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Gabe / 5 hours ago

Her name is Trill

Tycho mentions being inspired by a doodle in my sketchbook. This is the one he’s talking about.

We wanted to do a new story line but didn’t really have any ideas. I started showing him some stuff in my sketchbook that I’d done the night before and he saw this little daughter with the branches and the birds in her hair. After that it only took him about 20 minutes to write up a five part story and I loved it. I ended up drawing it all over the course of two days and then I passed my inks over to the very talented Steve Hamaker for colors. You might know Steve’s work from Table Titans or his own comic PLOX.

As I was drawing the last comic of the series I got really excited. I’d drawn a bunch of strips by that point and I really felt like I was figuring out who Trill was. By the end I knew her and I had this thought that, “wow, there is another person in the Eyrewood now!”

I like her a lot and I hope you all like her too.

(click for a big version)

-Gabe out

Tycho / 10 hours ago

Professionals have a tendency to talk about weather in these sweeping, biblical terms.  I had every reason to believe that I was walking into a situation like that in The Thing, a mostly inescapable ice hell, minus the super gross spider head thing.  I guess I don’t wanna jinx it or whatever, but jeez.  There are piles of snow, old snow but it’s melting.  That’s creating its own problems, particularly if you have an old roof, but I was expecting some Fortress of Solitude type shit and it ain’t that.

Hey!  Now it’s Friday, so The Judging Wood can get underway.  The way its presented here is as a Daughters of the Eyrewood storyline, but there’s another story about the Lookout here - a fairly evil story - that we can tell later if you want.  I just got hooked on the girl in his sketchbook and I wanted to know what her deal was.  That’s when it occurred to me that there are only, like, two people on Earth who could possibly know what her deal was, and I was one of them.

Back to the Lookout, though.  I had to learn this when I was doing On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, and it goes even farther in The Lookouts: how to hurt the characters you make.  I really don’t like doing it.  They aren’t “real” I guess, but it’s still very hard.  The book is only the most recent thing I have tried to write, and eventually I had to figure out that - independent of what you might require in a story - the characters won’t know what they need to know later unless I tell them.  They’ll be at a disadvantage if I don’t give them every benefit.  I have to give them experience.  And not every experience is good.

It is Friday, March 6th, which means that PAX East is about to get underway.  I am the easiest person in the world to talk to, so if you see me there and if you need something from me, let me know.  There are many asymmetries in our relationship, to be sure, but in a few non-trivial ways you are essentially my employer.  So you can expect cowed deference from me, in keeping with your exalted station.

(CW)TB out.

Rock Band 4!

Harmonix just announced Rock Band 4 this morning which is awesome. You can hit their site to read all the details. Tycho and I have always loved the folks over at Harmonix and I’m really excited to say that I got to design a guitar for the new game.

So how do you get one of these?

“Attendees of PAX East in Boston between March 6 and March 8 can pre-order an exclusive Penny Arcade-themed guitar in person at Harmonix’s booth, #4224.”

So there you go. If you’re gonna be at PAX this weekend, be sure and stop by the Harmonix booth. I also heard they have a “secret” Pinny Arcade pin that is maybe not so secret anymore.

-Gabe out

Thornwatch at PAX East

Like the comic says, PAX East is a big step for us in terms of testing Thornwatch. Previously we have run the game ourselves or trained Judges ahead of time so they could run it for folks. This time we’re just giving people a box of pieces and a few pages of rules. Starting at 8:00pm in Tabletop on Friday and Saturday night we will be doing unguided playtests. If you’d like to play, watch or just see me go crazy, please come on down. We will also have a Thornwatch panel on Saturday at 1:00pm in the Dragonfly theater. Sadly this is not a “streaming theater” so there will be no Twitch broadcast.

I’m really excited to see people playing the game on their own.

As long as they all play it in exactly the way I want them to of course.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 2 days ago

It’s all true, actually; the new Thornwatch playtest is completely hands free.  Well, hands free for us.  You will probably need your hands to roll dice, move characters around, or to physically strike allies who miss vital rolls - preferably with a gnarled old cane.  Every other playtest he’s ever done has been rigorously controlled, with hypnotically conditioned gamemasters whose subconscious programming ensures an optimal experience every time.  Every couple months this process gives him an opportunity to feel terrified in a completely new way.

There is every likelihood that I am playing Monster Hunter on an airplane when you see this, obliterating Genpreys, or whatever the next-level Genprey equivalent is.  Right?  Whatever a Genprey becomes after it graduates college is what I’ll be fighting.  I feel confident that I will receive a mail shortly telling me that the plural of Genprey isn’t “Genpreys” but is just the word Genprey, again.  As I said before, though: I am new here.  Teach me.  Teach me what to say if I should happen to see more than one Genprey.

We needed to get a few comics queued up for the show, and when we were talking about what we could do there I felt the hot lash of dreaded continuity.  We had something we sorta liked, but then I saw a super loose pen sketch he’d done in that book of his, one he never showed anybody, and the kid on the page basically took the whole thing over.

There was a preview of the first panel in Gabe’s sketchdump earlier this week.  So: I wrote it, Gabriel drew it, and then Gabe got he got Steve Hamaker to handle the colors.  Steve has handled this task for all kinds of awesome shit, like Bone, RASL, his own PLOX, and the near and dear to my heart Table Titans.  The story is an Eyrewood kinda deal; hopefully that is something you can make peace with.

(CW)TB out.

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