I'm William King, and I love tabletop games.
There's nothing better than sitting down with some good friends around a table, rolling some dice, and having a great time.
I love reading fantasy and science fiction, and I especially love reading things that will inspire me to imagine something new.
12 years ago, I played a game called Neverwinter Nights and it set me on the path I'm on now, though I had no idea at the time. Neverwinter ran on the DnD 3.5 ruleset, and within a few years I was an avid player of real tabletop games. Some of my favorites include the little-known Talislanta and the ever-popular Call of Cthulhu, but my real passion has always been for Dungeons and Dragons.
One day, I was inspired to make my own tabletop game, and so all this began. It was a terrible mess - completely impossible for anyone but me to host, but my players had fun nevertheless. That's when I realized the magic that tabletop games have:
They can bring people together, no matter who those people are outside the game, and they can be enjoyed by anyone willing to witness the strange and fantastic.
Later, I came across /r/UnearthedArcana, and was inspired by the astounding work of an individual called Jonoman. His work is beautiful and inspirational, and so I said to myself,
"I'm going to make something even better!"
So I tried. I failed.
I wrote an adaptation of a Pathfinder class that was entertaining but filled with holes and was far longer than it should be. I wrote a vampire class, and it was a monster. I wrote a dozen fighter subclasses based on the Outer Planes and they were truly as broken as a skeleton hit with a hammer.
Yet, with every attempt, I learned something new; how to balance classes and subclasses, how to write features correctly, how to take the inspiration that I was feeling and channel it into something that could inspire other people.
The Compendium of Forgotten Secrets started as an idea:
What if I make something, and keep it simple, but provide all the extras everyone likes?
First came the Shadowcat. Then the Storm Lord. Then the Ashen Wolf. Then the Eternal Citadel. Then the Keeper of the Depths and the Weaver of Lies.
The first edition of the Compendium contained these, and it was good.
But it wasn't enough.
I continued, and more came. The Chord, the Huntsman, the Empress, the Archive. More and more each greater than before. The second and third edition of the Compendium was released, and I was thrilled with your responses. You folks are great!
But it wasn't enough. I wrote The Compendium of Sacred Mysteries, for clerics. It was a great experience, and I felt like I needed a more daunting challenge. I shifted my approach, and attempted to re-imagine the druid class in my Compendium of Primal Revelations. It was interesting, and the results were promising, yet I realized something - I'd lost the spark of inspiration that was driving me.
So I changed my focus again. I wrote a sorcerer subclass for people descended from those who made pacts with the Ashen Wolf. Then I realized there was no reason I couldn't do something like this for the other patrons - they were already the products of inspiration, and thus could inspire more.
Thus, The Compendium of Forgotten Secrets: Awakening was born.
Now, I'm writing the most ambitious love letter I've ever written. It's to you - the community that has supported me every step of the way and inspired this dream.
Thank you for joining me on this journey - we're just getting started, and I can't wait to see where it takes us!