Now an “Ennie Nominated” Game Designer!

A self portrait

With last Friday’s big announcement regarding the 2011 Ennies, I was totally caught off guard. I had a good feeling and hope that Obsidian Portal would be up in the running once again for our outstanding service but no Idea something as seemingly insignificant as Revenge of the Iron Lich would even come close.

I was driving to work and got a text from Sersa: “We fuckin’ did it man

Blood, Sweat and Gears

I poured a lot of heart and soul into co-writing this with Sersa but never even fathomed it would be recognized by so many, including some real luminaries in the tabletop RPG industry. In two categories to boot, a nomination for Best Adventure and Best Free Product. At first I felt guilty, like I was riding on Sersa’s coat tails or something, because after all I’m not the father of Fourthcore, just the lucky SOB he decided to partner up with.

Though shortly after I reflected on all the nights I spent up till 3am editing my own stuff for perfection, dreaming up ideas for encounters, terrain, flavor, creating Embacar and many other things (including tweaking those damned pregens countless times). I learned the importance of writing deadlines, and the pitfalls involved with barely meeting them. I learned how to take criticism in a tactful manner. But most importantly, throughout my freshman fourthcore production I quickly learned the art of “okay, now crank it up to eleven“.

I’m unexplainably shocked and enthralled to see it recognized in such a tremendously honorable way. The module is up against some tough competition (Paizo, Catalyst, Cubicle 7, etc.) with insanely high production values and full art orders so as far as I’m concerned it is amazing to even be nominated. I’ll keep my fingers crossed though, and probably revert back to some shameless self promotion for good measure.

Loot: Pearls of Wisdom?

Another thing I learned quite a bit about the way things work in today’s world is the importance of “If you don’t promote yourself, nobody else will”. All of the time and effort I put into annoyingly self promoting the module on my blog and others, on twitter, facebook, podcasts and pestering random strangers in my FLGS. It must have paid off somehow, at least in some small capacity.

I know that game design, freelance writing and the like will most likely never be paying my car payments or keeping my family fed. I’m a realist and I can deal with that, but I’m not going to let it stop me from doing something I love so much. Robert Schwalb and all his blatantly truth ridden insight be damned I’m going to keep on doing this because it’s what’s in my blood. It might not pay my bills but maybe someday it will buy me a coffee and take me out for a nice lunch, eh?

Rolling for Diplomacy

If you stumbled across my blog, gotten it from twitter, G+ or wherever else I thank you for reading. I know there is a lot of vitriol in this industry regarding design and writing, especially in the case of Fourthcore. However, for every “tl:dr” forum troll who’s sent walls of hatred and assaulting words my way there’s also been at least 2 people who tell you to press on and wade through the shit with a smile on your face. People like Sersa himself, Steve Townsend, Brian Patterson, Steve Winter, Wolfgang Baur, my amazing wife Angela, close friends and my boss Micah and so many others. Thank you for all your encouragement and support.


  1. Never let the net trolls get you down. They’re like minions: there are loads of them (or one of them with loads of email addresses…) but they only have one hit point and no good weapons!

    Keep doing what you love, because you love it (and obviously you’re good at it), and maybe it will get you some free convention admissions to go with that coffee! (and you know that all that savings will cover a sweet car payment. ;D)


  2. Seeing you guys get nominated reaffirms my sometimes hard pressed faith that quality will rise to the top. I have to admit that I haven’t read the adventure yet, but that’s only because all the good words from people I trust make me want to play it unspoiled all the more. You can bet I’ll be pouring through it once my run at Gen Con is done.

    Well done , and well deserved. You clearly pour your heart and soul into your work, and I think the industry needs much more of this to thrive. There are parts that seem to have gotten creatively lazy, so I hope you not only get more recognition, but that others are inspired by your spirit and love of the hobby.

Shoot An Arrow At It