Saturday, March 26, 2016

Girls' Heist Out - The Outhousers

We funded the project today. Be sure to click on the link to the left and check out the updates page with information on stretch goals. We'll be adding pages and art prints every 500 bucks from here on out.

Or, read this excellent profile on the project over on The Outhousers.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Girls' Heist Out - Manuela Speaks!

We have a little less than a week to go and about 3K to raise. I am confident we'll hit it, but the sooner the better.

Be sure to back us today by clicking on the link in the video...or the one on the left...or the one right here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Girls' Heist Out - The Designer Experience

One of the best ways to connect with backers is to offer unique rewards. This can be a tricky part of a Kickstarter, because unique often means higher overhead or delving into additional logistics problems. Early wave Kickstarters were awash in T-shirts, mugs and other traditional promotional items. I didn't do any of those because, quite frankly, there are still some Kickstarters I'm waiting on years after the fact that never got off the ground because that stuff got underfoot. 

I considered talking to the companies I design for to offer PDF packages of the games I've done as rewards. I decided against it for a few reasons. Not everyone would go along with it easily. It seemed counter productive to talk about breaking into comics but reward people with RPG products. Most of the people supporting the Kickstarter likely already own whatever work I've done that they want to own. My licensed work might be a big draw but could get wrapped up in legal issues. Ultimately, much of the work I've done as a designer I don't completely own, which is why I'm doing a creator owned comic in the first place.

But my time, on the other hand...  my time is something that I do own. What my rewards didn't have were that elusive experience one where a backers gets to do something few people rarely get to do. How often do you get a chance to play a game with someone that's made something for the game? The opportunity usually only comes at a convention once or twice a year, if you luck into tickets for the event. Why not offer the people who keep asking how to play Fate or Firefly a chance to see how the pros do it? 

Backers have an opportunity to play in a game that I run over Skype or Hangout which is pretty cool. You can pick from any game that I've worked on in the past fifteen years of my design career. Big or small. Licensed or original. The idea started as a reward tier for international backers who wanted to get a little more than just the digital basics but more and more people have asked me about this reward than any of the others. Outside of the Ella Fitzgerald, which I still can't believe someone took, it's the most unique reward I have for the project, because it offers me as the reward directly.

There are opportunities within these opportunities. The big one is that for backers near me, which the overwhelming majority of my backers are, I'm happy to set up a time and place to run the game in person. Beyond just playing Shadowrun or CAMELOT Trigger, I rarely get a chance to talk design and theory in person and I love doing it. It's why I enjoy hosting D&D&D events at 42 Ale House. Book one of these sessions and you have me as a resource for GM advice, game structure and whatever else you might want to talk about relating to RPGs. 

It's also one of the few rewards you can really share comfortably. Whether that means splitting the cost between your players (which comes out to about what you'd spend for a night at the movies) or picking it up as a gift for your spouse who doesn't get out to game as much anymore.

I'm excited about all the rewards I have to offer, but this one intrigued me the most. Con games are like Christmas presents to me. The backers who book my time and who want to see more of my work make me feel a little like Santa Claus.

Girls' Heist Out runs for the next two weeks on Kickstarter. I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Girls' Heist Out - Fate Core

While discussing Girls' Heist Out the other day, Fred Hicks asked me a question.

"How would you build the main characters of in Fate Core?"

The project is steeped in gaming because of my background. A few of the characters are adapted from my Leverage RPG series. Manuela Soriani is a fellow Fate alum. Many of the stretch goal artists I worked with on Firefly. And I still get questions about making characters in Fate on a regular basis. So let's look at how I would make the main characters in my comic book.

Let's start with the leader of the gang:
Julia Pryce
High Concept: Glamorous Mastermind
Trouble: Blindsided By Love

High Dive Artist
Cool Under Pressure
I Know The Mark Better Than He Knows Himself

Good (+3): Expertise
Fair (+2): Rapport,  Notice
Average (+1): Physique, Athletics, Will

Planned Ahead: Once per session, may swap Expertise with any roll to Create an Advantage based on previously established facts involving the mark.
Unflappable: Gain a (+2) bonus on defending against Provoke attacks using Will
Fast Friends: Gain a (+2) bonus to overcome suspicion with a Rapport roll on people you've not met before

She was also recently betrayed by her partner and lover. she's convinced herself she can beat him at his own game, but she might still not see a few twists coming, She's the one who creates advantages on the marks but can also talk her way into and out of trouble.

Onto the muscle:
Dawn Montana

High Concept: Trash-Talking Muscle
Trouble: Punching Above Her Weight

Not Paid What She's Deserves

Good (+3): Fight
Fair (+2): Physique, Provoke
Average (+1): Athletics, Drive, Stealth

Now it's On: Gain a (+2) bonus on attack rolls using Fight when you have at least one stress box checked off.
Hit Me Harder Than That!: Once per session, when you inflict a stress level using Provoke, clear your right most physical stress box off instead.
Exceptional Car Thief: May use Drive instead of Burglary to overcome the security systems on a automobile

Dawn's a heavy hitter but she also likes to psych out her opponents. This is her first job with a crew that's not petty thieves and criminals, so without a proper plan, she can be a bit lost.

Next up, the tech:
Tina Echevarria
High Concept: Punk Hacker
Trouble: Eat The Rich

Never Without Her Laptop, Daniel

Good (+3): Information
Fair (+2): Investigate, Empathy
Average (+1): Notice, Rapport, Stealth

Daniel Tells Me: Gain a (+2) bonus on create advantage rolls using Information to search the Internet
Ugh, No Back Door Jokes Please: Once per session, may gain access to a secure system while using Daniel
I'm A Lover not a Fighter: Gain a (+2) bonus to create advantages such as Hidden and Diving for Cover.

Tina gets the information for the targets. She has a bit of a Robin Hood bent that brings her into conflict with Dawn and even sometimes Julia. If things get violent, she's more likely to create advantage rather than attach directly.

And finally, the face:
Century Cho
High Concept: Mysterious Grifter
Trouble: Untrustworthy

One Hundred Aliases
Friends In High And Low Places

Good (+3): Deceive
Fair (+2): Contacts, Rapport
Average (+1): Burglary, Will, Empathy

Of Course I'm a Doctor: When Century succeeds with style on a Decieve roll, she may create a Totally Convinced aspect with one free invoke
I'm Sorry, Lover: Century may use Deceive as an attack in the first exchange if the target does not expect it.
Never Flinches: Gain a (+2) bonus to defend fight attack actions

Century slips into a variety of disguises, so nobody really knows her true self. She disappears into identities.

Feel free to use these characters as examples or in one of the many suitable fate worlds. +John Rogers CRIMEWORLD, for example, would be an excellent place for them to live.

Also, if you've ever wanted a chance to play Fate with me (or any of the other games that bear my name) I'm offering Skype games as an add-on to the Kickstarter!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Girls' Heist Out - 40% Funded

After two days, the Kickstarter just hit 40%. That's a great start, but we need to keep moving forward as we enter the slow-but-steady part of the Kickstarter.
We've already had some big names chime in with their support:

We are a Kickstarter Project We Love! Someone on their team loves us.
And we've had some coverage from Milwaukee RecordComics for Sinners and Comic Bastards.
There is more to come, but we are already closing out the big backer rewards. Click below to get on board.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Girls' Heist Out - Kicktraq

Girls' Heist Out -- Kicktraq Mini

I know Kicktraq is something of a siren song that doesn't really match up well with how a Kickstarter goes. But, for the first day, that song is sure dang catchy.

Girls' Heist Out - Kickstarter Launch

I've been a part of several Kickstarters over the past few years. It is a roller coaster ride to be part of one as a stretch goal or as a team member. But, ultimately, if things don't work out, it's okay because you weren't the maniac who thought it was a good idea to ask the internet for money. Now it's my turn to be the maniac. Girls' Heist Out is a comic project featuring my words and Manuela Soriani's art. It's a crime caper comic inspired by a lot of the research and work I did for this game. Girls' Heist Out features witty banter, exotic locales and four kickass leads looking to get their revenge the best way they know how - by stealing it.

I've gotten great feedback on my script and Manuela's art. I've got coverage lined up from other websites. I have some awesome stretch goal artists lined up. But this is completely out of my comfort zone. I've built my career as a writer carefully picking out handholds and footholds as I climb. Girls' Heist Out is me taking a running jump to land on an entirely different mountain.

If you enjoy reading this blog, please check out Girls' Heist Out, You already know how much I enjoy telling stories. I hope you will help me take the first step into telling them in a different medium.