Monday, February 24, 2020

Concerning Bat in the Attic Games

I want to thank everybody for their support and appreciate the solidarity that was shown. It wasn't 100% but it was very high. Keep that in mind as we move on and the debates begin.

Moving on is what this post is about. What I will be doing with Bat in the Attic Games.

The Royalty Waiver
Mr. Bledsaw granted me a royalty waiver in March of 2018 and it applies to royalties beginning on July 1st 2017. I ran the numbers and it looks like I am 66% towards reaching the cap. I don't feel comfortable with providing the numbers due to wording of my license agreement. However what owed to me was computed on the basis of what I was paid for the first nine maps plus a fee for the CSIO map. I owe Judges Guild a royalty report in April.

I already modified batintheattic.com and took down the items on my Lulu store. It been nine months since I sold a copy of anything on Lulu. However all Bat in the Attic products are still available on DriveThruRPG.

The Product Line
I sell twelve products and eleven of them have Judges Guild IP. The two Majestic Wilderlands related products can be replaced with works without Judges Guild IP. However the other nine are Wilderlands of High Fantasy related, they will eventually be delisted and the files turned over to Judges Guild per my license agreement. This leaves just Blackmarsh after everything is delisted.

The Immediate Future

The Wild North
First I will finish the Wild North. I am aiming for a spring release. Luckily this was my next project. This setting is to the north of Blackmarsh and it is loosely based on Russian and Slavic folklore. Much like how the core rules of classic D&D are based on a fantasy medieval Europe.

This was originally released as Map 19 in Fight On #3, however two years ago I decided to revamp it to fit the loose setting behind Blackmarsh and the two Points of Light books. This involved redrawing the southern edge of the map to fit Blackmarsh and write new material to bring it up to the standards of Blackmarsh. The map will be four times the size of Blackmarsh.

The first draft is finished. I am in the midst of drawing the color version of the map along with various smaller maps that are needed.

Scourge of the Demon Wolf
The Scourge of the Demon Wolf will be revamped to fit the loose setting behind Blackmarsh and the two Points of Light books. This means changing a couple of references and replacing the Barony of Westtower mini-setting in the supplement half.

Deceits of the Russet Lord.
The draft adventure that is furthest along is Deceits of the Russet Lord. It involves star crossed lovers, corrupt monks, rebellious peasants, tyrannical lords, orcs, and the Russet Lord, the faerie lord that behind it all.

The Long Term

The Majestic Fantasy Realms
This will replace the Wilderlands of High Fantasy books in my product lines. It will likely be based on the loose setting behind Blackmarsh. It will definitely take advantage of DriveThruRPG ability to print 18" by 12" posters for the maps. Other than that I am still feeling my way through how to best approach this.

The Majestic Fantasy RPG
The Majestic Wilderlands supplement in 2009 was just the beginning of my work with Swords and Wizardry. In the ten+ years since I have run several campaigns and expanded the rules beyond what in the supplement.

My challenge is twofold. First I strongly believe that Swords and Wizardry by Frog God Games is an excellent system for many. I want to supplement Swords and Wizardry not replace it. Second there are many other fine OSR rule systems out there as well. As result most OSR referees I know often kit bash the rules they use for their campaign. Taking most from a single system but the rest from different sources.

As a result my goal for the Majestic Fantasy RPG is to make it easy for people to use sections of the Majestic Fantasy RPG in their campaigns, whether it is Swords and Wizardry or another system. But also still function as a system in its own right. I am still working on what form this will take.

I do know at some point I will need an overview to summarize how it all hangs together. Hence my release, for free, of the Basic Rules for the Majestic Fantasy RPG.

The Majestic Stars
I am  bound and determined to improve at writing science fiction adventures. Once I figure it out I plan to release the results as the Majestic Stars.

5th edition 
When reviewing my work folder I found I had quite a bit of 5th edition material. It not organized into a coherent whole like the Majestic Wilderlands supplement was. But it looks there is enough for a small number of zine type supplements. Basically bits and pieces I created for the two 5e campaigns I ran along with playing around with the system.

Wrapping it up
Again I appreciate the support that was shown. I will be keeping everybody updated on my progress. I also would like to thank Goodman Games and Frog God Games for their support.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Concerning Judges Guild, Further Developments

Today Robert Bledsaw II posted a message on the Judges Guild Game Company group on facebook. Below are the links where you can read it for yourself:

A Private Message from Bob II
Note: the above link doesn't work as the post been deleted  you will have to use the archive link.

The link to the message

The tone, tenor, and many of the elements of his message mirrored the conversation I had with him on Sunday, February 8th. That conversation in conjunction with the posts I found was crucial to my decision to cease doing business with Judges Guild under Robert Bledsaw II.

My response to his message.

I still will not do any future business with Judges Guild. The moment that the royalties since the waiver equal to what is due from the work I did for the CSIO kickstarter, all Judges Guild products will delisted from Bat in the Attic Games. The two Judges Guild licensed products with my original IP will have their Judges Guild content removed and reissued in a new edition.

What happens next?
Concerning Bat in the Attic Games

Friday, February 14, 2020

Hunters in Death the last 24 hours


I want to thank everybody for their show of support throughout the week. It meant a lot and I got to talk to a lot of new people. I regret it wasn't under better circumstances.

I will be talking in a later post about Bat in the Attic Games. But right now it is last day  of one of my best friends kickstarters.

Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor and I have been gaming together since high school along with our friend Dwayne Gillingham. In recent years he has been publishing his ideas along with some kick ass maps.

Now Tim is taking a stab at a kickstarter by offering Hunters in Death, an old school hex crawl. It part of Kickstarter's zine quest 2 encouraging and promoting various zine authors.

Here is a summary of what it is about.
Hunters in Death is set in the Komor Forest. A place that's consumed civilizations and birthed abominations. Yet there is a single outpost, Hounds Head, that holds back the darkness. It's a beacon for adventurers. Silver and blood are promised. And delivered. Some adventurers return with sacks overflowing with coins and jewels, but most fertilize the forest with their blood.
I have adventured in the Komor Forest and it is an interesting place to explore. The zine itself is a good deal at $4 for the PDF and $8 for print + pdf. Hope you check it out.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Concerning Judges Guild

I use facebook to keep in contact with various individuals including Robert Bledsaw II, the owner of the Judges Guild IP and the son of one of the company's founders.

Saturday evening, I noticed the following post:

Read the caption above the picture to see the issue.

This is unacceptable.

Sunday evening, I called Robert Bledsaw II and discussed the issue. I notified him that I will no longer be doing future Judges' Guild projects and will only continue to sell what I have currently listed.  I stated that I will be calling the other Judges Guild licensee and inform them of the situation and of my decision.

I was not planning making any public announcements. Given the mob mentality I have seen emerge, I was not comfortable in making a public statement.

However, because I was calling several people who are immediately affected by this situation, the odds of a public post were high. With issues like these, one has to follow the dictates of their conscience. It has gone public hence this post explaining what happened and why.

In addition to the above post, I noticed shortly before the call the following post.

The video is of Christian Bale dropping the card and looking disappointed

This cemented my decision that I can no longer be in a future business relationship with Judges Guild. Then later this post was pointed out to me.



This too, I consider unacceptable.

For now, I will keep up my Judges Guild related products up for sale. I currently have a unique situation in regards to the royalties I pay. Given the state of the Kickstarter finances, Robert Bledsaw II suspended the royalty payments in lieu of paying me for finishing the last nine maps. This has been going on since November of 2017 when I released the CSIO map. Since then, all revenue after taxes and expenses have gone to me. This will not last indefinitely, at which point I will have to revisit having these products listed based on how things have progressed. I will make an announcement accordingly.

Expect a post outlining my future plans for Bat in the Attic Games. In a nutshell, I wasn't expecting to have a license to Judges Guild IP ten years ago and was proceeding on that basis for what became the Majestic Wilderlands supplement. Then an opportunity came up after I finished working on the map for City State of the Sea Kings, and as a result I secured a license.

Last Word
To those of you familiar with my published writing: I try to follow a philosophy of less is more. So is it the same in the case of my response. I don't need to explain the ills caused by generations of bigotry and prejudice. It is just wrong, and it is unacceptable.

Further developments
Since I posted this, Robert Bledsaw II issued his statement. You can go to his message and my response using the below link.

Concerning Judges Guild, Further developments

What happens next?
Concerning Bat in the Attic Games

Monday, February 3, 2020

Hunters in Death, an old school hex crawl.


Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor and I have been gaming together since high school along with our friend Dwayne Gillingham. Over the years through our respective campaigns we came up with a lot of ideas.

Print on Demand and the Internet made it possible for each of us to share some of what we created. Now Tim is the first to take a stab at kickstarter by offering Hunters in Death, an old school hex crawl. It part of Kickstarter's zine quest 2 encouraging and promoting various zine authors.

Here is a summary of what it is about.
Hunters in Death is set in the Komor Forest. A place that's consumed civilizations and birthed abominations. Yet there is a single outpost, Hounds Head, that holds back the darkness. It's a beacon for adventurers. Silver and blood are promised. And delivered. Some adventurers return with sacks overflowing with coins and jewels, but most fertilize the forest with their blood.
I have adventured in the Komor Forest and it is an interesting place to explore. The zine itself is a good deal at $4 for the PDF and $8 for print + pdf. It funded in the first day so it will be seeing the light of day. Hope you check it out.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Swords & Wizardry Boxed Set Kickstarter


Matt Finch and Frog God Games is doing a new printing of Swords and Wizardry Complete and this time it is to be a series of digest sized booklets in a boxed set. It is nearing $50k at the time I posted this. The rules are the same as Swords and Wizardry Complete, but the kickstarter offers an array of extras to accompany the boxed set. Also I been told that the box itself is deeper than it needs to be to hold further expansion.

Swords and Wizardry Kickstarter

Why Swords and Wizardy?
Back in 2008 when I was deciding on what to base my Majestic Wilderlands supplement on, I found Matt Finch's Swords and Wizardry Core. Compared to the d20 SRD and the other retro-clone of the time, I found Swords and Wizardry, Core to be the closest thing to an ur version of DnD available. In addition it was accompanied by a version of the rulebook that was an editable document. I especially liked how Matt incorporated ascending AC alongside the traditional AC system.

So I used it as the foundation for my Majestic Wilderlands supplement and all the work I done for classic edition since. In addition I am making sure that the Majestic Fantasy rules that I am working remain compatible. That it can function on its own or as a supplement to Swords and Wizardry.

Digest sized books and The Boxed Set
I am partial to using digest size (5.5" by 8.5") for my rules material. It is great to see Frog God Games coming out with a version of Swords and Wizardry in this format. I also like the fact it is a boxed set. There been several attempts at releasing boxed sets for various clones. While cool it is barely on this side of doable for many OSR publishers. The handling and shipping is murder for most. It is great that Frog God Game taking a run at this and I hope it works out economically for them.

So if you are interested stop by the kickstarter and see it interests you.

Fight On!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

More work on the Wild North

Working through the last of the terrain entries for the Wild North. It is a bit of a challenge to try to summarize dozens of square miles in a few sentences and make it a useful inspiration for a campaign.

One reason I added terrain entries is that during the Necromancer Games Wilderlands project I saw how useful they were to summarize an area of the map that would otherwise be a series of separate hex entries.

So after this I will have to go through the text and correct any obvious editing mistakes as well as consistency. Finally I will pick out a few locales and draw small local maps in the same way I did Castle Blackmarsh in Blackmarsh.

Finally I will able to get this edited and into the layout process. Below are some of the latest samples from the text.

The Frostgrims (Hex 0428)
Snowcapped spires reach into sky fencing ice filled valleys. Amid the shadows, Remorhaz (HD 6 to 13) tunnel beneath the ice and snow. Frost Giants (HD 10+3) dwell in castles built on the stony crags. They consider Remorhaz to be a great delicacy and hunt them alongside packs of Winter Wolves (HD 5).

Throughout the mountains are the ruined towers of Thules, Outposts established to harvest crystalline shards of viz that freeze out of the air in the early morning before dawn on the highest peaks (Hexes 0226, 0228, 0328, 0329). The Thules had to act quickly as they would melt an hour after the sun rises.

Searching for Viz
Typically 1d6 viz will appear 1d3 hours before dawn. Each viz takes 1 hour per person with arcane knowledge to find. A serious danger is the thin air, without magic characters have to make a saving throw every hour or pass out. It typically takes two hours of climbing to reach the peaks. The Thules used magic carpets or the fly spells to cut down on the travel time as well as using a lost variant of Control Winds to thicken the air in order to breath properly while searching.

The Great Glacier (Hex 0320)
Once covering nearly all of the Wild North, the Great Glacier is still slowly retreating to the northwest. It southeast face is riddled with crevasses and subglacial caves where icy cold streams emerge. Calving ice sheets are also a danger as in some areas the glacier’s edge forms a cliff 10 to 20 feet high. Travel on the glacier’s surface is also hazardous due to the numerous crevasses and moulins. A moulin is a sinkhole up to 10 feet in diameter that in a few cases reaches down to the bottom of the glacier.

Aside from the dangers of the terrain, the glacier surface is relatively free of animal life or monsters. A few small Remorhaz (HD 6 to 8) lair in the southern third. The white dragon, Rekokardek, is known to lair somewhere in northern third of the glacier (Hex 0215). The glacier’s flat surface makes surprising her almost impossible.

More common are the ruins of the Thules and the occasional Frost Giant castle (Hex 0421) found amid the nunataks jutting above the glacier surface. The ancient Thules used their towers on the glacier as a bastion from which to rule their fallen empire. They experimented with magic involving water and ice, some of which still remains undiscovered beneath the gravel and snow.