Monday, September 3, 2018

"Where in the infinite layers of the Abyss have you been?" (Plus BX GM Screen PDF, plus Fifty Fiends, plus BXΨ GM Screen, plus free BXΨ stuff. Oh my!)

With summer gone and hardly a peep from me round the interwebs, I'm guessing a few of you might be wondering, "Where in the infinite layers of the Abyss have you been?"

The short answer is, I've been crazy busy—and unfortunately not with RPG stuff.

The longer answer includes: 1) picking up a summer design class to teach (which is on a shorter, and therefore-more-demanding, timeline than a Fall or Spring class), 2) having a (thankfully) heavy roster of client work (always good for a freelancer), 3) spending an inordinate amount of time with my wife prepping our house to get it on the market (we're talking about 2 near-Hoarders-level estate sales and innumerous trips to Catholic Charities to donate the stuff we didn't sell), and 4) looking, looking, and more looking for a new house. We haven't moved yet, but we've got a contract on the house we want, and are closing in a possible sale of our current house. (St. Joseph, pray for us.)

In the meantime, I've been hired to temporarily fill a full-time design communication professor spot for the 2018-2019 academic year at the college where I've been part-time teaching for the last twenty years. Except for still having a good amount of freelance client work going on, this is actually a really good thing for my schedule. I have to keep office hours, but those hours aren't always consumed with class-related work.

And now, thanks to Labor Day weekend, I've had the opportunity to get some files prepped (that have otherwise been languishing unattended). This should help clear my RPG workload to focus back on Steve Marsh's Shattered Norns and figure out the best way to birth the final product into the world. So there's a lot of stuff to talk about...



Old School Adventures™ Accessory FX1: Fifty Fiends

From the cover...

Extra-planar beings come in many forms, and for outsiders hailing from the lower planes, almost every one of them comes in some shade of evil. From the vicious malevolence of the demons of the Abyss, to the merciless schemes of the devils of Hell, to the psychopathic sadism of the yamadutas of the Naraka, the planes provide an unending parade of cruelty, immorality, corruption, and depravity.

Collected herein are 50 fiends from the darkest reaches of the outer planes, including the Abyss, Hell, Naraka, Pandemonium, Limbo, the Dreamlands, and the Beyond (a terrifyingly remote place of madness, aberration, entropy, and pure chaos.

This book is designed for use with classic (BX/BECMI/LL) editions of the world’s original role-playing game, and with Old School AdventuresTM Accessory PX1: Basic Psionics Handbook. It additionally provides information on dual-axis alignment, the planes of existence, languages spoken throughout the planes, and descriptions for a number of planes- and fiend-related spells and magic items.


Available as a $1 PDF from RPGNow >>
Available in print for $9.95 + shipping from the NBD Storefront (US only) >>
Available in print for $9.95 + shipping from Lulu.com (best int'l option) >>



Old School Adventures™ Accessory GM1a: Games Masters Screen PDF Pack

This is a PDF pack of the various components that were part of the physical screen kickstarter.

  • Five art panels (including cover) featuring artwork by the legendary artist Arthur Rackham
  • Seven GM screen content pages with all the pertinent information any Classic (BX/LL) GM needs to run their game.
  • 8 Master Character Sheets (1 Generic Sheet + 7 Class-specific Sheets): Each of the 7 class-specific character record sheet contains the most pertinent information each player needs (e.g., notes on which types of weapons & armor may be used by the class, additional experience earned based on prime requisites, and special abilities like clerics' turning and thieves' abilities). In addition to the 7 classic character class sheets (cleric, dwarf, elf, fighter, halfling, magic-user, and thief), an 8th "generic" sheet is usable by any character class.
  • Spells Record Sheet: This record sheet is usable by any spellcasting PC, and includes places to list each known spell's name, range, duration, and area of effect, as well as other pertinent notes.
  • Character Record Log: This record sheet provides a place to write the information a GM needs for up to 6 PCs or NPCs, including the basics (name, class, hp, level, AC, etc.) as well as ability scores, saving throws, equipment/inventory, and other notes.
  • 8-page Cleric Spell Handout: The cover of this digest-sized piece notes spells gained by level, and the inside includes all the key information (e.g., range, duration, spell notes, etc.) for all the cleric spells contained in the classic red and blue rule books (plus a few additional core spells from other early editions).
  • 12-page Magic-user Spell Handout: The cover of this digest-sized piece notes spells gained by level, and the inside includes all the key information (e.g., range, duration, spell notes, etc.) for all the magic-user spells contained in the classic red and blue rule books (plus a few additional core spells from other early editions).

Available for $10 as a PDF bundle from RPGNow >>



Old School Adventures™ Accessory GM2: Basic Psionics GM Screen Pack

A few of you were lucky enough to pick this up at this past June's NTRPGCon. Now it's available in print exclusively from the NBD Storefront (includes a complimentary PDF).

2-panel (4-page) Referee's screen designed for use with Old School Adventures™ Accessory PX1: Basic Psionics Handbook. Includes the key information any GM running BXΨ needs at their table, including: the psionic combat sequence, the psionic and attack mode combat matrix, psionic-related attack and saving throw modifiers, saving throws for mystics and monks, chakra attainment charts, PSP costs for discipline use, psionic conversions for adapting creatures and characters from other editions, and key information related to psionic items, magic spells that mimic psionic affects, and how psionics interact with relevant magic spells. [Printed on 110 lb. cover stock.]

5 Individual Card Stock Master Character Sheets (1 Generic Psionic Character Record Sheet, 1 Mystic Character Record Sheet, 1 Monk Character Record Sheet, 1 Disciplines Record Sheet, and 1 Modes/Conditions/Disciplines Record Sheet. [Printed on an 80# uncoated cover stock.]

Also includes the new limited edition "Psi" button.

Includes a PDF copy of everything included in the print package (sent as free download code from OBS to your email address).


Available in print for $9.95 + shipping from the NBD Storefront (US only) >>



Old School Adventures™ Accessory GM2a: Basic Psionics GM Screen Pack (FREE PDF!)

Referee and player materials designed for use with Old School Adventures™ Accessory PX1: Basic Psionics Handbook.

Includes the key information any GM running BXΨ needs at their table, including: the psionic combat sequence, the psionic and attack mode combat matrix, psionic-related attack and saving throw modifiers, saving throws for mystics and monks, chakra attainment charts, PSP costs for disciplines and modes, psionic conversions for adapting creatures and characters from other editions, and key information related to psionic items, magic spells that mimic psionic affects, and how psionics interact with relevant magic spells.

Also includes the following BXΨ Character Sheets: 1 Generic Psionic Character Record Sheet, 1 Mystic Character Record Sheet, 1 Monk Character Record Sheet, 1 Disciplines Record Sheet, and 1 Modes/Conditions/Disciplines Record Sheet.

Available as a FREE PDF from RPGNow! >>



Okay. That does it for now. (As if that wasn't enough for a while.)

8 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Having done a lot of freelance work myself, I can sympathize with your position.

    However, I strongly recommend you reconsider your attitude towards copyright takedowns. A lot of people in the RPG community (myself included) have chosen to boycott your products, despite their stellar quality, because of how trigger-happy you are with DMCA notices.

    You are well within your legal rights of course, but this is a community centred around sharing. You would receive far more word of mouth (and a lot more sales!) if you didn't regularly appear on lists of publishers that aren't worth dealing with.

    Best of luck with the new job.

    Dave

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Thanks for the feedback, Dave. I understand your position and appreciate your opinion.

    Being a VERY small publisher with a popular title (I say "title" because while I have many, the d30 Sandbox Companion stands alone in terms of popularity and demand) is a double-edged sword. For example, when the d30 Sandbox Companion is being "shared" outside of its normal channels, it is SO popular that within hours of being shared it has been downloaded so many times that it begins to appear within the top Google search results for "d30 Sandbox PDF," even above my own sites—and sometimes even above RPGNow/DriveThruRPG. As a result, when it is available in this manner, no one purchases a copy (I mean that literally—it is not uncommon for the PDF to sell absolutely no copies at all for the entire duration that "shared" versions are appearing in Google search results and being downloaded by the dozens and even hundreds). Which is ironic for a community whose surface motto is to "buy the things you like."

    I do appreciate the sharing aspect of the community, and I have to admit feeling a bit slighted by that part of your comment. As a testament to what I believe is a good amount of generosity on my part, I invite everyone in the sharing community visit my blog and download over 120 free d30 charts (many which are actually charts from the d30 Sandbox Companion): http://savevsdragon.blogspot.com/search/label/d30

    And these nearly 150 monsters:
    http://savevsdragon.blogspot.com/search/label/new%20monsters

    And these 50+ character classes:
    http://savevsdragon.blogspot.com/search/label/character%20classes

    Or to visit RPGNow for free and PWYW products like the Creature Compendium:
    https://www.rpgnow.com/product/147588/CC1-Creature-Compendium

    And this new Basic Psionics GM Pack:
    https://www.rpgnow.com/product/251412/GM2a-Basic-Psionics-GM-Pack

    Also, even though I personally put hundreds of hours into it, I made sure that Petty Gods got released for free as PDF:
    https://www.rpgnow.com/product/149434/Petty-Gods-Revised--Expanded-Edition
    And at cost in print (even though others told me I should have made something in return; which seemed to me unfair for a community project):

    The truth is, I make very little on the things I do sell (and that's mainly the d30 Sandbox Companion). That's also part of the double-edged sword. The assumption is because they are so popular and well-regarded that I must make a ton of money on them. The truth is, I don't. The PDFs which I do sell, are priced very reasonably, and 1/3 of that goes to RPGNow. I only try to make enough to support the development of new material (e.g., paying the illustrator and mapmakers on Steve Marsh's Shatter Norns Book), and to attend the NTRPGCon (which is a local drive for me) in order to playtest and run some games. I don't think that's a lot to ask.

    I appreciate your consideration of my position, and hope you can understand that it's products like the d30 Sandbox Companion that allow me to do all those other things.

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  5. Thank you for your honest and candid response.

    From my own experience, the majority of people are willing to buy things they like, particularly if there is a print version available. I have spent *hundreds* on books I otherwise wouldn't have bought if there weren't PDFs floating around.

    The fact is, people will find and share these PDFs anyway. It's not difficult to find a copy of the d30 Sandbox Companion, but discovering that entire message boards have died due to too many takedown requests just means that a) people will share it somewhere else, and b) a community has died for no reason.

    Your books are clearly a labour of love that have had a lot of hard work and thoughtful design put into them. Sadly it can be difficult to separate the art from the artist sometimes (as a lot of recent OSR drama has made clear), so supporting the author doesn't always feel like a great idea when you're aware of that author's behaviour.

    Releasing free content regularly is very generous, and I would encourage you to look at other models like Patreon. I'm sure there are people who would like to support you directly on a regular basis, and it would do you more good than spending your time sending out takedown notices.

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    1. You are right in that people will find and share the PDFs anyway. The truth is, my main enemy is Google, and how it effective it is in giving people what they are searching for. I really don't have any animosity for the sharing community (though I do have to admit that some years ago I really did), and have (as of late) really tried to limit my efforts mainly to those things that end up in Google results. For people that are truly part of that community, you are right—they know where to find what they're looking for. It's when the "surface" requests and links end up on Google that they become "easy pickins" for the casual Web searcher (who probably searching Google so they could buy a copy until they found they could download a free one), and that's what has the biggest affect on my products.

      As for Patreon, I unfortunately cannot ensure the sort of regular schedule that I feel it would take to keep supporters happy. Also, it sort of feels wrong to me to start asking people for money for the same kinds of things I have been giving away for free for years. I won't however rule it out as a potential future effort, but I like being able to make certain things free for all when I can. I feel like Patreon would distract me from that.

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  6. Hi, will you release Valley of Five Fires microgame soon? I would be interested in PDF print and play version.

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