I am an aspiring author that was side-swiped from that destination by the purchase of a local gaming shop. I managed All The Fun Stuff for about four years, but I had been involved with the store in one way or another for over 20 years — since I worked there when I was in high school. I missed the creative outlet of writing very much, but lack the ego necessary to tout my own work to publishers.
Some of my writing accomplishments are:
- I have had articles printed in Polyhedron (“Stench Cow Recipies” #133, “Of Sigil and the Sea” #137) and Dragon Magazine (“Extra Healing” #269).
“Of Sigil and the Sea” is of particular pride to me, as it was illustrated with a map by one of Wizards of the Coast’s Planescape setting cartographers, Rob Lazzaretti. You can find an archived, COLOR copy of the map on the D&D’s Map-a-Week page for 12/21: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/mwa/archive2001
I won the 1997 RPGA Adventure Writing contest with “Heirs of Elemental Evil” that was the two-round Team Event at Origins 2000. I included the various styles of adventures — puzzle, combat, mystery, and roleplaying — all in one adventure where they meshed seamlessly. I still think of this as my best adventure written, even if the main idea is a little on the silly side — babysitting kids. The PCs from that adventure can be found here at the AD&D Hall of Heroes: http://www.hallofhero.com/npc/Etiquette.cfm?id=1
I contributed the third part to the Kargatane’s Children of the Night: Demons project with “Marasmos”. As always, this adventure was heavily edited, dropping out whole sections using the Nightmare rules and in-depth infection rules. A copy can still be found on the Kargatane’s web site: http://www.kargatane.com/
Online, you’ll find various articles and pieces written by me, ranging from the serious commentary on gaming and comics to the whimsical fanboy-ishness of filks:
I was one of two winners of Buccaneer Bass’ Five Fingers Contest, (“Cadaver and the Survivors”) as judged by the staff at Privateer Press: http://www.buccaneerbass.com/rls/html/ourmaterial/5fingers.htm
Beside writing, another of my skills is tinkering with a pencil, as can be seen here at my Elfwood page: http://elfwood.lysator.liu.se/art/w/j/wjcuffe/wjcuffe.html
When I submitted Heirs of Elemental Evil to the RPGA, they asked of just one change. For a writer, a single edit on a project is a pretty rare occourance. Usually there are many small details that need to be altered before acceptance by an editor. Unfortunately that single change was to delete the relationship between the Player Characters Talos and Hound. I can understand their reasoning, and didn’t fight them on their request.
Throughout 1998, Dragon Magazine ran a design contest in every issue. A spell, a type of undead, a magic item, the subject of said contest changed with each issue, but it was open to anyone with an idea and the verve to write it down. When issue #253 hit the stands, blazoned across the top was a banner reading: “WIN! The Inner Planes – AD&D Contest”. Being the obsessed Planescape fanboy that I was — and still am — I knew I wanted to win. When I read what the contest was, I knew I *had* to win.
The Planescape setting was ambitious, leveraging itself up as a meta-campaign that encapsulated all the other Advanced Dungeons & Dragons settings into a coherent narrative. That was no easy task, when some settings like Dark Sun and Spelljammer worked very hard at being isolationist. Even Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms tried to withdraw from the framework set in place by the Planescape setting. That reluctance was not reciprocated, as the writers of the Planescape setting made herculean efforts to fold not just the rules of the other settings, but their characters, plots, and history. However, some campaign worlds where exceedingly difficult to work with, especially the Ravenloft setting.
In 1997, TSR published Polyhedron #126, and therein ran a one page advertisement for the “RPGA Network Adventure Design Contest `97”. The RPGA was a part of TSR that concentrated on producing and running adventures for the company’s game lines at conventions, both locally and nationally. They maintained the ongoing Living Campaigns (after which this blog derives its name), as well a more one shot adventures. The purpose of the contest was to generate some new encounters for the voracious fans of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and I took them up on the challenge. However, there were some preliminary rules to which submissions had to adhere:
I was lucky enough to have a Planescape article accepted by Polyhedron Magazine. Entitled “Of Sigil and the Sea“, it was published in issue #137. Imagine my delight when I saw an accompanying map draw by the illustrious Rob Lazzaretti, cartographer of many of the actual campaign setting’s poster maps. Wizards of the Coast posted a color version of the map on their “Map of the Week” page for the date of 12/20/2001.