Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Month: April, 2022

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:

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