The Wall: In the Beginning

“Knight looking at dead assassin” by Vladimirs Poplavskis

I made a post on G+ last week about a new idea for a game. Then it was called the Bridge, and that was based on what I thought would be the setting. In the entire day since that post, I have removed it from its setting – which was not actually important to the concept – and now I’m calling it the Wall. Why? In the game, the PCs are Occupiers – they are foreign troops garrisoning a city on behalf of a distant monarch. They are the wall protecting the city and the wall separating the Dispossessed in the city from the Elite. The monarch needs the cooperation of the Elite to run the city and the Dispossessed to work in the city. There’s also internal conflicts within the Occupiers, given that they are not a heterogeneous group.

The city might be part of a collection of territories or it might be the only city held by the foreign monarch – it might be the Spanish Netherlands or it might be Calais in 1557 – but that is something each group will decide for itself.

Here’s what I wrote in my G+ post:

You are foreign mercenaries stationed in a fortress that spans a river separating the homes of the elite and the places of governance from the poor and dispossessed. You are charged with keeping order and protecting the city.

Each session is an episode and the problem needs to be solved within the timeframe of that episode. You can use the Fist, the Heart, or the Brain. There is Distance (the cultural distance between you and the locals), Sympathy (the amount of sympathy you have for the Dispossessed) and Influence (your influence with the Elite).

Using the Fist creates Distance and burns Sympathy and Influence and makes it that much harder to succeed next time, but while using the Heart or the Brain might increase your Sympathy or Influence, that is going to make getting cooperation out of your fellow mercenaries that much harder. You might find yourself separated from all three.

Needs a lot more work, but so far the idea intrigues me. Inspiration: Spanish occupation of the Netherlands in the 17th century.

Some of that remains, its core, but some of it has changed. I’ve started doing scenarios which I’ll share here as the game evolves. They are like examples of play, but starting out very abstract (kind of ignoring the narrative to focus on the mechanical) and moving into more fleshed out as the system coalesces.

So, expect to see more as inspiration hits, but I don’t think I’ll have much time to work on this, with the Sword’s Edge RPG still evolving, Lawless Heaven and the Nor’Westers being written, and a super-secret project about which I cannot yet speak.

And I’m continuing my Master’s program.

Oh, and I have a family and a house.

Did I mention I have a day job?

Yes, it is cray-cray.

You can read more about the Wall here

Sales for Third Quarter 2016

The release of Starship Commandos did help give SEP a bit of a push, but not too much. Sales haven’t been phenomenal for Starship Commandos, but there wasn’t much marketing behind it. That’s a real weakness for me. Not sure how to really sell my own stuff. Still, for this particular product, I felt a need to get the rules out there, and now they are, so it’s all good.

Sales for Third Quarter 2016 (Jul – Sep)
All sales venues

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 3

Covert Forces
Covert Forces Redux, 1
Raid On Ashkashem, 2

The Boltcutter, 4
Centurion, 8
Nefertiti Overdrive, 19
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules, 25
Starship Commandos, 24

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 2
Kheufer Scrolls, 4
Kiss My Axe, 10
Suffer the Witch, 2
Sword Noir, 21

Total Sales to Date
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113), 42
Khorforjan Gambit, 122
Qalashar Device, 135
Raid On Ashkashem, 179

Arcane Kingdoms
Arcane Kingdoms, 68
For Simple Coin, 6
Gifts of the Elder Gods, 40

Charity Products
Relief Effort, 55

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section, 111
Covert Forces, 100
Covert Forces Redux, 184
In Her Majesty’s Service, 159

The Boltcutter, 4
Centurion, 194
Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit, 43
Line Zero, 40
Nefertiti Overdrive, 99
Nefertiti Overdrive Quickstart Rules, 652
Operation Nearscape, Free Product, 430
Starship Commandos, 24

Sword’s Edge System
Crossing the Millers, 156
Kheufer Scrolls, 203
Kiss My Axe, 228
Suffer the Witch, 97
Sword’s Edge System, Free Rules 1669
Sword Noir, 670

Cutter’s Headspace

Inspired by our character creation sensation for Todd’s Headspace game, here’s a little Headspace fiction. The names are changed, as is the precise situation:

In my head canon, Cutter is played by Ha Ji-Won

She sat there, staring at the drink, knowing it wouldn’t help but lacking any other alternative. She had died. No, not her, Stocker. The boss. He had died. But she had been in his head, she had witnessed it. More, she had endured it. She had shared his mind as Stocker died. That was after Whistler disappeared into the grid. Mills might have still been alive, she didn’t know. If not dead, Mills had lost her implant, had lost her link.

Dead by any other name.

In there, in the head that held remnants of her teammates, still dwelt the ones who lived. Their doubts added to her own. Their grief piled on top of hers. Even when she slept, their nightmares intruded.

She had plenty of her own.

Was their some change in the pressure in the room, some palpable tension that rippled along its surface? As much as she tried to turn it off, she had become attuned to emotions, maybe even to thoughts. It was as if someone had opened a sepulchre and the stench of the dead wafted out.

“Hello Cutter”

Her hand almost went to her pistol. He kept it still and on the bar. She turned her head to meet Ashton’s eyes. She didn’t know if he had a uniform of charcoal suit, white shirt, and red tie, but she had never seen him in anything else. The two brutes flanking him, just a step behind, should have had a corporate brand on their forehead.

She offered him the most insincere smile she could muster. “What’s Hayashi-Senko doing sending it’s best and brightest into this dive?”

Todd runs Broken Ruler Games.

Headspace is published by Green Hat Designs.

You can find Headspace at Drive Thru RPG.