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Rose Bailey
Writer and game designer.
Writer and game designer.

Rose Bailey's posts

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When I love something, I make it into a game. And that means a lot of little games! To get more of them into people's hands, I'm launching a Patreon.
Subscribing gets you the first copies of each new game, as well as access to exclusive playtest documents.

Head over for a free copy of Die For You (the game of monsters and feels) and subscribe to get the playtest draft of Bright and Terrible (swords and tragedy inspired by Michael Moorcock and Tanith Lee).

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Kind words about my latest release. :)
Worlds Without Master Related Product! Plus Mars!

This is by Rose Bailey, whose excellent short story "Two Swords of Mars" was in issue 4 of WwM. That story was in this setting, now an RPG by Onyx Path. I haven't had a chance to look at it, but it's got that Martian planetary romance I love so much.

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I am almost certain this queen is a witch.

My FAE sixties spy game (extended from a one shot) is going really well. We've got a good group, strong characters, good aspects, and good stunts. The customized approaches and the plot twist cards I made up are really helping, too.

One thing that's come up is that the players do a lot of sneaking into places and knocking out (or accidentally alerting) guards. Not quite dungeon crawling... more stealth action. It's gotten me thinking about how to handle that better than I have been, both in terms of GMing and potentially in terms of rules.

I'm hardly the first to think of it. +Stew Wilson did a great job designing for this in Black Seven, and I'm really looking forward to +Will Hindmarch 's Project: Dark, which I unfortunately wasn't able to back on Kickstarter.

Have other games done interesting things with stealth action? Ever read any great supplements on how to run an infiltration session?

Based on suggestions from a previous post, I'm looking at FAE for a sixties spy-fi one-shot. I don't want to over complicate it, but I am thinking of dressing it up with a few hacks.

Any recommendations for sources? Two-column FAE is already one I'm very interested in, and I'm looking in detail at Rob Donoghue's Fate Spies hack.

Anything else I should know about? Any half-formed ideas that seem appropriate?

While I'm asking questions this morning, what VTTs have good card support? I'm specifically looking for something that would allow players to:
- Draw from a deck.
- Have a hand of cards, possibly drawn from multiple decks.
- Have cards face down on the table which no one knows the value of.

I'm looking for something to do 60s-style spies. For me, there's a continuum that goes Modesty Blaise (comic) -> No One Lives Forever* -> The Avengers. I'd like to do something on that continuum. The Flint movies are too far in the straight-up funny direction.

I'm thinking cool outfits, glamorous locations, badguys with colorful MOs, that kind of thing.

I've done a few homebaked games over the years, and may do another. But I haven't quite found my way, so I'm looking for suggestions.

Spycraft is out. I love both versions, but they're rulesy as all get-out, and a lot of the fun (especially in 2.0) is built into progression, which is something I don't anticipate doing much of. I'll be lucky to get off a one-shot.

Leverage is a favorite game of mine, but for some reason feels off here. Maybe it's that I don't want to do a well-planned operation that spirals out of control so much as a string of interesting set pieces.
I think Agents of SWING was designed for exactly this, but there are a lot of reasons it didn't capture my fancy.

FAE is a frontrunner, because it does everything well, and spy stuff doesn't demand fancy powers or anything like that. Still, I'd like something that has a more specific spy-fi flavor.

Any suggestions?

* I know NOLF is a pastiche, but it hits a good middle ground for me between relatively serious action like Modesty Blaise and the eccentricity of the Steed/Peel Avengers.

So, I love Mythic Russia, and I've always admired how the well-developed cultures all fit into the setting and system. I think it could be a great system for grounded adventures in the world of Russian fairy tale. But I've never quite gotten comfortable with HeroQuest itself, so I have a few questions.

First, how are masteries supposed to be adjudicated? Is there a simple guide to tests and conflict, and how things like masteries affect them? (Is there a quickstart guide in general?)

(Also, how do I make that "m" character on my keyboard?)

Second, I have some specific aesthetics for the magic system I want to run:

<<Witchcraft is basic, bloody and elemental. It's nature the way Howard wrote it, the way it appears in fairy tales. The woods are scary, and magic is strongest in the depths of woods. Witchcraft is calling upon spirits, binding ghosts, and waking sleeping powers.

When a witchblood or sorcerer does magic, there's usually give and take. There are always ritual and sympathetic trappings, and magic is unpleasant the way it is in Hellblazer. Witchcraft never represents the clean or safe solution to a problem.

Although many heroes reject the syncretic Christian beliefs of the people they encounters, the sign of the cross has supernatural power that they've been known to make use of.

What would be the best way to run something like this in HQ? Are there good ways to let ritual and sympathy affect magic, without straying too far from the core mechanics?

Finally, I'm inclined to go for 1e because it's what Mythic Russia provides, and it's well integrated. Is it worth trying to bring in all or part of 2e?

Thanks for your help!

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My first volume of short stories, The Sugar House, is out today! It's a volume of fairy tales told in the sword and sorcery tradition, as Baba Yaga's granddaugher takes on stepmothers, wolves, and witches.

Here's the back cover text:

These were the days when the three Romes had fallen. When the mother of the world had bled, when the Ice Horde had conquered Archangel, when the trees had marched on Muscovy, and when only white-walled Kiev stood against the forest. These were the days when Sasha Witchblood roamed the land, and tread its mud and jewels alike beneath her feet.

Everyone calls Baba Yaga "Grandmother." For Sasha, it's the truth. 

Journey through a Europe being slowly strangled by the forest in four stories where Robert E. Howard meets the Brothers Grimm: 

- The Girl and the Gallows: In which a mysterious stranger rescues a damsel from a wolf, and confronts a wicked stepmother. 
- The Sugar House: Sasha meets a brother and sister alone in the woods, and falls into the sweetest of traps. 
- The Jaws of Sleep: With Prince Suleiman, Sasha sacks the palace of the Sleeping Beauty. 
- A Witch Shall Rule: In a holy city, Sasha faces what she could become.

Cover by +Rachel Kahn !

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My short story "Two Swords of Mars" just came out in Worlds Without Master #4, a sword and sorcery e-zine!

Valentine and Soteria must figure out what to do with an inconvenient body, an ominous young woman, and a monastery full of eyeless -- but sword-wielding -- priests in this story from the world of Cavaliers of Mars.
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