The Average issue number this week is n-n-n-nineteen.
Pixies Album Track, Minus an I At The Start
How to DIERPG?
Of course, this was all planned. Four years ago I realised if I aligned everything perfectly, I could have issue 19 of both books drop in the same week as my 200th newsletter. The conjunction is complete. I am your new god now, and forever.
It’s a big week for both books. Once & Future 19 kicks off the new status quo, after everything was upturned at the end of a Parliament of Magpies. As folks may not have grabbed the collection yet, I won’t be too specific, but the preview is here and you can get it digitally here.
DIE 19 is the penultimate issue, and the opposite. It’s not the start of something, but where the gravity of the book’s black hole drags everything towards its final conflagration. The issue is a lot, and pretty much the sort of thing we created DIE to do. Stephanie excels throughout – she said it’s her favourite issue on twitter, and that pride is entirely justified. I hope folk find it worthwhile.
We decided against releasing a preview (it’s an issue which we want consumed in a single motion) but here’s Jenny Frisson’s astounding alternate cover.
You can buy it from your local comic shop or digitally.
And if you’re not following in single issues, the fourth and final trade of this series of DIE is in the November image solicits. Here’s the text…
DIE, VOL. 4: BLEED TP WRITER: Kieron Gillen ARTIST / COVER A: Stephanie Hans NOVEMBER 03 / 160 pages / FC/ M / $16.99
We’ve had dragons. The award-winning bleak deconstruction couldn’t end without turning its unblinking eye upon a dungeon. There’s no escape. There’s only down.
Collects DIE #16-20
Ideal for a depressing Christmas present.
When doing the quick update for DIE beta, someone on the DIE Discord asked me an obvious question.
What do I need to read to actually play the DIE beta?
Good question. We’re in a place where we’re in a tangle of various editions, many of which including useful material, none of which is entirely sufficient.
Thankfully, it’s fairly simple.
Anything in the DIE 1.46 beta over-rules anything in the manual. You may find some useful guidance in the Rules section of the main manual, but the cheat sheet is good enough for you.
If you want to convert pre-1.46 statistics into the present-edition statistics, you just reduce all Difficulties and Defences by 1. (So Difficulty 1 is Difficulty 0). The only change that may trip you up when running the game as described in the first encounter, where you should instead run with as many lesser fallen as there are players.
All the other Beta contain useful material, but none of it is essential. The Arcana is likely most useful if you want to generate your own worlds, as it describes a bunch of other methods. If you want to try limited advancement, that’s described in the 1.3 arcana. That also includes a fairly solid one-off scenario (“Do You Remember The First Time We Killed A Kobold And Took Its Stuff”)which holds your hand through it a more than what’s described in the main manual.
Hopefully this clarifies things a little.
TL;DR: Download the Main Manual and the Current Sheets and you’ll be fine.
This is a great short overview of Sean Philips’ career. With 20 years with Brubaker it’s easy to forget all the fascinating work he did before that.
Steve Perrin designer of RuneQuest has died, which led to this collation of his personal recollections of the making of RuneQuest, which is just great stuff, charming and full of detail. Fascinating game, RuneQuest, in this mix between a really strong simulationist tendency married to some narrative-heavy world-building stuff. When I first read it, it distinctly felt like something for grown-ups. I understand it was genuinely a huge success in the UK, to being an actual competitor to D&D in the early days… but then stopped. I find myself wondering about that, and the possible reasons. Obviously monocultural pressure is one thing, but I find myself wondering whether GW’s move away from being a games importer and packager changed that. Still – all idle speculation, above my knowledge.
This is as much as a note to self, to actually watch it but a bunch of my friends have recommended Quinns’ video on how Roblox exploits young developers and I really want to take the time to take it in.
I was travelling in the last week. I’m home now, but decided to count until (ooh) Friday as still Holiday. As I’m on holiday, I’ve been doing more holiday work – which is a mixture of stuff which I don’t normally devote my main time in a work-week, as well as that which can’t be negotiated with.
In the case of the former, that’s DIE RPG stuff. In the case of the latter, that’s all the usual deadlines. Various Eternals bits and pieces, Once & Future 20’s lettering draft and DIE 20’s too. The latter is the larger psychic weight. As a last issue, it’s got to carry all the compounded pressure of the rest of the book, and we’re giving a close eye on it. I think I like it. We’ll see when the final version solidifies (as always, Stephanie will be tweaking art until the printer tears the pages away from her) but it seems to do what we want it to do. The most striking thing is how dense it is. That’s been DIE’s main thing throughout, for better or worse. I think we have got better at walking the line.
I also think BLEED may be the best arc of DIE, and it works through having the best focus on the dual-plot element of the book – one side deep dive character work, and on the other, this sprawling impossible conspiracy. In the former, we get to do the payoffs and reveals of intrinsic truths of the people. For the latter, we get to actually give hard answers to what’s going on. I’ve said before, but I do tend to think my endings are the strongest part of my work, and while I was trying to change my methodology for DIE in several ways, that hasn’t changed.
Anyway – will be interesting to see what you think of it.
Lots of e-mails flying around. A really interesting idea of A Thing To Do crossed my desk, and while I’ve said no to almost everything, this aligned to where I am mentally sufficiently to make me make a “let’s talk some more”. So I’m talking some more. My break? Was lovely.
My designing of DIE RPG? Involved questions such as “If I give the Neo the ability to get a Mecha suit, will anyone ever pick anything else?”