Monday, December 13, 2010

Encouragement for rpg Blogging

Most of us had one: That person who introduced us to rpg's back when we were younger.  For me, that person was my older brother.  He owned the LBBs; he owned the AD&D books; he owned a bunch of modules; he owned a bunch of miniatures.  He taught me to play at a very young age--or maybe not, seven or eight I think.

Anyway, we were typing back and forth the other day at each other.  The conversations went basically like this:

Me:  You said that you were looking at some old notes and got excited again. Anything good?  How about you type up some of your old notes into a formal adventure, I draw the map, and we publish it? The Fantasy Cartographic could use some new products...

Him:  hhmm.... what say we publish a setting? We had started one several years ago.

Me:  Couple of thoughts:
- Settings are a dime a dozen. Unless it is a small area nicely detailed (a single island, single kingdom, single city), or a large area (typically nowadays mapped on a hex map) with numerous specific locations detailed in the text.
(Advantage of the small area is that it can easily be dropped into someone's existing campaign. Advantage of the large area is that any one of the specific locations that you choose to detail can, by itself, be dropped into an existing campaign.)
- Why not start with some thing easier--aka an adventure? (Easier in terms of length, complexity, just about everything I can think of.)
- How about start slow and (eventually) build up to a setting?

Him:  LOL... only because my mind doesn't work that way! I'll try to come up with an adventure, but don't expect anything soon... in a few weeks, though, I'll suddenly "remember" an adventure, along with an entire world. The difficulty isn't in the ideas, it's in the editing and pruning process.

When it comes to me, it's truly like remembering, bits and pieces, then whole swaths, then worlds. I've never written a novel, because it would come out more like an encyclopedia. Perhaps I could write a travelogue and have you map it... but I know that was done in Dragon years ago.

Me:  Well, if that's the case, why don't you start writing a blog with each post being about some aspect of one of the worlds? There are a great many such blogs with people just detailing their campaigns, and all the cool shit in them. They get widely read, too.

The advantage of that is that once you establish yourself in the blogosphere, you can THEN prune it into a nice, easily-digestible format and sell the setting. Since you're already known by your blog, you drastically up the sales that you will receive.

And if you don't want to start your own blog, you can guest-post on my blog.

Him:  I'd have to read some others to see how they're set up... any recommendations?

At which point I pointed him in the direction of some of the many blogs that lots of us enjoy that discuss all sorts of goodness.

But I would really like him to start a blog.  It could be incredible.  Anyone want to leave a comment for him to encourage him or otherwise comment on the blogging experience?  That would be nice.


  1. As far as I'm concerned, there are two reasons for starting a blog. One is for profit, the other is because you want to start a blog.

    Nock's brother, if you want to start a blog, you definitely should. There are lots of really nice and creative people out there, and blogging is a good way of getting feedback on your ideas.

    Good luck.

  2. Harald-- Thanks, and great points.

    I guess that in the case of my brother, the profit motive isn't really THAT high. I just want to read his blog, because I know that it would be full of really interesting ideas.

  3. Nick,

    Your brother could always make a 'guest' post on your blog...