Today I was going to write about Origins, but something happened that hit me hard. Almost harder than when my grandmother passed this year. Let’s be personal for a few minutes…..
I would like to write today about a man I’ve never met, never talked to, and have never seen in real life. I would like to talk to you today about Steven Russell. Steven Russell is the owner of Rite Publishing. It’s a third party RPG developer who’s main claim to fame is their Diceless RPG Lords of Gossamer and Shadow.
I met Steven when I was looking over a thread on RPG.org. They were looking for people to convert their standard Pathfinder RPG products to 5e. I figured what the hell, I can do this! I threw my hat into the ring, and lo and behold, I was given a shot. He worked with me and helped me to develop my first RPG product. I won’t say its the best work I’ve ever done, but honestly, seeing my name in print was amazing. He helped me achieve a lifetime dream. I may not have started as the most impressive designer out there, but that day I felt 10 feet tall.
Steven was an amazing mentor. He gave me more projects to work on and helped me build up my talents. He taught me how to write, how to manage my time better, and how to follow a deadline. He also pushed me to be my own writer. One of the last things I was working on with Steven was publishing my own products. He was giving me tips on how to get art, write, and how to even edit my own work. Even when I was too deep into writing for Rite and with my 9 to 5 job, he was pushing me to make some time for my work. He really was a great man.
Unfortunately, last Wednesday night when he was driving home he was in a massive car accident and was killed. He had just moved back to his home state to be with his family. I have never had the chance to buy him a beer at GenCon or even play an RPG with him. Even though I never got the chance to meet him, he was one of the best friends/bosses I ever had. This saddens me greatly that I will never have the chance. I don’t know if he considered me a friend, but I know that I consider him one.