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Fourth Birthday - thank you


Well now, look at that - Covid is in the rear view mirror (sort of) and now I spend sixty or so hours a week in an office decorated with geeky pictures, figurines and miniatures.


I'm supported by Ryan and Jane - as Ryan has to actually put up with me in person the biggest round of applause has to go to him but Jane is always there in spirit. More than that, there are hundreds of people who show up regularly to spend their hard earned money on the roleplaying content, and the games that Ryan, Jane and myself create.


(Not to mention the irregulars who chip in with content, help or motivation at different times. You know who you are, and your support is much appreciated.)


I find myself humbled, grateful and proud all at the same time.


And, because celebrations can go on far too long (Oscars anyone?) let's keep moving, after all, there is work to be done.


That work will be under the new logo that we have for The Grinning Frog - yes, I should probably have saved the picture until now but I rather wanted to headline the piece with it. It could be argued that we never actually had a proper logo as the frog we have been using up to know was simply a photograph of an amazon tree frog. Well, now we have the real deal!


I feel it perfectly sums up the business - the moon in my mind is magical and linked with storytelling and fantasy. The upward gaze of the frog is directed at a mysterious crescent moon above the setting moon that hints about space and alien worlds and thus sci-fi. And ultimately, the frog is gazing heavenward with thoughtful contemplation and a grin on his face as he marvels at the magic in the universe. If nothing else, that makes the image right for The Grinning Frog and what we are about.


For myself, there is a real joy and magic in games. A joy and magic that is untainted by politics, ideology or social differences. And that joy and magic can be unlocked when people play. As for people - well people are wonderful when at their best and dreadful at their worst. In-between those extremes is birthed drama and from that, when properly harnessed, can spring games and creative content that challenges, inspires and refreshes.

That can be on an individual level as a person plays a solo game, or in a group environment. Cast iron friendships can be forged at the game table, other differences set aside in the shared pleasure of the game experience. And families can come together and bond with each other whilst the cards are turned and the dice are rolled. That's real magic.


Solo gaming deserves a special mention here. The intense personal experience of a closely played game - whether ultimately losing or winning - is a beautiful thing. As an only child, I spent a lot of time on my own playing games by myself. I've never seen solo games as a second rate option to multiplayer games but view them as equal in every respect. (I will be eternally grateful to the Tunnels and Trolls creators for publishing their solo play ttrpg adventures which I spent a LOT of time with growing up.)


I mentioned the Oscars, and about things going on too long and so I will bring this to a close now as there is actual work to do. I've got games at the ideas stage, in draft form, final production and finished and due to send out. Lots to be getting on with.


Before I end, let me say that I feel privileged to be doing this for a living and I do not take it lightly. I always strive to improve my skills and to push the creative envelope so that you can experience that game magic for yourself - whether playing solo or with a group.


I couldn't do it without my regular, and irregular team and nor could I do it without you dear reader, backer and valued customer. I thank you sincerely. And now, if you will excuse me, I have some dice to roll and notes to make...


Until next time, keep gaming.


Stephen

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Ken St. Andre, the creator of Tunnels & Trolls, is out celebrating his 77th birthday this Sunday, April 28th. I wished him the best on his Facebook page in response to his posted picture of sugary delights at the restaurant about an hour past.


I backed his Monsterary Of Zimrala not too long ago, but have yet to run through its content solo or with friends. I do have my eye on your Starship Scavengers products, but I'm still catching up with past backed purchases. It looks pretty exciting though, and I hope to launch into it someday, especially since my fellow GM's Traveller game is filling up, thanks to our canvassing at a quarterly RPG Faire at the local…


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I like it, i like it a lot.

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That makes this frog very happy!

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