Hello Choombas! (Or Color Me RED)

My socials have blown up a bit since sharing the announcement I’m writing for Tales of the RED, and many new-to-me fans of Cyberpunk RED started connecting for updates. Which is great!

I mentioned via @booksofm on Twitter before I abandoned socials to deal with, well, everything else, that I would check in for updates periodically. I figured this newsletter was the best place to do that—in part, because I promised my long-standing subscribers a peek into my process and the lessons I learned from my failures. If these posts don’t make sense, and you’re a reader who’s been around for a while, please feel free to let me know. There’s other gaming-centric places I can post and direct folks to; I figured this might be of some interest.

Today, I wanted to share why I’m excited about writing two adventures for Tales of the RED. I opened up a bit in my last newsletter and, quelle surprise, reminded myself that my brain, my word-conservation writing style, the form of storytelling I most enjoy works best in cinematic spaces. Just haven’t gotten there yet and to be totally blunt: That may never happen. But, I needed to tell my stories somehow, some way. If you’re wondering: “Why gaming?” Well, now you know why it emerged as my primary medium. I just figured that out my own damn self.

Okay, back to you choombas. To tell you a bit about where I’m coming from: When I first got into gaming, it wasn’t because of Dungeons and Dragons or high fantasy (a genre I now deeply appreciate working in for its sense of wonder and character/ group empowerment). That wasn’t my first love, though. It was always the cyberpunk and vampire genres.

I did find my way into vampires, via Vampire: The Masquerade and now, thanks to DMsGuild.com’s community content program, Ravenloft. I’ve produced/written a lot about vampires, ghosts, hunters, wraiths, you-name-it over the years, so much so that my World of Darkness/Chronicles of Darkness work evolved to be a bit more utilitarian, facilitating narrative solutions than a focus on straight up narrative. That said, I have produced and/or written science fiction games before, too, notably Firefly (which I even wrote scripts, an encyclopedia, and a dictionary for, HAH HAH HAH!) but also Rimward for the transhumanist Eclipse Phase game and my free interactive fiction game Underwater Memories. (I will need to start looking for a new home for that game, so if you know of something please contact me?) Some original and tie-in stories, too, for the Shadowrun collection DRAWING DESTINY: A Sixth World Tarot Anthology and for nonfiction. But I’ve never been a straight-up science-minded person, even though I tried to fake it for personal reasons, and I deeply appreciate scientists of any background. GO SCIENCE. That said: I’ve always been excited by “what ifs” and what that means for us as individuals and in our communities.

Whether it’s by chance or by circumstance, this opportunity to write two Tales of the RED adventures for Cyberpunk RED has appeared at a wonderful time in my journey as a storyteller. (May it never end!) It gifts me with the opportunity to not only worldbuild, which is something I’ve developed a rep for, but also tap into feelings at the table by introducing a short narrative that flips a few long-standing tropes and presents hard choices—to get personal, with my developer’s guidance, to evoke those “oh shit” moments you love to role play in this wonderfully-lush world.

So thank you to Mike Pondsmith, Lisa Pondsmith, and the rest of the team at R Talsorian and to you, the fans, who are super excited. I’m excited, too! I’m grateful to be “here” because of their tireless devotion, because of your love for Cyberpunk, and because luck and timing converged to make this happen.

For me, Cyberpunk RED is a bit like coming home. Thankfully, my pitches have already been approved, and I’m working on detailed outlines as we speak. After that, all I have to do is write and then revise the adventures. Time to make a little narrative magic happen. I’m ready for it. Hope you are, too!