The following article about the state of the roleplaying industry in the mid-2000s originally appeared on DyingEarth.com in June 2006.

Is the RPG Industry Screwed?

When you depend on live game designers for sustenance, the health of the ecosystem which allows them to thrive is of paramount importance. Whilst everyone has an opinion on this subject, I asked people who make their living from the roleplaying games – publishers, distributors and retailers – how they think the RPG industry is doing. A polite-worded request is often misunderstood (many of them are brain-addled from an excess comics and food additives) so I screamed “Is the RPG Industry Screwed?” in their ear and suspended them over my squawking progeny as usual. The responses were interesting, varied, and inconclusive.

I’ll start with a successful company, running a business on a fairly traditional model, Mongoose Publishing. Without the irritating self-effacement and modesty typical of the British, co-owner Matthew Sprange said:

At Mongoose, we believe that a good RPG book still has the potential to blow through entire print runs and that sales of 10,000+ units are still achievable with the right product. Because of this, we are still expanding in terms of both sales and staff (we now employ over 20 people worldwide), and plan to support RPGs for at least the next five years. Many companies are being squeezed out of the market at the moment but we take this as an indication of a customer base that has become more refined in its choice of product, rather than one who will buy anything that has a D20 on the cover. At the end of the day, if you produce the right kind of book, people will come to you.

Hard figures, I said. Hard figures. He told me as an example that Starship Troopers blew through 6000 copies in 3 months. That’s a large number – greater than the total sales units for each of the majority of RPG companies in a year.

Aldo Ghiozzi, who represents a number of RPG publishers as a consolidator and marketing agent has been selling through distribution for a number of years. He has a lofty perch – I respect any creature with a lofty perch – above the three-tier distributor model. He said:

Technology has come around to make book publishing easier for the common writer. Between PDF purchasing and Print-On-Demand (POD), the barrier of entry has dropped considerably. One would think this would create a new Golden Age of RPGs; it has done the opposite. With the barrier of entry being so low, there are more options for consumers to spend their dollars on. The flood of the D20 market was just the beginning; now, RPGs are for every genre, system and an endless number of people creating their own systems. Imagine a consumer that spends $10 a month on RPG books. Five years ago their choices were between the 100 products on the store shelves, thus, a publisher would have a 1 in a 100 chance for that $10. Now, there are so many choices for the shelves that retailers cannot carry them all so it spills into online stores and PDF download stores. The 100 choices turn into 1000 — now that publisher has a 1 in 1000 chance for that $10. The dollars are being spread thinner; that is the reality.

Personally, I believe the best chance for publishers to survive or come into this market with a chance is with proven brands and even licenses. Licenses, like Serenity or Starship Troopers instantly breathe recognition with the consumer and influences the dollars to that product. Proven brands, like a new edition of Paranoia or the mimicking of Keep on the Borderlands through the Dungeon Crawl Classics series are great examples.

It’s all about being heard over everyone else and the only way to do that is to scream louder.

His views are supported by the Starship Troopers sales figures, although we don’t know the terms of their license (for reference, the Babylon 5 license was $65,000). I asked Mr Ghiozzi if he thought the size of the market was the same. He was sceptical.

…we are not seeing 50K unit sales as before, but there are a ton more choices now so for all we know, the same amount of dollars are being spent (proportional to the economy) but just spread thinner. I truly doubt that though.

Green Ronin have been publishing RPGs since 2000, and use a combination of traditional print and PDF publishing. Chris Pramas, the CEO said:

You have to put RPGs in their historic perspective. Really, they have been in decline since the creation of collectible games in the early 90s. It’s hard to remember now, but in the late 70s and early 80s RPGs were a good business to be in. They eclipsed wargames and dominated the market for many years. Since then we’ve seen significant events in our own industry, the two most important being ‘Magic: the Gathering’ creating a whole new category of game, and Games Workshop hitting upon a business model that redefined miniatures games. In the same period we’ve also seen computer/console games become increasingly sophisticated and immersive, and the development of MMOs. In light of these events the old RPG business model has a tough time competing. Once players have a core rulebook, they don’t need to buy anything else to enjoy the game. Contrast that with the collectible games, where not only can you sell people the same product over and over again, but also they have to keep up with each new expansion to stay competitive. Or MMOs, where players pay each month for the privilege of continuing to play.

The d20 boom made some folks think the glory days of RPGs were back. While that was indeed a good time for RPG publishers, it could never last and now the gale has blown itself out. One might even argue that it did more harm than good, since most game stores now have hundreds of d20 books that will never move and this makes selling them new RPG product even harder.

So is the RPG market screwed? Well, certainly it is harder to harder to make a living doing traditional RPG publishing. The market decline that was paused by the d20 boom came back with a vengeance in 2003. Since then the successes have been fewer and farther between and more and more RPG publishing activity has moved online. I suspect that the future has already taken shape. There will be maybe 10 RPG companies that will do well enough with traditional RPG publishing to keep forging ahead. The rest of the market will be PDFs and Print on Demand, largely sold direct to consumers. Until someone comes up with a way to radically redefine RPGs anyway. That may be a long wait though.

Chad Underkoffler of Atomic Sock Monkey – creator of the award-winning Dead Inside, slipped through the “makes a living filter” – he has a separate day job – but he is representative of large part of the RPG publisher market.

I wouldn’t say that the RPG Industry is “screwed” so much as “challenged.” For many small press publishers — and I mean “small” in relation to other RPG companies, because nearly all of them could be considered “small press” compared to mainstream publishers – there are difficult issues to surmount in acquiring an audience of customers. Even access to the distribution system is little help, since the number of retail outlets seems to be shrinking. So you have more companies (some with fantastic games to compete with) trying to reach fewer shelves, and therefore customers.

The costs of production are up, the discounts on MSRP for distributors and retailers are substantial, and the customers are reluctant to spend money on unknown or new products. And while PDF-published, Print on Demand (PoD), and direct sale methods help put more money in the publisher’s pocket, the overall amount of profit is low. Truth & Justice is my best selling game, at roughly 525 copies (mostly PDF, but some PoD and distro) sold in under a year. I’ve made around $4,000 profit from it, which is definitely not enough to live on in my major metropolitan area. However, it is enough money to handle a car payment, take care of the phone bill, and roll into a new product for sale.

I doubt that the game industry can support many publishers as their sole employment under the current state of the market, and the outlook isn’t much brighter for distributors and retailers unless they diversify heavily into other product lines and related-but-different types of products (books, comics, toys, etc.). However, as a second job (or a hobby that pays for itself then a little extra, or even a method of artistic expression), the game industry is an admirable fit. If you adjust your expectations of what the industry will do for you, it will not seem totally screwed, but simply a challenge.

The ubiquitous Gareth-Michael Skarka of Adamant Entertainment, and Phil Reed of Ronin Arts, both big players in the PDF market, produce ePublishing 101 e-zine for their fellow publishers. In the latest issue, they bemoan the status of traditional retail.

From approximately 2000 game stores in January 2004 to somewhere around 1200 stores in December 2005 represents an overall loss of at least 40%. Not a good outlook for retailers in this industry.

They also estimate that the total size of the RPG market is about $25 million, with PDF publishing representing between 8-14% of the market – but that proportion is growing. With the relatively low barriers to entry mentioned by Aldo Ghiozzi, and the legs that such products have, pdf publishing is a good way for publishers to connect directly with their customers without pawning the family silver.

In contrast to Aldo’s lofty view, Ben Lehman , creator of the Polaris RPG, comes at the question from down on the ground. He is a new model publish with roots in the Forge – a forum dedicated to creator-owned publishing, with lots of useful RPG game theory. Some of the best games of recent years have come out of the Forge. With typical Forgeite thoroughness, he unasks the question, one which was begging to be knocked down:

I think it’s really strange how people talk about the RPG Industry as if it, and its screwedness or unscrewedness, were somehow the most central or most important thing about role-playing. To me, that’s turning the entire world upside down. It’s such a bizarre way of thinking about it that I can’t even twist my mind into a position where I can see that as the world at all. So instead of talking about what’s actually important to role-playing – the activity itself. Let’s talk about a bunch of people getting together to imagine things together, because that’s what interests me. From my immediate perspective – which is to say my personal play-groups – role-playing has never been better. I and the people I play with are having absolutely thrilling times with basically every single game we play.

Looking out further, I can look into the play-groups that I see from the Actual Play forums on the Forge, RPGNet, ENWorld, and other community sites. Again, I think that over the last 5 years (and I think this trend extends back almost a decade, but I can only talk from my own perspective, and I started hanging out on online forums five years ago) we’re seeing an across the board increase in actual, enjoyable play. I’m seeing a lot less of “fix my broken group” and a lot more of “man, our play rocked.” Further — and more importantly I’m seeing a glacially slow but nonetheless constant movement away from the periodical/collector/fandom model of enjoyment, and more towards creative focus and real play. In this respect, and that’s what matters, I think that role-playing is at its healthiest state since the 70s.

So where does role-playing text and materials production (the ndustry) fit into this? The role-playing business – like any other hobby business – should exist as long as it can boost and support the hobby around it, and no further. Fortunately, and I think not coincidentally, given the upsurge in enjoyable play, we’re seeing a decrease in the periodical “must buy the next sourcebook” model and an increase in texts and materials focused on supporting real people and their real play. To be clear – I don’t think that this is a Forge only or Independent only phenomenon. I think it is spread wide across games like: Breaking the Ice, Nobilis, Eldritch Ass-Kicking, Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 and up, Ganakagok, Hollywood Lives! and so on.
Literally, there are too many game texts to list.

Now, traditionally, RPG text publishing has used what’s been called the “three tier model” although I actually think its six-tier: Designer -> Line Editor, Publisher -> Distribution Company -> Retailer -> Game Player, where each arrow is representing “sells to.” In the 70s and 80s and even into the early 90s this was the most financially sound model of game sales, and so it prospered. But these days it isn’t doing so hot, for several reasons. The one that I have the strongest grasp on is the growth of internet forums, internet commerce (and the PDF), and digital printing technology (AKA print on demand). In the six-tier system, there is economic and creative compromises at every level. The end results is that both the game player and the designer get screwed — the designer has to make artistic compromises and gets paid no money and the game player gets a watered down product and has to pay a lot of money, because each level in between needs to take their cut. By using modern technology I as a designer (to use an example — there are dozens of other folks like me) can sell directly to the game player. The chain becomes Designer -> Game Player. This is not only massively more profitable on both ends (I make more money, the game player saves more money) but also it brings the two creative ends of the spectrum closer together, allowing for game texts and game play which contains astounding creative content.

The role-playing industry, if we evaluate its success based on how well it facilitates awesome play, is healthier than it has ever been, period. The role-playing industry, when we evaluate its success based on facilitating awesome play, is as healthy as its ever been, period. The only possible view I have of role-playing being in trouble is that certain aspects of the role-playing distribution chain are being eclipsed by an economic model that is more effective in both creative and monetary terms, and as a player and designer I just can’t see that as a bad thing.

Eric Gibson of West End Games says that the RPG-only publisher as a mainstream company is effectively dead, and that publishers must diversify.

Absolutely. Without a doubt. But, before you think I’m being a pessimist and over-dramatic, I must expound.

The RPG industry is “screwed” because the question demands it’s so. You ask in the “RPG Industry” is headed for disaster. As long as we force ourselves into the narrow classification of “RPG Industry” then we the publishers are screwed as well. The successful publisher or manufacturer will see the ever evolving tastes and desires of our customers and change with them to bring new types of products to market. We are not a part of the “RPG Industry” we are apart of the “Game Industry”, or, if you will, the “Entertainment Industry”. As long as there are firms that continue to look at the broader market, we’ll survive. If others continue fly the flag of “RPG Publisher” solely, they have a choice, embrace it as merely a cottage industry, keeping costs as low as humanly possible, but never expecting to be financially successful OR continue to pump massive-a relative term, I know-amounts of money into a behemoth that doesn’t want to come back, and die!

This certainly does not mean RPGs will cease to exist as a viable product. Not for some time anyway. What it does mean is that you must acknowledge the scale that the RPG business has taken and embrace it.

Basic economics tells us that as long as long as a product’s revenues equals ALL its costs (don’t forget all your opportunity costs, of course) then the product is making “normal profits” and should be produced. The bite is, that is growing nigh impossible in RPGs from the perspective of a normal industry.

As I tend to do, I’m going to ramble on far longer than I should to try to make my point. Let’s first start by not using the term cottage industry. We have nearly always been, by and large, a cottage industry, and with the advent of the Internet, a cottage industry does not have to equate to small, struggling, or profit-less. Instead, RPGs is becoming a purely hobby industry-pun not intended. A hobby industry is an industry where the primary source of compensation, for the proprietor, is something other than money-love of the game, I guess you’d say.

In order to make “normal profits” within any business model your revenues must equal the costs associated with the business. Again, ALL COSTS. Not simply the break even point on printing. Not just the overhead. By you must also factor in salaries for executive positions and-this is very important-you must cover the opportunity costs for the owner(s), such as the cost of not working a second, paying job, not having more time with family, and not being able to invest the money you’ve put into the business on other gainful investments. All these costs, and many, many more, must be recognized and paid for by the business’s revenues. In a normal industry, a business that fails to meet these costs must logically cease business (given the time to exit fixed cost responsibilities). The current and foreseeable state of RPG publishing means that it is almost impossible to meet these fairly valued opportunity costs and thus make “normal profits”. So, instead we have proprietors who choose to ignore these opportunity costs and often forego monetary compensation and do it instead for the “love” of the industry. I’m not suggesting this is an invalid reason to do it, but that certainly makes the RPG industry a hobby industry and not a “normal” industry.

So, the question asked, “By this, I mean the market for table-top RPGs. I’m not asking if a small cottage industry will continue to exist – just whether it’s in decline and will continue to decline.”

Sadly, the answer is, “almost certainly.” But again, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. To know it up front, it’s actually very good. If you want to simply make RPGs and sell them as a hobby, by all means you should do so.

Likewise, if you want to run a game company as a normal industry would, you should also be aware that you’re not likely to be able to do so as a dedicated RPG publisher. Diversify. Realize that the business and the market have changed drastically since the late 90’s.

The market wants something else. Provide that “else” and you can stay in business and do just fine and may even have a good chance of making normal profits (or even super-profits).

Is the industry screwed? Only if we fail to see the writing on the wall.

Now we here from a different tier of the industry, a major retailer – Marcus King of Titan Games. He’s having to adapt, and like Eric Gibson, suggest that diversifying into entertainment is the way to go.

As a retailer in a very small town (60K population in the city, with 100K TOTAL in the county) I face some unique problems. First, Michigan has a working class slump like nowhere else – the economy is depressed, young people FLEE this town in search of jobs elsewhere. Second, I have a competitor across town who sells everything for 20% off MSRP. Third, I derive 100% of my income from this company. No outside job, no retirement supporting me, my wife works IN the store with me. I can NOT discount, and support my family.
So, we have two ebay sellers working pretty much full time, two websites (titangames.com and 3FREEgames.com), and we have a retail store, do conventions, and some “liquidation” sales.

Now [our stock depth], was designed to make us a destination store. But, that just does not work. Destination stores no longer compete with everyone within driving range, they compete with everyone within clicking range. Every single thing we sell is available on eBay and/or Amazon, for less. So, though we do well online, our main in store categories are used DVDs, CDs with games come in a distant 4th or 5th

We are going to start stocking fewer RPGs in the store – moving from 1400 or so books today, to perhaps 50 titles, and perhaps 200 books total. I am going to stop buying one or two of everything, and start selecting what we carry in the retail store more based on the idea that 80% of our sales come from 20% of our stock, so stock that 20%, and eliminate about 75% of the rest of it.

What will that leave? D&D, True20, Conan, Traveller, Serenity, Star Wars (if it is ever available), Babylon 5, most supplements by Troll Lord Games, and Goodman Games, some stuff by Mongoose and Green Ronin, and everything White Wolf makes. L5R and Spycraft, and a few others. My store is literally morphing OUT of being a game store, and becoming more and more an entertainment store – with books, movies, music, comics, games and some collectible stuff.

However, I could likely fire my retail staff, shrink my store by 70% floor space, eliminate 90% of my games inventory, just carry the DVDs, CDs, Video Games, and keep one rack of Graphic Novels, one rack of Comics, and one rack of games, and run the retail counter with one person, and never miss a beat as far as sales go.

As a business person first, and gamer ninth or tenth, I look at ALL the options for my business – and it may indeed come to the point where I completely redefine my store around a smaller selection, smaller square footage, and smaller staff on the retail floor – and just carry games as a sideline. Then what do we call the store? Titan Games sure won’t fit.

Jeff Tidball, a long-time award-winning RPG freelancer gives a straightforward answer:

Yes, the RPG industry is more-or-less screwed. You can divide roleplayers into two general camps based on style of play, with smash-and-grab-and-level-uppers on one side, and everyone else (storytellers, world-builders, wanna-be novelists, etc.) on the other. The first, much larger, group is now — with current network and console technology — much better served by computer RPGs than tabletop RPGs. The computers are just plain better and faster at the game experience they want. As those customers stop buying tabletop RPGs, it stops being economically viable to produce them professionally for the second group. Tabletop RPGs won’t go away, but yes, the “industry” that produces them is screwed.

So the D&D crowd will moving over to MMORPGs and the rest will be indulging in a little bit of narrativist theatre? Perhaps.

Mark Simmons, founder of National Games week and publisher of Games Quarterly Catalog & Games Quarterly Magazine thinks that the industry is still suffering from the d20 glut:

RPGs got seriously glutted. Worse than the glut of ’79-81. Worse than the small glut of early ’90s. The d20 boom ran it course with so much product that gamers got enough resource materials to last years. It eclipsed nearly every non-d20 title, killing many good games. It will take time for these circumstances to be overcome. It will take getting RPGs back into stores. R Talsorian is doing decently with Cyberpunk’s new edition, FanPro is doing well with Shadowrun and BattleTech. It’s going to be grim for a while though.
The specialty game stores won’t be stocking and selling enough, so book stores and other types of stores must be courted.

Matt Goodman of Heliograph says:

Table-top role playing is a niche hobby, and like many other niche hobbies (wargaming, pulps, r/c planes, model railroading) over the long haul it is only sustainable as a cottage industry. Die-hards may pass along the bug to their kids–a friend’s 7 and 9 year olds are really enjoying their Star Wars game, and the very best player I had at my Zeppelin Age games at Gen Con last year was in high school–but that isn’t enough to sustain the hobby in the mass market.

So, is there anything coherent to be gathered from these disparate views?

The game store is facing hard times, and none can rely on RPGs alone. An online mail order presence which is able to compete on price is pretty much essential. Leisure Games in the UK is an example of this model. The three-tier system is on shaky ground when it comes to RPGs. Some publishers with well established brands and main stream licenses can still shift sufficient books to make the margins needed to keep going. I think this will continue, but such publishers are not solely producing RPGs – Mongoose Publishing for example relies on RPGs for only 40% of its sales. So what stops new publishers from getting to market? I call it the litho barrier. Unless you have the up-front costs for litho (standard) printing, and the certainty of selling through the print run, you can’t do a litho print run, and your per-unit cost for low-run printing means you will make low or even zero margins through the usual channels. The typical volume of sales of an individual title has declined below the litho barrier following the recent glut of d20 titles an explosion in the number of publishers, and a reduction in the number of players due to improvements in the computer moderated online roleplaying experience.

Hybrid publishing, offering PDF and print-on-demand roleplaying games offer a scaleable model for getting RPGs to their customers without the high risks of attempting the litho barrier. They can sell directly, at conventions, and through specialist online mail order retailers. Forge publishers typically follow this model, and make a very big internet footprint, interacting directly with their customers. Such publishers are actively seeking out players to “tell them about their characters” through Actual Play postings. The idea of signing an NDA when doing a play test is an anathema – they are more likely to publish the beta version of their rules online for anyone to try. PDF-only publishers are on the increase, with rpgnow.com, drivethrurpg.com, enworld.org, e23 and paizo.com all channels to market. Their products have low overheads, can be small, and have decent legs. Still, few people other the etailers are making a living out of this so far.

Paradoxically, it’s never been easier to get an RPG published, but never harder for a new RPG company to support full-time endeavour. The scalability of the new publishing model means that although it is very hard to make money, you are much, much less likely to lose it through an expensive litho print run. If you read that someone you haven’t heard of is about to print 3000 copies of a new RPG, by all that’s holy, stop them.

The holidays and emergency present shopping beckon, so I will be relatively brief, and promise a full update including biz stuff in the next issue. Remind me to tell you about International Pelgrane Day, then, too.

Out this month: 13 True WaysThe Book of Loot and Shadows of Eldolan in pdf; and Vendetta Run – A survival-horror frame for Fear Itself and Owl Hoot Trail set in the worst and weirdest West is out as a stand-alone PDF or as part of Ken Writes About Stuff.

13th Age

I’d like to start with an apology for the delay in getting the 13 True Ways PDF out to you – a rather convoluted set of circumstances combined to make it a December release – but it is at least in your hands a month after it was in stores. 13 True Ways Kickstarter backers can expect to see their dice rewards going out in January.

We’ve made up for the delay be releasing The Book of Loot PDF and the Shadows of Eldolan PDF at the same time – and The Eyes of the Stone Thief video, a taste of what’s to come if you pre-order now.

Next Year

  • You can look forward to the 13th Age Album by James Semple and team (you can get a taste of the music the Making of video and on SoundCloud) next month
  • The 13th Age Monthy subscription kicks off early next year with Dragon Riding.
  • Iconic Battles Scenes (working title) consists of 39 sets of four themed encounters, one Adventure, one Champion and one Epic level for each icon is in playtesting, as is Shards of the Broken Sky and Strangling Sea – both adventures for 13th Age.
  • The Organized Play program now has hundreds of GMs running 13th Age in stores, at conventions and for their game groups. It’s free to join and you get free adventures to run. Sign up here.
  • Demonology by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan and Iconic Organisations by Rob Heinsoo and ASH LAW.

Night’s Black Agents

Ken Hite and Gareth Hanrahan are writing and wrangling to create content for the Dracula Dossier kickstarter – and you can still pledge for a while longer – go here.  The Kickstarter has been a shot in the arm for Night’s Black Agents, and I’m happy to welcome hundreds of new players to the fold.

All the stretch goals and other items for NBA constitute what we’ll be releasing next year, but there may be a surprise in the pipeline, too.

Trail of Cthulhu

Coming in the New Year

2014 will see the release of Fearful Symmetries and the Book of the New Jerusalem – Paula and Steve Dempsey’s setting for Trail of Cthulhu in which you play an occult group facing a terrible evil you must fight with magic. But will magic take your humanity from you?

Scott, Paul and Matthew continue work on The Poison Tree – there will be some visible playtesting and demos from the team next year.

More GUMSHOE

  • Robin D Laws has gone back to GUMSHOE design for an entirely new version codename GUMSHOE121
  • TimeWatch is on track – we are pushing for a first draft at the end of February – and it will be our core book release for GUMSHOE next year.
  • Accretion Disk for Ashen Stars – we will get this out before the end of March.
  • There has been a heated  and one sided internal discussion over the merits of a GUMSHOE compendium. Do let us know what you think.
  • Fear Itself 2nd Edition, with adventures.
  • Another GUMSHOE core book, which we’ll announce next time…

More Everything Else

An indie book, more gaming advice and Gareth’s Drone Game at the very least.

Until Next Time…

Thank you everyone for making this company a viable concern. Buying and playing our stuff makes it possible for us to make more amazing stuff. So, please keep doing that

Now, I hear the call of a mince pie, so until the New Year … keep gaming!

 

This month I have more 13th Age projects to announce, Cthulhu Apocalypse reaches its – well – apocalyptic conclusion, and we reach the final installment of the first Ken and Robin Writes About stuff.

Cthulhu Apolcalypse

Graham Walmsley’s epic and award-winning Cthulhu Apocalypse concludes in Slaves of the Mother, crafted with Gareth Hanrahan. It includes our ridiculously belated rewards for the Black Book character builder – so expect alternative endings, cities crushed an mysterious tomes.

Slaves_Cover_finalPraise for previous episodes:

“The text of {The Apocalypse Machine] deviates away from the neutral, descriptive voice that many RPG authors prefer and instead takes a direct and prescriptive tone. This results in a lively, readable book that shows Walmsley is both excited about the Cthulhu Apocalypse setting and is keen to describe how such games run, leaving little doubt for both players and keepers about what to expect and how to achieve it.”

“I think it is this degree of control that makes this supplement so unique and what appeals to me – that the apocalypse might be slow and insidious or has already occurred or happened in the distant past.”

“Everyone was very happy with [The Dead White World] at its end. It was bleak, very Lovecraftian, and will be remembered as a gaming highlight by myself for many years to come. A lot of the credit for the excellent series of sessions must rest on the author – Graham Walmsley – who has crafted a horrible situation for players to navigate that is not a familiar Mythos monster charging down upon you, or a cult needing foiling. For this original conceit, I must applaud the author. His many sidebars, ideas, and notes (including the Save Vs. Apocalypse sidebar on escaping Dover as it is destroyed) make the scenario an inspiring piece to run.”

13th Age

  • 13 True Ways, like 13th Age before it has turned out to be far more work than originally planned, but it’s much better than even my expectations. I will be very disappointed if it’s not off to Kickstarter backers by 1st August. The original Fire Opal team are working on this, so you can be assured it won’t be delayed by other 13th Age projects from
  • We’ve provided the laid-out version of the 13th Age Bestiary for download from your order page and it’s on target for a May release.
  • Gareth Hanrahan continues his work on Eyes of the Stone Thief,. He’s incorporating playtest feedback, hammering out art direction and working with 13th Age line developer Cal Moore to polish the manuscript.
  • Gareth has also began work on The Book Of Loot a collection of new magic items, including more potions and runes with 13th Age story focus you expect along side the crunch.
  • ASH LAW has taken Shards of the Broken Sky and is writing it under Rob Heinsoo’s guidance. I hope to have a first draft by April.
  • Cal Moore will be working on a collection of pre-designed encounters for each Icon which GMs can slot into their games. We don’t have a name for this yet – suggestions in the comments are welcome.

Ken Writes About Stuff

kwasKen’s subscription offering reaches the end of its first year this month with Lilith. Get a subscription now to download all twelve issues now. Next month, KWAS 2 begins. We are polling our subscribers to ask you what you’d like to see next year. Read what Paul Baldowski over at GeekNative says:

“I consider this series a wake-up call to the lacklustre, to remind them tales of the Mythos, using whatever system, should instil uneasiness, upset and fear. Grasp the potential of the unearthly and inhuman, and make sure next time the investigator’s meet a Shoggoth they have have a truly memorable encounter.”

This year featured Ken’s take on Lovecratian Hideous Creatures Deep Ones , Star Vampires, Ghouls, Shoggoth, Mi-Go, and Hounds of Tindalos; GUMSHOE settings and extras such as Moon Dust Men, Martial Arts, Mind Control, and Mumbai and the mysterious Nazi artifact, Die Glocke.

 GUMSHOE

Our main logjam is art direction and a shortage of artists, but we are working through it. Cat is working as hard as humanely possible.

This month sees a setback as the 13th Age layout is delayed when Chris Huth’s apartment burnt down, pats on the back as Pelgrane customers rallied round to help him in the fire sale, putting us back on track. We launch the KWAS subscription – Ken Writes About Stuff with its first component Hideous Creatures: Deep Ones. Deep Ones is available as a stand-alone if you prefer from the store.

Ken Writes About Stuff

DeepOnescoverEvery month, Ken will be writing a few thousand words on topics of note including Hideous Creatures – his take on Mythos entities and other topics of interest including new GUMSHOE settings and rules systems. Get the KWAS subscription, and you can receive this monthly knowledge, knowledge beyond our Ken, at a 30% discount from the price of each component. Ken gives you more information here.

13th Age

As you might already know, we received a setback in our 13th Age production when Chris Huth suffered an apartment fire which left him homeless. We ran a fire sale, and thanks to your generosity, Chris now has a computer and some way towards getting him back to the status ante incendium. Oh, and a subscription to a cloud back up service thanks to CrashPlan. Chris is giving us daily reports on his progress, and he’s using software to reverse compile the PDFs to extract a lot of the useful formatting data. In the mean time we’ve uploaded the final pre-fire versions to the order page, which includes the almost-finished character class chapters. My estimate for release is 1st July. The 13th Age Bestiary is coming on in leaps and bounds, with Cal Moore wrangling a group of exciteable writers under Ken’s supervision. Rich Longmore has sketched out the first monsters and is getting to work colouring them.

Esoterrorists 2.0

The art for Esoterrorists will be ready by the end of April. Here is Kyle Strahm’s take on a torture dog, and Tony Williams, a pre-orderer discusses the new version here, and how the new detailed breakdown of GUMSHOE in Eso 2.0 has helped him grokk the system better.TortureDog

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Hideous Creatures: Deep Ones is the first in a series of compact PDFs discussing seminal Mythos creatures. Ken discusses his approach here.
  • Vote in our poll to let us know which creatures you’d like to see
  • Mythos Expeditions is up for playtesting. Please apply here. Will has finished laying out Eternal Lies, sans art and we have some cover art from Jérome. It’s 379 pages in all, and now I am in a terrible pickle about how to release it. Currently I’m edging towards massive hardback with a limited edition with goodies. James Semple has finished the sound track with the Will Wheaton voice over ready for inclusion.
  • The Final Revelation, the collection of Graham Walmsley’s fine Purist adventures with a campaign frame by Scott Dorward, is very close to completion – it should be available for pre-order next month.
  • Soliders of Pen and Ink, a Trail adventure set in the Spanish civil war  and written by Adam Gauntlett is up for playtesting.
  • The final draft of Part 2 of Cthulhu Apocalypse: Slaves of the Green Man will be with us this week from Gareth.

Night’s Black Agents

Double Tap, the Night’s Black Agents expansion book is now in first draft, Dracula Dossier and the Unredacted Dracula are on their way and Ken supplies more information if you have the clearance here.

Ashen Stars

Ashen Stars is temporarily out of print, but we’ve just reprinted. and we will have new stock in June. Bill White’s Justice Trade is now in its final draft, so we’ll get this laid out over the next month and bundled with Tartarus, Stowaway and Terra Nova as a print product.

With Kenneth Hite working full time and as a result writing articles and a recent Page XX in the bag, this will be a short View from the Pelgrane’s Nest. Read the previous one for detailed production updates.

December Sale

For the festive season we offer 20% off PDFs in the Pelgrane Press store – use XMAS@20% in the voucher code box.

13th Age

This month we celebrate the Empire-wide Feast of Gold, and the last few copies of the Escalation Edition before we hit the 1000 mark. Read how others have celebrated and take part yourself. Layout continues apace, and Rob has submitted the super-secret internal guidelines for Pelgrane 13th Age developers.

Expansion Books

At our annual Dragonmeet shindig we decided that we wanted to support each of our settings with additional material. I’ve always been a bit cautious about this, as I know adventures sell best, but there are so many things we can do to improve and expand the choices for players and adventures – and actual play experience also informs these changes. The Esoterror Fact Book and the Keeper’s Resource Book serve as models for these books. Ken discusses Double Tap – the first such expansion book – here.

Owl Hoot Trail

We are playing Owl Hoot Trail in our home game and we are hopelessly outclassed and jinxed by poor die rolling. To the mocking laughter of the audience on a paddle steamer, a fugitive croupier took us down armed only with a hat pin. Later our Gunslinger rolled double 1s while shooting at orc brigands from the mine cart. In the end, Poughkeepsie Pete had to bring the water tank down on orcs and hostages alike. But them’s the breaks in the Wild West and the aces are still in the deck.

Rich Longmore is working on the art for this project, and will be moving onto layout next.

Stone Skin Press

The Lion and the Aardvark, our first mainstream fiction release, has been sent out to Kickstarter backers and is on sale in retailers in the UK. It’s exciting to think that our book is in Foyles on Charing Cross Road, Waterstones and Blackwells. It is, though I say so myself, a perfect gift book. The other books, when they have been shipped to backers, will be on sale early in the New Year

This month sees the release of a new album from James Semple for Ashen Stars, Sisters of Sorrow, an adventure for Trail of Cthulhu and the long-awaited ebook version of Night’s Black Agents. The Dying Earth Revivification Folio is available in print and the 13th Age  RPG PDF has been updated.

So as not to swamp other games and yet all space to highlight 13th Age now has its own news feature Through the Scrying Glass.

Hillfolk

The big news this month is the Hillfolk RPG Kickstarter. With Hillfolk and DramaSystem, Robin D Laws does for dramatic character interaction what GUMSHOE did for investigative gaming. It’s already reached 17 stretch goals, giving you a plethera of new settings for your game, play a Cthulhu cultist, bootlegger, minion of a failed supervillain or even an Aztec. Pelgrane gets 50% of all the margin on physical items; Robin gets everything else. See what rewards are available here, and get the PDF within a few hours. (After backing the project, see Update #4 for instructions for PDF access.)
Hillfolk: DramaSystem roleplaying by Robin D. Laws -- Kicktraq Mini

 

Night’s Black Agents

This gorgeous book is out now – all pre-orders shipped and both the physical and eBook version are available from the store, as well as from your FLGS. The Dracula Dossier, Agent’s Companion and Dracula Unredacted are underway.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Sisters of Sorrow is Adam Gauntlett’s new Great War adventure for Trail of Cthulhu, set on the claustrophobic confines of a German minelaying submarine, and it’s out now. His follow up, A Better Hole, also set in the WWI is in playtest.
  • Gareth is writing the second part of the ENnie-award winning Cthulhu Apocalypse, Green Unpleasant Land to which you can read the introduction, here.
  • Will Hindmarch has promised us the final finished copy for Eternal Lies by Friday, Jerome has began producing art for this massive supplement.
  • Scott Dorward is producing a framing adventure to go around Graham Walmsley’s Purist adventures, which will then be produced in print.
  • Another print collection Out of Space will include Repairer of Reputations, Flying Coffins, Many Fires and Hell Fire, with addtional material by JasonMorningstar, Adam Gauntlett and Robin D Laws.
  • Work continues on Dreamhounds of Paris, and its companion volume Livre de Fourmis  – Book of Ant and Mythos Expeditions.

Ashen Stars

With the new Tartarus, Ashen Stars has seen a resurgeance of interest, and we’ve released some more amazing music from James Semple and his team – All We Have Forgotten – ten tracks and four stings. If you bought Tartarus – redownload your zip and you’ll be able to listen to an extra track free of charge.

Listen to the theme music:

[audio:http://site.pelgranepress.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Ashen%20Stars.mp3]

Owl Hoot Trail

Kevin Kulp will have the finished draft to me next month, and Rich Longmore who produced this image, will be illustrating and laying out.

Esoterrorists 2nd Edition

Phil Reeves, who provided much of the art for Night’s Black Agents, is working on art for Esoterrorists 2e. Esoterrorists 2e, as well as incorporating years of advice based on actual play experience, creatures and additional background material also includes Station Duty –  a setting for small-town horror, where OV investigators work with the locals to face threats in community.

Gaean Reach

Chris Huth is illustrating and laying out this game of Vancean revenge in space. You can see a sample of text and layout here.

 

August is GenCon month, but due to Beth’s foresight we are able to release a just-in-time Page XX. GenCon became a hard target for three new print releases, and when we get back, all these pre-orders will be going out. 13th Age will be the only outstanding pre-order left. These new releases are Night’s Black Agents, The Zalozhniy Quartet and The Dying Earth Revivification Folio. I’ve separated the GenCon section

13th Age

The Escalation Die is up to three pips, and we’ve released an updated version of 13th Age – download it from the pre-order page. The main change is more monsters and monster damage, but there’s more here.

You can also read the exclusive interview on rpg.net which discusses what will and won’t be included in the final 13th Age, and a new Kickstarter-funded book which includes all four 13th Age creators.

Ashen Stars

Our new release this month is Tartarus, an Ashen Stars adventure featuring black goo. It has unactionable similarity to a certain film you may have seen. You are investigating the disappearance of a corporate sponsored expedition to a bad planet infested with Class K entities.  Perhaps you can do better than the useless team you follow?

At GenCon we will discuss future Ashen Stars releases, and you can make your suggestions on this forum thread.

Night’s Black Agents

Today, 9th August, is the last chance you’ll get to pre-order a signed copy of the Night’s Black Agent [REDACTED] edition. The pre-order also includes a beta Android app to improve your gaming experience. Take a peak at the lay out here. Order here.

  • This month’s Page XX features two Night’s Black Agents articles, GM Tips and Players and Plots. You can also catch up on my group’s play here
  • The Zalozhniy Quartet is laid out, and you can pre-order the print version and get the finished PDF now.
  • Kevin Kulp has written a Night’s Black Agents demo called Excess Baggage which will debut at GenCon – we’ll lay it out and have it up on the website for next month.
  • Ken and Gareth are in Chicago, conspiring to create the Dracula Dossier, and we’ll all be finalising the contents of Dracula, Unredacted at GenCon.
  •  Rob Wieland (author of Tradecraft) and others will be writing an Agent’s Companion, which will include achievements, giant list of guns, more tech and gear, investigative Abilities will get tips and vampire traces, and general abilities will get new cherries.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Christopher Smith Edair is copyediting Eternal Lies, and Will is following up, finalising the text and art directing
  • Graham Walmsley has given the go-ahead to release his Purist adventures in a print volume with additional material on the Lake District.
  • Gareth and Graham are working on the next chapter of The Apocalypse Machine.
  • Robin is continuing to delve into the Dreamlands with his Dreamhounds of Paris, and is also working on a companion volume in the mold of The Occult Guide called the Livre de Fourmis  – Book of Ants.
  • The Book of the Smoke: Occult Guide is available on rpgnow.com

GenCon

Steve Dempsey, Kevin Kulp, Matthew Sanderson and Game on Demand will be running  be running GUMSHOE demos and full games – come to the stand and we’ll fix you up. Paula Dempsey, Kenneth Hite, Robin Laws will be there as will 13th Age stalwarts Rob Heinsoo, Jonathan Tweet and other Fire Opalites, as well as Stone Skin Press writers. All the designers will be offering  GM’ing advice. And Beth and I will be there, too of course. Stop by for a chat, and take advantage of our 4 for 3 convention offer, take advantage of GenCon exclusives and new releases.

Title Setting
New Release Night’s Black Agents Night’s Black Agents
New Release The Zalozhniy Quartet Night’s Black Agents
GenCon Exclusive Tartarus/Terra Nova Flip Book Ashen Stars
New Release Dying Earth Revivification Folio Dying Earth/Skulduggery
GenCon Exclusive 13th Age Poster Map 13th Age
GenCon Exclusive 13th Age Escalation Die 13th Age
GenCon Exclusive The New Hero Vol 1 Stone Skin Press
GenCon Exclusive The New Hero Vol 2 Stone Skin Press
GenCon Exclusive Shotguns v Cthulhu Stone Skin Press

Character Generator

For reasons beyond my personal control we have not delivered the final version of the Black Book character generator. That said, it is at least in part my responsibilty. The generator works fine for Trail and just about for Esoterrorists and Fear Itself, but doesn’t currently have the extras for Bookhounds and Apocalypse Machine we promised. What’s more than that, the rewards which depended on later installments of Cthulhu Apocalypse are not out because they were delayed. I can only apologise and make the following commitments:

John Clayton has stepped in and will finish the generator by 15th September.

All rewards which involve names, cities and so on in publications will be in playtest by November. If you are unhappy that you have not already been included, please contact me and we will work something out.

So, once again, sorry for this delay, and we’ll keep you informed.

This month we celebrate Page XX’s ENnie nomination for Best Website with a super-duper bumper edition. A plethora of other Pelgrane products have been nominated in six categories, and you can read the full roster here. Our first Night’s Black Agents adventure The Zalozhniy Quartet is on pre-order, and the Stone Skin Press Kickstarter is nearing its first stretch goal. The 13th Age Escalation Die is now set at 2 with an updated version from Rob. Keep on testing!

Stone Skin Press Kickstarter

We Kickstarted our fiction imprint Stone Skin Press, and it’s already – just short of the 150% we need to create a new anthology – Schemers. Every day we are posting an article on stories on the Stone Skin Press site. See the latest update.

Trail of Cthulhu fans should consider the Shotguns v. Cthulhu anthology, and you can get all four anthologies for only $25 and buy Beth a cupcake (to improve her productivity, you understand) for only $3. Why not consider our selection of rewards for backers?

Night’s Black Agents

Night’s Black Agents has gone to press, and should make GenCon. Print pre-orderers can download the laid-out PDF from their order page.

  • The Zalozhniy Quartet, a set of adventures by Gareth Hanrahan with Ken Hite is now on print pre-order – get the bare-bones PDF now and the full version by August.
  • The Night’s Black Agents Companion is now in planning stages, and it will include tips for agents and new cherries for all abilities, forensic information on vampire types, an extended tech and weapons summary with weapon special features, more thriller maneuvres and extra monsters, plus much more.
  • Ken and Gareth will be in Chicago later this month to put their heads together for the Dracula Dossier, which is the Armitage Files for Night’s Black Agents.

13th Age

Rob has released an updated version of the Escalation Edition, with new feats, updated classes including the monk. Download it from your order page.

Rob is also working on the first adventure for the game Shards of the Broken Sky. He says:

This sandbox adventure for 13th Age centers on the crash of one of the Archmage’s flying realms. As threats multiply, the flying land turns out to have been the control point for magical wards neutralizing three ancient evils. With the cone of secrecy shattered, each of the thirteen icons offers rival opportunities for glory, plunder, or heroic sacrifice.  Plot, non-player character, and location options allow the gamemaster to tune each play-through of Shards of the Broken Sky to the icon relationships that campaign’s player characters care about most.

Also in the pipeline now are a 13th Age Bestiary, incorporating everything we’ve learnt from creating the Book of Unremitting Horror, the Dying Earth and the Compendium of Universal Knowledge. Monsters will not just be monsters, but mini-adventures, with statements from scholars, icons and adventurers on the nature and behavious of the denizens of this world, and a gazetteer of the Dragon Empire.

Trail of Cthulhu

  • Ken Hite has completed the new rules for Mythos Expeditions, and is working on the first chapter so that other writers can produce their expeditions.
  • Graham Walmsley has given the go-ahead to release his Purist adventures in a print volume with additional material on the Lake District.
  • Gareth and Graham are working on the next chapter of The Apocalypse Machine.
  • Robin is continuing to delve into the Dreamlands with his Dreamhounds of Paris, and is also working on a companion volume in the mold of The Occult Guide called the Livre de Fourmis  – Book of Ants.
  • For playtest we have Sisters of Sorrow by Adam Gauntlett set on a U-boat.

Gaean Reach

We are in need of playtester for a game of revenge set in the Gaean Reach – please apply here.

Ashen Stars

Robin’s article this month describes an Ashen Stars adventure, Tartarus, based very loosely on a recent blockbuster film. It will be out very soon.

 

 

The Pelgrane has flown the nest, leaving the fledglings in the capable pinions of the Mother of All Pelgranes to explore the verdant mountains and arroyos of Andalucía and feast on wild pigs and what I will describe as peasant food. So, expect little detail, but much excitement.  The Dying Earth Revivification Folio is on pre-order, The Book of the Smoke is available as a PDF and there has been a flurry of activity over at Stone Skin Press. The [REDACTED] Edition of Night’s Black Agents will be on sale for a couple more weeks before switching to the standard pre-order version. The 13th Age playtest is now closed, and the pre-order will open quite soon.

The Dying Earth

My first love is reborn! The Revivification Folio works both as a stand-alone game and as an adjunct to Skulduggery and the original Dying Earth. It features card-based super-quick character generation, three adventures and rapid play mechanics. It’s a hoot. You could also take this opportunity to pre-order the newly back-in-print XPS 4/5 and XPS 7/8 as well as Turjan’s Tome. Pre-order The Revivification Folio through our shop.

13th Age

We’ve had an amazing and gratifying response to 13th Age (I’m looking at you, somethingawful.com) and now the playtest is over.  Rob Heinsoo is ploughing through the large number of playtests to finalise the manuscript, and the game will be available on pre-order soon. Playtesters who submitted a response are now able to blog and discuss the game online, and Lee and Andrew have been beavering away on the artwork. Here is a sneak peek of the cover as it currently stands. The pre-order will include the perks you’ve grown to expect with Ashen Stars and Night’s Black Agents, though the lead time to release will be a lot shorter.

Night’s Black Agents

This month, we released the epub version of Night’s Black Agents, and we’ll soon be releasing the mobi version, too, as part of the [REDACTED] edition. The [REDACTED] Edition will be available for a couple more weeks, while the layout is underway.  Those of you who already have NIGHT level clearance or higher will receive a message next week.  And remember – KYBOI.

Trail of Cthulhu

Will Hindmarch has returned from Origins and will have the final ms of Eternal Lies in my hands very soon.

Out of Space – a follow-up print collection to Out of Time is now underway, and should be out in July.

Graham Walmsley says he will look at the character generator and Cthulhu Apocalypse later this month.

Robin D Laws has provided some tasty morsels of Dreamhounds of Paris – a list of surrealists that the players will use as PCs, and some (to me) distasteful dreamland cats.

Adam Gauntlett’s new adventure, Sisters of Sorrow, set on a U-boat in the North Atlantic is available for playtest.

We are starting the slow and painful process of collating information and feedback for a 2nd edition of the core book which might be released late in 2013, though I wouldn’t put money on it.

Owl Hoot Trail

Kevin Kulp has taken over Owl Hoot Trail, knocked it into shape written a solid and fun adventure for it. It’s a great game to playtest – character generation is very fast, and it’s much more a Western with fantasy elements than the other way round. Please playtest it here.

Esoterrorists

The Enhanced Edition is awaiting art direction. It will probably be out in Russia before it is here.

Matt Sanderson’s great adventure The Love of Money is not quite getting the love it deserves. It’s an excellent convention game and a perfect example of how to integrate pre-gens with each other and with an adventure.

Stone Skin Press

See the Stone Skin Press round-up here, including a picture of delicious ARC copies of Shotguns vs Cthulhu. International Short Story Day will see the official launch of Stone Skin Press. If you are in London on June 20th and would like to attend, you can find all the information you need here.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of HP Lovecraft’s death. Perhaps it’s morbid to mark his death rather than his birth, a little grim to dwell on the unstoppable ravages of time, indifferent and uncaring. Morbid? Perhaps. Appropriate? Definitely. For contrast, we add to this cocktail of the grim and the deathly a healthy dose of opportunism, with a new Trail Core Bundle for new Keepers at a temporary 25% discount in the store, and set of Hidden Treasures – sadly over looked Pelgrane gems, also at 25% off.

13th Age

We are publishing a new fantasy game by Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo, 3rd and 4th Edition D&D designers. That’s all I’ll say for the moment, but if you want to play test, you can apply here.

Night’s Black Agents

We really could do with some more REDACTED edition sales to cover our printing costs, so please consider buying it from our store. We need to sell 100 more to break even on our print costs.

Thank you for all your feedback on Night’s Black Agents. Ken will have completed the final ms by the end of the month. Art is progressing well. I’ve been running Night’s Black Agents for my group, and it has a real cinematic feel. The rules at the micro level and the conspiracy structure at the macro level mesh to create a thrilling atmosphere. Every clue leads to danger. Preparedness means you don’t have to micromanage all your planning, and GUMSHOE’s resource management could have been tailor-made for the limited network, cover identities and equipment in a spy game.

If you have any tables or references you want added, or are willing to give us actual play feedback for the DVD notes, that would be great.

Trail of Cthulhu

Robin Laws and Steve Dempsey are outlining the concept and doing the research for a Dreamlands supplement based in Paris. This is Robin’s pitch:

Dreamhounds of Paris* is the Dreamlands book for people who hate the Dreamlands.  The players are prominent surrealists, their rivals, and occult adversaries, fighting to control the Dreamlands and thus alter human consciousness.  The fractious, iconoclastic surrealists were the premiere troublemakers of the intellectual scene of 1930s Paris. Andre Breton, their ideological enforcer, considered the movement not an art or avant garde pursuit, but an exercise in literally changing the human spirit.  The exploration of dreams was but one part of this quasi-mystical pursuit.  In Dreamhounds of Paris, top surrealists–but never the hyper-rational Breton himself–not only discover a way of breaking through to the Dreamlands by randomly walking the streets of the city.  They discover that their powerful imaginations allow them to reshape its oneric geography. Soon the Dreamlands look more like something envisioned by Lautreamont than Dunsany–then they’re overrun by melting watches, ants streaming from giant hands, and bowler-hatted men whose faces can never be seen.

*I haven’t yet decided whether this title is a joke, or brilliant marketing.

  • When Ken has finished Night’s Black Agents, he’ll be moving on to managing Mythos Expeditions and the a supplement set in China.
  • Adam Gauntlett’s Coffins is in illustration and will be out next month, and new adventure set in Civil War Spain will be in playtest shortly.
  • Note the Robin’s Repairer of Reputations, a hidden treasure, is available at a discount for a while.

Ashen Stars

  • Kevin Kulp, who created the Stowaway demo game for Ashen Stars is working on new adventures for Ashen Stars.
  • We are still considering what other supplements to release – it appeared that a massive campaign would be the most popular, but that is a huge undertaking and even if we sell through the first print run (which seems highly likely) it’s a relatively small market. That’s not to exclude the possibilty.
  • Terra Nova, Lenny’s excellent Ashen Stars adventure is now available on rpgnow.com.

Esoterrorists

  • Love of Money, Matthew Sanderson’s sombre and exciting adventure is now on sale at rpgnow.com. We are considering a print version, and we’ll offer a discount to PDF purchasers if we do this.
  • Eso 2.0 is being illustrated, other products are in editing.

Owl Hoot Trail, New World, Gaean Reach, et all

  • Clinton has passed Owl Hoot Trail on to us for completion, and Kevin Kulp will be writing the playtest adventure for it.
  • New World is in playtest, and we could do with some more playtesters for it. You can hear about it, and listen to some actual play with Bill White on this podcast.
  • Robin has written most of the Gaean Reach, which mixes up GUMSHOE with Skulduggery, and where character’s primary motive is revenge.
  • Paula Dempsey has written the first draft of Salem, which is a story game based on Monsegur 1244, where you play folks involved in the witchcraft trials.
  • She is also working on her follow up to the Book of the Smoke, the Book of the New Jerusalem.
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