To Forge a World
Or Thank Goodness for the Office Copier

Tonight I’m staring at – literally – several hundred pages of source material for my largest d20 project to date. The stacks are the sum of twenty-odd authors, each having their own vision of heroic fantasy. My job is to give it form, a structure and a cohesion, that will allow d20 players to traipse from one to the next.

J.L., who has also had experience working with d20 publishers, asked if I’m the sole author responsible for all 150,000 words. Thankfully the answer is “no,” but I will be the sole fool responsible for bringing the works together. The raw material, the ore of the imagination, is all before me – now I’m the lucky punk who gets to forge the parts into a believable whole.

This project has very little to do with actual writing. It is more of a GMing exercise – perhaps the GMing exercise, making the discordant and divergent appear to be part of a greater plan. That’s the GM’s cardinal lie: “No really, I planned this all from the start.”

And in a sense, it isn’t a lie … in every game I run, I do plan on fudging, faking, cheating and improvising from the start. Mike Wallace calls it “jazz” GMing, but I don’t want to give jazz a bad name. ;)

Tonight it begins: the reading, highlighting, dog-earing, and more reading. That, and the search for the mother of all expanding folders.

Good stuff. If I could meet the Harley of 20 years ago and tell him that he’d get to do this project, he’d never believe me. Of course, he’d secretly hope for the chance, anyway. He’s a shy sort of kid. :)

Anyhow, I haven’t had much chance to check in on my friends lately. I hope you are all doing well. Kam’s book is out, and should be shattering sales records. Eric’s book is up for pre-sale and should be doing the same. Ian sold a story, and Chrissy too. All in all, it is a good time to be a young writer.

Back to the pile. Write well tonight and let me know how your projects are coming along.


At 10:17 AM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Sounds like a bear of a job you got there, Grims. I'd be more than happy to take it off your hands and do it for you. Of course, I'd get the credit but hey, you'd have more time to do the things you love...

...like this...

Ah, it was worth a shot!


Best of luck, my man! You're doing awesome!

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Grimbones said...

Silverfyre ....

Well, there are two new adventures that will part of the set. Can you recommend any good playtesters? ;)

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Hmmm, I can think of a group or two.

~Smirks~ We await your commands.

At 1:23 PM, Blogger SnakeOil Sage said...

Feels... odd... to see everyone transitioning to published writer.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Ian Kappos said...

Wow, that's big, Harley. I look at DM modules in a new light now.

And thanks for el mentiono. :)

At 2:08 AM, Blogger Silverfyre said...

Ian, you sold a story? Congrats, man!

Well, Mike, you have a point. And we have all kind of made the transition to game designers too.

2006 will be our year! Woot!

At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in regular contact with my editor on the D20 project I contributed to. He didn't have twenty contributors in total, but he did have at least a dozen in one form or another.

It has been a monster for him to work with. An amazing opportunity, some entertaining writing to read and edit, and an absolute chore as well to incorporate and amalgamate so many styles into one smooth tome.

Your work is cut out for you, but thankfully, you seem to have been given carte blanche to make those kinds of editorial decisions.

I look forward to reading about the progress.

~ J.L. Collins ~

At 9:15 PM, Anonymous Erik Scott de Bie said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, H! I look forward to a whole FLEET of your books in the very near(?) future.

Cool project -- LOTS of work. Best of luck!


At 3:57 PM, Anonymous spackle said...

Hey H, off topic, but check this out.


Wait for the video to load and check out all the scenes of Fort Collins. I totally stumbled upon it on accident.

Any chance you know how to compress your NPSS video into a smallish quicktime movie? ;)

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think Rob has quicktimed the last 3rd...but I'll need some help setting it up for download. It's been on my secret projects list ... maybe this weekend? >:)


At 11:41 AM, Anonymous spackle said...

I'll be camping this weekend, but get me the file and I can poke at it..


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