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 Post subject: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:21 pm 
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Okay, when does the Haunting of Larvik Island come out as a DCC product?

I have money for you that isn't just going to spend itself......

Well, okay, it actually does spend itself, all too quickly, but you know what I mean. What's the expected street date on this adventure?

Daniel

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 11:10 pm 
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Personally, I'd like a reply about this as well!


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:23 am 
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Ah, friends, thanks for the encouragement. I've been waylaid over here with some Real Life issues that I won't get into too much detail here (but they rhyme with "divorce" and "moving") which have put my home office into storage probably until early to mid October.

I will do my best to get a beta copy out to the 3PP bug-squashers over the holidays.

PS: I'm also making slow progress on "Larvik 2" (I can work on Larvik 2 on my work computer, while Larvik 1 is being edited on my locked-in-storage PC with InDesign on it...), and while mod is still a ways off as it has to go through the whole proofreading/playtestes/layout/art/mapmaking process still, it's shaping up to be a big fattie of a module! it willprobably end up looking like a double or triple sized mod. You will get plenty of gaming goodness for your RPG dollar when that bad boy finally emerges.

thanks for the kick in the butt :)

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:27 am 
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ThickSkullAdv wrote:
Ah, friends, thanks for the encouragement. I've been waylaid over here with some Real Life issues that I won't get into too much detail here (but they rhyme with "divorce" and "moving") which have put my home office into storage probably until early to mid October.

Major bummer, man, sorry to hear that. :( I wish you the best in dealing with it. Please keep us posted on the Larvik DCC goodness as you are able.


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Pesky wrote:
Major bummer, man, sorry to hear that. :( I wish you the best in dealing with it. Please keep us posted on the Larvik DCC goodness as you are able.


Thanks! The worst of it is almost over (it's been going on since Jan... luckily Attack of the Frawgs was already "in the can" when the worst of it hit.

In lighter news, when I was actively working on the Haunting of Larvik Island remaster, it was a really fun experience. Larvik 1 was dark to begin with but DCC RPG actually encourages the "Appendix N" weirdness so I'm really having fun retconning some of the elements to bring in more of a weird flavor. And now that I have Frawgs and 2/3 of Larvik 2 finished, I have lots of mythology to build upon to as again I want these modules to all tie together. I'm going to save that thought (as I had a nice long conversation with Joseph Goodman at Pacificon about the topic of "epic modules" and it gave me some interesting insights I'm going to share.

Bottom line: thanks everyone for the support--the people on the boards and on Twitter who know the details have all been very great and supportive and it's made a huge difference in how I've felt this year--and I hope to have Larvik 1 remaster our soon!

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:07 pm 
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ThickSkullAdv wrote:

Thanks! The worst of it is almost over (it's been going on since Jan... luckily Attack of the Frawgs was already "in the can" when the worst of it hit.


Sorry to hear about your troubles with "revorce" and "smloving." Seriously though -- sucks.

Loved the Frawgs. Looking forward to more.

ThickSkullAdv wrote:
I'm going to save that thought (as I had a nice long conversation with Joseph Goodman at Pacificon about the topic of "epic modules" and it gave me some interesting insights I'm going to share.


Share! Share! I'd love to hear yours and Joseph's thoughts. I am considering how one would go about making a megadungeon for this game. I'm leaning toward the opinion that DCC is not necessarily compatible with the "stacked mega-dungeon." It's more of a "distributed model," where clues/actions in one adventure leads to the next adventure -- or not even that -- it's the ultimate sandbox system. Everything the characters are and do (look for spells, receive deity disapproval, steal the wrong thing, kill the wrong dude) leads to more adventure.

I think, overall, the system best supports short, quick and deadly adventures, instead of the sloggy kind of megadungeon that works great with the OSR stuff. Dunno.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:06 pm 
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ragboy wrote:
Sorry to hear about your troubles with "revorce" and "smloving." Seriously though -- sucks.

Thank you. It has indeed been filled with suck, but I'm slowly getting through it. Move into the new place at the end of the month so hopefully the productivity will pickup then.

ragboy wrote:
Loved the Frawgs. Looking forward to more.

Glad to hear that! Even as short as that module is (about 7K words) as I'm sure any of the authors reading this will tell you... it's a big bucketload of work to produce these things. While I know my stuff doesn't connect with all fans it's still really nice to hear that someone enjoyed it. Love of gaming and comments like this are the #1 reason why I write these adventures.

ragboy wrote:
Share! Share! I'd love to hear yours and Joseph's thoughts.

So I put the comments/advice that Joseph gave me on "how much background info" should you have on this post here (or you can read same article here on my blog if you want to read the version with pretty pictures..

ragboy wrote:
I am considering how one would go about making a megadungeon for this game. I'm leaning toward the opinion that DCC is not necessarily compatible with the "stacked mega-dungeon." It's more of a "distributed model," where clues/actions in one adventure leads to the next adventure -- or not even that -- it's the ultimate sandbox system. Everything the characters are and do (look for spells, receive deity disapproval, steal the wrong thing, kill the wrong dude) leads to more adventure.

I think, overall, the system best supports short, quick and deadly adventures, instead of the sloggy kind of megadungeon that works great with the OSR stuff. Dunno.

I don't necessarily agree. At the end of the day, IMHO, the DCCRPG is about simplified and interesting mechanics (use of luck, mighty deeds, corruption) as well as tone (darker, dangerous magic, high mortality rate, etc.) So that said, the type/setting of adventure you write can be whatever you want it to be, and I think a massive dungeon would work just well. As an example, I think The Temple of Elemental Evil would work perfectly as a DCCRPG conversion, and aside from the Hommlet and Nulb chapters of that adventure, that is one massive crawl.

One of the more interesting observations I read from someone who reviewed Frawgs was the following from Erik Tenkar of Tenkar's Tavern (you can read the full review here)

snippet of Mini Review of Attack of the Frawgs by Erik Tenkar wrote:
Surprisingly, this is no dungeon crawl. It is man versus beasts in the Wilds around Dead Goblin Lake. Yep, Attack of the Frawgs is primarily an outdoor, or dare I say it, wilderness adventure. I had assumed both by nature of the name - Dungeon Crawl Classics - and the first few adventures from Goodman Games that dungeons were going to be the be all. Thankfully, they are not. There is a place for wilderness adventures in the DCC realm of adventures, but they are plotted out similarly to dungeon adventures in the DCC system.


Mr. Tenkar is absolutely right. My advice to you would be this: write the type of adventure you'd like to play yourself! It's going to take you hours and hours to write the thing and if you enjoy that type of adventure, odds are, someone else will too. When you're passionate about a project that comes through and those types of stories are more fun to read. It may not be to everyone's liking, or even the majority, but write for the love of it.

Good luck sir!

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:12 am 
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ThickSkullAdv wrote:
ragboy wrote:
Sorry to hear about your troubles with "revorce" and "smloving." Seriously though -- sucks.

Thank you. It has indeed been filled with suck, but I'm slowly getting through it. Move into the new place at the end of the month so hopefully the productivity will pickup then.


Yeah, having been through that particular wringer, I can feel for you too.

Quote:
ragboy wrote:
Loved the Frawgs. Looking forward to more.

Glad to hear that! Even as short as that module is (about 7K words) as I'm sure any of the authors reading this will tell you... it's a big bucketload of work to produce these things. While I know my stuff doesn't connect with all fans it's still really nice to hear that someone enjoyed it. Love of gaming and comments like this are the #1 reason why I write these adventures.


Well, I'll certainly get to Frawgs in my "Everyone Else" reviews, and my review will be generally positive. This is actually the first module since Portal Under the Stars that my players could actually get through in an evening's play, which means it is especially good for pick-up games or introducing new players. And it is fun. But it leaves some questions that won't be answered until Frawgs 2........

..........But gaming is only gaming, and real life is what you have to live through day to day. When you get around to the next part, I'm sure I'll still be buying it.

BTW, just ordered the print version of Frawgs. Looking forward to owning it!

Daniel

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:27 pm 
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ThickSkullAdv wrote:

Glad to hear that! Even as short as that module is (about 7K words) as I'm sure any of the authors reading this will tell you... it's a big bucketload of work to produce these things. While I know my stuff doesn't connect with all fans it's still really nice to hear that someone enjoyed it. Love of gaming and comments like this are the #1 reason why I write these adventures.


Yep. I've now experienced the difference between writing for your group and writing for publication. It's funny how it becomes so much more like work when you're writing for an editor/publisher :) It's good though. Much better than writing tech books!

ThickSkullAdv wrote:
I don't necessarily agree. At the end of the day, IMHO, the DCCRPG is about simplified and interesting mechanics (use of luck, mighty deeds, corruption) as well as tone (darker, dangerous magic, high mortality rate, etc.) So that said, the type/setting of adventure you write can be whatever you want it to be, and I think a massive dungeon would work just well. As an example, I think The Temple of Elemental Evil would work perfectly as a DCCRPG conversion, and aside from the Hommlet and Nulb chapters of that adventure, that is one massive crawl.


I don't necessarily agree (yes, I disagree with myself) either -- but it is my suspicion. I see Temple as more of a distributed dungeon crawl than a "stacked dungeon crawl." But, I guess the Temple itself fits the traditional definition. Overall, Temple is what I would see DCC supporting the best -- AD&D/D&D feels like a different game to me (one that I also love, however). In those games, you're generally slogging through encounters to kill the monsters, take their stuff, and level up before you run out of resources (hit points, torches, food, players). I feel like the very structure of DCC has given the adventurers more of a built-in purpose for undertaking such dangerous endeavors and that the Judge (or developer or whomever) should meet that purpose halfway. I'm not a fan of adventure paths, but DCC calls for a certain interconnectedness to the adventurer's path. So, I suppose that you can stack those purposes in a 10-level dungeon that takes several sessions to complete, but I don't see this as being Appendix N enough. Like was mentioned in another post -- most of these books are collections of unconnected short stories about short violent encounters with the unknown. The only connection is really the characters in the story -- but there are elements in DCC that carry over -- a wizard's patron and its desires for more power, deity disapproval, etc.

Anyway, maybe I'm overthinking it.


ThickSkullAdv wrote:
When you're passionate about a project that comes through and those types of stories are more fun to read. It may not be to everyone's liking, or even the majority, but write for the love of it.


No doubt. I'm not denying that a megadungeon would work. Just wondering how to give it that special DCC flair.

Keep writing. Looking forward to your next installment, but I understand how life gets in the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:32 pm 
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As I said elsewhere, I am using Barrowmaze, and it works fine for DCC.

I think this game is ideally suited for my own preference: A combination of sandbox locations, PC quests, and opportunities (i.e., adventures) that arise over the course of time and cannot just be selected later if the PCs turn them down now.

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:06 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
As I said elsewhere, I am using Barrowmaze, and it works fine for DCC.

I think this game is ideally suited for my own preference: A combination of sandbox locations, PC quests, and opportunities (i.e., adventures) that arise over the course of time and cannot just be selected later if the PCs turn them down now.


Yep -- I'm using it too, but have modified (and still am) it heavily. So, I'm assuming you scratched out the random ubiquitous magic items that are lying around? Added in the typical Raven Crowking weirdness and terror?

I agree -- sandbox, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:08 am 
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Have you considered offering your modules via RPGNow's/DTRPG's POD service? It'd make them a lot easier for folks not in the US to get copies that way. P&P from the USA is a killer at the moment whereas the POD service has branches in the UK, for example.


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:16 pm 
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Colin wrote:
Have you considered offering your modules via RPGNow's/DTRPG's POD service? It'd make them a lot easier for folks not in the US to get copies that way. P&P from the USA is a killer at the moment whereas the POD service has branches in the UK, for example.


Colin, you know, to be honest I haven't looked into it yet. I'll have to check that out.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:14 pm 
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ragboy wrote:
Raven_Crowking wrote:
As I said elsewhere, I am using Barrowmaze, and it works fine for DCC.

I think this game is ideally suited for my own preference: A combination of sandbox locations, PC quests, and opportunities (i.e., adventures) that arise over the course of time and cannot just be selected later if the PCs turn them down now.


Yep -- I'm using it too, but have modified (and still am) it heavily. So, I'm assuming you scratched out the random ubiquitous magic items that are lying around? Added in the typical Raven Crowking weirdness and terror?

I agree -- sandbox, etc.


I don't have to add/alter too much.....mostly in terms of description and treasure. Of course, if you know Barrowmaze, you know who the Big Three potential patrons are there. Also, I make liberal use of the core rulebook tables for altering the appearance and powers of un-dead.


RC

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:15 am 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
Of course, if you know Barrowmaze, you know who the Big Three potential patrons are there.


This is definitely the best thing about it. We should share notes...

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:10 am 
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I am happy to say that my print copy of Attack of the Frawgs came today!

I hope things in your life have become better in Thick Skull territory, and looking forward to subsequent adventures.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Still waiting on mine... got the PDF, though.

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The God-Seed Awakens: 3rd Level Adventure for DCC. New patron, new spells, lots of new monsters and the living weapons of the Empire of Thal!
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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:36 pm 
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Raven_Crowking wrote:
I am happy to say that my print copy of Attack of the Frawgs came today!

I hope things in your life have become better in Thick Skull territory, and looking forward to subsequent adventures.


Hey there! Glad to hear you got your print copy! Thanks so much for asking about the home life; things are looking better. I bought a new laptop over the weekend so now I can re-install Adobe InDesign and start cranking on Larvik 1 re-master. In addition, I just took a long business trip and on the plane I was able to crank out quite a few words for Larvik 2 (that mod only has about 6 more locations in the finale area to write up and then the large cleanup effort/playtesting begins. I'm really really REALLY hoping to get playtesting for Larvik 2 started over the Christmas break.

ragboy wrote:
Still waiting on mine... got the PDF, though.

Hope yours comes soon. Those silky pages are dripping with adventure ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:42 pm 
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ThickSkullAdv wrote:
Thanks so much for asking about the home life; things are looking better.


Glad to hear it.

If you need an extra playtest group, let me know.

Daniel

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Reprinted from my blog here

Hello there,

So, I wanted to give you guys an update as to where things were in the world of Thick Skull Adventures.

2012 was a good year in terms of gaming in that we were able to release Attack of the Frawgs and it has sold better than I'd ever expected. As of this writing (Jan 1, 2013) It has reached "Copper" status on both RPGNow.comand DriveThruRPG.com. As I know both of these sites track their sales independently I've been extremely pleased with their popularity. Similarly, the print copy of Frawgs has also sold very well (when compared to it's older brother the 4E version of Larvik) so that has been nice. I was also able to attend PacificCon this year and do some gaming with Joseph Goodman himself which was a very special treat.

But I have to be honest, readers, 2012 was a crappy year for me personally. Without getting into too many specifics, I will say this: in early 2012 my wife asked me for a divorce, after attempts at reconciliation and counseling it was evident divorce was unavoidable. I moved out in July and my divorce was final in Nov 2012. To say that 2012 was the worst year of my life at a personal level would be an understatement in the extreme. Going through the divore, moving out of my house, splitting the time with my daughters and all the other horrors that come with it were very troubling. Luckily Frawgs was "in the can" and awaiting the public release of DCCRPG, but my contribution to the followup modules I'd intended to publish in 2012--the DCCRPG remaster of Haunting of Larvik Island and the brand new "Larvik 2"--were greatly affected.

But I'm here to tell you, dear readers, my emotional and mental health are on the mend. I'm now settled in my new place, my daughters seem to be doing well all things considered, and my personal life is starting to feel normal again. In fact, I'm even enjoying some of my solo time now :)

This progress has already had a clear impact on my productivity. I have started working on the Larvik 1 re-master in earnest. I've spent the last couple of weekends making good progress on the re-master. And I must say, that the process of a story/adventure going from AD&D to D&D 4E and finally to DCCRPG will be a blog post in and of itself!

I've decided to focus on finishing this project first for a couple of reasons:
1. In theory, it should be quicker to get this to market which I'm very keen to do. I think the fans have been patient and I owe it to them to do so. Although, I'm also trying very hard to make this a "remaster" and not a "conversion"; I finished doing the monster conversions months ago. I want this to feel like a DCCRPG module and closer to it's original OSR roots! That requires a lot more work than just ripping out the stat blocks.

2. My brother and co-author on "Larvik 2", Mr. James Daniel Newton, continues to plod away on some of the story elements within that adventure, so it's not like we're losing ground.

At this pace, I'm hoping that the DCC RPG version of Larvik goes to playtesting in late Feb or early March for an April or May publication.

Thanks everyone for being so patient!

-Stephen-

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Glad to hear things are turning around, Stephen! I'm really looking forward to both Larviks in DCC :D


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:34 pm 
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+1. I look forward to both releases.

On a personal note, as one who has been through the wringer of relationship failure, let me encourage you to keep your head up and don't give in to either anger or remorse. They are hard to avoid - and you will be a better man that I am if you can avoid them more than half the time - but they don't do you any good in the end.

Daniel

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Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Good to hear things are better! I look forward to more stuff! Frawgs is in the running for the adventure I run in February for OrcCon in Los Angeles.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:09 pm 
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Pesky wrote:
Glad to hear things are turning around, Stephen! I'm really looking forward to both Larviks in DCC

@Pesky: Thanks so much. Well, hopefully you'll be enjoying both Larviks in 2013! (You'll certainly be enjoying Larvik 1)

Raven_Crowking wrote:
On a personal note, as one who has been through the wringer of relationship failure, let me encourage you to keep your head up and don't give in to either anger or remorse. They are hard to avoid - and you will be a better man that I am if you can avoid them more than half the time - but they don't do you any good in the end.

@Raven_Crowking: Thank you sir! I am indeed over the anger and remorse phase (mostly... a bit of anger creeps in every once in a while, but thankfully now it is just every once in a while...) I certainly feel them less than half the time, but again, I'm now a year into this so some serious time has passed. It took a while to get here :)

reverenddak wrote:
Good to hear things are better! I look forward to more stuff! Frawgs is in the running for the adventure I run in February for OrcCon in Los Angeles.

@reverenddak: That is great to hear! That's the same weekend as DunDraCon here which I'm hoping to make it to. Let me know how it goes either way.

And sincerely, people, thanks to everyone for the support. It's amazing how many sympathetic friendly souls I've found as I've worked through this process. It has meant a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: Thick Skull Adventures
PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Update: I've finished the writing on my next DCC adventure Haunting of Larvik Island. I'm pleased with how some of the new areas have turned out. I start playtesting with my internal players next week and I'll be hitting up a couple people on the boards who have offerred to playtest as well as sending it to the DCC 3PP publishers for proofreading (those guys were of tremendous value for proofreading Frawgs. I'm having a couple new pieces of art done and I'm having a few of the maps re-drawn. I have a couple more business trips lined up but I'm hoping to have it published by end of June in PDF and print copies.

Thanks again for everyone's patience and support.

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