Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A little bloody book of Necromancy



I wrote a book on a new arcane tradition that involves the darkest rites of necromancy.  It is a book themed on evil practices, full of horrific rites, searing spells, poisons, and magic items of vile purpose.   It is my own little bloody book of necromancy, and I'm almost ready to unleash it upon the world.  That book is Whispers of Persephone.

This is a far different book than any I've done before. I want to make certain it is as cool as I think it is before I unleash it into my general play test teams.  To keep this book under wraps, I've kept it to only a handful of people.  Now I'm preparing to release it a select few game designers I'm acquainted with and an enlarged field of players/game masters.  One of the things I want to do first though, is format the book (without art, I'm not completely mad), to give these people an opportunity to comment as to the look and "feel" of it.

As with my previous works, this one is going to use KickStarter to fund the art included within.  The artist creating these commissions is none other than the remarkable Christian Martinez .   I'll be teasing out a little of the art for this book in the coming weeks.  I hope you'll enjoy it but be advised that this is content meant to adorn a book about horrid practices and bloody evil.  It is NOT intended for children nor is it suitable for work environments (you have been warned).

The KickStarter launch will be kicked off with a live stream event unlike any I've ever seen before.  I hope you'll turn out to participate.  The campaign will go live in August of 2018.  I'm working with several folks to coordinate the launch date.  This will be the "First Blood" event of the campaign and will launch with an early backer tier.  Come early and support the book to get a great deal.



What is in Whispers of Persephone???   

Inside a cover which hints at its contents, Whispers of Persephone contains dark rituals, searing spells, poisons, potions, alchemical agents, new feats, a new arcane tradition, and a selection of NPC data.  The book is uniquely created, with page art that is designed to make it look like the book has been bleeding from its spine, and the text is being colored to look as if it were penned in blood.  Have I gone too far in producing a book that brings darkness back to the dark arts?  We'll see...

I've been developing this book to bring a sense of purpose to characters who perform evil acts, and to bring darkness back to the dark arts.  I hope you'll find I have succeeded.


Who is going to use Whispers of Persephone???  

I imagine that Whispers of Persephone will see a lot of use from Game Masters who want their heroes to face horrific villains, as well as by players who are playing evil characters of the most wretched sort.  It is fun and disturbing, like a good horror movie.

This book is also created to resemble an evil tome. As such, I believe cosplayers will find the book useful as their grimoire.


What I'm doing about Whispers of Persephone right now ... 

While I am finishing up my formatting of The Steel Road, I'm working on Whispers of Persephone in those moments between tasks.  I've done work on the introduction (trying to polish it up a bit), the text accompanying the Stygian Necromancer arcane tradition,  working on narrative text for some of the NPC's that are named within (Kroalish and Ild being two of the most infamous), and following up with Christian Martinez (read that as harassing him about art).

I've been going over the stretch goal calculations for things I really want to add into the book (art, art and, oh yes, more art!).  These calculations must be done with care as you want to be certain that the different permutations of expense calculations all fit within your stretch goal figures.  I've been checking that over with great care and so far, everything looks great.  I've calculated stretch goals all the way out to $35000.

Preparations for the promotional campaign for this book are underway (I suppose this entry counts as promotion???).  I'm working hard to schedule the launch, and a special live stream event featuring some very special guests.   I'll be revealing more about the live stream event once all parties have agreed to the schedule.  Some other things I'll be doing for promoting this book include reaching out to yet more RPG blogs, podcasts, and YouTubers for interview opportunities.  Here's to a full schedule 😊.

Color matching:  This is a fun task for a grim purpose.  I'm working on picking the exact color for the text of the book.  This book will only release in full color (for several reasons) and I want this color to be, well, special (insert evil grin here). 


What rewards will be available in KickStarter campaign???  

For the first few days there will be the "First Blood" reward tiers that allow early backers to support the campaign at a lower rate.  This is being done in conjunction with the previously mentioned live stream event, sort of a "thank you" for all the people checking out that event and discovering the book through it.    During "First Blood" backers can get PDF and Print on Demand codes for Whispers of Persephone, as well as signed copies of the book at that reduced rate.

What else is available:

PDF copy of Whispers of Persephone as well as a PDF of a custom character folio designed for the 5th Edition for use by Necromancers.

Signed copies of the book!  If you've been following this blog, you know I love to sign books.

Fallen Hero reward ~ This is a limited reward where the backers get named as one of the heroes who have been struck down by the necromancer forces.  You also get a signed copy of the book and the digital rewards.

Acolyte of Death ~ This is another limited reward where the backers get named as one of the 13 Acolytes.  You get named in the book and get signed copy and digital rewards as well.

Surviving witness ~ A very limited number of backers can pledge at these levels for original paintings done for the book by Christian Martinez.  Each one is specified in the backer description.

The Necromancer ~ There is only one!  One backer will be named as the Necromancer and have his or her portrait painted for inclusion in the book (as the Necromancer).  Whispers of Persephone will be dedicated to that person.

Lord Hades & Queen Persephone ~ This one requires a little bit of an explanation... I saw a KickStarter campaign done by an RPG satirist and he had included a reward tier for someone to fund the entirety of the project.  There was a great deal of sarcasm in the that reward but I thought it amusing and decided to put my own version of that idea into practice.  If you want to fund the entire project, there are some neat rewards in that tier, but it literally funds the WHOLE book in one fell swoop, so maybe talk to your spouse before pledging it .... just a suggestion.

What you'll find when you see that campaign is that I am once again working to fund as much art as I would like to include in the book.  So you'll see some a lot of ways to get your hands on Whispers of Persephone, and I hope you'll take the opportunity to do so.

What to take away as a writer/self-publisher/game designer:

One thing I will point out is that I'm basically booked through the end of this year and well into 2019.  I would like to recommend that if you are also writing and developing quite a lot, that you may want to consider shorter KickStarter campaigns once you have a following large enough to support such.  Right now, I don't have enough people following me for a realistic expectation of 200 or more backers on a KickStarter campaign (though The Steel Road passed that milestone this morning). 

As discussed in numerous locations throughout this blog, build your audience by doing the best work you can and keeping your communication lanes open, and your dialogue honest and realistic.  I firmly believe it takes time to earn the trust of your audience.  I've been working for a year on building mine.  I've made mistakes, and owned up to them, and continue to work to improve.  I think that honest effort is the principle reason I've seen such a high rate of backer retention.  I hope you'll experience the same!

I would also like to point out that working toward small goals, crowdfunding small amounts for projects (such as adventure modules, comic books, etc) can give you invaluable experience in not only crowdfunding, but also in fulfillment processes.  Fulfillment is critically important, don't forget to plan for your fulfillment and to have fall back plans in case things go pear-shaped.

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Thank you for joining me once again on my adventure into writing, self-publishing and game design.  I hope this blog continues to prove useful as I chronicle my own experiences here. I'll make mistakes, I know, but I hope that by being open and honest about those missteps I can spare you the same.

The KickStarter campaign for The Steel Road is in its final hours, so if you haven't checked that out, please use the link in the "featured crowdfunding" spot above and to the right of the page to take a look.  Please do share that link with others to help spread the word before the campaign ends.

Until next time, have a wonderful time and I look forward to your comments and questions.







1 comment:

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