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So, what’s in the Works? Behind the scenes at Grinning Skull Towers, something is stirring…

19 Jan

jan update 2020 gs

I gotta admit, I’m working my ass off here! Yup, that’s right, I got a lot of things in the works right now, so I thought I would share some stuff with you, plus it makes a change to the posts of late, given they are just promo and adverts.

2020 is going to be a year of new innovation for me, I mean, I can keep spitting stuff out, and that’s fine, but life is a learning lesson, and learn I shall. In the hope that my old brain will let me develop new skills that I need to achieve the things I have stored in this noggin of mine!

Being a self publisher of digital content mostly, many of you will know that it’s not always been that way. Sure I’ve always dabbled in anything creative, but I’m an advocate of good old fashioned physical media, be it whatever, so the next logical step is to bring some of these digital items into the real world.

It’s all well and good making these publications, but I love putting stuff in print, whatever it is, so it won’t surprise you that plans are afoot to evolve toward this.
Before I get into that, here’s a list of some of what is getting done in some way shape of form. I can’t tell you a definite release schedule, that’s not how I roll, but expect to see these things over the coming weeks. (unless I get distracted, or get inspired to do something really exciting, for me anyway!!)

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Adventurer’s Post Mini Module: A Grave Series of Disappearances.

This is an addition to the Adventurer’s Post series which is working out to be not so “Mini”, so there’s probably a change in sub-series title going to happen! It involves the players being hired to act as security for a Undertakers firm, where, surprise surprise, a lot of the cadavers have vanished! Although the plot sounds simple, a more insidious scheme is at hand!
This should be a fun scenario to play out, and even so it is designed for the series, it can be used as an adventure without The Adventurer’s Post Volume 1.

Grim’s Amazing D100 Tables: 100 Hirelings & Sidekicks for all fantasy RPGs.

This is a fantasy version of the 100 Mercs and 100 Hired Starship Crew titles, basically 100 NPC adventurer and mercenary types that can easily be rolled up and added to your generic fantasy games. I think it will serve many of you well, and make a great companion to the 100 Pirate Crew title as well!

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Grim’s Amazing D100 Tables: Pointless Classics: 100 Chart Hits and Artists.

Originally was intended to be made available for Patreon subscribers, but since I changed plans, it’ll be a PWYW (Pay What You Want) title on DriveThruRPG. Yes, it’s pointless, and yes, I know it’s not a classic (Irony, Sarcasm and all that, it’s meant to be pointless!) but, it will provide some GMs out there with some back details here and there, and be sprinkled with our usual humour.

Expect that soon as it has been mostly finished, although I can’t say when, but should be over the next week or so. I’ll add that the Pointless Classics range has been very popular. Could it be that they don’t cost anything? I’d like to think that it’s my skills at content writing, but I’m guessing the former!

Grinning Skull’s Top Tips on Publishing on DriveThruRPG.

One for those of you that might want to start making your own releases on DriveThruRPG, I thought it was time I shared a few things I’ve learned over the last 5 years or so, I’m no expert, but I think it’s sound advice on a variety of subjects and processes involved in doing hobby publishing on there. These are my own findings over the years, and with over 300 products under my belt now I hope I can pass on some good advice to new publishers from a first hand view. Consider me your own Yoda!

Victim Cards for Everybody!!

As it says in the title, this is a print yourself (and friends and family, in fact everyone!!) a variety of Victim cards you can give to those “Special Snowflakes” who just haven’t developed a thick skin yet! While not entirely RPG or Hobby based, I just had to do it. Be warned it’s not for the politically correct SJW crowd, and will for sure cause offense, which is 100% intended! I know some of my products have caused offense, but who ever said I was going to be the type of publisher that was altogether nice and appeal to that crowd!
Expect that in a few weeks, I want to include as many types of Victim cards as I can, that way I can offend as many people indirectly as possible!

So what else is happening?

I have a lot of others in different stage of development, but these are just a few of whats coming soonest. I could list you at least 30 more I have in the works, but how long it will be until I get round to finishing them is anyone’s guess! It all depends on how inspired I get, you have to remember, some of these have a ton of different elements that I need to either create from scratch or find in some way, and as my skills have improved, my pickiness has increased. I can agonize for ages if I can’t get things as I would like, so I tend to shelve many until I work out how to proceed in a way that I’m happy with.

grim promo

On to the next subject, what I’m working on right now, as a priority, is something I’ve been working out in my head for an age. You might have seen a small button on the Grinning Skull Publisher page over on DriveThruRPG, right at the bottom of the categories you’ll see one saying “Streets of Adventure” and Coming Soon.

This pertains to them both (don’t get me started on the Carnage Continuum setting, I’ll get round to that eventually from reams of notes and notebooks)

The Grimthorpe Chronicles has been on my mind for years now, existing in bits and pieces, not fully formed and will start this new line. The idea of Streets of Adventure is city/town based material that can be plugged in to virtually any fantasy game. While this is not entirely what Grimthorpe Chronicles is per say, it comes under this banner as the elements are the same, except Grimthorpe is a setting by itself. You can use them as a setting, or just plug in the bits you want and apply them to your own games and campaign locations.

This first title is a bit more than that, while it is to be expanded upon in plot and literary ways, the first piece is what is going to become a physical print product too. Call it a town in a box, but it is sort of inspired by the old GW Warhammer Townscape.
There will be an entire section of Grimthorpe contained in this product, both the digital release and the print & boxed (Yes, you heard me right. Boxed!) versions. I’m plugging away at creating houses, shops, and loads of buildings, tiles and accessories that when used together, should give you a huge environment to play your RPGsRPGs and Wargames with. Further releases will expand different areas, themes and ideas, while it will be backed up with RPG material titles that will supplement everything else! The digital version will be first, but I fully intend to produce a boxed version to save the hassle of printing it yourself.

In a nutshell, Grimthorpe East will be the first in this line of titles of the series. Primarily a residential section of the city, the digital PDF kit will contain at least 10 different basic house kits (Plus many accessories with each sheet to create many variations) 4 medium sized dwellings, 2 large houses (again all with additional accessories to create options) 1-2 Tower kits, A Tavern Kit, 1 Shop kit (with options to make a ton of different versions) 1-2 signs and accessory sheets (To further personalise your models) 1-2 floor plan accent tile sheets & tokens and at least 9 floor plan tiles to set your city onto (plus a 3×3 poster map floor plan as an option) The goal is to add extra titles that add on to the main product with new sections, buildings and accessories.

Plans to release in PDF version to begin, then develop a boxed high quality physical version to retail  (Pre-order system to cover costs with an Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, possibly?!)

The campaign may add new features such as paper minis, additional kits, exclusives, and possibly more for stretch goals, backer levels etc. An initial test print run will be done before proceeding with a crowd funded plan, if all goes well, it might not be needed….
There is an option of even designing a line of Grinning Skull Miniatures to accompany the release, but that is a project by itself, or partnering with other hobby companies to get this project into the world, time will tell…at this point, everything is subject to change, but I will make it happen in some way, shape or form.

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How it’ll be done is being considered, but if the release is popular enough, I may consider a Kickstarter or Indiegogo to get the main print run & components made. I’ll keep you updated on this, as I’ll be working on this a while, since I want to get this right.

Also, as well as attempting to further my galactic conquest by new publishing on new platforms such as Kindle and their ilk, I’m putting together a few Epub/Mobi/Kdp books, but I’ll be doing a print run of my riddles collections with Grinning Skull’s Book of Riddles“. The Riddles Series has been very popular, and this will appeal to more than the hobby crowd, so expect that within the next few months. I’ll attempt to get it as wide a release as I can, spamming bookshops and stores to see if they will stock it (which will teach me more about how to get a book to market, which will be invaluable in the future) but, I will keep you updated at my trials and tribulations in the self publishing business as I go!

I have a few other bits I’m working towards that are to test the market, like quick reference mini character cards for 5th Edition, which will be coming very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

As ever, check out our stores at DriveThruRPG and our new Payhip store where you’ll find exclusive releases from both Grinning Skull and the new imprint, Goats Head (Titles Coming soon)

If you like any of these ideas and want to help, please keep liking our stuff, putting the word about, joining in the conversations, visiting both our sites, offering your comments and suggestions and spreading the word, none of these cost you anything, but help considerably to push toward the next step in our evolution. Of course, you could also buy our stuff as well, but I’ll be happy if we can create a buzz and a bit more of a community, that is worth far more than cash!

I want to thank you all for following us over the years, through the times of adversity and anguish, pushing through the dross of life stuff and bad health, I can say from the bottom of my heart, Thank you for your support and here’s to another 5 years of Grinning Skull!!

Grinning Skull Payhip Digital Download Store, Open Now!!

12 Jan

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I want to announce our new Grinning Skull Studios/Goats Head Payhip store!

I’ve set this up so that those of you who who don’t have or want a DriveThruRPG account to get our publications without going to the hassle of getting one.

This means that you can just add whatever titles you want, then check out with Paypal or credit/debit card. It makes it a little easier for you, consider it a new year gift from us!

But seriously, you’ll be able to get exclusive titles there too, stuff that falls a bit short of our ranges that we sell on DriveThruRPG. That means our imput will become more diverse, but these exclusive titles will no doubt interest you in the hobby, with titles and digital products ranging from Classic genre movies, non-fiction, fiction, and all sorts of Fantasy, Sci-fi and Horror based genre titles.

I’ll be uploading as much of our back catalogue on here, but not all of it, keeping enough reasons for people to want to access both store fronts, at the Payhip store and the DriveThruRPG (and possibly others…).

I’ll be updating the links on here and no doubt the site will have a few changes as well. And I’ll apologise if you see a duplicated post or two as I busily plug away at both the blog and the Payhip store. Also, we’ll still be busy with new RPG and Hobby titles on the DriveThruRPG side of things, as I’ll be putting exclusives there as well, and of course our continuing support of all the ranges there.

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You’ll find our store located at: https://payhip.com/grinningskullstudios which is an easy location to remember, so I hope you’ll show your support and help me test the metrics! Don’t forget to check out the DriveThruRPG store too, if you haven’t already: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8807/Grinning-Skull-Studios

I’ll be blogging about all new releases which get added, so I’ll try my best to keep you all updated (that is, those who are interested) and as ever I’m happy to hear of your comments, ideas and other suggestions. Thanks everyone!!

Grinning Skull & 2020

11 Jan

 

gs2020 ban

Well, new year is here, hopefully a new start to bigger and better things. It’s been a while since I have made a proper blog post so 2020 has given me an excuse to do so.

I hope you are all doing well, and have a good foundation for the new year ahead, so with that in mind I want to share with you a few things that I’m hoping to
achieve in the year going ahead. Not that I will actually get everything done what I have in mind, just what I’d like to do!

You know what it’s like, but I have a bit of fire in my belly and some new ambition in my heart to get new ideas out there, new products, new plans and directions. Like I said, hopefully some of them will come good, maybe some will end up as just brain farts.
I have been working behind the scenes to get some stuff in place that will expand my brand and introduce new ones too (New seems to be the keyword here!) I’ll let you
all know as soon as these are ready, but as a publisher there will be continuations to existing ranges, as well as introductions with additional digital imprints that will expand us and appeal to more people, not just as a hobby producer, but bring new customers to the fold. I realise that some of the content won’t appeal to everyone, but so we can grow beyond what we are currently.

Our DriveThruRPG sales are doing fine, which is good, and we will continue as we have done, bringing a whole heap of new titles each month, this will not change, but
to further our reach, we will have new options for purchasing our products with an additional storefront for those of you who don’t use DriveThruRPG, but still want our
stuff (You know, non RPGers and hobbyists, the normal folks!). In addition, we will be releasing exclusive titles on the new storefront that wouldn’t normally be allowed or fit on our OBS publishing pages.

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These titles will still be in a genre vein and be integrated with the brand whenever possible. This will include Fiction and Non-Fiction titles, archive media and so on. This won’t detract from our usual works, just add to our back catalogue. Such as the very popular Historical Reference titles seem to appeal to many other types of customers, there are many interested parties that simply don’t take part in the hobby stuff, the additional storefront will make it easier for new customers to get their Grinning Skull fix without the hassle of making a DriveThru membership and get their purchases more direct from us.

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Most notably is the introduction of the Goats Head Publishing Imprint, which as mentioned will focus on other subjects and ideas, mainly all that don’t fit with the
hobby aesthetic. We’ll be trying other publishing platforms and formats, which I’ll admit will be a steep learning curve for me, but we will see how it goes, so keep your eyes open for that (I’ll be more proactive on here, so I’ll keep you updated) The KDP platform is a mystery to me which I want to explore, so I have a few titles in my head that would be a great fit there once I get it figured out.

Patreon has been a bust for me, so I’ll be probably be taking it down, so I can concentrate better on what is important. I think my mistake was I still don’t fully get it so maybe it’l be back at a later date, it’s been something that I haven’t put my whole efforts into. I don’t mind really, everything is a learning process and next time I’ll have a bit more insight before starting it up again. As a busy father, I’m always fighting a good workflow, so when I get in a better swing, I’ll be better suited to making it work in unison with the rest of what I’m doing.

Networking has been getting better over these last few months, and I’m hoping to expand further on social media and such, so if you want to become part of that, please feel free to get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and joining my growing network. Doing the numbers on the metrics has been an eye opener, so I’ve focused on that (and it’s working great!) so being in the loop with so many great creators and people is full of fantastic opportunities, so like I said, hit me up!
Another thing I’ll be doing is having a massive push on physical product, which I have quite a few ideas for, so I hope you lot are going to like some of it! More news on that
at a later date, but rest assure I’ll be putting some effort into that for sure!

What exactly the final products are, there’s a shortlist (well, a list) and all final ideas that make the cut, I will let you know so you can get yourself some!
I’ve got more to post about over these next few days, so I’ll tell you more as soon as I get around to that (eloquate my words, that is) but, here’s to a great 2020 for each and
every one of you!

New Patreon Tier Levels added!!

9 Sep

new patreon tiers 1

Hello there again, it’s me with another Patreon update, yes, yes, still early days, plus with the fact that I’m not entirely sure on how to run the bloody thing, but yes, I digress!

We’ve just added two new Perks/Tier Levels, that being with companies and advertisers in mind. First is the Order of the Emerald skull, which not only includes 3 titles from “da List” for free for being a patron, shout outs on these ere’ websites (Trust me, I’ll be publishing that page soon!) and a free half page, full colour advert in all future month’s PDF releases. Ideal if you are a publisher, writer, content creator or someone with stuff to sell) for $10 per month, that’s a great deal. (Well, I was going to say that wasn’t I? No but seriously that’s a good deal!)

For $15 per month support, The Order of the Amethyst Skull offers the same, but a full page (A4) , full colour Advert in all that month’s Grinning Skull titles. Again, ideal for those with stuff to sell.

So, if that appeals and you want to check it out about how to become a patron, go to our pages there at: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=5996559 and follow the link, join up and be our Patron!

Grinning Skull Studios Patreon Launched!

5 Sep

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Well, it’s been ages but I finally did it, launched the Grinning Skull Patreon page. This had been on the back boiler for a hell of a long time, but due to life commitments and other stuff, I had always put it off. Partly because I think I didn’t quite get what it all meant, but after long drawn out studies of the whole thing, I decided it was the right time.

So, I guess you are wondering what it all means? Well, for those out there who don’t know about Patreon, is that it’s a way for people like yourself to help support independent creators (such as little old me) and keep the lights on here, free to create more content and push forward. It is also a way to interact and take a role in shaping future stuff and stay ahead with news and so forth with said creators.

To go directly over to Patreon, check it out here:

OFFICIAL GRINNING SKULL STUDIOS PATREON PAGE

I had been wracking my brain to think of how this would go down, but to begin with, here goes.

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Join as a Patron at the $1 level to become part of the Order of the Bronze Skull. This affords you the eternal gratitude of us here, and your name will be added to every future Title release under the Bronze Skull Level and a shout out on the Patreon page of this here website too. This is useful if your a business or publisher yourself as all you need to do is PM or email me and I’ll add a simple link to where ever you want (no adult or shady stuff though guys!) Plus you get one of a choice of 9 Grinning Skull Studios PDF titles from “Da List”. This selection will change as I add more to it as and when, but I’m up for suggestions and so forth…

silver skull award

Join as a Patron at this level ($3 per month) and you’ll get a shout out in all future Grinning Skull titles and the Patron page here (links included if you like) as well as 3 titles from “Da list” and everything else that you get at the Bronze Patronage too. Plus my eternal gratitude (which in itself is worth a fortune!)

gold skull award

The Order of the Golden Skull ($5 per month) gets everything the previous tiers get, plus 5 Grinning Skull titles from “Da List”, eternal thanks and homage and the knowledge that your supporting an independent creator.

Here’s the start up version of “Da List” which will be updated over time, so keep checking for updates and such!

da list

In addition all pledges will receive updates of what I’m working on, WIPs, chances to vote on stuff and make suggestions, even free titles and discounts before anyone else and whatever else I can muster up along the way.

So please consider becoming a Patron and visit the link, or simply share, comment or feel free to suggest anything you might think would help.

OFFICIAL GRINNING SKULL STUDIOS PATREON PAGE

 

 

 

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