Thursday, 17 April 2014

ICON Sub Deadline

A quick repost from ICON fanzine - the deadline for submissions is in a week, you can get more info here. That is all.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

ICON blog is now live.

Just quick one to let you guys know that i've setup a blog space for ICON, I'll still post news about ICON here - but also on the ICON blog, just so it doesn't get overlooked.

You can visit here.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Bitterstone Dwarves

On G+ +Chad Rose wrote:
How much would the Dwarves charge folks wanting to use the Undermarch, the underworld trade route, for travel between Anvil and Forge? I mean, they have maintenance and security to think about after all and that ain't cheap.
This got me to thinking, not really about how much - but to whom you would pay, and why. I've reposted my thoughts here so they more permanent and accessible.

The Bitterstone Dwarves

The dwarves of the Bitterstone clan have controlled the majority of the Undermarch passage for nearly 500 years. The rights to levy the travellers on the inhospitable and forlorn route was gifted to them by the Dwarf King, seen by many as an act of punishment for Oaths long broken, a punishment because, as every dwarf knows, those who would make a living from taxation and at the expense of others labour are amongst the lowest of dwarven society. And no dwarf has ever, or ever would, dare refuse a gift from the Dwarven King.

The Bitterstones have grown rich by burdening a heavy toll on those who would attempt to travel through the Undermarch, it has has brought them little discernible comfort however, as other clans are loathe to openly ally or trade with 'Coin Crows' let alone those who do it with such fervour and greed.

And so they have grown angry and resentful, rich in purse yet poor in soul, ostracised from their kin and perpetually consumed by a cycle of taxation and hunting those who would attempt to avoid their tolls - of which there is no short supply. In fact that such a volume of people are willing to risk death or worse, in order to avoid the draconian overlook of the Bitterstones has prompted an explosion in people daring enough to guide the poor - or those too miserly to pay the Bitterstone's their due through the warren like passages that make up the  Undermarch.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Icon - Release Schedule

Just for clarity and everyone who has requested to submit content here is the intended release schedule for Icon. I've also included submission deadlines for the releases, there's essentially a week before release where i'll stop including articles and run them in the following month - giving me enough time to finalise and layout the pages.

1st of May Issue
Submissions deadline 24th April

1st of June Issue
Submissions deadline 25th May

1st July Issue
Submissions deadline4 24th June

Interested in submitting? email

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Icon - A 13th Age Fanzine

So after some planning, talking it over with people and tentatively proposing the idea i'm finally at a stage where I can make an 'official' announcement. I'll take a moment to talk about some of the decisions i've made about the 'zine and why.

First of, I guess - the project is a go. 

Im going with a slightly modified APA or Amateur Press Association model for the 'zine. You can read more about that here. But basically i'll act as a main editor / producer that will compile submissions from readers and writers into a nicely laid out magazine.

The traditional APA model charges a fee for submission and a free copy, but because this will be a digital pdf there are no inherent costs my end to produce the finished magazine, so the final thing can happily remain free. There are also a few other things that are great about this model, especially as were now in a digital age - easy distribution, tools to create a high quality product, easy lines of communication to advance ideas and content. All of those factors should be helpful in keeping the project alive and healthy.

The exact opposite is the major problem I see with this model, if there is no interest - it will wither and die, that sounds gloomy but I'm just being a realist. So in order to make it successful it will require the support of many people, even if they just read and share.

The next decision to talk about is the name, i've gone with Icon. There were some awesome suggestions, a favourite was 13th Sage. I decided against this for a couple of reasons even though I thought it was great, for one its close to the copyrighted name of the game and I don't want to infringe on anything. Also having a name that doesn't explicitly lean on another thing for context lets the product grow and change, without feeling odd or unconnected to its namesake.

So where are we with the project?

I've already done the following : created an logo (above) built page layouts, chosen a cover. So were in a strong place to start submitting and compiling work. I've put together some submission guidelines, its nothing crazy but it is worth a read.

So how do we move forward? 

Share, Submit and Read. The more people that know about the project the more likely they are to read or submit. Likewise in a venn diagram kinda way, the more people that read - the more likely it is they will share and submit. So tell everyone you know, think of a cool idea - write about it and send it to me, then read it in digital print the next month.

Im aiming for an initial run on the 1st of May, we'll see how things go.

Thanks for taking the time to read the post, if you want to get in touch with submissions or questions email - i'll be contacting people who have expressed and interest over the coming days.

'Til next time.

- David

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Visual Inspiration - Caves

Sometimes when prepping for a game i'll use pictures to save brain space - by selecting some evocative imagery and using to springboard descriptions of things at the table on the fly, you have a huge lightweight resource that can be used again and again.

I was recently linked to some images of amazing caves, guaranteed i'll be using these in some of my dungeons coming up. The next time my players are in a cave ill forgo writing any room description fluff, and just describe whatever cave image I've got in front of me. I might play with the scale and arrangement in order to best suite the situation, but the overall theme will be from the image.

It so happens that this fits in nicely with a thread from +Mike Shea wanting to know what people find to be valuable for prepping and coming up with stuff on the fly, so this is my top tip.

Also : click to enlarge the images.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A 13th Age Fanzine..

So recently on G+ a conversation was had about creating a community driven fanzine for the indie RPG 13th Age. The purpose of this blog post is to act a public announcement and launching point for the Fanzine, and a place to link to through to for forums, social media and threads

So heres a quick outline of where the project is at:

I'll be acting primarily as a producer/editor and content creation where necessary. Because of my day job (Creative Designer) I'm in a good position to be able to A) create an approach to the project that will keep it sustainable and B) pull together the final product with pay layouts, art and distribution etc.

Here's what I'm thinking at the moment :

  • Will publish monthly at first, then looking to change based on it production schedule and demand.
  • Community contribution, articles should be written by the 13A community and readership of the 'zine.
  • Content guidelines should be broad, cover a lot of different stuff as long as the ideas are good.
A let me add, this isn't set in stone - one of the purposes of this post is to get people involved and have an opinion - it would be great to get something started that drives itself with people reading and submitting content, producing a 'creative conversation' - akin to the old HP Lovecraft letter writing buddies, but in a platform thats accessible to anyone.

So what do we need? A Name and Content, the first one already has a popular suggestion, The 13th Sage. I like the fact that the name can become a character in itself - like the White Dwarf, and of course there's a terrible pun in there. Depends on how you look at it.

Content relies to an extent on submissions and request from the community. So please get in touch if either you want to write something or want something written. I'll be on hand to create some stuff, however I won't be creating all the content because otherwise it would be no more than what I already do with this blog, I want everyone to get involved where they can.

: If you want to submit content, please fire me an email : :