An Early 2018 Update!

It has been a while since I have done a real update here on the blog, so I thought I would take a few moments to share what has been going on with me and what we are doing here. As you may know (I have a tendency to repeat myself), I have been hard at work restraining the scope of what I am doing here at Notes of the Wandering Alchemist. So too have I been trying to relax the scope of my play time. Not so much in the amount I play because, I’ll be honest, due to a random and fun weekend I had 4 sessions of my weekly Roll20 game in the first 10 days of the year. No, it is more of an effort to make sure certain games that have been longest term and are looking forward are maintained. It is also an effort to make sure it isn’t a stressor for those involved to make the time. This means that my main focus is my weekly game and Agents of Farsight (more on that below). Then comes the game I play in, Curse of Strahd, and Luxarrah. Each of these depends on schedules and involves overlapping people but none of them have any weight on them from this site. Even Luxarrah is now going to be away from the microphone and I’ll talk about that below as well. The point is I have been working to balance my efforts and do more. For me and for you.

Untamed Dice & Agents of Farsight

Okay, let’s start with what has been happening with the podcast. Untamed Dice is still here, but it has seen little other than the Untamed Rant in the last few months. Frankly, this is because I just got ahead of myself. I have many Luxarrah sessions, a whole third of a Legend of Zelda 5E adventure, some one-shot stuff we won’t use, and then some. Hours and hours of content. What I don’t want is to spend 2018 sharing stuff we did a year or more ago just to use it or just to buy time. Not releasing new stuff has been enlightening though. Based on SoundClouds analytics (and I don’t know how many bots are involved in false hits) the podcast has a steady audience. It is small and I don’t think it is all an “audience” as such. Some of it, certainly. We are still releasing Untamed Rant every month after all. But it looks like much of it is new listens and / or bots. However, this means that people are finding the podcast. This is good. It also has let me see what is most listened to over time. The top three episodes are the first episodes of one shots we did. Star Wars and TMNT are among those.

So what does this mean moving forward. Untamed Dice will remain the home of the Untamed Rant. It will not, however, remain the home of any extended campaigns. There is too much work there for me and an extended campaign mixed into a mixed bag doesn’t seem to draw much attention to itself. It seems kind of obvious in retrospect. That being said, Untamed Dice will get some more actual play episodes down the line, just not right now. For now I want to keep devoting time to Patreon, the Untamed Rant, this blog, and the next topic of conversation: Agents of Farsight. This is our Savage Worlds actual play podcast and it will have its own feed. It features three players that you will recognize if you have listened to some of our other stuff and they were picked as a good mix for an actual play, for playing together, and (pragmatically) for scheduling. So far playing it has been incredible fun and I look forward to releasing it over the next month. If you want to tune in early, think about becoming a Patron, but otherwise the schedule of release is (tentatively) as follows. For the remainder of February a single mini-episode will be released each weekend that introduces one of the characters, some of their back story, and some details about what they can do. In March the episodes will begin with two from our character creation session which will be especially good for the mechanically inclined and those curious about Savage Worlds or my alpha homebrew. After that episodes will appear in earnest, either weekly or bi-weekly.

Notes of the Wandering Alchemist

So far, so good on the blog front. Reviews continue to come every Thursday along with alternating Resources and Libris Monstrum posts every Tuesday. Wednesdays feature other projects and articles. For now it will continue to be focused on three things. First are the Blog Carnival entries, which will tend towards the end of the month. Then there are my re-skin articles and my sub-class articles. Last month I talked about reskinning spells to make them more Lovecraftian and this month I will be talking about making a dinosaur-based druid. As for the sub-class, these will be primary drafts of archetypes for 5E. This month is a barbarian path that looks to the primal (and perhaps demonic) spirit of the wendigo for inspiration. Be sure to follow along on Twitter for the polls that will help you choose what I work on in the future! To shamelessly self-plug again, those of you who are or become Patrons will be getting access to PDF versions of these articles with more detailed stats or descriptions. So, if you needed some more convincing maybe that did it. If not, stay tuned because I am working on some stuff and will share things as I can this month.

Other Projects

There is not really much to talk about in this regard. All of them have been put on hold for a while. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working. One of the things we are doing is the Untamed Forge. For those who don’t know, Patrons help us develop a word / idea bank to create something. This alternates between item, monster, location, and character based topics. From there we sit down with our list and our topic and record our brainstorming session. The thing we create uses as many ideas as we can conglomerate into one. After that a PDF is done up for the Patrons, complete with any needed statistics. What does that mean for my projects? Well, first of all it has been a very inspiring and useful exercise. Second it gives me an opportunity to work on my PDF production. Layout, fonts, style, and all the other things that Patrons can help me get early feedback on before I create another full project for sale. The Untamed Forge will also become a product in its own right. Patrons will get individual entries every month and, when completed, the first 12 months collected into one volume. That volume will also go on sale on DriveThru RPG with the goal of earning money for things like art and other improvements to what we do. So, as with podcasting and blogging, I have taken steps to slow down and work on improving everything we do here while also making sure you the reader and the listener are getting more, whether or not you are a Patron.

For those of you who continue to read I just want to thank you, the site continues to improve and get more hits. And January set a precedent for the year that poor Feb might not be able to handle, but I look forward to seeing what we can do! While I plan on updating the Patreon page and some of our goals this month, please do me a favor and check it out. You can already get early access to some things, the Untamed Forge, entries into dice giveaways, 10% off at Table Top Loot, and more!

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