I keep mentioning on twitter and other places this thing called a TransMission I’m working on for my new game. I figure I should talk a little bit about it so people know what the hell I’m talking about.

First off, the game is a hardboiled near-future RPG called Technoir. You play characters embedded in a criminal underworld who use high-tech cyber implants and other gear to exploit opportunities to try to get out of it.

A TransMission is a GM tool. It’s a short booklet of game content that is designed for GMs like me. That is, GMs who don’t like to prep, who like to improvise their adventures at the table, but often get stuck with blank page syndrome when it comes time to do so.
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The Shape of Things to Come

So, I’ve been working on a new project recently. This is what it’s starting to look like…

Untitled Cyberpunk Character Sheet

This is the character sheet for my new–and as of yet untitled–cyberpunk game. It’s not finished, and some of the terminology has already been changed.

Don’t worry Chronica fans; Noblesse Oblige is still in the works. Its progress is just not in my hands at the moment, so my attentions are turning towards other things.

Noblesse Oblige Video Blog: Overview

I’ve recently finished the 37,000 word first draft of Noblesse Oblige, the lordship supplement for Chronica Feudalis. And, well, instead of writing more words about it, let me just tell you what it’s all about.

Sorry about all the ‘uh’s and ‘um’s. I’ll get better at this, I swear. If you want to track what I’m saying about it on twitter, follow me (@jeremyjkeller) or search for the hashtag #NobOb.

Double Extraction–Inception via Don’t Rest Your Head

On Wednesday nights right now we’re running a short campaign play-testing the rules for Noblesse Oblige, the lordship supplement for Chronica Feudalis. However, last night we were one lord short and a little crunched for time so we quickly threw together a one-shot of something else.

You should know that I have always been very fond of the Don’t Rest Your Head rules system ever since Dan Bayn (you know, of Wushu fame) ran it for us last year. You should also know that I’ve had a huge itch to play some role-playing implementation of Inception since I saw it a couple of months ago. I figured these two thing would go together like bread and butter. You should know that they do.

They go so well together that Fred Hicks made his own Inception game based on a hack of his DRYH rules and ran it on Skype not long ago. Dan actually participated in that game. He could have probably regurgitated Fred’s rules for us, but we decided on a more straight-forward re-skinning of the DRYH dice pools.

So I wanted to share what we came up with. Before you read any further, you might want to make sure that you’re familiar with DRYH as well as the film Inception. Spoilers and all that. Read more »

Chronica Feudalis wins an ENnie!

ENnie AwardOn Friday, August 6th, Chronica Feudalis received a Judge’s Spotlight Award at the 2010 ENnie Awards ceremony. This is, as I understand, a new award where the five judges individually select games they believe are worthy of special recognition but were not nominated in the traditional process. Among 235 entries, Megan Robertson picked Chronica Feudalis.

Here is what she had to say:

“I’ve chosen Chronica Feudalis not just because it is a delightful conceit — a group of mediaeval monks playing a game of imagination in the monastery cellars — but because that conceit is sustained beautifully throughout the text. From the foreword to the end, here is a ‘translation’ of the original document written by one of the monks, laying out the concepts and the rules for their imaginings, even the illustrations (or should that be illuminations?) and cover serve to maintain the illusion. I can just imagine finding this tucked behind a cupboard somewhere in a monastic library, misplaced once the monks who wrote it had no more time for such things — for surely such imaginative young men rose rapidly through the ranks of Holy Mother Church — not to be seen again until today.”

Suffice it to say, this is a great honor. I was there to accept the award at the ceremony and it was a little overwhelming. The other four Spotlight Award winners were: Trailblazer, Fiasco, Ancient Odysseys: Treasure Awaits, and Mindjammer. A fine selection of games to be included among.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this happen. To my editor, Trent Urness, and to my artist, Miguel Santos. To my play-testers, my proof-readers, and everyone who gave me advice on layout, presentation, and marketing. And I want to thank all of the individuals out there who, like Megan, have recognized something in my little game that encouraged them to buy it, read it, and play it. You have made my endeavor of game-design, writing, and publishing so worth it.


Bits & Mortar

Bits & Mortar has launched today! This is a program that allows your local game store to provide customers with free PDF versions of the hard-copy games they buy. Participating publishers include Arc Dream, Cubicle 7, Evil Hat Productions, Pelgrane Press, Rogue Games, and yours-truly, Cellar Games.

Click here for the official press release.

Blue Knight Edition Available

Chronica Feudalis Blue Knight EditionThe Blue Knight edition of Chronica Feudalis is now available! The PDF versions of the game have been updated with the new edition files at RPGNow and DriveThruRPG as well as Indie Press Revolution. If you have already own the PDF of Chronica Feudalis, just go to the site where you purchased it, log-in, view you past purchases, and re-download the PDF. If you don’t own Chronica Feudalis, what are you waiting for? Buy the PDF today!

New in the Blue Knight edition:

  • Simplified defense rolls to make conflicts run smoother and quicker
  • A streamlined skill list
  • Enhanced conditions that improve the effectiveness of maneuvers
  • More robust purse rules

Print copies of the Blue Knight edition will be available at the Indie Press Revolution booth (#2339) at Gen Con 2010. Look for them at the IPR website and your favorite local retailers soon after. Just look for the blue knight on the cover.

Chronica Feudalis Blue Knight Edition

Announcing the Blue Knight edition of the medieval RPG, Chronica Feudalis. This new version incorporates all the changes from the revision document (found in the downloads section) into the complete text of the game. These updates to the rules, made over the past year since the game’s original publication, make this game of imagined adventure more streamlined and accessible at your game table.

Every effort has been made to maintain the pagination and layout of the original book. This means that, except for where rules have specifically changed, any rule you look up will be found on the same page as in the original edition. There’s nothing preventing you from playing with both versions at your game table.

Print copies of the Blue Knight edition will be available, barring any significant printer issues, at GenCon 2010. PDF sources will be updated with the new version soon. So if you already own the PDF of Chronica Feudalis, you will be able to update to the Blue Knight edition for free!

Just look for the blue knight on the cover.

The 2009 Indie RPG Awards

Hey, Chronica Feudalis is up for the Indie RPG Awards this year along with many other amazing roleplaying games that came out from independent publishers in 2009.

Check out the full list of registered games here.

Gamers Helping Haiti: A Follow-Up

Last night, the RPGNow and DriveThruRPG websites finally concluded the Gamers Helping Haiti deal in which thousands of gamers contributed $20 each to Doctors Without Borders and received a bundle of over $1000 worth of RPG related PDFs in return. I’ve been tremendously proud to have included Chronica Feudalis among the excellent material included in this bundle. I like to think that I played a small part in bringing some relief and support to the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Here’s the deal, from my interpretation of the reports I get from RPGNow, there were something like 7400 purchases of the bundle. That is the kind of penetration into the gamer community that few independently published RPGs ever see. Over 7400 people now own Chronica Feudalis who didn’t before. Over 7400 people own 3:16 and Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. Thousands of new owners of Full Light, Full Steam and Beast Hunters.

You probably personally know several other people in your local gaming community who donated their $20 and picked up this bundle. This has been touted on every major gaming forum and a myriad of blogs, podcasts, Twitter tweets, and Facebook posts. Gamers came together in large numbers and in agreement for a cause like I have never seen before. It has been tremendously inspiring. The effort raised over $180,000. That’s significant.

Just because the bundle deal is over and the iPad was announced and Amazon and Macmillan got in a little tiff, doesn’t mean the problems of Haiti have gone away. So, when I say this, don’t take it like I’m saying the crisis is over. It’s not. We still have lots of work to do.

But here’s my point: take a little time to play. You and 7400 of your closest friends have new game material. There has never been a better time to find players to play these games. Take advantage of that. Games are meant to be played. They long to be played. They desperately want to be played. Call up your friends and say, “Did you download Diana: Warrior Princess? I did and it’s awesome. How about we get together this weekend and roll some dice.” Don’t just get your $20 out of these games, get the full $1000+ bundle value out of them. Crack them open, take them out, use them, abuse them. After all, they’re PDFs. They can take a beating.