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Sterling Leonine Glory

Gaming Madness

[High Valor] PDF and Print!
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I released the PDF of my fantasy dark ages RPG; High Valor last week. I've been working on getting the print up and running but it takes a bit longer. I have to get a print copy, look it over, make sure it looks good--and if it doesn't--repeat the process.

Currently that's where I am at, waiting for the print copy to be fixed of a minor issue. Once that is done, we go live.

As for the silence of this blog II mostly don't update here anymore. It's a matter of time and focus. I update my blogspot one, and am working on updating my website to offer a few more features. (Forums.) Plus making the website consistent in where information is found on a given game or upcoming project. I will try and remember to update here from time to time. Maybe put it on a to-do list.

My primary blog is Sterling Leonine Glory Unleashed and maintained for game information.

I've added a cafepress store to the High Valor stuff I'm putting out. Albeit I imagine I'll add some H&S2E stuff when its finished, and a few other bits and pieces as I get more stuff out on the market.

I also have a High Valor Facebook group.

In general, I'm here, trying to keep up with the speed of the internet and my life all at the same time.

-Tim Kirk
Silverlion Studios

[Hearts & Souls 2E] The better setting...
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I've decided recently, while waiting on feedback for Derelict Delvers that I'd start poking at Hearts & Souls 2E.

Mostly I've realized a few minor rule fixed will help make the game flow a little better mechanically and hit the sweet spot for stress. I'm basically turning stress triggers into a form of Fate3's aspects. They'll be more "inspired" by than directly lifted from the system. They'll be able to act negatively, but in some cases they can allow the hero to push a bit harder than normal. After all, threaten Spider-man's aunt, or his wife, and he does BETTER, even if its hard on him. The exact mechanics will take some doing.

The main focus on the new edition is making sure I provide so much GM design support that the game can be used as a "How to run superhero games,"even if someone isn't fond of the system.

Ideas include:The use of tropes.Things like "Creation and use of Unobtanium in character origins.."  "The use of SCIENCE!" "Capes!" "Costumes" and all the other iconic elements that we get in a superhero game and how to use them, or reject them in a given campaign.

I'm going to be writing a new, better, shiner setting. (and doing my best to get three sample settings that are equally complete) in the core book--one as a general "use this traditional superhero world.." and a couple with interesting twists.

The important thing though is at least getting one setting to the WOW! stage. I'd never truly intended the setting bits to be used as-is, but as plug ins for other peoples games. Allowing a GM to devise and detail their own world and plug in a bit of history and such as needed.

Though that was one of the significant complaints I got. (I don't think I've ever used a superhero game world as presented, so I felt others likely didn't either.) That doesn't excuse my poor devising though.

I've also decided to focus on how to of world building. I'll include using real world cities (which the main setting will do.) As well as devising fictional cities like Midas, Cavalry, and Gehenna, each with their own flavors and superheroic "feel." 

I developed a prototype PC sheet:


Writing and such
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Nothing much going on, I may be less responsive for a few days as my wireless adapter has gone poof and I've got a new one ordered. Mostly I can't afford one but without the net on my desktop I can't really get much of anything done.

I'm on my laptop right now and in general trying to get some game writing done and finish up my YA novel. It needs a general fix in the middle and I'll have to go back and add some specific details before heading to the end. I really love how its turning out, but I'll have to pass the darn thing to my personal editor, before I even try and worry about trying to find an agent and get it sold. I'm not sure how well it will be received, yet at the same time I'm proud of doing it and glad I've managed such a long work that isn't poetry or game.

Still a long way to go, however, so wish me luck.

In other news I've got the basic system for Cold Chrome Knights in a demi playable form. It needs more tweaking despite being descended from High Valor (which is lamenting still in layout.) Plus Derelict Delvers is also in a  testable form. Which is not anywhere near finished but it at a point I can work from that I can see the end somewhere over the  next few mountains.

The price of this business.
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Sometimes I wonder if it is worth the work I put into game design.

It isn't the fact that I desire to get rich, its the shear amount of effort I put into getting things together. I know more than one designer who makes this look effortless. Yet for every hurdle I overcome, a new one is put in place.  Yet it isn't the changing hurdles that is the most significant one. It is the problem of layout which continues to plague my games. 

Hearts & Souls suffered from the failure of several layout people to do their job. (I cannot fault the assistance I got early on from Clash Bowley of Flyingmice, LLC.) Or the help of Jerry Grayson in the end. They were very willing to help and do their thing. It's a bigger problem that several freelancers flaked in between as I tried to improve the layout from Clash's workmanlike style. 

Now High Valor is mired in the same place. Only this time I arranged to pay someone who I know can do incredible things. I just haven't seen them finish it in the time they have it.

I've been exceedingly patient, but I'm getting a bit past the point where I can afford to be patient, I need to get it finished so I can get print books on the way.

I wonder if it would be easier to learn layout myself than suffer through this frustration. It is a skill I lack, and have not managed to teach myself.

Miscellaneous Things
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High Valor continues to be in layout. It's coming along, but I'm not sure when it will be done. It isn't anyone's fault really, just life getting in the way of the layout mistress. I complete understand those circumstances and they happen to all of us. Patience is my mantra at the moment because of that.

I've decided to do a little redirect on E.O.N, and I'm not sure if it will work. Rereading Mutant Chronicles source books, and more recent horror novels and shorts. I'm wanting to evoke terror and horror in the future, not just a more moral fight against a terrible Empire. The Empire itself will be a bit more inspired by that real world one, and its horrors, and it will only be the tip of the iceberg for the greater evils that prevail. I'm not sure entirely how to do that, as the original game wasn't much about horror, and more about horror monsters in an action setting.

Now I'm aiming to go a more horror driven path, still a bit action heavy, but I want to make everything truly darker. Evoke horror at the things the Empire does. but push some darker things underneath the bed, waiting to reach out. I'm not sure how plausible it will be, and I'm trying to avoid "Cthulhu in space." So we'll see where it goes for a bit.

Derelict Delvers is going in for a rewrite, I've got the ideas down but I'm going to do the full 10 levels of the basic set, and all the powers, special abilities, etc. It needs more robust writing behind it. The cover art from Jeremy McHugh is awesome. Very pulp with a touch of old school, yet its own thing at the same time, it neatly fits what I want for the game.

Great News
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I've had a strange and convoluted life. One of struggling to deal with many things, bipolar depression is but one. However, this post is not about the struggles, but one momentous triumph.

At 330Pm CST,  I marred a wonderful woman named Amanda. It was a small affair at the justice of the peace's office with two close friends. I shook like a leaf and forgot what hand was which. (I put out the wrong hand for my ring, *facepalm*)

I never thought I'd get to this point. Not for any specific reason but for past broken hearts.

Anyway, thanks for letting me tell you about it.

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I've been fiddling with a playtest layout for Derelict Delvers. I'm not sure what I'm doing since it is after all a playtest, but I want it to be readable. Unfortunately, plain text isn't for me. Should I keep it simple and just two column it? Use sidebars for notes (general "this is the 4th edition of an Old School game", imaginary writing to the audience stuff. 

I'm slowly getting stuff done for it, but not fast enough. However, I've found that even good layout people take a long time to get something done. Sheesh.

Maybe I'm just impatient.



Getting Married
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So my fiancee and I have a tentative date for getting married. It won't be a big affair, just us, some friends and a JP. I need to get some of it rolling this next week, after that the plan is for October.

Wish me luck.

Miniatures are aggravating...
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I'm not a miniature gamer. The little lead-nee-pewter figures have always been an odd thing--I used them when asked to in tabletop rpg games, and often picked ones up that looked like my characters (as best as they could anyway.)  Yet the things themselves, never caught on with me--painting is easy enough, but not assembling. Now, I decided in my infinite lack of wisdom to try a game and play with them so I could do something "lighter" and less serious and long term than rpg's when I could just play a game and not think too much about it. In my search I sought a fun looking game with neat figures, and rules that seemed alright that had a variaty of features--notably I wanted something SFish and psychic and or lasers had to exist.

I picked Rezolution. I've spent the better part of several months putting these damn things together. Why is it that two otherwise identical figures on a team come together--one is one pewter figure, and the other needs his arms, legs and head attached? Now its not ALL of them, just a few, but its aggravating. I don't mind some assembly but this is RIDICULOUS. It was however cheaper than WH40K, which having seen the sets, KNOW they'd be just as bad to assemble. I'm not even to painting stage. But AAARGH. I'm ready to throw in the towel. I just wanted an aspect of my hobbies I could do offline, primarily when I was alone and couldn't hang out with friends. So I chose this.

What was I thinking? Maybe when assembled and painted, I'll be happy, I'm not giving up. Yet. I'm just very meh about them at the moment. Prepainted figures may be awesome, but they lack the customizability I kind of wanted--but there is it seems a cost for this feature.


[A-kon 20] Gaming Report
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attended A-kon 20, the anime convention. I discovered they had a few gaming panels and writing panels. Despite horribly planning them (two Friday, back to back, one Sunday at almost con's end.) I had a great deal of fun.

The gaming rooms consisted of RPGA (five-seven tables), Battletech had two mostly empty rooms, a Naruto CCG room, A Palladium Room (Heroes Unlimited and Rifts at least.) There were also a number of people playing Apples to Apples, and Magic the Gathering.

The guests consisted of Keith Baker (Eberron), Anthony Gallella--Theatrix creator, Jonathon M.Thompson, and S.John Ross. They attended the two Friday Panels which were Worldbuilding in RPG's, and the State of Tabletop Gaming.

Attending the State of Tabletop Gaming only was a gent who talked about his companies game "Witch Girls Adventures" which also has a licensed comic book.

The number of people who were interested in Eberron, and I think D&D world producing was high based on the world creation panel, little of it focused on tips and tricks, but I think this had to do with the number of attendees. (S.John had mentioned wanting to do a map making class which I'd have loved, his maps are great.)

I was unable to attend the "Writing RPG's" panel as it was late Sunday and we left very early in the morning.

I was able to play a game of Uresia powered by Risus with S.John Ross and it was quite interesting and fun. We had me, a chap named Guy, if I caught it right and a couple whose names vanished with the morning sun, I'm afraid. The young lady of the couple seemed a bit new at role-playing but I hope she enjoyed it. Our GM was S.John Ross himself and it was enjoyable little romp. It gave me some clear concepts on how RISUS is played. I mean I understood it in principle but the ease of use really blew me away.

The Witchgirls Adventure crew ran games as well, but they were deeply embroiled in one when I stopped by and I didn't interrupt. I was glad to see them promoting their game which is very visually appealing and seems thematically appropriate for younger teen girls, as opposed to say the very boys heavy games like D&D (I think I saw one maybe two girls in the RPGA room the entire con.)

That of course segue into the State of Tabletop gaming conversation where one young woman brought up the "selling RPG's to her girlfriends" (who she stated are very ahem "girly.") Another young woman (a bit older and a parent) who brought up getting her and her friends young sons into gaming. I actually appreciated their questions to the panel (even if I was not behind the table) because it does point out that there may be a barrier to some TYPES of rpg's because certain themes just aren't encouraged towards girls as much as boys. This creates a bit of a riff, between those who game now, and those who MIGHT game if they had some form of game thematic to their desires for imaginary fun. Witchgirls adventures seems to be aimed at this market and I really am not selling it--I don't know if its good or not, but I do know they are trying hard to bridge a gap that some people DO perceive as exiting.

The number of men to women in the various con-panel rooms was significant, but it did seem there were more interested women in the "State of.." over the larger number of attendees in the Worldbuilding Room, of course this may have to do with my perception and the lack of women asking questions. (I had a girl on either side, one a friends wife, one a young lady who came late. Whoever you may be thanks for offering me pocky. Its nice to meet people who are friendly in their own ways.)

In general I had fun at the con--it was my first con. (Sort of, but that's a long story.)


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