Art for the Secret Project

I’m currently working on a Secret Project. Its a very simple thing that I need to get done by the end of the month.

This is partially an exercise to prove to my wife that I can self-publish my writing. I foolishly explained about my free pdf downloadable adventures over at and she asked me If I could charge for them and I said yes. So she said get it done by the end of this month an she would believe it when she saw it.

Currently I have a zero pounds in the D101 games treasury, so I’m doing it all myself. Its going to be a pdf of around 30 pages that I’ll be putting on RPGnow for around $3-5. So as you can expect the art budget is very low, to zero. I could ask one of my uber-talented artist friends to do it at low cost, but I would still only be able to afford a cover and a couple of pieces. One of the principles I aim to stick to religously with this is that I always pay my artists on delivery of the art, so being cheeky and saying ‘oh I’ll pay you later when I get paid out of the profits’ isn’t an option. Also my deadline is uber tight. Two weeks kids! eeck!

With this in mind I was pleasantly surprised to find which for a small subscription gives you access to the royalty free art.  So I spent a couple of hours trawling through finding bits of art that would fit in with the book. Its not going to be anywhere as good as if I got an artist with passion, but its good enough to be evocative and give me some experience of putting the text and art together using a Desk Top Publishing package. 

And it means that I’ll get it done before the wife’s deadline.

I was so tickled that I put together a mock up for the front cover and an LJ icon.

Monkey chapter list

Here’s the contents for Monkey as it stands. Titles in italics are my take on the Monkey story, short excepts to set the scene and introduce the story to people who haven’t read the epic.

Players’ Section

  1. Introduction : Birth of monkey
  2. Character Generation: Monkey and Patriarch Subkobi
  3. Action rules: Monkey and the Demon of Havoc.
  4. Developing the story, Virtue & Fortune rewards. Player advice

Narrators’ Section: Monkey rebels against Western Heaven, and is imprisoned by Buddha.

  1. How to run the game: Tipitka frees Monkey and the quest begins.
  2. The Worlds of Monkey: Immortals & Locations
  3. Adventure: The bag of wind. (Linear adventure).
  4. Adventure: A Year in the City (Freeform adventure).


  1. Bibliography/Resources
  2. Chinese Animal traits.
  3. Character & Reference sheets

From a quick scan anything that I’m missing?

d101games lives!!!!!

After over a year of things being on hold, I picked up on D101 games as a living entity a couple of months ago.

The turning point was Furnace 2006, a nice cosy RPG convention that I help to run. Giddy off the success of that event everyone started thinking about what they were going to run in 2007. Empowered with confidence, since I managed to easily achieve my goal of getting everyone who came who wanted to play in a game with no one sat around bored, I thought ‘what would I do at Furnace 2007 if I could do anything?’

Launch Monkey and have copies for it on sale 🙂

So thats what I’m working towards. Not exclusively since I have a short Secret RPG project on the go mainly as an ideas tester (as well as to prove to the wife that I can publish something and I’m not all talk) which I’m going to reveal in the next couple of weeks. However I am more focused on it, since I’ve stopped writing for HeroQuest (which was a fun ‘apprenticeship’ but at the end of the day why should I write for someone elses benefit?).

Current status on Monkey is that I have a very rough play test draft which I’m turning into a robust manuscript. I’ve also gone away and done a shed load of research since there simply isn’t enough detail about the  gods and goddesses that feature in the book. Got a good grasp of Chinese magic and mythology, and how I want to present it in the game. I expect the first complete draft to be done by easter.