ReadWriteRoll

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ReadWriteRoll is a system for readers, writers, and roleplayers who love telling stories with friends! It combines familiar d20-style mechanics with story game sensibilities to create a simple system designed around the way stories are constructed.

The core mechanic is simple – roll a d20, add modifiers, and determine if the total is high or low, even or odd. If the total is high, you succeed! If it’s low, you fail. If the total is an even number, you narrate your success or failure. If the total is odd, the gamemaster or your opponent gets to describe you success or failure.

The game also uses risk dice, polyhedrals from a d4 to d12 that allow you to influence your level of success or failure. The bigger the die type, the bigger the risk. The bigger the risk, the greater your possible success — and the larger the consequences for failure!

ReadWriteRoll is divided into three sections:

  • The first helps you to determine the type of story you want to tell, and allows the gamemaster to put together a setting alone or collaboratively with the rest of the group.
  • The second section is character creation, so you can create the protagonists, antagonists, and supporting cast needed to populate your story!
  • The final section contains the rules, everything you need to play the game and tell your story.
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STORY STRUCTURE is now a Silver Best Seller

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Download your copy now!

We all know that stories need a beginning, a middle, and an end. Hero goes on quest, hero faces obstacles, hero completes quest. Lovers fall in love, antagonist keeps lovers apart, lovers end up together. Things beyond the protagonist’s control change, the protagonist faces adversity, the protagonist learns to adapt and achieves greatness. On that basic structure writers and storytellers throughout the ages have woven variations and created masterpieces. We keep coming back to the same foundations today for one very good reason: those structures are versatile and continue to work.

This book will help you to leverage basic story structure and use it to your advantage. You’ll be able to say what you want while keeping your audience engaged. The three-act structure and its variations will be discussed in detail, along ways this structure can be expanded beyond a single story and into a series or campaign. In the end, you’ll have new tools in your storytelling toolbox, along with the knowledge of how and when to use them in your own creative works.

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Story Design: The Duel

STORY DESIGN DUELHave you ever wanted more story in your roleplaying game stories?

What you’re about to read isn’t a story unto itself. It’s not a finely polished tabletop roleplaying game adventure. It’s a template for a particular kind of story. It goes over the three-act structure for that plot type, and covers what has to happen in the beginning, the middle, and the end. It explains the sorts of things that you need to prepare before you start developing the story, and the things that you need to craft and develop after you’ve got the blueprint for your specific story put together. This book is designed to help you plan how to tell a rivalry story effectively, with the least amount of work possible. Because it’s all about story, it is system-agnostic and useable with any genre or setting.

While this is a complete book unto itself, it’s also based on concepts explored in Story Structure for Writers and Roleplayers, also published by Dancing Light Press.  It’s a big book that goes into greater detail on how to get the most out of the three-act structure, as well as developing a three-phase series (campaign, if you prefer) with a clear beginning, middle, and end. If you want to use your favorite roleplaying game system to tell stories with more depth than kill monster, get treasure, repeat (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it is worth looking into.

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The Promise of Science Fiction: Starship Tyche Introduction

Starship Tyche 2e

The Promise of Science Fiction

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.“

William Shakespeare

The promise of science fiction doesn’t lie with predicting the future. It’s not about thinking up whatever new technology is going to save the world or, possibly, destroy it. The reason I’ve always been draw to a certain type of science fiction is because, at its core, it’s part of a larger conversation. Science fiction is a way to talk about difficult things in a reasonably safe way.

This is a game about telling science fiction stories with friends, but what I want it to be is a way to discuss current events. We can fictionalize the things that are going on in the news. New names and faces can be attached to the people and events and movements that terrify us. Science fiction, telling stories, playing a game, can allow us to allegorically deal with problems that we can’t quite get our heads around in the real world.

Continue reading

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Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers

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Stephen King – Top 20 Rules for Writers

1. First write for yourself, and then worry about the audience. “When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.”

2. Don’t use passive voice. “Timid writers like passive verbs for the same reason that timid lovers like passive partners. The passive voice is safe.”

3. Avoid adverbs. “The adverb is not your friend.”

4. Avoid adverbs, especially after “he said” and “she said.”

5. But don’t obsess over perfect grammar. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.”

6. The magic is in you. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing.”

7. Read, read, read. ”If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”

8. Don’t worry about making other people happy. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

9. Turn off the TV. “TV—while working out or anywhere else—really is about the last thing an aspiring writer needs.”

10. You have three months. “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

11. There are two secrets to success. “I stayed physical healthy, and I stayed married.”

12. Write one word at a time. “Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ the work is always accomplished one word at a time.”

13. Eliminate distraction. “There’s should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with.”

14. Stick to your own style. “One cannot imitate a writer’s approach to a particular genre, no matter how simple what that writer is doing may seem.”

15. Dig. “Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground intact as possible.”

16. Take a break. “You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”

17. Leave out the boring parts and kill your darlings. “(kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.)”

18. The research shouldn’t overshadow the story. “Remember that word back. That’s where the research belongs: as far in the background and the back story as you can get it.”

19. You become a writer simply by reading and writing. “You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself.”

20. Writing is about getting happy. “Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid or making friends. Writing is magic, as much as the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.”

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Dancing Lights Press Review Policy

DANCING LIGHTS PRESS

Dancing Lights Press Review Policy

The following is the official review policy for Dancing Lights Press. Review copies of Dancing Lights Press titles are available upon request. Contact me and tell me what product you would like a copy of, and a link to where your reviews regularly appear. If you are a legitimate reviewer and not just someone trying to score free stuff, I’ll send you a link to download the requested PDF from DriveThruRPG.

Content, Images, and Links

The content of your review is entirely up to you — for me to make suggestions would be unethical. I do request is that you use one of the official graphics for the product if available, and link either to the main page of the Dancing Lights Press website or the official Dancing Lights Press page at DriveThruRPG.  If you share a link to where the finished review appears, I will likely give you some link love on the website and across social media.

Reviews of Other Products

I do not review books, games, or other products. Dancing Lights Press does not post reviews for any products, including my own, on this website. For legal and ethical reasons I cannot review or critique your manuscript, novel, or game.

 

Story Design: The Mystery

STORY DESIGN MYSTERYHave you ever wanted more story in your roleplaying game stories?

What you’re about to read isn’t a story unto itself. It’s not a finely polished tabletop roleplaying game adventure. It’s a template for a particular kind of story. It goes over the three-act structure for that plot type, and covers what has to happen in the beginning, the middle, and the end. It explains the sorts of things that you need to prepare before you start developing the story, and the things that you need to craft and develop after you’ve got the blueprint for your specific story put together. This book is designed to help you plan how to tell a mystery story effectively, with the least amount of work possible. Because it’s all about story, it is system-agnostic and useable with any genre or setting.

While this is a complete book unto itself, it’s also based on concepts explored in Story Structure for Writers and Roleplayers, also published by Dancing Light Press.  It’s a big book that goes into greater detail on how to get the most out of the three-act structure, as well as developing a three-phase series (campaign, if you prefer) with a clear beginning, middle, and end. If you want to use your favorite roleplaying game system to tell stories with more depth than kill monster, get treasure, repeat (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it is worth looking into.

This book is also part of the Story Design Bundle – buy the whole series and save 20%

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