Sunday, November 29, 2015

Absence, Writing, Kickstarter

I’ve been scarce around these parts for a long time.  The reason for that absence has been my focus on other projects.  Or actually, one project in particular.

For the last year, I’ve focused all of my creative efforts on completing a novel that I started writing some time ago.  That novel, titled The Ramparts of Tharrenton Deep, is now complete.

My intention is to self-publish it to Amazon and elsewhere.  To pay for the expense of trying to produce a ‘professional’ product for sale on Amazon, I recently launched a Kickstarter campaign.  My purpose here today is to humbly ask you to go take a look at that Kickstarter and, perhaps, if the fancy strikes you, contribute a few dollars to the effort.

The Story

At its most basic, the story revolves around a group of young men (basically peasants from a farming village) who want for something more in their lives.  They set out to explore the ruins of a dwarven stronghold and city a few days walk from their village.  Adventure ensues.

I wanted to write a story that matches my earliest gaming experiences playing OD&D and AD&D.  In all of the fantasy fiction that I have read, very little of it matches those experiences.  If you consider yourself ‘old-school’, you know what I mean:
  • Brand new characters are weak and tend to survive or not by their wits as much as their brawn.
  • This typically involves being careful and methodical as opposed to brazen or aggressive.
  • There are no heroes attempting to save the world, but merely ordinary people struggling to survive.
At the same time, I wanted to include some ‘standards’ from my earliest days of gaming that I believe are typical of ‘old-school’ game play:
  • Dungeon crawling (which, if written well, can be suspenseful and interesting)
  • Resource management (Torches, food, your health, etc.)
  • Mapping
  • The idea that, as a bunch of neophytes, it’s probably not wise to split the party
I have attempted to wrap all of these elements and others into an enjoyable story with memorable characters.  I think that I’ve succeeded.

To this point, I measure my success on the fact that several people have read it who have never played D&D and enjoyed it.  And I think people who have played the game will enjoy the various nods to old-school gaming that the story includes.

The story is not a straight D&D knock-off.  There are some differences, some twists to make the story my own.

If you have a few minutes, please go check out the Kickstarter.  You can download Chapter One of the story there.  And if you’re feeling generous and if you are intrigued by what you read, please throw a few bucks my way.  I would really appreciate it.