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HATCHLINGS & BEYOND

That you are here likely means you have some association with tabletop gaming, so welcome!

This blog will cover learning and development through Dungeons & Dragons and inclusivity for deaf players, something I feel deeply passionate about after working with the community for nearly a decade.

The various pages include…

  • Coverage of Keynsham Hatchlings teen group.
  • The Inspirisles homebrew setting, created to promote education and inclusivity.
  • The ambitious Deafness & Dragons project: developing tools to enable the deaf community to enjoy tabletop RPGs.
  • The Sinking World YA fiction.

Updates every Monday.

Please don’t hesitate to Get in Touch…

Twitter: @HatchlingDM

Facebook: Keynsham Hatchlings

patreon.com/hatchlings

Become a Patron!

The Sinking World (YA Fiction)

During my Masters degree in creative writing, I wrote a YA novel set in contemporary Japan. The story followed teenager, Shoki Nakamura, a girl who could see the spirits of the recently deceased and quickly became entangled with the yakuza and ghosts hellbent on revenge.

The novel is currently in limbo, between agents and without a home. I feel it would make for a compelling tabletop RPG and I’d like to adapt it down the line, but for now I’ve decided to share it with those visiting the site.

I will update the page with a new chapter each month.

Enjoy reading.

Monday 10th June

Hatchlings had their 6th session over the weekend as they arrived in the City of Splendours, Waterdeep. This was their introduction to Wizards of the Coast‘s module Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and boy was it dramatic. Only a few of the post-session questionnaires had been completed, so I sent the group home with fresh copies. Hopefully they’ll give me some feedback, otherwise I may have to rethink handouts.

For Inspirisles, I completed an introduction and a creation myth. I also finished pixel art for the eight races and added quotes to text. For the week ahead, I’ll be pixelating the four deities using free art package, GIMP and fleshing out the Questing segment to offer ideas for players to create their own stories in my world. I’ve also created a Project Plan list, which I can strikethrough when elements of the setting are complete.

For Deafness & Dragons, I’ve decided to create a BSL alphabet but for D&D monsters and spells. I’ve added some example photos and explained the process.

Go to relevant pages for these updates.

Artist Criteria

HATCHLINGS is developing at breakneck speed, with any energy not reserved for family life and earning money being poured directly into the projects. I now have a working document for INSPIRISLES (see Project Planner post), which I am gradually moving through, however something I’ve lacked from the very start is a satisfying visual aesthetic. I’m a confident writer and designer, but my limited ability as an artist has always proved frustrating.

I would like to commission an artist for my work, but the financial implications of this are impractical. Therefore I am looking at a collaborative hobbyist to take on the Inspirisles project and make it as much theirs as my own. Once my Patreon begins and the intended Kickstarter down the line, they can expect royalties and a share of the proceeds.

If you are an up-and-coming TTRPG visual artist and wish to cut your teeth on this worthwhile project, please get in touch.

Rich

Introducing Inspirisles

Welcome to the Inspirisles, a campaign setting for teens using a simplified version of 5e Dungeons & Dragons. This unique guide will incorporate an educational toolset and inclusive options for deaf players.

The world I’m crafting was inspired by my upbringing in windswept, beachcombed Cornwall and time spent exploring those magical coastlines through the lens of a fantasy-obsessed kid.

I have been playing D&D since the late 80s, and in early 2019, thanks to local community project, Community@67, I had the opportunity to run my first group for teens. And so Hatchlings was established with seven local children and without fail we’ve met every fortnight since.

I decided to create Inspirisles after my beginner Hatchlings were struggling with the extensive rules in the official Wizards of the Coast books. I knew if I wanted to nurture them into future dungeon masters, I would need to strip things back to basics.

A homebrew setting would allow me to adapt the rules, would give my Hatchlings ownership over a world they had contributed to, and would give me something to share or sell to the wider tabletop community.

Alongside the Hatchlings, I work for the deaf charity, Action on Hearing Loss. Many of my colleagues play tabletop games, but not a single one is deaf. I wondered if the same pattern applied to the larger community and discovered there were practically no opportunities for people with this disability to play.

After contacting a local deaf school, they expressed interest in bringing D&D to their students. And so was born Deafness & Dragons, a project to establish an inclusive platform for the deaf community to enjoy what I believe is one of the most beneficial hobbies in the world.

Contained within these pages you will find an alternate United Kingdom full of mysterious cultures, otherworldly magic and frightful monsters. You will visit places from Celtic legend and discover ways to bring your own stories to life. If you are an educator, there will be toolsets to encourage learning and development. And if you are deaf, you’ll have everything you need to enjoy this wonderful experience many people take for granted.

Rich Oxenham

Patreon

I want to set up some form of crowdfunding for my projects. After talking with my Twitter followers, they have suggested Patreon. Having built a Kickstarter from the ground up for an indie video game, I feel confident I can make the Patreon campaign appealing to my backers.

As of Sunday 9th June, my Patreon is active. To support my work and ensure its longevity, please visit:

patreon.com/hatchlings

Project Planner

Over the next 3 months, I will be tackling each section on the below list, starting with an introduction page this weekend. Once the Patreon is set up, I’ll look to hire a pixel artist and graphic designer on the road to publication. I will strikethrough sections as I complete them.

  • Contents page.
  • My introduction, including Deafness & Dragons project.
  • BSL alphabet with traditional and monster signs.
  • Brief History of Inspirisles, ancient and modern.
  • Questing the Inspirisles.
  • Inspired and their descriptions + symbols.
  • Friends and their bios/pics.
  • Paths and their descriptions.
  • Inspirisles Character Sheets.
  • Societies, their purpose and key members + symbols.
  • Capitals and story hooks for low, mid and high level play. Pepper with Nathaniel Smyth, Eleanor Ash, proverbs, magic items, Dusters, currency, languages etc.
  • Class options: Knight = Avalon Cleric Domain. Druid = Fraggle (shape shifts into miniature life only). Wiccan = Signer (Deciphers ancient signs into useable language).
  • Inspirisles artefacts (Excalibur).
  • Additional rules such as reputation, Dusters, nurtured skills/abilities, human interactions, BSL at the table and educational milestones.
  • Monsters of the Inpirisles.
  • Monstrous NPC’s.
  • Index.
  • World Map.
  • Acknowledgements.