Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Some books with my campaign and setting notes in a binder
I once again apologize for the long silence on the blog. We've been working hard to finish Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate and that has taken first priority. I am happy to say we are on track, and expect this to go to the editor by June (after which is goes to layout). We may still be working on some art at that stage, so it is difficult to say exactly when it will go to the printers (but it won't be that long). 

In the meantime I thought I would give folks a window into the writing and research process here at Bedrock. 

As I finalize the material in the manuscript I find myself going over my notes and sources. When I start a project my plate is clean and I keep everything well organized. Invariably by the end my desk looks like something out of an episode of Hoarders, with books strewn on the table and notes crammed in between (see images). 
Other books and my spiral notes 

I must have the worst organizational skills of any writer or designer I know. I look at other peoples' clean work spaces with envy when they post shots on twitter or Facebook. At some point I am going to invest in a current project shelf (a shelf behind my computer that is devoted only to books I am currently using as sources for a project). Still I have a sinking feeling it will just become like my other shelves and never serve its intended function. 

One issue I have is I just can't stand to put books away when they may be of use to me during a project. These pictures are just of my immediate workspace, I also have stacks of books in the other room that are related to Ogre Gate but not immediately useful to me (not to mention I pulled all my martial arts movies out and piled them on the coffee table just in case I needed to check something while writing--my wife is infinitely patient with my writing habits). 

Some projects I use spiral notepads for my notes, others I use index cards (generally index cards make writing easier in my opinion but they can take up a huge amount of space on a big project like this). 

I should emphasize, since I am posting images of history books here, this is not for a historical Chinese setting, but rather a fantasy analog, so while we are using lots of sources for inspiration, people shouldn't anticipate Ogre Gate being a historical resource book (a game like Qin might be more handy for that). We do go into things like the Imperial Exams, key customs, and religion but these are all specific to our setting, so for this reason it would serve as a bad source set in Imperial China (because you might import a god we made up, or a custom that is unique to the setting itself). 

These final months are always very harrowing as we go over everything one final time and set it all in stone. While I know all our design and setting choices were right for our own table and for the people who assisted us, how others will receive the game is always more murky (exciting but murky). 

The good news is, I have about two days to second guess our choices, then it is on to the Profound Masters of Ogre Gate supplement (something I am looking forward to working on). Once Wandering Heroes of Ogre Gate is out we can put more focus on support for it an other existing lines (Sertorius for example). 


  1. Is there a particular book in that stack that you found inspiring while writing Ogre Gate?

  2. There were a few. A Dictionary of Official Titles in Imperial China by Charles O. Hucker was very handy. The Country of Streams and Grottoes by Richard Von Glahn gave me a lot of inspiration for the Banyan region. I think my favorite history book was The Age of Confucian Rule by Deiter Kuhn (largely because it was a very no-nonsense survey of Song Dynasty history and culture in the style I prefer.