We recently finished taking submissions for the Trophy incursion-writing contest. We recieved and incredible 50 entries! You can read and discuss them on The Gauntlet Forums.
What I want to talk about here are all the ways Trophy is a community-driven project.
Anyway, that's getting a bit off track—my point is that Trophy came up in an environment that de-emphasizes the auteur and embraces community. It was nurtured in Codex, which has always focused on new authors and embraced crowdsourcing as a creative virtue.
(And, to be quite frank, there are never any guarantees of financial success with TTRPGs, and so you have to be ready to find fulfillment in different ways. For Jesse and I, part of that fulfillment comes from creating something with lots of other people, something the community can be proud of.)
Here are some thoughts on Trophy as a community-driven project.
Expansion material focuses on contributions from new authors
Jesse’s name is on the core rules of Trophy and he wrote the first 3 expansions. However, the next 11 expansions (both published and planned) are by new (or relatively new) TTRPG writers. This was something we decided on really early, that Trophy would be a platform to publish new voices. Through Codex and Trophy, we are not only able to publish new folks, but we can do so in a way that really honors their work, with slick graphics and layout, dev editing, and line editing. And, even better, our platform is big enough to get people to play their stuff. And when the Trophy standalone Kickstarter happens, we’re going to go one step further and make a second payment to those authors, in addition to getting their work in print.
We think this approach is not only good for Trophy, but also great for the participating writers. There are lots of ways to break into the world of TTRPG publishing, and we think this is a pretty good one. We hope to see some of these folks move on with confidence to bigger and better things.
Click here to see the full list of official Trophy expansion material.
Crowdsourcing the world of Trophy
The forthcoming Trophy standalone book will have a major setting component that only exists in wisps within the currently-published material. Our hope is to present a good portion of this setting material in tables, and we’re generating elements for those tables via crowdsourcing on The Gauntlet Forums.
I love crowdsourcing because it represents another way in which the community can get invested in a project. This has always been the case with Codex, and we hope it will be similar with Trophy. Maybe you don’t have the time or confidence to write a whole incursion, but you might be able to come up with a few evocative details for the world tables. Regardless, in the end, you’ve put your stamp on Trophy, and we all get a world that is altogether more rich and intriguing than anything a single person could have written by themself.
To check out the ongoing crowdsourcing threads, check out the master list posted on The Gauntlet Forums.
We’ve only just received the 50 incursions for the first Trophy writing contest, but a quick skim of the entries tells the tale: Trophy just got A LOT bigger. There are so many new ways to enjoy the game, so many new dark journeys to take. A floodgate of creativity was opened up, and those waters are going to flow throughout the community, encouraging others to take a crack at writing their own stuff, further cementing Trophy as a game by all of us. With any luck, it will turn out like Dungeon World, which became so much more that what was contained between its covers because of the huge, active community of creators invested in it.
And we’re not finished with contests! I’m going to go ahead and announce here an incursion-writing contest for Trophy Gold, the Trophy spin-off game for OSR-style adventures. The contest will be held in December and January (ending early February), and we’re SO excited to see what folks come up with. Start thinking of your themes now!
The Trophy SRD
Finally, Jesse has just released the Trophy System Reference Document, the newest way for the community to embrace this awesome little game. The Trophy SRD will allow folks to create their own games that are “Rooted in Trophy” (with thanks to Sabine V for that moniker). It’s the next logical step for Trophy, a new way for the community to make this game their own.
Click here to find the Trophy SRD.