Return

Hi kids, I’m back.

Well, to be honest, I haven’t actually been gone; it’s just been a while since I’ve updated these pages. There’s been a lot going on if you haven’t been keeping up with current events. Both Gary Con and PaizoCon are now past, and I was really pleased with the Delve playtests I ran at both of those events. In the meantime, I’ve been working on various projects for my day job. Starfinder will be released this Gen Con, and I think people are really going to like that game. I’ll be doing more for that game, but I’ll wait until that project is announced to share the particulars. Ultimate Wilderness is off my plate, and that will see release in November, along with the newest class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying game—the shifter. I have a fun project I’ll be turning over this weekend for Shadow of the Demon Lord. I just finished a very cool Flip-Mat Multipack which is a bit of an homage to Dungeon Geomorphs, and I wrote a guest post on my friend Creighton Broadhurst’s blog supporting point-buy in roleplaying games, as a counter to his post where he confesses a dislike for such ability score determination. And, all this while, the Delve Proto document has been moving along.  If you want a small taste of the PaizoCon playtest, check out this PaizoCon overview, the Delve info is about halfway through the article.

So I guess you can say I’ve had a lot going on.

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Me running the Delve playtest at Gary Con IX. Thanks to Rachel Ventura for snapping the photo.

The crowning bit of all those activities was, by far, Gary Con IX. It was my first Gary Con (sure to not be my last) and my first visit to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The show itself was beyond awesome, one of the happiest, accepting, and fun shows I’ve ever been to. I got to see old co-workers who made the move from Wisconsin to Washington during the Wizards of the Coast buy-out only to later go back home again. I was lucky to play games with folks I’ve known only as Facebook personalities until now. And most of all, I was privileged to share in the Gygax family’s celebration of Gary’s life and works. If you’re a D&D wonk like me, it was like going to Mecca. I’m not a spiritual man, I think most of you know that, but the visit filled me with romantic notions of taking a year off, living in that town, and finishing the game.

But, there is no way I can afford that, so I’ll keep plugging at it with the day job and work on Delve in the evenings and the weekends when some progress on freelance projects has been made.

And part of that is to get a regular schedule rolling on this blog again. I mean if I can make the time to guest on my friend’s blog, I can sure as hell find the time to update my own.

So, what’s next? Well, to be honest, I’ve been chipping at a blog post about my overly-romantic and overly philosophical impressions on Lake Geneva, you’ll have to endure that one next. After that, I’m going to talk about the various modes of play and what the current design for those looks like. So far we have been talking about encounter play, but the game also features a more freeform exploration play (including tools based on my old Hexporation model) and settlement play, which deals with things like downtime and searching for and purchasing rare and magical items.

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My friend James Lewis gave me his black Gary Con dice bag during the Delve playtest at that show. It now serves as home for my Delve dice. It may have granted some good mojo, as wow were these dice rolling hot during Paizo Con. (No! Dice don’t work like that)

I’ll also talk a little bit about what I learned during the playtests so far this year and how they’ve helped me fine-tune the game. There is also adversary deign, the terrain in the game, adventure design, and more information about my sample setting the Gray Coast and the sample adventure The Caldeth Catalyst.

Later, as the draft solidifies, I’ll let you in on some of my plans to put out a broader playtest of the game and the next steps toward publishing. Both are questions I get asked a lot. Yes, there will be a playtest phase. Yes, anyone will have a chance to participate and send me feedback. It’s a crucial step in my determination whether to move on to the next phase: production.

There will be more playtests this year. I have a local group that is waiting for me to find some clearance in my schedule. I’ve promised games to numerous other friends. I’ll be attending Spa Con this September and will be running a playtest game there (as well as some Starfinder). My duties for Paizo give me little time to run games at the show, at least in not any organized fashion. If you do find me there and I’m not in a panel or helping a customer at the Paizo booth, I would love to talk to you about my little game and hear your thoughts. Who knows? Maybe some late night gaming is in order.

Just one last thing before I go. If you haven’t heard Paizo is teaming up with Owlcat Games in Russia to produce an isometric single-player RPG based on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Kingmaker Adventure Path. I’ve seen the current prototypes at play, and this thing looks groovy. If you love Pathfinder and like games like Balder’s Gate, you’re going to love this thing. Anyhow, Owlcat is running a Kickstarter to help improve and expand the game, so check it out when you have a moment.

Yeah, yeah, I’m done being a company shill. Have a great weekend, and if you can’t game with the ones you love, game with the ones you’re with.

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