Sunday, April 1, 2012

Eldritch Enterprises releases

Eldritch Enterprises is a gaming company that partners Frank Mentzer, Jim Ward, Tim Kask, and Christopher Clark. They formed last year and been relatively quiet. Now they have finished their first four product and have released them as PDFs on RPGNow/DrivethruRPG. They are:

Dark Outpost
Lich Dungeon - Level One
Snakeriders of the Aradondo
Forest of Deceit 

I haven't had the chance to review them yet however there is one cautionary note. If you look at the previews (for example Lich Dungeon), you will see that they chosen not to use the OGL and use a very odd stat block format. That wouldn't be so bad but it also takes up as much space as a d20 style stat block. So you should read over the previews first to see if this a deal breaker for you.

Frank Mentzer said Eldritch is talking to the publishers of the various retro-clones so in the future the situation may change.

Update: Frank has posted a link explaining how the stat block works.

6 comments:

Andreas Davour said...

Interesting.

But why do that pdf vendor insist on silliness like "$14.95 $7.50" when it's just gone on sale and obviously never sold for $14.95! That's straight faced lying. I consider it to be damn close to fraud.

Frank Mentzer said...

It seems that they list the retail price for the paper version (available soon on the same site) and the PDF price as a "discount". Not our idea, in any event. :/

F

Andreas Davour said...

Thanks for chiming in, Frank!

I figured it was something like that.

Good to hear from the publisher, since I've seen it before and suspected something like that behind their behaviour. It has been one reason why I dislike them, even when I like the publisher!

Sean said...

Just from the sample, it's hard to tell exactly how the statblocks are supposed to work. But they look like pretty readable attempts to create stats that can be converted on the fly to any D&D clone or even to games like Runequest or Savage Worlds.

Toric said...

I have all four releases and for what my opinion is worth, I don't see a problem with the stat block format. I believe they were done that way so that the products could be used with nearly any gaming system with a small amount of conversion. If you play 1e AD&D, OD&D, or a retro-clone, the only conversion needed can be done on the fly. Percentage stats like Power and Defense just need to be divided by 5. Power equates to HD or level and Defense equates to AC. Converting to 1e, a Basilisk with 30% Power and 40% Defense would be 6 HD (30% divided by 5), and AC 2 (40% divided by 5 which nets a total of 8 which is then subtracted from the base 1e AC of 10 for an AC of 2). The rest of the stats can pretty much be used as is (Move, Health, Damage, Special Abilities). You could even in some cases just pull the matching creature from the Monster Manual and ignore the stats in the modules.

As for the stat blocks themselves, I'll take looking at these over looking at a d20 stat block any day of the week. The Eldritch Enterprises stat blocks are far cleaner than a d20 stat block with many fewer characters. Part of the so-called stat blocks are taken up with an entry on Demeanor and Appearance, which have no game mechanics associated. Really the stat blocks only consist of the following rules crunch - Power, Defense, Health, Move, Init, Damage and Special. Converting Power to HD/level and Defense to AC on the fly was easy after a few minutes of practice.

Frank Mentzer said...

Thanx much Toric.

Recently I posted a Stat Conversion Crib Sheet for Lich Dungeon Level 1 (newly available from Eldritch Ent. Ltd.) over at Dragonsfoot. Since then they've had massive SQL errors (I'm not arrogant enough to believe that this post has anything to do with it).

Since the info has become temporarily inaccessible, and our own website still sucks like a floozy with a black hole, here’s the info, actually expanded somewhat: on GoogleDocs. (I hope this works, I'm not great with webstuff.)

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ypj9x0VtppSmoQmarsZihlMbvFGr8LDAItUl8XhpWlQ/edit