The Hardboiled GMshoe's Office

[19:01] <+Mike_Myler> Heyo Folks! I’m Mike Myler, full-time freelance game designer and world builder. I’m running my 4th Kickstarter, bringing the rest of the books that followed the Veranthea Codex (my first Kickstarter) to print.

[19:02] <+Mike_Myler> That includes THE BLACK KNIGHT (an adventure that includes you-know-who), INTO THE VEIL (cthulhu! robots! pirates!), LOST LEGENDS OF URETHIEL (wuxia fantasy at its finest), and RADICAL PANTHEON (a host of deities as awesome as the name of their book).

[19:02] <+Mike_Myler> This is all for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

[19:03] <+Mike_Myler> The Veranthea Codex has been hailed as an epic work of post-modern fantasy that my entire design team is crazy proud of (almost 400 pages of knock-your-teeth-out awesome) and we’re all very excited about how successful the VERANTHEA CODEX COLLECTION Kickstarter has been going. We’re on track to unlock more books before the project ends FRIDAY, JULY 29TH.

[19:04] <+Mike_Myler> and…

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There’s not a lot about my life that I’ve been sure about.

I wasn’t sure about college, I’m never sure of one of my projects until it’s proven successful (like the fast-funding and ongoing Veranthea Codex Collection Kickstarter!), and generally I wander around pretty fickle until I see something that I know is right (deciding what to make for meals is often a thorough debate).

Stephanie is not one of those things.

Eight years ago after a long shift of hard labor (I was a foreman at a landscaping company back then) I went to the Rock Room, a bar in Polish Hill in Pittsburgh. My friend Diana was working there as a bartender and so I settled in for some drinking, and before long another friend of hers arrived. She was a small little thing (easily a head and a half shorter than me, juuuust a wee bit taller than 5 feet) and very subdued, wearing a knit cap despite the heat and dressed like a 20-something Daria.

I was instantly interested and did my damndest not to show it.

Diana introduced us to one another and we started talking. It turned out that we were both avidly interested in philosophy and enjoyed debate, liked many of the same movies, and generally got along fairly well.

I’m not going to explain here how it is that Stephanie tricked me into her car, but she did. She totally did. She abducted me from that bar like a seasoned criminal. It was slick. I’m still amazed at how easily I was lured into a stranger’s vehicle and then taken away, possibly never to be seen again.

Stephanie Thrice

Fortunately she did not kill me and bury the body.

Since then we’ve been nearly inseparable. The next year (as the housing market suffered and I was let go) I moved in with her in Squirrel Hill, deeper in the city, because it was a ridiculous waste of gas for us to constantly drive to and from one another’s homes.

For a while I worked whatever jobs I had to in order to pay the rent until eventually I was at a crossroads of sorts and she made an incredibly insightful suggestion: why don’t you sell some of the Dungeons & Dragons material you’re always working on?

That’s how I got to where I am today.

I never would have thought to pursue my favorite hobby as a career without Stephanie and I love her all the more for it, and as my primary muse, I always make sure she has a place in whatever I’m working on.

Thank you babe. You are amazing and I love you with every fiber of my being (and I always will, regardless of how grumpy you get).



Nearly all of the print surveys have been answered and we’re going to start ordering prints before GenCon!

Mists of Akuma

The book is 80% done and freaking fantastic — just waiting on some of my collaborators to finish their artwork, cartography, and copy. I expect to begin doing layout next week!

Veranthea Codex

We’re running a Kickstarter right now to fund revisions and improvements to the existing supplements for Veranthea! Once we hit $1,000 in funding (which should be soon! We are off to an amazing start!) every existing book becomes available for print and we start to unlock more titles.😀
Please check it out and consider pledging! We are poised to bust through stretch goals and you won’t have a chance at getting the (huge 400 page) core book any cheaper than here!

books graphic



The blog of Michael "RonarsCorruption" McCarthy

On September 1st, 2015, we launched the kickstarter for Hypercorps 2099: a futuristic cyberpunk superhero Pathfinder setting that takes a lot of influence from Shadowrun and aimed to provide a slightly more balanced alternative to Paizo’s Mythic rules.

We funded in only 20 days – which was pretty nice, all things considering – and got to work with a slightly different team than the Veranthea Codex. Things went a lot smoother on most fronts than last time: we had lots of art on hand, we got things written way ahead of schedule, we got things balanced well, and we got a very positive reception from the community.

We even managed to stay reasonably close to budget and wordcount, which I think the publisher (Legendary Games) appreciated. Because more material is always nice, it tends to be much more expensive, too.

In addition to being one of the editors on the…

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The blog of Michael "RonarsCorruption" McCarthy

Just over two years ago now, Mike Myler, who I met while working on Rise of the Drow, asked if I wanted to work with him on one of his big projects: publishing his home campaign setting of Veranthea.  I was a little hesitant at first, never having worked on something so ambitious, and with Rise of the Drow being the only Kickstarter I had ever been involved in (where I was a stretch goal and didn’t give it much concern until my tier was met), here I’d be in on the ground floor.

We met in person at Paizocon 2014, Mike showed me all his campaign notes from years of running a series of complex home games. I made a few comments, but I eventually agreed. We started work on it together not long after, (Mike) recruited a bunch of great people and (Mike) laid out the plan…

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Owen K.C. Stephens

I am devastated by the loss of Steve Russell. He was too kind, too smart, and too important for me to accept he is gone, but he is. I still don’t know how I’ll process that, and I can’t imagine what his close friends and family are going through. My heart goes out to them all.

It’s easy to say “Steve Russell was my friend, and I’ll miss him.” Well, maybe not *easy* — my voice catches if I try to say it because of the weight of WHY I am saying it – but it’s simple. It’s telling, not showing.

It’s too little for what he meant to me.

Steve and I got to know each other online, as we struggled with freelance careers and later launching publishing companies. Early on we realized that we had few peers we knew, and that we both missed having a “water cooler”…

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Before anything else, I want to address the people that are my fans.

I do not know how to react to having fans.
You are all awesome.

If I failed to thank you for enjoying my work, if I seemed out of sorts, generally came off as curt or strange, or otherwise conducted myself untoward in any way whatsoever, I apologize profusely. I don’t think I managed to offend anyone, but I feel so unbelievably awkward when someone says “you have done something awesome” that I seriously forget how to be a human.

So: thank you for saying hello to me, it was wonderful to meet so many of you, and in the future please be like “MIKE! HIGH FIVE AWESOME TOWN!” and we will slap hands in a most epic manner that I am 100% prepared for and then talk shop or predict the weather or whatever. :D


I am super duper excited about the project!!! Not only are we really breaking into some truly unique ground with Mists of Akuma as a setting, going to be the first to bring in eastern fantasy to D&D 5th Edition, and enabling me to place some AWESOME art orders, the GM of my youth is writing an adventure for it! Chris Rippee is a peerless storyteller and I seriously cannot wait to see the final copy he turns over (there’s an encounter preview here).

If you would like to support the project but were unable to pledge to the Kickstarter, email and we’ll get you sorted.

PaizoCon 2016

I have had quite a week. One of Hypercorps 2099‘s backers, Steve Caron, bought me a plane ticket to and from Seattle, and my inimitable (and unflinchingly polite, almost to a fault) right-hand man Michael McCarthy put me up in his hotel room for most of the trip. Once again, you both have my sincere thanks for your graciousness!

After a cramped flight to the west coast I wandered down to the hotel and dropped off my belongings before wandering around that area of Seattle for a while before hanging out with some folks in the bar. In the evening we got most of the Hypercorps crew together and made for a fantastic thai restaurant down the rail line, then hit up a grocery before getting to bed early.

Friday kicked off with my first Shadow of the Demon Lord game run by none other than Stephen Radney-MacFarland, then it was straight away to the first Hypercorps 2099 seminar and it went great! Unfortunately to make it to the Hyper RPG studio in time to appear on Rabbit Stew, we had to leave the panel in the hands of Luis Loza and Jason Nelson — I am assured it went well, but will make sure to put links to the Know Direction recordings of the panel so you can be your own judges (and will definitely share the video for Rabbit Stew when it gets onto YouTube).

That night we also did the first scheduled Hypercorps 2099 game, Operation Varsity. I had a very exciting very secret meeting somewhere before we came back to the hotel and sprinted into the game room late, but everyone was very cool about it. Because Steve had a penthouse suite (which was HUGE) we took the group up there and played with a gorgeous view behind us (and many glasses of rum drinks). Getting things underway I was in great trepidation because this was the first time I’d actually played Hypercorps 2099 in person as opposed to through, but there was no reason to be worried–a good time was had by all and the system performed as well in real life as it does through the Hypernet.😉

Saturday was my “whatever” day and  I mostly hit up seminars (which were all good) before the banquet. There was much talk of Starfinder and I look forward to it as much as you likely expect. I have spoken to many Paizo people and many other people about the new ruleset and what that means for Hypercorps 2099 and when I’m able to say more about any of that, I will do so.

Sunday was another day of enjoyable and informative seminars until the second Hypercorps 2099 game (Skirmish with Soldier Corps) which had seven players! It was SUPER intense and much to my delight, at the end of the table one of Friday’s players (a netjacker mechwarrior) was doing side battles with one of his friends (that scheduled game’s netjacker)! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!

Immediately afterward, the Hypercorps 2099 crew got together and this happened.

Hypercorps cast airport transformed

My peeps are the best peeps.

The next day kicked off with a seminar for both Aethera and Hypercorps 2099; despite being the morning of the final day of the convention we had more attendees than panelists! There will be a link provided when Know Direction puts it up.😀 That night I hung out with Steve and my returning mechwarrior (Miles Smith) and we had one final Hypercorps game,  and it was as awesome as the rest of the sessions at PaizoCon!

Today (nearly 24 hours ago ~.~) I woke up and walked to the airport with Steve, hopped on my plane, and spent most of the trip brainstorming for Mists of Akuma and reading The Blood Chalice (a Warhammer 40k novel).

Interesting note: Starting Friday morning, my right ankle started doing weird things! There’s no real pain, just discomfort — it feels like there’s a bag of wet sand above my right heel. My regular source of wisdom for these things (my grandmother was a nurse for decades) was just as perplexed as I was. I’ll be taking it easy for a few days (no jogging) to see if some hot/cold pressing fixes it.

All told I had a wonderful time at PaizoCon 2016. All of the Paizo staff put on a fantastic convention and they have both my thanks and congratulations! I feel weird tagging them about Facebook and so on and so forth, but should any of them stop by my website (Cosmo I’m looking at you!) boom — ya been thanked.


The Mists of Akuma Kickstarter is on its last two weeks and over 60% funded so far!

It has been a riveting campaign and we’ve blown through backer goals!

60982c12e8bbfb6e9b7fc87a1066bfc1_originalThe project’s backers have unlocked TWELVE pre-generated PCs for use with Mists of Akuma, including cleaned off tokens for use on digital tabletops! If you’re keen to influence what content gets unlocked when we reach 200 pledges, pop over to these surveys (for races, backgrounds, and classes) and let us know what excites you most.


Each update has been bringing more short stories for the five legendary survivors of Soburin (Kanden the necroji ninja, Dai-Lan the monkey hengeyokai, Natsuko the kami priest, Karrooc the foreigner, and Tsunaro the Great Bolt), but other goodies have made the project pages as well!


Articles, Interviews, and Reviews, oh my!

Want to know even more about the project and see what tidbits I’ve let slip through into the aether of the media? Check these out!






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