I have written very little on this blog for the past two months. The reason is simple: I am terribly busy with private and professional matters. Hopefully the pressure will ease in April, and that ought to open a window of opportunity door for more blogging. Stay tuned, please.
A Swedish English-language podcast interviews me about my long career as a designer of role-playing games. I explain how I reason when I create rules and settings. Lots about Tolkien’s Middle-earth and Traveller.
I turn sixty this spring. Food for thought, indeed. Therefore, I have recently reviewed my many adventures since the 1970s, such as: getting three wonderful daughters; living in five countries across three continents; facing wars and leopards; learning five foreign languages; visiting Taj Mahal, Masada, Stonehenge, the Berlin Wall, the Smithsonian Institution; and so on.
A few days back I discovered this CS Lewis quote and it touched my heart. His suggested course change cannot be executed in an instant, but it can be done: “we have the technology” (i.e. my children are or are about to become adults, so now I can set aside plenty of time for my own endeavors, unlike five years ago). So I hope for a great 2019 during which I reshape the next part of the Anders Saga fróða.
Two days ago, Krister Sundelin of Helmgast and I dined at a steakhouse here in Stockholm and discussed how to proceed with collaborations after my successful campaign setting Sorgeveden for his fantasy RPG Hjältarnas Tid. Right now, Krister has a something entirely different on his drawing board and we agreed that I would write an adventure for it — whatever it might be — at some time during 2019. This will be fun!
Earlier I have mentioned that my adult daughter Elin (a.k.a. the Tiger) now works as an illustrator for some of my RPG ventures. We have formed Team Fox. Elin’s mundane occupation is as a student at an art & design school.
In Elin’s first project, I have asked for a simple comic-book look; here is a resulting watercolor of an adventurous journalist for the apocalyptic 1950s Australian setting “Oz Is Drowning”.
Copyright 2019 Elin Blixt
Traditionally, late December is a time for summarizing the past year and taking a look at what the next year might entail. Here in my blog I focus on my writing endeavors — what’s been accomplished in 2018 and what I hope work with in 2019.
2018: My Accomplishments
- Partisan, the Great Surprise: In March, somebody found the sole remaining printout of the legendary and never-published Swedish RPG Partisan and gave it to me. It deals with foreign occupation of our country, presented in the four settings Brown (Nazi Germany), Red (Cold War Soviet), Blue (Cold War with an authoritarian United States), and Ultraviolet (nefarious aliens from space). Serendipity: everybody had thought that the game was lost forever, but here is my incomplete manuscript from when the game was shelved thirty years ago. The printout nowadays rests securely in a safe. Link (Swedish) >>>
- During the autumn, I launched my Patreon page, where you can sponsor my writing role-playing games (RPGs) and get various goodies, such as the extant three Partisan settings Red, Blue, and Ultraviolet; and Thriller, my unpublished RPG manuscript from 1983 (espionage and sleuthing in the vein of the original Mission Impossible TV series). Link (English) >>>
- In October, Helmgast published Sorgeveden, my campaign setting for Krister Sundelin’s fantasy RPG Hjältarnas Tid. The book depicts an immense forest, stretching from spruces and birches in the subarctic north to jungles in the tropics. Link (Swedish) >>>
- In November, I delivered Märk hur vår skugga, an introductory adventure to the new edition of Chock, a Swedish horror RPG that will be published by Eloso in 2019. Link (Swedish) >>>
- In December, I launched my product page on DriveThruRPG. So far, it is a trial version, but I intend to use it to sell English PDFs of Traveller settings and other “stuff”. Link (English) >>>
- In December, my adult daughter Elin, aka the Tiger, joined forces with me as Team Fox. She is currently a student at an art & design school and she will illustrate some products that will get published at DriveThruRPG. Link (English) >>>
- In December, I published Dust & The Road, a paperback with two dieselpunk shortstories that are partially based on my experiences of serving in Afghanistan ten years ago. The stories introduce my setting Patchwork World, a fragmented steampunk & dieselpunk world. Link (English) >>>
Q4 2018 was obviously a hectic time. When I look at the list above, I feel contented with what I achieved.
2019: My intentions
- Since 2014, I have planned to make a revised version of the vintage Swedish postapocalyptic RPG Wastelands, but I quickly encountered various snags and obstacles. When Tove & Anders Gillbring a few years later decided to produce Freeway Warrior as an RPG, we agreed that I would turn Wastelands into a Swedish setting for the game. My vision is best summarized as “Lars Molin meets Mad Max”. Tove’s cancer has repeatedly delayed the project, but I hope we can get it moving during 2019.
- The hush-hush job: I have made a deal with an publisher about a major RPG project. A non-disclosure agreement prevents me from mentioning details until the publisher has announced the venture. But I am already working on it, and the production team has had fruitful brainstorming sessions on Skype. My deadline is late 2019. Yeah, I feel good about this project.
- Dusk and Dawn is a standalone steampunk novella taking place in Patchwork World, though far from the locations of “Dusk” and “The Road”. I have written the first half of the story and and I hope to complete it in 2019. Link (English) >>>
- I have outlined a Traveller universe with distinctive qualities, grimmer than the one Marc Miller developed. It’s there to be written when I get time for it. It will sooner or later get published via DriveThruRPG. What rules? Well, probably one set of Cepheus Light and one set of BRP.
- I have outlined a dieselpunk RPG, working name Iron Empires, that takes places in an alternate timeline. The game will get at least two Terrestrial and one Martian setting. It is too early to go into details, but you’ll get updates in my blog when I have something substantial to tell. My plan is to publish Iron Empires via DriveThroughRPG, using a variant of the Cepheus Engine rules.
I don’t expect to complete all these projects during 2019, but if I get sunny weather with the wind in my back, and there is plenty of coffee in my thermos flask of holding, I might walk a part of my road. However, an ancient word of wisdom cautions us: Man supposes, God disposes.