March 20, 2013

Hannover Spielt!

Attention, Germans and germophiles: I’ll be doing the guest thing at Hannover Spielt!, on April 20th and 21st. Check the site for venue, admissions and other details. I’m very happy to return to this cozy and welcoming event and looking forward to seeing more of the city this time around. Adding to the excitement will be the presence of the Muskrat Lord himself, John Kovalic. Along with the usual chat and panels, I’ll be running a game of Hillfolk as a convention fundraiser, so start hoarding your Euros in a context where they’re still worth something. The last time I was in Germany I had not yet been converted to the ways of beer, so some might say I have never really been there at all. I know you’ll be pleased, German gamers, to see me rectify that grievous omission against your national heritage.

March 15, 2013

Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff: Ring-Tailed and Fructivorous

In the latest episode of our spectacularly suboceanic podast, Ken and I talk sandbox v. railroad, mini-games, lost continents and the wartime disinformation activities of thriller writer Dennis Wheatley.

March 06, 2013

Hillfolk Marches Into March

After a brief break to complete another commitment, I am once again at work assembling Hillfolk. Here’s an update for backers and future buyers.

All of the key art for Hillfolk and its companion volume, Blood on the Snow, is now in. We’ll need a few spot illos for the LARP and Master Class sections of the latter, but I have an ingenious plan for that and it shouldn’t impact the schedule. This project not only allows for, but requires, a range of illustration styles as great as the range of settings you can bring to life in DramaSystem. So you’ll see a much greater visual variety in these books than any one RPG project would normally accommodate, from line drawing to digital manipulation to painted work to photo collage. At right appears Aaron Acevedo’s evocative illustration for Lester Smith’s ghostly series pitch, “The Spirit Is Willing.”

As of this writing, I have 96% of the text for the core book in hand, and 93% of Blood on the Snow. Almost all of this has already been copy-edited. Two pitches from each book have yet to come in. These include pieces from key names I greedily wish to keep in the books, rather than shifting them to the Pitch of the Month Club. Two of the submitted pitches exceed the standard length; I can run them in extended form if outstanding submissions remain in the wind too long. A fun pitch from an aforementioned and unannounced gaming guru also grants me flexibility to shift the line-up if need be.

I’ve been discussing with graphic designer Christian Knutsson how to handle the presentation of the two books. He’ll be creating two layout styles for us: the Hillfolk theme previewed during the Kickstarter, and a more generic DramaSystem look for the series pitches in the main book. The latter will also appear throughout Blood on the Snow. Christian has valiantly agreed to go above and beyond his original commitment to complete both books for us and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.

When we launched the Kickstarter, for a 128-page book from a team of five people, I estimated an April delivery date. I had hoped, against all logic, that we could stick to that after stretch goals expanded the project to two books of twice that size, and a team of approximately eighty contributors. (Eighty? Good grief!) Reality has now set in, and I’ll get a revised publication date out to you when we have one nailed completely down. I don’t want to issue a series of guess dates and then keep having to revise them, so please bear with us as we finalize our duck alignment.

People have been asking how they might support the project now that the Kickstarter has closed. We’ve suspended orders for the moment, in order to concentrate on making the books. When we draw nearer to the final release date, we’ll open a new round of pre-orders for those who missed the crowdfund. Watch this space for further announcements.

March 04, 2013

Pantheon is Back as Hollywood Party—In French

Attention francophones and francophiles: my game Pantheon and Other Roleplaying Games, originally published by Hogshead as part of its New Style line, has returned in a new Gallic incarnation, from the fine folks at Les XII Singes. Retitled, revamped and glitzed up, it’s now Hollywood Party, which also happens to be the name of one of the new scenarios created for this version. In addition to the submarine horror, gangland betrayals, soap opera, kaiju battle and divine creation myth of the original, the new version adds zombies to the mix as well. Adaptation and translation is by Claude GuĂ©ant. For more, check out the product page over at the Les XII Singes site.