Designer Diary: Using Freelance Writers

So, I first started looking at using a freelance writer because I did not feel qualified to write a wild west setting. The most wild west thing in the UK is whether it is pronounced scone rhyming with stone or scone rhyming with gone.

I needed someone for whom the wild west was their history and culture. The whole process was pretty painless. I had a dollar figure in mind, and the writer asked for less than I ad budgeted, so we were good to go. I got my setting back within maybe 10 days. I just needed to add in the game mechanics, create NPCs and such and then layout and publish.

My second foray into using a freelancer was less good. I gave them a brief, and they had to write an adventure. What came back was so far away from what I would have written, and how I had imagined the adventure, that it took me weeks to ‘fix’.

After that experience I stopped using freelancers for two years.

This autumn/fall, I have started publishing other people’s adventures again. The difference is that I am not giving them a brief, they are just giving me their adventures and I do the layout, art direction, publishing, and marketing.

What started as one person working this way, has now become two.

I have also gone back out looking for a freelance worldbuilder to build the fantasy setting for 3Deep. I feel 3Deep has struggled more than it needed to simply because the biggest market is fantasy, and 3Deep has no fantasy setting.

If you don’t know 3Deep, it is a generic ruleset. I imagined it to be something like GURPs where you buy the core rules and matching setting books. I built the first part, the rules, but I fell short on creating setting books. There is the Wild West book, and a No GM’s Sky sci fi book, but nothing else.

What I am hoping is that the freelancer worldbuilder I am working with now is interested in going on to create more worlds and setting books. This will finally allow me to realise the original dream for 3Deep.

2 thoughts on “Designer Diary: Using Freelance Writers”

  1. Sounds like a good idea. I will admit I’ve only ever skimmed over the 3Deep rules. I really should give them a deeper look because I remember liking what I read. I do love a good 3d6 system (GURPS, AGE, etc.).

    And in the US, I’ve never heard it pronounced any other way than like “stone”. I had no idea there was a controversy!

    • The pronounciation is only half of it! In the far southwest the jam goes on first, and cream on top. Further inland it is cream first and jam on top.

      3Deep has been included in several big charity bundles, there are possibly 4.5k copies that have probably never been downloaded on top of the copies bought by people who actually wanted it. It would be nice to engage with those people who already own the rules, but have probably never read it, let alone played it.


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