Monster & Character Encounters

Created by James Shields

A zine of 50 new monsters, their traps, and treasures. These aren't your daddy's dragons.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

The Zines are back from the printer!
6 months ago – Tue, Jun 13, 2023 at 12:40:17 PM

We are ready to ship!

I still have about a dozen backers who have not responded to Backerkit.  We are almost finished with packaging all the existing orders.  I am locking all orders Friday, June 16th. You will have 48 hours to make any final changes. You will receive an email from Backerkit regarding this.

On Friday, June 23rd, I am locking all address changes. You will have 48 hours from then to make any final changes. Zines will be mailed on Monday, June 26th. Digital rewards will also be sent at this time. For the record, this will be three months ahead of schedule.

I appreciate each and every one of you for helping to make this project a reality. There were definitely some learning curves and small mistakes made that will be corrected in future issues, but I am very happy with the end result. I hope you are too and I can't wait to tackle my next issue.

I apologize. I'm not a photographer.
6 months ago – Fri, May 26, 2023 at 05:29:01 PM

The pictures below don't do justice.  They were taken with my phone, so they aren't the greatest. However, the pictures mean only one thing:

MACE #001 is officially being printed!

The first batch of 50 has been printed and cut. There are few minor revisions that will be made for the remaining prints to reduce the gutter spacing and move page content further from the edge. Regardless, they are amazing even without the nitpicky revision.

I leave for the North Texas RPG Convention next week, so it will be a few more weeks before the remaining prints are done and in the mail, but I will have these 50 with me. If you are going to be at NTRPG and don't want to wait for the revised versions, I can put this zine into your hands personally.

Let me make this little plug:

Support local business.

I chose to print locally, so these are printed in Alaska. This also allows me to see them face to face and they have a vested interest in making it look as good as possible. I'm not just another number or client. With me asking, they pushed themselves to get at least a small batch printed before I leave and one of them plans to work off the clock to get the chef's kiss of production value. I am thankful I made this decision. I can't wait to get this into your hands and hear the stories of these monsters at your table.

Enjoy these pictures! - James

Update on illustrations for this project.
6 months ago – Tue, May 23, 2023 at 07:13:13 PM

It has been a slog the last several weeks, but I felt you should be updated on the progress.

Every illustration for this zine is complete!

Also, proofreading, editing, and more proofreading have occurred and this is just about ready to go to print. The PDFs will be ready very shortly. Many small edits, exports, further exports have delayed me a little but not long. I have a convention in early June and I plan to get this zine to the presses before I leave.

Check out the progress on MACE #001!

Please make sure your information is correct in Backerkit. You all have been amazing at that already, but I am still missing a small percentage.

Thank you for this opportunity. My mind is already thinking forward to issue #002.  MACE is a zine of monster and character encounters, so I am thinking about unique NPCs, both villain, ally, and otherwise. Monsters aren't the only dangers in these dungeon halls.

I am currently behind schedule on two of my goals.
7 months ago – Mon, May 08, 2023 at 02:15:15 PM

I wanted to have Backerkit setup the week after the project funded. Since it is my first time using that resource, I did not know they required two weeks from funding before you can submit it for review. I pushed that goal to April 28th.

I had also planned to begin artwork on May 1st  but as you might have noticed, it is already past those two dates.

Why the delay already?

Well,  I began writing on April 21st and have written almost every day since then. I can proudly say that the writing and most of the layout is now complete. I had a creative blast designing these monsters and it gave me a better idea of pacing for my writing. Now, art begins this week. My current goal is to have all illustrations completed before the end of the month. After that, I can finalize layout and send the files off for a test print.

Thank you for making this journey possible.


You broke it. THANK YOU.
8 months ago – Mon, Apr 17, 2023 at 11:16:03 AM

Thank you, absolutely, to each of you.

You helped break all of my Kickstarter records.

  • Strongest start to a funding period.
  • Greatest amount of backer support raised.
  • Most number of those watching the project.
  • Greatest conversion numbers.
  • Highest number of backers ever.

Now the ball is back in my court. I plan to have Backerkit set up by Friday so I can start collecting mailing addresses. That will be followed by several weeks of solid work to finish up the project. I will be mostly silent during this time as I grind away but I am very accessible, so don't let that keep you from reaching out.

Again, thank you. -James