Thursday, July 16, 2009

Birth of a Three-Headed Monster

Back in December of last year, I had the pleasure of beginning to collaborate with Dave “AKA Sham” Bowman and Michael “Chgowiz” Shorten on the idea of the One Page Dungeon. Although none of us knew it at the time, that creative partnership was destined to bear delicious fruit. As the success of the One Page Dungeon Contest has proved, this simple idea provides gamers with a rich, yet uncomplicated method to build their adventuring locales.

Our partnership on the One Page Dungeon idea turned out to be so successful that the three of us began bouncing ideas off of one another for other, individual projects. We found that each other’s suggestions, insights, and revisions helped improve our work, leaving us with a much better final result than we could have accomplished individually. In the wake of this, it wasn’t long before we began discussing the idea of creating a more formal venture between us.

From that idea came Three-Headed Monster Games. The concept behind THM Games was to form a fellowship of writers, designers, and artists that would assist one another in honing their craft, improving their work, and pooling their resources in order to produce the best materials possible with the tools and talent at hand. Each of us would maintain individual control of our ideas and retain any monies generated by their ultimate release, but each produced game product would bear the Three-Headed Monster Games logo as an acknowledgement of the communal effort that helped create it. Over time, we hope that this network of collaboration will expand to include additional members, and that it will help beginning writers, designers, and artists find a safe haven in which to trade ideas, improve their work, and increase their knowledge of the various processes that go into turning an idea into a complete project.

Today marks the official unveiling of Three-Headed Monster Games. We’re learning as we go and have chosen to start with a small web presence and a flagship offering. Over time, with the participation of other creative individuals, we plan to slowly expand this presence and release more gaming materials under the Three-Headed Monster Games imprint.

The first offering under the Three-Headed Monster Games banner is Chgowiz’s Swords & Wizardry Quick Start. Designed to give newcomers an easy-to-learn introduction to Swords & Wizardry, the Quick Start is an amazing book. I can think of no better praise to give than to say that, after reading the Quick Start, I immediately wanted to grab some people who’ve never played a role-playing game in their life and sit them down to show them what they’ve been missing. I can easily picture a new generation of gamers who, ten years from now, will reminisce fondly about the Dungeon of Akban the way other generations look back upon Zenopus’ dungeon, the Haunted Keep, or the Mentzer edition intro featuring Bargle and that damned rust monster. I have no doubt you’ll agree once you see the Quick Start for yourself.

There are more game materials planned for the future, but for now we’d like to invite you take a look at the Three-Headed Monster Games blog to get an idea of who we are and what we hope to do. Future posts detailing our progress and planned products will be added as we grow and as books get closer to their completion. In the meanwhile, please visit Chgowiz’s Lulu storefront and check out the Swords & Wizardry Quick Start for yourself.


Matt Finch said...

This is really cool!

One of the hopes of the retro-clone idea (all the way back to OSRIC, and I suspect all the way back to Solo's BFRPG) was to foster cooperative efforts between people with different skill sets, much as DF was doing with Footprints. You guys are some of the first to put together the kind of informal working group that Stuart and I had in mind - kudos to all three of you!

I've seen the pdf of the quick start rules, and they are awesome! A great distillation of S&W into an intro game that can be picked up and played almost instantly.

Andreas Davour said...

Cool! May your creativity be thricefold! :)

Amityville Mike said...

We're all very excited about Three-Headed Monster Games. We're starting with tenative steps, learning as we go, but we hope the idea will grow and people who might not otherwise have a network to get feedback and improve their ideas may find a home with THM.

Thank you for wishes for good fortune. I'm certain the Chgowiz's Quick Start is going to be a hit.

Vincent said...

This is cool, as indicated above, but since you are just getting started it isn't to late to avoid Lulu like the plague that it is.

Do whatever it takes now to get decent service and shipping, or you will find it trebly painful later.

Amityville Mike said...

We're not committed to any particular venue for releasing THM materials. As a cooperative, such determinations reside with the particular author. Chgowiz had a pre-existing Lulu storefront, so it made sense for him to release the Quick Start there.

We're exploring other options for future releases and keeping an eye on what has worked for other people.

Matthew Slepin said...

Great to hear.

Juampa said...

Sounds like an exciting enterprise! Best wishes!!!

BlUsKrEEm said...

Any connection to Three Headed Troll?