Light Reading: The Dancing Lights Press Newsletter, 4 June 2017

 Light Talk: The Dancing Lights Press Podcast

As if I don’t already have enough on my plate, there will soon be an official podcast. It will be weekly, and my wife Katie and I will be recapping the contents of this newsletter a few days after the new issue is released. In between I want to circle back and do one short episode per title, explaining what each book is about and giving a little bit of behind-the-scenes info. It will start out on YouTube, and eventually be available on all of the popular podcasting sites (iTunes, Soundcloud, Lybsyn, etc.).

7-Day Setting Design Challenge

On my personal blog I’ve been writing about how I used the template provided by my book Setting Design and a book on writing a novel in 7 days to create the first draft of a setting. While it’s not names in the articles, the setting I worked on was Revelations in Cold Iron. I took the challenge a while back, and I’m just not releasing the journal entries I kept as a series of blog posts. If it proves popular enough, I might compile the posts into an ebook. It was an educational experience, and I learned a few things that I have already incorporated into my regular writing process.

Premise: 100 Story Ideas

The Premise series has two more books in the pipeline. The first is a collection of “weird fiction” plots. I wrote it with one-shot adventures and short campaigns in mind, for systems like Primetime Adventures, Savage Worlds, and other games that work well for episodic pulpy goodness.

The other is a collection of superhero plots. I wrote that one because while you can’t swing an old shoe without hitting a book on fantasy, science fiction, or horror adventure seeds and hooks, there’s previous little for supers. As with the other Premise books, it’s system-neutral and setting-vanilla so you can adapt the ideas to suit you own story needs.

Revelations in Cold Iron

At the moment I’m writing the spell list, which is a lot of fun. Because the premise of the game is that factions are competing to define reality, all of the spells are based on logical fallacies. Yes, the magic system has characters asserting their version of the truth, and if they success that’s how reality works. It is exactly as warped as it sounds. It also make my head hurt.

Starlight Manifesto

As I’ve stated before, my approach to Starlight Manifesto has been to write the “season one” campaign book first, and then go back to make sure that the core rulebook has everything required to support those adventures. Yes, I am incapable of just doing things the normal way and no, I cannnot work on a project without it also being some sort of creative experiment. I have six season fully outlines, and while I’m not trying to shoehorn all of that into the core book (I can add new aliens, equipment, locations, and so on into those season sourcebooks), I want to be sure that the bulk of what’s necessary is front-loaded into the book.

I’m also aware that there’s a new high-end Star Trek roleplaying game coming out, to which I must assert once again that while Starlight Manifesto does build upon Starship Tyche, it has grown far beyond being Tyche 2nd edition. If Tyche was Trek with the serial numbers filed off, Starlight is Trek, Babylon 5, Foundation, Dune, and a ton of other science fiction influences thrown into a blender. The goal is to be original enough to offer up something new, but familiar enough that if you want to tweak the rules and the setting a bit to play in someone else’s established universe, you can.

Berin Kinsman

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