When was the last time I did one of these? Ok, nothing since September, a fair amount has happened since then. Around the middle of October there was an incident that slowed progress a little, and with Christmas on the way there hasn’t been a great deal of time to advance a few projects that are in the pipeline – in some cases since July – but there has at least been notable progress. (more…)
It’s been a couple of months, and I was waiting on a few more things to come about, but there has been a great deal of progress made in the last eight weeks. It’ll be a short update, but let’s start with…
Ok, so what has taken place since last I talked on the subject?
I also have an interview I must transcribe from UKGE, seems like an era ago at this point. I found that a lot of people with whom I discussed the matter were actually very interested in the idea of a GM for hire, not just prospective future customers, but RPG companies curious to see what suggestions they could offer on how to further the idea and how I might diversify my genre portfolio. Expect more sci-fi from me in the future, I’m starting to toy with some ideas using Era: The Consortium rules and lore, at least one game of Honey Heist.
A rather substantial number of my business cards vanished from me over the weekend, so a new design is required. On the subject…
A New Logo
Tim worked closely with me to produce a logo for the company, coming up with a core concept that I liked the sound of, and working with me to develop something to which I could refer. The coat-of-arms like template has been toned down from the initial vision which included swords and dice bags, both to keep it simple as a good logo should be, and to make Tim’s life easier as my own graphic design skills are rather lacklustre.
Then, opportunity arose for a professional graphic designer to produce a logo for me for free. So I sent along an abridged version of the conversation with Tim, his original design, and the font he found. This was what I got in return:
Still waiting on a higher-resolution version, and I’m definitely keeping both on hand. There’s no reason why – if everything goes well – I couldn’t commission variations of the logo for various genres, and dare I say animations? I do. I do dare say it. Either way, expect new business cards.
“But Joel” I hear you shout, I have rather spectacular hearing and can hear people shouting my name from great distances. “Where can I get one of these wonderful new business cards?”
Ok, well, first of all, they haven’t been printed yet. Second, that’s a weird thing to want, but… fine, I guess? And three, CoxCon! CoxCon is a convention for YouTubers and Livestreamers running from the 21st to the 22nd of July at the International Centre in Telford, that is itself Livestreamed on Twitch. I anticipate the standard array of traders, stage shows, meet and greet opportunities and the like, but I also expect to be surprised, paradoxical as that may be. If you’re going to be in Telford on the 22nd I will be there too, either hastily cramming in games and some casual advertising, or walking around enjoying myself and chatting to folks. I might see you there in some capacity or other.
This will be crammed in between GeekOut Shrewsbury on the 19th, Amecon on the 26th, and shortly followed by…
The Oswestry Library
This was originally going to be advertising, but two of the four games I will be running are all but full.
On the 4th and the 18th of August I will be running pay-per-head games, from 9:30 – 12:30 for the under 16s, and from 13:00 to 16:00 for ages 16+, hosted by and in cooperation with the Oswestry Library. If all goes well it might become a regular event, and I’ll be taking the idea to libraries around the county. If you would like to see me in your local library, and if you’re interested in getting a game in, ask them to get in touch via my Facebook page.
Side note: In addition to the thanks I already owe the Library, thanks too must go to 2-Minute Table Top, who is content for commercial use of his maps and art packs so long as he gets proper accreditation. This is it, thanks, love your work.
Now, the under 16s games are not attracting the interest I would have hoped for, although I admit there was a serious delay on my end getting posters prepped and ready to go into schools in the local area. I’m hoping that my recent tour of town might raise some business on the day, but still, I remain optimistic about the future of the endeavour as a whole.
And by “whole” I also mean this entire endeavour. The push to turn my hobby into a job is taxing, and fraught with the possibility of hating the driving force of my life. As it stands, I’m remaining hugely positive. But all of this merry banter is not finishing the write-up for A Parade For Thieves.
See you all soon.
So, it’s a busy week at the moment, and not looking likely to get quieter for some time. Part of the mad dash has now been and gone as of this Saturday, Dungeons & Dragons played at the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry, in support of Hope House and Severn Hospice, a pair of local healthcare charities.
This is an event I’ve been working towards for some time, in fact there have been a lot of elements of setting up the business that have rather fallen by the wayside alongside the preparations for this, this week’s GeekOut Shrewsbury meet, and UKGE, and fighting off the classically bad-timed mental health episode. Interest in the event was incredibly high, although actual engagement was low, and attempts to fill up the table for the day were tough, and while a few people who secured spaces were sadly unable to join us, those who played were truly fantastic. (more…)
This is about as close as I may ever come to an actual diary, this catalogue of my efforts in attempting to turn my hobby into something productive, something that entertains and educates, and allows me to make a living and leave a lasting mark on the RP community.
A little of the future and a little of the present, while I work on tomorrow’s GeekOut… (more…)
Would you believe that’s the shorter title?
Shrewsbury has just had a busy weekend, pouring into the growing geeky community we have played host to a Steampunk festival for which I rearranged some booked holiday time to ensure I’d be free to attend, and then I foolishly organised an all-day Dungeons & Dragons marathon for the sake of advertising the new business on the same weekend. So I squeezed a couple of hours out of the festival on the Saturday before D&D on the Sunday, let’s talk about that one first.
It’s been a month or two since I discussed this last. “What are you up to?” you may ask, and I might shift my feet a little and not quite catch your eye when you say “You haven’t done anything have you?” which has a question mark but is not in fact a question.
Side note: This isn’t the only article from today, if you’re not in or around Shropshire, or just don’t want to listen to me talking about myself, I have another article today about Magic: the Gathering’s recent comedy set, Unstable. Check it out here. (more…)
A few weeks after declaring myself “for hire” (wink) as a Dungeon Master, what exactly have I been up to?
A New Campaign
Most of my campaigns fall into one of two categories: they’re either there today and gone tomorrow, or they will go on for years, outliving the tolerance of the players therein. Time to create something confined to a few games, something that promotes return custom and also promises a satisfactory conclusion.
The Wandering Pass closes every winter, leaving a handful of isolated villages and incautious travellers stranded high in the mountains. Food starts to dwindle, tensions run high, and somewhere out in the cold forests there waits a fate worse than death.
Winter of the Wendigo draws inspiration from the likes of Dead of Winter, Grim Dawn, Until Dawn, 30 Days of Night, and probably a lot of other sources that have sunk so deeply into my subconscious library of ideas to pluck from that it may offer some unforeseeable twists for new and experienced players alike. It will be for 1st level characters to emphasise the fragility of their position, and it will be comprised of five episodes that can be played in sequence and stopped satisfactorily when a group decides they’ve seen enough… or until they’ve seen it through to the Spring thaw. Their actions, successes and failures will echo throughout the game in ways most video games can only hope to imitate.
In addition, I’ll be expanding on one of my former one-shot campaigns – loosely entitled “Hangman” – into a three episode campaign of mistrust, deceit and subterfuge. I’m toying with a few new Mega-Dungeon concepts to bring to regular gaming sessions if I can secure repeat engagements with venues around the county, as well as throwing in some non-D&D games for those with a taste for something other than fantasy.
So, in minor steps news the Facebook page for The Shropshire Dungeon Master has been started, albeit falteringly. Things that it will require – as a precursor to actual website construction – prices, contact details, a selection of what’s on offer games-wise, and a serious “looks” overhaul. As it stands it might as well just be a very thin version of my personal profile without the rambling “stream of anti-consciousness” that pours from my keyboard on occasion. Tim has rather kindly offered a logo design for me, and his ideas thusfar have been promising to say the least.
If you live in the Shropshire area or nearby enough you can expect to see my grizzled features appearing in a gaming store near you to tout my services in the next few weeks, as well as a healthy plastering of the business across social media, aided by Tim’s own support of my endeavours.
Business Oriented Thinking
Three separate conversations with myself across several days:
“Why would I need to look into new business funding? I already own the books I need, printing costs will start out negligible, I have a host of miniatures I do not use enough, set dressing and the like. After that it’s all advertising and I have cash to put into that.”
“Oh wow, I would look so much more professional if I had printed maps, and art done by someone who can draw well, more ornaments and the like. Oh wow the cost of graphic design is high for my minimum wage, they do not make it easy for the lowly peons.”
So while I can start this little undertaking without financial backing, there’s no two ways about it, I can think of ways and means that a bit of start-up capital would accelerate progress rather dramatically, and take me from someone optimistically going cap in hand around gaming shops asking to be paid to run role-plays to someone capable of presenting a professional front to what is essentially the next step up for a hobby.
On a Related Note
Work continues on the upcoming eBooks for GeekOut. I have been toying with layouts for script and putting some simple designs to paper, while dashing Tim’s hopes that we can get each Top 10 to two A4 pages. As previously mentioned, we have a list finalised, and all new original Top 10 lists for the eBook readers planned to be assembled soon. And the Pokenomicon is close to two major milestones:
I have one last mutation to add and my starting line-up is complete. New trainers will be able to pick from Sporgoth, the slumped beast suffering a fungal infestation across its back, Katouche, a feline with a strangely artificial appearance, and Mudbait, an innocent looking amphibian with an odd taste for carrion.
And I’m about a third of the way to 150! I’m coming up with ideas I’m dismissing on the basis of either being too obscure, too far removed from the original works of Lovecraft, contemporaries and inspirations, or too half-formed and shambolic to put into something this big. Never the less I will gladly share with you Kozilick The Endless Tongue as a parting gift: