Latest from the Creator
Bully Pulpit Games
about 2 months ago
Pledge Manager Surveys are Coming!
Thanks for your Patience It's been a minute since our last update, but I promise we've been hard at work on Love Letters! We've been a bit short-handed at BPG lately, so it to...
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Alex Roberts
4 months ago
Thank You!!!!!!!!!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation points in the world.  I am so proud of everything we’ve pu...
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Bully Pulpit Games
4 months ago
It's the Last Day! Love Letters is Ending Soon!
Today is the last day of our Love Letters campaign, and the hours are running out! We're done to the last few hours of the campaign, which ends tomorrow morning at 8am EST!  St...
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Bully Pulpit Games
4 months ago
Less Than 48 Hours Left!
Hello backers, and backer-curious followers!  We are in the final two days of the Star Crossed: Love Letters Backerkit campaign! That means you have less than 48 hours to back t...
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Bully Pulpit Games
5 months ago
Our Favorite Star Crossed Stories on Film
Stories of forbidden love can be in almost any genre, style, or tone. It’s a theme humans seem compelled to return to. If you’d like to be inspired by some of the greatest “real...
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Bully Pulpit Games
5 months ago
Star Crossed for a Crowd with Bayshore Landing
Hey friends! Jason Morningstar here. Several years ago Alex and I wrote Space Station Fobolex on a whim, trying to meet the heavy demand that her intimate two-player game had ...
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PROJECT UPDATE
Bully Pulpit Games
CREATOR
about 2 months ago

Project Update: Pledge Manager Surveys are Coming!

Thanks for your Patience

It's been a minute since our last update, but I promise we've been hard at work on Love Letters!

We've been a bit short-handed at BPG lately, so it took longer to put together the Backerkit Pledge Manager tools than we expected. We've also been busy fine-tuning the layout and editing for the book, which is coming along really well. 

Pledge Manager Surveys are Coming This Week!

We said in our last update that the surveys should be coming in early January. It's mid-February now and we're happy to finally be able to say that surveys will be starting this week! You should get an email soon from us through Backerkit, so if you don't, please feel free to contact us to check on it.

We've added our extensive catalog of other games and accessories as add-ons, and we hope you'll find something there that you're excited about to compliment your copy of Love Letters.

Our deadline for completing the surveys is March 22, 2024, and we'll charge cards shortly after that date. You'll be able to update your shipping address after that until we actually ship.

Layout and Editing

We've been doing a lot of work on the layout to make sure that all the beautiful artwork is placed just right and that the flow of the book works well. We also still want the book to fit in the Star Crossed box, so we're making some tough choices during the editing process. Here's a sample of the layout!



Printing 

We're almost done with all this work and we'll be starting up the printing very soon. We'll be printing with Versa Press in Peoria, IL and once we're in process, we expect printing to take about 6 weeks or so.

Our original delivery estimate was June 2024 and we're still in very good shape to hit that target!

Cheers,
Steve

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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
4 months ago

Project Update: Thank You!!!!!!!!!

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are not enough exclamation points in the world. 

I am so proud of everything we’ve put into Star Crossed: Love Letters. This expansion has been years in the making. And, as cheesy as it sounds, I really do need to emphasize that this is a love letter to you all. Everyone who has fun playing Star Crossed fills me with life. In a world that often seems overrun with pain and loss, you all just want to play characters sharing love with each other - against all odds. 

I hope that this little campaign has introduced some new folks to the two-player game of forbidden love! And I hope that all of you are going to play and enjoy what we’ve got for you in the new book. 

And oh my gosh, if you play - especially if you’re trying a new pairing, a three-player game, a solo game, or best of all a run of Bayshore Landing - please tell me about it! I’m @helloalexroberts pretty much everywhere! Every person who tells me about their SC characters gives me +10 to my max HP. Weird but true. 

Thank you all; your generosity and enthusiasm has me over the moon <3 

-Alex


What Comes Next?

Now that the campaign is finished, we'll need a few weeks for all the funding to get sorted out between Backerkit and the banks. 

In the meantime, we'll be setting up the pledge management tools here on Backerkit and we'll let you all know as soon as that's ready. At this point, that will probably be early January.

Our team is already putting the book into layout and we'll be doing our final edits soon. We'll be sure to keep you updated as things develop!

Thanks again!

- Steve



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PROJECT UPDATE
Bully Pulpit Games
CREATOR
4 months ago

Project Update: It's the Last Day! Love Letters is Ending Soon!

Today is the last day of our Love Letters campaign, and the hours are running out!

We're done to the last few hours of the campaign, which ends tomorrow morning at 8am EST! 

Still Waiting to Pledge?

If you're one of the people who has been following this campaign and still hasn't pledged yet, we get it! It's a time-honored tradition to wait until the last possible second to jump into a crowdfunding campaign, and we wouldn't dream of encouraging you to defy tradition.

However! If you are feeling rebellious, a little sassy, ready to throw convention to the wind... now's your chance. Contribute to making Star Crossed: Love Letters a reality before the last second! It's almost the last second anyway, so it won't be too jarring, we promise.

Thanks!


For all the rest of you who have already pledged, thank you for joining us on this adventure! It has been great to have the chance to work with so many artists and writers and to explore our love of Star Crossed again and we think you'll be pleased with the results!



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PROJECT UPDATE
Bully Pulpit Games
CREATOR
4 months ago

Project Update: Our Favorite Star Crossed Stories on Film

Stories of forbidden love can be in almost any genre, style, or tone. It’s a theme humans seem compelled to return to. If you’d like to be inspired by some of the greatest “really really want to, but really really can’t”s ever committed to film, the BPG team has some to recommend!

Alex’s Picks: 


In The Mood for Love is a languorous, slow-burning romance about two neighbors (Maggie Chung and Tony Leung) who find out that their respective spouses are having an affair. Lonely and neglected, they start spending more and more time together. Something I love about this film is the way it’s shot - we often see our characters from another room, or through a window. It gives us the sense of something intimate and private, that we almost shouldn’t be looking at. It’s as though the director is inviting us into the feeling of temptation and transgression. Also, the scene where they try to imagine and re-enact their spouses’ affair is truly a testament to the power of roleplaying.

Voices of a Distant Star is a classic story: boy meets girl. Girl is drafted into an intergalactic war and is shipped off to space to fight an unknown enemy. As she goes farther and farther away from Earth, her text messages take longer and longer to reach the boy. As time passes - weeks for her, years for him - they try to reach, or to forget, the other, and find that both are impossible. This one is a tearjerker in the best way possible.

(This film is the inspiration for the “describe a detail in your characters’ environment” move. Director Makoto Shinkai has a way of making the environment a part of the story - the way light comes in through a window, or water drips from a tap, will convey as much about a scene as the words the characters exchange. If you’ve ever been unsure how to use that move, watch any of Shinkai’s films.)

Jason’s Picks:


Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In), Tomas Alfredson’s beautiful 2008 film about a 12-year-old boy and his new best friend, is a coming of age story that is as unforgiving as the end of childhood. At a certain point Oskar knows he shouldn’t, and Eli knows from the start that she definitely, 100%, shouldn’t. But love takes many forms, not all of them romantic, and sometimes it is unkind. Let the Right One In is agonizing (and not just for the people that Eli occasionally butchers) - the success of the central relationship is painted in shades of gray in the best/worst Star Crossed tradition.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1947 sharp-as-a-tack romantic comedy, is so Star Crossed it hurts. Can a headstrong but down-on-her-luck single mom and the dashing ghost of a sea captain find love? Will he love her enough to let her go? Will she love him enough to forgive him for letting her go? The answer to everything is yes, yes, yes, but before things get straightened out even more get tangled up. Sophisticated and heartwarming, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a lovely story - and Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison make a lovely couple.

Ernst Lubitsch’s 1933 film Design For Living just squeaked by the introduction of the Hays Code, and was pretty scandalous for its time. It’s perfect for Star Crossed and, even better, perfect for a three-player game! What seems like a conventional romantic comedy problem - will Gilda Farrell choose the dashing George Curtis or the successful Thomas Chambers? - gets thrown out early. George and Thomas are obviously in love with one another, and Gilda’s answer is an eminently practical “why not both?”. Design For Living is racy, charming, and genuinely funny.

Letyat Zhuravli (The Cranes Are Flying) is a 1957 Soviet film that caused a sensation not only with its artistry but also with its subject matter - a film about love and loss during the Great Patriotic War that landed a powerful emotional blow with a nation still mourning 27 million dead. You haven't seen intense devotion and terrible sacrifice until you’ve seen The Cranes Are Flying, one of the saddest films ever made. As a Star Crossed pairing, Veronika and Boris are iconic - but the Boris in play is just a hopeful memory.

Kristine’s Picks: 


Romeo Must Die hit the cinema in 2000 as a showcase for Jet Li in his first leading Hollywood role, and Aaliyah in her first acting role. Shakespeare’s tragedy provided inspiration for this plot, and the two leads really know how to lay on the banter and suggestive glances. What happened to the blushing pilgrims prepared to smooth that rough touch? Here’s why I am recommending this Y2K classic to inspire your Star Crossed story: There are dance scenes, tension, and emotion between the two main characters - all potent ingredients for your pairing. 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is perfect source material to inspire your Star Crossed pairing. Throughout the film, the recurring theme of what you want versus what you are expected to do is achingly on display via our leads, Li Mu Bai (Chow Yun-fat) and Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh). Their backstory is simple: Yu was engaged to Li Mu Bai’s friend who died. Both of them want to respect his memory so they do not act on their feelings, even at the end when tears flow freely and a heart ceases to beat.

Steve's Picks: 


Ladyhawke is classic 80's fantasy movie with Michelle Pfeiffer, Rutger Hauer, and Matthew Broderick and it hits all the notes you might expect- chases, escapes, a cheesy soundtrack, swordfights, a goofy sidekick, and of course a star-crossed love story. The lovers have been cursed by a jealous rival so that by day Isabeau (Pfeiffer) is transformed into a hawk and by night Navarre (Hauer) is transformed into a wolf. They are together and protect one another but they can never touch and only sometimes glimpse each other at dawn and dusk. Can Phillipe (Broderick) help them break the curse?

Sweet November has been made a few times- the original in 1968 is probably the better version, but you might prefer the 2001 remake with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. Either way the story is about a young, eccentric woman who takes men into her life for a month at a time to "fix them" and then they have to leave. She's very much the model of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but she has her reasons. As a Star Crossed story it's a little unusual, because they connect physically right off the bat, but will there be a real, emotional connection? Will it last, or will she send him packing when December arrives?

Baby Driver is a bit of an unusual pick, but bear with me. The A plot of the movie is all about bank heists, criminals, and fast getaways, but the B plot is the love story between the driver, Baby, and Deborah, the waitress at his favorite diner. They fall for each other over a shared love of music and a desire to escape their lives and drive away, but his life always interrupts before they can act on their feelings. As a game, the A plot would become the backstory to your Star Crossed scenes in which they flirt over song lyrics and dance around each other. Later scenes might involve more action as they try to escape the criminals and cops to finally run away with each other. But will it work out when the tower falls? 

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PROJECT UPDATE
Bully Pulpit Games
CREATOR
4 months ago

Project Update: Less Than 48 Hours Left!

Hello backers, and backer-curious followers! 

We are in the final two days of the Star Crossed: Love Letters Backerkit campaign! That means you have less than 48 hours to back the project, to up your pledge to a higher level, or to tell your friends about this exciting follow-up to the two-player game of forbidden love! 

If you didn't catch it before, now is your chance to add a copy of I Have the High Ground by Jess Levine, or to add additional copies of Star Crossed or Love Letters to share with friends!




We’re delighted with the enthusiasm this project has seen so far. If you’ve been waiting to back - don’t miss your chance! 

If you’ve already backed, don’t forget to tell all the gamers and romantics in your life about this cute game and its adorable expansion!

The campaign ends at 8am EST on Thursday morning, December 7th!


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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: FINAL WEEK! Introducing: Sharang Biswas and Ouhie!

We're in the final week of the Star Crossed: Love Letters campaign!


I am SO excited to finally introduce you to the last writer/illustrator pair: Sharang Biswas and Ouhie!

Sharang is difficult to sum up in a few sentences. You’d be impressed enough to hear about his IGDN awards, Ennie Awards, IndieCade award, Golden Cobra award, or his contributions to Avatar: Legends, Jiangshi: Blood in the Banquet Hall, Moonlight on Roseville Beach, Dungeons & Dragons, and many more. Did you know this guy also has a degree in Biochemical Engineering? How is that even real? That sounds like a degree a Spider-Man villain has. 

Sharang is full of surprises. He seems equally at home in the fine arts world orchestrating an interactive performance piece, or writing gay smutty fiction for Fantasy Magazine. At the exact intersection of those two things, he also co-edited, with Lucian Kahn, the Honey and Hot Wax anthology of erotic art games - for which I am eternally grateful, because where the heck else was I going to publish my larp about people who have sex with balloons? 

So, you can see why I wanted Sharang on the project. He pitched a really interesting idea - a possessing spirit hopping between bodies, and the priest trying to exorcize it. I really didn’t want the same old vaguely Catholic horror-fantasy, with The Devil and crucifixes and other kinda played out things… but I knew Sharang would have something more interesting on offer. And so: 

The setting bursts with color - there’s a deeply sensuous quality to the writing, evoking the scents, sounds, and sights of a festival whose excitement borders on overwhelm. Naturally, I needed an artist who could work with this colourful, evocative piece… 

Ouhie has a real talent for bringing out emotion and intention through colour. Their work uses surreal colours and very precise, minimal detail - perfect for a project where we’re asking players to take a core idea and develop their own impressions onto it. 



Backers can see the full image below!

I’m in love with the way Ouhie captures an intense but ambiguous expression, and in such an impressionistic way - you know when you only glimpse something briefly, as you pass by, but the image of it stays with you for a long time? This looks like that. It’s a look I could get swept away in.

And the thing is, look at Ouhie’s instagram - every piece has this kind of magic!

You can see why I was overjoyed to have this team together. Now that I’ve introduced our wonderful artists and writers, it’s time to show off a little bit of what’s in the book. If you’ve been longing to hear more about SC Online, Solo SC, 3-Player SC… stay tuned for future updates!

<3
Alex
Includes Backer-Exclusive Content
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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: Listen to an Actual Play of Solo Star Crossed!

I expected Solo Star Crossed to feel like an “almost as good” version of regular SC. Playtesting revealed it to be a different experience entirely. Somehow, it feels… luxurious. You play the Follow, and develop a Lead that is basically whoever you think it would be interesting to be entangled with. I soon learned that, wow, I really like helping players indulge themselves.

The Solo version is a creative exercise solely for your own pleasure and satisfaction, and I ended up really emphasizing this in the final text. Play as if you’re writing a first draft. Play as though no one needs to read it (much less understand or enjoy it) but you. Fill it with the things you like, and the things you’re interested in. The result is pure self-indulgence, a story you can sink into like a warm bath.  

If you’d like to hear a playthrough of Solo SC, Star Crossed super-fan and all-around sweetheart James D’Amato is narrating his game over on the One Shot Podcast and I highly recommend giving it a listen!

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PROJECT UPDATE
Bully Pulpit Games
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: Star Crossed for a Crowd with Bayshore Landing

Hey friends! Jason Morningstar here.

Several years ago Alex and I wrote Space Station Fobolex on a whim, trying to meet the heavy demand that her intimate two-player game had at conventions. A big room full of people playing Star Crossed would be fine, but we could not resist the urge to do something special with that energy. 

So we wrote up a silly space station and tied it into the shared universe from a larp we wrote called The Fobolex Interstellar Corporate Retreat. Then at the event we cast 20 players as weirdos, aliens, and lovelorn space nerds just seeking real connection in the big, empty galaxy. All the characters worked well together—in the sense that they all have something keeping them apart—and Space Station Fobolex has been a big hit at conventions! 

For Star Crossed: Love Letters, we wanted to repeat and expand on this success to really show how you can play the game with a crowd. We were both all-in on another pulpy genre, and paranormal romance was right there. Originally titled Fobolex Landing, we sketched out a gritty industrial zone in a big city where the freaky monsters came out to live, laugh, and love. We changed the name to avoid confusion, and Alex laughed when I suggested “Bayshore”—apparently the name of a not-too-appealing corner of somewhere she used to live. 

Bayshore Landing wrote itself. We drew up a long list of weirdos (mummies, werewolves, larpers, angels) and an equally long list of adjectives (gentle, lonely, dirtbag, regal) and then paired them up. After that, each got a short paragraph positioning them in a gentle but humorous search for love. I adore them all, but here’s a taste of who you might end up playing:

Dirtbag Werewolf
Clueless Larper

Hapless Alien

These strange denizens of the shadows will work well in two-player as well as three-player Star Crossed. When a worried swamp monster, an overconfident slayer, and a shifty goblin fall in love, it is going to get weird in the best way. 

--Jason

What weird and exciting settings would you like to see for playing Star Crossed with a big crowd? Tell us in the comments!



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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: Sneak Peek at Star Crossed Online!

How do you simulate a tumbling block tower online? Does a game that relies on Jenga® become impossible to play when you can’t meet face to face? The answer is no, of course, but getting to yes took a little work - and calling in some experts. 

Dana Fried
Gerrit Reininghaus

We asked two friends who have actually thought about this a lot: Dana Fried, who created the “D20 Tower” to play Epidiah Ravachol’s Dread, and Gerrit Reininghaus, who was already playing Star Crossed quite successfully over video chat. 

Dana’s original solution involved rolling the D20, marking each time each number was drawn - the tower “falls” after the same number is rolled four times. Gerrit (in my opinion, the expert on Live Action Online Gaming) coupled that with a responsive spreadsheet character keeper, and an ingenious mechanic to replace touching the tower during character dialogue - instead, touching the other player’s face on your screen. 

In the end, we’ve included two options in the book - a straightforward adaptation of the D20 tower (for online play, or for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to pull bricks!) and a more complex spreadsheet-driven version that emulates the uncertainty of the tower in interesting ways. 

If you’d like to see Star Crossed Online in action, we recommend this recent episode of Roleplay Retcon, where Alex and RR host Jensie retcon the should-have-been-great Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. Jensie called it “the best online character keeper I’ve ever used.” Listen to the episode here!

<3
Alex 
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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: Backers: Get a sneak peek at 3-Player Star Crossed!

Star Crossed was very deliberately made to be a two-player game. I’ve always tried to sculpt the play experience into a tense but gentle back-and-forth flow. But, of course, it took about two playtests before players started asking: can we play this with three? So: here you go.

Backers: get the three-player rules using the link below! 


First things first: it’s not about love triangles. I usually get frustrated by stories in which two people compete for a third person who must choose between them (because I can always see a very obvious solution). The other thing is that Emily Care Boss already nailed that premise in Shooting the Moon back in 2006. Go play it! I’ve played it. It’s fun.

So, in the Star Crossed spirit (self-indulgence via game design), everybody is into everybody. That doesn’t mean it will be straightforward, safe, or easy.

The major change that makes this possible is adjusting the Lead/Follow dynamic. In a three-person relationship, the game’s role binary doesn’t make sense. The solution is for every character to be a Lead. Ask anyone who’s ever tried to get three people together in real life: it is no time to be coy. Having six instead of eight scenes, with prompts like “An act of desperation,” also help move things along nicely. 

To keep players from over-focusing on one partner over the other, the game still plays out as a series of scenes, but players take their turns in clockwise order rather than back-and-forth. Because turn-taking is so strict in Star Crossed, the triangle emerges organically.One couple can’t really get overly attached before another couple has a chance to bond further. 

These adjustments emerged from playtesting, which started out with a system that was slightly more complex and got pared back to the lightest possible touch on the existing rules. (Many thanks to Jason for essentially taking the Sword of Manjushri to my early drafts.) I hope the three-player rules come naturally to players, and that they resonate with experience well enough to help make authentic and meaningful stories.

<3
Alex
Includes Backer-Exclusive Content
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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: Introducing: Jess Fink and GC Houle!

Okay, so, I wrote two pairings for Star Crossed: Love Letters. Mostly because there were two really cool illustrators I was excited to work with! 

Loving the Alien is about a human and an extraterrestrial (in human guise) who have a limited time together on earth. I write about aliens a lot because I often feel like an alien, in one way or another. This particular pairing also reflects my experience falling in love with someone from very far away. I need a way to express how endearing it is when someone gets genuinely excited about seeing a squirrel, or a raccoon, or a bafflingly large tree.  

I knew Jess Fink would capture this wide-eyed delight perfectly. Her work revels in weirdness, especially when it's sexy, but more than anything, it radiates joy and pleasure. Also it was just so great to have Jess back after she did such beautiful work for the original Star Crossed, I really wanted her to illustrate one of my pairings.


Backers can see the full illustration below!

My other pairing, The Human Form, takes something a bit more mundane and turns up the heat on it. Two figure models are posing for long periods of time in an intimate embrace, under the gaze of an artist who demands perfect stillness. Really, it’s Star Crossed pared down to its barest essence: it’s hot when you’re really close but can’t kiss. 

I wanted an illustrator for this who could bring some brightness, color and excitement to an image that wouldn’t exactly be action-packed. GC Houle is an amazing artist who brings striking color palettes and gorgeous, diverse character designs to their comics and illustration. I knew they would make something unique and, frankly, hot. 

Backers can see this full illustration too, below!

I strongly recommend you check out Jess’ and GC’s work. Not to get too sentimental, but both of them are making the kind of joyous art that reminds me how awesome it is to be queer.

<3
Alex 
Includes Backer-Exclusive Content
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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: Get The High Ground With Star Crossed Love Letters!

You might know that Love Letters comes with a brand new way to play Star Crossed online.

You probably know that I Have the High Ground is Jess Levine's heart-pounding two-player game of loaded banter and posturing before a climactic duel.

And so you must think: those two games would go together really well, right?

Well, Jess and I did play the two games on the Party of Onepodcast, mashed up as one continuous story about alien diplomats who ended up in a chili cook-off for planet Earth...

Click to listen to our high-stakes sci-fi romance at the county fair!


Now, you can get I Have the High Ground as an add-on to your SC:LL Backerkit Order!

If you've backed Love Letters, you can add the PDF and/or printed zine to your order...
 
Jess and I used the PDF to play online together!


OR... you can get the limited edition premium version that includes dice, tokens, and everything else you need to play: 
 

Thanks so much to Jess Levine for suggesting this mashup, and to Jeff Stormer for letting us take over his podcast for a week. We had SO much fun playing these games together, and it's pretty clear that Jess and I share a lot of values when it comes to designing games - player collaboration, tension, emotions first, mechanics that draw from life (in her case, from real-life fencing!) and you know... being hot.

Add I Have the High Ground to your order today! 

<3
Alex
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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: A humble request

Hello, backers!

We're halfway through the campaign, and have hit an astounding *three times* our initial funding goal. Thank you, backers! I'm so proud to be bringing Star Crossed to a wider audience, and giving SC fans both oft-requested additions and exciting new surprises.

We know we're making this book. Now it's just a question of how far we can share it.

If you want the two player game of forbidden love, and all its new settings and new ways to play, to flourish: tell a friend about it. Tell your gaming group. Post it in your group chat, Discord server, or wherever else you connect with people.

The world of TTRPGs has grown from a little island to a vast and diverse archipelago. Word-of-mouth is more important than ever.

So, that's it. If you love Star Crossed, or are stoked to try it out, or find yourself looking forward to all the new ways to play - tell somebody. We would appreciate it. 

(Next week, we'll be sharing details and samples from Solo, Three-Player, and SC for a Crowd!) 

<3
Alex

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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: TONIGHT 6PM PST - Livestreamed Interview on Nerdsmith!

Hello, dear backers! I hope you had a lovely weekend. It was nice to tune in this morning to Star Crossed: Love Letters tip-toeing over the $14k mark. I’m so proud of all the support and love this project is getting! 

Big news: I’m going to be interviewed on Discover RPG tonight at 6pm PST / 9PM EST 


DRPG is a really cool talk show on the Nerdsmith network (who also host friends of Star Crossed Roleplay Retcon) exploring all kinds of different RPG systems and ways of playing. If you’ve been following my work for a while, you’ll know I’m a huge advocate of trying as many different games as you can. It’s enriching as a designer and as a player! And it’s fun! 

Anyway, you can catch me nerding out about Love Letters, tonight at 6pm PST, on  twitch.tv/wearenerdsmith 

<3
Alex
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PROJECT UPDATE
Alex Roberts
CREATOR
5 months ago

Project Update: James Mendez Hodes and Bloomer!

FYI: Alex will be on Discovery RPG, hosted on the Nerdsmith twitch channel, Monday November 20th at 6pm PST / 9pm EST! Don’t miss it!)

Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to two of our contributors, James Mendez Hodes and Bloomer!

James Mendez Hodes is probably best known for his game of samurai action and drama, Thousand Arrows - described by a friend of mine as “the best time I’ve ever had at a con.” I hope so, anyway, because it’s a good game and he’s a talented designer. 

There’s a chance though, that you know Mendez more as a cultural consultant, and from his writing about everything from Orcs to fortune cookies to thoughtful representation of fictional religions. Mendez plays many roles, but one of them is The Guy Who Carefully and Insightfully Explains to the TTRPG Industry If and How Certain Things Are or Aren’t Racist. I'm not making a joke about that - Mendez has contributed more than anyone can really measure to the state of TTRPGs today.

I’ve worked with Mendez before in that capacity, and I’ve always found it an enriching experience. But I also decided after our last consulting gig that I wanted to work with him just, like, as a fellow designer and writer. So of course I invited him to pitch a pairing. 

Mendez wrote a piece called Taxi Dance, about a Filipino labourer and a white nightclub dancer falling in love in 1934 California. It opens like this:

I would describe this as not fucking around. Mendez carefully establishes the stakes of a very real historical context - including anti-miscegenation laws and the continuing threat of racialized violence - and then gives us two loveable, interesting people whose connection feels like a single note of grace in the midst of it all.

And then Bloomer captures that moment: 

Backers can see the full image below!

Naturally I wanted a Filipine artist to work on this, but I also needed someone who could capture expression, realistic texture (as you’ll learn, fashion is surprisingly important in this setting), and the tension of a stolen moment. Bloomer fit the bill. 

Take a look at their instagram and you’ll instantly know what I mean.

I am delighted to have Bloomer on what is their first TTRPG commission. Bloomer handled it with sensitivity and style, giving a gorgeous romantic vision to the painful context in which our characters meet. 

I love this pairing for some of the same reasons I love Jason’s Psikusha - reminders that love doesn’t need any particular conditions to bloom; it grows like roses in a garden or like dandelions in the sidewalk, and it’s beautiful every time. 

<3
Alex




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