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Jonathan Tweet
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author of Over the Edge, the freeform RPG of weird urban danger
author of Over the Edge, the freeform RPG of weird urban danger

3,697 followers
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Over the Edge represents what I love most in roleplaying games: personal creativity, twisted social commentary, a dark sense of humor, and dice rolls that matter. Over 25 years ago, Over the Edge was my personal RPG campaign, designed from the start to be too weird to publish. John Nephew at Atlas Games heard about it and, against my advice, insisted on publishing it. He was right to do so. Over the years, it has been immensely gratifying to see how other designers have been inspired by my game, and now in turn I've been inspired by them. Years ago I told myself that I would never return to this game unless I could do something truly new and valuable with it. Luckily I figured out how to do just that.

When you back the game, you get an advance copy of the rules, so you can see what I mean for yourself. Please back Over the Edge, and please share with your friends. This one means a lot to me.

http://bit.ly/OverTheEdgRPG
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I've been looking for this quote from Stephen J Gould for a long time.

"Thus, my criticism (..) does not invoke a nonbiological 'environmentalism'; it merely pits the concept of biological potentiality, with a brain capable of the full range of human behaviors and predisposed towards none, against the idea of biological determinism, with specific genes for specific behavioral traits." (1978)

The quote is hard to find because it's false and Gould knew it. In other statements, he would qualify his point, saying that the brain is not "rigidly" predisposed to any behaviors. OK, fine, but predispositions aren't rigid. They're just predispositions. Did he acknowledge that the sociobiologists were right to say that the brain arrives with nonrigid predispositions? Never explicitly, only implicitly. He was a great proponent of science, but his political ideals led him to equivocate on the very topic that he wrote so forcefully about.

The hard-to-find quote is here: http://condor.depaul.edu/mfiddler/hyphen/gould-humanature.htm
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In Burning Wheel, +luke crane advises the gamemaster to look at a player-character’s traits, such as “always helps a priestess of light”, and create a non-player-character that can put the PC in a hard spot, such as a priestess of light. Years ago, when I first read that advice, it sounded like a cheating, setting the PC up for a fall. Now I think it’s a great idea. In Over the Edge, I coach the gamemaster to invent custom gamemaster-characters to play off the characters’ dramatic traits, and I list out a bunch of examples. As a GM, it’s fun to invent these GMCs, and as a player it’s fun to see them in action as they interact with the other players’ characters. In Over the Edge, nothing about a character is “always” or “never”, so there’s no way to tell in advance how things will shake out. To find out, you have to play.

#OverTheEdge #RPG

http://bit.ly/OverTheEdgeRPG
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Ken and Robin talk to me about Grandmother Fish and Over the Edge. Learn what's new and different with one of the top conspiracies from the original, the Movers. Also, a politically-charged modern-day occultist and more.

#OverTheEdge #RPG
Ken and Robin talk dungeons, carbon reclamation, +Jonathan Tweet and Julius Evola
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The art director for Over the Edge is +James Mosingo, who’s also the art director of Shadow Run. Shadow Run is near-future, urban, dark, and pagan, so that’s a good fit for Over the Edge, and the first time we talked I could tell that James understood what I’m looking for in the art. One way we communicated our expectations was by comparing boards on Pinterest. His was a lot like mine. Below is a link to my Pinterest board. This board helps me convey my visual understanding of Al Amarja, and making it helped me develop that understanding.

Twenty-five years ago, I had a pile of photos that I had cut out of newspapers and magazines. That pile of scraps was the “theme board” for my original Over the Edge campaign. Luckily, information wants to be free, and today it’s easier than that to find and share imagery.

http://bit.ly/OTEthemeBoard
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I refer to the Republican president not by his brand name but by the phrase "Republican president". Someone told me he's not a Republican. My reply is that the Republicans embrace him as a Republican, so I label him the same way.
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+Robin Laws has been inspiring my work on Over the Edge for over 25 years, since before there even was an Over the Edge. We met virtually long ago in the pages of Alarums & Excursions, which is like an online game forum but on paper. In one of his contributions to A&E, he mused about what an RPG based on William S. Burroughs’s work would look like. Those ideas turned me onto Burroughs, and his writing help me envision a chaotic modern setting with dark, paranormal undertones. At first my campaign was strictly for fun, and Robin contributed ideas to it. His material was marvelous, good enough to upstage my own creations. When the project turned into a going concern, I paid Robin for his material. It was his first paid gig in RPG design.

Robin continues to inspire me with his game design work. In his game Hillfolk, for example, every character has a dramatic pole, representing two traits that are in conflict with each other. That concept, reworked, appears as a character’s “question mark” in Over the Edge. A question mark is the part of your character’s identity that’s going to come into question in the game. If your question mark is “honorable-?” then people think you’re honorable and you tell yourself you’re honorable, but only in play will everyone at the table find out what sacrifices the character will make for honor and what, if anything, might get them to act dishonorably.

#OverTheEdge #RPG

http://bit.ly/OverTheEdgeRPG
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Ask your questions about Over the Edge, the Kickstarter, and more. Tuesday night, Cam Banks and I are going to be chatting on #randomworlds (formerly #rpgnet) from 5:30–7:30 Pacific time. Please join us.

http://bit.ly/OTEchatWCam
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"In New Orleans, schools have far more control. They decide which extracurriculars to offer and what food to serve. Principals choose their teachers — and can let go of weak ones. Teachers, working together, often choose their curriculum."

When a new educational regime leads to tangible gains for poor and minority students, I pay attention.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/15/opinion/columnists/new-orleans-charter-schools-education-reform.html
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+James Introcaso interviewed me for this podcast. He called me legendary, and I guess I'm old enough to be legendary by now.

#OverTheEdge #RPG

https://dontsplitthepodcastnetwork.com/table-top-babble/81
081 - Over the Edge
081 - Over the Edge
dontsplitthepodcastnetwork.com
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