Scrappy Stream of Consciousness
Ballad of the Bastard and the Tinkerer, This is Your Lifepath, My Heart is a Nuclear Reactor, Quick Hits
Hey so I had a whole newsletter drafted, filled with gags and gasps, japes and jolly news. Really the best newsletter ever presented. Anyway it was on my notes app on a phone that just got nicked. So this is the re-draft trying to recreate it off the dome.
In spite of the lost phone I've had a solid month. I put out an adventure, properly launched a podcast and made some fun progress in developmental projects.
The Ballad of the Bastard and the Tinkerer
Having had a lot of fun working on an adventure for the first time this year I decided to make one for one of my own games. The Ballad of the Bastard and the Tinkerer is an introductory adventure for Wild Duelist. It concerns two sworn rivals who will travel together through the dangerous Looming Woods, protecting each other along the way, until their final destination where they will engage in a bloody duel to the death.
It includes all the rules necessary to run the adventure. It doesn't feature the character creation rules, systems for advancement or tools for building new encounters, which are all available in the core book. Interestingly the two lead characters were created using the lifepath included in the core book.
Avery the Tinkerer is a heroic eccentric archer, raised by drifters and trained by the Hermit Crab of the Monastery. Often underestimated and thought a fool, they seek to avenge the murder of their mentor.
The Feral Dove Isolda is the Bastard daughter of the Olive Backed Earl. Unrecognised and unrespected, she clawed some medium of respect which was lost recently. She accepts Avery's challenge to try and redeem her image.
The thing opens with a fun preamble, framing the game in the context of a distant tale told in a tavern. I did a recording of that as a voiceover for TikTok. Here: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMYmByUb3/
This is Your Lifepath
The modern renaissance trans must be a master of many disciplines; game design, video editing, stand-up comedy, professional wrestling, and now; podcasting.
But yeah I started a podcast. This is Your Lifepath is an in-depth interview show where I sit down with ttrpg creatives and discuss all their influences and inspirations away from the world of games. This ranges from other media to personal life stories.
The first four episodes are out now and I think they are all great in different ways. I've interviewed Matt Sanders (Sealed Library), Chloe Mashiter (roll/flip/draw), Zach Cox (of SoulMuppet and RRD) and Laurie O'Connel (12 Pins Press, creator of Lichcraft and Heironymous).
I'm hoping to record and release two more episodes for this first series then take a small break and build up a backlog for a second series which will probably be larger.
My aim with the podcast was very simple; it was a structure to make it easier to keep social and have interesting conversations. Its success rubric was entirely around "do I enjoy making it". I did enjoy making it and it's been touching that the response seems to be that people enjoy listening to it, which makes me even more excited to keep working on it.
Available at podcast.ratwave.uk, Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/2lpel41TiepCLq0jXQFvCm?si=XMPVTBQ0SwKasBKVHBtO1w&app_destination=copy-link) or wherever else you find podcasts.
Work in Progress Report: My Heart is a Nuclear Reactor
A couple weeks back in therapy the phrase "My Heart is a Nuclear Reactor" popped into my head and I wanted to figure out what that game would be.
Currently I'm working on it as a loose Anamnesis hack but for multiple players instead of solo.
The focus is on a singular lead character whose heart went into meltdown. The core is sealed but they'll need assistance to clear the radioactive waste and repair the reactor core.
It's a game about feelings, emotional vulnerability and heartbreak. I'll see how development shakes out as this could be a game too intense for me to actually finish.
I imagine it as part of a vague "Magical Social Realism" trilogy with How to Embrace a Swamp Creature and The Infinite Dancefloor. I did a thread about a feature in the graphic design of both; ambient dialogue. Read that here for some reflections in how these games hold together.
Quick Hits for Smaller Updates
Started a notebook in an interesting very trans game.
MacMakesThings ran The Man We Knew for their Orbital Blues game and posted a (spoilery, so beware) recpap if how things went: https://www.macmakesthings.com/updates-and-announcements/
Maybe Rat Wave is like the French New Wave. Maybe I'm the French New Wave of TTRPGs. But I've never vibed with any Godard, though I did dig the Agnesa Varda I saw (who doesn't love Varda) and the 400 Blows worked for me. Wait is this a sign off?
I love the idea - "My heart is a nuclear reactor". Looking at the concepts of meltdown and fallout suggests to me a character with empathetic projection. When they experience severe emotional trauma they deal with it by unintentionally (and non-explicitly) offloading the trauma to others.
Perhaps after their being dumped, strangers around them feel as if someone has left them and they don't know why?