Archive for the 'Transantiago' Category

Another Transan Board

2008 Sep 12

Still trying to get this right, so I can start playtesting it.

Updated Priorities

2008 Aug 21

Now that Geiger Beta is out, it’s time to take a break from that and give people some time to play it and make comments. Which means I can finally think about other things.

Dev recently said that he wants to play the Avatar game, which means I need to tweak it a bit. I might just end up blatantly stealing the fight mechanics from Mist-Robed Gate, because I think they’ll work mighty well. Then a few other tweaks and we’re off. The Avatar game still gets the most hits of anything on my website, so perhaps I should just release it through Bleeding Play in PDF form, once we playtest it a bunch more.

Push is definitely near the top of the list. I want to get the other articles from Push 1 up in HTML format on Bleeding Play, make the link to the PDF more prominent, type in the edits to her article that Em sent me months ago, and get Push 1 set up on Lulu so people can order print copies at cost. I also want to start getting some of the stuff from Push 2 up. Eero and Bill’s articles in particular are things I’ve been sitting on for many months. I just need to edit them, ask for a couple corrections from the authors, and post them up there.

Currently, it looks like Transantiago development may move to Secret Wars for a bit, since Shreyas has agreed to help me work on the passages from the rules that are supposed to be read aloud during play.

And then there’s Fingers on the Firmament, which I’ve been thinking about a ton and can’t wait to get to. Development-wise, I think it comes right after Transantiago, since Justin is still focused on getting the John Rain game done. It will rock some serious socks. Honestly, after playing 4th some more, I’m also interested in seeing the changes they’re coming out with for the GSL, on the outside chance that Firmament might be able to mine some of the better parts of the new edition. We’ll see.

Then, on the outside, things I still want to finish some day:
The Snow Queen

Geiger Beta & Transan Board Print

2008 Aug 8

Due to the confusion about what is or isn’t an ashcan, whether they are playtested or not, etc… what’s coming out at GenCon is the “beta” version of Geiger Counter, the “alpha” being that version that SG Boston and Go Play NW have been playing for the past 5 months.

Here’s the cover.

Also, I got the first printing of the Transantiago board back from Lulu and I’m going to have to tweak it a bit if I’m going to use that publication route. They print their posters on Kodak paper, as if they’re expecting photos (no surprise), but that makes the blacks bleed a bit more than I was expecting. Plus, they cut them inexactly, necessitating a white border around them. On the plus side, this means that dry and wet-erase markers should work pretty well, I think, though I haven’t tried yet.

The Dancer and the Dawn

2008 Jul 25

Continuing an outline of the early play of Transantiago. This text is all ugly, but it gets at what I’m ultimately aiming for.


The Assassin has strangled this world of suffering, garroting it with the crimson thread called Desire. As this world dies, the parts worth saving depart along the Night Road which pours from the fatal wound, towards the World To Come. Engulfed in the Night Road, the Assassin is lost amidst the hustle and bustle of those departing, trapped amidst a station that we will name after him: Assassination Station. I will now place this station on one of the Stars Amid The Darkest Night, to show where the Assassin may be found.


It is my duty, the duty of the Dancer, to bring the dawn. The sun rises on the last day this world will ever know, before all the goodness departs along the Road of Night and all the excess is lost in the ashes. It rises on the Songbird, who is departing Assassination Station, leaving the depths of the previous night, to begin searching for Those Who Come In The Night.


Where shall the Songbird fly, as she sings a final welcome to the sun?


And then the Songbird takes the first turn, leaving from the first station.

When the Corsair takes the second turn, as befitting a pirate, he begins at whichever station he chooses, forcibly seizing it and placing it on the map, before departing from there. This ensures that there are two disconnected subway lines in the beginning. Perhaps the Traveler does this as well, starting from some station he’s wandered into? Do I need to start with some flavorful unique thing for all 8 initial bodhisattvas?

The Gardener’s Introduction

2008 Jul 25

Play of Transantiago begins with a passage something like this, read by the Gardener.


When the Buddha was on his deathbed, a group of children came to him and asked: “Teacher, why is there a ‘Santiago’ in Chile, a ‘Santiago’ in Cuba, yet another ‘Santiago’ in the Philippines, a ‘Santiago’ in the Cape Verde Islands, a ‘Santiago’ in California (though that one’s called ‘San Diego’), at least thirty ‘Santiagos’ in Portugal, five in Spain, one in the Galapagos…?” But by the time the children finished their question, the Buddha had died.

Ānanda took the children aside and said: “Brave Ones, the Beloved Teacher has traded in his fleshy prison for a body made of rainbows. Lucky for you, I too once asked him your question, so I can share the answer with you. In truth, the mirrored city, Transantiago, is a perfect jewel carried within the mind of Lokeśvara, the Lord of the Earth, who scatters reflections of it as he pleases amidst the grime of this world. But, I would advise you: if in the future you meet a bodhisattva on the road, pray render your speech more succinct, else he escape like the wind in your hands.”

Following Ānanda’s advice, it is my duty, the duty of the Gardener, to sheer away excessive blabber with a snip of the fingers, tending the conversation by keeping it well pruned.


Transan Board at Lulu

2008 Jul 25

Just ordered a test print of the Transantiago playtest board from Lulu, to see how their poster prints work. Unfortunately, it was $9 for shipping, which I guess has to do with the cardboard tube they mail it in. Weird. It’ll be strange if people have to pay $30 for board + booklet on a ‘free’ game that I’m making zero profit off of. I might have to check out other options.

In any case, I’m excited about getting to playtest the new version, either in Boston or at GenCon. Here’s the final playtest version of the board.

Draft of Poster-Sized Transan

2008 Jul 23

My new plan is to print Transantiago on two sides of a poster, at least 11×14″ or so. The rules would go on the reverse of this, which illustrates how the structural elements from When The Forms Exhaust Their Variety are going to be worked into this draft. I may roll up the laminated poster and attach a little bag to it with dry erase pens and tokens to mark subway stations and bodhisattvas, so you can play it right off the bat.

Only bringing one copy to GenCon, though. Still needs to be playtested more than once, before I start distributing copies :)

New New Transantiago Board

2008 Mar 6

Another attempt. I don’t think I want the board to be too colorful, because groups are going to draw on it with dry erase markers. Also, I want the world to be visibly falling apart, preferably fading away as the valuable aspects of the world escape along the Night Road.


New Transantiago Board

2008 Feb 29

Here’s a sharper version of the new board I posted earlier. Like in Go, the stations are placed where the lines cross and then the subway tracks are drawn on top of the lines, with parallel lines drawn off to the side.


I want to make it look like a very retro-board game and so far I really dig it.

New Metro Map

2008 Feb 26

Eric and Eben really want me to run Transantiago for Story Games Boston eventually, so I’m working on a new playtest draft and sketched out a new map, based on the one I did for When the Forms Exhaust Their Variety.