Ennie Award nominations announced!

Ennie Award nominations announced!

The announcements were July 4th and I am pleased to say that Death & Taxes was nominated for two Ennie Awards- Best Production Values and Best Miniatures Product. I owe so much to so many people that I cannot begin to thank everyone here but a big shout out goes to the following people: Edwin Nagy, Scott Swift, Lloyd Metcalf, Alyssa Faden and Nicolas...

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Tsathogga was hungry….

Tsathogga was hungry….

  Apparently he was in the mood for gnome. It was announced today that Lesser Gnome (Me) has been acquired by Frog God Games. They did not want the inventory, miniatures or intellectual property from Lesser Gnome (with one major exception). They were not looting my vault because all the loot was spent on making Death & Taxes. I have suspicions it is because I am so handsome, but they keep denying that in public. Tsathogga was interested in Lesser Gnome and here is how I found out… Basically, I was minding my own business at 2:30 a.m. at GameHole Con in November. I was very tired after running our booth for 3 days which would have been bad enough but I had driven with Michael Badolato from NTRPG Con. My plan was to go to sleep right away but Mike had been in the company of Bill Webb from FFG for the last three nights and I had not really seen much of either of them. Knowing how much they were drinking I was hoping to catch up before they died of excess. After sitting down in the lobby for about 2 mins Bill looked right at me and said, “I am going to buy you.” “Your company actually” he clarified. I am almost never speechless, but I was struck dumb. Eventually I laughed loudly and reminded him that it wasn’t worth anything. After marshaling my thoughts I was convinced he was kidding, especially since “my friend”, Mike Badolato, was laughing merrily at my expression. Bill persisted and explained his reasoning. I still was not quite believing what I was hearing, its a hobby business with thousands of creators; almost all of them doing it for free. So I laughed to and went to bed, I assumed that was the last I would hear of it. Well my writing this is proof that they were serious and I really am for sale. Well, was for sale, now I am committed to the feeding the ever hungry Frog God conglomerate but as a partner. I have only began to glean what my responsibilities will be and I wont really have those until after North Texas in June when the contract I signed goes into effect. So no more Lesser Gnome? Nope, still more Lesser Gnome. I am focused entirely on finishing up the Death & Taxes Kickstarter rewards. I have about 3...

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The nominees are…

The nominees are…

  I am humbled that Lesser Gnome’s Death & Taxes Box Set has been nominated for the 3 Castles Award for RPG Design. It would never had been possible without the incredible talents of Edwin Nagy, my co-author and editor, Scott Swift, for tireless copy editing, Lloyd Metcalf for the visuals, the unbelievable cartography by Alyssa Faden and the sculpting done by Nic Genovese. The other nominees are top-tier designers (and good people too). They are- Chained Coffin – Michael Curtis Perils of a Purple Planet – Harley Stroh Red & Pleasant Land – Zak Smith I honestly wish them the very best. Each of the other nominated releases represent the best in our...

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Under the hood…

Under the hood…

I get asked about our writing/production process sometimes at conventions or online. I never have a good answer so I usually make one up; preferably a funny one. However, a friend of mine wrote a post last  night that got me thinking about it enough to give a better answer. It can be...

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Musing on muses.

Musing on muses.

I get asked about our writing/production process sometimes at conventions or online. I never have a good answer so I usually make one up; preferably a funny one. However, a friend of mine wrote a post last  night that got me thinking about it enough to give a better answer. Lloyd Metcalf, the friend in question and artist of huge talent, posted about conceptualizing and outlining adventures on Facebook. Many real designers commented with the methods they used to form the heart of their projects. These ranged from starting with a piece of art, a map or even project management software outlines. I don’t do that. In fact I was almost embarrassed to comment on how I start after reading everyone’s techniques in the comments under his post but I will say it anyway. I always start with a title. I keep a list of them and occasionally cross off or add a few. After awhile one will click when I visualize a place or event tangentially related to the title in question. In both Whisper & Venom and Death & Taxes that place/scene/character did not make it into the published story, but it was the start. Once I have a scene in my mind I will spend time settling on a premise- a long time. I find it difficult to pick an interesting one that either  A) has not been done to death or B) foes not make me look like a pretentious douchebag. I worry about B more than A. Once satisfied I am neither of the above I do an outline in OneNote. It is here where I finally make a rough map; I use a chessex erasable mondo mat. It helps me with get a scale useful in game and its less tedious to completely tework than PhotoShop. It is also harder to lose (at 5′ x 9′ or whatever obscene dimension it is) than graph paper scraps. From there I write in marathon sessions about a week apart; usually typing about 4k words per session. In between I am constantly thinking about words I like, consistency, and believability; each thought I write, again, in OneNote. Then I cut over half of it and solicit an opinion from (usually) Edwin. I would guess of an original 20k word draft about 10% wind up in the final. The rest are changed, expanded or discarded. These are...

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Creator question

I have a question for you layout gurus. As my Indesign skills have markedly improved I want to hone my skills at features that involve more of the proofing features starting with find/change queries. I already do the common ones like extra spaces, hard returns and things I commonly need for LSI submissions like registration instead of black. Any find/change queries that you guys find interesting or useful in your RPG layouts (or any layout really). I know every system has different ways to show mechanics but maybe something...

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