A couple of months ago, I jumped on the 13th Age bandwagon by backing the kickstarted of the first 13th Age supplement, 13 True Ways. I have since laid the foundation for a 13th Age campaign which will be starting in late February as far as play sessions (though the description of our character creation session results is here). In the mean time, I have been awaiting the full publication of the 13th Age book and working with the pre-publication editions they have released so far to backers of 13 True Ways and those who pre-ordered 13th Age directly from the publisher.
One of the fun things about 13 True Ways is that, having hit a number of stretch goals, they have really involved the community in what the final expanded content of the book is going to be. One of the "contests" that they held was the opportunity to shape the art work in the book through submitting a 130 word essay, story, or polemic on your favorite 13th Age or D20 SRD monster, which then, if selected, would inspire one of 13 new illustrations in the supplement.
Yesterday, the announced the authors of the selected submissions, and my name was among the chosen. This is very fun and very exciting for me. Right after they announced this part of the ongoing involvement of backers in the book, I had my monster picked out, and I sat down and wrote my 130 words. My son never doubted that I could get picked, but, really, in a community of incredibly talented and imaginative people, I figured it was a long shot.
I am happy that it worked out for me. I don't know how many essays were sent, but I would be a lot. They let people do up to two submissions (different monsters) and it took them some time to decide on the "winners", though I am sure they were doing many things besides reading 130 word essays in the time between the due date and yesterday's announcement.
So, what happens next is that the artists are going to come up with initial sketches to capture their plan for the art, and those will get posted one at a time to reveal the monsters and the essayist behind them. The have opened with the first winner, with the nom de plume of "The Dormouse", who wrote about a truly Giant, giant praying mantis. There are 12 more sketches to go, including one of my chosen monster, and I can't wait to see each of them.
So, what's my monster?
Well, that would be telling.
Suffice it to say, Rob Heinsoo and the rest of the 13th Age masterminds have decided they want to draw out the suspense and reveal the monsters one at a time to surprise us all. Who am I to spoil the fun. Some people, after all, picked two monsters, and they don't know yet which one got picked.
So, despite it being a small thing, and the real achievement going to be from the artists of 13th Age (who are phenomenal!), I am inordinately proud of making my small contribution.
Good fun, and my son got to say "I told you so, Dad."