I’m currently working on finishing up another book, one that’s been being honed for the better part of a year. With each refinement, the book comes closer and closer to what I envisioned when I originally pitched it, and I’m pleased with its growth. I’m nevertheless looking forward to when the final words are written and it moves off my desk and on down the line. I’m certain that if you’ve liked what I’ve done in the past, this next book will tickle you in all the right (and sometimes wrong) places.
As soon as this book is finished and I get the OK to move on to other things, I’ll be starting on the Stonehell sequel—no bullshitting around on that. As much as I love my megadungeon, knowing that I still owe the final book to you fine folks has been weighing on me like a quarrel-pierced seabird. I need to make sure that I have enough time to not only write the best book I can, but to deliver it before year’s end. Having been down this path once before, I’m fully aware of the detours and outright catastrophes that can cripple a book’s chances odds of meeting a deadline. The sooner started, the sooner finished, and that’s best for everyone.
Once Stonehell 2: Wrath of Kobolds is completed I will emphatically state that it is unlikely that I’ll be returning to the world of self-publishing any time soon. The occasional PDF or 32 p. module, maybe, but no more full length books—at least not ones that I have to do every damn thing to make happen. I enjoy writing them; I like better it when someone else works the magic to turn the manuscript into a book.
On the home front, I’m running out of steam on my Labyrinth Lord campaign. I wish I had better news, but between finishing the new book and looking at doing the Stonehell sequel, I just can’t muster up the gumption to get excited about my own fantasy world. A sea change is most definitely in the air, and I’ve already apprised my players that a sabbatical from "Watchfires & Thrones" may be in order for a time. Potential candidates have been discussed with no consensus on a replacement. We will be helping playtest a certain unnamed RPG in the weeks ahead, and if that proves to be to everyone’s satisfaction, the prospect of running a regular game of said unnamed RPG before it sees actual publication has an allure I find difficult in resisting, especially since I’m pretty impressed by what I’ve read so far.
To completely contradict the last paragraph, I’m doing work on another fantasy setting for another group, a world that’s been tremendously entertaining and inspiring. I get together with friends every two months or so for a night of board and card games, and these sessions have been a lot of fun. We manage to try out at least one new game each time we meet and the results have been 95% positive. One of the regulars at these sessions expressed an interest in trying out a fantasy roleplaying game (she’s never played before, but has an interest in the genre) back around Christmas time and I agreed to put one together. The book has slowed down my progress in assembling the introductory adventure, but that’s changed in recent weeks. I finally found a hook and system that works best for the mostly inexperienced players attending and also scratches all the itches that are being left untouched by the Labyrinth Lord campaign. It may just be the greatest setting I’ve ever developed.
What I like best about the setting is that it is personal. I’m crafting a game world that is not intended to see publication in a book or be blogged about here. I’m not writing it with one eye trained on commercial consumption concerns, but instead on the entertainment of just myself and a close circle of friends. After having spent so much time over the past two-and-a-half years writing with the public in mind, it’s nice to have that freedom again. I may talk about the setting some day, but for now it’s most definitely a case of “You have to be there” to enjoy it.
And that, my friends, is that. See you when I see you again.