Hey there,

While I’m still in the midst of firming up the test of the game, I figure it would be a good time to talk about the structure of the game.

Unlike sandbox RPGs, a game aimed for kids should have some form of supporting structure. This is because kids do well with having a pattern to stick to. Once they’ve got the hang of things, then the Narrator should feel free to start improvising.

Heroes of the Falling Star starts off with a tried-and-true method used in a lot of RPGs: The Voice on High.

The voice in question is The Lady of Love and Mercy. As a magical figure from the Celestial Heavens, The Lady is a being of benevolence and goodwill, who hears the wishes of those in trouble and empowers Heroes to help out. It’s a simple device, but one that works out well as it does a few things:

  • Introduce the central conflict of the scenario
  • Provide a trusted NPC who can provide trustworthy information
  • Enforces the idea that the player characters are Heroes

It’s a quick way to get the players into the action by hitting all the bases. They know what’s at stake, and that they’re being asked to go help out.

The next phase is the granting of the Falling Star Treasures. These are magic items from The Lady of Love and Mercy, who fashions them from stars that she causes to fall from the sky. It’s a wonderful image, and a great way to play up how special these Treasures are. A fun little fact is that none of these Treasures are weapons. They’re all meant to be fun “cheats” or “hacks” through an obstacle, but are never meant for outright violence.

And so equipped with the Treasures, the Heroes are sent to go investigate the matter, and hopefully fix it. I feel that having this kind of structure would be great for parents as well, as they would have something to follow in the first few sessions with their kids, at least until they’ve gotten their sea legs in being a Narrator.

If you’re curious about Heroes of the Falling Star, do check out the Beta document draft over at:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JixeeypkJivcTQLMIXSuRkX5uITHFRxxevGWtc2kYXU/edit?usp=sharing

I’ll be working on a crowdfunding campaign for this game soon to get more artwork and layout for it, so watch this space!


I am occasionally an impatient person.

With three mini projects in my plate right now (Heroes of the Falling Star, Son of BADASS! and Fight Class) I find myself at the point where I have to take some time to wait for material from the people I’ve contracted to work on art and layout. Don’t get me wrong, these are some of the best people I can afford, and I have absolute faith that they’ll deliver.

My issue here is the fact that I’m now looking for something else to do. At this point I might revisit Fight Class’ draft and go over it again to make sure that it works. Among all three of them, Fight Class is the most mechanically involved, with a powers creation system baked into it, so it’s the one that seems to be taking the most time.

That said I’ve received a few very fun updates, with the biggest joy being that I’ve seen the initial roughs for the cover of Son of BADASS, and I’m really excited to share it with you as soon as I can.

On Funding

At this point, I’m starting to feel the strain of funding my games. While I have enough to purchase a few key pieces (like a good cover, for instance) getting someone to lay out the books for me is another hurdle.

I would love to put these three games up as a single crowdfunding campaign, but I’m worried that might be putting all my eggs in one basket.  AT the way things are shaping up, I’m seeing a release of either Son of BADASS! or Heroes of the Falling Star first before I finish up with Fight Class, as that’s the game that needs the most attention at this point.


Hello everyone,

As I announced yesterday, I’ve put together a fairly solid first draft of Heroes of the Falling Star, a Wuxia RPG for kids. Honestly at this point it still feels a little surreal to me as the idea came to me while I was watching my son while he was asleep in his crib.

I’m not really a very good craftsman. The most complicated thing I’ve put together was a Gundam model kit, and that doesn’t really say much for my chances at making something practical for him.

And so I decided I would do something that I was good at, and dedicate it to him instead.

That’s how Heroes of the Falling Star came to be.

False Start

Heroes of the Falling Star began as a very, very different game. Originally called Meteor Kids, it was a post-apocalypse game about children that have been released from cryogenic sleep chambers by their well-meaning but barely functioning AI caretaker. These kids were meant to go out and scavenge for lost technology that could be used to repair their home enough to restore the functionality necessary to thaw out their still sleeping parents.

Yeah, it was pretty bleak.

So I figured that it wasn’t the kind of game that kids would necessarily enjoy. There was a dark undercurrent on it that would probably frighten kids instead, and they don’t exactly have the life experience to really understand what a post-apocalyptic existence entailed.

That said if this idea does appeal to you, do go and check out Mutant Year Zero. It’s awesome.

Reboot

With that idea set aside for another day, I refocused on what I wanted an RPG for kids to do. This game was going to be a love letter to my son, a work that would ultimately reflect the things I would hope he would learn while growing up. I reached to the core of my identity, the things that made me who I am.

I wanted him to gain an appreciation for his Chinese heritage. That made the decision to go for a Wuxia setting easy.

The second thing I wanted, was for him to grow up as a good man. That was going to be a little more difficult.

I went to my research of wuxia literature and came upon the virtues of the xia, the wandering knight-errants that were often the protagonists of wuxia fiction. It was a surprising fit with the model of behavior that I was gunning for, and so I incorporated it into the system as well.

Writing and Rewriting

At this point I’m heavily into the writing / rewriting cycle for the manuscript. I could easily say that the game was complete, but I’m certain that once I get back to it there’s going to be a ton of things that weren’t immediately obvious to me and I’ll be kicking myself in the butt for missing them.

If you’re interested, Ive got the draft up on Google Drive so if you’re interested in seeing it develop: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JixeeypkJivcTQLMIXSuRkX5uITHFRxxevGWtc2kYXU/edit?usp=sharing


Remember when I posted about a pet project in the works? The one for my son?

Well, I’ve finally gotten a start on it. With Son of BADASS entering a slower phase in it’s development (Art and Layout) and Fight Class undergoing playtesting, I was able to sit down and really work out what I wanted to do.

—-

They say that when you’re in trouble
Look to the stars and make a wish
That the Lady of Love and Mercy should hear you
and send a Falling Star to grant it.

Heroes of the Falling Star is an introductory role-playing game of magic and adventure in the land of Jianghu, a setting inspired by Wuxia films and literature. Players take on the role of Heroes bestowed with magical items by The Lady of Love and Mercy to help those in need.

Heroes of the Falling Star is designed to be easy to teach and fun to play for both kids and the adults that will be running the game for them.

  • Simple mechanics, no complicated rules that get in the way of telling a good story
  • Set in a magical world inspired by Wuxia, a land of honorable Heroes and exotic creatures
  • Mechanics that reinforce core values of Kindness, Loyalty, Courage, Respect and Honesty

A few early sketches for look and feel

IMG_1992  IMG_1991

What I want out of this Project

I’m no expert in child psychology, but I’m trying to approach this project with two primary objectives:

  1. It has to be able to talk a reader through the process of running the game for children, and give helpful advice and suggestions on how to do so. I’m expecting parents, guardians and older siblings to be the ones to read the manual, so the game has to work as an introduction to the activity that gives them the tools and confidence they need to run adventures for the kids.
  2. The game has to focus on Values Formation, while still being fun. I don’t want the game to be preachy, but I do want to reinforce lessons beyond the obvious benefits of role-playing as a recreational activity.

So where are we now?

Well, I’ve already put together a very rough beta on Google Drive and shared it with a few friends. I’ll be opening it up HERE for comments as well, so you guys can take a peek now and then and see what I’ve been doing with it. The plan is to get this up and running this year as well (along with Son of BADASS! and Fight Class) so I’ve got a busy year ahead of me when it comes to games.

But what about production costs?

That’s the big issue that I’m struggling with right now. I’ve not recovered from the expenses of our family’s medical misfortunes early this year, and so capital has been hard to come by. I was hoping to be able to get some notable artists to help bring this vision to life but so far the costs have been pretty daunting.

I’m seriously considering going with the Crowdfunding route, maybe bundling together Heroes of the Falling Star with Son of BADASS and Fight Class? 3 Games in one campaign, perhaps?

Another option is to bring this up using a ransom model. If we can hit a certain amount of funding, I’ll release all 3 games for free using DriveThruRPG’s Pay What You Want feature. Will that get people to invest?

So that’s what I’m working on right now, and the status of most of my projects.


badassed-zombies

Hey guys,

I’ve got some good news today for fans of BADASS!, the sequel, Son of BADASS! is done with it’s first draft! In an effort to try and get feedback from the general public, I’ve gone ahead and opened the document for public comments over in this Google Drive LINK.

So what’s left for S.O.B? Well, for one thing, I’m going to have to get it go through a layout fix and I’ve already been sourcing artwork from some artists I’ve had the pleasure of being introduced to. BADASS artist Dax Tee will still be in the roster of course, but he’ll be joined by other names as soon as I can sign them up!

Given the amount of work on this version, I’m looking to put up a crowdfunding campaign for the book, but with a twist: if we can hit a certain funding threshold, I’ll release Son of BADASS! as a Pay What You Want PDF on DriveThruRPG!

The funds will go a long way to supporting my family since we’ve just recovered from a series of medical difficulties. Funds will also go to paying the artists for more artwork, and bumping their pay by a percentage if we hit certain milestones. I don’t have a lot of artist contacts yet, but I’ve been lucky enough to be able to book the incredibly talented Hinchel Or for a full-color cover.

So, please, if you’ve got the time, do check out the link and leave your comments below! I’m happy to hear of your impressions, as well as any suggestions or feedback on the tone.