Hello all! It’s been a while since we posted. This month has been particularly turbulent for us with a lot of life changes. We’re hoping to get some stability back soon and be able to post content more regularly. That being said, we have a time-specific announcement.
Thread of Souls as our brand is leaving social media channels. This includes the accounts we previously had on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, DeviantArt, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, and more. The decision for this is pretty simple. While we had some great interactions with the community, the toxicity of the social media space eventually overpowered the fun. It was hard to browse feeds without seeing hate content, even from within a typically welcoming and loving community. And in good conscious it’s hard for us to stay on platforms like Twitter when we disagree with the ethics of how business is being conducted.
While we received a very small percentage of some online bullying, others have had it much worse and that is not the reason we removed our accounts. We are clearing out sources of hate and negativity in our lives, and leaving social media happened to be one of those.
So what does our online future hold? Our website will remain as it is. Over the course of a month or so you’ll see a series of changes as we adjust to the need to give certain aspects of Thread of Souls more of a platform on this website. One of these will be introducing a brand-new video page, where previously videos were simply incorporated with the blog posts.
You will still be able to come to the site to see all the things we had on here and across social media. This includes art, videos, merchandise, photos, and a blog that features Thread of Souls, book and game reviews, and informative pieces for storytellers.
We appreciate everyone that has engaged and followed us for years. This website will now be the central hub of our content, and we look forward to continuing to engage in the future with all of you!
Thank you for the love and support!
Dorian & Talia
P.S. – We’ll be sure to give an update about life after leaving social media in the future for those also seeking to leave it behind and look for alternatives!
Another P.S. – There will not be any social accounts from us without an accompanying blog post on our website. Anything you see claiming to be “Thread of Souls” not supported here is a fake account.
The second annual “Days of Tales” is coming to Twitch. We were a part of the stream last year, and though we won’t be playing this year, we again are donating copies of our Thread of Souls books to this cause. In anticipation for the upcoming TTRPG event on March 24 – 26th, we reached out to the creator of “Days of Tales”, known across the web as TheLionKnight42, to talk about what to expect.
“Days of Tales” was wonderful fun last year, it’s so exciting to see it make a return! What has inspired you to do this event?
Ha! There are so many answers to that one. If I had to keep it simple, the fact is that the first event did so amazingly well, and was such a huge tool for both supporting an amazing cause in the National Network of Abortion Funds, and for forging so many new relationships between some really great people in the community. I loved seeing everyone get to meet each other and come together to tell these amazing stories while also providing an opportunity to fight back against something absolutely awful that was going on.
It’s also no secret that I was dealing with a lot during the first event. I was still fairly new to the community and just sort of threw myself into this major event, and I lost my father just before we kicked off the weekend. The event was such a big bonding experience between us, and it made him so happy to know so many people wanted to come together for such a great cause, so for me, the hope is that we can run these events at least a few times every year.
NAMI is awesome! We try really hard to vet charities before we raise money for them, and everyone had such great things to say about NAMI. So many people struggle with mental illness and we as a society only really recognize so much of it on a day to day basis, and it can lead to a lot of misconceptions or a lack of respect for those struggles. NAMI does so much work to provide support for people who otherwise might be overlooked, and who don’t necessarily get the tools that they need to deal with the struggles that are both inherent to mental illness and those that arise as a result of a lack of understanding or respect that exists in the day to day.
Educational programs that help with families and educators so that they can better understand the issues, advocacy for people struggling and for smaller groups that fight in endless uphill battles to ensure support and programs, emotional support, and events meant to raise public awareness. These are all such important tools, and NAMI focuses on all of these things. By ensuring that people get financial, emotional, and engaged support and by providing the opportunity for people to get a better understanding of what these issues that people with mental illness look like, NAMI just really does such an amazing job.
What are some of the games we can look forward to at this year’s event?
Oh we’ve got some great games lined up this time around! From big book games like Vampire from Renegade Studios (World of Darkness) and Pathfinder 2e from Paizo, to an amazing PBTA game called Thirsty Sword Lesbians by April Kit Walsh and Mutants & Masterminds from Stephen Kenson and Green Ronin Publishing, to smaller (but still amazing) games like Eat Trash, Do Crime by ThoughtPunks and When The End Comes by Sandra Catharin, we’re really excited to be hitting all points on the spectrum of games.
We’ve got a really cool japanese TTRPG that hasn’t had an official translation yet called Dracurouge where you play as vampire knights in a time when the sun has been blotted out, and the players struggle with finding passion and positive emotion to stave off their thirst, lest they become monsters. There’s so much room to explore there, and really all of our games are going to provide some really interesting spaces to explore, some emotional, some ridiculous, but all compelling and, most importantly, fun!
It’s really exciting to have such a wide sweep of games, especially at a time when people are looking for alternatives to the Big One, and it’s a great opportunity to give people a look at some of the other fantastic games that exist out there.
Last year’s event had many wonderful creators and players within the TTRPG space. Do you know of any that will be joining this year, or is it too early?
There’s just so many incredible people along for the ride! We’re really excited to be working with Amber (Thespacejamber on Twitter). They were a huge part of pulling off our first Days of Tales, helping us find the National Network of Abortion Funds, helping us figure out how to reach out to people and how to set up the call sheet. Unfortunately they weren’t able to join us for any of the games and I’m really just so glad to get the opportunity to have them with us, so they can hang out and have a good time with a wonderful game from an amazing GM in Justina (JustinaRevolution on Twitter)!
We’ve got Rev from ThoughtPunks who is running the game he wrote, Eat Trash, Do Crime, which is a completely unhinged game of anarchist raccoons and the crimes they commit to amass their shinies and fill their bellies! Rev does some amazing stuff, and it’s always so much fun, so I can’t wait to see that one in action!
You’ll also get to see a bunch of other familiar faces from a lot of our weekly games as well, both as players and Taleslingers (our term for GMs), as well as a number of people coming in from other studios for the cause, all of whom I am beyond excited to get the chance to produce for and host.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about “Days of Tales 2”?
Alongside the games we’ll be running across the weekend, we’ve also got three panels across the weekend, one each day. We did one for our first event and it went so well that I really wanted to expand. I thought this could be a really great opportunity to provide some space to different groups and concepts that exist within the community that everyone could do with more of, while also providing insight and tools for more than just the TTRPG setting, but things you can utilize in your day to day life as well.
On Friday we have a panel that focuses on Disabled Experiences in Gaming and Accessibility, hosted by Esther, a game designer and the Storyteller for Chromythica (dungeonminister on twitter), which will offer some really wonderful people with an opportunity to share what they’ve gone through and ways that we as the community at large can provide more accessibility, understanding, and support so that TTRPGs can continue to be for everyone. It’s a great panel to kick off the panels for the weekend, and from what I know of the plans for it, there’s going to be a great deal of information and insight laid out that I can’t wait for people to check out!
Saturday we have a panel on Burnout hosted by Julian of Everyday Superhero Podcast (ESHerocast on Twitter). Burnout is such a huge, wide sweeping thing and can take so many different forms, and it’s something that, even if it gets brought up often, doesn’t usually include suggestions or tips on how to combat it, or resolve it. The hope is that this panel will provide a number of tools and concepts that can be put to use in order to better understand, deal with, and avoid burnout where possible.
And on Sunday we have a BIPOC Experiences in Gaming panel, Hosted by RPG Scholar and Pop Culture Historian Stefan Huddleston (UmbralKnightX on Twitter) which will delve into a lot of the underlying issues that are still rampant in the TTRPG community, offer insight on how some of these problematic concepts came to be, and how we can go about working on removing these issues as we grow together to provide better, safer, and more comfortable experiences for everyone, along with providing their own experiences at tables, what leads them to the stories they tell and characters they play, and why it’s so important to be cognizant of those experiences and voices.
All in all we’ve got a really fantastic crew of people along with us for these panels, and judging from what I know of the plans, they are absolutely cannot miss.
We’ve also got some really great giveaways that we’ll be running through the event, dice and dice trays from Phoenix Dice (phoenixdice on Twitter), a really neat dice box from The Shady Sail (TheShadySail on Twitter), custom art from both our in studio artist Miss Moon & Andy from LostHavenArt (LostHavenArt on Twitter), a bunch of stuff courtesy of Steve Jackson Games, A number of things from Thought Punks library, including a bunch of their games and even the opportunity to have Rev run a game for you and your friends, and of course, your book series as well!
It’s another example of how amazing the community is and how everyone comes together for these opportunities to show love and support in a way that will always warm my heart. Days of Tales 2 runs March 24th through the 26th, from Noon to Midnight EST all three days, and even if you can’t donate at all, sharing the info and showing up to voice support in the chat means the world to us all. I can’t wait for the event, the taleslingers and casts are super pumped, and we hope y’all are too!
You can watch the “Days of Tales” stream on Twitch from March 24th – 26th 12pm-12am EST.
You can learn more about TheLionKnight42 through his page!
Hello again! Got some exciting news for the start of this month!
The fifth book for our Thread of Souls series is in progress! The very first chapter was actually finished on Friday! It’s been a few weeks of finalizing the outline and creating a timeline for the book’s writing, editing, prepping, and release. We’re so excited to start this journey! This is a book big for us since we are starting the second half of the Spider Octology. As the months progress, we will definitely share more about the book with art, excerpts, and a title release.
Finally, finally, hardcovers for Thread of Souls are a thing! The hardcover for Phantom Fivejust released. We got the proof in and are very happy with the results, it’s definitely a beautiful book! You can expect the hardcovers for Ash & Thunder, Path of the Spiders, and Asunder to all go live this month.
Talia draws all the art for Thread of Souls, giving life to this world through cultural concepts, character designs, weapon designs, and more. We also plan to release a graphic novel in the future, and right now we’re both working hard on getting everything set up for that. If you like Talia’s art, she is offering commissions! Check out her DeviantArt page to learn more.
Happy February! A bit late on the draw this month, but we have our Spool of Souls monthly update on what we are currently working on, and our new releases.
Upcoming Book Releases
After a big delay due to an injury, we finally have a date in mind for the publication of the promised lore book “Jade’s Alphabet of Animals”! We’ll be sending it out to ARC readers in March, with publication in April. It will be our first picture book, and will give whimsical insight into lore for Thread of Souls. If you are interested in being on our early reader ARC team, please reach out!
We’ve mentioned before that we will be launching a behind-the-scenes podcasts that talks about the creation of the books. That was supposed to launch this week, but we’ve had a few setbacks just with our own scheduling. Life gets hectic. We hope to have it going later this month, and it should be available the same place as our newly released soundtrack.
Our Corventos map blanket is here! It is so beautiful! We have that and many more items available in our Redbubble store. Our roadmap for the year is to release a new product each month, so keep on the lookout for them!
If you are one who likes to support artists, we have recently opened up subscription tiers on DeviantArt. These include early access to art as well as once-a-month requests. If you haven’t visited our DeviantArt yet, check us out! That’s the main place for all Thread of Souls-related art, and we occasionally host contests, a well!
Somehow, by now we thought this whole fiasco with WotC (Wizards of the Coast) would be over. But it carries on with more and more ridiculousness added each day. We are talking about this because we are active members of the TTRPG community, and until recently had a channel on Dungeon Master’s Guild. Here is what is going down.
For those just now reading up about what is going on with Dungeons and Dragons, here is the short version recap. Years ago they put out an Open Game License (OGL) that allowed third-party publishers (3PPs) to create content that used portions of the D&D system. This created a thriving TTPRG community, where home-based indie creators could build adventures, subclasses, monsters, and more for people to use in their D&D5e games. The community thrived. WotC made lots of money. Everyone was happy.
Until WotC decided they would destroy everything they’ve built over the years. And it hasn’t even taken long to do it. First came a leaked copy of a proposed new OGL 1.1 that was, basically, no longer “open”. Creators would have to pay royalties, and WotC could take content made by small ma-and-pa shops and use it for their own purposes royalty-free. There was a lot more in this new OGL, but what it boiled down to was shutting down any creator that wasn’t Wizards of the Coast. Small businesses that depended on the original OGL to pay their bills and feed their kids were now in danger of actually OWING WotC money. You know, so the C-Suite can go buy a third yacht.
While the community was in a panic about what this would mean for the little guy for nearly two weeks, WotC remained completely silent. They did not respond to the large-scale public outrage and cry for answers. That all changed with a leaked statement from an employee at WotC who kept themselves anonymous. Their statement was fairly incriminating, claiming that WotC just wanted this to blow over, that they saw the fanbase as obstacles to their profit, and that they were looking at D&D Beyond subscriptions to gauge what was profitable and what was not.
Well, the community responded quickly and decisively. So many rushed to cancel their subscriptions that the site began to have technical issues. And what many considered a saving grace in all this took the form of the company Paizo, the creators of Pathfinder. They announced they would be partnering with other major gaming companies to create a new OGL they were calling ORC (The Open RPG Creative License) that would be non-profit so no corporate greed could get involved. They also offered indie creators and 3PPs to contact them to stay up to date on the ORC so it could be rolled out in a way that was most beneficial to everyone.
So it was rather not coincidentally that WotC decided to finally, finally issue a statement the following day. The day that the OGL 1.1 was supposed to go into place.
Only, they didn’t do themselves any favors. In fact, it made the entire situation worse. The statement came through D&D Beyond, not even their official account. They claimed the OGL 1.1 was only a “draft”, that everyone was overacting, and that the words were being misconstrued. Perhaps the most damning phrase of all in this statement was a fierce claim that they were still on top.
“You’re going to hear people say that they won, and we lost because making your voices heard forced us to change our plans. Those people will only be half right. They won—and so did we.”
Wizards of the Coast truly could have saved themselves here if they had done the exact opposite of everything they did in that statement. It only worsened the anger by the community who were quick to pull apart the lies in the statement, the heavy PR tone, and lack of anything of real substance in terms of what the future held.
One would think that was as worse as things could get. But in the following days, it’s only gotten more and more shady and complicated. More leaks from inside employees warn fans of heavy D&D Beyond paywalls that WotC wants to put into place, of establishing AI Dungeon Masters, and of trying to use a survey as a platform for people to complain on and thus clear up the angry Twitter / Reddit / etc platforms. WotC denies each and every leak, although their denials keep coming surprisingly late and always behind a “face” that they choose to speak for them. Whether that’s D&D Beyond or random employees, it’s never the actual person that is making the decisions.
From an outside perspective, one would think WotC decided to wage war against its own player base. And it is losing.
Players are flocking to Pathfinder so quickly that it is sold out in local stores. Major companies like Kobold Press are leaving 5e behind and doing their own thing. Everyone from large influencers to small-time streamers are also leaving behind D&D for other TTRPG systems. Why? Because trust has been broken. Because WotC has yet to promise anything of real value, instead using PR-language to try to hide the lack of meaning behind their messages. Because they refuse to make the original OGL irrevocable, and thus people are worried they will keep trying to push the new version forward no matter how long it takes them. Because for little creators that are paying their bills, they have a guillotine hanging above their heads that WotC could drop to destroy everything they have made and take it for themselves.
Why would any creator even want to stick around in this circus?
WotC truly could have saved themselves from this nightmare if they had been upfront with their fanbase and been honest. Without any sincere apologies, without any communication directly from the source, and without any real action, the community loses more and more trust in the future of Dungeons and Dragons. Many who are now refusing to buy or support anything that Hasbro (the owners of WotC) decides to release.
So where does this leave everything in the future? What we’ll likely see is former D&D players gravitating to Pathfinder and their new ORC to create content. We are likely to see more smaller TTRPG systems get attention as people look for new games to play. And the once near-monopoly WotC held on the industry will die. And they will only have themselves to blame.
It’s an exciting day! Our Thread of Souls soundtrack is officially completed and live. This is volume 1 of what hopefully is multiple albums all exploring Thread of Souls through music. Our friend and composer, Sean Gartner, has truly created beautiful and moving music.
Sean Gartner has been a part of Thread of Souls for a long time. He was one of our original players at the table when we started this TTRPG back in 2015. Even though he moved away in 2016 and wasn’t able to play anymore, we’ve always kept in touch. He has read the books multiple times, and was so inspired by these stories that he wanted to compose music for them. We had a chat through video call about our vision for a soundtrack for the books and for all things TOS, and was so happy he was on board! As you can tell from the songs, he is extremely talented! He’s also just a fantastic man all around, a loyal friend, and has a super kind heart. We cannot be happier to have him create this music.
What Songs Are There?
We have 14 tracks on this first album. If you have tuned into our Twitch livestream, you’ve heard Lively Tavern during our breaks! Jade has her own theme, we have Into The Gloomdwell from Path of the Spiders,The Utterer from the exciting battle in the same book, and much more!
Where To Find the Soundtrack
There are so many places you can listen to and/or download the songs! These are:
There is plenty to talk about here! We wrapped up 2022 with a meeting reviewing the past and planning the future of Thread of Souls. Here is what you have to look forward to over the coming year as we focus on making you laugh, and giving you moving stories with impactful characters.
Next month we will release the hardcover versions of all available Thread of Souls books! We also will be having two publications this year, which is the first time we’ve done so. After many delays due to injury, Jade’s Alphabet of Animals is finally coming in April! We also will have the release of the fifth book in the Thread of Souls series at the end of this year.
We’ve had questions about when audiobooks will be released. We had to pivot our expectations after the person we hired dropped off contact. So now Dorian will be doing the audiobooks! He has experience in voice acting as well as training, and we’re really excited to bring these to you. We don’t have a solid date yet, but it will be this year.
We have a lineup of new merchandise concepts to release across the year. We’ll be releasing one new item each month, and we have a lot of really fun ones that fans of the books will appreciate! We’re still working with Redbubble, and currently you can get a lot of merchandise with our logo on it.
We’re taking Thread of Souls down some new avenues this year. We are going to Twitch! We actually have had a couple of streams already, and by the end of January we will be streaming 35 hours a week, 6 days a week. This will include video games, board games, and a “behind the scenes” series.
We are also launching an official Thread of Souls soundtrack. Our friend and composer Sean Gartner has done 14 tracks for us so far, and we’re eager to finally make them available for all of you to listen to! These will be up most anywhere you can listen to music.
We’ll also have a podcast up each week starting in February. This will be the audio recording of our “behind the scenes” series that will be live on Twitch.
We are so excited for this new year and all the things happening! It is only the two of us doing all this, we don’t have a team and we don’t have a large fortune backing us. So you following us on this website and social media, joining our patreon, donating, or support in any way means the world to us and enables us to continue to do this. Thank you!
We are definitely cutting it close to the end of the holidays for this holiday gift guide, haha! It’s been quite the hectic time with food poisoning, being laid off, having to move, launching a new book, etc, etc. But! We are happy to highlight some fun gifts from the world of Thread of Souls!
Yes! We have not only new covers, but also a brand new book! The fourth book in the series, Asunder, just launched and it already has two 5-star reviews! You can find all the books on Amazon, and the first three are currently available via Barnes and Noble’s online store. If you are short on time, ebooks make a great holiday gift!
We’ve got a completely re-done shop with lots of new merch in it! There are shirts, hoodies, dresses, magnets, pins, stickers, journals, bags, mugs, bottles, and more! All of it has our Thread of Souls logo on it.
Gifts for D&D Players
Another great holiday gift if you are short on time is an item from our Dungeon Master’s Guild shop! There are subclasses, new spells, short adventures, downtime activities, and much more! These are all excellent gifts for the player or GM in your life!
We do offer a variety of art prints through DeviantArt. You can check them out here if you’re interested in showcasing characters from Thread of Souls. This is also a nice last-minute gift since you can just print the photo to let the recipient know the art is on its way to them!
It’s certainly been a crazy December for us here at Thread of Souls. Among us being super ill over Thanksgiving, being laid off, and moving, we managed to get through a lot and we’re here to share it all!
Thread of Souls Book IV: Asunder
Asunder is here! The fourth book in the Thread of Souls series was a complete wonder to work on. We remember playing through it vividly in our home TTRPG game and loved bringing each and every seen to life on pages. A lot of memories were formed when playing it at the table and we can’t wait to share it with all of you!
Dorian has been hard at work with the trailer for Asunder. Using Talia’s amazing art, the official trailer was launched on December 7. You can check it out below.
Our composer friend, Sean, continues to supply us with fantastical music for Thread of Souls. The latest tracks are titled Jade’s Theme, Into the Gloomdwell, and Fate. While we’re keeping two secret for now, Fate can be heard in the trailer. It’s simply amazing.
It’s an exciting time! The fourth book in our Thread of Souls series, Asunder, is launching next week on December 15th! As we prepare for this final leg of publication, we’d love to share what’s been going on behind the scenes with the book.
Finalizing the Cover
We recently unveiled the cover for Asunder! We worked closely with our artist, Vivien Reis, to ensure it captured the mood and setting of the book. We are super, super happy with how it turned out! To help our artist out, we provided her with a lot of images seen in the recently released book trailer as well as some of the promotional artwork we’ve been using.
We also finalized the book’s back cover summary, going through various revisions until we were happy with it. The biggest hurdle we had to overcome was deciding which major character to feature on the back cover. We had Brother Zok for Phantom Five, Unole for Ash & Thunder, and Taliesin for Path of the Spiders. It was Dorian that had the idea we went with! The official summary will be unveiled this weekend across all social media!
Ordering an Asunder Proof
We are awaiting a final proof from Amazon to ensure it all looks exactly how we want it to! That consisted of formatting the book and dealing with all the annoyances that come along with that haha! It can be a two-day process of copying over the text, ensuring all chapter headings are formatted the same, adjusting picture ratios, fixing any lingering spaces between paragraphs, and even adjusting the margins. I ran into a problem with the page numbers being too low and it took me longer than it should have to realize what the problem was and how to fix it haha.
The Book Trailer
After a few months of work, the trailer is done! I drew all the art, Dorian animated, and we used a song our friend composed. Earlier this year we were for sure going to do the trailer, but then in the summer things got really busy and we abandoned the idea. But in October we decided to do it once again and we’re so glad we did! It turned out super cool haha. I drew the art on multiple layers and sent them over individually to Dorian, who used his magic to give them 3D-esque effects and make them move and glow.
A Difficult Time
As some of you know, it’s been a really crazy time for us. We were launching Asunder just a month after doing major updates to the first three books in terms of covers, the map’s format, and some other interior details. It also happened to be at the same time we both got laid off from our full-time jobs, then we got food poisoning, then we were moving, and then I re-tore my abdominal muscle (that I originally injured in 2018, and injured again in 2021). Throughout all this, we’ve tried to continue to put effort into our passion for Thread of Souls and what it means to us, and to our readers.
Thank you for your continued support of Thead of Souls! I hope you enjoy Asunder when it launches on Amazon on December 15th!