Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sellsword, part IV: September-November 2014

I realized it's been a while since I last wrote about my freelancing experiences. I also couldn't find the time to write the fifth part for the Lessons in Monster Design series, so I'll make a Sellsword update instead. Below are things I've been up to these past three months:

  • I organized a monster design contest and was one of the judges. It was a big success: we got 40 entries, we had excellent judges and sponsors, and A Sword for Hire got thousands of site views. I look forward to organizing a second Here Be Monsters next year if time allows.
  • In August, one morning I woke up at 5 a.m., much before than I meant to, and checked my email like I usually do when I wake up. Much to my surprise, I had received an email about an assignment. They contacted me about an assignment! I said yes! (Though I wasn't quite sure if I was still asleep and only dreaming at the time.) The deadline was tight and the type of content they wanted me to design was challenging, the type of content where you need tons of kernel ideas. In other words, a lot of designing, not so much writing. But I think I did a good job. I also got to choose the art for that section of the book, which was very cool. It'll be my first hardcover credit, something I'm very proud of. The product hasn't been announced on the publisher's website yet, so more about it later.
  • I did an interview with Mike Myler about the Veranthea Codex and ended up being one of the stretch goals in the Kickstarter. (Who said writing a blog was a waste of time?) Sadly, however, my stretch goal wasn't reached, so I didn't get to design the cool archetypes I had in mind. Otherwise, too, the two months following the very cool hardcover gig were a bit of a dry season in freelancing for me.
  • I contacted a few developers working for the publisher of another RPG I also enjoy playing, asking about freelancing. Despite my polite and professional emails, none of them replied. I do hope I'll get to design something for this other RPG as well, time will tell.
  • I was informed that something I had designed earlier this year will be published in an upcoming product. Can't wait to see the finished product!
  • Some time ago, I started writing a Pathfinder Society scenario. I got an outline for the adventure from the developer, and a week later, I sent an encounter-by-encounter revised outline for review and approval. The developer said the outline looked really good, so I feel very confident about writing this scenario. I found the dev's comments very useful; he suggested some improvements and warned about potential problems that certain type of encounters may have and how to avoid them. For the most part, he was really pleased with my design choices; it seems my research really paid off.


  1. Granted, I felt I had the least behind-the-scenes work (I had no blog or voting setup to deal with), but I'm all in for a second Here Be Monsters contest next year. I thought we had phenomenal response for a first-time contest and I think it could become something big if we keep it going. I really enjoyed judging too and felt like I learned a lot. -- Jacob W. Michaels

    1. I'm glad to hear you'd be up for judging HBM next year, too! And very much agreed, it was a great experience. I learned a lot about monster design, judging, and organizing contests.


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