I’ve had a few busy months, and I want to let you know what’s been going on in the dim recesses of the Axes and Anvils Forge Hall.

First, I have had a number of things slow me down a bit. I finally have access to online gaming, and that means I’ve had a couple months where I’ve had as many as 13 game sessions in the month! This is dreamy and fantastic. I’ve been able to play Labyrinth Lord, Night’s Black Agents, Lasers and Feelings, Blades in the Dark, and more. Not only have I gotten to run games for players I’ve never met before, but I have had many opportunities to play as well! That’s not something I’ve had often at my home game table, so it contributes to my overall delight. I’ve participated in Antigen Con 2 online with several games, I’m signed up to attend a game day in Overland Park in September, and I’ve found a number of regularly scheduled games to join.

Second, the project has run into some kind of rough patches on the motivation. Implementing edits is never much fun, because it’s a blow to your pride to go through the red-ink stained document and rework things. I also am at a stage for reordering some things and putting in examples. This is the drudge work of game design, it’s the unpleasant-but-needed hard work that just doesn’t have much of the fun of gaming associated with it.

Furthermore, I put out the call to see if backers of the project wanted to play with me online, and I got one response. Just one. There are lots of reasons for that, I’m sure, and I’ve worked through it, but you can see how that would be a bit discouraging.

We are also coming to the point where I am going to be spending actual cash money on the project to make Axes and Anvils the best game I can manage. It will look and feel professional, and be a delight as a book and as a game.

Besides which, it was a good time to take a break from the game and survey some other great projects in gaming around the internet and around my game table. As the summer winds down, my attention returns to Axes and Anvils!

I have been working with Jason Paul McCartan, of Infinibadger Press, working on how he can help with Axes and Anvils. We are looking at a new logo and professional layout and design from the guy who worked on White Star! This is very exciting. His availability will firm up and focus as the summer winds down, so we can start really getting Axes and Anvils into the shape it will take in the end.

I also have arrangements in place so when the book goes live, you will have the option of getting a pack of cards customized for character and clan creation! Beyond that, the way the information is presented in the book will be more slick and custom than repeating what is on the cards for photocopying. There are some really great ideas coming together for how to take this book and, cards or no cards, handle character and clan creation smoothly. The physical components can be unwieldy, but they add a charm go the game that pulls people in right away. That’s the kind of puzzle that is still coming together in the design phase.

There are also details about promotional events that are coming together, and we’ve got a schedule roughed out (but I will share it with you as we successfully hit parts of it, rather than ahead of time–I’m sure you understand why.)

In the meantime, as things settle out into fall I’ll be running online games of Axes and Anvils. I hope at least some of you will be available to join in! This game will lend itself very well to online play, and I’m continuing to familiarize myself with the tools so I can provide a great experience to players.

More later!