to an agonizing crawl, rendering all effort moot. This matters little to Central Banking and its parent organization, the League of the Buyers; they set the pace because time is money, and the longer a process takes, the more micro transactions of interest they can build up, to the point that sometimes, doing business with the League leaves an entrepreneur in insurmountable debt to the League, worse off than when negotiations began.

Of course the League is sympathetic to anyone harmed by the lengthy process, and offers a method of recouping lost monies through their official Complaint Board to resolve any disputes, for a small processing fee.

The wait to meet with an agent of the complaint board is currently just under five years, but that timeline is unfortunately lengthening rapidly, due in large part to the League's refusal to shift to an electronic system.

Of course, there's always the indentured employment option, where citizens in debt to the League or one of its members can complete work to pay off loans or excessive fees they've incurred while waiting for paperwork to process. The Ministry of Diligence and Aptitude is able to expedite processing in a way that baffles the employees at the complaint board.

(Original art by +Khairul Hisham.)
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Did you see the finished version I posted?
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Christopher Mennell

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Paid Commission

I'm looking to commission an artist for a specific piece of art. Something b&w preferably, A5, preferably done quickly.

Preferred style is old school, early to mid 80's SF art, the kind of art in classic Traveller and Spacemaster products.

The scene involves a bureaucrat, sitting behind a desk piled up with papers and forms, and a freelance space pilot/explorer, standing in his office, with a look of confusion and anxiety on his face at the piles of thousands of forms he has to sign to get paid for the job he just finished...and nearly lost his life over (maybe he's carrying some sign that things went bad, like his cockpit, or half of a robot partner, or something else to show it was a costly endeavor).

Thanks everyone!
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#Acrossthestars #ATS

I am thoroughly enjoying working on ATS again. I am especially enthralled right now with the identity that's forming for the game; the cocktail-like mix of Star Trek, Dune, and No Man's Sky.

I'm also really excited that it's all fitting neatly with my other setting project currently in development, Ultramassive & Unexplained. That's a bigger deal, with amazing people like +Ariana Ramos, +David Lewis Johnson, and +Alex Mayo involved (to varying degrees). In fact, I owe it entirely to Ariana that ATS is linking up with U&U; she suggested it, and started to puzzle out a way to get the two settings to work together.

I hadn't considered it because ATS is so human centric and U&U very much isn't, since U&U involves a galaxy that doesn't care much for humanity, and holds them with disdain at best and contempt at worst...but Ariana was absolutely right, and having ATS focus in on humanity makes it all feel like we're zoomed in on one small facet of the larger U&U. And U&U is all about size: epic, overblown sizes, so we wouldn't be able to (or probably want to) get into that much detail about humanity. But people would no doubt be curious.

So ATS is answering a lot of the questions about humans in a galaxy that hates them in ways I originally hadn't conceived, and it's doing it in a very fitting way:

The humans of ATS are far too self absorbed in their own self-proclaimed importance to even notice that the rest of the Galaxy feels it would be better off without them.

Humans are here to help, with all their bureaucratic grandeur, whether other alien cultures want them to or not.

They just better have all their forms signed in triplicate and notarized if they expect to receive any of that help.

(Original artwork by +Khairul Hisham.)
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Christopher's Collections
Christopher Mennell's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
ConTessa
plus.google.com

The FREE online gaming convention by women for EVERYONE.

Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater
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Live at the Beacon Theater: show available to download now!

A Mutant Future
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My favorite genre of all - the post Apocalypse. The possibilities are endless, and to me, gonzo is where it's at. All hail the Mutant.

Greyhawk Grognard: Players Manual Hard Copies Now Available!
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I'm pleased to report that the Adventures Dark and Deep™ Players Manual is now available for sale in both hard cover and soft cover versions

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In Which GenCon Goes Glass... Email. Details: Published on Thursday, 28 March 2013 11:09: Written by Jess Hartley. ProjectGlass GenCon Indy

Just a Test
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October 20, 2012. Just a Test. by Christopher Mennell. This doesn't count as my first post, even if it is. Just testing the functionality of

Secret DM
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A Blog dedicated to Role Playing in the 80's

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Book I of the Qualun Monogatari. In an island realm lost in ocean mists, a youth named Norigeo must prove himself worthy to be samurai. The

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Fun and innovative game design and publishing.

Themes : Basilisks : SFE : Science Fiction EncyclopediaThe Encyclopedia ...
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Design the best fictional person, place or thing by Nov 4, and win a free pass to a world building workshop.TL;DR: Create a fictional person

Bane Teaser
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9 Rats, 2000 CP: 5 Variations On a Theme
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Playing D&D With Porn Stars: A Chunk Of Wonderland
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Swords Against the Outer Dark: Challenges
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The Secret DM Contest
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