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Emerald Specter 123: Overkill & Missing the Mark

I’m going to mention this right up front so that no one mistakes what this post is about: BuJourneyRPG and BuJoRPG. This is about what is going on, what happened, and what is happening starting as of this post.

Hold on for the ride, because this is going to be a weird ride.

Way back in August 2017, I announced the beginnings of what I (at that time) called BuJoRPG 2. That ended up turning into BuJourneyRPG and I’ve been working on that for the better part of two and a half years. That is where we are for what I’m about to talk about. Yeah, August 2017 and here it is in February 2020. That’s a LONG time.

Your worst fears are both coming true AND not coming true at that same time.

When I started calling the second iteration of BuJoRPG “BuJourneyRPG,” the intention was to provide the user with an experience of doing things between the self improvement aspects of the bullet journalling. As time went on, that started getting more and more complicated, so complicated in fact that as of three days ago I realized that I actually have been developing a full fledged role-playing game instead of an add on to a bullet journal, much less the next iteration of the BuJoRPG. I am admitting right now that I have gone so far overboard that not only did I fail to do what I set out to do, I was so far off the mark that I wasn’t even on the same range to hit the target anymore.

BuJourneyRPG is a project that I am somewhat hesitant to announce is dead. But don’t read that and click away, because I’ve got a lot more to talk about.

I need to look at what I have developed and see what I started with to figure out where I went astray. Once I figure out where things went off the deep end I can take things and put them back on course. The good news is that as I’m writing this I’ve already started that process and have begun putting right what needs to be put right to start fixing the trajectory of where I need to go.

Dead is BuJourneyRPG and rejoice as BuJoRPG 2 is officially back on track. This is back to being a self improvement bullet journal extension. This is back to being about you, your journey, and your self improvement. I am returning to focusing on improving the original BuJoRPG and forgetting about developing a full on RPG while trying to just do something so big that it takes years to develop.

I made a mistake and I’m correcting that mistake right now.

First and foremost, I have received a LOT of email asking questions about BuJoRPG. They are questions ranging from what kinds of things people should include as “Dailies” to how much XP one should get for reaching certain milestones. I’ve been asked about rewards one should receive for achieving certain milestones, the “real life” variety, and I’ve also been asked how long it should take to achieve certain levels as you progress. If I just went into BuJoRPG 1 and just adjusted that, I’d have a good foundation for BuJoRPG 2.

Some of the things I’m keeping from the failed experiment that are worthwhile and interesting: the character sheet. The very first thing that I began with in BuJoRPG 1 was the idea that you essentially recreated your “progress sheet” every single day, so that you’d be able to use that as one of your daily achievements if you so chose. After having done that myself for more than six months, I felt that started to get very tedious and started to eat up a lot of my bullet journal, so I figured that progress should be contained in one location rather than be slowly recreated over the course (on multiple pages) of multiple months. Thus, the character sheet was born.

Another thing I’m going to keep is skill trees. I received a lot of questions about “not wanting skills that didn’t apply to the real world,” but this is an RPG of life, so some folks really wanted to fight “monsters and dragons” and such. Thus, skills would be used to help you “fight” monsters. With skill trees, you can customize your character to achieve this and progress through the RPG world.

How does that second thing relate to the real world? Your real world XP gainers, dailies, achievements, and whatnot will be what gives you the ability to advance in the RPG world. The self improvement you accomplish gives you what you need in order to do things in the RPG world.

Here’s where I give you a slight aside. It’ll be in italics if you want to skip it.

BuJourneyRPG had this basic concept going for it as well, but the real world overlapped with the RPG world. You would participate in RPG elements and real world self improvement elements at the same time (or alternating) to accomplishing progressing through the world. Some of you might still love this idea, but the problems where numerous in this. I stopped including the self improvement portions of the BuJourneyRPG developing in favor of the story elements and that really had me moving heavily in that direction without really understanding what I was doing. I was intending to come back and include the self improvement elements but I never ended up coming back to those, developing well beyond the bullet journal aspect and that’s when I realize I’d gone too far.

BuJoRPG 2 has some elements ready to go. I just have to put them down into a format suitable for readers. This release will come out by the end of 2020, as I’ve already taken way too long going way off the deep end with the other disaster. The base system will be free, just like the original. Unlike the original, there is a new element that will allow BuJoRPG to stand out and be developed further and deeper than the original.

There was a story element to BuJourneyRPG that was going to be the backdrop of the system. That was what you would have been interacting with while unable to continue along with your self improvement elements. That story is going to be brought over into BuJoRPG 2 and will be what you’ll be going through IN BuJoRPG 2, though really simplified and straightforward. Expansions to the BuJoRPG 2 will be expansions on the story as well as expansions on the system and will either be free or be available for a small fee.

A FEE?! Yes, a fee. I’m talking 99¢. That isn’t outrageous.

The reason for adding a fee would be the amount of work I put into expanding the system. There will be story additions that would allow you to progress, or maybe you need an updated “bestiary” (for non-RPG fans, that’s a monster manual) to fight against, or maybe you just need more development material for your character. Hit the top level available? Maybe there is an expansion that provides 10 more levels, several more monsters, four more story chapters, and gives you an entire new skill tree to work with. That’s definitely worth a small fee.

With all of that said, I’m working on BuJoRPG 2 and BuJourneyRPG is officially dead. I’ve headed back to basics and gone back to what inspired this whole thing in the first place, the simplicity of bullet journalling.

I apologize to those who have been waiting for me to be done with all of this months or years ago and have been holding on this long.

Thank you for sticking with me and I’ll get this thing done. This one, with luck, will need less questions answered because it’ll be more comprehensive in description.

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