Submission Guidelines

About Submissions

Uncounted Worlds is always seeking new submissions from talented writers and artists. My specific interest is in material supporting role playing in the varied settings that can be covered by Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing (BRP) system. In particular the magazine focuses on exploring possibilities beyond the extensive body of role-playing material already published by Chaosium and its licensees, and as such all submissions should where possible contain fresh ideas.

Legal Ownership

All material contributed to Uncounted Worlds remains the legal property of the original author/creator, although I would ask that you do not seek to republish this material elsewhere for a period of at least six months after its publication in the magazine. The commercial and non-commercial distribution rights for such works also remain with the author / creator.

By submitting an article or adventure to the magazine, you are granting Uncounted Worlds (me and any volunteers who assist me) permission to edit the work and publish it (in print and pdf format, unless otherwise agreed), in one issue of Uncounted Worlds. Furthermore, any additional use of such work (i.e. for promotional or sample purposes) will require a separate agreement, to be settled on an individual basis between the editors and the author. As a not-for-profit fanzine, I regret that I cannot pay for using your work – you will however get a free print copy of the issue in which your work appears. Please bear in mind that since I’m using a “Print on Demand” service that no issue of Uncounted Worlds will ever technically be out of print…

Please note that a submission alone does not guarantee that an article, adventure or piece of art will be published, although I will endeavour to inform authors/artists as soon as possible if I am not going to use your work.

In return for submitting a work to Uncounted Worlds, I and any volunteers who assist me promise to remain faithful to your creation and acknowledge that any submitted work remains the property of its author at all times. Any correspondence between Uncounted Worlds and the author will remain private and confidential at all times.

Article Guidelines

It is my goal for Uncounted Worlds to be a well-rounded magazine that focuses on scenarios and pieces of immediate use, but also that looks to expand the horizons of the Basic Role Playing system in ways of concrete assistance to game masters.

Regular Columns

Uncounted Worlds aspires to have several regular columns. These include:

  • “A Tale of the Uncounted Worlds” – Uncounted Worlds is interested in any Basic Role Playing scenarios. Such submissions should include maps, statistics, creatures and encounters, and ideally would be accompanied by relevant setting notes (possibly a full article).
  • “A Device Most Wondrous and Strange” – Objects, places, organisations and phenomena of interest, whether strange enchantments looted from ancient ruins, the remains from a lost civilisation, or simply the cunning artisanship of some unnamed craftsmen from distant lands; all have great potential to become source material for a new scenario or to add an interesting twist to an existing story.
  • “Be easy and free when you’re drinking with me…” – A well-drawn NPC can save a mediocre encounter (or scenario); indeed some can be the foundation of whole campaigns. Obviously here I after something more than simply a well formed set of BRP stats.
  • “Foul Spawn!” – Monstrous creatures are ten a penny in most RPG’s, but one well thought out creature can become the heart of an entire adventure. As such it goes without saying that I am looking for something more substantial than a set of stats and typical combat tactics…
  • “Tales of Blood and Doom” (inspired by Steve Hatherley’s “Tales of Terror” for Call of Cthulhu) – I would very much like to see short, original scenario ideas developed for the magazine. Ideally, these should be about 500 words long and describe an artefact, location, individual or event. This introduction should be formatted to include an enticing and story-like introduction with three different story hooks (listed under a heading of “Possibilities”) each of which could be expanded into a full adventure. These are fairly simple to write, and depend entirely on one’s creativity to be effective – Tales of Blood and Doom should be short, dramatic, and to the point.
  • “One Realm Amongst Many” – These articles will provide ideas and rules dealing with the various artefacts, people, locations and cultures of alternate settings for BRP games.
  • “Rules Were Made To Be Broken” – I am always looking for a new rules or variations that genuinely enhances the BRP gaming system – rule updates written purely for the sake of change do not particularly interest me but articles which add to the game in ways which have yet to be explored, or adapt it to cope with some aspect not previously covered (e.g. adapting the car chase rules for Starfighter combat, rules for airships etc…) are most welcome. Ideally, these will be companion pieces to scenarios or the like.
  • “From Out of the Swirling Void” – the focus of this magazine is BRP gaming, and in general I am intending to devote the majority of its pages to material that immediately supports actual play. But the occasional “meta-game” pieces such interviews with well known BRP writers, convention reports etc. that I feel may be of interest will appear under this heading.

Document and Image Format

Articles and Adventures (Text)

Uncounted Worlds accepts submissions written in electronic format (preferably in Rich Text Format (.RTF), although Plain text files (.TXT) are also acceptable). Please do not send unsolicited MS Word documents (.DOC), as these will be deleted unread.

I suggest using a reasonable point size (11 or 12pt minimum), in a legible and commonly available font. CAPITALISE headings, use bold for emphasis, and italicise publication titles such as Uncounted Worlds. Don’t include any other formatting or layout (I’ll work that out), and unless absolutely necessary tables and other such unavoidable formatting should be created using simple default tabs.

Artwork

Uncounted Worlds accepts electronic artwork in all major graphics package formats, although TIFF is preferred. If submitting unsolicited artwork, please send small thumbnails (in JPG format) or, preferably, an URL link to an online gallery. Please bear in mind that any artwork will be ultimately published as illustrations in an A4 sized format print publication with (for the moment at least) black and white interiors, and whilst I would love to be able to find a home for your 3′ by 2′ canvas of the Siege of Lemuria, it will be quite a challenge to do the original justice…

Please do not send files greater than 1 MB to the submission e-mail address. Rather, please advise editor AT uncounted-worlds DOT org that you have a large file so an alternative e-mail address can be supplied.

It’s Been Done Before…

Prospective contributors should also bear in mind that Uncounted Worlds is NOT the forum for:

  • Fan Fiction – Please do not submit Fan Fiction. This is a gaming magazine, and many other websites are better set up to host and support fan fiction. Not to mention deal with the legal complexities involved. Original works of fiction might find a place, but they would have to be clearly gaming related, and are probably also best directed elsewhere.
  • Conversion to Game system XYZ – This magazine’s remit is Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing. I am not interested in publishing peoples house rules to “fix” their pet gripes with BRP – this is a fine line, but I wish to promote playing with BRP, not tinkering with the rules for the sake of it.
  • “Special Duck License Edition” – I am not a legal expert, and can’t afford to hire one, and thus regret that I cannot publish any pieces that depend on any complex second or third party licenses to permit publication. Where your work is not solely your own IP it must be publishable under standard “fair use” conventions of European Copyright law – so no OGL or specific STL compliant articles, and nothing clearly derived from any OGL released SRD please.
  • Duplication of Effort – Whilst I am not against including material for Call of Cthulhu, since that game is already well served by other publications it is unlikely that such material would see publication via Uncounted Worlds.

Send only whole documents! I only need complete works. If it isn’t finished, please complete it before you even consider sending it to for consideration. (Please note that “completing a work,” means more than writing everything you meant to write and then checking it for spelling errors. Completing means producing something you would be happy to put you name to, and more importantly would be happy knowing others will read and comment on).

Approaching me with ideas for articles is fine, but I can’t make any commitments unless I have a finished product. The most time consuming element of preparing an issue is copy-editing and that is impossible until I have a final draft.

Delete excess text. You’ll be more likely to catch my eye if your article or adventure is as concise as possible.

If an article doesn’t fit into one of the categories of what I’m looking for, send a query email before sending the submission. I will most likely want to review it in any event, but this will save us both time if I can weed out any extraneous material before the submission stage. Regardless, this will also allow me to help shape a proposal that’s slightly off into a winning article.

It is also important to note that I am a human being with other responsibilities, and I will be in touch when I have reviewed your submission. This might take a while, and daily emails about the status of your submission will not speed this phase of the process up.

Finally

Uncounted Worlds can’t survive without submissions. But the best way for everyone involved in the process is to stick to these guidelines.

So what are you waiting for? Get writing and send your submission to the editor at editor AT uncounted-worlds DOT org

These submissions guidelines are inspired in part by those of The Black Seal and The Unbound Book magazines.

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