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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!!)

mini adventures 1 cov

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!

100 chart hits n artists smaller cov

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.

grim promo 2

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 & 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.

paypalpayhipdrivethru

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.

grin skull goatshead logo

 

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!

Grinning Skull Studios New Release: LARP LAB Historical Reference: 1910 label catalogue, printabe resource!

15 Dec

new releases

Hello there, yes, long time no see, or post for that matter! I have been very busy of late, doing allsorts of stuff, so haven’t been posting for a while, something that I intend to remedy in 2020, but I digress…

Please take a look at our LARP LAB Historical Reference: 1910 Label Catalogue, printable resource for creating your own turn of the century props for gaming, budget movies, theatre, unique gifts and more, limited only by your imagination, get your printer and put it to use!! Download now from DriveThruRPG!!

A picture speaks a thousand words, so if that’s the case….

label catalogue advert promo1 smallerA

You can get your copy from DriveThruRPG here at: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/297815/LARP-LAB-Historical-Reference-1910-Label-catalogue

and if you want to check out our other hobby titles (we are now at almost 300!!) please go to: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8807/Grinning-Skull-Studios

Thanks everyone! Have a great Crimble and a festive and exciting new year!!

Grinning Skull New Release: Adventurer’s Post Volume #1.

31 Oct

title logo

Well, it’s been a while since I last posted on here, and while it’s true that of recent times I have just used the site as a way of promoting Grinning Skull Products (Which I can say, keep me very busy creating I may add) I’m here again to tell you about more of the
same. As you can see, we have another digital title, that I feel needs some explanation as to what and how it works and it’s intention.

Adventurers Post vol1 1

Adventurer’s Post products are a new title range of which I hope to greatly expand upon. Triggered by the need for me to create a range of adventure modules that I have had rattling around in my head for an age. The entire premise behind it is that of the usual trope of the fantasy party, visiting the tavern (or town square or other relaxed locale) and looking for jobs to earn some gold. Call it questing or whatever, but from my memory it always seemed to be tavern based, and the party would huddle around it, looking for the posting of would be jobs, then following it up. So, I thought, why not create a product that allows the GM to present their players with just that, in physical
form.

Here’s the promo ad to show you what I mean:

advert Adventurers post 1 promo

So the key is that the Adventurer’s Post volumes contain a 3×3 A4 printable poster of one such notice board (which should be mounted onto a big piece of box card or similar for sturdiness) to which you then print and cut out the various adventure notices that pertain to the contained mini adventures in the modules. This is then backed up with maps and any other supplemental material for effect. All of this creates a great ambient prop to present to your players and add a spectacle in person. All of this is system free and suitable for use with any RPG system you want to use.

No, I know that this is not the most groundbreaking idea, nor will it be the last, but I have poured some love on this, and for the $7 (£5.44 in shiny british pounds) I think it is great value for money, working out at $1.40 per adventure (£1.08 in GBP) and that’s not even counting the board itself! Yes, I thought it was time that I threw my hat in and started writing adventures, just to show that,

  • a.) I can actually write adventures, and give me the kick up the ass to write more!
  • b.) That the mass of adventure ideas I have in my various note books and head, need to be cast out into the world, like an outcast puppy, to make his own way in the world!
  • c.) To show the community there is more to Grinning Skull products than D100 tables (I do like them very much, but there is so much more I want to get published)

Not only will I be putting out further volumes of Adventurer’s Post, each containing five adventures, but there will be a supplementary range of single mini adventures (I am writing two more at the moment with a big list of them for future release), that can be added to the main line (Adventurer’s Post Mini Quests or similar!) that can be used independently, or added to the board as you use up the available jobs already posted. These mini module add-ons will be priced at about $2.50 (about £2 or so to us limeys!) so will be a great way in to get some nice adventure ideas and a session or two out of them!

Each of the main Adventurer’s Post Volumes will contain the main board files, but not the stand alone adventure mini quests, for which you’ll have to buy one of the main titles.

So, to Volume #1, this first one contains quite a lot of stuff in it’s 84 pages (That works out at just over $0.08 per page in USD, and about 6.5p per page in GBP, what do I keep saying, total bargain! This is our biggest adventure based title so far, with more to come if all goes well!),
but here’s a rundown to whet your whistle:

  • A 9 page, 3×3 A4 sized, poster printout Adventurer’s Notice board to create your own board prop,
  • A whole heap of notices, notes, wanted posters, and red herring notes to populate the board,
  • Five detailed mini adventures that link to the various notices,
  • Player handout 8 page “Plant Identification guide” for Adventure 5.
  • Adventure hooks for all the adventures, plus maps and flavours dotted around for added detail.

The Jobs/Adventures included within are:

  • Of Lost Dogs and Noblemen, a tale of a lost pup, a swamp and a huge killer croc!
  • There were Rats, Rats, just as big as cats, in the stores…, Pest control at the towns biggest store,
  • The Merchant, The Boy and the Butcher, The rich, half-witted boy Gerald has vanished, go find him…
  • Filthy Fred and the Dirty Bleeders, a bandit force has taken over the roads near town, join the local militia and stop them…
  • Searching in the DoomsWoad: A guild of mages is hiring adventurers to recover magical plants from dangerous cursed area…

I won’t tell any more (no spoilers from me) so I suggest that if you want to know more, then you have to buy the book. I do ask that if you can, please help support this line, that will encourage me to add to the line, and keep upping my eBook game in both production and quality. If you are not into it, just think about helping me share and get the word about to those that might find it useful. It is the first deluxe type of product I have made, so I would be grateful if this does well, and give me the confidence to keep plugging a digital product at this price point, and all being well, I can bring myself to get around to publishing some much bigger ideas I have brewing for adventure modules.

All this is dependent on how well this is received, so please any sort of feedback, promotion, comments and interaction you can give me is very much welcome and
very useful for future en devours. I also welcome suggestions as to how to improve the range and keep making advances in all areas of book production and so forth.

If that looks like your thing, then please show your support and get a copy from our storefront at DriveThruRPG.com here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/browse/pub/8807/Grinning-Skull-Studios

While the book itself can be found here: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/293621/Adventurers-Post-Volume-1,

or if you don’t want to buy one, a simple share or promote wouldn’t cost anything and help us a lot! Or you could just get any number of our other titles, or help spread the word with them too!

Anyway, thanks for reading if you got this far, and I’ll be back at some point with some new articles I have been meaning to get around to finishing (If you come here to look at miniatures and stuff, you’ll know what I mean) Thanks again to all who have supported Grinning Skull in it’s various forms, god knows it has been a struggle at times, but in the face of adversity, we all know underneath the skin, the skull is always grinning back…

Cheers everyone for the support.

Grim

New Release: 100 Strange Shops in Town for all fantasy RPGs

2 Oct

new releases

Ok guys, just a new release Alert, this time for 100 Strange Shops in Town for all fantasy RPGs, more world building potential for your games, easily slip these ideas in your town an city campaigns and games!!

strange shops adv1

Get it from DrivethruRPG.com for the great price of $2 right now!

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/290539/100-Strange-Shops-in-Town-for-all-fantasy-RPGs

Thanks guys!

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