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Meet the Publisher: Perplexing Ruins

Updated: May 13, 2022

I had a brief email interview this week with Perplexing Ruins. His new hexcrawl, Demonbane, is up on itch right now. You can find Perplexing Ruin's website here. They've also got a Patreon.

Note that I am having issues setting up this blog to have a "normal" font. It is either use this italized text, which is their standard text font, or a small heading text, which looks much better but doesn't look great on mobile. I'm currently trying to figure out how to adjust this in the editor.

Question: You're one of those lucky people who can write *and* draw. Your art style is incredibly evocative and conveys a definite sense of mood. Can you talk a little bit about your style and how it evolved? Also, for other writers who may be reading this, do you take commissions?

Answer: I have been a maker for as long as I can remember. I think writing and drawing go hand in hand. I hear that my style is evocative quite often, and it surprises me. I suppose it comes from a mix of natural mood in myself (a natural sullen seeker of quiet, contrasted with a love of the epic, cosmic, mysterious walls of noise). I spent much of my youth and early adulthood staying in Germany. Ruins, castles, forests, churches, towers and old walls, this proximity to the past resounds deeply in me.

Q: Do you take commissions?

A: Sure, I take commissions. I have executed a number of them.

Q: You look to be selling through both itch and Drivethrurpg. As someone who isn't super familiar with itch -- I'm just becoming aware of everything that is there -- can you broadly explain the differences between the two and what your experience on itch has been like, since I think most people are familiar with just Drivethru.

A: Itch seems better for our little community. They take less cut. It's easy to access and organize material. My sales on itch have allowed me to support my peers far more than I would ever able to be otherwise.

Q: Do you have anything planned to follow up Demonsbane, and can you give us some broad strokes of what you're looking to do?

A: I will be wrapping up the Kickstarter for Fallen through April. I am currently making about 200 illustrations for a card game that will going to crowdfunding in 2022. Beyond that, it's hard to say. I would love to spend a year working quietly on a setting book. Otherwise, I will continue to grow my Patreon image library, where quite a few pictures are already available for commercial use.

Really, I just need to become a better artist. I am currently a low-tier illustrator, so moving up is a goal.

Q: Finally, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your business? How long you've been gaming, how you got into gaming, what sort of games you like to play, etc.

A: I got into gaming and illustration with the outset of the pandemic. I was unemployed and looking for things to explore. My inner nerd had always been curious about D&D, but found it intimidating and knew no one that played. After choosing to immerse myself in ttrpgs, I learned that some people played solo. This did so much to alleviate my social anxiety. I received encouragement from a few people for my first few illustrations. I haven't stopped making or consuming since. Paid work came a little at a time. I set up a patreon, to offer similarly newer makers a resource for affordable art while I continue practice. I think some people like it because I don't charge much, and try my best to make sure new stuff is going up. All the images are available for commercial use to subscribers. Art, as always, is really hard. There is and always will be someone better than yourself. In our field, you can actually use Masterpieces from art history in your work, for the graphic component, for free!. That's a lot to compete against. But I have some friends that make amazing stuff, so it's cool to see their careers grow. I'm rooting for them!

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