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Make Yourself a Star with an RPG sourcebook for Magic, Music & Urban Fantasy,!
Make Yourself a Star with an RPG sourcebook for Magic, Music & Urban Fantasy,!
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Weekly Update #46 - Archon Core-X and the Final Chapter

And we're back!

Working my way through the characters chapter of Powerchords, 18,000 words long and growing still. I'm probably gonna move the Compact System info to Chapter 5, revising it as I get fedback in from my Compact playtesters. Meanwhile, there are six characters left to go, and then a few bands and maybe a handful of magic items, and then...

Input my initial editing chages, go over it again, input THOSE changes, and send this monster off to the editors.

Wow.

Over two years and around 200,000 words of text later, and the end is in sight... for the first book in the series, at least. No, this book isn't gonna be 200,000 words long. That would break me and make the book unaffordable to anyone who wasn't getting it for free. It IS gonna ring in around the 100,000-word mark, though, so you're all getting far more than any of us expected way back when. :)

Meanwhile, because Kickstarter has apparently fixed its update interface, here's one of the many characters you'll find in Chapter Eight. Enjoy!

See ya next week.


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Archon Core-X, aka Rave-N (Mortal)

Motif: Prophetic Mad Poet

Magic grows in unexpected places. In Archon’s case, it grew from the heart of a shy boy growing up in an industrial zone of Piraeus, Greece. Originally a poet, he became frustrated with the limitations of the page. Driven by feelings too urgently transcendent for the silent word, he taught himself musical engineering and a variety of instruments. Deepening his studies into the realms of magic, he forged sonic alchemies that soon transcends music too. That boy’s given name, Antonios, recalled the beautiful god Adonis; his passions, though, came from the darker side of beauty… and so by the time he’d reached adulthood, that boy had embraced the teachings of Raven-the-Mentor, taking the name Archon (“one who rules”) Core-X (from Raven’s genus, corvis corax).

Now in his early 30s, Archon has positioned himself as both healer and revolutionary. Facing off against the forces of apathy and consumerism, he shapes lyrical yet intense WAKE THE FUCK UP! music. With a combination of traditional Greek folk-styles, Pythagorean magic, and technomagical spincasting, Archon inspires small but potent revolts against the status quo. Confidence has since replaced his shyness; his intense gaze reflects clarity of purpose, and his voice rings through dazzling soundscapes. Unlocking the mental doors that have been shut and locked by Big Box Media, Archon has gathered a tribe of dedicated souls… a tribe that grows each time this Core-X spreads his wings.

A handsome Greek man of average height and build, Archon (also known as Rave-N) dressed in ever-present black: black slacks or jeans, black boots or sneakers, black t-shirts or turtlenecks (sometimes decorated with bright tie-dyed accents), occasional archaic black clothing, and a black leather trenchcoat that he wears even on hot nights. A silver Eye of Horus hangs around his neck; the way he caresses that symbol appears to hold a special significance of which he never speaks.

Based in Greece, Rave-N travels across Europe with his tribe, hitting the festival circuit each year and opening minds wherever they go. That tribe focuses its energies behind two projects these days: a band called Per Sé Phoné, and an outlaw nightclub called the Portal. This club – which switches from place to place in order to avoid crackdowns from the Greek authorities – has become a hub of the magical resistance in Greece, providing sacred space for the Old Gods, sanctuary for kindred spirits (human and otherwise), and inspiration for a better tomorrow.

Vocations: Well-read and technically proficient, Archon’s skills focus mainly on getting his message across. Dazzling eloquence and charisma enhance his naturally (and culturally) passionate nature. Though he often wears dark glasses, Raven-N’s gaze seems to burn through the lenses; even in crowded clubs and festivals, his low-toned voice cuts through all distractions. When he raises that voice, either in song or argument, almost everyone listens. Like his guiding spirit, he’s a charismatic shadow. And though his lessons tend to be more compassionate than cruel, he’s got a certain trickster’s gift as well.

Powers: Archon’s magic is subtle yet effective. He almost never displays obvious power, but sweeps people up in emotional waves. Music enhances his mystical charisma, but even in silence it’s obvious to folks who know how to see it. When he needs it, he’s got decades of magical study to back up the military training every Greek man (and many women, too) receives. When all else fails, he’s got a tribe to back him up… and considering that his best friend Haris the Odinson is a skilled professional enforcer, that’s no small thing!

Weaknesses: Like most charismatic people, Archon tends to be mistaken for his message; where he tries to get folks to think for themselves, many of them let him think for them. This fosters a sense of dense responsibility in Raven-N… a sense he sometimes overrides by pushing aside almost everyone else aside. He has a prophet’s purpose, and can be idealistic to a fault. And somewhere under all that black, the shy boy he once was still waits for the father he hardly knew – wanting to be loved and yet fearing he’ll never be safe with that love if and when he gets it.

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Weekly Update #45 - Typhoon

Hola, everyone, and Happy Holidays! 

The characters chapter grinds along - over 17,000 words and growing. The entry below is a sample of what's in that chapter - sponsor character Jeff "Typhoon" Jefferies, created for Christopher Charles Basoco. Considering that each entry is running between 500-900 words in length, there's LOT more where that came from! 

I'm also adding a last bit to the storytelling chapter. After watching (back-to-back) The Old Grey Whistle Test, Woodstock, and URGH! A Music War, I'm really focused on the changes in musical emphasis and performance over the last 40 years or so... and my thoughts are NOT complimentary to the post-MTV generations! Because the Introduction addresses the idea of "saving popular music from itself," I'm adding a bit to Chapter 7 about how to work that sort of thing into your saga. 

I've also been excerpting my "Mystic Rhythms" material into a series of blog posts on my Posterous.com website. That series (the beginning of it, anyway, with more to come) can be found here.  

Anyway, here's Typhoon. Enjoy!

Next week, I'll be visiting my family. As my mother does not have an internet connection, I won't be posting an update next week. By the time I put up my next one, I hope to be able to say that the writing portion of this first book is done. :)

Hope you had a great Christmas. Happy New Year!

Cheers! 

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Jeff “Typhoon” Jefferies, aka Typhoon (Wild Talent)

Motif: Dark Charisma Nuke

He was supposed to play pro football. That had been the plan. But then his throwing arm got busted during practice in his senior year, and that was that: sidelined for good at the age of 21 without even a glory story to show for it. Jeff damned near killed himself then – sports had been his life, and that life was done. Within less than a year, depression and pain killers had put him halfway in the ground.

It was music, as so often happens, that picked him up again.

“Picked up” may be too strong a phrase. He’s still moody as hell. But when you’re down and the sky looks like just another shovelfull of dirt in the face, blues music speaks your language. Jeff had always liked the blues (especially the raw stuff like the Johnsons Robert and Blind Willie), and with a harmonica in one hand and a mic in the other, he grabbed the white man’s blues in both fists and then squeezed it till it cried. His gritty voice proved a natural fit for blues singing, and the pain behind it was genuine, fueled by broken dreams and an arm that never quite healed.

As he had been on the field, Typhoon proved to be a force of nature on the stage. Big as a house and twice as heavy, he’d occupy center-stage. For a while, he gigged with bluesmen twice or three times his age – men and women impressed by the ability of some college-raised white boy to channel such elemental pain. There was more going on there, of course, but not even Typhoon realized quite how much more. A natural gift for magic, untouched by his football days, wound its way up through his music… set free, perhaps, by the agony in his heart and arm. Jeff’s ability to kick someone’s ass didn’t hurt his popularity either. After demolishing a pack of assholes who’d been trying to mug a friend from the club, Jeff became a fixture of the scene.

“You’re too good,” folks told Jeff, “to spend the rest of your life feeling sorry for yourself.” And so, Rocker Smith, owner of the Blue Duck, set Jeff up with a band, a contract, and enough attention to light up long Blue Duck nights. Other folks pointed him at the (far whiter) rockabilly scene, where he soon caught both a passion for neo-greaser rawk and the folks who made it. Landing a gig with rocker heroes Big Bob, Typhoon soon made friends and enemies along the line. These days, he fronts two bands: rockabilly brawlers Typhoon’s Call, and hard-blues trawlers the Poker Jacks. Neither outfit makes much scratch, but Typhoon packs the clubs when they play. Maybe soon, Lady Luck will toss the ball to Jeff again.

Vocations: No one’s ever gonna call Jeff a great singer; his voice, though, is perfect for the gruff honesty of the blues. He can blow a harp half-decently too – not John Popper-showy, but with the same conviction he puts behind his voice. Jeff’s a natural performer, and the charisma that made him a rising football star draws folks to him in the clubs. He’s a temperamental dude, though; he loves to fight, and he’s damn good at it. The pain in his arm just seems to lend his punches strength, and though he feels that pain like the Devil’s own pitchfork, he likes to spread it around a bit.

Powers: Jeff’s a “wild talent”; he has no idea what “magic” is, but can use it anyway. At the moment, his music stirs up small stuff: emotional shifts, shadows in the background, breezes where no air should move, that sort of thing. A few folks in the blues scene have noticed this, and are beginning to worry about that scary white boy and the shit he might set loose. (He got turned on to the rockabilly scene for just that reason by a few “someones” who figured they’d point this particular loose cannon over there.) The better Jeff gets at music, though, and the more often he puts that skill to sue, the more intense his magic al effects will be. There’ve already been a few “incidents” that Typhoon can’t explain, and he’s beginning to wonder if he should start listening to that talk of “magic” after all…

Weaknesses: Typhoon’s arm still hurts him bad. That pain might be even, by this time, be more psychological than physical. The pain makes him edgy, but he’s too scared of losing its familiar touch (and the weight it lends his blues) to seriously consider healing it. Like we said, he likes to fight, especially once he’s had some drinks. He’s a gifted storm, this Typhoon, but no one knows quite which way he’ll blow… least of all himself.

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Weekly Update #44 - The Final Chapter... and Then Some!

Hola, friends! 

Still digging through the final chapter of the first Powerchords book. Roughly 25 characters, many of them based on, inspired by, or created by you folks. 

Wow. 

I'm trying to be flattering, playful and creative while still placing your characters in the context of Powerchords. It's challenging but fun. 

I also finished off a playtest draft of the revised Compact system rules. While they will not go in the book itself (at 12,000 words, they're too damned long), they've been referred to enough that I felt they needed to be hashed out before I sent this book to edit. that way, if and when changes are needed, I can fix the Powerchords text to reflect those alterations. 

Folks who want the Powerchords playtest packages will get the Compact ones as well. 

As for the Powerchords playtest rules themselves, I'm going to input the editing changes from my last proofreading pass before dropping the chart-text into charts and putting the stuff into files for playtesters. As I've said elsewhere, if you want to playtest, please let me know ASAP. 

Happy Holidays, everyone! 

- Satyr

 

 

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Weekly Update #43 - The Home Stretch... Kinda

7000 words into the final chapter of POWERCHORDS' first book, and I've essentially said "Fuck the word-count." It's gonna be what it's gonna be... which at this point looks to be around 100,000 words after cuts once this chapter is completed. 

I'll be preparing playtest packages for the rules sections later this week, once the initial editing changes have been input and I have fresh files. If you want one and have not yet contacted me, let me know ASAP. 

Once the book is written, it'll be going off to editing while we also wait on playtest comments. Those will be incorporated with the editing notes as the final artwork is finished. 

And from there, layout, later on this winter. 

It's taken a lot longer than expected, but the first book will be almost twice the originally planned size, with a series of follow-up books in its wake. 

Thank you, everyone, for supporting this project and for being so patient with this process. 

There are still several folks who have not yet turned in characters or bands for me. I'm in the middle of that chapter now, so unless I have something from you before the end of this week, you'll be in a future Powerchords book - probably Beer-Drinkers & Hell-Raisers, the next one planned for the series. 

So yeah - onward toward the finish line! 

YAY! 

See ya next week, if not before then...

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One Down, One to Go...

Chapter 7 is FINISHED! 

Just one chapter left to go!

YEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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