The World Of Shells - A GM report


The World Of Shells - A GM report

A shortish report, Wherein Muz talks a little bit about setting personal goals and puts out a call for some help needed on some high profile projects.


For the past week or so, I've been on the Low-DB diet, although for a decent reason. Toady is my birthday, and I had promised myself that I would finish my first novel by today. I've been published before, but this is my first actual novel. This last week or so has been kinda wild, and considering that I had a good friend from out of town show up and rob me of a day and a half of time (we went and shot machine guns), I managed to put 40,000 words on the novel. It's finally done, after twenty years or so worth of rewrites and reboots.

Why so many reboots? Well, to be completely honest, my writing has gotten a lot better since ack then, and my storytelling had improved rather drastically as well. So every time that i was reading old work, i would groan and try to redo it and make it better. That said, I think that one of the big reasons that my skill has gotten better is because of this club. Between the friendly competition of regular events and the ACC to the collaborative things like running events and penning stories for the vendettas, there was certainly no lack of experience to be had.

So, here's the teachable moment to this. If I hadn't made the committment to myself that I would be done with this by today, I very well could have sat on it and continually rewritten it until I died. The important part is that I set that goal. Not that someone else did. You can always tell someone else off. It's much harder to fail your own expectations. You'll work double hard to try to get beyond those, and there is a fair bit of pride in doing it.

How does that relate to the DB? Infinitely. It's a pretty common thing to go to your Quaestor, your Consul, the DC to ask for work to do. It's an easy question to ask, and it's easy to get an actuial gig to do. It's also very easy to forget about the job, or have real life blossom up and take away the time that you need to do it. We've all been there. That's life.

That's only easy because it's an external goal. You're not failing yourself, you're failing some guy that you've never met in the real world, and likely won't. The penalty for failing is only that you'll not get the promotion or medal that you would have if you had completed the work. It's all too common for someone to beg work off of us as DCers, and only get one update, maybe two, then never hear back on the project again. It's a damned shame, because those projects still need to get done, and letting it linger in development hell for that long only stalls them out and keeps them from getting done sooner.

The flip side of that is that if you invest yourself in such a thing, if you tell yourself that you'll be getting your part done, regardless, there's a much higher chance of it getting done. And then, that previously mentioned sense of acheivement will actually trump the cool awards and promotions that you may score from actually doing the work.

So now, the opportunity.

I need graphics people. The Alchemy Guide and the Hand to Hand combat guide are both in need of some graphics so that we can release them. If you want to leave a pretty big mark on the way that the DB handles combat or alchemy, shoot me an email. It'll be fun work, and rewarded fairly nicely. Also, if you have any sort of comic-drawing skill, you should email me for a gig that will take up a lot of time, but get you mad exposure and plentiful awards.


It's worth reminding that there are some specific rules for the ACC ladder under fading light. There's been too many disqualifications for my tastes, and all of them have been avoidable. 1000 words is the hard limit, just as a reminder. Hit preview and adjust accordingly. I absolutely HATE it when people work hard, then lose on a technicality like that.

Also, I'd like to take a moment to thank those of you who have taken part in the ACC so far. There's been a lot of great work going on there, and the very nature of the 'TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES' ACC can be disgruntling. That said, keep putting up your best work, and you'll have made the most important victory, and that's the victory over the voice that tells you that you shouldn't bother.


As we're looking at the next Great Jedi War (Korriban!), and Raken, Sarin adn I are plotting the story, There's a discussion piece that is of concern. Frankly, we're running a little late, on account of all the Crusade/Fading Light goodness. It's taking us off the normal work of getting the GJW sorted. While we're trying not to let it throw us off our game too much, the lack of time may have a repercussion on whether or not we have a comic book for this war. I know that in the past, people have said that it's not a big deal, but those voices have been the sort of people who were going to read the big fiction anyway.

Since Jamez sorted out how to run Discourse comments and discussions off of our news posts (Wooo JAmez!), you guys should all be able to weigh in on whether or not you think it is important or not.


In the past few weeks, I've been taking an hour here and there and doing character images for what seems to be random people. You can check out the video made on youtube where I made Brimstone's avatar here:

Some folks have asked me what it takes to get one of these done for themselves. There's no real requirement (aside from the Guardian/Defender rank), but a couple bits of information will be what i ask from you before i even add you to my queue: 1.) Do you have a reference image and 2.) any distinguishing marks.

What I am really asking for is a character description here. What color eyes/hair, how the face looks. A few people have said 'It looks like me, here's my picture', and that is awesome, making it very easy for me. That said, if you shoot me a picture of a video game character and ask for a little scar to differentiate, I'm probably either not going to take you serious or ask you to change your mind. Keep in mind that every one of these that I do is about an hour or two of my own time. When I was doing professional graphics work, the company was billing my time out at $35/hr. You're getting it for free. Please be respectful of that. ;)


Ask the GM Time!

Miya asks "When writing fiction for a promotion, is word count really all that matters, or will the members it is sent to actually take the time to read what you send them?"

Word count is important for logistics, but you should always write as if the person is going to actually read the work. I know it's been a while since I was Quaestor, but I read every one of them, and most of the leaders I talk with on a regular basis agree that they do, too. But don't let that discourage you, or scare you into not doing it. We will try to help you improve your writing, for future work. It's a win-win.

Andrelious asks "In terms of the galactic economy, how rich is the Brotherhood?"

In short, as rich as any other empire that spanned as many planets as we do. I mean, if you look at it from a realistic model, the Brotherhood survives kinda like the united states does. The clans and houses pay something to Antei, and they get services and such in return. The Brotherhood itself does things that the smaller (and often more discreet) couldn't really afford without help, like build full-bore shipyards, and provide training and troops, recruitment efforts in the core, et cetera. We're not rich for the sake of rich, like the banking clans or conspicuous with out wealth, but we're not scraping by and feeding our people canned beans, either.

Malik asks "Dear AskTheGM, why are you writing a report on your birthday? Shouldn't you be taking a day off?"

Probably. That said, since I have been working on my book constantly the last bit, and my two real jobs had crushed my face all last month, I felt guilty. Have a Dark Cross. :P



• Set your own goals!

• Can you do graphics? Muz Needs You.

• It's Muz's Birthday.

• Avatars are cool.

• Miya, Lenzar and Malik all get DCs for Ask The GM.

And that is about all for this time. Have fun out there!