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Happy New Year?

lfneJason L Blair19 February 2016

My last post here was quite some time ago. But I haven’t forgotten about Little Fears. Far from it.

It’s been over a year since I released anything new for LFNE. The last product being Book 3: Blessed are the Children. I failed to put out even a single Campfire Tale in 2015. Yet, still, you all have been keeping Little Fears alive. With your emails and reviews (and purchases, yes), you’ve made it known that this game about kids fighting monsters is still out there, finding new fans and giving old ones good times around the table.

Thank you all so much. You’ve done a better job keeping Little Fears than I have.

I recently started the rewrite of my Little Fears novel, The Wolf Pact, and things are progressing nicely. I’m about 25% of the way through the first draft and I really like how things are going.

Which is, frankly, different my previous efforts. I finished the first draft of this back in 2007 in a flurry. I wrote the 50k word book in a week. And, trust me, it shows. It has some nice ideas but it sprawls everywhere and just has too much stuff going on. The new 30k version is shaping up to be much leaner, more focused, and—given the benefit of almost a decade more of writing experience—it reads so much better.

Once this is done, and revised and revised and revised, I’d like to maybe run a Kickstarter for it. Not to print it—it was funded by the Book 3 Kickstarter—but to generate more interest and, ideally, add some more artwork to the book. If you’ve read Clive Barker’s The Thief of Always, I’m thinking of pre-chapter images like he uses.

Those who backed the Kickstarter will get the ebook format immediately though. If I do run a Kickstarter and if it is successful then I’ll update the file. I would like to hold off on a physical print run though, so original backers (hopefully) get the illustrated version. But, as I said, if I either don’t run a Kickstarter or it doesn’t fund, I’ll print up the book as is (with Veronica Jonesglorious cover) and get that sent out.

After? Well, I’d like to start the second book (tentatively titled Fairy Tale Ending) and finish up Campfire Tales #8: The House that Wasn’t There.

I have no delusions that the day job will continue to be insanely busy this year but I also know that I can’t go much longer without putting out some Little Fears stuff—if for my own sake, if nothing else.

Anyway. That’s what’s currently cooking. Thank you all again for your continued support. I cannot put into words just how amazing you all have been and continue to be.

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Update!

lfneJason L Blair28 September 2015

WOAH. Was my last update really on the 8th? That’s insane.

So, unfortunately, things at work/in life got insane but they’ve settled once again and I’m back at working on my stuff this week.

The wrinkle? The screen of my work computer/laptop broke. I’m going to order a replacement screen this week and hope to get it up and running by Friday. This doesn’t impair my ability to finish the text of Campfire Tales #8 but it is the machine I use to do layout and create the PDF.

I’ll update later this week with where things are at. Thanks for your patience!

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Campfire Tales #8 Update

lfneJason L Blair08 September 2015

I’m not going to make tomorrow’s deadline, folks. I am very sorry for that. I’m not hitting my weekly estimate, and I’m not happy about that, but I’m going to focus on getting better and better, writing more and more until I’m back to where I need to be.

On the upside, I have enough written of every scene that I know exactly how this one is shaped and what each beat contains. Normally, I do that early on but I didn’t this time. And then, when I finally did, I made some serious changes because the scope of it was simply too big to fit inside the Campfire Tales format. What I did cut will make its home in another episode, so it’s not a total loss, and this episode will be far tighter than it was shaping up to be.

I’m currently at 4153 of the 6000 to 7000 words these usually contain. This total is is way under where I’d aimed to be but I’m getting there slowly but surely.

Here’s some photographic evidence.

campfiretales8_wordcount

After the writing is done, it’s a matter of copy editing and creating the Monsters and GMCs, and laying it all out. (Though, in fairness, I create the Monsters and GMCs directly in the layout.)

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Campfire Tales #8 – New Release Date

lfneJason L Blair31 August 2015

Work on Campfire Tales #8 hasn’t gone nearly as swimmingly as hoped. A rush at the day job ate up my nights. I managed to push the count to 3425 (up from 2699) but that’s still only a little over halfway through. The madness at the day job has settled though and I’m going to keep plugging away at it.

I’m going to set a stake on September 9th as the new date though. I’ll follow up before then with an update.

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Up Next: Campfire Tales #8

lfneJason L Blair17 August 2015

As I posted over at StreetsOfBedlam.com, I’m feet from the finish line on SoB Stories #2. It will hit DriveThruRPG this Wednesday. As promised, I’m then going to move to Campfire Tales #8: “The House that Wasn’t There”. I already did a fair bit of work on it. Google Drive tells me I’m about just under 2700 words (2699 to be exact). Campfire Tales run anywhere from 7-8k words when done. I need to read through what I’ve written to see what shape it’s in but a release date of Wednesday, September 2nd seems reasonable. I’ll follow up once I know more.

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A Long-Overdue Update

lfneJason L Blair10 August 2015

Well, it’s only been forever since I last updated. I left a lot of things hanging back in March (almost five months ago—eesh) including a promised Little Fears novel and a long list of RPG supplements “in development.” In addition, I’ve slacked hard on fulfilling orders in a timely fashion and following up on rules email and such.

That’s not good. And I know that.

So I’m looking to correct this moving forward.

This year has been insanely busy at the day job. Pair that with working in exercise and family time and I’ve spent nearly every hour I’ve been give since the calendar turned. Unfortunately, fitting in any extracurricular stuff, such as Little Fears and Streets of Bedlam, has been tough.

As the time has passed, my stress levels spiked off the charts and I hit a wall. I was anxious, depressed, and unfulfilled as well as agitated and uncertain about what I wanted out of life. The past month and a half have been particularly hard.

Thankfully, my wife is there for me when I am not and she booked a family vacation for a weekend out in the woods. So it was I spent last weekend holed up in a cabin surrounded by miles and miles of not-much which, aside from having to drive twenty minutes for groceries, was pretty spectacular. Normally I would fill my time with work, either day job or my own writing, or spend all my energy dealing with large crowds of people which is hugely exhausting for folks like me. And I’d come back from the “vacation” even worse off than I started.

But not this time.

This time, I did nothing but let myself be surrounded by trees, friendly roaming creatures, a bull-headed cat, a super-friendly chocolate lab, and walks in the woods.

It was amazing. And relaxing. And clarifying.

I don’t want to undersell that last point. “Clarifying.” My head has been so filled with static—work work work obligations obligations obligations—that I just ran head first from one task to another until I dropped. Like I said above: Every hour was filled. And, while I love my job and family, none of it was focused on my personal writing, which is one of the few things that keeps my anxiety demons at bay.

I thought maybe I could handle this. That maybe I could find time to fulfill my obligations to Little Fears and Streets of Bedlam in my spare time but make other things my top priority focus. But I couldn’t. I didn’t have “spare time.” No, I needed to make the time. I need to carve hours out of my day and dedicate them to my, shall we say, “ambition writing.” I needed to make my own writing a higher priority than it was. Yes, my day job is awesome and pays the bills, but my ultimate happiness relies on me putting out words that were wholly my own. That were my characters in my worlds doing my things. That were available to fans of my works, works that I love to support and grow. That had the potential to be books with my name on them put out by publishers who were not me.

And here it is, the Monday after and I still feel that way. I need to always feel that way. I need to make my own writing part of my daily routine. I need to fulfill my obligations.

Which is why I’m writing this to you today. Because I’m on a path to make things right.

Step One: More Timely Shipments
The money you pay for your hardcopies pays for the time it takes me to sign, package, and ship the products. I need to turn this around faster. I have let months go from initial order to final delivery and that’s not acceptable.

Step Two: Better Communications
I have some emails in the queue that need answered. I have fans on social media that deserve better support.

Step Three: More Product
Right now, the most outstanding product in the Little Fears line is The Wolf Pact. I have an outline, a fair amount of words, but it needs done. Which brings me to:

My Schedule

Starting tonight, I’m getting back into my own writing. I will have two nights each week to dedicate to writing and time outside of that, here and there, to do it as I can. But those two nights are nothing to sneeze at. There’s no good reason I can’t crank out 3-4k words each week. That’ll help me start to dig out from the hole I’m in and that’s good. It also gives me clearer goals as to when I can get stuff out.

First on my plate is something that’s not for Little Fears. I am about 2-3k words away from finishing SoB Stories #2 for Streets of Bedlam. That’s first. I will get that done this week and out next Wednesday. Then, I want to get back into Little Fears by finishing up Campfire Tales #8: The House That Wasn’t There. According to the latest file, I’m at the 33% mark there, which puts me about 5k words until done. I already have the art, so quick math check, I will have that finished next week.

I normally put in words like “should” or “aim to” but not this time. That gives me too much room to fudge. Instead, I’m dedicating to it. And not fulfilling that promise means I failed.

After that, I will decide whether I’m going to put out SoB Stories #3 for Streets of Bedlam or focus on The Wolf Pact. In fairness, SoB Stories #3 was promised first—and thus is later—but I would like to do some fiction. I’ll make that call soon enough.

Anyway, that’s where things are at. I am truly sorry for dropping the ball as much and as hard as I have lately. I am going to work to correct this and do better in the future.

(You’ll notice a similar post over at StreetsOfBedlam.com. Figured it was better to write this once and change some details than spend time restating everything.)

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Little Fears Nightmare Edition Super Mega Sale Bundle

lfneJason L Blair05 January 2015

Hello, folks, and Happy New Year!

Have you been holding off on picking up Little Fears Nightmare Edition? Have a friend who’s interested but hasn’t committed yet? Well, not to sound like a late night informercial, but now’s the perfect time.

DriveThruRPG has kicked off its New Year, New Game sale and LFNE is one of the amazing super-cheap bundles you can pick up.

For just $15, you get the LFNE corebook, Book 2: Among the Missing, and the first two Campfire Tales standalone episodes, less than half what they’d run you individually. While you’re there, be sure to check out the other bundles (batch one; batch two) they have up for sale.

I’d also really appreciate your help in spreading the word. There’s something really special I want to do with LFNE in the new year (aside from release The Wolf Pact novel, of course) but I won’t be able to do it without your help!

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Save Money on Some Campfire Tales

lfneJason L Blair03 March 2014

DriveThruRPG is running their GM’s Day Sale and have three Campfire Tales at 30% off.

Grab copies of The Fall Harvest, Death by Chocolate, and Camp Howling Wolf for just $3.50 each!

(You can also pick up the Streets of Bedlam supplement, Five-Story Drop a collection five standalone scenarios full of crime, intrigue, and betrayal while you’re there.)

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Clubhouse News: “The Tithe”

lfneJason L Blair16 October 2013

Hey folks, I’m starting a new segment here on LittleFears.com to highlight material created by fans of the game. To kick it off, I want to spotlight Giant in the Playground forum user RobD’s original episode “The Tithe.” The episode is set up just like a Campfire Tale so anyone familiar with those should feel right at home. Set in the late 80s, the episode features a group of faeries who become very unhappy when their yearly share of a farming community’s crops is denied to them. Here’s the premise, as posted by Rob:

A typical weekend at the end of this years harvest season takes a strange turn as mysterious things begin to happen: unlikely accidents, things going missing, and increasingly vicious pranks spreading across town are set to upend the sleepy town of Pine Crest.

It seems like a lot of fun and I encourage everyone to check it out. And if anyone has any fan material posted online, let me know so I can tell others! If you have stuff but don’t have a place to host it, send it to me and I’ll put it up (with proper credit, of course).

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Bringing the Blessed to Life

lfneJason L Blair01 August 2013

It’s hard for me to believe it’s been two years since Book 2: Among the Missing hit shelves and that it’s been over a year since I released a new Little Fears Nightmare Edition product. I’d very much like to correct that but, to do so, I’ll need your help.

I’ve always worked on LF products from an investment point of view. I do the work and release it with no forward payment. I’m fine with that but that’s not something I can ask the illustrators I work with to do. And new products, especially a full 128pp book, needs a lot of art. So I’m turning to you to help fund the art for LFNE Book 3: Blessed are the Children.

Blessed are the Children is about the human spirit—literally. It talks about kids whose souls are gone or replaced with the spirit of a monster or who have two souls or whose souls are bolstered by the power of faith. It is about special children with special abilities—abilities that come with a severe cost. They are different than other kids but they are still very much children fighting a war against the overpowering monsters of Closetland.

I’m taking a couple routes in getting this project off the ground.

Kickstarter
I’ll be running a Kickstarter for Blessed are the Children for thirty days starting next Wednesday, August 7th. The goal will be $1500 which will cover all art and production costs for the book. The target is low and whether we hit it or not will be very telling as to whether it’s worth putting Book 3 together. (I sincerely hope it is.)

Normally, I would run a pre-order but I only do that when the art and production costs are covered anyway—that way no one who pre-orders runs the risk of not getting a book. Lacking the art budget, I can’t risk a pre-order that doesn’t cover the cost. The Kickstarter will have multiple tiers for those who wish to support it, including bundles for Books 2 and 3 and Books 1, 2, and 3 and the complete set of LFNE books and all seven Campfire Tales. For those of you who have been asking about dice, some of the tiers will include an opportunity to grab sets as well.

Throughout the Kickstarter, I’ll post excerpts and previews to help build interest. Your support, both monetarily and in spreading the word, will be crucial to the campaign’s success. But Kickstarter isn’t the only way to help support Little Fears!

New Product Line: Goodie Bags
Starting August 5th*, I’m putting out a new line of support products for Little Fears Nightmare Edition. Called Goodie Bags, these are 6-10pp one-off products that focus on new areas and groups that exist in the Little Fears universe. The first two products are about two groups, one existing and one brand-new.

The Butterfly Knights
Introduced in Book 1, the Butterfly Knights are kids in Closetland who help those who get lost within the nightmare realm. In addition to their backstory and plot lines that involve the Knights, their Goodie Bag includes stats to use them as generic or expanded GMCs as well as fully-fleshed Player Characters.

Baba Yaga’s Children
A new group, these monsters are kids twisted by the Crone to become vile, feral creatures who hunt the animals of Closetland—as well as those human children who dare to venture within. Their Goodie Bag includes their backstory, their full Monster stats, and numerous ways to incorporate them into your LFNE game.

Depending on the success of these two, I have other Goodie Bags planned that feature new areas of Closetland, more information on the In-Between World (as introduced in Book 2), and others. They’ll retail in PDF for $5.

New Campfire Tale: The House That Wasn’t There
Coming in September, this standalone episode features a house that only appears in the real world once every seven years. And when it does, it brings some very nasty guests with it.

So, in sum, after a long period of quiet (due to moving, launching Streets of Bedlam, starting a new job, etc), I’m looking to bring some new stuff to the world of Little Fears Nightmare Edition. I hope I can count on your support.

*I’ve had my days screwed up lately. I had written August 3rd originally but it’s next Monday, August 5th.

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