Spirited Tools

The Cover ImageSpirited Tools is the most recent thing I have written for Torg Eternity on the Infiniverse Exchange.

In Torg Eternity, the rules of reality are different in different areas, and in the Living Land high technology and magic do not work, but there is a very high level of spiritual power. One of the fun things about the game is people from other realities trying to use tools that work perfectly well in the reality they are currently in, but which do not work in their own reality. Things can go wrong in entertaining ways. The problem is that, in the official material, the Living Land has almost no items like that. A lot of realities have technology that is above the level of many characters, and several have magic items in the same situation, but all the official things that draw on the Living Land’s high Spirit axiom are restricted to characters from the Living Land, who thus have the same Spirit axiom. That’s no fun.
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Infiniverse Exchange Bundle

The bundle cover imageThe Bundle of Holding, a very good source of digital RPGs at bargain prices, is currently running a bundle for Torg Eternity. I felt that this was a good opportunity to run a bundle of all the products I have written for Torg Eternity, and am selling on the Infiniverse Exchange. So, I have created a bundle at 50% off.

I actually made it yesterday, and I’ve already sold five of it. Five sales of everything (well, apart from the things that purchasers already owned) in a day is much, much faster than normal, so the limited-time special offer appears to be working its marketing magic.
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An Edeinos in Core Earth

The Cover ImageAn Edeinos in Core Earth is a small supplement for Torg Eternity, which I published on the Infiniverse Exchange earlier this year. In the game, earth (called Core Earth) has been invaded by a number of different realities, one of which, called The Living Land, has focused on North America. These realities have their own natives, who are human, or nearly so, in most cases. The Living Land, however, is an important exception. The native intelligent species there is the edeinos, who are humanoid lizards. This means that they are obviously “not from around here” when they travel in Core Earth.
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Home Front: Philadelphia

The Cover ImageHome Front: Philadelphia is another short supplement for Torg Eternity. In Torg Eternity, Earth has been invaded by different realities, and much of North America is under the influence of a primitive action reality called The Living Land. The city of Philadelphia, however, is an island of Earth’s old reality, called Core Earth in the game. I wanted to make it into a viable base for a campaign set early in the game’s timeline.
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8 Million Gods

The cover image8 Million Gods is another supplement that I wrote for Torg Eternity. As you might be able to guess from the cover image, it is an adaptation of Shinto to work within the game world. One of my reasons for writing this is that I wanted to be able to create and play Shinto characters in the game, and that had not been a priority for the designers. (Unsurprisingly.) A further reason for writing it was that portrayals of Shinto in gaming have, in the past, not been very good. (Recently, Scion, from Onyx Path, has done a good job — and I wasn’t really involved.)
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12 Perils for the Living Land

Image of the Book Cover12 Perils for the Living Land is not really a book; it is a very short supplement for Torg Eternity, specifically for the Living Land, as you might be able to guess from the title. The Living Land is a primitive reality, complete with jungles, dinosaurs, and lost ruins, which has primarily taken over parts of the USA and Canada.

Torg Eternity makes a lot of use of cards, including “Cosm Cards”, which can be played while in a certain reality to reinforce the conventions of that reality, and make each of the realities feel different in play. This is a very good idea, because the differences between realities are an important part of what makes Torg feel distinctive. One of the cards for the Living Land is “Perils of the Living Land”, which means that the group face a peril.
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Road to Philadelphia

Torg was a roleplaying game released about thirty years ago in which earth was invaded by different realities, different genres of roleplaying game, and you played characters from these different realities who all worked together to fight the invaders. Thus, fantasy wizards worked with cyberpunk hackers and two-fisted pulp detectives to defeat dinosaur-riding lizardmen. It was a lot of fun, but never one that I got into in any depth.

A couple of years ago it was relaunched as Torg Eternity, with new rules and a slightly revised background. The publisher also created a Community Content program, the Infiniverse Exchange, where fans of the game can publish material for it and charge money for them.
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The Empty Seat Revisited

When Baye McNeil writes about the empty seat phenomenon in Japan, the aversion that Japanese people have to sitting next to him on public transport, or, indeed, anywhere, he gets a lot of responses. Many of those responses are from people — white, black, male, female — who have the same experience. Many others, however, are from people — white, black, male, female — who do not have that experience. These people often speculate about why he might experience it, or think he does. In turn, he speculates about why the people who claim not to have that experience say that — maybe they are Fake Newsers, or just determined not to see anything that interferes with their image of Japan.
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Japanese While White

I naturalised as a Japanese citizen almost two years ago, and so when I travel abroad, I travel on a Japanese passport.

This is interesting.

My first overseas trip was to the UK, where, for the first time, I had to join the queue for non-EU people. After a really, really long wait, I got to the desk.

“Oh wow, I didn’t know they gave these out,” says the immigration officer.
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Reflections on Teaching English in Japan

I am David Chart, and I am an English teacher.

I have been teaching English in Japan since early 2004, so for about fourteen years now. Unlike many English teachers here, I have never taught English in an institutional setting. It has always been one-on-one, or possibly one-on-two, and I have always been freelance. Thus, this essay is about my reflections on the way I have done the job, and may not apply to other people who have done it. I also know that at least some of my current students will read this, and now you know that I know.

Let’s start by explaining why I opened the essay the way I did.
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