Posts Tagged ‘don’t rest your head’
I’m looking over the 35 pitches we have right now for Don’t Hack This Game. We’ve got some great stuff, and I’m pretty excited to work on this project.
There’s just one thing: nearly all of them are hacks that put the Don’t Rest Your Head engine into a different setting & twist the mechanics. We want those, but we also want the book to encompass more than that.
The original pitch window closes tonight: Wednesday, January 4th, at 11:59pm Pacific Time. But for things that aren’t porting DRYH to other settings or similar, we’re extending the pitch window by one week: Wednesday, January 11th, at 11:59pm Pacific Time.
Here are the sort of questions we want Don’t Hack This Game to answer:
- How can DRYH be used as a subsystem for other games?
- What new sub-systems could DRYH acquire to add another dimension to the game?
- What should every DRYH GM know about how to make the game shine in a particular way?
- What do pre-written DRYH adventures look like?
If you have an article that fits one of those questions or something like it, you have another week to pitch to us! Yay, pitches!
Already Written About DRYH?
Since the game’s been around for years, loads of people have written ideas on blogs, forums, etc. If you’re one of those people, and you think it’s worth being in Don’t Hack This Game, listen up!
We’ll be willing to take a small number of reprinted material. Payment for reprints is one and a half cents a word; otherwise, payment details are the same.
Alternatively, if you think you’ve written something that would be good, but worth rewriting for book publication, shoot us a line and we might accept it as a new article (depending on the amount of work done).
Either way, drop me a line at email@example.com and we’ll look at each on a case-by-case basis.
Fred Hicks and I have worked together on a few mad ideas, but the one we’re going to talk about today may be the maddest of them all! One of Evil Hat’s earliest games, Don’t Rest Your Head, has been out for five years now, and people have been doing all sorts of crazy hacks with it in that time. With its simple engine of exhaustion & madness, it’s inspired a lot of you awesome folks to do crazy-awesome things with it.
That’s the book we want to make, the next chapter in the Don’t Rest Your Head line: Don’t Hack This Game. And because you inspired it, we want you to be a part of it.
Articles We’re Looking For
We are looking for articles on hacking Don’t Rest Your Head’s system (exhaustion, madness, dice pools, responses, questionnaire, etc.), existing setting, new settings & rules supporting them, GM tricks, and so on. Articles may not be based on other intellectual property (so we can’t take your Shadowrun hack, but we could a generic or original cyberpunk-with-magic one).
Each article should be 1000-2000 words long.
Please read Fred’s post about hacking the dice pools in DRYH, as that’ll help understand where we see the handles in the game:
(You’re free to post comments if you disagree, by the way! We welcome conversation.)
You may also want to grab the free DRYH adventure, The Bad Man. It contains revised rules (in condensed form) for the game, notably the PvP & helping rules:
Pitching Us Ideas & Deadlines
If you have an article idea, send Ryan Macklin (firstname.lastname@example.org) the following information:
- Topic or subject of the article, summarized in 200 words or less
- Expected length of article (i.e. a ballpark between 1000 and 2000 words)
- Full name and contact information (e-mail address, etc).
- A brief background of past game or hobby writing experience or publications, if any
You may submit up to five proposals, although in most cases only one proposal will be accepted. Multiple proposals may be submitted in a single e-mail; in this case, contact info and background info only need to be included once. Submit your proposals in the body of the email, not as an attachment.
The deadline for proposals is Wednesday, January 4th, 2012. If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified within 7 days after the close of the open call window. Once you know if your proposal is accepted, you will have until Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 to submit your completed draft.
(Edit: as we’ve extended the pitch window for some pitches, our schedule will be shifting around. If we have a later due date, you’ll be informed when you receive our greenlight.)
We’ll turn that around within four weeks, and if there’s anything we need to have you revise, you’ll get notes from us with expectation of four weeks to turn it around.
Compensation for articles is 5 cents per word, 50% upon acceptance of your completed draft & 50% upon publication. You will also receive a copy of the final product and, of course, credit for your article.
If your article is accepted for publication, you’ll be licensing it to Evil Hat Productions for publication. That means you’ll own your work, but Evil Hat gets to publish it in Don’t Hack This Game first.
After six months, you may publish your article on your blog or wherever, so long as it’s non-commercial (otherwise, you’re using Evil Hat’s IP, Don’t Rest Your Head, without authorization). Naturally, you can contact us about this if that’s an issue.
What “acceptance” means: Your article is not considered accepted until we receive your draft and you have made any revisions we call for. Once we receive that and do a final review, we’ll let you know if it’s accepted and give you a contract for the work.
We are still currently evaluating our publishing options for this product, whether this will be electronic-only or electronic & print.
For More Information
If you have a question, you can either comment on this blog post, or you can email the anthology’s editor, Ryan Macklin, at email@example.com.
All queries/pitches will be via email if you wish for a response. If you do it over Twitter or Facebook or whatever, Ryan will roll his eyes at yet another writer who can’t follow directions, and ignore it. :)
One of the interesting things about Don’t Rest Your Head is the GM dynamic. 90% of the GM’s decisions points & influence are narrative, as there’s only one mechanic to immediately press: how much Pain dice is rolled in a moment.
Normally, that’s determined by the sort of threat you have in play (or, if you’re like me, you decide how much you want to throw this beat, and adjust the moment accordingly by adding or attracting to the scene). But let’s talk modifiers!
Because DRYH is narrative in focus, and because mechanics make tactile elements of the world, you might want to show how other things are influencing the moment. When you do so, link the mechanical effect & narrative trigger together in your description.
I came up with this a few years back entirely on accident. When I first ran The Bad Man, one of the kids ran off and bumped into a Nightmare. I said, when the conflict went to dice, “So, that’s six Pain for this guy. Hey, you’re alone right? Awesome. It’s scary to be alone. That’s two more Pain.” The look of horror on the player’s face was pretty fucking sweet. So I kept this in my bag o’ GM tricks.
The trigger could be anything. “Wait, you guys are standing on cobblestones? Yeah, that’s a couple more Pain.” or “There’s a raven watching you from the rooftops. So this is three Pain less.” When you do this, you create two things: a sense that the world is bigger and stranger than the immediate conflict, and that there’s mystery all around. What’s up with the cobblestones? When do ravens make things easier? Can I trust that?
Be as consistent as makes sense, and keep in mind that cause & effect aren’t always direct or constant. After all, this is the Mad City…
 A future post
Folks! New stuff!
Years and years ago, I did a little Don’t Rest Your Head scenario at an EndGame Oakland mini-con called “The Bad Man”, one where you were a bunch of first graders in the Mad City. It was an experiment where I rewrote the character creation setup to have different questions & language for the kids. And it was a rousing success!
Fred Hicks & I shot back and forth on it. He rewrote bits of it, and he and I did up a new version of the helping & PVP rules. We’ve run it a few times since, and totally love it.
That was back in 2008. Then a little project call The Dresden Files ate our faces.
But today, we have spruced up the idea and released it for free…including the one-page version of the Don’t Rest Your Head rules. Free. You can get it from DriveThruRPG.
- One-page version of the rules
- One-page character questionnaire
- One-page character sheet/reference
- One-page setting write up, with bits on the right-hand side to rip up for use in play
Which, you know, you could download to see more of. :)
We didn’t write how to run this scenario intentionally — I run it differently every time, though I always start out just as the handouts say: I read it, we do character creation, and we talk about how they enter the Mad City. I may blog about the GMing more, and maybe not; there’s fruitfulness in discovering how to do something yourself when it comes to GMing.
Now, you might ask: why are Fred & I releasing this now, and for free? Read this post of Fred’s, and stay tuned…