AquaVertigo Publishing

A Little Bit Comfy, a Little Bit Dice to Roll

It’s been a productive week over here. My health is okay. The weather is decent. Overall, work has been rewarding. The family and dogs are good. I hope you are doing well wherever you find yourself.

Later in February and into March, I’m going to be busy with a combination of RL work and a number of game conventions. I’ll do my best to post at least once a week during the hectic times ahead.

No “art” in this post, but I hope you can picture the great stories being shared.   🙂

Updates from Eastern Iowa

Looking at the Flames of the Rebellion

I plan to return to my Firebrands game, Flames of the Rebellion and playtest it once I get Eye of the Magi ready to go. Let me know if you’re interested in playing in the Star Wars: Andor setting and we’ll schedule a game!

The Foundation Takes the Stage in Found

In our playtest of Found this past week, we watched as the three Foundlings each pushed deeper into their situations. The artist felt a sense of power as they wound their way through money and crime for safety from the Foundation after “meeting” its boss. The stuntman reeled from escaping their family’s attempt to save them only to learn their partner has been working for the Foundation for years. The professor demanded answers and glory and jumped into the arms of the Foundation in hopes of both, leaving his companions cut off and provoking them to respond earlier than desired.

  • The mechanics I’ve implemented are working better now that we are more regularly using them.
  • The use of updating the fictional content as part of the character and Foundation sheet is working nicely.

Shots in the Dark for Dark Well

We concluded our first season of five sessions in the future climate-change-threatened Washington, D.C., political paranormal thriller. It included tussles under the Washington Monument with the God-Creature in the Vault over the fate of the Custodian for Chesterfield’s role in the conspiracy for power. Roland fled the scene to try calling in an investigation and getting informants burned and warned to stay in his lane. Baxter and Terry traveled via a mysterious recurring altar to an unexpected apartment. Roland returned home to find Baxter and Terry in his apartment, and the three of them began to build some trust over drinks and sharing information right before an assassin opened fire from outside the apartment.

  • The revised mechanics from the previous session are working very well with three players.
  • I’m getting a good rhythm for where to add and generate content on the Conspiramap.
  • The spending of tokens seems good at the moment. The Insight tokens are working, but I will need write-ups to help guide their use.
  • I modified a mechanic for what I’m calling Critical Conditions and it seems to be working.
  • This was the first time I’ve used the Breakthrough Milestone Experience for a significant change in characters at the end of a story arc/season.

Lights Out in Candlelight

We said hello and goodbye to our cast of treasure hunters in a dark forest for our concluding second session after weeks on hiatus. Some wandered out. Some remained. Some faded from memory. The prompts were thought-provoking, and our facilitator, Mads, did a wonderful job on many levels, helping us back into the game, setting the tone, and guiding us through the story.

Progress on Eye of the Magi, January 2024

Eye of the Magi is progressing nicely, and I’ve released some support documents for the RPG I’m sharing with my $2+ patrons.

Getting Dicey with Fate and Genesis

Fate: I like the Fate RPG, especially Accelerated, and the Dresden Files Dresden games. I have read but haven’t played or run using Fate Condensed yet. However, the Fudge dice bother a lot of people. So I inked up a die with an extra minus and another with an extra plus on their blank sides. Maybe these are dice to roll for disadvantage and advantage.

Genesys: I really, really want to play, run, and make things for Genesys, but using the narrative dice is a barrier for me and others. And yes, I know there’s an app that can help with adding and subtracting symbols. So I did some work with modifying play by just using what I’m calling the Protagonist dice: Ability, Proficiency, and Boost. I was thinking of “adding” threat symbols to one or more blanks on the dice to get it close to not needing any Antagonist dice (Difficulty, Challenge, and Setback). From my test, it works mostly with one to two Ability dice. After that, there are too many advantages and successes. What does this mean? It was a fever-dream desire to reclaim the use of novelty dice and only modify some parts of the Genesys system. If there is something here, it requires perspectives and ideation beyond my current state of gaming.

Check Out Levi’s Generosity

Levi Kornelsen has released a couple FREE products through his story to help indie game designers get up and running with marketing and sales.

Next Steps

Continue with Eye of the Magi and other preparations for upcoming convention gaming.


Let me know what you think. Was this helpful or insightful?


DMK, the founder of AquaVertigo, is a creatively curious artist, author, designer, educator, entrepreneur, and organizer based in the Midwest, USA.

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