Dear Friends and Supporters,
By now, you’ve seen a few things come out, after a very long time where more or less nothing was happening. Most recently, we’ve released the novella, Edge of Honor, and Guidebook Goblinesh.
I’ve turned in Magic and Cosmology: Volume I, Godstrike Tempest (which I co-created with Miles M. Kantir), and the city book, Eastport, is almost done. That latter one isn’t specifically a Kickstarter product, but it’s a great piece that was done for a bespoke book, and we’re looking forward to sharing it with the Shaintar fans at large.
We have drafts for Guidebook Kal-a-Nar Empire, Black Lantern Report: Snakes Den, Black Lantern Report: Mercenaries, the novellas The Hunt of the Midnight Dominus and One Night in Zanfar, with many more drafts incoming.
In other words, we have more progress and development for the Shaintar product line than we’ve yet seen.
This isn’t going to stop. We are off and running, with Carinn editing like mad, and Ross managing the product flow and increasing the output on all fronts (as well as throwing some great words onto the screen all over the place). Savage Mojo continues to flow words into layouts, embed graphics, and get exceptional artists crafting wonderful pieces for all of these books.
With all of this in mind, I am continuing my practice of total transparency and keeping faith with all of you as I bring you up to date on some revelations and new developments.
First, some truth-telling.
I’ve been struggling with some serious emotional issues where Shaintar is concerned. Most of you know this already – that’s not the Big Reveal here. What’s not been made completely clear, however, is the major reason why this is true. Not because I was holding anything back, but because I only recently (thanks in part to some new things that have happened in my life) came to terms with these truths for myself.
I struggle with Shaintar because I’ve been something of an indentured servant to it for a few years now. This has been especially true since the Kickstarter (which, by the way, is not at all an uncommon phenomenon, as I’ve spoken with many others in similar circumstances). Bad planning, over-promising, and other factors left me in the position of making so little off of every produced product as to make the entire situation untenable as a professional endeavor.
Let me be clear – I am solely responsible for this. I dug this hole I’ve been living in, completely failing to understand the terms I’d proceeded forward with as being completely wrong for me and Evil Beagle. Savage Mojo and my belovedest, Carinn, have made it possible to continue, mind you, for which I will be forever grateful…
… Yet as a professional writer and game designer, I am a shambles under the current circumstances. I am not able to contribute meaningfully to my family’s welfare; what I make barely helps buy some gas for the car once in a while, or pay for a meal out every now and then. I won’t belabor the details here, but the upshot is that I am not making anything close to a living because of how this all played out. This, in turn, creates resentment and depression, which cyclically results in a complete lack of productivity, and so on.
Now we come to today. An incredible opportunity is given to me (and to Evil Beagle), one that will ensure my capacity to actually make a living doing what I love while building Evil Beagle into a serious design and publishing operation. It’s a project I am incredibly excited about working on; I am being entrusted with an iconic IP and a product line that will no doubt become one of the definitive series of releases into the RPG marketplace for years to come.
Seriously, it’s that huge.
I cannot reveal any details at this point, and will not confirm anything until such time as all principles are ready to talk about it, so please don’t ask me to.
I hope at this point, you can understand why I must accept this opportunity, grasping it with both hands and for all I am worth. I need to be able to function as a productive human being, making a living wage and contributing to my family’s well-being. I need to enjoy doing what I do again.
At the same time, I must and will continue to fulfill my obligations to each and every backer of the Shaintar Kickstarter.
Regaining my emotional center and my enthusiasm for this hobby and industry is key to that, in fact. I take you back to the beginning of this message, where all of these excellent products are coming out now. Through the combination of extraordinary people signing on and working on many of them, as well as my renewed sense of purpose and happiness, Shaintar can slowly turn back into something I love, rather than endure.
In other words, I might desire a bit of travel to other lands, but Shaintar will always be my home.
So how will all this work?
First off, as stated, we are bringing in wonderful people to contribute to many of the projects in question. Drafts are flowing in constantly, thanks to Ross Watson’s exceptional planning and management, as well as Carinn’s constant editing. There’s an actual backlog now! That will likely continue for some time, as the fantastic folks at Savage Mojo keep doing their magic for each book.
Second, I will be scheduling myself regular hours to work exclusively on Shaintar content, in addition to this new project. Honestly, even with a specifically “part-time” approach to hours committed to Shaintar, you will see far more productivity from me than has been true for well over a year. Staring morosely at a screen, trying to create and failing, as a full-time occupation got us nowhere; hyper-focus at part-time every week, excited and energized, will result in far more fruit from the tree.
Honestly, I could have waited until official announcements started to appear about the Big Project before saying anything, and I don’t think you would have noticed anything other than more stuff coming out. However, that’s not how I roll here; I wanted to be able to look any one of you in the eyes and say unequivocally that I told you right away all that I could, when I knew about it. Your commitment to me – expressed through your financial backing of Shaintar and your continued patience and support – deserves no less.
As always, I am open to each and every one of you for questions and comments. I hope you are enjoying the products that have already come out, and will enjoy all that continues to flow forward. I also hope you will be excited for me and this new opportunity, in which I can regain the better part of my creative self and return to being productive and happy.
Sean Patrick Fannon
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From Miles, Gayle, and the Rest of the Savage Mojo Team
Savage Mojo’s pleased that Sean has an amazing opportunity coming to him. It’s a testament to the excellent work he has done with Shaintar. From our perspective, we remain committed to ensuring all the rewards from the Shaintar Kickstarter are produced. We plan on continuing to take these awesome manuscripts and turning them into books with the high production quality you’ve come to expect from a Shaintar product.
Our commitment to that ongoing goal means we’ve talked with Sean and his Evil Beagle team, agreeing a change in the administration of the Kickstarter. In order for Gayle to oversee the process of finalizing the books as quickly as possible, we’re handing over management of the Kickstarter to Evil Beagle’s ever-efficient Carinn, who’s relishing being in touch with all you backers and distributing all the books as they’re finished.
Each time we finish a product, we’ll hand it over to Sean, Carinn and Ross and they’ll distribute it to you through the OBS (DriveThruRPG/RPGnow) system. They’ll make sure an announcement goes out via the Kickstarter system so you’re aware it’s coming.
We appreciate your continued support of Shaintar. Sean’s had a tough time and you’ve all stuck by him. Now he has a way forward and we’re looking forward to seeing it all come together. We’ve seen a number of manuscripts in recent weeks and are just as excited as you to see others just around the corner.