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Oct. 31st, 2011

Blazing Rose

I'll Show You How: Beloved Sheet with Summaries

And now, a similar design to the new Rival sheet, this time for the Beloved. Without all the Tone/Mood/etc. decisions to make every game in the final version, there is no Story sheet--the Beloved has that covered. It means there's no blank for Setting anymore, but in my experience, players haven't needed any reminder of the Setting once they've found something inspiring. (Compare to character descriptions, where I frequently hear "What does your guy look like again?") What do you think?

Beloved record sheet with play summaries

Oct. 29th, 2011

Blazing Rose

Wingman: Rival Sheet with Helpful Summaries

One of the most common pieces of feedback on the ashcan, as mentioned before, was the need for more summaries of play procedures. Almost as common was the idea to include those summaries on the character sheet, so everybody has easy access to what they're supposed to do next. Here's my first attempt at such a thing (further underscoring my need for a graphic designer, ha), thrown together for a game this coming Tuesday.

Rival Sheet with Summaries

To make room for the summaries, I removed the Focus Episode and Favor stuff (now strictly optional rules) and put Attributes, Assets, and Problems into columns. It feels a little cramped, but should still be usable. What do you think?

I chose stuff to summarize based on what I've seen, in playtest, players most frequently need to be reminded of: when to draw cards, and the flow of the Conflict mechanics. Are these good choices? In the space available, I couldn't go into full detail. So, for instance, the particulars of how to "play Traits" are left out. I'm thinking of using similar space on the Beloved sheet for Creation and overall gameplay flow summaries. Is that good enough? Would it be helpful to have a second sheet that put together everything (Act/Chapter flow, Creation steps, Conflict with more explanation, key concepts like Not Cool) for quick reference? I've avoided it because BR is not all that complicated a game--it's not like a Firefight! in Burning Empires or something--but what's easy to the game's creator is not always easy to his audience. Would people use such a thing?

EDIT: Squeezed a bit more writing room onto the Attributes/Assets/Problems blanks.

Sep. 10th, 2011

Ein - Hearts

My Many Admirers: Facebook User Name

Blazing Rose has attained 25 Likes on Facebook, making it eligible for a username. You can now visit BR's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BlazingRoseRPG !

Aug. 7th, 2011

Blazing Rose

How It Has to Be: Play Flowchart

I'm not a terribly visual person, but for many people, that's the mode of expression that really helps them grasp new concepts. So in the interest of making the text easier to learn and reference, I plan to include some illustrative diagrams throughout. Here's one going into the introduction chapter, giving a sample of how a game with three Rivals might be structured:

Process of Play Diagram

Not pretty--like I said, not a visual person--but hopefully it helps get the ideas across? (If I get a layout artist at some point, maybe they can do a better job...)

Jul. 24th, 2011

Blazing Rose

Free Love: Copyleft for Blazing Rose

Work on the rewrite is coming along at a steady pace. Since One-shot, Comedic, Confrontational is by far the most common play style for Blazing Rose, I've split out the rules for Series, Dramatic, and Friendly play to an optional-rules section for the back of the book. I've beefed up the aforementioned Glossary and written summaries of play procedures for Creation, Chapters, and Conflict, the latter two of which will appear in abbreviated form on the Rival sheets. (Maybe I should summarize Creation on the Beloved sheet... hm!) These changes eliminate the need for a separate Story record sheet. All of the above should lead to a more streamlined game: easier to learn, play, and reference.

That's not what I'm most excited to talk about, though. Here's a blurb I've drafted for the preface/copyright page, with a couple of relevant links added:

"This text is released under a CC0 license. The author (Edward 'Sabe' Jones) has voluntarily surrendered it to the public domain, waiving all copyrights granted him under law. You are free to copy, distribute, or otherwise publish the work, for your own use, for others, or for commercial gain. You are free to modify, adapt, or transform the work in any way you see fit. It's yours as much as it is mine: do with it what you will.

The author asks, but does not require, that he be informed of new projects (revisions, supplements, etc.) based upon the work, and that any such derivative works include attribution of the original author and information on how to find the original work. This is a friendly request from one player of games to another and bears no legal weight or threat of repercussion.

♡ Copying is an act of love. Please copy."

Why the heck would I do this? Read on.Collapse )

Note a couple of things, though: (1) The ashcan still has conventional copyright on it. I'm not going to do anything about it if you copy that text either, but legally speaking, the CC0 thing hasn't been applied to it yet. (2) The above only applies to the text; the artwork is still copyrighted. The creators of those works still hold all the powers granted them by law with respect to their pieces. I'm going to point my artists to this post and see what they think, but for the time being, assume that you may not freely copy, adapt, or reuse any artwork seen on this blog or in the books. I'll leave out any copyright-restricted artwork from the next edition.

Jul. 16th, 2011

Blazing Rose

Terms of Endearment: A Blazing Rose Glossary

As part of my continuing efforts to provide better explanations and summaries, I've put together a glossary for inclusion in the Intro chapter. I hope it'll be a good reference as well as a primer for what's coming up in the text. What do you think? Are these good definitions? Did I miss anything?

The listCollapse )

Jul. 4th, 2011

Blazing Rose

Keeping Things Simple: Conflict Summaries

The most frequent and important piece of feedback I got about the rules text was that I need summaries or quick references, especially for the conflict rules. Here's a stab at doing so for the Conflict stuff.

For at the start of the chapter:
  1. Starting with the player directing this Chapter, each player plays a card face-down and states a Hope.
  2. All players turn their cards face-up. High card takes the trick, unless the value of the card exceeds that Rival's Attribute score for this Chapter.
  3. The trick winner earns one Affection and reassigns a played card to each Rival. Each Heart grants one Affection to that Rival; each Spade subtracts one.
  4. Starting with the player to the left of the trick winner, each player may use a Trait: play a red card and check off one use of an Asset or Turn-on, or play a black card and check off one use of a Problem or Hang-up. Score Hearts and Spades. Card values don't matter.
  5. The Hopes of Rivals with red cards on top come to pass; those with black cards on top do not. Starting to the left of the player directing the Chapter, players may narrate Embellishments of how these results occur.
  6. Each player draws one card and play proceeds with the next Chapter. If this was the last Chapter, go on to Epilogues.

For on the character sheet (and maybe also as a sidebar at the end of the chapter in the book):
  1. State Hopes and play cards. Start with Chapter player.
  2. Turn cards up. Highest card <= Attribute wins.
  3. Winner gets +1 Affection and reassigns cards.
  4. Play Traits. Start to the left of trick winner.
  5. Embellishments. Start to the left of Chapter player.
  6. Draw cards. Go on to next Chapter or Epilogues.

Is that about the right amount of detail for each? The chapter summary should give you a good refresher without getting into nitty-gritty or corner cases (what if you don't have any cards, what if everybody busts, etc.). And the character sheet summary should prompt you on "what do I do next?" without getting too crowded. There'd also be a summary table of what the card suits do on the character sheet. Does that look like it'd work?

Jun. 29th, 2011

Ein - Hearts

Hard to Get: Beloved Archetypes

This idea for a section in the play-advice chapter came to me while I was out mowing the lawn the other day. What do you think? Any cool archetypes I missed, or fitting bits of advice I didn't think of?

The Humble Beloved

"I don't understand why everyone's making such a big fuss over me."

A coy, self-effacing Beloved drives the Rivals to great lengths to prove not only that they're worth loving, but that *he* is. They lay the compliments on thick, praise his virtues openly, scheme not only to get his attention but to set him up for success in a way that shows him how awesome he truly is. The story focuses on that "what makes this person so attractive?" question from devising the Beloved's Concept, and can be a great source of "Aww" rewards when people play it to the hilt! As the Beloved, don't meet the Rivals' eyes, deny you're anything special, refuse gifts and favors. Go to the cards to discover the source of his insecurity and battle it, to coax him into the open, to get him to laugh and let his defenses down.

The Driven Beloved

"I'm flattered, and you know I like you as a friend, really I do... but I just don't have time for dating. I have my career to think of."

This style of Beloved has a purpose in life, and sees the Rivals' romantic interest as a distraction, a nuisance, or an obstacle. The story focuses on the Beloved's Goal: the only way to her heart is to display a like-minded devotion to her plans for a blockbuster motion picture, the liberation of her father's slaves, or world domination. When roleplaying the Beloved, talk shop, fret over setbacks, discuss the big picture, complain about burnout. Hopes with potential might include convincing the Beloved to take a vacation, earning appreciation for the Rival's own personal dreams... or even, for a particularly hard-bitten Driven Beloved, simply getting her to crack a smile for you.

The Beloved in Distress

"Help! The Archduke is going to make me marry him, and I don't love him! Won't someone save me?"

The classic kidnapped princess, this Beloved is either in one big heap of trouble, or has a tendency to land in one perilous situation after another, and depends on the Rivals to bail her out. A Situation fraught with constant danger is a good match for this kind of Beloved, and likely to earn a lot of bonuses. When narrating her, plead, make promises in exchange for help (which may or may not be honored), express gratitude, do foolish things to put her in circumstances the Rivals will need to protect her from. Hopes in conflict rarely have to do with *if* the Beloved gets rescued--it's not like the guillotine will really come down on her neck--but *how*, and which Rival emerges as the Big Damn Hero she lavishes her most profuse thanks upon.

The Player Beloved

"Why don't we discuss this at my place, over drinks? Oh, right, I already set up a thing with that other chick for this evening. I'll have to make it a double-header."

For this Beloved, the game's not about getting him to admit the Rivals are attractive, or scoring a kiss or any other display of affection--those things come free and easy. Rather, the hard part worthy of conflict and Hopes is achieving a tryst that *means* something to him, or in getting him to favor one Rival over another when he could just as easily have all of them. Play up the jealousy factor every chance you get! When speaking as the Beloved, flirt outrageously, describe physical contact, act almost like a Rival yourself... except that you insist on keeping it casual, your options open.

May. 4th, 2011

Blazing Rose

Waiting for Your Love: Let's Try This Again

This project is long overdue to be finished, wouldn't you say? Lots of other endeavors--a real-life romance, a weekly Dungeons & Dragons game that's been running since March 2009--have distracted me from accomplishing the final edition. It doesn't help that I really want to get some professional layout work done, but have no money with which to hire a designer. But anyway! This past weekend's Forge Midwest gaming convention, which featured a highly successful game of Blazing Rose and half a dozen people telling me "hurry up and publish already!", has inspired me to get my act in gear again.

Still out there? Want to prod me along some with a bit of positive reinforcement? Like Blazing Rose on Facebook! LiveJournal won't let me embed a like-button, but if you're on there, a quick search for "Blazing Rose" will reveal it right away.

Aug. 20th, 2009

Serene

A Goddess She: Blazing Rose AP on the Walking Eye Podcast

A full-grown Actual Play recording, from Creation to Epilogues, of a Blazing Rose one-shot has appeared under the baleful gaze of The Walking Eye! Listen in as Bast, Gabriel, Merlin, and Thor battle it out for the attentions and affections of... an ordinary, somewhat bookish mortal? We've come right back around to the "Forever" setting from early brainstorming! ^.^

Huge props to Kevin for producing the episode, and to Jason of Diagonally Through the Woods and blue_moth for joining us to play!

The Pretty Princess Edition of the game is coming, I promise y'all that. I want to get me a sweet layout like that of Willow Palecek's Escape from Tentacle City, you see...

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