In which the Seekers of the Ashen Crown turn 1, and I reflect on how it started vs. how it’s going…and what comes next.
*Record scratch* You’re probably wondering how I got here.
Well, truth be told, so am I.
A year ago, I didn’t know a thing about Savage Worlds beyond hearing a few shout-outs on an popular Eberron podcast called Manifest Zone. A year ago, I also didn’t have any real prospects for playing at an Eberron table using any system. I’d had some pretty negative experiences in my short time playing TTRPGs and, combined with a lifelong battle with anxiety, there were more than a few self-imposed barriers to entry for joining a new table and learning to trust a new party.
By that point, I’d been a casual poster on the official Eberron Discord for about eighteen months. And I’d been lurking that server’s LFG channel pretty hard, but none of the games being offered spoke to me in way that seemed worth making the effort to rise above my baggage for. Then, at the end of July, everything changed.
It was a post from someone I’d never even come across on the server before. He was advertising a system I’d never played, and he was looking to fill a seat at a table that was already together – all of which I’d normally find pretty darn intimidating. And I did find it intimidating, but what caught my attention above all the other LFG posts in the sea was the declaration that he wasn’t looking for players – he was looking for the right players, and he was going to take as much time as he needed to find them.
When you get to my stage in life, and you’re not the kind of player who just wants to roll dice and isn’t too concerned about who they roll those dice with, the idea of a GM wanting to curate a group that will mesh well together (as opposed to just looking to put butts in the seats) is incredibly appealing. So of course I stared at the post for a while, closed Discord, and did absolutely nothing about it, because change is scary and trusting new people is hard.
Two days later, I was still thinking about that post. It was constantly on my mind, along with a little voice whining “you should message that guy. Hey, I can’t help but notice that it’s 3p.m. and you haven’t messaged that guy yet. Have you thought about messaging that guy?” I was getting rather annoyed with that little voice, so I indulged it. I messaged the guy.
Truth be told, I wasn’t afraid that he wouldn’t write me back. If he didn’t, I could tell myself “oh well, I tried!” and happily fade back into mediocrity and not have to face my demons. But if he did write me back, well, then I’d have to put up or shut up. And that’s exactly what happened.
Long story short, he thought I was the right player. A few days later, I found myself on a video call being walked through character creation, and the week after that, it was game on.
Slowly but surely, I learned. Under my GM’s patient guidance, I learned how to make the most of my character, and how to tell the story I wanted to tell with him within Savage Worlds’ framework. Combat was a big hurdle to overcome, but he had my back for that too. I came to admire the elegant way this new-to-me system meshed mechanics with storytelling, and quickly fell head over heels with Savage Worlds as a means of exploring Eberron. The other players welcomed me into the group as an equal from day one, and not only took care of Jak, but took care of me. And while my year had its share of ups and downs, I never stopped looking forward to Tuesday night as the highlight of my week. These guys aren’t just people I roll dice with. I feel like I won the lottery, and the prize was four new brothers.
And then, on top of all that (which is more than enough already) I somehow stepped into the role of “content creator.” When I started posting my game tales on the Eberron server, it was just because I really like telling stories. I also like sharing things that pique my interest and make me happy. All the same, when Kristian Serrano messaged me in March asking if I’d be willing to turn my stories and behind-the-scenes/mechanics talk into a blog to make it accessible to a wider audience, I was skeptical. Kristian may be familiar to some of you as a former co-host of Manifest Zone, as well as the creator of the go-to conversion document for Savage Eberron, and at the time he reached out to me, he was also managing the Savage Worlds Media Network. My skepticism didn’t stem from anything to do with Kristian (who is well respected in the Eberron and Savage Worlds communities and is just an all-around nice guy), but from my own hang-ups. Surely no one would be interested in such a thing beyond the five people who read my recaps on Discord (can’t be more than five, right? Heck, that number’s probably high!). And besides which, if there was interest in such a thing, that would be even worse (see: anxiety)! But Kristian gently and firmly made his case that there was potential for my stories to encourage Eberron fans’ interest in Savage Worlds, and Savage Worlds fans’ interest in Eberron, and that there might be more people interested in my content than I thought. So I said sure, why not. Worst case scenario, I just end up shouting into the void, and it’s not hurting anybody.
Well…the void stared back. It stared back big-time. Within a week of launch, Tales from Savage Eberron had over 300 views, and it was ten more weeks before I saw a single day pass with no traffic at all. I’ve shared other creative endeavours online in the past (and present), but none of them have made nearly as big a splash as this one. The Eberron community is full of absolutely amazing content creators – podcasters, adventure and supplement authors, mapmakers, visual artists – and it is incredibly humbling to have been welcomed into their ranks.
While next week marks the penultimate session of Seekers of the Ashen Crown and the retirement (for now) of Jak and co., well, as our Dhakaani allies would say, the story stops but never ends. We’re losing one player, gaining another, and after a week to catch our breath, we’ll be rolling straight into a new campaign. There will continue to be plenty of stories to tell going forward as a new cast of characters faces the harsh realities of life on the high seas of Lhazaar together. As much as I am processing feelings of loss about the end of Seekers, I am incredibly excited about what the future holds.
In other words, this was a very long-winded way of saying thank you. Thank you for joining me on this journey, thank you to everyone who’s encouraged and promoted me along the way, and thank you to my amazing table.
Raat shi anaa. The story continues. Life in Savage Eberron is good.
Looking to start your own adventure in Savage Eberron? Here are a few resources to get you going: