Role-Playing Podcasts

I guest star on a podcast now, as part of the Who Dares Rolls crew. I’m also a bit of a podcast addict, so I wrote an article about some of my favourites.

Think of RPG podcasts a bit like improvised radio drama. I describe some of my favourite channels and series within them. If you’ve ever wanted to listen to a post-apocalyptic drama about a dolphin in space marine armour, a 1920’s train ride, sexy monsters, mech-based war and drunk Dungeons & Dragons, then check these out.

My article is here. I hope you enjoy it.

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Carolina Death Crawl

I introduced the people of Who Dares Rolls to what role-playing games are and can be, so I needed an example to show people how cool games are. I landed on a recent play experience because it was great, but pretty harrowing. It’s tough going and reading through my notes brought back so many strange and horrible moments.

The game is Carolina Death Crawl, by Jason Morningstar.

The review is here.

I also wrote the deathbed journal of my character, Private Robert Shanks; Scofflaw and Deserter.

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Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

A Final Fantasy license has collided with a jumble of random words and created Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy: Curtain Call, which is an awesome game despite the silly name.

I wrote about the game here on D+Pad Magazine. You can download the demo free on the Nintendo 3DS eShop if you like the sound of it. The game’s been out a little while and assume it’s probably fairly cheap now. If you have a 3DS, it’s worth the punt.

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The D+Pad YouTube Channel

I’ve been part of the video game blog D+Pad Magazine for a while now, but did you know Fred Black and I run their YouTube Channel? Almost certainly not, given our viewing figures. That’s okay, I forgive you. You were probably all very busy

Have a look at our channel here and our many, many Let’s Plays, combining writers who know very little about games and classic games which have long been forgotten… possibly intentionally so. Often intentionally so.

The highlight reel looks like this. Trigger warning for random screaming.

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Oh, the Places You’ll Go

I’ve started to write for Who Dares Rolls, a website which deals with tabletop games. I’m a friend of Ben Hendy, who introduced me to the site and explained that they had a big RPG-shaped hole which I could fill.

I joined the site and have been posting on there a little while, but my first article was hacked. I put off posting here, then forgot to link to it for ages, but now I’ve appeared in podcasts, videos and articles but not mentioned them here at all.

Here is my first article, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” which is meant as an introduction to role-playing and how it’s an amazing hobby.

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Operation Lightning 2015

Last year I triumphantly shouted to anyone who would listen about how I would be publishing the first ‘season’ of my Lightning novellas in 2015, starting in April 2015 so that the final part would be launched in time with Christmas 2015. One episode a month with a gap at the midpoint to fit a bit of a cliffhanger and give me some catch-up time. I guessed I would need the delays between ‘episodes’ to edit the stories, but I didn’t realise it would all take so long and that my lack of knowledge in the field was quite as much as it is.

The season is written, that’s a start. I have a little of the supplementary material also written, but not much yet. That’s far shorter than the season itself though, so it should be easy enough to get done. So here’s what’s left to do.

I’m going through the episodes myself first, just to make sure they make basic human sense, then throwing them at four readers so they can rip them apart like the jackals they are. The big hope is that they won’t find anything shockingly wrong, story-breaking or horrendous. I plan everything to a crazy level, so it shouldn’t ever hit that point. Still, one of my readers found a continuity issue which had remained untouched in a couple of drafts. Hence the need for readers. Episode One is with the readers, I’ve gone through Episode Two but have yet to send it off. Episodes Three through Eight will be handled in order as I keep going through my tasks.

The readers throw back my work with notes, hopefully praise, probably thousands of things I’ve done wrong. I have Episode One back from one reader so far. Each one can be dealt with later than the last, luckily.

Then there’s the scary other things. The bonus content, the covers, the webcomics (I’ve given up on the idea of a video project, but a couple of short-form webcomics would be pretty cool). Then a Lightning website to act as a central hub for everything in the series, linking to wherever I’m selling the ebooks from. Gods, there’s marketing to work out… so much.

I’m undaunted, I still plan on releasing Lightning Episode One, “Crash Day,” in 2015. That’s the main goal, but April’s probably too near even to get the story edited, find a cover artist and get the first couple of short stories finished at the same time.

The current plans for launch dates have the season finale, “A Very Lightning Christmas,” end up launched in December 2016 so it still fits with Christmas. Episodes will release every two months either starting from October (using the gap month content as a bonus month full of fiction) or August (using the gap month content inserted in the release schedule).

Everything else is yet to plan.

There’s the other work I do as well; my comic reviews on the Google Plus comic book community, my video game reviews on D+Pad Magazine and soon my work for Who Dares Rolls, a tabletop website. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to start up Explosion High! properly, too.

Here’s to a busy 2015 and hopefully getting published!

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Cuckoo

There is a hatch in my kitchen. It looks like this:

Cuckoo

I have never been in there. My flatmate Sam has when he was dropping boxes off there and I think he was the first of us to look in there properly. He wasn’t eaten by anything and hasn’t gone all strange so I assume it’s safe.

One of my friends, Joe, was working for the same company as me so we were chatting over the work email about the things in the hatch. He asked what was up there and I couldn’t remember what Sam had said, so I waffled for about two hundred words. His response was, “That’s really creepy, is it from something?” So I knew I had to turn it into a short story.

The story turned into Cuckoo, which you can find here. It’s a little longer than I originally intended, but I hope you enjoy it.

The flat is definitely based on my own flat, the experiences of looking for new flatmates are mostly real, but none of the characters are, especially what’s in the hatch.

Now that time has passed, a few of us have settled on a new lie about what’s in the hatch. We say that it’s the tapeworm farm and they’re all in tanks of water, gently sloshing around under UV lights, ready to be sold to people as part of a new fad diet craze.

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