Category Archives: Rogue Genius Games

New RGG PF1 Class PDF for Sale -The Wolfshead

The Wolfshead started life on Facebook, and then got a draft on my blog and Patreon. But I’ve only now managed to create a developed, finished, refined version of this 1st-edition Pathfinder hybrid barbarian/rogue class.

It’s it’s going up for sale on DriveThruRPG and the OpenGamingStore as a Rogue Genius Games product. However, it’s also available now, for free, for all my supporters at the $10 Mega-Patron and higher tier!

That pdf will remain a free gift for backs at those tiers. So, if you have been thinking about joining the higher-tier of my Patreon, now there’s a little extra incentive for you to do so!

How RGG and I are Impacted by the Global Pandemic

We are at a point where I am asked this enough, and need to refer to it often enough, that having a statement about how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting both me personally and Rogue Genius Games, the company i am publisher for, seems warranted.

Put simply, while we are not shutting down and still plan to produce all the same content, the schedule is going to be less assured.

Some of this is a matter of expected resources being well below our normal projections. Sales of content are down in numerous venues, in some cases down by 80% or more. Numerous freelancers find themselves unable to spare time to take on projects they once would have happily accepted. Less money coming in and fewer people able to take on the work in any area of my mix of personal and professional ventures impact other areas.

Some is a matter of time requirements. There are new business concerns that require extensive research and paperwork. For example: can Rogue Genius Games benefit from the Payroll Protection Program, and/or Economic Injury Disaster Loan emergency advance? Can any of our staff or freelancers gain relief through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance?  Getting answers to these questions is not easy, and often requires going through a lengthy and tiring process.

And some is a matter of personal availability. As a high-risk individual in a household with other high-risk concerns, I have to spend more time and mental effort ensuring that daily activities don’t introduce unacceptable health risks. That has so far eaten at least a little into free time nearly every day.

So, here’s how those challenges are currently impacting my ongoing projects.

RGG Crowdfunding Projects: At least at the moment, we don’t expect any significant delays to any open campaigns. There are potential problems we need to keep an eye on (if our chosen print On Demand printers stopped operations, for example, we’d have to consider how to pivot).

RGG Products: There are a lot of exciting things RGG has been working on, from the Talented Class line of products to more solo adventures. Anything that we haven’t already promised by a given date is going to be at the back of the line for our time and attention. We are still putting things out regularly, but some bigger projects we had hoped to launch are just going to have to wait.

52-in-52: When I put together the schedule for this ambitious subscription, I just didn’t allow for the impact of something like a global pandemic. While it’s ongoing and has produced a ton of content, we’ve already slipped by a week, had to push one project back, and it looks like we may slip by another week.
Rest assured, every subscriber will receive every one of the 52 pdfs promised, each presented in 4 versions for the 4 supported game systems. But it’s possible it’ll take us a bit longer than 52 weeks to get all 52 projects out.
That said we are looking at ways to get caught up, and I’ll update folks here if we have any news on that front. Otherwise, we’ll just keep producing products and sending them out to subscribers regularly.

Patreon/Blog: So far whenever I fall behind on the 5 days/week posts my Patrons are making possible, I add the missing content within a week. That remains the plan.

Grimmerspace: I’m still going to be doing a lot of design work and running a playtest for Grimmerspace. They have made their own statement about how the pandemic is affecting them.

Conventions: Right now, with regret, I am not planning on attending any cons this year.

Other Projects: I still have outstanding freelance to fulfill, and work to do as a developer for Green Ronin. That work is being impacted, obviously, but not in a way that should delay or cancel anything announced by those companies.

For those who want to know how they can help, the easiest way to assist me directly is by backing my Patreon. Even just a few dollars a month of reliable, regular income is a huge boon. Also I depend on companies like Green Ronin to make ends meet, and they are currently being hammered by things like printers shutting down, game store closings, and distributors opting to not pay for products shipped for weeks or months at a time. Buy anything from Green Ronin’s own online store or DriveThruRPG store is a big help for them, and therefore to me.

Thanks for your understanding.
Stay safe out there.

Owen K.C. Stephens



Legacy Bestiary: Hill Giant

Rogue Genius Games is currently running a Game On Tabletop crowdfunding campaign to try to fund the Legacy Bestiary, a Starfinder-compatible book of monsters from the fantasy-laden past of the Starfinder universe, but that haven’t been updated to SF yet (in any book we are aware of, including popular 3pp expansions).

But, you ask, as fantasy monsters really interesting in a scifi-with-magic game? Well, they are if you update them conceptually, as well as in rules.

Written and illustrated by fan-favorite Jacob Blackmon, the Legacy bestiary doesn’t assume legacy monsters stood still while the rest of the universe for plasma guns. Here’s a teaser example of a updated SF monster, the Hill Giant.

Hill Giant

Hill Giants are brutish creatures that serve as the front line grunts in the armies of the Giants’ Expanse. These near-mindless thugs are cybernetically enhanced upon reaching adulthood, and have their minds and bodies genetically altered to bring out their more aggressive traits as well as increase their already physically powerful bodies. Just one hill giant is known to tear through a unit of a dozen normal humanoid troopers in a matter of seconds! So an entire squad of these things, barreling towards one’s position on the field, is enough to make any trooper second-guess their service to the Empire.

The militant frost giants and ruling fire giants of the Expanse throw hill giants at their enemies as if they have an endless supply … which they seem to have!

Hill Giant Brute        CR 7 (Combatant)
XP 3,200
CE Large humanoid (giant)
Init -1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +19
DEFENSE      HP 105
EAC 19; KAC 21
Fort +9; Ref +9; Will +6
Speed 50 ft.
Melee slam +17 (2d6+14B)
Ranged hurl debris +14 (2d8+7B plus 5-ft.-radius area of difficult terrain around the spot where the debris hit)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Offensive Abilities crush (2d6+14B), trample (2d6+14B, DC 15)
Str +5; Dex -1; Con +4; Int -2; Wis +2; Cha -2
Skills Athletics +14, Intimidate +19, Survival +14
Languages Giant
Environment hills
Organization solitary, gang (2-5), band (6-8), or raiding party (9-12 plus 1d4 dire wolves)

The crowdfunding campaign runs through the end of the month and into early April, so please check it out!

Titles of the 500+ pdf Bonus MegaBundle

“Are there REALLY more than 500 pdfs in the Bonus MegaBundle, for just $30?
513, in fact.

Bundle Contents:

  1. 3 Things Made From Crabmen.pdf
  2. 4HP Alien Races Sokura.pdf
  3. 4HP CCBase Class Engineer.pdf
  4. 4HP CC Abstraction Golems Expanded.pdf
  5. 4HP CC Animated Traps Expanded.pdf
  6. 4HP CC Pakuvresh.pdf
  7. 4HP Celestial Character Options.pdf
  8. 4HP Character Options – Gods in the Void.pdf
  9. 4HP Comedic Character Options.pdf
  10. 4HP Even More Horrifically Overpowered Feats.pdf
  11. 4HP Gruesome Aberrations.pdf
  12. 4HP Gruesome Constructs.pdf
  13. 4HP Gruesome Fey.pdf
  14. 4HP Gruesome Oozes.pdf
  15. 4HP Hybrid Base Class – Renegade.pdf
  16. 4HP Hybrid Class – Blasphemer.pdf
  17. 4HP Hybrid Class – Fury.pdf
  18. 4HP Hybrid Class – Shifu.pdf
  19. 4HP Hybrid Class – The Psychemist.pdf
  20. 4HP Hybrid Class Possesed.pdf
  21. 4HP Hybrid Class The Montebank.pdf
  22. 4HP Living Items.pdf
  23. 4HP Mature Character Options.pdf
  24. 4HP Minmaxed Monsters.pdf
  25. 4HP Monsters Under the Bed.pdf
  26. 4HP More Comedic Character Options.pdf
  27. 4HP Mythic Archetypes.pdf
  28. 4HP Mythic Kingdoms.pdf
  29. 4HP Mythic Magic Expanded.pdf
  30. 4HP Mythic Magic Items.pdf
  31. 4HP Mythic Path Transcendentalist.pdf
  32. 4HP Technomagic – Hybrid Magic Items.pdf
  33. 4HP Venerable Character Options.pdf
  34. 4HP Vule the Living Planet.pdf
  35. 4HP Yet More Horrifically Overpowered Feats.pdf
  36. 4HP Young Character Options.pdf
  37. 5 Hellfire Feats.pdf
  38. 55 Minor Armor Upgrades.pdf
  39. 55 Minor Spell Variations.pdf
  40. 55 Minor Weapon Modifications.pdf
  41. 5e Classes The Godling.pdf
  42. 5e Menagerie Griffmeras.pdf
  43. 5e Menagerie Horrors of the Aboleth.pdf
  44. 5e Menagerie Howl at the Moon.pdf
  45. 5e Menagerie Oceans of Blood.pdf
  46. 5e Options Rogue Archetypes Shadow Warrior.pdf
  47. 5e Trash Gryphon.pdf
  48. Advanced Options – Alchemists Discoveries.pdf
  49. Advanced Options – Cavaliers’ Orders.pdf
  50. Advanced Options – Cavaliers.pdf
  51. Advanced Options – Extra Evolutions.pdf
  52. Advanced Options – Inquisitors Judgments.pdf
  53. Advanced Options – Slayer Talents & Lethalities.pdf
  54. Advanced Options – Warpriest Blessings.pdf
  55. Advanced Options – Witchs’ Hexes-Revised.pdf
  56. Advanced Options-Fight Like A Pirate.pdf
  57. AdvancedOptions-OraclesCurses.pdf
  58. Adventurers Handbook.pdf
  59. Annals of the Archfiends – Phosonith – The Cruel Charmer.pdf
  60. AO Patron Hexes.pdf
  61. AO_Slayer_Talents___Lethalities.pdf
  62. Bullet Point #1 Five Dragonscale.pdf
  63. Bullet Point #19 Death Mage Feats.pdf
  64. Bullet Point 10 Feats of Fear and Fearlessness.pdf
  65. Bullet Point 10 Feats of Hammer and Thunder.pdf
  66. Bullet Point 10 Mage Armor Feats.pdf
  67. Bullet Point 10 Monster Feats.pdf
  68. Bullet Point 10_Subschool_Augmentation_Feats.pdf
  69. Bullet Point 12 Fighter Bravery Alts.pdf
  70. Bullet Point 12_Rogue_Trapfinding_Alts.pdf
  71. Bullet Point 13 Witch Hexes.pdf
  72. Bullet Point 13-Dwarven-Questing-Feats.pdf
  73. Bullet Point 14 Halfling Burglar Feats.pdf
  74. Bullet Point 15 Fantasy Taxes.pdf
  75. Bullet Point 2 Alt Leadership Feats.pdf
  76. Bullet Point 3 Simian Races.pdf
  77. Bullet Point 3 Stone Golem Templates.pdf
  78. Bullet Point 3 Supernatural Abilities.pdf
  79. Bullet Point 3_Simian_Races.pdf
  80. Bullet Point 4 Ghostbusting Items.pdf
  81. Bullet Point 4 Invisibility Feats.pdf
  82. Bullet Point 4 Raise Dead Feats.pdf
  83. Bullet Point 4_Death_Mage_Feats.pdf
  84. Bullet Point 5 Dragonscale.pdf
  85. Bullet Point 5 Fireball Feats.pdf
  86. Bullet Point 5 Handy Haversacks.pdf
  87. Bullet Point 5 Haste-Slow Feats.pdf
  88. Bullet Point 5 Machinesmith Feats.pdf
  89. Bullet Point 5 Meta-Combat Feats.pdf
  90. Bullet Point 5 Mount Steed Spell Feats.pdf
  91. Bullet Point 5 Silver Weapon Magic Properties.pdf
  92. Bullet Point 5 Unseen Servant Feats.pdf
  93. Bullet Point 5 Witch’s Daggers.pdf
  94. Bullet Point 5_Control_Water_Feats.pdf
  95. Bullet Point 6 Anachronistic Armors.pdf
  96. Bullet Point 6 Antimagic Field Feats.pdf
  97. Bullet Point 6 Archon Feats.pdf
  98. Bullet Point 6 Feats for Summon Spells.pdf
  99. Bullet Point 6 Godling Feats.pdf
  100. Bullet Point 6 Jester Feats.pdf
  101. Bullet Point 6 New Exotic and Martial Swords.pdf
  102. Bullet Point 6 Nonmagic Weapon Qualities.pdf
  103. Bullet Point 6 Spell-Less Ranger Feats.pdf
  104. Bullet Point 6 Teleportation Spell Feats.pdf
  105. Bullet Point 6-Mythic-Feats.pdf
  106. Bullet Point 7 Bard Feats.pdf
  107. Bullet Point 7 Cure Light Wounds Feats.pdf
  108. Bullet Point 7 Feats For Flying Foes.pdf
  109. Bullet Point 7 Feats for Sword and Board.pdf
  110. Bullet Point 7 Feats for the Undead.pdf
  111. Bullet Point 7 Magic Firearm Properties.pdf
  112. Bullet Point 7 Magic Missile Feats.pdf
  113. Bullet Point 7 Shadow Assassin Feats.pdf
  114. Bullet Point 7 Shield Feats.pdf
  115. Bullet Point 7 Sinful Feats of Gluttony.pdf
  116. Bullet Point 7 Sinful Feats of Lust.pdf
  117. Bullet Point 7 Spiritual Weapon Feats.pdf
  118. Bullet Point 7 Stupid Weapons April Fools.pdf
  119. Bullet Point 7 Tendril Tentacle Spell Feats.pdf
  120. Bullet Point 7 Time Feats.pdf
  121. Bullet Point 7 War Master Feats.pdf
  122. Bullet Point 7 War_Master_Feats.pdf
  123. Bullet Point 7-Sinful-Feats-of-Pride.pdf
  124. Bullet Point 8 Animal Feats.pdf
  125. Bullet Point 8 Barbarian Feats.pdf
  126. Bullet Point 8 Dragonrider Feats.pdf
  127. Bullet Point 8 Lightning Bolt Feats.pdf
  128. Bullet Point 8_Barbarian_Feats.pdf
  129. Bullet Point 9 Armiger Feats.pdf
  130. Bullet Point 9 Witch Hunter Feats.pdf
  131. Bullet Point 9-Alchemical Bomb Discoveries.pdf
  132. Bullet Point Cold Iron Magic Weapons.pdf
  133. Bullet Point Legendary-Weapons.pdf
  134. Bullet Point Magic_Diseases.pdf
  135. Childhood Adventures.pdf
  136. CO The Feat Reference Document.pdf
  137. Codex Draconis – Black Lords of the Marsh.pdf
  138. Codex Draconis – Green Menace of the Woodlands.pdf
  139. Codex Draconis – Red Tyants of the Mountains.pdf
  140. Codex Draconis – Satraps of the Deserts.pdf
  141. Codex Draconis – White Terrors of the North.pdf
  142. Corruption Codex.pdf
  143. CSP TA The Witch ML.pdf
  144. CSP Waysides Rock Bottom.pdf
  145. CSP-RR-Aardvolk.pdf
  146. CSP-RR-Gnolls.pdf
  147. Dragon Companion Handbook.pdf
  148. Dynastic Races Compendium.pdf
  149. EMI Kyr’shin Unchained.pdf
  150. EMI Taka’shi.pdf
  151. EMM 1 Interval Spellcasting.pdf
  152. EMM 10 Brawler Archetypes.pdf
  153. EMM 11 Mysteries of Spring.pdf
  154. EMM 12 Malborgoroth.pdf
  155. EMM 13 Unchained Kangaroos.pdf
  156. EMM 14 Spells of Comedy.pdf
  157. EMM 15 Way of the Eight.pdf
  158. EMM 16 Mystic Scrivener.pdf
  159. EMM 17 Microsized Templates .pdf
  160. EMM 18 Motherly Options.pdf
  161. EMM 19 Gloom Discoveries.pdf
  162. EMM 2 The Skinsuit Ritual.pdf
  163. EMM 20 Esoteric Implements.pdf
  164. EMM 21 Unchained Fighter Options.pdf
  165. EMM 22 Mysteries of Summer.pdf
  166. EMM 23 Mesmerist Feats.pdf
  167. EMM 24 Patriotic Options.pdf
  168. EMM 25 Yroometji.pdf
  169. EMM 26 Black Blade Options.pdf
  170. EMM 27 Spells of Childhood.pdf
  171. EMM 28 Cleric Options.pdf
  172. EMM 29 Favored Enemy Focuses.pdf
  173. EMM 3 Childhood Feats.pdf
  174. EMM 30 Haunt Invocations.pdf
  175. EMM 31 Injuries and Scars.pdf
  176. EMM 32 School Day Options.pdf
  177. EMM 33 Mysteries of Autumn.pdf
  178. EMM 33 Unchained Monk Options.pdf
  179. EMM 34 Mysteries of Autumn.pdf
  180. EMM 35 Investigator Options.pdf
  181. EMM 36 Ghost Hunting Options.pdf
  182. EMM 37 Occultic Singularity Ritual.pdf
  183. EMM 38 More Unchained Fighter Options.pdf
  184. EMM 39 Pumpkin Kami.pdf
  185. EMM 4 Ley Line Qualities.pdf
  186. EMM 40 The Tall One.pdf
  187. EMM 41 Cult Classic Heroes.pdf
  188. EMM 42 Shapeshifter Options.pdf
  189. EMM 43 Bountiful Harvest Ritual.pdf
  190. EMM 44 Family Options.pdf
  191. EMM 45 Festive Armory.pdf
  192. EMM 46 Festive Options.pdf
  193. EMM 47 Yearbound Phoenix Ritual.pdf
  194. EMM 48 Unchained Favored Classes.pdf
  195. EMM 49 Far-Flung Races.pdf
  196. EMM 5 Kumiho.pdf
  197. EMM 50 Haunted Archetypes.pdf
  198. EMM 51 Arcane Discoveries.pdf
  199. EMM 52 Paladin Mercies.pdf
  200. EMM 53 Rage Options.pdf
  201. EMM 54 Alchemical Power Components.pdf
  202. EMM 55 Front Liner’s Options.pdf
  203. EMM 56 Mystery of Riddles.pdf
  204. EMM 57 Magus Arcana.pdf
  205. EMM 58 Bloodline Mutations.pdf
  206. EMM 59 Unchained Kangaroos, Dire Edition.pdf
  207. EMM 6 Mysteries of Passion.pdf
  208. EMM 60 Kitsune Kineticist Options.pdf
  209. EMM 61 Animal Teamwork Feats.pdf
  210. EMM 62 Mystery of Music.pdf
  211. EMM 63 Dynastic Armory.pdf
  212. EMM 64 Hecaviogos Levialogi.pdf
  213. EMM 65 Catfolk Options.pdf
  214. EMM 66 Eidolon Knight.pdf
  215. EMM 67 Animal Companion Archetypes.pdf
  216. EMM 68 Superior Alchemical Items.pdf
  217. EMM 69 Fey Shaman Spirit.pdf
  218. EMM 7 Deific Passengers.pdf
  219. EMM 70 Unchained Fighter Archetypes.pdf
  220. EMM 71 Wild Shape Variants.pdf
  221. EMM 72 Vessel Passengers.pdf
  222. EMM 73 Microsized Monsters.pdf
  223. EMM 74 Centaur Options.pdf
  224. EMM 75 Gculcilite.pdf
  225. EMM 76 Lost Children.pdf
  226. EMM 77 Unchained Ninja Options.pdf
  227. EMM 78 Allakhadae.pdf
  228. EMM 79 Unchained Bard Masterpieces.pdf
  229. EMM 8 Gnoll Options.pdf
  230. EMM 80 Arcanist Exploits.pdf
  231. EMM 81 Mutative Muck.pdf
  232. EMM 82 Age Shifting Options.pdf
  233. EMM 83 Dynastic Spells.pdf
  234. EMM 84 Kineticist Archetypes.pdf
  235. EMM 85 Transpositional Creatures.pdf
  236. EMM 86 More Unchained Bardic Masterpieces.pdf
  237. EMM 88 Creepy Creatures.pdf
  238. EMM 89 Everyman Races.pdf
  239. EMM 9 Sleeping Rules.pdf
  240. EMM 90 Occultist Panoplies.pdf
  241. EMM 91 Bloodrager Bloodlines.pdf
  242. EMM 92 Squishikin Options.pdf
  243. EMM 93 Soulless.pdf
  244. EMM 94 Familiar Archetypes.pdf
  245. EMO Kineticist.pdf
  246. EMO Paranormal Classes.pdf
  247. EMO Shaman Spirits.pdf
  248. EMO Unchained Fighters.pdf
  249. EMU Bards.pdf
  250. EMU Eidolons.pdf
  251. EMU Fighter.pdf
  252. EMU Teamwork Feats.pdf
  253. EMU Unchained Cunning.pdf
  254. Engines of Destructions.pdf
  255. Everyman Archetypes, Skald.pdf
  256. Everyman Archetypes, Swashbuckler.pdf
  257. Everyman Iconics Drake.pdf
  258. Everyman Iconics Kyrshin.pdf
  259. Everyman Iconics Shira.pdf
  260. Everyman Unchained – Eidolons.pdf
  261. Everyman Unchained Monk Archetypes II.pdf
  262. Everyman Unchained Monk Archetypes.pdf
  263. Everyman Unchained, Unchained Cunning.pdf
  264. Everyman Unchained-Skills and Options.pdf
  265. Everyman Unchained-Unchained Rage.pdf
  266. Everyman_Unchained__Unchained_Cunning.pdf
  267. Faeries of the Fringe.pdf
  268. FTF 13 Evil Spells.pdf
  269. Genius Adventures – Spring of Disorder.pdf
  270. Genius Adventures – The Black Skull Laughs.pdf
  271. Genius Adventures – There’s Yer Problem.pdf
  272. Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants Vol. 01.pdf
  273. Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants Vol. 03.pdf
  274. Genius Guide to 110 Spell Variants Vol. 04.pdf
  275. Genius Guide to Air Magic.pdf
  276. Genius Guide to Another 110 Spell Variants Vol. 02.pdf
  277. Genius Guide to Apeiron Staves.pdf
  278. Genius Guide to Apprentice-Level Characters.pdf
  279. Genius Guide to Arcane Archetypes.pdf
  280. Genius Guide to Archer Archtypes.pdf
  281. Genius Guide to Chaos Magic.pdf
  282. Genius Guide to Crystal Magic.pdf
  283. Genius Guide to Divination Magic.pdf
  284. Genius Guide to Divine Archetypes.pdf
  285. Genius Guide to Dream Magic.pdf
  286. Genius Guide to Earth Magic.pdf
  287. Genius Guide to Exalted Domains of Light and Lore beta.pdf
  288. Genius Guide to Exalted Domains of Storms and Savagery.pdf
  289. Genius Guide to Exalted Domains of War and Ruin.pdf
  290. Genius Guide to Favored Class Options.pdf
  291. Genius Guide to Feats of Battle.pdf
  292. Genius Guide to Feats of Critical Combat.pdf
  293. Genius Guide to Feats of Divine Might.pdf
  294. Genius Guide to Feats of Immediate Action.pdf
  295. Genius Guide to Feats of Metamagic.pdf
  296. Genius Guide to Feats of Multiclassing.pdf
  297. Genius Guide to Feats of Psionic Might.pdf
  298. Genius Guide to Feats of Runic Might 2.pdf
  299. Genius Guide to Feats of Runic Might.pdf
  300. Genius Guide to Feats of Spellcasting.pdf
  301. Genius Guide to Feats of Subterfuge.pdf
  302. Genius Guide to Fire Magic.pdf
  303. Genius Guide to Gruesome Undead Templates.pdf
  304. Genius Guide to Hellfire Magic.pdf
  305. Genius Guide to Hoof and Horn Racial Options.pdf
  306. Genius Guide to Horrific Haunts.pdf
  307. Genius Guide to Horrifically Overpowered Feats.pdf
  308. Genius Guide to Ice Magic.pdf
  309. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 1 – Armor and Weapons.pdf
  310. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 10 – Fezzes Are Cool.pdf
  311. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 2 – Pretty, Pretty Rings.pdf
  312. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 3 – Hot Rods.pdf
  313. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 4 – Fantastic Footwear.pdf
  314. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 5 – All You Need Is Gloves.pdf
  315. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 6 – Cloaks and Daggers.pdf
  316. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 7 – Krazy Kragnar.pdf
  317. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 8 – Belt One On.pdf
  318. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less 9 – Bell, Book, and Candle.pdf
  319. Genius Guide to Loot 4 Less Things that Make You Go Boom.pdf
  320. Genius Guide to Martial Archetypes.pdf
  321. Genius Guide to Mystic Godlings.pdf
  322. Genius Guide to Name Traits.pdf
  323. Genius Guide to Races of Fire and Fury.pdf
  324. Genius Guide to Races of Hoof and Horn.pdf
  325. Genius Guide to Races of Wind and Wing.pdf
  326. Genius Guide to Rune Staves and Wyrd Wands.pdf
  327. Genius Guide to Simple Monster Templates.pdf
  328. Genius Guide to the Archon.pdf
  329. Genius Guide to the Armiger.pdf
  330. Genius Guide to the Death Mage.pdf
  331. Genius Guide to the Dragonrider Revised.pdf
  332. Genius Guide to the Godling Ascendant.pdf
  333. Genius Guide to the Godling.pdf
  334. Genius Guide to the Magus.pdf
  335. Genius Guide to the Mosaic Mage.pdf
  336. Genius Guide to the Order of Vigilance.pdf
  337. Genius Guide to the Shadow Assassin.pdf
  338. Genius Guide to the Talented Cavalier.pdf
  339. Genius Guide to the Templar.pdf
  340. Genius Guide to the Time Thief.pdf
  341. Genius Guide to the Time Warden.pdf
  342. Genius Guide to the Vanguard Revised.pdf
  343. Genius Guide to the War Master.pdf
  344. Genius Guide to the Witch Hunter.pdf
  345. Genius Guide to What’s in my Pocket – Part Deux.pdf
  346. Genius Guide to What_s in my Pocket – Part Deux.pdf
  347. GG to Bravery Feats.pdf
  348. GG to Feats of Spellcasting II.pdf
  349. GG to Gruesome Dragons.pdf
  350. GG to More Horrifically Overpowered Feats.pdf
  351. GG to More Ranger Talents.pdf
  352. GG to the Dracomancer.pdf
  353. GG to the Hellion.pdf
  354. GG to the Magister.pdf
  355. GG to the Riven Mage.pdf
  356. GG to the Shadow Warrior.pdf
  357. GG to the Talented Ranger.pdf
  358. GG-to-More-Horrifically-Overpowered-Feats.pdf
  359. GG-to-the-Hellion.pdf
  360. GG-to-the-Magister.pdf
  361. GG-to-the-Riven-Mage.pdf
  362. GGT Domain Channeling II.pdf
  363. GGT Domain Channeling.pdf
  364. GGT Expanded Class Options.pdf
  365. GGT Gruesome Giants.pdf
  366. GGT HOMFeats.pdf
  367. GGT Homophone Spells.pdf
  368. GGT More Barbarian Talents.pdf
  369. GGT More Bard Talents.pdf
  370. GGT More Cleric Talents.pdf
  371. GGT More Simple Class Templates for Monsters.pdf
  372. GGT More Witch Talents.pdf
  373. GGT Mythic Subpaths.pdf
  374. GGT Simple Class Templates for Monsters.pdf
  375. GGT the Cruorchemist.pdf
  376. GGT The Opportunist.pdf
  377. GGT The Talented Barbarian.pdf
  378. GGT the Talented Bard.pdf
  379. GGT the Talented Bestiary PDF Webview.pdf
  380. 2GGT the Talented Bestiary PDF.pdf
  381. GGT the Talented Cleric.pdf
  382. GGT the Talented Druid.pdf
  383. GGT the Talented Otter Dragon.pdf
  384. GGT the Talented Witch.pdf
  385. GGT Variant Multiclass Rules.pdf
  386. GGT-Expanded-Class-Options.pdf
  387. GGT-More-Barbarian-Talents.pdf
  388. GGT-The-Talented-Barbarian.pdf
  389. GGtoHOMFeats.pdf
  390. GG_to_Feats_of_Spellcasting_II.pdf
  391. GG_to_More_Ranger_Talents.pdf
  392. GG_to_the_Dracomancer.pdf
  393. GG_to_the_Shadow_Warrior.pdf
  394. GG_to_the_Talented_Ranger.pdf
  395. GO Masters of Time.pdf
  396. GO-Masters-of-Time.pdf
  397. Green-Menace-of-the-Woodlands.pdf
  398. Halfling-Burglar-Feats.pdf
  399. Heralds of the Apocalypse.pdf
  400. HFNotes-001-Spellpoint-Feats.pdf
  401. HFNotes-002-Stocking-Stuffers.pdf
  402. HH 002 Spellpoints Expansion.pdf
  403. Houserule Footnotes Spell Point Feats.pdf
  404. Houserule Handbooks Spell Points.pdf
  405. Houserule Handbooks Spellpoints Compilation.pdf
  406. Into The Veil.pdf
  407. Kitsune Compendium.pdf
  408. Krazy Kragnar Magic Staff Emporium.pdf
  409. Krazy Kragnar’s Black Market Magic Items.pdf
  410. Krazy Kragnars Alchemical Surplus Shop.pdf
  411. Krazy_Kragnars_Alchemical_Surplus_Shop.pdf
  412. Krazy_Kragnar_Magic_Staff_Emporium.pdf
  413. Leadership Handbook.pdf
  414. Lunar Knights.pdf
  415. Microsized Adventures.pdf
  416. MM A Council of Genies.pdf
  417. MM Bulette Points.pdf
  418. MM Draconis Arcanus.pdf
  419. MM SS Giraffenomicon.pdf
  420. MM SS Pumpkin Stalker.pdf
  421. MM The Swarminomicon.pdf
  422. MM Troops.pdf
  423. MM_Winter_Ravagers.pdf
  424. MO Core Mythic Class Features.pdf
  425. MO Mythic Base Class Features.pdf
  426. MO Mythic Dragonrider Class Features.pdf
  427. MO-Mythic-Rogue-Class-Features.pdf
  428. Monster Menagerie – Construct Companion.pdf
  429. Monster Menagerie – Covens of Chaos.pdf
  430. Monster Menagerie – Demonic Harlots.pdf
  431. Monster Menagerie – Horrors of the Aboleth.pdf
  432. Monster Menagerie – Howl at the Moon.pdf
  433. Monster Menagerie – Kingdom of Graves.pdf
  434. Monster Menagerie – Kith of the Harpy Queen.pdf
  435. Monster Menagerie – Lurkers in the Dark.pdf
  436. Monster Menagerie – Threats from Beyond.pdf
  437. Monster Menagerie – Winter Ravagers.pdf
  438. Monster Menagerie Griffmeras.pdf
  439. Mythic Fighter Class Features.pdf
  440. Mythic Menagerie – Rise of the Goblinoids.pdf
  441. Mythic Options The Missing Core Feats.pdf
  442. Night of the Starbird.pdf
  443. Occult Options 1.pdf
  444. Oceans of Blood.pdf
  445. Paranormal Adventures.pdf
  446. Paranormal Classes.pdf
  447. PF Trash Gryphon.pdf
  448. Psychological Combat.pdf
  449. Races Revised – the Kitsune Clans.pdf
  450. Ranger Options – Knacks of Nature.pdf
  451. Ravagers of Time.pdf
  452. Relic Files – From Beyond the Stars I.pdf
  453. Relic Files – From Beyond the Stars II.pdf
  454. Relic Files – Treasures of Camelot I.pdf
  455. Relic Files – Treasures of Camelot II.pdf
  456. Relic Files – Treasures of Camelot III.pdf
  457. RF Manticore Power Armor.pdf
  458. RF Treasures of the Earth – Svarduun.pdf
  459. RP Kyubi Paragon.pdf
  460. RP Noble Aspirant.pdf
  461. SA Laser Grenades.pdf
  462. SA Shotguns.pdf
  463. Samsaran Compendium.pdf
  464. Satraps-of-the-Deserts.pdf
  465. SC Coordinated Combat Feats.pdf
  466. SC Horrifically Overpowered Feats.pdf
  467. SC Legacy Cavalier.pdf
  468. SC Legacy Dragonrider.pdf
  469. SC Legacy Gunslinger.pdf
  470. SC Technomancy Manual.pdf
  471. SC Toonimancy.pdf
  472. SFA Cannibal Clowns from Outer Space.pdf
  473. SFA Deluxe Drider.pdf
  474. SFA Sluagh.pdf
  475. SFS Psychic Space Cats.pdf
  476. SGP A Brace of Pistols.pdf
  477. SGP Argonax the Mad.pdf
  478. SGP Power Word Spells.pdf
  479. SGP Races Revised The Kobold Kings.pdf
  480. Skill Challenge Handbook.pdf
  481. Sorcerers Options Beyond Bloodlines-1.pdf
  482. Spell-Point_Compilation.pdf
  483. Starfarer’s Codex Witch Legacy Class.pdf
  484. The Clockwork Wonders of Brandlehill.pdf
  485. The Genius Guide to More Cavalier Talents.pdf
  486. The Genius Guide to More Fighter Talents.pdf
  487. The Genius Guide to More Monk Talents.pdf
  488. The Genius Guide to More Rogue Talents.pdf
  489. The Genius Guide to the Death Knight.pdf
  490. The Genius Guide to the Relics of the Godlings II.pdf
  491. The Genius Guide to the Relics of the Godlings.pdf
  492. The Genius Guide to the Talented Cavalier.pdf
  493. The Genius Guide to the Talented Fighter.pdf
  494. The Genius Guide to The Talented Monk.pdf
  495. The Genius Guide to the Talented Rogue.pdf
  496. The Pirate Haven of Blackrock.pdf
  497. The-Genius-Guide-to-the-Death-Knight.pdf
  498. The-Genius-Guide-to-the-Relics-of-the-Godlings.pdf
  499. Ultimate Charisma.pdf
  500. Ultimate Occult.pdf
  501. Ultimate Options – Arcane Discoveries.pdf
  502. Ultimate Options – Grit and Gunslingers.pdf
  503. Ultimate Options – Power of the Ninja.pdf
  504. UO Bardic Masterpieces.pdf
  505. UO New Magus Arcana..pdf
  506. UO Story Feats.pdf
  507. VC Radical Pantheon.pdf
  508. VC The Black Knight.pdf
  509. 4VCPDF.pdf
  510. Veranthea Codex – Lost Legends of Urethiel.pdf
  511. Veranthea-Codex.pdf
  512. Wind and Wing Racial Options.pdf
  513. Yuletide Terror.pdf

Available only for a limited time, as part of the 52-in-52 PreOrder!


This is SUPER basic, and SUPER ignored, but I promise you, it’s true. (And as with most of my writing basics, here I am talking about tabletop game writing for someone else to publish.)

Unless your editor/producer/publisher specifically tells you to?


It is of NO use to the developer, editor, or layout artist. It is, in fact, a huge pain in the butt.

Yes, MAYBE you need to get things in neat columns to make sure your table says what you want where you want it.

But when you turn it over?

Note what is a table title, what is a column head, and what is table text, and then put ONE TAB between EACH COLUMN ENTRY. (As always, check to see if your publisher has specific or different requirements.) Do NOT use your word processing programs table function.

Like this, but with [tab] replaced by an actual tab.

[Table Title]An Example Table

[Table Column Heads]Writing Level[tab]No. Of Wrong Tables[tab]Editor Cursewords




*Because a 102 level writer should know better.

Yes, it’s a minor thing.

But getting minor things wrong makes you take more time and more effort, and thus more money and frustration, for publishers to want to hire you.

Heya folks–I am back to being a full-time freelancer. Which means, ever word I write has to justify itself in time taken vs. benefit to my freelance career and/or money made.
So if you found this useful or entertaining, and you’d like to support the creation of more such content, check out my Patreon!
Just a couple of dollars a month from each of you will make a huge different.

Horrifically Overpowered Feats KlickStarter

Welcome to the “Horrifically Overpowered Feats” KlickStarter!
So, you may ask, what the heck is a KlickStarter?
It’s a way to use the power of social media to earn bonus content and stretch goals for a product that excites you… but that doesn’t ask you to take any risk! The pdf is for sale NOW, and you can buy it and have it in your hands NOW. You get what you paid for immediately, with ZERO chance of never seeing the project that excited you.
By helping spread the word, and pushing to give us a great first four weeks of sale, you can STILL drive stretch goals and earn bonus content. It’s the best of both worlds! You can participate and make the project bigger and better, with more and more content getting added for free, but you don’t have to wait to get the base reward!
So, we have the pdf of Starfarer’s Codex: Horrifically Overpowered Feats (the product we never should have made, and you should never use, but people have been demanding for over a year!) ready for sale NOW. Go buy it, download it, and it’s already yours!
But if you help us just a little more, the following stretch goals can get you EVEN MORE CONTENT!

Starfarer's Codex Horrifically Overpowered Feats Cover 300dpi
So what are our stretch goals?

Overpowered feats not enough to main, kill, and totally wreck all game balance in your campaign? Okay then, we’ll add Horrifically Overpowered Spells!
If Horrifically Overpowered Feats is one of the Top Three Sellers on the Open Gaming Store in one of the next four weeks (2/1 to 2/7, 2/8 to 2/14, 2/15 to 2/21, or 2/22 to 2/28), we’ll create Starfarer’s Codex: Horrifically Overpowered Spells pdf of at least 6 pages for sale in March, and everyone who bought Horrifically Overpowered Feats (on any site) by Feb 25th will get a pdf of it FREE!
(OGS is going to be kind enough to make official posts each week, to let us everyone publicly know if we’ve hit these goal!)
For each additional week it’s one of the Top Three sellers on the OGS, we’ll add two pages to the minimum length!
For any week it’s the number one seller on the OGS, we’ll instead add FOUR pages to the minimum size!
So if you get your pdfs on the Open Gaming Store, go pick the pdf up now!

These feats not stupidly overpowered enough for you? Fine, we’ll make them MORE INSANELY UNUSABLE!
If Horrifically Overpowered Feats is one of the Top Three Hottest Titles for Starfinder on DriveThruRPG in one of the next four weeks (2/1 to 2/7, 2/8 to 2/14, 2/15 to 2/21, or 2/22 to 2/28), we’ll add the EVEN MORE OVERPOWERED INDEX, a page of Horrifically Overpowered Feats we crank up to all to be even more overpowered! We’ll add this directly to the Starfarer’s Codex: Horrifically Overpowered Feats pdf, so everyone who bought or ever buys it will get this additional content FREE!
For each additional week it’s one of the Top Three Hottest Titles for Starfinder on DriveThruRPG, we’ll add two pages to the minimum length!
For any of those weeks it’s the number one Hottest Titles for Starfinder on DriveThruRPG, we’ll instead add TWO pages to the minimum size!
So if you get your pdfs at DriveThruRPG, go pick the pdf up now! (

What, 18 pages of Horrifically Overpowered Feats not enough for you? You REALLY want to ignore our warning not to use this product in any way, don’t you?!
Okay, fine. We’ll give you more. If you give us more!
(More exposure, that is.)
We’ll add pages of content to a revised Starfarer’s Codex: Horrifically Overpowered Feats to be updated in March, based on how many SHARES we get by 2/28. Every person who marks themselves GOING to this event, and every person who SHARES this event (plus every like and retweet of our announcement on Twitter, plus every like of our blog post announcement, plus every new person who comments on the product page) counts as a share.
So if you want to get extras without even spending money, join, like, and comment on the page at
Shares Total Extra Pages
50+ 5
75+ 8
100+ 10
150+ ???

Like crowdfunding… but better!

Writing Basics: RPG Pitches (Part Two)

We covered some of the work you need to do well before you actually make a pitch to a game company in Writing Basics: RPG Pitches (Part One). Now we can go on to What to Pitch and When to Pitch It.

What to Pitch

Okay, so if you’ve gone and done the work we outlined in Part One, you have a number of game companies you know are publishing work for the game system you want to write for, and you know what kinds of projects they publish.

So, now it is time to pitch some things very similar to what they already do. Hopefully, there are projects you are excited about that are a good fit for one or more game companies.

If no-one is publishing the kinds of things you want to write, you have some tough decisions to make. Pragmatically, I recommend you get experience and contacts and a good reputation by pitching the sorts of things publishers are already interested in before you try to pitch unique projects no one else has ever thought of. The latter is amazingly useful if done well—but most publishers are going to be dubious about your ability to do something so nonstandard well until they have some idea of who you are and the quality and tenor of your work.

The best way to earn trust to do something outside the box is to prove you understand what the box is and why it’s there. Publishers gets weird and unusual pitches fairly often—everything from people who don’t understand the legal limitations of publishing (it’s hard to lose my interest faster than by pitching a project I legally can’t do, or that required me to do a lot of work on my end to get the legal rights so you can write a thing).

Once you have written a few things for a company that have turned out well, you can begin pitching more out-there ideas.

If you happen to have any special advantages or skills that make you the perfect person to write a pitch, be sure to include that info. For example, if you DO have the legal rights to do a licensed project that seems similar to what a game company is already doing, that’s something to mention early in a pitch. Make sure you’re actually right about that—for example if you have to have a friend who is a best-selling author and casually said they’d be fine with you writing game material set in their universe get that in writing (preferably with some details on timeframe, rights, royalty needs, and so on).

Or if you are pitching an adventure set in a sewer, and you have a professional wastewater civil engineering job, that’s worth mentioning.

When developing your pitches to suggest to a company you have never worked with before, come up with projects at the shortest end of the things that publisher does. You can include one longer one in a set of pitches, but in general something short is a great first project. It’s not asking the publisher to take as big a risk, and it’s not eating up as much of your time to create. Once you and the publish have a project or two together under your belts, you’re both in a better position to know if you want to work on longer projects together.

(Also, you can make sure the publisher is fulfilling their end of the contract before you get more work tied up with them. Do. Not. Work. Without. A. Contract.)

When to Pitch

Right now.

Well, as soon as you have done your homework, and know your own schedule, and have a pitch written.

“But… but… gen Con and the GAMA Trade Show and the publisher’s announced schedule and my school year…”

Yep. Pitch now anyway.

Look, there is no “perfect” time to pitch. Your schedule, the publisher’s schedule, both of your sets of needs—those things are in constant flux. Shoot pitches out there asap, and then begin scheduling when you get replies back. If you have enough work booked for 6 months you can pause, but in general even if you have some work lined up it’s worth pitching new things—just be clear in your pitch what your timeframe likely is. Chances are you won’t hear back about your pitch for weeks anyway, and if your availability is different by then, just be honest.

I only included a When to Pitch section because people have asked me tons of questions about getting the timing of this right.

You can’t. Just do it. The time is now.

The Things You’ve Wanted Me To Tell You For 2,000 Words Now

Your success is going to depend a lot on how much you have read and absorbed all the notes and processes I’ve outlined up to this point, and on being persistent and not getting discouraged when the first company you contact turns you down. And the second. And the next ten.

But yes, there are some basic things you should do once you are actually writing and sending the pitch, and for those of you who have been wanting that list, you’ve finally reached that point in my advice. For all of these steps, remember what I’ve said about doing your homework, pitching things similar to what a company already does, and being ready to actually produce once you get a green light.

If at all possible, find the company’s “Contact Us” page, and use the appropriate email to send your pitch. If you can’t find that, contact them through other (public, professional) means and ask what their process is for accepting pitches. Read their whole website and Facebook page before you do that though—getting this right the first time is a much better impression on your ability to get details right.

Begin with an at-most 2-sentence introduction. If you have any connection at all to the publisher or company, mention it here but keep is SHORT, and don’t suck-up.

Pitch 3-4 projects each time you contact a company to see if they are interested in publishing something of yours. Try to make these different enough that if the company has a gap on its schedule, at least one of your ideas is a good match for their needs. Make sure the projects are all things you are actually interested in and able to write. (Some people try to have one “real” pitch and 2-3 terrible ideas they presume no one will choose to publish. Don’t do this.)

Your pitch should include the following information about each project:

A proposed title. This can be a great chance to prove you know their game product lines.

An elevator pitch description. (That is: if you found yourself sharing an elevator with a publisher and you mentioned you were a writer, and they said “Oh yeah? Got a project you’d like to write for us?,” the description of your idea that is complete but short enough to get out before the elevator finishes it’s ride is your “elevator pitch.” 2-3 sentences, top, and one is better.)

A length, in words. (Doing your homework on the company’s project should held you estimate wordcount based on the words in similar projects.)

A timeframe when you could complete it by, in weeks. If your timeframe has other limitations (“if I don’t get started by August I’ll have school, so writing will take long”) include that information.

Your flexibility on any of these points—but only promise what you can deliver.

Anything that is likely to convince the publisher that you are a particularly good choice to write the product in question. Again, be short.

Here’s a sample pitch, though in a real message I’d add 1-2 more project pitches.

Dear Rogue Genius Games,

I read your publisher’s blog article about game product pitches, and it inspired me to write to you to see if you had interest in some projects I’d love to write for you.

Title: Bullet Points: Halfling War Muffin Recipes.

Length: 600-1,500 words.

A 1st edition Pathfinder RPG rules guide that gives options for adding combat-effective and game-balanced baking-related abilities for players and GMs who want cooking-themed character abilities. Similar in size and scope to your existing Bullet Point projects that add rules for one theme, such as 3 Things Made From Crabmen. (This could also be expanded to be a longer Genius Guide-style project, more like the Genius Guide to name Traits.)

With my current workload I expect this would take two weeks to write once we decided to proceed, although if other freelance projects get greenlit first I might need to schedule more like 4 weeks.

I’ve written numerous OGL products for Pathfinder, and worked on Gingerbread Kaiju (an edible boardgame that included a gingerbread recipe in it), and have insights on how to make this both a useful game supplement and something that appeals to foodie gamers.

You can find numerous samples of my work at my blog (, and on DriveThruRPG.

Thanks for your consideration,

Owen K.C. Stephens
(You can also put your phone number here, if you actually answer your phone. I don’t.)

And that’s it!

Now, go make a dozen more pitches, and while you wait to hear back about those, write for your Blog, Patreon, social media, make some videos… throw your creative spaghetti at the wall, and see what sticks.

Then make more pitches.

Also, Back My Patreon
If you found this useful or entertaining, and you’d like to support the creation of more such content, check out my Patreon!

Writing Basics: RPG Pitches (Part One)

One of the things I have given as advice to people who want to break into rpg writing or increase the amount of rpg writing work they receive, is to make pitches to smaller companies. The logic here is that while Paizo and Fantasy Flight and Wizards of the Coast pretty well all know exactly what books they are doing for the next 12-18 months, and likely already have some sense of their schedule over the next 5 years or so, smaller RPG companies are more likely to be flexible and interested in projects freelancers are excited to write. You probably can’t get WotC to publish your idea for an adventure or a book on halfling baking magic, but Rogue Genius Games, Rite Publishing, and other small-to-mid-range companies are more likely to be interested.

If you do it right. And I never really talk about what that looks like. So, here’s a new Writing Basics to cover making rpg-related pitches. A lot of this is going to carry over to other publishing mediums and freelance work… and a lot won’t. As usual this is where I have the most experience, so this is where I am focusing my advice.

Way Before You Pitch

But before you do more than jot down some ideas you want to pitch, you have some pre-work to do. A lot of this is boring, and requires you to put in a lot of effort and thought before you get to any of the fun stuff of making things up for a game. That’s one of the big secrets of freelance work. It’s three jobs—successfully get the assignment, do the assignment, and then get paid for the assignment. The willingness to do this “boring part” is a huge part of how to get good without depending on getting lucky.

So, you want to pitch some companies. That means you need to pick some targets, and study those targets. I don’t want to make this sound creepier than it has to, but that really is the best way to say this.

You need to know who to pitch to, and you need to know what to pitch to them. One good way to find companies who are doing current work in the game system you want to write for is to go to DriveThruRPG, search for the game system, and click its home page. On the left is a list of game companies that have had good recent sales on products for that game line. Those are prime targets, because they are making money on that game and are doing do recently.

That’s not the only method of course—see who is active, who freelancers are talking about, who releases lots of products. Ask around.

Once you know who you want to pitch, you want to make it as easy as possible for the people you pitch to say yes, and that requires knowing somethings about them. Check their web sites. Look to see if they have submission guidelines. Look to see if they have a “Contact Us” link somewhere. Look to see if the owners or employees or recurring freelancers have social media you can follow and, if they do, read everything you can.

Take notes.

You can’t be a writer if you aren’t a reader. You want to know as much as you can about every company you are going to send pitches to. If they are looking for something specific, if they work in particular game lines, you want to know. Do they use a lot of authors for each product? What size product do they publish? What kinds of products do they publish? Adventures? Monster books? New rules content? Campaign settings? Entire game expansions? Whole games?

Before you ever approach a game company asking if they want to give you work, you want to have a solid idea what kinds of things they publish. That’s a big part of “making it easy to say yes.” Sure, if you have a brilliant idea that’s radically different from what a company normally does they may opt to take a risk on you… but that’s a bigger ask than suggesting you be the person to fill a slot they are already likely to want somebody to fill.

Also, BUY some of the company’s products. Yes, this means spending money before you make money. But not every game company has a style guide, and even the ones who do don’t include all the things they do out of institutional momentum. How a company arranges headers, whether it uses first-person, second-person, or third-person language, how it handles pronouns, how much art it uses, how many maps it presents, how serious or jokey their products are—those things can vary wildly (and can vary by line, or even by product). Knowing at least some of how a company actually presents game material is a huge help both when deciding what to pitch them, and in producing a manuscript they like enough to want to work with you again.

If you can, categorize the types of products produced by numerous game companies and their various lines. This can be helpful when you are first pitching, but it can also be helpful later on. For example, if you know what companies product short monster books for Pathfinder 1st edition tied to a single theme, then if you pitch a book like that to one of them and get turned down, you can quickly decide who to pitch it to next.

Finally, if you have any contacts within the industry, you may want to ask about their experiences working for each of the companies you have picked. Knowing if they are friendly, timely, how they pay (profit-share? Per word? Upon completion or upon publication?), what rights they take (work for hire or share of rights?) can help you know what to expect. You can always try to negotiate these things if they don’t match your needs (and should walk away from an offer rather than take one not worth your time or that takes advantage of you), but that’s another issue that may make it harder for a company to say yes to you.

We’ll continue this advice with Part Two: What to Pitch and When to Pitch It.

If you found this useful or entertaining, and you’d like to support the creation of more such content, check out my Patreon!

Writing Basics: What IS the Barrier to Entry?

When people ask how to break into, or expand their visibility within, the RPG industry I often mention working for small pdf publishers as an option, or becoming one to self-publish your work. But, how realistic is that latter choice?

I have been deeply involved in small, mostly pdf, mostly third-party RPG game publishing for a decade. Despite looking a lot like the same kind of work as mid-sized companies (to be be fare, many of the same skills and challenged DO apply), being a basically one-man RPG shop is possible, and the barrier to entry can be quite low.

But… how low? How much should you spend on your first RPG release? How little CAN you spend?

Well, let’s look at some actual numbers.

Let’s say I want to release a 10-page RPG supplement for a licensed game, but that some OGL game or something with a separate license. How cheap can I make that?

Well, at a guess, that’ll be 7,500 words of writing. Let’s assume I do all the writing myself.

Then I want it to be edited. I can, possibly, get a friend or family member to edit it for free, but let’s assume I don’t do that. You can find editors for 1 cent/word. That’s my first real expense, and it’s $75.

Then I need a cover, and some interior illustrations. And they have to be things I have the rights to. Stock art is clearly the way to go with this, if we are trying to keep things cheap. I want one big piece for the cover, and five 1/4-page or character illos pieces to have one every 2 pages for the interior. That’s six total pieces of art. There’s a wide, wide range of stock art available, including a lot from Rogue Genius Games. I’ll likely spend more on the cover art than the interiors (although you could also go the brilliant route Raging Swam Press did, and create a style that uses no art on its covers. That’s a savings now AND in the future.) Let’s say you average $5 per illo for stock art, so that’s $30.

You need someone to do graphic design, and layout.  Ideally you’d pay a graphic designer to design the look for your line and create templates, which your layout artist would then use to put all your text and illustrations in place to make a final book. But you’re trying to go cheap. So you find someone to do a basic graphic design and layout in one go, and pay $2/page. That’s another $20.

It’s smart to get a lawyer to go over licenses with you, get yourself an LLC and a company bank account, and lots of other steps… but you don’t HAVE to.

It’s also smart to pay people what they are worth, and you often get what you pay for. I’m not claiming the prices I list here are standard, or reasonable. I’m just saying you can find professional people to do the listed work for the listed price.

Okay, so you are now out $125. You don’t want to pay for print runs or advertising, so you put up a pdf on DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store, and maybe Paizo, and maybe Warehouse23. What makes sense depends on the product. Those all have different terms, but let’s assume you’re going to get 65% of cover price, on average.

How many copies will you sell? Who knows. Let’s assume you’ll do 50 copies in the first 90 days. So you need to make $125 over 50 copies, or $2.50 per sale to break even. Since you only get 65% of each sale (the rest going to your online distributor), you set the sale price at $3.95 for the pdf.

If you sell your 50 copies, you’ll bring in $128.37… a $3.37 profit!

Of course, taxes will take some of that.

And if you had paid even 3 cents/word for the writing, you’d have another $225 in costs, which would require you to sell nearly another 100 copies to break even.

And if that writing is going to earn as much as $15/hour at 3 cents/word, the 7,500 words need to take no more than 15 hours–a writing rate (including outlines, formatting, brainstorming, approvals, revisions, and so forth) of at least 500 words an hour.

But if you at LEAST break even, you can learn and improve, and make more sales (and produce the material faster) on your NEXT pdf…

If you found this useful or entertaining, and you’d like to support the creation of more such content, check out my Patreon!

Heroes, Bundles, and Rogues Galleries

So, there’s a really big Bundle of Holding deal with over $100 in superhero game stuff for MUCH less, going on now (June 26-July 16, 2018). It includes two of Jacob Blackmon;s awesome RGG products, the Super Powered Bestiary and Super Powered Sourcebook.

And that got me thinking.

I’ve always been a fan of heroes who have good rogue’s galleries—villains who make up a regular set of threats for the hero. Lots of heroes have great rogue’s galleries—Daredevil, the Flash, Wolverine, and Superman all come to mind. But for me, without a doubt, the two best are Spider-Man and Batman.

And even better, they’re swappable!

You can take the idea of Batman villains and apply them to Spider-Man, and vice versa. You can also swap the bat- and spider-themes of those two characters.

And if you are running a supers game, this kind of thing can be a quick way to have somethign that feels familiar, but isn’t a direct copy of an existing character. Here are some quick swap-out characters a GM could use to build a world quickly, and still have some depth and surprises for PCs.

Bitten by a radioactive bat, the “friendly neighborhood teen chiroptera” got his (fairly terrible) nick-name from the media when he first began trying to solve crimes in Jersey City, in a homemade hero costume.
Rogue Gallery
Punchline (Joker)
Punching Judy (Harley Quinn)
Vixen (Cat-woman)
Enigma (Riddler)
Fetch (Clayface)
Isimud (Two-Face)
Venus Flytrap (Poison Ivy)
Ugo Fate (Hugo Strange)
Cassowary (Penguin)
Doctor Winter (Mr. Freeze)
Nemesis (Bane)
Pumpkin Jack (Scarecrow)

Red Huntsman
When his billionaire Australian parents were murdered while on holiday with him to Empire City in the US, the child who grew to be one of the most feared villain knew he needed a symbol that would strike fear into the hearts of criminals. A symbol… like a blood-red huntsman spider.
Rogue Gallery
Green Gargoyle (Green Goblin)
Bombay (Black Cat)
Toxin (Venom)
Professor Kraken (Dr. Octopus)
Illusio (Mysterio)
Wasp the Spider-Killer (Kraven the Hunter)
Herr Geier (Vulture)
Komodo (The Lizard)
Landslide (Sandman)
Hammerhead (Rhino)
Body Doulbe (Chameleon)
Volt (Shocker. Or Electro. Doesn’t make a big difference)

Sometimes all you need to flesh out a world, are a few espy pastiche homages. 😀

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