four adventurers move forward.

This is a new year and I have a new mindset.

To say that the OGL madness that started the year was disturbing would be an understatement. I am genuinely disappointed, but not so surprised by the action of a huge multibillion-dollar corporation. It put the state of this industry under a very clear, and focused, lens. And it has, to my surprise, had a deep impact on me.

I have moved away from creating D&D products over the last year already, however, there was always the pull to work on more. Many of those products have been the most monetarily lucrative that I have worked on. They have also been some of my most frustrating and upsetting experiences too. But this has put the nail in the coffin for me. Buried the hatchet. Slayed the dragon, I guess.

I now have a much clearer vision for my future.

It’s time to go alone (well, not completely of course). D&D is not tabletop gaming even if Hasbro wants to claim that it is. It is a social gathering of like-minded folks to tell stories, roll dice, laugh, cry, and ideally eat pizza. That can’t be owned and that has already been shown.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Going forward I will be producing my own work, and selling it myself. It is clear that relying on those above to foster, guide, and protect is not an option. I have at least one larger TTRPG project that I want to complete this year. It will be the game I focus on all year. I have been too quick to jump on new shiny things being paraded online and that has held me back. There is a new drive in me that comes from a very different place. A place of professionalism. I will most likely never ‘turn pro’ in the TTRPG industry without some major change, but I can treat what I create in a professional manner.

It’s 4:30 am. The Tiny Human woke me at 3:30 am, she’s sleeping again now, but I am not. This is where my mind wandered. I haven’t written anything for a while and my balance is always off when I haven’t been writing.

Tying your identity to a brand can hurt you. Tall poppy syndrome is real, they will cut you down so that you stay with them. Create the things that you want to create. Try something new, regularly. Surround yourself with like-minded creators.

Long days and pleasant nights.

Stuart.

four adventurers move forward.
Artwork by Sam Wannan

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