Monday, November 23, 2009


I can be peculiar when it comes to using words. Some might even consider my predilection for using certain words properly as snobbish. Take the word “awesome” for instance. The way that word is used in our current culture makes me cringe. It’s too great a word to be bandied about the way it is. “Awesome” should be reserved for events that truly inspire awe in their witnesses. The birth of a child is awesome. The rising of Atlantis from the seas would be awesome. First contact with extraterrestrial life is awesome. Scoring tickets for a sold-out show or finding a parking spot are not events worthy of the use of ” awesome.”

With this in mind, let me say that your people are awesome.

The entire time I was writing Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls, I had a number in mind. It was not a gigantic number, nor was it an easy-to-hit mark. It was a number based on a reasonable prediction of what the book might do over time given that it’s basically an overblown vanity project aimed at a specific niche of a niche customer base. If I hit that number at all, I’d consider the book to be a modest personal success and worth the time and effort it took to create it.

Forty-eight hours after the book debuted, I reached that number. Two days is all that it took.

I’m absolutely blown away by the fact that so many of you decided to open your wallets and take a risk on an unproven book by an unproven author. I’m doubly gobsmacked by the positive reception the book has received from those who’ve had a chance to read it. To everyone who has bought a copy of the book (electronic or perfect-bound), I offer my deepest and sincerest thanks. You are all awesome in my book, and that’s not me using the term casually.

Now that the book is out, I’m reveling in the sudden quiet time I find myself with. I thought that I might find myself not knowing what to do with this newly rediscovered free time, but that’s not proving to be a problem. I took the weekend to start catching up on various loose threads and promises I’ve accrued over the last few months, and I’m likely to continue this trend throughout the rest of the month.

With both my birthday and Thanksgiving occurring in the week ahead, I’m taking the rest of the month off from the Society to enjoy this temporary oasis of tranquility before the next crunch hits. The first tendrils are already starting to twine their way into my creative attic space, so I’m taking five while I can. Posting will resume after December 1st. Right now I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the space next to my computer does not contain a copy of the Labyrinth Lord rulebook, a sheaf of charts, a handful of dice, and a spiral-bound notebook. It’s a good absence, but one I know will be short-lived.

Let me wish an early “Happy Thanksgiving” to those who will be celebrating it, another “Thank You, Thank You, Thank You” to everyone who has bought a copy of the book, and a final “Thank You” to everyone who makes the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope a regular stop on their journeys through the ether. I have a lot to be thankful this year because of all of you.


Rick said...

Thanks for your creativity! I'm just hoping my copy arrives before I leave for Turkey Day. It'll be perfect plane-reading and relative-avoiding fare ...

Timeshadows said...

Congratulations. :D

Ragnorakk said...

Happy birthday sir! Looking forward to the book(s)!

Chris said...

A break well-earned Mike. We'll see you sometime in December.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm going back to lurking next to the letterbox in a state of fevered anticipation. :)

The Grand Wazoo said...

Happy B-Day! and a hearty congratulations on Stone Hell! I am going to send a copy off to Josh in Japan so you can consider yourself international.

David Larkins said...

Congrats! And a break most definitely well-earned.

(I'll be adding to your number in the next couple weeks.)

Can I just put in a request right here and now that you pick up your Dream World project now that Stonehell's out of the way? ;P

Michael Curtis said...

Can I just put in a request right here and now that you pick up your Dream World project now that Stonehell's out of the way?

I haven't abandoned this idea. I've collect a few more ideas and notes that bear hammering on the creative anvil, but, I won't lie to you, it may be a little while before I get a chance to do anything with them. I've collected a bit of a backlog of things I need to do over the past few months and I'll need to herd those cats before I can get back to the world of dreams. Some sleep might be nice too, so I can reacquaint myself with the place.

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

> The rising of Atlantis from the seas would be awesome.

No, that would be totally bodacious! And, Happy Birthday.

Orion said...

I await Stonehell with elation! Now if only the Dungeon Alphabet would get here!

Bifi said...

I bought the electronic version. We immediately sat down and started playing it. It's perfect, I love how there are things going on in the dungeon. I am very much looking forward to supplements (we started with the Brigand Caves although the players have skirted them for a moment) and part II.

Congratulations and greetings from Central Europe!


P.S.: My players are now at the gatehouse, trying to persuade the goblins to lead them to their king - the goblins have a cleverer plan though, i.e. to use the players to attack the orcs. :-)

Anonymous said...

I spent this evening printing out the free versions of levels 1-3, which I downloaded months ago...

Your book is on my top 5 list of OSR stuff to get next time I can afford to hit Lulu.

Also, it gives me the encouragement to pick up my own old-school writing project again.

word verification: wines - drink some and celebrate! :)

mactavish said...

I was quite literally blown away by your work. Not only the dungeon itself (which is exceptional), but all of the crunchy bits as well as the flavor text.

What I liked best was the notable absence of explanations for many things. I love the fact that I can customize your excellent work for my own purposes, then pass it off as my own to my players! ;)

I wait for your next work with extreme impatience.


Rusty said...

I just bought the PDF. Wow!

James said...

Bravissimo! I've posted my Review, here:

Flynn said...

My copy finally arrived tonight from Lulu, so I'll be reading it with enthusiasm and I'll try to post a review of it this weekend.

So far, it looks very impressive,