Saturday 3 October 2020

Recent Stuff


So Ive mostly been crafting of late and I guess I'm more patient than when younger because some of this stuff takes days to dry and I'm happy to wait to build up layers. Going through my piles of art materials has been good to purge stuff that has spoiled and has helped to make more space. Motivated to purge some stuff around the house to get more room. Did a wall of paste-up art at a punk club and my moon rocks here are aimed at decorating another club up for a month. Oddly a while back I said If I went to art school again I would do Printing and Sculpture and that's what Im doing now. 

My megadungeon project I am probably under halfway through on Patreon but trying to finish a section every few days. Bigger projects harder to keep consistent and I'm respecting some big adventures more. 

My palisade walls mostly are done with flock and some grass tufts but I need some green flock and a few touch-ups. Pencil sharpening sticks was pretty good and leftover bits I've been stuffing in other things. Made one tree scenic chunk but making trees looks hard. Stealing Xmas decor in dec might be good (with a bit of an old Xmas tree and cheap Chinese tiny trees). Making up rock and tree clumps with lumps of foam offcuts. I do like doing things as cheap as possible. A few other experiments in the works from scrap and with materials. My cobblestone battle board is nice but needs some more painting and the grass mat players kept putting drinks on which makes rings aaaarg.

Most of my backlog of want items I have and not lots of new stuff interesting to me. Looking at lots of DnD5 groups has made me a bit over modern DnD lore even though I have got a few 5th ed books. I might grab some more 2nd hand. Probably some Call of Cthulhu gear I want but with limited games on currently my enthusiasm has diminished. I guess Im awaiting the new revision of Castle Amber hardback. Lots of games featuring Mesoamerica coming out but they make me squirm a bit and I found Maztica setting box set and novels pretty disappointing (gurps Aztecs is good). Not sure if adventures about white people destroying a civilisation was a great idea. Some of the art is pretty amazing. 

Most of the Art I requested come in but not the cover or several other pieces. All the spot art in and I'm happy with them. I have an amazing full-colour cover of my stone age sorcery book revision done. My rewriting my spell lists project to finish my BX clone has stonewalled. What I have is fine for my games but not really publishable as is. The campaign is still going and all name level but running anything seems a struggle. Still, lots of players missing and not much interest in newbs. Every game feels like a struggle to get together since covid. Offered running Cthulhu but they want current ed which I have some issues with. At the moment I feel like I've written everything I want to but a few old projects I would like to finish. 

Reading lots of evolutionary biology, history and archaeology at moment fact-checking for groups I admin online.  

As usual feedback helps motivate me lots and inspires me to write. 

My paste up wall...sneaked in a dungeon map. Have done lots of posca pen artworks in another club. A bit odd as my interest in drinking or clubbing is nil.


  1. I only found your blog recently, but I appreciate all of the work you've done through the years with your d100 tables and other content. I'll be using your creations in my campaigns for years to come.

    I know the RPG industry is flooded with creators, but your tables and other works stand out among most of the other stuff out there. I really think that you should be having a lot more success than what it sounds like you are having.

    I am glad to hear that you started a Patreon and are doing a Kickstarter. I am not sure what else you may have tried to gather more attention for your work, but I can only imagine you'll have a breakthrough at some point if you just keep at it. While reading through your blog posts, I have seen you become discouraged by the process at times, but you always persevere and keep plugging away to create more wonderful content.

    Anyway, I just thought I would leave a note of thanks for everything you have shared over the years. I'll certainly keep an eye on everything you're doing.

  2. Ive never been interested in self promotion and usually do what people seem interested in of variuous things I do. Overall interest in my gaming stuff has been steadily shrinking like im writing for a dying niche within a niche. Even giving away free PDFs I get increasingly less interest. Im thinking of some non gaming writing projects in the future.

    I do get some paid jobs and requests to use my work which is nice. Patreon has made me focus on adventure writing but it is dying too. Post G+ Im less connected to other writers, I get less people linking or sharing my stuff. Writing new content here I barley get more hits than when I do nothing.

    I like collaborating but mostly editors and artists have been problematic and unreliable. Im owed about a thousand in art that mostly makes me delay or abandon projects. Grooming my work to my own publishing standards reduces my speed to about 5% and isnt really enjoyable. Id rather work for a publisher and not do all this myself.

    Actual gaming post covid has continued to dwindle and my last game was cancelled and possible next game is too. Having no games diminishes my desire to make new content as I have years worth of stuff designed.

    Future is unclear. Possibly getting back into my business next year. Not sure If I will stay in this state I moved back to to be with family who are all dead now and covid kept me here.

    Anyway I have painting to do...

  3. I'm sorry to hear that all of your family are gone. I may find myself in the same circumstance over the next decade or so.

    Maybe if you had a partner who was good at marketing and self promotion and perhaps has a YouTube presence things might work out better financially. Have you tried showing your work to any of the big publishers? I've read over a ton of RPG products and blogs and you seriously produce some of the most creative and evocative tables I've ever seen. If I were hiring for Wizards or Chaosium, I would certainly love to have you on as part of the team.

    I know Discord has quite a few OSR-related and other tabletop RPG channels. Have you tried joining any of them or thought about even creating your own? Or maybe you already have one for your Patreon? It looks like you have an impressive collection of minis and terrain pieces so I get that you must prefer to play in person, but there are virtual tabletop solutions to take advantage of during these times, like roll20, but I assume you already know that.

    I do wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do in the future.

    1. I guess I felt like I was progressing and had momentum and now not so much. I like collabing but but not great history of reliable partners in this field (plenty in other things I have done). Ive had offers for help but Ive seen problems with control quite a bit too like people claiming ownership of my work because they made a random generator from it and put on platforms where I have no control. Lots of my stuff ripped and behind paywalls I cant even see. One long term collaborator has some medical issues at moment.

      Lots of online options that do consume time and gaming for me is a break from computers which I use for creativity mostly and some networking. Im computer literate but I feel overwhelmed by the options available. Dallas gave me some lessons in online gaming and I didnt use skills and forgot.

      Ive looked into mikes and cam set up.

      Roll20 uses particular eds of games doesnt it? I play homebrewed old eds mostly like BX RQ3 BRP TSR-Marvel hih is a limit. I guess I find fashions in online platforms and games not very interesting after 40 years.

      I applied for a chaosium job and got no response. It asked about disabilities but I don't wear them on my sleeve but I guess I realise more and more how they have kept me poor and unpublished. Small Indy guys I have worked with fine. One got cranky when I asked for PDFs claiming they had already. I occasionally discover things have published without my knowledge.

      I guess I make a few thousand from gaming a year and this year has been my only income. Im have a few things I hope to finish this year and will evaluate what I do based on the response I get from that. Or will be a last gasp.

      I dont meet my own publishing/layout/art standards but I think I do better than many.

      Did get a few offers today which was nice.

      Cheers for your suggestions they are very helpful.

    2. Roll20 can be used for any edition. I've been using it for my B/X game ever since Covid forced us online back in March. You don't get the benefit of their fancy pre-built tools, but all we really want from it is free videochat with a built-in online whiteboard and dice roller, and for those purposes it suits us just fine!

      I've got no insights to offer on the business side of things - I'm strictly a hobbyist who does this stuff for fun - but I do want to say that I'm really grateful for all the stuff you've put out on the blog over the years, lots of which has found its way into my games in one way or another.

      Did you ever publish anything on RPGNow / DM's Guild? That's a route I've vaguely contemplated from time to time...

    3. Thank you very much

      Some things im autodidactic some things im a bit slow on and need some help or friends for some lessons and to get started.

      I will try sometimes - i have list of 5 or 6 platforms id like to try. It feels like work managing what I do now online sometimes. Tabletop gaming is a thing i do with friends to stay in contact and is a break from other stuff i do like work on a computer.

      I would like to publish but I think despite me running 2 newspapers and and several uni marketing department magazines and decades in publishing I feel hampered by my weaknesses and disabilities. My lack of Interest in modern eds a problem for fan based stuff but I would consider Cthulhu or BRP rather than dnd5.

      I enjoy using my work too which Is why I like to game. Lack of gaming makes it a bit harder. Model making reviving and teaching me lots of stuff about using minis for drama and inspiration in gaming.

      Im feeling a bit better today after a chunk of good news and a good game session.

  4. Finding people you can trust is always the most important thing. I'm sorry that you've been burned a few times.

    Roll20 does use particular editions of games (but a lot of games and editions are accounted for) and has default character sheets for most systems. OSR systems are definitely represented, and you can always add your own custom sheets. Technically you could just use the bio section of a sheet to record everything and make all the rolls and calculations manually but, if you have a proper sheet, it is a nice quality of life feature since you can have macros for just about anything to resolve things more quickly. They can also adjust certain stats automatically when a character levels up, such as saving throws and attack roll bonuses.

    There are some wonderful and inexpensive software options for making custom worlds and dungeon/encounter maps. Wonderdraft and Dungeondraft are both great for this. You can create some really nice looking maps with just a little bit of effort. It's pretty easy to learn how they work quickly, and there are YouTube videos detailing what they can do and how to use them. Of course, you can always scan your own hand-drawn maps and use them on a virtual table top as well. File sizes are a thing though, especially if you're using a free account. But you can always just draw on a whiteboard, as Joseph mentioned.

    Have you tried putting your pdfs on drivethrurpg? You can set them to "Pay What You Want." If people really like your content, they can come back and give you some money. I would think it would also increase your chances of more people seeing your work. There are quite a few YouTubers out there who periodically review products on drivethrurpg, or mention them and then link them in their video descriptions, when discussing other topics--people like Matt Colville and Questing Beast. If one of them were to find your stuff and talk about it, you could suddenly have hundreds if not thousands of new people checking out your work. I'm not guaranteeing this would happen of course, but I do believe your content really stands out quality-wise, so it's certainly a possibility.

    I recently joined a Discord server called OSR and I think it has a few thousand members, dozens if not hundreds of which are active. It has a sub-channel specifically for people to post links to their blog content. It also has sub-channels where I see people talking about political stuff, but you can just ignore those if you want. There is also a sub-channel for people looking for a gaming group. I am sure there are plenty of people there who would enjoy your stuff. I can send you a link to join it, if you're interested.

    If you need some help on roll20, I could help with that too. I'm not an expert, but I probably know more than most, since I've been using it for the better part of the last decade. It may not be your ideal way to play, but it certainly is convenient in these times and you can potentially play with people anywhere in the world, which is cool.

    1. Thanks for this

      I do want to publish but I cant meet my own standards of editing I probably. Not just abuse I get because I agree with most of it.

      Possibly lots of this is work flow and Im suited to writing not editing and can do layouts and maps but lots of the micro managing stuff online possibly my problem.

      Im probably best off sticking to making stuff for me in lots of ways. Monetising hobbies can be a good way to ruin things. I feel like I barley manage what I do now yet alone several more platforms. I do like making stuff and an audience helps motivate me.

      Scribed and other platforms I cant even see behind paywall selling plenty of my free stuff now. I have lots of projects still born awaiting art or proofing.

      Lots of good suggestions here thanks.


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