2014 – Back in the Highlights


Despite my expectations, it would appear that the readership on this blog has increased since I started, (from “Holy cow, I have a reader!” to a staggering, “Holy Cow, I have readers [ plural]!”)  I am surprised as the next person to find this out, and welcome any man, woman, or spambot that has wandered on to this site by mistake.


One of my more glamorous shots.


To round off the year, I thought I’d give a quick play-by-play of the posts this year, in case you missed any that might appeal to you.


  • So Much Time, So Little to Do – A breakdown of all of the Tangent Artist games we’re working. Since then, I’ve talked about… um… maybe a third of them. Yeah. Will have to tease you more about those next year.
  • Monster Gallery – Gloom Cart – A preview monster for Skeleton Crew (although he fits in with Dresden Files too.) Haven’t done too many solo monsters since… let me know if you want more.
  • Costume Clash – Behind the Scenes – I’m very pleased with this WIP game, and while it won’t be launched in 2015, we’ve definitely made a lot of progress with it this year. This article is also a fun glimpse at the creative process for all you creative types.
  • Skeleton Crew 101 – The first teaser (of many) about the Skeleton Crew game.


  • Dungeon Tours Ltd – 101 – Sneak peak at our WIP rpg setting, Dungeon Tours Ltd. We’re currently thinking about releasing this one digitally, potentially through Drivethrurpg.
  • Gen-Con or Bust – Won’t even bother linking this, as it only covers where we were at Gen Con.
  • Feedback to Back – Pt 1 – A breakdown of the many games we ran at Gen Con, the feedback, and the fun experiences… too much to fit in one blog entry!



  • Vampire Bloodlines- A fluffy-breakdown of the many different vampires around the Skeleton Crew World.
  • Open the Gates! – An experiment with open-ended games, and a great set-up for a Skeleton Crew adventure. (I guess this was the prototype for the GMprov posts to follow.)
  • Inktober Two-fer – A super-early peak at the art for two character in the upcoming Skeleton Crew rulebook (it’s so secret, it wasn’t even in the Beta version!) Art by the amazing Monica Marier.
  • Inktober Day 19 – Another sneak peak character. This week: the ghostly Chucky Crumb.
  • Inktober Day 20 – A third sneak peak character. This time: Padre Vinnie Sargento
  • Gmprov Part 1 – My first official post devoted to merging Improv and Games-Mastery. This week focuses on Conversations and Eavesdropping.
  • Gmprov Part 2– More on merging Improv and Games-Mastery. This week: Bargains & Interrogations.NOVEMBER
  • Lost-in-Translation- Muddling Messages – A post about mangling and mistranslating messages for your players.
  • GMprov 3 – More improv for Games Masters. This week focuses on “Yes, And,” and building a collaborative environment.
  • Skeleton Crew Beta – A post announcing that the opening of the Skeleton Crew RPG Beta, and the many things you’d find in the rulebook. We’re still accepting testers, if you’re interested!
  • GM Brainstorm – LARP – An attempt to move Fate into LARPing, and the introduction to the Gladiatron rpg game.DECEMBER
  • Advent Calender – Sharing a project from our writer/artist, Monica Marier, as she presents the Christmas Carol in 25 illustrations in 25 days.
  • Gladiatron – The rules to the Gladiatron RPG setting.
  • TOY-BOX-REVIEW – A review of a toy set I bought off Amazon, a free Fate Core / Skeleton Crew monster, and a psychological dissertation on cheap plastic figures.
  • GMprov -It’s a Set-Up! – More improv for Games Masters. This week focuses on setting up scenes in a jiffy.
  • GMprov – Ask Me No Questions – More improv for Games Masters. Focuses on the ways asking Questions of your players can add or detract from the gameplay.

All-in-all, I think it’s been a pretty good year! What do you want to see more of in 2015? Have any guest articles you want to submit? Let us know!


GM Brainstorm – I Dreamed a Dream of LARPS Gone By…


I was going to throw up a simple Monster for this week’s entry: a simple fall fairy character called the “Pumpkin Patch,” inspired by Patch, one Robin Goodfellow’s* entourage. It was going to be okay, but not great.. one of those things that you reflect upon and go, “I could write a better one in my sleep.”

*Robin Goodfellow: For those who don’t know, Robin Goodfellow is an alias for the English fairy known as Puck, and NOT the name of a ’70s folk singer.

And the weird thing is, I DID. Last night I had a dream about running a LARP game. Which is strange, in that I’ve:

  1. Run very few games.
  2. Never run a LARP gamescared drool
  3. Never PLAYED a LARP Game.

I’ve been told by a friend that I’d take to a LARP like a duck to a cracker buffet. It’s mostly due to a lack of opportunity, but maybe on some subconscious level, I’m holding out for “Dresden Lives” to be released. This I know the basics, and this is an attempt to whip up a quick one-shot game using the Fate Accelerated Rules. The original dream involved Transformers of the non-Michael Bay variety, but I think the idea still stands without them.

However, I’m past my deadline for a game project I’m actually getting PAID to do, so rather than post the entire game, I only have time to post a proposal for adapting FAE to LARPing. More on the setting later.

LARP RULES – Each player is given a character sheet, a name tag, a writing utensil & notecards and three Fate Points. They are also given ribbons to represent damage.

Green – tied around permanent Flaws/Errors. (i.e. a robot with a missing leg might have a green ribbon around their leg; a robot that is processing slow has a ribbon around his head.)

Red – Tied around consequences. Once a consequence is repaired, remove the ribbon.

Rolling off: Instead of using Fate dice or cards, one alternative is to use Rock, Paper Scissors (RPS). If so, this is how it works:

To make a roll against passive resistance, ask for a GM, Assistant GM, or any nearby player. Your result:

Tie – Both people throw the same sign. Treat this as you rolled 0, and add your Approach.

You Win – Treat it as if you rolled a +2. Also, throw RPS again: if you lose or tie, stop, but if win, you gain an additional +1 (total +3,) and may throw RPS a third time –if you win again, you get a total of +4. You cannot roll higher than +4. Add your approach.

You Lose – Treat it as if you rolled a -2. You may also throw RPS again: if you win or tie, stop, but if lose, you suffer an additional -1 (total -3,) and must throw RPS a third time –if you lose again, you get a total of -4. Add your approach.


Tie – Both people throw the same sign. Treat this as if both people rolled 0- add your Approach, and see who was higher.

One Person Wins – Treat it as if the winner rolled a +2, while the loser rolled a 0. Also, throw RPS again: if the winner loses or ties on the second roll, stop, but if they win a second time, they gain an additional +1 (total +3,) and may throw RPS a third time –if they win a third time, they get a total of +4. You cannot get more than +4. Both players take that result, add their approaches, and see who comes out higher.