Bringing Your Brain Back to the Game

Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System

[ What is the Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System (TSRS)? It is a tabletop RPG designed to be light on rules and heavy on roleplaying. Most guidelines are optional so GMs can modify, add or drop whatever they wish. GMs can also submit their changes to the site for others to use. And the best part? The entire system is free! All guidelines, support tools, monster books and adventures can be found at the Downloads page. ]

April 29th, 2017

Glynn Of MonkeyBlood Design) and I have finally put our finishing touches to this year's One Page Dungeon competition. Each of us have submitted to the competition in the past, but this year, we decided to submit a page together. It's called "The Color of Fungi" and can be downloaded here.

March 24th, 2017

There are times when I wonder how I actually get the amount of work done each week, between the full time day job, and evenings spent writing. I tend to be busy each night, writing something for an upcoming project, whether it's an Excursion for my Patreon site, A Kickstarter project, my novel or another adventure for a 3rd party or convention, I'm busy all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love it. I enjoy writing and sometimes wish it was my full time job. But I also love database technology, and am glad I get to do that for a living too (plus, it pays better than writing!). Unfortunately, I take on too much work sometimes and have had to recently let a few opportunities pass. I hate that part of writing - when there is so much I want to write with so little time to do it.

Dropping projects from my list is always uncomfortable. I've almost always spent hours designing and thinking about the writing project only to cut it loose after I realize a) it will take too much time or, b) it will reap no financial reward (or worse, a loss!). Don't get me wrong, I don't write to make losts of money. Writers know that most of us make very little in that industry, especially part time. But I can't lose money either. I've recently dropped a few projects from my list because they were just going to drain my finances while absorbing all my creative time. That's not the combination I want.

The benefit of being a one-man show is that I *can* make those decisions. I can decide to keep or cut projects when necessary. I can refuse offers to write for other firms. I can change my release schedule when it benefits my personal and professional life. I still dislike dropping projects off the list but at the end of the day, I'm only one guy, doing all the writing, layout and fulfillment for my work. That's a lot of work for one part time person!

But have no fear! ThrowiGames and NomadGaming continues on, producing products for multiple systems. I'll keep using KS and Patreon to release content while doing small, private print runs of unique product. I have a huge project for end of year fulfillment that I'm trying to prototype in time for June (NTX) - this project is my biggest endeavor yet and will consume much of my free time over the next several months. I may have to refuse more requests for writing work during that time if I get behind.

Until next time, enjoy!

February 20th, 2017

My latest Kickstarter project, "Off the Beaten Path: Forest Excursions" is less than an hour from ending, and sitting slightly over $3500, a total that is both surprising and humbling. I hoped it would do well and the final funding will be more than double what I expected. I'm a small indie publisher; $3500 is a big deal to me. I never launch projects expecting to make tens of thousands of dollars - I do publish books because I enjoy it. They just need to make a little profit to feed the next project! Thos book definitely helped after my last project barely broke even. Here's what the cUrrent project is ending up at.. For $10, you get:

  • 23 adventures
  • 31 pages
  • many maps, with 4 upgraded by MonkeyBlood Design
  • a wonderful color cover by Travis Hanson (shown below)

I'm excited to print this book in a few weeks and get it out to backers. It's a great value! Enjoy!

January 26th, 2017

My work last year is finally beginning to materialize, with several projects launching over the next few months. Today, I'm launching the first of three Kickstarter projects this quarter, with "Off the Beaten Path: Forest Excursions", a 24+ page book featuring 20 one to two page forest adventures. The book is just $10 and has the potential to grow several more pages with stretch goals.

Next month, "Island of Blight" will finally release via Kickstarter. This second of a four book series has been completed for some time, and only requires artwork and a few updates to the maps. My target release date is February 27th, but depends on the January KS project.

Finally, a larger collaborative project releases in March... more information on that project will get posted sometime in February.

I'm also posting a revised release list (changed from October's post) in this update. Enjoy!

    Patreon Excursions Print Book - January
    TSQ2 - Island of Blight - Kickstarter, February - March
    Special Collaboration Project (details announced later) - March - April
    Desolantia Kickstarter, late 2017
    Five pack, Digest Adventures - end of 2017

October 13, 2016

Work on multiple fronts continues...

    TSQ2 - Island of Blight - Kickstarter, late October
    RPG Crate Adventure for December
    Five pack, Digest Adventures - 2016Q4 - 2017Q2
    Special Collaboration Project (details announced later) - January
    Patreon Excursions Print Book - January
    Desolantia Kickstarter, early 2017

As you can see, there is lots of work going on, all by a one-man show. Add in some work for Erik Tenkar (S&W Light), my twice-a-month Patreon Excursions adventures, and playtesting Desolantia as much as possible, and I have an overly full schedule.

On the topic of Desolantia, I ran a few sessions this past weekend at Sticks & Stones, a local CT convention run by the awesome Bryan Skowera. Although on the small side, this con has some great players and GMs. I had fairly positive feedback on the new system - players seemed to like the fast pace and simplicity. If you played Desolantia there and didn't get your feedback form in to me before I left, feel free to email me with your comments at

... and on the topic of Gaming conventions, here's my tentative schedule: AnonyCon (Dec), TotalCon (February), GaryCon (March), North Texas (June) - my schedule may change depending on real life things and whatnot. This is a best guess at the current moment.

September 9, 2016

My latest book, "The Full Moon Ransom", was shipped off to a new crate service for September subscribers. The book was designed for Swords & Wizardry but has stat blocks for 5E. You can see the cover at the end of this post.

I'm finishing up work on my next Kickstarter, "The Island of Blight". I plan to launch the project in a couple of weeks, look for it soon! Additionally, my 8th adventure for my Patreon Excursions series will be available for download on September 15th. Remember, faithful Patreon backers will have access to the printed book at a reduced cost, so sign up as soon as possible!

prototype books

August 11, 2016

I've spent the last 2 months writing a tremendous amount of material (5 books in total), mostly for my new "FF" series starting at the end of the year. "FF" stands for First & Fifth, and targets audiences who want first edition and/or fifth edition materials. There are five books in the series, probably bundled together for release late in the year or early next year. I've also written 3 books for other companies as well as continued efforts on two of my own systems, SRS (sci-fi) and "the secret system" (I'll release the name of the newest ThrowiGames/Nomad Gaming product soon, I promise). So, although things have been quiet here, work has continued in earnest elsewhere.

My release schedule page is not at all up to date - I'll spend some time in the coming weeks to reorganize the release schedule, likely pushing the more ambitious dates outward. I still plan to release TSQ2 "Island of Blight" in the next 1-2 months via Kickstarter, as well as publish new materials through a few partners. I do have some exciting news on this front, but I'm not allowed to share it just yet. I'll update this page once the dust settles (or ink dries). Until next time (hopefully sooner), enjoy!

June 8, 2016

I'm still recovering from an outstanding North Texas RPG Con; sleep was less important than gaming and networking. Met up with old friends, made several new acquaintances, and coordinated work for 2016 and 2017 with several movers and shakers in the industry. A grand time indeed!

I wrote and ran a First Edition Gamma World adventure at the con titled "Into the Wreckage". I sold nearly every copy I brought with me, and only have five or so copies left. Email me if you are interested in one of the remaining copies. I played in a few 5E and B/X games but I particlarly enjoyed my first Classic Traveller game. I'll defintely play that system again.

Several conversations with friends and other publishers resulted in loads of potential work for this year and next, mainly in the freelance writing area. I'm already writing a second part to my Affliction adventure for Fail Squad Games, but may write some work for a few other independents too. Additionally, I caught up with Merle Rasmussen (of TSR Top Secret fame) to collaborate on 2017 work. More to come on this in future installments. I'm most excited about my work with Merle and my first full color competition submission, targeted for next year. I have a couple of loose commitments on resources (illustrations, layout) who are interested in contributing to the submission. It's going to be exciting!

Part 2 of the "Trail of the Serpent Queen series" is due out this summer, likely around July/August. It is titled "Island of Blight" and will be available via Kickstarter. The Rasmussen/Wilson collaboration will be ready first quarter of 2017. I'm either printing a boxed set at the end of the year, or a multi-pack of digest adventures - TBD. Until next time, enjoy!

March 19, 2016

Apparently, I have decided to post quarterly updates here. Completely unintended, but sometimes real life and work get in the way.

First, thank you to all that backed God Slayers! I appreciate your support! It was a small print run and I lost money on the project, but it was a test of sorts. I wanted to see if I added more art, maps, and content (48 pages!) that more people would want to buy it - there were many that said they wanted more, so I did it but less people bought it. So the test results proved that what people say and what they do are irrelevant. I lost money on the book before it was even printed and shipped out. That's okay, it was a test and it proved what I thought it would. So, we're moving on from there.

Second, the bad news. I'm slowing down my print work for three reasons: 1) I'm working with other companies/authors on joint materials, 2) I'd like to return to free downloadable content, and 3) I need to finish my internet game this year! I'm not stopping book printing, just slowing down. Here's my current PRINT list for 2015: TSQ2 Island of Blight via KS sometime in April/May, an exclusive Gamma World adventure for June (NTX), and one more book at the end of the year (tbd). I will be printing a new sci-fi book by mid year, collaborating with a well known author to develop a new series (we hope). I'm also writing work for Fail Squad Games, including a two part adventure in their world, the Lands of Lunacy. Part 1, "Affliction", is already done and available as a digest Con mod. The two adventures will be released as a KS later this year.

I've been playing around with a few free adventures and SRS add-ons for later this year. This is how I started and I'd like to get back to that again. More digital content from the website, less printing. Finally, I really have to finish Colossevm, a 20+ year project. I'm about 90% with the coding and need to focus on content and tightening up the loose ends. I hope to finish this year (I've said that the last three years), but we'll see what else gets in the way. Well, enough for this time, enjoy!

December 2nd, 2015

A shorter update today as I'm busy coordinating things... The God Slayers Kickstarter went live yesterday! You can get there HERE. After less than day, we're off to a great start, coming in around 40% funded! You guys are great!

Let's see, what else can I update you on? I've gotten some questions about the digest mods ("The Shambling Thieves" and "The Wicked, Woeful Web") and how they will be offered in early 2016. I'm not sure if those will be Kickstarted or if I'll offer them offline. They may be part of a 3 book bundle on KS or I may offer them on my website one by one as each is done. I'm just not sure how they will be offered yet but I can tell you that they are nearly complete ("The Wicked, Woeful Web" is actually fully written, maps drawn, and layout complete). I know these will be small print runs so keep yuor eye for them by checking here once a week or two.

Version 2 testing of the guidelines will continue this weekend as I incorporate them into the end of the "The Wicked, Woeful Web" playtest. I have one sticking point with initiative and combat attitudes that I'm trying to resolve to complete the new v2 guidelines (more on that next week after Saturdya's playtest). I'd like to run another group through "Island of Blight" before calling that one fully playtested - the playtest went well but I was hoping to revise a few things to get it just right. That book started off as an interlude between "In Defense of Thuil" and "Trail of the Serpent Queen" (it can be used as a 1-2 session stop in between, or skipped altogether), but has an interesting hook to a new, future storyline. The original plan was a 16 page 8.5x11 book, but this may change to a larger book with some very cool player handouts. To be determined...

Well, I'll check back in in a few days time. Enjoy!

November 25th, 2015

Well, well, well. Finally, an update. I have neglected to update the website in quite a few months but don't think I haven't been busy. I've completed a considerable amount of work in the last several months (some background efforts too, see next paragraph)... I'm 95% done with the writing of "God Slayers", the final book in the False Promises series. This book will be the biggest adventure written to date, coming in between 40-44 pages when completed (but possibly another four pages depending on KS stretch goals). Over half the artwork is done, and almost all of the cartography is complete. There are about a dozen and a half illustrations and another thirteen to fourteen maps. This book is full of material - my art budget exploded past $1200 for this single book alone! I've moved from font size 8 to 10 for better reading; customers have requested an increase to the font size and I've adapted to that request. I plan on starting the Kickstarter project sometime in the week of November 30th - December 4th. Stay tuned for that news soon!

Behind the scenes, I've been working in a vast amount of material for several efforts: In October, I wrote 2 adventures for a local con that I plan to publish in 2016; "Halloween Goes to Hell" is a multi-genre adventure that is a lot fun to play. A yet unnamed Espionage adventure was written to playtest the new variant rules - it wasn't played due to a lack of players at the con, but is on the playtest schedule in December for one of my groups. Two other adventrues are playtested: "The Shambling Thieves" and "The Wicked, Woeful Web". These need art and editing before release, likely in early 2016. These four are destined for print projects. For free download adventures, "Walking Dead into Umfall", "The Enemy Within", and one other yet unnamed fantasy adventure will probably get wrapped up early next year.

Part of the playtest schedule is working through the new v2 guidelines for the game system. After years of playing, savvy players have discovered how to "game" the system in certain ways; v2 seeks to rectify some of those issues. These new guidelines will be available for free review on the downloads page sometime in December, once we've tested them a bit further. Part of the reason we've been pushing so hard on the the v2 front is that we're trying to get the guidelines to adapt to the five genre system (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Espionage, Horror, and Western) revisions. Late in 2016, I plan to release a new v2 book or boxed set that highlights all five genres with sample adventures for each. This will be a huge undertaking but I feel it's necessary to tie off that loose thread in my company design strategy.

I'm changing my release schedule a bit to include a new award submission adventure. I've had an idea for a good single player adventure that I want to use as an award submission piece for end of 2016 RPG award circuit. My project outline is very ambitious: full color, 24-32 pages, single player, multi-system. I've already talked to a few artists who are onboard with the project for early next year. I think this book will be my best adventure to date!

I've been working with an author of TSR fame on some new work and hope to have a collaborative piece (or series) in 2016... I can't really say too much about this at the moment, but let's just say that I 'm very excited about some of the ideas and work already created! Stay tuned for more information.

2016 should also see the completion of the four part Serpent Queen series. Part 2, "Island of Blight" will probably be ready in February/March, with the last two books coming in third and fourth quarters respectively. "In Defense of Thuil" started this project earlier this year, and now that the False Promises series is wrapping up, I can push to get this second series completed!

I still have several more projects in the long-term queue (end of 2016, early 2017), including a multi-level megadungeon (14 levels), and a new fantasy series in a new world outside Ornaklia. I'm hoping to work with new artist/creator on a unique world that uses the TSRS guidelines; that conversation is in its infancy and will probably not fully complete until late 2016 or early 2017. I'm never short on ideas and plans, eh?

Well, that's all for now. An update should appear when the "God Slayers" Kickstarter launches. Until then, enjoy! -Thom

Older Posts and Reference

An archive page now contains posts greater than a month or two old.

Before I shifted gears from Colosseum (see the blog link for reference) to developing the Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System, I used several other media channels to record and discuss my efforts. See my 2011 blog here and my little used Facebook page (search Facebook for for past updates. Going forward, the new website will be my primary method of cummunication and interaction with players.

Pages Maintained by Thom Wilson