Thursday, December 14, 2017


So as of today the Player's guide for FALLING IRON roleplaying game is complete save for cosmetic changes, and is still lacking its final graphic design and print formatting. The final version of the ruleset is one which I am proud and champing at the bit to share and show. Playtesters have sat at the table, I have used those things suggested to reshape rules, or find a better way to accomplish the intent of the rule. The only (somewhat) complex thing remaining for the completion of the Loremaster's guide is a reformatting of the Bestiary entries. All of the stat blocks are complete, but for clarity I have reworked how information is presented for the Loremaster. The Loremaster's guide had to be pared down as some of the rules presented were simply duplications of rules already described in the PG. Where ever this happened, I included an explanation of the intent of the rule- and/or questions which the Loremaster can ask themselves to be sure they are ruling within the parameters of said rule. It should be note and I include a special thanks to my wife Jacqui; without whom none of this (and more) would be possible. In both my career and in life she is a constant. My confidant, my cheerleader, and the person I whom understands me better than anyone ever has. She had nursed me back to health; stood by me though a heart attack and the fallout from that; pushing me harder- making grasp at every inch. She is part of my drive and for that she deserves thanks and adulation. Thanks, Baby. As my birthday quickly approaches I will post a year in review. This year began rough, got better; hitting a rough patch as of late- however with determination I am overcoming the problems. Recognize your faults and do something to correct course. Seriously. I will also be posting a review (without spoilers)tomorrow. may the force be with you.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

FALLING IRON, Fantasy gaming in an author-built setting

Hello everyone! If you are new here welcome- if you have been following this Blog welcome back. First of all I would like to introduce the history of the creation, the basic concepts of the design and setting; following by a detailed description of work yet to be polished; finishing with some creator notes and information on the upcoming Kickstarter and the like. So let's get right to it- FALLING IRON is the descendant of a game I started in high school in the office of a friend. Typed out on computer paper on an old fashioned mechanical key, keyboard. Simple drawings and paintings described the lands contained within. I had been a gamer for near on a decade by this point and wanted to guide the rules for others to create their own stories. But over time other things got in the way- School, girls, music, art. In art college I used the setting for a myriad of projects- painting landscapes, creatures, weapons.Writing short stories and occasionally, returning to the rough draft of that rulebook. Then a fire. Took everything. Record Collection, comic collection, all my classwork from that year, and my game. All lost. Years passed, I thought of my game. I ran several other already published games written by nerds from around the world. We (Jacqui and me) had moved to New Orleans. The city was exciting but, dangerous. I spent most of my time in the tattoo studio at work, or at home working on artwork or bored at the computer. One day I told Jacqui I had this idea for a game system set in the world I had been using for fantasy games since I was young. (The setting needed to be updated and reworked to be far more adult and serious in nature; in the end changing and losing many of the tried and true cliches of fantasy worlds.) That all happened in 2012-2013. FALLING IRON was born. The words slipped off my fingertips. The rule system was loose and broad. The world was ephemeral and ever changing- eventually names began to give shape to the Kingdoms, the disasters, the challenges and the dangers of this world. Old ideas were replaced by new ones. Rules were dropped and replaced, or shifted back to more exciting or clearer earlier versions. Races were added, classes were added. The book began to swell and take form. Years passed. We moved back to New England. My game was growing but slowly and my momentum began to fade as well. Not for lack of interest, but the social life and activity that was lacking in New Orleans, was revived at home. Over the next few year, I was able to slowly add to the game. Eventually, because of calamity I was able to spend the better part of a year focusing on my game. Here is a hint of what will be contained between those covers. The world of FALLING IRON is Iloandir, a world of fallen kingdoms,First ruined by the wrath of Gods; then Destroyed by wars between themselves; only to be attacked by strange and powerful creatures from a reality parallel to their own. Uniting under a common banner they built an Empire. The punishment from the Gods loosed even more creatures from other unknown realms. The world of Iloandir, surrounded by evil and uncaring creatures holds intrigue, adventure, horror and mystery. The creatures and their realms of origin, the Setting (including one 15 province, empire. A secondary rebelling colony, with its own city states- often run by dark creatures or out-right monsters) as well as the 5 Outside realms- are all part of the game. The ruleset contains the Player's Guide, the Loremaster's Guide, the Bestiary and the Setting. Future expansions are already planned and will include more continents, monsters, classes and races. Book II will also include expanded rules for deeper play (including miniature and gridded combat!) The Player's Guide includes character creation, 15 Classes, 12+ Races, the system, skills, Talents (special skills), spells, a PC friendly History of the world and basic information of locations across the Empire and the Colony, Equipment and item creation rules, etc. The things remaining for readiness for the kickstarter: Final review of PG, LMG, and Bestiary Final Grammatical edit Reformatting of Bestiary entries (clarifying and streamlining making for quicker gameplay) A formal Glossary of terms (already 90% complete) a few small odds and ends Kickstarter presents a small challenge: I need a small group of players familiar with the concepts of the game for some quick play videos displaying basic rules and a simple teaser of the Dice rules. I will need camera equipment/camera-persons. I am currently researching companies which I can get professional looking dummy copies of the book so backers can see what the book will look like when it is finally printed. I already have 70+ illustrations for the books (done by yours-truly) I am looking into other artists (including at least 1 RPG legendary artist.) He and I have already spoke and I already know the cost of a full page or wrap around Illustration for a dust cover). I have begun to make a list of the amounts needed for the production of the books, the printing of the cards for each set, and shipping. I also have been working up stretch rewards. I am going to be writing in here once a week if I can to think. To plan. To share. Please come back. R

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A long and odd Year: FALLING IRON UPDATE

So. I haven't written on this Blog in a very long while. I would love to say I will jump back in and I will become a regular contributor to the "blogosphere" but we all know that is unlikely. I will do what I often think about when looking at the tab for this page at the top of my web browser. An update. On the game and life. Well, we will start with the largest change and update- in April (2017) I had a second heart attack. It was major but I did no permanent damage. It has reset alot of plans and ideas I had for my life. I am doing better now, though my thoughts can ften be morbid, and now that I no longer work in tattooing I am often alone. That is a good and a bad thing. Loads of time to work on FALLING IRON, not much personal contact. FALLING IRON is nearing completion after many years. I am presently working on final edits. The final play-test has warranted a few final tweaks; but overall the game is about 98% complete. Once the edits are finalized a professional proofreader is ready to take care of the book, then it is onto Graphic design and illustration. I have 45+ illustrations already complete, but I am going to add a few illustrations from other artists to round out the design, for a total of about 65-80 illustrations (cost dependent) As the kickstarter draws closer I am going to being trying to do more on here. Trying. thanks.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Falling Iron updates

Falling Iron has been eating up all of my free time, as it is moving into the final stage. I have been polishing the game, adding detail and more flavor text. The game now has an even more detailed setting, as it is integral to the game; additional types of rewards for characters and more detailed monsters(and NPC)types- allowing the Loremaster to use creatures and threats at each point of character development. (example: a lesser goblin at early levels and a Goblin lord, or Otherwylde Goblin Knight to be used when the characters are high level- still allowing for a challenge and continuity to a story about a goblin/Fae artifact) I ran an Falling Iron Campaign for several months, tweaking, the system and used the experience to modify and add systems for rewards. Classes had Stances, and Ritual Systems added and now they are in place, these systems give players more options for mid to high level play. Stances for example give martial characters more options for actions in combat. Several of the Races got more detail and slight changes to appearance and culture to definitively have them stand out from other gaming and fantasy settings. The Gear, Magical Items and Bestiary sections of the Player and Loremaster guides (respectively) are going through final polishing now and will soon be where I want them for final edits and ultimately printing and release. System-wide and game setting goals have been met. I started out wanting to create a game that could be taught to a new player quickly; a setting that is rich and dynamic acting as a colorful tapestry to tell stories in- or to act as a backdrop allowing the Loremaster to tell stories in the same world. I sought to create a game that was easy to learn but not so restrictive as to keep exciting and new things from happening,but to encourage them because the rule system could flow and breathe. Never one to be easily contented, I am proud of the work I have gotten done, but want these last few things on my Falling Iron to do list, to be great as well. Over the next few months they will be finished and the final edits will begin. During this time I am going to be hunting for just the right illustrators (as well as myself) to bring the beauty, fantasy and horror of the world of Aern and the Otherwylde to life with pictures. When I was a small boy (continuing until now) the illustrations in rulebooks and magazines inspired stories to brew in my mind. I got so excited thinking about adventures and adventuring. The idea of telling a story or experiencing one stemmed from those amazing paintings, pen and ink drawings and watercolors. I hope to find that same energy to give my game and its Worlds that same life. I am about to start a new Falling Iron campaign. My players will be experiencing the game in its nearly finished form, and I could not be more proud or excited to weave new stories and share Falling Iron with the world. ~Ray Aern, Otherwylde, Falling Iron are all copyright 2015 Raymond Roberge

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Falling Iron Playtest progress and development

Hello all, Well it has been quite so time since I last wrote about the progress I have been making (partially due to running the playtest, work and simple forgetfulness) Since I last wrote the game has moved into the Alpha, and now the Beta tests. I have a group of 6 Players running individual characters. The Story and elements have introduced them to the setting and they are moving right along in the story. We have made some adjustments to mechanics (dual wielding weapons,a few new Talents, notes on healing, racial traits, Health and initiative.) So far the players have all voiced a positive response to the mechanics and the dice system; two integral parts of the game itself, an interest to know even more about the setting and world of Aern (the setting is woven into the game, but leaves room for the person running the game to change, add and edit as they will to make new stories in a world with hundreds of cities, villages, and sites.) The players made low level characters and have faced several combat and non-combat challenges. As the game progresses we will be bringing them through higher levels of gameplay to test the more intricate game mechanics. At the same time I have been adding, editing and reworking portions of the Loremaster guide (the handbook for the person running the game) for streamlined play and adjudication. The Monster list grows and gets more detailed each time we play; I find myself making notes and having flashes of new ideas all the time! Keep posted as the playtest advances soon I will be obtaining all the legal forms (noncompete, nondisclosure, and Copywrite) to allow me to expand the playtest to outside groups. I am hoping to be able to personally run the first session for new groups to give w asense of gameplay, mechanics, the game world and setting; answering questions and making notes. Playtest groups will be expected to fill out questionnaires regularly to help with development and will be thanked by name in the final publication of the book(s) Thanks for your interest! Ray ps. please follow my blog and suggest it to anyone that may be interested.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Falling Iron Updates, Comic Book Progress and here is to a new year! Blog info as well!

Hey everyone! Another year has come to a close and a new one has begun; new and exciting things are also happening in my personal life ( I am getting married in a few months!)as well as my professional and gaming futures! Falling Iron is progressing nicely and though I have missed my initial projected target release dates of late November or early December,the play test is close at hand. With a handful of minor nit-picky detail oriented things left to tweak (finishing a "rewards and curses" system involved with character deaths and resurrections, little things like poisons and traps, etc) and with editing really just a matter of both Jacqui and I syncing up some of the work done and finishing the last few remaining parts of the book, Falling Iron is truly about to be ready for initial play-test release! With numerous classes, a dozen or more races, magic and quick to learn combat system (that the players can influence the difficult of the rolls!) I really look forward to the next step AFTER the play-test has begun- the additions to the set in the Expanded Ruleset. The Expanded Ruleset will be included with the standard rules in one volume. The expanded rules will include a few more races, more spells, more combat options, a ritual magic system for both Arcane and Divine magic,new weapons, gear and a new Magic Item section- including relics (Divine Magic origins) and artifacts (arcane Items of legend) as well two more additional settings and more! The Sage As Falling Iron progresses I have also pulled my comic, The Sage, from the back burner and begun initial stages of blocking out new pages, creating new story-lines, reworking the look of the heroes and villains of that world, researching historical photos for reference, and an effort to begin to really delve into the finalized full story arc! The characters, locations, and events have all been through so many changes over the years I have been chipping away at this project (with its false starts, my half-hearted attempts of just slogging through, the synchronicity troubles, etc) however I truly feel like I have distilled the very best version of each to bring forward a compelling story in the vein of classic Golden age era comics with a modern day twist. The initial story is set in an alternate historical London, during WWII, during the Blitz ( a horrifying time of danger and a growing darkness). A hero once more is called upon, with his sidekick The Acolyte the two fight the forces of darkness. I look forward to trying to get readership of this blog up (and with that a stronger sense of obligation, on my part, to you the reader to write more frequently and more regularly) Once Falling Iron has entered the Beta test phase I will finalize all of the copyright information (providing that here) and I will be able to discuss with more detail different aspects of the Game! Thank you for reading and if you enjoy my ramblings about Falling Iron, The Sage, comic books, board games, movies and more nerdy stuff please encourage others to join the page! The more readers the more I will write I promise!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Oh, the many nerdy things.

Falling Iron races towards the beta-test (in most ways it is ready to play and nearly complete!) The game itself is ready to go, with the only things remaining to do: add more to the 40+ page players guide/setting, a few minor details here and there, the dreaded Copyright process, which I have been and writing the legal-ese or the non-compete and non disclosure agreements; after which points I am hoping to have a robust beta testing period (lasting between 3 and 5 months) The game will also have an expansion once the beta is finalized and the game moves closer to the final version. This expansion will have more religions, more magic, more monsters, several more classes, races and details with which a player can tweek their character, etc. It has been difficult to not rush forward, begin illustrating/ finding artists,add the expansion rules,etc. My main concern is a playable, FUN game with cohesive ideas/rules/concepts, that longtime role playing fans can appreciate and new players can pick up and easily enjoy. The system is one of a divergent complexity. If a player wants to try simple combat maneuvers and attacks- the rules are there. If a different player wishes to improvise, the Loremaster (the person running the game) has the tools to allow for complex improvisation without the hindrance of a mountain of rules and rolls in the way. All while giving the player the ability to alter their difficulty with the Dice system. I am excited to see this game spring to life. The setting, is already a great source of stories I am readying for future releases. Mini adventure arcs, that Loremasters will be able to add to their own campaigns. More on Falling Iron coming soon! (ps. I am looking to create a webpage for the game starting very soon anyone have suggestions on webmasters, hosting, etc?)