One of my favorite bloggers, James Raggi, has indirectly taken me to task. Or at least, I’m assuming that I’m included amongst the unnamed projects that he’s commenting on in his latest post. I direct your attention to his words because I believe that he does have a good point about the dearth of old school products that exist in a physical format that can be enjoyed away from the constraints of the computer.
In the defense of Stonehell existing solely as a .pdf format and available for free rather than for purchase as a printed supplement, I wanted to clearly state the two reasons that I’ve pursued the path that I have with it.
The primary reason is that I don’t feel that I have the right to distribute Stonehell in its current format in any way that could turn a profit for me. The Two-Page dungeon method that I employ in detailing each section of the dungeon is nothing more than a modified version of the One-Page method first developed by Sham AKA Dave of Sham’s Grog ‘n Blog and the template I use is derived from the one created by Chgowiz. At best, I can claim the tentative credit of showing what can be done with that template and how it can be slightly expanded on to pack in a little more detail into each section of the dungeon. If anyone stands to make a few bucks on this idea, it’s certainly not me.
The second reason that I make the dungeon available piecemeal and gratis is because the whole project is mostly done for my own personal edification. Constructing Stonehell has been, and remains, a learning experience. Having never built a true old school megadungeon, I’ve been honing my skills and learning from my mistakes as it grows, hopefully so that the next time I take a crack at something of this magnitude I’ll know what to do. Any feedback I receive from the project is taken to heart and filed away for future reference. As James mentions, the old school community has the talent to produce something that’s just as good, if not better, than anything Mayfair Games or Judges Guild put out in their heyday. I just don’t feel that I’m currently at that level of talent, but Stonehell is helping me get there.
James’ is most certainly correct that Stonehell isn’t finished, and even when it is, I doubt that it will become something available in a physical format. The next project, however, might be a different story entirely but we’ll see what happens when we get there.
And James: Yes, everything that I post here is archived and preserved in case of an unforeseen “oops” by Blogger or the crash of my own hard drive. And thanks for a post title that lets me slip a Fear reference in by response.