Interesting Reddits

Friday, September 17, 2010

A little about the process...

... of getting my setting and modules into something that I feel like publishing.

This'll probably be the subject I'll post on for a while. I'm still nowhere near done even with the Snakes Among Us module, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel... or is that a train?

So the things I've learned so far:

One bite at a time means you still have to take a lot of bites.

I knew when someone asked me to run a modern game for a change, and I rolled a "ancient holy symbol" as one of the random items in the attic of the house the guys had to clear of rival gang members... that I was going to take my infant campagin setting and run it in three time periods. I also knew that meant this was going to be a freaking HUGE project.

So one bite at a time... except it was kinda like each bite exposed more of the mountain. I've been biting for years now... and I still don't know where the bottom of the plate is, but I kinda like that.

Don't be afraid of other authors or game designers stuff

Three ideas I threw out because shortly after starting on them I read a book or module summary that was so close to what I'd thought up I feared I'd be accused of stealing. It was with David Weber's Oath of Swords that I finally realized something people had been saying around me. "No story is original anymore."

The really good story ideas exist somewhere else... you are influenced by what you read and hear and see. Don't throw something out because it's too close to that... the real originality comes from making a story or scenario yours, with your flavor and your touch. That's not an excuse to rip something straight out of another book and run with it... that's just lazy... but if you like something, chances are someone else likes it too... its what about it you like, and what you see in it yourself that makes it interesting.

Prepare for abandonment
I've tried to get commissions for artwork several times along the way... only to have whoever I was talking to fall off the face of the planet. Same with writing and editing help. Heck, I've had hell simply keeping a gaming group together long enough to playtest stuff. I'm not talking about free/barter work only either. It happens, this project is in most people's point of view "small". I'm not backed by some known company or publisher. So even when I'm willing to pay upfront (thankfully no one insisted yet) I'm on the back burner. I let it stop my work once or twice... that was dumb. Don't do it, don't take it personal when it happens.

I still need artists and authors for help... so if anyone wants to play... let me know. That said...

Look at your strengths and weaknesses, and find Friends that fill the wholes

If your doing something like this, without the backing of a publisher (yet)... make friends with people who'll be able to do the things you can't. You'll still be paying them money to do it, but a good rapport with an artist makes it easier to get art.

Or at least, I hope it does... It did with story pieces, but I don't have any character artist friends yet -_-;

Be prepared to start over, a lot

Anything from blowing your world map away, to loosing all your work to a bad hardrive and poor backup practices, to going "okay that was just dumb"... It'll happen, more than once... Don't let it eat you.

That's it for this week. Next week I'll gripe a little more about this project (probably what I'm currently fussing with)... and post some tidbit about Krenna.

PS. I really do need character sketchers and artists... holy symbols are one thing I'd like to knock out soon. Comment or email me! noble(dot)hays(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A sneak peek! Comments DEMANDED

Alright, I know this is less than a day from my last post... but a piece of my first module that I'm willing to expose now is ready to be posted. Here's the "sales pitch" back cover text.

An ancient evil god wishes to make his return to power, and the answer to stop him is split and buried in the tombs and secrets of two neighboring realms. One realm is respected, and envied by the other. One realm has trouble brewing in its nobility. One has a cult growing in its heart. One has been infiltrated by the beginnings of an invasion. Will the hero's defeat the god? Will they find the truth? Will a realm grow? Will war, and a plague bring a realm to its death?

The town of Parth has been raided by unknown forces, and just over the border, the line of succession in a small Barony has come into... question. Is there really a cult devoted to the most feared and hated of the ancient gods growing in one of the most respected kingdoms of Krenna? Is a baron of Khamshom really raiding the very villages he's supposed to be protecting? Can the party find out the truth? Will they be able to stop the dark god's return? Will a entire barony defect to its neighbor? The answers to these questions are in this first installment of a four piece campaign.

So there it is. It will of course be run by a few editors before the final... but I thought I'd actually post it for people to see I'm not crazy and I am working on something.

What do you all think?

Lots of Gaming, Advice given, finally some time on the player side of the board

Okay, so this is late. I'm still in a simi-permanent state of exhaustion. So meh.

Anyway, I still haven't been able to read more than a single chapter in a sitting on Prince of Wolves. Infact I'm having a hard time staying interested enough to finish a whole chapter per sitting. It's getting predictable and bleh...

I did however get some gaming in this weekend. More work (playtesting) on my personal setting. I should have the ending dungeon for the first module/chapter of adventure path flushed out quite soon. Go Me!

I also got some advice kinda threw at me that I've now heard several times.

"You through too much thought and backstory into a pickup game!!"

Hmm... perhaps he's right... after all he ran a pickup game for me and the other player (this is a pair that I thought were going to be the base of a good group that started fighting... for those that remember that post... they're not fighting anymore... but one's talking about Egypt in January and the other's talking about Oregon in December... WHY!!!???????)

Damn real life.

I'm getting side tracked. He was able to get us going fairly quickly... Back story was quick, but not really that much quicker than mine... the bit that was different was that the first NPC he threw at us didn't do a whole lot of explaining details the players hadn't seen... I'll have to think about this. Also, when we did get NPC's to talk to... I found myself asking all the questions his NPCs didn't volunteer information that mine tend to do. So it could all be a difference in play style.

Any way... now there's three games going with a person who I barely get to see once a month, two of which require someone else I only get to see twice a month, and getting all three of us together in the same place seems to happen once every three months... Ouch. But we enjoyed it all...

I need to get in gear about taking another stab at making maptool behave. Which means finishing my blasted computer rebuild. Next weekend I go back home, so we'll see what happens there.