News / The Fattest Goblin
I've started the last few weeks' worth of Thursday blogs with some form of "it's been a busy week" I feel, and its leading me to wonder "How many times till I just see THIS as my new normal workload?"
Anyways, every time its mentioned it's always meant to account for a shorter blog that day, as I impart some little tidbit and move on. Today's going to be roughly the same. As I announced last week, I'm trying to get Landon Winkler, our new Shadows over Vathak Line Developer, "up to speed" on all things Fat Goblin Games, Shadows over Vathak, and Antikthon-related. To that end, just today, I had to bang out over 1,500 words in response to a single question/comment he made just to fully explain a whole rationale of why things are the way they are in the setting -- and that's 1,500 words I'll never get to directly publish (ideally, it informs a lot of his future work, so here's hoping).
For those that don't know, 2,000 words written is considered an industry standard for "a day's work" (i.e. 8 hrs) but almost every freelancer I know can explain that that's not really a meaningful number (one freelancer asked his friends in the biz "What's the most number of words you'd written in one day that were published?" and while I answered in the 4,000 - 5,000 range, some people on his Fb were giving 10,000-20,000 words! (which I also get, I wrote the 94 page Call to Arms: Mantles of Power in a fever-dream of 5-6 days, and almost all of that is original text (like 90%+) and a quick Word Count shows the original manuscript clocked in at ~60,000 words, so even at 6 days it likely meant I was banging out 10k a day).
Anyways, this is all to say a LOT of great stuff in "coming down the line" but adding to the hecticness of my life was my wife's birthday last weekend and my birthday on Easter of all things (upstaged by a bunny!). But I'm trying to send to The Fattest Goblin all the bits and pieces of Send in the Clowns, a compiled vs. Stranger Stuff RPG + Three Standalone Adventures for a Complete RPG Experience in one (fairly slim) volume!
While also still trying to get Landon up to speed, and get all the Hoardelings moving forward on their projects, while appeasing The Fattest Goblin of Them All -- AND we're even missing The Janitor largely this week because he's busy with life before shipping off for the next year to a different country!
Thank you all then or your patience and Happy Easter!
Today's blog is going to be a grab bag, covering a number of topics. First up!
GM's Day Sale On Now!
Saturday, March 4th is GM's Day! Started in 2002, it's a day dedicated to celebrating those that run our games of tabletop, and most companies like to cash-in with GM's Day Sales! (that last a week+)
So, on OBS sites like RPGNow.com, you can find almost all our products (imprints too!) marked down 30%, and you can find the same on OpenGamingStore as well! The Fattest Goblin had The Janitor set up a similar 50% off sale on our fatgoblingames.com store too. Use the code GMSALE on fatgoblingames.com to get 50% off your total order, good through 03/15/2017.
Also, last year in honor of GM's Day, which is also the anniversary of Gary Gygax's passing, The Fattest Goblin made this tribute piece available PWYW (including free):
Speaking of The Fattest Goblin's Art...
Rick Hershey's Art Rates for 2017
You can download a free copy of Rick Hershey's Art Rates for 2017 today and start planning using some original pieces to help augment your stock art from Fat Goblin Games today! And while we're on about Stock Art...
New Stock Art Maps!
We've got some new blood here at Fat Goblin Games delivering even more incredible stock art -- this time some wonderful isometric stock maps, like these lovely pieces:
And on the matter of "fresh blood"...
Still Looking for That Shadows over Vathak Line Developer
We've had some really great applicants so far after our announcement for the Line Developer position last week, but we'll still be taking new applications for at least another week or so -- SO YOU STILL HAVE TIME!
The "And More"
We've got a lot more going on here at Fat Goblin Games of course, from new products like RPCheese (more on that in a future blog) and dipping our toes into the Starjammer Roleplaying Game compatible field, to we're trying to help organize a Bundle in support of Liz Court's Section 15 IndieGoGo campaign, to so much more. You'll just need to be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date!
**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.**
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 email@example.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.
Fat Goblin Games has had a productive year, releasing over 200 products in the 366 days of this past year (yay, Leap Year!).
Of those products, around 55 of them (~27.5%) were for various Imprints like Abandoned Arts. Around 80 of them have been (or will be, one or two are scheduled to still drop before Dec 31st, 2016) various forms of Stock Art or similar products (~40%). That leaves at least 65 releases just from Fat Goblin Games proper.
All of those products lead to ~2,700 pages between those 120 books (the 55 Abandoned Arts + 65 Fat Goblin Games), for an average of 22.5 pages per release -- so not all were "small books." Dropping even our massive 840 pages from the Worldbuilding Journal (one of our most popular products this year!), we're at ~1,860 pages or an average of 15.5 pages. Hell, even removing the 450 pages of the Shadows over Vathak Player's Guide (~1,410 pages), we're still hitting 11.75 pages on average.
2016 was also the year of us expanding out beyond the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game & Stock Art, with 15 releases for 5th Edition Fantasy, and 12 releases for the vs. M Engine system (like vs. Ghosts, vs. Moon Men, & vs. Stranger Stuff, with adventures for all of them), and even a few for OSRs and system neutral games.
Possibly one of our proudest achievements though is our official reviving of the R. Talsorian Castle Falkenstein game and setting, with an official endorsement! With two books out the door, and sales improving, we're looking to do full support for Castle Falkenstein with both large and small releases coming in 2017 (read all about that here).
This is all to say that while 2016 was a remarkable year for Fat Goblin Games, "you ain't seen nothing yet."
Expect to see a lot more from us going into 2017, as we both support our existing lines and systems and expand out into releasing all new ones!
Thank you for all you've done for us, it's what keeps us doing this for you!
We're already on The Tenth Day of Sales, but you can still pick up every release going forward as they become available!
Sales in RED are active now! Comeback each day to see the next!
The First Day of Christmas -- Call to Arms
Every Call to Arms Book for only $1 Each!
Call to Arms is a bookline for players and gamemasters alike. Each book focuses on a different type of item, expanding rules for those items and adding everything from new mundane and magical examples of the item to new character options related to the item.
The Second Day of Christmas -- Labyrinth Lord
Every Labyrinth Lord OSR Book for only $1 Each!
The Third Day of Christmas -- Race Book Bundle
(for Pathfinder & 5th Edition Fantasy)
The Fourth Day of Christmas -- Traveler's Guide to Hell
Our Traveler's Guide to Hell for $1,
the official Hell of the Shadows over Vathak setting.
Welcome to Hell.
Come along with our intrepid guide as he explores the myriad layers of Hell in all of its glory. Written for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, this guide not only visits, but delves deep into the history, legends, and horrors that is the darkest and most deadliest of realms.
The Pits - Check out the worlds within worlds of Hell and visit Cocior, Belocor, Neir and other hellish realms.
Hierarchy of the Pit - Find out who the true rulers of Hell are and what motivates the likes of Baalzebul, Belphegor, the lovely and deadly Malfia and many more!
Tools of Hell - The crunch of the book! Learn about the various ways to arm yourself in Hell with new feats, magical items and spells to rock even the strongest of Archdukes.
Classes of Hell - Thirteen hellish archetypes await you including the Contractor (Wizard), Tongue of Sin (Bard), Nemesis (Inquisitor) and the unique Prestige Class, the Blood Knight.
If your party is going to Hell, then they need a guide. Fat Goblin's Travel Guide to Hell is that important manuscript for any adventuring party looking to take the ultimate plunge!
The Fifth Day of Christmas -- Stock Art Sale
All of our Publisher's Choice Stock Art and Templates for $1 each!
Including our Fantasy InDesign Template (regularly $14.95)
The Sixth Day of Christmas -- CLASSified
Every CLASSified book for only $1 each!
|The CLASSified product line from Fat Goblin Games is devoted to bringing you a new and exciting base class for your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, and includes complete rules for a single class or archetype and an assortment of other rules to bring your characters to life.|
The Seventh Day of Christmas -- Fungal Kingdom
Both Welcome to the Fungal Kingdom and Fungifolk are available for only $1 each!
Welcome to the Fungal Kingdom!
Welcome to 8-Bit Adventures! Do you yearn for a simpler time, when video games scrolled right and you only had to deal with 2 buttons at a time? An era where blocky, colorful, vaguely recognizable shapes made up heroes that battled odd and often confusing villains with little to no context? Then Fat Goblin Games has you covered!
The Eighth Day of Christmas -- vs. M Engine
The Ninth Day of Christmas -- Warlock & Drow
The Tenth Day of Christmas -- Worldbuilding Journals
A Bundle of All our GM Journals for $10!
The Eleventh Day of Christmas -- 5th Edition Fantasy
All of our 5th Edition Fantasy products are available for $1 each!
The Twelfth Day of Christmas -- Shadows over Vathak
Come back December 23rd for a link!
And Much More!
If you do the quick math, you'll realize all these sales run till Dec 23rd! The Fattest Goblin has something extra special planned for December 24th (Christmas Eve) and December 25th (Christmas Day) -- so be sure to take a moment away from the family and friends to check out those great deals too!