Writer: level 2

A paper texture with the words "Class: Writer, Level 2" written on it.

It’s been just about nine months since my first blog post, and The Wizard’s Respite has come a long way. The road has been filled with challenges, triumphs, and most importantly growth. So many good, genuine, and earnest people have crossed my path, and I truly appreciate them. There have been a few rocky moments as well, but I appreciate the opportunity to learn from those challenges. Ultimately, I feel it’s time to recap what I’ve done, collect my XP, and discuss where the Wizard’s Respite is going next.

The Road so Far…

At the beginning of this year (January 14, 2022), I launched my first blog post. It was titled, “Blogger level I” and it discussed my intentions for starting the Wizard’s Respite. In that article, I describe my love for Dungeons & Dragons, TTRPG, and writing. I tried describing why I wanted to be an active member of this community and what I had to offer. Looking back at those early posts and the plans I once had, I’ve come to realize just how much I’ve learned and adapted.

I graduated from college with a degree in literature with a focus on writing. It was my dream to become a novelist, but life has a tendency to happen to us when we’re not looking. Jobs, family, and major life changes certainly got between me and my pursuits of a writing career. As a result, I feel as though my skill atrophied.

The last nine months as certainly turn that around, but I look back at some of my earlier posts and I realize just how far my skill as a writer has come. Sticking to a regular deadline and forcing myself to practice my chosen craft every day has drastically improved my skills with the written word. I still care about those old posts, however, and I feel the subject matter I discussed was relevant and important. Therefore, I’ll be touching up some of my old articles with a cleaner and practiced eye for wordsmithing.

Our Community

The vastness of this community eluded me when I began The Wizard’s Respite. Everyone knows that the Internet and social media are filled with hostile entities poised for waging a cultural war. However, knowing toxic commentary exists online and interacting with it are two different things. Over the last few months, I learned to navigate the cultural nuances of the TTRPG community online.

A Dungeons & Dragons Barbarian crouched and ready for combat.

After countless hours spent scouring social media and other networking resources, I discovered the type of message I felt comfortable expressing. I decided my words would be in support of Indie game designers, content creators, and creativity. And that’s what I’m going to do. I intend my blog, my social media content, and my games to only bring positive experiences to others.

We can only do what is within our skill set and ability to do. Expressing a positive message and supporting other talented writers is something I can do, so that’s my mission.

Learning Curve

The Poisoner’s Handbook took a lot longer to finish and publish than I originally anticipated. There were delays, last-minute rewrites, realizing my rewrites needed rewriting, and more delays. Not to mention juggling play testing, regular blog posts, and a 9-to-5 job. Pursuing a career in writing has been my dream for decades, but it turns out there was quite a learning curve regarding how to accomplish that transition.

Moving forward, I intend to learn from the pitfalls and mistakes I made over the last nine months, but I also intend to lean into my strengths. Yes, mistakes are made out of ignorance, and I needed to improve my skill. I also learned, however, what I do well and how to double down on that subject. We’re getting close to the one-year anniversary of the Respite’s launch, and I have a much better idea as to how I can drive this endeavor forward

The Respite’s Next Destination

There are so many projects I would love to throw myself into, but there truly aren’t enough hours in the day. After trying to grow my social media presence, keep up with the weekly posts, and put food on the table, only so much time remains for original content. However, I believe crafting new game content must take priority. Offering original product provides The Wizard’s Respite with independent sustainability. Therefore, much of my day-to-day activity will shift towards developing new TTRPG systems, supplements, and merchandise.

In the coming months, and with the help of Athena Victoria, the Wizard’s respite will begin advertising and producing supplemental material for Dungeons & Dragons. Some of this material will be sold through the DM Guild, but wherever possible, these supplemental materials will be available here at The Wizard’s Respite. Of course, these products will be available on all the typical marketplaces specializing in TTRPG distribution as well. Keep an eye out for future posts regarding new supplemental material in the coming weeks.

We’ll also be crafting completely original and independent TTRPG systems. These systems will vary widely in genre and style. We’re looking at developing solo-play as well as large-scale multi-player adventure games. It goes without saying that these kinds of ventures don’t come to fruition overnight. Core rule systems take months to develop, months to playtest and redraft, and months to market, package, and prepare for distribution. However, this is the direction The Wizard’s Respite is heading, and I plan on keeping my readers up to date with the progress every step of the way.

Finally, Athena Victoria and I are working on the preliminary steps of developing merchandise to be sold in the Wizard’s Respite shop. We’re looking at a variety of options that reflect our aesthetic and brand. We haven’t settled on a specific path, but some of what we are looking at is clothing, diced trays, and even dice. As stated before, we’re still in the preliminary steps, and there’s a lot to do before we start selling merch, but, for now, original products for sale are on the horizon.

Leveling Up

As I stated, the first blog launched on The Wizard’s Respite was titled, “Blogger Level I”. After publishing my first game, building a social media presence, and maintaining an active blog on a weekly basis, I believe I reached my first milestone. It’s time to level up!

It is still a pretty low level, but I made it there. I’m proud of that accomplishment! And I’ve met a lot of great people on the path so far. I really appreciate all of the help and support I’ve received from the community. I think I’m on the right track and I’m going to continue forward with this plan.

A stylized image of a DnD Sorcerer leveling up
Leveling up

Now, I’m looking ahead to level III. What is it going to take to get there? A lot more adventuring! And I’m willing to jump into as many metaphorical dungeons as it takes to collect my XP. I’m expecting to take a few more knocks and slay a few monsters, but I’m just as excited about the journey as I am about the destination. That being said, in Dungeons & Dragons, level III is when you really start to get the good class features. I can’t wait to see what abilities I unlock next.

Until next time, keep adventuring, keep writing, and journey on.

Ash Alder

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