Matt Forbeck: The Writer

Matt Forbeck: The Writer

Last time we got to know a little bit about who Matt is. Today, were looking to get a further insight into “Matt the writer”.

What was the first thing you ever wrote? Was it a school assignment or something you did on your free time?

Do you mean as a story? It was probably “Food Wars”, a Star Wars parody I wrote in 4th grade. I won a prize for it, and it was, I think, the first time I realized that there might be something to this writing well thing.

You told us you always wanted to be a writer. But when the moment came, did you need someone else uttering “You are a writer.” or did you know it already?

I don’t think that being a writer is a matter of knowing it so much as wanting to do it. I never needed anyone to tell me to write or create or whatever. It’s wonderful to have validation for it after the fact, but the fun of it comes in the work itself.

 

In 1989, you edited and wrote selections of White Dwarf Magazine (issues #119-123), with emphasis on the two Space Hulk articles. Until then you hadn’t had anything published.

Seeing your words printed for the public to read was an incentive to write more outside the game world?

Actually, the first thing I had in print was a short piece in Polyhedron #9, the newsletter for TSR’s Roleplaying Gamers Association (RPGA). I’d submitted this gadget for a contest for their Top Secret spies roleplaying game, and it came in as first runner-up.

This came out way back in 1982, when I was fourteen years old. I didn’t get paid a dime for it, but it thrilled me to my core. It’s probably the reason I took up writing for RPGs long before I turned my hand to fiction.

 

In most places the short story “Crocodilopolis”, which was part of the “Strange Tales From the Nile Empire”anthology, from West End Books in 1992, appears as your first published fiction piece.

Would you change anything about it?

Probably, but I wouldn’t. I’m a different person now than when I wrote that story, and I had a wonderful time working on it. Legendary game designer Greg Gorden was my editor on that, and he taught me a lot about the differences between great fiction and great games as I wrote it. I still treasure that lesson to this day.

You now have a more than 25 books available online and these are just the ones on your website, not even counting your participations in anthologies.

Between the fiction and nonfiction do the numbers speak for themselves or would you like to venture more into the nonfiction genre? 

I’m probably a bad self-promoter in this way, but I haven’t gotten around to listing all of my books on my site. I’m usually more concerned with doing the work than telling people about it. At the moment, I have 27 novels published, several nonfiction books, and countless games and gaming books.

I enjoy writing nonfiction, as it scratches a different creative itch for me. I had a ball revising The Marvel Encyclopedia for 2014, for instance, and I’m proud of how well it’s selling. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, it hit #5 in all books on Amazon, and just this week, it became my first book to ever crack a Best Sellers list in the New York Times.

 

The majority of your work has been deemed YA. Do you believe in genres to describe books or do you think we could ditch those labels?

Actually, most of my work is for adults, although I try to write things that people of many ages can read. I’ve written five or six books for younger readers, but the vast majority of my fiction—especially my own original material—fits into the genre category and is mostly read by adults.

All that said, I think J. K. Rowling obliterated the meaning of the YA label, and bully for her. We shouldn’t be afraid to read good stories, no matter if they’re meant for people younger than us or not. As for other genre labels, they serve a purpose for marketing, but creators shouldn’t feel constrained by them. Great stories transcend such things.

There seems to be a dystopian quality to the stories you tell. Do you agree with that?

Maybe. I tend to favor stories with a dark streak through them, and that’s most obvious in books like my Brave New World dystopian superheroes series. Partly that’s because my tastes run that way, but I also find it easier to produce dramatic situations in darker worlds—or at least ones that I find most interesting.

 

Your work has been translated into 13 languages, which obviously means you have a global fan base. Does that influence your writing in any way?

Not really. I don’t have any control over the translations in the sense that I can’t read them once they’re published. I can’t tell the translator that they’re doing it wrong. I can only cheer them on and hope for the best.

 

Your body of work has inspired many to approach you to adapt your narratives into other mediums.

Your book series Brave New World: Revolution is being adapted into a TV series. What are most looking for in this project?

Actually, that’s been optioned for a film, but it’s in limbo at the moment while the producers pursue other projects and try to ramp up for the kind of budget a dark supers film needs. I’ve also sold film options for both Amortals and Vegas Knights, though, and I have high hopes for those. I’ve even read a first draft of the script for Amortals, and I’d love to see that book on the silver screen.

And…

The Shotguns & Sorcery book series is going to be turned into an RPG by us, here at Outland Entertainment.

What can you tell new readers about this series?

It’s a fantasy noir series in the sense of what maybe Raymond Chandler or James Ellroy would write if they’d been inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien. It’s set in Dragon City, a metropolis ruled over by the Dragon Emperor, an autocrat who protects his people from the ravening hordes of zombies roaming outside the city’s walls—but at a price.

Is there a favorite character you really enjoyed writing?

Max Gibson is the hero of the story, and he’s my favorite by far, which is good because I spent a lot of time in his head. I love a lot of the others too: Yabair (the sneering elf captain of the Imperial Dragon’s Guard), Kai (the gun-toting orc pal with poor impulse control), Moira (the addicted halfling who can’t ever seem to keep out of trouble), and many more.

 

And how about a special scene or chapter?

I think the opening chapter of “Friends Like These” nails the feeling of the world like a stake through a vampire’s heart. It’s full of world-weary heroes, treachery among friends, and jackbooted thugs, and it’s just what I wanted.

It’s also the first fiction I ever wrote for Shotguns & Sorcery, so it has a special place in my heart.

Perhaps not coincidentally, all backers of the Shotguns & Sorcery RPG Kickstarter get this story for free.

The whole world is set in this fantasy noir environment. What led you to that creative choice?

I grew up reading both Chandler and Tolkien. I love epic fantasy and its amazing worlds, but the grittiness of noir always grabbed me harder. This was my chance to come up with my own cocktail from two of my favorite ingredients. I did my best to make sure it packs a punch.

Besides the series of projects already mentioned on your website, can you give us a small peek at the writing ones under the cryptic slot “all sorts of secret things in various stages of conception or completion”?…

Nope.

I have lots of projects in the works at any given time, but I also sign many non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with the people and publishers I’m working with. Giving details about those projects before they’re ready to go would be cheating them of their chance to make the biggest splashes.

That said, I do have a science-fiction tie-in novel I’ve been working on that should be announced soon. Stay tuned.

Thank you! And we will talk to you soon to find out a little bit more about your work on the games industry!

 

S.G.

Game Developer – Robert J. Schwalb

Game Developer – Robert J. Schwalb

You probably know his name from games such Dungeons & Dragons, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Or maybe, if you are a Cypher System fan, you recognize him as a contributor to the Numenera Character Options and Technology Compendium: Sir Arthour’s Guide to the Numenera.

The fact is he has years of experience working on the roleplaying game industry. So let’s try to get a brief insight into his work.

Robert , you have worked as a writer, game designer and developer in the RPG industry. Do you have a favorite role?

I have indeed worn many hats over the last ten years or so. When I started in this business, I had thought I would pursue a writing career, but I found that my love for roleplaying games offered opportunities for me to create worlds in a way that helped others tell stories through the settings, characters, locations, and mechanics I produced. Not long after I got started, I landed a job as a developer for Green Ronin Publishing. As a developer, my job was to work with design to make the rules and story even better and to ensure that the mechanics worked within the larger game system and setting. I started with d20 system products and eventually took on Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Since then, I’ve written a novel, designed a few game systems, and created and developed story and mechanical content for a slew of games including three editions of D&D, one edition WFRP, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplay, Witch Hunter: The Invisible World, and more. A favorite role? I don’t have one. Not really. If I do a lot of story design, my appetite for numbers grows and vice versa.

Do they complement each other?

They do, but it’s hard to be good at all three. Many people have just one strong area. A person might be a genius with story but workmanlike when it comes to producing the nuts and bolts of the mechanics. Another might have an eye for broken tech and know how to fix it, but be hard pressed to produce new tech from scratch. I’ve been fortunate in that I have had many opportunities to learn the various aspects of game design, development, and story creation. Each opportunity gives me a chance to test my limits and push past them. And, what I learn as a story creator inspires my mechanical design, which in turn makes me a better developer.

You have written a series of magazine articles on the D&D universe. Were you always a fan of this particular I.P?

I’ve loved Dungeons & Dragons for as long as I have been playing RPGs. I started with D&D and it has been my primary game for most of my gaming experience. Producing content for 3rd Edition and 4th Edition was a great, but being part of the various design teams of the 5th Edition rules was really the high point in my career.

Where you a gamer growing up?

Oh yes and at times to my detriment. Minutes into my first game session, I was hooked. Keep on the Borderlands will remain one of my all time favorite adventures. Playing D&D was just the start, though. It opened the doors onto a whole universe of roleplaying games.

What were you favorite roleplaying games?

When I was young, I had a huge appetite for roleplaying games. We played a lot of D&D, but it was the 80s and my family was not immune to the fear that some dark and sinister force was going to drag me to hell as a result of me using my imagination and sharpening my math skills. Once it was decided that D&D was bad for my eternal soul, I turned to other roleplaying games to scratch my gamer itch. My favorite was Marvel Super Heroes (the FASERIP system), Twilight: 2000, Top Secret, Rolemaster & MERP, and, of course, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (which was a far darker game than D&D ever was).

When did you first decide to work in the gaming universe?

Honestly, it was about five years after I started working in the business. I stumbled into game design. I had finished college after a second go and discovered there was no long list of employers hot to grab an English-Philosophy major in his mid to late-20s. So I worked two jobs. I sold flooring—carpet, hardwood, tile, vinyl, but I was not very good at it as I knew nothing about flooring and had to learn as I went. I also sold liquor, which I did, in fact, know something about. A few months later, I responded to an open call for d20 system sourcebooks and sent in a stack of proposals. The company bought one and then bought another. I began scouring websites for submission information, pestered everyone in the industry for work, and finally built up enough of a resume that I could get steady work, as a freelancer, as a staff developer and designer, and then as a contract designer.

What about references? Do you have any favorite artists that inspire you?

You bet. When I was much younger and much more deluded about my talents, I thought I would pursue art as a career. Though I never did chase that fantasy down, I remain interested in it and am always excited to see how people interpret the game worlds, stories, and characters in paintings and illustrations. Some of my favorites include Russ Nicholson (his illustrations set the tone for so many of my D&D games), John Blanche (his work is quintessential Warhammer), and Ralph Horsley for the astonishing detail he put into the covers of Tome of Corruption and Tome of Salvation. Two artists I have recently worked with have also impressed the hell out of me. Ivan Dixon did a few interiors for Shadow of the Demon Lord. I’ll be sharing these pieces soon. Also, Svetoslav Petrov knocked the cover out of the park. I knew I wanted to use him when I saw the cover for Green Ronin’s new Advanced Bestiary.

How does it feel to create gaming experiences for such well-known brands such as Dungeons & Dragons and A Song of Ice and Fire RPG? Is there a different pressure?

Working on established brands is tricky and, yes, there’s tons of pressure. But the stress you feel working on D&D is a lot different from the stress experienced working with a literary source such as Game of Thrones, Thieves’ World or The Black Company. Hell, there are huge differences in adding content to an existing game and re-interpreting a game for a new edition.
Adaptations are a lot like coloring books. You can make the pictures whatever color you want but you have to stay inside the lines. A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying could have used any engine and could have focused on any part of the world of Westeros. That’s coloring in the lines. The game could not, however, invent new lands, alter the history by injecting characters of our own creation into the timeline, feature space ships, mutants, or lightsabers. All those things are well outside the lines.
The pressure from building a new edition of D&D was infinitely worse. When you buy a copy of a Game of Thrones, you may own the physical copy of the book and own your experience reading it, but that’s it. You don’t own the world. You don’t decide what the characters do. And you don’t determine what happens next. When it comes to RPGs, the audience takes ownership of the game, much like a person owns a hammer or a blender or a set of paints. They use the game as a creative tool. When you monkey with the game’s tools, whether those tools are established bits of story or how the mechanics work, people get upset. For this reason, it’s wise to be conservative in your design and yet the audience also expects something new. After all, they’ve bought D&D already. Probably several times. They want something new but not something radically different. You can introduce something sexy, but it has to fit. On seeing it, a readers should feel like the thing has always been there or, if hasn’t, that it should have been. We know what happens when a design team forgets this: we get an edition war.

From all the projects you’ve been a part of is there one that stood out for some reason?

D&D for sure. It was such a huge undertaking, so massive in scope, and so fraught with perils that I’m still recovering. This isn’t to say that the experience was bad. It was hard. It was the hardest thing I’ve done. Until my new game, that is.

You have won several awards over the last 10 years. What was the most gratifying one?

Gosh. I am gratified by any and all recognition. I was especially proud when Grimm, a supplement for the d20 system, won an ENnie. It was my first big award and it validated my work in a big way.

Earlier this year, you founded Schwalb Entertainment, LLC. What led you to take that step?

For me, it was the next logical step in my career. By the end of 2013, it was clear D&D work for me was winding down. I could dive back into freelancing or carve out a place for myself. Since I’ve already paid my dues in the freelancing trenches, I figured it was time to strike out on my own. It’s a terrifying place to be in, but if it isn’t scary, it’s not worth doing it.

You are now preparing to launch your own RPG: Shadow of the Demon Lord, an all-new horror fantasy roleplaying game, that will be launching its Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2015.
When did you first come up with the idea for this game?

I’ve had elements of the design in my head for years and years, some going all the way back to when I was much, much younger. The older I get, the less time I have to prepare or play. I love RPGs, but I just can’t commit to a 2-year campaign let alone a 5-year campaign. If my gaming group meets once a month, I want this to be ok. If I miss a week, I don’t want to ruin the story because my character wasn’t there. I suspect lots of people are in the same situation. These desires that drove the design and I decided to go for it, for real, to scrape the ideas out of my head and put them in a book, early this year.

What do you think gamers will love most about it?

Two things. The game’s tone is distinctly mine—disturbing, a little offensive, and a little funny (just a little). The other is the low barrier to entry. I wanted to create a game anyone could play without having to do much in the way of hard work. This game delivers that experience. You could play Demon Lord with your grandma, if you want to play a game that’s chock full of demons, dark magic, and madness.

How about you? What are most looking forward to?

Three things. Pushing the button to send the final files to the printer, cracking open the first box and pulling out a final book, and running an actual game rather than running a play test. Four years of play testing, between Demon Lord and D&D, I’m overdue for a regular game.

You will be collaborating with us here at Outland Entertainment, to help integrate the Cypher System seamlessly with The Shotguns and Sorcery RPG setting.
What attracted you most about the project?

Matt Forbeck and I have been friends for years and I’ve always wanted to collaborate with him on a project. This was my chance. Plus, I know the Cypher System. It’s flexible enough to accommodate just about any kind of story.

What are you most looking forward to delving into?

I really enjoy the process of realizing story through the game mechanics. I want to help fans of the Shotguns & Sorcery novels and stories create their own compelling characters and expand the world Matt created around their tables. I can’t wait to dive into the guts of the world and pull out the glistening bits of awesome that will come to life in the book’s pages. Monsters, cyphers and artifacts, cool stories and neat locations, and so much more.

Thank you Robert for shedding some light on your work.

You’re very welcome!

 

S.G.

Shotguns & Sorcery Kickstarter Launch

Shotguns & Sorcery Kickstarter Launch

Hello folks!

The big day is here!

We’ve been working on this for months and we’re excited to announce the launch of the Kickstarter for the Shotguns & Sorcery RPG!  This is your chance to help us fund the project and publish it, not to mention get your hands on the game itself.

There are a lot of incredible things happening with this – first off, Matt Forbeck, the creator himself, will be handling the majority of the writing chores on this.  And to round out the writing team is amazing game designer Robert Schwalb to help integrate the rules system.  I don’t think we could have possibly found a more amazing team!

We’re also the first third-party publisher to license the Cypher System from Monte Cook Games, which just by itself is pretty amazing.  We’re really excited to be working with MCG and integrating the Cypher System with Matt’s setting.

This is also going to be one of the first books I’m fully illustrating myself!  I can’t wait to dive into the work.

We’re also revealing the full color version of the cover as well – full art by me.  Check it out below –

S&S_Cover_72_Colors_02

Here is some information about the project as well –

Outland Entertainment wants to make it possible for others to explore the fantasy noir stories of author Matt Forbeck’s Dragon City through the Cypher System, the game engine behind the Origins and ENnies Award winning games Numenera and The Strange. Whether you are playing as your favorite character or unraveling their mysteries for the first time, this hardcover, 300-page core book with 20 pages of full color artwork includes all the rules for game play, allowing you to explore Dragon City and its outskirts as never before.

Shotguns & Sorcery will be the first third-party standalone game to use the rules system featured in Numenera, The Strange, and the just announced Cypher System rulebook. You don’t need to purchase any other books to play.

In a way, this is full circle for Matt and Monte. They first worked together back in 1990 on one of Monte’s first assignments as the Hero System editor at Iron Crown Enterprises, editing Matt’s Western Hero sourcebook. We’re extremely excited to have them joining forces—even indirectly—again!

We also have acclaimed game designer Robert Schwalb on board to help integrate the Cypher System seamlessly with our setting! Robert came to us highly recommended by both Monte Cook Games and Matt.  In fact, readers may recognize him as a contributor to the Numenera Character Options and Technology Compendium: Sir Arthour’s Guide to the Numenera. He also has years and years of experience working on Dungeons & Dragons, A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, and his upcoming Shadow of the Demon Lord.  We’re extremely fortunate to be working with such talent!

Let us know what you think about the project and please, help us fund it!

JM

Press Release: New Shotguns & Sorcery RPG to Feature MCG Cypher System

Press Release: New Shotguns & Sorcery RPG to Feature MCG Cypher System

Press Release: New Shotguns & SorceryTM RPG to Feature MCG Cypher SystemTM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUMMARY: Matt Forbeck’s upcoming Shotguns & SorceryTM roleplaying game will be the first to license the new Cypher SystemTM from Monte Cook Games. The innovative tabletop game will be funded through Kickstarter beginning Tuesday, November 18th.

TOPEKA, KS, NOVEMBER 15, 2014, —  Monte Cook Games, LLC, is pleased to share in the announcement that the new Shotguns & SorceryTM roleplaying game is the first to license the Cypher SystemTM. The Cypher System is best known as the game engine behind Numenera and The Strange. Monte Cook Games developed the new rulebook to be used with unlimited settings. “We’re really excited to share in this announcement and help unveil the Shotguns & Sorcery RPG to the world,” said Charles Ryan, COO of Monte Cook Games. “The team Outland has put together—particularly Matt, Jeremy, and Rob Schwalb, who’s done excellent work for us on Numenera, is going to result in a creative and wonderfully fleshed-out realization of the S&S world, and we’re really proud to see it powered by the Cypher System!”

The Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game is based on the acclaimed fantasy noir series by Matt Forbeck. The award-winning author partnered with Jeremy Mohler of Outland Entertainment to adapt the novels into an RPG setting. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to use the Cypher System for our game,” Mohler said. “MCG is known for the quality of their games, and we’re honored to be one of the first to develop a game using their amazing rules system.

Robert J. Schwalb is the game designer for Shotguns & Sorcery. He is a writer in the roleplaying game industry best known for his work on Dungeons & DragonsA Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Schwalb recently expressed his enthusiasm for the new roleplaying game. “I’m super excited to be working on this project. Not only am I a big fan of Monte Cook’s Cypher System, I also adore the world Matt Forbeck created.”

For more information about the new Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game, see the original announcement, check out the Kickstarter preview to launch on Tuesday, November 18th, or visit Forbeck.com and outlandentertainment.com.

Shotguns & Sorcery: Cover Preview

Shotguns & Sorcery: Cover Preview

Hey folks!

So, things have been quiet the last few weeks in regard to Shotguns & Sorcery.  However, that’s not because we haven’t been working!

I’ve spent the last three or four weeks working on the drawing for the cover of the RPG.  It’s a big image, planned as a wrap-around cover, and measuring around 23″x18.5″.  So, it’s a large, involved image.  I’m currently working on the colors and I expect to have those wrapped up sometime toward the end of this week or over the weekend.

I had a lot of fun with this and I think it shows!  I also hope this shows how much fun I’m going to have illustrating the whole book.  I can’t wait to really dig in!

S&S_Cover_72

We’re getting really close to the Kickstarter.  In fact, I expect we’ll be launching sometime mid-week next week – we’ve just been working out some final details and I’m excited about some things happening behind the scenes, which I’ll talk more about closer to the launch of the Kickstarter.

In the meantime, I hope you guys dig the cover!  I’ll be premiering the colors when we launch the Kickstarter!

JM

Shotguns & Sorcery: Moira

Shotguns & Sorcery: Moira

The next character in the series is Moira, the halfling.

Moira, like all the characters Matt writes, has a lot of personality.  And I had a lot of fun with this character – in particular, I felt that the way her hair is tied up turned out really well.  I sort of stumbled on that, which is part of the fun of art in general – the happy mistakes.  The various pouches and belts are always a lot of fun as well.

Below are two versions – the initial sketch and then the final.  As you can see, there wasn’t a great deal of edits.  I believe in the final version, we wanted to make her seem a little more worn out and tired from the drug use she goes through in the series.

More art to come in the next weeks!

JM

Shotguns & Sorcery: Max & Belle

Shotguns & Sorcery: Max & Belle

When we were initially putting the Shotguns & Sorcery project together as an enhanced ebook through Noble Beast (and before I broke my hand), I worked closely with Matt Forbeck to put together a variety of the major players in the novels.  These were a lot of fun!  There is a lot of character in the different…characters.  And being able to blend some interesting noir elements with fantasy elements made things interesting.

First up is the main character, Max –

These went through several revisions, as you can see above.  My initial design didn’t have a fedora, which I think adds a lot to the design.  He also had a tattoo on one arm, which we ultimately dropped.  I also think one of my favorite elements is the holster for his wand!  Fun details.

Next is Belle –

Belle went through a more drastic change.  We decided that the first design didn’t quite have the right look or attitude.  She wasn’t elegant or confident enough, which I definitely think I managed to work out in the subsequent character drawings.

I’m definitely looking forward to drawing these characters more!

More characters next week!

JM

Press Release: New Shotguns and Sorcery RPG to Debut at Gen Con 2015

Press Release: New Shotguns and Sorcery RPG to Debut at Gen Con 2015

It’s been really difficult to keep the lid on this because we’re extremely excited to be working with Matt Forbeck to develop his property, Shotguns & Sorcery, into a full on role-playing game!

I first learned about Matt and his setting through the now defunct Noble Beast.  Ellie Ann had recruited me as art director and Matt’s Shotguns & Sorcery novels were to be our first enhanced book project after Steampunk Holmes.  I was slated to illustrate the books and we were gearing up to start work on the project when I broke my hand, which caused us to delay the project while I healed up.

Before we could get back to Shotguns & Sorcery, however, Noble Beast decided to close it’s doors.  Leaving a myriad of really cool projects and no home for them.  I talked to Richard Monson-Haefel (owner and founder of Noble Beast) a bit about the situation and he gave me his blessing to pursue the projects through Outland.

Matt was one of the first creators I reached out too.  I came up as an artist through role-playing games and I really felt that Shotguns & Sorcery pulled so many elements I really love together that it’d be a fantastic setting for an role-playing game.  And one I’d absolutely love to illustrate.

With a lot of luck and a bit of good timing, Matt and I managed to hammer out a licensing deal to not only develop enhanced ebooks around his setting, but to also develop it into a full on role-playing game!

We’re going to be working closely with Matt, who will be writing the majority of the book, and I’ll be handling all the illustration.  I can’t begin to say how excited we are to be working with Matt on this project!

We’ll be launching a Kickstarter to fund the production of the book in October and we’ll be premiering the game out at Gen Con 2015.

Below you can see the full press release:

SS-Logo-1024x321

Press Release: New Shotguns and Sorcery RPG to Debut at Gen Con 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SUMMARY: Matt Forbeck’s acclaimed Shotguns and Sorcery series to be adapted into a dynamic roleplaying game running on Kickstarter this fall and debuting at Gen Con 2015.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2014, KANSAS, UNITED STATES—Award-winning author and game designer Matt Forbeck is partnering with Outland Entertainment to produce a tabletop roleplaying game based upon his fantasy noir Shotguns & Sorcery novels, as well as enhanced ebook editions of those popular books. Fans of the series will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world, meet the characters from the books, create their own heroes, and play though brand-new adventures developed exclusively for the game.

“I’d long thought about trying to publish a Shotguns & Sorcery game myself,” Forbeck says, “but I could never manage to find the time. Then Jeremy Mohler came to me with so much love for both games and these books—and he’s such a talented artist to boot. I couldn’t ask for more dedicated publishing partners than Outland.”

Shotguns and Sorcery is just about the perfect blend for me,” says Mohler, founder and CEO of Outland Entertainment. “I’m a huge fan of detective novels and all things fantasy. Matt has taken the two genres and mashed them together while staying true to each in such a fun way. I immediately fell in love with the series and knew I’d have to find a way to play in his world.”

The Shotguns & Sorcery trilogy of novels (Hard Times in Dragon City, Bad Times in Dragon City, and End Times in Dragon City) originally funded on Kickstarter in 2012, becoming one of the top 10 fiction projects ever at that time. Outland is taking the Shotguns & Sorcery RPG to Kickstarter as well, in October 2014. The finished project is scheduled to debut as a full-color, hardcover book at Gen Con in Indianapolis the following year.

Outland’s license also includes the rights to create enhanced ebook editions of each of the Shotguns & Sorcery books. These will feature new covers and interior illustrations as well as interactive maps and other exclusive enhancements.

Matt Forbeck has twenty-seven novels published to date and has written, developed, and designed countless games and supplements, particularly during his time as the co-founder and president of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. His gaming projects have been nominated for 28 Origins Awards and won 17, as well as five ENnies. His recent work includes the Magic: The Gathering comic book, The Marvel Encyclopedia, the Leverage novel The Con Job, the Dangerous Games trilogy of thriller novels set at Gen Con, and the Monster Academy YA fantasy novels.

Outland Entertainment has managed the artwork for multiple games and comics, including New Fire (an Aztec-themed roleplaying game) and, most recently, Magnum Opus, a deck-building game by Game Salute. Outland Entertainment is headed up by Jeremy D. Mohler, a longtime illustrator and colorist whose work has appeared in Marvel Comics, the World of Warcraft CCG, and several recent books for IDW. The Shotguns & Sorcery roleplaying game and enhanced ebook will feature his original artwork.

Visit Forbeck.com and outlandentertainment.com to learn more.