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The only things I have published this year, that I created for myself have been the Cut Up Solo booklets in January and the Dungeon World adventures in March. Both of those are very easy to create.

The Cut Up books are the product of Project Gutenberg texts going in, some increasingly complex macros to process the texts, and a pretty standard template to lay them out. An entire book took about 12hrs, maybe a little less.

The Dungeon World adventures are the product of my own solo playing, written up. My go-to tool for roleplaying is the post-it note. If you look at the layout of one of those DW adventures, you can almost see how what you are looking at is a map plus about 15 post-it notes laid out to look pretty. These are also almost books for no time, as I am putting out stuff I was making anyway. Also with a pretty standardized template.

Beyond those, all my real time investment has been on solo rules made to order. Wicked Ones, ApoCthulhu, DG, and now Dungeon Crawl Classics.

This is really satisfying. There is a lot of worrying you are on your own in this game. When you start out you probably have no one on your mailing lists, no regular site visitors, no social media following. Even now, my ‘reach’ is pretty small, just over 700 twitter followers, 300 on my blog contact list, 230-ish YouTube subscriber, 100 or so on Instagram, and 59 Facebook followers. These are all small numbers.

To get any sort of feedback is welcome, to get someone say “I liked X, could you write Z?” really makes my day. It is reassuring that I am not just talking to myself, even if when I am solo playing, that is often what I am doing!

Print On Demand

My plan for March 2021 – March 2022 was to get as many of my solo booklets into print, using print on demand, as I could. Some cannot be done this way, such as anything in most of the Community Content Programmes. We just don’t have permission to set up print titles.

So far I have done:

  1. Troika Cards (Troika)
  2. Players Guide to Solo Roleplaying (Cepheus System/Traveller)
  3. Alone in the Dark (Blades in the Dark)
  4. OSR Solo (0D&D/B/X)
  5. Solo Adventures (Stars Without Number)

I think that is 5 down from about 40 or so.

Of those 5 titles, I have sold 41 copies since the start of March. The SWN and Troika titles are the oldest, so they make up the bulk of those numbers.

It certainly pays for itself, and over time I expect them to make a significant contribution to my business. What those numbers don’t reflect is that I now also have a growing presence on Amazon and Lulu.

I also set out to have print books on my own store. That turned into something much more complicated than I anticipated but I did it. It feels like the hard work is done, the remaining 35 titles are just ‘more of the same’.

The next part will be getting oracle card decks done for all of those titles, and working out how to sell card decks from my site. I know that is not planned until after I have laid out all the books, but I have already done a lot of the research, and I have a ‘Plan A’.

So that is it for this catch up, now I am back to reading Dungeon Crawl Classics.

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Rogue Handler is no more

I had an email from Arc Dream this morning asking me to take down DG: Rogue Handler.

I thought I had stayed within the law. I had make it clear that Delta Green was their property, and included their copyright information. I had avoided their product name in the title and on the cover and avoided their trade dress/style.

I had even made it very clear that you would need to own their game to use these addon rules.

It clearly wasn’t enough, so I have taken the book down, I cannot sell it.

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Dungeon Crawl Classics Solo

I got an email this morning and it touched on a couple of things. Firstly, I am happy that someone is enjoying my Stars Without Number solo rules. That is always nice to see.

The way I construct my solo rules is that I play the games and then I know what I want from the solo rules, so I try to recast the rolls and functions in the native dice, and conventions of the game I am playing. If that was D&D then a d20, high being good, would be my first reaction, for example.

The OSR rules mentioned in the email are one of my oldest sets of rules. When I was playing those sorts of games I found myself rolling 1d6 to check for wandering monsters. 1d6 to see if I could spot a secret door or sloping passage and 1d6 for kicking in a door.

If I needed an arbitrary roll, I rolled 1d6 and high was good and low was bad. When I started mucking about with the oldest of OSR rulesets, every weapon did 1d6 damage as well.

It is no surprise that the OSR solo rules ended up being driven by the humble d6.

When I wrote those rules I didn’t know that progress clocks existed, the same was also true about I didn’t discover them until I bought Blades in the Dark.

Dungeon Crawl Classics

As it happens, I pocked up the recent humble bundle of DCC, but I have played it yet. This year I have been doing a mix of Wicked Onces, modern day Cthulhu stuff (Delta Green and Apocthulu) and playing some Rolemaster and 5e.

Goodman Games have a 3rd party license available, so they are at least open to the idea of people writing for DCC, and Mutant Crawl Classics as well by the looks of things.

I know there is at least one other person who would like to have the rules.

Finally, I know what to include, we want progress clocks, game icons for inspiration prompts, and a native feeling set of dice mechanics.

I really feels to me that there are almost no barriers to getting this done, and doing it quite quickly. The hardest part will be curating the collection of game icons to support the solo play.

I think this is going to be my next project, and a bit of a change from all the doom, gloom and hopelessness of the Cthulhu Mythos.

I send out discounts of up to 40% to my blog readers. To qualify all you need to is join my contact list, so I have an email to send the discount code to!

You can of course leave the list whenever you want. Your support is greatly appreciated.