Recently I made a declaration of sorts on Facebook. My frustrated creative urge was reaching critical mass and I realized something: I have no reason to be timid or apologetic about making, sharing and even selling art. I had a big ball of angst in my belly about asking friends for money, even for something dear to me that I’ve lavished with hard work and care.
So, SbtT now has a publishing arm, Story by the Throat! Press. This consists of me, Joel P. Shempert, making games and selling them and playing them. Right now, I’ve got a PDF of my first game, Spectre of the Beast, on sale at RPGNow, and I can sell print copies of both Spectre and my new game, The Dreaming Crucible, in person or by mail order. Click on the link under the site banner for more details! In the meantime, think of this as a combination manifesto and press release:
All right folks, I’m going to be frank. I got dreams, big ones. But right now it’s difficult to take even small steps. Work sucks away the premium of my energy, fatherhood drinks up on the rest, and marriage subsists on the fumes. Dreams? Well, dreams suffocate, living on as lingering whispers of despair at their passing.
Well, NO MORE!
I’m taking my dreams by the throat and wrestling them back into my life. I’m setting goals and chasing them to hell and back. And what dreams, you ask? Well, I certainly have plenty to choose from. But let’s start with this: I’ve written a storytelling game that’s dear to my heart. It’s called The Dreaming Crucible, and it’s a roadmap for telling stories about resorting to magical quests to cope with the pain, the angst, even the sheer nightmarish trauma of growing up. I’ve designed it to be learned quickly and played in about an hour, and it represents, I hope, something authentic that I desperately want to say to the world.
This means I want to share my game with you. Yes, you! I want to play this game with as many of my friends as possible, to see what dreams we can dream together, and to learn as much as I can and make this game the best it can be. If you’ve played a roleplaying or storytelling game before, great, but leave your assumptions at the door. If you never have, that’s fine—this game is made not for people who have learned a complex set of skills, but for anyone who loves stories and is willing to be vulnerable.
So here’s how it works: I will sell you my game for FIVE DOLLARS. Anytime, anywhere, you see me, you hand me $5, I pull The Dreaming Crucible out of my satchel and hand it to you. This deal includes an actual play session with me, you, and one friend, at our earliest convenience. The game is meant to be played, not read and forgotten! If you don’t live in my town, email me at storybythethroat AT gmail DOT com to mail order a copy. Now, if: A) you already bought the game, or B) you can’t afford the game, or C) are curious but cautious about the value to you, then listen: I will still play the game with you! In fact, please! I want to. ‘Cause that’s what it’s about, and I want to see what stories YOU, my friends, will tell!
UPDATE, 3-28-2011: at this point, I’ve long since succeeded in refining the Dreaming Crucible into the beautiful finished game it was meant to be. Thanks to all who bought the Demo version and made that possible! You can find the info and purchasing links for the complete game here.