Archive for May, 2007

New Avatar Home & Thoughts on Distribution

2007 May 6

Avatar has a new home. Instead of doing the thing I did with the Afraid hack and just editing and expanding the blog post constantly, I’ve utilized the AMAZING NEW TECHNOLOGY available with WordPress (to which I am quickly becoming a convert) and posted my working draft on a separate page connected to my new/other blog. I’ll post notes about updates here, but the text will reside over there.

I’ve reworked the text from the beginning up through “Choosing Greater Dharma Paths,” hopefully making it clearer how I expect groups to come together and decide on a premise and primary characters. Greater Dharma Paths still need more explanation, but I’m gonna wait until I explain Dharma Paths in general, I think. Comments and suggestions are welcome, either here or on the page where the draft is housed.

In general, I was just talking to Thomas about how I’m not convinced by PDFs as a way to distribute free indie RPGs anymore. I think they are a great way to distribute content that you intend people to print out, but not great for content you want people to read and respond to. People will read a webpage or blog post or forum post even if it’s several pages long. Most people will not bother downloading and reading a PDF, unless they are really interested. And I suspect that games which actually get read are more likely to be played or at least to influence people’s thinking about games.

So I think I may do the Zak Arntson thing for a while and post all my games primarily as HTML documents (webpages). If the Avatar game and Afraid hacks can see as much play as Shadows has over the years, that would be cool.

Blog Reader Sound Off

2007 May 3

So I was just telling Shreyas that I have no clue who reads this blog. Sometimes it feels like no one does, though I know that’s not true. But this isn’t a blog on which people consistently post comments (not like Vincent’s), so it’s hard for me to keep track of readership. I go about my day and then, just yesterday, I noticed someone had name-dropped the design work I’ve been doing here on Story Games. Crazy. Because I didn’t know anyone was paying attention.

I’d like your help in getting to know you. If you have a few seconds, post a response or email me (jaywalt at gmail; subject: “Sound Off”), letting me know:

1) Who you are. Mini bio. What games you play. That kind of thing.
2) What brought you here. Some other blog. My Avatar game. Story Games.
3) What you get out of this. Are you patiently waiting until I get back to the Exalted hack? Are you stealing fun design tidbits? Are you stalking me?

If you’re someone I’ve met in person or bummed around with online for years, you can probably skip #2 and 3, but it’d still be nice to know you’re out there. However, if you don’t read my posts regularly, don’t feel guilty and stop by just to sign my yearbook. I’m trying to get a better sense of who my audience is here and, if you’re not really part of it, that’s important to know too. Cool?

New Avatar Sheet

2007 May 3

This is the one to use if people are going to do any playtesting. Also, I spent an hour or so yesterday talking with Annie Rush (now an Avatar expert since her hubby Reagan is going to be drawing comics for Nick magazine) about many of the unspoken assumptions in the rules draft I posted earlier. Thanks to her help, I should have a clearer, more accessible version posted sometime this weekend. Yay!

Tui and La

2007 May 3

Shreyas is amazing. As if you didn’t know.

Avatar Tweaks Coming

2007 May 2

Shreyas is gonna Photoshop me up a version of Tui & La (the spirit-fish that represent the moon and the ocean) to go in the center of the chakra. His sketch above is already awesome. I can’t wait.

Also, I’m gonna tweak the elemental aspects a bit to make traveling around the chakra a bit more interesting, reflecting more directly the decision to move from one element to another. More about this once I have time to work on the new character sheet some more.