Going Up?

After my first Iron Dungeon Master win, I really felt like I had made some small connections, and earned a little capital. If I could gain a reputation as a fun DM, and demonstrate exciting design, maybe I could set a goal of being paid to write by three different companies by the end of 2008 – even if for something small. My real dream is to contribute on a regular basis, develop my own unique campaign world, and break off two or three sets of fantasy novels, but since that’s everyone’s dream, I knew I’d have to start from the bottom.

So, while I won’t provide full details (I am learning about the ettiquette of these things slowly), I’m in for my third company this year. Go me! But the real opportunities might be just beginning, if I can sharpen my writing skills and keep pumping out ideas that make players salivate. These real opportunities come from the greatest benefit of gaming for me – good friends. I have made life-long friends from every conceivable background over the years, and a lot of them have come from gaming with them.  This year, thanks to Ascension of the Drow, I have really made great new friends, many of whom are enjoying or developing their growing popularity as fun and unique game designers.  As of just before Gen Con, Chatty Phil has become one such good friend.

It’s very exciting to have a new acquaintance that I can talk gaming and design with, and Phil and I seem to share some similar tastes in style of play. Because of this commonality, he’s really kept me straight on 4e, a system I want to master so I am able to write using the fantastic intellectual properties of the DnD game that I have come to love. Over a Gmail conversation, Phil asked me about my interest in his new Kobold Love Project, among other very creative and fun ideas he has. After reading his ‘elevator post’, I thought of several ways I could take his fun, tropey concept and make it my own. I immediately spoke for the Pathfinder system, and on this blog, I’ll be developing his reverse dungeon in step with the spirit of the elevator post. Of course, I’ll add my own fun ideas and hope readers are inspired to pay Phil whatever he’s asking for the product and run it for their friends.

In my first post of my first blog ever, I mentioned the need to grow the hobby and bring in new customers, so a growing pool of great talent can inspire those of us looking to break in, and deliver great games. But growing the hobby isn’t about my desire to write for supplemental dollars, or about seeing my name in print. The same applies for a lot of aspiring and accomplished game designers. Growing the hobby is an effort we should jointly and separately undertake out of love for it, and out of appreciation for the people we grew – or are growing – up to be. I wouldn’t be the same guy if I took gaming out of my life. I’d still have dimensions – Christian, husband, father of four, manager, football fan, politically attentive, metalhead. We all have things in our life that are fun and/or enriching. I desire to see my favorite hobby (the other dimensions are, of course, not hobbies)become someone else’s favorite hobby, so they can experience sportsmanship, develop quick arithmetic, envision stories of courage or cunning, appreciate other cultures and on and on.

I say all of this, admittedly a little off-topic, because I want to challenge anyone who reads this (all six of you!) to trek to your local game store and try to recruit a new player. Recruit from another game, or recruit a brand new non-gamer. Use the Pathfinder Society or Kobold Love or the RPGA to run and host a great game for new players. In a lot of ways, Kobold Love is perfect for this. Pregenerated characters, a short scenario, fun references that nongamers may identify with – you can follow Kobold Love during its development and see how in its very design I am keeping new players in mind, while trying to entertain and challenge exerienced players, too.

And so, as a method of getting my foot in the door, I first set foot in the elevator, and get ready to design an adventure in front of God and everybody. I’ll doubtlessly make a few mistakes, receive some great advice, and revise a few things along the way, but as long as I gain experience, and help players of all types enjoy this great game, this elevator can’t go anywhere but up.

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~ by Famine on September 6, 2008.

2 Responses to “Going Up?”

  1. I’m with ya sensei. Promoting the game is key. Just exposing it to folks is the trickiest part but once you have them hooked they generally are for life.

    Just really quick, another place to go looking for people to play games is your local college gaming and anime clubs. I’ve found a fair amount of Board gamers and anime watchers are very receptive to RPG’s.

  2. Thanks for the link love… I agree that both the Season 0 and KL scenarios are great intros to RPGs.

    Well maybe not Hydra Fang… 🙂

    But Frozen Fingers definitively.

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