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Jason Brick
Works at Browncoat Enterprises
Attended University of Oregon
Lives in Portland, Oregon
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Jason Brick
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Discussion  - 
 
If I were to do a blog post on resources for writers, what kind of resource would you most want to see?
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Markets for Freelance Gigs
50%
Sites to Avoid
0%
Self-Publishing Advice
50%
Traditional Publishing Advice
0%
Cover Design/Website Design/Visual Stuff
0%
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Amy Outland's profile photoAmanda Whitbeck's profile photo
2 comments
 
I'd also like to say sites to avoid, just seems like it would go hand in hand with markets for freelance gigs.
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Jason Brick

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How can I subscribe to the blog? I "tithe" a percentage of my earnings every month to Kickstarter and other crowdfunded projects. This would be awesome for me...
 
Do you know of a game-related crowdfunding project that could use more exposure? Over at +Purple Pawn, I'm going to be working on the crowdfunding highlights article every other week now. 

Specifically, what I'm looking for are Patreon projects, IndieGoGo and Kickstarter campaigns, and other gaming-related projects that are funded elsewhere (even fundraisers on creators sites!)

Developing a game? Artwork for games? A gaming podcast? A vlog? Essays about games? As long as it's related to something rooted in the tabletop boardgame or roleplaying game or miniatures gaming or card gaming scene -- let me know here!
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Best bet here at G+ is to follow +Purple Pawn -- Crowdfunding Highlights comes out on Monday or Tuesday, with an occasional crowdfunding spotlight article around Thursday. 

Otherwise, head to PurplePawn.com and select one of the social media icons on the top of the page. RSS feed is at purplepawn.com/feed
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Jason Brick
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Discussion  - 
 
If you're not checking out CreativIndie do yourself a favor and jump on the train. 

It will take you to impressive places. 
Experiments in self-publishing, productivity and building a creative empire
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Jason Brick

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Marc Gillham's profile photoRonald Stepp's profile photoPeter Hanely's profile photoJohn Herring's profile photo
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But think of all the TREASURE!
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Jason Brick

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RPG Thought of the Day: Dump Stat Tango

Dump stats: the ability score you decide to make suck so your key ability scores can be well above average, responsible for your weakling mage and your barbarian who's slightly less charismatic than the party donkey. 

The trouble with dump stats is that balancing in negative spaces often isn't balancing at all -- the character with a 6 STR won't ever be asked to lift anything. For a lot of games, that's just fine. Everybody has fun and optimization is part of the fun. But if you want really low ability scores to matter a bit more, here's an idea. 

I'll use D&D terms and mechanics, but you can generalize this out. 

Point buy in D&D usually says you can't buy below an 8. An 8 is fine - a bit slow but not MRDD, thin and sickly but still able to hike a day. But for anything below an 8, something besides the ability penalty comes into play. Something that's fairly constant that means something mechanical and adds some opportunities for role play. 

Here are my ideas for each of the ability scores. 

STR -- anybody with a STR of 6 or lower can't use weapons made for his size, and is treated as one size smaller for encumbrance as well

DEX -- a DEX of 6 or lower turns more physical free actions into a move action...for example, drawing a sword or closing a door

CON -- a CON of 6 or lower is already brutal, so this isn't as mean as the others. The character in question requires 10% more sleep or trance than normal to benefit from a rest. 

INT -- if your character has an INT of 6 or lower,  he is automatically illiterate and the player is not allowed to take notes at the table to help him remember details

WIS -- a failed awareness-type check for a character with a WIS of 6 or lower doesn't result in not finding something. It results in being absolutely certain the wrong thing is significant. 

CHA -- with a CHA of 6 or lower, a character is so obnoxious he must make an INT or WIS check any time he's anywhere near a conversation. On a failure, he must take part and must make the appropriate social skill check with the appropriate results. 

Would something like this make a game more or less fun? Have you tried something similar? How did it work out? Do you have some rules for other systems? Or better options for the abilities listed here? Sound off. 

(Note -- this idea owes a lot to Robert Bevan's Critical Failures novels in which Cooper the Incontinent Half-Orc has a 6 charisma)
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What if the uncharismatic barbarian could be browbeat into retreat, and the weakling wizard then wrestled to the ground?  Of course that requires decent non-physical combat rules and wants grappling rules that humans can follow.  (Yes, rules that do that exist.)
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Jason Brick
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truth.
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Have him in circles
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Jason Brick

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This is largely epic. Well done!  
 
6 Random Dungeon Rooms. Modular rooms that be added to any nefarious den of evil. 
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Jason Brick

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RPG Thought of the Day: The Library of Erekin

Centuries ago, the mad bard Erekin captured the knowledge of over 100 sages, mages and scholars of his time. 

He controlled or convinced them to write the sum of their knowledge, then betrayed them with murder and worse. 

Each book from the Library of Erekin is 12 inches square, and six inches thick. They weigh twice as much as the size suggests, and in fact have as many as 10,000 pages despite the thickness. They magically open to the topic the reader wants to learn about, conferring a significant bonus to any research or knowledge check. 

The books are bound with the skins of the people whose knowledge they contain. Worse yet, the front is made from their faces. Their eyes, nostrils and mouths are sewn raggedly shut, and form permanent winces of pain and terror. 

But that’s not the worst part. 

If one unsews the lips of the book, he discovers the skin is still alive, still aware, and still intelligent. The books can speak, but most only scream until their lips are once again sewn shut.

Over the years since Erekin was cast down and his treasures looted, the books have scattered. 

What kinds of personalities would you put in the books? How might you use one (or more) in a campaign? What sorts of skill mechanics would you use for conversing with one?
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Heinz Kreienbaum's profile photoHeiko Wiebe's profile photoGeoff Harrison's profile photo
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It also comes with a sample adventure and pregenerated characters, some heroes long forgotten, that faced Eregin when he created the books.
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Jason Brick

General Discussion  - 
 
There’s nothing wrong with hitting your PCs with a combat wizard who pelts them with fireballs and summoned critters while fully buffed with an array of ability-boosting powers. 
On the other hand, there’s nothing unusual or particularly memorable about that guy, either. 
Here are a few ways I’ve either used or thought of using casting in the deviously clever ways PCs often apply their spells. If it’s good enough for them, why wouldn’t NPCs do the same.

*In a 3E D&D campaign (in that edition, all dragons were casters) I had several dragons use the Sumptuous Feast spell. That’s a spell that makes meals delicious. The dragons all cast it on the first round of combat…right on every PC in range. 

*Step one: have a lair. Step two: have a horde of undead or animated servants. Step three: Line them up against one wall of the lair. Step four: cast wall of stone to hide them. Step five: dispel the wall when the PCs think they’re winning the fight. 
You can also do this with several gallons of acid or poisonous gas. 

*Have one of those magic towers full of riddles with a magic mouth spell to direct adventurers…only the magic mouth lies all the time about the fundamental nature of the tricks and traps

*In general, casting paralysis-type spells or hold person on PCs and their minions who rely on movement to fly is an underused technology. 

How about you all? What are your favorite hilariously memorable uses of spells in any game? Or even misapplications of technology in straight sci-fi?

*
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Heinz Kreienbaum's profile photoAndrew Shields's profile photoJason Riek's profile photoJason Brick's profile photo
7 comments
 
Good catch, +Jason Riek . The end result is still hilarious. 

Of course, Wall of Force might feel fairer to the players -- see hordes of undead, or massive swarms of scorpions on the other side. Bit of a warning that way.
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🐖🐖 My favorite!
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Jason Brick
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http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

A solid blog by a woman who's doing this self-publishing thing well. Definitely worth putting on your regular list.
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Jason Brick
owner

Discussion  - 
 
How do we feel about Writers Digest these days?

On the one, they've been the powerhouse forever. On the other, they seem slow to adjust to the new methods of publishing. I mean, even the 2014 guide is really lean on online publishing options and barely even mentions the hybrid publishing options.

Anybody among us have some strong, informed opinions or insider skinny on whether or not they've Blockbustered themselves?
1
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I haven't bought the print edition in ages and just use their website for resources. Most still lead to traditional publishing sites, but not all... The nonfiction sale I recently made, which I found through their site, is an online-only magazine... So there is that...
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People
Have him in circles
832 people
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Work
Occupation
Freelance writer: nonfiction articles, publicity blogs, business documentation, fiction
Employment
  • Browncoat Enterprises
    Freelance Writing Services, 2008 - present
  • Bushido Martial Arts
    Owner, 2003 - 2008
  • Soseikan Middle School
    Karate Coach, 2002 - 2003
  • NOVA English Schools
    English Teacher, 2001 - 2002
  • American Kenpo Karate Academies
    Kenpo Teacher, 1997 - 2001
  • AOL
    Tech Support Lead, 1997 - 2001
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Portland, Oregon
Previously
Nagasaki, Japan - Albuquerque, New Mexico - Eugene, Oregon - Skagit, Washington
Contact Information
Home
Phone
503-740-4930
Email
Address
1602 NE Barberry Dr
Story
Tagline
If you want to be interesting, you have to stay interested.
Introduction
Martial arts teacher turned freelance writer with a passion for good board games and bad paperbacks. 
Bragging rights
4th Degree Black Belt? Check. Published Author? Check. World Traveler? Check. Two great kids? Check. Lovely wife? Check.
Education
  • University of Oregon
    Psychology, 1991 - 1997
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Jason Brick's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Whoever's in charge of Cornelius 9 is obviously a movie geek who can't believe his/her good fortune. Friendly, rarely crowded, and always has something going on for the big premiers. "I don't always go to the movies, but when I do I go to Cornelius 9."
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