A digital hobby shop and gaming resource
Wow, what a journey. It’s been almost three years since I decided to leave my full-time job and start Crystal Forge Games. When I began, I seriously underestimated just how big a project this site would become, but I’m finally ready to launch the site and share it with all of you. Now that we’re here, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself, why I started this site, and what I want this site to become.
Who Am I?
Hi, I’m Roger. You probably don’t know me personally, so let me start off with a bit of an introduction. I’m an avid reader, aspiring writer, and occasional artist. I am a web developer and programmer by trade and have spent the last two decades creating websites and web applications for large companies that you probably have heard of. I love programming and development, but I was tired of developing other people’s designs for sites and products I wasn’t passionate about. I wanted to create something that I could design and build the way I wanted and something I could be truly passionate about, a labor of love.
I have been playing and running tabletop games for just over three decades. I started by asking for Dungeons & Dragons books on my Christmas wishlist when I was six or seven years old (I didn’t get them). Later, a friend introduced me to gaming with the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. As soon as I created my first character, I was utterly hooked. A few years later, I started running my own games and have been playing and running games ever since. Through many gaming groups, I have played or run every version of Dungeons & Dragons, as well as World of Darkness, Cthulu, GURPs, Shadowrun, Palladium, Star Wars RPG, Pathfinder, and more. There was a time when one of my groups created custom rule systems for our campaigns. I’m not going to say they were good, but they worked for what we were doing at the time.
Why Crystal Forge Games?
Over the years, I’ve created a lot of content: characters with novella length backstories, campaigns that could rival The Wheel of Time series, and even unique campaign settings. Through all of this, I discovered two things: that the rules don’t matter, and running a game can be a full-time job. The time spent with friends creating a shared story is where the magic happens, and the rules are just a method of accessing and telling that story. You could run a Vampire story using D20 rules or a Star Wars game using World of Darkness rules, and while it might take some setup, the underlying story doesn’t need to change.
As gamers, we miss a lot of amazing content because it’s tied to a rule system we may not be familiar with or that we don’t play. I, like many of you, have several bookshelves filled with gaming books from systems past. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars spent on books that are all but obsolete since newer systems have been released. However, while the rules may be outdated, there’s story and narrative content in those books that you could still use if it weren’t tied into the rules. I wanted Crystal Forge Games to be a resource of story-based content that doesn’t rely on any specific rule system. Content created purely to enhance the stories you tell and work with your current ruleset or any rules you choose to use.
Creating content and running games takes a long time. Any game master will tell you that coming up with NPCs, locations, plot-lines, and exciting encounters can be a full-time job. Besides creating story content to use in your games, I wanted to create articles that help players and game masters with their characters and games and build digital tools to help game masters create their own unique content. These tools can reduce the time and effort it takes to run a game and inspire new ideas or break through creative blocks.
Do you hate trying to keep track of time spent in the campaign, figuring out what day it is, what the weather will be, what phase the moon is in, and whether any festivals are coming up? We built a Campaign Calendar tool that does all of that and more.
Do you have trouble coming up with unique names or brainstorming content? We have a Content Generator that can create countless names and anything from the book titles in a wizard’s library to the drink and food menus for your local tavern.
Do you struggle to keep track of the combat order, remembering whose turn is next, whether someone is using a delayed action, or is unconscious or dead? We created a Combat Tracker that makes it simple to manage.
Do you want to be able to track which NPCs and organizations your character or party has met and what their demeanor is towards the party? We developed a Faction Tracker that shows this information at a glance.
Now that the site is live, we plan to create in-depth articles on gaming topics, including tips for becoming a better game master, map-making, and world-building. We will be publishing an original campaign setting and creating supplemental materials that you can drop into your own campaigns. We will be offering a line of bespoke gaming accessories, such as dice trays and GM Screens, and will continue to develop new tools for gamers and enhance the tools we already have. Finally, we intend to create an online community that helps gamers connect wherever they are.
You can join our community for free or subscribe for additional benefits such as discounts in our store and advanced options in our tools. We can’t wait to game with you and are thrilled to see the stories you create.
Let the adventure begin!