Today I broke ground on my sixth adventure module that I plan on publishing. I admit to feeling a certain amount of pride when I look back over my production of the past couple of years. In reducing my television and videogaming hours I've found the extra time is well spent writing, illustrating, and publishing original works. I don't make much money, but D&D is something I'm going to mess around with anyway, so why not take my work a couple steps further and publish it? If nobody wants it, that won't bother me either. My sales could be $0 (which they sometimes nearly are) and I would continue because the value isn't in the money. At least, most of the value isn't.
I started with THE BLASPHEMOUS BREWERY OF PILZ! after Zak wrote an inspiring post shortly after his Vornheim publication in which he called on OSR members toward self-publication. Next, I published THE HORRENDOUS HEAP OF SIXTEEN CITIES! Number-wise, this product sold far less than my original effort. However, I feel that the production values and editing were far surperior even if the adventure itself didn't reasonate with as meany readers. In fact, I just got a call from the copier that my print edition of HEAP is finished and will go up for sale soon, so keep an eye out!
Next came my personal favorite; THE VEILED INVOCATION. In this adventure I collaborated with six other OSR members to, literally, put them in an adventure. Their characters were used and I bent them to the will of my story. I also illustrated each person with relish. I blended my love of math and mysteries to create an adventure of which I am exceptionally proud. I can admit, though, that few reviewers displayed the love for Pythagorean theorems that I did in so choosing to insert them as a dungeon trap. The production value on my third entry was basic; not a lot of fluff and fancy illustrations. In the few reviews it did manage to receive, several voiced concern about the plainess of the layout. I must admit that I didn't complete an illustration for every encounter like I did in HEAP, but I was working towards a specific print-product layout goal in mind. I am especially proud to have included a complete illustrated magic booklet at the end of the adventure which can be used as a really cool player handout, but I digress.
Another thing I really liked about releasing INVOCATION as a print product was seeing all the Europeans buying it. It was very cool writing down those foreign addresses on my envelopes and dropping them off in my mailbox. From a small town in Ohio to entire world! I see the names of different countries through Google blogger analytics, but it's very different to mail hardcopies out yourself! To those few who purchased this game, thank you!
The fourth was a revamped version of my first adventure. This time I called it THE BLASPHEMOUS BREWERY OF PILZ: EXTRA STOUT EDITION! I don't feel like I tricked anyone into spending more money for a similar adventure. All you have to do is compare the original PILZ to EXTRA STOUT and you see there were substantial differences. The other thing I did was playtest it several times at Gencon 2012. Every playtest was with a group of complete strangers. what better way to playtest? EXTRA STOUT is probably my most complete and traditional D&D adventure; lots of maps, monsters, traps, tables, and the always illusive +1 sword of inebriation (if you have to ask, you can't handle it big guy). Though, I think I shot myself in the foot by designating it "adult" in RPGNow since many people have their accounts set to block such stuff. Honestly, it's not that adult, though.
Two projects are currently in the works and one is very different than my previous efforts. I'm about 15% finished with my fifth adventure, which is a nearly entirely urban setting. I don't have a title for it yet, but for my regular readers know I'm talking about Shatensite. I have the outline completely finished, along with six illustrations. Text-wise, the rough draft is currently sitting around fifteen pages, but I reckon it's going to end up being my largest adventure by far. In fact, I plan on publishing this adventure in five seperate, but related books. Each book with its own unique theme and illustrations. This product will also be rules light. Light enough that I don't need the OGL at all.
My sixth adventure, which I finally moved from outline to rough draft today, is called ONLY THE COLD AIR IS CLEAN and it could very well be finished before Shatensite becuase it's considerably brief. It is an encounter-heavy adventure with low re-playability. However, I'm really excited about this one because I should have it done in a few months for a very affordable price. It will be easy to pick-and-play. It will pull content from my other adventures heavily, thus the reduced price.
To all of you who read this blog; thanks! I really can't say it enough. Sure, I do most of this writing for some cathartic chest clearing. Sure, I'm gaming it up regularly every week. The social aspect of blogging, however, is not to be denied. I've met some cool, kind, mean, and cruel people here in the OSR and happily blocked those in the later two categories while always moving forward with those in the first two. Again, thanks for reading and buying my stuff!
It's not just the readers I appreciate, but also the fellow bloggers! I've come to respect and appreciate Tim and Tim and Boric and Erik and the many others with whom I've had the immense pleasure to collaborate and play. Thanks, guys!