Are you a busy GM? You should be interested in Raging Swan Press, an indie which is the focus of this month’s RPG Publisher Spotlight.
First off, let’s highlight the free resource section on the Raging Swan site. You can find a new NPC each day and dressings. Dressings are ways to turn standard creatures, locations or treasures into something more unusual.
For example, Raging Swan gives away 1,000 abnormal Ettins. In this case, that’s three 1d10 tables (10 cubed = 1,000) for a busy GM to use to add spice to an otherwise vanilla Ettin. If there could ever be such a thing, that is.
Raging Swan publishes material for Pathfinder, Pathfinder 2, system-neutral material while supporting their own D&D (any edition) setting Gloamhold. The publisher’s Patreon fast lanes these goodies to backers.
Who is Raging Swan Press?
The Publisher at Raging Swan Press is Creighton Broadhurst, a Torquay-based game designer and Greyhawk fan. He’s worked for Wizards of the Coast, taken home a Silver ENnie and in his youth fought his way through Deities & Demigods.
I asked Creighton who else worked with him in the company.
The only full-time person at Raging Swan Press is me. I’m lucky to have an excellent and heroic band of freelance designers, artists and cartographers to help create our products. I couldn’t do it without them. While I’m bound to forget some people (and I apologise to anyone I missed out) Matt Morrow, Tommi Salama, Steve Hood, Amber Underwood, Mike Welham, Jeff Gomez, Jacob W. Michaels and Bart Wynants are all “repeat offenders” in the Raging Swan Press lineup.
We’re approaching Raging Swan’s tenth birthday. Creighton told me of the company’s past.
We released our first product—Retribution—in March 2010.
Essentially, I founded Raging Swan Press to dodge the horrors of a “proper” job. Before Raging Swan Press I worked in a large corporate environment, and it really didn’t suit me. When my first son was born, I lasted a year in my old job before “retiring” to become a stay-at-home dad and freelancer-for-hire. In the early days, there was much more parenting than designing, but eventually I moved from freelance work into publishing my own products. With perhaps one exception, it’s the best work-based choice I ever made.
The latest Raging Swan Press products
You can buy Raging Swan Press print-products on Amazon, Noble Knight Games, Paizo, d20pfsrd and via print on demand at DriveThruRPG. You can buy digital downloads at DriveThruRPG, Paizo, d20pfsrd, Warehouse 23 as well as Raging Swan’s own store.
Over at DriveThruRPG, the most recent five products are;
- Village Backdrop Hopespyre 2.0 (for various systems)
- 20 Things #40: Green Dragon’s Lair (System Neutral Edition)
- Dungeon Dress: Dungeon Names & Legends 2.0 (P2)
- Shunned Valley of the Three Tombs (2nd Edition)
- Monstrous Lair #36: Fire Giants’ Hall
I asked Creighton was the company’s most popular product was.
Good question—I’m not sure. It depends on how you measure popularity, because I don’t think it’s all about raw sales figures.
I think for adventures I’d pick Retribution or Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands. For a non-adventure, I’d go with GM’s Miscellany: Dungeon Dressing which was a real labour of love (and a book I often dive into for inspiration).
What’s next for Raging Swan Press?
I asked about the publisher’s pipeline and plans. Are there any big projects coming up?
We don’t publish a lot of big products in regards page count, but our monthly release schedule is super busy. Every month we publish four main products as well as numerous smaller ones. We’ve just relaunched the Dungeon Dressing line in 5e, OSR and Pathfinder 2nd edition instalments and I’m always working on the Gloamhold campaign setting (which is also the setting for my weekly Adventures in Shadow campaign).<.blockquote>
I am particularly proud of our Patreon campaign; it’s the beating heart of Raging Swan Press and our heroic band of patrons help us pay our freelancers an exceptional rate of pay (13 cents a word). I’m beyond proud of what we’ve achieved together. I think it is only fair to pay great rates for great work, and I’m delighted to many gamers agree. (Feel free to sign up and help us improve our pay rates even further!)
Follow Raging Swan Press
- Raging Swan Press’ Patreon.
- Raging Swan Press’ website.
- Raging Swan Press on Facebook.
- Raging Swan Press on Twitter.
- Raging Swan Press on Instagram.
- Raging Swan Press on DriveThruRPG.
Getting to know Creighton Broadhurst
This RPG Publisher Spotlight has benefited hugely from Creighton’s contributions. Thank you, Creighton.
I asked two big questions to try and get a glimpse inside his head. First I asked; “What’s important to you?”
If you are talking about life in general, my family and my health are tremendously important to me. I’m a keen runner, and I’m out in all weathers with our savage and tremendously hungry black Labrador. I wanted to call her Cthulhu or Dagon, but I got overruled by the wife who turned my children against me with bribes of chocolate and biscuits.
If we are talking about gaming, sitting down with friends and having a good time is what it’s all about. I’m lucky in that my gaming group has stayed relatively stable over the years, and that we play weekly. Some of us have been playing together for 20 years. I’m also lucky that we all seem to like roughly the same kind of game, which makes the ebb and flow of game night, games, editions and campaigns much easier to navigate.
If we are talking about publishing, I’m not particularly enamoured with games deluged in options in which everyone races to make the toughest character possible in a kind of arm’s race. I don’t believe you need billions of options to play the game.
I care much more about designing a detailed and flavoursome world for the players to explore (and sometimes burn down). I think our products reflect that bias. I’ve been told before, I could make much more money if I published player option books. I’m sure that’s true, but—essentially—I don’t want to. I love my job, and I’m in it for the long-term; I don’t want to risk that by writing stuff I don’t enjoy.
Since so much of Raging Swan Press seems to be about making the GM’s life easier, I also asked Creighton this; “Can running an RPG session become a chore?”
Yes, absolutely. Even though I run my own publishing company (and slyly publish adventures and supplements I’ve used in my campaign) I still struggle sometimes to get ready for game night. Those are the nights I don’t look forward to, as I like to be prepared.
And, of course, sometimes games go badly for some reason; those nights are hard, but if you don’t lose sight of the fact you are spending time with friends (hopefully) the bad games always pass.
Geek Native’s Patreons selected Raging Swan Press to feature in the RPG Publisher Spotlight. If you’d like to nominate a publisher, then check out the Patreon program.