Saturday, December 09, 2017

GM Technique - Tidbits on my Serendipity Style

A few comments on one aspect of my style of GMing for those who may find this of interest. This is in response to Jens D's post here: Original Post

...

This immediately brings to mind something I've been meaning to write a post about ... my Serendipity Style of GMing.

I rely very heavily on the notion that things will simply fit into place at the right time. That the Universe will provide answers to pending questions one way or another, and that I don't have to think too hard about my World's mysterious plot and backstory holes... they get filled in just-in-time by some sort of weird miraculous process. I could give a hundred examples. But I won't. In fact, that's probably all I actually want to say about it.

It's hard because you have to trust the Universe to answer things for you... which requires that you have a very alert mind which can take even tiny things that happen along the way and integrate them smoothly and fluidly into your World. I've had it happen so many times now, where something I see in the news or overhear in a restaurant, or catch a fleeting glimpse of while driving by ... triggers "The Answer" to yet another of my World's many mysteries ... I really can't count. But I can say that without each of those my World would be a disastrous loping beast threadbare and tattered as it careens into the abyss.

Fortunately for me and my players my trust in the Universe has proven wondrous with ever blossoming tidbits that have answered so many of the mysteries. So while I really can't recommend it as a style of GMing because it's far, far too risky ... I can also say that when it works it's truly a thing of beauty.

And no, I haven't the vaguest clue how to instruct anyone to use this technique. The only advice I can offer is ... relax, don't think too hard, and wait for the answers to appear.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

What Makes A Great Gamesmaster?

Just a few thoughts on what I think makes a Great GameMaster, and my recollections of David Kahn's world of Telthanar...

I am thinking of my old friend David Kahn's world of Telthanar. The way he ran the game, to my mind, seemed infinitely amazing. I couldn't wait to get to his house on certain weekends to find out more about it. But what did he do that was so great? Let me think...

Well, for one thing, David was definitely master of his game. He used his own rules (as most of the GMs I knew did in those days), and he knew them back and forth, up and down. There were no quibbles about the rules, and rules lawyering was nigh on impossible. But moreover David had a personality that established him as "The Authoritative Source", and so even if there was a quibble... people would look to him for the correct and official answer anyway. And that went a long way towards keeping the mechanics of the game running smooth.

Also, when he created his rules, he kept it reasonably simple. The complicated parts were largely hidden from the players, as he would do the calculations behind the screen himself. Character development was probably more involved than he let on, and calculating things like armor class and total attack level was something he did on the fly in his head, but from our point of view as players it was seamless and looked easy. Of course, there's also the fact that he fudged his own rules. In fact the first time I rolled a Character in his world he said with his usual benignly wry and dry humor, "By the way, I cheat." That was David.

Lastly, as far as his rules were concerned, they were also interesting. He imbued a lot of philosophy into his rules system, and that made them fun to think about. For example, his magic system incorporated a fascinating numerology that established the underlying metaphysics of his world. More on that another time. Suffice it to say, his rules were an embodiment of his philosophic musings.

But more important to the joy of his game than his handling of the rules was the scope, depth and nature of his World. Telthanar. What an amazing place that was. First off it was huge, but at the same time discrete. There was a continent on which were major civilizations, some old, some new. The old ones had been buried in ruins for ages, and mostly forgotten, except by those who took it upon themselves to explore the ancient places. Over 20 years of play the story was unveiled, one tidbit at a time. David was very reticent about explaining anything of his world out of game. To learn about it, our characters had to explore it. He didn't wax eloquent about it's grand history, or tell us off hand what transpired and why the ancient Agmarians fell, or anything. But we fought hard for clues all the time.

So that made the World itself a huge ball of intriguing.

Then there was his style of playing NPCs. David had a very natural way of role playing. He could play any Character or creature and you really felt like they were in the room with you. But he didn't over do it to the point of being hammy either. He gave a strong impression of each NPC or monster, and each one was an individual. Even down to the guards at the local town hall. Every character in his world seemed to have a fully fleshed out life of their own, a personality, goals, traits, secrets and so on. And it all flowed so naturally from David's lips it really gave the impression of a living world.

Also, his maps. David made amazing maps. They were done on huge pieces of graph paper with the small squares. they had long long corridors, with clusters of 20 rooms or so at a time. He had a stack of these gigantic dungeon maps neatly piled on his desk. And no, we were not allowed to look at the maps. We could only see them from a distance. On our end we had to do the old fashioned style of mapping from his descriptions. And our maps were not bad, but we had mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes were costly. A flight of stairs that we wrote went up, when in fact we forgot later actually went down. Costly mistakes. But that of course was part of the fun of the game. We tried to be careful, just like we try to be careful in real life - but mistakes get made, and consequences are paid. Part of the challenge of the game was getting the mapping right, even amidst the bluster and excitement of battle.

Another thing is that his dungeons were actually very imaginative. For example, when entering the Major Ruins of Agmar there is a main hall, after you get down into the thing a certain ways. On the ceiling of this hall, which was something like 360' x 360' (iirc), was a pool of molten fire. On the ceiling... gurgling, bubbling, frothing fiery magma. It didn't drip down. It seemed as though gravity on the ceiling was simply "opposite". One could speculate about the how's and why's but ... we never really knew. But we knew that David knew. And we would scurry through that glowing red hall every time. The rest of the dungeon awaited on the other side through vast towering doorways that led into long corridors heading off in different directions. And so on. That was just one interesting spot. David had hundreds that were equally intriguing. Eventually we discovered that the Ancient Agmarians created the entire dungeon to be a magic item. The whole dungeon itself was a magic item... one that they used to keep the fabric of reality from tearing apart under the duress of their experiments with Chaos Magic.

Lastly, I'll say that David possessed a dry sardonic wit that made his Gamemastering something really enjoyable to behold. One always had a sense that he was gently challenging his players to do their best under perilous and uncertain odds. He was tremendously fun to be around, highly intelligent, very well read, and a true and natural story teller.

So David's world was fascinating on many levels. The history. The philosophy. The execution. The rules. And for all of this David earned his place as my all time favorite Gamemaster. He was the best Gamemaster I ever encountered.

My dear friend died of a stroke at the age of 54. Far too young. And very sad. May he rest in peace.


To put his life in a little perspective before I leave off, here is a piece about David's father, Herman Kahn. You may want to listen to the recommended sound track shown at the very bottom of that post while reading it. It may add correctly to your understanding of the atmosphere in which David lived his short but intensely creative life.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Mythos Machine - Campaigns Adventures Events Demo

A quick demo of the Campaigns, Adventures and Events structure within the Elthos RPG Mythos Machine ...

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Sage vs The Crows - A True Story

The sage sat in his wagon reading a book. Outside a murder of crows descended cawing at the darkening sky. He looked up. About a hundred crows settled into the trees around the wagon.

"Hmm... evil approacheth, me thinks," said the sage to himself. "What to do?"

He considered staying in the wagon and hiding. That wouldn't do. Evil thrives when good men do nothing. But what was there to do?

"I can try a Thunder Hand Clap and scatter them, I suppose," though that wasn't likely to do the trick, and once played and lost, the crows would become convinced that their enchantment was working. That wouldn't do.

So he lifted his creaking bones and climbed out of the wagon, thinking "There's only one thing that will help against Evil such as this... I will pray to the God of Love. He will hear my prayer and send some aid, I think. After all, we can't allow evil to prosper in the land. That would be bad."

And so, he stood beside the wagon observing the crows as they swarmed in groups on the trees and in the air, their cawing growing into an ever louder cacophony.

In one of the small young trees right next to the wagon were a few sparrows, staring silently into the air. They seemed a bit terrified. The sage loves sparrows. They remind him of his lady, who said if she could be any animal it would be a sparrow. He smiled.

"Chit-chit-chit" he clicked with his mouth. "Chit-chit-chit". After a few tries one of the sparrows made a little whistle. He imitated it with a whistle of his own, and chitted again a few times. Another sparrow whistled, and one chitted. A conversation began, and the sparrows began to whistle and chit with the sage. It seemed as though they were in a world of their own, and the crows had no power there. The sage was smiling, and enjoying the conversation. He hadn't spoken with sparrows for a while. They're such fun little folk.

"Now, what to do about these crows?" he asked himself. He was chewing on a mint leaf as he contemplated. "Oh I think I will try a Breath Weapon. Why not?"

And so, as the clouds began to rumble, and the crows flocked in a huge mass on one glowering Hawthorn, the old sage drew a large breath into his lungs, and began to blow Minty Breath towards the darkest part of the murder ... suddenly, before the breath even had finished, the entire black flock launched into the air, and without a single caw flew in a wide arc into the sky, and over the hills and vanished away beyond the tree line over yonder.

The old sage smiled at the sparrows, but they had also gone by then. He was alone in the forest. Not a sound could be heard. He felt a wonderful sense of calm, and the air seemed fresh and filled with a sweet scent... and so he climbed into his wagon, picked up his old book, and continued the story where he'd left off. And a good story it was.


- A Character Portrait for Elthos

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Some Thoughts On VR / AR GM Tools

In response to the post Are we a step away from 3D augmented reality rpg tabletops? by +Gerardo Tasistro, whose original post was this blog entry on Saurondor ... I'd like to present my reply to the OP here as a way to get these ideas out to a wider audience ...

Yup. I think this represents one of a series of "first steps" in the direction we're looking for as Professional Gamesmasters. Definitely. The technology needs to mature, and tools specific to RPGs need to be created, but yes. I can imagine this working in the context of shared environments in several ways. With AR the use would probably be to have a virtual table that all your friends sit around (ala Tabletop Simulator). In the case of AR it would be more like holodeck where you take a first person view. The best solution, as far as I'm concerned, would be the ability to switch between the two viewpoints at will.

That said, I would also like to point out that over the past 20 years there's been all kinds of promising looking technology, such as VRML, that could have done exactly this for us... but totally failed to come to fruition. The reasons are manyfold, but one of the primary ones, other than ridiculous and destructive corporate insistence on implementing the technology in proprietary formats instead of standards-based open formats, is the fact that there hasn't really been a Killer App for it yet. I see live-GM'd VR / AR games as the solution for that.

Gamemasters who are World Creators, teamed with 3D Artists and professional improve players could run sustainable entertainment companies based on live action VR / AR RPGs.

However, the tools need to be created for that. And so far every VR / AR company I talked to has said, "Oh that concept is absolutely awesome... but two levels above where we are technically at this point."

There's also the fact that if the stars do not align right in the business world, another hundred years could go by without anyone figuring out how to build those tools, and coalesce an actual community around them for live VR / AR RPGs.

So ... we as a community of GMs would need to specifically and assertively push for it. I recommend doing so loud, clear and often. Twitter, FaceBook, Google+... et al.

We need VR / AR RPG Gamemaster Tools!

Loud, clear and often.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thoughts on Creating a Successful Project

This past few years has been hugely educational for me.  I would never have known how hard it is to create a successful project in the RPG world had I not gone through all of this effort personally.  I always assumed that "it can't be that hard".

Allow me to say, for the record, "Yes, it's that hard".

The reason why is because there's a lot you need to know, and there's actually no really efficient or effective way to learn it without going through several years worth of poking, prodding, scraping and plenty of trial and error.  And all of that costs both time and money.  And frankly, most of us have too little of both to make a successful venture out of our favorite hobby.  But before I get into what's involved, let me discuss first what I mean by "successful".

What I don't mean is, I wrote a rules book, put it up on DriveThru, and got 200 downloads and $5.00 via PWYW from my friends who are supportive.  That is not what I mean by success.  Not that this isn't something that is a success in that doing the work involved with creating an RPG is hard, it takes a lot of time and effort to do a good job, and frankly, if you got 200 downloads you're already squarely in the middle of the pack in terms of success for the general mass of RPG Indie Publishers.

But that's not what I mean.  I mean the kind of success that one can bank on.  I mean real success.  And by that I don't mean "I made a lot of money".  What I do mean is "I made enough money to fund the project's continued development, support, and that enough people are enjoying it so that it has become an actually sustainable project."  And by "sustainable project" I mean that it has enough community support so that it won't just vanish into thin air as soon as I stop tweeting about it.

But to create that kind of success requires a great deal of effort.  And a lot of money as well, even if you try to do it as cheaply as you possibly can.  First, there's the effort that goes into creating a sound set of RPG rules.  That requires a good deal time in thinking, writing, copy editing, and play testing.  There's also the matter of artwork.  If you're not an artist then you have to obtain artwork from someone.  You could use public domain art, but ... really. You need fresh nice artwork or no one will look at your book.  Even if you have the most innovative rules in the world, people gravitate towards good art, and are repelled by mediocre art.  It can be the make-or-break point for many rules systems.  And good art is expensive.  It also takes time and effort to procure.  There's an art to obtaining good art.  Of course, if you want to go on the cheap as much as possible, then you have the option to do your own art.  If you're a good artist then that can work for you, obviously. If you're so-so... well, you take your chances.  I'm taking my chances with Elthos RPG.

And that's just the rules book in terms of RPG system.  There's also a lot of thought, and the rest, that must go into creating the Setting for those rules.  In fact, according to current (or are they already outdated?) Laws of RPG Rules Books, your rules are "supposed" to reflect the genre you are going after.  So every rules book has a genre focus, and those genres have specific rules to support it as such.  If that sounds hard to deal with, it's because it is.  And yet, most of us deal with it.  Except for those who are creating Genre-Neutral systems, in which case your rules need to be designed to allow for any possible genre.  Which is not easy either.  Let me repeat that.  That's not easy either.

Now you mesh your rules, your art, and your setting (not necessarily in that order) and you play test the hell out of the thing.  You find that Rule X doesn't work.  Maybe it's a central rule.  Back to the drawing board and revamp the system.  Maybe it's a minor rule.  Cool.  Update the docs and keep going.  But the point is that Play Testing is part of the work involved.  And that's not easy either.  It's not just playing the game and having fun.  It's checking the rules via the game and ensuring that the rules work to create fun for the players.  It's hard to monitor the game from this point of view, and you have to test all the rules, so you need to create scenarios that test all the rules.  Your players, who are there to have fun, and maybe to some degree test, may raise eyebrows.  But you keep going.  "Its a game test" you remind everyone, and you move on.  It's not easy either.

Point being - creating an RPG is not an easy thing to do.  It's just not.  It takes a huge commitment, both in time and money.  And finally you're ready to publish.  Now you have to learn a bunch of stuff about how to publish your rules.  You've got DriveThruRPG, pretty much the 800 lbs gorilla of RPG Publishing, and you've got to learn how to deal with the rules of creating a printable PDF, which requires the use of InDesign, or the equivalent software.  InDesign has a huge learning curve, and it's expensive to "rent" from Adobe at $32 / month.  Doesn't sound expensive until you add up the months you spend renting it.  Then you see, oh yeah... it is expensive.  So don't forget to suspend your rental when you're not working on the project.  You can always un-suspend when you need to.  Of course if you work on it intermittently as things come up, like I do, that's not a practical option, and yeah, the cost does add up over time.

But there's more.  You have legal considerations as well.  Did you happen to want people to use your rules to create their own Settings, like I do with Elthos RPG?  Well, you need to bake that into your terms of service, or license, in your book.  And guess what, you probably need to consult a lawyer.  And that's expensive.  But only if you plan on actually making a Success.  If you are thinking you're going to do a run of 200 and that's it, then you don't need to bother with the legal stuff because there's a solid chance you won't ever get sued, or run into legal issues.  On the other hand you still could.  So being prepped with the right legal verbiage is a good idea.  For example, I was going to save some money by going with Creative Commons.  But as it turns out, I didn't understand how CC works and what it's intended for, and it wouldn't have worked for Elthos.  My lawyer explained it to me, and now I get it.  I have a license agreement in Elthos that allows Settings creators to use the Elthos Rules to creating Settings Books and sell them without anything more than an attribution to Elthos.  But that took money for me to have created so that it's correctly formatted in legal terms.  And without that I would have run a risk that later people would have had a stumbling block and that would not have helped me with my goal of creating a Success.

Then there's marketing.  How do you market your RPG?  You tell your friends.  That's good for 10 to 20 downloads, maybe, if your friends are cool.  Your mom.  She'll download at least 3 if you ask her several times.  Then there's your friends friends... good for a few more downloads.  You post to social media ... a LOT.  You create new and fresh content that helps people in the community, and you constantly mention off hand that by the way you're working on something over there ... and you point.  That's good for a few more downloads.  So finally you reached 200.  Now what?

Marketing.  Now, yes, yes, I know, no one does Marketing in the world of RPGs.  But then again, 98% of RPGs go for the 200 run, and that's it.  Which is fine, if that's all you intended, and you worked along those lines, so it didn't cost you much to produce and the time was spent on a hobby thing that you love anyway.  No great loss.  But - that's not creating a Success in the way that I mean it.

So Marketing.  You hire a Marketing company, or you go it alone.  If you go it alone there is a huge learning curve in terms of SEO and how it works.  There's strategy, there's tactics, and there's money.  You have to spend a lot of money on marketing even when you go it alone.  Or, if you're really really good, you do all the research on it yourself ... which takes a LOT of time because it's really complicated, actually - and as Einstein once proved Time = $.  But lets say you don't mind and you spend the time.  You learn.  It still costs money as soon as, for example, you want to "Boost" your post on FaceBook.  In fact FB's Boosting is ludicrously expensive.  And if you don't Boost?  Well, that's the thing.  I'm not going to go into how FB algorithms work, and how Boosting works here, but suffice it to say, expect spend money if you want your post to reach more than 35% of your friends and family.  And if you're a business, or trying to use FB to spread the word about your RPG ... well, you get the idea.

Marketing is probably the most important, and the most expensive aspect of success.  And also probably the least understood.  It's complicated.  And it takes a long time for it to actually work.  A years's commitment to a marketing effort is normal in the industry because most people who don't see positive (very) responses (ie sales) in the first few months figure it's a bunch of hokus pokus and quit the campaign before it has a chance to work.  So Marketing requires a great deal of commitment.  Which equals time and money.

But there's another problem with Marketing that might not occur to people straight up.  So I'm going to mention it because I just found this out today.  So, as it turns out Marketing is a lot about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  You need this in order to expand your audience beyond the scope of your Friends and Family.  That way when people are searching for terms using Google the key words will bring up your site instead of someone else on the results page.  Without that, no one may notice your site.  So SEO is important to Success.  But ... SEO requires a LOT of fairly complicated interactions because the SEO algorithms look at all kinds of factors when ranking pages.  Everything from linked posts to hash tags, to press releases, to comments, to ... well everything.  And the more interconnected the posts are the better SEO likes them.  The reason is that Google (et al) tries to ensure that you're posts are "Authoritative" in order to spread them around. Now, it should be said that there's a science to SEO.  However, because Google doesn't like to publish the details of it's SEO algorithms, it's a murky science at best.  And there's considerable amount of trail and error that goes into the thing by our ever persistent Marketing departments.  And when Google inexpectedly introduces changes... well, it's like a busted bee hive of activity in the Marketing offices while the experts try to sort out what the change was, and how to adjust to it.

And so for your product or service to be classed as ranking high in a Google Search, and showing up on the highly coveted Page 1 results, you need to show a long term persistent, and shall we say "Professional" approach.  In other words, you have to be spending lots of effort on it.  Like, you know, a professional business would normally be expected to do.  So all of that sounds normal and good and stuff.

But here's the rub.  The kinds of posts that get shared and liked and linked and wind up hitting positive marks with Google's SEO may not be NOT the same posts as those your friends in the community expect or like.  They can seem like glitzy marketing hype. And in a sense they are.  But that Marketing aspect is there BECAUSE that's what the Google algorithm looks for when plotting SEO.  So while you might normally post stuff that's rich and deep and engaging to your friends... Google is looking for hype-ish looking materials that it can easily categorize with an algorithm.  Hence... the end result is that your Marketing team may well be producing materials for you that seem to you to be what you might fear others will consider hogwash, and you'll be concerned that all your lovely RPG friends on the InTarwEbz are going to think you've "Sold Out To The Marketing Hype Machine".  And you'll notice when that happens, especially among the Smart-Set of RPG enthusiasts (who are keenly aware of Marketing Glitz and tend to hate it with a purple passion, as everyone with half a brain does).  You'll sense it if there happens to coincide a palpable fall off in interest in what you're doing.  People really have come to hate hate hate to be marketed to.  I do, too.  It's totally understandable.  But the Google Machine has made it so that if you don't go down the Marketing Glitz path then you can't gain actual real-world traction with your project.

Now you might be thinking, but what's the point of all of that?  I'm just trying to publish a small press offering of my cool new RPG for a few of my friends and it's a labor of love and I don't care one iota if only 10 people ever see it, and I make no money from it at all.  That's cool with me.  I'm doing this work as a labor of love, after all, and therefore if I hope and expect financial gain from it then I'm selling out, and my work will be garbage, and everyone will hate me for it.  So there.

Yep.  I understand totally.  Most of us, rightly, have adopted that attitude.  Not necessarily because we are thinking "But if my RPG hit the big time and became the next D&D, well that would totally suck."  No, I don't think any of us are thinking that.  But the massive effort involved with creating a D&D sized Success in the RPG industry is so huge, and so risky (in terms of lost time and money) that most of us look at that and auto-reject it.  But we still love RPGs, we still want to create RPGs, and so we go after it - in hobby mode.  No gain expected.  But then again, without the effort we can also expect that not much will come of our efforts either.  Which is fine if that's cool with you.  That said, I think that really, most of us are hoping for more.  But like that proverbial bridge too far... we can't make it to there from here.  So we sigh, and resign ourselves, and say "Yeah, well, that's all ok.  I'm doing it for the love of the hobby anyway." and we go with it.

I don't have a problem with that.  In fact I'm inclined to want to take that route too.  Except ... at least in my case, I wanted to do something more ambitious yet!  Back in 1980 I thought we'd have computerized RPG tools to help us run our games by doing the number crunching for us.  Not take over the creativity aspect... just crunch the numbers, and give us a tool to help us create and maintain our worlds.  Software.  Oddly, no one created that.  So in 1994 I decided I would do it.  Why not?  I knew nothing about software at the time, but figured I could learn it, and so I began with one step.  I bought a QBasic programming manual and read it page by page and practiced the techniques until I understood them ... and began creating the Mythos Machine (aka "the Gamemaster's Toolbox").

Well, that put my Elthos Project into a whole different category of effort. I created a really comprehensive tool that was finished in 2000.  But it was done in Visual Basic, and therefore it was buggy as hell and I declined to release it to the public on the grounds that support for the tool would kill me.  By this point I had become a professional programmer / analyst and was working my day job, and doing programming on Elthos at night.  So ... it's been an incredibly slow process.  I also take classes at night, so even slower than you can imagine.  But I'm a persistent if not too smart person, and over time I built Elthos from the ground up.  First with my 1978 rules system, which I distilled into its present streamlined mini-system form (The "One Die System"), and converted the old VB program into a Web Application called The Mythos Machine.  I figure that I've put in about $2 million worth of time into the project (taking my average salary over the years I've been working on it times the number of hours I've put into it overall).  Yep.  That's a lot of time=money.

Some people might ask, well, why didn't you speed up the process by going and getting Venture Capital and hiring a team to build it instead of doing it all yourself at Museum Speed?  Fair question.  The answer is - I didn't trust VC to not come in and take over my concept and turn it into garbage for the sake of Fast Money, and for a handful of shekels actually sell out to the man.  I figured I'd rather do it slow, on my own dime, and maintain full ownership, so that I could do it the way I think it really should be done.  Regardless of the cost in time that it would take.  Stupid of me, probably.  But, yeah... I wanted to avoid "Imperial Entanglements".  I didn't trust VC then... and I don't now.  So you'll see me trying my best to boost this off the ground myself, and with a little help from my friends.

So now I face this crazy edge of the project where I'm trying finally to get word of it out to the public.  And that's rough.  Marketing is rough.  I think it's far more rough than any other part of the project, including the programming.  Because finally, after all, I'm interacting with the public.  And ... gee ... I feel like a bit of an ass putting stuff out there that looks, well ... sort of horrid from my point of view.  But SEO!  SEO! SEO!  And I'm really afraid that my friends in the community will see this stuff and be like "OMG that is soooo 'Marketing-Glitz', I can't stand that guy."  Which would suck.  But unfortunately, it's also necessary.

You see, I want Elthos to be successful.  Really successful.  I want to advance the cause and foster creativity with RPGs.  I want an online tool system that helps GMs to create and run their own Worlds to succeed.  Because I believe that creativity is the one great thing that sets us apart from all else.  We're creative beings.  We should exercise our creativity, and if at all possible, prosper by it.

So I'm trying everything I can to make the Elthos Project a success.  I want to leave it as my legacy ... in the early 21st Century a new generation of digital RPG Tools began to arise from the misty ethers and take form ... and Elthos was one of them.

That's what I hope to read in the 22nd Century history books.  And that takes a lot of work. A LOT.  But I'm up for it.  I enjoy it.  And if all else fails... guess what?  Well, I did it for the love of the hobby, and even if it turns out that I'm the only person who uses the Mythos Machine to run my own games, and no one else notices it ... I will still have creating something amazing.  A printing press for RPG Settings.  I think that's cool, and I think I can be happy even if that's the ultimate result.

On the other hand, if people actually discover how great a tool it is, and it becomes popular and people like it and use it a lot ... I won't complain.  :)

If you want to check out where I'm at with it, and join the last leg of the Open Beta ... feel free to take a poke at https://elthos.com ... I'll be curious to hear what you think of it.

Also... if you are looking for advice and/or help with your own project... I've learned a lot in the past few years.  Maybe I can help.  Let me know.  I might be able to offer advice gained from my experiences with this project. Feel free to message me if you think I might be able to help answer some questions or point you in the right direction.  Happy to.