A fantasy heartbreaker is a tabletop roleplaying game that is clearly a labor of love, but not nearly as radical or innovative as its creators think it is. Quite often, it’s nothing more than a rewrite of an existing game, with some tweaks. A rule they don’t like is changed or replaced, their favorite house rules are incorporated, or they add one new thing and think that qualifies it as an entirely different game. It’s a heartbreaker not because the game is necessarily bad, but because a lot of effort went into something that ultimately provides very little payoff for either the creators or the players and readers. I have code named the roleplay game system I’m working on The[…]

My all-time best-selling title, Setting Design, is included in the GM’s Day Worldbuilder Bundle at DriveThruRPG. For only $5.95 US you get it, the Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding, and the GM’s Planet-Building Book. Yeah. Three great books on worldbuilding for an amazing price. You cannot beat this deal with a stick. A few days ago I wrote that I had an opportunity fall into my lap, and this is it. This is a chance to gain a wider audience, people who may not have heard of Dancing Lights Press before, or who might not have taken a chance on any of my books otherwise. In including my book in this bundle, during their biggest sale of the year (yes, bigger[…]

The first issue of The Foragers Journal is out! This is the all-new official newsletter of Dancing Lights Press! If you’re already a subscriber (or were subscribed to its late predecessor, the cheesily-named Light Reading) you should have already received your copy via email. If you’re not, you can still subscribe (it’s free) and read the first issue here. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that the GM’s Day Sale started today! Gary Gygax left us on this day in 2008, so for a decade we show appreciation to gamemasters by… having a big sale, sort of like we celebrate every other holiday. A solid majority of the titles I have available there are 33% off, so if[…]

In putting together ideas for a relaunched Dancing Lights Press newsletter, I’ve been looking at what’s out there. Not just at newsletters devoted to tabletop roleplaying games, but the current crop of RPG blogs, vlogs, and podcasts as well. I keep coming across a sameness, almost an orthodoxy of process. It’s as if the conformity is more important than the content: this is the way things are done. That’s the same sort of problem that I keep butting up against in a lot of roleplaying games themselves. People want X, do not stray too far from the baseline of X or they will reject your product. I want to create the newsletter we need, if not the newsletter we deserve.[…]

When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re supposed to look at problems as opportunities. Every problem is some sort of solution, even if it’s a way to avoid said problem. Those solutions can be turned into products and services that can be sold, in order to help other people having the same problem. Sometime you just have to solve a problem as part of your own ongoing process improvement, so you can keep doing what you’re doing. And that how I find myself about to re-enter the Republic of Newsletters. When I decided to begin blogging again, I quoted author Warren Ellis in how difficult it has become for creators to reach an audience online. He refers to the Invisible College of Blogs and[…]