Well met, fine friends! It’s me again. Surprised? I kind of am. I was scrambling somewhat for “content” this month when, at the last minute, a flurry of news tidbits came breezing by and saved me from the ignominy of - shudder - having nothing to say. As a precaution I did gather some recommendations of other TTRPG media for you to reroute your attention to, so I’ve also included those after the main course as they’re well worth your time.
Drama Llamas! I will never not mention this game to you. I kid! (I think?) Right now though you’ll have to forgive me as I have 200+ books in my office waiting to go out to backers and I’m absolutely NOT panicking. Nope. No sir. If you’re a Kickstarter backer: thank you again and I’ll be posting yours out shortly. If you’re not a backer but you’d like a copy then watch this space! I’ll be rocking up at some conventions later in the year. More on those closer to the time.
In italiano! I am so, so excited to say that Drama Llamas will be getting its first non-english publication later this year thanks to the excellent folks at NessunDove, who will be translating and distributing the game digitally in Italian. Pendant que je parle un peu français, I know maybe (MAYBE) three words in Italian and one of those is “pizza”, which only makes this whole process more thrilling to me. Even better: NessunDove are running a competition for the best llama reality show ideas in the lead up to their release, with the best ideas appearing in a special companion zine. Learn more and enter here: https://nessundove.it/drama-llama/.
Hoard of Tales! I’m bad at promotion and I kind of hate it, so I’ve essentially… stopped doing any? What I do like, though, is chatting. Last night I did some of that with Hoard of Tales over on Twitch. They kindly invited me to talk about my experience developing Drama Llamas, and my thoughts on getting into game development. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Markus. Catch the recording here if you want to hear that conversation and support an excellent stream.
It’s been a while since I mentioned some of the incredible TTRPG-related media I've been enjoying. Very remiss of me, I do apologise. Here’s what I’m into this month:
Podcast: What Am I Rolling? I had the absolute privilege of Grail Guiding Fiona, who is one half of WAIR, during the Inspirisles stream series I did with Girls Run These Worlds. Excellent player, excellent host - I highly recommend you try some episodes of her podcast. Incidentally Fiona also streamed a read-through of Drama Llamas over on the WAIR YouTube channel, and her commentary gave me great and unanticipated joy on a rainy Thursday evening.
Newsletter: Philippa Mort Games. I’ve been fortunate enough to run into Philippa several times in varying contexts since we happened to be in the same class of students on the Storytelling Collective’s adventure writing workshop a couple of years ago now. While gathering an already impressive body of work behind her - writing adventures and games, reviewing games, tackling TikTok (where millennials fear to tread) - she has a distinctive and thoughtful voice which I thoroughly appreciate. If you want to know what I mean check out her recent essay on the Cozy Games/Cozy Horror phenomenon.
Book: A Folklore Bestiary, by The Merry Mushmen. I know. You’re probably thinking, as I thought, that folklore monsters have been done to death in TTRPGs and have no more goodness to give. But here’s another truth that we do well to remember as artists and as consumers of art: there are very few truly new ideas, so sometimes execution is everything. And this is gorgeous. Stunning. A good bestiary should inspire you, fire you up, make you want to take a campaign in a whole new direction. This, for me, is that.
Jam: One-Page RPG Jam 2023. If you’re a game dev looking to build your community and try out an off-the-wall idea in a low pressure setting, jams are a great way to do both. This is the first I’ve joined in a while and it’s by far one of the larger I’ve engaged with - over 900 participants! I’m hoping to collaborate with a friend on something on the jam theme of “rumours and secrets”. If you’re joining let me know in the comments and I’ll try to drop you a review when it closes!
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