ffutures: (Default)
This was sent to me via an email digest which has stripped out some non-ASCII characters and replaced them with question marks etc. I've xxxed out a couple of email addresses and phone numbers, but can supply them if anyone needs them.

Drivethru's Press Release )


Feb. 5th, 2010 07:43 am
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Final tally on the drivethru RPG Haiti thing - it raised $178,900.00 for Doctors Without Borders!

Mark me as astonished and EXTREMELY pleased - because that strongly implies there's a good few thousand tabletop RPG fans out there committed enough to spend $20 and help a good cause. Now if I can somehow tap into that market...
ffutures: (Default)
This morning I got an email from Drivethru saying that the Help Haiti charity games bundle has raised more than $150,000. For anyone who hasn't been paying attention, this contains about $1500 worth of PDFs, and sells for $20. Contents include the Serenity RPG, my own Diana: Warrior Princess, and a shedload more. They stop selling it at the end of the month, so if you haven't got it already, and have any interest in RPGs, you might want to think about getting it now!

ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
I added Diana, Warrior Princess to the contents of the bundle of PDFs that are being sold in aid of Haiti, but it isn't showing up. Not sure what's happened here, but very annoying!

later - apparently it's in the bundle but the list is truncated - full list is here

The list value of the stuff in the bundle is just under $1500!

Gamers, please publicise!
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Drivethru RPG are offering to match $5 or $10 donations to Haiti relief made through their site.


e.g. you donate $10, they pass on $20 to Doctors Without Borders. It's already reached $2,785.00

They're also putting together a VERY big "Help Haiti" bundle of PDFs which will sell for $20 - one of the PDFs it includes will be Diana: Warrior Princess, the nominal value of the bundle is already over $500. All proceeds from the bundle will also be passed on to Doctors Without Borders. This isn't on line yet but ought to be live in the next few days. If you put money in as a donation as above you will be given a credit towards the purchase of the bundle.

update Tuesday evening: This goes live at Midnight, EST tonight.
ffutures: (Default)
Here's the plot summary for the TV show I've invented for the fanfic RPG:

Once upon a time there were three ordinary college girls leading ordinary lives, who were unexpectedly abducted by aliens, brainwashed, trained as ninja assassins and programmed to help conquer humanity, escaped, stole a spaceship, and are now trying to find their way back to Earth, paying their way by slaying monsters on the worlds they visit. Along the way they’ve acquired a crew, several implausibly powerful weapons, numerous enemies, and a reputation for gratuitous violence. These are the Ninja Monster Slayers in Spaaaace!

Sound promising?

Also, I'm a bit puzzled as to how I'm going to word the "Slash" card without causing offence. The version I have so far doesn't feel quite right

card text )
ffutures: (Default)
I've been working on the "plot cards" for the fanfic game - briefly, each will be a plot coupon that can be played to affect the course of the game, players will be given a few at the start of each scenario. So far I have forty ideas, ten cards per page, each will eventually consist of a name, a quote as an example, a description of what the effect is, and a note on when the card can be played and whether it is a one-shot effect or permanent. If anyone wants to suggest more I could possibly be persuaded to take it to 50 or 60 cards...

I've put in the full text of the first four, the rest will be written as time permits.

“Hah! A short burst of quasitron particles will soon disable their hyperdrive…”
No matter how dire the situation or minimal your resources, you have the technology to set things right, if you can come up with some convincing technobabble.
One use only

Real Family
“By defeating me you have proved yourself a worthy heir to my evil empire…”
Your character, or another character of your choice, is unknowingly related to one of the principal heroes or villains of the story; the GM decides who. Not always good news…
One use only

Woke Up in Vegas
“Who are you, and what the frack are you doing in my bedroom?”
Your character, or another of your choice, wakes to discover that he or she has married unexpectedly; the GM selects the spouse, the wedding cannot be annulled
Permanent effect once played

I thought everyone knew I studied nuclear physics before I became a vet…”
Something in your character’s past, never before mentioned, will provide exactly the skills, contacts, or circumstances needed to solve the current problem.
One Use Only

The others are:

Plot? What Plot??
Baby on the Doorstep
All a Dream
Here We Go Again
With One Bound…
Fade to Black
Like a Virgin
Separated At Birth
Essential Attribute
Unexpected Allies
Jump the Shark
Fame at Last
Stunt Double
RPF [real people fic]
Marriage Contract
Your Mission
Debt of Honour
Secret Base
Wedding Surprise
BFG [big fracking gun]
One Liner
Bad Science
Terms of the Will
Cute Kid
I Got Better
Exactly As I Planned
ffutures: (lander)
Having verified that Dragonmeet is indeed on December 1st, here's what I hope to be running:

Forgotten Futures X: The Tooth and Claw Role Playing Game
First preview of the new Forgotten Futures setting!
The Crimson Claw Mutual Assurance Company

When Yarge pirates start to target merchant ships flying Tiamath's
flag of convenience things show signs of going a little pear-shaped
for the country's oldest insurance company. Fortunately the Management
knows just the right people to handle the problem...

2-3 hours, 3-6 players, the adventurers are dragons.

Diana: Warrior Princess / Elvis: The Legendary Tours
Jailhouse Rock

There are strange rumours of hideous monsters at the tyrannical Uncle
Sam's most secure prison, The Rock. Someone needs to get inside to
find out what's really going on, and nobody else seems to be

2-3 hours, 3-6 players, ready-made characters.

Yes, I know that one of the Elvis adventure outlines is Jailhouse Roc - this is a different rock!
ffutures: Flatland map (Flatland)
I've been very quiet about RPGs lately because things have been a bit stuck; sometimes things just don't want to be written. But I finally have some news.

For a while I've been trying to think of things to put in the next Flatland release. I have an adventure outline (a crossover with Forgotten Futures), some sample characters for it, and an article about religion in Flatland. That isn't enough to be worthwhile putting together as a PDF. However, I now have something better - a completely new game world.

The book is Charles Hinton's "An Episode of Flatland," which takes a different slant at 2D worlds, basing its physics much more on our own universe. Worlds are 2D disks, with 2D creatures living on the rim, in the same way that we live on the surface of a globe. The dimensions its inhabitants experience are Up-Down and East-West, rather than the NSEW of Flatland. There's never been a complete on-line version of the text - everyone seems to have scanned the Dover edition, part of a collection of Hinton's writings, which is heavily cut. I've been trying to get hold of a copy of the orginal book for the last couple of years, and finally acquired one last week on eBay. It reached me today, and I hope to start work on scanning etc. next week.

This is essentially going to be a separate game, but written in a similar style to Flatland and with some crossover potential. Again I'll be donating all proceeds to Doctors Without Borders. It'll include the Flatland / Forgotten Futures crossover adventure I mentioned above, which I'll rewrite so that it's usable with both systems - this will hopefully encourage people to buy both.

I'm still looking for a title for this - for various reasons "Coinworld" or "Rimworld" seem the most plausible, but if anyone has any better ideas let me know.

I should add that this is a long term thing - I hope to complete something for Forgotten Futures first, but for various reasons I don't want to say anything about that just yet. It probably won't be the clubland thing I discussed some time ago, that isn't coming together very well and I'm going to put it on hold pending a major rewrite, and work on something else instead. With luck I'll have more to say about this in a week or two.

As for the Dianaverse... well, I think I'm just going to have to leave it for a while; Dali's / Gandhi's Angels just isn't working, and again I think the best thing I can do is put it on hold and think about other things for a while, and hope that I come up with something better.

So hopefully things are starting to move, but fairly slowly. I doubt that I'll have anything to launch this year, but with luck 2008 will be interesting...
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
An interesting statistic at e23.

Their customers are asked to rate downloads from 1 (dreadful) to 5 (excellent). Currently, with 13 votes received, Diana: Warrior Princess is rated somewhere between 4 and 5; I have no idea where it falls on this spectrum, they just show 4 stars and a half star, which can be anything from 4.01 upwards.

The interesting statistic is that their all-time "Top Ten Rated Items" (based on a minimum of five votes) have scores ranging from 4.74 to 4.90, and one of the higher-scoring games has only six votes. So it's possible that just one or two more 5-star votes will put Diana onto that table.

So if you downloaded Diana from e23 and haven't already voted, PLEASE do so...
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Well, not quite - but Steven Marsh (Pyramid magazine) has pointed me at this webcomic, which sums up the idea of Diana: Warrior Princess in three panels...
ffutures: illos from the novel by George Griffith (Angel of the Revolution)
Yesterday's Dragonmeet was, as always, extremely good fun. Also exhausting, since I had a sore throat from the start.

I made a big mistake in the pacing of the first Flatland / Forgotten Futures adventure, which ended up lasting just under two hours instead of nearly three - the problem was that I originally designed it with a Forgotten Futures detective phase which given the time constraints would have had to be done entirely by NPCs; instead the players (as Flatlanders temporarily occupying 3D bodies) got to cross London, destroy things and frighten the horses, then rescue someone and destroy a nameless evil (with rugose tentacles). I think everyone had some fun, but it was a lot shorter and more linear than originally intended. I'll write it up properly when I'm a bit better. One possibility is that some of the players could run two characters, one human and one Flatlander, with the human leaving the stage in the second act.

I'd compounded my timing error by allowing an hour's break between sessions, instead of half an hour, so ended up sitting and talking to passing friends for nearly two hours between games. Fortunately [livejournal.com profile] doctor_toc is now resident in the UK and made it to the con, and helped me out by table-sitting while I got lunch and had a fast mooch around the dealers. Also saw Phil Masters, Mike Cule, [livejournal.com profile] pwca, [livejournal.com profile] karohemd and other familiar faces.

The afternoon Diana Warrior Princess session in which Diana and Elvis characters (through a bureaucratic mistake during a silly-season crossover episode) ended up in the afterlife - it went well, but I think the plot needed more work. It seemed to go down well enough, but I hadn't quite thought through some of the things the players might do, so a lot of improvisation was needed. Such as coming up with a version of Death - yes, with the scythe - whose idea of playing Rock - Paper - Scissors was to materialise a boulder over the head of the person challenging him. The Supreme Being (a John Cleese clone, of course) seemed to go over well, as did various undead barmen, talking lizards, etc. Again, I'll write it up eventually.

After that I nipped home and dumped my stuff, and got back in time for the auction where I singularly failed to get any of the things I bid on - I only had 50 quid left, and that wasn't nearly enough for the things I wanted. It raised £1600+ for children's charities, which I think is a record for Dragonmeet. Highest price was the last item, signed and dedicated copies of the recent Dork Tower cartoons about Dragonmeet - bought by Angus Abranson for I think £400. Unfortunately [livejournal.com profile] muskrat_john didn't make it over this year, so he'll have to wait on the transatlantic post. After that I was pretty shattered and ended up going home for an early night. Didn't even make it to the post-con booze-up today because I just didn't feel up to it.

Later edit - sorry, that was £450 for the cartoons, and it's Angus who'll have to wait, of course, since [livejournal.com profile] muskrat_john will be sending them from the USA.

My big disappointment was that all of my sales were Diana and Elvis material - none for Forgotten Futures or Flatland, despite lots of people admiring the plastic cutout characters for Flatland and apparently liking the game concept. Again, it would really help if the game got more publicity, higher ratings on e23, etc., so if you've bought it and liked it please say so. Remember that all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders.

I've been thinking about the long-term future of Forgotten Futures, and one possibility I'm considering is to make the core rules mechanisms (in the PDF version up to page 37) available on a free basis - anyone would be able to use them for their own games, add additional rules, etc., subject only to an acknowledgement of their source - and to allow anyone to write and sell worldbooks and adventures based on the complete rules (but not to print the entire 100-page rule book unless they want to pay royalties) if they don't want to develop their own game. I won't make money out of this directly, but Forgotten Futures is a reasonably flexible system and it ought to work reasonably well as an "engine" for most types of game, and encourage people to look at my material. At this stage this is still a "something I might do" idea, not a firm proposal, and I'd be grateful for comments.
ffutures: (Default)
Trying to work out what I'll be selling at Dragonmeet, so far the list is

Official Flatland RPG - all proceeds to Doctors Without Borders
PDF (on CD-ROM with Forgotten Futures freebies) £4.00
Cut-out flatlanders (colour laser printed on transparent plastic, 4 A4 sheets) £ 2.50

Diana, Warrior Princess - 20% to Cancer Research UK
Diana, Warrior Princess (book) £ 7.00
Diana, Warrior Princess (PDF with Forgotten Futures freebies) £ 3.00
Elvis, The Legendary Tours (PDF with Forgotten Futures freebies) £ 2.50

Forgotten Futures - all proceeds to Cancer Research UK
Forgotten Futures IX with extras £ 2.00

Pricing of the PDFs is a straight dollar conversion from the e23 prices with a small amount added for the blank CD-ROMs, wallets, labels etc.

I really wish that I could be ready to launch Forgotten Futures X and the other stuff I'm developing, but well into next year looks more likely.
ffutures: (Phrenology)
Here's the blurb for the adventures I'll be running at Dragonmeet this time next month:

SCENARIO TITLE: Charlie's Angles
System: Forgotten Futures AND The Original Flatland Role Playing Game
Time: 10.30-1.30 approx.
Genre: Victorian weirdness
GM: Marcus L. Rowland
Players: 3-6
Blurb: When eminent mathematicians start to disappear, the League of Extraordinary Geometers calls for the help of a few adventurers with unusual talents, for a mission into another universe with peculiar properties. But can anything really prepare anyone for an encounter with the chaos of the third dimension? Ready-made characters, 2-3 hours.

SCENARIO TITLE: How I Spent My Summer Vacation
System: Diana, Warrior Princess
Time: 2.30-5pm approx
Genre: Humour
GM: Marcus Rowland
Players: 3-6
Venue: xx
Blurb: Even adventurers need time off occasionally, but it's odd that so many seem to have chosen to take a break in the same resort. Coincidence? A vast conspiracy? Coincidence AND a vast conspiracy? Or just a travel agent without much imagination? Whatever the reason, there's trouble ahead... Ready-made characters, 2-3 hours.

Now all I have to do is finish writing them...
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Not sure if I should be pleased or appalled that Diana and Elvis have just reappeared at the bottom of the 'top ten' charts on e23, the one tracking the last thirty days.

Pleased, because it confirms that they're steady sellers on a "few copies a month" basis which is bringing in a small but useful income over the course of a year. I knew that anyway from the last sales figures, but confirmation is always nice.

Appalled, because this suggests that a lot of other products which I would tend to think of as much stronger sellers must be doing worse.

On the whole I suspect that it's just a statistical blip, maybe there just haven't been many strong new releases in the last month, or possibly the result of a review I haven't seen. Whatever, it's nice to see them back there again.
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Diana is back in the top ten for the last 30 days at e23; admittedly it's right at the bottom, with a less-than-massive eight sales, but it's there. It seems to be plodding along at about the same level it's had most of the time since I launched it, except for a couple of peaks (the initial rush when I launched it, and another short burst when I launched Elvis...), so presumably only nine other PDFs have outsold it in the last 30 days. If so, Diana is doing better than a thousand-odd other products. I suspect that this is a temporary blip, possibly due to thousands of the most rabid D20 gamers being at Gencon, since the usual bottom number is at least 12 or so. If not this does not bode well for the future of PDF publication...

Having said that, it's cheering that all of my stuff has made it into the top ten, and Diana has done so three times now. Today I got confirmation that e23 will be carrying Forgotten Futures as a freeby, and it'd be interesting to see what happens with that one - but I suspect that free downloads don't go into the charts.

It'd be very nice to see The Original Flatland RPG back in there, since all of its takings go to charity. If you've bought it please give it a rating, that might help to sway undecided buyers; if not, go spend some money!
ffutures: Flatland map (Flatland)
The Original Flatland Role Playing Game has just made it into e23's top ten for the last 30 days, in equal last place with Elvis: the Legendary Tours. Hopefully it's going to climb higher, and more sales and a few reviews and ratings would help that, of course. Since this is a charity project I'm especially keen to see it do well.

So far everything I've sold via e23 has made it into their top ten, which I think is pretty good going. Diana: Warrior Princess even went back into the charts for a few days, piggy-backing on Elvis's new players. I think I may put a free PDF version of Forgotten Futures on their site if they'll let me, it ought to introduce a few new players to the game.
ffutures: (Gandhi)
Here's my first stab at a rationale for Gandhi's Angels - not the details of the show, but the reason why it exists.

You already know the score if you’ve read Diana: Warrior Princess. Imagine our world, seen by someone as remote from us as we are from the ancient Greeks, and with as many gaps in their knowledge. Imagine it converted into a TV series by a production company with the loving attention to historical accuracy we have come to expect from such series.

Like most successful series Diana… has spawned spin-offs. The most popular is Elvis: The Legendary Tours, in which wandering bard Elvis tries to find a way back to his home, the mystic Land of Grace, and overthrow its evil ruler, his half-brother Costello, but Elvis… doesn’t catch all the key advertising demographics as well as it should. In particular, it doesn’t quite meet the intellectual needs of that large percentage of the audience that wants to see scantily-clad women deal out violent justice as graphically as possible, to the accompaniment of machine-gun fire, car chases, and loud explosions. To service this group another show is needed… that show is Gandhi’s Angels.

Does this seem like a reasonable premise for an RPG?
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Here's a slightly different version of the Gandhi's Angels cover, with a gun I like better and some helicopters. I'm not sure the helicopters are in the best place, they might be covered by lettering, but this looks like something I could go with.

another picture of Gandhi )


Oh, here's how I originally described the series - may need a few changes if I do it:

Gandhi’s Angels

On the mysterious island of Manhattan the ancient monk Mahatma Gandhi trains three women warriors in the fighting arts, and uses his powers to send them into the world on a series of mystical quests. The exciting adventurers of “Babe” Ruth, Marion Morrison, and Toni Curtis involve magic, martial arts, horror and suspense, and the story arc leads to a crescendo of action as the secrets of the sinister “Ivy League” are slowly unearthed. Supported by a range of official Gandhi’s Angels martial arts products, workout videos, and diet products.
ffutures: Cover for Diana: Warrior Princess rpg (diana)
Okay, let's assume, for the sake of argument, that I do go with Gandhi's Angels for the next Dianaverse book...

How does this look as a cover - very compressed jpg, will be better quality for the real thing:

Gandhi's Angels cover )

Think it needs something more - maybe a helicopter and a couple of explosions - but I think it puts the idea across.

The gun the middle woman is holding has a very Freudian look - obviously that will have to be changed!

Later - now changed

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