Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Min-Maxed Updates

Dark Druids has reached its final incarnation (in English, see below) via Chaotic Henchmen and under the guiding hand of Guy Fullerton.  A big thank you is due Guy and the folks who are championing through purchases and appreciative gestures its re-release!

I have agreed in principle with an Italian RPG publisher to have select adventures/works of mine translated for that part of the EURO market and we are in the final stages of ironing out the contractual details.

Pied Piper Publishing's remaining materials, stock and project particles (already printed color maps for two related projects which I was furthering--THE ANNEX and DREAMLANDS--before the company ceased operations) have been turned over to Black Blade Publishing.  At some point I am sure that the stock, otherwise available at their convention booth, will be available for online purchase in the future.

I re-reviewed DREAMLANDS and discovered that I had about a week of (full time) writing left to finish it.   So...  I will be plucking away at it in between the courses on my always variegated plate of delectable choices.

Here's the cover (2009) by Andy Taylor (aka "ATOM"); and a partial of the color 11x14 map I rendered for it (1985) when the design moved from being the "OZ LEVEL" for Castle Greyhawk (2nd iteration) to its final state.  In reinventing the former model I'd previously used this expanded it into element usage in ways consonant with my template for Lost City of the Elders (1974) and (distantly) for the GOD GAME model (played by LGTSA members in 1974), the latter which is already detailed for my upcoming book, A NEW ETHOS IN GAME DESIGN.



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dark Druids Now Available!


Just a quick announcement that the new version of Rob's Dark Druids module is now available. It includes all the content from the (expanded) 2006 version, is updated for use with one of your favorite game systems, and features dozens of new illustrations.

It will turn your players' expectations on their ears, and give you a glimpse into some of the campaign play of the 1970's.

Hop over to the Chaotic Henchmen site for full details and order info...

Thanks again Rob, for graciously allowing me to republish it, and for giving me the chance to shout about it here!

- Guy

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Ice Grave MS Delivered to Black Blade

I met with the president, Jon Hershberger, of Black Blade Publishing last night, this over a meal and a few beverages.

What came out of it is a reformed idea path by which we will continue handling my reprinted and new RPG materials.

Though we are not changing what has been previously listed on the production schedule, we have jostled it around a bit and added some items to it.

Black Blade has received the Ice Grave MS. as of this morning.  This adventure was originally published in Troll Magazine back in 1997 and is perhaps one of the rarest items out there for my adventures.  Troll Magazine went belly-up after two issues and the majority of their stock was pulped by the printer.  That left only a few hundred issues, at my estimate, floating around out there in which this adventure occurs.

As originally written it was generic; so BB will be bringing it up to 1st Edition standards through its republication.

ORIGINAL COVER FOR TROLL MAGAZINE THEMED

THE PYLON GATE.  WHERE DOES IT LEAD WITHIN THIS  FORSAKEN PLACE?




In other news.  Once I have cleared the deck of two RPG projects pending (Machine Level and Horsing Around) Black Blade and I will be analyzing the production approach for my Castle dungeons and environs, Castle El Raja Key.  This is a preliminary but necessary step for ascertaining the best way to present it, so there will be more information forthcoming over the next six months as we affirm the best pre-production guidelines for it.

In other news we also agreed that neither I alone, nor Black Blade, has the time resources to complete the vision, as first forwarded by them, of bringing to public the RJK CD Archive, about 8,000 plus separately scanned files.  As of today I have arranged a new partnership with another company to forward the release of the archive.  I am meeting with the president of that company tomorrow and there should be a public announcement soon enough upon the thrust we will be taking to expedite this huge project which has otherwise been in hiatus for time and production reasons.

More to follow!



Dark Druids Update

It appears that the printer proof for DARK DRUIDS is in Guy Fullerton's hands and he is combing through it now.  Expect it to be available for sale from Chaotic Henchman very soon!  Guy will no doubt update us all upon its release.


Friday, January 16, 2015

I Woke Up This Morning... People...

I woke up from my usual beautiful dreams  to the invariable growing nightmare that is our changed and ever changing world of in-your-face realities that most people ignore during "this" our daily life routines.

Item #1:  From a person whom I respect and love...

Item #2, below.  A new "person" wanted to add me as a "friend" on Google+.  I clicked on their profile and immediately got this from "its" current, and only, post (note snapshot I took).



And, as an aside, was forced to deal with and think about another ongoing commentary on a board I answer questions at, this concerning why folks believe that computers used in RPGs do not detract from the human experience thereof but can actually enhance it.  All of that flowing from a mechanical, and invariant, POV that a human interface in RPG is more of an adjunct reality to the game mechanic and organized flow of linearity and bean-counting (adding it all up) than an immersive imaginative experience sans as little artificial constructs as is possible.  Just ask kids at play in the yard whether their experiences (all rather spontaneous and optimal in a self-generating way) would be enhanced if they had to stop and reference books or computers to carry on imagining and being and doing.  And why should they?  They already have the most optimal human interface possible:  The imaginative conduit of the brain.

What all of these things, seemingly unconnected, have in common is a purposeful disregard for the human, though on different levels.

Now onto lunch... Hopefully it has a better, non-bitter, taste than breakfast.




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Life, Love and Creativity

Many things have been happening in this writers/designer's life.

I have moved on to a new state, a new state of mind, and yes, a state of change, definitely, and a new-found state of happiness.

In one month I will tie the knot with my better half, a professional writer and feature blogger from France.  More on this as it transpires.  I remain coy at revealing too much of my personal life but as her and I develop new projects together more of our life plans and intellectual partnership will be revealed.

Black Blade Publishing is reprinting the following RPG titles of mine, with the aim of cross issuing them under the DCC RPG system published by Goodman Games:

Garden of the Plantmaster (to be released in the next 6 months)
City of Brass (the original as finished by me) (release date tentative mid next year)
Cairn of the Skeleton King (GaryCon release date or sooner)
Tower of Blood (GaryCon release date or sooner)

I am currently finishing a very large project, Horsing Around, which is a fan-fold mapped special level for Greyhawk Castle (1974).  This will include an extensive historical/design essay on Greyhawk Castle and the Lake Geneva Original Campaign as run by myself and my counterpart, then, Gary Gygax.

After that comes the Machine Level and Ice Grave.

I am at 120,000 words written on my tour de force, A New Ethos in Game Design: The Paradigm Shift Originated by Dungeons & Dragons™ 1972-1977

The book, a seven year research and writing project, was put on temporary hold due to my move, my upcoming marriage and the need to fulfill outstanding publishing contracts.  A very small particle of it will possibly be excerpted for an interview with a Swedish RPG 'zine that I am in the midst of answering questions for (editor: Björn Wärmedal).  More news on this as I get grounded on the many things that are transpiring.  My rough estimate for wordage on this is 200,000, plus diagrams.  This baby wants to be birthed, it demands it, so I am splitting my endeavors between this project and game design lest I lose contact with the former.  An editor has been assigned to the project (more on this development as everything unfolds).

Other news tidbits: I have canceled all convention appearances for the next year due to my busy schedule; to contact me go through Black Blade Publishing for now.

For all of you creative, spontaneous designers and thinkers out there I leave you (for now) with a quote from Viola Spolin. See you 'round the about...


"Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves. It creates an explosion that for the moment frees us from handed-down frames of reference, memory choked with old facts and information and undigested theories and techniques of other people's findings. Spontaneity is the moment of personal freedom when we are faced with reality, and see it, explore it and act accordingly. In this reality the bits and pieces of ourselves function as an organic whole. It is the time of discovery, of experiencing, of creative expression."




Monday, June 30, 2014

_Bottle City_ now available to order from Black Blade


Jon's has updated the Ordering instructions on the Black Blade Publishing web site, and posted the Bottle City transcription and ERKME#10 files referenced in the module.

For reference, here are the ordering details, which are posted to http://black-blade-publishing.com/Ordering.aspx:

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The Black Blade web site is in the process of being rebuilt since the e-commerce package used to drive it is no longer supported by the
original vendor (who has gone out of business).  Consequently, the online store is NOT fully operational (shipping, in particular international shipping, does not
work properly). Please use the Store tab as a reference for details about our books, including prices, but do not use it to place an order.

When you are ready to order, please email us with the following details:

- First Name and Last Name
- Shipping Address
- Email Address
- Online User Name
- Phone Number
- Products Ordered and their Quantities
- Any additional notes or instructions that will help us process to your order

Please email these details to:

tacojohndm@yahoo.com

We'll then provide you with an accurate shipping quote, and will invoice you via Paypal, our preferred method for payment. If you do not have a Paypal account and/or prefer to pay via credit card, we accept all major credit cards that are supported by Square (Visa, Master Card, American Express, and Discover; details at https://squareup.com/).  To process such orders, please provide us with a good time to call you to get your credit card details:  please do not email or text them to us, since we don't want your financial information being sent through insecure methods.

Black Blade Publishing also accepts United States money orders in US Dollars, International money orders in US Dollars, and travellers checks in US Dollars.  At game conventions where we are selling products, we also accept cash in US Dollars (USD).  Black Blade Publishing does not accept personal checks.

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Thank you for your support, as always! :D