Don Bisdorf

I write roleplaying games and fiction, and I develop software.

I also sometimes post on Twitter and on Mastodon.

Here's what I've been up to lately. (RSS Feed)


Changes

I took the dogs out one morning last week and discovered that autumn had arrived overnight:

Our dog Tessa, gazing out at a field full of reds and browns.

We were hoping that fall would bring construction of our new house, but it looks like we were over-optimistic. Our latest conversation with our builder suggests that we'll break ground early next year ins...

Continue Reading...


A Deck Full of Heroes

Some superhero roleplaying games have random character generation, and I can see the appeal. Random choice of elements can provide inspiration for interesting concepts you wouldn't have thought of otherwise. In my experience, though, the problem with randomly generating a superhero character is that...

Continue Reading...


Projects in Motion

For the past few weeks, I've been trying to build a little computer pinball game. I enjoy playing pinball--though I'm terrible at it--and I'm fascinated by how combining and arranging several basic play systems within a constrained physical environment can provide such a wide variety of interesting...

Continue Reading...


The Many Faces of Here

This is our closest library:

Pellston Library

The Pellston Library is actually only about the south third of that building. The rest is the community center. However, it's part of the Michigan interlibrary loan system, and it's connected to Hoopla for digital loans, so our borrowing options aren't limited.

Y...

Continue Reading...


Settling In Up North

Mary Lynn and I have finally moved the last of our stuff to our new temporary home in Northern Michigan. Our plan is to start building a new house this fall, and until then we're renting a little house on the property belonging to Mary Lynn's sister Pam. The rental house is about half the size of ou...

Continue Reading...


Soar: Early Preview Draft

I've been toying with an idea for a PBTA-ish superhero RPG, and though it's far from finished, I've posted what I have so far to itch.io, and you can click here to see it.

Soar RPG cover image

I like playing with cards, and I like the idea of an RPG I can carry around in the form of a tarot-sized deck, with maybe...

Continue Reading...


Star Wars Playbooks for Cortex Prime

I like playbooks in my RPGs. I like how they guide you toward creating setting-appropriate characters, and I like how they get you into the game quickly and easily. So when I considered using Cortex Prime to play Star Wars, my thoughts drifted toward playbooks. The West End Games Star Wars RPG had c...

Continue Reading...


City of Crystal in Paperback

After several arguments with Microsoft Word and Amazon's self-publishing web site, City of Crystal is now available in paperback.

I'm still working toward making Stone of Names and City of Crystal available on itch.io. I'm using this project as an excuse to play with pandoc, which means it mig...

Continue Reading...


Save the Realm: A Game Jam RPG

As part of the Roll to Craft Game Jam, Mary Lynn and I put together a quest-journey RPG called Save the Realm.

Cover image of the Save the Realm RPG

It's based on Save the Universe, but with new playbooks and several significant changes to the rules. The rules we posted on itch.io are in an early stage; they're playable, but...

Continue Reading...


City of Crystal available for Kindle

My new short fantasy novel, City of Crystal, is now available on the Amazon Kindle bookstore. This is a sequel to Stone of Names, and follows Cahtri on her continuing quest to learn the truth about her mother's people.

City of Crystal book cover

In the coming weeks I hope to make a print-on-demand paperback version av...

Continue Reading...