Category Archives: BuJoRPG

Journal of the Emerald Specter 81: Audio from Written Word

Plans, plans, and more plans. Things start up, things fall through. Things don’t get started and life tends to get in the way.

“If something is important to you, you make time.” ~ Captain Montgomery Scott to Captain James Kirk in Generations.

I guess I have to start making time for the things that are important.

I’ve been talking about writing and completely producing a 22-page comic book before the end of the year. If I don’t actually start doing that I won’t ever get it done. By this time, I should have had a full script written and working on the layout for the book.

Have I done that? Nope. I have a script started but it hasn’t progressed.

There are tons of other writing projects I want to be knee deep in right now, too, but that falls into the “time isn’t happening” category. that’s also going to be grinding to a halt.

I produced a story for a writing class when I went to college back in 2005. The story was just the beginning of a much bigger venture and I’ve often thought about where that story goes. There are details within that story that I’ve long forgotten about and if I dig the story up to freshen the whole thing up. With a rewrite and some additives with the new details, I think it’s ready to be brought out to the world.

I am going to accomplish these things because I have a lot of stories I want to tell and I’m going to tell them.

I’ve been lax with getting out the Specter Show lately. Not that I’ve really meant to not record or to release shows, with the last episode being on the pathetic end of the scale, I’ve just allowed life to push me around.

Yep, there it is again… life pushing me around.

I’m going to start doing some experimental things with the Specter Show. There is another podcasting idea I’ve had that I wanted to try out and while I will definitely be producing at least one full episode of that idea WITHIN the confines of the Specter Show and if I enjoy it but don’t want to fully make a new feed that is also not going to be getting a ton of attention, I’ll produce a few more.

There is also a “research project” that I’ve been meaning to write up and produce into a podcast. Once again, I don’t want to produce a podcast that gets left to flap in the wind on it’s own feed while I struggle to keep up with what I’m already doing. What’s the idea? It’s going to be me producing long form content about a series of subjects all related to self improvement. That’s as far as I’ll go with the reveal so far and just like above, I’ll probably release the stuff WITHIN the confines of the Specter Show once, maybe twice.

Why within? Well, the Specter Show intro and outro would still be in the episode, and with these two ideas I would basically have a “this isn’t a normal episode” warning. If the content is popular or interesting enough, I’ll break it out into it’s own feed and release the episode sans Specter Show bookends.

I am stating right now that I am going to be getting back on the Specter Show wagon and producing content again, and really working to make content that doesn’t suck.

Moving along to the Greatest Show, I don’t see the group sticking to a “season” format… mainly because only one person outside of everyone in my house shows up regularly. This opens up the Greatest Show format changing into two different format options: a roleplaying session that only Metal and I are part of or me running an interview style show at irregular times with the guests I’ve been unable to work on getting on the show due to (you guessed it) life.

Both of those things are going to be a thing and that is where I’m trying to take the show. Unless the old crew comes back together, or Bob is able to make a regular appearance with me to have a reunion to the “old school Greatest Show.”

I said all that in the writing section to get to the meat of this column. The title, so far, hasn’t made a ton of sense in this column and that is about to change.

Let’s say I’m writing a serial fiction series about a school of wizards… and let’s say that the series gets a little attention from readers who would like more. Let’s also say that the series gets some feedback about people who like the premise but don’t have the time to read all that to get the information.

Well, here is where we come in with the title: Audio from Written Word.

I have software that will combine mp3 files into a large m4b file. If you don’t know what an m4b file is, that’s what an audiobook file is (at least through Apple). I am saying that I’d record the serial fiction into an audiobook format.

There are several things that I need to state about this before I go on. First, my time is not free and I’d be asking for a fee. If you consume even a fraction of the audio that I consume (because constant movement at work allows me to hear things but not really to sit and read things), then you’ll appreciate that paying someone to listen to a reading of fiction isn’t a terrible thing. Second, the audiobook files would be complete “seasons,” like the entirety of the series (season 1, season 2, etc) as one single file… this keeps me from seeing to basically having to produce a podcast release schedule to keep up and I can provide a bigger “hoopla” if I just do the bigger release. Third, I could also start writing the serial fiction as just written word and produce an “audiobook” to compile the season… or after a certain number of seasons I can simply produce and release the audiobook “seasons” after a free launch.

The idea is that if I want to start doing things I want to do instead of just doing things I have to do in order to kinda do the things I want to do then I won’t get 50% of what I want to do done.

My wife is a fantastic business woman. She takes an idea, develops the idea, and starts producing product for sale. In a few months, tops, that idea is now a viable business process that works and earns her a living. These ideas also keep her busy and doing things she enjoys.

I’d like to take my ideas and do the same thing.

The funny thing is that I just showed my wife those last two “paragraphs” and she said it would be nice if I did any of my ideas. Like, for example, my bullet journal ideas (I said I’d like to make stickers for the BuJoRPG… primarily the templates for the first version and the templates for the second version, too). That is first on the list.

I deleted Facebook and Google+ from my phone recently and I’ve been less consumed with anger and frustration as a result. I’ve also had a ton more free time to do other things and I know that is a better thing.

I am also going to be removing one of my two regular games from my phone because I’ve progressed to a point where I don’t think I’ll be getting much farther any time soon. Without progress, I don’t really want to keep grinding because the game isn’t that important AND is getting in the way of doing what I want to do.

See, things are getting better already.

The Specter Show 048: Somewhat Damaged

Short and to the point, DJ runs over a bit about BuJourneyRPG struggles, getting out a Greatest Show, comics both writing and reading, what’s been going on, and a hopeful push to get back to normal all on this episode!

Host: DJ Allen
Intro Music: The Idea of You by Nine Inch Nails (from Not the Actual Events)
Outtro Music: The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails
Intro Lead in: Theo Rossi

Contact:
Website: www.EmeraldSpecter.com
Email: EmeraldSpecter.com@Gmail.com
Twitter: @EmeraldSpecter
Instagram: @EmeraldSpecter

Support Emerald Specter at Patreon!

Journal of the Emerald Specter 77: Life Strikes Back

Things are not going as well as planned… hell, I can’t even plan at this point. When life gives you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade. Unfortunately, I have no water or sugar, so I’d just be squirting sour juice into my eyes and that’s already what it feels like, so I’m not really digging that idea.

That, and I’m not big on lemonade.

The biggest thing to suffer in the attack on my free time is the BuJoRPG.

There is, in place, a plan for me to accomplish a certain series of things by certain points in time to complete the thing that everyone is really waiting for: BuJourneyRPG. I’d really, really like to get moving forward on that and I’m continuing to spin my wheels trying to just get through work.

So, I’m anxious to unveil SOMETHING about BuJourneyRPG, so I’m going to drop the “cover” of the BuJourneyRPG book… revealing, also, the “logo” for the new system.

Are you ready?

I chose to go with a library look and that lends to the idea that the system will be the basis for a slew of options. That means the “templates,” which are the “splats” that you’ll be somewhat familiar with as a concept if you’re an RPG fan, and those will help build the “library” of content.

This past weekend was supposed to be my “long weekend,” but I was denied one day of that and I had another project which HAD to be started/completed and that limited my ability to do a lot of extracurricular activity.

The time is being scheduled, though.

Without getting fancy, here is the first ever “ESCC Banzuke” (rankings) from the first ever Emerald Specter Basho (previously called the Winter 2018, though shall also be known as the January 2018):

Sapphire Adept #1 (East): Alexin2
Sapphire Adept #1 (West): Nikbasketball12
Sapphire Adept #2 (East): Sim_zama
Sapphire Adept #2 (West): dukenukem123
East #1: tom36adams
West #1: pantheon-67
East #2: AlCzervik
West #2: ANTE1990
East #3: OlegMalikov1965
West #3: mancroft
East #4: EmeraldSpecter
West #4: bespaly

As you can see, I placed second to last (since this is literally just a finishing listing from top to bottom, which the first rankings was always going to be)… and we had one player, bespaly, break Chess.com’s fair play policy and forfeit all of his games. Other than that, I think things went swimmingly.

Now, we see whether or not anyone returns to compete in the Emerald Specter 2018 March Basho, which is scheduled to begin as soon to the spots are full. There are still only 12 slots available, and since bespaly is out, the first one to join who wasn’t re-invited is welcome to join the fray. If some others don’t rejoin (allowances will be made for keeping their rankings if new people join first), then the experiment grows with a wider array of possibilities.

I’m curious if anyone would be interested in hearing a solo RPG actual play podcast? The idea crossed my mind that I’d like to publish the results of my solo RPG adventures (which I haven’t started playing, yet)… but I would need to know something: is the interest (if there is one) in the actual play part, or the story being unfolded as play continues?

The actual play would be me, on mic, playing the game of choice vocally and you’d be privy to all the rolls and mucking about. Unless you’d rather hear the results (moreso), and then the focus would be on the results of the story and I could more work out a sound effects option in line with the narration that would be part of the production.

Which would you rather hear? Would you like to hear anything of the sort?

In the end, I’m playing the game. Whether or not anyone else hears what goes on is entirely up to the potential audience.

So the Greatest Show appears to need a re-envisioning. Not a reboot, I’m not starting numbering over or wildly changing anything, yet. There is going to be a few more shows with (at least) myself and one or both of the Kevins. If I can’t get the rest of the cast to come back on, then I’ll be working on the changes that need to be made.

As soon as I get a chance to actually work on guest scheduling, I’ll do that, too… but work is a problem.

Let’s end with a few things regarding “work.” Ideally, especially outside of the peak season I’ve referenced so often, work would be a long day on Mondays and Tuesdays, then a crap shoot for shorter days the rest of the week, leaning shorter most of the time.

That is not what has happened.

I won’t get into the logistics or the specifics of what is causing the problem, know that I’m a side effect of a personnel shortage on certain days and the problem is actively being corrected, though not for at least another week or two.

What I do want to get into is the fact that I’m being too flexible. My wife will tell you that I give in too easily and I’m about ready to stop being so nice about things at work. I am not on the “special over time list” at work, so I shouldn’t be getting near the amount of over time I currently am… mainly because I don’t want it.

I’m going to fix that by waking up a little later in the morning. I’m going to be rushing in the morning because strolling in early enough to hang out isn’t what I want to be doing anymore. That means I can stay up a little bit later at night and, you guessed it, means I can work on things after work.

Wake up, get ready, work, supper, prep the next day, watch a little TV, and work on BuJourneyRPG… days off, get a little house stuff done and work on BuJourneyRPG.

Time is coming and it’s because I’m going to make sacrifices on how I operate to get them done. That shouldn’t be how things work.

The Specter Show 046: Erased, Over, Out

DJ is in the new podcast studio, live broadcasting on YouTube on Emerald Specter Channel 2 at the same time, and runs down on some things to pay attention for in the Emerald Specter.com universe in the coming months. BuJoRPG, BuJourneyRPG, and Emerald Specter Originals are discussed as well!

Host: DJ Allen
Intro Music: The Idea of You by Nine Inch Nails (from Not the Actual Events)
Outtro Music: The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails
Intro Lead in: Theo Rossi

Contact:
Website: www.EmeraldSpecter.com
Email: EmeraldSpecter.com@Gmail.com
Twitter: @EmeraldSpecter
Instagram: @EmeraldSpecter

Support Emerald Specter at Patreon!

Some Quick Points

No column again today… yeah, you figured that out. Why not? Well, things are starting to smooth out except the weather crapped on us here a little and now once that rolls away, things should return to normal. I’m going to provide some quick tidbits to keep the site from being completely devoid of content this week.

I honestly would have thought we’d have had several episodes up and running by this point in the year. With a quick cast round up, I’d like to explain where we’re headed.

Bob’s work schedule, for all intents and purposes, sucks. Getting him on at the Saturday night recording time is nearly impossible lately… and I’m not sure getting him on other times is much better.

Saurabh is much in the same situation, though his is more of an on call situation.

Kevin Couick (or Stabby as we’ve taken to calling him) has a life now and Saturdays aren’t optimal.

Rachel has a job… where she works nearly every Saturday (weekend).

Metal Jesus, Tricia, and I seem to have the most availability on the standard recording times but we’re having issues getting on track with returning to the normal shows.

That means that one of two things will end up happening: 1) we either have infrequent shows or 2) we re-invent the show, again.

The show has been reinvented before, a few times, and in order to keep the show rolling. I won’t speak on what the show will need to be at the moment, so just know things are changing… I still want to have on Dirk Manning, Dan Berry, Pete Fitz, Eddie Webb, and a couple of the other guests I’ve been working on getting on, so that will still happen.

I used to write multiple columns on multiple subjects… then I condensed them all into the Journal of the Emerald Specter. I’ve been keeping this version rolling for awhile and I like the concept of the column, I am not entirely sure about the follow through.

The idea of the column is to put out updating content that keeps all the readers informed and allows me to stretch my writing muscles a little… with the intent of writing other stuff in the background that has a little more structure.

I want to write but I want to write a little more structured a lot more often. Hopefully that leads to much better content rather than “just” content.

A podcast originally about “nothing.” I wanted to have a show where I could talk about all kinds of the stuff that interests me. That, in turn, would interest some others and spur on conversation about other things that might be discovered in the process.

This has, however, turned into the “what’s up with BuJoRPG” show.

I am going to continue recording as normal until episode 50, then I’m hoping to have my new “podcast studio” set up for more of a “live broadcast to recorded” show running, meaning I’d be recording at a set time (or times) per week and the show will have at least some hint of a format.

Like Journey Into Mystery, Tales to Astonish, or Tales of Suspense, the show will continue on with the numbering (or I’ll change to using actual dates instead of episode numbers like Rebel Force Radio does).

I have gotten some software that will allow me to “live stream” my audio without buying time on a service (like Mixlr, though I’d really like to be able to be on Mixlr at some point in the future), and that should allow me to set up a schedule to broadcast on along with having a chatroom and other ways to interact with me… 

Specter of the Galaxy?! Where the hell has THIS been?

Like a network with “unproven” television series these days, I had Specter of the Galaxy run as if it were an inaugural TV season. There are currently seven episodes in “season one” and I knew I’d have to have a short run like that due to the Christmas peak season at work. Now that the peak season is over, I want to get back into exploring the galaxy.

There have been a few updates since the last recording I made of the show and I’m hoping that if I take an episode to do most of the “exploring the new content options” wouldn’t be too out of line. Then, like everything else, I’ll return to live streaming my content and posting it on a regular basis for Season Two.

Which leads me to my newest bit…

Guess who purchased EA Sports UFC 3?

Way back when UFC 2 came out, I broadcast my career mode as “Specter of the UFC.” I created myself and ran through an entire career (it is no longer available online).

I’m planning on doing something like that again… a little different, though.

I used to play Madden and keep track of the “franchise career” I played through way back when you couldn’t stream video games online. I utilized the game’s “in universe” franchise mode and had a hoot of a time doing it. Rather than use the career (or G.O.A.T.) mode within UFC 3, I’m going to create myself and broadcast a story… of myself, going through an MMA career.

This should, though I’m not going to guarantee this yet, include non-fight “story” videos telling the complete story. This means I won’t be using the UFC 3 career mode, I won’t be live streaming every second of the story, and I can tell a particular story rather than be at the mercy of the game (as my fight skills are not necessarily the greatest. I’m trying to get better, though.

No promises on when this will start, I’ve only owned the game for five days as I write this and I’m still getting used to the controls.

Speaking about all this video game streaming, my wife and I usually play Final Fantasy together (she runs the game and I run the “strategy guide” helping to guide the expedience of completing the game)… and I think we’re going to stream this, too.

Unlike the above two items, this one will be 100% streamed and be on a schedule. We would pick a day and broadcast regularly. Hopefully that would be interesting enough to follow along, though I understand that lots of people do this type of thing. I’m pretty sure we’d have commentary.

That’s all for now… see you soon.

The Specter Show 045: The Beauty of Being Numb

BuJoRPG? Check. BuJoRPG2 is now BuJourneyRPG? Check. Bringing you all the greatest as far as what is coming and what is being done behind the scenes on your favorite bullet journaling role playing game? Yeah, there’s a lot of that…

Host: DJ Allen
Intro Music: The Idea of You by Nine Inch Nails (from Not the Actual Events)
Outtro Music: The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails
Intro Lead in: Theo Rossi

Contact:
Website: www.EmeraldSpecter.com
Email: EmeraldSpecter.com@Gmail.com
Twitter: @EmeraldSpecter
Instagram: @EmeraldSpecter

Support Emerald Specter at Patreon!

Expecting a Journal of the Emerald Specter?

With the re-release of BuJoRPG and my diligent work on the next version’s “base,” I was unable to get a column written up. I’m hoping that the new BuJoRPG book is sufficient for this week and I’m also hoping that I’ll have something similar to release NEXT week, as well as a proper journal entry… or two, since I am not entirely sure I want to fall behind on this one.

Stay tuned!

BuJoRPG Info, Version 1 “Re-Release” and Update

I didn’t know what to title this one, so I apologize for the heading.

After working to “smooth out” the rough edged BuJoRPG (V1, henceforth referred to only as BuJoRPG), I wanted to re-release the instruction booklet. I also wanted to update anyone who is using the systems to understand what will be happening over the course of the rest of the year.

First and foremost, welcome to the BuJoRPG update:

There isn’t an enormous amount of changes, in fact, you’d probably be hard pressed to see most of them if I didn’t point them out. That is a good thing. I added a “cover” to spice up the look and the file is formatted into two columns instead of one big “page wide” format, which I personally think is easier to read.

Next, the UPDATE portion of this post.

Just as I did with BuJoRPG, I’m going to reformat the BuJourneyRPG (what I’ve been calling Version 2) to be similar in design, AND I’ll be doing everything humanly possible to have the earliest working version of BuJourneyRPG done before 2018’s “peak season,” when I’ll be out of time to do anything interesting.

I will also be doing what I did for the Emerald Specter Chess Club and creating a static page that will house all of the BuJoRPG, BuJourneyRPG, and any related items to as they get released. This will help not only people looking for it but will also help me locate the place to put the updates IN, because I have a problem finding the post almost every time I need to update it. I’ll make an announcement when the page goes up.

Enjoy!

The Specter Show 044: At the Heart of It All

We focus ourselves toward the bullet journaling, the BuJoRPG, and what will be happening into the future!

Host: DJ Allen
Intro Music: The Idea of You by Nine Inch Nails (from Not the Actual Events)
Outtro Music: The Perfect Drug by Nine Inch Nails
Intro Lead in: Dirk Manning

Contact:
Email: EmeraldSpecter.com@Gmail.com
Twitter: @EmeraldSpecter
Instagram: @EmeraldSpecter

Support Emerald Specter at Patreon!

Thanks for checking this out, you can find more at

Journal of the Emerald Specter 75: BuJoRPG… My Head Hurts

Bam! I’m just doing this right from the very beginning and I’m going to take you on a trip, so hop into this imaginary car and enjoy my dulcet tones as I explain to you (in this column) a little journey of what I’m doing and how this is going to work… 

The 2018 Bandit Edition Trans Am… yes, it’s real.

If you’ve been reading along, the last column, the podcast, and now this column, you’ve seen in near real time a thought process as I’ve thought about things (since I’ve had the time to think about them). This is ALL BuJoRPG related, so don’t worry about things that aren’t related to that…

TLDR? Read this column.

I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole recently… literally, about an hour before I wrote this column, I fell into something I wasn’t looking for in order to accomplish something I didn’t know how to put into words… and I am going to be pushing my own bullet journal to accomplish the goals I’m about to lay out for you.

First, I’m not renaming BuJoRPG (version 1)… it will remain as JUST BuJoRPG (“The original, you might say.” ~ Richard Hurndall from Doctor Who: The Five Doctors). I do plan on coming up with a “quick skin” template so that I can do a minimal amount of work to make your templates (i.e. Wuxia, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc, etc) without spending inordinate amounts of time toiling over these.

If it takes an inordinate amount of time, it isn’t really worth doing, wouldn’t you agree?

Second, I’m jumping up to “BuJoRPG3” and I’m telling you that this isn’t a thing… I’ve got some preliminary ideas but I’m jumping back and letting this one sit until the “2” is complete.

Third, let’s discuss BuJoRPG2… or what I’m now branding as “BuJoRPG: Journey.” I don’t have any graphics made up for this yet, but BuJourney (shorthand?) is going to be the (primary) focus of the bullet journal efforts for 2018 on my site. The “rabbit hole” I fell into is a colored paragraph, if you don’t want to follow that part of the journey, skip the color.

~ This leads me to the rabbit hole… ~

Discovering the wonderful world of the Internet, I needed a printable dotted paper page and found one on Savor + Savvy… and it is in two sizes, which is exactly what I needed. On the page was a “do it yourself” video using those printable pages to make your own journal (which I would love to do), located on ChristineMyLinh’s YouTube channel.

Using just what I listed in the above paragraph, I was going to create a few “template pages” for the BuJourney or BuJoRPG and make them into a DIY book. Specifically for the BuJourney, I was thinking that this would also be usable as the “adventure” booklet (the instructions, in book form, of the “places” you visit to learn the lore of the land that I’d promised) and that would be cool to make. The other item (in DIY journal form) was going to be the modules I was talking about on the podcast linked above, meaning it would be “lore” and an “adventure” book, while teaching you how to get moving on a specific “quest” (like learning a language, doing a “couch to 5K,” etc).

Still with me? Good.

My wife and I ate out earlier in the day (on the day that I wrote this) and we ended up stopping at a fabric store, where I sat in the car to play on my phone. Since I belong to a bullet journal group (many, actually, but the one in question is Bullet Journal Beginners) and someone posted something about loving Boho Berry stuff, I did a search and found her YouTube channel… and the first video I saw was her Unboxing, which leads me to the next step of this rabbit hole.

I had mentioned wanting to put together a “BuJoRPG Box,” complete with instructions, examples, a couple of pens, a couple of dice, maybe some stickers, and an empty journal for you to begin your BuJoRPG or BuJourney in… the Unboxing video made me realize that I was overthinking the entire box idea. I also realized that this might be an opportunity for me to release my modules, specialty spreads (like the TARDIS themed February spread that I created in my own TARDIS themed journal this year), and even release custom “month specific” journals that I was toying with how to implement.

With the way Boho Berry has a “subscription” service, which is all the rage lately, I thought this would work perfectly for BuJoRPG (or BuJourney, or whatever comes next). There would be exclusives in the subscription box, special items from time to time, and even some specially curated items from my favorite BuJo suppliers.

This is just a little bit of something I’m thinking about once I get moving forward on the actual creation of the systems and information to put into the journals as the RPG elements.

~ Now back to our regularly scheduled column. ~

What I’m doing is going to put my biggest effort into getting the BuJoRPG and BuJourney stuff built out as quickly as I can (with a quality I would expect in a finished product) to get the RPG stuff moving again. I go back to work tomorrow (this is the last day of my first week of vacation) and I am confident I can actually get back into a routine starting tomorrow.

I’d really like this thing to end up being more of a business rather than just a hobby… I’m interested in helping people be entertained and getting some improvement done in their own lives, and having the income from this endeavor allow for me to put 100% of me time into this would be spectacular.

Since my columns seem to be heavily laden with BuJoRPG related items (overall), I’m going to break out topic into a bullet journal column (with videos on YouTube, also… maybe), covering general ideas and themes that I’ve come up with. There are a few folks out there doing this and I’d like to melt into the fray, coming up with my own brand of elaborate and useful bullet journal tools.

Hopefully this is something that interests you, too.