The Turtle Guild is Born

Foreword taken from the Gift of the Web RPG adventure module

On March 10th, 2020, I folded up my DM screen, collected my dice, and packed up my books as I always did after every Tuesday evening game night. I grabbed my backpack, stuffed to the brim with years of homebrew maps and adventures, and I walked home. 

Little did I know this would be the last in-person game I would play in a long time. 

A month later, I was exploring a brand new medium and writing a new campaign designed for online play. The goal was to have each session run like a one-shot; borrowing ideas from a West Marches style game and rotating players in and out for various guild jobs. I built a Discord server to organize game communications, track PC levels, schedule games, and collect recaps. I partnered with my friend Aaron and together we were DMing games twice a week for 10 different players. In this new medium, I fell in love with playing all over again.

I was spending days on end writing up one-shots, designing maps in Inkarnate and Dungeondraft, or searching online for content that would fit perfectly for the world I was building. Many times, the searching would take just as long as creating content from scratch. That’s when I thought to myself, “people like me create this stuff every day. Why is there not an easily searchable website for homebrew content creators to share their work with each other?” 

The lightning bolt idea for TopoTurtle hit me then. 

Within a couple of weeks (and endless tutorial videos!), I created a beta website for TopoTurtle by Frankensteining a bunch Shopify apps together and yelling “IT’S ALIVE!” into the aether. I sent messages to content creators on Facebook to try out my website, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I started building out an Instagram account and connecting with more and more RPG content creators. Fantasy map makers, adventure writers, character artists, and so many other truly talented folks. 

I created the Discord channel soon after. The TTRPG Creators Guild was created so people could connect and self promote the amazing RPG content they were creating. From that, something beautiful and totally unintentional happened. All of these map makers, adventure writers, and character artists started collaborating. 

Donny approached me to create a separate channel for folks to work together, and he dubbed it the Turtle Guild. His drawing of the Spider Bow was the seed that grew into this wonderful adventure. He pulled together some of the amazing talent from the Discord server and outgrew the new channel within a week - going on to start a separate Discord server for the new group.

I have been constantly blown away by the creative force that every one of these people has brought to this project. I have always known the RPG community is full of the most creative and imaginative people, but these creators are so much more. It’s been inspirational to watch the Turtle Guild collaborate on this project, listen to each other's feedback, and help each other grow. I am honored to present to you all the first Turtle Guild adventure - Gift of the Web.

Eric Garcia
August 2020

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