Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Bat in the Attic Kickstarter, Meet the Artist

I am a long time fan of the Harn fantasy setting from both Columbia Games and Kelestia. One the things that made Harn great was the art. First by Eric Hotz in the 80s and early 90s. And now Richard Luschek since the late 90s.

He has a strong b/w style as well as doing excellent color illustrations. I am pleased to announce that he agreed to do four pieces for the cover for the Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG.

Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG Kickstarter


He also has a blog where he talks about how he draws and his techniques. One interesting aspect is that he uses the 3D CAD Sketch Up to build up buildings on the local area Harn maps to use as a model for landscape illustrations in various harn products. You can see this in his post on drawing some the illustrations for Lorkin Castle.

The Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG Cover

I use a stylized cover where the front has three hexes and the back has a single larger image. I like to use this arrangement to tell a small story related to the content of the product. For the basic rules this story will be focusing on adventuring.



This starts with two individual adventurers dealing with the dungeon while focused on the treasure to the right. The back image showing the entire group working together to win the treasure.

I am pleased to have Richard on board for this project and hope you enjoy his work as much as I do.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Bat in the Attic Kickstarter Launches


Today I am launching a kickstarter for my latest project, the Majestic Fantasy RPG, Basic Rules.

Kickstarter for the Majestic Fantasy RPG Basic Rules

Preview for the Table of Contents

In 2009, I released a platinum selling supplement that explained the details of the setting I used for my fantasy campaign for nearly forty years. Along with providing details, the supplement contains rules for adapting the material to the Swords and Wizardry RPG and other classic editions of the original roleplaying game.

Since then, I have continued to run campaigns and now have enough material and rules to release a new series of supplements. The supplements together will function as their own system, useful as a tool for running many different types of fantasy campaigns. They will also function as individual supplements to the Swords and Wizardry RPG and other RPGs based on the classic editions.

This reflects the reality that most fantasy campaigns based on the classic editions are a kitbash of different elements that the referee finds useful. So rather than try to compete with the large number of excellent RPGs targeting the classic editions, I decided to format my take in a way that supports kitbashing. While I hope people will enjoy the system I created as a whole, I expect most will pick out just the parts they are interested in, whether it is classes, monsters, or magic items.

However, there needs to be something that ties these different elements together. A supplement that explains and illustrates how these rules work together as a complete system. To this end, I wrote The Basic Rules For The Majestic Fantasy RPG. It covers the traditional four classes of burglar, cleric, fighter, and magic user from levels 1 to 5 along with details on spells, equipment, and combat rules. It also supports the referee by including a list of monsters, NPCs, and magic items for a fantasy campaign. It ends with two sections of referee advice on how I use the elements of the classic editions to construct the rules and to make new rulings to cover the fantastic and unexpected things that players will attempt as their characters. Then it explains how to use the included material to bring the world outside the dungeon to life.

Cover has placeolder art

This is one part of this Kickstarter. The other part is a series of printed (or PDF) aids that I use to allow people to quickly generate characters using these rules. This aid is in the form of printed cards or tiles. There is an initial card that you hand the player that outlines how the character generation process works. From there, the players pick a class, a background, and buy equipment using the individual cards as a reference to fill out their character sheet. I have refined this over the past decade while running convention and game store sessions and found that it will allow a player to completely generate a character within 15 to 20 minutes. 



I hope this interests you and that you will support me on kickstarter. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Upcoming Bat in the Attic Kickstarter


On Sunday August 9th I will be launching a kickstarter for my latest project, the Majestic Fantasy RPG, Basic Rules.

Preview

Since 2009, I have continued to run campaigns and now have enough material and rules to release a new series of supplements. Because of the reality that most classic edition fantasy campaigns are a kitbash of different elements I am presenting these supplements for the Swords and Wizardry RPG and as part my own Majestic Fantasy RPG.

However, there needs to be something that ties these different elements together. A supplement that explains and illustrates how these rules work together as a complete system. To this end, I wrote The Basic Rules For The Majestic Fantasy RPG.

Cover has placeholder art

This is one part of this Kickstarter. The other part is a series of printed aids that I use to allow people to quickly generate characters using these rules. These aids are in the form of cards. I have refined this over the past decade while running convention and game store sessions and found that it will allow a player to completely generate a classic edition character from 1st to 5th level within 15 to 20 minutes. 

I hope this interests you and that you will support me starting on August 9th!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Random OD&D Treasure Types and Unguarded Treasure


A while ago while working on the Wild North for Fight On! Magazine I coded up the ODnD treasure types in Visual Studio using the dotNET library. Unfortunately sharing EXEs is problematic due to the variety of computer out there so it sat there on my hard drive.

In the past two years, I been delving into javascript which is a popular programming language that runs in your browser. As a result I been transferring over some of the random table dotNet stuff I did into a javascript program. The first one done is the ODnD Treasure Types and Unguarded Treasure. You can access it at the following link.


I will expand it later with some of the other tables I have coded up with dotNet.

As reminder I have the following javascript programs as well.

Note it is just two character standing still and whacking each other in turn. 



Thursday, July 23, 2020

Bandits & Brigands

Figure folks would find the following useful. It is an excerpt from the Majestic Fantasy rules I been working. One thing I am doing different is including an NPC "Monster Manual" as my campaigns often features conflicts and complications with NPCs as well as monsters.

This particular section is about Bandits and Brigands. Why they are different along with some notes on the criminal society that exist in rural society.

It is compatible with Swords And Wizadry RPG and my Majestic Fantasy Rules.

Majestic Fantasy Bandits & Brigands

BANDITS
Bandits are outlaw bands roaming the roads and countryside robbing merchants and peasants. They are usually poorly organized, poorly led, and poorly fed making them desperate people capable of anything

BRIGANDS
Brigands are the rural equivalent of urban thieves’ guilds. They are better organized than ordinary bandits and more capable of hiding from the authorities. Usually brigand gangs form from a mercenary band that ran into bad luck or was outlawed for a crime. Because of this, they have slightly better equipment and have fighters as members as well as thugs. The biggest difference from urban thieves’ guilds is the lack of burglars. Due to their focus on assault and robbery, thugs and fighters are much more common. In addition due to their rural location, there exists an underground trade network of fences and smugglers so the brigands can sell the goods they rob.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance

The Covid pandemic has caused severe economic disruption which impacted businesses across the United States including those involved in publishing the tabletop roleplaying industry. Particularly hard hit are those of us who make a lot of our sales from conventions. I am personally am out a significant amount of money as result of Garycon being cancelled and North Texas Con being held on a restrictive basis. But my plight isn't hard as others impacted by Covid-19.

During the early days of the pandemic, Congress passed a bill that made the entire United State eligible for disaster relief. This includes small businesses. You can read for yourself the various options the small business administration has for disaster relief here.

One of the things offered is the ability to apply for a emergency grant and a loan. When I saw this being made available in March I immediately applied. Then I didn't hear anything for a long time until the middle of April. The Small Business Administration approved my grant and sent me a $1,000. Which was slightly more than I was asking for. As near as I could tell the SBA simply looked at how many people were involved and multiplied it by $1,000. In my case that was one. The SBA will approve grants of up to $10,000.

Keep in mind these are grants not loans that have to be paid back. It not free money either. You have to have filed taxes either as a corporation or using a Schedule C profit or loss from business attached to your personal income tax form.

Now I didn't write about this because shortly after I received the money the SBA closed the application process for all business other than agricultural. Apparently the flood of applications was so great they they fear the program would run out of money without fulfilling the ones they had.

The good news they reopened the program for all small businesses.
If your publishing or game business was impacted you can apply here.

The process doesn't end with the grant. Eventually they will send you a loan offer. Again appears to be based on the number of people involved. However this is a loan that has to be paid back over 30 years at 3% interest. So keep that in mind if you get into this part of the process.

Hope this help and stay safe. I wasn't expecting much and was pleasantly surprised to have received the grant. I feel this will help many of us who have lost sales as a result of the pandemic.

Update
Matrox in the comments points out an aspect of the process that I forgotten about.
Anyone else out there who this might help, the process is very easy, the only quirk is you need your total gross receipts and cost of goods sold from 2-1-2019 through 1-31-2020. If you gather that info ahead of time and have your EIN/SSN handy you should be all set.
Note that you can get most of your gross receipts and cost of good sold from your corporate tax return or your Schedule C. You will have to figure it out for the month of January 2020.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Black Lives Matter Charity Drive

The job isn't done. Borrowing from the words of Martin Luther King used in his last speech, we have crested the mountain and descended part way down the slope but we as a nation and society still have not reached the promised land for black americans or ourselves.

Now is the time to complete the journey as one nation to fulfill the promise of our Declaration of Independence. That all are created equal. That everyone's unalienable rights are not denied. That all enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Onebookshelf has reached out to myself and other publishers about a charity drive to support various organization dedicated to civil rights. Three charities were offered, Black Lives Matter, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the National Police Accountability Project.

I have opted to contribute the Wilderlands of High Fantasy Maps as part of the charity bundle for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Keep in mind the Wilderlands map comes not only with the map PDFs but the PDF for the guidebook as well. The charity drive also features individual products made by African American authors on DriveThruRPG. This is the link for the entire charity drive if you are interested in contributing to one of the other bundles or authors involved.

This only a small effort given the larger events happening. However the mighty river is born of numerous small streams. If each of us contribute what we can when we can, we will all reach the promised land together.

Black Lives Matter.