In the golden days of pen & paper roleplaying games, several publishers and numerous magazines thrived on contributions from the fan base, sometimes paid but often not: from well-written short stories to elaborate maps, character sketches, and equipment charts. This, as a genre, has subsided. Some dedicated Web sites can still be found—but mostly they’re hosting rather ancient stuff. Recent stuff is rare and lacks ambition: it’s not well thought-out, it’s not well told, it’s not well written.

Alongside a science fiction writing project geared toward being published the old-fashioned way, gyokusai:collateral tales aims at bringing pen & paper roleplaying games into the Internet age, and at reviving the aforementioned tradition. The roleplaying system’s backdrop will be based on an ongoing series of novels, and the community will be “fed” with details, goodies, and surprises, virtually in real-time, by the author. On the other hand, contributions from the community in the form of stories, maps, character sketches, equipment charts, rule extensions, and much more, will be gathered, edited, and electronically published. And possibly even sold—so contributors can get paid. But to justify a price tag, contributions will have to be well thought-out, well told, well written. That’s why there will be peer reviews and other obstacles to tackle before contributions are allowed to be published under the community label.

This, in a nutshell, is what gyokusai:collateral tales will be about.