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J Li
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More Fires of Emsi--

I made up 3 fictional languages that names can sound like. And for some reason male/female/other versions of each name is different, causing havoc with characters referencing each other on char sheets. Why did I do this?? They're fictional anyway, why can't they all be gender-neutral??

Looking for an extremely reliable person in Philadelphia to do a $60 delivery from West Philly to Media on Saturday evening at exactly 6:30 for a wedding. If anyone is interested, please let me know or have them email me at jineris at gmail.

Last night I did another playtest run of the Forbidden Children playset I'm working on for Dialect. At one point, one of the characters stood up and declared,

"These homing tracks are going to get us all doppled, we don't have enough catpoop!"

And I had to write it down because the sentence was completely incomprehensible. (Also, we were kids, so a lot of our words were really undignified.)


Working on heavily revising Fires of Emsi.

It's really hard not to go on historical tangents. This game has an amusingly high amount of anthropological nuance / realism compared to how much less developed out the game content was. (It was one of the first things I wrote after my head injury, so it's much less tightly woven than I tend to want.)

I get really entertained working out things like exactly how regional commerce changes in a power vacuum, which I have to then make myself leave off the info because it's really counterproductive to make players try to learn that.

Most recently, I had to convince myself that, while I'm preciously guarding lines on the setting document, it's really not important to explain which culture invented the solar calendar. In fact, it's kind of an unnecessary luxury for the game to have 2 calendars to begin with, since absolutely nothing in the game cares which calendar is being used. But I'm still excited about the atmospheric effect of having farming go on solar and holidays on lunar.

Also, in real life the Palmyrene Empire lasted for only three (solar) years, whereas Igris lasts for about 120 lunar years. And it didn't have a massive stone bridge, or an earthquake. Zenobia, though glamorous, was actually terrible enough to mess things up all by herself.

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Hi everyone! This is the project that I have been working like mad on for the past few months. It's been a longtime dream of mine, so I would absolutely love your support.

Also made possible by the love, encouragement, support, labor, and literal existence of +Avonelle Wing! (And many other people who are not on G+.)


Signata is an intersectional feminist leadership conference. It’s a two-day interactive experience centered around women of all kinds.

We will be redefining what work means to us, learning practical tools developed by women, directly sharing our business expertise without translating for the patriarchy, and taking up massive amounts of space.

The future of work is intersectional and feminist. We invite you to join our community and create that world with us!

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Coming to Big Bad Con? Wish you had more time to hang out? Join us for A Week in San Francisco, a 3-day pre-con event filled with activities, hosted by local designers & visiting guests.

Drop us a line at if you want to come, so we can get a headcount. Also fill out this survey ( so we know what you want to do!
A Week in SF

Come hang out in the Bay Area the week before Big Bad Con! We’re organizing activities in San Francisco and East Bay from Tuesday, October 10th through Thursday the 12th.

The amazing +J Li, +James Stuart, +Randy Lubin, and +Hakan Seyalioglu are putting together a few days of events BEFORE the con.

If you're interested in getting even more out of Big Bad Con, check it out over here:

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Golden Cobra 2017
Coming this August

I really want to teach a class to guys about what to do when someone who matters raises a concern about something you did or an aspect of your behavior. I feel like I know so many otherwise intelligent people who just freeze up and act trapped and completely stop being productive.

I'm like, dude, I know that toxic masculinity puts you in this weird trap where you feel like if you have faults something terrible is going to happen. But this is exactly when you need to start being flexible and adaptive and experimental and a really good listener.

I wrote a quick "walking across a room and killing each other" larp for 200 word rpg. You can play it in under 15 minutes.
(Apparently everything I make is just a larp. Go figure.)

I tried to make this game work a few years ago for +Ben Lehman’s villanelle challenge, but couldn’t get it to fit with the repetitive format. But this one works out much better.

(still needs a title)

Two players.

Long ago, you were close beyond mortal love or friendship. Then you betrayed one another.

Decide together:
- Where were you then?
- What did you share?
- What did each person do wrong?

Decide alone in secret:
- Why was this of all actions a great betrayal?
- What different life do you have now?

You have not seen one another since, until this moment. It doesn’t matter where you are or what brought you here.

Decide together:
- What is different about the world these days?

Decide alone in secret:
- Why do you have nothing to lose?

Stand at the opposite ends of a large room.

Make eye contact.

It begins.

Walk slowly toward one another at the correct pace.

When you meet, at the right moment, raise your hand before you in a fist.

Make eye contact, take one breath together.

Then open your hands. Palm up means you choose to forgive them. Palm down means you choose to kill them.

Look upon the result.

In a few gestures, act out what happens.

Then hold your final positions until it is time to let go.


Last night I had a dream that all my relatives in China and all my gamer friends coming back from Fastaval got stuck together at the same airport in Canada so we formed a giant cuddle puddle together with blankets, and held spontaneous lightning talks on larp and babies.
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