Thursday, December 30, 2021

2021 in Review (and a collection of favorite memes from the blog)

Yeah, lets do one of those and get the 20 posts for the year ... Actually, a lot has happened and is happening that is worth talking about that, so I thought I'd share. 


20 posts here on the blog in 2021 is not a bad number. To begin with, it's doubling what I managed to get done in 2020! I aim to be even more productive in 2022. The main problem I see is that I don't seem to be part of any particular rpg scene or movement right now. Nothing that'd lead to some sort of traffic anyway. I mean, I'm trucking on, of course. If I get the urge to write something, I aim to do so ... I just have to get a strong theme going, I guess, and see where the dice fall.

That is to say, this blog is not dead yet, but it needs another focus. I don't think I have said everything I can say about rpg theory, but a lot of that is going into other publications, so I need something else happening here. I have some vague ideas. We'll see.

Ø2\\'3|| - Role-Playing in a Dystopian Future

"ORWELL" is the big one this year. Lots of work went into this cyberpunk-dystopia role-playing game. Proper editing, proper artwork, proper layout and lots of original design with 4 years of proper play-testing. It was a test if I had it in me to write a complete game and get it out there ... and I did and it is.

As far as tracktion goes, this still has some ways to go. However, it was to be expected. I'm only starting to be known as anything resembling a publisher, game designer and author, so why should people bother? I aim to get this into some hands next year. Maybe I can get a bit of a buzz going if some reviewers actually review it. It'll take time, but that's totally fine. The quality stands for itself (you can go and check out a free preview of the book here).

Other than that, I found it motivating to get something done to a degree that a print publication is justified. It's just nice to hold the book in hands now and see it all come together on the printed page. It's actually a bit addicting and I will keep doing that.

So what else is cooking?

In the works (I'm slow, that's why!)

First things first: I should stop announcing specific dates. Not that anyone ever contacted me and said "Jens, this was supposed to be out 3 months ago! Bad, bad publisher ...". No. It seems of no consequence other than getting published later. However, I constantly get it wrong, so I should be more careful about this stuff.

So for the first quarter of 2022 I plan the pdf releases of 2 products. First be67:

be67 - A D&D Retroclone Mutant

A collection of my D&D house rules and a complete game set in the Weird Sixties powered by Labyrinth Lord/BX, HackMaster 4e, The Arduin Grimoir and some original designs. Basically Urban Fantasy as a sixties grindhouse movie.

I will have to redo that cover, I think. The script is already 71 pages strong (A5), which should roughly be two thirds of the whole thing, making good progress so far. Artwork is in production and it will see proper editing again. this will be a blast and I'm looking forward to having all the house rules finally revised and in a nice little booklet (a PoD version should follow this year).

The second book will be "Reflected Digressions":

A collection of posts I wrote here on the blog. I've already done the collection and sorting. This will need a proper layout, work I haven't started yet, but I'll keep it light and classic ... The pdf at least should be easily enough done. Roughly 300 pages A5, mainly writing, almost no artwork and I'll do some light editing. Another nice little book I'll be happy to have (the blessings of PoD, my friends).

Now that'd be roughly the first quarter. Depending on how fast all the pieces come together, I'll have a third publication in the works for either the third or the fourth quarter of 2022, and that would be THE RISE OF ROBO-HITLER:

Obviously later now ...

I'm about to wrap up the play-testing on this one (this was SO MUCH FUN in 2021!) and the whole bunker complex is mapped out and stocked. Still needs the artwork and writing. To be totally fair, this might not see the light of day until Christmas 2022, but also pdf and PoD when it happens.

TRoRH made be67 a necessity as its the rules I'd ideally have people use to play this (although it will be compatible with LL and MF as well as all the other retroclones and BX).

As I said above, I'll keep doing stuff with the blog. What exactly will be the main focus in the future remains to be seen. Still posts about game design, maybe I should do some posts about world building, burt somehow I never managed to keep those going ... 

What else?

Monkey Business, my first major publication, is the gift that keeps giving. It now has four 5-Star ratings (one being a very nice review by Eric over at Sword & Stitchery) and a very enthusiatic 3-Star review and close to 500 downloads.

I'd love to do a revision and expansion of Monkey Business with a proper PoD attached and updated for be67. I've shared this mock-up the other day. I'd love to see that happen in 2022, maybe as a kickstarter:

Either way, you should check that action out, if you haven't already. It's a blast and the level of crazy gonzo role-playing you can expect for TRoRH.

Beyond that I have a couple o f ideas I might start working on next year. What of that might actually also see some form of announcement in 2022 is depending on too many factors to tell right now. I'm working on at least 3 other role-playing games at the moment:

  • Lost Songs of the Nibelungs (needs a complete revision and some more playtesting)
  • HäXar (so far only concepts and some minor designs ... might be testing ground for some rules I still need for LSotN)
  • The Grind (most vague, but some strong elements already developed and written about, will be a card based rpg)

I should do more with ORWELL (or at least the system it runs) and I have a couple of fun ideas for modules I want to write for be67 (fantasy).

So you see, I'll keep myself quite busy and with luck I'll get some nice things published as well. I hope you guys will be along for the ride!

What's left but memes?

I wish all you guys reading this all the best for the next year. May the dice be with you, and all that. Spread love and good vibes, if you can. The world needs all it can get of that right now. I'll do my best as well in that regard.

For now I'll close with my favorite pictures, memes and gifs here on the blog from the last 10 years (all referenced properly where they occur here on the blog). 

Because, why the fuck not.

HackMaster 4e

HackMaster 4e

That was the face of a TPK, my friends.

Harry Potter stole this ...

DIY ethos

Extreme Ironing (I kid you not ...)

HackMaster 4e

The Bard

Man, I really needed to do that :D So many memories. Do you see a theme? Maybe not ... Tell me your favorite and I'll tell you what post it's from!

And as I said, all the best to all of you! Read you on the other side.