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Home. Woodbury, Minnesota.

As I mentioned a few posts back, my career path has recently pivoted from IT Program Management to Enterprise Architecture & Design.  I’m heading back towards my roots – back towards being more of a Maker and less of a Manager…and that’s a good thing (turns out Software Engineers don’t enjoy Accounting – whodathunk?). Things had gotten increasingly stressful to the point where I just could not tolerate it any longer; I took the advice of some very good friends and colleagues and punched out before my reputation went to crap.

So here I am with a breather again and a renewed desire to express myself creatively.

Morden and Londo from Babylon 5

Morden asks Londo “What do you want?”

Even though I’m back at the same client I had previously managed people at, I’m enjoying my job a lot more and I’ve got a lot more free time available.  I’m starting to reconsider that question: What do you want?

I’ve been away from active gaming for a long time and what I really want to do is find a way to make table-top role-playing games a regular part of my life again.  I really loved this hobby1 and really want to find a way to enjoy it again as a Gamemaster.

Eight months ago, I purchased Campaign Cartographer 3 but I haven’t had time to really do anything with it until now.  For now, I’m going to focus again on world-building and mapping – maybe even self-publish some encounter maps or adventure paths – aspects of the gaming hobby that are creative but lend themselves well to solitary effort.

What I want

  • Become an expert on the usage of ProFantasy Software, especially Campaign Cartographer. I want to learn this tool inside and out, including the macro language, and be able to point you to thencorrect button, tool, symbol, technique, etc. when you need to know something.

I will believe I have achieved expert status when I can answer 80% of questions on a topic and/or suggest viable solutions to a problem without additional research required.

  • Document my journey with ProFantasy products. I’ve wanted Campaign Cartographer since I first became aware of it in the mid-to-late 1990’s. I have to admit, however, that I’ve been somewhat intimidated by it as a program – funny considering that I wrote complex decision-support and collaboration software for the Air Force and Defense Intelligence Agency between 1995 and 2007. Campaign Cartographer, with its Computer-Aided Design (CAD) underpinnings, had a reputation for being both really cool and really complex. It was also much more expensive than other software I was looking at at that time (most notably NBOS’ Fractal Mapper). I hope that reading about my successes and failures will help you to either make a more informed decision about this product or get over your own hesitation.

This goal is achieved if I post at least three times a week on topics related to the usage of ProFantasy products; each post should describe an experience with a ProFantasy product and should be supplemented by images created using the software I’m learning.

  • Be sought out by others for paid commissions. I would love to find a way to supplement my current income with some side-work generated by this blog – especially from an industry that I’ve loved and advocated for over the years (Table-Top, Pencil-and-Paper, Role-Play Gaming). This is a long-term goal – I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me before this is possible. Success with this goal is not just about mapping commissions – writing commissions count too.

This goal is achieved if I earn enough from commissions that I must legally report them to the IRS.

  • Receive an Unlimited Patron license from ProFantasy. Another long-term goal. Build enough of a following/community around this blog that the crew of ProFantasy knows who I am, likes what I’m doing and offers me one of their “Unlimited Patron Licenses“. Self-serving? Check. Presumptuous? Check. Awesome? Check. Check. Doesn’t count if I win an Unlimited Patron license through a ProFantasy mapping challenge (though that would be cool too).

If ProFantasy notices me and offers me that license – or if I were to win a Master Mapper Award – I can check this goal met. 

  • Become a regular and recognized contributor and participant on the ProFantasy Community Forum. I believe that a critical way to learn is to teach others. The ProFantasy Community Forums are going to offer up a variety of tricky problems that need to be solved and each problem solved will advance my goals of becoming an expert in the use of this software and increasing the chance that ProFantasy will know who I am. As my knowledge increases, I will be able to contribute back to the community and simplify tutorials and techniques I am trying to teach others.  This goal has two parts:

The “contributor” portion of this goal is met when I’ve posted 120 posts within a 1-year time period.  Any post counts:  ask or answer questions, offer reviews, show-off maps in progress, etc.

The “recognized” portion of this goal is met when forum contributors are specifically seeking me out for support or others are referring visitors to me or my content.

What does being an expert at something mean to you?  What do you want to see here?


  1. My gaming group in high school played nearly every night of the week and I GM’d 10 hours every weekend – 6 on Saturday and 4 on Sundays – for somewhere between 18 and 24 months