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Old 06-25-2008, 10:08 PM   #21
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by Turhan's Bey Company
I generally don't read ST because I'm violently allergic to conspiracy and "high weirdness." I'm doing a terrible disservice to Hite's impressive breadth of knowledge and skills as an author, but there it is.
I admit, there was a period where I went through that phase. However, his article on gryphons (and I can't recall the beast that he covered right before that) drew me back in. I'll skip ST's that just are too weird or esoteric for my tastes.

Regarding writing articles for recent releases you state:

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Practical concerns may prevent that. To write support articles, you need authors. Authors need the books, which are available to most potential authors no earlier than they are to anybody else. So the book needs to come out, people need to buy the book, get an idea for an article, write it, send it in, and we all wait for it to go through the editorial process to be published. They come in time (vis the recent wave of MA and DF articles), but there'd need to be wider dissemination of pre-publication files than currently exists to speed that up appreciably.
Those who write the early articles are bound to have been playtesters. Some get credited, but there are many more playtesters than those who make significant enough contributions to get credited. I'd really love to see a Pyramid article made from one of the characters that was written up by one of the High-Tech playtesters. It was a vampire enforcer/hit-man for the Cabal. The cool thing about the write up with respect to the HT playtest was all the gear the character used.

The authors of GURPS books have material that isn't used but there is also material in the playtest that doesn't make it in for some reason or other. Stuff like character write ups can make for good Pyramid articles, even if they don't make the cut due to space limitations, being to similar to other items already in use, etc.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:19 AM   #22
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by b-dog
Thanks, I'll try to write a few villians. I've got quite a few baddies in mind.
Nice. Write one up, give him a good hook, and send him in. Call it "DF Villians" and send it along, see what happens. Strike while the DF iron is hot!
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:54 AM   #23
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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In general, how open are the creators to doing that kind of checking? I've assumed "Please read and comment before I send it to the slushpile" requests would be in the spam category.
Not exactly spam... Speaking purely for myself here, but... Details of the response are likely to depend on the tone of the request. And the circumstances, frankly.

As an occasional creator myself, well, an e-mail from someone saying "I'm writing an article which spins off from your book X, would you mind running an eye over it before I submit?" is polite and a bit flattering, and I'll probably say yes (unless I'm about to go on holiday/start a 30,000 word project with a ten day deadline, in which case the reply will be "Sorry, you'll just have to wing it"). An e-mail saying "Attached is my 20,000 word series fixing all the flaws in your book X, please read and provide a detailed critique by Friday" will be treated as it deserves.

You're asking a favour. But some of us may do favours, if asked nicely.

And, to be honest, some of my past works mean more to me than others. Mess with some of them, and you're messing with my babies. Others... Pshaw. Work for hire. Hopefully decent work for hire, but if anyone wants to turn it upside down... Whatever.

And, also, it has to be admitted that some people have more credibility than others. If I get an e-mail from a published GURPS writer about a GURPS project, I pay attention. We have to work together sometimes. Professional courtesy applies. General fan-level stuff gets the attention I can afford at the time.

And lastly... Okay, if it's for a book or something, well, I still value credits and free copies. There's a return on effort involved.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:15 AM   #24
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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I wouldn't mind writing some articles but I think that the GURPS crowd prefers complex villains who are only evil because of something in their past or the villians don't realize what they are doing is harmful, whereas my villians tend to be total jerks and are fully aware of it. So I don't think my writings would be printed.
It's not that villains have to be complex and conflicted with traumatic childhoods, but to be worth publishing, they ought to be interesting in some way.

Note that there are a lot of ways to be interesting. Frankly, complex and tragic back-stories full of bad childhood experiences are one of the lazier ways to achieve this - and I've been plenty lazy that way myself - but a bit of soap opera is always good for some entertainment value in the reading, and can feed into a game plot that runs for more than a session or two. But you can also make the villain interesting in, say, the way he fits into the setting. Sir Jasper of the Black Mustache may just be bad because he likes having money, power, and all his enemies hung up in the dungeon - but if he's achieving this goal by pulling off some complex military strategy, or he's done something ingenious with the feudal politics that are part of the style of his game-world, or his enemies have formed an unlikely alliance with peculiar tactics, then he's interesting.

And you can always make a villain interesting by giving him interesting game mechanics - a really nifty superpower, or a clever use of spells, or some stylish martial arts. There's a difference there between "interesting" and "pointlessly complicated for the sake of it", mind, but it's at least worth a try.

But bad guys who just like hitting people because they're bad, and who hit people the exact same way as every other two-bit thug on the block... Well, any of us can create as many of those as we need, before our first coffee of the day. Why should we pay for them? (Though there's sometimes scope for a good article showing a set of standard opponent types for a given setting or class of world.) So the trick is to find something to make your publishable character stand out.
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:43 AM   #25
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by griffin
Those who write the early articles are bound to have been playtesters.
There's doubtless overlap, given the incestuous nature of the GURPS community, but that's far from a sure thing. DF may be considered either an exception or a case in point, depending on your preference. There was a very short list of playtesters, none of whom have written any of the DF-related Pyramid articles to appear so far. IDHMBWM, so I can't tell if RPK, the only author of Powers-based articles who comes to mind, was a playtester.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:27 AM   #26
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters
It's not that villains have to be complex and conflicted with traumatic childhoods, but to be worth publishing, they ought to be interesting in some way.
Sure.

Although for DF, a completed villain and his group of underlings who can be dropped into play without any preparation is probably a good thing.

Lots of Pyramid NPCs are terribly interesting, but aren't terribly useful unless you either write the campaign after you decide to use them, or modify them so much they aren't so interesting anymore. Plug-and-play components are useful too.

But yeah, I sure don't need Generic Fighter with Bad Temper and Compulsive Behavior (Does Evil Stuff).

Don't let us discourage you. Write and see what Steven Marsh says! And good luck.
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:28 AM   #27
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by Phil Masters
And lastly... Okay, if it's for a book or something, well, I still value credits and free copies. There's a return on effort involved.
Bang-on target.

When I get paid, I tend to work harder, write more, and care more.

By which I mean "actually work, actually write, and actually care."

:D
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:02 PM   #28
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog
Nice. Write one up, give him a good hook, and send him in. Call it "DF Villians" and send it along, see what happens. Strike while the DF iron is hot!
And after you finish a couple of those, work on some Action ones. According to Kromm the first PDF draft is complete. Just be ready to make adjustments to your basic design to accommodate the final PDF release of the first Action PDF release.
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:55 AM   #29
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by Toadkiller_Dog
But yeah, I sure don't need Generic Fighter with Bad Temper and Compulsive Behavior (Does Evil Stuff).

Don't let us discourage you. Write and see what Steven Marsh says! And good luck.
Is a villian like this too generic?

Silas Dodd

Silas was a mechant and trader from Greentown. He owned a store and kept it well stocked and organized. Through his dilligence and hard work Silas became quite wealthy. He was however a loner and rarely asociated with others outside of working at his store. He had a little secret too, he liked to kidnap children and then torture and murder them in the basement of his store. After numerous disappearances, Silas was found out. Silas was hanged and his store burned. Unfortunately, the dark gods were quite pleased with Silas so they granted him a return to life as a balewight; an undead skeletal creature of tremendous power.

Silas now roams cities and towns looking for victims. If he is attacked he will use a large mace that he carries. If he has knocked a foe to the ground, he has the odd habit of asking them to surrender. If they surrender Silas will smile and then say "I accept your surrender" in his horrible voice. Within an instant Silas will unexpectedly smash the foe in the teeth with his mace. Silas loves the surprised look of terror on his victims' faces and will collect the teeth of those he feels are worthy in a small silken pouch.

Last edited by b-dog; 06-28-2008 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:51 PM   #30
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Default Re: Stuff I'd like to see in Pyramid

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Originally Posted by b-dog
Is a villian like this too generic?

Silas Dodd

Silas was a mechant and trader from Greentown ...

Yes. Try telling the story in reverse. Start with the balewight. That's what the PCs will encounter. They'll probably only get the back story through investigation and learning the details of the "legend of the balewight" or some such. Also it would be better if you somehow tied the actions of the balewight in afterlife to those of Silas in life. Did the tortures of the children have him knocking out their teeth and keeping them after he murdered them. Why doesn't the balewight target children (and perhaps their parents). Any links to his store or former life would be nice additions.

I suggest you start with the details about attacks that are happening in the town/city. Descibe the balewight. Then go into the backstory about Silas. Finally finish up with Adventure Seeds.

Also Greentown is to specific, just use a generic town description - "in a "prosperous and growing farming town", "small fishing village", or "bustling city on a bay".
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