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    Yes, I started with B/X and later got the...

    Yes, I started with B/X and later got the Companion set onwards. I wasn't really aware that there had been a shift in authorship and direction. I later started with 1e and that became my main game,...
  2. As a postscript, I should mention that Matt...

    As a postscript, I should mention that Matt Colville recently shook up the industry by advertising for a freelance RPG writer and offering 25 cents per word!

    He also specified the expected output...
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    Dragon Reflections #22

    The Dragon Issue 22 was published in February 1979. It is 56 pages long, with a cover price of $2.00. In this issue, Little Wars meets The Dragon, we get a sneak preview of the upcoming Dungeon...
  4. Thanks, Jim! I love that book, and it has one of...

    Thanks, Jim! I love that book, and it has one of the best covers TSR ever did. We really enjoyed the heroes section, and it was fun to compare our characters to King Aruthur etc.
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    Also, I'm thrilled to share with you that I was...

    Also, I'm thrilled to share with you that I was one of the writers on "Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus"

    https://twitter.com/MTBlack2567/
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    Sorry guys, I'm not Merric - that's another...

    Sorry guys, I'm not Merric - that's another Australian :-)
  7. Some of you follow my columns here on EnWorld....

    Some of you follow my columns here on EnWorld. I'm thrilled to share with you that I was one of the writers on "Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus"

    https://twitter.com/MTBlack2567/
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    My pleasure guys - I took a couple of slots out...

    My pleasure guys - I took a couple of slots out to publish my articles on freelance gaming rates, but will look to resume normal schedule now.
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    Dragon Reflections 21

    The Dragon Issue 21 was published in December 1978. It is 30 pages long, with a cover price of $2.00. In this issue, we have lots of board game reviews and the return of Monty Haul!


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  10. The other issue with a bloated product line is...

    The other issue with a bloated product line is that it makes it harder for new players to onboard. Mike Mearls spoke about this as one of the reasons behind the constrained 5e release schedule....
  11. I think Jester is right on the money here, and I...

    I think Jester is right on the money here, and I think Paizo probably want to hold their nerve with 2e. There's possibly another factor to consider. I still hang around in OSR circles a bit, and its...
  12. There is easy money on the table for Paizo,...

    There is easy money on the table for Paizo, converting some of their classic APs to 5e. It would self-fund via crowdfunding and they could contract out the actual work to Kobold etc.

    I suspect...
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    I'm really enjoying these, Jim, and I look...

    I'm really enjoying these, Jim, and I look forward to more!

    From the above, it seems like you were quite removed from the decision makers. This surprised me, because I thought you were regularly...
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    More interesting to me is the estimate the...

    More interesting to me is the estimate the article includes of the current number of D&D players worldwide - 40 million!
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    They are not LARPers. "Girls Guts Glory" are a...

    They are not LARPers. "Girls Guts Glory" are a D&D group who like to cosplay.
  16. Thankyou! I'll have a look at AIGA

    Thankyou! I'll have a look at AIGA
  17. A Guide to RPG Freelance Rates: Part 2 (Layout, Illustration, and Cartography)

    I’ve created this guide to help RPG creators understand the current market rates for freelancers across a range of activities. I recall how hard it was to find this information when I was starting...
  18. Ok, I spoke to Daniel, and he gave me the...

    Ok, I spoke to Daniel, and he gave me the following information and permission to share it here:



    However you slice it, he has done incredibly well.
  19. I got those figures from Daniel himself. I...

    I got those figures from Daniel himself. I suspect he must be including dtrpg sales as well - ZWEIHΔNDER is an adamantine best-seller, which means it has sold at least 5,000 copies.

    Daniel might...
  20. I think a lot of folk work like you do, with a...

    I think a lot of folk work like you do, with a day or two of downtime leading up to a huge writing burst. For myself, I tend to be a bit more slow and steady, even though I am a fairly fast typist.
  21. Multiple draftings (which I assume most people...

    Multiple draftings (which I assume most people do) certainly complicate the "average words per day" scenario.

    I'm curious about your experience, if you don't mind sharing. Let's say you wrote...
  22. Makes perfect sense - thanks Morrus!

    Makes perfect sense - thanks Morrus!
  23. All good, I was just curious. I guessed that was...

    All good, I was just curious. I guessed that was an exception. But stuff like archetypes etc., you revert all rights after a year?
  24. Hi Mike, Sorry if I wasn't clear. I know you...

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry if I wasn't clear. I know you that ZEITGEIST is EN World IP. What I'm asking is this - say I was to write a ZEITGEIST adventure for EN5ider, what would happen to the right to that...
  25. Yes, rights is a big thing to take into account....

    Yes, rights is a big thing to take into account. Virtually all of the work I've seen is "work for hire". However, if you can get the rights back and there is a market for what you've written, you can...
  26. A Guide to RPG Freelance Rates: Part 1 (Writing and Editing)

    I’ve created this guide to help RPG creators understand the current market rates for freelancers across a range of activities. I recall how hard it was to find this information when I was starting...
  27. You might be right - Boot Hill crossover, perhaps?

    You might be right - Boot Hill crossover, perhaps?
  28. “The left one has the picture of an island in the...

    “The left one has the picture of an island in the middle of the door (it was the Isle of the Ape in playtest). The middle door has the picture of a walrus on a beach. The right one has a picture of...
  29. Great story - thankyou!

    Great story - thankyou!
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    Very glad to have you writing here, Jim! I look...

    Very glad to have you writing here, Jim! I look forward to hearing more.
  31. I would never have guessed that Monte Cook would...

    I would never have guessed that Monte Cook would publish a 5e version of Numenera, and that is happening now (kinda). I wouldn't discount Paizo doing a 5e Golarion one day - it will really depend on...
  32. Dragon Reflections #20 – Demonology Made Easy!

    The Dragon Issue 20 was published in December 1978. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $2.00. In this issue, we talk about board games, witchcraft, demonology, and the Lord of the Rings...
  33. I think the new printer had trouble with the...

    I think the new printer had trouble with the colour separation, which led to the problem.
  34. Did you mean 'disrespectful'? Yes, that should...

    Did you mean 'disrespectful'?

    Yes, that should read disrespectful
  35. Dragon Reflections #19 – Battle of the Cons

    The Dragon Issue 19 was published in October 1978. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $2.00. In this issue, GenCon and Origins battle it out for convention supremacy!



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    The...
  36. Here's the link -...

    Here's the link - https://www.drivethrurpg.com/cc/22/SWAG
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    Thanks, this is good practical advice. What...

    Thanks, this is good practical advice.

    What is your background in the industry, if I may ask? You clearly know a lot about it.
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    Thanks for your comments, GreyLord. What...

    Thanks for your comments, GreyLord.

    What advice can you suggest to someone who is looking to hire an artist for their game or book? What does a reasonable rate look like?
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    That's very helpful information Creighton! I...

    That's very helpful information Creighton! I assume I can quote your Raging Swan rates?
  40. Great article - thanks Egg!

    Great article - thanks Egg!
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    My apologies, I must have misunderstood you, or...

    My apologies, I must have misunderstood you, or mixed up your words with Raggi's.

    And I'll drop a line to a couple of those publishers to chat about rates and profits.

    cheers,
    MTB
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    I'll acknowledge it now - that's a great option!...

    I'll acknowledge it now - that's a great option! But I'm sure you know that there are many small publishers out there who don't pay well - look at the first page of this thread for evidence of that....
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    Zak, thanks for responding! I saw your comments...

    Zak, thanks for responding! I saw your comments on twitter but didn't have a useful response in 240 characters.

    One thing to note is that I'm not commenting on whether these rates are reasonable...
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    I've put together a guide to RPG Freelance rates,...

    I've put together a guide to RPG Freelance rates, based on my experiences over the last few years. Your feedback is appreciated!

    http://bit.ly/RPGRates
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    I've put together a guide to RPG Freelance rates,...

    I've put together a guide to RPG Freelance rates, based on my experiences over the last few years. Your feedback is appreciated!

    http://bit.ly/RPGRates
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    I suspect these fears are overblown. Even the OP...

    I suspect these fears are overblown. Even the OP was talking about a potential problem they foresaw rather than an actual problem that had manifested yet.

    We have a good existing parrallel in...
  47. Dragon Reflections #18 – Gamers Behaving Badly

    The Dragon Issue 18 was published in September 1978. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, we have gamers behaving badly at Origins '78, lots of D&D homebrew rules, and an...
  48. Nice - that's perfect! It really says "D&D...

    Nice - that's perfect! It really says "D&D adventure" once you add a map in.
  49. I take your point about the maps, but I think it...

    I take your point about the maps, but I think it can be done. In the above, for example, you could just have four rumours, push the right hand boxes up a couple of inches, and have a little map of...
  50. I love one page adventure designs. My only...

    I love one page adventure designs. My only hesitation is that D&D players and DMs *love* having maps for their adventures.
  51. Well done, Travis!

    Well done, Travis!
  52. Thanks!

    Thanks!
  53. Yeah, I felt the same way about the cover! Do you...

    Yeah, I felt the same way about the cover! Do you know who drew it? I couldn't figure that out.
  54. Dragon Reflections #17 -- Clockwork Monsters

    The Dragon Issue 17 was published in August 1978. It is 40 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, we have dungeon dressing, tesseracts, and clockwork monsters!


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    The...
  55. Yeah, Rolemaster was notorious, wasn't it? Didn't...

    Yeah, Rolemaster was notorious, wasn't it? Didn't they nickname it "Tablemaster" or something like that?
  56. Yeah, my son and I had a look through Cyberpunk...

    Yeah, my son and I had a look through Cyberpunk 2020 on the weekend, figuring out the combat system. Gosh, so many tables to look up, and so many little sub-systems to manage! It looked like a pretty...
  57. That's true, but I found the weapon proficiency...

    That's true, but I found the weapon proficiency systems in earlier versions to be a bit clunkier (I don't know about 4e as I never played it). The way 5e handles weapon proficiency feels really...
  58. They deal with it using the weapon proficiency...

    They deal with it using the weapon proficiency system, which I think is a very elegant subsystem in the game. Vanilla wizards and clerics *can* use a sword, but they don't get to add their...
  59. Dragon Reflections #16 – Gygax Fights Back!

    The Dragon Issue 16 was published in July 1978. It is 40 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue we Eric Holmes talks Cthulhu, we learn why clerics and wizards can't use swords, and...
  60. Wow - that's a great and helpful quote. It...

    Wow - that's a great and helpful quote. It suggests that Gygax NEVER really used miniatures for his RPG sessions. That surprises me!
  61. That's a good point, Rune. If I get the chance I...

    That's a good point, Rune. If I get the chance I might drop an email to Rob Kuntz and ask for clarification.
  62. Dragon Reflections #15 - Happy Third Birthday!

    The Dragon Issue 15 was published in June 1978. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue we get a whole bunch of random tables, Monty Haul returns, and a legendary RPG designer...
  63. * I wonder if the "other guys" from Minnesota had...

    * I wonder if the "other guys" from Minnesota had connections to M.A. R. Barker (beyond location), yet another soon to be disgruntled author for TSR? *

    The "other guys" were Dave Megarry...
  64. * Most of us went from DnD to Advanced DnD 1st...

    * Most of us went from DnD to Advanced DnD 1st Edition and didn't really give Basic DnD a glance back then honestly. *

    I started playing 1983 and Moldvay Basic was my gateway in. About a year...
  65. *Arneson was never in the company per se.* ...

    *Arneson was never in the company per se.*

    Arneson was on payroll for about a year in 1976. But he was never a shareholder and not really in management. According to Rob Kuntz, Gygax believed...
  66. Dragon Reflections #14 - Dungeons & Dragons Divided!

    The Dragon Issue 14 was published in May 1978. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, Gary Gygax explains Basic vs. Advanced D&D, we have an interview with a rust monster,...
  67. I think you find a lot more Howard tropes in D&D...

    I think you find a lot more Howard tropes in D&D than Tolkien tropes. Something like "Tower of the Elephant" could easily be translated into a D&D adventure, but I agree that's not the case for all...
  68. R_Chance, I do agree. I mean, they had hobbits...

    R_Chance, I do agree. I mean, they had hobbits and balrogs!
  69. I didn't mention the cover, which I liked. I feel...

    I didn't mention the cover, which I liked. I feel like the covers "levelled up" around this issue.
  70. Yeah, I always thought the lawsuit must have...

    Yeah, I always thought the lawsuit must have influenced these columns (Gygax has a similar one coming up at some point).

    I don't think Kuntz is disengenuous, though. I think D&D generally does...
  71. Dragon Reflections #13 - How to win D&D!

    The Dragon Issue 13 was published in April 1978. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, Rob Kuntz talks Tolkien while Jim Ward tells us how to win D&D!


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    I keep meaning to give Quag Keep a try, but...

    I keep meaning to give Quag Keep a try, but comments like these scare me off.

    They kinda make me want to have a look at it!
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    I haven't read the thing but it looked pretty...

    I haven't read the thing but it looked pretty bad. It kicked off an industry worth 100s of millions though!
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    Dragon Reflections #12 - Cthulhu Rises!

    The Dragon Issue 12 was published in February 1978. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. This issue saw the appearance of great Cthulhu!


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    Editor Tim Kask proudly points to...
  75. It's an oz-fest on here :-)

    It's an oz-fest on here :-)
  76. Thankyou! If I ever get time, I'd like to put...

    Thankyou! If I ever get time, I'd like to put together a 7 or 8 levels for that, but it's not looking likely at the moment!
  77. Thanks mate - I better write the next one!

    Thanks mate - I better write the next one!
  78. Where do you live, pemerton? I hail from southern...

    Where do you live, pemerton? I hail from southern Sydney, and I see we are the same age too.
  79. Dragon Reflections #11 - The Sorcerer Speaks!

    The Dragon Issue 11 was published in December 1977. It is 38 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. This issue saw the introduction of an important new column.



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    Editor Tim Kask is...
  80. Thanks folks - it's a great encouragement to...

    Thanks folks - it's a great encouragement to receive these comments!
  81. One thing I didn't have space to mention in the...

    One thing I didn't have space to mention in the above article is that Tom Wham was responsible for Ironclads!, a wargame that is said to have inspired the combat system in D&D. I sent Tom an email to...
  82. Hi Henry, I appreciate that! It's encouraging to...

    Hi Henry, I appreciate that! It's encouraging to get comments on these articles
  83. Dragon Reflections #10 – Snits and Orgies

    The Dragon Issue 10 was published in October 1977. It is 36 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. This issue saw the inclusion of a complete, all-new board game.


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    Editor Tim Kask...
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    Oh, I agree.

    Oh, I agree.
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    Dragon Reflections #9 - Welcome Wormy!

    The Dragon Issue 9 was published in September 1977. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. This issue saw the introduction of one of D&D's most beloved characters.

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    Tim...
  86. This is very cool, David! I'm looking forward to...

    This is very cool, David! I'm looking forward to more!
  87. (un)reason, thankyou for your hard work! I only...

    (un)reason, thankyou for your hard work! I only discovered your posts a few weeks ago, but I now check them out whenever I do a review.
  88. Regarding the success of the DMs Guild, Chris...

    Regarding the success of the DMs Guild, Chris Lindsay and Mike Mearls have mentioned many times that is has exceeded all of their expectations.

    For something a little more objective, Alexa...
  89. Thanks guys, that's very encouraging to read!

    Thanks guys, that's very encouraging to read!
  90. Thanks Warpiglet!

    Thanks Warpiglet!
  91. Dragon Reflections #8 – A Whole New Multiverse

    The Dragon Issue 8 was published in July 1977. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, Gygax massively expands the world of Dungeons & Dragons.



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    Tim Kask's...
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    From my reading, it seems that Blackmoor took...

    From my reading, it seems that Blackmoor took from Chainmail the monster, spell, and equipment lists, as well as the individual character titles (Hero, Superhero, Wizard, Sorcerer, etc). So Chainmail...
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    I'll go on record as being a big fan of both Otus...

    I'll go on record as being a big fan of both Otus and Trampier, but I'd agree the art got a lot more pro in the 80s.
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    I think that's the right way to see it. And...

    I think that's the right way to see it. And Chainmail drew upon earlier designs as well, of course.
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    Thankyou JEB!

    Thankyou JEB!
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    Hi Connor - you've made the same comment on a...

    Hi Connor - you've made the same comment on a couple of these now! The consensus seems to be that chronological is the most popular approach, and that also is my preference. So that is going to be my...
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    Dragon Reflections #7 – Who Invented D&D?

    The Dragon Issue 7 was published in June 1977. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this issue, Gary Gygax gives a controversial account of the origins of D&D.



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  98. Thankyou very much guys - it is encouraging to...

    Thankyou very much guys - it is encouraging to know people are finding this useful!
  99. Thanks so much, folks! I'm glad you are enjoying...

    Thanks so much, folks! I'm glad you are enjoying them.

    At this stage I'm planning to work through them in order, as it also mirrors the history of the industry and shows how things have...
  100. Dragon Reflections #6: A Star (Trek) is Born

    The Dragon Issue 6 was published in April 1977. It is 32 pages long, with a cover price of $1.50. In this column we see an influential science fiction game designer make his debut.


    ...
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