Writing: past, present, and future

            Admit it: as a gamer you’d love nothing more than to be a writer of RPGs. That would just be the coolest thing ever! We’ve all been there at one point in time or another. For some, the dream passes; and they move on with their career of choice. Others, though, keep that dream close and hope that ‘someday’ it will happen. Fewer still make that dream a reality.

            For more years than I care to tell, I’ve been part of the second group. I recall back in 1991 that I was going to start submitting articles to Dragon Magazine and Dungeon Magazine. I was going to write and submit enough that I would be able to quit my job to do so because I would make enough money to support myself.

            That never happened.

            In 2000, the OGL and SRD were introduced. Awesome! I could write and publish my own material with this! I could create the campaign setting I had bouncing around in my head and sell it! I could write adventures and supplements for it. I was going to write and publish enough that I would be able to quit my job to do so because I would make enough money to support myself.

            That never happened, either.

            A few years after that, WotC put out an open call for entries for a world-designing contest. I could enter the setting that was still bouncing around my head. I would submit a few others as well to increase my chances. None of my entries made it past the first round.

            Also around that same time frame, I signed up and was accepted as a play tester for the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting being published by Kenzer & Co. for D&D3.x. To be honest, I only did so to get early access to Kalamar material. I had done a small bit of play testing for WotC: D&D3e Monster Manual II and D&D3e The Book of Vile Darkness both have my name among the play tester credit, but my involvement with those weren’t anything more than a few online game sessions fighting some of the creatures contained in them. My feedback on them was minimal, and I’m not sure I really deserved to have my name in them.

            This new gig was completely different, though. I had access to the complete text files of the projects in process. I read through them and gave (what I considered) valuable feedback on them. I got my name in a few more books, but that wasn’t all of it.

            Some of the projects weren’t new. Some of them were previously published D&D3.0 material needing updated to D&D3.5. Although I worked on a few of them, not all of them went on to be updated and republished. These were the ones I enjoyed most. I wasn’t just reading and giving feedback. I was revising an existing product. It was the closest thing I’d ever done to writing, but actual writing never happened.

            Shortly thereafter is when I switched game systems to HackMaster Basic and now the full HackMaster system. My desire to write grew as I learned more of the game. I was accepted as an editor for HackJournal; but once again, I failed to write anything for it. For the time, I was content proofreading articles submitted by others and getting credit as an editor.

            I’ve met several ‘self-publishers’ the past few years (John Adams of Brave Halfling Publishing and the Sparks brothers of Faster Monkey Games to name a few) and had discussions with them about the process. I’ve also had discussions online with a few others I’ve never met face to face; Brian Fitzpatrick of Moebius Adventures/Game Knight Reviews being one. All have been more than happy to share their experiences with me and discuss some of their hurdles. Many of my gaming friends have asked me on several occasions why I’ve never written anything. I have plenty of support in this. Most importantly, my wife, Linda, supports me in this and believes in me.

            The time has come to break out of the second group I mentioned in the opening paragraph and join the ranks of group three.

            At the time of this blog, I am still unpublished; but I have submitted two short adventures and have a few other projects in the works that I hope to complete in the coming months.

            I have plans to freelance more items as well as publish a few things on my own under ‘GeoCentric Designs’. Some of the things I plan to publish are a setting with various regional and racial sourcebooks as well as adventures within this world.

            The core setting material will likely be systemless with guidebooks for various systems. Adventures would likely be released under different systems as well. I’m still sort of tossing all of this around in my head, and nothing concrete has been decided at this point. Some of the systems I’d like to support are some (not all!) of the following: Swords & Wizardry, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, d20 OGL or PathFinder, HackMaster, Castles & Crusades, and HERO System or GURPS. This list will definitely be trimmed down to just a few. I’m familiar with most of these, but a few of them will require some reading and research.


            What sort of items would you like to see? Drop in a comment and let me know!

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2 Responses to Writing: past, present, and future

  1. markcmg says:

    Write what gets you excited. It’s more likely to get completed and even more enjoyable when it is.

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