January 21, 2013

And lo, there was a flurry of writing...

Not too much to say, other than it can be pretty amazing how much writing one can get done if one simply sets aside the time to do so and sticks to doing said writing.  Also amazing how much pizza one person can eat while doing that writing; it's been many a year since I polished off a 12-cut pie in the course of a single day all by my lonesome.

I'd decided a few days ago, after realizing that I had nothing prep'd for a weekly Heroes on Demand entry for the Gaming Security Agency.  Quite a shock, as I'd gotten used to having a few buffer articles just in case I hit a dry spell.  After a coin toss, taking a break to go watch a move, and then a brief scramble to get an article together, I decided it was well past time to correct that.

But I also figured that if I was going to spend a day doing nothing but writing articles, why limit myself to just character builds?  Per a Twitter conversation with Brian Casey, aka Agent 00 on the GSA or more commonly known as Fiddleback on Twitter and d20 Radio forums and former host of the Game On! podcast, it came up that something he'd like to see is vehicle and equipment articles.  They didn't have to be for Star Wars, but seeing as how I'm such a Star Wars junkie, that's what I ended up going with.  I've got a handful of vehicles written up for FFG's Star Wars: Edge of the Empire game (primarily the Beta, but I don't think there's going to be any huge changes between the Beta version and the final product when it comes out in a few months).  I'm sure there are plenty of other players and GMs that have compiled homebrewed stats for various creatures, rides, and gear that have never seen print in an official supplement, and there's probably a lot of other gamers that might benefit from your creativity.

For the Heroes on Demand series, while I've been the primary contributor to it (seems fitting, since it was my brainchild to being with), there's been a few other folks that have made some fine contributions.  I don't know how many of my fellow Agents at the GSA will read this, but you guys are more than welcome to make your own contributions, and they emphatically don't have to be for Star Wars.  Ben Erickson aka Agent 66 aka Cyril did an entry for Pathfinder, and I've done entries for Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing 2nd edition, Cubicle 7's One Ring, Evil Hat's Dresden Files RPG, and AEG's Legend of the Five Rings.  Frankly, there's been a real dearth of D&D builds, and though I'm pretty much out of D&D at the moment, I know there's folks that are still actively playing many versions of D&D, from 1st Edition to 4th Edition, so there's room for GSA Agents to contribute their own Heroes on Demand articles for D&D characters, regardless of where you fall in the D&D Edition War.

And I know there are plenty of older RPGs that are still being played even though the companies that produced them have either dropped the line or simply gone out of business, and what better way to encourage folks to check out the games you've loved for so long than to do a review on it?  I myself did just that, taking a look at what is on my gaming shelf as opposed to being boxed up in my storage closet, and why it's sitting on my gaming shelf.  While only Dresden Files has so far really hit the "you really gotta play this game!" button for me, games like Green Ronin's Dragon Age and Wildfire Studios' CthulhuTech are on my shelf alongside such notables as Star Wars (various editions) and Deadlands for a reason.

Also, as I mentioned to a couple of friends via Twitter, contributions don't have to just be reviews of active/hot RPGs or character builds.  The GSA has some great articles on campaign advice and fleshing out character backstory, as well as a very informative look into how Edge of the Empire's dice pool system came into being by none other than Jay Little, the man responsible for said system; talking about getting your dirt straight from the horse's moutth, you can't do much better than that.  Dave Villegas aka Agent 42 aka GM Dave has started up a designer blog about Hauler, a new card game that Gamer Nation Studios as a follow-up to their very enjoyable Edition Wars card game.

Ben and his ever-so-charming wife Nateal had a Build-Off Competition series of articles going, noting their respective efforts in designing their own campaign.  It was really neat to see their respective thought processes, and while I myself am not currently working on any sort of campaign, I'm sure there are other people who are.  One thing that can always be useful to new GMs is advice and examples by old-hat GMs on how to go about building a campaign or setting of their own.  We even have at least one professionally published author amongst the GSA Agents who could probably offer some insight into creating your own setting and telling stories within that setting.

So I guess maybe this is my attempt at a call to arms, both to my fellow GSA Agents that are already signed-up and to those that have yet to jump on board.  If you're interested in providing resources to your fellow gamers, be they board gamers, table-top gamers, or card gamers, the GSA is on the lookout and in need of submissions.  The submission guidelines are pretty straight-forward; keep it fun, keep it informative, keep it honest and fair (while my review of the EotE Beginner Box was overall very positive, there were a couple of minor quibbles I had), and pictures are nice as are links to the companies involved in the game you're talking about, though in a number of cases Brian has proven willing and able to do the picture hunting.

The GSA has been in existence for six months, and while we've covered a pretty impressive amount of ground in that time, there's the feeling that we could cover so much more.

Okay, really didn't mean for this to turn into a long-winded soap box speech.  Sorry 'bout that.

Oh, and some semi-obligatory links if you are interested in signing up to be a GSA Agent:

GSA Article Submission Guidelines

GSA Writers Wanted!

Honestly, when the GSA first started, I wasn't sure how much of a commitment I'd be able to make, or for how long.  So I was quite surprised to learn that in the course of six months, I've written almost a full fifth of the site's articles... not bad for a part-time gig.

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