Friday, August 31, 2012

By Zeus, It's Done!

A voyager ship sails upon the Forever Sea...

Worlds Apart Update

I'm putting the final finishes on Worlds Apart (our fantasy game based off the OGL version of Mongoose's Traveller) and should hopefully have the PDF released in a few days. There will be a *free* version of the core rules sans art - the pay version will have all the art. I'm also going to have several small PDF accessories to the game out at release (3 island gazetteers and a grouping of pregenerated cargoes based upon island type) so there should be some additional help in getting a game up and running for those who don't require complete creative independence in designing their worlds.

I'm excited about this and it's been a long time in the works. Here's two more of the illustrations for Worlds Apart careers (rogue, scholar). I hope people enjoy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Free Advanced Adventure PDF of Your Choice for Blog Subscribers!

I've decided to give a gift to all of you who've taken the time to listen to me over the past years. Thanks! If you've subscribed to my blog, just post the name of the Advanced Adventure you want to receive along with the e-mail address that you would like me to send the download link to. I'll be sending out the free PDF copies via on Wednesday, Sept 3rd.

And if, well, you're not a subscriber you can just become a new subscriber and I won't hold it against you... :-)

Here's a link to all of the Advanced Adventures available for the giveaway.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

More Thoughts On The Death Of The OSR

Perhaps it's just me, but I've always viewed OSR to mean Old-School Renaissance, as demonstrated by the Old-School Renaissance Group booth I ran at GenCon 2011. I've always preferred Renaissance over Rules, Revolution, Reformation, or any of the other "R's" that others ascribe to the an acronym, because renaissance implies a return to an older gaming aesthetic as interpreted through a modern aesthetic. I think that's an apt description - we admire the things we view as good in the older material, discard the things we think are bad, and argue with each other about what falls into those two categories... :-)

The OSR is not a business model - it's not dependent upon market forces - because *every one of us* is a creator and a critic. We can both sculpt and critique the sculptures, we can both paint and critique the paintings. The OSR is a very egalitarian endeavor - which is what original gaming was about - making up your own stuff using the rules as a framework for the shared creative experience.

I am in "the industry" of gaming, but I am no different than any other participant in the OSR. There is no barrier to participation in the OSR, and there are limited barriers in presentation of new materials. I commercialize the OSR material I produce (because I like to eat!), but the commercialization that I do *does not* have to be done by others. My interest in running a profitable business has *zip* to do with the OSR. Nada. Nilch.

The OSR isn't an industry - it's thousands of people getting together, playing face-to-face (or virtually so), and having fun being creative and social.

The OSR will only die when we stop playing, when we stop teaching others how to play.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Single Most Important Difference Between Old and New Schools?

If had to find the single most important difference between old-school and new-school I'd go with : the game is playing, not playing with this character.

The assumption of a player having a stake in a game that is tied to a character, as opposed to the role of playing a character, seems a tremendous conceptual split between old and new.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Steal This RPG

So last night I thought of an rpg based off of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book. The game takes place in 1972 and the players assume the role of various counter-culture operatives living in a world in which the Pig Empire (Piiiiiigmen...from...spaaaaaaace!) controls the government and police forces of Amerika.

Much like the awesome movie They Live (see it if you haven't!) the Pigs are hidden from the view of normal humans, but the player characters have stole magical copies of Steal This Book that allow them to see the world as it really is.

I'm liking the idea and think it would be an interesting world to explore for at least a few gaming sessions...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm An Idiot

So I go to finish up Worlds Apart since I'm back from my vacation and it turns out that I saved over the full-sized cover file, replacing it with the small blog-friendly version. So I'm going to have to do the cover all over again. Oh well, in terms of fail, this isn't that big, just annoying.

A Thought On the OSR

For some reason, I've just read a few posts talking about the death of the OSR. It reminds me of all the "Punk is Dead" messages I saw growing up in the early 80's and made me think of this...

That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Which PDF OSR Adventures Sell The Best?

So today I've spent quite a bit of time analyzing the PDF sales data I've gathered over the years on the Advanced Adventures line. Unsurprisingly, lower-level adventures tend to sell better and the worst sellers are high level adventures. It's nice to see the commonly-held belief reinforced by several years of sales records - at least for our line of OSR modules.

Tome of Tomes

Now I've recovered a bit from the vacation (slept 14.5 hours!) it's time to get back into the swing of things...

Theology or Myth?
Author: Duane Harkpel
Race: Human
Dimensions: 6x5x1
Weight: 1 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Common
Fields of Study: Humankind
Special Knowledge Categories: Theology & myth
Value: 25 gp

A short and densely philosophical work, Theology or Myth explores the often fine line between theology and myth. Harkpel shows a deep understanding of the futility of ascribing to myth that which is perhaps yet just an undiscovered theology. Theology or Myth is a polarizing work in many circles and some persecutions have occurred against those who support Harkpel’s postulations. Because of this controversy, Theology or Myth has been through many various editions and is an oft reproduced work.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Suspicious Fish is Suspicious

Back from our vacation and thought a pic from the Seattle Aquarium would brighten the day...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

On Vacation! :-)

NOTICE: We are on vacation. Any orders made from Aug 12 to Aug 20 will be shipped on Aug 21st.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Another Piece of Art from Worlds Apart

Here's another of the professions illustrations in Worlds Apart. This one is scholars.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Got the Final Art for Worlds Apart

Just got the last of the art for Worlds Apart and am in the process of setting up the files. I've got to go through another round of nit-picking (which will still leave many nits behind, I'm sure) and then the work goes on sale as a PDF with art and become available to everyone as a PDF without art.

I've also got about 4 other PDFs (one to help GMs determine trading cargo available, and three short islands gazetteers) ready to go for the Worlds Apart launch. It's getting closer and hopefully should happen within a week.

Tome of Tomes

Just got the new Rush Album and giving it a whirl this morning. It's great that these guys are still playing, doing what they love.

Microclimates of the Lambeth Forest
Author: Telperion Starchaser
Race: Elf
Dimensions: 8x8x1
Weight: 2lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Rare
Fields of Study: Physical universe
Special Knowledge Categories: Meteorology & climatology
Value: 60 gp

Written many years ago, this work is an extensive look at the various microclimates within the massive Lambeth Forest. Although Starchaser touches upon the various plants and animals indicative of the microclimates he discusses, his work is of little use in those two fields. Microlimates of the Lambeth Forest features several expansive fold-out maps of the forest and it is these maps that lead most to this tome.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Why I'm Glad My Kickstarter Failed Miserably

Just a little bit over a month ago I started the OSR Calendar Kickstarter with a goal of $7,500 (or roughly 375 backers). It's over now with a grand total of 5 backers and $130 raised.

This, I believe, qualifies as a substantial and miserable failure.

I could be disheartened as I wanted to do the calendar, but I am instead glad that this is the result. For if success was not in the cards, I'd feel much worse were we to have failed by only a few hundred dollars. This definitive failure tells me that there was *no* demand for the product. It's a crystal message from the customer-base. "Nope, we're not interested."

I also view this definitive failure as a definitive success. I think I view Kickstarter in a different way than many other creators. I have the capital to do what I want when it comes to rpg-related products. If I wanted, I could have created the calendar, printed it up, and shipped it out like any of our other publications. Many other creators have the vision and the drive, but not the capital, to do something. For someone like that, this failure would sting.

For me, it a great relief. It's a great relief because I accepted that I did not have knowledge on how the OSR Calendar would be received and I mitigated my risk by using Kickstarter as a market tester requiring only minimal effort. My failed Kickstarter saved me thousands of dollars. I did the right thing for my business.

So, although I'd rather have seen it funded, published, and enjoyed. I am *far* from disappointed in the results. A spectacular failure is always an opportunity to learn.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A Not-So-Quiet Sunday

Suzi has finals tomorrow so she's engaging in her "I'm tired of studying - Time to BAKE!!" routine. Which means she whips out the cd player and music's played at a rather elevated level. Not that I can really complain, as chocolate chip cookies and shortbread is the end result, but it is rather hard to focus when Little Richard is blaring out with all his piano-y majesty.

So, a not-so-quite Sunday, but life could be oh-so-much worse. :-)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Another Advanced Adventures Manuscript Accepted!

Pending the contract signing, I've added another module to the AA line, bringing the line up to 31 modules with 25 currently published. I'm pleased to say that the line has done quite well and I believe we'll continue further with it. I'd love to see 40, 50, and even 60 modules eventually. Hell, lets not kid ourselves, I'd actually love to be publishing these 20 years from now. :-)

Thanks to all my writers! And to the artists that help give the modules their distinctive character as well!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Tome of Tomes - The Blode auf Kobalts

Thanks for all those who joined in our sale! I like having little flash-sales - I find them kind of exciting, as silly as that sounds. :)

Continuing with another Tome of Tomes...

The Blode auf Kobalts
Author: Glamp Facet
Race: Gnome
Dimensions: 16x16x2
Weight: 10 lbs.
Materials: Leather-bound, woodboard, parchment
Rarity: Uncommon
Fields of Study: Humanoids & giantkind
Special Knowledge Categories: Biology
Value: 100 gp

A very old work, Facet’s Blode auf Kobalts is the most-commonly referenced biological assessment of the weakest and most numerous of humanoids. It is extensively illustrated, featuring detailed anatomical information. It’s obvious that Facet was not very comfortable in the common tongue, for age alone cannot explain the many odd constructions and spellings.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2 Hours Left in 50% off sale!

Just wanted to let everyone know the sale ends at 10:30 US eastern time, so there's just over 2 hours left.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

50% off Old-School PDFs for One Day Only!

I've decided to start August off with an impromptu sale. For the next 24 hours all our old-school PDFs will be on sale at Get 'em while the get'n's good!

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