The Forge Archives

Independent Game Forums => Beyond the Wire Productions => Topic started by: Marshall Burns on August 26, 2008, 07:28:02 PM

Title: Welcome to Beyond the Wire Productions
Post by: Marshall Burns on August 26, 2008, 07:28:02 PM
Hi, welcome to the forum for Beyond the Wire Productions.  BtW consists of me, and a few friends that I'm collaborating with on some new game ideas.

I primarily set this board up for discussing The Rustbelt (, the ashcan game I released at GenCon this year, so if you've picked up the book or your curious or whatever and you want to ask some questions or give comments or something, go for it!  Also, you should feel free to talk about my freebie game Super Action Now! ( too.  And there will eventually be new games too; I have too many ideas.

Title: Re: Welcome to Beyond the Wire Productions
Post by: Jason Morningstar on August 27, 2008, 03:10:28 PM
Congratulations on your ashcan and your new forum! 
Title: Re: Welcome to Beyond the Wire Productions
Post by: Marshall Burns on August 28, 2008, 07:11:49 PM
Thanks!  I am excited.  And nervous.
Title: Re: Welcome to Beyond the Wire Productions
Post by: David Berg on October 20, 2008, 07:20:13 PM
I know you have a whole bunch of games in development.  Can you provide a link (or two) per game for someone who wants to "get the gist" (whether those be Forge threads, blog posts, texts you have online, or whatever)?

Or, if you don't want to bother with all that, please just point me to Witch Trails.  :)
Title: Re: Welcome to Beyond the Wire Productions
Post by: Marshall Burns on October 21, 2008, 07:29:14 PM
Oh, hey, yeah, I should do that.  I'll get started on that soon.

I don't think I have a text online for Witch Trails, but I've got a really really old one I can email you.  I'm not sure how useful it'll actually be, but it'll be something.  I haven't bothered to write an updated version yet.  It's only fun for me to write out a text when I'm designing it at the same time I'm writing it -- if I've already designed it, then writing it is gruntwork, and it wears me down.  However, I will be writing up an updated version of the resolution systems, 'cause I'm gonna let Matt (Reaction) put them in the PDF anthology he's planning to do with those Grindhouse-based games (since the WT system is based on Spaghetti Westerns).

Here's the playtest thread about the "Strange Fruit" scenario: (

Title: Re: Welcome to Beyond the Wire Productions
Post by: Marshall Burns on October 22, 2008, 02:56:04 PM
Ok, here's the list of the ones I'm pretty serious about (there's plenty of others that are just experiments and larks).

The Rustbelt - grim misadventure in an unforgiving world.  At it's core, it's about how much you're willing to go through to get what you want, and how much you allow that environment to change you.  It's for Narrativist play.  There's a bunch of threads on Playtesting here about it:
GM flails, but at least the system rocks (
Cruel Cargo (
A rabid elephant - on fire (
A maiden in distress - on fire (
Betrayal and shooting at angry mobs twice (
GenCon playtest feedback & questions (
Opium, haunted memories, and killing your friend (

Super Action Now! - an absurd and cartoonish game in which everything can happen and probably will.  It's very spiky and antagonistic and sometimes mean, but only because it's funny.  You get points for making people laugh, and you get 10 points if they laugh so hard they fall out of their chair; that's what kind of game this is.  It's for Simulationist play, although it can be Drifted to Narrativism fairly easily.
Latest rules draft (
There's plenty of playtest threads about this one too.  Here's some of 'em:
Bubba Bad's Bad Day (
Rules changes, and highlights from Jimbo's Saga and the Fantastical Wizard of Frotz (
DIY Porn Studio vs. Morality Police, with couch-on-couch love! (
Post-apocalyptic Olympics (

Witch Trails: the Invisible History of the American West - Spaghetti Western plus US history plus dark folktales, shaping into something not too dissimilar from X-Files or MiB in the Old West.  Although I prefer the mashup "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow meets A Fistful of Dollars."  It's for Simulationist play, although, with some different Situation mechanics ported in from somewhere, the system could be used for Narrativism.
Strange Fruit ( (playtest)

MASK - a game about masked men of mystery who take the law into their own hands and fight crime in the dark streets of the big city.  It revolves around how much you're willing to risk to pursue your aims, and whether the risk was worth it.  Narrativism is the plan.
Vigilante detectives in costumes ( (original blog post with rough draft of the rules)
Post on SG asking for help with a name. (  I made some posts in there about the game's thematic territory.  I also changed my mind about the name since then, as you can see)
MASK adjustment ( (blog post detailing the current version of the resolution mechanic)

American Wizards - the fascinating, extraordinary, tumultuous, and occasionally dangerous lives of students at the American Institute of Wizard Arts.  System is intended to produce a tri-corner conflict between increasing your power, maintaining relationships, and avoiding corruption -- somewhat like Sorcerer, but more lighthearted.  Intended for Narrativist play.
American Wizards in a nutshell ( (blog post with pretty much all the rules so far)

Knuckleheads! - a slapstick game, in the tradition of the Three Stooges and Laurel & Hardy.  Intended for Simulationist play.
Slapstick Game ( (blog post with all the rules)

OBLITERATI: the Unspeakable Horror of the Literary Lifestyle - a comedy of manners about a group of novelists competing to finish their current book first and steal everyone's thunder.  Intended for Gamist play, although I have a suspicion it'll end up being more Narrativist.
OBLITERATI ( (all the rules)

GRiM - basically, Castlevania the RPG, but I'll market it as "the game of operatic horror adventure."  With a combat system that captures the dynamic of the old Castlevania games.  It has one big piece that it's missing before it's ready for a prototype.  Intended for Gamist play.

Ride! With Great Justice - your basic futuristic anime cop drama, with lots of motorcycles.  I've almost got a prototype ready for it.  Intended for Gamist play.

The Warring States - historical Narrativism in Sengoku era Japan.  See this blog post:
The Warring States (

Uncanny Underground - highly magical (to the point of surreality) conflict between factions in a dark cityscape.  It's still in conceptual stages only because every prototype I've cooked up for it so far hasn't worked.  Intended for Simulationist play.

Soldier - teenage street gangs in the big city.  Heavily inspired by The Warriors, although things like The Outsiders, The Wanderers, and Westside Story can't go ignored.  It needs a system that drives a wedge between the individual and the gang, and asks you tough questions about what you're going to do about that.

Jeez.  That's a lot of stuff.