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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Insight

Insight

I received an email from my associate gnome Edwin Nagy. It was an astute observation succinctly expressed. I saw a group of kids playing some sort of dodge ball today.  There was one kid who was “it” and the others had to avoid getting hit by the ball.  They all ran in and out of the danger zone, making sure the game stayed alive, even though it meant that they were putting themselves at risk of getting out.  Even by our teenage years, I think we lose this instinct to keep the game exciting and fun for all and focus more on winning.  In an unwinnable game, I think it makes even more sense to aim towards the plot, towards the danger and towards the fun.  Put your PC in the thick of it for a bit, then give somebody else a turn at it.  I bet it’ll be pretty darn fun. For an Engineer that was a profound statement. He did not even need equations. I think his observations gleened from that dodge ball game is an apt comparison to the experiences we have at the tabletop. The third, and quite subtle logic bounce, makes a serious social observation. I have seen others make similar laments before about the nature of adult interaction. I just think he wove it together nicely. While he was thinking deep thoughts I was trying to think of a clever, innuendo laced sentence fragment. I wanted it for a photo shop picture image to share Death & Taxes art with backers while poking fun at Lloyd Metcalf (the illustrator of everything gnome). History will judge whose gray matter was put to nobler use.   Zach...

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Mongolian Death Worm

Mongolian Death Worm

Mongolian Death Worm – Stuck for ideas on your next home-brewed monster?  Look no further than folklore from your home planet for inspiration. The Mongolian Death Worm, believed to inhabit the southern Gobi Desert, would make a fierce foe for any adventuring party.  This worm can grow up to 4 feet long and hides beneath the sand, springing up to attack unwary pack animals or adventurers when they walk within close proximity.  It is rumored to be able to spray a deadly corrosive acid and has the ability to emit electricity from its body and project it at a distance. Locals refer to it as olgoi-khorkhoi, which is loosely translated to mean the intestine worm, named due to its blood-red color.  It has a spiky projection on its tail (perhaps poisonous) and inward pointed teeth.  Locals avoid this creature on the rare occasion that it can be found sunning itself atop the sand, some believe that it can kill just by looking at...

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Very Limited Number of Limited Edition Copies Will Go on Sale Christmas Day… Shipping Starts in January.

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T-Shirt Art

T-Shirt Art

After a slight learning curve I finished making my first promotional item for Whisper & Venom. I am going to have more made for my Kickstarter in June, but these are for GaryCon. If you have already liked Lesser Gnome Games’ Facebook page before you see me and run into me early-on I will have a destined to be collectible shirt just for...

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Cover Concept

Cover Concept

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