Mother’s Love has been a massive leap of faith for me—one where I have wavered on many decisions. In the outcome, I’m deliriously pleased that it has turned out so well. I hope that you can come and see it in person at UK Games Expo, supporting the continuation of The Cthulhu Hack line.
Up to Three Faces of the Wendigo, The Cthulhu Hack was all me. I might have used the springboard of others in publishing something, like Convicts & Cthulhu, but essentially it was me doing the writing. Wendigo took that to another level—as I joined with two other writers. Even then, I used existing artwork to round out the final product and created some of the other elements myself.
When I decided to extend the ideas presented in The Dark Brood—my very positively received take on the entity Shub-Niggurath—I chose to leap into the abyss and bring on-board three writers broadly unknown to me and commission the majority of the artwork. Last September, there was definitely a moment when I thought, “Should I have done this as a Kickstarter?“
I was commissioning three pieces of original writing, with three pieces of original art, plus a map—and at that time I didn’t really have a clue what I was putting on the cover, although I had a fallback. I knew that I would need to do all the editing and layout myself, with some dependable friends to provide proofreading, but the content would all be commission work.
That was scary.
It grew more scary as time slipped by. Passing Dragonmeet at the end of the year. Then rolling into the New Year. I could feel the presence of mid-year and Expo, a looming shadow. I realised that it needed to get done before then, because there’s some measure of fanfare and gamer-access at an event pulling in attendees in the tens of thousands. That face-time with existing players and newcomers makes all the difference.
As the final texts came in—after multiple tweaks and shuffles—invoices were raised, paying for word and art. That remained really scary. I’m still worried, I’m not afraid to admit. When you invest so much money—for which I have my publisher All Rolled Up to thank to no small measure—and time—time enough for me to sketch out, playtest, write and publish another investigation—in one thing, the outcome demands even more of you. Now I have the promotion to consider—the exposure, the play, the reviews…
If early feedback has anything to offer, it’s positive. I’m torn by the delight of seeing the hardback for the first time on Friday—a decision made because if you’re all in, why not really go ALL IN—and the prospect of the remaining work to come. And remembering that there are other projects yet to come, great stuff that means I don’t really have time to stand still—Deadbeats. Island of Ignorance. De Cultis Ineffabilibus. And the Second—final—Edition.
I hope you enjoy it.