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Spellslinger - Guns and Sorcery in the old west: The RPG

 
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Foolster41
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Spellslinger - Guns and Sorcery in the old west: The RPG Reply with quote


(A stage coach robbery on a dragon, hell yeah!)

Spellslinger
It's a new world, a world of opportunity and prosperity. Magic has all but dried up. The Gods are now silent. Gone are the days of wizards, druids, Clerics and the rest. Instead there are "brands", people born with markings called stigma that exhibit extraordinary abilities. Of course things aren't perfect, there are bandits and wars between the magi and blackhands, and even sometimes raids from the native grey runners, but one can make their way with a will of steel.

Spellslinger is a setting by Fantasy Flight games based on a modified version of D&D 3.5 ed. The setting squeezes down the skills to 20 skills, and includes new rules for aiming, bracing weapons, pinning down enemies, covering allies and consuming alcohol. Characters start at 3rd level.

This will be run over roll20 & Skype (or some other agreed apon voice chatting system), probably on Sunday afternoons, since that seems to be the only day I get reliably off work, either weekly or maybe every other week.

A note that I am a new GM, though I've been playing rpgs for a while now off and on. I'm planning on this being an ongoing campaign, and I have a main plot with the first couple adventures planned out as well as a few side adventures at the ready.

New players to D&D, or RPGsn in general are welcome.

Classes
There are 3 base classes, in addition to the 6 brands. Each of the base classes has a core abilities, that a character gets when they take that class at 1st level. (This will be indicated with (core) in the description) Brands may only be taken at first level, but there are related skills and feats they can take to improve on that brand's abilities in later levels.

Gunfighters
Mostly about accuracy and has best health. Has powers to get a bonus to a save and roll twice for that save (core), make critical hits without having to roll the normal extra roll, increase the chance of getting critical hits, and turning misses into hits. Eventually can increase a crit multiplier by +2x at 20th level (so a crit of 2x becomes 4x, 3x becomes 5x)

Mavericks
The sneaky guys with the most skill points and least health. They get a bonus in a skill and get to roll that skill twice (core). Have abilities to take extra actions and re-roll bad roll. Also gains bonuses in build/repair, heist and deceive. Can eventually tell outrageous lies and get away with it at 20th level.

Trailblazers
Medium health. Get extra HP every level up (core). Have damage reduction, ability to add damage on a chosen weapon and gain bonuses to the skills survival, creep and senses. Can eventually roll an extra dice of damage on the weapon chosen that has extra damage.

Brands
As I said, must be taken at 1st level.
blackhands - Thw anti-magicers. They have magic resistance, can "sniff out" magic, and can with a feat destroy magic items to regain Health. They have a black hand stigma.
Magis - Basic casters. Stigma is a milky white eye
Padres - Mostly healers, buffers and slayers of undead. Stigma is a flame on the forehead
Pale Riders - Can do death touch attacks, summon ghostly horses. Stigma is a hand print on face.
Skin Walkers - Can transform self (later into animals with a feat) and cast nature based magic. Stigma is moon on forehead.
Steelhearts - can mold metal, and are great crafters. Styigms is a Hammer on their chest.

E: I forgot to mention, a stigma must be visible to use a brand power.

Races
Of course you have the standard D&D races to choose from, as well asd Grey Runners, a race of wolf-men who are natives to the frontier lands. They get +2 str, dex and con, +4 wis and -2 int, and scent-based tracking ability (though they also take 1 level less in a class at the start to make up for their power) .

There are also Tieflings (who I'm homebrewing into the setting),l and I'd be willing to consider other "monster races" (They have to be monsters with a "Level Adjustment" that isn't --).

Homebrew
I'm willing to tweak things as we go along if it means keeping this fun.

  • A successful spur horse check moves at 4x (instead of +10') and deals non-lethal damage.
  • A bunch of outside source feat options so players get more freedom
  • I'll be using "cinematic leveling" instead of tracking XP.
  • Characters will have a full hit die at 1st level, and 1/2 hit dice added each level after the first. If a character is a trailblazer at 1st level they get 3/4 of a die instead at each level after 1st.


If you're interested in playing, post here, and post a character. [url=]Here's a scan of the book[/url]. If someone finds a first party source for getting the book, let me know and I'll link to that instead.
Characters attributes are assined using a 26 opurl=http://tools.digitalightbulb.com/pbcalc.html]point buy[/url], and as I said start at 3rd level.

Characters will start around the fairly large city of Black Rock, and the first part concerns finding the culprit of a train robbery who stole some rifles and is headed into grey runner territory.

I want to try for as balanced a team as possible (i.e. no overlap, I won't allow multiples of the same brand). Also, I think having both a magi and blackhand won't be allowed, considering they hate either other.

If you have questions feel free to ask them here, or you can e-mail me at Foolster41@gmail.com, or contact me on skype, my user name is Foolster41.

e: added scan of book and notes on character creation, and a disclaimer on possible brutality.

e2: I forgot the homebrew rule for HP.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like it.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! Interested in playing then? What type of character do you think you'd like to play? (sneaky/skilly, guy who can shrug off damage, guy who's super accurate, one of the mentioned brands)?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like to play, but I'd probably better not.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Cool! Interested in playing then?

Quillwraith wrote:
I'd like to play, but I'd probably better not.

What Quillwraith said.
But:

Foolster41 wrote:
What type of character do you think you'd like to play? (sneaky/skilly, guy who can shrug off damage, guy who's super accurate, one of the mentioned brands)?

If I were to play, I'd pick either
guy who's super accurate
or
padre.
In real life, my brother is a physician, and my father was a physician.
And I'm an NRA sharpshooter.
Is there a "necromancer"-like "brand"? My dad was the coroner and county medical examiner for Bowie County Texas and Miller County Arkansas; and the pathologist for several smaller hospitals in the "Four States Area" (beating Doofenshmertz's "entire tri-state area" by one state).
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiarizio wrote:
Foolster41 wrote:
Cool! Interested in playing then?

Quillwraith wrote:
I'd like to play, but I'd probably better not.

What Quillwraith said.

Why?

If sounds like you have quite a few ways you could go with real cool character conceptts.

For a straight up really accurate shooter, you should go with a gunfighter. They have the best BaB (Basically accuracy) and have cool abilities that allow you to do critical hits without having to do the extra roll normally required, and turn missing shots into hits (dealing minumum damage), and increase your odds of getting critical hits.

A undertaker/coroner type character could be really cool, though there's no real necromancers or necromancy school magic (one weakness of spell slinger is it is fairly limited compared to regular D&D, something I'm fixing with a little bit of homebrewing in quite a few feats borrowed from different sources). However, you could do a pale rider, who goes around sending people to their grave by touching them (basicly like the slay living necromancy spell), and with a feat can basicly cast the necromancy spell death watch at will.

A undertaker/coroner padre could work well too. Acutlaly, looking it up, Padres can cast some necromancy spells (inflict X wounds and doom)

I suppose I could be persuaded to add in necromancy spells into the spell list of a magi brand, if the flavor could be warrening it (I want actually heroic good characters). I don't think i'd allow spells marked "evil", which would include summon undead which is probably what you had in mind anyway. Actually, I notice Magis can cast vampiric touch, one of the spells I was going to say I'd allow.

Since brands are only 1st level, you combine any of these brands with 2 levels of gunfighter for your 3rd level character, giving a combination of the brand powers with the accuracy of the gunfighter.

I'm going to edit in a better description above of the basic classes.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
chiarizio wrote:
Foolster41 wrote:
Cool! Interested in playing then?

Quillwraith wrote:
I'd like to play, but I'd probably better not.

What Quillwraith said.

Why?

In my case, reluctance to buy rulebooks that I'll probably only use for this one campaign.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, no rulebook will be required to be bought.

if you google "scribd spellslinger" you can find a scan of the book (you cn read it online, but not download it)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Technically speaking all of the "-mancy"s are prophetic techniques;
"necromancy" is prophecy by means of speaking to the dead, just as "cartomancy" is prophecy by means of cards etc.
(Obviously "prophecy" includes clairvoyance and divination of secrets and so on, as well as foretelling the future.)

A pathologist would be someone who can divine the cause of a corpse's death; perhaps find a real lead in determining whether the corpse died of natural causes, of disease, of murder, of suicide, or by accident; and even help identify the killer if there was one, or tell whether the disease was or wasn't contagious, etc.

Pathologists can also do what hepatomancers ("liver-readers") and phrenologists do; read the bumps in a living patient's abnormalities to find out something they need to know.

I think "necromancer", construed as above, goes fine with "pathologist" in the "county medical examiner" mode. The other kind of pathology (abnormal pieces of living patients) goes better with padres, I guess.

_____________________________________________________________

My father's father, his uncle, and his cousin, were all Methodist preachers; so "padre" would be good for me too, I guess.

_____________________________________________________________

Are spells ever analogous to computer programs?
If so, what would a system-programmer be analogous to?
I've been a system programmer IRL, more than I was ever anything else; that might be good for me too.

If a programmer is a person who develops new spells or modifies or corrects existing spells, then a systems programmer would be the person who develops and maintains the spells programmers use.

_____________________________________________________________

The whole reason I said "I'd probably better not" is that it might require a significant commitment of time that I couldn't guarantee I could follow through on; and my fellow-players might be inconvenienced if I failed to follow-through.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the closest thing to finding out what happened to a body in D&D with magic would be ask the person directly with the spell speak with dead (which is a padre spell). There is also the spell detect poison, but though it's not in Spellslinger, I'd allow it as a magi or padre cantrip (0th level spell that can be used at-will)

(The other non-magic way would just have high senses and deduce it,)

So, it looks like you mean more a "detective" type necromancer than a "raise skeleton army" one. That sounds cool. (usually when people say necormancer, they mean the later, which is why I assumed that's what you meant Razz ). My brother actually reminded me that Ned from Pushing Daisies was basicly a necromancer (he could revive people for a short time by touching them, and used his powers to solve murders). A wild west version of him could be neat. Razz

In a way spells could be seen as sort of like programming, at the very least alteration spells (spells that cause effects to happen on people). I don't think really programmers would fit in the flavor of the world, but an alteration-specialized magi could work very well.

I don't know about altering spell, since I'd be worried about balancing. There are feats (the metamagic feats) you can take though to do some alteration of spells (making them longer range, or more powerful.

chiarizio wrote:

The whole reason I said "I'd probably better not" is that it might require a significant commitment of time that I couldn't guarantee I could follow through on; and my fellow-players might be inconvenienced if I failed to follow-through.

Fair enough.
I was thinking this would be at most once a week, though it might being only as infrequent as 1-2 times a month, depending on other people's schedules (and sometimes I have to work on Sundays).

It sounds like you have cool ideas, but if you can't, I understand.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This setting is reminding me of the short story Hope Chest, by Garth Nix. Anyone read that?

[hr]

Foolster41 wrote:
oh, no rulebook will be required to be bought.

if you google "scribd spellslinger" you can find a scan of the book (you cn read it online, but not download it)

Right. Still iffy about joining, for reasons of time + my internet anonymity, but maybe.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kinda thinking of a pale rider / trailblazer. I'll work out a backstory, maybe.

Death touch doesn't really suit the char. Is a variant brand along these lines okay?

Quote:
Death Mask(Sp): Rather than a deadly touch, you have the ability to wear the faces of the departed. When you see a humanoid die, you may memorize their face. Three times per day, you may assume the form of a creature you have memorized, as the spell alter self. You may have a number of faces memorized in this manner equal to your int modifier, and may choose to forget one at any point.
This ability cannot conceal your stigma completely, but does cause it to fade to a faint outline, taking a senses check to notice (DC 10+ your wisdom modifier).
You may summon a ghostly mount as a normal pale rider, but it only remains for one hour per character level, rather than two.


I reckon it's a bit stronger than the default Pale Rider, but weaker than Skinwalker, so maybe that's okay.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but I don't think I want to alter the classes so much, and potentially mess up balance, especially since this is my first time GMing this setting.

Death touch really is the main defining feature of a pale rider, so I'm not sure why you'd want to be a pale rider without it. If you want to be a pale rider for the "death watch" ability, I don't think I'd be too large a change to allow magis to take the feat as well (though it requires 4th level, so you won't be able to get it right away anyway, you'd have to gain 1 level first).
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Well, the closest thing to finding out what happened to a body in D&D with magic would be ask the person directly with the spell speak with dead

Exactly what traditional necromancers do.
(btw necromancers get a bad name from those who don't like to wait for someone to die, and kill them in order to use them in prophecy. Kind of like Burke and Hare, or the Mercy Men, gave anatomists a bad name.)


Foolster41 wrote:
(which is a padre spell). There is also the spell detect poison, but though it's not in Spellslinger, I'd allow it as a magi or padre cantrip (0th level spell that can be used at-will)
(The other non-magic way would just have high senses and deduce it,)

Oh. OK.
What about a "find what the heck is wrong with this living, suffering patient" spell?


Foolster41 wrote:
So, it looks like you mean more a "detective" type necromancer than a "raise skeleton army" one. That sounds cool. (usually when people say necormancer, they mean the later, which is why I assumed that's what you meant Razz ). My brother actually reminded me that Ned from Pushing Daisies was basicly a necromancer (he could revive people for a short time by touching them, and used his powers to solve murders). A wild west version of him could be neat. Razz

Yes!
My hometown once had a "Wild West Days" thing; my father grew a Louis Pasteur kind of beard and mustach, and wore one of those long bow-ties.


Foolster41 wrote:
In a way spells could be seen as sort of like programming, at the very least alteration spells (spells that cause effects to happen on people). I don't think really programmers would fit in the flavor of the world, but an alteration-specialized magi could work very well.
I don't know about altering spell, since I'd be worried about balancing. There are feats (the metamagic feats) you can take though to do some alteration of spells (making them longer range, or more powerful.

Well then, I guess a systems programmer would be someone who could alter metamagic feats: thus enabling more people who to do such feats; or to do them with increased (or new, or more precise) effect; or to do them more easily or more often or for longer or at a greater distance or whatever.


Quote:
chiarizio wrote:

The whole reason I said "I'd probably better not" is that it might require a significant commitment of time that I couldn't guarantee I could follow through on; and my fellow-players might be inconvenienced if I failed to follow-through.

Fair enough.
I was thinking this would be at most once a week, though it might being only as infrequent as 1-2 times a month, depending on other people's schedules (and sometimes I have to work on Sundays).

It sounds like you have cool ideas, but if you can't, I understand.

Thanks. I'll think about it.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chiarizio wrote:


Oh. OK.
What about a "find what the heck is wrong with this living, suffering patient" spell?

Well, between detect poison (since in D&D, as far as I remember diseases are basically a type of poisons) and detect magic (another I'd allow as magi/padre cantrip) you'd pretty much have it covered.

You know, I just noticed that padres can cast death watch as a 1st level spell I somehow missed that.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foolster41 wrote:
Sorry, but I don't think I want to alter the classes so much, and potentially mess up balance, especially since this is my first time GMing this setting.
Right. I'm a little too used to running homebrew. I've got other ideas.

Foolster41 wrote:
(since in D&D, as far as I remember diseases are basically a type of poisons)
Not... really, no. The rules are a bit similar, but they're not the same thing.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh yeah, you're right. I was going by memory.
Oriental adventures adds the detect disease spell, which again, I'd allow t add in as a cantrip for at least a padre, and maybe a magi as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so I have 2 more interested players, so if you're interested that makes potentially 4.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, maybe interested. I'll think it over too.

Do your other two players have characters yet? Party roles?
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nah, so there's time. I just wanted you to know I'm also recruiting on another place as well, but I realize I might come off as pressuring.

One said he's considering a grey runner trailblazer.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got lots of ideas, so knowing what roles are needed would have been a little helpful, is all.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far, that's all I know.

My bro might play, and he said he'd be interested in "a rogue or barbarian" (He actually usually plays rogue-like characters), so I suggested either a maverick or a rage spec'd skinwalker (With wolverine's rage feat).
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over a year later!

Did this campaign ever happen? (I hope so!)

How did it go?

--------

BTW, Quillwraith; I read Garth Nix's "Hope Chest" some time ago, though I forgot the author and the title. When I re-read your post I thought the story I was thinking of was what you meant -- and it was! Following your link, I now have downloaded the podcast.

The U.S. has an Emperor in "Hope Chest". Not Joshua Norton, apparently.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Oh, Conworlds is back!)
Yes, I'm actually running it right now every week, ran 14 sessions so far (so a little over 3 months!). It's going pretty great. I decided to adapt it to the simpler 13th age system, which is really good.

We have a dwarf cleric who's pretty much the straight man of the group (rubs his temples a lot and more recently been swigging rubbing alcahol) who murdered his father because he wanted him to criple a man, a undead goblin necromancer who loves dynamite, a half-orc who talks to the spirits of guns, a human who is turning into a wolf-man thing and a koblold snakeoils saleswoman (a recent addition to the party).

This is the first arc and they're fighting against a secret mage organization called the "Crimson Dawn", who are trying to use robots sealed from souls (some taken from "executed" prisoners). They also recently fought through a 2-part supernatural circus of their worst fears as a side-quesat thing and was a lot of fun to run.

If you have a SA account (it costs $10), you can read the rundown of the sessions at http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3655140&pagenumber=1
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chiarizio
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How’d this turn out? Is it still going?
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Foolster41
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, no. People got jobs and we decided after something like a year of playing (about 24 sessions, a little into a second arc) to just let it end. It was a lot of fun.

The Cast (or part of, we have a few cycling players):
Ol' JacknJill - A half-orc Sorcerer/Ranger who can talk to machines
'Doc' Ironsides - Dwarf Cleric
Dr. Professor Shazra Allthings - Kolbold Miracle Worker (reskin sorcerer)
Nigel Conertooth - Goblin Necromancer

Some highlights:
Cornertooth taking a sample of a NPC's cure-all snake-oil and pretends to drop dead, even fooling Doc.

Jacknjill freezing an enemy boss' displacer beast and making it it's pet (though they left it on a train, in an unrefrigerated car and it thawed, but they captured it again). Also, apparently he has a cell in every prison.

The party creating their own new city-state of liberated robots (who were crearted by the big bads by sucking the souls of prisoners in hopes of creating an army)

The party being helped on a train with a murder mystery and then attempted hijacking part ways with a friend. Fortner. Later when they are attempting to bluster they're way into a mobster's place past some bandana covered guards, one of them takes them aside and says "about that beer I owe ya" and reveals it's their old friend Fortner from the train! (a moment I'm the most proud of from my end. when the character left, I knew I was going to bring him back with a half-life 2 reference.)

The party running into a strange circus outsider guy (inspired partly by the song "greatest show unearthed" and Bradburry's "Something this way wicked comes") where they have to fight they're greatest fears.

Jackengill meets the spirit of his favorite gun, Daedra who thinks he doesn't love her. Doc faces the father he thinks he killed. Nigel feels alone and has to fight a dragon.


Some of the party decide to kidnap Doc's father without Doc knowing, in order to force some sort of reunion/reconciliation between them for some reason (Doc nearly killed his father because the father wanted him to execute someone, so I'm not sure why they thought this was a good idea.).

The party convincing the outsider to creat e a stock-market of souls to trick the other outsiders as part of a larger plan of the party's. (I don't even remember of the logic of this, or if it had any.)

A lot of outsiders lost a lot of souls though, which was a plot element in the second arc.
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chiarizio
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you could turn most of that into a story, you could post it here, or put it online somewhere and post a link here, or possibly make a paperback or even a comix or bande dessinee or graphic novel/novella/novelette out of it.
If you don’t add pictures you could make it free for CWBB members.
If you add not only pictures but also color, I don’t see how you could make it free. You’d probably need a kickstarter campaign.
It sounds, so far, like something I’d love to read.

I guess you’d need the permission of all the players?
Easier to get if you don’t charge anything, or so I guess.
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