January 20th Sent email to John Adams offering him a setting. Noted that the only compensation I wanted was credit and for the entire setting to be under the OGL.
January 21st John likes the idea and we agree to chat on Skype to hash out details
January 23rd The other Delving Deeper developers like the idea.
Beginning of February It took a couple of days to coordinate schedules but we finally manage to chat. Agree it was to be digest size and no more than 24 pages plus one 8.5 by 11 map.
Middle of February Decide to use the Blackmarsh map after talking it over with Tim of Gothridge Manor. Due to needing this done by the end of March I didn’t want to draw another map. So the final choice came down to between Blackmarsh and The Outdoor Map. Tim thought Blackmarsh looked more interesting.
February 15th Wrote the Introduction, Overview, and History
February 20th Rewrote history, the first version was based off of the Greyhorn Setting I wrote for the live-action roleplaying chapter I ran. While I could made it work it didn’t have the gold rush feel I wanted and frankly I wanted something unique to Blackmarsh. This is version 1.
March 5th Completed First Draft sans rumor table, city key, and Castle Blackmarsh map. This is version 2. It had Stat Blocks. Sent it to John for initial approval along with the question do I include stat blocks or not?
March 5th John and the DD team likes it and tells me to axe the stat blocks. Yay!
March 6th Went through and edited version 2, got rid of the few Stat Blocks I had and saved it as version 3.
March 7th Sent it to Tim, Started working on Version 4 with the City Stuff added.
March 12th Get the edits back from Tim saves at Version 5, review edits and make a handful of changes and saves it as Version 6.
March 22nd Finish City, and Rumors in Version6. Send it to Tim again. Also sent it to Dwayne and the Rusty Battleaxe for edits and comments. Finished the City Map.
March 24th Tim and I get on Skype and read out loud the entire document, applying edits as we go. This becomes version 7.
March 26th Apply the edits sent in by the Rusty Battleaxe saves it as version 8.
March 27th Layout day for the digest version. When through my purchased Stock Art and began picking out suitable pieces. Mostly landscapes. Created a new art subdirectory with a subdirectory for each vendor. Copied the picked pieces into each vendor’s subdirectory so I knew who to credit.
Converted all at to CMYK 32-bit TIFFs important for PDFX/1a compatibility. Otherwise the RPGNow convertor will kick in and I wanted to avoid that as I am pretty sure it is the source of why my art and map were half-tone in the Majestic Wilderlands.
Created the digest title page which is also it’s cover.
Did the layout for the digest size version. Had to mess around with the font size and the OGL license text font size to get everything into 24 pages.
March 29th Final Digest PDF created and sent to John Adams Greyhawk homage cover created for RPGNow.
March 31st Finished the Letter size PDF it is 15 pages compared to the digest’s 24 page. I had to leave the last page blank per Lightning Source specs.
Letter size PDF is successfully converted to PDFX/1a format using Adobe Acrobat
Setup RPGNow product and uploaded files
Setup RPGNow print on demand I chose full color costing $2.50 per book.
Decide to go with $7 for my book price which nets me $2.77 per sale. If I was going to sell the PDF I would have sold it for $4. Which I calculated by dividing 2.77 by .65 and rounding to the nearest whole dollar amount. The .65 comes from the 65% I get from RPGNow.
April 2nd Print PDF now goes into Lightning Source processing queue.
April 8th Print PDF clears processing and now available for order. I could have released then but that not a good idea until I see for myself what it looks like. So I order two books for myself costing 11.45. Shipping doubles the price.
April 14th Books get here and look great! Release of Blackmarsh.
April 15th 286 gamers downloaded or bought Blackmarsh. Hopefully are enjoying reading it and getting some great ideas for their campaign. 50 gamers downloaded the Blackmarsh SRD at batintheattic.com. Note if you ordered the free PDF off of RPGNow it has the SRD.
To me the Old School Renaissance is not about playing a particular set of rules in a particular way, the dungeon crawl. It is about going back to the roots of our hobby and seeing what we could do differently. What avenues were not explored because of the commercial and personal interests of the game designers of the time.
What are RPGs?
A game where the players play individual characters interacting with a setting with their actions adjudicated by a human referee.
Rules are an aide to help the referee adjudicate actions and to help the players interact with the setting.
Dice are used to inject uncertainty which make a tabletop RPG campaign more interesting than "Let's Pretend".
The only thing a player needs to do to roleplay a character is to act if he or she was really there in the setting in that situation.