April TTRPG Maker Catchup

I just caught wind of this yesterday, so here's a quick post to get me up to speed.

1. Who Are You?
Father, long-time gamer, artist, writer, web designer, someone who's a game designer for fun, and one of the two people behind Awful Good Games.

2. Where Ya At?
Physically? In a cornfield in the United States. Also on a lot of social media platforms but I don't have time to juggle all of them, plus the other stuff I do, so I tend to check them sporadically. Best way to get in touch is via email (antiochcow@gmail.com).

3. How Did You Start Creating TTRPGs?
That depends on if you mean actual stand-alone RPGs, or anything related at all to RPGs. If it's the former, technically the first game I helped create is Fright Night, which Melissa and I made with a buddy before we moved.

The guy wanted to make a game that would evoke the feeling of a horror film, but unpredictable and flexible enough to cover a variety of genres and keep everyone on their toes. I think we succeeded but it's pretty niche so we haven't done anything else with it.

If it's the latter, then that would be Something Stirs in the Blackscale Brakes, an adventure/setting for Dungeon World. I started working on that as a Dungeons & Dragons adventure because I wanted to make something with a dragon, but not the typical "red dragon in a cave somewhere".

4. Describe Your Work.
Not sure I get the question, but here goes:

So far entirely fantasy, though we have a few science-fantasy things in the works. Started out doing a bunch of Dungeon World stuff, but have shifted gears to more traditional d20 content last year (though we still do the occasional Dungeon World thing). Honestly we prefer the traditional stuff: seems simpler and more straightforward (especially for Melissa), and we can still do all the stuff we'd do in a "storygame".

Sometimes we hold votes on what to do next, and sometimes we just do whatever pops into our heads, such as a snail dungeon, class that hoards and uses heads as a resource, a skeleton, and an adventure involving Krampus that came out way after Christmas. Next adventure we're doing has you escaping from a gorgon's dungeon that reverted to flesh after she was slain.

As for the look, we tend to stick with a very Mignola-esque art style (kind of become a signature feature for us), though our kids game used chibi art (which was a pain to do). Also unlike a lot of indie stuff we've seen, we try to go the extra mile and make our stuff look really good, packing in a bunch of art and other touches here and there.

5. Favorite Game You've Worked On.
That would be Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book, a kind of homage to the old D&D "black box".

It's basically D&D how I'd do it, so magic works differently (and spellcasting classes don't all use the same system), there's a HP split, alchemical potions that can poison you if you drink too many (but help mitigate the need for healing magic), too soon, kobolds are based on Germanic mythology, gorgons aren't called medusas, armor also grants DR, all the numbers don't scale at insane rates, etc.

6. Favorite Game Mechanic
d20 pass/fail. It's simple, it's clear, and it works (so long as you aren't the kind of GM that makes it so that whether an adventure only keeps going so long as everyone always succeeds at everything, and doesn't mind players going off your plot rails). I've tried a variety of games over the past 20+ years and it's the only one that I keep coming back to.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want!

After months of doing other things, we turned our attention to and released The Warden. It's based on the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons class of the same name, but judging by the responses we did an excellent job converting it over.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

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