Monday, April 23, 2012

More On Experts

After getting some interesting comments regarding all of the (un-published) work I did on the 3.5 Expert class, I wrote a quick post over on Google+ about it, and it looks like I'm going to try to edit everything together and package it either as a free download or as a very inexpensive (like $0.99) sourcebook.

I'm envisioning this to be a bit beyond the scope of the original framework I was using (which was, basically, how to take the 3.5 NPC Expert class and use it as a Player Character class by adding cool new feats, prestige classes, equipment, and all that kind of stuff).  That will still be a big part of the book, but I'm thinking it will also be a resource for DMs looking to make some unique non-adventuring NPC types, and also would be a fun thing to use for old-school types who are trying to round out their party via hirelings and henchmen.

What I'm thinking is that it will be a combination player and DM resource, paying a bit of homage to the 2E era Sages & Specialists book. Did any of you own that? It was basically a DM guide for creating non-adventuring NPCs (obviously, Sages, but also things like Apothecaries and Appraisers, each of which had their own experience point progressions, class abilities, and unique skills).

All that said, I have a bunch of notes but need to go back and flesh things out in some sections, and also update it to Pathfinder rules versus 3.5.  Also, since I've never self-published anything before, I'm looking for some input and guidance from all of you. I definitely don't want to go through all of the work to do something like this if no one is going to make use of it. So, my questions are a combination of game mechanics as well as some functional questions about how to go about creating something like this.

1) Where is a good source for art if I'm trying to self-publish and might potentially just give the project away for free, or at best for a very small fee like $0.99 or $1.99?  Greg Christopher over on G+ suggested using some stock art at RPGNow, which I'm definitely going to take a look at. Any other suggestions?
2) What are some good page layout tools I can use without spending any money and that don't have steep learning curves?
3) Since this was originally intended to be a 3.5 Project, I'll be updating it to Pathfinder. The original version included a lot of Prestige Classes, which have kind of fallen out of favor with Pathfinder. Should I still include these, or just take them out?
4) Would there be any interest in me "converting" this to an OSR ruleset like Swords & Wizardry or Labyrinth Lord? I'm thinking that I'm not really inclined to do this mainly because a lot of this book was "crunch" elements like Character Concepts (which could be used without the mechanical elements in any fantasy-type game), Multi-Class Combos, and Prestige Classes, that wouldn't really have any equivalent in a rules-light OSR type game. But if there's enough interest I could try to figure it out.
5) Would any of you be interested in offering some playtesting advice of different pieces of the sourcebook that you use in your games prior to final publication?

Thanks, everyone. I look forward to your comments.


  1. I'm happy to donate any of my art. I can do new pieces on request, too. Otherwise, I don't have much to add as I use word for my stuff and keep it BX simple.

  2. Hey, thanks much! That's very awesome, especially considering you were one of the ones who suggested that I should try to publish it myself! I'll definitely be in touch regarding your artwork and also just the logistics-side of self-publishing if you don't mind me asking you some questions.

  3. I'm also happy to donate art if you'd like!

    1. Awesome - thanks so much, Kelvin! I'll definitely be taking you up on that as well. Cheers!


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