So I’ve been filling a lot of my “down” time with all things 5e Dungeons and Dragons. It started out just planning adventures for my weekly Geek Fight Club, and my usually bi-weekly campaign with my brothers. While doing this, I was occasionally updating and cleaning up my campaign world notes when I could find and make sense of them. Keep in mind, that this campaign world has been in existence in one form or another since the mid 1980’s.
I was also toying with the idea of creating a new campaign world. Something new and fresh and maybe I’d do a Kickstarter or something and get people to give me money, since I can’t get any of my players to pay me (I kid, guys. All I want is your love. And maybe a TPK). As I batted some ideas around, Wizards of the Coast made two big announcements. In one day (I think)! Not only were they releasing an Open Game License and System Reference Document (this is, in a nutshell, all of the rules and creatures for 5e D&D, encompassing most of the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide and Monster Manual) for 5e, but they were making it really easy for people who create content to share (and possibly get paid) for it! They created the DMs Guild, which is run by the swell folks over at DriveThruRpg, where creators can upload their content, set a price and then sit back and get rich.
Okay. I may be exaggerating the last point. But part of the cool thing about the DMs Guild, is that it allows creators access to the intellectual property not available through the SRD, as long as the adventures are either set in the Forgotten Realms, or setting neutral (so that they could be run in the Forgotten Realms). Creators who don’t want to be limited to Forgotten Realms, can sell their stuff at DriveThruRPG (or anywhere) as long as it’s compliant with the OGL and SRD.
Since I had been pulling this stuff of mine together already, I began to clean it up for potential sale. I’ve been working at it for hours each day after work, anywhere from 5 to 7 days a week (I occasionally say “fuck it” for a night and rewatch Community while my brain resets). I’ve never had so much fun working at something that makes me want to break my fingers and pluck my eyes out. Seriously.
At the moment, I have two supplements up at the DMs Guild, which I am naturally plugging here.
A new race for Player Characters, “The Dire Elf”, which is the rare crossbreed between elven and orc parents. This was the result of coming up with an NPC for an adventure I was writing. Fueled by too much coffee, I made this guy from a nice-guy half-elf rogue into a deadly, dangerous anti-hero. Of course, I had to build a homebrewed race, so as to make sure that there was some sort of balance with the game. I went a little nuts, I think, since the NPC doesn’t actually show up in the adventure, and just exists as part of the flavor of the town the adventure takes place in. Regardless, with the release of the OGL and DMs Guild, I cleaned it up and formatted it, and submitted it. Suggested price is just a buck, but I made it a Pay What You Want. Partly to get a feel for what people thought, but also to start to build some sort of potential customer base. The free downloads have been doing pretty well. I think? I have no way of knowing how many people are downloading how much other material. But I know that, at the time of this post, 148 people have downloaded it. And some of them have even paid for it (I get 50% of the sales).
The second is The Forgotten: An Otherworldly Patron for Warlocks. This was a direct result of the SRD. It does not contain all of the released 5e material, and includes limited class options for archetypes and the like. One of the adventures I was working on included a villain NPC who was a Warlock with a Great Old One for an Otherworldly Patron. The only Patron included in the SRD was the Fiend (devils, yo!), and that did not work for this adventure (which ties strongly into my non-Forgotten Realms campaign setting). So I did what any over-caffeinated dungeon master would do, I made a new one. And that’s part of the reason that the SRD is limited. They want people creating new content. They might even start snatching it up for official use in the game! And yeah, they’ll ask you and pay you for your work, it’s still your intellectual property. So this new Patron is The Forgotten. It’s a trio (or more) of entities that existed before everything. They embody Chaos, Order (law), and Balance (neutrality), and basically created the whole of creation just to fight with each other until Balance shut them all away where they couldn’t mess with the fabric of creation any more. But there are minute cracks in their prison, where they whisper their names and send out little bits of power to warlock types. At the moment, that stands at 114 downloads, and has made twice as much money as the Dire Elf (again, only some people are paying for this stuff, I can get a six pack of beer or a pack of smokes with what I’ve earned).
So yeah, I’m plugging away at that, and the stuff that I have coming up. Plans are in motion to get the Bastards of Young podcast rolling again, and I’m working on a potential new actual play “in-character” podcast. So stay tuned, check them out when they come, and more importantly, keep playing.