Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Game Masters, Make Sure The Villains Aren't Just Sitting Around Waiting

There are a lot of names for it. I've seen it called dungeon scumming. I've seen it called Skyrimming (suggestive tone optional). I'm sure there are terms that other Game Masters have heard of that I wouldn't recognize without some explanation. At the end of the day, though, all of these terms refer to a specific kind of behavior from the players. In short, they go into the plot-relevant situation (assaulting the villain's keep, kicking in the door of the dungeon, etc.) and blow all their big resources up-front. The barbarian roars through their rages, the spellcasters empty their slots, daily charges of magic items are used, and as soon as the party gets too low, too hurt, or things don't go their way, they pull out. Not just from the fight, but from the entire situation, backing off a safe distance so they can heal up, recover their resources, and come in hot again.

However, this kind of behavior only works if you treat your NPCs like they're in a video game, rather than a living, breathing world. Which is why, if you want to create dynamic challenge, remember that whatever your players are doing (or not doing), they aren't the only ones in the setting who are moving. Your villains have better things to do than just sit around, waiting for the heroes to show up and thwart their plans!

All right, men, we've been discovered. Move the treasure to a safe location!

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

Your Antagonists Are Characters, Too


Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, or so the science tells us. However, when it comes to your story, both actions taken and not taken should have an effect on the plot either for good, or for ill. And as the Game Master you should encourage the game to feel organic, and to act like a living, breathing thing.

Take one of the examples above; the party tasked with getting rid of a bandit gang in the woods that have been harassing people on the roads. These bandits shouldn't just be a series of encounters waiting to go off until your players find the bandit lord, get their loot, and turn in the quest. These NPCs should be living, breathing parts of your game world, and they should react to what happens (or doesn't happen) in your game based on the actions taken by the party.

How are you going to persuade the highwaymen to turn over a new leaf?

As an example, say your players locate the stronghold deep in the woods used as a base of operations by these bandits. They raid that stronghold, going in with spells flying and powers going off every round, but it's not enough. Before the bandits can bring them down, the party retreats out into the forest to rest and recuperate, getting back their hit points and spells to come back and do it all again... but what did the bandits do in the 8-10 hours between the party's raid, and them coming back for round 2?

Do the bulk of the remaining forces abandon the fortress, rigging it with boobytraps and just leaving a skeleton crew behind to ambush the party before leading them in deeper? Do they reinforce their positions instead, and send out word to their forces, bringing reinforcements back to the fort so the party now faces more enemies than before, all of whom are now ready for a fight? Does the bandit lord pack up the treasure the party is hoping to reclaim, sending it out with trusted lieutenants to take it to a safer location that the party will now have to track down again if they want to get back the stolen goods? Or do the bandits regroup, and come after the party in the woods, staging a midnight counterattack with all their numbers while the party is weakened, and may not be as ready to fight?

There are, of course, going to be situations where things remain static in the PCs' absence. If they're going through an abandoned ruin that's guarded only by constructs, mindless undead, and traps, then none of those things are going to deviate from the orders they were already given. In some situations it may be legitimately impossible for them to leave their posts, or to pursue the party beyond a certain point, making them very much a static, somewhat predictable force. But if the antagonists your party is facing are sentient, and if they have plans that are already in motion, then they need to be able to react to what your party is doing... or if your party opts to not do something, then you need to know what stage the antagonists' plans are at.

Let's return to the bandits in the forest. Perhaps, instead of trying to track down their hideout, the party just escorted merchants back and forth along the highways to ensure they weren't attacked. Or maybe they started taking out the bandits a few at a time, trying to catch them out in small teams in the woods, away from their hideout, and their support. If the bandit lord and their men find out what the party is doing, what preparations will they make? Will they start terrorizing the town as a way to try to get the PCs to back off? Do they form assault teams meant to take the party out at a time and place of the bandits' choosing? Will they disperse, fading away into the woods and finding a new place to ply their trade, believing it's better to live to fight another day? Or do the bandits reach out to another faction, such as the necromancer or devil-worshiping cult that was going to be the next antagonist, joining forces with them to try to defeat the party?

Nothing happens in a vacuum, and to make your game feel like a living thing, make sure that your villains are acting to reach their goals just as surely as the party is trying to reach theirs.

Additional Resources


If you want a little help with your antagonists, consider checking out a few of my supplements that are designed to do at least some of the heavy lifting for you!


Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Breaking Down Army Men: Medals of Honor

It's been a couple of months since my RPG Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic hit the market. While we're just about a dozen sales away from Copper status (so pick up your copy today to help us get there!), I didn't want to let the grass grow under my feet with it. While the first supplement Army Men: Threat Assessments dropped the first month after the full game was available, the second supplement is now out from Azukail Games!

For this week's Crunch installment I wanted to take folks inside Army Men: Medals of Honor, explain its general purpose, and see if it gets your own wheels turning!

That which doesn't kill you expands your ribbon rack.

Before we get into the nitty gritty this week, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

Recognition and Reward


Rewards for your actions are pretty standard in most RPGs. In a traditional game you tend to get loot from the dungeons, or you get treasure which you haul back to town in order to buy upgraded weapons, armor, etc. In some instances you'll also receive story rewards (such as a character being knighted for their service to the crown, or being given a castle and estate) that, while impressive, doesn't really do anything for you mechanically except give you a base of operations to store your stuff.

In a standard game of Army Men, though, players are a squad of troopers acting in service to the Plastos Federation, or one of its member nations. Because they're part of the armed forces, they don't show up with their own weapons, armor, and extra gear; they requisition it before the mission. This gives the Game Master a great deal of latitude regarding how over/underarmed the players are, and the challenge they're going to have to face once (or if) combat begins. However, players also tend not to get any kind of loot on their missions, since they draw a salary from the government that employs them, and their enemies are likely to be gigantic bugs with no concept of monetary value or currency. So when the question of rewards came up in my mind, the obvious solution seemed to be medals and commendations; after all, if you show bravery in the field, and you accomplish a mission with efficiency and skill, that's usually the way to mark such a deed.

Some medals require greater sacrifice than others.

That is where Army Men: Medals of Honor comes into the picture. Because while completing missions and returning to give your post-action report is how your troopers go up in rank (the game's term for your character level), I didn't want that to be the only benefit of living to fight another day. The medals system, introduced in this supplement, allows Game Masters to give out awards to individual characters, or entire squads, who have managed to accomplish certain, notable feats while on the battlefield. And while these medals have significance to the story and the setting, each of them also comes with an additional ability granted to a recipient.

For example, the Distinguished Marksman Badge, which is awarded by the Acetal Alliance, requires that an individual trooper score a minimum of 50 critical hits against targets who are at least 30 feet away. A separate track must be kept for pistols and rifles, as each medal has its own requirement. Once a trooper has earned this medal, their critical hit range with the weapon type in question expands from natural 20s, to a 19-20 range (though a roll of 19 must still hit the target's armor class to qualify as a critical hit).

This supplement contains 50 medals, with 10 examples from each nation, as well as 10 medals given out by the Plastos Federation as an organization. While some of these medals are nation-specific (meaning that recipients must be members of that particular nation's armed forces in order to qualify for these medals), others are available to any member nation's army, or may be awarded for joint operations where multiple nations are working together toward a single end.

As With Equipment, The Power Is In The Game Master's Hands


While this system may seem like just another way for players to rack up additional powers on their sheets, since medals can grant additional skill proficiencies, bonus languages, rerolls of certain checks, and so on, it's important to remember that the circumstances surrounding these medals has to be facilitated by the Game Master. Whether it's ensuring that characters are part of a certain nation's military, or that certain opportunities come up on their missions, these medals aren't things players can get without Game Master assistance.

You need to set them up with the situation required to earn them.

With that said, if you're going to use the medals system, I encourage Game Masters to make players aware of it, and to ask what kinds of commendations they'd like their troopers to earn by the end of the campaign. Because while being rewarded for one's achievements in the field is always gratifying, sometimes it can be just as motivating knowing that every mission brings you one step closer to earning a particular medal!

Bonus Content: New Weapon Property Unlocked!


In addition to the medals system, and all of the examples I've laid out for Game Masters to add to their Army Men campaigns, I also dropped a little bonus into this supplement. We now have the Experimental weapon property, which is a property describing weapons that have yet to be fully field-tested, and which aren't entirely reliable just yet. This is meant to be a foot in the door, as one of the expansions I've wanted to write for the game is Army Men: Weird War, where in addition to a bunch of new casts, training schools, exploits, monsters, and more, I also wanted to introduce some sci-fi style weapons, armor, and equipment. Because while these weapons would put a lot of raw power into your troopers' hands, they also represent a risk if something goes wrong.

But you can't work out the bugs if you never test the equipment under battlefield conditions... right?

So if this weapon property (in addition to the sample experimental lightning rifle listed in the supplement) is something you want to see more of, make sure you grab your copy today, and let me know in your review. Additional experimental equipment suggestions are encouraged as well, so if you have something you really want to see, feel free to include that, too!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Crunch post. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Monday, June 10, 2024

Updates On The Azukail Games YouTube Channel (And Our Progress)!

This week I wanted to give something of an update for my readers out there! While I've talked about this on both Facebook, and in my most recent newsletter, I don't want anything getting lost in the fickle tides of the algorithm, and I've got some exciting developments I wanted everyone to be aware of. So keep reading, and I'll get to it shortly enough!

We've been putting in a lot of work on this!

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

Patreon, Ko-Fi, And Getting Monetization!


So, first things first! As lots of folks know, YouTube altered their rules last year so that, in order to be approved for monetization (which is to say, you actually get paid some of the ad revenue on your videos, rather than all of it going straight into YouTube's pockets), you need to have 500 subscribers to your channel, and 3,000 hours of watched content in the past 365 days. At time of writing, we have 1,070 and change subscribers, and just over 2,500 hours of watched content... which means that another 500 hours will put us over the line, and allow us to finally start getting ad revenue from the videos we make!

That would be a huge boon all by itself, because right now none of the videos actually generate income for Azukail Games from YouTube. While there are ads on them, none of that goes to the company, which means the channel is not, currently, an income stream in this manner. And if we can start getting some of that cash to flow to the company, then it can start underwriting some larger, more ambitious projects. For those who didn't see the update on the channel itself, I talked about it back in May in the video below.



Another thing I mentioned in the video above is that Azukail Games now has its own Patreon and Ko-Fi accounts, and if you're feeling generous, don't be afraid to toss some coin over there! Now, I want to be clear, these are separate from my Literary Mercenary Patreon and Ko-Fi pages listed below, which go to help support these blogs. For those wondering why there are separate accounts, it's because I do not (contrary to a lot of common belief, it seems) run Azukail Games as a company, or a YouTube channel. Adrian Kennelly is the man behind that company; I'm just a writer and contributor who works for the enterprise.

Which is sort of the reason I want to see it grow... the better they do, the more of my shenanigans the company can publish and support for the entertainment of all of you out there!

For folks who are wondering why I don't have my own YouTube channel, I laid out the details on that issue a while back in Trying Out Rumble As A Platform For My Audio Dramas over on my sister blog The Literary Mercenary. The short version, though, is that even if I personally got the 500 subscribers and 3,000 hours needed to get monetized on my own channel, I couldn't get paid by YouTube because it requires a Google AdSense account, and Google blocked me from having one of these over a decade ago.

So in this case I'm going to remain a freelancer.

With that said, though, if the Azukail Games channel does get monetized, it's possible that I'll be able to start a bigger project that will be on multiple platforms, such as Spotify, in addition to just YouTube. If that's something you'd be interested in, then check out Windy City Shadows: A Chronicles of Darkness Podcast Proposal!


There are a lot of projects I'm starting to get excited about, but all of them sort of hinge on us getting the YouTube channel to a point where it's a legitimate earner, and not just a place for us to put our preview videos for the TTRPG supplements we put out. So if you want to help us get there, please subscribe to the Azukail Games YouTube channel if you haven't yet, watch our videos, and share them around so we can acquire the hours we need to blow past those goal posts, and really start revving our engines to make bigger, more involved stuff for you all to enjoy!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Saturday, June 8, 2024

My Latest Cyberpunk Audio Drama Series, "72 Hours" Is Now Complete!

If you've picked up any of my TTRPG supplements over the past few years, then you've likely noticed I like to include a little piece of flash fiction in the front of the books to kind of set the tone, and to show at least one of the creations from the supplement in action. Several years ago I started turning these little vignettes into audio dramas on the Azukail Games YouTube channel, and as I got really stuck-in with this project it changed the way I started telling the stories. At first I started having recurring characters, such as the Hedge-diving ogre Jacoby in my Changeling: The Lost supplements, but then I started turning these sections into little series of short stories so that folks who bought all the supplements could get the story from beginning to end as a kind of collectible extra.

I completed the first of these series last year around this time, detailed in My Sci-Fi Audio Drama Series is Now Complete!, and it was last Fall when I followed that up with My Cyberpunk Audio Drama Series is Now Complete! I've completed a third series, and this time I went for a quadrilogy, giving you all a series of 4 stories instead of the previous sets of 3!

So what are you waiting for? Check it out below!

Before we get into the nitty gritty this week, don't forget to sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

Installment #1: Ordered Arms


The first short story, Ordered Arms, was the introductory fiction for the TTRPG supplement 100 Secret Societies For a Sci Fi Setting. In this story we find an ex-military operator just trying to live his life in one of the city's most corrupt districts. He's got information on all the dirty dealings all throughout this part of the city, but when he tried to take it to security services they threw him a beating, and told him to stay out of it. Someone was listening, though, and they offered the former Captain Masters the tools he needed to get the job done himself... assuming his conviction was strong enough, of course.



Installment #2: Blood In The Water


The second part of this story takes us to Detective Johnny Denton. Denton has been following a series of hits that have been going down in the district for the past several days... in 72 hours there have been dozens of casualties, if you count the gangs, vice cops, and organized crime squads who've wound up dead. He's digging into the cyberpunk version of the darkweb called the DrekNet and trying to find answers in Blood In The Water, the intro story from the supplement 100 Resources and Rumors to Find on The DrekNet.



Installment #3: Conspiracies and Crosshairs


In the third story, Conspiracies and Crosshairs which comes out of the supplement 100 Rumor Mongers and Information Brokers, Denton manages to find a shred of evidence to substantiate the existence of this so-called Angel of Death that's cleaning up the streets. He doesn't know what it means, though, so he seeks out the infamous net diver Simon Sez to get some information. While he gets something, as soon as Denton's back is turned, Simon sends out an SOS. Whoever this mysterious vigilante is, he knows somebody's onto him... and how to find Denton in turn, as the hunted becomes the hunter.



Installment #4: Safeties Off


With a real, solid lead, Denton races through the city to recruit someone else who might be able to help him wrap this case up before anyone else gets hurt. Dwight is a bounty hunter with a bit of a reputation, and the two of them have history. Of course, Denton has barely gotten a chance to explain to Dwight what it is he needs him onboard for, when the Angel of Death himself makes an appearance. Is this curtains for Denton? Or is there some way he can convince the vigilante to stop his killing spree, even while he's under the gun?

Safeties Off is the last installment of the series (for now, at least), and it comes from the TTRPG supplement 100 Professions For a Sci Fi Setting!



Would You Like To See More Series?


While the reaction to the various series I've been putting out seems to be positive overall, some folks have asked when I'm going to make longer, connected episodes to tell bigger, more involved stories. Well, once the Azukail Games YouTube channel gets monetized, that's on the docket for projects to discuss with the publisher. So if you want to see bigger projects, like I talked about in Windy City Shadows: A Chronicles of Darkness Podcast Proposal, then help us get the watch hours we need to get past that 3K minimum (which should only be about 500 hours and change at time of writing).



So if you want to see bigger, more involved audio projects from me, this is the fastest way to make it happen! So share this blog to make more folks aware of my projects, share the videos around on your social media pages, and leave some comments on the videos to let me know which sorts of things you'd like to hear more of! Anything that helps us get a little closer to our goals makes a big difference... and don't forget to like and subscribe if you haven't already!

What's Next on Table Talk?


That's it for this installment of Table Talk! What would you like to see next? I'm listening for your comments and votes!

For more of my work, check out my Vocal archives, as well as the YouTube channel for Azukail Games. Or, to check out books like my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife, my hard-boiled noir series featuring the street beasts of NYC in Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, or my recent short story collection The Rejects, head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblr, and Twitter, as well as on Pinterest where I'm building all sorts of boards dedicated to my books, RPG supplements, and greatest hits. Lastly, to help support me and my work, consider Buying Me A Ko-Fi, or heading over to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron! Even a little donation can have a big impact.

Monday, June 3, 2024

Asking My Audience About a Partnership Program

As all my long-time readers know, being an author and TTRPG creator isn't exactly a rock star gig when it comes to cashing checks. The per-word rate of pay in RPGs is one of the lowest in the whole publishing industry, and you need to sell hundreds, if not thousands, of any given supplement, game, etc., just to stay one step ahead of your rent. The Azukail Games YouTube channel isn't monetized yet, and I even went so far as to strip ads off this blog years ago because it just wasn't worth the time, energy, and hassle.

I mention all of that to put this week's question into context... because I've recently come across Dubby energy drinks, and I'm examining their partnership program. My question for you all is whether you think this is something I should jump into, or if you feel it's too far off-brand for me as a TTRPG creator? Or just not relevant enough to you as my readers?

I don't mind rolling the dice... but I like to know the odds, first.

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

Dubby Energy, Gamers, and Marketing


All right, so, if you're not terminally online for either work or pleasure then you may not have seen Dubby, and its campaign to recruit gamers of all shapes and sizes to its brand. For those who haven't come across the company or its product before, be patient with me while I go through the exposition here.

This requires a bit of background.

So, first things first, we've all seen sponsorship deals for creators we like. Generally speaking the way it works is that when a creator gets big enough, and they have a dedicated audience who watches their videos, reads their blogs, and so on, companies come to them, offer them a payment, free product, or usually both, in order for the creator to promote the company. If you're on YouTube you've seen the ads for Raid: Shadow Legends, Raycon earbuds, Better Help Counseling, Nord VPN, and gods above and below only know how many other companies and products.

Well, Dubby is a powdered energy drink company that has a product most of us are familiar with, at least in style. You buy a packet (or a can) of drink mix, and then when you want some fast energy (typically as a result of a rush of caffeine along with other parts of their in-house formula) you scoop out the powder, add in some cold water, stir or shake it up, and boom, you're good to go.

What they're doing differently (on the marketing front) is that instead of only cutting checks to big streamers, video channels, etc., is that they're purposefully seeking out people with a modest following in order to give them a chance to get their hands on some cash. However, the Dubby partnership program isn't a sponsorship, in the sense that they cut you a check to promote them... it's basically an affiliate sales program.

I talked about affiliate sales programs back in Tabletop Mercenary, Episode 5, but for those who didn't watch it, these programs are pretty straightforward. The way they work is that you, as a member of the program, create a special link to promote the products. When someone buys the product, you get a percentage of the sale as your commission. So if, for example, someone bought a copy of my World's Oldest Profession: 100 Courtesans and Concubines supplement from this link, I would receive about $0.30 as a royalty for the sale (because I'm the creator), but I'd also receive an additional $0.07 as an affiliate fee because I made the sale through one of my links.



Dubby's program works the same way. I wasn't mailed any free product to review or tell you about, and I'm not getting paid a fee to tell my audience about them. But if folks do choose to check it out via a link of mine (such as through this link to Dubby's product collection, or the links later in this blog), and you make a purchase, then I would get an affiliate fee for that sale.

If nobody buys anything, though, I get nothing. No free merch, no advertising fee from the company, etc.

From a business perspective, this is a smart move by the company. They're hoping to get smaller creators, channels, etc., to help advertise their product, and market them to their followings. By lowering the bar for entry, and getting a larger number of smaller creators instead of just focusing on those with big followings, and then only paying them when they make a sale instead of a blanket, up-front check, that means there's more people overall boosting the signal and shining a light onto Dubby as a company.

The Question, Of Course, Is Whether It Works For You?


I explained all of that to ask a simple question... is that something you all care about?

Because on the one hand, I would like to make money with this partnership program. As I outlined above, I don't make a lot as a professional writer, and the constant shifts and changes to social media and search algorithms makes it harder and harder every day. I even had an idea for a tongue-in-cheek, Pentex-style commercial for some of their products that I'd love to work into a video essay about this World of Darkness version of capitalism, if that's something folks might get a kick out of?

On the other hand, I'm aware of the marketing demographics of products like this. It primarily trends younger, and toward those looking to keep their fast-twitch reflexes going, rather than those who are looking to keep their eyes open while sitting around a table with friends and rolling click clack math rocks. Not that tabletop gamers (or TTRPG creators, for that matter) are averse to highly caffeinated concoctions made to circumvent the laws of our bodies like some kind of dark alchemy, but still, we aren't usually the market for stuff like this.

Seriously, though? Doesn't "Dubsludge" sound like something Pentex would make?

So if this is something you'd like to see me talk about/put on my blogs and videos in the future, and you want to actually get my thoughts on these products (along with video evidence of my consuming them and totally not turning into a fomori), then consider going to the main page and telling me which flavors I should get, and what you want to see me try out before making a pitch to you all. And if you've already tried this particular product, and you have recommendations of your own, then leave those in the comments, too!

However, if you don't want to see this kind of product placement, you're not interested in this brand, or you just don't think it's a good match for what you've come to expect from me, put that in the comments as well! I don't want to waste time dropping links to products people aren't interested in or my audience won't buy, because that's a waste of my time, as well as your time.

With that said, if this isn't something you're interested in, but you still want to support me and my work, please consider some of the following things if you aren't doing them already!

Subscribe To The Azukail Games YouTube Channel (where I contribute video content)
Subscribe To My Rumble Channel (longer videos that won't show up on YouTube)

And if you happen to have some spare dosh lying around, and you want to be sure my supply doesn't run low, consider become a Patreon patron, or leaving a tip by Buying Me a Ko-Fi!

Generally speaking, I'm just trying to keep the lights on around here so I can keep writing articles, short stories, making audio dramas and YouTube videos, and so on, and so forth. Your feedback matters in this situation, so don't be shy about it!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Monday, May 27, 2024

"Blight Bane's Gambit," A New Story From Sundara, Is Finally Out!

Folks occasionally ask me when I'm going to put out new content for my Sundara: Dawn of a New Age setting. While I've been working on a lot of stuff for other properties for the past few months, Isaiah Burt's second story has dropped for the setting! So if you enjoyed Legacy of Flames, a tale about an unusual lizardfolk sellsword on a hunt for a deadly creature in the hills outside of Ironfire, then you are definitely going to want to pick up a copy of Blight Bane's Gambit for yourself!

A unique little story, to be sure..

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

What Is This Story About?


Despite the story being named for one of the Founders of Hoardreach, the tale follows a story of a squad of orc mercenaries. Drawn from across Sundara's various clans, this squad came to Hoardreach in search of fame and fortune... and what they found was a unique opportunity from an unexpected patron. Blight Bane is well known for his tricks, but the green dragon also gives rewards to those who serve him. And if the squad can find the item he seeks, they may find that their fortunates will rise higher than they've ever thought before!

That is, of course, assuming the infamous green dragon isn't sending them on a wild wyrm hunt...

I told you not to trust anyone, didn't I?

For those who really want to check out this novella (and I urge you to do so), I wanted to also remind you to check out some of the source material in order to get yourself a little more familiar with this corner of Sundara as a setting first. It's not necessary, but it will help put things in context.

For coming to grip with our protagonists, consider picking up a copy of Species of Sundara: Orcs for either Pathfinder Classic, or DND 5E, whichever version you're more likely to use at your table!

Also, if you want to know more about Hoardreach, the City of Wyrms, it was the 4th of my Cities of Sundara to get a release! So check out this supplement for either Pathfinder Classic or for DND 5E, again, based on whichever one you're more likely to use at your table.

Lastly, for more information about how dragons work in the Sundara setting, and what makes them unique, consider checking out the following video I made about these amazong creatures! Also, while you're there, consider subscribing to the Azukail Games YouTube channel to help us keep the wheels turning!



Who Would Like To See Me Expand Sundara's Stories?


At the moment, Isaiah has written the only two novellas that take place in Sundara. Folks who know that I started out my career as a novelist might find this a little weird... after all, if I put so much effort into bringing Sundara to life as a setting, wouldn't I like to tell some of my own stories in it?

Yes, I would... but so far I've limited myself to the vignettes in the supplements, and the audio dramas that I've made from them.


The main reason that I haven't cracked open a fresh word document to write a novella or two of my own for the setting is, honestly, the same reason I haven't put together any adventure modules for Sundara yet... return on investment. It might sound crass to say, but these are (historically) the formats that sell the fewest copies, and which are hardest to make any kind of money from. This is the main reason I've consigned my fiction to the introductions of the supplements, and put it up on the company channel for free... I feel people are far more likely to come across it that way than they are to buy a full story by yours truly.

But tell me, is that true? Do you want to see more stories from Sundara? And if so, would you prefer them in text, in audio format, or something else entirely? Please, comment below, reach out on my social media, or leave comments on the Azukail Games YouTube channel, because those are the best ways to make your desires known!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Everyone's Favorite Game: Fantasy Character or Prescription Medication?

Names are one of the hardest parts of any RPG character. Does this name convey the proper feeling you're looking for? Does it sound suitably fantastical? Is there a hidden joke in there for those who pay close attention?

Well, if you're getting stuck on this part of your character, consider looking through the names of medications for inspiration!

Afrin, elven cleric of the goddess of dreams.

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

It's Ridiculous... But Roll With It!


This strategy is a little bit on the ridiculous side, but give it a whirl and see where it takes you! Because there are so many medicines out there for so many different conditions, and they can all act as a fun little in-joke for your next character.

As a for-instance, consider some of the following:

- Moxifloxacin: A drug that made me laugh just looking at the name, doesn't it sound like the stage name of a gnomish bard? If you really wanted to, you could event cut it into two names, if your party needs a little bit of Moxi!

- Warfarin: An ideal name for a dwarven fighter with a nasty, curved ax, Warfarin the Wanderer has a reputation that precedes him, and a road of bodies that stretch between his heels and the horizon. Blood thinning, indeed.

- Namenda, The Unwavering Eye: A monk of elven blood, Namenda has seen the world grow and change around them, and they have remained. Unchanging and unbowed, Namenda has never forgotten the things that came before.

- Naproxen: Trained by an obscure order of hospitalers, Naproxen's touch and a whispered prayer can remove pain, and get people back on their feet to march or fight again.

- Toridol: Toridol is a warrior who feels no fear, and feels no pain when in the grip of his battle fury. It is short lived, but during that brief window, he is all but invincible!

I'm not even feeling it!

These are just a handful of the medications on the market that have a fantasy-sounding names, and some examples of how you can tie them into your character's skillset, story, and powers.

If this little game isn't quite up your alley, though, you may find some of the following bundles from Azukail Games to be useful in coming up with some alternatives for your next characters!


Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Fluff post. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Trench Crusade: A Miniature Skirmish Game You NEED To Check Out

The drums of battle sound, and the hymns of war boom through the conflict, carried on the burning drafts of artillery. Blasphemous slugs tear through the air with a demonic screech, rending apart the flesh of those whose faith isn't strong enough to see them across no-man's-land. Devils prowl the trenches, and the zealous howl their prayers so loudly they can be heard over the thunder of the guns.

The Crusade marches onward... do you have the conviction to see it to the end?

It smells your fear... and it will feast on the souls of those weak enough to let it.

What The Hell is Trench Crusade?


Trench crusade is a grim look at an alternate timeline of horror where a portal to hell opened in the center of the Holy Land. From that point onward, the war never stopped, and now in addition to steel and faith it's a clash of arcane powers and infernal machinery as the dark reflections of the worst of humanity try to push into our world, and to claim more and more of it for themselves.

That short description is fun enough by itself, but the art is what sells this game for me. Looking like the bastard hate child of Beksinski and Bosch, these hellish illustrations (many of which already have minis) will call out to the hearts of those who love Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and Warhammer 40K, along with other terrible, grimdark fantasy settings. Mike Franchina is the major name and talent behind much of this art, and in conjuction with designers like Tuomas Pirinen (a designer who worked on Mordheim) and sculptor James Sheriff, this game looks just the right kind of disgustingly beautiful!

Come on... LOOK at this damn thing!

The playtest rules, and a lot of the lore are currently available at the Trench Crusade website, and I highly recommend folks grab them and take a look. Not only that, but you should follow them on Twitter to make sure you get their updates as well!

As a final note, I owe a small bit of thanks to the folks who have been pitching a fit about wokeness ever since Games Workshop announced there were (and retroactively always had been) female members of the Emperor's Custodian Guard. It appears that many of them jumped ship from Warhammer 40K (good riddance), and started looking for other communities to take their unwanted views to. A lot of them found Trench Crusade, and started trying to plant their flag in this game. However, as the mods in their communities made clear, Trench Crusade is not a place for people to discuss real world politics. They also made it clear that a person's sexuality and gender presentation is not a political issue; it is simply who they are, and they should be respected as individuals. People who wanted to start a beef over that have found very quickly that this community has no time for any of that nonsense.

So, if you ask me, that's one more great reason to go and support this game! Or at least check it out so we can keep getting art, lore, and minis for it.

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Monday, May 13, 2024

Stay Up-To-Date On All The Latest "Army Men" Developments!

As most folks know, my RPG Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic dropped a couple of months back. It was the Deal of The Day last month on Drive Thru RPG, which got a lot of fresh eyeballs on the game, and less than a month after its debut we already had the first supplement available. In the event you didn't grab your own copy yet, Army Men: Threat Assessments is ready for you to snatch up if you need more antagonists for your missions!

However, there are a lot of fresh things coming up for the game, and I'm hard at work on even more... so if you don't want to miss what's going on, make sure you join the newly created Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic group over on Facebook today!

Seriously, if you're going to play this game, you're going to want this one!

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

A Central Location For Your "Army Men" Needs!


As we all know, social media has been tightening the leash more and more these days. Posts that used to be able to fly free are now routinely shot down by the algorithm, and this makes it significantly more difficult for gamers out there to stay tuned-in to what's going on with any given RPG... especially independently-produced and created ones, which don't have the budget or clout to get wider notice on a platform.

And while a lot of platforms were tossed around for where we wanted to start (including both a Discord and a subreddit), Facebook is where we decided on for the time being. Firstly because it's a platform that still has a lot of dedicated users, but also because it has discoverability (the potential for outsiders to stumble across the group and its content, even if they weren't specifically looking for it). Because the goal here is two-fold; to give existing players a place to congregate, but also to provide resources for new players who are looking for a community.

So what kinds of things can you find in this group if you join?


Well, it's certainly going to become a place for folks to share their experiences with the game, to find groups, and (hopefully) to post videos of live plays. It's very likely to be a place where additional tutorials (like the one above) are going to be shared as a way to help folks diversify their tables, and create more interesting arenas to battle in. It will also be a place to catch up on the latest news about supplements that are coming out, supplements that are currently being batted around as potential projects, short stories, audio dramas, and more!

So if you've wanted to give this game a try, or you want to talk to some of the folks who backed it and have been playing it, join the Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic Facebook group so that we can start growing our numbers. And if it gets large enough, who knows, we may even be able to expand and claim some territory on another platform as well!

It's also a great way to make sure that creators like myself, as well as other contributors, see what you would be interested in, so that we have some idea of what you want going forward as a community!

Lastly, make sure you subscribe to the Azukail Games YouTube channel. There's going to be a fair amount of Army Men content over that way in the near future, and I wouldn't want anyone to miss it!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!

Monday, May 6, 2024

My Wish List Goals As I Finish a Fourth Decade of Life This May

Normally I'm not a real big birthday guy. It's nice when people remember, and I love presents as much as anyone else, but ever since I turned 30 they've been sneaking up on me more and more to the point where I sort of forget until I wake up and have three dozen messages on Facebook sending me well wishes.

Which is definitely a nice change of pace from the sort of messages I usually wake up to.

However, this year is something of a milestone for me. I'm turning 40, but I've also been a professional TTRPG writer for a little over a decade now. I've weathered a lot of storms and disappointments, and I've managed several feats that I'm relatively proud of. So I thought I'd set myself some goals for this month, and ask my regular readers to help me achieve them before May's flowers give way to June's insufferable heat index.

All righty... let's light those damn candles already!

As always, don't forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get all my updates right in your inbox. Also, if you've got a bit of spare cash that you'd like to use to help keep the wheels turning, consider becoming a Patreon patron! Also, be sure you're following all of my followables, check out my LinkTree.

Lastly, for hundreds of extra articles on gaming, weird history, and for more free fiction, check out my Vocal archive, too!

Goal #1: Break That 50-Review Goal For My First Novel!


I'm a big believer in achievable goals, and I do my best to be realistic with the things I set. So I wanted to put the layup achievement first... getting my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife up over the 50 reviews it needs to finally get noticed by the Amazon algorithm! For those who don't know, 50 is the point when Amazon starts sharing your book around, and letting it be seen by other people because it's proven popular enough to garner a sizable amount of reviews.

The book has been out for a few years, and it's just been teetering on 49... so all it needs is at least one person reading this to push it over. With that said, when it comes to book sales and reviews, more is definitely better!

So grab yourself a copy today!

This novel, my first one on the market, follows the adventure of Dirk Crier as he's sent on a task to go retrieve a wayward cousin... an errand that becomes far more complicated when Dirk finds out his kin has gotten himself mixed up with some dangerous folk far in the hinterlands. This far from the mountain, this northern cult doesn't recognize him... but they'll learn well why the hill folk say that only a dead man crosses a Crier.

If you're one of my regular readers who's already got your copy of this novel, and you've left a review, then thank you very much for the assist! But if you like my books, consider grabbing my Hard Boiled Cat novels Marked Territory and Painted Cats, which are all about the cases of a Maine coon alley cat named Leo trying to navigate the cutthroat world of the street beasts of New York City. Or if you've enjoyed my stories of space marines, consider checking out the dystopian sci fi thriller Old Soldiers, where we follow Pollux and the other myrmidon as these genetically-engineered shock troopers try to unmask a conspiracy before it puts a bullet in each of their backs!

Goal #2: Get "Army Men" Up To Copper Metal Status on DTRPG


Regular readers know that my first full tabletop RPG Army Men: A Game of Tactical Plastic went live on Drive Thru RPG a few months ago. The game was successfully Kickstarted, and it's been met with some pretty positive reviews by folks who've actually played it. It was also Deal of The Day last month, which helped get a few more eyeballs on it.

At time of writing, though, it's still about 20 sales shy of hitting Copper status on DTRPG. While I would love for it to hit Silver, Electrum, or even Gold status, I feel like Copper is something that could be achieved by the end of the month with a little luck, and some help from all of you!



Army Men is a game where you and your companions take on the roles of a squad of troopers in the Plastos Federation, defending your people and your homeland against the invasion of the insectile creatures known as Vespoids. However, while that is a simple setup, there are politics and bad blood that exist in the corners of the Federation, and this game is being expanded into all kinds of different modes of play and genres... and the more people who show interest and grab some copies, the more time and energy I'll be able to dedicate to getting stuff into your hands as players and Game Masters!

If you've already grabbed your copy and left a review (reviews matter on DTRPG the same way they do on Amazon), then consider picking up a copy of the game's first supplement Army Men: Threat Assessments to ensure that you have enough enemy threats to throw at your players during their next mission!

And if you've already done all of that, consider sharing a link to the book so all your fellow gaming friends can see it! I've been doing everything I can think of to get the word out, and a little help can go a long way.

Goal #3: Get The Azukail Games YouTube Channel Monetized!


While my previous two goals are leaning hard into sales and moving copies of books, this one is completely free to anyone who wants to help! If you have access to YouTube, and you enjoy my Sundara: Dawn of a New Age setting, the World/Chronicles of Darkness, an insider's view into the business of RPGs, building your own map terrain, and audio dramas from a slew of different settings and genres, then you should definitely be subscribed to the Azukail Games YouTube channel!



I've been making video content for this channel for several years now, and at time of writing we have 1,028 subscribers (which is more than enough to get monetized), but we're lacking the second goal required to make YouTube give us that stamp of approval; watched hours. We still need, as of the moment I put these words on the page, about 800 hours of watched content before we can get monetized, and actually get a cut of the profits our videos are generating.

So, put bluntly, if folks reading this wanted to give me a great birthday present, subscribe to the channel, and spend the rest of this month watching 1 video a day.

I know it sounds like a big ask, but let me break some numbers down for folks:

- Our average video on the channel is between 6 and 15 minutes, give or take. We'll say 10 for an easy number.

- There are 60 minutes in an hour.

- Even small word counts for readers on this blog tend to get at least 300 views.

So let's say 300 people out there each watched a single 10-minute video on the channel. That's 50 hours of content. If those 300 people did that every day for a week, that would be 350 hours. Two weeks? 700 hours. In three weeks time, the channel would be monetized, which would allow me to start in on making bigger, more involved video projects for all the folks who've been wondering why we tend to stay small and simple when it comes to our shows and series.

Of course, if you want to help add a little gas to this race, consider putting on a playlist, and watching through any of the various shows and series we have for you. Share videos you like with your friends, and toss them onto your social media pages... we're in a, "So close, yet so far," style situation, and I would deeply appreciate a boost to help me meet this goal I've been working toward for years before I turn 40 this month.

Goal #4: Expand My Patreon Following


I'll be the first to admit, I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to Patreon. I know that the best way to expand your Patreon following is to put certain kinds of content behind a paywall, so that when someone becomes a supporter they gain VIP access to something that non-supporters don't get. Whether it be bonus episodes of a show, or early access to content, or the ability to help steer the direction a creator goes with their work, all of these things are good motivators in building that fan base.

And I don't do that. The one real perk I can offer is that, when I get free copies of a new supplement, I offer it to my Patreon patrons as an exclusive, but that is a relatively small perk.

The reason I do that, though, is that I know a lot of the people who enjoy my content do so because I don't put it behind a velvet rope and a cover charge. A lot of my fans are on fixed incomes, or like me they're struggling just to pay the bills in this capitalist hellscape, and even $5 a month is too much for them to justify when they sit down and really weigh their budgets. Unfortunately, though, AdBlock has basically made putting ads on a blog pointless (I removed mine over a year ago because it just wasn't worth the effort), and though I try to utilize sites that pay creators based on traffic (like my 300+ article archive over at Vocal.Media), it requires over 90,000 reads a month on those articles just to pay my part of the rent.

That's something I've never managed, by the by. If you're curious, I have the full number breakdown in If 90,000 People Read This Article, I Can Pay My Bills This Month.

It's exactly as ridiculous as it sounds.

Patreon is basically the way I fund my blogs, though, and it is a major part of my monthly bills (it's actually what I use to buy food, for those who are curious). So if you want to help keep this blog going, and ensure that I've got enough coffee and tacos to keep churning out fresh articles, please consider becoming a Patreon patron today! And if you're just someone who wants to give me a little tip so I can go get myself something nice as a reward for surviving four decades, you could buy me a Ko-Fi as a tip for a job well done instead!

All Help Is Appreciated!


I know this seems like a lot to get done in one month, and while I'm doing my best to reach these goals, I won't be able to do it without all of you! So whether you're just a regular reader, you lend me a few hours to help boost the YouTube channel, you help me get my books noticed by the algorithm, or you decide this is the year you want to help fund this blog so I can keep it going, I appreciate everything you do for me.

Without readers like you, I wouldn't be able to do any of this!

Like, Follow, and Stay in Touch!


That's all for this week's Moon Pope Monday. To stay on top of all my content and releases, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter at the bottom of the page!

Again, for more of my work, check out my Vocal archive, and stop by the Azukail Games YouTube channel, or my Rumble channel The Literary Mercenary! Or if you'd prefer to read some of my books, like my dystopian sci-fi thriller Old Soldiers, my hardboiled gangland noir series starring a bruiser of a Maine Coon with Marked Territory and Painted Cats, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, then head over to My Amazon Author Page!

To stay on top of all my latest releases, follow me on FacebookTumblrTwitter, and now Pinterest as well! To support my work, consider Buying Me a Ko-Fi, or heading to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page to become a regular, monthly patron. That one helps ensure you get more Improved Initiative, and it means you'll get my regular, monthly giveaways as a bonus!