Monday, November 10, 2014

Expanded Petty Gods Lives (#epglives)

Okay. This is me, officially announcing that I have taken over the reins on the
Expanded Petty Gods project.

Over the last couple of weeks, as I began to reach out to a few folks individually as well as the OSArtists group at Google+, I know there was some speculation. I, however, wanted to get a bit more accomplished before I made the official announcement. (As stated above, this is it.)

I've been lucky that this time of year there's always a bit of a lull in my workload (I have two big clients whose jobs I get put to bed at the middle-ish of October), which is why I reached out to Greg Gorgonmilk to offer my assistance in taking over the reins (something we had discussed briefly toward the end of this past summer).

So what have I been doing over the last few weeks?

The first thing I did was create a new master spreadsheet (based off Greg's spreadsheets and expanded by the list of the gods from the Original Petty Gods PDF). As you'll see in the sample below, I broke out contributors' names (by first and last), as well as created a column for alignment and domains. Once the book layout is done, I'll be able to add page numbers for each entry, and spit out indexes for petty gods by alignment, writer, and artist (and possibly domain). The other thing this let me do was do a "matchback" to all art and content entries to see what I did/did not have, in the way of both copy and art. The OPG content came from Peter Gifford (who did the layout on the original version) and the archives that Greg had been making.

Based on the finalized spreadsheet, there will be a total of 300 petty gods in the book (including the 100 or so from the Original Petty Gods edition, but not including the minions/knights/servitors). I believe there are only a handful of these for which I'm still working on getting the source copy. There is a lot more art that needs to be done, which is where the major push will be over the next month or so. There is a separate spreadsheet for the 40+ minion/knight/servitor listings.

The email address I've set up for those interested in lending their artistic talents to this community projects is pgart(at)newbigdragon(dot)com (please send links to samples, and please put "Petty Gods Art" as the subject line). [No new/additional copy/non-art content will be accepted unless specifically requested, or already agreed upon to appear in the book.]

Believe it or not, over the last couple-three weeks, I've gotten rough layout done on approximately 150 pages of what looks to be a 275-300 page tome. Originally, when I was looking to help Greg with the layout on this back as early as last October, we were going for more of a 1e/Futura-typeface-driven look, a la the AD&D Monster Manual. In looking to speed up the process on the layout of the entire book, I'm going to default to what has become the New Big Dragon "house look" for the internal pages for two reasons: 1) I'm really familiar with its nuances, which will allow me to tremendously speed up the layout process (e.g., because I can make odd typesetting decisions on the fly, based on how I've done similar things in the past), and 2) because this Expanded edition was intentionally a Lab-Lord compatible book, this Souvenir-typeface-driven look is consistent with that edition (and the editions that inspired it).

So here's an overview of the layout and what's been accomplished so far:
  • TITLE/INTRO SECTION - complete minus some art
  • SECTION 1: Petty Gods
    about 75 pages of this have been roughly laid out, encompassing all petty gods from A through L (what's there will take some layout tweaking as art comes in, but all of the typesetting has been completed as noted from A-L)
  • SECTION 2: Minions, Knights & Servitors
    I have not started on this yet, but intend to do it after finishing the remainder of PGs from Section 1
  • SECTION 3: Cults & Cultists
    About 7 pages have been laid out here; this includes all submissions previously made for this section; I'm also working on creating a d10xd30 set of listings (since there are 300 petty gods)
    that suggests cult names, membership, and practices for the PGs listed in Section 1
  • SECTION 4: Divine Items
    All copy for this section has been roughly laid in and typeset (about 20 pp), but there is no art (though, I believe this section will have very little)
  • SECTION 5: Spells
    No layout has been done for this, but I've collected all the spells (from the various entries)
    and put them in a master spreadsheet by spell name (which I'll be able to export and quickly layout). Entries will include contributor's name, and the reference related entries in the book. Expect this to take about 20 pages.
  • APPENDICES - have not been laid out at all, but will be easy
    (since it's big chunks of copy)
    A. Create a Religion In Your Spare Time for Fun and Profit
    B. Barsoomian Pantheon (a wonderful section by Michael Curtis)
    C. Reaction Tables (need to be written, but I have thoughts on organizing this)
    D. Petty Foods of the Petty Gods
    E. Petty Classifieds
    F. Other works referenced in this book
    (e.g., Dunsany's The Gods of Pegāna and issues of Underworld Lore)

I believe layout will easily take the rest of November and into early December. (While I've had a lull in work which has afforded me the ability to blow through all of the above, I can't expect it to last forever). I also believe based on the number of illustrations still needed, it may take through January (or longer) to fill in all the holes. BUT! proofing can happen before all art is in. So the hope is that while art is being completed, so is the proofing/correcting.

No guarantees, of course, but (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.), release sometime in February?

[BTW, I'm out of pocket most of the day today, so anybody that leaves a comment below or messages me through Google+ will probably not hear back from me until this evening.]


  1. This sounds very cool. Looking forward to it Richard.

  2. Allow me to extend the same offer I made earlier: If you need the pdf bookmarked, I would be happy to do so at no cost. Also, you should have received some magic items from me for the compiled work. If you did not, I can forward these to you. Just shoot me your email address to ravencrowking at hotmail dot com.

    Best of luck with this! I look forward to the completed product!

    1. Thanks. I think I've already got you on the list Greg gave me. Will definitely reach out to you for this (but it will also, quite possibly, be the last thing done on it).

  3. This is great news! Thanks for taking this on...

  4. W.T.F.!

    So...this is news to me, as I was a co-editor with GMILK on this thing, doing a lot of legwork with contribs and the Petty Foods section, etc. On that front, though, WOW!

    Okay, count me in on this in whatever way you need me.

    1. Thanks. For now, I've just copied the foods and classifieds things from your blog, but only as placeholders. As I get closer on finishing the meat of the book, I'll be reaching out to you for plenty (but will try to wait for your semester to end).

  5. Excellent news!
    If you need any help with proofreading, I'd volunteer happily.

  6. I'm glad that this project has been brought back to life. I'm also happy to provide more artwork.

    1. Thanks, Darcy. Can you please email me at pgart(at)newbigdragon(dot)com so I can get your email address? (I'm making a new artist spreadsheet and I'm trying to make sure I have direct contact information for the art assignments. Thanks!)

  7. I did artwork for Boden (Petty God of the Soil) and also the write up, would be happy to help out. Eric Campbell is the name...

    1. Thanks, Eric. Can you please email me at pgart(at)newbigdragon(dot)com so I can get your email address? (I'm making a new artist spreadsheet and I'm trying to make sure I have direct contact information for the art assignments. Thanks!)

    2. Sent, coming from glithus (at) gmail (dot) com, Thanks!

  8. Thanks, everybody. I'm glad to be able to help!

  9. Did you get my Quantum Ogre entry and drawing? If not, let me know and I'll resend.

  10. Replies
    1. The PDF will be free, and the print version will be POD at cost.
      There will be no money for me to take.

  11. Thank you very much for taking this on.

    May I confirm you got my subs in the hand-over?
    If so I'll get the art I have cleaned up and sent in.

    1. I have entries from you for Diit’Wentii god and the Shining Icosahedron item.

    2. I subbed minions and illos to match. May I re-sub them?

    3. I don't seem to have those. Please re-send what you have (art and copy) to pgart(at)newbigdragon(dot)com. Thanks!

  12. Richard, if you need any assistance with proofing or editing I can take on some of the work.

    1. Thanks, Rod. Greg cultivated a pretty good list as a starting place, but I'll pencil you down. I'll likely post to the blog when final editing/proofing time comes around, so that everybody can volunteer based on their current schedule at the time.

    2. Sure thing, Richard. I'll keep an eye out.