Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tarot Adventures, Book Three: Death comes to Glenfallow

Art from Tarot Adventures, Book One: The Draw of Glenfallow
Artist: Anthony Ojeda

The Tarot Adventures, my series of tabletop adventures for the 5th edition game mechanic.  This adventure has been a labor of love.  Artist Anthony Ojeda has graciously agreed to create the art for the book, and I'm extremely excited to see his art appearing in a Sinopa title again!

Writing an adventure for publication has proven to be a little different than writing for my home games.  At home you know the players, the characters and you can write to their story needs very readily.  With adventures for publication, you need to leave a LOT of room for game masters to add their own elements, introduce their campaign hooks, and provide challenges for a wide range of player character classes and types.

Designing the story:

The Tarot Adventures are each inspired by a particular card of the major arcana.  Book three pulls its inspiration from the Death card, symbolic of change and from the imagery the card conveys in the general public.  Death is dark, foreboding and scary.  The change element is nested in the underlying story of Glenfallow.  Players characters who survived the previous adventures will continue to play significant roles in the plot and will, quite literally, determine the course of the future of Pieron and Glenfallow.

Outlining the story across multiple adventures has proven to be incredibly useful.  I know where the story is going, how it can branch (for the most part, anyway) and how each adventure forms its own story within the grander tale.  This allows for great freedom at the individual story level while actually making it easier to avoid continuity conflicts.

Encounter design is really not much different from designing your home game.  Do note that it is important to consider the type of challenge you are trying to present.  For the Tarot Adventures, each book is designed to present a difficult to deadly challenge for the suggested level range. Find your sweet spot for difficulty and write to it.

Designing the look of the book:

Death comes to Glenfallow (I'm going to abbreviate that as DctG, going forward) is different from the first two in that there is only one artist creating the interior illustrations (for encounters) and the cover.  Books one and two had a wide range of artists and styles (which I rather like).   James Lee returns to create the ESS Map Pack (printable maps scaled for use with miniatures) and Nick Caponi has agreed to create the page border/background art.  A full color illustrated map of the Glenfallow region is being made available, the artist for that illustration has been contacted and contracts should be finalized in the coming months.

Art from Tarot Adventures, Book One: The Draw of Glenfallow
Artist: Anthony Ojeda

Anthony and I have discussed a few things about the book but he will be creating the art based on his interpretations of the scenes and the flavor of the story itself.  With Anthony's talent, this promises to be a beautifully illustrated adventure!

Laying out the book to make it work:

With Comet over Echo Rock I coordinated the story line encounters with their accompanying illustrations.  The same will done with DctG to provide the game master and players with stunning visual references for the challenges they face.  Story encounters are laid out based on a chronological timeline, pushing the story ever closer to its conclusion like the inevitable arrival of death itself.

DctG will also incorporate random encounters.  This is being included as it diversifies the type of encounters and was something that backers of the KickStarter campaigns have asked about.  Adding random encounter data does increase the page count, but the value to the game master is immense.

Example dialogue will, as with the previous books, be provided along with the NPC and/or encounter data.  Example skill test results will continue to grace the pages to make things easier on the game master.

Encounter tracking tables will be provided for the story line encounters as well as for the random encounter tables.  I'm rather fond of this feature as they can be printed and used by the game master to easily track what encounters have been vanquished and which remain for use.

Treasure in DctG is scant on the ground, but with significant rewards available if the player characters can triumph over the evil that seeks to swallow Glenfallow up in death and darkness.  With Ild as the central villain, there is much for characters to fear.  Much of what is found has been looted from the victims of Ild's evil.  Whether the player characters return such treasure to the families or heirs of the victims is left up to them.  Is the good will of the survivors worth more than gold and silver?  Let the players decide.

NPCs and room for expansion:

Each Tarot Adventures book contains unique non-player characters and DctG is certainly no exception.  How your group interacts with these characters builds upon the story in ways that are simply impossible to predict.  Did the bard seduce one of the bar maids and if so how do her sisters react?  Is the Temple of the Sun blessing the cleric for her righteous efforts?  Can the fighter convince Pieron to allow him to built an outpost along the eastern river?  Is the warlock shunned for his unholy pact?  Will the thief lose a hand for stealing from shop?  These are just some of the possibilities that game masters have to take into consideration.  Fortunately, you don't have to provide information for each potential occurrence, nope that is the province of the game master.  Leaving room open for game masters to incorporate other elements, allowing for player choice to be a dynamic part of the game and weaving everything together in a fun way, that is the challenge faced by the writer / game designer.

DctG brings ample opportunity for game masters to incorporate their own material and to bring Glenfallow to their worlds. You're really only limited by your imagination.

What if the group can't defeat Ild?

Victory is by no means certain, it will take smart decisions, bravery and more than a little good luck to survive when Death comes to Glenfallow!

If Ild accomplishes her goals then Glenfallow becomes the scene for more harrowing adventures as the survivors seek either to escape from, or to put an end to, Ild.  Multiple outcomes are imagined so that even if many of the player characters are slain or captured, more adventures await.

Ild illustration from Whispers of Persephone
Artist: Christian Martinez

How it's made:

I crowdfund my projects so that I can pay the artists a fair rate for their work.  Remaining funds are applied toward future projects to help make it easier to reach future campaign goals.  I prefer KickStarter as a crowdfunding platform due to the fantastic level of support I've received from people, and the fact that a portion of all KickStarter profits are used for public benefit.

Once the campaign funds successfully and ends it usually takes 15 days before KickStarter can transmit the money to you.  When I receive funds for the project I pay the artists, usually that same day. The remaining money is used to purchase items related to fulfillment and then to ship those out to backers.  The whole crowdfunding process is geared toward bringing the product to market, giving backers the items first, and improving up the product to make it the best version you can produce.

After the fulfillment to backers you promote and sell your product to the best of your ability (this is something I'm still trying to improve upon).  If you possess a fine talent for sales then I think you'll find this to be a familiar and rewarding endeavor.

Art from Tarot Adventures, Book One: The Draw of Glenfallow
Artist: Anthony Ojeda (pencils version)

Funding, KickStarter rewards and something for players:

In order to help reach the funding goal (there is a LOT of art going into this book), I'm opening a backer level reward tier specifically created for folks who don't plan to play as game master, but rather as players. This will be the Heroes of Glenfallow Tier and will include adding the backer's name to the backer credits (Heroes will have their own backer section) as well as a digital 'trinket' PDF that the backer can print off to represent the trinket in game (with Game Master approval, of course).

There will be several backer reward options, each created to appeal to people at different pledge amounts.  There will also be a very limited early backer reward tier which will only be accessible for the first 24 hours of the campaign.  This backer tier will grant the early backer all of the digital rewards at a substantially lower pledge point.

Digital backer rewards will include:
PDF copy of DctG
Print on demand codes through for soft and hard cover copies of the book
ESS Map Pack PDF for the adventure
Printable digital poster of the illustrated map of the Glenfallow region 
(this will allow backers to print the poster file locally, saving them money on production and shipping costs)

Other rewards:
Signed hard cover copies of the adventure
Having a place named on the map after the backer (this is limited to a small number of backers)
Having an NPC named after a backer (even more limited)
Having the adventure dedicated to you and up to five additional friends.

Look for Tarot Adventures, Book Three: Death comes to Glenfallow, coming to KickStarter summer of 2019.  I hope you'll check it out, support the project and have a fantastic time playing through the adventure.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

47 Furious Tails and other cool comics on KickStarter

January 23rd, 2019 at 12:00 PM (noon) the campaign for 47 Furious Tails launched.  The response from backers was amazing!

In the first twelve hours of the campaign 45 backers pledged $1116 toward the campaign goal of $6500!  This was a huge day, particularly when compared to the first launch.  I'm thrilled by the response this project has received. (Thank you all!)

Promotion for the campaign:

47 Furious Tails has been promoted in a number of ways.  Update posts on the original campaign page have continued as new information became available, the project has been mentioned in every podcast I have appeared on, I've written entries about my mistakes on the first crowdfunding attempt both here and on the Drip page, flyers have gone out at comic shops and events, and I've enlisted the help of several folks who have been sharing the links on social media and on their various channels.

Is it enough?  Time will tell but I'm optimistic.

Coming promotions will include a number of podcast interviews.  I've been invited to two new shows since the launch (thanks guys!), which can only help raise awareness for the comic and the KickStarter campaign.  I'm looking forward to it.  This is also a great opportunity to meet new creators and share information/insights which is something I'm always excited about.

I was fortunate to once again appear on the Darkslinger Mafia Podcast to talk about 47 Furious Tails.  You can listen to that interview from the link below.

Other cool comics on KickStarter:

There are really interesting titles on KickStarter right now.  Below are a few I thought were particularly cool.

Cornrows #1 

If you missed my last blurb on this comic, don't wait, go check out the campaign which has a week left as of this writing.  The art is great and I, for one, think the story premise is fantastic.

Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion

New on Kickstarter and gaining steam, check this one out quickly before the special commission backer tier is all gone!

Mayo the Cat

Ending in the next few days, this cute book is funded but certainly deserves the shout out.  If you have children this looks like a good title to share with them (Disclaimer: I've only read through the KickStarter campaign, I haven't read the book.)


Closing words and shameless self-promotion

People build communities to help each other and make life better.  In today's society we do the same as we promote others on social media, review products and write about our own experiences to help others avoid our own mistakes ( 😇 ).  I hope you each have great success in your own projects, that you'll learn from my (many) mistakes and that you too will benefit from other content creators offering up their advise and information to help make your path easier.

(Shameless self-promotion time)
I hope you'll check out 47 Furious Tails, Issue One; Cornrows Issue One; Mayo the Cat; and Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion.  Support the projects by sharing the links on social media and pledge your support if you can.

Thank you all for following my adventures in writing, self-publishing and game design.  Until next time please remember, Adventure Awaits.

W.S. Quinton

Monday, January 14, 2019

Three Live Comic and Games KickStarter campaigns (January 14th, 2019)

A little divergence from my usual content, today I want to shine the spotlight on some of the current KickStarter campaigns that I found interesting.  To be clear, none of the campaigns mentioned here have any association with my own releases, these are just some cool projects I wanted to share with everyone.


It is an interesting time for indie comics. With crowdfunding sites like KickStarter and Indiegogo, these gifted writers and artists are bringing their vision to the world.  In some cases whether the world is ready or not!

As I prepare to re-launch my own comic book title I enjoy checking out what's new in comics on KickStarter.

Cornrows #1

Urban fantasy, no heroes and a story of revenge.  I read over the story description and it caught my attention immediately.  A high school phys. ed teacher dons a mask to avenge the death of a student.  As someone who lived in Baltimore for a time, I find the setting choice very powerful.  If you're looking for a gritty title that doesn't pull its punches, you need to see Cornrows #1.


SuperKids! Mental Health Support Coloring Book

I discovered this campaign by accident, when Bill Shatner (Captain Kirk himself) tweeted out a link to it.  I looked it over and knew I wanted to help this project succeed.  I've backed this project myself.

This project creates coloring books for sick children in hospitals, which just makes it the 'feel-good' campaign of the year for me.  The example pages on the campaign are well done, with excellent attention to the lettering.

This is not your typical comic / coloring book KickStarter campaign.  Check it out.



Treacherous Traps for 5th Edition!

This is the RPG KickStarter campaign that all of my friends are talking about.  Launched by the fine folks at Nord Games (these guys know their RPG's), this campaign is rapidly reaching for its next stretch goal, where trap schematics get added to the book. 

This project boasts both a book and decks of cards for the creation, generation of unique trap combinations.  A fantastically ambitious title and one that promises to bring new and exciting challenges to tabletop role playing games everywhere.

With 2019 off to a strong start on KickStarter, I look forward to what the creative communities bring to our little blue world in the coming months. 

I hope you'll check out the projects presented here, share the link with others, and help these creators to reach their goals by supporting their campaigns.


Thank you for joining me on my adventure today.
This post has been a bit different from my normal fare as I am preparing for my own KickStarter campaign launch for 47 Furious Tails, Issue one.
I hope you'll check that campaign out when it launches on January 23rd.

Thank you

Monday, December 24, 2018

New Comic Book: 47 Furious Tails, the story of the 47 ronin

Cover Art by: Alexia Veldhuisen

In January 2019, just a few short weeks away,  I'll be launching the KickStarter campaign to fund 47 Furious Tails, Issue one. 

For more than a year, I've been working to get this re-launch ready.  Alexia Veldhuisen has been working on art for the KickStarter campaign and we're very nearly there.  The KickStarter will be launched to fund the remaining art costs, printing and fulfillment expenses (like shipping). 

The story unfolds over the course of 12 issues, with Issue One introducing legendary figures from this story out of history.  I hope you'll check out the campaign on launch, support it if you can, and help spread the word.

Click on Lord Asano Naganori's image below, to get a glimpse of the character art and learn more about the story.
Lord Asano NaganoriAll characters are portrayed as anthropomorphic animalsArt by: Alexia Veldhuisen

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Santa Dragon Claws Presents, 25 Holiday magic items (DnD5E OGL)

Happy holidays everyone!

Back in October, while the Whispers of Persephone KickStarter was running, I came up with an idea for a holiday themed RPG book detailing useful and fun magic items.  Zack Viola liked the idea, and so he launched the KickStarter campaign for the book last night.

While I'm finishing up Whispers for fulfillment, Zack is going to be running the campaign for the Holiday magic item book.  It will be good for him to learn the creator applications on KickStarter for his future endeavors. 

What we did with this crowd funding campaign:

This project is something of an oddity, in that we launched the campaign to fund our marginal costs but we wanted to keep the campaign simple and the pledge level low.  We hit upon the idea of having only one backer tier and keeping the rewards as digital only for simplicity sake. 

$4 backer tier:  The only backer tier for this campaign was specifically created to provide value for the backers while minimizing fulfillment expenses and facilitating a rapid delivery of rewards.  To maximize value for the backer, we are distributing PDF and Print on Demand codes for hard cover and soft cover versions of the book.  {Yes, this means we aren't making any money on the print versions through this campaign.  The purpose is to provide the best value possible for the backer. This is our way of saying 'Happy Holidays' to the KickStarter community}

How it's going so far:

We didn't promote this campaign much before launch but we've seen several people sharing links for us on social media platforms.  As of this writing, the campaign is less than twelve hours old and hasn't yet funded.  With six days left in this short campaign I'm optimistic that we'll reach our goal.


Normally, I wait to fulfill campaigns until after the money comes in from Kickstarter.  This is due, in large part, because I usually need to use that money to pay for printing costs and shipping.  With this campaign, where are rewards are digital, fulfillment will begin Christmas Eve night after the backer survey goes out.  PDF files will be sent out starting that evening, and the print on demand codes will go out once they are available from 

For other creators:

Running a campaign like this, where you are collaborating with someone you work well with, is a lot of fun.  This project benefits from having little stress on either Zack or I and is a fun holiday project.  If you decide to run a campaign like this yourself, I recommend far more advance promotion that Zack and I did, as we limited ours to a few social media blurbs and reached out to some bloggers and podcasters we know.  Give yourself a couple of weeks ahead of launch to build interest.

Here's to one last KickStarter campaign for 2018!
Now, I'm going to get back to work finishing up the things I've left to do for Whispers of Persephone.  Backers are getting that book this month and I've still a few things to take care of.

Check out Santa Dragon Claws Presents at the link below.  Happy holidays to you all!