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Bully Pulpit Games

 

Bully Pulpit Games

Lizzie and Jason Win an Otto

Jun 22 2020

The Lesser Players’ Tale, the game that Lizzie Stark and Jason submitted for competition at Fastaval, a Danish game convention and hub of weirdness and excellence, won the Best Scenario award. It’s a huge honor! Jason made it through the entire awards ceremony with just the right degree of studied apathy but when they announced they had won he completely flipped out.

The Lusty Queen cover image

Big thanks to the judges who recognized the game, and also to the almost supernaturally great crew that makes the event work—translators and organizers and mentors and people who just get stuff done.

Fastaval regularly produces some of the best games on Earth, games that are hugely influential and well regarded in our small corner of the playful world. We cannot stress how proud we are to have been recognized.

Congratulations to the other winners, but also all the nominees and entrants —the nature of any contest is that great work goes unrecognized, and we are reliably told that the nature of Fastaval is heartbreak (this is not Jason’s first rodeo, nor Lizzie’s). For example, SJ Murdock‘s game When In Doubt is beautiful and compelling—we hope you read and play it!

You can also check out The Lesser Players’ Tale, available for free thanks to Fastaval.

June Collaboration with Lizzie Stark

Jun 16 2020

A few months ago we shared our collaboration with Jeeyon Shim on Patreon, and it was a lot of fun for all of us. We really enjoyed the process, so we’re doing it again! Throughout June we will be spotlighting our friend Lizzie Stark

Portrait of Lizzie Stark

You may know Lizzie from her luminary status in the rarefied world of international larp—she is a prominent thinker and promoter of Nordic-style larp as well its scrappy North American cousin. She’s written extensively on the topic and her essays often serve as a cogent gateway for newcomers curious about larp in general, and touchy-feely short-form larp (the kind I like to make and play) in particular. She helped edit the #feminism collection and has designed many fun and fun-adjacent games like The Curse and In Residency (which we will share with you!).

Lizzie is also a writer; her books include Pandora’s DNA and Leaving Mundania. Right now she’s writing a book about eggs. 

So across June we will be helping you get to know our friend Lizzie. There will be an informal conversation, and we’ll share one of her games (In Residency) and she and Jason will be sharing a game they’ve written together, Four Lovers. This marks an early attempt to design around the restrictions of distance and isolation we currently find ourselves in. It is a delightful game and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it.

If you’d like to join us during the collaboration and learn more about Lizzie, please come join us on Patreon!

Black Lives Matter

Jun 12 2020

DrivethruRPG has put together a set of bundles to support a variety of important causes including Black Lives Matter, and we chose to include our most relevant game – WINTERHORN.

Black Lives Matter - DrivethruRPG Charity Bundle #2 - Winterhorn by Jason Morningstar

We chose to include WINTERHORN because it is a game we’d like activists to play, and suddenly there’s a whole lot more activists than there were a few weeks ago. WINTERHORN asks you to interrogate your own activism’s safety and security, thinking about infiltrators and surveillance and direct, sanctioned state violence. We have other games about fighting fascism nose-to-nose, but WINTERHORN felt right, right now.

Of course as a game it asks questions and doesn’t provide answers. If you want to learn more about hardening your own activism and operational security generally, here are a few links:

https://theoutline.com/post/4228/fighters-defend-our-movements

https://dgrnewsservice.org/resistance-culture/movement-building/operational-security-101-for-activists-and-revolutionaries/

https://ssd.eff.org/en/about-surveillance-self-defense

To get the bundle that includes WINTERHORN and supports the Black Lives Matter movement, visit the DrivethruRPG website today!

Fiasco Now Available on Roll20

May 27 2020
Screenshot of Fiasco on Roll20

Have you been as excited for the new Fiasco to come out as we have? The print edition is so close! Pallets of the game are on their way to our distribution partners right now, and soon all of our Kickstarter backers will have them. Shortly after that we’ll make it available in stores.

But what if you could play right now, online?

A few weeks ago we gave all of our backers codes for Fiasco on Roll20, so that they could try it out and give us feedback. So far things have gone well, so now we’re making it available for sale to the public!

Normally we wouldn’t release a game before our backers have it in hand, but these aren’t normal times. We know that a lot of you are looking for more ways to play online, and we’re happy to help!

The Expansion Packs are also available on Roll20!

Cover Images of the Four Expansion Packs for Fiasco, with eight total playsets

In addition to Fiasco, you can also pick up the initial four Expansion packs, each containing a pair of additional playsets for your next game! Individual packs are $4.99 and a bundle of all four of them is $19.99. If you buy it with Fiasco, you can get everything for $29.99!

Fiasco, USA – includes News Channel Six and Home Invasion
Unknown Monsters – includes Regina’s Wedding and Beast of Sucker Creek
Teen Angst – includes Fiasco High and Camp Death
Feel the Rush – includes In the Weeds and The Hasty and the Hateful

Check out the links below for additional descriptions and details on the Roll20 Marketplace.

Bully Pulpit Checking In

May 10 2020
Headshots of Steve Segedy, Jenn Martin, Jason Morningstar, and Brennen Reece, the BPG team.

Hello from your friends at Bully Pulpit Games!

Right now that means Steve Segedy, Jenn Martin, Jason Morningstar, and Brennen Reece. We remain a small company with a small niche in a small industry.

As you may have noticed, this is an exciting time for pretty much everyone on Earth! Seismic shifts are occurring in where and how we spend our time, energy, and money. The situation is changing daily and there’s no way to prepare for the next extremely interesting development. Here at BPG HQ we are doing our best to roll with the punches, and we wanted to reach out and let you know what’s up.

Fiasco, whose manufacturing was understandably delayed, is back on track and is currently traveling on a couple of ships bound for Europe and North America. After that it will be on its way to Kickstarter backers and retailers. This is good news! Perhaps even better news is that you’ll also soon be able to play virtually, on Roll20, with a complete set of custom backgrounds and art assets.

Our presence at conventions through the rest of the year is, of course, completely up in the air. We planned to have a booth at Origins again this year, but those plans have been canceled with the postponement of the show. We feel strongly that remote play is the best direction for everyone right now, and we’re working on more ways to support that.

Star Crossed has been nominated for an Origins Award, and we’re really excited! We have high hopes, but there is strong competition in the RPG category. The game is currently out of stock, but we have a new second printing coming very soon.

Our Patreon has been a modest success and will continue. Please join us! The income really helps us monthly, allowing Jason to continue developing small games and experiments – one of which might end up being the Next Big Thing.

Speaking of Next Big Things, at least in the short term we’re turning some of our design attention to synchronous/distributed play. This may mean revised versions of well-loved games like The Skeletons or completely new designs. Our most recent game release on Patreon leans in this direction- Find/Fix/Finish is an online game about drone warfare on an alien world!

So work continues, and we continue to make fun new things we love, and love to share. We know these are challenging times for everyone and we’re endlessly grateful for your support. If you ever have questions for us or if there’s something we can do to make your days a little brighter, please let us know!

Thanks,
The BPG team

RIP Richard Sala

May 10 2020

We at Bully Pulpit Games are saddened to learn of the passing of Eisner Award-winning comic artist and illustrator Richard Sala. He was only 61.

When Jason and Steve asked me to recommend illustrators for Ghost Court, I knew immediately that I was looking for someone who could give us a Richard Sala vibe. I’d been a fan of Richard’s dark-but-quirky graphic novels for years, and for some reason I thought there might be a tiny possibility he’d be interested in illustrating our dark-but-quirky little game. We reached out. He said yes. I spent the next several months in blissful disbelief as I got to work with illustrations by one of my favorite artists.

An early sketch of the Ghost Court cover by Richard Sala

Richard’s comics really hit a sweet spot for more than one of us at BPG. His eccentric stories invoked Giallo slasher films, a touch of EC Comics, and Mario Bava-inspired melodramatic action. His sensitive inkwork and subtle watercolor palette was more at home in an underground weekly paper than a mainstream comic, and it transcended the obvious visual influences: German Expressionism, Edward Gorey, 1950s pinup art. Despite the sinister plotlines and gruesome scenes, Richard wrote and drew his comics with a clear love for his stories and characters. He was a master at expressing the full spectrum of emotion — and more than a little attitude — with a few simple lines. There is a sweetness and sassiness to his work, and an innocence despite the dreadful subject matter.

Richard Sala was prolific, and I looked forward weekly to a new page or two from whatever web serial he was feverishly drawing. He’d just started a new one, “Carlotta Havoc Versus Everyone”, a few weeks ago. I’m going to miss Richard’s weird stories and beautiful art, his clever and inexplicably barefoot heroines, and his villains who all look a bit like Lon Chaney, but I’m thankful for the huge legacy he left us, and I’m grateful that I was able to work with him for a short time.

— Brennen Reece, BPG Art Director

Collaboration Wrap Up

Apr 1 2020
Very Accurate photo courtesy of Jeeyon Shim

The month of March was a collaboration with our dear friend Jeeyon Shim! Jason & Jeeyon made some mischief, as well as 6 trash-themed games. We’ve also shared one of Jeeyon’s most critically acclaimed games with our patrons, as well as an ultra bonus game that Orion Canning surprised us with! We were supposed to cap off the month with in-person pictures of Jason, Steve, Jeeyon & Jenn all together at HQ in North Carolina, but we decided to keep a healthy hundred-to-thousands feet distance between us all, instead.

Direct links to Patreon posts:

We had a lot of fun this month and will definitely be doing it again- maybe sooner than later! We hope you enjoyed it, too, and we’d love to know what you think!

March is the Month of Jeeyon

Mar 17 2020
Jeeyon Shim with her hatchet

March is the Month of Jeeyon on the Bully Pulpit Games Patreon!

Jeeyon Shim is a game designer and wilderness educator we are proud to call our friend, and we teamed up to do some fun stuff this month to raise her profile among our patrons (who should totally support her, too, if they are able) and, more selfishly, to hang out with Jeeyon more.

The original plan was to do the following:

1. Have Jeeyon and Jason co-design a game.
2. Share a personally curated game from Jeeyon’s catalog with you all.
3. Interview Jeeyon to give you a better idea what her deal is.
4. That’s pretty much it!

But, as exciting projects tend to do, it has grown a little.

Jeeyon and Jason built a framework and then hung six small games on it, all live action games designed to get you outdoors and helping your community while doing silly things like pretending to be trash wizards and lost aliens. So “make a game together” became “make six games together”.

TrashPlay Logo

The result is TRASHPLAY, which is available now to our Patreon backers, along with all of our previously released games. Join us to today and check it out!

And now that word of the collab—and trash play in general—has gotten out, our friend Orion Canning immediately made a game, which we will also be sharing with you later this week!

And finally, Jason and Jeeyon have had a pretty intense month of co-working and co-design, and we’ll capture some of their thoughts on that— and the games that resulted—to share with as well.

This was an experiment. Could we invite someone into our Patreon and deliver a series of interesting things as a result? Could we raise the profile of a friend and help them out financially a tiny bit? So far, so good! Let us know if you want us to do this again!

Star Crossed Nominated for the 2020 Origins Awards!

Mar 12 2020
2020 Origins Awards Nominees

We’re delighted to announce that Star Crossed has been nominated for an Origins Award in the Role-playing Game category! That puts it in some very good company with other well-regarded games, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Winners will be announced at Origins in June.

If you’re looking to pick up Star Crossed for yourself and see what all the fuss is about, you can get the digital edition today through DrivethruRPG or Itch.io!

The print edition is currently out of stock, but we have a new printing in the works right now and should have copies available at Origins!

Packing Our Bags for Gen Con 2019

Jul 29 2019
Jason and Steve with the Fiasco prototype box
Jason and Steve will be bringing Fiasco to Gen Con!

Once again Bully Pulpit Games will be at Gen Con! Our games will be available at the Indie Press Revolution booth (#1348) and you can find Jason and Steve running games at Games on Demand in the Hyatt Regency, in Cosmopolitan Ballroom B on the third floor! We’ll have Star Crossed and the upcoming new Fiasco on offer, as well as a run of our Space Station Fobolex Star Crossed event on Friday night at 8pm! Please Come join us and say hello!