Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pre-Orders Will Begin Tomorrow At...

3pm Helsinki time.

If you plan on joining the Gardening Society to get discounts and don't want to miss any possible "first 100" rush, I'd buy that membership no later than 2pm tomorrow.

I'm hopeful there will be lots of upfront interest, and my web guy will be keeping an eye on things. I may be a bit optimistic to think there will be a rush like Frog God had for that S&W hardcover that results in server issues, but being on alert unnecessarily is better than getting caught off guard.

Because of the remote possibility of server issues, I'd also recommend creating your store account early as well.

*deep breath*

I'm ready. :D

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Two Days til Pre-Orders: Technical Notes About the New Releases

First, the T-shirts will be offered in sizes S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXL. The Flailceratops shirt will be 10€, the Fighter shirt will be 12,00€ (plus shipping or VAT). XXL+ will cost a bit more, because they'll cost me a bit more. If you're interested in a larger size shirt, email me by tomorrow night so I can have that ready to go in the store when we go live.

Shirt preorders will end April 7 11:59pm Finnish time. General pre-orders will last until I get the call from the printer that the completed books are on the way from Keuruu. I estimate that to be somewhere around the 18th but I make no guarantees; that could be off by more than a week either way. (there is a bit of a discount for ordering the Grindhouse + Vornheim combo that will disappear when pre-orders end)

I'm printing the books through Otavan Kirjapaino, one of Finland's leading printing companies. I'd seen a lot of their work on book shelves (and had been impressed by it) long before I ever decided to get into the RPG publishing biz. They've handled the printing of the Finnish editions by people like Neil Gaiman, Weis & Hickman, CS Lewis, and Anne McCaffrey, among others.

I've been told by several people that at these quantities I could have gotten these books printed cheaper elsewhere. China, or Estonia.

Yeah, I could have.

But I like the idea of having the confidence knowing that the people printing my books are the ones printing Michael Crichton and Anne Rice books that go on store shelves. Does anyone ever think, "Gee, I wonder how the binding is going to be on that Vampire Lestat book I'm thinking of picking up?" And the company's office is literally right up the road. Makes it easy to show up in person to discuss things like paper stock and cover finishes and dealing with issues that pop up (and pop up they have) is much simpler.

There are reasons to not go with the lowest possible bidder.

Any fuckups associated with these releases will be formatting issues that are my fault - the physical quality of the books will be just fine. (file that under "famous last words," eh?)

Technical details for the books:

Size 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages 64 pages + cover
Papers and colours
Cover board: 1,75 mm
Endpapers: Offsetpaper 120 g/m2, colours 1/0, black
Cover-Wrap: Galerie Art Gloss 130 g/m2, colours 1/0 black + varnish
Jacket: Galerie Art Gloss 130 g/m2, colours 4/4 CMYK + gloss lamination 1/0
Inner pages: Offsetpaper 120 g/m2, colours 1/1 black
Heads and tails: White
Otabasic, thread sewn, case bound book 1,75 mm cover boards covered with 1 –colour printed paper, round back, printed endpapers, heads and tails, dust jacket.

Tutorial and Referee Books:
Size 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages 96 pages + cover
Papers and colours
Cover: Ensocoat 230 g/m2, colours 4/0 CMYK + water based varnish
Inner pages: Lux Cream 1,8 80 g/m2, 1/1 colours black
Binding Otabind perfect bound, paperback

Rules & Magic Book:
Size 148 x 210 mm
Number of pages 160 + 8 pages + cover
Papers and colours
Cover: Ensocoat 230 g/m2, colours 4/0 CMYK + water based varnish
Inner pages: 160 pages Lux Cream 1,8 80 g/m2, 1/1 colours black
Inner pages: 8 pages Galerie Art Gloss 130 g/m2, 4/4 colours CMYK
Binding Otabind perfect bound, paperback

The color insert in the Rules and Magic book is placed to separate the Rules and the Magic sections, serving a practical function in the book beyond the art on those pages.

And after all that blah blah, here's an art preview. It's the Dwarf "class portrait" by Amos Orion Sterns. I needed something to communicate "fighty type character, but durable." Drawing from the "Scottish Dwarf" stereotype, the scene didn't have to conform to the historical feel I was going for elsewhere - the hill peoples are traditional in the ways of war and fashion. Here it is:

Are we ready to rock?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pembrooktonshire Gardening Society Now Accepting New Members!

That's right, you can join this most exclusive club again!

Members receive a 1€ discount off any and all print products in the LotFP store, forever!

You will also receive a Membership Card in the mail with your name and member number. This will be mailed to you and can be used to claim your discount in person at any convention that LotFP attends, as well as claiming your discount on LotFP products at selected conventions where LotFP isn't there!

This Second Wave membership costs 10€ (plus shipping or VAT). Join here!


Three notes:

Founding Gardening Society members (Membership #s 1 - 31) will receive the permanent discount in addition to their previously promised one-time discount.

I'm arranging an order for literally dozens of products from various publishers to stock the webstore. It'll be shipped on the slow boat so I don't expect to receive it all until June, but there will be plenty of opportunity for you to make back your membership fee - you won't have to depend on LotFP's own glacial release schedule!

I have arranged it so that Gardening Society membership cards will be accepted at the OSRG Gen Con booth and at the North Texas RPG Convention for LotFP releases only.

In Which I Describe How I Made My Wife Wince *Hard*

"I have made a decision! After reading that Carmilla story, I am giving myself two weeks to write a complete draft. Leapfrogging everything else in the queue."


"Yeah, I think I can do something with this whole lesbian teenage vampire thing."

The wincing was EPIC. There would have been a literal real-life *headdesk* if she wasn't doing the dishes, I think.

"What? What?"

"I think you were titillated by the story and now you just want to write your fantasies into an adventure."

"What? It'll be tasteful!"

"I know you!"

OK. Fair cop. I mean, The Human Centipede just showed up in the mail today and we're going to the Night Visions festival this weekend.

It probably won't be tasteful, but it won't be that kind of tasteless. I don't do "titillating." Evidence: Hot Female Elf pic.

The inspiration to make an adventure out of the whole thing came from a hopefully-cool idea for a "living" NPC relationship tree procedure, the fact that the name "Karnstein" in connection with vampires is an 1870s creation, not original 1970s Hammer IP, and therefore poachable (euphemizing sucks), and an adventure concept where Le Fanu's story is background noise and not the thing in the adventure.

I'll check back in a couple weeks to tell you if I got the draft done or not. If so, I will run it! If not, well, back to Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown. :D

Working title The Tuberculoids until I come up with something better.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Calm Before Friday's Storm

Did I say "calm"? I meant "Madness!"

Finished the PDFs for Vornheim and the Grindhouse Edition over the weekend. We're all ready to go April 1.

I also dealt with formatting abnomalities with the printers and other fun technical things the past couple days. That was to be expected, but it's still bleh to do. But everything that can be done to make sure the books are physically top-quality is being done.

I finally read Le Fanu's Carmilla last night, after some weeks of having Briton Rites' For Mircalla album on the playlist. Many, many ideas going through my head after reading that. I now have five trilogies of adventures swimming in my head (Vampires, Iri-Khan, Duvan'Ku, Garvin Richrom, Dwarfs) which each intersect with one of the others in one part of each trilogy only.

We all know I'll be dead before finishing that many projects (even if three of those already have the first bits published), but after the projects that go to press in (hopefully) June, I'm taking the rest of the year to work on my stuff and get some of that out into the world.

Speaking of one of the June hopefuls, I'm working on prelim Carcosa layouts today, and getting the overall art plan together. Working with Zak on Vornheim is already paying off I think...

Carcosa is special to me as it was the prime topic of conversation during the first date with my now-wife. It's going to be treated as such, and I promise you it will be something special in the history of RPG releases.

Yeah, I just said that.

And I think I can do it without breaking my bank or yours.

Pre-orders will be difficult (or should I say retail and distributor pre-orders)with this one because there is no way to show you what the cover looks like before it's printed. It'll be a foil-stamped silhouette reminiscent of the original edition's cover, but just showing the art to be used to make the stamping tool is hardly going to get people's panties wet. After it arrives though, look out!

Isle of the Unknown won't be that difficult to preview. Cynthia Sheppard will be doing the cover art, Jason Rainville the interior full-page art, and Amos Orion Sterns will be doing the monsters pics. All in vibrant color!

Back to work... hoping the box seals, SS&S Expert for the webstore, and Human Centipede DVD arrive in the mail today...

Blogger Round Table

You know I've been busy when I miss something at least partially about me!

Beyond the Black Gate posted a blogger round table last week and I was a part of it. Read it here!

Thanks to the Underdark Gazette for the heads-up that it was posted...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Karina is clingy and vapid, but otherwise pleasant company."

Garrett McGurty, come on down! You are a winner!

There seemed to be a few themes here - Karina as devil, Karina as creation, but McGurty's Karina had a bit of tragedy in it, reminded me of The Ring (Japanese version only thanks!), seemed most well-suited for inclusion in a wide variety of campaigns, and had that absolute howler of a final line that I used in the subject. Very Weird all around. :D

The PDF with all the Karinas is here.

The previous contest PDFs are here: Magic Items and Spells.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freebies When You Pre-Order Grindhouse + Vornheim

Vornheim: The Complete City Kit has charts on the covers (and one on an inside cover). You roll dice on the cover and read where they drop. It's cool.

If you pre-order Grindhouse + Vornheim, you'll get those three charts on a double-sided A3 sheet. Two of the charts will be twice the size as on the physical Vornheim book, and one chart will be four times as large.

But wait! There's More!

The first 100 people to pre-order Grindhouse + Vornheim get an extra copy of the Rules and Magic book at no extra cost.

That's a 168 page perfect-bound book that includes an 8-page full color glossy section. No, it won't fit in the box with all the other stuff, but now you're just being picky. :P

April 1.

Tempted yet?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Since Pre-Orders for the Grindhouse Edition and Vornheim Start April 1...

... anyone know of a good RPG VIP I can have an internet pillow fight with on March 31?




What are you looking at me like that for?

It was an excellent traffic driver last time, darn it.


*brainstorming for controversy*

"My game's dad can beat up you game's dad!"

"The Grindhouse Edition was an inside job!"

"Jenny McCarthy says LotFP causes autism!"

"The Grindhouse Edition did not have sex with that woman."

"My game's cock is bigger than your game's cock!"

"I hate remakes. Grindhouse Edition changed too much. It's raping my childhood. Everyone knows LotFP really shot first!"

"The OSR is better than the TSA!"

"This loose confederation of independent operators is better than a company that's been out of business for many years!"

"The Grindhouse Edition has WMDs!"

"LotFP should not be extradited back to the US; that was a long time ago and all the involved parties just want to move on with their lives."

"The Grindhouse Edition is against health care legislation!"

"The Grindhouse Edition, while horrible, has been exaggerated over the years."

"LotFP is Less Filling."

"The US Civil War was not about the Grindhouse Edition!"

"LotFP is justified in releasing all these documents because it's in the public interest."

"Why can't LotFP just show its birth certificate and put an end to all the speculation then?"

"Richard Dawkins says there is no LotFP, and he would know."

"LotFP is qualified for the job because it can see Russia from here."

"Victoria Jackson is disgusted at how the Grindhouse Edition shoves the LotFP agenda in everyone's faces."

"The Grindhouse Edition is a Jewish conspiracy!"

"LotFP wonders why they can't just all go back where they came from."

"Read my lips: No New Edition!"

"Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting LotFP."


Crap. I got nuthin'. It's going to have to work on merit this time, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's On!

Files were delivered to both printers today.

Next on the to-do list: Get the PDF files ready in time for the April 1 pre-order launch (yeah, I'm doing the first instead of the second - if people think it's a joke on Friday maybe they'll figure out it's real when it's still on sale Monday). Sort out the free download maps that are plugged in Vornheim. Arrange the freebies for the people that pre-order Vornheim + Grindhouse Edition together. Get the sales sheet together so distributors can place orders.

Then have a good sit-down with this Dead Gardens (working title) adventure and see what needs to be done and get that rolling.

Then sit down with Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown and start making final format decisions there so I know how much and what kind of art I need for each.

Get as much done on those other-author projects, plus Death Ferox Doom, as possible before the stuff is back from the printer, because that'll be at least two solid weeks of assembling, packing, mailing.

Estimates now is the week before Easter, so the wife gets to live with thousands of boxed books as they arrive, I gather a few together, and I head to Gothenburg for Gothcon.

Everything has taken longer this year than planned (as usual - I had originally hoped to have the box to press in late December or the very beginning of January!), but I still hope to have Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown ready for Ropecon and GenCon - which means a June press date.

... I hope I didn't decide to become a publisher to avoid real work...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

LotFP Webstore is now a Secure Site!

The store doesn't store any financial information, but it does store personal contact information and PDFs from more than just my company, so this was an important thing to get done before the big product rollouts.

From my webguy: "Some of your customers who have visited the store recently may get the ["This connection is untrusted"] error for a day or two until their ISP's update their DNS caches."

Jim Roslof

Roslof died yesterday.

When remembering him, remember not only his own art, but his work as TSR Art Director which enabled so many more memories.

From Wikipedia:

Roslof was promoted to Art Director [in May 1981], but instead of simply staying with the style of art that had defined TSR products since 1975, Roslof hired a cadre of brilliant artists whose artwork would define TSR to a generation, and who would all go on to successful careers as fantasy artists: Jim Holloway, Larry Elmore, Jeff Easley, Harry Quinn, Keith Parkinson, Tim Truman and Clyde Caldwell.

That's a hell of a legacy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Announcing the Carcosa Artist...

Rich Longmore!

Here's the piece he did for me and Geoffrey that got him the job:

I Want You to Make LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing Your Regular Game

There, I said it.

Not many people do seem to say that, maybe for fear of seeming egotistical or "looking at things realistically," but I bet you anyone who releases a game wants people to play the damn thing. It's fine to release something that people think is "interesting" or a cool "collector's item," but when you make a game, you want it to be played.

There's a million games out there, old and new school, commercial releases and for-free. Role-playing and not. Even quality games get lost in the crowd.

But while we're being honest here, we all know I'm an attention whore. Getting lost in the crowd just isn't acceptable. So how to cut through all that to make my game your regular game?

If you're serious about making LotFP your game of choice, I'm serious about helping you.

Order at least 5 copies of LotFP: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing at once - one for everyone in your group - direct from me and you'll get them for 24.37€ each (regular price 32,50€ before shipping or VAT when ordering direct).

Non-EU orders will have them listed at less than 1/3 their regular weight so not only will your shipping cost be reduced, you can add more items and in most cases not get charged any more shipping since at that point it's measured by the kilo
. EU orders will get free first class shipping with only Finnish VAT added.

So what else can I do to make LotFP your regular game?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Deep Breaths. Deep Breaths

Print time is almost here. I'm so damn nervous. You guys have no idea. There's the "What will people think?" factor. There's the "oh god I spent so many thousands on this, will anyone buy it?" worrying. "How the hell do I let people know how cool this stuff is without coming across like a lame shill?" "What if I miss something important and the stuff comes back from the printer all screwed up?" "Where am I going to put 2000 of these things?"

Seriously, how do publishers, musicians, authors, any of this sort, keep cool and dignified and quiet about it all when everything's all about to hit the fan?

Looking over the proofreading printouts, I'm just so damn excited about these books.

Vornheim is the coolest damn thing. Zak's a pretty smart guy, you know? I've probably said this already, but I predict Vornheim's format is going to be copied to hell and back across the industry because it's such a fresh way to present a role-playing book. The maps, the way charts are handled, everything. I questioned a lot of Zak's decisions along the way but he didn't let me deawesomefy any of his ideas, and now that the project's come together and I'm looking at printouts of an essentially finished book I see what he was doing all along.

My baby, the Grindhouse Edition, looks unbelievable. Not just all the art (and no expense was spared there), but I haven't been sitting around all this time just playing art director - the layout is 100% better, the books will be of excellent physical quality (perfect-bound this time with varnished covers), and the new spells, items, intro adventure, and various other bits and pieces will give Weird Fantasy Role-Playing an even more unique atmosphere when it comes to the nuts-and-bolts game.

From the beginning I described my efforts this way:

Note that it is not LotFP's goal to recreate the old feeling with our books, either in look or content. Playing classic games is not an exercise in nostalgia or a longing for a different time - these games are vibrant and alive and continue to provide true gaming excitement today, and on their own terms. LotFP's game offerings treat these games with the respect they deserve while giving their referees and players innovative and fresh material for those games.

The Grindhouse Edition and Vornheim uphold that ideal. They are going to blow your mind.

Here are the Grindhouse Edition blank mockups, actual size, with the Deluxe Edition box for comparison:

Here is a photo of the printouts I am using for proofing. In this pic you can see one of Christina Casperson's pics from the Tutorial book (left), the Table of Contents for the Referee book (top), a two-page spread by Amos Orion Sterns (of course the finished book won't have the white stripe between the two halves), plus another pic by Sterns there on the right:

And one of the four Russ Nicholson pieces that will be in the box set:

I hope you're with me on these. Because if you are, there's so much more to come.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grindhouse Edition Giveaway Contest! Who is Karina?

I just realized I had one space left for my allotted giveaways... and now I figured out what the contest should be to determine who gets it!

I just received this email:
Nice to meet you.
My name is Karina, me of 27 years.
I search for the man for serious relations.
As I search for a long time already for the significant other.
Obviously this Karina is somehow Weird!

Here's the contest:

Write this NPC up. Who is Karina? Where does she come from? What are her stats and unique abilities? Why is she searching for the man, and what sort of serious relations does she mean? And how does all this involve the PCs?

Submit the entry that impresses me the most (with or without answering those questions... that's a rough guide, not a list of requirements) and you win.

  • The writeup you submit is your own original work that has not previously appeared in print or on the web.
  • By submitting, you give permission for me to release it in an Open Game Content document.
  • You need to be 18+ years old to enter.
Submit your entry to

The creator of the winning writeup will get a complimentary copy of the Grindhouse box. All entries (that I don't think are utter crap, anyway) will be organized into a PDF to be freely distributed, with all items being Open Game Content.

If you do not include a real name to be credited I assume you are OK with not being individually credited - I'd really rather not list internet handles.

Submit your entry before Wednesday March 23 11:59pm Finnish time.

Serious 3.x/Pathfinder/4e Question

So character construction is a mini-game unto itself. A billion options as you gain levels.

"Balance" is a design priority.

Accumulated treasure and magic items are factored into this whole "balance" deal.

Combat is tactical and uses a grid.

Tournament play goes way way back in this hobby.


Why don't WotC and/or Paizo run tournaments where groups of players battle other groups of players?

It seems to me to be the one thing that new D&D would excel at over old D&D.

The setup could be something like:

Players sign up as a group.

First round brackets start with low level characters, finals are high level characters.

The number of players per group of course needs to be static, according to whatever the rules used considers standard (4 for 3.x/Pathfinder, 5 for 4e, right?)

Each round the players are assigned a random pregenerated party of the appropriate level, with the characters from that party randomly assigned to the players. The terrain is randomly rolled by the Referee (HAH!) from 10 or 12 or 20 possibilities on hand.


This would reward groups who are experienced playing together and comfortable playing with a wide range of characters since you never know what race or class you're going to be each round.

If you do this at, say, GenCon, the winners could get prizes and major bragging rights as The World Champions of D&D/Pathfinder.

Or do they already do this and I'm just way out of the loop?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

T-Shirt #2: Flailceratops + More News

Zak's given permission for me to make a limited edition Flailceratops shirt.

There'll be a bit more to it (name + stats; I'll post the full design when it's ready, but finishing up the book comes first), but it'll be a basic one-sided black print on white shirt design. I just didn't have a choice - this thing's a frickin Paladin of representing everything Good and Awesome about our hobby! - that something more had to be done with him than just being a bit player in the Vornheim book. I want to wear this guy around town.

I believe pre-orders for everything will start April 2. (April 1 is a horrible day to start it, and for accounting reasons March is bad...) The books should (*cross fingers*) already be at the printers by then.

This does mean that Gothcon (in Gothenburg, Sweden) just may be, depending on the printer getting things done in time, the world premiere of the Grindhouse Edition and Vornheim: The Complete City Kit.

The shirts, both the Zak and Amos designs, will only be up for ONE WEEK before I take it down and put the order in to the T-shirt people. Only enough to fill the orders (plus mine and the artists') will be made.


Just got a CD order in from PsycheDOOMelic... included was the new Orchid album, Capricorn, on The Church Within Records. It reminds me in some ways of what I'm doing here. The sound of the band is right out of the 70s and very traditional, but the packaging is just superb. It's the most beautiful thing I've seen in ages - 8 panel hardcover digipak plus booklet and CD sleeve. They're selling an entire package rather than just sound on a disc. (plus there's an even swankier limited edition on the way... amazing) I've just had my first listen-through... thumbs way, way up.

Also arriving were Briton Rites' For Mircalla, an album based on Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, the Hammer films The Vampire Lovers, Lust for a Vampire, and Twins of Evil... and Isen Torr's Mighty and Superior ("Dedicated to the Memory of Robert E. Howard")...


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vornheim the Shape-Taker

Thing about Vornheim is that Zak was thinking about layout possibilities at the very start of the project. It was all about making the book useful as a thing at the table, rather than having the book just be the incidental vessel for the information stored within it.

The most radical manifestations of that focus is the fact that the physical (hard)covers of the book will have charts on them, where you roll on the chart to get results.

No, not roll the dice then look up the results on the chart, but physically drop the dice on the surface and where they land gives the result.

There's game stuff inside the covers on the endpapers, too.

And I had a rather clever contribution to the whole thing (if I do say so myself), the book will also have a dust jacket. The outside will be the usual cover image with sales mumbo jumbo on the back. The inside of the dust jacket will be the map of Vornheim.

Less impressive, but just as useful, was Zak's insistence that related information be on facing pages. Two page chart? Need to be on a page spread. The location maps and their keys? On facing pages. No flipping! Of course there's also a ton of things that don't need such attention, and everything in the book needs to be put together in an order that A- makes sense for the overall flow of the book, and B- produces all these necessary page spread combos.

Now I could do this page order building and rebuilding on my computer here. I have the technology. But that's absolutely maddening for reasons I can't really describe (besides my computer being the cheapest I could get in 2007 and it's 2011 and I'm dealing with tons of art and graphics and ARRGHHH...). So I'd rather do it this way:

Each post-it note is one page, I tape the must-spreads together, and just start moving them around until they fit!

Now to just keep the dog off the couch until Zak gives the thumbs up or down on it.

As for content, it's about 50/50 between Zak's Vornheim stuff and general-use city stuff.

Coming soon.

Friday, March 11, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different - Discussion About Upcoming Stuff

Nothing grotesque here except for some business talk.

Still have a very few last minute art bits to finish out the Grindhouse Edition, and it's in final proofing now.

Vornheim: The Complete City Kit is going into final layouts and proofing during this weekend.

The plan is to have everything to the printer the week of the 21st. We'll see...

Not 100% finalized, but the retail prices will be somewhere around 12,50€ for Vornheim and 37,50€ for the Grindhouse Edition.

Pre-orders will open when they go to the printer and I've got the commercial PDF versions together (hopefully just a day or two after). There will be a free bonus thingy for people who pre-order both at the same time. (also, the shirt will go up for pre-order, but you don't need to order that to get the free thingy)

Next week I'll be opening up the Gardening Society again for memberships. That'll happen next week, I just need to get the formats of a few things done and straighten out how I'm going to arrange the benefits.

While down at the printer dealing with the color proofs (who the hell decided that screens would use a different color palette than printers? grrr. GRRRR.) I also discussed formats and pricing for Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown.

Carcosa is going to be awesome. Looking at 192 pages right now, a cover as wonderful to touch as seal skin, with a foil-pressed cover. The printer rep did not look amused when I asked if human skin was available for the binding. Looks like the interior pages won't be able to be thick parchment-like paper without putting the costs through the roof. We should know who the artist is going to be for the whole Carcosa project by the end of next week.

Isle of the Unknown is a bit vexing. The book is looking like 128 pages, maybe 160 depending on how we handle the art. McKinney and I have big plans. Every monster in this book is new and unique, and we want them all illustrated. Plus there is a common theme through several of the areas described and I want those to get their own full page pieces. And we're trying to do this full-color - bring this island to LIFE. That's just about 125 color pieces.

We're trying to keep the final retail price below US$40for each of these books, but that's getting really tough with all the color we want in Isle...


I most sincerely apologize to all of you out there searching the internet, now-wilting cock in hand, looking for naked elves.

You're here because this guy had the idea of taking advantage of the fact that posts named, or containing, "hot elf chicks" draws a lot of hits from search engines, and that we could use this to promote our little warped community of old-school tabletop RPGs.

Did it work? Are you excited that instead of wank material you're getting nerdly proselytizing?

And what the hell are you wanting to wank to elves for? Fuckin' pervert.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two More Grindhouse Pics... The Good, the Bad, The REALLY UGLY

Two pics, both by Amos Orion Sterns. The second one is one of the more extreme examples of how far the art goes.

But before that, something a bit safer. This portrays Alice (pre-Tutorial adventure) taking on a couple of elves. I told Amos to look at the Alien designs (as in the Ridley Scott film) to use as inspiration for the elf armor. We get two birds with one stone here: Show Alice being bad-ass, and show the elves in a different way than they're traditionally presented.

That's a heptacle, not a Star of David. And clerics don't have to use blunt weapons in Weird Fantasy Role-Playing, but why not have a traditional cleric weapon for the cleric?

Last chance to bail before the bad, evil pic that will ruin your childhood. Scroll on... if you dare!

I call this one Cult of the Fertility Goddess:

My wife was utterly speechless when she saw it. It was glorious. After she recovered, she then pointed out that, in her professional opinion (she's a midwife that's good enough that she speaks at midwifery conferences out here), this is not an accurate representation of the childbirth process.

(I have a feeling my wife's going to get a few more "You must be a very patient person" comments at cons - someone actually said that to her when we went to Dragonmeet :D)

This isn't the worst the Grindhouse Edition has to offer (there are a couple absolutely humorless pieces that might genuinely disturb), but it's the most over-the-top. That was the point of it.

The core idea for the pic was inspired by Savage Sword of Conan #161 (the sequel story to Valley of Howling Shadows), plus, you know, some adventuring stuff happening up top.

You have my permission to begin frothing at the mouth and telling me that you're outraged that I'm trying to destroy the gaming community by releasing such filth.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Major Rules Changes Between Deluxe Edition and Grindhouse Edition

The Spell Lists. All the necromantic and nature-control stuff goes to the Magic-User (Speak with Dead, Speak with Animals, etc), and aside from the classic healing spells, the Cleric is anti-magic, anti-chaos. Most of the whiz-bang Magic-User combat spells are gone - Magic Missile remains as a first level spell, yet scales more as the mage rises in level so that it is the go-to combat spell for the wizard's entire career. Basically high-level Magic-Users are still Really Bad News but not "I'll just take over this kingdom and defeat that army all by myself." Twisted explorers of forbidden knowledge, not walking artillery.

Elves are no longer people. They are creatures of chaos! Basically all these means is spell effects treat them as otherworldly creatures and not humanlike. Good for the elf if someone's casting sleep or charm at them, not so good when facing clerics casting Protection from Evil. Also, no aging for elves at all anymore.

Skill system consolidation, meaning Specialists have just a touch more meaningful advancement, really. (Elves, Dwarfs, Halflings also advance in their racial skills as they advance in level - a high level Specialist shouldn't out-Search an Elf just because he has nowhere else to put points anymore...)

Silver standard for treasure and XP. This is going to look like a huge change but it's purely a cosmetic flavor thing designed to make gold cool and makes copper worth acknowledging. Seriously, the idea that a gold piece is a commonplace thing is poopy as hell. Gold should be A Big Deal! This doesn't affect compatibility, since all you need to do is change "gp" to "sp" in gold-standard material and the game rolls on as before.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Went Down to the Printer Today...

Handed over all the color files for the upcoming projects (covers of the Tutorial + Referee + Rules and Magic books, the 8 page color insert, and both sides of the Vornheim dust jacket). No, it's going to press yet, I'm just getting color proofs since I've never worked with a proper press before and this is my first journey into CMYK land.

But I figure doing that before I send the full projects to press will save time as I screw up the color now instead of when I'm waiting for the full project.

To let you know how thrilling that is, I spent all morning trying to match black on black on the Vornheim cover. And then sat around the printer office feeling the texture of like a hundred different paper and cover material samples. I really recommend visiting your local offset press office and do that; you'll never want to be constrained by POD or short-run digital presses again...

While there, I spent over an hour talking over various options concerning Carcosa (she didn't have a very happy look on her face when I asked, "Can I get a quote on binding it in human skin?" Hell, I was advised that real leather isn't even really a feasible option these days), Isle of the Unknown, and one more project I don't want to announce before finding out if Grindhouse and Vornheim have successful launches.

So we'll know soon enough whether Isle of the Unknown can really be full color or not, and whether Carcosa really is going to be a "spare no expenses" kind of book (double foil imaging on the cover!).

Back to art sketch critiques and Vornheim layouts...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Final Grindhouse Edition Art Credits

There are still a few pieces that need to trickle in, and assuming they arrive alright, this is what the art credits look like. Pieces published for the first time in this product are in red (Tutorial Book = 96 pages, Referee Book = 96 pages, Rules and Magic Book =168 pages, all perfect-bound):

Rowena Aitken
Box Bottom
Rules and Magic Header

Aeron Alfrey
Tutorial Cover
Rules and Magic Page 143

Tomas Arfert
Tutorial Page 51
Rules and Magic Page 40

Dan Berger
Rules and Magic Pages 64, 127

Johnathan Bingham
Referee Page 61

Nicole Cardiff
Rules and Magic Page 65

Christina Casperson
Referee Page 96
Rules and Magic Pages 113, 123, 159, 160
Tutorial Page 1

Ernie Chan
Rules and Magic Page 30

Dean Clayton
Rules and Magic Page 67, 89, 121
Tutorial Pages 4, 78, 81, 96

Ramsey Dow

Jeremy Jagosz
Character Sheet

Laura Jalo
Rules and Magic Pages 27, 66, 84

Daniel Lapham
Tutorial Page 76
Rules and Magic Pages 26, 37, 94, 107, 139

Vincent Locke
Rules and Magic Page 72

Eric Lofgren
Rules and Magic Pages 85, 100, 124, 133

Rich Longmore
Referee Page 3
Rules and Magic Pages 55, 63
Tutorial Page 82

Peter Mullen
Referee Cover

Rules and Magic Page 66

Russ Nicholson
Referee Pages 47, 58
Rules and Magic Pages 28, 78

Jason Rainville
Rules and Magic Cover
Rules and Magic Pages 68, 71

Cynthia Sheppard
Book Back Cover Background
Box Cover
Rules and Magic Pages 69, 70

Amos Orion Sterns
Referee Pages 6, 10, 32, 44, 53, 59, 60, 74, 91
Rules and Magic Pages 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 23, 54, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 73, 74, 77, 83, 161, 164
Tutorial Pages 3, 11, 15, 17, 50, 54, 55, 77, 88, 90

Filip Stojak
Magic, Referee, Tutorial Headers
Rules and Magic Page 46

Eero Tuovinen
Box Graphic Design

See all that red? It's called "a project that sort of got away from me." :D

So yeah, please buy it. Because...

  • It's Really Really Cool (I'll talk more about the non-art Cool Things in the days to come)
  • It Looks Really Really Good
  • Look at all the new art there. If you don't buy it I'm fucked.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Vornheim: The Complete City Kit Cover Art!

Art by Zak, of course.

The Magic Item Contest Winner is...

Malefic Eye of Putrescence
(by Johnathan Bingham)
Also called The Evil Eye, the Stink Eye, and Dead Eye and other more unsavory appellations. This magical device is the province of depraved magic users delving into the dark necromantic arts. The Malefic Eye of Putrescence is created from the left eye of a magic user who has practiced the dark arts and died as a result of meddling in such matters (often as a result of wielding this loathsome item). The Malefic Eye of Putrescence can only be used by a magic user that removes his or her own left eye and replaces it with this heinous artifact. Upon so doing, the magic user immediately suffers a permanent -2 penalty to their Charisma score as now they are unmistakably marked as being aligned with the malignant arts of necromancy. The Malefic Eye appears as an occluded and jaundiced eye as if from a diseased dead man. Further, once the eye is replaced, the magic user must make a save versus poison or suffer the effects of the evil eye himself. Once the eye is in place, the wielder possesses the ability to literally cast a withering gaze at his opponents. This gaze will require the victim to succeed at a save versus poison or die horribly by rotting away from the inside and ultimately ending as a putrid pool of reeking offal. All others within a 20' radius must save versus poison of be nauseated for 1d10 rounds (-1 penalty to attack and damage). Each daily use of the gaze forces the magic user to save versus poison at a progressively worse level or lose one point of constitution as the Malefic Eye slowly causes the wielder to putrefy. For example, an 11th level magic user would need to save at 9 on the first daily use or lose a point of Constitution. The second daily use would step them back and they must make an 11 to save. Upon the third (and successive) daily use, they would save at 13. In the event that the wielder is reduced to zero constitution, they are reduced to a noisome pile of rotting offal except of the malefic eye, which will remain unharmed and ready to be wielded by another caster.
Another tough selection process, lots of good and unusual stuff.

Download the PDF with all of the 35 entries here.

Back to Vornheim work...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Page Dungeon Contest 2011!

The Magic Item contest deadline has passed. I haven't read any of the entries yet, and I'll likely get to that on Friday. I'll do my best to judge on merit and not by which entry fits most neatly into the layout space. ;)

But it's time to talk about another contest! The One Page Dungeon Contest!

Info about this year's contest is here.

Look at those prizes! CASH. Modules. PDFs. And, although it's not yet updated on that site at the time I write this, LotFP is putting up two copies of the upcoming Vornheim: The Complete City Kit as prizes as well.

You have every reason to enter and no reason not to. Get started on that one page dungeon of yours right now!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Magic Item Contest: LAST DAY!

The Contest:

I need an original magic item to put in the Referee book as an example in the Grindhouse Edition. I want it to come from you!

  • The magic item you submit is your own original work that has not previously appeared in print or on the web.
  • By submitting, you give permission for me to use it in LotFP Weird Fantasy Role-Playing and release it in an Open Game Content document.
  • Need to be 18+ years old to enter.
Submit your entry to

The winning item will be used in the box set, and its creator will get a complimentary copy of the Grindhouse box. All entries will be organized into a PDF to be freely distributed, with all items being Open Game Content.

If you do not include a real name to be credited I assume you are OK with not being individually credited - I'd really rather not list internet handles.

Submit your entry before Wednesday March 2 11:59pm Finnish time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Now Added to the LotFP Webstore: Rogue Games Products!

The Cursed Chateau and Shadow Sword & Spell Basic Core Rulebook have been added to the LotFP Webstore.

In the weeks and months ahead, I hope to stock a wide variety of products from different publishers, mostly but not necessarily OSR related.

Through special arrangement with Rogue Games you also get a free PDF when you buy one of their print products through LotFP. I can't guarantee that arrangement with every publisher I carry, but I'll try to make it happen.

And as always, Pembrooktonshire Gardening Society members get 1€ off all print products! (early members still get their promised one-time discount; I'll be opening up membership again soon)

In the future, I won't make a blog announcement whenever a new product is stocked in the store. I'll update the little text box there to the left as new items come in.

Spread the word! Any questions?

A Word About Vornheim

I've been talking Grindhouse this, Grindhouse that, but there soon will be another release coming as well... Vornheim!

My view on Vornheim is that it's not really a prep tool, it's a game tool. It doesn't tell you how to build a city. When the players are at the table, the game is in progress and happening, that's when you open up Vornheim and use it.

How to get from here to there even if neither here nor there are listed on a map? NPC relationships? Stats for that random encounter just rolled? How that tavern is different from the one across the street? It'll take you longer to use the table of contents to go to the right page than it will to generate the info once you're there.

Really, when I was offered the chance to be involved with the project (sight unseen, mind you) my thinking was "Zak's cool. And popular. Axe tie-in. Goldmine! YES!" Now the project's in layout and my thinking is "This book is great! Goldmine! YES!"

This isn't going to be The Final Word in city gaming, but I think it's going to change how city gaming is approached. It's that good. It's that useful.

Plus there will of course be a sizable amount of material about the "real" Vornheim as run by Zak.

Zak's taking final requests for content here. What do you need DURING city-based gaming? Best tell him real soon.