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Stone Baby Games Welcomes You

Started by Parthenia, August 22, 2007, 11:19:38 AM

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Welcome to Stone Baby Games' little corner of the Forge, where we discuss matters of Stone Babies and my game Steal Away Jordan.

So, I'm Julia Bond Ellingboe, the ovaries, uterus, and brain behind Stone Baby Games. I live out in Western Massachusetts with my non-gamer husband Chris, our gamely children Bea and Ingrid, two African Clawed Frogs (who mate once a year and eat their young if we're too slow to fish them out), and our three cats James, Harold, and Maude. Harold and Maude are probably the biggest house cats you'll ever see, so if you want a feline freak show of a time, come visit us out here in Greenfield.

The name Stone Baby Games has a couple of origins. My daughter Ingrid has a thing for garden statues, especially a 5 inch Buddha state we generally keep to mark were our late cat Sal is buried. She likes to carry her Buddha around the way some children carry around teddy bears or blankets. It's her stone baby. The other Stone Baby origin is homage to, surprise, surprise, a role playing game character.

I just returned from a smashingly successful GenCon, where I demoed Steal Away Jordan til I lost my voice. I'm now trawling the forums to see people's reaction to the game. Thanks to all who tried the game. I enjoyed meeting all these wonderful people and look forward to returning to GenCon next year.

Wow! Apparently my game struck a chord. Great! I've also heard that some people are afraid to play it. While that is incredibly flattering, I hope the fearful will take a chance and give it a whirl. Establish your boundaries! Engage fully! Play safely, honestly, and responsibly and no one will get hurt. Not with lasting injuries at least.

I'd love to hear more Actual Play. I tried to playtest before publishing as much as possible, but I know there are things that aren't clear or just didn't work. If something came up in your game and the rules didn't work for it, I want to know. I am happy to answer questions and accept feedback. Also, I saw some really beautiful things happen in demos and in playtesting. I want to hear more. Also, I think this game sells itself through play. It's hard to sell by saying it's a game about slavery or about slaves, or even about creating slave narratives. But saying, "yeah, it's all those things, and it's an awesome game" will get people interested.

Many people asked if Steal Away Jordan is a "fun" game. Honestly, it's not fun in the way that some a lighter hearted game like Best Friends (one of my favorite fun games) is fun. But I've had fun playing, I've seen fun happen at the Steal Away Jordan game table, so yeah. It's fun. And it pushes buttons. And it might make you re-examine long held beliefs about people, that non-existent categorizing tool we call "race", and other issues you struggle with. We all struggle with these. I think there can be fun and pleasure in the mind changing and learning/growing pain you might get in this game. Steal Away Jordan tackles difficult issues. How you approach them is up to you. As I said before, you gotta play honestly and safely to have fun.

If you have questions about American history and slavery, I'll try to answer as best I can. I didn't put a whole lot of historical information in the first printing, but this game is more about the characters than the setting. Also, slavery lasted 400 years in the Americas. The slavery landscape changed over time, different themes emerged at different times and places. If you want more historical information, check out the easily accessible textbooks referenced in the bibliography, go to your local library, check out reliable sources on the internet. If this game compels you to learn more history, fantastic, but you don't need to know every little detail about slavery in the antebellum US to play. If you find a great resource that helped your game, let me and the rest of the Forge know!

Thank you for checking out my game!

PS Please observe Forge and other general rules of internet etiquette.


Julia!  Welcome aboard!  Glad that GenCon was a good show for you.

As I get Actual Play, I'll post links here.  Indeed, you may want to consider making a stickied "Steal Away Jordan Actual Play" thread for this purpose.  That way you get the eyeballs from the AP forum while still gathering useful resources here in your forum.
Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown

Joshua A.C. Newman

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.

Jason Morningstar

Welcome, Julia!  Great to see you here!

Emily Care

Thanks for writing this great game, Julia! I look forward to hearing much more about it, and your next new ideas...

Koti ei ole koti ilman saunaa.

Black & Green Games


I just wanted to express my profound admiration for Steal Away Jordan. Your book was by far the best purchase I made at GenCon 07. If I am ever able to write a game half as good, I shall die a happy fellow. Bravo Ms. Ellingboe!


Wow! Thank you, Jason. I look forward to hearing about how play went!



It was great meeting you at GenCon. I'm looking forward to running your game for some of the locals, When I do, I'll post an AP.
Scott Bennie