[New Release] Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Phrasebook in the ‘Verse

Gorramn Dictionary

Insult your enemies in magnificent style and learn brand new declarations of love! This comprehensive Firefly language guide and phrasebook takes in both the history of language in the ‘Verse and modern usage. Explore the cast’s challenges with Mandarin, get the inside scoop from the show’s language consultant, and learn everything from proverbs to put-downs! A must-have for all Browncoats.

You’ve heard me talking about this book before, but the big gorramn day is finally here. It’s the Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Phrasebook in the ‘Verse release day! Check out the reviews from ICV2.com and the San Francisco Book Review.

The book is a hardcover, fully-illustration reference guide that provides fans with an overview of the language. Words and their definitions relate to setting material found in the Firefly TV show. When I was selecting the words I paid careful attention to specific words and names, but I also chose common words and slang to paint a picture of the ‘Verse. The spelling variations I found during my analysis are also included as well. Members of the main cast, along with tips on how to speak like them, are each featured on their own page.

Additionally, we had the pleasure of featuring Jenny Lynn who was the show’s translator. You’ll get to read a fantastic interview, and dive into all of the English-to-Chinese translations from the show.

I hope you enjoy the latest addition to the Firefly universe. This project was a lot of fun for me, and I hope I get to do more of them. Shiny!

[New Games Release] Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell

Codex Infernus

I had the pleasure of helping develop the game world for Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell, which is a book about adventuring in a hell for the Savage Worlds system.

A holy warrior fighting back infernal beasts on the precipice of a fiery pit. Cloaked figures chanting an incantation to bring forth a nameless beast. A man standing at a crossroads bartering with a demonic temptress for fame and fortune; the price of which is his very soul.

Advisers to kings and queens, dictators and presidents, whispering lies at the behest of their demon lords with the fate of nations resting on whether or not the advice is heeded. A scientist examining a strange artifact found on a distant planet that, unbeknownst to him, opens a mysterious gate to a nightmarish dimension when a button is pushed.

These are just a sampling of the myriad images which come to mind when we think of Hell. Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell, brings those images to life and shows you how to plug them into your games, regardless of what genre you love to play!

Codex Infernus: The Savage Guide to Hell is now available for download on DriveThruRPG.com.

A Few Announcements, Sales, and Appurtenances

Friends, Romans, countryfolk… Okay, maybe this isn’t a stuffy or inspiring speech per say, but whenever I put on my PR hat it certainly feels that way! I have… WOW! Loads of announcements for you today, so bear with me.

Firstly, I’m going to be insufferable for a second. READY?!?!?

/begin self-promotion
Firefly Dictionary_CVR front new copy The Firefly: The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Dictionary in the ‘Verse releases on Tuesday, April 12th!

Plus, ICV2 reviewed the Firefly dictionary, so you can get a feel for what’s inside. Happy to answer your burning questions about my analysis and how this book came together. My editor was great!

/end self-promotion

On to the announcements!

  • Hosting Blog Interviews – I am going to get back into the habit of hosting three-to-five question interviews with other creators here on my blog. I definitely want to support other writers, artists, game designers, etc. but it’s hard to do that since my momentum is a bit upside down at the moment. What I want to do, however, is get away from the “Whaddya workin’ on?” questions and focus more on the people side of the equation, because if anything it shows how every writer is different. More on this in a few weeks or so.
  • Dinner and Dice: a Gaming Cookbook is in Print!Dinner and Dice: a Gaming Cookbook is a collection of recipes and first person game anecdotes from game industry professionals. Originally produced as a stretch goal for the Carolina Game Tables Kickstarter, you will find appetizers, entrees, and desserts from the people who make the games you love! I hope you enjoy this cookbook, and give it a honest review.
  • Upside Down Kickstarter – Wow, wow, wow! So, we were just shy of reaching our last stretch goal, but we were backed by 1,399 stellar individuals. Now that the Kickstarter is over, we’re focusing on finishing up the collection and working on the logistics of fulfillment. I’m happy that Apex is turning out to be a great partner, and I’m going to continue being a part of this to ensure they get the help they need. After all, that’s a LOT of backers to deliver to!
  • Meet Your Cortex Plus Action Developer – Margaret Weis Productions announced an upcoming Kickstarter for two Cortex Plus corebooks. I am developing the Cortex Plus Action corebook. Huzzah!
  • SALE! 40% Spring Cleaning Sale on the Firefly RPG line – Itchin’ to get your hands on a copy of the Firefly RPG corebook in hardcover? MWP is having a BIG sale this weekend on the entire line; you can check out the sale on the MWP website. Choose from the corebook and supplements like Things Don’t Go Smooth.
  • Unknown Armies WHAT? – The Unknown Armies 3rd Edition Kickstarter launched today, and I’m happy to mention I’m one of the writers who contributed to these three books. Greg Stolze and Cam Banks co-developed the… I hope you enjoy this new edition of Unknown Armies!

Outside of these announcements, I’m sorry I haven’t updated my project statuses yet. The overall momentum is moving in the right direction, but that also means balls are up and down and sideways and rolling backwards and pitched forward. I DO love my job, and I’m hoping one day I’ll get to the point where PR isn’t such a chore, but for now I’ve lit a fire under my butt and it’s all systems go, go, GO!

Announcing our Kickstarter for a Trope-Smashing Anthology


Today, Hugo-nominated Apex Book Company is pleased to announce the launch of a Kickstarter for Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling. The anthology’s concept highlights the long-standing tradition of writers who tackle tired tropes or clichés prevalent in popular media and twist them to tell fresh and interesting stories.

Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates. Each author in this collection has examined a specific trope or cliché that includes: Chainmaille Bikini, The Black Man Dies First, Superhero Had a Crappy Childhood, Yellow Peril, and The Chosen One.

The anthology features cover art by award-winning artist Galen Dara, and includes speculative stories from Maurice Broaddus, Anton Strout, Shanna Germain, Sara Harvey, Delilah Dawson, John Hornor Jacobs, Rahul Kanakia, Alethea Kontis, Haralambi Markov, Sunil Patel, Kat Richardson, Nisi Shawl, Alyssa Wong, and many others.

In addition to fiction, planned stretch goals will further enhance the collection’s theme and presentation by adding essays about tropes and clichés. Backers may also add additional books and a subscription to Apex Magazine to further support Apex Book Company and ensure the success of this unique collection.

To find out more about Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, be sure to watch for milestone-related updates from the editors on the Kickstarter at Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling Kickstarter or on the Apex Book Company website at www.apexbookcompany.com.

[New Games Release] Battle for the Undercity for D&D 5E

Battle for the Undercity

Today, I am pleased to announce the release of Battle for the Undercity, a D&D 5th Edition adventure I designed and wrote for a DM’s use in any Forgotten Realms™ campaign. Rules and editing were provided by Scarred Lands developer Scott Holden. This adventure, which is available on the new www.dmsguild.com website, would not have been possible without Wizards of the Coast’s recent announcement.

Despite wearing multiple hats in the gaming industry for over a decade, this adventure is my first foray into writing for Dungeons and Dragons, and I had a lot of fun designing it and the monster variants. The adventure is right in line with my design philosophy as a writer and gamer myself: providing value, which is what (I hope!) is reflected in the final result. So, for my first adventure I wanted to write something that could be run in any city found in the Forgotten RealmsTM with an underlying theme with a variable mood that can be amplified or downplayed according to the locations and characters the party encounters. Designing locations, characters, monster variants, plots… These sorts of things come very easily to me, which means my writing output is all that much faster, when the structure is established. (GAH! As I’m writing this, I’m getting all excited designing a new, experimental hybrid structure… DOWN BRAIN BUNNIES, DOWN!)

Regardless, I feel every writer (aspiring or established) benefits from the quality and structure of the existing D&D 5E material–and that is a no b.s. comment. I wouldn’t have written an adventure that has no guarantee of benefiting me creatively or professionally if I wasn’t impressed with it, and I feel it’s easier to manage expectations based on pre-existing material. My decisions to do future adventures and material will depend upon sales, because I do need to make up costs in order for this to be viable since I’m writing full-time. ‘Course, writing this wouldn’t have been possible without playing 5E myself, since this is a different style of game than what I normally work on.

Battle for the Undercity takes place underground in a section of a major city. The party will navigate sewers, worked tunnels, forgotten crypts, and freshly dug passageways to fend off adversaries in order to rescue hostages and return them safely to the surface unharmed. Can your party emerge victorious and save the day?

In this adventure you will find:

  • Adventure background and hooks
  • Map to the Undercity
  • Detailed location guide
  • Suggestions to increase and decrease the Challenge Rating
  • Advice to customize the adventure to your party
  • New! Crimson Coins thieves’ faction and characters
  • New! Ten Legs tribe, Goblin Beast-Master, and Beast-Rider monster variants
  • New! Corrupted Shield-Guardian monster variant
  • New! Ancient Revenant monster variant

This adventure includes three, separate three-to-four hour long missions that can be run in any order, depending upon the needs and composition of your party members. While this was designed as an adventure module for 7th- to 9th-level characters to be run in the recommended timeframe, you will find notes to adjust the missions to increase or decrease their difficulty and length.

If you’re interested in supporting my work, buy a copy of Battle for the Undercity.

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