(April Fools)Fantasy Flight Games Confirms Developing Tabletop RPG Based on “Fallout” IP

So, I was looking around online because I wanted to see what other people were doing in terms of producing a Fallout tabletop RPG, and it appears that the worst of my fears were confirmed.

Fantasy Flight Games is developing the Fallout tabletop RPG. Announced earlier this year, the tabletop RPG will be showcased at GenCon 2018.

Apparently, it’s going to be handled a lot like Star Wars. They’re going to split it into three “stand-alone RPGs”. They’re basing this on locations this time, so if you want to play in the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3, you’ll need to get “In the Name of Liberty”. If you want to play New Vegas, you’ll need to get “Chips are Down”. If you want to play Fallout 4’s Boston area, you’ll need “Shadows of the Commonwealth”. All of them have unique character classes, racial options, and weapons.

They’ve already started talking dice, saying they’re going to making V.A.T.S dice and “Rad dice”.  Genesys and Star Wars dice are incompatible. You can’t use d20s or anything like that.

Guess you gotta start saving your caps, folks! Details are here.

When You Walk Away From Pikesville

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We parked outside of the Toys R Us in Owings Mills. We just got done dealing with a woman who thought it would be a smart idea to barrel down the parking lot and honk at us as we were trying to navigate. Her road rage, to her, was justified, she had her son in the backseat. I had not thought at the time to ask why it was safe to drive that fast with her son in the back, but my goal was that I just wanted to see if there was liquidation going on. No dice and the entire time our mood was soured.

But between both Rebby and I, we lamented how there simply wasn’t much to do out here. We were cash-strapped and had few friends in the area. The worst of the snowstorm was over and we had cabin fever from the past two days. But every suggestion seemed to fall short. Didn’t have the money, didn’t have time, didn’t have the gas. But I kept thinking about where we were, why we were there in the first place. What was it like, really?

The Ghosts of Baltimore County

My placement in the Pikesville/Owings Mills area was not one that I had any choice regarding. It was a move made for the sake of locating us closer to my stepmother’s extended family. In that regard, it accomplished what it was set out to do. But for much of my life, I was left as a stranger in a strange land. I never belonged, and to this day I don’t believe I ever could.

My favorite game of 2017 was Night in the Woods, and I produced my favorite article on Splice Today saying “We All Live In Possum Springs”. I use that phrase as a shorthand for describing the alienation and monotony of the dying small-town/suburban life of modern America, a product of late capitalism. While Scott Benson drew more from his hometown of Pittsburgh, that game could very easily describe where I currently live and the struggles that people like me face.

Both Rebby and I exist as walking examples of Katherine Newman’s “The Accordion Family”. Neither of us has a full-time job, and while I work freelance and study full-time, I still rely on cheap rent from my parents. Rebby still can’t drive on her own, hamstringing any potential leads until that task is complete.

The job market here is dry, and what jobs are available are the kind of high-stress jobs that wreak havoc on autistic minds. There’s a place that hires people on the spectrum, but she still can’t drive. It’s been a slow process for both of us. I still have almost two years left until my bachelor’s degree, and Rebby’s pathway is still unclear.

There’s no future here, for either of us. We both see it. Our lives will continue, but they must do so elsewhere, for there’s nothing left for us here. We don’t know what will happen, but we have the understanding that it won’t be stuck where we are now.

When The Last Store Closes

And I think that there really isn’t a future for Pikesville or Owings Mills. Pikesville is dying. Owings Mills is dying. We can see the writing on the wall. It’s slow but shows no signs of reversing.

The last remnants of Rosewood Hospital have finally been demolished. The shell of the Wendy’s is still unoccupied. Go up a little closer to the Bill Bateman’s and you’ll find several closed gas stations. The Owings Mills mall will be turned into strip malls pretty soon, left to the suburban wasteland that it has become.

There’s a sensation that I’ve come to recognize in my time exploring dying spaces both virtual and physical. Whether I’ve walked through MMO Age of Conan‘s dead game world or the aisles of Toys R Us, I’ve begun to feel the dissociation that comes with visiting a place that’s clearly fading away.

The Owings Mills mall has long since closed. There really isn’t much to do in Pikesville. No one really talks about it with any sort of reverence, and frankly, I don’t blame them. Who wants to be around when the last store closes?

I don’t think suburbia has a future.

Beyond the Cul-De-Sac

Maybe suburban communities will adapt to the future, but more than likely people will migrate away from them as we are planning to. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been to a ghost town that the prospect of this place becoming a ghost town doesn’t sound so far out of reach.

I don’t know where the future lies, but it isn’t in a world of sprawl.

 

My Strained Relationship With Fantasy Flight Games

I recognize that I’ve let this go a bit, I’ve been bogged down with schoolwork, my writings elsewhere, and other stuff that I’m juggling. But perhaps I can start with one of my many articles stuck in the draft stage. Since this was the one that I’ve been sitting on for a while, I figured I’d start with this one.

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Finding Love and Intimacy on the Spectrum

I did some housekeeping recently, tossing out old posts that I did in the days when I put up stuff on a daily basis. This was initially for the purposes of having daily content ready, making a reliable schedule.

This was a mistake. I can certainly produce one solid article per week, but in aggregate I ended up having to toss out much of these because they hid articles that I wanted people to read. One series of articles that got deleted dealt with my experience in dating.

Much has changed, so much so that simply adding a new article isn’t going to help. My attitude on the entire subject has shifted, though not as completely as one may think. And of course, now that Rebby and I have been together happily for six months I can say that this phase of my life is over.

In my life, I have held serious doubts about my ability to perform in certain aspects of life, things like finishing school, holding down a job, or falling in love with a romantic partner. Neurotypical friends, well meaning as they were, didn’t understand my anxieties.

Some of these things were easier to accept than others. I regained my confidence with my triumphant return and successful completion of my degree at CCBC. I found out I could do journalism really well and kickstarted a freelance writing career. But dating and relationships? That was another story.

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Midgar is Still Burning

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On September 11, 2007, Leigh Alexander wrote an article for the Escapist titled “Midgar is Burning”. In it, Alexander describes the rise and fall of the Final Fantasy VII role-playing community on AOL. She speculates regarding the future of fan involvement in media creation, that moviegoers will shape the future of films and franchises. She also posits that this process has already begun in some nascent fashion.

What Leigh Alexander didn’t know at the time of writing this was that she was describing the blueprint for a cycle of modern fan culture. Since this was in the burgeoning days of the internet, these events unfolded much more slowly than in our social media and mobile-friendly present.

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The Money Issue and Moving Forward

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This post has been something of a while coming. I’ve recently talked to my parents and friends and I’m currently in the early stages of moving forward in my life.

This blog is one of many of my current pursuits. Among them are the podcast series “End of an Era” that I do for a club project at my community college, writing a Fate Core sourcebook “Cloudrunner: Fate of the Skies”, and the Cloudrunner novel. Of course, there are other mundane things too. I’m a full-time student juggling my schoolwork, my creative endeavors, a freelance writing career on Splice Today, this blog, a relationship, and a social life all at the same time. Of course, I seem to do a pretty good job of this, all things considered.

But I’m thinking it’s time for me to move forward, and one of the things I’m looking to do is achieve independence. My current income can get me through any given month as is, but it does mean that I will have some limitations placed on what I do.

At this point, I’m looking towards jobs on my college campus. If I can make some extra cash here or there, that would be great. However, there’s an alternate solution that I’ve been considering: Patreon.

I am grateful that Patreon didn’t go through with its funding changes because that would have negatively impacted possible plans that I had. I don’t have the mass audience that would make advertising profitable.

Where I could use guidance is in what exactly should be covered under the Patreon umbrella. Because I’m creating a diverse amount of content such as podcasts, journalism, and creative writing, I confess to being at a bit of a loss for the direction I would take.

Though my audience is small at the moment, I know that it’s out there. Someone’s reading those posts and I’m curious to know what people would like.

Leave a response in the comments, and I’ll see what I can come up with!

D&D Envy: The Overcrowded Fantasy Tabletop RPG Market

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Whenever I go to Games and Stuff, a hobby game store in Glen Burnie that I’ve been going to for years for their incredible selection and friendly customer service, I have come to the sobering realization that there’s a problematic impulse amongst RPG writers and publishers that I call “D&D envy”.

Given the massive success of Dungeons & Dragons, especially 5th edition, a lot of publishers are looking to get a piece of the fantasy RPG pie. As a result, there’s a flood of fantasy RPGs on the market, too many for anyone to really fully invest in. Continue reading