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Save the Universe at DriveThruRPG

If you prefer to download your gaming PDFs from DriveThruRPG, you can now find Save the Universe there by clicking this link.

I also have a discussion group set up on Facebook for questions and chit-chat.

Special thanks to my Save the Universe players at U-Con. I had a great time, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of the con!
Recent posts

Save the Universe - Available for Download!

As of today, you can download your very own copy of my Save the Universe RPG for free! Here's the link:

This is an ashcan edition, which means no art, no professional editing, no professional layout. I bashed it together in Word until it looked halfway decent and turned it into a PDF. The rules are complete, however, and I hope you have as much fun with them as I've had.

I'm hoping to get this up to DriveThruRPG soon, but that probably won't happen until later this month. I'm also bringing a few printed copies to U-Con this coming weekend.

Download it for free, share it with your friends, and let me know what you think!

Save the Universe Ashcan Coming Soon

To get Save the Universe in the hands of more players, I've started assembling an ashcan edition of Save the Universe. This is going to be a simple PDF with minimal layout, but with the complete Save the Universe rules. When it's ready, it'll be available on and on DriveThruRPG for free or cheap. I may even print a copy through Lulu so I can carry it around at conventions.

I'll post links here and on all my social media when it's ready.

In other news, I'll be at U-Con in November, running Save the Universe and Familiars of Terra at Games on Demand. I had fun playing Familiars of Terra at Origins last year, and I'm excited to share it with others.

I've also sold a short story, and if and when it's published, I'll post this links here as well. Lots going on...more news as it develops!

Save the Universe: Next Steps

After running 19 sessions of Save the Universe, including private and convention sessions, and receiving feedback from folks who have either read or played Save the Universe on their own, I feel ready to declare the rules complete. The manuscript itself could use some polish, but I'm ready to move out of the playtesting phase and into...

Well. That's the question, isn't it?
The up-front costs of publishing a professional-quality RPG, including editing, layout, and art, are out of my reach. That leaves three publishing options:

First: Do it myself, with zero dollars. I'm sure I could produce a legible PDF with open-license fonts and graphics. With time and study I could work out a semi-legible layout, and I could self-edit the text to at least make sure it's somewhat coherent. The result would be...fine. Acceptable. Playable. And from a certain point of view, that's the goal, right? To get the game out there where people can play it?

(To be clear, there's re…

May 2018 Update

This month's word appears to be "editing."
I received a big pile of valuable feedback on Save the Universe from the Games on Trial group on Google+, and I'm slowly working my way through it. I was hoping the test readers could call out any lack of clarity in my manuscript, and boy, did they ever. The good news is that my revisions should cut out some unnecessary junk and should provide clearer instructions for GMs and players.

I've also finished the fourth draft of City of Crystal. I'm letting the manuscript cool off before I go back to straighten out all the typos and awkward language. I think the plot is final, and based on Mary Lynn's first read-through, it's basically coherent, so I'm hoping the fifth draft will be the last.

I'm toying with a few other gaming projects as I see opportunities to make headway:

Mocha Mechas, my hypothetical game about baristas using mobile armored caf├ęs to fight giant monsters, is still just a pitch in search o…

April 2018 Update

I haven't given a proper update in a while, and I'd like to start with this: If you'd like to play Save the Universe with your group, let me know and I'll send you the latest draft. My Facebook and Twitter links are in the upper right corner of the blog, or you can leave a comment below. If you like sci-fi adventure, world-building, and rules-light story-focused roleplaying games, you might like Save the Universe. The game is close to complete, but I'm still looking for playtest feedback, and I'd love to hear what you think.

I brought Save the Universe to the Marmalade Dog gaming convention last month and I had the opportunity to enjoy the game with some great players. I've also received valuable feedback from GMs who have been kind enough to run Save the Universe at their own tables. I have a couple of recent design changes to test and observe, but if everything works out, I could be close to locking down the rules and moving toward editing and layout.


Save the Universe: Actual Play at Marmalade Dog

I had the opportunity to run two sessions of Save the Universe at Marmalade Dog this past weekend, and my Friday night players suggested that I should write up an actual play report. So here's that report, and I apologize to my valiant players if I've remembered anything incorrectly.
In a faraway star system, the Institute of the Moon governs its subject planets with lies and guile. From their Golden Palace, the leaders of the Institute send secret police agents to identify and eliminate anyone who dares complain about the Institute's tyranny. Meanwhile, the Institute's scientists refine their control over a strange force they call the Umbra, refining their tools and techniques so they can use the Umbra to steal energy from nearby stars to eternally sustain the Institute's domain.

But the Institute's control is not absolute. Decades ago, a cargo transport pilot crash-landed in a remote location on one of the Institute's many planets, and upon emerging from …