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Manifesto


Thanks to the wonderful +13th Age Community, and the integration with Google Plus and Twitter (also via the RPG Blog Alliance and its twitting of my posts), Lord Archaon's Grimoire is finally getting that amount of feedback needed for me to be motivated. So I thought that as more readers are popping in, I feel the need of stating what's this blog really about, in as few words as possible, which is always the biggest challenge for me..!

So I'll make a random list of points, that will try to cover things in order of importance, but maybe not.
Actually, you can just jump at the end for the quick and dirty subjects list if you want!

  • Lots of words! (Although trying to reduce them...)
    Yes, even if it's bad to begin by contradicting myself, I must be honest about it: I tend to be wordy. Even when I try hard to limit the length of my posts and creations in general, I always end up with some more words than needed. So I hope you'll appreciate my effort into making my writings briefer, but at the same time hope you recognize that sometimes a few more words here and there are put because they actually tell something more about the subjects, and are not just there for embellishment!
  • Creativity under constraints = more creativity!
    I can say I am a creative person, although I haven't always been doing creative things. But probably exactly by writing in this blog, I discovered that creativity doesn't work exceptionally well without some constraints. I realized this is the main reason I like tabletop role-playing games in general: you can create anything you want with them, but you have some rules that constrain you. You can attempt to go beyond them, yes, and the very attempt is bound to create something awesome exactly when you happen to not go beyond them, but find a creative way to use them.
    This is also the reason for one of the most important points of this blog's "manifesto"; right next.
  • Writing my own worlds and settings or writing for existing ones is equally awesome!
    I have been trying to write my "perfect" world or campaign setting, even just for fiction writing purposes since I was eight. And the answer I find now twenty years later is that there is not such thing. There is many! And for the point above, it can be just as awesome to find "my things" in a pre-existing world.
    This is why you'll find a lot about worlds originated in Magic: The Gathering, especially Zendikar, which hits my fantasy needs just perfectly, and that I think I know as well and deeply as many people know the Forgotten Realms, or Dragon Lance, or other fiction-spawning worlds. (Also because there's much less to remember!) I like the pre-existing worlds because even if they give you some pre-made stuff which could sound as lazy, they basically give you more of a style-guide, and some general guidelines. That is, they give you constraints. And as stated above, creating new stuff udner constraints, is something I discovered to yield incredible and unexpected results. That's why if you read my current Zendikar stuff, you'll find a lot of things that were never written (or intended, even) by the original creators, but that (at least in my opinion) fit the world just fine!
    At the same time, I don't forget creating stuff that is comletely of my own, although I may have been neglecting that recently. The point is finding good constraints under which to base the creation. If I just create without constraints, blurb that is too personal and thus too unusable by the readers comes out. Which brings to the next point!
  • Whatever you read here, you can use it!
    What I've always liked to do is to create things that other people may find useful or interesting. It's true, sometimes I go into "let me tell you about my character" mode. (Which is pretty much the nerdy version of "let me tell you about my cats", by the way...) But mostly, I like to write here stuff that you can use and build-upon, to either create your gaming world by modifying what you want, using mine without bothering modifying it, or even just imagine a story in it.
    The way I try to accomplish this is also by making you visualize what I do, and to do that, I tend to use images, which brings me to the next point!
  • Imagining things is all good, but images are awesome!
    And this is pretty much the reason I like to use illustrations a lot. They are, in a way, another type of constraint. In creating my favorite characters for examples, recently I always first visualized in my mind what I would have wanted them to look like, then found the closest existing illustration of it, and then went on explaining to myself why and how the character looks like it does, spawning in the process a lot of background, story, and even mechanics behind the character.
    Two of my latest favorite characters have been used in D&D, in settings taken from Magic: The Gathering, but inspired by characters of Warhammer 40k, that is even supposed to be futuristic and out of place in the previous two games' concepts! But it's all about visual inspiration. The two characters happened to be from the same race and world in Warhammer 40k, and ended up being of different races in D&D, and existing in two different worlds of Magic: The Gathering. To give you an example of how what should be a constraint, can actually generate more variety rather than less.
    Side note: I tend not to credit artists, for a simple reason: you can Google search the image, and you will always find the artist. It's not a good reason, and in fact my rule of thumb is to always credit the artist if the artwork doesn't come from big companies such as Wizards of the Coast, from which I mostly draw from. In this latter case, I just state the art comes from there, and you can easily google!
    I promise to improve on this, because it's ethically not solid, and I know it. So expect me to retro-fit my posts adding credits, at least as notes at the end.
  • All good, but what exactly will I talk about here?
    Let's go to the nuts and bolts, in no particular order:
    - D&D: either new mechanics, new settings, or simply just characters or campaigns I want to talk about. Many of the older posts come copy-pasted from my previous D&D Community blog, and they mostly discuss what I thought the next edition of the game should have been like. Since the game really went mostly in those directions, I won't write more of that. :)
    - 13th Age: same story as D&D, with a focus on building settings with the awesome Icons system.
    - Magic: The Gathering: mostly adapting stuff from the game to either D&D or 13th Age, but I could also simply dig into fiction set in its worlds.
    - Original fiction: although I'm not a prolific writer, I do have my ideas and I will try to make them go behind the first pitches, as I tend to do!
    - General Role Playing stuff: basically all that is tied to D&D and 13th Age and is not specific mechanics for the games, can be used in any other fantasy tabletop RPG!
    - Occasional personal stuff: very limited (at the moment not even one post at all), but it could appear, especially if somehow linked to the RPGs and worlds mentioned, or the real world that surrounds them. One thing I like to do, for example, is exploring the personal and psychological reasons my characters end up as they do in my RPGs, even when at first I'm not thinking about representing myself at all: it's actually impossible not to spill some of yourself into what you create, and it's really interesting to discover what and why mixed in, in retrospect!


  • BONUS! The story behind the avatar and the nickname!
    Nobody ever asked me (apart from some that rightfully pointed out the nickname sounded cheesy! :D ), but the avatar and nickname I use have a bit of a story to them.
    The nickname comes from Warhammer, which at the time I created the nickname (heck, I think I was 15 years old, tops!) I used to play, or at least collect... It's the most powerful general/warrior of the Chaos Warriors, which were of course my army of choice, and he looked and was totally bad-ass, so you can see why a 15 years old would choose it! :D (I noticed I will even soon get a book about me, I'm flattered! :P)
    I didn't change it just because I posted too much with it on the official Wizards of the Coast Community forum, and back in the day, you couldn't upload a custom avatar, but you had to choose among the provided ones, which came from the games of WotC of course. The one I stuck with, was this apparently anonymous "A" for Archaon, but it also has some story to it, because it comes from an old Magic card:


    True, I dug this at first just because it was the initial of Archaon, but when discovering the card, I think it represented me anyway: a surprising twist, making an unassuming defense become a force of destruction. I thought it kind of  represented my twisted mind!
    So here we are today, with my own slightly color-corrected version that I think i will never drop. :)