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Cam Banks
Ginger Kiwi Game Designer and Family Guy
Ginger Kiwi Game Designer and Family Guy

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I believe women. I believe Mandy Morbid. Her abuser cannot debate, intimidate, or manipulate me into silence. There is no place for abusers among us. #AbuseIsNotAGame #OSR

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Content Warning: Sexual assault, emotional abuse.

If you're still defending this abuser after reading this, I'm sorry that I have nothing whatsoever to say to you.
Everyone knows Zak Smith is a scumbag asshole. Turns out he's also abusive toward his girlfriend and other women.

Mandy, I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm glad you're free.
Mandy Morbid
Mandy Morbid

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I woke up this morning to see that Sentinel Comics: the RPG had launched and funded while I slept! And now it's doubled the target goal and racing through stretch goals and this is really, really good to see.

SCRPG is the project I've been working on with Greater Than Games and Critical Hits Studios for the better part of... four years? Longer, maybe? It uses multiple sized polyhedrals the way Cortex does, but it also borrows good ideas from Fate, Apocalypse World, and of course the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game. Maybe you already checked out the Starter Kit last year?

So here it is, on Kickstarter, with lots of lovely backer tiers for you to check out. I think it's probably the best super hero RPG I've worked on so far.

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Another human being whose creativity is directly responsible for the things I have loved and written and played and loved again, has passed away. Like a fool, I thought he would live forever. But we are all fools really, and he was our beloved, bombastic, brilliant king.

Pluspora Migration

Like some others, I've also set up a new Diaspora account at Pluspora. My username there's RustySellsword.

I'm still giving MeWe another month or so, and might decide whether or not to keep my account there once I move to New Zealand.

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I am unbelievably sad at the news of Greg Stafford's passing. Nobody was as influential on my work as a game designer and world builder as Greg. I am having a hard time even processing this, and I am certain that is also true for many, many others, both fans and friends and fellow travelers.

King Arthur Pendragon is my favorite RPG of all time because of Greg. RuneQuest and Glorantha are part of the holy trinity of RPG influences because of Greg. So much is because of him. Through his work on the Ghostbusters RPG, Greg's influence led to the West End Games' Star Wars RPG, Atlas Games' Over the Edge and Ars Magica, to the whole freaking World of Darkness. You play RPGs, Greg was either directly or indirectly responsible.

And if you've ever liked, bought, played, critiqued, enjoyed, or hacked anything I've designed, it's because of Greg Stafford.

Pillar of Fire: Drives

In tandem with the attributes, all dice rolls in Pillar of Fire use one of ten drives. Each player character (seraph) starts the game with one of these "zeroed out" leaving it a shell (no dice in the drive). You can't use a drive that's become a shell, and over time more and more drives are zeroed out and become shells until the seraph has 5 or fewer drives left. After that point, they might ignite and "burn out" which effectively kills them. Quite a flashy way out.

This is the drive to cherish, protect, and to connect with others.
Use Compassion when: Saving an ally from a rampaging xenomorph, getting information about a loved one’s location before they run out of life support, convincing a warden to allow access to an incarcerated covenant member.

This is the drive to uncover, to learn, and to explore.
Use Curiosity when: Investigating the qualities of a new species of xenofauna, assessing the combat potential of an opponent while they spar with their covenant, fighting your way through dense undergrowth while surveying a new planetary region.

This is the drive to hold onto agreements, oaths, and obligations.
Use Honor when: Holding on to your composure while being harangued by officials about your current assignment, defending your House allegiance in a duel, following up on a political contract when others have dismissed it.

This is the drive to uphold, to maintain, and to execute rightful laws.
Use Justice when: Bringing in a rogue House agent, drafting an unshakeable treaty between two orgs, extracting resources from a vault while under intense legal scrutiny and oversight.

This is the drive to be free, break chains, and escape.
Use Liberty when: Breaking out of a locked room, securing the release of a group of hostages, refusing to hand over key information to authorities.

This is the drive to obey, to support, and to respond.
Use Loyalty when: Acting under the explicit orders of your House, rallying to the aid of a beleaguered ally, sacrificing your own resources in order to advance the political cause of your org.

This is the drive to control, to lead, and to influence.
Use Power when: Seizing command of a strike team for an operation, inspiring a group of refugees to act in a crisis, sowing the seeds of rebellion or resistance in your House.

This is the drive to impress, to shine, and to attain glory.
Use Pride when: Persuading a potential investor or ally from another org, drawing attention to yourself from opponents and away from your allies, gathering your confidence after one or more setbacks.

This is the drive to push through, to withstand, and to stay alive.
Use Survival when: Making your way through hostile environments with few resources, promoting a social agenda in the face of adverse opposition, recognizing dangerous circumstances in an unfamiliar area or region.

This is the drive to conquer, to win, and to overcome.
Use Victory when: Facing an opponent in ritual combat, outwitting an org operative during a political showdown, outracing a rival in a test of speed and skill.

Pillar of Fire

I'm back working on this game now that Over the Edge is in the last stages of production. It's a lot of fun to work with, but it's also entirely new, so I have to think really hard on how to get across some of its concepts.

Here's something I've been noodling on - descriptions of the four attributes. Love to hear your feedback on it. And yes, the attributes do spell out "FIRE."

Each seraph has points in four game stats called attributes. An attribute shows a seraph’s overall likelihood of success when approaching a problem in four different ways. The ratings in these attributes help to define how the seraph prefers to resolve situations that come their way.
Each point in an attribute represents a die. Add that many dice to the pool when using that attribute.

When using Force, the seraph responds to a problem directly and assertively. This might include using brute strength, vigorous argument, or raw power.
Use Force to: smash through a wall, intimidate an opponent, fly a ship at high speed in pursuit of another, browbeat an official, clear a room full of soldiers.

When using Insight, the seraph deals with a problem studiously and reflectively. This could involve drawing on conscious awareness, deep introspection, or acute analysis.
Use Insight to: understand a complex equation, sense a camouflaged opponent, comprehend a complicated relationship, recall a series of past events with clarity, reprogram a rogue network.

When using Resolve, the seraph approaches a problem persistently and willfully. This means relying on tireless stamina, focused will, and lasting patience.
Use Resolve to: withstand a torrent of political abuse, remain standing in a raging storm, outlast a foe in a duel, process a long series of keycodes, stay your hand when provoked.

When using Expertise, the seraph resolves a problem skillfully and precisely. This means acting with manual dexterity, mental adroitness, and social technique.
Use Expertise to: untangle a complex network, operate on a dying ally, fly a ship through a field of asteroids, disarm an opponent’s weapons, perform acrobatics while dodging ranged attacks.

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My colleague +Jacob Kellogg has another excellent Kickstarter project lined up. Check it out if you're a fan of heroic animal stories!
And here it is, my second-ever Kickstarter: Rodent Rangers!

Want to be a mouse? Want to bask in some 80s cartoon nostalgia? Want a light-hearted, family-friendly RPG where you don't have to murder everything?

Check it out, and don't forget to re-share!
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