Emerald Specter 130: Everything Is In This Post

I have not taken the time to post anything on this site that has been informational in some time. That has been something of a poor choice on my part and needs to be corrected. This is the post that corrects that error. Read on and if you think I need to talk about it, or that the item needs to be talked about, this is the column that will include that topic because I plan on talking about just about everything.

Let’s start with the one most people come to this website for: BuJoRPG2.

I think that the last time I talked about BuJoRPG2 I mentioned that I haven’t gotten a break at work and other things were occupying my time. Well, sadly, things have only gotten worse on that front. Unless you’re hiding under a rock, I work for the postal service and we’re under attack at the moment (politically speaking). Our current situation, as I write these words, has caused the “slow down” to stop and our regular mail flow has resumed, so the heavy mail volume has come back… letting all of us carriers know exactly how much mail was being held back. Now, we believe that the mail is caught up in my area, so work days should start leveling out again but we’re heading into fall AND we still have the pandemic going on, meaning people are still ordering things online like they’re going out of style.

TL;DR – I haven’t had a whole lot of time to do much with BuJoRPG2. There’s more later in the column about BuJoRPG2.

There is still a BuJoRPG podcast that will be coming when I get a chance and I will still be stepping the listening audience through things when that show happens… and at this point, that show will most likely be video and could even possibly be on Twitch (meaning live), but I won’t commit to that just yet.

I’m sorry I can’t offer anything more substantial right now, things are just in a really weird place. Right now my free time is my me time and sometimes that free time will turn into some content on this site.

That last sentence leads me into Emerald Nights: A Vampire the Masquerade Chronicle actual play podcast!

Over the past, I don’t know, fourteen months or so, I have been “storyteller” for several players in an ongoing Vampire the Masquerade chronicle. I started with three players, only two of which remained to present day, with the promise of others jumping in. I’ve actually gained (and lost) a few along the way and currently I have a steady four who have been producing results on audio steadily for releasability to an audience. Now, only some of those sessions can be produced into a format for release because of audio faux pax or complete inability to record, but there is a cohesive story that is now entering it’s second season of play, even though we haven’t released a single episode yet…


I have been editing the sessions I do have to edit and I’m almost ready to start releasing files to the public! The “Actual Play” feed will once again play host to an actual play again! As I write this, I am about two days from finishing the edits of the gameplay on episode 8 of season 1, which is the benchmark I set for myself to start post production on the release ready episodes. I have a short introduction to record and then some intro and outro additions (as well as some episodes having some fun little post credits bits) and the scheduled releases will be, well, scheduled!

Season One will end up being (I’m guessing based on the length of audio I have left to edit) between 11 to 13 episodes in length, and then Season Two will be up in the air as we are still actively playing it. After Season Two is completed, the audio will take a month off as we prepare to play another actual play that I’ve been prepping to run.

What’s that, you wonder? The system we will be using is the Expanse RPG from Green Ronin but the universe will be altered/my own. The name of that particular actual play is yet to be released (I am planning a whole hype train for that) and we’ll play a season of that before returning to VtM for Season Three.

If I’m really lucky I’ll get one of the others to be a game master at some point and we’ll turn their story into an actual play that I can play in, but I won’t hold my breath on that one.

Speaking of telling stories, let’s shift gears into NASCAR Heat 5.

As my last post noted, I have started streaming my gameplay of NASCAR Heat 5 on Twitch. I went through a “tweak the settings” Championship Mode and I am currently in the midst of a goof off custom Championship Mode I called the Specter Cup, which is a shortened season of alternating speedways, road courses, and short tracks. After all that is done, I’m going to go into my Career Mode (as me) to race my way from Trucks, through the Xfinity Series, all the way into the NASCAR Cup Series. The plan with this is to get good enough with the game to be able to do what I’d really like to do: tell a long form narrative with gameplay footage in documentary form about a fictional driver.

First things first, though, and that’s me getting through my own career mode. Anyone that has followed me for long enough has seen me do “career modes” in Madden NFL, UFC, and FIFA… NASCAR just happens to be the game I’m into for the moment and that’s what I’m moving forward with.

Earlier I mentioned podcasting live, what about The Greatest Show?

I’ve been itching to get the Greatest Show back off the ground for some time now, and while live broadcasting the show is still a conundrum, I can do the Skype recording option instead. The real trick is figuring out the show’s format, as getting a gaggle of hosts on with or without a guest on weekly is a hard thing to do. I even tried to do a schedule that one time and that ended up being a total failure.

There was a plan, at one point, back when Bob and I were just doing things, to have some side content pop in from time to time that just kept things flowing. Bob would record something and I’d have some visuals set to whatever that was and it could be as long or as short as it needed to be to fill the week when we weren’t on. I would record something and do the same thing for a different week. This, obviously, never panned out. I instead gathered together an army of friends and we held a panel of greatness for months before slowly collapsing under the weight of our real world obligations, as tends to happen when the show format stagnates a bit.

When Bob and I started the Greatest Show, we just wanted to get together and record our weird ass conversations. After we’d covered our funnest (Bob’s favorite) conversations, we started having fun conversations while watched my wife cook food (adding a whole new dimension to the show). At one point, I had guests on to add some flavor to things. Then an occasional guest would appear to join the fun… then some of those guests stayed and became regulars, and those regulars brought more regulars and we had other guests. Then… then things stopped.

I am currently torn on the Greatest Show. There is 153 episodes of the Greatest Show and that is a great milestone to have hit (although, if the show were steady and still running as often, I believe we’d be in the 400s by now) but I’m actually thinking that the show may have run it’s course. The issue is still being considered but that card is on the table. I’m not ready to pull the plug yet but I haven’t figured out how to move forward with this show yet. It’s a tough one to figure out.

The biggest issue for me is having a way to host the show without me being on every episode. I need breaks, too, and I want those breaks to be without the show taking a break. Time will tell.

Next up on my list is Emerald Specter Originals.

When I first mentioned Emerald Specter Originals, I figured that I’d be churning out a large stack of consumable entertainment and have a nice catalogue of materials to build upon for other projects. As you read these words, there are no current Emerald Specter Originals (although Legacy: Shadows of Blood and Dark Green: The Blackwood Chronicles can both be claimed as such despite being created well before the label “Emerald Specter” was created). Knowing how I’ve failed, I have created a roadmap to moving forward on some of my languishing projects because some of the things I want to see “out in the world” one way or another.

First and foremost, Emerald Nights: A Vampire the Masquerade Chronicle will be the first Emerald Specter Original. All actual plays on this site will be, which means the space game using the Expanse RPG will also be an Emerald Specter Original. While these will be part of that banner, they will not be the only part of the banner.

Since roughly 1986, I have been developing my own superhero shared universe. As of this writing, the phrase should really read like superhero shared universe, as I’ve done so much development that it’s gone beyond such simplistic things as just superheroes. Are there superheroes in it? Sure, but that is just a tiny part of the universe. The development of this universe, which I’m calling the Specterverse, has been primed and ready for “scripting” for at least two full years now. With the original intent being graphic novel releases, I am now opting to attempt making something slightly different and hopefully a little bit easier on my time. If the concept works, I hope to be able to hire a proper artist and put out “motion comics” (or not quite animated movies) as a finished product.

I first need to write the scripts. The stories are ready, I literally just need to start writing them. If I watch just a little less TV and write just a little more, this can be accomplished.

Setting goals and such belongs in the segment related to the first topic, bullet journaling.

I started a bullet journal a while ago. I fell out of it when I released BuJoRPG to the world and got about halfway into the disaster that was BuJourneyRPG. I have made about four attempts to get back into it without a single success, including the latest one that was supposed to energize me to get off my ass and get productive again. Well, there’s something that I need to be again that will help that motivation, and that thing is not fat.

The day after my birthday I decided to become a vegetarian. I was a dedicated vegetarian from January 19, 2020 until roughly July 20, 2020 (give or take a few days). I have completely fallen off the wagon and I’m still eating way more veggies than meat, but I don’t shy away from the meat like before. In all that time, though, I didn’t really pick up the exercise at all, getting the heart rate up, to help lose more than the 10-15 pounds that the eating alone got me. I’ve literally been sitting at that exact weight loss since January… and it’s time to lose more weight.

Before I moved to Portland, my wife and I were losing weight like crazy. I’d lost 91 pounds in a year (and was looking forward to losing the other 40-50 I needed to hit the goal I’d set for myself). With the move, and a new job, came stresses… those stresses came with a lack of time, that lack of time came with a lack of exercise, and that led to weight gain. Guess what? All the weight came back and I want all that weight gone again.

This is where all the BuJoRPG2 people should be happy to have stuck with this column as long as they have because I am seriously going to crawl back into my last created digital bullet journal and start organizing again. I need to track things, schedule things, and I need to make sure that I’m working on what needs to be worked on. If I get organized, maybe I can squeeze in time for BuJoRPG2 (or maybe I can develop it while I’m organizing, kind of like I did with the original!). Any progress is good progress, right?

I’ll try to post some screen shots when I get something done in the journal, but maybe that would best be done on the podcast I keep teasing? Let me get some organizing done before I start promising anything else, that really needs to be done first.

Finally, I’d like to swerve into a topic I’ve talked about once or twice: a morning talk show.

After learning that YouTube made live streaming so difficult for those of us that don’t have ridiculously expensive broadband, I had my hopes dashed of having a “talk show” that could be live in any capacity. When I started streaming on Twitch, I noticed that the iPhone app for Twitch allowed me to go live without any complicated software, which meant that I could have my live show again.

Knowing that, I could start planning to have a live show again. If you read the “morning” in that, too, then you’re also understanding that the best chance I have at having a live show is in my early morning hours for a designated amount of time. Since I’m in the Pacific time zone, this would be at a reasonable AM hour for some other US time zones, but the idea is that I could talk about hot topics (all topics open and would probably include world news topics and political news) with a live chat. This is something that would probably start out as a weekly show, then maybe go bi-weekly, then ramp up from there if the demand exists. Patreon funding would allow for equipment (and broadband!) upgrades to get more technically savvy!

Well, you survived the BIG column. It took two nights to write after work. I did make sure to cover everything that was on my mind. Thanks for sticking with me for the whole thing. If you did, I should also like to add a couple of items at the very end, then, too.

Quick hit: I’ve wanted to solo RPG some Doctor Who RPG so that I can make some content there, too. I don’t know how the output would be, though, stay tuned.

Quick hit: If you love sumo and you want to play a sumo game, come on over to the Road to Yokozuna and check it out. We’re having a great time!

Thanks for reading!

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