I'm in the early stages of writing my own tabletop RPG System/Setting. I plan to self-publish most likely, probably starting off just on DriveThruRPG and seeing how it goes from there.

And I'm looking to hire some additional writers—of both “fluff” and “crunch”—because as much as I might like to, I really don't think I can design it all myself. I mean, I don't think any game system out there has ever been a solo authorship, has it?

What online community would you recommend to post this kind of “Help Wanted” ad? Is there a better way of hiring freelancers of this type?

Please note that I am looking for freelancers, not collaborators. In the past, I've had someone express interest in collaborating with me on the game, only to then go in and try to change about half of all my ideas and remake it into something that this individual wanted it to be. Unsurprisingly, we went our separate ways due to creative differences. I am very anal and OCD (literally—I suffer from pretty severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) about this setting… it's my baby, and I'm not really looking for notes or “constructive criticism” about how to improve the parts of it I already have. Those are set in stone.

I am looking for writers who can take this as canon, as gospel, and then add on to it—new locations, new characters, new powers—without retconning or changing anything that's already established. Basically, I'm specifically not looking for co-authors who want to write with me, but for freelance writers who I pay to write for me.

For Further Clarification:** I'm currently unpublished. I don't have any kind of “inside” industry connections. I'm looking for a way to get my foot in the door as far as hiring/networking with freelancers. Particularly, I'm looking for a place to do this online.

For example, I know where to go when I'm ready to start hiring illustrators for my game book. The Conceptart.org Forums. I just put up a Wanted ad, describing the price range I'm looking to pay and the kind of art I need, and BAM! the emails start pouring in. Is there a similar place like this online for RPG freelance writers?*

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question appears off topic because it is asking for a resource to find writers. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Nov 10, 2014 at 13:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe this is on topic for the site currently per meta.rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/609/…. Those dissenting may VTC and take discussion to meta as desired. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Nov 10, 2014 at 14:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's enough commenting on this question. Open a meta question if there is debate about question validity. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Nov 10, 2014 at 15:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a setting bible written yet? If not, is that something within your resources to create? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2014 at 16:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie I have one, yes—I would estimate it is about 40% complete, maybe a little more. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2014 at 17:28

1 Answer 1



The thoughts and opinions I provide below are based upon some basic experience with hiring talented creators for a few projects throughout the years, but more so in my own experience with finding work as a creative writer and designer.

First thoughts

As gathered from your question, it is clear that your vision for the game is very important to you and that it is to be YOUR game. I would suggest putting effort into keeping this clarity up in future correspondence with potential writers, wherever you end up finding them. Should they get the wrong impression, your time will be wasted (both in explaining this to the writer and in speaking with them in the first place).

In short, keep up the clarity of what you want and, even more, what you don't want, as you continually search for and employ writers.

Freelancer sites

There are a few sites and web services that aim towards connecting freelancers with potential employers. Depending on which service you choose, these could generate a lot of interested writers, albeit of varying skill.

Freelancer.org is one such site, where freelancers from a wide variety of fields can connect with employers. While a bit buggy and prone to some weird visual effects, this site is powerful, secure and has a free-to-use option. Posting a job offer here generates, in my experience, a lot of correspondence.

Fiverr is another such service, but starts at the other end, so to speak. On Fiverr, creators in various fields post what kind of work they are willing to do for $5 (or, a fiver). In creating writing, the offers vary from "I'll write an entire chapter" to "I'll write 200 words", depending on the writer and, often, their skill and reputation.

Forums and communities

It is my experience that talented, creative writers can be found on forums and communities, bassed upon their interest, of course. I would suggest visiting various RPG forums (such as Roleplayer Guild) and write a post about your project in some detail there (be very clear on the part about "your vision, your game"). While probably not as direct in finding a lot of Creative Writers as the Freelancer sites, the Writers you do find will probably have a greater understanding of writing for RPGs.


I am not endorsed in any way by the sites that I have mentioned above, nor have I been encouraged in any way to mention them here, or anywhere else. The sites I have mentioned are examples of sites that I, myself, have found useful in similar projects.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Gunnar. This sounds somewhat helpful. Roleplayer Guild could be a good place to post. I'm not so sure about Fiverr though, lol. Generic creative writing experience is fine and all, but people with experience specifically in writing for RPGs is much better, especially considering I need “crunch” as well as “fluff”… your average creative writing freelancer won't even know what that means, no less how to do it. We'll have to see how things go… \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2014 at 12:48

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