Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: A Look Back

For nearly a month now, I have actually been planning a 2013 retrospective post for today. I guess we all find ourselves at that same place, given the number of similar posts I've seen over the last few days. Following are some of the highlights of my blogging year 2013.

Just a disclaimer: although below you'll see me talk about some products I released, one thing on which I've learned not to concentrate is sales and downloads. If they happen, I'm happy and gracious they do. And being in a creative field (graphic design by trade), my skin thickened to a natural (descending) AC of 0 some twenty or so years ago, so bad reviews or lack of interest don't phase me... much.

d30 Sandbox Companion
Of all the things I've done in the past year, the thing I'm easily most proud of is the d30 Sandbox Companion. In fact, it may be the thing of which I'm most proud since launching this blog. But I have to give props where props are due. I can 100% most assuredly say that if it weren't for Welbo's assistance, this might not have happened. If you can find a statistics-savvy, obsessive compulsive editor, I highly recommend it. It might mean things take a little longer to get done, but it also means you can feel safe that you've thoroughly thought through the end-user experience and how 30-sided math backs that up, not to mention editing content so that my sometimes semi-Gygaxian prose actually makes sense. I also have to thank all of you for this...

I can disclaim all I want about the numbers not being important to me, but... damn, that makes me feel good (no pun intended about the #2 listing in the image above).

Valley of the Five Fires
I'd like to think that everything I do is a passion project, but Valley of the Five Fires was almost more of an obsession project. I started back in 2012 with a couple of Mongol-inspired monsters for William Dowie's Mongol-themed adventure contest, and before I knew it, I was creating a Mongol-inspired sandbox setting complete with new armor, weapons information, a bunch of new monsters, pre-gen NPCs, background info on the region, and a bunch of smaller, self-contained adventures. This was really one of those things that just got out of hand very quickly and, like a painter and his painting, I just sort of had to see it to its end. I'm also extremely proud of this, even though I realize that anything that steps outside of the Tolkien-esque world of most RPGs is not everyone's cup of tea.

The Ogress of Anubis
I'll be honest. I really don't remember how the hell this thing started. I got back from the North Texas RPG Con revved up from the experience, and was waiting on proof print copies of Valley of the Five Fires, and just sort of banged this out. I ran a quick playtest session, made some tweaks, and released it. Imagine my surprise when I saw a post on the RPG.net forums listing Ogress of Anubis as one of his favorite 3 OSR adventures/modules. I've put some preliminary work together on a continuation adventure tentatively titled Viziers of the Shadow City, but I'm guessing it will be 2015 before it sees print (though I imagine it will see some tableplay late in 2014).

And so on...
This wasn't everything, of course. I published my first zine (albeit digital only), I put out a whole bunch of new monsters, and I continued my goal of featuring artists from the golden age of illustration. Not to mention, at the North Texas RPG Con, I got to play in a test for Michael Curtis's RPG Shiverwhen, and I survived (and got killed) by James Ward.

I've also got a bunch of stuff planned for 2014. But if you want to find out about those, you'll have to wait for tomorrow's post.


  1. Congrats on hitting #1. I got it yesterday and already using it.

  2. Hey, thanks for letting me to be a part of it!
    It was time-consuming work. It was fun. And I am proud of the results