What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
After Winter Dark Campaign Setting

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oh the Irony ...

The Brave Halfling Publishing Storefront is down today ... upgrades and maintenance.  The day that I finally get around to mentioning on my blog that the "Trick on the Tain" was available for purchase is the day the storefront is taken down.  ;)

The good news is that a link will be immediately available upon purchase to download the PDF while you await the physical product to arrive.


Oh ... By The Way ...

The most recent project completed by Arcana Creations, "The Trick on The Tain" is done and available for to order HERE. It was completed on June 14th (a week after my last post) and went on sale on June 19th.  Initial comments have been positive.  For those of you who rather support their local game store, in is only entering the Distribution network sometime in July -- probably mid-July at the very earliest.  However, by ordering straight from BHP, you will beat the stores and also receive a complimentary PDF version of the module.

Now that this project is behind me, I can say that I've already am working in putting together the Victorious Quickstart which is now in layout and editing.  This one looks like it will be a 'tight' 20 pages and, while it is intended to be a FREE pdf release, there will be a limited number of copies printed up.  Details are still being worked out with how many and in what capacity the printed versions will become available but I will be sure to post this on my blog here.

Aside from that, I've been meaning to revamp the Arcana Creations website.  This will likely be done sometime over the next couple of weeks.  As it is right now, the site has been 'a forgotten stepchild' and left untouched for months.  In fact, it hasn't been touched at all this year.  It probably needs to be kept simple but be more integrated with my regular practices.  I'll have to give it some more thought but it needs to get done by the start of July.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Progress ... Progress ... Progress !!

A handful of people are 'in the loop' when it comes to some of my work and projects with Arcana Creations.  I've decided to let those who read my blog in on my latest progress with Keith Hackwood's "A Trick on the Tain".  The thing is done.  Well... 99.5% done.  I'm about to go through it once more to spot any of those little typos that might have escaped my attention and once I am satisfied, two other people (one being the author) will also be reviewing the document to make sure everything is as it should be.  The information has been passed along our distributor and July is the official release as far as retail stores are concerned.  However, friends of the Brave Halfling will be able to get their copies sooner.  Aside from the final read through, the only piece of work that needs to be done is the quick reference table for the potential encounters in the module.  Those who have seen the full sized version of the "Secret of Ronan Skerry" will be familiar with what this looks like.  For those who haven't -- it's a one page sheet at the back of the module that gives a rundown of the encounters in a condensed format.

This all means that the material will be going to print in a matter of days.  As soon as this project is delivered, pre-orders will open up.  The regular price for this module is $9.95 but ordering it through Brave Halfling Publishing also means you get a PDF copy of the adventure as well as the hard copy.  And, like other BHP releases, you pretty much get the PDF upon purchase.  As soon as a link is available, I'll be posting it here.  Of course, similar announcements will find their way onto the TLG boards, Dragonsfoot, and the BHP forums themselves.

You know, I had worked on other projects before this one and, for whatever reason, this one was the longest.  Personal life took a few interesting twists... project was started on a different computer than the one I am using now.  I also shifted from various pieces of software I'm using for my various publication efforts.  Lastly, I had to replace my only monitor that chose to die on me a few days ago.  There have been a lot of change and I'm sure there will be more.  Hopefully, things will keep on rolling and various projects at Arcana Creations seem to have picked up a bit of speed of light.

Thanks for the support!


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Innovation vs Reorganization.

A recent thread on the TLG boards has irked me.

In short, it's a case where some people are in support of various retro-clones and those who are not.  Reasons will naturally vary from person to person and no one was out right trashing a particular game.  To me, some people just don't seem to get it.

FACT: With the lack of availability due to how a large company has decided to market the D&D brand, older iterations of the game are no longer available in any legal format.  This decision results in two things... an increase in piracy of this older and out-of-print material as well as the these newer 'simulacrum games' that seek to emulate a classic form of D&D.

If WOTC / Hasbro decided to do a series of reprints and made them available (even in a limited fashion), interest in the retro-clones would diminish somewhat and it may even curb some of the various pirating efforts.

In no way would these stop though... just diminish somewhat.  ;)

That said, there are games that will reorganize and present a set of rules to be as close as legally possible to a particular version of D&D and those that take a step more and try to introduce some sort of innovation to the game.

I don't care much for games which are pretty much clones of an existing ruleset.  I think they are great as a reference document and have a valid place given the lack of any other option.  However, given that there are so many of them now, it sometimes seems like the choice of one or the other might boil down to how well it is written and how nicely presented it comes off as being.  I mean, there is so little difference between some of the games if you consider the system mechanics.

On the other side, a game that takes the familiar and adds or changes a few things to does a much better job at catching my eye.

Jason Vey's excellent "Spellcraft & Swordplay" is a great example.  James Maliszewski (Grognardia) has an interesting review of the game and describes it aptly as a 'fascinating work of speculative game design' which effectively plays out as a 'what if' design scenario'.

Naturally, there is Castles & Crusades which is arguably the first OGL derivative of an older D&D style game.  There was some innovation there too.  Nothing big but the game retains the feel of an older frame work and adopts a few newer mechanics introduced in 3rd edition as well as the Siege mechanic.  As such, it effectively bridges various editions of D&D.

There is also Basic Fantasy RPG which does an interesting job of 'mixing things up' but doesn't adhere to a particular incarnation of D&D.  A fine system in it's own right and, like Spellcraft & Swordplay, often overshadowed by various retro-clones.

All three of these games utilized the d20 SRD to a degree and they are all OGL compliant.  None of these are an attempt to emulate a specific game and I think they might even be stronger for it.

That is not to say there aren't some great retro-clones out there.  I like the general direction that Labyrinth Lord has taken -- especially with the Companion.

In the end, all of these games exist because of our respective love for the games we play.