Modern Papyrus 2021 – A Year In Review for Author Daniel Ottalini

Goodbye 2021, may ye stay in the past where you belong. Welcome 2022! Today I want to briefly review some of the awesome successes I’ve had this year, and share some plans for the year ahead. I have a Writing New Years Resolution to accomplish this year!

This year saw me transition somewhat from writing full length novels and novellas to adventure modules for role playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons. Part of this was to allow me to complete more writing projects faster, and part of it reflected a shift in my interests and a connection between work I was already doing, and an effort to capitalize off it. It also lets me expand my writing styles, explore new characters and concepts, and improve my story design skills.

But let’s get down to business. What exactly did I write this year?

Reflections of Brass, my paperback anthology of my three ebook novellas, was released in November through Amazon Print On Demand Services. I’m excited as every part of the Steam Empire Chronicles now has a paperback version available for people to read!

I also published seven (!) different Dungeons and Dragons / Role Playing Adventures through DMs Guild. I had been working on several of these projects in 2020, and finally took the plunge to publish them, and I’m really glad I did! Here’s a summary of the work! (Over 100,000 words worth of work, and 250+ pages of awesome things!)

  1. Lost Temple of the Thunder Bringers (See the Announcement Post Here) – A Jungle Campaign module featuring a 12 room jungle temple with treasure, enemies, traps, and much more! Plus a hidden village with four custom NPCs, four awesome magical items, and four bonus battle maps and encounters!
  2. Along the Triboar – Additional Adventures in Phandalin (See the Announcement Post Here) – An expanded module to support Level 5 Characters in the Phandelver Valley with two of my old settings updated and combined! This PDF includes a module and setting for Clearing Lomewood Castle, as well as an additional campaign setting for Fort Lomewood. Inside are detailed maps of the interior and exterior of both Lomewood Castle and Fort Lomewood, as well as detailed descriptions of unique and individual NPCs, as well as links to existing NPCs from the Lost Mines of Phandelver.
  3. Siege Rules & the Invasion of the Phandelver Valley (See the Announcement Post Here) – substantial upgrades are finished on my IotPV module, including custom battle maps, stats for different siege engines, defensive buildings, a sample play through and a campaign linked to the Lost Mines of Phandelver beginning missions!
  4. Wyvern Tor Revisited (See Announcement Post Here) – This is an upgraded and reorganized version of my old free version of Wyvern Tor & the Temple of Zumash dungeon exploration. Featuring new maps, player props, and even magical item stats, this 18 page module is great for the beginner Lost Mines of Phandelver Pact setting, or any setting where you need a subterranean temple.
  5. Kohtumine: The Great Gathering of the Ships (See Announcement Post Here) – The folk of the sea – pirates, traders, priests, merchants and warriors – all gather to elect the next Lord or Lady of the Oceans. Join the politicking free-for-all with three all new factions, seven encounter maps, ship stats lines, unique ship upgrades, and mission hooks for parties of all levels. This nearly 50 page adventure setting module is setting neutral. Have ocean, will travel (to the Kohtumine!)
  6. A Field Guide to Temerrit – (See Announcement Post Here) In this guidebook you will find a map for each town, featuring points of interest, as well as a handful of NPC contacts for PCs to visit. Additionally, plot hooks and storylines are provided for each town, as well as an overarching storyline for DMs wishing to utilize the entire province, or just a single settlement!
  7. Tales from Temerrit: The Fall of Palrom the Usurper – (See Announcement Post Here) Prepare yourselves and your characters to take on the infamous Usurper, Vincent Palrom. The Oathbreaker Paladin has torn Temerrit apart, and the province stands on a precipice. Will you join the resistance and fight back against the man seeking apotheosis, or does the call to power beckon you forward, crushing the scattered forces of good. Plot hooks, new maps, unique character backgrounds, an in-depth story and an all new introductory campaign make The Fall of Palrom the best adventure setting available yet!

I’ve had a lot of fun making these, and I’m excited to share more with you in the future! Which brings us to my writing goals for 2022.

  • Write and publish something for at least six months this year (so publish six (6) new things this year!)

That’s it! That’s my goal. I’d love to try and push myself to do a full dozen, but I also want to be able to focus on completing commissions for my terrain side hustle, as well as eventually work on a new installment for the Steam Empire Chronicles. I’m also planning to eventually combine all the Temerrit Tales into one massive print creation that I can bring together and get bound and printed.

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations? Let me know!

School is coming, so What’s Next?

School is coming back for us teachers here in Maryland! My county’s continuity of learning plan is being activated, which means less time to do awesome blog posts and writing, but just in time for me to send the Last Gladiator off to the format people!

So what’s next?


  1. Prepare and finish the outline for a Brief History of Rome and New Caesaria. This is my next project.
  2. Make a list for people interested in doing a book tour for The Last Gladiator – I’d love to connect with more authors and am more than willing to do a blog trade or guest post!
  3. Plan for the forthcoming Anthology of my novellas coming sometime next winter or spring – depending on time of course!

That’s it so far! If you’re interested in joining a book tour, let me know! And remember to subscribe and follow me here, and on Facebook and twitter!


Buckling Down – Time to Do This

man doing pull ups
Photo by Murilo Botelho on

Naturally – A Day (Month) Late, and a dollar short, time to get this writing show on the road. The goal for this next week is simply to write for an hour each day. That’s it! I can do that!

Check here soon to see more writing!

– Daniel

Have you turned off your Internet today?

Turning off your internet for a day or a week – what will you accomplish?

Howdy folks,

I wanted to talk briefly today about something I think we could all use.

A day / week / month without internet.

Continue reading “Have you turned off your Internet today?”

Where the Steam Empire Chronicles is going next…

Where the Steam Empire Chronicles is going from here! Plus a sneak peek at Roma Aeronautica.

Hi all, Happy Sunday!

I figured I’d briefly share my overall plan for where I’m taking the series next. You see, as a writer, I’m a tad bit obsessive when it comes to planning (but not as a teacher, I’m horrible at planning there!). So what are my plans and goals for the S.E.C. after the release of Copper Centurion

Tactical Layout of the H.M.A.S. Scioparto
Tactical Layout of the H.M.A.S. Scioparto

First, I’m going to have two short stories put out this year. Roma Aeronautica, will be released August 1st most likely, and Antioch Burns, the second one, will be out in December most likely (still a flexible time period). Why two novellas you ask? Honestly, I was tired and I wanted to feel the success of finishing things without having to pound away at another novel for a bit. Don’t worry fans, you’ll still get your Iron Tribune. I’m not giving up! Spring is just an incredibly hectic time for teachers, and it can really show in my writing and sanity. So I’ve discovered that writing during this time is the hardest for me. Strangely enough, writing during the summer is not that difficult for me!

My personal goal with writing and self-publishing is to eventually be able to do this exclusively. Obviously I’d need to see where I am personally and professionally, as a full time job is really nice income wise, and I’d have to be able to make up what I’m losing by giving up the full time job, but it’s nice to have a goal. Secondary to that, I’d like to at least be able to not work summers, which I get off as a teacher, because of the income from the novels. I feel as though that would be a great start and allow me more time with my friends and family.

Oh, and I’d love to visit the places I talk about in my novels. Perhaps I can even figure out how to set up a tour or something similar so I can go with fans! (Just a thought! – would anyone actually be interested?)

As an extra fun bit, enjoy this tidbit from Roma Aeronautica below!

“I know that my ancestry can be a mark against my family’s honor. But I implore you to give me a chance to prove myself. I will pass whatever tests you require, just for that chance.” He bowed low, then thanked them.
“All right, all right, let’s vote already,” Astoragas said impatiently. “I vote no. Can’t have little Cassi brats infiltrating the airfleet. First one, then more!”
“No,” Garus Miletosinos said, hardly looking up from his paperwork.
“Yes,” Quintus Heratus said forcefully, smiling warmly at the boy.
The room was silent for a moment as the small group of bureaucrats waited for the last two votes. By tradition, the chief judge voiced his opinion last, so it could be said he was not influencing any of the others.
“Vorentius?” Amelius turned to his right and prodded the sleeping judge with his foot.
“Who? What? Vote? Yes… of… of course!” Vorentius Ilsotus said with a flourish before closing his eyes and beginning to snore again. Sighing, Amelius realized it was once again up to him to be the deciding vote.


Writing and Life Goals for the Future, and how to Achieve them!

July Goals and a personal challenge: Also a chance to be a beta reader for Copper Centurion!

Hi all,

So I know it has been a while since I last posted, but I have excuses…er… I mean reasons! I swear!.

First, for those of you who live on the Eastern Seaboard of the USA, you know what terrible storms we’ve been having. We lost power here for about 5 days, and just got it back on the 4th of July. I also just went through the whole house-buying process and am now the proud owner of my own home.

So yes, it’s been a busy week. But I’m looking towards the future now, and it excites me. Why? Many reasons.

First, Now that I’ve got a steady job and a place to call my own, I can focus on finishing up the other loose ends that I’m still dealing with. Namely, my education. I’m on track to graduate with a Masters in December. Of course, I have to make it till then! Second, I just finished up my first full month of being a published author, and it was awesome! I sold over fifty books this month. I know many people will probably think that’s lame or sad, but the way I see it, it is a small stepping stone to something bigger. I got a lot of reviews and they were all really good! So that’s something else to cheer about.

What do I have going on besides that? Why, Copper Centurion of course! Due to the power outages and such, I’ve been behind. I’m also going on vacation next week, so I’m behind there as well. Grr. But I’m sticking with my goal of completing Copper Centurion by the end of this month. Did I mention I also have to complete a huge chunk of Grad school work by then as well before I go on a long vacation again?! Yea… Looks like I’ll be living on the computer until then!

Goals: At least two thousand words for the book per day.

And at least one paper/assignment for school per day.

oh, AND one blog post per week.


How will I achieve these goals?

1.) Patience and Perseverance – I’m going to literally make myself sit and type away every day.

2.) I know what distracts me. So I’m turning off the internet – as possible. I’m actually in an online masters program, so that’s not always a possibility. However, I’ve learned a cool trick where you get rid of all your bookmarks by using a different browser than the one you normally use. I used to spend hours of time reading the Washington Post online, but after I removed the bookmark from my toolbar, I’ve stopped!

3.) Accountability – First off, I’m academically accountable, but secondly, I’m also accountable to my beta readers, who I’ve already lined up for early August. If I have to move it, then it makes me look bad (and lazy!).

Now, I hope to keep you updated on the progress of these goals, but first I must give you the starting points.

Right now, I’ve completed 17000/80000 words (that’s the end goal amount for book two)

School wise, I’ve finished 4/20 assignments.

Now, time to get to work! If you’ve got any tips or tricks to finishing up the work quicker, or eliminating distractions, let me know! Also, if you’re interested in being a beta reader for Copper Centurion, send me an email through the contact page above.

Establishing Goals!

Setting goals for Brass Legionnaire, my summer, and beyond.

Greetings all!

I’ve realized that setting goals is a big part of why I wrote Brass Legionnaire. At first, I just wanted to finish a few chapters, then the novel. Then I wanted to publish it. Now that the book is finished and just awaiting the last few illustrations and formatting needs, what’s next? I’ve put together a list of personal goals that I hope to accomplish by the end of the summer of 2012 – IE August 21st or so, the start of the new school year.

By June 1st

  1. Brass Legionnaire Published
  2. Book Webpage Running
  3. 125 followers on Twitter (currently at 77!)
  4. 50 Facebook Likes (Currently at 12)
  5. At least one blog interview done.
  6. Have at least Four chapters of Copper Centurion complete
  7. Post at least 3x a week here on the blog!

By July 1st

  1. 150 Twitter followers
  2. 75 Facebook Likes
  3. At least 3-4 Blog interviews done
  4. Run at least one giveaway on Goodreads with my novel for reviews
  5. Finish at least ten chapters of Copper Centurion.

By August 1st

  1. 175 Twitter Followers
  2. 100 Facebook Likes
  3. At least 4-5 Blog interviews/guest posts done.
  4. Perhaps run a second Goodreads/Facebook giveaway?
  5. Get audiobook component started.
  6. Have at least half of Copper Centurion completed.

By September 1st (End of summer)

  1. Have editing and cover art for Copper Centurion lined up.
  2. Continue to guest blog/post.
  3. Post 3x a week.
  4. Complete all Kickstarter rewards.

Obviously, a lot to do, but I think I’ve set both reasonable and doable goals. I can reach the social media goals by adding less than one person a day to twitter and Facebook, which, in my experience, is an accessible target. Did I leave anything out? 🙂
Brass Legionnaire is looking to drop Mid-May 2012!

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