Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Escape From Isla del Mundo – A New Solo RPG

Is ‘monster island’ a genre? It should be.

Your plane crashes onto an island. Through bloody eyes and fiery wreckage, you see what you came for – the monster you’ve prepared to hunt. Alas, you have none of your supplies or support crew. It’s just you and an island full of strange beasts and horrifying danger. Can you survive and get off this island in one piece?

CHECK OUT ESCAPE FROM ISLA DEL MUNDO NOW!

My latest solo writing RPG is available on my itch.io store as a free download, or you can PWYW if you really dig it. This is a one-page game where the aim is for you to write an awesome story based on the structure and prompts I provide.

I’ve previously written/created 5 of these games and I’m absolutely enamoured with their delicate structure and robust depth of field. They are genuinely so much fun to write, just as much as I love reading those from others, and sometimes having a crack at playing them myself.

The inspiration for this really was just the words “Monster Island.” What more could stir the cockles of your creative heart than that combination of words. Monster Island might well be my Cellar Door – there’s a delight and a whole world of emotion and reaction woven into the dna of those arranged letters.

With that location layered as the base ingredient, I went about assembling 20 prompts that intrigued and delighted me for what a story might look like on an island full of monsters.

I was initially thinking of the final page of ELEKTRA #1 by Mike del Mundo and W. Haden Blackman – that whole run by these two is stellar on a storytelling level, and an Elektra level.

So from there I’m thinking KONG: SKULL ISLAND, which I just loved on a stupid level, and then even elements of PREDATOR and THE GREY, when it comes to being hunted in nature, and finally I thought about LOST. So there are monsters here, but also hints at some other stuff that you can spin in any direction – a shipwreck, an underground bunker, but no 4-toed statue, I promise.

This one was, as always, just a blast to write. Just unchecked creativity onto the page and I think some very cool stories could stem from this. Whether you commit to writing something completely, or just tinkering with this as a writing warm up each morning, or just read the one-page doc for fun, I hope this meets you where your creativity needs it today.

Escape From Isla del Mundo is a monster hunting story/game where you are stranded on an island and trying not to die at the hands of numerous monster attacks, while also trying to kill one specific monster, and then find your way safely off the island.

DOWNLOAD ESCAPE FROM ISLA DEL MUNDO TODAY!

I also just saw it’s been 12 months since I discovered journaling rpgs – and what a wild year it’s been. I’ve bought so many, read heaps, and written a few of my own. I really love this slice of the world, creatively fulfilling and wonderfully delightful.

BACKSTORY – Preorder this one-shot comic right now!

It’s been a while since I released a one-shot comic. I love one-shot comics. They punch hard because they don’t need to save energy for later, they just run at you and swing.

And Jen Vaughn and I are swinging really hard on this one.

BACKSTORY

This comic is the tale of four teenage girls who come into possession of a superhero’s ring.

This tale is Lord of the Flies meets Yellowjackets with Green Lantern’s ring.

This comic is a supervillain origin story.

This is a tight short story I’ve been dying to share with the world, and now it is upon us!

You can preorder BACKSTORY right now as we crowdfund to bring this comic to life!

Jen and I have taken this comic to Crowdfundr because it’s a new crowdfunding platform that we believe in. We are huge fans of options within creative spaces [more publishers, more distribution channels, more avenues to success and collaboration and reading].

With your help, we can reach $3,000 to get this comic absolutely finalised, printed up, shipped out, and enjoyed around the world.

The main ways to help are:

$5 digital deluxe

Back us at this level and get the PDF, and the B+W version, and the script, and some other old pdfs from me and Jen

$10 print copy

We’ll send you a copy of the finished comic! Plus all the digital stuff :]

Share the link!

Just copy/past this slice of text – https://crowdfundr.com/backstory – and put it out to mates in a chat, in your newsletter, onto your feeds; any and all links shared help us get our story in front of the people who might want it, but don’t know it exists yet.

Jen Vaughn

I’ve been friends with Jen a long time [she’s super supportive, hilarious, and the reason I got to have dinner with Pia Guerra [co-creator of Y: THE LAST MAN one time!]. Jen is a creative superstar [in comics and the RPG world] and she’s brought absolute thunder to the art, design, inks, and story in this comic. I’m so excited to share her work on this comic with the world.

Jen is your next new favourite artist.

Me [Ryan K Lindsay]

I love writing comics.

I also love writing one-shots. I’ve written, and crowd funded, a whole bunch of them before!

BACKSTORY sits in this wheelhouse completely. It’s a big idea, wrapped up in some crazy moments, and it absolutely wants to emotionally kick you into next week.

Over the next month, Jen and I will push this story/campaign around and hope you all dig it. There are some other cool comics currently funding on Crowdfundr – check out this article on the esteemed Comic Book Yeti for details and links!

tl;dr – I’ve made a new comic with Jen Vaughn, it’s awesome, help us by preordering it now!

Click and preorder BACKSTORY today!

Everfrost – Shortlist for Comic Arts Awards of Australia

It’s always an honour to be recognised. My ego shouldn’t need it, but it definitely likes it. There’s a balance to be found.

Yesterday, I found out EVERFROST has made the shortlist for the prestigious Comic Arts Awards of Australia [formerly the Ledger awards].

Making this comic with Sami Kivela, Lauren Affe, Jim Campbell, Dan Hill, Matt Pizzolo, and the team behind Black Mask Studios was a dream project that was the result of years of hard work and passion. It was the fifth story Sami and I worked on [and hopefully not the last] and this massive sci fi tale of a mother trying to get her dead son’s DNA back from the disgusting hands of an absent, yet oppressive, ruler was a story both personal in nature and satisfying in the creative energy of it.

EVERFROST cover by Sami Kivela

There were over 200 comics added to the Long List for this award, so to be in the top ~20 is a true honour. I don’t know if we’ll win – there is a very cool array of spectacular comics in the mix and I’d like to see a lot of them win, so I’ll feel no displeasure in losing out.

If you’re looking for some amazing Aussie comics content, hit up that short list, and also browse the Long List as there is a lot of good four colour entertainment that comes from the ecclectic brains of this land down under.

TPB Bonanza! BLACK BEACON & SPEED REPUBLIC in August

Gonna be a big build up to August for me because I have two collections of my comics dropping within a fortnight of each other. Here’s what they are, why I love them, and why I hope you dig one or the other or both! If you can, please preorder these books with your local comic shop or bookseller. The order numbers helps set the print number, and means you are not going to miss out when this drops.

I can guarantee [iron clad] that these are both amazing stories, exceptionally beautiful to look at, and represent…damn, I gotta check my notes…like two years of my life’s work. Let’s roll them out!

BLACK BEACON with Sebastian Piriz – scope the preorder details here

This comic is so pretty and so massive and so much my crazy sci fi jam. Seb came to me with this idea – what if human’s followed a signal to another galaxy, where we were promised intelligence and salvation and a better tomorrow, but it was all a scam, and all we found was the same old shit?

Seb let me take that framework and dial it all the way up so we get his designs on crazy aliens, and very strange landscapes, and our heart and cerebral pulp is infused into every panel.

Follow Niko, the only survivor of Earth’s crashlanded ship, as she tries to figure out where the hell she really is, who to trust, and how she might ever get back home.

Black Beacon was 6 issues, it’s a thick story, and Heavy Metal are putting together an awesome looking trade for this.

While you’re talking to your LCS in a loud voice to slap down your preorder for this, you can also discuss:

SPEED REPUBLIC with Emanuele Parascandolo – scope the preorder details here

In a dystopian future [that’s mostly literally ripped from the headlines of today :sad trombone:], there’s a Grand Race in Europe where the winner gets access to the 1%, and their future is set. But most other racers just die along the way because the intensity of this journey is wild.

Follow Sebastian Valencia as he tries to stay alive, discovers how much worse Europe has become since he last looked, and maybe you can hope along with him as he tries to consider what kind of actual solution or alternative exists out there.

I love Emanele Parascandolo’s kinetic art – drawing car chases is no joke, and he makes it look exciting and fresh with every issue. This book is a blast of action with a soupcon of politics, and it’s something I’m really proud of.

Preorder both books – or just one, if the flavour is more to your palette – and I cannot wait to share these stories, worlds, characters, ideas, and hopes with you in August!

THE CAVE OUTSIDE HELTRAP – A Fantasy RPG

This is my fifth one page solo rpg that I’ve created, and I’ve finally let my love of D&D fuel me for a story.

The Cave Outside Heltrap is a Fantasy rpg where you are an adventurer tasked with clearing a cave of a monster, so you spend your time sidequesting around the problem in the hopes you’ll figure it out.

I was in full on The Witcher mode in my head with this one, and it all just reminded me of why I love playing D&D with mates [and kids at school] – you can get pretty weird with it.

Some of the prompts on the d20 table are gnarly fun – swamp hag chanting and werewolf curses and bags of weird coins and other wild adventures just waiting to be explored.

You can go download it now, and get it for free. Or you can throw a coin into the well, if it pleases you. I don’t mind any which way, I just like knowing these are being used and enjoyed.

This is my fifth solo creative writing rpg – you can view my whole library of them here! [also free].

This is a real side-side-hustle – but every hustle of mine revolves around some form of creativity, so I feel lucky to get the time and the energy to put into stuff like this. It’s truly manna for the soul. Hope you dig it half as much, too.

Writing my own Lighthouse.

My Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks.

To keep my brain moving THIS WEEK, when it felt like it was sinking into the Bog of Eternal Stench [another name for my office after a few days of iso], I decided to do something just fun. I opened my one-page solo rpg writing game, The Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks, and I started playing it myself.

To play, I just roll two d20s and then look at the prompt table, and then started loosely mapping out what would happen in the story from those prompts.

The set up is this: my father has just died, getting me to return to my hometown of Kindred Rocks, and both bury him and take his job as the Lighthouse Keeper, because my life outside the town was shit and turning shitter anyway. So that’s the set up and start, and from there I need to figure out: how’d my father really die, and what eldritch insanity is buried in the secrets of my town?

When I sat down, I tried to consider what the solutions to these two problems might be, but that’s anathema to the whole concept. You are supposed to figure that out as you wind and wend through the prompts, so I shut my brain off on that track, rolled twice, once for each mystery, and started plotting out responses that would slowly form the story.

The first two prompts are pasted in here, and then I put my plotting beneath them.

The Father Mystery

Sitting in the park on a quiet day, you are approached by someone who knew your father. Why do they want to talk to you about something urgent?

Your father’s mistress – an old lady, runs the local inn – who tells you your father was distressed over the past week. He would come in for a pint, and then leave without staying and he wouldn’t be at home when she checked. He said something about there being something out in the woods that worried him.

The Eldritch Secrets Mystery

You visit an old tree where you once carved some initials. Memories flood back, and one sticks in your mind on this day. Who is this memory linked to?

You go to the woods, with this information, and you find a tree where you carved a high school sweetheart’s initials with your own. You were two young ladies, close friends, and she was always fending off the advances of a local bully, so you two would wander hand in hand to give him the shits. You carved your name into the tree, but a year later she would leave the town and you’d be left all alone, wishing you’d asked for more. Or did she not leave, you just drifted apart because you knew you wanted more and you did not want to ask her for it.

It’s all basic plotting/planning, not actually writing prose, but it’s a fun way to Jenga a story together, and the more prompts I wrote, the more I could tie things back in together.

You can view the whole document here, it’s 100% a work in progress, and the kind of thing I’d want to then go back up the chain to tidy up, but I’m definitely having loose fun with it and my brain needs that. And I have to say, discovering the story as you go along, just blindly leapfrogging from one stepping stone of a set up to another, has been a whole new experience. I very much kinda love it.

If you want your own turn at the fun, paying Patrons get the Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks game in a locked post, and everyone else can download it for free here or toss me a few coins to keep the lights on around here.

SPEED REPUBLIC #3 Out This Week

This coming week sees the third, and middle, issue of SPEED REPUBLIC land in comic shops around the world.

This strange and wild futuristic car race comic that’s more about the people behind the wheels than it is how fast the wheels can go has been a blast to see land with readers. Emanuele Parascandolo and I took a high octane landscape and are telling a politically charged commentary on what it looks like when the wrong person is in charge andnot many people are being looked after at all.

I want to take a moment to highlight all of the covers, because #5 is our final issue and it’ll be out in June, so now we can see all the covers together. Emmanuele truly is a joy to work with and his covers delight me endlessly. Please, remind your comic shop to set aside copies of every issue for you, and I hope you enjoy your race through this story.

Speed Republic #1 cover by Emmanuele Parascandolo
Speed Republic #2 cover by Emmanuele Parascandolo
Speed Republic #3 cover by Emmanuele Parascandolo
Speed Republic #4 cover by Emmanuele Parascandolo
Speed Republic #5 cover by Emmanuele Parascandolo

The Heist on Foley Lane – Writing RPG

I have written a crime/heist solo journaling RPG and I really dig this one.

You can download this one-page solo RPG for free or pay-what-you-want!

This one’s about planning one last heist, on some other crim’s house, after they find something in the woods. I love the genre so it was fun to play with some of the tropes to build this d20 prompt table that would guide you through writing quite an interesting tale.

Here’s the official write up for it:

It’s time to plan a heist, a big one, and you have to beat everyone else to it. Word on the street is Ol’ Lockpin Jones found something buried out in the woods. They haven’t been seen outside their house in two weeks. Gums are moving, plans tossed around, hopes about money or treasure or…something else. You know terrible types are fixing to steal whatever it is, and Lockpin deserves it for the shit they’ve done to everyone in town, so you don’t feel bad about planning to be the first to relieve them of this strange prize so you can finally retire and get away somewhere nice.

The Heist on Foley Lane is a solo writing RPG that follows an aging criminal as they prepare one last heist…but they don’t know what this strange thing they’re stealing is.

Use the one page document to start your journal about wanting to pull off this last heist and leave town, but all the while dealing with 2 different mysteries. The prompt table will slowly guide you through weeks of everyday life alongside minor investigations and surprises, as well as interactions and opportunities to get your imagination and creativity cooking.

I was heavily inspired by a few crime stories and worlds that operate on the same plane of existence as the rest of us. Elmore Leonard’s people always feel grimy enough to probably live two towns over from us.  I’m always chewing over Ed Brubaker’s work, especiaqlly his most recent RECKLESS books with Sean Phillips. I was also thinking about good dark Aussie crime like TWO HANDS and THE SQUARE and GETTIN’ SQUARE. That idea of criminal people just sitting around the suburbs trying to think their way out of problems intrigues, delights, and kinda horrifies me.

To play this game, you only need a d20, a d6, and the way and will to write out an awesome adventure.

This game was created using the Second Guess System by Gamenomicon – which is utterly brilliant in construction – and inspired by their Hard Case game – a brilliant single page of construction and genre.

If you like this, please check out my other single page solo journaling rpgs:

The Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks – a solo writing rpg

I have written my third solo writing rpg – they continue to be amazing and intricate fun to assemble.

This one, The Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks – check it out now for free! – it’s a small town mystery where things are, as always, more eerie than they seem, or is safe for consumption.

These games are one-page pdfs, where you sit with some dice and a way to write and you slowly construct a story based around the set up and prompt table I’ve created.

This one allows you to craft a story where you explore your old home town, and discover the eldritch horror and secrets being barely kept beneath the surface. The prompt table has some really great little moments of exploration about the town, the people in it, and your own history as you slowly unravel what the hell has been bubbling under this town for so long, and why it took the life of you father recently.

I appreciate the people who have been sharing the link, and laying some coin down for this free game. Knowing these things land out there in the world is a joy, and it’s why I’ve already written the fourth entry into this collection – The Heist on Foley Lane [coming in late March].

Here’s the official info on the site:

You grew up in Kindred Rocks, building haunted memories with a smile, but left to finish your studies elsewhere and find your own life. Years later, you return to bury your father and move into the family home as you take his role as the town’s lighthouse keeper. But, alas, things in the hometown are just as strange as they ever were…

The Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks is a solo writing RPG that blends small town life with an investigation into eldritch secrets.

Use the one page document to start your journal about returning to your home town after your father’s death and then investigating 2 different mysteries. The prompt table will slowly guide you through weeks of everyday life alongside minor investigations and surprises, as well as interactions and opportunities to get your imagination and creativity cooking.

I was heavily inspired by just my aesthetic love of lighthouses, and the places that surround them. If I see a lighthouse on a trip, I’m gripped by the desire to go visit it, stare at it, see what’s around it. I can definitely draw a link between my love of eerie fiction and my childhood spent watching Australian TV icon ROUND THE TWIST, wherein a family moves to a small coastal town and lives in the lighthouse. I loved that show as a kid, and still do, because that setting just felt…boss. So I’m drawing from that deep childhood love, matched with the weird occult stylings of random stuff like: PAPER GIRLS by Cliff Chiang & Brian K Vaughan, China Mieville, FRIDAY by Marcos Martin & Ed Brubaker, maybe a little ROSEMARY’S BABY, and possibly even some of the “what is reality?” vibe of Philip K. Dick.

To play this game, you only need a d20, a d6, and the way and will to write out an awesome adventure.

This game was created using the Second Guess System by Gamenomicon – which is utterly brilliant in construction – and inspired by their Hard Case game – a brilliant single page of construction and genre.

If you like this, please check out my other single page solo journaling rpgs:

CHECK OUT THE LIGHTHOUSE AT KINDRED ROCKS TODAY!

Or send out a digital missive with your love for this thing :] Let’s see if this “Click to Tweet” malarkey works!

Checked out The Lighthouse at Kindred Rocks by @ryanklindsay and it looks like a fun solo rpg of creativity and small town eldritch insanity! https://ryanklindsay.itch.io/the-lighthouse-at-kindred-rocks

The Seven Islands of Qoy – a solo writing rpg

I wrote another one! Huzzah!

I’m in love with the construction and precision of these solo writing rpgs that fit on one page. So simple, and delicate, and awesome to behold, and to write. A truly worthy sidequest for my brain.

The Seven islands of Qoy is available for free right now!

This one is all about a mystical kung fu tournament where secen hidden islands send their best fighters to round robin out their talents and aggression to decide the next decade’s protector of the keys. It’s big awesome fun!

The whole thing was 100% percent inspired by my love of The Immortal Iron Fist by Aja/Fraction/Brubaker, and specifically The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven storyline. If you want fun in this tradition, you’re in the right place.

The Marvel Comics Guide: THE SEVEN CAPITAL CITIES OF HEAVEN (2007-2008)

The one page pdf is free to download on the itch.io page, and I’d appreciate anyone sharing the link.

Check out The Seven Islands of Qoy right now!

And if you dig it, or the style, I did release a suburban horror one recently, Welcome To Faraday is also available now!

And the third is on its way :]

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