Saturday, November 14, 2020

Convos With Creative People | Ed Greenwood: Talking Forgotten Realms 4e at DDXP 2008

Convos with Creative People is a podcast about creative paths and processes. Each episode  features interviews with creators of all genres and mediums, and discussions on writing, art, design, marketing, music, podcasting, and more. Hosted by me, Brian LeTendre.

In this episode I reach all the way back into the 2008 archives of the Secret Identity podcast, for a conversation with the creator of the Forgotten Realms, Ed Greenwood. 

Way back in April of 2008, my friends Alana Abbott, Max Saltonstall and I traveled to the Dungeons and Dragons Experience (DDXP) convention, to get a preview of the upcoming 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons. We got to meet, interview, and play games with some of the architects of 4e, and it was an amazing time. 

One of the highlights of the show was getting to sit down with the legend himself, Ed Greenwood, the creator of the Forgotten Realms. We got to talk about the Realms being the base setting for the new edition, what was new and different with the Realms in 4e, and some of the projects Ed was working on at the time.

Maybe my favorite part of this interview from a creative standpoint, was hearing Ed’s take on the Living Forgotten Realms initiative, and how it contributed to the richness of the stories being told around that world. Fantastic stuff.

As I said in the intro for this episode, these old interviews are great to revisit, and provide a time capsule of what was happening at any given point. This time in particular was a very exciting one for D&D and the Forgotten Realms, and it’s fascinating to see what part of WOTC’s plans for 4e came to fruition, what didn’t, and how that informed a lot of what we see with 5e today.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this interview from 2008! 

Here are links to some of the things Ed and I talked about, as well as things I mentioned in the intro:

Blackstaff Tower (Book 1 in the Waterdeep series): https://www.amazon.com/dp/0786949139

Forgotten Realms Player’s Guide (4e): https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/57376/Forgotten-Realms-Campaign-Guide-4e

Ed Greenwood Presents Elminster’s Forgotten Realms: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/166568/Ed-Greenwood-Presents-Elminsters-Forgotten-Realms

Living Forgotten Realms Campaign Archive: https://www.livingforgottenrealms.com/ 

History of Winter Fantasy/DDXP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Fantasy 

Ed Greenwood on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheEdVerse 

Article about the launch of Gleemax: https://v1.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/interviews/1218-Gleemax-Wizards-of-the-Coast-s-Gamer-MySpace

Article about the shutting down of Gleemax: https://critical-hits.com/blog/2008/07/28/someone-broke-the-brains-jar/ 

As always, you can follow me and keep up with my creative projects on Twitter @seebrianwrite.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Convos With Creative People | Travis Legge: Frostlands of Fenrilik and Scarred Lands


Convos with Creative People is a podcast about creative paths and processes. Each episode  features interviews with creators of all genres and mediums, and discussions on writing, art, design, marketing, music, podcasting, and more. Hosted by Brian LeTendre.

In this episode I welcome game designer and Scarred Lands Line Developer Travis Legge to the show. 

Travis and I talked a lot about his new project for the Scarred Lands, Frostlands of Fenrilik, which is coming out very soon through the Slarecian Vault, the community content portal on Drive Thru RPG. Frostlands of Fenrilik is an expansion for Scarred Lands that explores the frozen continent of Fenrilik. Known as the Roof of the World, Fenrilik is a massive frozen tundra filled with unique creatures, dangerous weather and deadly Titanspawn.

We talk a lot about the Scarred lands as a setting, and why it is one of our favorites, community content programs like DM’s Guild and the Slarecian Vault, and a bit about what the future holds for the Scarred Lands line.

Here are links to everywhere you can find Travis, and more info about Frostlands of Fenrilik, including two free previews that are on DriveThruRPG now. 

Travis Legge

Travis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TravisLegge 

Travis on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/plasticageplays

Travis on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxV5V2fCZn6uaPIyHoZAleA 

Travis’ Products on DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse.php?author=Travis%20Legge 


Scarred Lands: Frostlands of Fenrilik 

Trailer: https://youtu.be/Xm6hqg-YlVY 

Free Preview One: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/329593/Frostlands-of-Fenrilik--Preview-One 

Free Preview Two: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/329594/Frostlands-of-Fenrilik--Preview-Two

Slarecian Vault Titles: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/4261/Onyx-Path-Publishing/subcategory/8329_29809/Slarecian-Vault

Slarecian Vault Info and FAQ: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/cc/19/Slarecian-Vault

 

Onyx Path

Onyx Path website: http://theonyxpath.com/

Onyx Path on DriveThruRPG: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/4261/Onyx-Path-Publishing

Onyx Path Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/theonyxpath/

 

Thanks for listening! As always, you can follow me and keep up with my creative projects on Twitter @seebrianwrite.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Happy Birthday, Jolene!

Today is Jolene Haley's birthday. My dear friend, my writing partner, and one of the most amazing people I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

Jolene and I have known each other for over 7 years now. What started as a mutual love of horror and admiration of each other's work, became a friendship unlike any other I have had in my lifetime. 

From a writing standpoint, what I treasure most is not the words we've written together that have seen the light of day. It's the hundreds of hours of conversations, and time we have spent together in the worlds we have created, and the ones we are still creating. We have lived in those worlds. We share relationships with our characters that no one but us will ever experience. They are uniquely ours, and that is truly a gift.

From a friendship standpoint, Jolene is the most supportive friend I have ever had. She is the standard I measure myself against when it comes to being a good friend. It's an impossible standard, but she inspires me to always strive to be the kind of friend she is. 

Today is a day to celebrate Jolene Haley, but really, every day is a day to celebrate Jolene. She is one in a million.

Happy birthday, partner!!!

P.S. That pic above is from a trip to Toronto we took with our team at work last summer. I was lucky enough to work with Jolene for a year, and it was one of the best experiences of my professional career. 


  


Monday, July 1, 2019

Use Camp NaNoWriMo to Get Your Writing Routine Back in Shape



Happy first day of camp, everyone!

July is here, and that means the month-long writing adventure that is Camp NaNoWriMo kicks off today. For those who aren’t familiar, Camp NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge that takes place in April and July, and spun out of the original National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, which is held each November. The Camp NaNo events are more flexible—you can set a smaller overall word count goal, and work on any type of writing project you choose (as opposed to just novels).

My NaNo Experience

The first time I participated in NaNoWriMo was almost twelve years ago. In November of 2007, I took up the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month—and I actually did it. I wrote the draft of what would later become the first novel in my horror series. I didn’t return to NaNoWriMo again until a few years later, but have participated several times over the past decade, hitting my 50K goal in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. I’ve also done the Camp NaNo events over a dozen times, setting various word count goals, eight of which I hit.

I fell short of my goals several times during NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo events, but I always come out of them with a good chunk of words, and something even more important—a tuned-up writing routine.

Getting Back to Basics

The simple beauty of the NaNo events is they force you into the habit of writing every day. More importantly, you get into the habit of writing freely, as there is not time to polish every phrase, sentence or paragraph when you are trying to hit an ambitious word count. You must send you inner editor on a vacation for the month. It’s very difficult to get that editor out the door, but once they are gone, the words will flow like never before.

I cannot recommend the NaNo events enough for anyone who has to write regularly as part of their job. We all get in a rut with our writing at times—we lose focus, we pick up bad habits, we get overwhelmed with projects and deadlines—the list goes on. The NaNo events give you a chance to hit the reset button, and focus on the basics:

  • Establish a daily writing routine. Make the time and write the words.
  • Write freely. Draft first, edit later.


So, go sign up for Camp NaNoWriMo at campnanowrimo.org, and set whatever goal you want. You can also join a cabin and group up with other writers for moral support and lots of fun along the way! And the Camp NaNo events are a great way to dip your toe in the NaNo pool before diving in for the big event when November comes around.

I’ll be posting a few progress updates about my own 2019 Camp NaNo experience over the course of the month.

Happy writing!

Friday, June 28, 2019

It Came In the Mail: NIGHT OF THE CREEPS Deluxe Limited Edition

I am not really one for collector's editions, which is mostly because I do not have room in my dork cave for any more stuff. But I do make exceptions, and when I saw there was a Night of the Creeps Deluxe Limited Edition, I pre-ordered it faster than you can "Thrill me!"

Today, it arrived--and it's beautiful:


I'm a big fan of the original artwork, but this new slipcase with art from Devon Whitehead is just gorgeous. And of course, the two-disc set with both the theatrical and director's cut, as well as tons of extras is great. But let's be honest--the reason I bought this set is for that sweet, sweet NECA-designed Ray Cameron action figure. It comes complete with pistol, shotgun, and a couple of beers.
Lest anyone forget, Tom Atkins is one of my all-time favorite actors, and his character in Night of the Creeps is the inspiration for Detective Ray Atkins, a main character in the Woodsview Murders series that Jolene Haley and I write together. A couple of years ago, I got to meet Tom, and give him a proof copy of Harrowed, the first book in our series. Not only was Tom amazing in person, but he actually read the book and took the time to email me and let me know how much he enjoyed it.


So, this collector's edition holds a very special place in my heart, and now Ray will be watching over me as I work on the final chapter of the Woodsview Murders with Jolene.

Oh, and if you've never seen Night of the Creeps--get on that. A true classic.