Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quasar Knight Enterprises: What I Write and What I Do

I've always wanted to be a writer since I was a kid.  From Dungeons & Dragons to the Final Fantasy series, RPGs served as ample fodder for both fond memories and engaging imaginary worlds and stories.  Three years ago I started writing reviews, homebrew materials, and the occasional article on the message boards I frequented which shared an interest in science fiction and fantasy games.  After playing 3rd Edition and Pathfinder for many years, I decided to get writing on a small project in late 2013 as part of a creative writing thread on the Something Awful RPG subforum.

It was a rough start.  I had to get legal advice about the OGL to make sure I properly understood its conditions.  My computer broke down after the first month, and I had to manually extract the files to recover what I lost (thereafter teaching me to save multiple copies of everything on cloud storage and external hard drives).  I was a newcomer to self-publishing and had to juggle the writing process with finding stock art, setting up shop on Drive-Thru, Paizo, and other places, and doing the formatting myself.

After several months and a rocky start, I ended up with a finished product, the Abstract Thief, in early June, and Quasar Knight Enterprises was born.  Once that first book was released I found it easier going forward, for in 3 weeks I had another product out!  Ever since I've been working and releasing one-man projects around a monthly rate.  I've been sticking with what I know so far, which includes Pathfinder and OSR rulesets, but over time I hope to broaden my horizons by writing material for other popular games and maybe eventually my own.

When designing new projects, I always build upon potentially popular ideas which remained more or less untouched in 3rd Party Pathfinder and other OSR products.  There are boatloads of sourcebooks containing new feats, but Nice Things for Fighters was intended to appeal to those players upset with the imbalance between martial and spellcaster classes.  Death to Alignment was a rules variant which combed through existing feats, classes, magic items, and spells and redesigned them for gaming groups who wanted to remove alignment as a game mechanic (but wanted to still keep demons and paladins).  In a fandom where the number of 3rd Party Pathfinder products on Drive-Thru is 4,000 and still growing by the month, it's nigh-mandatory to make work which is original and stands out to get noticed.

My advice to would-be publishers and writers in the RPG industry is this: the first step is often the hardest.  The writing, the research, the initial fears of dipping your toes into the sea of products.  But once you get in the water, that vast ocean will seem a lot smaller.  And as a writer there's no better feeling in the world than when you put the finishing touches on your current project, uploading it to the Internet, and seeing people buy it to use in their home games.

So that's my story.  I hope that you enjoyed it.