Master Mines

We’re digging RPGs

Misspent Youth: Witness the covers

Misspent Youth is a game, by me, that’s coming out at Gen Con 2008 in ashcan form. Here are the images from the cover, with the overall design concept by Joshua AC Newman, the art by Jennifer Rodgers, and execution by me (with frequent suggestions by Joshua et al.). You can click on the images for full-sized images so you can read the text.

I’m really happy and proud of this. The game rocks, too.


June 30, 2008 Posted by | Misspent Youth | , , | 5 Comments

MM Pulse Check


Since the changeover of moderators in April, we saw a push of posts and activity.  Penny, Giants, MY and Mecha are getting close to done.  Seiyuu has a developer.  D-Com and SKMAV are plodding along slowly (at least with what is on the MM site).

Are you getting what you need from Master Mines?  What could we be doing differently/better?

What do we currently offer each of the current designers that you don’t get anywhere else?

What aren’t you getting anywhere else that we could provide you to bring your game along?

June 28, 2008 Posted by | Group Feedback | 2 Comments

Seiyuu: Developer Call #1

As some of you may or may not know, Leonard Balsera (the “teflon brain” of Evil Hat Productions) has agreed to be my developer for Seiyuu. (Hurray!) What I was looking for was someone who had enough interest in the game that they could keep motivating me to work on it, who could discuss mechanical issues I was having (a weak point of mine), and who had enough general knowledge of anime that I wouldn’t constantly be explaining things. Lenny brings all of that, in spades.

We haven’t worked out all the details yet, but mostly this boils down to right now is two things:

  1. General ass-kicking for me to work on the game.
  2. Weekly(ish) Skype call to discuss current status and work through outstanding issues.

Last night was the first “Seiyuu developer call” (or SDC, as Perrin might call it), and it went really well. I was left with the following “homework”:

  1. Define a “mission statement” for the game – what I really want the game to be like.
  2. Finish breaking down the game into discrete concepts (using the “Roby method”) – this was half-complete as of last night.
  3. Take the resulting “outline” and reduce it to one (“the Lenny version”) that just handles the procedure of play.

I will attempt to make quick updates here either before each call, detailing what I’ve done, or after, summarizing where I’m going now.

June 25, 2008 Posted by | Seiyuu | 2 Comments

Back cover draft: thoughts?

You can see a first-draft of my attempt at a Misspent Youth back cover here. What do you think. Improvements? Suggestions? All are welcome.

June 23, 2008 Posted by | Misspent Youth | , , | 4 Comments

Misspent Youth layout procedes apace

Joshua AC Newman said, of my layout for Misspent Youth, “I’m really happy with it.” This is not all he said. There is some work to be done. But I’ve got this giddy, junior-high, “so-and-so said she likes you” thing going on right now.

Thank you, Master Minds!

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Misspent Youth | , , | Leave a comment

[Decommissioned] Arrows by Any Other Name

Quite a while ago, Rob Bohl commented that Battlebots, the term I was using for the protagonists in Decommissioned, was a TV show.  Since that time, I’ve been noodling over what to rename B-Bots.


This past weekend, I settled on something that drives back to the core of my corporate satire idea.  I’m currently digging on Drone.  I have considered adding an adjective of some kind at the front of the name, something alliterative or descriptive or just plain cool, but I haven’t settled on anything yet (Destruco Drone… War Drone… I dunno).  I do like the feeling of “drone” because it touches on the feeling of being manufactured for output instead of input, of being mindless.  Any ideas on Drones names out there?


The idea of a PC Drone then gave rise to thoughts further a-field.  What if there aren’t just “War Drones”, but also “Worker Bees”?  This of course, makes some logical sense.  Not only would a robot made for battle want freedom, maybe a robot built for lifting things or one created to weld stuff.  Now, I find myself at a crossroads. 


The game as originally conceived was short and sweet, simple and to the point.  You run, you fight, you “die”.  But what would a game about a Worker Bee?  Is that compelling emo porn?  Or does it present the player with an option that is interesting but leads to the “What do I do now?” problems?


Is this a good idea or does it dilute my focus?  I feel like it dilutes my focus, that this thought process might be best for future supplements or an entirely different game, but I don’t want to chuck it aside if someone finds it grabby.  What are your thoughts, Miners?

June 18, 2008 Posted by | D-Com | 5 Comments

May I Present Mecha v0.1

Okay everyone, here is the first beta test copy of my game.

With the release of this beta version, I have dropped the name Neoborn Genesis Honor Blade and have officially renamed it “Mecha.”  Kinda catchy I hope…

Anyone interested, please give the draft a read.  I welcome any and all feedback.

Mecha Version 0.1 

Edit: Made the link work and corrected a typo.

June 13, 2008 Posted by | Mecha | , , , | 2 Comments


Not ready to call for a Mastermines Unite! quite yet, but after voicing some of my fears to Matt last night, I decided the time has come for me to ask of you some help.

I am 95% finished the final beta draft of NGHB last night (sounds like I am a commitment phobe…final/beta/draft)  I just need to proofread it which I will be done with on Sunday come heck or high water.

Anyway…I want to send the draft out but my biggest concern right now is that I’m not explaning things well.  Does anyone have the time to go through a 55 page doc and just see if it makes sense?  I don’t need a playtest (not complaining mind you…) I just want to make sure that the words I used make sense and as Matt put it if I am explaning how to get from X to Y to Z that I haven’t unintentionally left out steps A, B, and C because I do them automatically.

If anyone is cool with it, can you comment here.  I know how to get ahold of everyone on the list.

June 12, 2008 Posted by | Mecha | 3 Comments

Neoborn Genesis Honor Blade…slowly…

Well I have been working to get the .5 draft of the game up and running.  Basically, the draft I have been working on, and part of why I have been so silent is that I am trying to make this a beta playtest draft.  I hope to have something soon.

June 11, 2008 Posted by | Mecha | 2 Comments

Production panic!

At Joshua AC Newman‘s suggestion, I checked with Publishers’ Graphics on when they’d need to have my PDFs by to have my books to me by August 7. This is going to make my timetable to get the books by Gen Con much tighter. I really need to kick my own ass to get shit done on time now. Shame on me.

I’m grateful to Joshua for thinking to make me ask this question. If the books are at Gen Con, it’s his “fault.”

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Misspent Youth | , , | 7 Comments