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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Whoa... Where has the time gone?

Hello all! It has been a long time since I've written a blog post. Five freakin' months! Jeebus, Dagon, Ra! Where hast the time gone? Needless to say, I've been a very busy boy. Unfortunately that business has not been of the gaming variety and frankly I see very little change in that regard. So what have I been up to and more importantly when is Owl Knight Publishing going to print a follow up to Sky ov Crimson Flame? Let's start from the beginning shall we?

Halloween:

During the few two months of the year I was working as a Locations Asst. on the new Halloween film. During that time I manage to fumble the die and stab myself in the palm of my left hand. So for a few weeks there I couldn't really use it. It has healed somewhat, but there is some nerve damage resulting in the numbness of my middle finger which may lead to a surgery to fix it (of which I'm holding off on).

Castle Crusading:

In the month following the wrap of Halloween, the lady and I went to the U.K. for two weeks, landing in London for five days and then journeying West and up through Wales and to the far reaches of the Scottish Highlands, thus gaining some much need XP!

Here I stand before Kilchurn Castle, once the stronghold of the Campbell Clan. In time's now past, the Campbells were the protectors of the Thompsons. Thus, this is as close to home as I can get!

I made a few friends on our quest!

Felt the Quickening!

Everyday was Adventure Time!

Dungeon Synth Album Cover 1

Cover 2


Cover 3

Damn vampires!

 Post Quest:

Now having leveled up, it was time to get to work! Soon after I came back to the States and began writing again, full steam, non-stop! Fueled by caffeine and a mind rattling with possibilities, but here's the problem... I work on too many projects at once... But I'm getting better at focusing, sort of. Then the film-work came pouring in and once I'm in a job, there's no time to write and when there is my brain is so much mush.

Project Update:

So at this moment I think I may have 1/3 of the next adventure Seekers ov the Other Worlds written. "Only a third," I hear you shout. Yes and no! The third is what I have deemed "Good," but I have so much more written; a mess of ideas, semi-fleshed out areas, maps drawn, multiple adventure hooks and endings. I wish I could just write a simple adventure, but I cant...

Believe me! No wants to see this thing finished more than I do. I come up with a different adventure daily, so the fact that I'm "stuck" on this one is extremely irritating... I'm really pushing myself to have a full first draft by GenCon, but it all depends on the calls I get for work. 

The Foreseeable Furture:

Here is what is going to slow me down.... Halloween re-shoots are starting in June, then I have two conventions in August (GenCon and Maskfest), then the lady and I are planning a trip to Japan and S. Korea in November, then Holiday crap... then it's the next freaking year! Ugh...

Here's to getting shit done!
- CHEERS!

Monday, January 1, 2018

And So Begins 2018

Happy New Year Everyone!


I hope this dawning of new year came with much cheer and debauchery! For Sir Hooticus and I it will hopefully bring some much awaited and new adventures. Unfortunately (as far as my tabletop gaming life/career goes) I must once again be off to join the crew of another film. Something about a man in mask who murdered a lot of people on October 31st, 1978....



For Yule I bought myself Alphasmart Neo 2, which means that I can write on set whenever the mood strikes (or more likely whenever I have some down time!) Upload what I've written onto my laptop for editing and by Crom have a new adventure or two coming up!

Tomorrow I journey to my new gig and will probably enter a black hole until mid-February.

- Cheers!

Monday, November 27, 2017

CYBER-LICH MONDAY!

It's Cyber-Lich Monday! You know what that means right! DEALS you crazy consumers you!

Sky ov Crimson Flame


My 0-level adventure Sky ov Crimson Flame is 40% right now. That's $8.99 + shipping for a copy of the 60 page adventure plus the PDF! On top of that, all purchases will entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of the limited lithographs (see below).



Limited Lithographs!

I'm also selling graphic free lithographs of the Sky ov Crimson Flame cover art. These are of a very limited printing (currently 26) and once they're gone, they're gone! Lithographs are $10.00 + shipping.






Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Chronicle Continues!

How long had it been since the Owl Knight and the Barbarian left their nest for adventure! Two months? Three? Time was a blur as the long hours trailed in nothingness. Finally though, after reaching a coastal town, fighting a malevolent she-bitch and carousing every bar about the town; the pair were heading back home. Since returning however, both were feeling distant. How do they start where they left off and what does the future hold?

Pushing Forward

For some of you that follow my other social media feeds you'll know that for the past couple of months I've been working on a film in Atlanta. Though I enjoy my work in the film industry (and it helps pay the bills) it takes me away from all the things I'd rather be doing, such as writing and playing tabletop games. Now that I'm back home I'm hoping that I can push out a lot of content (or at least write a lot) before the next show sucks me into another black hole.

What I'm Currently Working On:

I have several projects that I'd love to see finished. The major one is of course my next DCC adventure Seekers ov the Other Worlds. I really thought I'd have a complete draft by now and even a new Kickstarter going for it, but alas, life had other plans.

On top of that I have several other adventure ideas in the works as well and that whole DCC/OSR Dune thing I was doing.

I've also been working on some board games, one of which I've tried to Kickstarter twice now.

I have a business plan for a bar that may or may not happen and I'm working on getting a cartoon show off the ground.

So yeah... I'm a busy little f*ckin' bee and a little stressed, but it's all gravy baby! So enough talk! Lets get to work!


Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Owl Knight's Quest

[A true to fiction story on how and why I've lapsed in my writing.]

There was a long stent in which two traveling companions, a young bearded Barbarian and an over-grown, gruff Owl Knight, sat around on their duffs waiting for the next opportunity for adventure. Sure, there were small quests to be had, traveling from their homeland to a great convention of like-minded savants in the wayward plains of a land known as Indiana, but for many a week the Owl Knight was frantically scribbling in his ancient tomb and gibbering on about writing his latest adventure, while the Barbarian drank much ale and slapped the buttocks of a buxom woman he'd taken to. Now, however, adventure was a foot!

They had gotten a letter from a mysterious fellow about a job in a horrid city in the South call ATL. The fellow mentioned there was plenty of gold to be had if the companions would but travel south for the extent of two months. Both the Owl Knight and the Barbarian were begrudged to take the job, as they had grown accustom to their surroundings. What hurt the most was that the Owl Knight knew he would get no writing accomplished, but because the gold was almost depleted and the call for adventure pulled at their heart strings, they decided to go. So it was with a heavy sigh the Barbarian said goodbye to his woman and the companions set off South.

It has been two weeks since they left and they have traveled and seen much of this new land. The Owl Knight has acquired many treasure troves of books, while the Barbarian has faced many a threat in the form of a Wolverine that takes the form of a man by day! The gold has yet to flow as was promised do to a clerical error within the walls of the main keep, but soon it will rain from the heavens! The morrow begins another week of adventure!

Perhaps to be continued...


Saturday, July 22, 2017

On Writing, Part II

Whew... So this has been a long time coming... I've been riding the wave of life as it were. So without further ado let's continue my retrospective look into the writing of Sky ov Crimson Flame. In Part I I discussed what first led me to write and the developments in some of the major characters. In this segment, I'll be discussing (or probably just rambling on about) the design of the Keep and the over all story development, plus monsters!

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read Sky ov Crimson Flame then press no further!

Designing a Dungeon:


As must surely be common knowledge now, Sky ov Crimson Flame is my first major published work in the tabletop gaming realm. Before that I wrote a small piece called The Fell Mountain for Mythoard (Sept, 2015) and before that I merely designed my own adventures for my household games.

Growing up I played mainly 1st & 2nd Editions of AD&D and didn't read many adventure modules. When 3rd Edition showed up I shunned it (probably in part because my old man is a die hard THAC0 guy and in turn I was created in his likeness). It wasn't really until I got deep into the OSR that I finally read a bunch of adventure modules and those mainly of the DCC RPG variety. Long story short, I was doing some diligent research before I ever sat a finger to the keyboard.

Now my original plan was to make something simple, throw it to the wolves and see what became of it, but once I got to writing the adventure grew from a tiny keep with maybe 4 rooms to a much larger affair. When writing, I usually keep a list of things I want to see: a crazy witch, a falling red star, a resurrection of some sort, a necromaner. Those were the four many things for Sky ov Crimson Flame anyways. It was from that list I started tying the story and keep's design together.

In one of the drafts I began this idea that the Crimson Star falls early on in the adventure and from its flames the Keep grows into the massive tower that is reminiscent of the Necromancer's from another world or his past. The PCs would literally be walking on flagstones of fore to defeat the Necromancer before X event happened.

It was getting out of hand... So I toned the story back a little. That's how I write I guess, just vomit everything out onto the keyboard and see what sticks and what needs to scrapped into the trash.

I knew I wanted the players to enter the Keep from the bottom up and so devised ways in which to get them to that point, but always with the mindset of replay-ability. If you've read the adventure you know there are several sections where choices in path must be made or random items are found. This is kind of staple I'm sticking to while writing the next adventure, is it replayable? Would people actually want to run through this crazy thing a second or third time?

So if I were to dish out any sort of advice it's: Is it replayable? Is it too big and does it boggle down the story you're actually trying to convey? If so, trim that sucker down!

Read-Aloud Text:


Looking back on my read-aloud text I wish I had trimmed them down a little more. They seem a bit heavy-handed now and hard to read to a table. I know why... I was trying really hard to invoke a true sense of the horror and macabre in every scene and when I read it aloud to myself at my desk it sounded too cool for school! As I've found out though, that doesn't always work when you trying to read three paragraphs of text to table of gamers. Secretly I must want to be a novelist... I'll do better next time folks :-p!

Table-Time:


The amount of time it takes to play the adventure was major concern of mine as I wanted it to be ran at conventions, etc. I started combining rooms together or taking out whole chunks that just bogged down play. The adventure must keep some momentum if the players are to have fun

The library area in Sky ov Crimson Flame is a major section that can slow play down in the adventure, but only if the players want it to and so it's really on them. If they want to get the hell out of there and to the next area they can do so with a bit of figuring out. 

My two cents: Write the adventure so it only slows down if the players decide to slow it down. Otherwise keep it movin'!

Monsters!


Yeah buddy, good monsters are a major factor to good adventure and I tired (and constantly keep trying) to come up with weirdos to fight. DCC RPG, being the wonderful tome it is, was inspiration enough. The corrupting effects of magic lead directly to the Corrupted Flesh and helped round out the Necromancer's past. 

The opening scene for Evil Dead II was a major influence on the Cherub Head-bats, the fact they are baby faces and not skulls just added to the creep factor. Lovecraft and Moorcock were heavy influences for the randomly generated things that can happen in the Nexus Between Worlds. I can't remember how the Shambling Flesh monster came about, because originally the PCs just fault a bunch a cultists towards the end. Perhaps that concept bored me and I just changed it one day...

This is probably a big, "No, Duh!" but try to come up with original monsters. It's too easy to copy and past from a monster book. No lazy writing for you!


Well that's all I have for today folks. I'm not sure if you find any of this insight, or perhaps lack there of, fun or helpful, but hey... it's free right?  Til next time!