All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG. Bring these games to your table!
Here in a few weeks, I’ll be firing up a new campaign based on The Expanse (books/TV/RPG), so this has gotten me thinking about “using someone else’s setting” quite a bit. This is an especially potent concept for The Expanse. There are (as of this writing) eight books with a 9th coming in 2020. There are also 4 seasons of TV available to stream on Amazon Prime. In addition to all this, the deep origins of the setting come from an RPG that Ty Franck ran for Daniel Abraham and some other friends. The reason I mention Ty and Daniel specifically is that Ty created the setting we now know as The Expanse and Daniel was one of his players. They’ve teamed up to create the pen name “James S.A. Corey” to write the novels.
Green Ronin Kickstarted their version of The Expanse RPG, and as I type this, the books are in transit to my house. To say that I’m “excited” for the arrival of this material is a weakness of the English language. To say that I’m “nervous” about doing the setting justice is also a weakness of the English language.
How am I going to handle these nerves and excitement? I’m going to work with my group to make it “Our Expanse” while we’re at the table together.Make It Your Own
Any experienced author will tell you that their words are no longer theirs once the book is published. The words belong to the reader. They get to make of the words what they will. There is no wrong interpretation, but there are many right interpretations, including the author’s.
This means the author (or in this case, the team of game designers) has their intents and purposes for the game, but when the game hits each table out there in the world, the gaming group gets to turn those intents and purposes to their own game. This means they are making it their own. This is part of releasing a game into the world. Again, there is no wrong interpretation of the setting, but there are as many right viewpoints on the setting as there are gaming groups playing the game.Interpretations
How do we interpret an existing setting? That’s a hard question to answer because we all bring numerous perspectives, backgrounds, traumas, loves, dislikes, and angles to the table. This means there are many ways to interpret the setting that’s published in the game (or on TV or in a series of novels).
The first step is to understand (as best you can) what currently exists in the existing canon. This is fairly easy with a “small” body of work like The Expanse. If you take on Star Trek, Star Wars, The Wheel of Time, or another large property, then things get more difficult. Don’t try to absorb it all. That pathway leads to insanity and a huge waste of time. The best thing to do is to focus on what’s in the game book(s). This is what the creators of the game wanted you to focus on, so it’s probably a good idea to follow their lead.
The second step is to find a place to drop your personal story and characters. This is the sweet spot because you’ll make this area your own for you and your players. This is where you’ll make your changes to the setting to fit your needs.
Once you’ve identified your target, dive deep into that area. Absorb even more than you already have, but avoid rabbit holes of research that can lead you astray from your target. (To quote a famous space battle scene, “Stay on target.”)
At this point, I can hear Phil and Senda screaming at this article because of their “low or zero prep” philosophies. I agree with their approach to some extent, but this is more research than prep work. Yes, this can be time consuming, so don’t go overboard. Make sure you have index cards or some other note taking method handy. You’ll want to call out page numbers, references, and brief snippets of brilliance that you find. You’ll also want to note what you intend to change or use in the setting.
Once you have this knowledge at hand, note the changes or shifts you want to make. You’ll want to create a brief list of bullet notes for the players to let those “in the know” what’s going to be changed. Also, during your session zero, you’ll want to explicitly call out that there will be changes and that if some “misinformation” about the setting is used, then it will become “canon at the table” for this particular game.Know-It-Alls
Here’s where a problem arises. If you’re using a setting that has deep lore (see my list above) or has been around a long while, then there is a risk that a player at the table will know more about it than you. This happened to me in a Dresden Files game I ran. I’ve read the books, the short stories, and seen the TV show (no comment on that last one). However, my brain doesn’t hold the massive amounts of knowledge and information contained within that lore. There were many things I got wrong or didn’t have answers to.
There are two approaches for this player.
The first is the least desirable. This approach is to shutdown the player and let them know that their intense depth of knowledge isn’t helpful in the game. This allows you to run the setting as your own, but it will also alienate your player(s) who have this knowledge. It does allow for more freedom, but it’s making use of something valuable within your game.
This leads to the second option. Lean on the player. Make it known that your knowledge is lacking. Admit to the group that you’ll welcome input and advice on how to handle the setting. Also let them know that you get the final call on how things will go in the game at the table. Once these two “ground rules” are in place, don’t be embarrassed about turning to the player for help with getting the little details correct. This will empower the “know-it-alls” and bring them deeper into your game.Conclusion
Relax. Someone else may have created the setting, but this version belongs entirely to your group. Own it. Make it your own and interpret the setting as you see fit.
Most of all.
Enjoy the setting!
I created and shared an open source set of editable slides with plenty speaker notes titled "State of Drupal 9" early in May, based on my webinar with Dries and then the Drupal 9 parts of the DrupalCon Seattle Driesnote. I hope that we can bring this know-how to a lot of conferences, meetups and to companies so people are more aware of what is coming, what happens to Drupal 8 and 7, what's so great about Drupal 9 and what are the key tools involved.
Before I even presented the slideshow first, I already got improvement suggestions from people presenting it elsewhere. So the first time I got to present this session in Minsk, Belarus at the kind invitation of DrupalCamp Belarus organizers, it was already improved from when I first published it. I will keep updating the slides and present where I can in the coming months. Please, do it yourself too! Translate, shorten, lengthen, etc. to match your audience and timing needs, as long as the key messages get through. Be an important contributor to Drupal 9 this way!
Here is the recording from DrupalCamp Belarus:
May marked another important month for the Drupal community, with a new minor version of Drupal being released on May 1st and Acquia acquiring the open source marketing platform Mautic. In case you missed any of these important pieces of news, here’s an overview of the top Drupal blog posts from May.READ MORE
Larian Studios is picking up the franchise nearly 20 years after BioWare delivered Baldurâ€ s Gate 2. ...
This project is a fork of Private Message.
Since the development of private_message is very slow and the maintainer is not answering, this module will use private_message as a base and evolve to integrate more features and fixes that are definitely required for a decent message system.
In this deep dive, audio director Louis Philippe Dion explores how the Siege dev team used strategically placed nodes to calculate the flow of sound in ever-changing, destructible battlegrounds. ...
New Light aims to entice new players by offering an appealing place to start playing Destiny 2 without needing to play a pricey game of catch-up. ...
Community posts: Creating Strategies for Effective & Inclusive Group Communication in the Drupal Community
One of the chartered responsibilities of the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) is to work to develop and support community initiatives that promote the health of the Drupal community and help to prevent conflict and burnout. One of the ways that we do this is by organizing workshops designed to provide community leaders with the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to help keep our community a friendly and welcoming place.
Following feedback from last year’s Teamwork and Leadership workshop at DrupalCon Nashville, we decided to narrow the focus and audience for our next workshop. One of the things we’ve observed over the last year in the Drupal community is that many of the issues we’ve seen have had to do with communication breakdowns between various individuals and groups. Following internal discussion in late 2018, we decided that one way to begin addressing this issue was by bringing together leaders in the community representing different groups and interests for a workshop focused on communication skills at DrupalCon Seattle.
In early 2019, we interviewed a number of potential facilitators suggested by Drupal Association board chair Adam Goodman and selected Megan Bernard, a professor of communication studies who specializes in promoting meaningful and inclusive learning and collaboration. Based on Prof. Bernard’s recommendation, we decided to spread this year’s workshop out over two days (April 10-11) in a dedicated meeting room provided by the Drupal Association, who generously covered all fees and expenses.
After finalizing the logistics, we then reached out to those who had attended last year’s workshop, as well as additional community members involved with community governance, camp organizing, core and contrib maintainers, the Drupal Security Team, Drupal Diversity & Inclusion, and the Drupal Association. The workshop facilitator suggested that we keep the size of the workshop to around 20 people, focusing on individuals who are well-connected in the community in hopes that they can help distribute the lessons learned in the workshop. 17 people attended some or all of the first day of the workshop, and 18 attended some or all of the second. In total, community members from 10 different countries spread across 4 different continents were represented.
Day one of the workshop included introductions, a discussion of needs, assets, and challenges faced by various groups within the Drupal community, and a discussion of shared context and perspective. We talked about different ways that other online communities help communicate context about their users, such as identifying the primary language, pronouns, and location in comment threads. During our discussion, Neil Drumm pointed out there was already an active issue led by justafish and others to allow users to display this kind of information, and one of the first action items we agreed on was helping it get implemented on Drupal.org as quickly as possible.
Another topic of discussion centered around creating pre-written template responses that maintainers and/or other privileged users could use in issue threads to “nudge” users in the right direction and realign communication when conversations start trending away from our community standards. We discussed badges and other ways to promote positive communication in our issues threads and other community spaces. In addition, we also talked about better ways to on-board new members into the project and foster an ongoing sense of community. One insight was that small cohorts of 6-8 people are far more effective than 1:1 mentoring at building community engagement.
In our second day, we dug more deeply into the concepts of emotional intelligence, de-escalation practices, and different forms of conflict. One of our exercises was a case study challenge, where different groups were tasked with finding different ways to resolve typical kinds of conflicts often seen in Drupal and other open source communities.
We also spent time talking about different ways to apply some of the things we had learned to our own community, and next steps. We agreed as a group to focus on three main areas:
Setting context in issue queues. This work had already been mostly completed in https://www.drupal.org/node/2961229 so it was really just a matter of working with DA staff to get it implemented on Drupal.org.
Nudges. A group of us decided to do more research into pre-written templates to use in issue queues, forums, and Slack to gently steer things back in the right direction when conversations were starting to go in a negative direction.
Improving Drupal.org user on-boarding and cohorts. In addition to better identifying new users on the site, we agreed to look into various ways to help community members join small cohorts, organized by industry, technology, geography, or other criteria. We felt it was important that this be an opportunity that’s open to existing community members as well as new ones.
The folks assigned to each area agreed to find a time to meet in the coming weeks and to involve other interested community members as well. The CWG also identified several opportunities to improve and streamline its internal processes and communication practices.
By developing and communicating best practices that can be shared across the community, the hope is that we can help build structures for self-guided conflict resolution among community members and support more effective communication overall.
Enterprises can find their websites attracting visitors and clients from different geographies, speaking different languages. The market is so huge (and international) that targeting only English speaker based users means deliberately missing out on an effective way to grow audience, ROI, customer trust, and rank on Google.
Google has finally offered more details on the Stadia game streaming service it announced earlier this year, shedding light on pricing details and the platformâ€ s game offerings in a pre-E3 stream today. ...
Sometimes when working with Drupal’s exposed forms, you might get stuck with a field type that you don’t want. Often times you can find a module to help improve the style or functionality of these forms. However, in some cases using a module will not be available and you will have to make modifications directly to the code.
This 'dungeon crawl' for 2nd-3rd level characters opens with the standard overview of the setting, useful for those who don't have any other *Odysseys and Overlords *material - it works with any OSR ruleset, but best with *The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game*. We then get on to the background for this adventure, being a discussion of how people turned to worship other deities when the local mob decided all-out war between themselves was a good idea. One such was called Bala, who was mildly popular with creative folk for a few years before falling out of favour again. However centuries later a rumour arose that Bala's followers had discovered the secret of eternal life, only by then nobody could remember where any temples to Bala were. The hunt was on...
... and this adventure begins with the discovery in the Untamed Gauntlet of a tablet whose inscription, according to a priest called Dendefsha (who worships another deity), contains directions to one hidden deep in the Gauntlet. He wastes no time in hiring a party of adventurers to go and take a look. Of course, other interested parties are also looking for the temple. Who'll find it first?
The adventure proper begins with the party standing on the doorstep of the temple. Actually finding it is an adventure you'll have to provide or, if wilderness adventures aren't your thing, just give the party sufficient background and start the game here. The first trick is figuring out how to get in, and it doesn't get much better thereafter: there are tricks and puzzles galore as you explore onwards. As well as rivals for the idol, which is said to be carved with Bala's secrets, there are some creatures to contend with as well.
Although small - there are only three main chambers - the temple is well-described. Details of all the traps or effects are explained clearly, with notes on relevant mechanics, saves to make, and so on, and all monsters come with a stat block to enable you to run them effectively. Player and GM versions of the map are included. The conclusion assumes that the party is successful, but does give the possibility of future allies and enemies that can be woven into further adventures.
This is a classic 'delve' adventure, with monsters to kill and loot to acquire... being short and sweet it could be a good filler or one-off adventure, or even an introduction to OSR play. It's nicely-done, however, and there are concepts here worthy of expansion should it suit your campaign to do so.
module d'interfaçage avec l'archive ouverte HAL pour l'affichage de publications sous forme de blocs multiinstanciables et multiconfigurables
OPTASY: Using Drupal for Project Management and Team Collaboration: 2 Drupal Distributions to Consider
“Can I use Drupal for project management?” Definitely.
Given all its content-oriented baked-in capabilities — file management, version control, easy content creation, and editing — Drupal makes the perfect software for:
- managing your projects the easy and the... smart way
- streamlining communication among your team members and with your contractors
In this respect, Drupal provides its own feature-rich distributions to help you put together your robust setup in no time. “Distributions” that come already packed with a set of useful sub-modules and themes, that all support the core functionality: project management (and smooth collaboration).
This module allows you to trigger a build hook on config entities.Features
-Add config entities on queue for the trigger build hooksRequirements
-php unit test