Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Smelly Boot Shenanigans

My first full adventure just went live on DriveThruRPG, and I'm curious to see how it will do. As my first adventure, I like to think I have high hopes tempered with realistic expectations. Here's the description:

In a small town called Brimburg, townsfolk have been disappearing for about a month in groups of two. The town doesn’t have a standing guard, and those few who have taken it on themselves to investigate haven’t turned up many clues. A few miles upriver, a clan of goblins is being bullied into kidnapping people. Our heroes must deal not only with the goblin kidnappers, but the more frightening forces manipulating them.

In Smelly Boot Shenanigans, heroes will come into contact with this tribe of goblins, and decide whether they deserve enough pity to pardon them from their involvement in a string of recent kidnappings. The Smelly Boot Clan is meant to be a humorous depiction of goblin culture, complete with laughable characters and a dash of middle school potty humor.

Smelly Boot Shenanigans is a location-based adventure for low level PCs. It can be played as a one-shot adventure or as the first in a series of adventures to be published by Outsyder Gaming. This adventure makes reference to a town named Brimburg, another product to be published by Outsyder Gaming. This adventure details the caves that the Smelly Boot Clan calls home. This location can be dropped into any campaign, although its inhabitants are unlikely to pose a threat to experienced adventurers regardless of system.

It's a system-neutral adventure, but I may release crunchy bits later on... likely after more play-testing. I do have several other projects in the works, though, so if people like it enough as-is, I might just let it stand as a system-neutral and focus on other upcoming releases.

Check it out here.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Gaming Resolutions

It's that time of year again! 2016 is over, and boy was it a crazy year. Let's hope that 2017 is not quite as nuts as last year was, am I right?

In any case, despite the huge mess that 2016 was, I did manage to be pretty productive as far as resolutions go. Here's what I decided on this time last year:
  1. Create a new man cave. You betcha! And boy is it nice. I painted our spare bedroom, built some shelving, bought some organizers, and I once again have a suitable cave to store all my geeky stuff.
  2. Write one meaningful post per month. I'm giving this one half credit. I did write twelve posts over the course of the year that were more than just, "Check out this cool thing I found!" However, they didn't come out once per month. Some months I was productive and wrote more than one, but some months I barely posted at all. I need to be more consistent to give myself full credit here. 
  3. Complete a writing project! I'm giving myself full credit here, even though it's kind of a stretch. I should have my first full adventure published on DriveThruRPG within the week, but the approval won't go through until 2017. Technically, I set the goal to finish a project even if it never got published. So screw it. I'm the one counting up the points here, and I'm giving myself credit. So what if you can't see it yet? It should pop up here in the next few days. 
2.5 out of 3 isn't bad, even if I did stretch it a little on the third resolution. I'm going to call that a successful year! But enough looking back. Let's take a look at what's on the horizon. Here's what we have in store for 2017:
  1. Start a game night tradition with my family. We love board games, but we don't play them enough. When we do have time, we always say that we should do it more often, but then we don't actually change our schedules to make room. I don't know if we can make a weekly game night work, but I'd like to... and even monthly is better than just playing whenever we find some free time. 
  2. Publish one project per quarter on DriveThruRPG or a similar site. Now that I have a little experience putting together projects for publication, I'd like to think that the process will be quicker in the future. With a lot of the newbie questions and hangups out of the way, I'd like to publish four products in 2017 (in addition to the one that should be published this coming week.)
  3. Research the process to make Outsyder Gaming an LLC, and make an intelligent decision. I've been doing a lot of research on self-publishing, and it sounds like one of the things I need to do is get things set up as a true business. I typically make less than a hundred dollars each year from Outsyder Gaming. If things go my way, that may increase in time, and I want to make sure everything is done correctly.
  4. Run a Kickstarter for an RPG product. Later in the year, perhaps second quarter so that I can complete the work over summer break, I want to put together a Kickstarter for one of my products. I'm not sure exactly what it will be at this point, but we'll see how the first few published products go. I might continue in the same direction or shift slightly, but if I'm going to take this self-publishing thing seriously, it's worth giving Kickstarter a shot.
That's all for now. Hope you all have an amazing 2017!

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Stable of Character Ideas, Part II

I mentioned before that I would be working on a set of character archetypes that I knew I would enjoy at the game table. These are the character ideas that I will rotate through the next few times that I need a character. While some of these characters might lend themselves particularly well to a specific class or race, they are meant to be character concepts for roleplaying purposes, not for mechanical purposes. This way they can be used in different game systems, regardless of what RPG I happen to be playing at the moment. While my examples below focus on D&D specifically, they could easily be re-imagined for science fiction or a number of other genres.

The Mislabeled Hero

For whatever reason, this character is seen as something that he is not, and that identity crisis is a driving force in his life. He's on a quest either to prove that he is who he says he is, or to prove he isn't who he's accused of being.
Example Characters: Spider Man trying to disprove J. Jonah Jameson's headlines is the first example that comes to mind. My current character is also a good example. He's a warlock who is convinced that he's a wizard, and he wants everybody else to know just how great at wizardry he is. And those voices in his head telling him to do things? His muse, obviously. You don't have one, you say? Of course you do. He just hears his muse more clearly because he's a master wizard with a trained mind.

The Conspiracy Theorist

Paranoia personified, this character is always on the lookout for people being out to get him, and has at least one theory about what really happened that most of the population would think was ridiculous (even if it turns out to be true).
Example Characters: I loved the Lone Gunmen from the X-Files, and this character could easily join their crew. I've never gotten to play a character like this for long, but I wrote a background for a character who believed he was an integral part of Corellon Larethian's plan to restore the elves to their former days if glory. Anyone who didn't respect the "old ways" of the elves was obviously an agent of Gruumsh or Hextor or some other evil force, there to prevent him from restoring the world to its former glory.

The Trickster

This character is totally consumed with amusing himself. He's adventuring either because it's fun, or because he had too much fun at the expense of others and now he's on the run.
Example Characters: Loki is the most obvious example from comics, but I think he's actually a little too ruthless for me. I think I'd rather play something more akin to Supernatural's portrayal of Loki/Gabriel in the later episodes. Rogues and illusionists jump to mind as the most appropriate D&D classes, but this could be any character that appreciates the idea of a good prank.

The Rebellious Idealist

Young, bold, oppressed, and ready to stick it to the man. Whatever problem he has with authority is his motivation for taking up the adventuring life.
Example Characters: Name a teenage protagonist, and you'll probably find some aspects of this character archetype. Mikey from The Goonies is a fun example. He's eager to stand up to the people trying to push his family out of their home, but he's not so caught up in the moody teenage angst that is so common in more recent films.

The Bumbling Fool

Probably not an ideal teammate, this character needs a lot of guidance. He's not the brightest crayon in the box, but he does have skills that are useful. He's adventuring because his skills are useful enough to put up with his lack of intelligence, or he's not smart enough to realize how much danger he's really in (or both).
Example Characters: Jayne from Firefly might fit this category. A more extreme example might be Goofy. But hey, when in doubt, just play a gully dwarf. Am I right?

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