As a writer trying to claw his way up, one of the things I’ve learned is that you can’t write if you have kids. I love my kids, but there’s no working around them. The 2-year-old plays “peek-a-boo” over the screen of my laptop, and the 7-year-old keeps asking me what she can do when she’s bored (which I’m pretty sure means “If you don’t play with me now, I’ll have a hollow childhood and later try to fill that emotional void with boys you don’t approve of.”).
Then there’s the oldest two. The 11-year-old is either antagonizing her mother, or asking if she can play the Wii. She will manipulate me by saying she thinks she can take me in Mario Karts. Please, the girl doesn’t understand drift at all.
Here, I will interject that you also can’t be a writer if you own a Wii, a computer, a television set, or have a wife or job.
The oldest is pretty easy on me. She’s at that place now where she doesn’t need her family, just a book and a mall. And food. That girl eats more than the Great Dane and I combined, while we outweigh her 360-100. The one thing she does do is sneak over to my laptop while the other girls have distracted me and randomly type “Shrek” into the text of any open document she finds. One day, I’m going to get a great, paying project and the word “Shrek” is going to get me fired. I’m going to miss one eventually.
So, fresh from the realization that the authors I look up to also have lives, I am more impressed with them for being able to churn out quality material, before deadline, while clearly educating and entertaining their kids, and not appearing to always be in front of the computer while their wife sadly watches infomercials in the other room. I’m going to have to master that balance if I want to make it in this industry. Or as a husband and father.
One way to get my family the attention they deserve is to actually finish a project. Since just before Ascension of the Drow, it feels like I have been designing RPG stuff nonstop. Now that I am ready to roll out my work on Chatty Phil’s Kobold Love Project, I can relax. Maybe do something fun and stress-free with my wife. Like…..uh, oh.
I have really appreciated the chance to work on Kobold Love. It gave me an opportunity to practice being funny, which I have rarely tried in RPG work before. Like Phoenix, Arizona it’s a dry humor, focused on the stuff that makes us all love kobolds. The PCs are dramatic and unreasonably sure of themselves. Their mishaps are mechanically challenging, but hopefully allow for the players to role play the cruel, pathetic little creatures that kobolds really are.
More than the chance to amuse players, I set out with the purpose of making Kobold Love an ideal game for new players. With the Beta playtest of Paizo’s Pathfinder game under way, I wanted to work on a (initially) free adventure that game store owners and new GMs could use to expose new players to the Pathfinder rules. For this reason, you’ll find some repetition of feats between both monsters and player characters. You’ll also see that the encounters are fairly simple in nature, though not without challenges. Hopefully, the scenario will find use as an introduction for new role-players, or for players who haven’t given Pathfinder a try yet.
Over the next several days, I’ll be releasing bits of the adventure and linking it to Phil’s original page. I hope to be involved in discussion of the design choices, as well as the differences and similarities of Phil’s version. I want to thank him again for allowing me to use his blog as a model, and to make my version for the Pathfinder role-playing game.
Without further distraction, go check out the first half of the party in my first Kobold Love post!