Monday, August 22, 2016

Design & Development

Hard at work on concepts for the next supplement. Deciding on a gold piece cost for this sucker.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The All-New Adventures of Mothshade Concepts

So, I've become a commercial entity. Did not see that coming.

What started as a little, personal 0e vanity project has become the launch of a fledgling indy RPG venture.

I swear I never thought for a moment that a flimsy little stapled booklet designed after the original 0e Greyhawk supplement, for my own campaign setting, would pique anyone's interest. I mean, who plays 0e D&D? Who cares about my home-brewed Avremier setting? Who would pay twenty buck plus shipping for this thing? So far, about thirty people. Many of whom aren't even gamers. Hell yes, I'm flattered. In fact, I'm overwhelmed.

But that's not all.

Real names and publishers in the RPG industry are taking notice and offering support. That's one of the things I love about this community. I won't be dropping names, but you'd recognize a few. I can't recall when I've felt so vindicated for thirty-plus years of scribbling, reading, drawing, mapping, DMing.

And, this is just the start. A new chapter, I suppose. My glorious wife is going to make me into an LLC. She's already talking about having tables or booths at conventions - and I have one product to my name. She's scheduling trips to various cons in the next year-or-two. My friends are clamoring for more - and many of them don't even have their copy of Avremier 0e yet. Newly-made pals in the RPG industry are offering me advice and support. Complete strangers are Liking the Mothshade Concepts FB page.

I've actually MADE a Mothshade Concepts FB page. Mothshade Concepts - something I toyed with a decade ago (so I already had a logo designed), but let anxiety and crippling self-doubt sideline the whole thing. Now I made a little booklet and BANG! 

So far, all of this is me. If there is anything to complain about - lay it on me. I wrote it. I did the layout. I edited it. I illustrated it. I did the final proofing. I converted it to PDF and failed to note the little shifts and changes made along the way. I printed it. I put it together. I shipped it. This is quite simply, my baby. I am proud, terrified, and exhausted. I got so utterly sick of looking at the manuscript before the end, I almost started to hate what might be my biggest RPG accomplishment to-date. If this had been only about me, I doubt I'd have continued. But, then came the supporters.

While I've no doubt someone will review this somewhere and let the air out of my head in the process, I've already done what I was sure I could never do. I self-published an RPG product. And, when I decide to self-publish, I take that $#|+ seriously. I wanted to learn it all - so I did. I wanted my hands on every aspect of the product - and they were. Greyhawk was my inspiration and my guide. Avremier has been my only D&D campaign setting for as long as I've played the game. I've had many players in my Avremier games. Now, I want to share it with everyone else.

This is only the first treatment of the setting. Like Greyhawk (Supplement I) itself, the book does not give you the Avremier setting to run. It offers bits and pieces of Avremier. Options and setting-specific stuff. Unlike Greyhawk, it does cram in as much setting detail as I was able to fit. It has more pages than the original books as a result. It is the first of five planned volumes, with a number of optional books to come. The references in Avremier 0e alone should give an idea of the number of books still in the works. The setting is big and detailed. These little booklets cannot contain it all comfortably.

Yes, there are plans for Avremier 1e. There are plans for Avremier D20. There are plans for Avremier Pathfinder. There are plans for Avremier 5e. Sadly, I currently AM the Mothshade Concepts Design & Development Team. I can't pay myself, much less freelancers or actual employees. The day may come, but I make no assumptions. But, I'm not saying never. Avremier 0e took me about five months to produce. I'm hoping future volumes take even less. I'm hoping for a bunch of cash to magically appear to finance all the projects to come. I'm hoping to live long enough to realize the full Avremier product line. I'm hoping all of you make the journey with me.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Achievement unlocked.

As prophesied, the Avremier 0e booklet is finished and ready to ship.

This has been an arduous, but fulfilling, journey into the wilderness of self-publishing. The original project was merely a nostalgic treatment of my personal D&D campaign setting, inspired by the original Greyhawk supplement. Through the interest and support of no-less-than thirty other people, the project grew into the start of something greater. For that, I am immensely grateful.

So, this is now the first of a series of booklets for the Avremier campaign setting. I will keep the world updated through this blog, and the Mothshade Concepts FB Page. Website pending.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Happy Gary Gygax Day 2016

In honor of the man that inspired so many adventures, friendships, and treasured memories, I'd like to announce the official release of the limited print run for the Avremier 0e project. Avremier is my lifelong home campaign setting and this booklet is inspired by the original Greyhawk supplement. This is my homage to the one that started it all, and the first of a series to come. We miss you, Gary.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Giving 0e F***s

As I wrap up the manuscript for the Avremier 0e booklet, so many thoughts and memories assail my fevered brain. In an effort to relieve the pressure, I'd like to share a few with those of you that stop by from time to time.

Coasting through my mid-40s, I find myself taking so much with less gravity or severity. My writing is including more humor. My gaming material is showing more concepts for the sake of fun, rather than drama or conflict. I'm recalling more from my childhood reading and gaming experiences. Hell, I included the Flutterpotamus in the Avremier book - with detailed illustration!

My willingness to invest in sandbox-y adventure rather than episodic gloom-and-doom campaigning comes as no surprise to myself, but I find that I am taken away from D20 gaming in favor of "old-school" rules. Simple-and-fun becomes more and more of a priority for me. While I enjoy Pathfinder and 5E, my creative efforts are focused more on 1E and before.

"But, dude, you've said this before." I hear what you're saying and you're absolutely correct. I have - because it is important. I have this blog that is focused on pre-D20 (and even pre-2E) D&D gaming. I am now venturing into OSR publishing with the Avremier 0e project. Surely, I can achieve greater success by writing for D20 gaming. Probably so. I just don't enjoy it as much.

"Nostalgia," some snort dismissively. Sure. Why not? What's wrong with nostalgia? I may not have many fond memories of my early days, but I treasure those I do have. I use those memories to inform some of my current creations. Some of my very popular current creations. "Old" does not always mean "tired." Stuff I loved as a kid appeals very strongly to kids today. Consequently, "new" does not always mean "improved." Often, "new" is just "different."

I've done new. And different. Enjoyed them both. Along the way, I've not lost my craving for adventure, wonder, or magic. Avremier is my fantasy gaming world. It always has been. There are elements of "classic" fantasy meshed with newer aspects of the genre(s). There is myth, legend, and fairy tale. Also, here and there, can be found elements I like to think of as distinctively "mine."

It is 2016 and I am creating the stories and games that I want. To my delight, I'm finding a great many others who want them too. My worlds, and welcome to them.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gotcha Covered (Avremier 0e update)

The Avremier 0e project is almost ready to go to press. Here is the final front cover, next to its original inspiration - for reference. Avremier is the one on the right.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

2016 Convention Schedule

Because I'd hate for anyone to miss the chance to meet me (yes, ME!) in the flesh, I am attending two gaming conventions later this year.
Clifton Forge, VA’s 2nd Annual Gaming, Cosplay & Comics Literacy Outreach!
Sep. 30 – Oct. 2 2016 ~ Church Street 500th Block, Clifton Forge, VA  24422
Nov. 4th - 6th, 2016
Alliant Energy Center
Exhibition Hall
Madison, Wisconsin

Hope to see you there (and/or there)!