A Walk in the Dark A look in to the mind of an RPG designer

17May/12Off

Status Update

It's been almost three weeks since my last post, so I figured it was time to give everyone a status update.

If you're not aware, on April 27th my mother passed away. I can't say it was unexpected - she had been dealing with a fair share of health issues and she hadn't been the same in the last few months - but even so it's been somewhat of a shock and a trying time as I deal with her loss. For a while there I lost my creative spark and desire to do anything from a design and development standpoint, but I've been slowly working my way to getting back to "business as usual" in that regard. Even so, we've still been dealing with issues as it relates to her passing, so it's still occupying a large part of my daily life. But I'm OK... pressing on day by day.

I'm now back in the creative swing, if you will. The Heart of Fire is doing as well as can be expected (the 4E market has dwindled, it seems), and I have several other projects currently in the works:

  • On May 28th (I think), I will be releasing my contribution to the May of the Dead blog carnival: another level 0 adventure called Death's Edge, which involves the players defending their homes against an invading horde of undead. It's part one of a three part series I am calling The Dark Mistress Saga (I have my doubts of that name, but still), and will be available for free on this site. It's already completed, so I'm struggling with the fact that I want to get it published and am normally too impatient to wait the week and a half before its intended release date.
  • I have already started work on part two of the three part series, a level 1 module that doesn't actually have a name yet. The second part is more warfare oriented, where the players are now "heroes" and are now on the front line of a war against a powerful necromancer and her vast undead army. For this second part I'm taking a lot of inspiration from the Heroes of Battle supplement for D&D 3.5E, and am debating to what extent to include some of the mechanics presented there (such as victory points, reputation points, morale, etc...).
  • I was working on a Fouthcore adventure, but now I'm not sure if it's worth completing at this point. To be honest, there are many other people out there that can do Fourthcore much better than I can, and with DnD Next looming over the horizon it doesn't quite seem worth the effort at this point. So what I will probably do is release some of the areas of the campaign I've already done on this blog for anyone to use, similar in what I've done so far with the Gamma World Remnants.
  • The Coming Dark is still the 700lb gorilla hiding in my closet. Once the DnD Next playtest materials hit (exactly one week from today), I am going to start planning the conversion. Granted, there might not be a whole lot I can do or would even want to do (I don't want to spent too much time creating mechanics that might change), but I can at least make some basic progress. My goal is to have one or more first level adventures available as soon as DnD Next launches (licensing limitations not withstanding), so we'll see how that goes.
  • I have one adventure idea I pitched to Wizards of the Coast as part of the DDI submission window, and I have yet to hear a response regarding that. It's a really fun and somewhat wacky idea, and quite honestly I'm not expecting a positive response because of the nature of it, but whether they accept it or not it's going to get written sooner or later. It's actually about half done as it is, so once I hear "yay" or "nay" I'll complete the rest of it and publish through them or on my own.
  • I have one DDI article that is slated to be published (in Dungeon, I assume)... eventually. I have no idea when, and for obvious reasons I can't say much more about it until it appears in the calendar. It is my first and, all things considered, it's pretty simple compared to my other stuff, but I'm really excited waiting for the day it's actually in print.
  • As I said above, in one week the first wave of the DnD Next playtest will commence. I don't know how much I'll be able to actually play it, but I'll definitely be picking it apart with tweezers to figure out what it's all about.

Finally, there was a time I was considering a Kickstarter to fund the physical printing of The Heart of Fire, but after crunching the numbers it didn't seem all that practical to do. But now I'm seriously considering a Kickstarter to fund the development of parts two and three of The Dark Mistress Saga to help fund the creative needs of the project (cover art, maps, etc.) and to see if there's actually a demand for it. I have to run the numbers and give that some more thought.

Anyway, just wanted to let everyone know what I've been up to.

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