Freelance Critique Partner
I’m available to critique your adventures. I believe everyone sets out to write an awesome adventure … and that most folks have trouble getting what is in their head out of it and on to paper in a way that communicates the awesomeness they imagine. I’m going to help you overcome that and create the best adventure you can, truly living up to what’s in your head.
I’ve been writing about three adventure reviews a week for almost six years now. By my count that’s over 1,100 adventure reviews. You’d be quite hard pressed to find someone who has read or written more about them. This has allowed me to refine my insight in to adventure design & writing. I’m not an academic divorced from actual play. I’ve been playing since 1979, generally as the DM, and have run/played almost weekly. I pride myself on not being “an old guy” and keeping an open mind to fresh perspectives.
These four elements paint my philosophy more than anything else. Note that they are not specific to fantasy/OSR adventures.
- I believe everyone wants to do a good job with their awesome idea … they just have trouble getting it down on paper.
- Fundamentally, the adventure is a play aid for the DM. It MUST be targeted at the DM running the adventure at the table.
- It must be a masterful combination of being organized and evocative. The DM must be able to use it, mechanically, to find things and run the game.
- But it must also inspire the DM. The adventure must inspire the DM, painting an evocative image in their mind so that they can then further communicate it to the players.
- I have a set of review standards I generally use for Fantasy/OSR style adventures. You can find more about them over here.
What I Do For You … and don’t
I’m a Critique Partner. I will read your adventure and comment on it. I’ll tell you what I think works and what doesn’t. I’ll give you suggestions of things to think about and/or consider in certain areas of your design. You’ll get detailed commentary and specific call-outs in almost every area of your writing.
What I don’t do is copy edit (spellcheck) or line edit (moving things around in your document, rewording, etc.) Further, I don’t check for “game work consistency” or “stat block correctness.” If orcs have a published AC of X and your orcs have an AC of Y then I am likely to not comment on that. I don’t do layout, although I am likely to make suggestions.
What To Expect
You should expect a prompt reply to your inquiries and e-mail. Once I’m contacted with a gig you’ll get a prompt estimate for a completion date and cost (I’m inexpensive.) If I don’t think I can help you then I’ll say so with no commitment from you. You’ll get a monster response back from me and as much back and forth as is required, as well as a read-through & commentary of your finished draft. You will not be abused, or made fun of, or have profanity thrown at you. I will also guarantee you a review on tenfootpole.org, disclosing that I was involved in the adventure process. All bets are off in the review … I’ll be as brutally honest as ever.
For More Information …
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s a ‘zero’ between by first & last name)
There have been some questions about what/how much/etc. Generally, I can work your project in one of three ways:
- You can just send it off to me and I’ll work on it, for free, when I get a chance. This isn’t a review; it’s just for you and much more in depth. I’ve got a folder of adventures in this category and when I get some spare time I pull something out of it and work it. I can’t really provide a time estimate on what I’ll get to something.
- I can give it the full works. You’re going to get some pretty detailed notes on almost every page, as well as some general observations and trends I see. If you send me a thirty page adventure you’re likely to get twenty pages of notes back. This is the most time intensive and therefore the most expensive. I work an hourly rate, with some fudging, and I give an estimate up front. So if you tell me it’s thirty pages of double-spaced single-column I’ll send back a “not to exceed” estimate. In some cases it could be a lot less, but it will never be more.
- I can also work a subset of the project for you. If you have fifty pages of content and thirty are all very similar, all hexes or all rooms or some such, then you can ask I restrict my commentary to a certain subset, a few pages of the thirty, for example. I’ll give the entire thing a quick once-over to make sure there’s nothing out of line from the rest of the content, and go in to detail on the few pages you focus me on. We’re both betting on there being a lot of overlap in issues between the pages I look at the the other pages.