What’s in our 2.0? And what are we working on?

We wanted to give you a quick rundown of our 2.0 release and let you know what we’re working on.

First thing – when you go to sign on you’ll see we call out that the app works best on Chrome. Really it works well on everything except Safari (darn you Safari *shakes fist*) We’re tackling that issue over the next couple of weeks.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the sidebar menu is all icons. Find the little goblin
in the upper lefthand corner if you want to see what each of those icons is for.

Head over to the Character Builder, you’ll likely note the layout is much more user-friendly, with an easy left to right flow. The sub icons are better placed, and it’s way easier to tell what customization option you’re on. There are also MORE customization options! Some new options have only 2 or 3 choices, but we’ll continue to add new options every week.

If you’re not seeing a screen like the above, try clearing your browser cache and then do a hard refresh.  If you’re on Windows, press CTRL+F5. If you’re on Mac, Press CMND+SHIFT+R.

Note the new “Randomize” button! Right next to “Save”

Right now, when you randomize it’s… really random. Thankfully you can still edit a random character. But rest assured next week, your randomized characters will have matching ears and boots!

Ahhh. Matching ears. *smiles wistfully* Sometimes it’s the little things.

If you tried the Character Builder on your phone previously and saw that it was less than ideal, try again. With our latest update, it’s more mobile-friendly. We’re not done yet! We have some really awesome mobile designs we’re working on that will make it more than mobile-friendly (mobile-lovey?). Stay tuned!

If you go to your library, you’ll again see a layout change AND pagination for your characters. This reduces the long load times for those of you who have already created 30 (or more) characters! If people ask for it, we’ll implement Instagram-style “forever scrolling.”

A new tool that we’re upper excited about is the NPC Generator. This tool is not focused on stats but on a portrait and cool descriptors to help you get in the head of the random NPC your players are insisting on chatting up for the next 30 minutes. We’ve got a few issues with it but wanted to release it as a proof of concept.

As part of our commitment to inclusion and representation, users can choose Male, Female, OR write in their NPC’s gender, whether it’s non-binary, agender, trans female, transmasculine, genderqueer, or something else.


The highlight here is our focus on descriptions that indicate the NPC’s personality and feelings about the world they inhabit. In addition to the randomized options, users can write in their own. Our hope is that this is more useful than stats for DMs looking to add flavor and personality to the characters the players interact with.

It’s suffering from the same randomization issue of mismatched ear, but next week that will be solved and we’re working hard on making sure that there’s some logic that matches the constraints you entered (like Female Dwarf Tavern Server) and the image you get back. The logic for the descriptions work, so we urge you to check that out and give us feedback if you haven’t already.

Speaking of feedback – be sure to message us at happiness@beneverending.com if you see any bugs.

Because our developers and artists worked SO hard to get this out, we gave them extra time off. We won’t be smashing bugs from Friday, May 21 through Monday, May 24. But our dev and art teams will be back at it on Tuesday, May 25!

Thanks for your support. Can’t wait to hear what your favorite feature or improvement is in the latest update!

What is “Sirens: Battle of the Bards?” And Why You Seriously Need It in Your Life.

There’s a new D&D book on Kickstarter and I’m going to tell you why it’s one of the best things coming out right now! Even if you don’t like bards read on, because there’s a truckload of quality content for your table.

Sirens: Battle of the Bards is a lot more than just your traditional supplement. Sirens: Battle of the Bards is ostensibly a bard book – but in reality, that’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s more like a mash-up between a setting/adventure book like Ghosts of Saltmarsh and a well-crafted expansion like Tasha’s Caldron of Everything. Throw in spectacular add-ons like custom dice and mini’s – even a soundtrack – and it’s a veritable buffet of D&D Delights!

Even if you’re not a huge fan of bards, this book is a worthy addition to your adventure arsenal. The setting is crafted in loving detail. This, honestly, is no surprise since Satine Phoenix and her friends have building and refining the setting for Sirens and the City of Salvata for years. The City of Salvata is described in epically grand detail. Explore 10 districts each with its own lore, descriptions, and places of interest.

A Full Campaign + One-Shot Adventures

Now with CEO of Apotheosis Studios, Jamison Stone, plus a host of contributing and guest writers like Deborah Ann Woll, Cat Evans, Gabe Hicks, Grady Wang and so, so many other talented writers (and artists) this 300-page supplement is bursting at the seams with fantastical high-fantasy content.

There’s so much highly adaptable content, it feels like a must-have. Personally, I plan on adapting it and using it as a fey setting in both my homebrew and also my Forgotten Realms adventures.

For most dungeon masters no adaptation is necessary. Sirens: Battle of The Bards is a standalone full campaign, in addition to a setting and subclass book. There are multiple endings to encourage player agency and playability. No railroading here!

If a full story campaign isn’t enough for you, you’re in luck. The book includes over 20 other unique adventures that fit in as perfect side quests or one-shots. You know you need one shots for when plyers inevitably cancel on game day.

But There ARE Bards, Right?

Many of you savvy readers will realize that we haven’t even touched on the subject of bards in this bard book. Well, as I mentioned you don’t have to like bards to love this must-have masterpiece.

If you’re even a little like me and you DO love bards, then you, my friend, are in luck! You’ll be shouting from the rooftops and singing in the streets when you see over 10+ new and very unique Bard Subclasses. The book should come with a warning label because it’s bound to turn your game days into some fantastically raucous revelries! That is unless your players go with one of the varieties of “introverted” bard subclasses – like the college of geometry. Yep – even the math nerds are getting in on this bodacious bard action!

Get It For a Steal!

You might expect to have to pay $99 or more of all of this content. However, Satine and the Apotheosis team (and all the other folks involved) want everyone to be able to join the fun. That’s why the digital edition is only $29! That’s less than $0.10 per page for this stunning book which is already crazy low – but you get way more, with the gorgeous high-res downloadable map pack.

Digital editions for a variety of virtual tabletops are available for only $49 and include the PDFs and map packs as standalone items.

Need to hold this beautiful tome in your hot little hands? They have you covered with a $59 pledge that still includes the digital version of everything! Honestly, I have paid way more for way less, so trust me when I say this is a fantastic bargain. There’s a lot more pledge levels and tons of fun add-ons, including optional buys from Wyrmwood. Syrinscape, and Level Up Dice.

All this treasure makes it feel like you just stumbled into a dragon’s hoard. But nope. You’re in the world of the Phoenix – Satine Phoenix and the rest of the fabled Sirens.

If you’re still not convinced to check it out, get inspired by the Sirens: Song of Salvata live play on Twitch. There’s a wonderful cast of gaming luminaries to entertain you.

Playtesting, Q&A, and Get It On Kickstarter

If you have questions, chat with the team over on the Apotheosis Studios Discord.

Ready to fall in love with the story and experience a taste of the magic? Feast your eyes on the Chapter One playtest document.

The most important thing you can do, however, is head over to Kickstarter and pledge to get your very own copy. The magical song of the Sirens and the City of Salvata await you there in Sirens: Battle of the Bards.

#BlackLivesMatter

We’ve made many, many statements and posts on Twitter speaking out against police violence and in support of Black Lives Matter. But we dropped the ball on Facebook, LinkedIn and our blog. It’s important for us (all of us) to use our voice wherever we are and make clear our stance against racism, institutionalized injustice, and police brutality. You have our apologies for not making our support plain and upfront on these other platforms sooner.

NeverEnding-BLM-Statement

NeverEnding: Making Your Stories About YOU!

NeverEnding is a small startup. We don’t have a lot of money (understatement). We don’t have a lot of followers (yet). What we have is a big dream to change the face of tabletop roleplaying games by creating the tools that allow players and dungeon masters to see themselves in their games and better share their stories.

Allowing players to see themselves in their games has been one of our goals since the beginning. We’re working hard to make it a reality with our character builder, scene builder and video animator.

We realized early on, that if we want people to be able to create characters that looked like them, the character builder would be a critical first step. Being able to have a character with naturally curly hair and choosing from a variety of skin tones needs to be a given – but there are other aspects that get missed beyond hair and skin tone. Little things like glasses or freckles can make a difference. Having different body types that are maybe more average or curvier than the typical superhero can make the game better for many. Having a variety of ways someone can feel represented helps them enjoy the game more.

So, we’re doing all of that and more. It’s important you feel like you’re reflected in your game – if that’s what you want. But it isn’t just so you can feel represented. A diverse character builder might be a virtual way of exposing more people to others who look different from them. For example, one of the reasons we included prosthetics in our builder as a base feature is to dispel the idea of disabled people as inherently weak or helpless or broken.

We’re also creating hairstyles and clothing options that reflect non-European cultures as well. There’s nothing wrong with the traditional knight in platemail that we’ve come to expect in the typical medieval tropes of many TTRPGs. But those tropes don’t have to preclude us including options based off of the beautiful beaded coats worn by the Baggara warriors from northern Africa in the late 18th century or the spiked armor of an Indian executioner from the same period. There are many, many rich and gorgeous cultures around the globe. We want to explore them with you. One of the places we’re consciously pulling inspiration from right now is the variety of cultures and peoples of Africa. For too long there’s been this idea of Africa and her people being “less than” or a monoculture. Nothing could be further from the truth. We want to work with artists and experts to reveal and display the myriad gems of splendor available from those storied lands.

This is a huge undertaking. Exhausting and sometimes scary. There is a LOT of art to be created in our platform and a lot of programming work still to be done. We have high hopes. We have plans. We won’t get there all at once – and we hope people have patience with us along the journey.


I recognize now that, even though we’re small, we also have opportunities to lift people up as we try to do something amazing. We have a Kickstarter June 12. We’re planning stretch goals. Initially, I was hoping to connect with some bigger name established artists. I realized today that all those artists started off small and became big, because more people saw their art. With that in mind, I am putting out the call for artists of color who’d like to help us develop and fulfill stretch goals for the character builder and the scene builder (both critical components for our animator).  We only have 9 days to plan things out, but we can work together on figuring some specifics as the days go on.

A shortlist of what we’re thinking includes backgrounds and props reflective of different areas and environments around the world, hairstyles and facial hair as well as clothing and armor inspired by West Africa, Thailand, and other places, monsters from other mythologies. The list could go on.

We do have a certain art style. We have always planned on expanding it, and that can be part of the discussion as well. We will put some priority on artists who think they can fit within our style and help us expand our options – but we want to hear from anyone with ideas for how we can make this bigger and better.

Send portfolio links to jvandoren@beneverending.com

Let’s change the face of TTRPGs together.

Sincerely,

Jamie Van Doren
Founder/CEO
NeverEnding, Inc.


PS: No, this will not be the only opportunity for black creatives and others to work with us. The road ahead is long. There’s plenty of room for us to walk together later.

Results Are In. Kickstarter June 12!

So many character combinations are possible.

We have a very special update to share with all of our friends and fans! 

After polls on Twitter, Facebook, and to our email subscribers, we heard you loud and clear. It seems like nearly everyone wants to try out one of the basic features of the platform/app ASAP. So, we’ve moved our Kickstarter launch date to June 12th. Why? So we can premiere our super awesome character builder right away (like you asked us to do)!

We know that once you test it, you’ll be hooked and want to help us bring you more and better features by backing us on Kickstarter! Our character builder will let you customize facial features, hair, body type, and the outfit – so you can create a unique character portrait. It won’t have ALL the bells and whistles (or options) of the final version – but you get to try it for FREE!

Expect to see it on the site, prior to June 12th. We had an overwhelmingly positive response to this idea, so we hope to see you testing and playing with our character builder as soon as it’s available!

April Giveaway

With our Kickstarter fast approaching, we want to ensure people are actually interested in the platform. One way to gauge interest is how many people join our Pre-Kickstarter Email List.

Because we want THE happiest fans, we’re doing a giveaway! (*shouts* *hoots* *whistles*)

THE GIVEAWAY

For the next 2 weeks, we’ll do a drawing when we hit the following email subscriber milestones:
50, 100, 200, 300, 500, 700, 1000.

What are we giving away? SO MUCH!

  • We have a Reaper mini: Sister Hazel, Plague Doctor
  • The D&D Bestiary Mini Notebooks
  • Multiple miniature boosters: Pathfinder Battles: The Rusty Dragon Inn, Icons of the Realms: Tomb of Annihilation, and Icons of the Realms: Descent into Avernus
  • Plus so many healing potions for your table!


Given the odds (and the cool loot) the faster you sign up, the better! Not to mention the deadline to hit milestones for the giveaway is April 21, 2020.

Additionally, if you share a post on Twitter or Facebook about the giveaway, tag us, and email us a link to your post, you’ll be entered into a separate drawing for a super cool, extra special giveaway.

What is this “super cool, extra special giveaway” you ask? Shhhhhhh. It’s a Secret. We’ll let you know once we hit our second milestone of 100 email subscribers.