Fat Goblin Games Seeking an Experienced Line Developer for Shadows over Vathak

**Note: The “job posting” is at the bottom of this blog, but understand — I, at least, assume you need to know all the things between here and there to “get” what the job is that we’re actually posting about.**

Hello All,

We’re in a time of transition, both here at Fat Goblin Games, and just in general in the tabletop RPG publishing business.

When you look at Fat Goblin Games’ catalog, you will see we have been a serious supporter of especially the venerable Pathfinder Roleplaying Game system. I say “venerable” because, as of August 2017, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game will be 8 years old, and looking back on the many editions of The World’s Most Popular Roleplaying Game as it is known, you’ll see times as short as ~3 years between revisions (happened for both 2nd Edition & 3rd Edition) up to as long as ~12 years between 1st Edition and 2nd Edition (and ~11 years between 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition) for an average of ~8 years per edition over the game’s 40+ years.

Additionally, if you’re really one of those folks that see the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game as merely 3.6/3.75 etc, then you’re talking about a game that is closer to 17+ years old. So just like the age categories in the game itself, many people look at 8+ years and are getting ready to roll the dice to calculate the system’s Maximum Age.

And so it’s logical for people in the Third Party Publishing business, whom have often explored things like 5th Edition to mediocre reception, or branched out into numerous other X+ Editions of the game, to look toward Paizo Publishing’s latest game the Starfinder Roleplaying Game (coming out August 2017) as at least a soft-reboot of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, if not a testing ground for Version 2.0.

We’re not looking to speculate here. We have previously announced that we plan to support the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, as well as push our Castle Falkenstein licensed materials, and continue to explore other open game systems and even get into creating our own. But the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is also still a solid seller for us, and we have no desire to “give up” on it anytime soon. Instead, we’re refocusing our efforts.

A Focus on Settings

In the past, we’ve split our releases between successful world-neutral books like the CLASSified line of new classes and options or the Call to Arms line of world-neutral items and weapon expansion books, and our Shadows over Vathak horror setting.

Going forward, we plan to transition more of our world-neutral materials into setting-specific books, even while we keep the general design and tone of the others. The reasons for this are many, but a key bit is that it is easy enough for interested gamers to remove the important setting specific comments and language, and play with new weapons, classes, etc. in their homebrew. Most do it all the time, pulling from many settings to make their own amalgamation world.

It also allows us to add a lot more flavor to our texts.

An existing manuscript for the Call to Arms line, Daisho, was written originally as a world-neutral text about the various Japanese bladed weapons (katana, wakizashi, nodashi, yari, etc.), but keeping it world-neutral meant a lot of the magic items lacked real flavor. Releasing it instead for the Steampunk Musha line will allow us to ground some of the ideas on the island of Rosuto-Shima, and give some added design direction — while also just exploring the basic premise overall.

Antikthon — the World of Fat Goblin Games

The Fattest Goblin Himself-Himself, Rick Hershey, has had both the settings of Shadows over Vathak and Steampunk Musha in various forms of development and production for nearly a decade. For him, these two settings had always been on a shared planetoid, and we’re now making that much more clearly true by developing fully the world of Antikthon.

At present, we have our own Shadows over Vathak setting, which has been revised with our Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide. SoV can be summated as:

 Shadows over Vathak blends the Otherworldly, Cosmic Horror themes of New England's Lovecraft, the Macabre Mysteries of Poe, and the sensibilities of Victorian, Gothic Horror Adventure into an original fantasy setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

The other line, long in development, and finally seeing its first major re-release under its new Line Developer Rodney Sloan in the next month is the Steampunk Musha setting:

Where Industrialization and Tradition Collide in an Asian-Inspired Fantasy Setting

Steampunk Musha is a setting in conflict with itself, seeking balance. Ancient traditions developed in natural isolation from other cultures are put at odds with an industrial revolution imported by outsiders from beyond the sea. A war-torn land enjoys a cold-war’s peace as the rulers of a dozen city-states vie to reform a once golden empire to their liking; some choosing tradition and magic, while others choose science and technology, and others still stranger things. New lines are being drawn as the uneasy peace is tested time and again as even the individual becomes caught in the confluence of a land in revolution.

 

And finally, we have Jason Owen Black working as the Line Developer for the island of Neiyar:

 Neiyar is a land on the edge of turmoil. The collapse of the unifying Neiyaraja Empire has left people unsure of what to expect. Stability and tradition are of great importance in a land where merely surviving is difficult, and that stability has usually come in the form of one great empire after another. The unraveling of Neiyaraja has granted room to new powers and old dangers, and behind it all an ancient war for the very souls of Neiyar’s people threatens everything. Set on a vast jungle island and inspired by tales and legends from the Indian subcontinent, Neiyar is a land in need of heroes.

Beyond these three currently-in-active-development settings, we have various plans to still flesh out our Kingdoms of Sand setting inspired by the great, ancient civilizations of the Nile River and Fertile Crescent river valleys, as well as our own take on the popular “pirate” setting, a more classic Western setting, and many more!

An Open Call for a Shadows over Vathak Line Developer

So now to the heart of the matter. We find ourselves in need of a Line Developer for Shadows over Vathak. In the past, John Bennett did an amazing job at it, starting with a series of books and adventures based in The Colonies but by about the time we decided to do a proper revision and expansion with the Shadows over Vathak: Player’s Guide, he largely needed to step away for various reasons. And while I “filled in” to get that text through full development, we really need someone else to drive the charge and do the footwork on completing the started design and manuscripts for Shadows over Vathak: Gamemaster Guide and continuing to develop and release (and re-release) books for the series.

In a previous blog-post, I’ve been expounding on what a Line Developer is or could be, but I’ll copy-paste the important part here:

 A Lead on a project (like Lead Writer, Lead Developer, Lead Artist, etc.) is typically the person in charge of some aspect or specific project, possibly with subordinates of the same type. For instance in the case of a Lead Writer, the LW would be "leading" the group of writers in producing the manuscript, reporting to the Project Manager as needed. Leads are often "experts" in their area or on their project, with the assumption that "no one knows the material like they do." A Lead Developer may also go by a name like Line Developer, which typically refers to them being charge of a specific "line" of books related by game system, topic, etc.

 

 A Developer is the creator of subsystems for an existing roleplaying game system. Developers are creating new content (instead of merely editing existing rules to new purpose), most often "writing" it themselves. Development is distinct from merely being a Writer in that, while you can "develop a world" by expanding fiction and lore, developing for a game system implies a harder, game mechanical edge. The new development can be as small as a single new feat or magic item, to as large as an add-on subsystem that works with existing core or alternate mechanics.

So for our purposes, we are looking for someone to become the content expert on the world of Shadows over Vathak, doing so in line with the larger project (managed by myself as the Project Manager) of developing the world of Antikthon. In this role, the LD will be expected to be able to write and develop both world lore and mechanics as requested, and/or to work with other writers and freelancers to write and develop these topics instead. They will work with a team of our freelancers from the Goblin Hoarde to first finish the Shadows over Vathak: Gamemaster’s Guide, then work as a Content Editor and Line Developer for both revising existing texts as well as releasing all new books.

As a “for instance,” we have a collected outline for the SoV: GMG, and in it are a number of new subsystems that need to be fully developed, often based on some existing notes — like creating our planned Mental Trauma system that works as an alternative to traditional “Sanity” or “Madness” rules for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Certain sections of the book, like expansions on curses and cursed items, we have in-house writers assigned to but their various texts need to be revised and brought in-to-line with the overall vision of the setting.

Additionally then, we have entire manuscripts “ready to go” but waiting for a new LD to come in and a) make sure they are in-line with the current vision of the setting, and b) make sure they fit the style guide and templates we provided work then as Content Editor.

Duties beyond development of the Shadows over Vathak line include help managing the Shadows over Vathak Facebook page, at least monthly blog-posts about current developments in the line, promotion of the line on various platforms especially with each new release, and working with myself and my other LDs (Rodney & JOB so far, but others to join) on helping to make sure all of our works hit Fat Goblin Games’ overall plans for the world of Antikthon.

Fat Goblin Games sees this as a hopefully long-term commitment and the establishing of a relationship, as we hope you will become our SoV expert and help us continue to develop the line and similar products for as long as we are all able.

The Actual Job Posting

Fat Goblin Games is seeking a Line Developer for its successful Shadows over Vathak cosmic, Gothic horror setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Duties will include writing and editing multiple books in an ongoing series, that range from short 10 page adventures to full setting resource guides upwards of 500 pages. Compensation will vary depending on specific role for each book in the line (primary writer, content editor, line development only, etc.) but typically be paid as percentage of profits. Opportunities exist to revise and re-release many existing books as well as develop all new texts. Once part of the Goblin Hoarde of Fat Goblin Games’ freelancers, additional writing and development opportunities are possible depending on your availability and aptitudes.

Interested parties should contact Rick Hershey at fatgoblingames@gmail.com While no specific, minimum previous experience in tabletop roleplaying game writing and editing is required, you should plan to provide samples of your writing for both lore (fluff) and game mechanics (crunch) specifically for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and provide evidence of your ability to work in groups as well as manage a team of freelancers on a large project of this nature.

Note: Shadows over Vathak is a HORROR setting, and many of the topics and themes that the setting works in are… horrific. Providing clear evidence that you “understand” horror as a genre and are both comfortable writing about it, but also able to evoke the needed feel and terror of writing horror are clear asset we hope to find.

Lucus Palosaari on RPGNow.com, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ & LinkedIn -- and now on Amazon!



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