It might sound a little odd, but Raging Swan Press exists because of rejection and retribution.
Of course, I don’t mean that an aura of malice and darkness hangs over the company. I certainly don’t use the skull of my enemy as a drinking cup and I don’t plot the downfall of my enemies from Raging Swan Press’s Global HQ.
Back in the dim, distant past—2008—I was part of Living Greyhawk’s Circle of Six. At the time, 4e was coming down the pipe and the campaign was scheduled to effectively end at that year’s Gen Con. Wizards had given us plenty of notice so we could finish up our story lines and so on, but as the end of the campaign hurtled toward us I was casting around for something else to do.
I love game design and gaming, and my personal circumstances made pursuing a proper, full-time job tricky. In fact, I’d just moved house and given up full-time work. So, I was thinking about what to do with all my upcoming free time, when the basic idea for an adventure began to coalesce in my mind.
The idea was brilliant, of course, and over the next few weeks I polished it to what I thought was near perfection. With high hopes, I then sent it off to one of the companies I had been freelancing for over the past year or so and waited for a contract.
And guess what? My proposal got rejected.
It turned out, the adventure proposal wasn’t quite as brilliant as I’d hoped. However—and rather luckily—the person who rejected it gave me some feedback on the module’s shortcomings. They also pointed out, that this wasn’t the kind of adventure they normally published.
“Well,” I thought to myself, “If you don’t want it, I’ll publish it myself!”
And that’s pretty much the birth of Raging Swan Press. As I worked on my revised outline, I quickly decided I needed a small setting in which to place the adventure and so I designed The Lonely Coast. As I recall, the design of both—and a third project, The Village of Swallowfeld—took ages. But these three products: Retribution, The Lonely Coast and Swallowfeld were Raging Swan’s first three projects. By the time I’d finished my initial run of products, I’d caught the self-publishing bug and I’ve never looked back.
Now, five years later, Raging Swan Press has in the region of 300 supplements and adventures available and I’m having the time of my life. And it all sprung from a wellspring of rejection and Retribution!
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