Oct 29 2018
The Bully Pulpit team will be in New Jersey this week for Metatopia 2018 and we hope to see you there! We’ll be running playtests of Fiasco in a Box (focusing on people who’ve never played Fiasco before, ideally) and participating in a number of panels. Please join us and ask questions! The panel descriptions are below.
If you’d like to meet with Steve, Jason, or Alex at the show, let us know and we’ll make time where we can in our schedules.
D008: “Now What?” presented by Steve Segedy, Christopher Badell, Mark Richardson, Cat Tobin. Once you’ve created a game, what are your options for getting it out into the world? Come ask questions and find out about printing, distribution, and fulfillment options for independent designers and small publishers. We could also include discussion of Kickstarter, BackerKit, contracts, licensing, etc. Friday, 12:00PM – 1:00PM;
D014: “Kickstarting in 2019” presented by Chandler Copenhaver, Steve Segedy. Kickstarter today is a different animal than it was a year or five years ago. Let’s talk about the things you need to know if you’re launching a campaign next year. Friday, 2:00PM – 3:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D020: “LARP for Tabletop Designers, Tabletop for LARP Designers” presented by Jason Morningstar, Jay Treat, Jacqueline Bryk, Tim Hutchings, Anna Kreider. Live action role playing offers all sorts of interesting insights and techniques that are ripe for poaching for tabletop games – and vice versa. We’ll discuss the affinities, differences, and edge cases in these related mediums. Hopefully you will leave with some new ideas, regardless of which design space you think you operate in. Friday, 4:00PM – 5:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D025: “So You Want To Be A Good Male Ally” presented by Jason Morningstar, Rob Donoghue, Jonathan Gilmour, Brand Robins. Have you heard your fellow designers and players speaking out against sexism and harassment in gaming and wondered what you could do as a man to help? Join us for a lively and surprising conversation about being a better ally. Friday, 6:00PM – 7:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D027: “Golden Cobra Announcement” presented by Jason Morningstar. The Golden Cobra Challenge is a friendly contest open to anyone interested in writing and playing freeform games that ran through the month of October. Now we’re ready to discuss our methodology, submission trends, and what we’ve learned about freeform in the process. And, of course, announce the winners! Join us for an informal discussion and awards ceremony. The winning games will be offered throughout METATOPIA, so come play with the judges as well. Friday, 8:00PM – 9:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D059: “Immersive Theater, Interactive Theater and Public Play: What We Can Steal” presented by Jason Morningstar, Nicholas Fortugno, Amy Ashton, Marshall Bradshaw. Immersive theater, interactive theater, and public games all offer weird untapped potential for designers of all kinds of games. We’ve assembled a panel of experts in these disciplines that are adjacent to our own, and we’ll see what we can learn and borrow from them. Saturday, 7:00PM – 8:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
D074: “Designing RPGs With Safety Tools Included” presented by Philip Vecchione, Senda Linaugh, Alexzandra Roberts. Let’s talk about integrating safety tools into your design process from the foundation. Yes, the x-card is valuable. Let’s talk about design that builds the next generation of tools in from the beginning. Sunday, 12:00PM – 1:00PM; Serious, All Ages.
Jul 18 2018
Have your friends, family, coworkers, and society at large been jealous that you jumped on the coolest Kickstarter ever when they didn’t? Be a kind human and tell them to Pre-order the game on BackerKit! Everyone will probably be eternally grateful.
If you have any questions about the pre-order process, feel free to drop us a line!
Jun 23 2018
We’re back from Origins 2018 and we had a great time! Origins is always a fun, friendly show, but this year we tried a few new things and we’re very excited about how it all turned out!
BPG Demo Booth
As a first this year we went the extra step of having our very own demo booth! This was a lot of work, but also very rewarding. We felt extremely legit, had a place to hang out and hob-nob with friends and fellow designers, and we had the chance to demo all our games to interested and interesting people. We still sold through Indie Press Revolution as usual, but they were right around the corner—and our presence really drove sales. IPR sold out of Fiasco, The Warren, and Night Witches pretty fast. It was really fun to show off our games, including Star Crossed—we brought a tumbling block tower and asked Kickstarter backers to sign it!
People were eager to learn more about what we are doing with Fiasco, and the reaction was universally positive. We left Origins more excited than ever about the revision. we’ll lay out more details about it very soon, and we’re anxious to hear what you all think. Briefly, we’re refactoring the game to make it play faster and be more accessible—the new version will retain the mechanical structure of the original game (why mess with that?) while streamlining play and creating new and weird opportunities for Fiasco enthusiasts to do their thing.
You didn’t even know this was a thing yet, but we’re also working on a new version of the Shab-al-Hiri Roach. At Origins we also met with our friend Jay Treat, who is taking a strange and contradictory pile of notes and using them to revise our oldest published game. Now called simply The Roach, it will be a fun and engaging social deduction party game with all the academic horror and black humor you’d expect. Looking back on the original game is both instructive and terrifying—as written, it takes about six hours to play. The new version will shave at least five hours off that, while delivering the same horrible and hilarious time.
Ghost Court Improv!
One more really cool thing that happened at Origins: TBD Improv of Columbus put on a Ghost Court show, which was literally just playing Ghost Court on stage (with extra… singing?), and Jason got to play the bailiff. It was surreal and hilarious.
All in all it was a pretty great show and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year, and sharing more about these cool new projects soon!
May 30 2018
Visit us at the Indie Press Revolution Megabooth
We’ll be there with Pelgrane Press, Evil Hat Productions, and John Wick Presents, showing off some of our games. Want to know more about Fiasco, First Ride / Last Ride, Ghost Court, Goth Court, JUGGERNAUT, Night Witches, The Skeletons, or The Warren? We’ll be happy to show them off, and they’ll all be available for sale at the IPR section of the booth!
We will also be demoing our hugely successful Kickstarter game Star Crossed and a work-in-progress for a new Fiasco project.
We’re also sponsoring a Live, Improvised, Musical Presentation of Ghost Court! It’s the live-action game of undead courtroom dramedy as you’ve never seen it before. See you there Friday evening at 8! The venue is just a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive from the convention centre.
Seating is cabaret-style; enjoy a meal, a drink, and what is sure to be an incredible show!
May 16 2018
Thanks to your generous support, Star Crossed passed its funding goal with flying colours.
We are floored by the outpouring of support our two-player game of forbidden love has inspired. Excuse us for the next few months while we keep our heads down with production, printing, and fulfillment.
Missed out on the campaign? Join our monthly-ish newsletter to stay in the loop on our plans for pre-orders and distribution!
With infinite gratitude,
— The Bully Pulpit Team
Apr 10 2018
Star Crossed is now LIVE on Kickstarter!
Be the first to get this hotly anticipated two player game of forbidden love.
Develop characters who are irresistibly drawn to each other.
Build a world that keeps them apart.
Pull from the tower to find out what happens.
The Beloved Edition is a work of art – it comes with beautiful maple tower, tear-away pads of character sheets for instant setup, and an envelope of index-sized scene cards, along with the full-colour rule book in a sturdy box adorned with art by our Ignatz Award-winning Illustrator Jess Fink.
Already have a tower you love? Back at the Internet Crush edition for just the PDF of the game.
Either way, you’ll get to see the pre-release draft right away.
Jason Morningstar, our lead designer, on Star Crossed:
…a simple, fun game absolutely filled with delicious romantic tension. The beauty of Star Crossed to me is that it is a very precise story-generator operating along a desperately under-served axis. It isn’t a ‘couple’s game’ (although I’ve heard stories of people bonding over it, by various definitions of bonding). You can totally play Star Crossed with your buddy or a stranger, and it doesn’t feel weird. But the stories that emerge are all about tragic, doomed, love – pretty much the #1 theme in poetry and literature since forever. We all have these literary tools in our arsenal and never get to use them, because most games are about other things and don’t foreground love and romance at all. Sometimes this is deliberate, because human emotions are hard! Sometimes it just gets lost. But in Star Crossed that’s all there is. It’s a game about a romantic relationship that probably shouldn’t happen, and the aftermath of that. Will they? Won’t they? Will it all end in a sad shambles? (Probably.)
When I played Star Crossed for the first time, we told the super sad story of a bus driver and the passenger he loved. They went to the same church and they were both married, and everything was deliciously awkward, and in the end they just couldn’t leave their settled simple lives and parted ways, heartbroken. It felt like a pretty good short story and it felt grounded and real. I am told you can also play sexy sentient spaceships and the hyper-intelligent living stars they love, Regency-era rake-hells who are into melancholy ghosts, and all sorts of things.
The Kickstarter is only on until May 10th! Back now, and tell your friends!
(Not ready to back yet? Join our newsletter to stay on top of the campaign as we reveal stretch goals, a yet-to-be-revealed reward level, and a special audio surprise!)
Mar 13 2018
The game formerly known as Tension has a brand new look.
We are proud to announce that Star Crossed will be hitting Kickstarter this April with a new name, a new logo by our own Brennen Reece, and new art by Ignatz Award-winning illustrator and graphic novelist Jess Fink. Fink is best known for her time-travelling memoir, We Can Fix It, and her erotic robotic Victorian romance, Chester 5000 XYV.
Alex Roberts, creator of Star Crossed, had this to say:
Tension is a boring name and I am bored of it. The new name captures everything a potential player needs to know about the experience: that your characters are romantically entangled, and almost certainly doomed–but in the most thrilling, beautiful way possible.
Mar 6 2018
Our move to Kickstarter’s Drip platform has been quite a ride. We are so flattered, humbled, and amazed by the support we’ve been offered so far that we decided to release something free to everyone who even stops by the page – a brand-new Dungeon World adventure seed written by Jason Morningstar, called When War Came to Colgur.
The core conceit is that your village has become the epicentre of a massive conflict you are powerless to prevent – two big medieval armies are going to have a battle right on top of your turnip patch. What do you do? I’ve run this a number of times and every time it turns out different. I hope you enjoy it!
And, as always, let us know if you get a chance to play it!
–The Very Grateful Bully Pulpit Crew
Feb 27 2018
Chapel Hill, North Carolina (February 27th, 2018) – Bully Pulpit Games is proud to announce the creation of a dedicated site on the crowd support platform Drip, a Kickstarter subsidiary. Drip offers a new way for friends and fans to support work they love, engage with creators, and get cool stuff.
Bully Pulpit Games, well known for its innovative and sometimes quirky lineup of tabletop and live action roleplaying games, is one of a handful of game-related companies approved by Drip.
Jason Morningstar, the company’s lead designer, is happy to be on the leading edge of the new platform. “We’re confident this will be an amazing confluence of tools, resources, and enthusiasm,” Morningstar said, “We see in Drip a lot of cool opportunities, like highlighting emerging designers as guests and crowdsourcing bits of our internal development process in ways we think our supporters will have a lot of fun with. It’s a new tool for us, and we plan on banging it recklessly against various fragile objects to see what happens.”
Bully Pulpit Games CEO Steve Segedy sees a practical side to using Drip. “We are neck deep in cool, weird stuff that is so close to being done. It’s a problem. Most of these interesting games get lost in the shuffle and never get the attention to push them to 100%. We’ve decided that this cannot stand, so we’re trying something new.”
The Bully Pulpit Games Drip will go live on February 27, with a new playset for the award-winning Fiasco by Morningstar himself available to all supporters immediately.
About Bully Pulpit Games
Bully Pulpit Games LLC is a small press game publisher based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. BPG is known for publishing Fiasco and other fine games and has won an unprecedented two Diana Jones Awards for Gaming Excellence, an ENnie “Judge’s Spotlight” award, and been nominated for Origins awards numerous times.
Press Contact: Alex Roberts
Jan 10 2018
Today we’re releasing some supplemental material for our new game, WINTERHORN. These documents are designed to broaden the game’s footprint to include larger groups and non-roleplayers, as well as provide additional context and discussion points. I hope you find them useful and engaging.
You can find these materials on the product page, or by in the digital version of the game at DriveThruRPG or Indie Press Revolution. If you already bought the digital version, your downloads will be updated to include these documents.
WINTERHORN as Workshop provides an alternate introduction, facilitation guidelines, and debrief for playing the game outside its traditional roleplaying context. The game’s mechanics are simple enough to use in a classroom or less formal group setting, and this document outlines the necessary adjustments you need to make. My hope is that this will make WINTERHORN more accessible to groups outside Bully Pulpit Games’ core constituency, for whom “six people, two hours, lots of scenery chewing” feels perfectly natural.
WINTERHORN: 12 Techniques is a walk through the twelve methods of governmental disruption you pore over in play. Each has a short description, an example pulled from history or current events, and three directed questions you might consider related to your own activism. These are very straightforward questions! For example, Manipulation’s section ends with:
Are you a good candidate for manipulation?
Are those close to you vulnerable?
How will you know if those around you are being manipulated?
What actions can you take if you or those close to you are being manipulated?
As with WINTERHORN generally, there are no answers, only opportunities for self reflection. The questions pair well with the larger group version of the game.
I’m thrilled with the reception WINTERHORN has received so far, and I’m very excited to see these materials finally available.