JP On Gaming

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tacticon in Denver: Love, Regrets and Legacies

This Thursday I am flying to Denver for Tacticon. I have attended every Tacticon since I arrived in Colorado back in '05. The smallest of the two gaming con, I have a soft spot for it.

It was the last convention I did as a triad for Living Greyhawk and a writing director for Living Forgotten Realms. It would've been my last one as a Venture Captain...

But it was also the first one where we had a number of NeoExodus Legacies adventures last year... Also I brought my daughter there when she was 6. She has been into cons ever since. She still needs to train as a gamerbut I am working on it.
This year I will get to play a number of Arcanis and maybe a pulp. I really need to play Pulp... which reminds me I should ask James S if they will run any special event. I really hope it won't be at the same time as the NeoExodus Interactive on Friday night.

Speaking of that I finally completed the adventures and the LRs for it. I know I talked about it to some people and there were requests for it. Therefore I can now announce that "Never again my Love" will have one item per table that will never again be available to other players. Though the adventure can be re-run later, these items will not be given out again.
As usual I am both anxious and nervous about the new offerings.

93-LC-01 In sickness and in health is the first Legacies set fully in the Reis Confederacy. I think it showcases some of the unique aspects of this really unique region.

"But JP didn't you set the Free RPG Day adventure in the Confederacy?" Yes. But most of the adventure is set in the Wood of Lost Souls.

This adventure got me researching the plantations of South America under the Spanish regime. It was both chilling and entertaining. Definitely not a place I would like to have lived in. And that's one of the things I like about writing for a setting like NeoExodus: the sheer variety of things I have to read about and learn.

93-LC-02 Silver lining is a direct sequel of the interactive we ran at Genghis Con this year. That adventure called Opening Moves told the story of the debacle of a Crusade launched by the Caneus Empire. Now two nobles want to get revenge for what happened then.

As usual It is not necessary to have played Opening Moves to enjoy this adventure. Personally I really like writing something that was directly influenced by what players had done. And like most adventure with the Janus Horde really resonate with me. They are often in a strange limbo until everything comes together suddenly. It's an odd experience they are just a gathering of random encounters that form into something new and unique. I really love the Janus Horde as villains. They are so simple yet so complex at the same time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

JP at Gencon: Sunday, Pictures and Many Rants

This post is a conclusion of my own adventures at GenCon 2013. For the first part, follow this link.


I woke up still in the dark of night. I must've been really tired cuz I can honestly say that I slept pretty well. Up and about in a short interval and back to Gencon. I did a mandatory stop as the Starbucks (I hadn't slept THAT well). I managed to reach Gencon around 8:30 which allowed me to walk around, get into the early slots. Looking thru my program the only thing I knew where to find was PFS. So I showed up!

I met Karim-M the VC from France and an all-around nice guys. I had been talking with Karim since the days of LFR but never met him face-to-face. Spoke with Florent some more, nearly mustered with my current VC, Chad and his lovely fiancée. I was bouncing back and forth until I finally sat down with Lynn-R whom I hadn't seen in years. We had a fun adventure with our wacky band of heroes going through the Secrets Stones Keep. Wolfina reach 8th level, making my spread: 15, 13, 11.2, 10.2, 10, 8, 5, 4 (but will jump to 6 shortly) and "the rest".

I liked the idea that Paizo thought to offer French-speaking (and Spanish-speaking) tables but these need to be mustered more clearly. I'm not sure that one of the French tables went off, to my chagrin. I will admit that I was not particularly looking for them myself, though playing with Karim or Florent would've been really cool. It didn't happen, oh well.

We finished the game around 1pm, which gave me 3 full hours to travel through the dealers' room. I pass through most of them without stopping: I was not looking for the same stuff I can get at my local games store... There were a few interesting surprises. I got to speak briefly with Henry Lopez from PCI, with Danny about the Grande Temple of Jing (I can't wait for my copy to arrive), spoke with the guys from Cool Mini or Not as well as a number of smaller miniature companies about their games and products. There are a few I would've bought but the minis I liked were sold out. DANG. I got to talk with Charlie Krank and Paul from Chaosium.

I also learned that Reaper will make another million bucks this year by running another one of their "Bones" Kickstarter. This time I will NOT miss it... I will have enough minis to give the kids! Then I'll be the best dad ever!

I did not really spend much time at the booths of the big guys: Paizo, Privateer Press and I avoided Games Workshop - though I did look at their boring and uninsipired display. Why? Because Paizo was not offering anything special or new. The GenCon exclusive from Privateer was of no interest to me - unlike last year's - and well I don't buy GW unless its second hand - and even then...

I was about to go home when I spotted my one and only purchase: I bought the last of the Razor Coast Miniatures! I got me two minor weresharks and the cover girl pirate. Now I have to build a character for her! Really a nice model! You can expect to find her posted here in the near future.


Here are a few pictures I took at Gencon. Things I was impressed with - or remembered to take a picture of. (the latter being more accurate)

Rant: If you do a Kickstarter, FIRST DELIVER before running another one

I'm looking particularly at CMoN here... They are asking for more money for their new "Wrath of Kings" games. While the art and the models look awesome, I will not participate in that one. Not until I get my Relic Knight models. I've been waiting for almost a year for them when they were supposed to be out in March. While I can understand delays and design issues, you don't start another similar project with the first one unfinished.

I told the guys there about it and while I do not expect them to do anything about my case, I'll keep my money for that one.

I did not agree - or participate in Paizo's two Kickstarter but they delivered what they promised their backers. Same with Reaper.

Rant: PFS Year 5... More miss than hit?

One thing that struck me was the lack of understanding of the new rules. Perhaps it is because the new rules had come out just before the con - but I don't think that's the case. I think the rules intrinsically transform what PFS is. We now move from a campaign where the players worked for their factions above all to a group of generic adventures with minor affinity.

Unlike NeoExodus Legacies, which was based on that premise, the PFS transformation does not feel natural. Even this meta-plot where the Society joins the Crusade of Mendev does not feel natural, more like "flavor of the year."

I'm sure that after yr5, we will all be fully equiped and ready never to meet a demon ever again! That's too bad.

So far, this feels very bland. The lack of factions really takes away one of the elements I liked best about the campaign. Now its... well bland.

Perhaps one of the elements that really did not help me with that vision are some of my GMs. One seemed more interested in going to sleep than to run a game. Another one did not know the monsters (on a 5-9) where we just destroyed everything, encounters after encounters when I *KNEW* the monsters had a ton of really nasty abilities. They just became a bland thug encounter: Like a dragon only fighting with its claws when it has a number of spell-like abilities that can destroy the party. I was not impressed by the PFS GMs. And I just expected the GMs to be... better. For 32$ a slot (counting me entry badge), I expected more. Even counting 6$/slot... You have to be on your A-game throughout the weekend. There is simply no excuse, you must put on your game face (though I'll pardon the sick GM as I was there myself and it really sucks).

I'll admit that the item logsheet is just a piece of junk. It assumes players are cheating and encourages GMs to be jerks. I will have to generate one electronically so I don't have to carry all that paperwork. When adding paperwork, I always ask myself: What are you trying to fix? Here, I can see they are trying to make it easier for new players to deal with that. But it is annoying to old players (like me). I will not have one of those useless things, esp since I rarely ever make any purchases at the game table (or I do so at the start of the adventure).

Rant: The PFS Muster Area

This one is not Paizo's Fault or the volunteers' fault. However, I have never seen anything so disorganized or completely impossible to understand.

First off, must was inside the room (fine), under the iconic banners (fine), however each slot there were 3 or 4 of these banners that mustered the same game! So you had to walk around and hope to find somewhere. I realize there were many adventures to muster, but why not have all of the same adventures be in one place - or close to each other. Not sure what they wanted to do here, but mustering was the most confused I ever saw at a con. Not the best experience.

However, once everyone you had a table, the marshalls did a good job of seating you quickly. Kudos on that!

Rant: Vowing undying loyalty to Paizo is great, but...

You would no believe the number of people who, in so many words vowed eternal loyalty and patronage to Paizo. While I'm sure Paizo loves this, I have to wonder about the accuracy. As most of them in the same breath say they will never buy a single WotC product again.

I strive for people to play RPGs (so *I* can play RPGs), for people to try different games, and for the best idea to win.

Right now the best D&D product out there is Pathfinder. Will it remain so in 2 years? Will Paizo jump the shark and make everything suck? I do not know. With 5e looming large these declaration of eternal servitude may be misplaced. Play and encourage people to play Pathfinder, yes. But don't make plans spanning 50 years.

I mean after 4 years of Pathfinder, the game is bloated. There are so many products, so much lore, so many game options that when I hear of the new stuff that comes out (esp stuff that is not in their Core book line), I shrug and reply "not in my campaign" before quickly moving on. This is very much like 3.5 was in its dying days. Are we about to see Pathfinder version 2? I think the signs are there. Unlike 5e (see later), I have a strong belief in Erik, Jason, SRM and SKR to bring us a great product.

Rant: 4e is dead people! End the Edition War

I will admit to being the first to not like that edition (4e) of the game, but really people. Stop talking about it. No one want to know how much it sucked and how much you did not like it. A story I heard SO often throughout GenCon, to the point where I had to become its defender and clarify that it was "not all bad and it had a number of points and some new ideas that even Pathfinder took.

As a whole it wasn't for me, but it did have a number of nice things (I'm a fan of the Standard-move-minor breakdown among other thing). Even Pathfider vs. 4e vs 5e are old and passed. There is NO argument that has not been heard.

I just thought it was such a role-reversal where I has to defend the game and paint it in a positive light. Just for fun, rather than trying to bash it, try to find the elements that worked for it. Really it is an exercise I did myself and though it did not make me suddenly fall in love with the game, it gave me perspective and a new enjoyment for 3.5/Pathfinder.

For all the smack talk that 4e brought (on both sides), one great thing it did was to force us to think about what we liked and why. The OSR would never have happened or been as big without it. We had a number of people who had to rethink what they liked, didn't like. And that could've been the biggest and best thing about 4e.

Rant: We don't know how 5e will turn out

This one is related to the previous rant, really. Bashing and destroying 5e before its out is like blasting next year's McLaren F-1 cars this year. It's futile and we just don't know how it will turn out. I'm cautiously optimistic about it myself - and that's my official position. I choose to reserve judgment until I get a "real" product in my hands to decide (which will likely be a PDF prior to me buying it). WotC seems to have done a lot of soul-searching and this could be what brings them back on top. So far, I have not involved myself too much in the playtest simply because, well I don't want to and second, my limited gaming time is spent playing established game system. But I also understand and support those who really want to try and participate in the playtest (even if the public phase is coming to an end).

Okay, okay, I am quite willing to bet that when 5e comes out, WotC will skyrocket to the top of the gaming world again. How long they remain there is a mystery, but I'm sure that they will be the talk of the town for the first 6 months to a year, if not more. It will be a time of transition for the gaming community where old ideas will be shuffled and rethought.

Beyond that 6month/1year timeframe, we get into the speculation: what will Paizo do to react? will there be another big name that rises? etc. That's like saying to a bunch of history nerds "You know, if Hitler had waited for 1942 to attack Russia, the world would be German right now..."

For the LOVE OF GOD, do NOT say that... or you are in for endless arguments. Like saying something like "The First Edition of Traveller is when gaming reached perfection..."


I guess the big question I have to ask myself is the following: Do I want to go back next year?

Without a doubt, the answer is "YES!" Although I plan on offering some Legacies there, I think I will split my play-time between Witch Hunter/Arcanis (I hope) and PFS. I will also bring my kids for Sunday, get them exposed to a little gaming. Next year will be a full-time attendance of course. No 2 day trek.

Overall and whetever my ranting seems to indicate, I really enjoyed myself and met a lot of great people - some I knew some I didn't - but I can only encourage you to come.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

JP at Gencon! Some rant, some awesome

This past weekend was the first time I attended Gencon. Attending the Holy Grail of Gaming has always been something I wanted to do but that has been impossible for me to do - usually for monetary reasons.

With my move to Kentucky however, Indianapolis is not only 2 hours up the I-65. A nice drive really. My original plans were to go after work on Friday and spend the rest of the time there. However, I chose to play Shattered Star-1 online instead of going up there. I was also waiting for a possible call from work to come in. I would've hated having to drive back from Indy for work... So I stayed put until very early Saturday morning.

The Friday game went well - we maybe started a little late due to my being held up at work, but it was fun to have PFS-Katja play with her one true love (even if he doesn't accept it yet) PFS-Noldar. Two nights in a row... Everyone roots for lovesick but too shy Katja to win her man.

Really I find myself enjoying playing the adventure path much better than Pathfinder Society as I feel the threat of death and the challenge is much more present. Also, GMs of APs are free to let their own skills shine - something I've always been an ardent champion of. Really enjoying myself with Evan, Raphael and Ryan. But back on track. You want to know about Gencon...


I woke up at 4:15 in the morning. I was too excited. I packed everything together, took my Broncos blanket and my Iron Maiden shirt. After a shower and little bit of writing, it was just a little past the time my alarm was due to go off (5:30). After looking, I realized the alarm was set for 5:15pm! That would've sucked. I got on the road a 5:35 and off to Indy!

I'll spare you the details of a boring trip where once again my mind wandered (just like the Bob Seiger song...) I finally got there with a few minutes to spare before the first PFS slot.

Okay if you don't know, this place is just MASSIVE. The term "GINORMOUS" does not do it justice. Only through the use of profanity-based superlative can one understand the size of the thing. I mean I walked over 3 miles over the weekend without going outside. And that included me playing every slot I could (thus not really moving).

Got my badge, generic tickets, and off I went. I found the PFS room quickly and chatted with Chad and found a seat at a table of Tower of the Ironwood Watch. It was a challenging adventure where Wolf turned out to be the only real party tank. Highlight of the game: I took 3 crits in one round: main then iterative attack, then other dude... I went from "meh flesh wounds" to "I'm 2 rounds from death" for a total of 80 points of damage. Yes. My dwarf took 80 points of damage in 1 round and lived! That's a big win!

Next slot, I got really worried... Mostly because I was supposed to try the new Witch Hunter system. However, I could not find where the table was gathering. I was really annoyed at not getting to play that.

Following that I met with my good friend Florent - who was supposed to come and visit us in Colorado but didn't due to the family move... At least we got to chat there. So I mustered at Florent's PFS table. I would've liked to have played in his game when...

Yes! I got a facebook message from Clint! SWEET! Details on the location of the game! I excused myself from Florent's table and went off to find my Witch Hunter table.

As if the convention center was not big enough, the game was in the Marriot across the street! I took the opportunity to listen in on some indy and non-D&D old school games (like Champions) and some (to me) surprise events (My Little Pony - The RPG). After some searching, the game was in the same room as the Rokugan people. Listening in on that really made me interested in giving L5R another go. It's been over 10 years since I last played. I'd be interested in playing some more.

But I digress again - too many games! So little time!

We played a quick demo-style adventure with me, some other contributors to the Kickstarter, and people who worked on the campaign. I won't provide details about the adventure, but the game was just FILLED with high levels of wrong.

I played "Emilie Bucher" a French Canadian Thief from the nigh-unplayable "Ascetics of the Ten Persecutions"... Now these persecussions are awesome in the amount "things adventurers are expected to do" are they prohibited from doing. It is just hilarious to try and figure out a way to play your flaws through that. Needless to say, I *KNEW* I would love the game and guess what?

I do love it.

As a fan of 17th century European History (my mother traced my family heritage through the early 1600s), this game is designed for me. Now I need to get my butt in gear and complete a submission for that campaign. I have to refine the idea and now that I have played it, some of the tropes make sense to me now.

Needless to say that I left that slot on a high. Very excited. Taking advantage of some time to myself, I tried to reach the dealers' room. But failed to arrive on-time. I did manage to meet Lloth, a charming lady with ample cleavage and a big booty (Channeling my inner Sir Mix-a-lot). Unlike pictures of WotC stand I saw in the past, this one seemed... pretty bare to me. A line of people wanting to play the mindless delve. Tables of card players. The area they had was big. But it didn't feel like WotC were the big dogs anymore.

I just expected... MORE.

So I walked around some, stopping here there and everywhere. Talking to people I hadn't seen in years (and to a number of people who recognized ME, but I didn't recognize them).

For the evening slot, I mustered for the PFS "special" Bonekeep 2. Our table was composed of melee thugs backed by a cleric. Classic Denver Composition.

I won't spoil it but that adventure is rather... deadly. Some of the monsters are pretty much ridiculous.

I loved it! A real challenge!

Talking about it later, this is NOT the type of adventure you want to run then play. As it is pretty much a nasty surprise fight after another with a thin plot linking it together. It's a crawl. You know what you get into at the start. Now deal with it. Painfully, painfully deal with it. Don't find a kind, friendly gm for this. Find someone who will kick you in the face and elbow-drop you while down. Or it looses its appeal.

Then food at Denny's and crash on Martin's floor.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weekend's best announcements weren't at Gencon...

I will post a Gencon After action report (like I do most of the time later). I think the biggest news of the weekend did NOT come out of Gencon (don't get me started with the Ennies), but out of this blog!

That's right!

I give myself myself the same power L'Empereur gave himself! I take the power!

Seriously, four big news hit the livewire on this blog during Gencon. Okay, before I got to Gencon really... These two news for which I am very excited (and I will link back to myself here - something I generally avoid doing when not posting a multi-part post.) These three announcements are quite exciting - for me for a number of reasons.

Kronea Setting Released

Another project I have been involved with is the creation of another setting for Pathfinder called "Kronea" published by Ophelia's Shop of Roleplay Specialties. As such, I spent many long evenings writing (I'll gripe, but I loved it) working on my offerings and giving a few bits of help and advice to fellow writers. I can't wait to see how their pieces turned out. To read the interview with Venus (aka Lady Ophelia), simply follow the following links: First to part 1 then to part 2. Venus is a great interviewee and you will learn a lot about her and about the project.

But really the most important and coolest thing is the release of the book itself, of which I am one of the writers! I wrote a piece of fiction regular readers have heard me talk about. I want to thank Derek and Guillaume again for their advice and feedback. Clicking on the image will bring you directly to DriveThru RPG.

Let us know what you thought of the overall product! I am always interested in getting feedback.

NeoExodus Legacies Launches Exodite program

NeoExodus Legacies is growing and reaching more and more people as a additional way for players to play a Pathfinder-based organized play campaign. The biggest thing about it is that players get to influence - through in-game choices - the future of the world and campaign. The Exodite program is a way for us to reach people in their home area through volunteers interested in getting some cool perks - and even getting a bit of say as to what happens. Exodite Program.

NeoExodus Legacies first online game organized

I won't post a link to this one, but I am planning on running a number of NeoExodus Legacies adventures on-line. Tonight, I will run the first one - a playtest for the upcoming "In sickness and in health" adventure. It is scheduled to premiere at Tacticon in just under two weeks.

Future adventures will be run on-line and our Exodites will get first chance to playtest and play the adventures. See? I did say "cool perks."


I will be one of the guests at Tacticon in Denver

In case you did not know, I will be one of the guests at Tacticon this year! I'm very excited as it will be the first time I get the "official" title of guest. I'm pretty excited about it.

To all conventions-runners, I am willing to travel - and GM events.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Interview with Venus De Coy about Kronea, Part 2

This is the second part of my interview with Venus. You can catch up with the rest of the interview by reading Part 1.

Let's get back to it...

JP: What other product can we expect to see for Kronea in the near future?


No seriously, we do have some awesome things coming up:

In September, we are going to begin production on our next two source books coming out in Jan/Feb 2014, "Orsi: The Realm of Magic" and Saraset: "The Noble State of Faith". Also, we will be finalizing production on some adventures that will also be coming out in Jan/Feb: "The Vaults of Grand Saraset" and "A Night To Remember". You may have heard of these projects if you follow our company regularly, and we have been tabling them, as the campaign setting took precedence. Now with some proper foundations being laid, we can proceed again with more adventure developing!

In September, we also begin production on our first ever Adventure Path: The Dragons Amongst Us. Unlike Paizo and other publishers which has two AP's in one year, this AP will be released over the next year, with a book releasing every two months instead of monthly. We want to take our time and build a story our fans are going love, and so this project is one of our ongoing ones that we look forward to developing and sharing with you.

In October, we are releasing "Revolutionary Extraction" which is a political intrigue adventure that has been chilling in our vaults in my office. I have been channeling my inner Shadowrun for this adventure, so I look forward to sharing it finally. We also plan on updating and re-designing our Campaign Setting: Kronea, The Island of Possibilities which is going to be re-launched in October. Those of you whom have already bought it, will receive the upgrade! Those of you whom have not yet, might want to before we raise the price!!

Our big final project for the year is "Gods and Guilds" which will be launching in November in time for Christmas. It wil also be our first "Print-On-Demand" product which I am excited to finally be moving into. Gods and Guilds, is sort of my tribute to "Cults of Glorantha" which is from the RuneQuest RPG System. The book, was a Christmas gift from Will Johnson who is also (unofficially) part of my "Evil Wizards Team". The RPG source book, inspired me to write Gods and Guilds long before I even wrote Kronea! I am a huge fan of mythology, deities and the philosophies that ties them so it's been one of those serious labor of love projects of mine. But I wanted to do it right, so I am channeling my inner "Paizo Publishing Goodness" on the design and look of the book, which is what is taking so darn long.

In December.. I will be sleeping in. No seriously, that's my personal hibernation month as there are no conventions to plan or organize, and by then, I will have already sent out the 2014 Assignments to my writers and "Evil Wizards".

JP: I worked on the religions - something close to my heart. Can you share some insight as to the Kronean Pantheon?

VDC There are 13 main well-known and worshiped deities in the Kronean Pantheon. Being a Greek Goddess in name, I liked the Greek format of the deities all being housed in one place and having a hierarchy of their own. All 13 will be featured in Gods and Guilds. The original Pantheon was actually 30 deities, but the ones that didn't make the original cut, I will do something else with them in 2014

JP: Tell us about the secret societies?

VDC There are 10 guilds or “secret societies” that are in Kronea. Because they are a secret, that’s all you are getting about them, as you will have to buy Gods and Guilds when it comes out. ;)

JP: Are there any memorable NPCs?

VDC There is a bunch of memorable NPC’s that are coming to the Kronea Campaign Setting. But not to give it all away, keep your eyes out for the following names: Xenos Manchester, Violet Alesca, Meriheather Sampook, James, The Duke of Saraset and Princess Nerissa of Orsi.

JP: Can we expect Kronea-based adventures at some of the larger cons in the coming future?

VDC YES. Oh by goodness YES.

So, here on the West Coast, we have some amazing conventions! My thing, is that I want to show love to big conventions and little ones as well. So my convention tour next year will showcase a lot of works either completed or in progress depending on what the convention is looking for.

Also, with an amazing team of writers who want to show off their work, they are going to take their work to their local conventions as well. So I have a feeling, I’ll be in need to create a “prize support” form of my own in the near future. Concerning like mega conventions, I do have plans to showcase at PaizoCon next year. As for GenCon, I am not foreseeing myself going out there unless somehow $2,000 magically appeared in my bank account for a trip. (Even then, I would spend it on buying a new computer for the company.) But if any writers go and run company games there, be assured, I plan on sending Prize Support their way.

Also, we may or may not be doing a Free RPG Day book next year. Because hey, I am a huge fan of it, so it fits that Kronea will be a part of it!

JP: Going forward, do you see yourself handling a meta-plot, moving time forward in the setting?

VDC I don’t know about a Meta-Plot outside of our Adventure Paths, ask me again in a year. :D

Concerning an Organized Play program, I don’t know about that either. The thing with Organized Play, is that right now, D&D LFR/Encounters and Pathfinder Society are just eating the market share up. It’s hard for me to justify a full-fledged OP program at this bit in time. If I were to do anything like it, I would create some “pickup scenarios” which would be similar to PFS Scenarios where a players can have a set of pregens, and run a short game within 4-6 hours. This would allow players an in to the campaign setting on an easy and fun format.

JP: Now that you have gone through the process, do you have any advice to give the many aspiring writers out there?

VDC As a writer/publisher, I have learned a lot. But these three things are the most important I've learned:
- Stop talking about writing and write already. You have a deadline to make!
- Constantly communicate with your point of contact for your projects. I hate dead air, so does many bosses. Share with us what is going on, and we can work with you. Don’t communicate with us, then don’t get mad if we come back with a whole list of edits. Or worse, don’t pay you.
- Don’t take things personally. And if you have a habit of doing that, don’t fight back unless you have serious grounds to. Many times, publishers do not want to hear you cry and moan about something being cut back or needing to be changed. You have to understand, that we have to have a different view about your writing in order to sell the product. We wouldn’t hire you, if we didn’t like your work, so don’t get all hurt if we ask for a re-do, edit, or tell you we are cutting some stuff out. You are welcome to ask why and how to improve, but after that let it go. Be grateful, there are many writers out there that want your spot and we will give it to them if you are going to always fight with us. I have seen others do it with terrible consequences, and I did it when I started out as a writer which caused a perma-no work from a company that I love, despite having a great personal relationship with their owners. Trust me, it’s a lesson I will never forget.

JP: Are you looking for writers?

VDC I am a publisher. I am always looking for writers. :D

More specifically, I am looking now for a new Rules/Story Editor. Preferably both in one shell would be nice. I need someone who can make sure that Pathfinder Mechanics are being followed correctly so I don’t have to make pages of errata sheets, but at the same time, they have to be into what I like to call “fluff editing”. Where they will primarily be making sure we keep campaign setting continuity and be the one who cracks the whips on my writers and even my Evil Wizard team if they are acting up.

Writers-wise, I am looking for adventure writers on a full time basis. I have a note book full of ideas for adventures, but could use some adventure writers to help make them awesome realities. Concerning building our campaign setting, I am good right now in this department with my team of you, Brian Darnell, Erik Evjen, Nicholas Milasich and Ryan Costello Jr. But I am open to any other writers who can contribute to the Kronean Canon as well.

I also, starting in 2014, would like to work with more female writers. Being a lady gamer/writer/publisher I can understand the many obstacles women have in male-dominated community. While I am not sitting here proclaiming any position on the women writers vs. gaming industry topic, I do know that women have huge roles to play in not only the growth in Pathfinder, but for the growth in all RPG's in general. I want to where I can assist in that growth for women.

JP: Do you plan on including material from other third-party publishers in future publications?

VDC I would love to include more 3rd Party Materials. I am a huge fan of Raging Swan Press, Kobold Press, Frog God Games, and Jon Brazer Enterprizes. Neo-Exodus is also a favorite of mine, but I am not sure yet how to incorporate their world and works into Kronea just yet, but I do plan on spending more time this fall/winter researching and finding a way. I also would love to tap into Fire Mountain Games and their "Evil Campaign" for Kronea to stop being such a Neutral Good aligned writer and campaign setting.

JP: Why did you wait after Gencon to release Kronea?

VDC Because quite frankly, I move to the beat of my own drum. I run my company on my own terms. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking GenCon, PaizoCon, or any other big trade show. But I have a full-time life outside of Pathfinder and that always takes precedence. Many of my writing/development team is in the same boat as well. I have teachers, photographers, accountants, IT specialists, social workers, and graphic design artists on my team and in my creative circle. I respect their time, just as much as they do my own. In the past, when I rush products and publications, I paid the price for them in bad reviews and bad sales. But if I take my time, and not get all "rushed" to be at a trade-show event, the quality is far better and customers deserve a good quality product.

Does that mean that one day I don't want to be at PaizoCon or GenCon? HECK NO! I totally want to go and be where all the action is. But for now, I want to focus on having great original products and that is my #1 Mission right now.

JP: If someone wants to know more, do you have any on-line resources for them?

VDC I have our main website and Facebook. You can purchase the book at on Monday! We also plan on opening up a Wiki for Kronea, for those who are looking to better get into the campaign setting and as an online quick reference. But that's something I have to talk to our tech team about sometime soon..

Lady Ophelia's Shop Website:

Her Facebook Site:

Her Twitter: @LadyOpheliaShop

Comes Monday, Buy Kronea at Drive-Thru RPG

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Interview with Venus De Coy about Kronea, Part 1

It was a few long months ago that LPJ sent me this adventure by this lady whose name was either Lady Ophelia or Venus. I will admit I thought one was an alias and the other one a nom-de-plume. Well I was partially right. Venus is her name, yes, her real name!

She and I spoke as we discussed a potential NeoExodus product (which AFAIK never came out). She was a really cool and creative person. I left things at that.

Then one day I get an email from her asking me if I would be willing to do some work for her on a project she was putting together with a number of people. I was intrigued and cautiously agreed. I did not know what my schedule would be, hence my caution. I spoke with her a few times through email and Skype and I was sold. I did a few small things for her, including two religions. I guess she really liked what I did because she commissioned a short piece of fiction to go with it.

I'm pretty excited about this project and finally announcing the release on the 19th of August!

JP: Who are you?

Venus De Coy So I'm Venus De Coy, (yes this is my legal name) and I am a nursing professional by day and Pathfinder Publisher by night. I have written for Pathfinder and Dark Aeons. (And hopefully more settings in the future.)

When I am not healing the sick, writing, or cracking a whip on writers, I play RPG's! I am a huge Pathfinder Society Organized Play fan, and spent two years being a regional coordinator in my area. I now run conventions in my local area for not only PFS, but general RPG's as well.

Somehow, I still have time to review for Roleplayer's Chronicle, which a online news site, that talks about all things RPG. I am their Northwest Correspondent, and I specialize in Pathfinder reviews. Although I do plan on moving into some other fun systems in the near future.

Besides RPG's, I also am an avid reader, lives and loves to travel, meet new people and chat with other awesome like-minded people. I also admit that I am a Facebook addict. I don't play games on it anymore, but for those who are friends of mine, they get at least 4-5 updates per day about me along with all my insane pictures of my life as well.

I reside in Northern California, USA.

JP: What is your favorite game of all time?

VDC So I admit it, I am an eternal Legend of Zelda fan. It was just "that game" which inspired my love of fantasy RPG's all together. In the tabletop department, my auntie/mentor started me with D&D 2.0 edition in 2007 and that is how I got hooked. When she died in 2011, I came into Pathfinder and Shadowrun. I haven't looked back since.

JP: Your favorite adventure/campaign setting?

VDC My big three are Spelljammer, Golarion, and the world of Shadowrun. Spelljammer because it was my first campaign setting, Golarion, because it is so robust, and is still growing canon wise as I like settings to be constantly evolving. I love the world of Shadowrun, because it is post-apocalyptic without being zombies and mass murder. Also, I always loved the art in Shadowrun.

JP: Why did you decide to become a publisher?

VDC Well, I loved to write and be creative. I also like to organize and create things. Finally, I wanted to create games that shared the love of tabletop roleplay games with others. I know there should be some big "aha" moment, but for me it's simple like that.

JP: How did the basic idea for Kronea come to you?

VDC So I wanted to write an original campaign setting for my company to work with when writing adventures. But I did not want to do a big epic world like Midgard and Golarion. So I created an island, that was a big nation state. Once I complete this realm, I will expand the world more, but for now, I wanted to start small and work my way into an Inner Sea or Midgard of my own. Who knows? I may end up connecting with other realms in the future and have their world be attached to mine. That would be sweet.

JP: What would you say are the biggest influences that led you to Kronea?

VDC All of the following things: Hyrule, Golarion, Glorantha, Shadowrun, Spelljammer, Stargate, Steampunk, Cyberpunk, Midgard, and the Victorian and Edwardian eras in England. Yeah, needless to say, I have got an interesting collection of hodgepodge going on. :)

JP: What is, in a few words, the story of Kronea?

VDC The Publisher's Official Story: Kronea is known as "The Island of Possibilities". Here you can find a realm where the world is progressing, but not without remembering it's roots. As technology and culture advance, there is a clash with the past, present and future which makes Kronea that much more of a growing and ever-changing land.

The Gamer Friendly version: It's a lot like Absalom in Pathfinder.. Only with Airships, Archgates, Steampunk, and a whole lot more epic scenery. All set, in a post-apocalyptic world.

JP: What are the most unique aspects of Kronea?

VDC We blend a lot of things that many campaign settings can not (or have not yet) developed and/or thought of. We plan on incorporating many elements of cyberpunk, steampunk, and a lot of medieval and Victorian themes with not only regular Pathfinder, but Mythic Rules when it comes out. We also plan on expanding current Pathfinder mechanics to new heights, stretching our compatibility license for as far as it goes!

JP: In what aspect is Kronea like other settings?

VDC Although we are adding all this sweet new material, if a group didn't want to do all that, and they wanted to strip it all down, they can do that as well, and keep a high-fantasy campaign that is on the same level of regular Pathfinder groups to date. I have seen a lot of homebrew groups, take the system, and spin it by adding their loves of video games such as Fallout and Bioshock. We want to get material that fits their themes, along with the traditional sword & board gamers.

JP: Who worked on the project?

VDC Well there is you (JP) and I chose you because of our awesome conversations and emails so that when the time came to pick new writers, you were one of the people on my list. Nicholas Milasich joined on the project via a recommendation from fellow freelancer Brian Darnell who is also a part of my "Evil Wizards Team". Nicholas has written for Kolbold Press in the past, so I was already aware of some of his work, so I was pretty stoked to score you both for this project.While this project only had the three of us, future projects will have more contributing writers, artists, and other awesome people. But for now, as I am getting my bearings in this whole "publisher life", it is best to take my time, work small and grow into something big.

JP: Any interesting stories that happened during the creation/writing of Kronea?

VDC I still get a kick out of explaining Kronea to people. Pathfinder, has yet to get in deep with a lot of new age RPG gaming such as Post-Apocalyptic, Steampunk and Cyberpunk. So Kronea is a new element to Pathfinder. I have no desire to add other races like Neo-Exodus and Midgard has, but I want to take the races, classes and put some new spins to them, that bring forth the new age of gamers, but still bridges the old school hack and slash dragons groups as well. (which I do love!)

The best "in creation process" moment to date is having a potential writer say to me: "Can we make Clockwork Airship Dragons?"*personal squees* Yeah, that makes writing Kronea that much more fun. :)

(To answer the question: If we can mechanically make it sound, yes we will make a Clockwork Airship Dragon)

The conclusion of my interview tomorrow!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NeoExodus Legacies announces the Exodite Program!

With NeoExodus growing, we cannot shoulder the work of doing everything by ourselves. We need help. More specifically, we need YOUR help. While I was still based in Denver, it was easy for me to put this off and just keep going. With my moving away, something has to be done.

For a while I thought about coming up with some funky names, but the one that kept coming back was how I’d like to have an “Exodite” program. Exodites are some of the First Ones in NeoExodus. They are the most numerous of the First Ones, have jet-black skin upon which they tattoo magically glowing runes. They are single minded and focused on their goal and task.

What we are looking for are people who share our love of NeoExodus and who want to bring the campaign to their communities. I have already contacted a few people, but want to put this out there for everyone!


The most important is to love NeoExodus and NeoExodus Legacies, and to want to share that passion with others.

We ask that Exodites do the following:
- Talk about NeoExodus and NeoExodus Legacies to players, store-owners and every one in their community.
- Run or organize at least one monthly NeoExodus Legacies event within their community. More is always appreciated – of course! - Volunteer at local con offering NeoExodus Legacies adventure to increase exposure to the setting and campaign.


Exodite will receive the following in perks:
- Every NeoExodus Legacies adventures for free to help them in their job.
- Exodites will be consulted and their feedback sought when expanding the storyline. They will be invited to a secret group where such things can and will be discussed.
- Exodites who so wish it may sanction local special interactive events.
- Exodites who wish it will be given preferential dues to write regular adventures.

I know there is a desire in the Community to play an organized play campaign where their actions are meaningful. NeoExodus Legacies offers a great way to play the game we all love and gives players a chance to alter the world in a clear and direct fashion.

Think you are up to such a challenge? Contact us

Know of someone who might be interested? Send them a link to this post!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I am The Kentuckian

You may have noticed that for the last few weeks that I have not been posting much…. And you would be right. Since becoming a Kentuckian, I have been looking for a new home for the family. Well assuming the banks can get everything done in time, that quest is at end! We will be moving into a nice home in Jeffersontown, Kentucky!

So another month of quiet time then things should quiet down: the family here, the kids in school, work gone crazy… Yup things should be all right!

Now, I need to get me a tasseled coat and a coon cap to blend in with the locals.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Going to my first Writer's Meetup

Since I moved to Louisville, I have been trying to get into some new things. Although many have recommended grillin' roadkill and other redneck activities, I leaned another way.

Tonight, I went to my first ever writers' meeting. I brought with me the first chapter of a story set in NeoExodus. The story is yet unnamed but it features a small band of adventurers. The initial protagonist is a kalisan warrior dedicated to the destruction of the Janus Horde.

The guys have provided me with some great feedback for the story. They critiqued it and provided me with precise feedback and some does and don't of fantasy writing. Now I'm in a bind cuz I have to re-write most of it. But it will be MUCH better. I think this is the first time I was ever extremely excited about a major rewrite! This is going to be fun. I've had great feedback - for my own tale and from the feedback given to others.

As is consistent with the rest of my work, I tried to steer clear of the game-mechanics so it wasn't a round-by-round description of the fight. That said, the greatest downfall of my offering was they called "data download" which was I really did. I also have to work more on my combat descriptions. I think those comments will really make the story flow better and more naturally.

Also I got a few tips and some direct feedback about my "superman" character... Yeah she should not be that way but I see how she can appear like that...

Didn't I tell you, I got some great advice?

So in short, I have to reword everything. That's fine, the story has potential it's how I present it. I can honestly say I got out of this one meeting more than I expected and I am really stoked about going back. Really, people I never met before provided me with clear, concise and direct feedback. I did say I wanted to write more fiction. Well joining the group is one step towards accomplishing my goal.

I discovered The Vault: Louisville Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writers Group through the magic of meetup. A great site if I ever knew one. I also got to play a lot through the Colorado Springs RPG Meetup, which I strongly recommend to anyone in either of these areas.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

NeoExodus Legacies: Legacy of Lies Narrative

The mood was grave in the council room. The air was cold in spite of the many hot stones in the room and the roaring fire. Tsarina Anayanka, the First of the Arman Protectorate, looked over the many letters written to her by suitors. Most of them she had already fed to the flames as uninteresting.

Dressed in a white mink coat, her sister, and heir, Blanka spoke first. “Ana, you must choose one of them. I looked over the applications myself and think these men could all serve the Protectorate.”

Anayanka smiled at the notion of serving the Protectorate. She would have to select the man who would continue the dynasty.

The Prelate of Mureath, Sergei Andranov, added. “Your Majesty must understand that rulership brings responsibilities one cannot avoid. The Sanguine Lord, in his infinite wisdom, has granted you that mantle to bear because he knows you can do it. He would not have done it otherwise.”

Again, Anayanka smiled but remained quiet. Taking the letters once more, she went through them.

“Prince Vladimir is a boor with the social grace of a wooly mammoth. Prince Dimitri is man of war; he would make a great general. Sheik Abdel Mussul is more interested in the men of his entourage than in siring children or rulership. Prince Bial already committed regicide on his sister, I don’t think he’d have a second thought about doing it again,” she said dismissing all the suitors.

“Milady, you MUST choose. You and your people need a tsarevich to ensure the stability of your throne,” the Prelate said before a long silence descended upon the assembled generals and advisors.

General Wulf Gronnovitch, lord of the Protectorate forces in Sametia, spoke next. “My Queen, if you are unable to decide perhaps having some unaffiliated advisors serve as your eyes and ears to find out which one would be the best for you…”

Interrupting, Blanka said. “Oh! Yes! I’ll handle everything dearest sister! I’ll find you the best man possible! Leave everything to me! You just find yourself a nice dress and dress up your personal guard! It will be wonderful!” Without waiting for an answer, the Raina, and heir-to-the-throne, ran out, holding the front of her dress.

The whole assembly remained silent, as the Tsarina’s councilors exchanged glances and sharing a common disbelief in Blanka’s abilities.

The Tsarina felt the unease and doubt of her trusted advisors. She almost shared those with them, but caught herself and dismissed them with a wave of her hand. Alone again, she went to a window to watch the setting sun. Under her breath, she whispered to herself, holding back a tear.

“My love, how can we be together?”

TLDR : This year’s theme is “Legacy of Lies”. The official start of the season will be at Tacticon once more. We will premiere with two new adventures “In sickness and in health,” “Silver lining” and a multi-table storyline interactive adventure called “Never again, my Love”. Any run of these adventures during the month of September will be counted for campaign results.

The above narrative is a direct tie-in with "Never again, my Love"