Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mentzer, Kask, Ward, etc Forming New Company

Some details here.

Some important bits:

We want to publish new and innovative OGL products with an Old School approach (defined for the moment as rules-light, very dependent on DM quality, heavy on innovation & enjoyment), addressing many different OGL-based game systems, including BFRP, Savage Worlds (Pinnacle), Hackmaster (Kenzer), Castles & Crusades (Troll Lords), and Pathfinder (Paizo).

We would like to include OSRIC (Ronin Arts), Labyrinth Lord (Goblinoid) and RuneQuest (Mongoose) but haven't talked with them yet about permissions. The first two are very probable; we'll see about Mongoose.

S&W wins an Ennie this past week and isn't mentioned? OSRIC attributed to Ronin Arts?

6. Are you well-off? We'll need MONEY! Yeah, this is the ugly part. We're nowhere near ready to start collecting cash (haven't even completed the corporate filings yet), but here's what I'd LIKE to have:

a. Major investors in blocks of 5,000 $US, for which you'll get preferred (dividend-paying) stock. (I really want to keep company control, which is a different type of stock, and I don't care about dividend income.) Realistically we'll need at least a quarter mil (which is only 50 blocks) to stoke the base financial engine. I already know 30+ well-off folks who can afford it. Did I miss you? Talk to me.

A quarter of a million dollars? This is going to be serious.

I really hope that they complement and expand what the OSR has been doing these past few years instead of competing with or stepping on it.


  1. I have to admit I have very, very mixed feelings about this, but, for now, I'm going to put aside my pessimism and hope for the best.

  2. It will be interesting to say the least.

  3. Blimey, I don't know what to think - excited or apprehensive? Time will tell I guess.

  4. Sounds like the charge of the old brigade... I for one am looking forward to seeing what comes of it.

  5. I actually laughed out loud when I got to the quarter million dollar part.

  6. Those guys have had their time. It's past.

    Let's support new voices, not retreads.


    Oh, this is rich! I can't wait to blog about this!

    Of course, I'm sure the blog-o-verse is going to be lighting up like a friggin' Christmas tree...

  8. It is in their best interests to work with us, not against us, so I hope that this move strengthens the OSR and pushes it forward.

    The OSR is gaining ground and I am sure that there are many interested people out there trying to figure out how to bring back a simpler way of gaming.

  9. "A quarter of a million dollars? This is going to be serious."

    Serious is having that quarter mil lined up before chatting about it on message boards, not begging on the internets.

    Serious is knowing the names of the companies that publish the rules you are interested in supporting with you product line.

    Serious is being able to distinguish between an OGL system and a closed one, like HackMaster.

    Serious is lining up permission to say "compatible with LL" before you talk about it to the public.

    If this were anyone but actual TSR old guard I would say they were talking out their asses. And since it is the TSR old guard and they seem more interested in Savage Worlds than Swords & Wizardry, it looks more like a commercial adventure rather than Joliet Jake and Elwood getting the band together for one more gig. There's nothing wrong with these guys wanting to make some money off of the OSR. They helped create it, after all. But let's just say I won't be shocked if their first big product became the Cyborg Commando of the scene.

    I really hate to be the guy in the room with the bad attitude, but that's my first reaction to this post.

  10. Jeff,

    You're not the only guy in the room with a bad attitude. I just made a post where I made a few of the same points, right down to the Cyborg Commando allusion.

  11. I wish them well in their venture and hope that their's is a positive contribution. Like anything else, many plans are made, few are realized to fruition.

  12. Those guys and their crazy ideas...;)

    While I wish them luck... OGL and Tim Kask!? Did Jim and Frank read his "who sucked all the fun out of RPGing"? Tim Kask and Pathfinder? lols all around.

    I'm certainly not knocking Tim Kask, but if he's writing for anything more than one or two steps of complexity above Swords & Wizardry, then he's invalidating everything he's had to say for the last five years. Very. Odd.

  13. Cosign the majority of Jeff's post.
    This whole statement just smacks of unprofessionalism, man. Which would be OK if they were releasing free or low cost pdfs, but they aren't, they want 1/4 million bucks!

  14. Hopefully they'll get serious, put out some decent OSR product themselves (not just sucking in naive young authors), and start to build a reputation. At that point they might get some investment.

    Or this is just a silly get rich quick scheme. Begging for $5000s on Dragonsfoot? Not the most target rich environment!

  15. Ok, the more I think about it, the weirder it is. I still wish them well, but after reading Grognardia it sounds like the plan is a bit sloppy and oddball.

    If I was given $250,000 offhand I would turn up in Brazil or Lichtenstein and the blog would resume after a couple of week's time.

    If the talent is there, the money isn't a problem, it will come in time, maybe not in a lump sum, but it will take care of itself.

    If there are only 150 of us or so in the OSR it would take a LOOOONG time to get your $250,000 back. Bringing in such oldschool games as Pathfinder and Savage Worlds would help, though. I suppose.