Follow Me Down

Created by Joie Martin

A GMless, two-player tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Powered by the Apocalypse NOTE: Shipping for physical items will be charged later, when your order is ready to ship!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

August Update for Follow Me Down
about 1 year ago – Tue, Aug 16, 2022 at 11:32:50 PM

Hi everyone! I'm back from Gencon and back to work on Follow Me Down. Since my last update, I've been in touch with artists who are creating illustrations for the core book, and have commissioned a few new pieces. I'm also working on supplementary art for the core book and Tomes of the Dead. I've done my first pass on the playsets included in Tomes of the Dead, and should be sending them back to the writers with notes in the next week or two.

Work on the core book for Follow Me Down is about 75% complete. Once all the artwork is in, I'll progress to layout, then send the book to the printer. Tomes of the Dead is still in the draft stage. It's looking very likely that the core book will ship before Tomes of the Dead is complete, but I hope to have Tomes of the Dead done before the end of the year. As previously mentioned, the dice sets are sitting in my office, and the wall scrolls will go to print around the same time the core book does (which is looking to be late October, but I'll keep you updated). All physical rewards should ship at the same time as the core book.

I will be closing pre-orders for Follow Me Down on September 14th, as well as collecting funds for shipping, so please make sure you have the correct credit card information on file with Backerkit. I'll give you a reminder approximately a week before, and the day before cards will be charged, but please, please make sure all your information is correct before September 14th!

I think that's all for now. 'll update you again around September 7th. Have a good rest of the month!

Monthly Progress Report on Follow Me Down
about 1 year ago – Thu, Jul 28, 2022 at 11:28:27 PM

Hi everybody! Here's your monthly progress report for Follow Me Down, an update on my health, and some exciting news from Drowning Moon Studios:

Progress on Follow Me Down

The manuscript for the core book is completely edited and ready for art and layout. Art is taking a bit longer than anticipated, so most of August is going to be me checking in with our artists, hiring a few more, and filling in any gaps with my own work. I'll also be reading and giving notes to our stretch goal writers, and sourcing even more art for Tomes of the Dead.  Since I'm largely done with writing Follow Me Down, I'll switch my writing focus to Starkhollow Hall for part of August and September. Then I should be free to do layout for Follow Me Down in October, assuming all artwork has arrived by then.

Health Update

As previously mentioned, managing my health has been an almost full-time job for the last couple of months, and I've had dozens of tests and appointments with specialists, trying to figure out what's wrong. So far, we've managed to rule out a lot, including ovarian cancer, which was what I was really worried about, but we're still looking for answers on a few things. What we do know for sure is that one of my kidneys is enlarged, and the tube that leads from kidney to bladder is dilated and not draining properly. I have another appointment with my urologist coming up, where we'll discuss options, but it's very likely that I'll need surgery to put a stent in my kidney sometime in the next few months. I've also got a colonoscopy and endoscopy coming up, as well as a mammogram.

Obviously, I don't feel fantastic, but having to go to so many appointments and procedures is what is really slowing me down, since they tend to be long and exhausting. The medical system in the US remains overwhelmed, both from covid and from a lack of personnel, which means wait times at offices are longer, and appointments are more difficult to schedule. I'm doing my best to muddle through without exhausting myself, and will continue to work on Follow Me Down until the project is done. Right now, I'm looking at November for fulfillment, but will keep you updated if that needs to change.

Wayfaring Strange

In more positive news, I've just released a free PDF ashcan of upcoming Drowning Moon Studios game Wayfaring Strange. Wayfaring Strange is an original, diceless tabletop roleplaying game that explores the concepts of hidden highways, urban legends, folk magic and survival in liminal America. Players portray Wayfarers, people existing on the fringes of society doing their best to survive, or even thrive in a shadowy, dangerous underworld ripe with unknowable power.

I've been working on Wayfaring Strange since 2018 and will be crowdfunding it in early 2023 (probably March-ish, but I haven't settled on a date just yet). In the meantime, you can download the free PDF ashcan from DriveThruRPG, itch, and the Drowning Moon Studios website. There are also a handful of limited edition print copies of that can be purchased on the Drowning Moon Studios website, or at the IGDN booth at various conventions. When I say they're limited, however, I mean really limited; there are only 35 copies of the print ashcan, and when those sell out, they're gone.


Speaking of conventions, I'll be demoing Wayfaring Strange at Gencon next week. I'll also be helping out with the IGDN game room in ICC 125/126 on Thursday and Friday evening, so if you're attending, swing by and say hello. As mentioned above, you can pick up a print copy of the Wayfaring Strange ashcan at IGDN booth 132 the Exhibitor Hall, along with dozens of other amazing titles by IGDN members (some of my favorites are Enniee nominees Rest in Pieces and Good Strong Hands, and previous Drowning Moon Studios release, Mage to Order). 

There are also a few small surprises at Gencon for those who purchase the Wayfaring Strange print ashcan, demo the game, or simply keep their eyes open. And, sometimes, small surprises can lead to even bigger surprises...

That's All for Now

And, on that cryptic note, we wrap up this month's post. I'll be back next month to update you on Follow Me Down's progress, and keep you in the loop about any new information. Once again, thank you for supporting Follow Me Down, and thank you so much for being patient. I know waiting isn't easy, but I want to give you the best game I possibly can, even with delays.

Health, Book Timeline & Transparency
about 1 year ago – Tue, Jul 19, 2022 at 09:19:21 PM

Health & Transparency

Let me preface this update by gently setting a few boundaries: 

Please remember that game publishing is my full time job, and that I keep regular office hours. You can normally reach me via email at [email protected] from 10am - 6pm EST, Monday - Friday, unless it is a holiday. I don't check social media every day, so it is much easier to reach me via email than any other method. I also do not work on weekends unless I'm at a convention. If I am at a convention, I am working, and my focus is on that convention until I get home. If you contact me on a weekend, or while I'm working at a convention, please do not expect an immediate response. Usually, once a convention ends, I have to take a day or two off to let my body recover. I will get in touch after that recovery period. Please be patient, especially if it is not an emergency.

Second, I don't have much in the way of health updates at this point. The medical system in the US is so overwhelmed right now that getting appointments with specialists, or scheduling procedures, is taking way longer than it should. I originally had an appointment scheduled for today that was moved to next week due to doctor unavailability, even though it was made almost a month ago. Please understand that, even while working and attending conventions, I am also going to 2 - 3 medical appointments each week to try to figure out what is wrong. I don't want to give you speculative information regarding my health, because it might not be correct. I promise I will continue to be transparent, and will update you as soon as I know something concrete.

I generally only update this page once per month, so I also ask that you please take the time to check when the last update was posted, particularly if we're only halfway through the current month, before contacting me about it. If I made a post the previous month, please trust that another post is coming before the end of the current month. There will be another update this month that is scheduled for July 29th. This is because I will have additional information available on the 29th that I simply do not have access to right now.

Updated Production Timeline

As mentioned in the last update, I have rearranged the production schedule for Follow Me Down to something that is more workable during the chaos of balancing medical appointments and con season. For the moment, I'm focusing on getting the core book finished before doing any additional work on Tomes of the Dead. The manuscript for the core book goes back to Misha for the last round of editing at the end of this week, and I'll be checking in with artists who have been commissioned to complete illustrations on the book in the next few days. 

Once all the artwork is in, layout is the only thing left to do before printing. I will be submitting the wall scroll order for manufacturing at the same time the core book goes to print. The dice are currently sitting in my office, and graphic design for the core book has been complete for a few months. Mostly what we're waiting on is for more illustrations to begin trickling in. A few illustrations are already complete, but about 2/3 are still being actively worked on. Most of my job right now is maintaining contact with artists, and creating or altering contracts. 

Work on Tomes of the Dead (including stretch goal playbooks and playsets) will continue once the print order for the core book is in. A good chunk of the writing for Tomes of the Dead is already done, but a few writers are waiting on notes from me before they can continue. I'll be giving those intermittently, when I am able, but my main focus is on completing the core book. Print production is still set for October, but this is a flexible deadline, depending on how soon I'm able to get all commissioned illustrations in.

Future Updates

As previously mentioned, there will be another update on the 29th with additional information about Follow Me Down and other Drowning Moon Studios projects. I am also hoping to have a solid answer about what is going on with my health, and how that may or may not affect Follow Me Down's production schedule. I will continue to update you each month regarding the game's progress, but I do want to remind you that you can play the ashcan for free while you wait.

I deeply appreciate that you have all taken the time to support Follow Me Down, but please remember that the team working on the project, myself included, are real people and are not infallible. I also understand that much of this anxiety comes from excitement and anticipation; we're excited too! Sometimes we struggle, but we are working hard to give you a game that we hope everyone will love.

Unscheduled Update and Production Schedule Alteration
over 1 year ago – Thu, Jun 09, 2022 at 08:02:38 PM

Hi everyone, this is an unscheduled update for Follow Me Down, as some recent events have altered the production timeline.

Unfortunately, I spent the last three days in the hospital due to an acute infection and haven't been able to complete the work I intended to do this week. I'll also be doing follow-up appointments for the next couple of weeks, which means I will be behind schedule on Follow Me Down. I still have a few artists to follow up with, notes for our stretch goal writers' drafts, and incorporating Misha's notes into the rulebook before sending it back to her for editing. 

I'll continue to work on catching up, but felt that I needed to keep you informed regarding any changes to the schedule. I will continue to update you if there are any other delays or issues, but for now please accept my apologies.

Late May Update
over 1 year ago – Wed, May 25, 2022 at 11:30:34 AM

Hi everyone! There's not a lot to tell right now, but I'm attempting monthly posts to keep you updated on our progress. Since the last update, editing remains underway, several of our writers have submitted first drafts, and I've made progress on the noir playset. As mentioned, May is all about art direction, and the bulk of my attention has been on commissioning artists and illustrators for the book. 

Going into June, I'll continue to shepherd our contributors, but I'll also be doing some writing for Starkhollow Hall. I'll also begin traveling again in July, where I'll be demoing Wayfaring Strange at a handful of conventions. Follow Me Down is still on track for fulfillment in October, but I'll let you know if anything changes.

I closed add-ons in Backerkit last month, but haven't charged cards for those or pre-orders. I'm giving until the end of the summer for the last few backers to trickle in, and will let you know when cards will be charged well before it happens. I won't be locking addresses or charging shipping until right before rewards are ready to ship in October, and will give you plenty of notice for that too.

And that's all the news for now. Look for the next update in mid-June, and I hope you are all doing well and staying safe!