Monday, December 16, 2019

Elthos RPG - Progress Report 2019

As you may know, I've been working on Elthos RPG since 1978 when I created the original Elthos RPG Rules.  I have been GMing my homebrew system ever since, and after 40+ years am tickled pink that so many players have enjoyed the crazy Worlds I've come up with, and the many outrageous adventures I've visited upon them, and continue to do so.  I've been so lucky to have met and played with such a large number of super creative and fun people all these years.  Thanks all of you!

Recently I have been keeping myself busy working on my distilled version of the original Elthos RPG rules (known as the "One Die System") and the Mythos Machine, which is the web application I created to support the Elthos Rules with World Building and Character Management features.  This web application is open to the public and can be found at

Things have gone well, albeit somewhat slowly as I have pretty much built the entire thing by myself, and had to teach myself all of the necessary skills involved, with a great deal of help along the way from my many friends and mentors.  Thanks to all of you, past, present and future! 

Mostly, I have considered Elthos a hobby project, though I of course always had some notion of turning it into a viable business at some point. So to this end I created a Worlds Marketplace Platform in the Mythos Machine by which Gamemasters can create their own Worlds, put a price on them, and sell them through the Mythos Machine to other GMs on the system. It's a neat idea, I think, and everyone who I've explained it to has agreed. It's a neat idea. Now how to get it out to the public?  That's the rub.

And so, in an effort to learn how to spread the word I've been teaching myself the various technologies that I would want to use in order to help get the word out. Recently I've been playing around with Audacity and Anchor.FM to get a handle on how to make Podcasts. And of course teaching myself how to use Art-Software such as and now, after quite a bit of hemming and hawing, GIMP. I just bought a Wacom Bamboo Art Tablet (CTL-470), which is why I installed and started working with GIMP (as it is the only free Art Software I could find that can take advantage of the all-important Pressure Sensitivity features of the Art Tablet). Clearly, it's going to take a bit of time for me to get used to the art tablet as it takes over the functions of a normal Mouse and I hear that this is something that takes some getting used to. Ok, no problem. I look forward to it. I really want to use the Art Tablet to create higher quality artwork for my Mythos Machine Worlds, so I think it will be worth it. I also have spent time working on video editing using LightWorks and feel that I've pretty much gotten at least the basic ideas down and think that it wouldn't be too difficult to learn the more advanced features going forward. I've created a number of basic Elthos Tutorial Videos as part of my effort to learn about video editing. All in all, I feel like I have effectively learned the basics on a wide array of technologies necessary to get the word out regarding the wonders of the Elthos Project.  I feel I've learned a ton, and created lovely things, and it's all been super fun stuff which I very much enjoy. And naturally, I make use of the Mythos Machine for my own games, and if nothing else, it's amazing for that and makes me really happy, too.

So everything has been coming together well. The Mythos machine is working very nicely to help me generate and maintain my Worlds and play them with my friends. The Elthos RPG is just the right combination of lightweight and traditional rules so that my games are easy for me to Gamemaster, and enjoyable for my players. We hardly ever get bogged down by the rules, and my players have no problem updating their characters online via the Mythos Machine, and printing them out for the games. It's all been working like a charm.

As a side note, I think my Coffee Cup Sketches series has really helped me to improve my artistic skills and I think I can (hopefully) add some new art to my Elthos Rules books in 2020. And while my recent spree of podcasts are no great shakes, to be honest, they do serve the purpose of cluing me in as to how that all gets done and I think I can produce much higher quality podcasts once I get myself organized a bit better.  I'm taking a breather on that while I figure out where I want to go with it.  The cool thing is now at least I know how to do it! Like most things, it's easy once you know what to do.

So that's a lot of stuff to have worked on this year, and I'm really pleased with everything, and very grateful to my friends for putting up with my plodding style of development; it's been a slow process, I know.  Sorry about that!  I'm a slow poke.  I know.

All of which said, I feel like the Elthos RPG Mythos Machine is finally ready for public consumption. It is reasonably bug free and I've added dozens of wonderful time saving features for GMs and Players. The Worlds Markeplace is up and running and can take money and send out revenue to the GMs whose Worlds are put up there for sale. 

For me, the Elthos Project is a gigantic work of art, incorporating all kinds of diverse talents: writing, programming, art, game design... it all comes into play. It's been an amazing project, now in it's 4th decade. Looking back, I'm kind of amazed at how far it's come. And finally I feel it is ready to enter its next phase of development.

And so, next year my goal is find a few good people in the RPG community who see the potential of the Elthos Project and would like to get actively involved. I've done an enormous amount of work as a lone developer, and just about as much as anyone could reasonably expect from one person. But one person can really do only so much. I need help to bring it to the public, and to make it thrive as it should. This is going to require a team of enthusiastic participants who see how much potential Elthos has, and feel as I do that the project is something wonderful that RPGers should get a chance to hear about. I will be looking for people to help build out the Elthos Project and promote it. I need some programming talent to bring an even higher level of UX / UI to the Mythos Machine, and I also need a Marketing Guru-Champion to help introduce the project to the RPG Community. So stay tuned on that, as I am able to offer the right people excellent rewards for their help. But first, laying the groundwork. And that's what I'm doing now. So far so good.  Here's to the next steps. Cheers!  Oh and if you are, or know someone, who might be interested and able to help with programming or marketing ... please let me know.  The main site is here:

And Thank You again to everyone who has offered their generous support and encouragement over the years. You're all wonderful and tremendously appreciated! Thanks again and Great Gaming to you all!

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