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The Future of the Building Series

Building Series

With the publication of Building Monsters tomorrow, everything in the pipeline will be released. Nothing else for the line has been announced past this point. I want to take a moment to address the future of the Building Series, as it stands right now.

The Future of the Building Series

There are still titles in the series not available as print-on-demand. All of them are in process. The global pandemic and the situation with the USPS has made things painfully slow. There is a backlog at the printer, so it is taking longer than usual for them to approve digital files that have been submitted, print the proofs, and send them out. Delivery takes an eternity. Paying for faster delivery at this point is throwing money down a hole, because there’s no guarantee it will arrive any faster. According to some sources, media mail is taking 45 to 60 days.

The processes expressed in the Building Series can be seen in the DoubleZero and the Hippogryph System. You will see titles for those lines that are partial adaptations. That doesn’t mean you’re going to see Building Characters for DoubleZero or Building Worlds for Hippogryph, but the methodologies in the Building titles will be used to create material for those systems. I created them a universal toolkits for a reason.

There are no new titles planned specifically for the Building Series. My production calendar for 2021 is focused entirely on DoubleZero, Hippogryph, and the Black Box Movement. That doesn’t mean that the line is cancelled, or complete. It means that my time is finite, and at the moment I’ve said everything I want to say with that series. The things I want to express, and the tabletop roleplaying material I want to create, are best served with the other lines. Never say never, but for the moment I need to focus on other things.


About the Building Series

The Building Series is a line of bestselling creative aids for tabletop roleplayers. Each volume focuses on one aspect of roleplaying, like character development, worldbuilding, or adventure design. The books are system-agnostic, meaning they were not written for one specific set of mechanics, genre, or setting. The examples provided are high-level and generic, allowing you to adapt and apply them to the roleplaying system of your choice. Info Page ¦ DriveThruRPG ¦ Our Shop


About Dancing Lights Press

Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional  roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.

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Problems the Building Series is Solving For

Building Series

Yesterday I wrote about what led me to create the Building Series. Today I want to get into the mission and vision I have for the line. I want to talk a little bit about the problems the Building Series is solving for.

Problems the Building Series is Solving For

My view of the Building Series has always been that they’re stepping stones. They’re tools that I created specifically so I can use them to create other things. Obviously, this is why they’ve become best sellers, because other people have the same creative needs. They’re system-agnostic because character development, worldbuilding, and adventure design are universal. We’re all solving for the same problems, regardless of mechanics.

There’s also a philosophy woven into things. I think that what makes roleplaying great transcends system. That’s not to say mechanics don’t matter. They’re just part of the overall equation. I have played in terrible campaigns using fantastic, groundbreaking, absolutely genius systems. Some of the best campaigns I’ve ever been in, though, have use awful rules. All of the other stuff, the creativity of the players and the guide, compensated for truly dreadful systems.

The bestselling status of the core Building Series titles also helped me to prove a business point. People will, in fact, but tabletop roleplaying material that doesn’t have art. You don’t need to put more effort into production value than you do into the information you’re trying to present. Naturally, this depends on the type of book you’re releasing, but it dispels the notion that “you need art” is a universal truth. It’s the vanguard for the Black Box Movement.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, I want to help people create things. The Building Series offers up outlines, templates, and prompts. Each book is meant to help you think creatively, and organize your ideas. At the same time, I wanted to show people that you don’t need to raise a ton of money to publish a book. I wanted to demonstrate lo-fi publishing in action. These books are not only toolkits, they’re proof of concept. You, too, can successfully create and publish tabletop roleplaying stuff.


About the Building Series

The Building Series is a line of bestselling creative aids for tabletop roleplayers. Each volume focuses on one aspect of roleplaying, like character development, worldbuilding, or adventure design. The books are system-agnostic, meaning they were not written for one specific set of mechanics, genre, or setting. The examples provided are high-level and generic, allowing you to adapt and apply them to the roleplaying system of your choice. Info Page ¦ DriveThruRPG ¦ Our Shop


About Dancing Lights Press

Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional  roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.

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Why I Created the Building Series

Building Series

No matter what you create, it’s important to have the proper tools. For a writer, that can mean word processing software, a grasp of spelling and grammar, and a good thesaurus. You need research material, of course, and a functional knowledge of the topic you’re writing about. Sometimes you need an outlining tool and some prompts to stimulate your imagination. The last point is why I created the Building Series.

Why I Created the Building Series

When I first started in the tabletop roleplaying hobby, I read a lot. Since my journey began back in the Stone Age with Red Box and 1st Edition AD&D hardcovers, that meant Appendix N. It also included reading a lot of history. Because I wanted to be a better gamemaster, I read books on oral traditions of storytelling, acting, and any Writer’s Digest book I could lay my hands on.

Over the years I amassed tons of notes. There were some habits that I developed that I never wrote down, but helped me with preparing games. I began to develop a philosophy as well. There are things people do because that’s just how they’ve always been done. Not enough critical analysis is give to what’s actually important, or meaningful, and what’s just there because it’s tradition.

I wanted to organize all of this information into a format that I could use more easily. A personal reference that I could turn to when creating characters, engaging in worldbuilding, or putting together adventures. As I branched out into writing systems and settings, I wanted a sort of style guide. It would allow me to say the things that I wanted to say, and remain consistent.

Tools I Use

The end result is the Building Series. These are the books I use whether I’m prepping a campaign or writing a sourcebook. I made them system-agnostic because I’ve put them to work for everything from classic fantasy to modern espionage, Victorian horror to near-future superheros, 1930s pulp to space opera. They are tools that I use, and I’m proud that so many other people have embraced them and added them to their library.

 


About the Building Series

The Building Series is a line of bestselling creative aids for tabletop roleplayers. Each volume focuses on one aspect of roleplaying, like character development, worldbuilding, or adventure design. The books are system-agnostic, meaning they were not written for one specific set of mechanics, genre, or setting. The examples provided are high-level and generic, allowing you to adapt and apply them to the roleplaying system of your choice. Info Page ¦ DriveThruRPG ¦ Our Shop

About Dancing Lights Press

Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional  roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.

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New Release: Building Characters [Second Edition]

A new edition of the best-selling classic!

Building CharactersTabletop roleplaying is about characters. It’s something so fundamental and obvious that it’s often taken for granted. If your tastes run toward the wargaming end of the spectrum, a character is your game piece, the way that you interface with the system. For those who lean more toward the storytelling end, your character is a means of self-expression, the way that you can vicariously interact with the world and the adventures it offers. Building a character with an interesting background, then, will heighten your overall experience of the game.

In this book, we’ll explore what goes into crafting memorable and enjoyable tabletop roleplaying character backgrounds. We’ll look at how they influence, and are influenced by, the worldbuilding, adventures, and rules of the game. By the end you’ll have a whole toolkit full of ideas to work with, to apply however you choose regardless of the system, setting, or genre you’re playing in.

This book is system-agnostic, meaning is was not written for one specific tabletop roleplaying game. It’s not exclusively for Dungeons & Dragons, Fate, Vampire the Masquerade, Call of Cthulhu, or any other particular game. The examples are high-level and generic, allowing you to adapt and apply them to the system of your choice. It’s recommended that you read through the entire book at least once to get a sense of the contents, the flow of things, and the context for various ideas. You can then go back to individual sections as needed for reference as you’re creating characters.

For ease of reference, this book has been broken up into three sections:

  • Introduction: This is where you are now. A brief overview of what this book is about, the concepts that will be discussed, and ways that you can put it to use for your tabletop roleplaying game.
  • Character Format: The standard “stat block” for all of the books in the Building series, this descriptive block will help you help track roleplaying, worldbuilding, and adventure bits regardless of rules. This chapter covers the five components of the of the stat block: Name, Description, Purpose, Modifiers, and Story Points.
  • Character Elements: What other games call attributes, statistics, or aspects, elements are the building blocks of anything and everything that can be created for a tabletop roleplaying game. This chapter covers nine areas for developing character elements: Character Roles, Stages of Life, Dimensions, Motivations, Aptitudes, Life Experiences, Resources, and Wonders.

Download your copy now from DriveThruRPG!