Monday, March 14, 2016

Unveiling the new Game Room

So I finally got everything moved in and put away. Also found a kick butt table at Salvation Army to replace what I used in the past. The nice thing about it is that it has two center legs so it is rock solid.

A picture from the door as you walk in.

From over the couch also showing the result of the "accident" in the window.

Finally a close up of the game library.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Tabletop Library a new on-line game store.

A new on-line game store came on-line today, Tabletop Library.

They explain what they are about here.

My thoughts on the matter.

First off One Bookshelf or OBS is the leading on-line seller of on-line RPG products both digital and print on demand. They run the RPGNow and DrivethruRPG websites They also offer cards, cardstock, and small poster printer to allow products like paper models, and card games to be sold as well. OBS is the 900-lb gorilla they are competing with. Since they are focusing on OGL products and the OSR, you have to keep Lulu in mind as well as that is a major source of many OSR publishers sales.

Tabletop Library is offering a 75% non-exclusive royalty rate for digital PDFs compared to OBS' 65%. For physical products they are offering a 65% royalty rate. Unfortunately they are not clear on what that entails but looking at the FAQ I would have to say it appears they are offering to warehouse and ship any physical product you ship to them.

Tabletop Library appears not to have a print on demand service yet. However they are talking about kickstarter fulfillment although there are no on-line details yet.

The website looks great and is very clean and easy to navigate I view this as a good start similar to what attracted me to Google over Yahoo. I also setup an account and that was pretty easy. The publishing interface looks pretty clean and easy to you. They are explicit about current bugs and limitation and clearly state what you have to do now to properly post a product. I didn't have to go fishing for instructions. Definitely get a A+ in terms of how their website functions.

I do think they are making a bigger deal of competing with the DM Guild than they ought too. RPGNow/Drivethru supports traditional 5e OGL as well as stuff published through the DM Guild. What the DM's Guild gets for the 50% royality is to play with Wizard's IP. If your project doesn't rely on WoTC IP then don't publish through the DM Guild, just publish as a normal publisher on RPGNow. Personally I am not interested in publishing for Forgotten Realms so the DM's Guild holds little interest for me. However if they add Greyhawk to the list of allowed IP then yeah I have some ideas that I would publish for the DM's Guild.

I think in the long run Tabletop Library is going to need to offer print on demand. Hopefully their current setup will get the volume needed to get one of the various PoD providers to give them a decent deal.

My conclusion is that OBS can use the competition. With a focus on warehousing and kickstarter fulfillment they have a shot at carving out a niche as a foundation to take on OBS as long as they expand to offer OBS' range of services. Tabletop Library web site looks good so far and if they successfully maintain the minimalist interface that will help them a lot.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Staff of Absorption for the Majestic Wilderlands/Realms

For my lunch hour at work, I pull up my laptop and work a little bit on my roleplaying game based on a combination of my Majestic Wilderlands rules and Swords and Wizardry. The idea is that is the sum of how Swords and Wizardry worked in my campaign since 2009.

One difference is how the Staff of Absorption works.

In Scourge of the Demon Wolf and Blackmarsh I introduced the idea of Viz. Magic concentrated in a physical form. Here are the rules for Viz. Note that 1d = 1 sp or 1 gp depending on how expensive you want magic to be in terms of your setting's coinage. I use 1d = 1 sp for my campaign.

Viz is a magical substance that takes many forms.  It could be a flask of pure spring water, a newly bloomed flower, or an iridescent rock.  What all these items have in common is they are infused with pure magic.  Viz can be used in the casting of spells or the creation of magic items.

Viz allows a magic user to cast spells without losing it from memory.  The viz is consumed in the process.  One viz for a first level spell, two viz for a second level spell, three for a 3rd level spell and so on.  One viz is worth 100d towards the creation of a magic item.  The referee can use viz as treasure usable towards the creation of a magic item in place of giving out more gold pieces.

The staff still absorbs spells but instead of charging up spell levels that you can use later to cast memorized spells it now turns the absorbed spell into viz. Like the original the staff will only absorb up to a 100 spell level. Once you use all the viz that it created it become inert.
Staff of Absorption
Duration: See below
Effect: This staff absorbs up to 100 levels of spells directed at the holder before its ceases absorption permanently. Each spell level absorbed creates 1 viz stored in the staff. The viz can be drawn from the staff and used normally. The wielder can expend a number of viz equal to the level of a memorized spell to cast it without losing it from memory. In addition the wielder can use 1 viz in place of 100d worth of ritual or spell components. A fully charged Staff of Absorption will allow the wielder to create a magic item costing 10,000d. This doesn’t affect creation time which is still at 100d per day per enchanter.
Creation: 8,000d; Sale: 16,000d.
The creation costs and sales cost work with my rules for creating magic items.

Monday, March 7, 2016

New Judges Guild Kickstarter

Joseph Goodman of Goodman Games has long supported the Bledsaws and Judges Guild. Their latest effort is to bring back some of Judges Guild's classic adventures in their original form: Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor, Citadel of Fire, Dark Tower, and Tegel Manor. However to complete the project they need funds for the final layout and printing and started a kickstarter here.

Judges Guild was the company that pioneered the idea of the adventure module which ultimately convinced Gary Gygax and TSR to get in on the action with their own adventures.

Tegel Manor
A huge sprawling haunted house with a dungeon underneath. It is effectively a megadungeon that will dominate the campaign for many sessions. It is my opinion that this is one of the few example we have of megadungeon from back the in the day in the form that it's creator used.

One thing that will be off-putting to modern gamers is how sparse the description are. To use this effectively you have to combine the text with the descriptions on the map and winging the rest with your own imagination. I personally ran this as part of a campaign at Gold Star Anime and can attest that the result can be fun and unique.

Citadel of Fire
This is my personal favorite of the bunch. It is the tower of an evil wizard with a dungeon underneath which is effectively an evil town.

Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor
A bandit citadel built  next a cliff which has a dungeon embedded in it. I liked Citadel of Fire better but when I dug into this as a result of writing a d20 version for Goodman Games I found that a lot can be done with it. Badabaskor used to be the center of worship of an evil god but the brigands pushed the evil priesthood into the dungeon. Now the two faction are at war with each other. I will say that is a long time for a bunch of folks to live off of Create Food and Drink.

Dark Tower
This won't quite dominate the campaign like Tegel Manor, unless you run it using GURPS, but this is a big big dungeon. This is consider one of Jenell Jaquay's best work and it delivers on all fronts. Two opposing towers, one dominated by Set and the other by Mitra, are buried and a dungeon was dug out around them.

Judges Guild Journal
If you go for the deluxe oversized book, you will get five issues of the Judges Guild Journal. The way Judges Guild worked was that it was a subscription service. You paid your fee and then get several installments. Each installment was a product, like Tegel Manor, or part of a product, City-State took several installments to release, Accompanying each installment was the latest issues of the Judges Guild Journal which was printed like a newspaper on newprint. This book collects together the first five along with the four modules mentioned above.

From what everybody told me, the OCR scanning has been done and edited and rough layouts have been completed. So pretty much what needed are the funds to do the final layout, art, and actual printing. Where kickstarters usually run into trouble is their stretch goals get out of hand or are unrelated to the purpose of the kickstarter. The ones for this are all about making a nicer printing or repurposing some of the art and work for the project. This makes it look like a solid kickstarter in my book.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

A bad accident in the new gaming room.

Due to foundation issues, I had to tear down my two garages with an apartment on top. The apartment where I had my gaming setup and ran tabletop games. In it's place Kelly Anne and I built a workshop.

This is the corner where the gaming table will be going. The shelves will have all my books, miniatures, and other games. I took this just they were finishing painting the ceiling hence the black paper on the floor.

It was completed last week and I been moving stuff out of storage in and getting it sorted. Then the accident occurred.