Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Look, a Sasquatch! And Primeval Thule!

Hi, everybody! For a couple of months now I’ve been hinting about a big announcement coming up, and today I can finally make it: Together with my partners Dave Noonan and Steve Schubert, I have formed a new small-press game publishing company called Sasquatch Game Studio. Sasquatch grew out of my long and deep ponderings as I commuted back and forth to Redmond over the winter and early spring. I had time to think seriously about what I would do if I could do anything I wanted to… and I started thinking about the sort of fantasy worlds you just don’t see these days, and asking myself what it would take to build and publish it.

Not being entirely crazy, I realized I needed allies to do it right. So I invited my longtime colleagues, friends, and Thursday night gaming buddies Dave Noonan and Steve Schubert to meet me at a dive-like brew pub close by my house. Together we decided to form Dark Cabal Games... except none of our wives liked the name, so we ditched that and went with something a little more Northwesty and lighthearted. Hence Sasquatch Game Studio was born!
Between the three of us, Dave, Steve, and I have something like 48 years of experience in game design and publishing. We’re building our business model around creating high-quality games with top industry talent—we aim to deliver great games for discerning and experienced gamers. Here’s a link to our site:

The site’s a little plain at the moment, but check back over the next day or two—we have a lot of great concept art and interesting new information about our first product on the way.
Speaking of our first product, I can now say a word or two about my mystery project that’s been simmering away on the creative stove for the last couple of months: the Primeval Thule Campaign Setting. Here’s another link:

Thule is a mythical age of the Earth, before the last ice age erased the legendary realms of the northern world. It’s a sword-and-sandal setting firmly rooted in the traditions of pulp fantasy adventure and fantastic horror: Conan, Tarzan, Atlantis, Hyperborea, and elder gods from the stars. But this is a D&D setting, and we use that as a springboard to brew up a particularly savage and intense brand of D&D adventure. I think it’s fun and compelling, and I hope you do too!
This is a setting I’ve wanted to write for twenty years, but the age of new D&D worlds ground to a halt early in the 3rd Edition era. I argued many times that creating new worlds was something that we ought to be doing more of, but Wizards of the Coast (and many other publishers) became ever more focused on selling to players instead of DMs, and we stopped building worlds. As a small company, me and my fellow Sasquatches can do things that big companies can’t. For the first time in years, I’m back in the world-building trade!

(Oh, and in case anyone is curious: Yes, I still hold a day job as a writer/designer for Goblinworks, working on the Pathfinder Online game. Paizo and Goblinworks are pretty enlightened about how folks use their evenings and weekends, so I’m free to doodle around on maps of Thule or brainstorm up interesting Thulishness on my time. Helps pass the time on my looong commutes!)
About this Blog: While I hope to still keep up with Atomic Dragon Battleship as time permits, over the next couple of months a lot of my blogging (and, well, self-promotion) will be happening over on the News page of the Sasquatch site. I’m working up a whole stack of design discussions and sneak peeks for Primeval Thule, so that’s where you’re likely to find me through midsummer.

So, one more time: Come on over and visit us at!


  1. You have a customer for Thule here. CAS, Lovecraft, Howard are all members of my top ten favorite authors. I'm not big on the game systems you mentioned (still a player of 1st edition AD&D myself) but I am very interested in the content.

  2. Hey, thanks Jason! If Thule goes well we might look into deploying it for other versions of the game, or maybe even other systems!

  3. Very exciting news. Noonan was one of my favorite designers during the 3.x era (Heroes of Battle and PHB2 being two of my favorite books) and I, too, am an avid Howard fan so this is something I'll definitely be keeping my eye on.

  4. Building worlds, huh? What would YOU know about that? I mean, it's not like you wrote the book on it or anything...

  5. Cool, nice to see three names I love working together. Good luck with this!

  6. Best of will be missed in the historical gaming world. :)

  7. I'm going to be glad to see you getting your thunder on.

  8. I might not be absent from the historical gaming world for long, afilter. We're focused on Thule right now, but we're pretty interested in looking at boardgames or historical games if Thule goes well and we succeed in establishing ourselves. Stay tuned!

    1. Sounds promising...will stay tuned. ;)

  9. Great to see you making a come back, I really hope this new venture works out for you!

  10. Hooray! I welcome any company making game stuff for my favourite D&D version (4E), but making world stuff, and from some great world builders, to boot - what can I say? Excellent!

    The last blog asked what was commonly missing from RPG worlds, by the way, and my answer would be "good, believable religions". I can think of two real exceptions - Glorantha and the Book of Priestcraft for Birthright. Mostly we get a mish-mash of confused semi-mythical rip-offs with no detectable dogma, political position or teachings - I would love to see Primeval Thule have something with meat :-)