Writing for RPGs

Whenever I worry about how difficult it is to get published Steve points out that we have not found it difficult in gaming. That’s true. We haven’t done a lot and mostly it’s Steve’s passion, but we have found it easier there.

Significantly, every single thing we’ve sent out for publication in gaming has been accepted. Now we are working on a large RPG supplement for a major publisher in gaming. (We signed an NDA so I can’t tell you what or for whom until they give us leave to do so.)

It’s fun to work on gaming supplements, which share a lot of similarities with writing fiction and writing history but aren’t either one. And they are synergistic with both writing history and writing fiction. Supplements provide elaborate settings and adventure seeds ready-made for characters to have adventures in, which can be used for gaming or for fiction.

For example, we are currently researching Arctic exploration (which Steve wrote about briefly in his dissertation and in his first book). We plan to spin that information off in a variety of ways.

First, we used that information to write the Thule micro-setting for Tiny Dungeon’s Micronomicon.

Then the Thule micro-setting inspired my first Thule story and the subsequent four other Thule stories, including the one that received an Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future.

The Thule short stories inspired a time travel story connected to the Greely Relief Expedition, which is the same expedition Steve wrote about years ago. In turn that inspired a Call of Cthulhu gaming supplement about an airship exploring the Arctic in the 20s.

We plan to create a few narrow history books with stories from the second great age of exploration into the Arctic and the Antarctic. Following that I expect to write more fiction set in the Arctic, either in the 19th century or perhaps I will follow the adventures of Pytheas of Massalia who explored the Arctic in the 4th century BC. As we develop more depth of knowledge, more RPG adventures will be set there.

We are also working on a boardgame of Arctic exploration, but that is in the deep freeze right now.

I wonder if this natural build up of knowledge, ideas, characters, and so forth is why many authors improve over time. It’s not just that they are getting better. It is that they are developing an intellectual toolbox and area of expertise.

I hope your work is building on itself providing new avenues for you to go down with each piece of art or story or work of non-fiction. Be well, friends!


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