21 Jul

Christmas in July at DrivethruRPG

It’s that time of year again when Santa realizes that gamers already read through all the gifts he brought them at the end of last year! Of course, his charity only extends so far, and maybe you weren’t all that nice so far this year, so instead the good folks at DrivethruRPG.com and RPGNow.com are running a massive sale all week long. There’s plenty of good stuff to be had and some pretty deep discounts on select products.

I’d also be remiss in mentioning that my own products are on sale this week, including the brand new Five Fantasy Barkeeps, Volume 2: Suspicious Motives!

Christmas In July at DrivethruRPG

27 Jun

5 Fantasy Barkeeps is Released!

5 Fantasy Barkeeps, Volume 1My fantasy RPG supplement 5 Fantasy Barkeeps, Volume 1 is now available for download over at DrivethruRPG.com.

To celebrate, it’s time for Happy Hour. I’ve added my favorite coconut mojito recipe to the pages of the Demonom-nom-nomicon here on Broken Binding and I invite you to drink deep and read up on my system neutral supplement that puts five developed NPCs with ready-made hooks right at your fingertips.

Mojitos + gaming = Happy Hour.

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19 Jun

5 Questions for Choice of Games

Steam LogoIn case you didn’t know, Choice of Games is a company that’s been putting Interactive Fiction back on the map. Their apps are available through nearly every provider, and they represent a new era in the classic Choose Your Own Adventure style but with the added depth that working off of an electronic device can provide. Now, in very big news, two of their IF novels, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy and Heroes Rise: The Hero Project, are now available on Steam! They are also Steam’s very first text adventure games, an impressive milestone indeed.

Choice of Games logoIn the grand tradition of networking, I was introduced to friend-of-a-friend, Jason Stevan Hill of Choice of Games. You see, fellow author Andrew G. Schneider (author of Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed) introduced me to Alana Joli Abbott (author of Choice of Games’s Showdown at Willow Creek and Choice of Kung Fu as well as Into the Reach and Departure) who introduced me to Jason. Jason, in turn, graciously provided me with plenty of information and advice about Interactive Fiction. He spared a few minutes for me to answer some questions about Choice of Games adding Steam to their distribution channels. Continue reading

31 Jan

Andrew G. Schneider, 5 Questions for the Author

Undercaffeinated and Overexposed

I had the pleasure of making Andrew G. Schneider’s acquaintance after two of our articles for Dungeons & Dragons Insider contained some overlapping material. (Both adventures were set in the Chaos Scar, but Andrew’s “Scarred for Life” connected nicely with my adventure “Reflections of Ruin” thanks to an exceptional ogre and the Deck of Many Things.) We continued to correspond and commiserate about the joys of freelance and have even managed to get a game or two in on occasion.

Recently, Andrew published not one but two novels so I took a few minutes to lob some questions his way, chat about YA fiction, and see what he has planned now that Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed: The Tale of a Coffee Shop Princess are off his desk. Continue reading

8 Feb

Kickstart the Weekend: Success Stories

Kickstarter LogoI have stayed away from Kickstarter for a little while recently. The avoidance isn’t any kind of “protest against their business model” or a stand against the notion that everyone and their brother has a Kickstarter. No, it’s that I would get too excited about things that I shouldn’t be buying. This surge of ideas and funding in the gaming community (and beyond) make it difficult to hold onto my money. But, as I’ve said before, if I can’t financially support a good idea, I can at least spread that idea around for others to see.

Most recently, Fred Hicks and Evil Hat Productions took my money (and the money of quite a few others). Although, for what I got for my money, I feel like I robbed him in some fashion. You can expect to hear more about my thoughts on the Fate Core System in the future. In the meantime, we have the final novel in Alana Abbott’s fantasy trilogy, some remarkable 28mm miniatures for the Torn World from Center Stage Miniatures, and my thoughts on the developments with Tabletop Forge and Roll20. Continue reading

22 Jan

Old School D&D in PDF Format

Wizards of the Coast has teamed up with my favorite folks over at DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNow.com to make a great deal of “old school” Dungeons and Dragons products available in PDF form. And I should point out that although I’m excited about the old school D&D releases, the PDF format books cover the range from Basic/Expert all the way up to 4th Edition material. So go find your favorites, even you weirdo’s who have this strange attachment to Second Edition D&D.

Behold! DnDClassics.com! (And your DriveThruRPG/RPGNow login and account are linked to this sister site already.)

Dungeons & Dragons Classics

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18 Dec

The Next Big Thing

Mayan's Next Big Thing
All this assumes that the Next Big Thing isn’t just the end of all the things.

Everyone prefaces these sorts of things with “I don’t do chain letters BUT . . .” So consider mine prefaced as well. Jeff LaSala was kind enough to tag me in this chain that I think was begun by Elaine Cunningham. (Chain letters always make me think of the telephone game that starts at one end of the classroom as “I’m finished with our big stone calendar” and ends on the other end as “The calendar has predicted the date humanity is finished!”)

The idea behind the Next Big Thing is to answer 10 questions about a work in progress, and then tag 5 more writers who do the same thing the following week. I like the idea of promoting some good people. And a little self-promotion never hurt anybody, I suppose. My lead project for 2013 is a novel. –gasp– I’m always working on multiple things, but this is receiving the lion’s share of my efforts. Continue reading

1 Nov

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle

UPDATED 11/16/12: Thank you to everyone who purchased this product bundle, to all of the contributing publishers, and DriveThruRPG.com. This  bundle earned $15,827.00 for the Red Cross! Well done all!

Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle

The gaming community can always be counted on to react quickly to current events. Just look at the outpouring of… let’s call it, “emotion” at the revelation of the Darth Vader/Mickey Mouse merger. And that’s just responding to how we feel about imaginary catastrophes. When it comes to the “real world,” we immediately involve ourselves in a response and it is usually a great deal more positive. The folks at Roleplayers Chronicle, along with a number of publishers, have put together the Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Charity Bundle and I’m happy to be a contributor to their efforts.

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26 Oct

The Eternal Rest: A Creepy Fantasy RPG Supplement

RPGs or Twix?
“I’m just saying, maybe you shouldn’t eat all of the things.”

With Halloween just around the corner, everyone is clambering to add something dark, haunted, or zombie-filled to their usual game night. Of course, everyone is usually intent on the bags of candy that the DM tossed into the center of the table, and it isn’t because they want to dig their way down to the battlemat. By the time combat starts, the sugar crash has decimated the party. Often, it’s better just to have an atmospheric roleplaying session while people play terrifying sounds from their phones and discuss their favorite horror films. So why not pick up an inexpensive supplement to set the stage, and the hooks, for the following week’s adventure when that 3-pound bag of Twix is finally gone? Continue reading

23 Jul

You Never Forget Your Fourth Love

Never Ask Directions, D&D 4EA few weeks back I released two sidetreks for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. They were adaptations of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition material, a test bed for an improved layout, and the beginning of an overall “feel” for the products I wanted to make. But the original 4E material remained in its “one step removed from a Word document” style. Not very pretty. Not even particularly interesting to look at, says the guy who made them!

I’ve since revisited them and they are now in a more up-to-date style and are suited for digital consumption. Better still, for those still working off of paper, all of the products will now be accompanied by a printer friendly version, as well, so you don’t need to pick up a new toner cartridge every two weeks. I’m beginning the digital migration myself and hope to be gaming predominantly off of a tablet by the end of the year. But I also want to keep in mind that working off of printouts was my method for decades, and plenty of people are still making use of that approach.

Rather than create a middle-ground version of the documents that satisfies nobody, I decided it was time to start exploiting the capabilities of the digital world. Of course, it’s happening gradually because I need to learn all the ways to properly exploit those capabilities. Nonetheless, my goal of producing inexpensive and flexible setting-neutral material is being met out of the gate. But I intend to take the time to update older material as I learn more digital “tricks” in future products, just like I returned to revise those two early D&D 4E versions.

The Blacksmith's Burden Layout
Digital and Printer-Friendly Versions

Plus, I’m slowly adding artwork to these projects. It’s gradual, but the revenue from these early works creates the art budget for later material, so please keep that in mind if you like what you see. And, I’m also designing with print-on-demand services in mind for the future. After all, adopting the digital hardly means abandoning the printed word, I still have five overloaded bookshelves in my office, tablet or not, and physical gaming books are part of the reason why.

So, if you haven’t already, pick up a 4E copy of the free download of “Never Ask Directions.” And, if the new layouts are to your liking, grab the longer sidetrek “The Blacksmith’s Burden.” And those same sidetreks are also available for the Pathfinder fans among you (who missed when I was pushing those two, last month).

DriveThruRPG.com