Saturday 16 January 2021

Journeylands Solo Play Report

Record of a solo playtest of Journeylands #1: Coral Canyons. 100% procedurally generated using the material and mechanics available in the zine.


Set out at 5pm. Using the PsyNav for the first time is... weird, but I soon settle into it. I know where I need to go.

A couple of minutes of driving and I’m getting the hang of that too. Think I can go a little faster. Saw a rock that, uh... Well let’s just say I won’t forget its shape if i see it again. Will make a good landmark on my way back to Mack’s.

17:05, saw a whale! Just for a second. It came down, still too far above to touch but I could see it clearly.

Came across a stretch of soft coral reef. I’d heard about these things, they’ll sting you if you’re not careful. I... wasn’t careful. Was already going pretty fast so figured I could just breeze through and avoid the worst of it, but they zapped the SABA 2.0 and damaged her a little. If I come back this way I’ll try going slower. Or use the shield.

Don’t know why I’m in such a rush. Still got plenty of time. But wow it feels good to go fast. The sun shining, fish swimming...

17:12, I saw what looked like an old hut. Huh. Whizzed right by it, but it seemed empty. Good to know it’s there, I guess? Wonder who built it. If anyone lives there.

Woo! This thing can really go! I’m shooting through the canyons like a sailfish now. Just leapt a gorge or a ravine or something - didn’t look down, probably a good idea. Felt like i was flying as I went across it though. Time now is quarter past 5... making good tracks.

I can see why they call this the coral canyons. Just passed through all this pink-purple stuff, looked like rippling waves. Or brains, haha. Slowed down a bit to appreciate the views.

... And, the PsyNav started calmly humming at me. Sure enough, right up ahead was the junk collector I was looking for. It feels weird how accurate it is... But strangely peaceful as I reach my destination.

The collector doesn’t say much. I explain what Mack needs and he happily hands it over. I guess people just share here in the Journeylands.

Time now is about 17:18. Got a while before sunset.

I think I’ll take the long way back.


Click here to be notified when Journeylands #1 launches on Kickstarter as part of ZineQuest 3.

Sunday 3 January 2021

The Road to Journeylands

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may remember Journeylands, my small ruleset about roadtripping a post-post-post-post apocalypse in custom vehicles.

It’s back, baby.

Art by Krzysztof Maziarz
Done for the original version of the game, way back when
Doesn’t fully work with the new version of the setting but I’ll probably still use it because LOOK AT IT

The new Journeylands will be a completely new system with accompanying anticanon setting, delivered in the form of a magazine. Each issue will be completely playable on its own, with a “vertical slice” of game materials, or you can of course combine, collect, mix and match and - hopefully - homebrew.

The new system is modular - each widget on your dashboard (read: each bit of the character sheet) is a diegetic part of your vehicle that can function independently. So these are rules and tools, mechanics that you can piece together into your own game. Every issue will have its own “finished” sheet, plus some extras to swap in and out. Then you can get another issue for more widgets, or make your own and share them.

While each widget is independent, they will of course interact in some ways and function differently depending on how they’re assembled as a whole! I hope this facilitates play through design and allows people to build games the way they want to play them. (Ha! I just tricked you into acknowledging and engaging with the GM’s role as game designer >:D)

Journeylands is also playable solo. Solo play differs pretty heavily to group play due to the absence of the classic GM role, but I hope it will be a welcome take on the ruleset for people who want to experience it that way. You can read the magazine, play a little game for yourself, have a nice time, lovely jubbly. I know last year made getting together for games hard for most of us, so hopefully this helps.

What else to say...?

Ah yes, Journeylands #1: Coral Canyons will launch on Kickstarter as part of ZineQuest 2021!

I don’t know if ZineQuest is happening this year, but, uh... well, it is now, I guess. The real ZineQuest is the friends we made along the way etc. I hope those of you who’re able to will stick around and back this project (and any other zines folks put out for ZineQuest!), and if you’re not that’s fine - share it with your friends and get excited anyway. I want to pay cool artists to make cool art. I might even contact writers I like to contribute for stretch goals if that doesn’t prove too scary for me 😬

Journeylands is a weird place that’s very personal for me. I’ve said before that I have an easier time writing J’lands content than for anything else - that’s because a lot of it is just natural, unfiltered “me”. It’s very silly, cool and hopeful. I hope it resonates with someone.

You can keep up to date with progress on the project, yell at me about it, and find out when it launches on Twitter. I’ve started a #TheRoadToJourneylands hashtag to talk about the game’s development. So, follow me for that. Or follow me and mute it, haha.

Here’s to 2021.