Well now, hey there and welcome back! My partner and I have moved from Bega, in New South Wales, to Stawell in Victoria. It looks as if we will have another move to accomplish in the next few weeks, this time to Warrnambool, where my family informs me, lies our future. For latecomers, my parents' tenuous health have necessitated that I move closer to be within a few hours' drive in case of emergency. My partner (god bless her) has already picked up work as a Lab Technician meaning that we are nearly back on track. I am extremely happy about that.
PRODUCT TITLE COMPETITION
Anyway, back to the post. Whilst in transit, I started a competition to see if someone in the RPG community could come up with a product title for my Adventure, Dungeons & Danger line. I think that this is important for a number of reasons:
1. If Adventure, Dungeons & Danger ever becomes its own roleplaying game system, the term 'Adventure, Dungeons and Danger' will spearhead that as the title.
2. The product title is analogous to the likes of WORLD OF GREYHAWK, FORGOTTEN REALMS, AL-QADIM, PLANESCAPE, et.al. Meaning that I can create more product titles for different (specific and perhaps interrelated) genres. I can keep a similar 'old school' look and vary the layout and the name as popularity dictates.
So obviously this was a good time to determine and define what sort of generic setting I was going for. I have been trying hard to explain it, but I think it cannot be any more succinct as 'Swords and Sanity' a term coined upon the blog Swords against the Outer Dark. I especially like the subtitle: 'Where Sword & Sorcery gaming meets Cthulhuania and Yog-Sothothery' I shall be following this site with great interest.
The title I came up with for this generic setting was 'ELDER REALMS' and the competition was designed to see if anyone could come up with a better title. Instead of finding one, I found two close contenders: ELDRITCH DARK and DARKLING HORIZONS. Each suggestion captures what I was after and both have come from members of ENWorld.org. At this stage, I am still sticking with ELDER REALMS as the Product Title, but as I get closer to releasing Temple of the Kraken, the Product Title may change to one of those two suggestions.
So, a heartfelt thank-you and congratulations to 'KalebDaark' and Robert J Grady for their contributions: Both will receive a brand new Pathfinder GameMastery Guide in the mail very soon.
Oh the pic? I like to listen to my fans and critics alike --and I wanted to see if I could create a color map of Rel-Draxa. Don't forget that I am learning these software packages as I go, so I have no formal training. It is work in progress and I have cropped it a little so as to not give away much from Temple of the Kraken or to stymie those who have been loyal in purchasing Rel-Draxa. This pic is just a test to see if it *could* be converted without having to start from scratch. I am moderately happy with the results I am making, so when it is complete, I shall work out a way of getting it to my loyal fans. It does represent a move away from 'old school' mapping, but I want to see where this goes. Unlike the picture, the map will be vectors, so a viewer can zoom to any magnification and not encounter pixellation. For those interested, I have been lurking over at the Cartographer's Guild and avidly reading the forums for tips and tricks. It was because of the Cartographer's Guild that I encountered the Ankeshel map from Sunken Empires. That map is everything I wanted Rel-Draxa to be. I have gotta say that is the first map that has made me *want* to become a better cartographer and artist. It is the driving force behind my buying a PDF copy of Sunken Empires and attempting a color version of my own map. I would like to acknowledge the cartographer Jonathan Roberts (Torstan of the C Guild) for his outstanding work. Astute viewers will note that I followed Jonathan's use of the golden ratio for the underwater sections. As I use a set of more simplistic lines in my maps, I will have to rely more on labels and notes in order to convey what I want.
When I set out to buy this product, I was surprised to find that this title is popular enough to have sold completely out of the print version, although I am assured that more are on their way. PDF only until then. As a fan of all things dark and forgotten, Sunken Empires fits right in to what I want to do as a designer and a gamesmaster, in fact it has given me an idea for a sequel for Temple of the Kraken. My only disappointment is that the OGL sections seem restrictively small which seems a shame and I am unsure if I can use any of the monsters from the bestiary in any of my own products (It appears that only the Defense/Offense/Statistics/Tactics/Ecology sections of the monsters are OGL. Does that mean the monsters' names and special abilities are Product Identity? If someone from Open Design could clarify, that would be great). In terms of content, I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars but in light of accessibility for 3PP designers (and in my case, I need clarification on the monsters bit), I am taking 1/2 a star off. 4 out of 5 for me. If you are a GM thinking about expanding all those Lovecraftian bits in your Pathfinder game, do yourself a favor and pick it up.