I’ve been moping the last couple days, really, and it hasn’t been helping my productivity one tiny bit. I did just recall, however, a time when I was quite productive, and the project I was working on then. Several years ago, while I was staying in Salt Lake, just before I made the move in earnest, I started a commission for EN World to produce a guild book. They wanted authors to produce original material.

This was, of course, shortly before Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons was officially announced to the world, and I was pretty much at the top of my game when it came to knowledge of Third Edition. There was pretty much no way I could fail, except perhaps, that I had no understanding of how to finish a project.

I worked on the book for days, on and off, alternating between writing and revising the material, while the organization I created, “The Royal Alchemist Society,” came to life. I researched Nicholas Flamel and a lot of the history of alchemy so I could integrate real-world concepts with new ones that I engineered.

I was even working on an original twenty-level base class, the Royal Alchemist, based in part on ideas I got from analyzing the Dread Necromancer from Heroes of Horror. (One of my favorite books released for Third Edition.) I made a great deal of headway in developing, using the Dread Necromancer and similar classes as balance points.

The guild itself had an involved background, based around the figures that started it. I detailed several decades of the guild’s history, including accidents, both in good and bad fortune, before writing the conclusion of its founder’s destinies. I hadn’t quite gotten to the “current state” of the guild by the time Fourth Edition became official, and EN World closed its doors to the guild book series.

But you know, this morning, I was thinking about what I could do. I was thinking about what I’d accomplished in the past, and what sorts of things I enjoyed doing. It occurred to me that characters, organizations, settings, and relationships all come to me easily, and my descriptive text practically writes my game rules. (To a point.)

Perhaps, I might try writing one character at a time. Create a character, a background, and their relationships to others. Create a world around them, then set them down and move to the next one. A series of supplemental materials that have no initial setting to supplement, but in fact create the setting around them.

All the material would be free, of course. I can’t imagine making these things to sell. That would be so far and away from the point that I can’t even consider it. Well, maybe if I ever had enough to make a compilation, but that’s sort of beyond the point. Maybe that’s what I’ll work on today. I’ll create a character sketch, in so many words, and a history, perhaps. Let’s see how far I can get with this idea.