Kickstarter Grateful and Proud to be part of this! D20 Delving Board Game with Wizard Tower/Tim Kask

Graph Paper Architect

Michael K. Hovermale AKA Graph Paper Architect
Dreams of a Homebrewer – Originally written 7/5/2021 in a letter to Ernie Gygax.

When my children were young they came to me and asked if I could make them some homebrew of their favorite shows and books. I had observed enough about these four legged friendship animals and tiny monsters that lived in their pockets to know that it was good for my kids to be consuming that media, but I really didn’t know much more than that. I had observed the behaviors of the characters and paid attention to the messages in the stories but beyond that I couldn’t tell you anything more.

In my home there are a few names that are revered because they helped bring some of the media my family cherishes to the world, Henson, Disney, Tolkien, Beagle, Lee, Lucas, Rodenberry and more. Launching from a lifetime of loving the media they produced so much, that we raised our children on it. The kids had now discovered even more strange new worlds, and wanted my help in bringing them to life on game night.

I come from a pre-internet world, and table top roleplaying had been the light at the end of the tunnel to many of my days, so I was already quite experienced at creating homebrew. When I wrote it in the past with my friends, it was out of materials we already knew. It came from the works of names I mentioned above, and also the Odyssey and Iliad, up through Arthurian legends and branching out into pulp fictions and those thin shiny books I now keep in plastic, so I had warehouses of knowledge. The only trouble was I couldn’t tell you a thing about the worlds my kids were asking me to create for them, other than that I’d seen enough to know there were healthy, and I liked them.

Then I began researching, I made lists of each character, dove into their back stories, began extracting all the information I could about those characters’ lives, their worlds and their cultures. What were their powers, could they shoot lighting from their cheeks, or fly so fast they made a sonic rainboom. The further I dove in the more I discovered the wonders of those universes, and when we finally gamed, I was about a quarter to half right.

My children and their friends were the best play testers, it was an amazing and hilarious time with them while they explained my mistakes and we wrote and created, edited and collaborated weaving a fantastic adventure setting that we played over and over again, it even caught on with their schools gaming clubs.

We had created homebrew Dungeons and Dragons type games that did not have any deadly combat, and they worked. When I define combat I mean the traditional defeating evil foes kind, these little monsters weren’t fighting to the death, it was just rough and tumble play, and when it was over they went back to adventuring together as friends.

We traveled the world right from our table, sliding down sand dunes and exploring caves looking for lamps to rub. We went under the ocean and found a fantastic under sea community. We traveled to the outback, and made all kinds of new friends with pockets for their kids. We went to the east and got meet ancient powerful dragons, visit incredible temples, and sneak around with ninjas in the best game of hide and seek ever.

My children had awakened in me the sleeping dragon that dreamt of being a game designer. What if I could reach out to the companies that owned the rights to these wonderful worlds and characters and show them what we had created? What if they loved it? What if they hired me as a designer and writer and my career dreams could be fulfilled and I could provide for my family with those skills? What if I could join those people whose work I had cherished so much that my partner and I raised our children on it?

There is another name on the list of those that inspire me I haven’t told you about yet. This name has been in my heart since I started playing table top role playing games in 1986. This man had done all the things that I so desperately wished I could do. He gathered together a team that helped him create fantasy worlds that were so needed, and so precious.

The name…is Gygax.

Today I am working towards achieving my dreams, with fantastic creative people at Wizard Tower Games, and getting to work with industry legends such as Tim Kask, I look in the mirror each day and remind myself this is real.

Jim Henson got it right, life's like a movie write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending.

Michael K. Hovermale
Game Design/Marketing
Wizard Tower Games


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