Tag Archives: BuJoRPG

BuJoRPG Dev Blog 001: The Beginning

You’ve waited for it, and it’s here.

I looked at the poll and I decided that everyone would be happy with a bit of video AND a blog, so I’m starting with the blog portion and I’ll do videos now and then. So, let’s get to the goods.

Unlike the original BuJoRPG, I boiled down the BuJourneyRPG to four basic Attributes: Physical, Mental, Social and Emotional. They are abbreviated as PHY, MEN, SOC, and EMO accordingly. These are the basic building blocks of what you’ll be working on to advance yourself in the BuJourneyRPG experience.

At the heart of BuJourneyRPG, just like the original BuJoRPG, is a conflict resolution system. Each of those attributes has three sub-attributes that serve specific roles. Those roles, first, are offense, defense, and recovery. PHY has Power (PWR), Fortitude (FOR), and Vigor (VGR). MEN has Will (WIL), Stamina (STA), and Vitality (VIT). SOC has Charisma (CHR), Control (CON), Resilience (RES). EMO has Faith (FTH), Piety (PTY), and Spirit (SPR). Each of the sub-attributes are listed as offense, defense, and recovery.

Some of you might be saying “conflict resolution” is just a fancy way of saying combat. Well, yes… but without a conflict resolution system, I can’t move this forward in a direction that will allow for advancement against “obstacles” in a conflict resolution scenario. Combat, specifically, is a PHY situation. Combat, though, is simply physical conflict resolution. You still get three other attributes without “combat.”

It’s a small start, and this is all for this installment, but I am still working forward towards the next update. I probably won’t wait for a full month to update again, as I’m in a fast paced development stage.

Stay tuned!

Emerald Specter 109: Back to the Bullet Journal

What a strange and unexpected twist of fate that has befallen me in the prior 2018. After having a great push with BuJoRPG, BuJourneyRPG, bullet journaling in general, and getting things all moving in the right direction, I fall off the wagon in 2018… hard. Almost no journaling was done.

I need to fix that.

Without jumping directly into the meat of the story, let’s have ourselves a segue. Let’s talk a little about life.

In 2018, I had a really good year at work… until I didn’t. Recovered from a sprained left foot, I was starting to really get into the swing of the route I would have been perfectly happy retiring from (a walking route) and then something strange happened: migraines.

There was a four day span of time where I had a migraine so bad (nearly constant through the four days) that I couldn’t do anything productive. The fourth day sent me to the hospital where I received an injection of the prescription I now have in case these return again. My migraine went away within 15 minutes and hasn’t come back on since that bad. The cause? Brain swelling. I’m a little concerned that the doctors didn’t seem more concerned at brain swelling but I can’t complain since the migraine hasn’t been crippling since…

Until yesterday, that is. I’d already taken other medicine and couldn’t take the prescription but things finally cleared up with a hefty amount of water and some foot (in a darkened room). Headache tangent over.

After my four day migraine incident, I started having problems getting through my route. My hip was really starting to hurt by day’s end and there was an accompanying shooting pain going down my leg that also wasn’t helping matters any. Prognosis? My hip bones are degenerating and I have bursitis… I probably also have a sciatica issue (the shooting pains), but that isn’t diagnosed.

So much for walking my happy 15 miles per day.

The hunt then began for a route that I could do that is a driving one. We call those “mounted” in the post office and I seriously started looking for one because I didn’t want to stop working or switch to a new career path again. My 15 mile a day route was in the second closest office to where I live and I happened across a route that was THE closest to where I live… and got the route.

This office is the smallest in the city and that usually means retirement type routes, older carriers, and people who just want to sail their way out the post office on the easier side of life. While this wasn’t what I discovered is the case, there was a route that I happened into that has given me a new lease on working.

I am pretty sure that I’ll be retiring off this new route.

Starting a new route always has some growing pains and since I won the route bid basically right before the Christmas season, I was going to have harder pains than I normally would… which is fine, because I’m now out of the season and I’ve got a strong handle on the route.

I say all that to say that work has been a load of ups and downs that I’m finally settling into a pattern again.

On the journaling side of things, the old office I worked in had us working in excess of 12 hours on a regular basis from January until just into May of 2018. That left me almost no time for journaling, of which I started a brand new one for 2018 with a Doctor Who theme… Journaling just wasn’t happening.

With this non-stop workload, I also had almost no time for BuJoRPG or BuJourneyRPG development, though I did release a cleaner looking “book” for the rules of BuJoRPG version 1. I was well into doing the same for the inaugural BuJourneyRPG when I hit a snag and wasn’t able to progress much.

I discovered digital bullet journals and made my own custom journal with the intent of heading into 2019 journaling. The digital journal will be something I develop for sale with the release of BuJourneyRPG (as well as some digital BuJoRPG journals), with the game built right into the journal. This doesn’t mean all the calculations will be done for you, but it does mean that you won’t have to worry about finding the rules (as they’ll be baked into the journal).

Once I had the digital journal set up (bare bones for me), I moved to starting something else that will benefit all the BuJoRPG fans out there: learning Swift.

Swift is the programming language for iOS to allow me to make apps for the iPhone and iPad. Since I’m obviously pointing towards creating the BuJoRPG into an app, this will be something that benefits the entire community and allow me to update things in the app (as well as making some of the calculations happen more automatically rather than everything being manual).

Yeah, that kind of defeats the idea of bullet journaling, but I’m keeping the heart of the actual journaling manual while making the gamified portions easier.

That leads me into the meat of this column…

I know what you’re thinking… damn, this column is already getting long. Well, keep on reading because now I’m going to start talking about what you came here for: BuJoRPG.

Earlier this week I posted a poll about how you’d like to get your BuJoRPG Dev Blog. While one option is video and would technically be a vlog, I’m not playing semantics and just allowing you to choose how you want your Dev updates.

The blog would contain pictures when applicable but be a lot of description about what is being worked on. While the video would obviously also be visual, the idea here would be to have my personal digital journal on screen with information while I’m explaining what is being worked on and how I arrived at the decisions I did. I’d also be talking over this and I gave this as an option because I think it would be popular and draw in more fans due to YouTubers looking for bullet journal stuff.

Honestly, though, I posted the poll because I don’t know what would be more popular.

On my end of things, I’m not on Facebook in 2019. I just decided I didn’t need that kind of negativity in my life and I’m going to move into the new year without worrying or arguing about what others think and do. This will give me untold free time as I won’t be mindlessly scrolling a news feed and can work on RPG stuff instead.

Back on track, I want to also note that there is a “branding” conversation that I’ve had with myself and I want to explain things before I continue because I’m getting tired of referring to multiple items in a single sentence.

BuJoRPG (version 1) has been the base version and when I use that term, I’ve really been referring to just version 1 in that sense. BuJourneyRPG is technically BuJoRPG version 2, which is why I altered the name slightly so I didn’t have to constantly say “version 1 or version 2.” BuJourneyRPG will always be BuJoRPG 2.

What I’m going to be doing about talking about things is no longer referring to them by their separate names every time. If I use BuJoRPG, I’m going to mean either version 1 or BuJourneyRPG unless I’m specifically calling out one or the other. I am also doing this in the event that I start working on a BuJoRPG version 3, meaning I don’t want to be talking about three things by typing BuJoRPG v1, BuJourneyRPG, and BuJoRPG 3. See? That’s a lot of typing and now that I’ve stated that, let me move on.

The purpose of V2 was to expand what I’d already created in V1 so that you could have something interesting to do in order to “level up” when you weren’t working directly on your self improvement. I was thinking more of the “stuck at a relative’s house for a holiday and can’t self improve” type of situation but I quickly let V2 go nuts into more detail than that… almost allowing you to skip self improvement all together.

That isn’t the point of V2. You still need to be working on improving yourself as the base and that’s the reason I started involving my wife into the development of BuJourneyRPG.

I’m going to save all the technical talk for the Dev Blog, which I originally planned to release on January 1, 2019 but wanted to know what was a better option for those out there: reading or viewing. When I get a decent sample size (more than 10, ideally about 100 but I’ll settle for a small outcome), then I’ll start putting out content in that manner.

Since I’ve already gotten a fair ways into V2, I am bringing at least the basics with me into development with my wife on board. This will give us a launching platform to start working towards what I think will be my best BuJoRPG yet (with only one other version, that shouldn’t be hard).

I’ve got a new iPad Pro for 2019, with pencil, and I’ll be working on some art for this project as we go. My art is not as awesome as I would like to believe but if I don’t start migrating from using other people’s art, I won’t be able to sell things that I own because I won’t own all of it wholesale.

In 2019 I will make progress with BuJoRPG. I want to be able to have at least a beta release of BuJourneyRPG by the summer, otherwise have a full and completely working version out by December at the latest. Since I’m journaling, I can schedule time for this and keep track of my progress.

Though I’m not going to be committing to anything at this point, I’ll be jotting down some thoughts and ideas for a BuJoRPG 3 possibility while developing 2. Just some concepts or directions I’d like to go in, nothing as far as putting those concepts into practice for the time being.

If I’m going to think of myself as a company (with BuJoRPG as my product), then I have to start thinking of doing things like a company (like being knee deep of a version or two in the future than is actually out in the world).

Answer the poll and let’s get 2019 started going in the right direction!

Emerald Specter 108: Creating a BuJoRPG Dev Blog

Once again, I delve into the world of bullet journaling and BuJoRPG (and BuJourneyRPG). Before I get started into the meat of this article, it’s important to understand what has been happening and why this subject (the one in the title) came up.

First and foremost, the “Christmas season” is my busiest time of year. I assist my wife with her dog and cat treat business (if you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you go there).

I also work for the US Postal Service and that, by default, means that I’m super busy (due to the much, much higher volume of packages this time of year).

Just these two things combined would be enough to break many people but I also have the added things of keeping up with certain games (I’ve invested a lot of time into Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes), social things I want to participate in (things like movies I want to see), work related meetings to attend (union related), and just everyday house maintenance.

There’s a lot on my plate this time of year… and to set myself up for success next year, I’ve decided on creating the BuJoRPG Dev Blog on this site. Let’s get to the meat of the column.

My initial plans for BuJourneyRPG have hit a snag that I just didn’t have time to fix before the holiday season washed over me like a tidal wave. Sure, there are fixes for these things but the overall idea is that I needed to start thinking of how I wanted to change that system in order to make it work with what I originally planned.

I also received a message from someone asking for a “chick version” of BuJoRPG… more on that in a bit.

Up to this point, I have not asked my wife for help on creating BuJourneyRPG. I haven’t really gotten any help from anyone, and that let’s you peak behind the curtain to learn the fact that all of this has been 100% me since the get go.

When I asked my wife to jump on board this little adventure, she was excited and I made the decision that BuJourneyRPG, while definitely still “adventures on top of self improvement” needed to be far more dynamic than the limited scope I was initially planning.

After doing some pondering, I also started to realize that I needed to be making notes, or updating things in a more open space, to show that some progress was being made… and then, of course, I didn’t have time to get that started, so I’ve lost a couple of the notes I’ve made already because I made them on paper and paper gets misplaced.

My new idea was to create a Dev Blog, something solely dedicated to working with both versions of BuJoRPG (which I’m pleased to say is still THE reason people come to this site).

Some time over the course of the next two days to two weeks, I’ll create the fancy new header/cover image for the blog and start posting in January (when work slows down enough for me to gather my head together to start putting things into words people can read rather than just being abstract images in my head). 

What’s going to be in the Dev Blog?

I need to let you know that BuJourneyRPG is going to be a revenue generator for me because I can only do so much if I’m not getting paid for the work. That’s 99% of the reason I haven’t gotten much farther by this point than I have. Having said that, the base system is going to be free… it’s the story and developmental elements that are going to cost some money.

Don’t worry, though, I’m not going to be trying to sell you something tiny for an extravagant amount… the idea is to make it an easy decision to purchase because you aren’t taking out a mortgage on the house. Think more “candy at the cash register” than “brand new hard cover book” purchases.

The Dev Blog itself will be about what I need to work on, what is being worked on, and some of the details of that work that is being done.

For example, I might mention that I’m developing a mechanic to represent a magic system. Then I tell you about the options I came up with and that I’ll be testing out those options to figure out the best one. Finally, I may tell you what I’ve settled on and what is coming up next.

Progress!

Is the character sheet mentioned way back when still happening?

Absolutely!

My first character sheet was designed to be something you could keep going back to in your journal rather than recreating the bones of that every time you updated (like I had for BuJoRPG Version 1). I still love the idea and while I don’t have a solid sheet to show you (yet), I happened across a completely awesome sheet while looking for the cover for this column (image seen below).

The full sized image can be seen here.

There is way more going on on this spread than my simple character sheet, but this is only going to make me alter the spread slightly… because there are things on this sheet that won’t apply to BuJourneyRPG (obviously) and things that need to be included that aren’t on this spread, too.

It’s at least something to fire up the creative thinking.

How often will the Dev Blog be updated?

Ideally, I’ll be updating it weekly (or multiple times per week). Unfortunately, free time and creativity do not run on a schedule, so the updates might also come slower than weekly (but no less often than monthly).

The point of the Dev Blog is to update you when something needs to be updated, so if I make massive amounts of progress in a short period of time, then maybe you’ll get five updates one week. If things are moving slower, then maybe you’ll only get three updates a month.

Would anyone else be able to help with the creation of BuJourneyRPG?

I’d like to say yes, but that might also mean sharing the profits. While there is a plan for that in the future, I’m not quite ready for an entire team of people coming on board at this time.

This does not mean that if you make suggestions on how something might work better that your suggestion wouldn’t be taken in and used. Especially with the building of the base system, I would love a little involvement from others.

In fact, let me say that: I would love help with the base system. It doesn’t pay but you’ll help set BuJourneyRPG up to be a success in the future.

As far as the “after the base system is out,” I’ll be interested in developing some basic language learning adventures, weight loss adventures, and other self improvement specific items that would need someone to be fairly knowledgable in creating those. (I, for example, can’t run you through learning French because I don’t know a lick of French… and a French speaker would be able to adapt my Vietnamese learning method into BuJourneyRPG with far more robustness than I could provide).

What about the “chick system?”

I almost forgot to include this in the post!

A woman contacted me about BuJoRPG and asked me for a version of it “for chicks” (her words, not mine). What she was ideally asking for is a system that didn’t have “combat” in it. That lead me to start thinking up some stuff that might be an alternative…

BuJourneyRPG already had a version of “no combat” baked in and I hadn’t realized it until she made that request. Combat in BuJourneyRPG can be physical, mental, emotional, or social… which is more “conflict resolution” than actual combat. There NEEDS to be a system of conflict resolution, otherwise you’re just reading a book or learning something the boring old way.

My wife was happy to hear about the request and that is when I asked her to jump on board the project. When Christmas winds down, for both of us, we can start working on things. 

I do have stuff to post on the Dev Blog that has already been developed and I can post about with the new base system.

Why do you keep saying “base system?”

The idea is that BuJourneyRPG isn’t just a self improvement method like BuJoRPG was. There will be components to BuJourneyRPG that aren’t related to self improvement at all, while other elements will heavily rely on self improvement.

My base system will allow you to participate in different genres of adventuring and self improvement without tying you down to one specific genre.

You might start off in a space opera genre to get the story laid out and then head over to a high fantasy genre for your self improvements for the month. After that, you might hit up a military genre for another self improvement portion and finish up with some adventuring with mythological unicorns for story.

All of those will feed into the base system.

If I’m being honest, I really need some accountability to keep me moving forward. Too often have I promised something only to shove it under the rug to do something else.

I have a touch of ADD.

I look forward to making this happen and finally putting out a version of BuJourneyRPG that everyone will enjoy.

Emerald Specter 101: Overloaded

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m doing what I need to do in order to get things–“

“No, you’re overloading yourself with crap that you don’t need to be messing with right now. You’re stressed out, fun things aren’t getting done anymore, and you’re losing your hair.”

“My hair is already gone.”

“Metaphorically.”

Yeah, I just talked to myself. Deal with it. I did raise a great point, though, and that is about putting too many things on my plate… shoving aside anything I hope to accomplish, period.

What I’ve put on my plate so far: writing Revelation to release as serial fiction, working on BuJourneyRPG, working on BuJoRPG, working on SpecterChess, working on the Emerald Specter Chess Club, working on digital bullet journals, pushing to get the Specter Show back up to normal, pushing to get the Greatest Show running again… 

That’s a lot of stuff to be working on. 

The important part of what I’ve accomplished in that list: nothing. I’ve got so many irons in the fire that I can’t even keep on a task. I write this column on a regular basis because I need something to keep me writing, but I’ve got hardly a drop in the bucket written in Revelation (or anything else for that matter). I have an alarm that goes off every Sunday at about 5 pm to remind me to podcast the Specter Show… and I end up skipping it because I’m usually busy working on helping my wife out in her business. I’m about ready to start emailing people for the Greatest Show… and I’ve put it off because I’m overwhelmed.

I need to make things really simple.

NaNoWriMo is coming up… that’s National Novel Writing Month, for which I’ve participated in almost seven times. I’ve “won” twice. Those were my first two participations. With the help of a friend in the Iron Writer Challenge Facebook group, I’ve been challenged to write something… anything, and we’ve both agreed that due to NaNoWriMo coming up, that is when I should write it. Jason, the owner of BrickCommaJason.com, has told me to write until the book is finished. We will see how that works out with me just doing this as a NaNo novel.

That means Revelation is sidelined… because Jason also said that whatever I ended up writing needed to be something I’m not “married to, as an idea.” Revelation is something I have been kicking around, so I’m not writing it.

The Specter Show, I can tell you right now, isn’t going to be recorded until I’ve got the correct time and figure out what the show needs to become… because what I’ve been doing isn’t enticing to anyone, I’m guessing. Updating things week after week isn’t a show I wanted to rely on… so now, it is on hold.

The Greatest Show is a different story. That has a reason, that has a format, and that has a reason to keep being made. So, rather than continually wait for things to smooth out and figure out what the hell I’m waiting for, the instant that Nurmagomedov-McGregor is over, I’m setting up shows so that we get back on the air.

Having looked around the Internet a bit, I’ve seen that I’m nowhere near the first one on the digital journal creation train. I can’t possibly have a digital journal with BuJoRPG and BuJourneyRPG built in before 2019, so I’m finishing my own digital journal and I’ll decide what I need to do to get fully operational ones on the market when I can… 

Which leads me the BuJoRPG and friends… I need a chance to clear things off my plate and look at this with fresh eyes. BuJourneyRPG is my top priority and that needs to be stepped back from and evaluated a little better. I want it to be everything it can be and I can’t do that the way I’m going forward.

I’m sorry if this was a downer. I’m sorry if you can here looking for inspiration and hope that something was getting done. 

Let me start again and actually finish something.

Journal of the Emerald Specter 99: Getting Back in the Groove

You were all beginning to wonder if this column was coming, weren’t you? There is a milestone coming up and I wanted to make sure that I pushed myself to get back to writing at least once a week, as well as other things.

Why don’t we get things started?

The time of year when packages start flowing like water is fast approaching and that normally means my time is going to start shrinking for other things. Work is work but that doesn’t mean I can’t be doing things outside of that.

I had popped back in to podcast about a week or two ago for the first time in months. There hasn’t been another show, as this column has been written, but I’m going to be recording a few of them in the next week or two.

Why? Well, I need to start the Specter Show back up full time and I also need to start banking the SpecterChess episodes so that I’m ahead of the game. Speaking of chess…

The Emerald Specter Chess Club is about to start moving along without me actively playing. All ESCC events, at present, are set up like sumo basho events and I’m personally finding it hard to keep competing with the wide variety of different playing strengths that tend to sign up for these things.

I’m going to keep running the events, but I’ll be essentially “retiring” from the ESCC basho play. As of this writing, Chess Basho V: September 2018 is currently running, with only two more banners created for the future… I do plan on continuing to run the bashos until it catches on. The next one is already on the horizon:

Most of the reason I’m going to “retire” from the ESCC active play is SpecterChess. I’ve stated that the rating is only a number but rather than have my own rating fluctuate all over the place between SpecterChess events, I’m going to start reviewing all opponents… and that means I’m also going to be needing to not play so many “non-reviewed” games.

SpecterChess 1 has been announced formally, and you’ll start seeing each event from here on out announced weekly. I’ve got a format for how I’m releasing all these and I need to stick to it in order to be ahead of the game. Honestly, if I don’t get ahead of this, the SpecterChess events will probably go from weekly to monthly and that with slow things down too much, in my opinion.

There haven’t been anymore sign ups for this, yet, but I’m confident that I’ll get the audience I’m looking for by perseverance.

Ah, the thing that most people come to this site for: BuJoRPG. I’ve made a little progress on things but I want to take a step back and talk about a recent email that really made me think.

Someone who lives fairly close to me, generally speaking, asked if there would be anything BuJoRPG related that wouldn’t involve combat. She asked for, literally, a “female version of BuJoRPG.”

I had to take a step back to look at things before I answered.

RPGs, roleplaying games, are generally “armor up and physically combat” enemies. The BuJoRPG is less about outside sources of combat but still involves a sort of combat. The original version is more about self improvement and is really about conquering your personal hangups, but BuJourneyRPG was going to be more story driven.

It was also going to involve various amounts of combat.

Thinking about the process, the “lady BuJoRPG” for the original would be dropping a template for it that didn’t involve the standard RPG tropes. That is easy enough and has now become the number one next release for BuJoRPG (version 1). But I didn’t want to limit myself there… 

BuJourneyRPG has always been envisioned as being a “go here, fight that” type thing. I’m in the process of writing up the combat rules and combat will definitely be a heavy component of making successes. So, to “girl-ify” BuJourneyRPG, what would I need to do?

Looking at the situation as a whole, I really had to put thought into what I’d need to do to remove combat. It’s essential in BuJourneyRPG. I did come up with a theory, though, and that is a simple modification… to the definition.

Combat is actually a conflict towards a resolution. So, essentially, combat doesn’t need to be physical.

In BuJourneyRPG, you have four attributes that you’ll need to work on in order to balance out your life. Those are Physical, Mental, Social, and Emotional attributes. Each one of them can be involved in combat… and now combat is expanded a little.

With the first attribute, Physical can still include actual standard RPG combat. Swords, shields, battling opponents, and winning the day. In the case of the other three attributes, though, combat is completely different. Mental combat can be working out puzzles, Social combat can be conversational in nature (rather than physical), and Emotional combat can be things like meditation. Combat doesn’t need to be the default thought when someone says “combat.”

The request adds another dimension to the BuJoRPG situation that I think will make things far more interesting for those using the system. I’m really glad I got that email.

The Specter Show will be getting back into full swing soon… and I’m going to be doing all those things that I said I would be doing before, meaning that the Specter Show is going to largely become an eclectic collection of audio experiments and may even form into some sort of narrative as things go on.

One thing I’m not going to change until I reach the end, though, is naming the shows after Nine Inch Nails songs.

SpecterChess has taken over the old PRO Chess League podcast feed and won’t stop until they need to in order to reach a proper end (or, I hope, someone else will pick up the flag and run with it when I’m done). Once I get closer to the event narrowcasts, I’ll remove the old PRO Chess League shows and it’ll only be SpecterChess. I might be inclined to include ESCC reviews in the feed, too, but that isn’t going to be anytime soon.

The return of the Greatest Show is on the horizon, kids. After having attended Rose City Comic Con a little over a week ago, I’ve got a few people I’ll be hitting up to come on the show, as well as getting the crew together more often for shows. There is a caveat with this, though… we won’t have a solid recording time again.

Way back when Bob and I launched the Greatest Show, we literally just recorded when we had time and posted the shows. Fast forward five years and we’ve been stuck in a rut with only appearing live on Saturday nights… that used to happen weekly but we’ve lapsed because lives have gotten in the way. We are going to be returning to the “recording when it works” model.

Live viewership will probably be next to nothing, which is what needs to happen to make this work. I’ll entice the listening and viewing of the show, though, by returning to the giveaways again. I have given away a free box of stuff to Tab from Ohio and I’d like to give away more.

I have written exactly nothing since the last Specter Show. My ability to sit down and write has been replaced by sitting and doing things to help my wife fill orders for her business.

Honestly, money making projects come first, so I don’t actually mind too much. If you want me to put more effort into this site’s output, I have a Patreon link to the right you can click on… which means I’ll need to start posting the content there (I’ve been a little lax).

I’ve been thinking of my serial fiction that will be released as a “series,” in the vein of a TV show. There are serial works I’m simmering on the back burner that I’ve termed “one shots,” like movies, and while I was cleaning up something on my computer the other day, it dawned on me that all my serial fiction projects are one shots.

See if you follow me.

If I am writing an urban fantasy serial fiction (I’ll call it Street Wizards for this example) with the idea that it’s a TV show, I’m inclined to think of the project as open ended and more “episodic.” Sure, things can stitch together and there is probably a larger arc going on, but it’s really being less cohesive and digestible in smaller chunks.

If I am writing Street Wizards as a one shot and releasing it, still, as serial fiction, then there is a bigger plan at work. The one shot means there is one large and cohesive story running through the whole project without the consideration for whether or not there will be a sequel. 

I’d started writing my first work as a one shot and the second one as a series. I like the first one a whole lot better so far.

On the Specter Show, and in a past column, I mentioned that I was writing the fiction in solid 1,000 word chunks with the intent of writing to 80,000 words. Well, folks, that isn’t a good way to format this (seeing as the first story has progressed to about 1/3 of the way into the story and is sitting at around 6,000 words).

The first story isn’t going to have an 80,000 word run. I know that now.

My first serial fiction story is called “Revelation,” which will be released in larger chunks than 1,000 words and will run as long as it needs to in order to finish telling the story.

Now that I’ve announced it and released the cover image, maybe I’ll get back into this thing and do it up right.

First things first, I need to go back and add in more context and content to what I’ve written, because 6,000 words and being a 1/3 of the way through the story isn’t quite what I was looking to do. There was a lot of descriptiveness that I skipped over in order to get to that point and I’d like to go back and add in that descriptiveness.

My goal with Revelation is to release between 2,000 and 5,000 words at a time. That isn’t too long, it isn’t too short, and should be interesting enough to keep people coming back to check out the next segment. Revelation is a literal one shot, as in when the story is over there isn’t anything else to tell. There is a beginning, a middle, and a solid end. Once you read the whole thing you’ll understand why that is a thing.

Once that is finished (the writing), I’ll read through and make sure I have no spelling errors and grammar makes complete sense. After that, I’ll start releasing the fiction weekly in as many parts as is necessary. Once the release schedule is set up, then I’ll start writing the second serial fiction, which may allow for sequels… unlike Revelation.

This is the last “Journal” entry. The column, as announced on the last Specter Show, will return to just being called “Emerald Specter.” I’m going to be moving to making an individual cover image for each edition, and I started with this one. I liked the comic book theme and decided to shrink it to fit the dimensions of the website more.

Sitting down and writing these columns is cathartic. I get tings in order, I get enthusiastic about doing the things I say I’m going to do, and I an motivated to get things moving right away.

I’ve been dragging my feet a little on the digital journal and that is going to be worked on heavily over the next couple of weeks. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but I should be a lot further along than I am.

For now, thanks for reading.

056: Pilgrimage

The Specter Show returns after a two month hiatus! Things are being pointed in the right direction as DJ talks about BuJoRPG, BuJourneyRPG, podcasting, more about the Bullet Journal RPGs, and serial fiction! Check it out!

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: Eddy Webb

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

Support Emerald Specter at Patreon!

Journal of the Emerald Specter 97: The Bullet Journal RPG Updates

There are a great many out there that are going to read that title and breathe a sigh of relief that something is coming. Well, I’m here to lay down a little bit of information and let you know that “winter is coming” and that may throw a wrench into the works. 

Without further ado, let’s get into the meat of what we need to discuss as far as BuJoRPG, BuJourneyRPG, and what the future of updates look like from this point on.

At least you can be happy that I haven’t forgotten about you all. 

I introduced BuJoRPG early last year with a promise to expand it as I had time to do so. That has proven to be a bigger task than I realized and some things have obviously gone awry in the attempt. The big push for me is still BuJourneyRPG and that’s probably where the focus is going to be for the foreseeable future.

The problem is that I haven’t gotten much of a chance to work on it in the past three months. That is a quarter of a year gone without hardly opening the document that I am writing the instructions in.

Complaining that work is taking up all my time isn’t even much of a problem. I have limited hours at work now due to an injury and the rest of my “work time” is helping out MadeByTricia.com produce her stuff. Life is pretty full because business is picking up.

Anyone who has ever worked on anything worthwhile understands that everyone needs some downtime, too. I am no exception. I’ve gotten back into playing No Man’s Sky (they just released a new update called NEXT) and I’ve been playing that now and then.

I’d also like to be playing some UFC 3, but I haven’t really gotten the chance to learn how to play in order to actually play the game. That is a big want for me as well.

But that has nothing to do with Bullet Journal RPGs… at all. Just me needing a little space to breathe.

I’ve been trying to make time to work on both BuJoRPG and BuJourneyRPG and because I’m stretching myself thin in trying to do that, I need to make a decision. BuJourneyRPG will be completed before I do anything else with BuJoRPG at this point, and there is another little caveat in there that you weren’t even aware was a thing until now: digital journal creation.

I’m making custom digital bullet journals, or rather I will be doing so. Both my wife and I have my first two that I made and I’m going to make that a thing that will be released on this website for the future as a possibility for you to purchase. The process takes a lot of time (links, creating or manipulating the graphics, deciding on the design elements, including everything that needs to be included, etc) but once I get a template set up, changing out the “pretty bits” should be easier. This means that I probably have to start working on this now.

While I’m watching TV before bed with my wife or have a lot of time to sit in front of a computer watching whichever sport is on TV at the moment (soccer, NFL, sumo, UFC, ONE, NASCAR, etc), I can be making the framework of the digital bullet journals. When the framework is done, then I’ll be able to sub in graphics to make a few options for you all to decide what you’d like.

In between that and 2019, I will be getting two weeks of vacation from work. Undoubtedly, my wife will occupy a chunk of those weeks doing stuff for her business, which is completely fine. I am, however, setting aside a single 24 period each of those two weeks (they aren’t connected, so one 24 period per week) to finish up the BuJourneyRPG sourcebook. That means that I’m hopefully actually going to be releasing BuJourneyRPG by Christmas (what a present, right?).

Stepping back a bit, I mentioned the digital bullet journals for two reasons: 1, they are a thing now and can actually be taken anywhere without any worries of messing up a physical journal and 2, I can include my BuJoRPG and BuJourneyRPG special releases in them… so if you use the system and you want access to the rules (sourcebook) or one of the expansions, you’ll be able to get those in the digital bullet journals. They won’t JUST be in them, but they’ll probably be in them.

Time management is something that is supposed to be a big part of the Bullet Journal experience. I haven’t even gotten a chance to use my digital journal a whole lot yet and that is because I have no damn time to do it. I need a chance to step back and work at what I need to get myself back in line.

If you took notice, I used my new graphics package for the headers on this column. I was going to “boom!” introduce them all at once but I’d rather roll them out in little bits as I start migrating towards the site refresh. Some things won’t get updated yet (like the comic book cover) but they’ll be updated soon enough.

First, though, I need to work on producing what I said I’d produce.

Journal of the Emerald Specter 92: Building a Better Emerald Specter

Um… what?

This is a column I’m about to detail a whole bunch of things in and it’ll involve everything to do with EmeraldSpecter.com, the podcasts, the articles, BuJoRPG/BuJourneyRPG, and the future. This is a roadmap to getting me from where I’m at to where I want to be, which will include what I’ve done in the past that worked that I’ve stopped doing.

Despite my sincerest desire, “winging it” with a lot of my content isn’t working as well as I’d hoped. There are spurts where I can do just that but I also have the opposite, which is long periods where nothing works. This leads me to look back at what has worked, which means looking back to LimeFlavored.com.

When I started Lime Flavored, I literally just needed a place to do things online that entertained me… and hopefully along the lines someone else would be entertained as well. That philosophy has definitely held up for the years and has become a pseudo-business model for what I’m doing with Emerald Specter. There was a point, though, where things needed to have a little more structure.

Fast forward a few years (from 2000 to about 2010), where the Lime Flavored Podcast jumped into the world. The show started as a place for me to talk about this and that, sort of like how the Specter Show has been, and then I started bringing on guests to talk to… several episodes then were mainly about the conversation between two people. This eventually led to me having regular cohosts for the show, with two dominating the show for lengthy runs, but died down when excuses from those cohosts began to take down the recording schedule. That’s when I initiated “the show format.”

Rather than beg guests to come on, or talk about the random this or that, I came up with a weekly rundown of segments that would be structuring the show into something more… structured. This version of the show was the most popular, got the most downloads, and fell to the wayside when trying to edit the video content for episode 50… the LAST episode.

Lesson learned, although not immediately.

During the run of LimeFlavored.com, as well as falling well into EmeraldSpecter.com, was the Greatest Show (originally known as the Greatest Show Online). This was me and my best friend Bob getting together to talk about whatever we wanted to, which ran like this for a long time, including my wife into the show as something for us to watch (she cooked while we talked and filmed the cooking), turning eventually into inviting a few more friends on to turn the show into a round table discussion of the more recent years. Special guests have been had and though most of the hosts aren’t on most of the time, those that show up when they can are welcome. Guests have also started to become a big part of what the future of the show is going to be…

Back in the early days of Emerald Specter, I had a multitude of columns. There was the generic “Emerald Specter” column, Gaming Specter, UFC Specter, Storytelling Specter, SpecterFit (also known as Fitness Specter), and those are just the ones I can name without looking up the others. Each of these were short, primarily to keep content flowing, but all eventually started dropping off here and there in favor of a more generalized column… that would be the current Journal of the Emerald Specter (which you’re reading issue 92 of right now).

I’ve added the Specter Show as a podcast as well, doing the “winging it” audio I was in the early days of the Lime Flavored Podcast, along side the Greatest Show (which takes longer breaks between episodes than I’d like but as long as it keeps going I’m good).

This is a lot of unstructured things happening at once, most of which interfere with my ability to progress on structured things like life, BuJoRPG/BuJourneyRPG, and producing more content that I’ve wanted to start producing.

So, I am going to make some changes to streamline, structure, and produce higher content.

Starting with what has become the flagship content provider of the site, the Journal of the Emerald Specter.

Each issue of the Journal will be presented with a unique “cover,” going along with the comic book feel of the site’s aesthetic. This will more than likely convert to a square cover instead of a more comic book traditional shaped cover, but this will be the first step.

Next comes the banner topic, the “geeky thing on my mind” in a smaller than current segment. This could be about anything I listed above but will be concentrated on that topic alone. I plan on planning out these topics in advance, too, allowing for the research that might need to be done when writing.

After that comes the first ever serial fiction I’ll be writing. I will be writing an installment of a serial fiction story with the intent of finally putting out my fiction that I’ve wanted to create for a long time. Including this into the column will allow me to remove the self imposed requirement of having the story completely written before hand and just get my ass writing again. I don’t know how long the installments will be, I’ll let that flesh itself out after a couple of columns.

That is followed by a sports commentary of some sort. I often want to write entire columns about sporting items and rather than dominate a column like I have with chess over the past two issues, I figure I can throw a tidbit into this in order to quench my thirst. Ideally, I’d be covering whatever sports are actively happening but I am not going to limit myself to just that. I’m hoping that continuous commentary on certain topics might one day pan out into a paying gig on another site.

Next comes bullet journalling updates. I am going to include an update EVERY SINGLE TIME and that means I better be making progress on things in the background. Play testing the BuJourneyRPG hasn’t started as of this writing but I’m on the edge of actually being able to do that, and that means I can definitely have content for this segment of the column.

Finally, there will be an RPG tidbit included in each column. This might be a story hook, a review on a new game, a story about a game that I participated in, or just a general discussion about merits of why a certain system works well. This won’t be as big as the main topic but I want to start doing something gaming related and that means writing is probably the best place to start.

That is just the Journal of the Emerald Specter, folks. Let’s look at the Specter Show next.

Just like the Journal covers, the Specter Show will also be getting custom covers for each episode. You might be wondering why I’m interested in doing this for both of these and it’s because I’m interested in putting out quality content, meaning that if everything is planned ahead of time I don’t have to scramble to accomplish anything.

The show will be led off by a geeky topic of discussion, I’m thinking that this might be the place where I talk about my love of TV and movies (reviews, reactions, etc), but I am not locking myself into anything specific. Media seems to be big on the podcast scene so that is definitely where I’d be looking towards for inspiration on this.

Also like the Journal, there will be an installment of a serial (not the same serial), read aloud of course… and this would probably be on the shorter side but with this being altogether different than the written stuff, I’m interested to see what kinds of wonderful pours out of my head in the near future on the serial fiction front.

Finally, the show will include a “what to watch for” segment. The reason for the media being in the beginning could relate to what I’m talking about in the “coming up” section. Movies, TV shows, comic books… all that I’ll be consuming in the near future.

I also had a plan for the Greatest Show, but I won’t be locking anything down on that front because I don’t want to shoehorn anyone else into following a strict rundown. Time will tell what form the show takes but what we’re doing seems to be working for now.

When will all this go down? I did have specific issue/episode numbers for when I’m rolling this out but I want to make sure all the back end stuff is done before I roll out everything. There will be a few graphical updates to the site, too, but they won’t be monumental in difference.

055: Even Deeper

Bullet journaling takes the forefront, with notes about what I’m doing with my own bullet journal… as well as a little bit about Westworld, mysteries, and a potential website redesign.

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

Support Emerald Specter at Patreon!