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ZEITGEIST Looking for a writer for a ZEITGEIST setting book


'Consultation' is as much as I had hoped for, honestly. I'd just like to contribute. Though I am free for the next few months...

I have made a thread to discuss this topic, so we stop clogging this thread.


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Taylor Espy

The Red Menace
We’re finally going to make a hardcover ZEITGEIST setting book (and a stand alone WOIN-powered ZEITGEIST RPG).

For that we need a writer! This is a big job for the right person - a compilation of existing setting material throughout 13 adventures and two guides. This is, of course, a paid gig.

Are you reliable, familiar with ZEITGEIST and either 5E or WOIN? Ready to tackle a sizeable project? Let me know!
Hello Morrus,

I have been keeping my eye out for something like this, as I have grown quite fond to the ZEITGEIST setting since I first started running a game in it some three years ago. I would say that I am very familiar with the setting and tone, since I have gone on to run a second (smaller scale) game using the materials in these books, and using D&D 5e no less.

I have no knowledge of WOIN or its systems, however I have been running D&D 5e for long enough to become very proficient in its systems.

I am currently only working part-time so a sizable project should be perfectly fine for me currently.



I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring for this.

I am a longtime GM (10 years experience, in a variety of systems both published and homebrew) with detailed experience in the ZEITGEIST setting, from reading and analyzing the books at length and currently participating in a campaign on the player side. The vast majority of my GMing work has been in original settings, and I have long had a passion for lore and worldbuilding.

I am quite familiar with the specifics of 5E. I do not have experience with WOIN, but I have confidence in my ability to pick up new RPG systems in short order.

In other qualifications, I have a BA in History and in Computer Science, and am currently employed as a technical writer for developer-facing content in the software industry. I am thus well-accustomed to organizing and executing research and writing projects of significant scope.

And, well, it looks like a fun and interesting project for someone who's been recently considering getting their start in freelance RPG work.


Hi Morrus,

On reflection, I would like to present myself a touch more professionally.

In 2017 I graduated from the Australian National University with a double bachelor's degree in Information Technology (Information Systems major) and Laws. I feel this experience has given me a broad and valuable background in legal thought, in government policy, in systems design and in the roles of technology in any system.

I discovered TTRPGs in my first year at Uni, and have embraced them thoroughly- participating in and GMing a number of campaigns. Initially a Pathfinder GM, I have recently branched out into 4e. I have developed a focus on text-based campaigns, initially PBP and evolving into text-only campaigns conducted over Skype and Discord. The first independent setting I have written (donut steel) is rough, but I feel shows my potential as a writer.

Beginning in 3/3/2018, I have been running my own Zeitgeist campaign; text-based, 4e, beginning with three players now with two. Our IC channel consists of ~1,201,725 words and our side channels cumulatively are ~487,382 words. We are about 9/10ths through Book 12. In the campaign we have done our level best to plumb Zeit's depths for every plotline and every scrap of lore, partly thanks to my desire to be as 'by the book' as possible, partly thanks to my players' talent and dedication. I have worked to author additional materials (1, 2) for the campaign, including maps and art (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

I am currently volunteering with an emergency relief charity with my region, and am active with my local university's philosophy group. In February I will be commencing a new position with the federal government.

Given my lack of professional writing experience or education, and my lack of experience with 5e and WOIN, I do not believe I would be capable of being 'in charge' of a project of this scale. However, I fell I could be an invaluable part of any 'writer's room' for the purposes of debating setting ideas, or as a writer for smaller parts of the overall work.

Best of luck with the project, Morrus, I hope I am fortunate enough to be chosen to be a part of it.
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Well, that was fun
Staff member
Sorry to keep people waiting; I'm having the slowest conversation in the world with Ryan (by email), but I'll post some more info soon!

This listing for a setting book has come to my attention. From my reading of the product description, it seems that this will not be a sequel, but rather, a book for the setting as it is at the start of the adventure path. I can see that being a valid choice: a setting book for adventures in the world taking place alongside or instead of the grander scope of the adventure path.

Or is this a sequel regardless, with the product description simply being written so as to avoid spoilers for the adventure path?


Well, that was fun
Staff member
OK, folks, I have an update on this! Yep, still recruiting a writer. Here's the score!

Ryan Nock is writing about half the book. We're looking for a co-writer to write the other half. More specifically, we're talking about 45K words from the co-writer, who will be handling specific chapters.These are as follows:

1 -- overview and character creation (Ryan)
2 -- technology (Ryan)
3 -- setting rules (Ryan)
4 -- monsters (new writer); 30K words
5 -- setting run-through (new writer); 50K words
6 -- planets (new writer); 10K words
7 -- Flint (new writer); 15K words

8 -- adventure hooks (Ryan)
9 -- adventure (Ryan)

Note that a lot of it will be repackaged/compiled info from the existing AP, updated according to Ryan's guidelines in the initial chapter. You'd be able to talk to Ryan while working on it, but you'd also be able to put your own stamp on the setting to an extent.

This would be work-for-hire, paid at 3c/w, and would be to an early 2020 deadline.

I would be looking for:
  • A strong grasp on English writing and grammar (essential).
  • A strong grasp of 5E mechanics.
  • A strong grasp of 5E style guides (what gets italic, bold, when to use periods rather than colons, all that stuff).
  • A strong knowledge of the original ZEITGEIST AP.
What I would need

Drop me a PM. I don't need to see your resume, but I would like to see a writing sample. It can be anything you've done before, or you can do something new. It should be about 1,000 words.

I'd also like to see a 5E stat block of your own creation, so I know you have a mechanical handle on things. Again, you can either use one you've created previously, or a new one.

Here's a more detailed look at those four chapters, as described by Ryan:

Chapter Four is monsters, maybe some NPC stats, and magic items. The second writer needs to collate stuff from the 5E version of the AP, then write new material to fill in gaps.
---Expected Word Count: 30 pages with a fair bit of art, so 20,000 words, most of it would just be editing existing material.

Chapter Five is the full setting run-through. I imagine someone familiar with the AP could take the text from the original Player's Guide (which I have in the document for now), read through the AP, and note all the locations and historical bits. Then, they could write the chapter using my chapter one setting overview as a guideline (e.g., Risur has a new queen and there's a new fey titan replacing the Voice of Rot; Danor is coming out of civil war and is suppressing free speech to try to stick together; Crisillyir had a religious schism and is only NOT in civil war because Elfaivar invaded; etc.).
---Expected Word Count: 50,000 words (~15k is from the original AP, but has to be repackaged and edited thoroughly)

Chapter Six is about the planets. The second writer would talk about the nature of how planets affect magic, and give a page or two write-up of each planes for folks who want to do Edgar Rice Burroughs style extraplanar adventures. Paizo did something similar for Golarion's solar system, though I haven't done a ton of thinking about how ours would stand out.
---Expected Word Count: 10,000 words (1,000 is reused)

Chapter Seven is updating Flint and the Royal Homeland Constabulary, as an example of what a ZEITGEIST campaign could look like. Similar to chapter five, this would involve taking stuff from the original player's guide and the AP and extrapolating changes. I think it's a fairly light task: lots of "who's the new mayor in this district," "what sorts of thieves guild replaced Kell's," and "what sorts of problems is the RHC dealing with nowadays."
---Expected Word Count: 15,000 words (nearly all of which is reused, but has to be repackaged and edited thoroughly)

As you know, this is set AFTER the original AP. When you see Ryan's intro you'll have a much more solid handle on that, but we're going with a 'default' planar setup with a section on changing that if you've played the AP and chosen something different.
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We've just started a discussion in our group on the topic of our campaign speed... At current pacing it'll take us approximately 12 years to reach lvl30 (middle of Diaspora, but only reaching lvl17 due to some reordering), so release of setting book will definitely motivate me to speed up a bit.

EDIT: regardless of feasibility of continuing ZG story after the main campaign, just this table of contents looks extremely juicy to me. I always loved world-building in ZG (and/or world of WotBS), and gathering the info in one place is wonderful. I only only pray that this work will be thorough, as there are a lot of details that can fall through cracks...
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I do not quite agree with the direction some of this has taken, like the overall setting not having changed that much, Danor suppressing free speech, and Elfaivar invading Crisillyir. The latter two seem like conflict for the sake of conflict, and assume a relatively incompetent party that did not do all that good a job with Danor and the many eladrin ghosts in Ascetia, who are said, in the resurrection option, to "know that a great time has passed, which should cool potential desire for revenge." Never mind that the eladrin would have had to already push out all of the Crisillyiri colonies in Elfaivar first. Still, I recognize that some measure of canonical party incompetence is necessary for the sake of having some conflict remaining.

I have sent a private message with further inquiries.
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I have an impulse to presume the best of people, but looking at history it's clear that even with the best efforts of well intentioned good guys trying to make the world better, confident selfish folks will still hold power in some places.

The real world does not have the benefit of magical resurrections that instill psychic reassurements that "should cool potential desire for revenge." Real-world history is not a good guideline when superhumanly talented characters are on the playing field, and so much magic and mysticism is flying around. Bear in mind the sheer degree of raw, mundane skills that max-level characters can have in this setting, and remember that some of those characters were around to influence events.

If any of Ascetia, Bhoior, or Caeloon are in orbit, then people would think twice before repeating the mistakes of the past, or would have a greater sense of calm in the face of tragedy. The planar configuration makes people think quite differently from how they would in our own world. I look forward to thinking on how this would function when it comes up in the chapters, if I am chosen for this project.
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Yep, things are better and less desperate.

People still want stuff. They still disagree on what the point of living is, and what the best of all possible worlds should look like. Good guys can't be everywhere at once, and bad guys can gain levels too.

Heck, there are people who will think the PCs from the AP were villains who just happened to avert doomsday, and who made the wrong choice.

I think that it would help if the new setting was transparent about its design. Namely, that for the sake of presenting a world wherein there is actual conflict for new PCs to solve, the sequel setting assumes a cynical take on Lanjyrian geopolitics wherein selfishness is very difficult to drive out, and also assumes that the heroes of the adventure path did merely a middling job of making peace between various nations and polities.

It is fine to present a setting that still has many problems, but coming in the wake of an adventure path of world-reshaping heroes and significant amounts of optimism, there should ideally be a disclaimer laying out that many liberties and pessimistic assumptions have been necessary to keep the sequel setting full of conflict. This way, it does not feel as much like the adventure path has been handwaved away.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
I just think of it as a multiverse. There are a billion Llanjrs, one for each group that played the campaign through (OK, about nine Llanjrs). This is this one; your campaign was your one.

And that is perfectly fine. I just think it needs to be transparently stated somewhere, if only briefly. It can help reduce whiplash and explain why it was necessary to set aside the adventure path's optimism in favor of engineering more conflict with a more cynical and pessimistic aftermath, wherein the adventure path's heroes ultimately could not solve too much.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
We have some applications - thanks! I’ll give it until the weekend for any last applications, then the window will be closing.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
Just a quick note -- as mentioned, applications closed at the weekend. I've been looking through them over the week, and I'll also get Ryan's opinion. I hope to offer somebody the job in a couple of weeks.

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