Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be talking about Guidance. The blog, not the spell.
Although today isn’t the official date, February marks the one-year anniversary of Guidance, or rather, my foray into blogging in general. Back when I used to host the blog on the Everyman Gaming website, I would do these tri-weekly self-reflective pieces that I called “State of the Blog” just to talk about how I felt the blog was doing. I stopped doing them when I made the switch to KnowDirectionPodcast.com, but I had always intended to do another one at the one-year mark. Today’s going to be that self-reflective day.
Why Start Blogging?
Fun factoid: I started blogging because my game was on indefinite hiatus. Two of my best friends had begun preparing to get married and I was missing my involvement in Pathfinder, like, a lot. (Remember, this is pre-PFS Alex we’re talking about here.) I had written my Guide to Creating Challenging Encounters (which people still apparently use to this day) and was asked several times by a few readers if I would consider starting a blog. If you’re one of those first few Everyman Gamers, make sure you give yourselves a shout-out in the comments because I would NOT have considered going into blogging if not for you! Looking back on it, I consider the creation of Everyman Gaming (and Guidance by rite of succession) a vital point in my career as an RPG Designer and player.
Getting Picked Up Onto Know Direction
Around April 2014, I was asked to consider climbing aboard the KnowDirectionSuite by none other than Ryan Costello Jr. himself. Ryan had heard about my blog after I blurbed about it in the comments section of a live episode of Know Direction, and although that shout-out didn’t get me NEARLY as many followers as you’d have thought it would, it did give me one important reader: Ryan himself. Not too long after, he approached me with the idea of writing a biweekly blog for Know Direction. Knowing that five articles a week was too many for me, I offered to move Everyman Gaming to Know Direction instead. A few important e-mails and discussions later and Guidance, Everyman Gaming’s continuation blog, was born.
But What About Everyman Gaming?!
There were heavy considerations regarding what my blog would be called when I moved it to KnowDirectionPodcast.com. Ryan was apprehensive about using the name “Everyman” because he saw it as being exclusive towards female readers. That was a point that we debated about briefly until something entirely unexpected happened; I decided to found a Third-Party publishing company. Ultimately, I didn’t want my new company, Everyman Gaming, to have its name associated with KnowDirection for legal reasons (namely, I didn’t want people incorrectly assuming that I owned Know Direction), so I ultimately chose to change the blog’s name because I felt it was in the best interest of my new company. Many people would call me insane for keeping Know Direction as relatively advertisement-free of product plugs from my company’s work, but I felt it was important for maintaining professionalism on the site. And in spite of my conservativeness, Everyman Gaming, LLC is doing okay for itself. Much of my profit is spun around and funneled right back into creating more products, but almost all of my products have seen a worthwhile return and people generally seem to enjoy my products.
The Private Sanctuary Podcast
Podcasting was NOT something that was ever on my radar to do. Ryan asked me to come aboard the Private Sanctuary Podcast as sort of a “crunch expert” to do mechanics-heavy podcasts, such as the podcast we did together on the Technology Guide. It was a fun gig, far from a time-consuming one, too. I can honestly say that I wasn’t prepared when Ryan approached me (digitally, of course) and asked if I would be willing to take over the Private Sanctuary Podcast entirely. I felt that I had hardly been on the show at that point, but I decided that if its host of eight years felt that I could take the helm that I would try to. I messaged Anthony Li that night and together, we came up with our current plan for the Private Sanctuary Podcast that you’ll start seeing now, in February.
What’s the Plan?
As I’ve mentioned throughout the week, editing podcasts is a CRAZY amount of work. I knew the moment that Ryan asked me to step up that I would be unable to do so while continuing to provide three blog articles a weel. So ultimately, I decided to give up my Wednesday slot, offering it to Anthony Li in my steed. Anthony has been on KnowDirectionPodcast.com for nearly as long as I have, but he’s never been one for blatant self-promotion like I am. So going forward, we’ll rotate between podcast episodes and Behind the Screens Installments, featuring Anthony Li, that I will pimp just as hard as one of my own articles. Anthony is a talented writer and a fantastic GM; I would simply leave Wednesday as dead space before I promoted someone whose work I didn’t approve of. I know transitions can be rough, but I hope that you understand why I had to make this call and look forward to the fantastic podcasts that Anthony and I will be producing for you in the future.
What’s In the Future?
Good question. In terms of me as an RPG Designer, that’s not going anywhere. I plan on continuing to pester Paizo folk to try and get in on that sweet, sweet first party freelancing action because my ego swells up like you wouldn’t believe every time I see my name in print. More relevant to the blog, however, one of the things that I really want to do is improve the Private Sanctuary logo. I think it looks a little bland as-is and I would like to update it to match the theme that Know Direction and Guidance have (Know Direction’s icon is a compass because that object helps you find your direction, Guidance’s icon is a street post because that object guides you in which way to go). If anyone has any suggestions for what they’d like to see in the new Private Sanctuary logo, drop me some suggestions in the comments and I’d be happy to discuss it with you, as would any other KnowDirection person that’s available. Also, I want to do something with my Everyman Gaming website. I don’t think I’m popular (or regular) enough to shell out for a storefront, but at the very list I’d like to do a little directory there or something. For all of you Everyman Gamers out there, what would you like to see on the Everyman Gaming website? Leave your comments for this question below, shuffled in with all the others.
Ultimately, I felt 2014 was a great year for myself and for Everyman Gaming and I’m looking forward to seeing where the future takes us. If 2014 was any indication, then I’m sure that we’ve got lots of changes towards bigger, better things waiting for us at the horizon. I’m looking forward to exploring that frontier with you.
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex’s favorite color is blue, his favorite Pathfinder Race/Class combination is kitsune horizon walker, and DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!?!!?!?!?