NONSENSE: OBSESSED WITH AUTUMN

It’s finally starting to cool off here in Virginia. I’ve been waiting for it for many months. Autumn is, and has always been, my favorite time of year. Cool days and chilly nights, wood smoke on the breeze, hot cider, hot chocolate, and hot tea, soup, blankets…it is just a wonderful time of year. Of course, there is the triple-play of holidays in the autumn/winter time, as well: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Like all ‘big kids’. I think Christmas is great, especially now that I have my own kids. Running around to look at Christmas decorations, seeing their faces when they see their presents under the tree, it is just amazing. Thanksgiving always brings out the nostalgic memories for me. I recall waking up to watch the parade all morning, while the smells of turkey and homemade stuffing, and I remember all the happy times we had as a family. Personally, though, I’ve always been obsessed with Halloween. I grew up watching old black and white movies with my father – all the old Universal Monster movies, Abbott and Costello, and other old vampire and werewolf movies (even the new version of Dark Shadows, which can be a little tough to watch these days). I have a passion for anything undead – skeletons, mummies, headless horseman, zombies, etc. I adore stories about vampires and werewolves and dark magic. One can watch scary movies and read books with undead and werewolves and dark magic any time of the year, of course, but it just doesn’t have the same effect as when you watch them in Autumn.

The “Holiday Season”, as many like to call it, offers some great opportunities for writers, both story and novel writers and game writers. While we write stories and novels, I’d like to focus on our game writing for a bit. The holidays can conjure new and unique ideas, sometimes things that won’t work in other products, and so they can all be grouped together into a holiday product. Holidays also bring about new sales, since gaming groups might be actively seeking ways to integrate a themed game into their holiday festivities. Holidays bring about new sales, also, because holidays give sellers a reason to give discounts, and as we all know, everyone likes discounts.

Holidays can prove to be extra difficult for game writing, though. While holidays can give you new and unique ideas, it can sometimes be quite hard to come up with new ideas for themed game materials. Even if you can come up with SOME ideas, you might have trouble coming up with enough items to actually create a whole book, even a small book. Our holiday supplements are a testament to this difficulty. We have 5 now – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas of 2016, and Saint Patrick’s Day and Halloween of 2017. They’re all extremely small. That is why we have put them up for either free or at a very, very low price. This certainly does not mean that these pieces are lacking in quality. We have put as much work into those as we have all of our other products. In fact, we’re pretty happy with this year’s Halloween supplement, “Underneath The Haunted Hill”. We think we have come up with some great GMC’s that can add real flavor and excitement to a Halloween-themed Questing Heroes game session. But in all, we really wish we could have come up with a lot more to include in that supplement.

Perhaps, when we attract some new writers and game designers, we’ll be able to produce the longer Holiday supplements that we would really like to write. Until then, we’ll continue to offer what we can, when we can. Either way, we’re still happy that it is now Autumn and that the air is now chilly and brisk, and we look forward to what the future holds – both for our writing and for our weather.

Matthew Ipock

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