Family Matters published in The Fate Codex

I have been published!

Other than the normal distractions that keep me from posting here, I have been spending time recently working with Mark Diaz Truman, creator of The Fate Codex, on a quick-start roleplaying game called Family Matters. I sent the pitch for the game to Mark late last year then largely forgot about it until he got in touch with me in the spring and asked me to follow it up. After a few months work it has now been released in Volume 2, Issue 4 of Mark’s magazine.

In Family Matters you play a deceased ancestor of a noble family who has stuck around after death to look after your descendants. The current Lady of the house is growing old and looking to pick a successor and you, and your ghostly contemporaries, are ready and waiting to get involved and make sure the right person is selected for the job. Haunting family events together you must help your chosen candidate for succession shine, embarrass their rivals, and protect them from the machinations of your rival ghosts.

As I didn’t have the word count in the piece itself I’d like to give a few thanks here. First up, to Mark Diaz Truman himself: thank you for giving me a chance and giving me the opportunity to work on this piece with you. You provided excellent encouragement and provided useful suggestions and direction throughout; it was a pleasure working with you. I’d also like to say thanks to Sally Chrisensen for her editing and input into the piece, Richard Bellingham for being my alpha reader and chief playtester, and Blake, Rod and Guy for allowing me to disrupt our regular game to force them to playtest mine. Finally, thanks to my partner Laura for her encouragement as I wrote, even if she didn’t understand half of what I was writing.

If you want to pick up a copy of The Fate Codex you can do so at DriveThruRPG. If you like it I encourage you to back Mark’s Patreon campaign to help him keep the magazine going.


Facebook Prompt #11

This prompt comes from my friend Paul. Thanks to him, and everyone else still waiting, for their patience!

I found this prompt very hard to deal with. In general I don’t find convincing fight scenes easy to write, and in this case coming into it “dry” made it even tougher. A fight is ultimately a conflict of desires where diplomacy has failed and those involved have been forced to resort to overpowering their opponent to allow their view to prevail, if only through lack of opposition. To have to describe a fight without any clear idea why those involved are fighting, and what they are fighting to achieve, was tricky for me.

After a few false starts on this piece I dropped it for a while to work on other things (more on this in a later post), and coming back to it fresh took a different approach. Rather than trying to create and put across a complicated motivation in a short amount of words I stripped it back to the most basic motivation I could think of: money.

A massive hat-tip is due to this great scene from Ong Bak, from which I drew a lot of inspiration. The Spanish is thanks to Google Translate, corrections welcome.

EDIT: Minor updates for clarity.

“The room was packed, the noise of the crowd was almost painful and the 7ft giant she was dancing around was throwing punches wildly.”

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