Eppy on Drawing the Owl!

I should have posted about this sooner, but I’ve been on vacation, so my boss has cut me a little slack.

Recently, Sid Icarus invited me to sit down and have a chat with him about my process, a love for learning, the value of our work, my inherent gracelessness, Leif Mustard, failure, and . . . well, and so much more.

Check it out!

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The Complete Epidiah Ravachol Collection

Thanks to Richard Epistolary and Robert Carnel at the Across the Table podcast, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit my entire body of work, from Dread to The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku. Richard did a wonderful job of stitching together clips from podcasts I’ve done over this past decade or so my thoughts on my games around the time they were published. Check that episode out and don’t miss the following one entirely dedicated to a deep dive into Swords Without Master.

And then, last month, during #RPGTheoryJuly the opportunity arose again when I tweeted about how my games handle violence. That titanic thread starts here and ends somewhere around here.

So, how complete is your Epidiah Ravachol collection?

Download the PDF of the checklist—front and back—print it out, trim it to wallet-size, and carry it next to your heart.

Epidiah Checklist 2017 trim marks

That way you can mark off the games as you meet new friends and play with them. Or just grab the image below, check the games off with MS Paint—or whatever your favorite image editor is—and proudly display it in your social media to make your friends jealous.

The Epidiah Ravachol Starter Kit

But wait, Eppy! You’ve already marred my perfect checklist with four check marks. What gives?

That’s cause I’m going to get you started with four free games!

  • Trial & Terror: Supernatural Victims Unit—The first game I playstormed with the Imagination Sweatshop. Jason Keeley, Jim Sullivan and I sat down one Friday night with only the slightest inkling of a police procedural game set in a NYC where vampires and werewolves walk openly alongside mortals. By the next Friday we were on a train to JiffyCon with stacks of the complete, freshly printed game. Can your detectives build enough of a case in the first half for your district attorneys to argue in the second half? It’s a timed game and it’s free.
  • MonkeyDome—Another rolls around, another JiffyCon looms just a week away, and the Imagination Sweatshop, this time including Emily Care Boss, Jason Keeley, Jim Sullivan, John Stavropolous and myself, spends a Friday evening whittling a list of 20 one-line game ideas down to MonkeyDome. A post-apocalyptic jaunt through tonal whiplash. This game set the stage for Swords Without Master, which in turn set the stage for so many of my other games at Worlds Without Master. Truly a pivotal moment in my own game design, and it’s free!
  • Spaceknights—Inspired by Rom and Texas Hold’em, this game was made as part of a 24-hour, one-page front and back, game design contest. And it shows. But hey, it’s free!
  • What is a Role-Playing Game?—An entire game in 463 words that teaches you what a roleplaying game is. Pound for pound, the best deal in tabletop roleplaying. Free to read. Free to play. Free to use.

Seek out the rest!

You may find them on this site, at my PayHip store, hidden within issues of Worlds Without Master, over at The Impossible Dream, and among the stores of purveyors of fine roleplaying games.

I’m On Theory from the Closet!

Theory from the Closet

Over at Geeky & Genki, I’m on the latest episode of the illustrious Theory from the Closet podcast chatting with Clyde Rhoer and shooting my mouth off about all things Words Without Master, Swords Without Master, PatreonVast & StarlitWhat is a Roleplaying Game? and probably a lot more. I mean, I go on and on for just over two hours. Whew. I simply will not shut up.

The Post GenCon Debrief

IMAG1153I have returned, broken and filthy, from my adventures in the land of GenCon; but I have returned triumphant!

And not so broken, really. It was actually quite a healthy GenCon for me.

And the filthy part is a lie as well. Why do you people trust me?

I didn’t have a booth at GenCon this year, but I did participate in some amazing panels (one of which may have been recorded–I’ll link to it when I find out more) and in some delightful games of Vast & Starlit and Swords Without Master. One of which involved a flying saucer that was operated by touchscreens that required full-body contact and another which involved someone being seduced by a 10,000-year-old serpent goddess. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which was which.

I also managed to get copies of What is a Roleplaying Game? into the hands of . . . more than a hundred people, I think. Wow. (Even more impressive is that fact that What is a Roleplaying Game? is now available in Portuguese!) And I’ve handed out slightly less bookmarks for Words Without Master, but drummed up quite a bit of interested from potential writers, artists, and editors. (If you’ve been drummed, you can find the submission guidelines here.) Look to see the first issue by the end of next month!

My own personal haul was a bit slim this year, but I did snag one of these handy little dice rings. I got the one pictured above: two six-siders in rainbow. It’s like a mobile Swords Without Master platform with a Glum side (the one with the blue and purple edge) and a Jovial side (the one with the blue, purple and gold edge). They’ve even gone through all the trouble of shading all die results of three or less, so spotting Threads is a snap!

And I also got a super exclusive roleplaying game entitled Red Ones Go Faster about fast cars, illegal racing, and risky driving that you totally don’t have. Expect me to post more about that one once I get a chance to play it.

Eppy’s Guide to Eppy at GenCon

Warning: I failed at reading a spreadsheet. My Games on Demand schedule has be updated below to reflect my real schedule.

 

GenCon’s less than a week away and I’m about to head out on my annual pre-GenCon vacation in scenic Central Wisconsin.

But before I go, let me tell you about where to stalk me at GenCon. You know, in case you were into that sort of thing. Stop by, say hi, talk to me about Words Without Master, grab a free copy of What is a Roleplaying Game? and maybe game with me for a while.

The Panels

Sci-Fi RPG Designer Roundtable: Challenges in Crafting Original Settings & Systems

Friday, 11:00 – 12:00 pm
Crowne Plaza : Grand Central Bllrm A/B
What makes for a great SF RPG? How do designers find the right balance between scientific realism and fun gameplay? Which is better: space broccoli, space koalas, space octopi, or space business cards? Game designers Rob Boyle (Eclipse Phase, Shadowrun 4e), Epidiah Ravachol (Dread, Vast & Starlit), Jared Sorensen (FreeMarket, Schism), and Brennan Taylor (Bulldogs!) talk about the art & science of making kick-ass sci-fi games.

GM-Less Play in Indie Roleplaying Games

Sunday, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Crowne Plaza : Grand Central Bllrm D
Curious about playing without a Gamemaster? Jason Morningstar, Emily Care Boss, Mark Diaz Truman, and Epidiah Ravachol answer all your questions about how to make GM-less play work at your table.

The Gaming On Demand

I’ll be at Games on Demand running* Vast & Starlit and Swords Without Master on Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 PM, on Friday from 2:00 to 8:00 PM, and on Saturday from 2:00 to 6:00 PM. But you shouldn’t just stop by Games on Demand just to see me. You should probably game, too. I mean, I’m not saying anyone’s going to judge you, but these are the kind of people who would probably look down on you if you didn’t game. Just saying.

The Booth

No booth! That’s what you get. No stinking booth this year.

* Ha, ha. “Running” them. Like they don’t run themselves.

I Keep Shooting My Mouth Off About Things

Thanks to Pete Figtree over at Ruthless Diastema, I have the opportunity to go into way too much detail about the temporal and game mechanics of Time & Temp.
(Spoilers: The surprise ending is that Time & Temp: Paperless Office Edition is now only $2.99.)

And then, over at the Ontological Geek, Bill Coberly interviews me about . . . well, about everything else, practically.

Check them out when you’ve got the time. Or, while racing against the clock in some sort of high stakes thriller. Either way’s fine with me.

It’s Free RPG Day and You Might Be Asking Yourself, What the Hell is an RPG?

And if you’re asking that question in Polish, you’re in luck! You can find your answer right here.

You’re also in luck if you asked that question in French, Italian, Swedish, Spanish, German and German!

Bank robbing astronauts

(Have I ever told you that my favorite part of What is a Roleplaying Game? is seeing how “astrorobbers” translates into other languages?)

Oh, and English.

World (And Time) Travel Just Got Easier

Well . . . only easier if the goal of world travel is to play What is a Roleplaying Game? in as many languages as possible. Because you can add Spanish and Italian to the ever-growing list of languages it’s already available in.

And time travel didn’t get easier so much as cheaper. For the Time & Temp: Paperless Office Edition PDF is now only $2.99.

You know, it just occurred to me that an astrorobber would make a great Time & Temp character. The résumé practically writes itself . . .

1985-2013           Astronaut . . .

2013                     Bank Robber . . .

2013-Present     Convict . . .

Rymdrånare!

Sweden has just joined the International Space Station of Crime! Behold, Vad är ett rollspel? The Swedish translation of What is a Roleplaying Game? translated by Johannes Punkt. Also available as a Pdf (and in rich text format, but you’ll have to email me for that, since WordPress doesn’t believe in it).

So now you can play the game with Max Von Sydow in his native tongue.

Someone please play the game with Max Von Sydow.

Like Human Spaceflight, Roleplaying is Truly an International Endeavour

Bank robbing astronauts

Stop me if you heard this, an astrobraqueur, raumräuber, and astroräuber walk into a bank . . .

After only two weeks of existing, What is a Roleplaying Game? has already been translated into French, German and German! And from what I hear, there’s a Portuguese version on its merry way.

And while we’re on the topic, there seems to be something of a Hungarian translation or explanation of “The City of Fire & Coin” out there. Or at least that’s what I’ve been able to suss out using Google Translate.

Every day there are less and less excuses for you not to get your game on with that great aunt of yours!