In case you’ve been wondering, yes I’m still around. A torrent of “coming back to school work” has really distracted me from  getting anything else done. But now – I should be back on, posting regularly. What have I been doing you ask? Well, a lot of not so fun stuff. But at least I’ve also been able to work on my own “home-brew” RPG. I mentioned in my previous post that I’m doing the research component of my game development in class. My game is finally starting to come together now (as far as setting and major conceptual scope). The past few days have been spent slavishly reading up on RPG’s and religious visionary fiction (but I can’t really complain).

My game is set after the apocalypse; revelation has become reality. Much of the game’s focus will be on psychopomp (that is, spiritual travel to, and throughout the divine realms). I’ve been really looking at the OGL titles to get some inspiration for the my game system. As far as thematic influences go, I’ve been looking at (a lot, including) White Wolf’s “Wraith: The Oblivion,” as well as Charles Burns’ “X’ed Out.”

My copy of “Wraith” was a find. Well not really… it was staring right out at me from a comic-book-store bookshelf,  stuffed firmly  between two copies of “Rifts.” I never thought  I’d ever see a copy in print, and I jumped on the crazy  reduced price.  These guys didn’t know what they were giving away.

Okay… well “Wraith” isn’t worth anything per se… But DANG I love the concept. You play a ghost, someone dead but still aware…  What the game does well is portray an interestingly veiled cosmology. I want to discern what makes a game  cosmology successful. I still play “Mage: The Awakening” when I get the chance to, so I really dig the whole white  wolf broodiness … whatever that is.

“X’ed Out” was more of an impulse buy. I didn’t even know that this comic would have anything do do with my  project when I bought it. As a fan of Burns, I can say that this comic has really whet my appetite for the future two  installments. Anyone who read “Tintin” as a kid, will recognize Burns’s aesthetic as a celebration of the french comic. For an idea of what constitutes a dream vision, google search “The Vision of Tundale.” This tale is monster manual gold.