Tuesday 25 June 2019

Changing my Focus a bit...

In lots of scenes I have been involved with, many participants evolve into being semi pro monsey makers. It happened in my streetart scene and it happened to blogging on elfgames. People once freely gave out creativity, artists used to hang out and draw together and as they went pro they hid their blackbooks and stopped showing their projects. Peers turned into competitors in the worst cases. I dont think im in danger of giving up on diy freebie stuff yet but my work has changed due to a number of things partly from Patreon and partly from the experience of running games in state with less diverse gaming and me being a nomad.

When I was running three games a week of mostly dnd ish games my sandbox style worked well as I could use my old creations here to help run ad hoc improvised games. I could grab a old map of the net or a Dyson book or doodle one in my notebook  and use tables to populate and decorate them. It also allowed me campagn flexibility and players autonomy. If the players went to the city and partied they might roll on carousing tables and that might lead to the whole party jumping on a ship or fighting a sewer cult or something crazy all from dice rolling. The old Chaosium thieves worldbox set with the tables used in RuneQuest Cities in RQ3 era (Mikadema press?) was good for this and probably got me started. Traveller patrons book was good for this too. Later the RQ3 Glorantha box set got me using tables as a way of painting portraits of everyday life in a setting or location rather than blocks of text or prose.

The last 3 years in Canberra, Adeleaide and Sydney has changed my game style lots. Now instead of campagns im lucky if i get 2-3 sessions in a row. My Cthulhu game has got into it's 3rd year. My TSR Marvel game has now 7 players and is fortnight since I lifted my game and wrote more memorable and cinematic adventures. But dnd games Ive struggled to have a meaningful campagn.I have played enough to play test Exilon, Xor and Psychon which is nice but the demands of my game have changed.

So having lots of short adventures is proving more useful. The one-sheet dungeon zine format I have enjoyed the last few years and have done about 15. Some on my downloads page here now. The threefold thing has been good for me gaining lots of new readers and interest and has trippled my patreon subscriptions. Playtesting has been good - I get 2.5 done in along 6 hour game. Some of the 3folds with looser content make good fill ins and divergences which might get resolved in play. Players seem very positive about my home brew rules as a mix of old and newschool ideas with speed of play in older games. 

The 3folds have expanded my campagn settings well. After about 7 3folds were done I realised I could put them all on a hexcrawl map and then the Threefold land was borne and the idea of each 10 vols being a seperate setting some which might connect. Threefold land I put on the continent below Exile Island and Shadelport which I have done plenty on. The second series I used Exilon my Faux babylonia setting which is actually set a few thousand years before my standard setting and Shadelport is still a monster filled ruin from the monster empire. The third due to requests was a Psychon series. I made these focus on building types to drop into a gamma world type ruin crawl or my gamma oz game and often found in Psychon. Fourth series has been sour hill a region to the west of the threefold land. Ive written these up to vol40 with limited patreon release on some.

Polls I ran didnt seem keen on me doing the south beneath Threefold lands and Sour Hill but I have a map and planned it to be more knight and estate focused. Polls did say yes to me doing a Shadelport series with a suburb and street and a building per 3fold which is great because I get to finish off a old project from 6-7 years ago of mapping the city in detail plus I will map the bridges of Shadelport where I dream of having characters trapped inside when they lose their papers. A underland series will finish this with some links to Sour Hill and and my previous Underland campaigns I have run since the 80s Dungeoneer's survival book - the one book I kept from ADnD (i got most back though since). These will feature underland locations to drop in underground explorations. My take is different to Veins in the Earth or Operation Unfathomable but could be used with them. With Patrick about I dont think my setting is the bleakest anymore.

Im working on a format for a more gonzo Psychon series now featuring a citidel an hex and adventure seeds in each vol now. I'm gearing up to get Psychon going again, talking to artists (will do some profiles and interviews) getting a hard cover set up on LuLu and aiming at a xmas KS campagn if my life stops booting me in the face as it could in a few months. I might even seem middle class in 2 months fingers crossed.

Id like to do some more faux history like Vikings or Aegypt. I have lots of art ready for those. A Xor series I would like but I would need to get artists on board and pay them to really make this work.

Art and editing my biggest bottlenecks. Psuedo history has lots of old books now public domain I can plunder. Xor and Psychon are harder. I might try doing a call of cthulhu thing too as apparently some writers on the fan content creations have gone onto better things. Editing is my biggest headache as Im dyslexic and mostly rely on fan readers to proof. Part of why I want to KS Psychon is to pay for editors and Artists and set up income stream to do more polished work. Someone could employ me as a game designer though.

The threefolds has me using photoshop lots (CS3) and my visual communications and speed has improved. Keen to revise some old projects some time. I have also played with ow much info i can cram in a 3fold. I have done whole ruined cities, a mile wide dungeon and cave complex as 3folds. Others have had more npcs and and monsters and just been short adventures or locations. My style has evolved a lot doing these. Ive played about half which was good. The Secret of Granny's Hole was a favourite. When I move for the 8th time since december I hope to get a new fortnightly sunday game going again. One local con charges GMs. Another got me doing a JP signed police check then wanted me to do a OHS course which broke me. Hoping to go to Canberra and Melbourne for cons and dream of a trip to Korea, Japan and Palau.

Will still do d100s but the need for them in my games and priorities has diminished. I still get some requests to use in publications or translations which is nice.

There is some open content on my Patreon and polls about my projects for anyone so take a look. Currently for even a buck there are 4-5 items a month coming out thanks to some of the higher paying members. Also check out my Downloads page which I update fairly often.

A new something out this weekend for public release...

As always your readership and clicks and feedback are highly appreciated and help me get through the horrid times I have had the last few years.


  1. You've mentioned before that things have been rough for you and I'm still sorry to hear that :/. Have you considered publishing any of your work, even the stuff that you offer for free on this blog, on drivethrurpg or itch.io? Even if it were PWYW, I like having my digital products tied to an account where they can be re-retrieved and accessed through an account library. I am more comfortable paying a few dollars or however much here and there for a PWYW product in that way than an ongoing patreon or standalone pdf purchase, and I don't really buy physical books at all. I don't know how representative that is of other people, but if it wouldn't be too much of a hassle, you should consider it. Also it doesn't have to be PWYW, your work deserves full pricing, I just mean since you offer some stuff for free here anyway.

  2. Gosh, sounds like you're in the witness protection program! I hope you can get to Perth one day.

    1. i like perth and tactics
      could happen but avoiding specific ppl there bit

  3. I think you've got a back catalogue of d100 tables that'd take anyone years to get through. :D

    1. Its true but i have a big list of unfinished projects


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