So there was no Friday post last week because I spent the day at AetherCon 2015! This is the second year that Moebius Adventures has helped out in some way or another.
Last year I helped with an interview in the program, hosted a couple of panels, and did a Q&A panel for Moebius with the help of George Fields. I had a good time and got to chat with some RPG celebrities like Steve Russell (Rite Publishing) who moderated our Q&A and Tim Kask (Eldritch Enterprises), Jason Bulmahn (Paizo), Stephen Chenault (Troll Lord Games), and Rich Baker (Sasquatch Game Studios) who all participated in panels I was moderating.
(If you’re curious about last year’s events, you can watch them on YouTube! Non-Monster Monsters was a fun panel with Tim, Rich, and Oliver Shead (Immersion Studios). And Villainy, the Fine Art of Moustache Twisting was entertaining with Mark Jones (United Sight Studios), Jason, and Stephen.)
This year I helped with another couple of interviews in the convention program:
I definitely encourage you to check out the program – it’s full of tons of other great interviews from folks at TSR/Gygax Magazine, Chaosium, FASA, Pinnacle Entertainment, and more!
How to Self Publish
Beyond that, I also helped on the “Movable Type: How to Self Publish” panel with Chris Clark from Eldritch Enterprises, which was moderated by James O from Tabletop Talk – a great video show on YouTube I had no idea about until I met him the other day. We hoped that Kurt Patz from Chronos Publishing would have a chance to join us, but there was a scheduling mix-up that prevented it. But James, Chris, and I had a great chat for a little over an hour. I’m sure it will go up on YouTube in the next month or two. I felt like a n00b while chatting with Chris, but think I managed to add a few ideas here and there. 🙂
It was another eye opening event for me, so the chance to learn from Chris for even an hour was a very good thing. You probably know Chris but may not know why… Though he is now a part of Eldritch Enterprises with Frank Mentzer, Jim Ward, and Tim Kask, he has been doing RPG publishing since starting Inner City Games Designs in the early 1980s and wrote Fuzzy Heroes along with many, many, many other games and adventures (including Lejendary Adventures with Gary Gygax in the early 2000s). The man knows his stuff.
My big takeaways from the chat? Do more marketing research before actually producing products. Do more to establish a community around a particular product and get your intended customer base/audience involved early. And use name and brand recognition to your advantage.
As a little, one-man shop, I sometimes forget about marketing because I’m not very good at it. Seems if I’m going to succeed I need to get my act together. 🙂
Moebius Adventures Q&A
Then I had a chance to talk about Moebius itself for a while with Walt Robillard, who is another legend in RPGs… He is part of the BAMF Podcast but more than that is a part of the collective at Hazard Studio. Those guys know more about running Kickstarters and wrangling superheroes than I ever will. 🙂
But I have to say I was surprised by the amount of enthusiasm Walt had for my efforts so far. He seemed genuinely taken by the random generators here at the site and we talked at length about how using those random collections of words or phrases in conjunction with sensory descriptions can really open up some unexplored writing avenues and give players at the table more creative hooks to play with…
It honestly went by in a bit of a blur. We talked for almost an hour about where Moebius came from and how I fell into loving random tables and using techniques used by authors (writing prompts, albeit random ones) to help inspire more creativity.
I had a blast. 🙂 So hopefully that comes through on the video when that one becomes available on YouTube.
The Snake’s Heart
And then… I entered the world of Lost Age Adventures with a group of gamers I’ve never met, playing in a venue I’ve never used before… Google Hangouts. I had Roll20 at my disposal as well, but I decided time-wise I didn’t have the resources to pull that together. Honestly it worked out fine, so no regrets with that decision.
We played through The Snake’s Heart, the first of the Lost Age Adventures…
We had four players at first, though one had to drop off before long. We started with a Monk, a Barbarian, and a Fighter, and were joined by a Rogue. Though the Barbarian had to leave, the rest stayed and braved the scenario I put before them.
It took about 4 hours and we used a combination of physical die rolls (I trusted them to tell me what they rolled) and I used the D&D Dice Roller online, but we kept it very “Theater of the Mind”. I didn’t show them any maps – I just described the situations as their characters discovered them.
Was it violent? Yes! Was it entertaining! Definitely! We laughed a lot as characters established themselves quickly as hot headed or fast talking as we stumbled our way through encounter after encounter.
Amazingly they all survived (with only one close call)! And I think we all had fun, which made me even happier. 🙂
I had a good time. All in all I spent about 6 or 7 hours, plus a few hours of game prep and writing time. And I enjoyed chatting with everybody I met. So I’d say it was a success!
Will I help out next year? Probably. Stephen Holodinksy has a way of convincing me back into the fold… 🙂