Call for LFR Writers

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Each regional director has final say over who writes their adventures, so if you are interested in writing for a region, contact that region's POC or Writing Director.

This call, however, is for writers interested in writing non-regional adventures. For this first call, I am specifically looking for people who have previously written for RPGA campaigns, specifically one of the following:

--Core or Core Special events for the Living Greyhawk campaign
--Adventures for the Legacy of the Green Regent campaign
--Adventures for Mark of Heroes (not including DM's Marks)
--Adventures for Xen'drik Expeditions (not including DM's Marks)

If you are interested, send the following information to [email]shawn.merwin@gmail.com[/email]:

--A cover letter describing your previous writing experiences, and mentioning a reference who can talk about your writing.
--A sample of your previous work. The sample should include at least one encounter, including stat blocks.

If your credentials check out, you will then be sent the outline for a 4e encounter or two, which you will complete and return to me. Please only apply if you are serious about writing and can hit deadlines consistently.

For those who are interested in writing but do not meet the current criteria, fear not! I will be putting out another call in a couple months, after the first batch of 4e adventures have been released.

Also note that this call is just for the adventures that I am personally responsible for. The regional writing directors and other global administrators may put out their own calls (or not).

Thanks,

Shawn Merwin
LFR Global Admin - Western Hemisphere (North)
[deleted]
To save myself from having to type this more than once:

Just because I am only looking for authors right now with experience writing the adventures from the campaigns and of the types listed in my OP does not mean I think any writer is superior or inferior to any other based just on those criteria. There were regional LG adventures, LC adventures, 2e/3e Classic adventures, Living Kalamar/Arcanis/Death/Jungle adventures, ad infinitum that were just as good as some adventures listed above.

I just needed to create an artificial cutoff to limit the number of applicants at this time, and that is what I chose. No insults should be read into that choice.

As I said, shortly after GenCon I will be putting out another call, and everyone is welcome to throw their proverbial hat into the ring at that time. I will be looking for the best possible writers for the campaign, regardless of previous experience.

Thanks,

Shawn
Shawn,

I think you typed it more than once... ;)
Shawn,

I think you typed it more than once... ;)

No he didn't.

Unfortunately, you have failed the first LFR Writer's test. Shawn composed the second message in 'idiot-proof' text, giving detailed instructions on the applications. It clearly says at the end;

"Anyone who can read this is welcome to apply, the rest will think I've double-posted." :D


Joe
Joe Fitzgerald | joerpga[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]au LFR Global Administrator
Might it be possible for the writer's guidelines to be revealed to the public, so that prospective writers could see what they'd be getting into before going through all that trouble?
I would prefer not to release them to the public.

I don't think it is too much to ask for a person possibly interested to write a cover letter and attaching a sample of previous work in order to get them. If taking the time to write 500 words and attach a file to an email is "all that trouble," I'm not sure that's a person who should be writing an adventure. :-)
Ah. I also figured it'd be useful to have them in public to quell a couple of ugly rumours that have been making the rounds.

The other day, for example, I was told that "some Danish campaign admin" (after some questioning, I established he referred to Sampo Haarlaa, of all people) had pushed through a rule stating all modules had to have mandatory, unavoidable combat encounters. Obviously false (and ridiculous, to boot), but I could only refer to Sampo's previous work instead of scenario writing guidelines. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A bit of transparency in the campaign organisation would go a long way towards debunking crap like this.
ugly rumours that have been making the rounds

Like authors having to use Dungeon Tiles to set up all their encounters? :D
Hadn't heard that one, actually. Where'd you hear it? I'm picking these up from the EN World IRC channel.
Hadn't heard that one, actually.

Sadly, not a rumor:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/lfrseusa/message/945
Sadly, not a rumor:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/lfrseusa/message/945

That's actually a great idea that has been sneaking into LG as of late. There are good reasons for it (beside the obvious product integration benefits).

The use of dungeon tiles as templates makes map-making much easier for authors by creating a standard to which they can adhere to. Furthermore, it makes running the adventure much easier for DMs that actually have the dungeon tiles (no time wasted drawing out maps). For DMs that don't have dungeon tiles, they can still draw out a map based on the design - no harm, no foul.

Unfortunately, the "free" dungeon tile mapper application available on the WOTC site is atrocious and I still haven't figured out how to appropriately export maps to a usable format - forcing me to use D&D minis maps in the last core I wrote rather than dungeon tiles maps like I would have preferred to do (although the minis maps worked out quite nicely in the end).

I would hope that a new and improved version of the mapping utility will be released in the very near future if there is an expectation for authors to use it to create maps for LFR adventures. Furthermore, it would be beneficial if it were updated regularly with the release of new dungeon tiles sets.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
gratuitous secrecy irritates me too.
LG apparently had a whole level of rules documents that wasn't even mentioned in the LGCS but was occasionally cited when modules blatantly broke the rules in the LGCS.

The only reason I've seen not to make the writers' guidelines public is that "people will want us to change them". Such complaints can either be absorbed to improve things or ignored even more easily ...at least as easily as ignoring the criticism for keeping them secret ;P
The use of dungeon tiles as templates makes map-making much easier for authors by creating a standard to which they can adhere to. Furthermore, it makes running the adventure much easier for DMs that actually have the dungeon tiles (no time wasted drawing out maps). For DMs that don't have dungeon tiles, they can still draw out a map based on the design - no harm, no foul.

Dungeon Tiles are a good idea for interpreting a map, but they should not be in PDFs designed to be printed and then used at the game table.

Dungeon tiles print out horribly in b&w and when they're in a PDF, they create much larger file sizes. Especially green forest tiles, which often print similar to dark grey - i.e. making the type really hard to impossible to read. Not to mention waste a lot of ink, either color or b&w, for something that ultimately doesn't get used - as you have to put the tiles/draw the map out on the board anyway.

It isn't that hard to assemble a dungeon tile map, quickly sketch it out, and then just recommend the tiles that should be used. Backgrounds should be white for clarity and less ink usage.
gratuitous secrecy irritates me too.
LG apparently had a whole level of rules documents that wasn't even mentioned in the LGCS but was occasionally cited when modules blatantly broke the rules in the LGCS.

The only reason I've seen not to make the writers' guidelines public is that "people will want us to change them". Such complaints can either be absorbed to improve things or ignored even more easily ...at least as easily as ignoring the criticism for keeping them secret ;P

I would hardly call the preference to not release the core LFR writer's guidelines gratuitous secrecy.

While I can't speak for all of the reasons behind any hidden writer's guidelines for LG, one is because the guidelines are for writers, not for the general population. The last thing LG needed as a campaign was a bunch of smart-alec players who had memorized the core writer's guidelines picking apart various modules that strayed from the guidelines. Unlike the rules documented in the LGCS, writer's guidelines are just that - guidelines. Sometimes, straying from the guidelines is appropriate if it is carefully monitored and approved. In fact, it has been done numerous times with great success.

In addition, I don't think it is the place of the player population to criticize any writing guidelines. Imagine if the players of a home game told their DM how to write his content. I know that neither LG nor LFR is a home game, but the analogy is still valid.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Dungeon Tiles are a good idea for interpreting a map, but they should not be in PDFs designed to be printed and then used at the game table.

Dungeon tiles print out horribly in b&w and when they're in a PDF, they create much larger file sizes. Especially green forest tiles, which often print similar to dark grey - i.e. making the type really hard to impossible to read. Not to mention waste a lot of ink, either color or b&w, for something that ultimately doesn't get used - as you have to put the tiles/draw the map out on the board anyway.

It isn't that hard to assemble a dungeon tile map, quickly sketch it out, and then just recommend the tiles that should be used. Backgrounds should be white for clarity and less ink usage.

Excellent points - and I agree whole-heartedly. My main point is that I think it is a good idea for dungeon tiles to be used as a baseline/template for maps in LFR modules. If a program existed that used printer and ink-friendly templates rather than actual dungeon tiles pictures, that would be fantastic. Alternatively, an author could create a custom map that could easily be reproduced with dungeon tiles and provide references that describe which dungeon tiles should be used where to replicate the map.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com
Regarding Dungeon Tiles, yes, they are the preferred option for designing tactical maps in LFR. That does not mean the actual DM has to use the tiles instead of drawing on a battle map or whatever. Of course, WotC would be very pleased if it drove an increase in purchases of Dungeon Tiles (sort of like product placement). Usage of the Dungeon Tiles will also make a digital display on the DDI game table much easier as well. I have hopes that LFR Writing Directors might be able to give the WotC DT artists some hints for future tiles.

Without pointing fingers, some past authors provided maps which were not so professional looking. Using the Dungeon Tiles will help change that. Yes, we are looking forward to a better quality mapping program, for now, we call up the tile we want in the free third party mapper (who was nice enough to add all the DTs for LFR), then I copy the image and paste it into a graphics application where we can move it around, overlay, and label much easier than in the original application. Slightly clumsy, but, hey, it works.

Overview maps (such as a map of the Waterdeep wards) do not require dungeon tiles. :-)

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
It is really a bit moot to discuss rumors on the writer's guidelines on these boards. They should only be of interest to you if you are a writer, and even then discussion with others is a waste of time - you should contact the WD if you have questions about or requests to deviate from them.
For all others, what matters is only that we create enticing adventures.
Ah. I also figured it'd be useful to have them in public to quell a couple of ugly rumours that have been making the rounds.

Since the Writer's Guidelines tend to hint at rules in the LFRCS but do not explain them, releasing the Guidelines to everyone prior to the release of the LFRCS is likely to have just the opposite effect. After the campaign launch, I suspect the Writer's Guidelines will be available as a download just as they were in LG. Though obviously I can't speak for the powers that be on this one.
Writing Director - Returned Abeir
[...]Yes, we are looking forward to a better quality mapping program, for now, we call up the tile we want in the free third party mapper (who was nice enough to add all the DTs for LFR), then I copy the image and paste it into a graphics application where we can move it around, overlay, and label much easier than in the original application.

Keith, out of curiosity, can you name the third party app you mention (especially since it's free)?
Without pointing fingers, some past authors provided maps which were not so professional looking. Using the Dungeon Tiles will help change that. Yes, we are looking forward to a better quality mapping program, for now, we call up the tile we want in the free third party mapper (who was nice enough to add all the DTs for LFR), then I copy the image and paste it into a graphics application where we can move it around, overlay, and label much easier than in the original application. Slightly clumsy, but, hey, it works.

I would be happy to take those DTs for LFR and optimize them for better printing and use of Dungeon Tiles.

(i.e. make the non-relevant backgrounds lighter and label each tile with some code that alerts the DM as to which DT to use - for DDI, which presumably has to be done by a person anyway, you swap out the image...I've taught Photoshop at the college level for about 14 years now...)

Andy
Keith, out of curiosity, can you name the third party app you mention (especially since it's free)?

http://www.jailoco.net/jai.hordelings/dungeontilesmapper.htm

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
For LG, I was actually referring to a triad document and rulings made only on the triad mailing list list.

I've only really seen the dungeon tiel in CGR mods so far. Can't say I appreciated sometimes having a choice of two different maps neither of which matched the room description ..but that says more about the poor editting of he CGR modules than anything else.
I find doors in particular very badly marked which may well be a colour issue.
For LG, I was actually referring to a triad document and rulings made only on the triad mailing list list.

Why should there not be documents that exist solely for the use of the Triads and other administrators? As someone already pointed, such a situation is no different from a DM in a home campaign withholding information from his players...
http://www.jailoco.net/jai.hordelings/dungeontilesmapper.htm

Thanks, Keith; I'll have to check it out...

FWIW, I tried to use the WotC tile-mapper here once or twice for my Veluna mods, and unfortunately discovered that it was kind of clunky at the time. I discovered Dundjinni was a much better choice -- it got a pretty good workout when I did a set of maps for one of Shawn's LG mods at GenCon a couple of years ago... ;)

I see that the version you referenced is by the same guy who did the WotC version; I'll try it again and see what's improved...
Why should there not be documents that exist solely for the use of the Triads and other administrators? As someone already pointed, such a situation is no different from a DM in a home campaign withholding information from his players...

The difference I see is that I wouldn't expect a DM to keep how a home campaign is going to be administered secret from the players.

I'm with those who think these sort of documents should be openly available. For example, I thought it was a really good idea when the LG Core writing guidelines were made available on the RPGA website; and as the Perrenland webmaster, I made sure our regional scenario template and guidelines were available on our website.

IME as an administrator, clients come in two types: reasonable and unreasonable. Making information about resources transparent to reasonable clients helps the clients understand what's going on, lets them answer questions by themselves without having to ask you, and makes the questions they do ask more useful to you (because it's a corner case that needs interpretation, because the information is ambiguous and needs to be clarified, and so on). Unreasonable clients are unreasonable no matter what you do, so making processes transparent to them doesn't help much - but it does mean they can't complain that it's being kept a secret from them.

To ask the question another way, is there a benefit to keeping this information secret that outweighs the benefit of making this information public? There may well be in this case: if so, explaining why is helpful to the reasonable clients.

As a personal example, I found it useful to learn that, if I was going to offer to write a scenario, I'd be required to use a particular mappimg program. If I was going to send in an application (which I'm not, as I never wrote an LG core), I now know to ask questions about backwards-compatability with my home computer's clunky Win98 OS.

Cheers,

Gary Johnson
Regarding Dungeon Tiles, yes, they are the preferred option for designing tactical maps in LFR. That does not mean the actual DM has to use the tiles instead of drawing on a battle map or whatever. Of course, WotC would be very pleased if it drove an increase in purchases of Dungeon Tiles (sort of like product placement). Usage of the Dungeon Tiles will also make a digital display on the DDI game table much easier as well. I have hopes that LFR Writing Directors might be able to give the WotC DT artists some hints for future tiles.

Without pointing fingers, some past authors provided maps which were not so professional looking. Using the Dungeon Tiles will help change that. Yes, we are looking forward to a better quality mapping program, for now, we call up the tile we want in the free third party mapper (who was nice enough to add all the DTs for LFR), then I copy the image and paste it into a graphics application where we can move it around, overlay, and label much easier than in the original application. Slightly clumsy, but, hey, it works.

Overview maps (such as a map of the Waterdeep wards) do not require dungeon tiles. :-)

Keith

That's going to make wilderness and city combat frustrating...

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

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That's going to make wilderness and city combat frustrating...

There is already one set of Wilderness dungeon tiles available (which Chris Tulach used to good effect in Escape from Sembia).

I understand in October WotC will release a city theme set of dungeon tiles, but if one is creative, some settings in a city can be represented already.

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
The other day, for example, I was told that "some Danish campaign admin" (after some questioning, I established he referred to Sampo Haarlaa, of all people) had pushed through a rule stating all modules had to have mandatory, unavoidable combat encounters. Obviously false (and ridiculous, to boot)

For the record and to be polite, said rumor is total bullcrap. Neither i'm from Denmark...

Sampo Haarlaa
Dalelands POC
I've seen in the writers guidelines that authors will be paid for their work so what's the going rate on modules these days?
I've seen in the writers guidelines that authors will be paid for their work so what's the going rate on modules these days?

Better than it was in the old days of LG regionals, that's for sure.

If you go through the writing submission process, you can find out the current rate from your writing director or global administrator.

Chris Tulach

D&D Program Manager

Wizards of the Coast  

Chris on Twitter

 

I got the writing guidelines however, in them they mention a Word Document that is a template for writing the modules. I haven't found that file. Have I overlooked something?
If/when you are selected by a writing director or global admin to write an adventure, then you will be provided with the template.

Shawn
One would hope it would be comparable to Dungeon/Dragon magazines.

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/submissions
Payments

Once we have received your signed contract and invoice, you should see a check within 45 days or so. We pay on receipt of an invoice, not on publication, but there’s still a certain amount of delay between us receiving your contract and invoice and you receiving your check. We just ask that you remain patient. Our starting rate for articles and adventures is $.06 per word.

Even if it's half the rate that's fairly good.

Of course, my Regional was 11,832 words not including stats and the standard pre-adventure text. But at $.03/word it would be $350. I doubt the RPGA is willing to pay that much per mod (and mine was a short 35 pager).

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

I was able to retire to my new yacht with the compensation I received from writing my last core.

...all kidding aside, if it's anything near what the LG core module compensation was, it isn't much considering the amount of work that goes into writing a good adventure and neither should it be. The incentive to write for the RPGA should be the desire to produce quality work that facilitates fun for the players. If you're interested in writing for financial gain, writing for the RPGA probably isn't the right venue for you. I think the main reasons that RPGA writers get paid at all are:

a) It makes the work more professional so that there is more emphasis on quality and meeting deadlines.

b) It delineates ownership more clearly. If WotC is paying you for your writing, then it becomes more clear that WotC owns your work, not you.
Dave Kay LFR Writing Director Retiree dkay807 [at] yahoo [dot] com