AD&D, But the “A” is Not What You Think, Part 2

I love D&D 5E. I love all of the editions for different reasons. There are even mechanics in the much maligned 4E that I thought would be interesting to bring back. It begs the question, though- if 5E is so awesome then why is there such a push for OSR? (*Old School Revival.)

Say what you wish about 5E, but its days are coming to an official close in the coming years.

I love D&D 5E. I love all of the editions for different reasons. There are even mechanics in the much maligned 4E that I thought would be interesting to bring back. It begs the question, though- if 5E is so awesome then why is there such a push for OSR? (*Old School Revival.)

I think the easy answer is that the more the game evolves into new editions, the more some of us OGs miss simpler times and familiar record keeping. I know a lot of people in all walks of D&D fandom think it’s all or nothing when it comes to a favorite edition. I’ll talk more about this sometime down the road. My purpose here is not to engage in the infamous Edition Wars, but to see what a mash-up of editions might look like.

When last we left our heroes…

We talked about character creation. Every edition has something to contribute. 4E had a really interesting book that many probably overlooked. The 4E Player’s Strategy Guide was underrated. I forgot to mention it in the previous article, but it really was a good way to bring people into the game.

I thought the 3E/3.5 Dragon Compendium (Paizo) offered up a lot of interesting class options, especially the Savant. This class offered an opportunity to sample all of the main core classes (Cleric, Fighter, Thief, Wizard.)

Equipment:
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The most extensive equipment guide for any edition was probably 3E. I don’t necessarily think every single lantern and wagon wheel needs an entry, but there were some neat pieces of gear and mounts for players to explore.

Armor:
Again, my first choice is 3E/3.5E. There were a lot of variations and piecemeal armor sets. I think with a few minor tweaks, the armor table for amalgam would be complete as a revision of 3.5E.

Weapons:
No surprise here, I’m going with 3.5’s weapons list. No lie, I miss having the exotic weapons in the game, quirky though they were. I also miss all of the Monk and Samurai weapons in the game. Oddly, I would fix the Bastard Sword and Katana back to their 2E glory days. Also, the amalgam weapon list would have to be adjusted to include Weapon Speeds to go with the hybrid initiative system.

Spells:
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Okay, I’m sure the pitchforks and torches are coming out for this. I actually liked the 2nd Ed AD&D spells. Specifically the Priest’s Spell Compendiums and Wizard’s Spell Compendiums. I also enjoyed creating spells in 2nd Ed.

For a bit of added excitement, (and I may have to move to an undisclosed address after this,) I think the 4E casting options work a little better than the old, tired, fire-and-forget spell system. Don’t get me wrong, healing surges can stay dead. I don’t think every spell should be re-castable every round. But wouldn’t it be great to recast spells like, Magic Missile and maybe Fireball more than once per combat without burning slots for Utility Spells? How about Cure Light Wounds?

Certain spells that take more than a turn or two would continue to take some kind of spell slot. Obviously V, S, M components would have to stay in the game unless negated by Feats. I know some of these concepts might be daunting to new players, but I think with time and a little game time experience, it could work. Playtesting might indicate otherwise.

I think some special treatment needs to be given to Clerics’ Turning Undead and Healing. (Again, healing surges are still dead.) While turning should stay a separate ability from spellcasting, what if Clerics or Paladins could burn a spell slot to recover or enhance a turn attempt? Or maybe treat healing like a turning attempt and have some (not ALL) healing be recoverable per round/rest period/day? OR even burn turning to heal more?

Feats are a nice multitool for casters to gain a little advantage with spells. IF/F we altered casting to make some spells re-castable, how to cover things such as casting a low level spell at a higher level? Do we follow the 4E model of every single spell has a table with damage bumps? Burn a higher level slot and scale the damage?

How about changing the die type for damaging spells? So instead of 2d4 Magic Missile damage, we cast it as a 5th level spell and now it does 2d10? But it still recharges… Hmmm.

More dice? Bigger dice? OR both?

More to come. Combat is on my list of things to cover next time. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you.

AD&D, But the “A” is Not What You Think. (Part 1.)

I realize that not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye regarding the “best” elements of each edition. I certainly don’t want to start another round of Edition Wars. Trust me. Nobody wants that. I’m going to put out my opinion and if you have a better take on it, great.

How about “Amalgam” Dungeons & Dragons?

I was recently listening to Table Top Taproom you YouTube. Tom wasn’t engaging in Edition Wars, but he was talking about the various editions of the game over the years and his experiences with them. It got me thinking. What if we merged the best parts of all editions?

Now, I realize that not everyone is going to see eye-to-eye regarding the “best” elements of each edition. I certainly don’t want to start another round of Edition Wars. Trust me. Nobody wants that. I’m going to put out my opinion and if you have a better take on it, great.

I’m going to list various key elements from the game and which edition they would best come from (in my opinion)

Attribute Generation: AD&D 1E. So many diverse options! You almost always had stats that were super happy. Unearthed Arcana- love that book so much. We could even relabel the methods to make them sound more exciting and modern. I.E. 3d6 in order is now Hardcore, 4d6 drop the lowest is now Standard. Reroll 1’s is now Gentle and so on.

Races: I feel like they’re all the right answer here. 5E had the most amazingly diverse selection of any game. Oddly enough, the races resembling those in World of Warcraft is kind of a fun idea. [Actually a 3.5E Setting Sourcebook from Sword & Sorcery/Arthaus/(White Wolf.)] The only things I think should be avoided are attribute penalties and races as classes (As in Basic or B/X.)

I know races have become a touchy subject in the community and I don’t want to specifically point out any keepers or omissions. I think there needs to be a lot of leeway for the DM and the setting writers to include or exclude whatever they see fit. Personally, I have about a dozen I would recommend and I’ll work with just about anything after that. I believe WotC has some other ideas they’re going to implement down the road.

Classes: Okay, this is actually a tough call. Honestly, my favorite version is the Player’s Option: Skills & Powers in AD&D 2E. However, point buy doesn’t work for everyone- especially new players. So in to remedy this, I would recommend a return to AD&D 2E with Kits. New to the game? Here’s your basic class.

I know there are D&D fans who would probably pillory me for suggesting that insanity, but there’s a method to my madness. The beauty of Kits was the ability to plug-n-play character options. Samurai? Make a Warrior, add Samurai. Benefits are always an upward gain on top of the class. Very few penalties/adjustments to the base class. Good times.

I would also go so far as to roll in the Sage, the Shaman, and the Warlock as either base classes or sample builds in the PHB. For pretty much everything else there are kits. Of course, sourcebooks and 3rd party supplements would expand the base class list. Artificer, Blood Hunter and Gunslinger are floating around out there, too. Psionics are always a hot topic in any edition. (I still have nightmares from 1E AD&D psionics…)

I think it would also be fun to really dig into classes such as Monk. Let them create their own martial arts options/maneuvers from a menu as they progress. Give them weapon katas outside of the usual martial arts d6 damage salad.

The things to be avoided here would be any return to Prestige Classes, Epic Tier Classes, etc. I’m also not a big fan of Subclasses, although it’s pretty much what Kits are. The only noticeable difference between Kits and 5E subclasses are that Kits only modify the base class. Subclasses are a branch choice that alters everything about the character thereafter.

Advancement: I’ve always been an Experience Point guy. Milestones work, too. Honestly it’s not a big deal to me. Do what works for you and your group.

The main reason I mention advancement is because we have the issue of attribute gains and/or Feats. Feats are a sticky wicket. I like the 5E choice of attribute gain OR a Feat. I feel like Feats overwhelmed the game in 3rd/3.5E. They’re a great game mechanic in moderation.

I also think +1/+1 Attribute bonuses or +1/Feat every other level would be pretty okay. I like it when the players have something to look forward to at pretty much each level. Otherwise TTRPGs suffer the same fate as MMOs where some levels feel very grindy. Like, why bother? Maybe it’s time to spread the level bonuses a bit more evenly?

Skills: Here’s where we turn the entire thing sideways. I like 5E for skills. The only exception to class building is Rogue/Thief skills. Everyone gets access to Stealth. Overall skill advancement would work the same as 5E. Less record keeping is better.

Weapon Skills: My craziness continues. Any character may pick ONE weapon of choice and earn a +1 To Hit with said weapon. However, Fighters/Warriors get Mastery. This would track with Proficiency bonus. +1/+1 at first level. The rest of this mirrors the weapon mastery from Basic D&D including additional attacks. Now fighters are a really awesome character choice.

I also think allowing fighters to choose a fighting style early on would be of great benefit to the class. Sort of similar to the way 5E has it. You can be a sword and board tanky type, a great 2H weapon fighter, dual wield dps like a champ, a polearm warrior, or possibly a generalist soldier/commander.

Rangers would probably get to keep their free dual wield, but it wouldn’t be as amazing as the Fighter version. Feats would modify the varying degrees/forms of weapon mastery.

Feats: Okay, I picture rabid players showing up at my door with torches and pitchforks. I would actually espouse the idea of allowing an extensively edited version of 3.5E feats. There are some pretty worthwhile feats that have been since removed that I’m sure many of us would like to see again.

Again, not trying to restart the Edition Wars. Your mileage may vary with this homebrew. I’ll continue the rest of the conceptualizing in the next article. It’s a lot to wrap my head around. I’ve also realized while reading back through this that much of what I’m talking about sounds similar to Pathfinder. We may be exploring that further down the road, too.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day! I appreciate you.

Has WotC Plum Lost They Minds?!?

Why is WotC rehashing the same old not-so-great campaign settings when they could be coming up with some new material.

Still trying to decide what to make of this year’s release schedule so far.

Wizards of the Coast is almost trying to shoot themselves thoroughly in the foot this year, in my opinion. First, they drop a box set containing one new release and two books most of the fan base already has. Then, another Matt Mercer ego balloon, because we all need another Critical Role book. Bleh. Next on the hit parade is the return of an old classic, Dragonlance. Later this year they’re talking about the return of Spelljammer. I hear Planescape is on the horizon, too. Why WotC? Why?

In fairness, I don’t hate any of their releases other than that whole three book collection nightmare at the start of the year. They really didn’t think that one through. Obvious money grab. I would have thought they would be beyond it, but… sigh.

Dragonlance returns!

Glad they seem to have worked out their differences with Hickman and Weis. The latest Unearthed Arcana contained info on some of the Dragonlance classic material all the fans will undoubtedly be clamoring for. I don’t oppose this idea. I can’t say I’m going to buy into it, though. There’s nothing new here, guys.

Kender? We already kinda have that figured out. Draconians? Uh, we already have them. Several ages of lore where there doesn’t seem to be any room for any characters outside of the novels to really do much? Again. We have FR for that.

I think WotC is banking on the fan appeal, but I think they’re missing a big hunk of their target audience. Yes, the Dragonlance novels are epic. No one is denying the greatness of the old material. Heck, I still have my old 1st Ed AD&D Dragonlance book along with the 3rd Ed stuff. It’s all good, but not really what 5E needs at this juncture.

Spelljammer?!?

What the actual flying fish f*ck made them decide to resurrect this technicolor nightmare? Seriously? Are they that desperate? What’s next? Chronomancy?

I’m sorry if I’m trashing on someone’s favorite campaign setting. Please accept my apology. But I don’t seem to recall Spelljammer being all that terribly popular to begin with. I fail to understand why they can’t just let that one stay dormant.

Have they finally run out of ideas for D&D 5E?

If they were going to dredge up campaigns from the past, why not go for Birthright, Oriental Adventures (Kara Tur,) or Dark Sun? Yes, there are all the accusations of racism and gender bias in the old campaigns. So what? No offense to anyone, but the same kinda thing exists in just about every campaign setting from the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

Okay, Greyhawk, Mystara, Masque of the Red Death, Al Qadim, and Jakandor all got passed over for their own 5E return so far. I can see it. Truthfully, I can see the same apologist mentality that’s being applied to Birthright and Kara Tur going for a lot of the old settings. Agree with it or not, that’s how they’re running things.

Here’s an original idea- why not build an all new, original Fifth Edition setting? Maybe something that doesn’t have Critical Role attached to it in any way? Sorry, I’m picking on Matt Mercer again. But how hard can it be for WotC to bring some fresh ideas to the table instead of trying to bring back the same old, somewhat nauseating ideas that played out in 1989?

There are dozens if not hundreds of campaign settings floating around out there in 5E already. You can find a setting for just about anything you’d ever want to run. Cowboys, undead, ninjas, pirates, and dinosaurs are all over the place in 5E. Why does WotC insist on rehashing old second rate titles?

Maybe I am an Old Grognard?

Yes, I do occasionally chuckle at poking old Matt Mercer’s fanbase with a stick. Matt would never stoop to reading my blog or contacting me directly, so I don’t worry. I don’t mind Critical Role, as I’ve said before. But CR is not the end-all and be-all of D&D campaigns. Trust me. They can do better.

Is WotC trying to cash in on the OSR movement? Maybe. Although I see OSR as more of a response to all of the “new” rules changes that have come out since 1st Ed or 2nd Ed AD&D. I know us “old” OSR folks have a bad reputation for being what one younger gamer described as “racist, homophobic and fascist Nazis.” While I DO NOT espouse any type of hatred based on race, gender, or sexual orientation, I will say I’m “old.” I also don’t embrace fascism, socialism or communism, to be honest. I don’t do extremes. Not in my games, not in real life.

So, what is WotC’s angle here? Why are they bringing back RPGs that were left of the Best-Left-Forgotten Shelf? (Gratuitous Rescue Bots reference.) I’ll be watching for something new and improved to happen hopefully before 2024’s new edition.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week. See you again soon.

Leaving a Legacy?

While I don’t have my whole spiritual mission mapped out and I’m certainly no millionaire LoA guru yet, some of the various puzzle pieces of life are falling into place.

Tonight’s theme is: Tough introspection on my part.

So, I’m sitting here playing my 900th+ match on Fortnite tonight and I started thinking. What kind of legacy am I leaving behind? I mean, they don’t have to carve my bearded face into a stone somewhere. I’ve never been big on glory and prestige or popularity. But, what do I want to be remembered for.

Sound like a mid-life crisis?

Photo by Kevin Bidwell on Pexels.com

Yeah, kinda does. In my defense, I do turn 50 next year. Not sure I expected to make it this far. I mean, yay! But at the same time I’m wondering what the last 50 years truly netted me. I’ve had some pretty epic, killer matches in video games going back all the way to the Atari 2600. Yeah… Combat, Pac-Man, and Dig-Dug. I put in a lot of hours on some of those games. Yars Revenge, too. There was a game…

The Basic Nintendo Entertainment System is still one of my all time favorite gaming platforms. I think I played Top Gun, Double Dragon 1,2, and 3 until I beat them and could practically do it in my sleep. There was this really sweet, sweet game called Conflict that I was super pro at. By current graphics standards, these games are all weak sauce now, though.

PC games became my jam in college. I played Mechwarrior, Unreal Tournament, Doom, all of the Dungeons & Dragons content I could find, Command & Conquer (all up until Red Alert 2 or 3, (I think?) Jagged Alliance 2, Squad Leader, and the best of all- World of Warcraft. I played WoW until my arthritis started acting up. Lots of amazing years and fun characters in that game. I still have fond memories.

Oh how video games have evolved.

Alas, I gave most of it up when I became more serious about my spiritual path.

I would like to say I moved on, but not entirely. I still squeeze in an appearance on Heroes of the Storm occasionally. I started playing Fortnite as a way to bond with my kids. They like to watch those YouTubers who scream and yell at the camera all the time. The game is super easy for us old Unreal Tournament guys. We get to spend some time together and it’s fun. I also get to vent some aggression without anyone getting hurt in the real world.

The one thing I will say has changed is I no longer play super obsessively like I did in the good old WoW days. No joke, I went through about seven or eight years where all I did was eat, sleep, work, and play WoW. Sound familiar? It sunk in one summer night after I watched Dr Steven Greer’s Unacknowledged. Where was I going?

Where am I going?

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Again, I’m not out to be a name in every other household around the world, fun though that would be. But I started to realize there had to be more to life than just eat, sleep, work, raise kids and play video games. It started to look like a slow trudge toward the grave, and I’ve never been a fan of that.

That’s when I started to realize that video games are my particular drug of choice when it comes to distracting myself and seriously procrastinating. After some therapy and learning about the wonders of the Law of Attraction, I figured out that video games were preventing all of that “shadow work” and keeping me stuck in old paradigms on top of being a distraction and a means of procrastination. It’s what I do when the anxiety and depression really kick in.

So while I don’t have my whole spiritual mission mapped out and I’m certainly no millionaire LoA guru yet, some of the various puzzle pieces of life are falling into place. Yes, I can still play a round or two of something now and then without blowing a pile of money or losing hours of productivity. It’s a simple matter of moderation and that’s a good life lesson for all the kids, YouTubers and just people out there. If I feel like I’m spending too much time in video game land, I put the controller down.

“If you were going to be rich, you’d have done it by now.” – My mentor.

Someone taught me JOY is the key!

I would take a real bullet for the beautiful, talented, amazing, inspiring person who said this to me. But also, that particular comment still makes me want to crawl in a hole and die. As intensely dualistic as it is, I’m glad she said it. It’s the truth and we should never, ever demand a retraction for something that is legitimate truth.

I hear it a LOT in LoA and entrepreneurship circles. They say you should spend every waking hour of the day on the grind of either self-improvement or pursuing all of your super serious intentions. Is it true? Well, I’ll say it never hurt anyone. Or does it?

Where’s the joy in constantly having your nose in a book or hustling for that almighty dollar all the time? How much fun are you having when you bury yourself in perpetually trying to one-up your perceived competition or hitting the next benchmark? Sure, who doesn’t want to be rich? Yay hustle and grind. Here’s my “but:” Why should a bunch of screaming YouTubers who play Minecraft and Fortnite non-stop for days get to have all the fun and my kids’ undivided attention? Who’s to say self-improvement can’t become someone’s narcotic of choice, a haven for burying one’s feelings?

Their way isn’t necessarily my way.

Money is a good thing, but it’s not everything.

*Note, I’m going to name drop a bunch of folks here. Please go look them up on YouTube if you haven’t seen them already.

I admire Aaron Doughty, Jake Ducey, and even Master Sri Akarshana beyond words. They’ve worked hard in their respective LoA niches and have risen to staggering heights of wealth and prestige in the spiritual and LoA communities. I would love to have a sit-down with Jake Ducey some time. He’s one of my real heroes.

They’ve worked hard on themselves, meditated, prayed, and built empires. I might not always agree with Master Akarshana’s style or tactics, but I admire anyone who straight up attracted a Lamborghini and has businesses running in the thousands if not millions. Obviously he didn’t make all that by playing WoW nonstop to level cap every time a new expansion came out.

However, their way isn’t my way. Sure, I like to live in the feeling of the dream fulfilled. I like to tend to business and work hard, but I also do kick back and have some fun with the kids now and then. I also find writing quite therapeutic, especially these days. I still meditate about once per day. I’d do the same thing if I was Eckhart Tolle or Teal Swan. (Although I might not look as good as Teal. Lol!) My point is, I affirm and believe that I’m on my way up. I may be pulling an Abraham Hicks at the rate I’m going- retired and attracting more and more joy into my life. But that’s another story entirely.

They say before enlightenment you chop wood and haul water. After enlightenment you chop wood and haul water. I figure being a millionaire is much the same, just different trappings. You still have to work, but the paradigm and the type of work shifts dramatically.

My kids like to watch Preston Playz, Unspeakable Gaming and Ssundee on a pretty much daily basis. I hear names like Dream and SniperWolf getting thrown around a lot, too. These folks on YouTube make buckets upon buckets of money and have millions of subscribers. I can admire that. Some of these folks don’t just yell at the mic and play video games all day, either. They give away boatloads of cash and help build businesses and they’re all fairly young. I admire that, but again, it’s not really my jam. I’m a player, not a code guy. I can’t make the next Super Nuke Thrower Bow in Minecraft. I’m not God’s gift to Fortnite.

I pry myself away from the PC and the console occasionally and do other things. Hooray for doing what you enjoy for a living. I love that they do it. But again, I wonder what else goes on in their day. Are they really enjoying life and all the money/prestige? I know 2020 was a good year for certain YouTubers. Yay. But I wonder what life is like outside of the box? Are they fulfilled? Where’s the joy? What are they leaving behind for their kids?

Photo by Adam Fejes on Pexels.com
I’m considering YouTube again, too.

Where does that leave me?

This blog will be around for a while yet. That’s a good start. I have a TON of ideas I’d like to develop once I have some funds rolling in. I’m perpetually learning and improving myself, just not obsessively. I’m really loving life, trying to keep my vibration high within reason, and looking for new opportunities whenever I can. Yes, I do some of my more grindy thinking when I’m immersed in Heroes of the Storm for 20 minutes or playing solo on Fortnite.

Tabletop Role Playing Games are sort of my side hustle. I would love to be the next Gary Gygax or even Matt Mercer. That having been said, I’ve got a TON of ideas. I know how to format, edit, write and create game mechanics that work. Characters are no problem. Art on the other hand… We have challenges to overcome in terms of art.

Have a great week. Keep on doing what lights you up. Keep your vibration way high. Take care. Publius.

Today’s Learning Experience was…

Being an avid tabletop roleplaying game fan has taught me a lot of things in life.

Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guild Logo c/o Wizards of the Coast.

Okay, so this is intended to be pretty lighthearted. As is probably known, and I’m not trying to brag, I have become a bit of a Renaissance man over the years. My choir director in high school used to actually chide me about that, even when I was around sixteen. Back then it was sports, electronics, photography, art, writing, Spanish, theatre and Dungeons & Dragons. Nowadays it’s UFOlogy, spirituality, Law of Attraction, self development, cooking, kids, Instagram, writing, and Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve been at this game since I was about 11 years old. They featured a guy about my age on CNN who’s still got his game going, if you want a comparison.

One summer wayyy back in the 1980’s a friend that I met at the swimming pool introduced me to this really neat-o game called “Marvel Superhero Role-Playing.” I was a huge comics fan and it only seemed natural. Sure enough, I was drawn to it like ants on sugar. My friend thought it was awesome because they passed the job of running the game off onto me. Ha! D&D was soon to follow, like, the next day. My friend thought running the game sucked and somehow that’s why I needed to be in charge.

Marvel Super Heroes RPG Judge’s Book

The joke was on him. (Sorry, Travis.) I’m still going strong 35+ years later. Obviously not on the same campaign or even the same game, but you get the point. I love tabletop role playing games. It has pushed me to become a better writer, learn journalism, sociology, and so many other things. I even met my wife at a gaming convention back many, many years ago. I’ve had the privilege of working for three game stores over the years plus a few writing endeavors.

Of course, there have been some lean years with me and the hobby. In high school, we were still in the era of “D&D is a scary satanic cult and obviously all you kids who play it are going to burn in hell.” I can’t count the number of times they tried to sell us on that one, even at school assemblies. That shit was hilarious. Obviously no one in my group of friends was remotely dissuaded from doing anything. I mean, seriously? It’s a GAME, people! Not even a competitive one. (Maybe that’s what was confusing. Who knows?) As far as I am aware, this hobby has never successfully been branded a cult, caused a suicide, or managed to summon an actual demon. It’s a burnt-out old fear paradigm… Moving on.

Then there was college. No joke, I ended up bouncing majors no less than a half dozen times before coming back to journalism and sociology. Writing + Interacting with people. It made sense to me, anyway but I’ll be honest, more than a little influenced by my love for RPG’s. It’s not like a theatre career was going anywhere from here in the armpit of the theatrical world. (Sorry not sorry. It’s true. Iowa is not known for Broadway productions.) Although ironically, D&D 5E has risen in mainstream popularity because of a group of voice actors doing a gaming podcast called “Critical Role.”

Lastly, my real moment of Homer Simpson at the Bowling Alley came when I stopped working part time at our Friendly Local Game Store because we had two kids at the time and I needed a real, good paying, full-time job. (Blech! 🤢) I know, right? (The Bowling Alley was Homer’s dream job in case you missed it.) My wife and I even had to give up our regular game sessions because my work schedule totally didn’t mesh with trying to run a regular game. That, and we’re up to four kids. What time?

BUT, never to be discouraged, I have kept up on the industry pretty well and I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to get involved. I have a second blog, second Instagram Account and I’m debating about expanding a couple of other ways once the Covid thing dies down some more. @sellsword.games and sellswordgames.game.blog if you’re curious. Not much there to look at yet, but I’m still working on it. Writing, collecting, interacting with the community, and learning a lot about self publishing have become a fascination of mine.

To make matters even more awesome, my kids are getting old enough to become interested in the hobby. Woot! Time to break out the dice and the DM’s Screen again. Yes! Under mom’s careful supervision, of course.

Today, I learned…
(Photo courtesy of Disney Jr.)

So, getting to the gist of what I was originally starting to say before I got a little sidetracked down memory lane. Today, I learned a couple of neat things. One is WordPress, (Love you guys ❤😁) was missing a command to show my other blog over on the other page. LOL! My bad for not proofing my page, not theirs.

Another thing I learned, in my research for starting a new gaming zine, is that apparently while print is mostly dying, zines are still around, sorta? Most of the major online hobby magazines have dissolved into one of about three or four different places.

The first and most obvious is Patreon. Patreon lets you choose how much content you want to give as a publisher for a certain dollar amount. I have some hangups when it comes to Patreon that I will discuss some other time. It’s cool, but at the same time, maybe not my thing? The verdict is still out on that one.

The next place I’ve seen a lot of zines disappear to is different websites and blogs. This is why I am developing a blog and eventually site pages to go with it over on my other site. Maybe some premium content eventually. It’s in the works sometime down the road.

Then there’s the App market. This actually surprised me a little. Yes, I know. Probably seems a little strange to some of the younger folks. Even the company I work for has a rewards app these days. But somehow I didn’t see this thing with the magazine coming.

Dragon+ is what has become of my beloved Dragon Magazine now an app. Sigh.
(Logo property of Wizards of the Coast.)

Lastly, and this is where my jumping-on point was originally, is the PDF market. I would have thought for sure that this was the way to go. I mean, we used to buy actual print magazines for $4.99. A lot of print books are now exclusively PDFs now. The PDF market, or rather the e-publishing marketplace is the way to go on so many other things now, right? At least if you’re looking to self publish, anyway.

I mean, I understand that the game publishing community is one of profit and commerce. Maybe not a millionaire maker, but at least enough to buy the next book from some other company that comes along or enough cash to buy a pizza. I’m not looking to get rich. Turns out a lot of the hosting sites for PDF publishing charge a pretty hefty percentage off the top of your product, especially the folks at the Dungeon Masters Guild. Go figure. It’s more about the love of the game, anyway.

But, there’s a real added value to this experience. By learning how the gaming market comes together, I’m learning WordPress and web marketing as well as so many other fun facts today. Play the clowny outro music. I’m outta here for the day. Zing!

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