Developing the Schlock Mercenary Role-Playing Game

Alan Bahr and I are designing and developing the Schlock Mercenary Role-Playing Game. I've mentioned this project before. It's something we've had in the works since late fall of 2013, and it's coming along nicely.

If it's something you're interested in, you can learn more over at, and you can follow our progress  via the Schlocktroops RSS feed. We hope to Kickstart the game during the first half of 2015, and ship it in time for Christmas of that year, but our production plan may change in the next six months as we put the last of the pieces in place.

(Post mirrored from

Guardians of the Galaxy takes my top spot

I am, in a word, amazed.

Guardians of the Galaxy accomplished what The Avengers accomplished, and it did it without requiring four movies of character development. The filmmakers delivered an ensemble superhero space-opera, gave us five fully fleshed-out characters, and had us laughing and cheering (and stoically holding back tears) through the whole film.

This is one of those films I want to watch again, only with a notebook. I want to to study it and figure out how they did what they did. Lots of it was brilliant writing, but the actors sold those parts to me, and the director, the editors, and the huge crew of technical wizards sold me the whole universe, and a really rollicking story.

I had a blast. So yes, it takes my #1 slot for the year, and I don't expect it to be displaced.

My eleven-year-old son also heartily recommends it. He said, and I quote, "this is the best movie," jaw agape, at least twice during the film. He was cheering for the characters in the final scenes. I had to shush him, because he was starting to cheer louder than the other people in the theater.  


[UPDATE:] As was pointed out to me on the Twitter, and I quote:

@ajchid: You liked the hilarious space opera about a group of heroic ruffians from diverse, morally ambiguous backgrounds? Hmm...

If you're at this website reading this review because you read Schlock Mercenary, and you think that movies its creator enjoys might also tickle your fancy, there is a reasonable chance that you will love Guardians of the Galaxy because it scratches your "I want a Schlock Mercenary movie" itch. Assuming you have such an itch.

I don't see Schlock Mercenary in Guardians of the Galaxy, but that's the same as me being able to immediately recognize my house in a neighborhood full of similarly-built houses -- Schlock Mercenary is where I live, and Guardians of the Galaxy is a place where Marvel Studios invited me over for a party. 

(Oh, yeah. Sergeant Schlock can totally be described as a blobby cross between Groot and Rocket, with "I want to eat that" substituted for "I want to steal that.")

Convention Banner!

As I lamented on Twitter, designing convention banners is like building a ten-foot-tall book cover out of other book covers and ego.

Here, then, is the result:

If you're at GenCon Indy, a couple of weeks from now, you can find me in front of this, and between Jim Zub and Tracy Hickman. 

Gonna be a busy week...

Sandra and I had our usual planning meeting, and she went all "art director" on me and outlined this week's tasks:

  • Design new banners for the GenCon booth
  • Write & illustrate two weeks of Schlock Mercenary
  • Finish my two pages of the Massively Parallel bonus story

Here are the things she left off the list:

  • See Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Review it
  • See it again, because I hope it's that good
  • Dress in steamy sorts of clothes and hit Salt City Steamfest for an afternoon and evening
  • Eat sushi with our editor friend who is coming to town
  • Sleep
  • Chase distracting things into the weeds. Catch them. Toy with them. Eat them. Repeat.

Wish me luck. I can already see rustling in the weeds.

This Actually (should have) Happened

Actual behind-the-scenes from LUCY.

MORGAN FREEMAN: It has been estimated that human beings only use 100% of their brains.

LUC BESSON: CUT! Mister Freeman, it says 10%.

MORGAN FREEMAN: But... that's ridiculous. Nobody still believes that.

LUC BESSON: The script says 10%.

MORGAN FREEMAN: I'm not sure I can sell that line. I rather doubt anyone can sell that line. Perhaps 90%, but ten?

LUC BESSON: How's this? Your pay goes up by 10% for every 10% below 100% you're able to sell me.


LUC BESSON: I'm serious.

MORGAN FREEMAN: It has been estimated, and subsequently proven through rigorous experimentation, that human beings use NEGATIVE ONE THOUSAND PERCENT of their brains...


(My review of Lucy is here)

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