Flow of development is going to be an ever changing and ongoing project for us. Expect us to keep our Devlogs reasonably well updated, but we feel they shouldn’t impede actual development. In the interest of putting forth quality work, sometimes things are going to just take time. I’m kind of fine with that as we’re not looking to offer subscription benefits or anything. In fact, we’re really not looking to turn this venture into a profitable one at all.
Ultimately, we just want to make quality content without the worry of letting people down with broken promises.
We will pursue workflows that make sense to us as well as timelines which will allow us to maintain our “regular” people jobs and families. I have to remind myself about what we’re trying to do with AbyssalBrews. Lofty thoughts fill my head in short order when I dream of what could become of this project. It’s fine to dream a bit, but letting it get in front of the work is never acceptable.
This is all a long-winded way of saying that we’re not going to strap ourselves down with timelines on work. Updates on our progress will come as frequently as we have something to share. Expect to see some small updates, some large updates, and sometimes no updates if we’re putting our noses down. Now, on to the projects!
Core to the ongoing discussion that we want to have with people in the TTRPG, our blog posts will feature a variety of content that I’ve laid out. Content will be mostly focused on running Dungeons & Dragons at your own table.
Numerous resources exist for players, so we want to focus on resources for the Dungeon Masters. Furthermore, we want to deliver resources for the people running tables for everyday players. Actual play sessions grew in popularity over the last several years, but it is important to remember that most of the games in the world focus on everyday people instead of professional voice actors.
DMing for the Average Jo
There is a distinction between running a table for an audience as opposed to running a table for the players sitting at it. Character focus is far more important and large set pieces should feel earned.
When D&D isn’t your job, there are gargantuan differences in how you should approach prep for sessions. We’ll be launching a series focused on being a DM when D&D isn’t your entire life. We’ll be calling it DMing for the Average Jo. Yes, Jo, as we want to encourage people actively to run games regardless of their pronouns.
I’ve reached out to several friends in the D&D scene and asked them what it is they wanted to learn. What are some of the sticking points that they have had in learning to DM? They provided fantastic insight into what new people to the scene could trip over and I’ve structured content around that. Look forward to the first DMing for the Average Jo focused around theater of the mind in the coming weeks.
DM Utility Belt
DM Utility Belt will launch after DMing for the Average Jo and will focus around the tools of the trade. I’ll be discussing the various software and real life tools I employ to get the job done behind the screen. Each piece will be a deeper dive into one tool as opposed to an overview on many.
These will take more time to set up as I intend to include video and photographic content. Expect dives into various virtual tabletops, sound software, map making tools, character builders, character sheets, and more. I try to test out everything that’s out there because something might stick!
One Off Posts
Fernando is in the process of putting together some information about our artwork and what graphical style we’ll be pursuing in the future. This will probably result in a blog post about our methodology and art style.
There are several smaller topics to discuss in the tabletop world. You might see little things that don’t fit neatly into other series. In between these you’ll have Devlogs and news about AbyssalBrews. We’re going to keep the blog moving at a decent pace in between the homebrews. Speaking of…
The actual core of what we’re here for. Blogs and vlogs will tie all of this together, but the most important thing for us is the brews that we will be releasing. We have a definite, eventual goal that we would like to get to, but there are a lot of small steps to take along the way. With that in mind, we’re going to announce three homebrews that we’re working on.
Death has always been a system in 5E that gets a lot right, but can also make a player feel really terrible as they have little say in the outcome. Perhaps death should in fact come unpredictably, but I like to think of more cinematic tales than reality. We’re already in a fantasy world; let’s leverage that into heroic moments of sacrifice or triumph.
The Cycle will be our first dip of our toe into the publicly released homebrew space and we’re excited to get it in front of you. It aims to simply, yet effectively change the death mechanics to allow for more player agency and less hit point whack-a-mole.
The Long Road Somewhere
Getting from point A to B is already well handled by hand waving the travel and getting to the location. I’ve employed this exact tactic many times in my game and rarely have I felt bad about it in any way. Running campaigns for friends and family can often mean that you want to skip the filler and get to the “good stuff” of the dungeon or next plot location.
The Long Road Somewhere is our attempt at keeping some aspects of danger in travel, while also removing tripping points. We want to give travel tangible benefits and pitfalls while being careful not to turn it into a die rolling simulator. This is one that I’ve had in my pocket for quite some time. I’m particularly excited to get it in front of your eyes.
The Urstahl will be our first player race option that we will be releasing for 5E. This proud species will feature elements of storytelling, ancestry, and the importance of family. I don’t want to delve too deeply into the mechanics or the specifics of the Urstahl themselves just yet.
There is a gargantuan amount of work still on the table for them. I know Fernando has expressed excitement about illustrating them. I’m a bit more reserved as I want to make sure they feel unique and fascinating to play as opposed to a re-skinned version of another race.
You can expect to see more updates from us in between our Blogs & Brews (B&B as I call it, though it has nothing to do with beds or breakfast). We have several one-off magic items, spells, monsters, and more that we would like to get out of our heads and into writing. Those will all be smaller updates between the larger systems, races, class options, classes, and more than we have to release.
If you’ve made it this far, I appreciate you taking the time to see what we’re building here. If you have ideas which you would like to submit about what to cover in DMing for the Average Jo or DM Utility Belt, reach out in the comments or on social media. We love hearing from other DMs and players alike!
We’ll see you in the next one!