Blog about Blood of the Sea

July 12, 2017
A few weeks ago, Paizo let me write their daily blog about a project I developed called Adventurer's Armory 2. They've done it again, letting me blog about the development task I had after that--a product called Blood of the Sea. That blog is here.

Adventurer's Armory 2 was packed with crunch--so many tables, items, and rules that I felt I had to make sure there was some world flavor around the edges, so to speak. Blood of the Sea was very different. The author, veteran Amber Scott, had included so many flavorful bits and world-building that I the actual rules crunch was much, much less. The other key difference was that Adventurer's Armory 2 had a lot of writers, and Blood of the Sea only had one--well, two, since I had to supplement several sections to contort the word count to fit as exactly as it needed. Some of the creations in there are mine, not Amber's (well, three authors, I suppose, since Adam Daigle let me steal unused pieces from the Aquatic Adventures book to include in Blood of the Sea to fill some gaps, too). A piece of wisdom I heard early on while learning to be a developer is that developers are often functionally uncredited co-authors. That's true, and it's fine with me. I'm happy having everyone who reads Blood of the Sea think the neat stuff is Amber's and the not-so-neat stuff was due to my hamfisted development!

Still, I liked working on Blood of the Sea quite a bit, and the fact that both projects were so different made it very interesting to tackle both!
 

Branching Out into D&D

July 12, 2017
My first Run Amok Games product for Dungeons and Dragons is now live. It's an adventure for low-level characters that hints at further adventures to come--whether those materialize will depend a lot on how this one is received! It's called the Sawmill Horror, the first of the Clockworker Chronicles series, and you can get it at DMsGuild right here
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A Halfling with a Mission!

June 23, 2017
Who's got a shady relative and a job to do? This guy! (Art by Sarah Menzel.)
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Blog about Adventurer's Armory 2!

June 21, 2017
This isn't the only place I occasionally blog; I've written for Paizo's blog a couple of times--including today, where i mentioned two of my favorite bits about developing Adventurer's Armory 2. You can see it here!
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Torg Kickstarter is Live!

May 31, 2017
I'm super excited that the Torg Kickstarter has begun...and it's crushing all its stretch goals quite handily! The storm has a name...and it's a popular one, apparently!
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Another PaizoCon for the Books!

May 30, 2017
I'm freshly back from PaizoCon and, as always, it was a great weekend of gaming. Lots of the buzz was about the upcoming Starfinder game, and I'm doing a lot of writing for that, so it was good to get that energy.

This year, more so than most, I spent a lot of time running games. Thanks much to my great table for the author-run Pathfinder Society game, my crazy table of bumbling trolls trying to get revenge, and both of my Torg Eternity demo tables. I had a blast at each.

I also played a lot of...
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Pay for Play, and Exit

May 19, 2017
I don't know whether I've mentioned it here before, but I'm a big proponent of my friend Joshua's idea of a fair cost of "pay for play." In short, I expect to be reasonably entertained for an hour for $5. (If I go to a 2-hour movie, I'll spend around $10, for example; a novel that costs $20 but is an enjoyable read for about 4 hours feels fair.) If a game or activity costs less than $5 per hour per participant, then it's a good "pay for play" ratio.

In this line of thinking, board games and RP...
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To the Stars!

April 26, 2017
It seems like it's all space-themed RPGs these days! From some development for the Legendary Planet adventure path, to receiving the gorgeous Aethera book, I had more than enough space fantasy to go around--but now I'm writing for Paizo's Starfinder setting, too! More details on that later, but I wanted to drop a note to say I'm keeping my head in the stars!
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Development Reflections

April 12, 2017
I had a heavy load of RPG development for a few different companies recently (development is taking an author's turnover and ensuring it's consistent in tone, high-quality, and appropriately styled to go to editing and layout), so I've been seeing a lot of great work from a lot of great authors. Here are a few takeaways from that:

* Authors plainly have strengths. Some are super tight in rules knowledge but don't have great prose; others have super evocative prose and naming, but don't think t...
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Getting Legendary!

March 28, 2017
I'm deep into some development work I'm doing for Legendary Games' sword-and-planet adventure path, Legendary Planet. It's neat! I think there's something of a steep learning curve for the world they're creating--learning the Accord from the Hegemony and the elali from the jagladines from the klaven from the bil'djooli--but once you get a mental picture of who's who, the themes are easy to grasp and the overall plot is strong. It's worth checking out!
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Fangs of War is Coming!

March 15, 2017
As an author, I sometimes get advance copies of Paizo products (in pdf) before they're generally available. I just received the first two issues of the Ironfang Invasion adventure path, including my adventure, Fangs of War. It looks fantastic! I love the layout of this AP--the page borders remind me a lot of Warhammer Fantasy volumes, and in a good way. The text of my adventure was tweaked in ways that make for a better overall experience (particularly in making some of the NPCs less static, ...
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A Deep Dive

March 7, 2017
I find myself handling a lot of underwater rules, adventures, and such these days. The work I did on the nearly-all-underwater adventure for the Ruins of Azlant adventure path has turned into some other editing/writing work for underwater adventures. I don't even particularly like encounters underwater as a player (because of my dwarf that drowned in a still bay all those years ago, Greg), although I've had a lot of fun with them as a GM.

And I foresee more of it: my Kingmaker players are abou...
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A Glowing Review

February 22, 2017
I just saw one of my most delightfully positive reviews ever, for PFS7-27 Beyond Azlant Ridge. Here are some quotes from it:

"Events towards the end of the mission are incredibly cinematic, to the point that I would close my eyes and smile imagining what the GM described like when I was a kid. It was a thrill to the imagination that all scenarios should aspire to. Magnificent.

[...]

This scenario also does something with encounters that is as vital a design element as it is rare: each encounter ...


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Some "Developments"

January 31, 2017
I've been a little light on the design side of RPGs recently, although I did create some additional treasures for the Ruins of Azlant adventure path that was a lot of fun. Instead, I've been doing some development work behind the scenes for a few different groups. That's basically editing, but it's the most fun part of editing--taking something that's already written and making it more awesome. If the rules aren't quite tight, tighten them up; if the words don't flow together clearly, rewrite...
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A New Card Game

January 10, 2017
I had a very productive New Years break. In fact, while playing games with my family and reading The Maltese Falcon for the first time, I had an idea for a card game. The concept, design, and prototype all came together very quickly, and I'm in pretty rigorous playtesting now with lots of groups (if you'd like to be involved, please contact me!). The game doesn't yet have a name--or rather, it does have a working title but, as my brother wisely pointed out, "Target won't sell a game with that...
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Dreams of Treasure

December 12, 2016

One of the most exciting parts of my just-released Dreams of the Yellow King is the treasure. More than half of the adventure takes place in the Dreamlands, where the PCs come and go psychically. Although the PCs can bring psychic echoes of their normal equipment with them, this transfer doesn’t work the other direction; more specifically, the equipment they gather in the Dreamlands doesn’t return with them to the waking world.

This allowed me to seed the Dreamlands with ridiculously pow...


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Where Do You Dream?

December 8, 2016

My Dreams of the Yellow King is finally out, and it’s one of my assignments that I’ve liked the most. I had to do a lot of research into H.P. Lovecraft’s works to give it the right tone, and a fan of Lovecraft will see lots of sections that hit the same tones. I wanted to touch on some of these, but…

 

….there be spoilers ahead!

 

Much of the adventure takes place in the Dreamlands, a section of the Dimension of Dreams with some consistent geography, much of which is taken from ...


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We See Seas Fall in Seafall

December 1, 2016
Just dropping a note to talk about some new gaming we're starting. Apart from some excited kickoffs to the new Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Mummy's Mask set, I've gotten a group together to start the legacy board game Seafall tonight. I've heard good things about it, and I'm particularly interested to see how a board game can tell a narrative story; that is, how the designer can act as "Dungeon Master" for players of the game all over the world.

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Torg is Coming!

November 15, 2016
The Torg quick-start rules are coming soon! I've been trying to get these through demo and playtest channels, without luck--but it seems like we'll all be able to get them shortly!

http://www.ulisses-us.com/ramping-up-torg-and-ulisses-social-media/

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GameHoleCon Update

November 10, 2016
I'm still recovering from a fantastic GameHoleCon; probably the consistently best GameHoleCon in the three years I've attended. None of the adventures were particularly bad (and I've had some terrible ones at past GameHoleCons), and many were quite excellent, with fellow players, GMs, and adventures that really shined.

As with last GenCon, I found myself playing several Cypher-system games: one generic fantasy game (with a distinctly Conan flavor), one The Strange game, and two Numenera games ...
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The Trolls are Coming!

November 3, 2016
I'm off to GameHoleCon this weekend, where I'm running a game of my own creation: A Troll's Life. In this game, all the PCs are trolls whose tribe was nearly wiped out by crusading dwarves, and they want revenge! Here's one of the six available PCs:

Urphex the Shadow, Troll Rogue 4

CE Large humanoid (giant)

Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +19

Defense

AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +5 natural, -1 size)

hp 109 (10d8+64); regeneration 5 (acid ...


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A Visit to Paizo

October 24, 2016
I recently returned from a visit to Seattle, where I was able to meet at the Paizo offices for several hours with many fine folks there (particularly Owen KC Stephens, Amanda Hamon Kunz, and Jessica Price) about development opportunities and further work. It was a great experience, and I filled several notebook pages with thoughts, advice, and next steps. Thanks particularly to Adam Daigle, who gave me a tour of the offices. It was great to see where all the magic happens! 
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All Kitted Out

October 19, 2016
I'm working on a Players Companion product for Paizo, and I suggested adding new kits, or groupings of equipment to buy all at once. I should have checked first--Pathfinder already has a ton of kits that seem to cover every environment, character class, theme, career, and foe you might need. Let me show you what I mean; here is a list of the kits I could find that already exist in the game so far:

Alchemist's kit, Alchemy crafting kit, Animal disguise kit, Antidote kit, Arcanist's kit, Arctic ...
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At the Edge of the Empire

October 14, 2016
For many, many years I've had West End Games' DarkStryder boxed campaign sitting on my gaming shelf. It's a very unique Star Wars campaign, with a lot of "Star Trek" elements (the PCs are the command crew of a large ship traveling in unknown space, they go on away teams, etc.). I thought it was a really neat campaign idea, but I never pulled together a group interested in playing it. But now I have! Just this week, my intrepid players embarked upon the first flight of the Far Star, launching ...
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A Delay? Now?!

October 4, 2016
I'm very excited to see my Dreams of the Yellow King see print. It's always exciting to see what of my text has changed, what art was added, and so on. It should be released any day now! Unfortunately...there was a delay in the printing that is pushing this back a month. So I've got to wait a whole other month before I get to hold this in my hands! 

Although that's one month closer to seeing my Fangs of War and Tower of the Drowned Dead in print, I suppose.
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Idle Hands

October 3, 2016
Without any current freelance work, I've turned to some of the older projects I have hanging around and helping other people with projects that they've proposed (including a book of Pathfinder monsters that is looking really good!). I've dug in quite a bit to my idea for the Clockworker Chronicles, a series of 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons adventures. I've solidified the series and their concepts, drafted a lot of background, and dug in pretty substantially to the first adventure (I've com...
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The Plate's Nearly Empty

September 16, 2016
A month ago, I felt like I had way too much writing going on; with the Ruins of Azlant adventure path chapter for Paizo still a long way from being done, my work on the Heroes of the High Court nearing a deadline, and the D&D adventure I hadn't really started, I felt like my plate was very full.

Now, I'm in one of those rare moments where I don't have any current work for Paizo, and I'm planning to polish up and send in my D&D adventure tomorrow (well in advance of the October deadline, but I ...
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Another AP Away!

September 2, 2016
Whew! After a pretty grueling week, and several very late nights, I just finished up my turnover of Pathfinder #125 Tower of the Drowned Dead. Woo hoo! The only thing I have left to turn in for it is my map set. I have those drawn out on graph paper, but those are my annotated reference copies, and I need to pretty them up quite a bit, to make it easier for whichever cartographer gets those. I've got some plans with my family this afternoon, but I'm expecting to turn in very early tonight and...
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Another Paizo Project Down!

August 30, 2016
While doing my larger work on the adventure Tower of the Drowned Dead for the Ruins of Azlant adventure path, I've had another couple of projects keeping me busy as well. One of those is now off my plate as of this evening--Heroes of the High Court. I was given the great opportunity to develop the outline for this entire project, and then pick as much of it as I wanted to write. Knowing that I'd be juggling this with the Ruins of Azlant adventure, I only assigned myself half of the book--but ...
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More GenCon Stories

August 25, 2016

Although I was most excited about playing Torg this last GenCon, I was able to play a lot of other games at GenCon 2016 as well. Many of the games I played were Cypher system, both at the request of my friend Joshua as well as a desire to play No Thank You, Evil! with my kids. All three of the Cypher System games I played (combined with the home game of the Strange I played in a few months back), I feel like I’ve seen a lot of different ways to play this robust game system. To me, the Cyphe...


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About Me


I'm Ron Lundeen, an active gamer and RPG adventure author. I've recently had products in print for Paizo Publishing, Wizards of the Coast, Raging Swan, Open Design, Headless Hydra Games, and Rite Publishing. I'm still taking freelance writing assignments, but also focusing on writing for Run Amok Games.


 
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