Wednesday, November 30, 2011

This Carcosa PDF is Something Else

Holy crap.

Just saw the latest version of the Carcosa PDF.

The book itself is extensively cross-referenced, has a proper index, etc.

The PDF takes all of that and links it within the document.

More than that, Eero (design/layout guy for the project) linked every hex on the maps (and the room numbers of the Fungoid Gardens map) so clicking on it goes straight to the entry in the body of the book.

Not that I look at all that many gaming PDFs, but this one is Pretty Damn Spiffy.

The PDF is included in the price of the printed book, and for those not wanting the physical book, the PDF will be available as a stand-alone product on December 11.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Isle & Carcosa Extras

Isle of the Unknown and Carcosa will each have as extras the cloth map (discussed yesterday) and a double-sided full color A3 mini-poster. 250 copies of each will be available. (contributors get copies as well - 260 of each will be printed total).

The extras will cost 5€ each, and they are optional. But once they're gone, they are gone...

Note that in each pic, two copies of the poster have been laid down to show you what's on both sides.

Isle of the Unknown's poster has the keyed map on one side and an expanded print of Cynthia Sheppard's cover. The original plan involved a dust jacket and it wasn't until the last minute that we decided not to have one, but Cynthia had already completed the larger piece. We haven't told her yet...

Carcosa's poster has Jeff Rients' Periodic Table of Carcosa on one side (redesigned because the original wasn't in high enough resolution for this printing) and on the other a map of Carcosa keyed with relevant locations involved with the sorcerous rituals. Amos Orion Sterns had made a rough of this on his own after the first edition of Carcosa was released, and Geoffrey and I went nuts after seeing it. We really couldn't fit it in the book, but we knew we had to do something with it, so we had Amos tighten up the design and here it is as a limited edition extra.

Oh, my store software won't let me apply the Gardening Society discount to the extras, so Gardening Society members will get 2€ off Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown, even if not ordering the extras. After the extras sell out, the discount will go back to the usual 1€ off.

That means if intend to buy both, you could sign up for the Gardening Society today for 10€ and be saving 4€ next week - and membership gives you 1€ off every print product in the store, always, so you could theoretically turn around and save more money than the cost of membership right away. And you get a kickass membership card!

(figured if I was going to promote something I might as well be completely shameless, right? :D)

Details on Gardening Society membership here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Look at the Isle and Carcosa Maps!

Just got the proofs in for the cloth map extras I'll be offering when the books go on sale next week. These maps will be printed in the appropriate book's endpapers, but I thought it would be good to offer stand-alone maps as well.

I originally planned on doing them in the soft-cloth Ultima style. But those aren't good for a lot of detail, because the ink bleeds too much on that material, and I wanted the hex numbers to show up on these maps. They're perfect for player maps, I think. (hexcrawl exploration purists are going to lynch me for that one, aren't they?) This next shot was supposed to show off the material - it's a soft canvas-like fabric, but the texture of the back of the map didn't show up too well... but you can see a bit more detail on the maps themselves so why not.

Isle of the Unknown - What Is It?

The book should be arriving soon, [Update: The printer tells me Isle and Carcosa will be delivered Monday December 5!].

So. Isle of the Unknown. What is it?

I was going to do some corny-ass hype, but I thought instead I should quote a few things from the emails Geoffrey and I exchanged after I received the draft of the book and we discussed what form the book should take.

Isle of the Unknown is a hard-core and pure old-school product. I write the sort of thing I wish other people would write and publish. I love, love, love the format of Judges Guild's Wilderlands products. This sort of thing moves my imagination, and it has (to my druthers) very little wasted space. It's 99% pure gold.

That's what I am aiming at with Isle of the Unknown. I want all the wonder of the old Wilderlands, with none of the "OK, I've seen that before." Orcs and shit were new back then, but not now. So I've done a Wilderlands[-style] product that is all fantastic and no nostalgia.

Of course I wanted more nuts and bolts detail about the island:

You've got several entries that are "in motion" such as: "2408 A 7th-level cleric in a red surcoat with a white cross is mounting his horse " with a situation then described. I think maybe the "in motion/situation" entries should be part of encounter tables with more permanent features (lairs, statues, settlements, etc) being part of definite hex descriptions.

I think the utility of a product like this is its ability to be used "out of the box" - and I think the "civilized" stuff, and encounter tables, is important to do that. Not saying to nail down names and things like that, but...

Keep on the Borderlands spent "equal time" on the Keep and the Caves of Chaos, for example, all without using names or defining interrelations between people and factions beyond the broadest of strokes, and I think this could benefit from the same approach.
This is what Geoffrey thought of these ideas:

The sort of additions you suggest have always seemed to me wasted space. Even the Keep was little used by us (in contrast to the heavily-used Caves of Chaos).

I remember that James Maliszewski regretted that you didn't give any D&D stats to the people of Pembrooktonshire, and he regretted that you didn't include more mundane stuff in Weird New World. What were you supposed to do? Give stat after stat that said "S 10, I 11, W 10, D 11, C 10, Ch 11"? The Pembrooktonshiretonians are all 0-level guys with 1-6 hp. They need stats about as much as do their chickens, goats, and pigs. It'd be wasted space. And Weird New World doesn't need stats for seals, penguins, and mundane Eskimos.

Similarly, virtually all the people on the Isle of the Unknown are 0-level nobodies with 1-6 hp and stats in the 9-12 range. It matters not whether they are priests, scholars, knights, peasants, bandits, or what-have-you. And do we really need or want a table giving a list of the types of nobodies that might be encountered wandering around the isle? Even their equipment is all common sense: priests don't have weapons or armor, knights have both, peasants are "armed" with pitchforks, etc. I would regard such information in a product as worthless or even kind of condescending.

Hamlets, thorps, dorfs, etc. are also a dime-a-dozen: "The hamlet of _______ consists of 102 people living in 12 thatched, single-room cottages. They are all subsistence farmers. They own nothing besides humble clothes, tableware, and pitchforks." And for the details of the larger villages, I think that's a job for Zak's Vornheim product.

I can't over-emphasize that each hex in Isle of the Unknown covers over 86 square miles of territory. That is HUGE. Thus any encounter table that was even remotely "accurate" as far as giving a realistic chance of encountering the fantastic spot within the hex would look something like:

01-10 It rains.
11-20 You seen some rabbits.
21-30 You meet a peasant digging for mushrooms.
31-40 You step in cowshit.
41-50 etc.
91-99 A dog barks at you.
00 You encounter the fantastic thing described in this product.

(Players would have a truly boring time of it!)

If, for example, I were to erect a man-sized statue in a forest of 86 square miles, it would take forever and a day for someone to find the damn thing. You could probably walk 100' away from it and still not notice it. And that's assuming you knew it was there and were looking for it. If you were ignorant of its existence, you could probably walk through that forest 100 times and never stumble across the statue.

Except for the "OMG, Carcosa has children getting raped!" thing, perhaps the most common complaint I heard was that it was too world-specific. I want Isle of the Unknown to be able to be dropped into any campaign with little or no fuss.

... and then a few nights later I got this email from Geoffrey:

As I was falling asleep last night (in that half-awake half-asleep state) the following idea occurred to me. Then at 4:30 this morning I woke-up and couldn't fall back to sleep because of this idea. As I type this sentence it's 5:09 in the morning.

More than anything else, art in an RPG product needs to be useful. I think back to my early RPG days, and what "sold" me on a product more than anything else? Monster Manual-style art. The day I bought my Holmes Basic set, I also purchased the Monster Manual. It was a no-brainer purchase rather than the PHB or the DMG. Why? Because of the multitude of monster illustrations.

Some months thereafter I went to the store, money in hand, to buy the PHB. Ha! The Deities & Demigods book was sitting there, brand new on the shelf. One look at it (with its MM-style art) and there was no debate: I bought the DDG instead. I could sit for hours looking at the pictures in the MM and the DDG (and, in the next year, the Fiend Folio). The PHB and the DMG? Not so much. Sure, drawings of adventurers are cool, but how can they compare to the compendia of drawings of monsters in the MM, DDG, and FF?

Consider two monsters from the MM that nobody ever uses: the masher and the slithering tracker. (Hell, I literally never even noticed the very existence of the masher for about 20 years!) Why does nobody ever use them? What do they have in common?

No picture.

What if the interior art of Isle of the Unknown is devoted solely to Monster Manual-style (by that I mean relatively small drawings of just the monster itself) drawings of the 108 or so monsters in the book? That's a lot of drawings, but they'd be relatively small. The drawings would make the monsters come alive, unlike the poor masher and slithering tracker.

Plus, the drawings overall would be cooler than the drawings in MM, DDG, or FF. After all, how cool can a drawing of an orc or a brownie be? In contrast, all the monsters in Isle of the Unknown are weird and relatively hard to picture.
How am I going to argue with that?

... so suddenly we had a big art book project and at the same time a balls-to-the-wall hardcore old school Judges Guild-style adventure/setting.

And it's almost here.

Previews from the actual book and looks at the limited edition extras in the days to come.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hail to England!

Cue the Manowar!

Dragonmeet was a smashing success, with very nearly double last years' sales.

Vornheim has officially cracked the 1000 print sales barrier!

Oh, see this post from Zak? If we're talking a good-sized project (64+ page) I split the profits with the writer. He really has made as much as he's said (and has another big fat pile of cash coming from this quarter-in-progress sales).

(.02€/word or 35% profit I think is the figure, your choice, for 32 page or less items... the income is a lot less on smaller projects but my aggravation on the publishing side is just as much as the larger projects, so...)

Two things you get from this info: One, when you buy Vornheim or Carcosa or Isle of the Unknown, the authors are getting paid just as much as I am. That is true for damn few publishers out there.

Two, I'm going to invest more money into your book to make it as nice and cool it can be, and work to promote it, and work to distribute it, more than you are going to and more than most will. Yes, I am a small publisher and I have my limits (nothing has appeared since April because all my resources were tied up with Carcosa and Isle for a long damn time), I can only take on so many projects, and I'm picky, but if you have an idea that might fit with LotFP, maybe you should run it by me and see what we can do.

OK, third thing you should know, there's no guarantees with this system, if sales fall flat on their ass, you don't get anything, but then you didn't risk anything except time an effort. The financial fallout is all mine.

Is that an insane publishing model? Perhaps. But I talked to way too many bands in my time doing my metal zine that were getting absolutely fucked, making money hand over fist for their label yet not able to feed themselves off the exact same record sales. I don't play that way.

It's worked out well so far. I'll stop it only when I have to. And that's entirely up to you guys that buy the stuff.

(no, artists and such don't get a percentage because their work is going to be based on and support the writing. But they still get big piles of cash when appropriate... you don't want to know the Carcosa and Isle art budgets.)

Anyway, I'm off to eat and then to bed... 6am flight tomorrow... BACK TO FINLAND!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Off to London... Saturday: Dragonmeet!

Stop by the table in the vendor room.

Buy stuff.

Or just chat.

I'll have some Isle of the Unknown color proofs with me for those that want a bit of a preview...


When I get back next week it's just writing while waiting for Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown to return from the printer (expected the week of the 5th).

I should be able to show you samples of the cloth map extras that will be available, and I'll start posting more info and then previews for the two books.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why Playtest an Adventure?

I have my ideas, but I want to hear yours.

Why is it important to playtest an adventure written for publication?

Are the reasons to playtest (or not) an adventure different depending on the game for which the adventure is written?

Friday, November 18, 2011

One Important Ingredient for Weird Fantasy: Total Disregard

Disregard for the rules, disregard for the PCs, disregard for the "campaign plan." Some stuff just is, and how the players work around it (or choose not to) becomes perhaps the defining element of play.

In Dragon #16, J. Eric Holmes said the following about his earlier The Lovecraftian Mythos in Dungeons & Dragons article from Dragon #12 (and mad, mad props to my homeboy over at Zenopus Archives for bringing this stuff to our royal attention) :

In an early version of “the Gods” I said “if Cthulhu breaks out of R’lyeh, everyone in the world must make a saving throw or go insane.” I later reduced this as being a bit too gross.

Too gross? Totally. He was going to let people make a saving throw? That's some Monty Haul bullshit right there.

(I kid, I kid... sort of. But not really. At least in his article the universe ends if Azathoth is killed. No saving throw. Seriously.)

But there seems to be a hedging of bets when it comes to this sort of thing, then and now. "Let's take the edge off, because really, that's not fair. And we need to stat everything even though the text clearly implies some things aren't really meant to be fought, let alone defeated."

Enough of that!

One of the effects in Death Sparkle Doom that I'm putting together at the moment:

"Reverse Character's XP"

So if your character had 1,009 XP, he now has 9,001. Or if he was a high level badass with exactly 100,000 XP, congrats, he now only has 1 XP!

(just my luck that the PC that triggered this effect had 101 XP at the time... that was totally no fun!)

PCs can also have their permanent HP maximum increased, or decreased, d100%. Not such a huge deal either way for a first level character... totally game-changing for a high level character.

The Dancing Queen in Yellow has three possible endings: A great extradimensional elder thing under the control of a depraved cultist, a great extradimensional elder thing under the control of a PC, or a great extradimensional elder thing under the control of no one and going on a rampage. Because it's coming. The summoning happened the day before you found out about it. It's just the controlling ritual that has to be done at a specific time yet to come...

And I can see the red pen being taken to the Monolith adventure when Refs see what its guardian is like. Oh yeah, just by looking at the Monolith PCs gain a level. Refs, do not yet despair for your campaign, for the players will not much like why that happens.

Or maybe as I finish these projects and play them more and start to revise them, I'll chicken out. But if I announce some Constantcon/FLAILSNAILS style Skype playtests with the instruction "roll d20 to determine your character's level at the start of the adventure," you'll know I haven't.

(you don't need sanity mechanics if your goal is to drive the real-life players crazy, you know?)

(I'm on the jazz, man)

(if I didn't have this stuff to do and a few other things I should be doing, I'd do the second Against the Giants review about I3-5... perhaps the best of the early D&D "adventure paths" but for how three small details are handled which largely unravel the whole thing.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What's the Biggest Map You Find Convenient at the Table?

As far as a physical object, how big is too big to be useful in play?

Over the years there have been sets published with full poster-sized maps. Undermountain had them, I think Dragon Mountain did? World's Largest Dungeon did as well I think, but if they were also supposed to be battlemats (were they? School me!) that might be more forgivable.

But I know I always had trouble using such large maps at the table. They are just... too... big!

I've got a couple projects (Insect Shrine and the Asylum adventure) that when I get around to finishing them just do not have maps that will fit on a standard page (either the usual size or a spread in my A5-sized books).

So what's just right for you? How big is too big for you to use in play?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

People Team Up to Tell Me What to Release!

I was talking to Matt Johnsen about plans as I often do, and he suggested that I release something on a scroll.

Cool idea!

Except... referencing areas other than what you're reading that very moment would be kind of crap. Functionality, damn it...

So I tell my wife the scroll idea. She gets excited because she's thinking I should do an adventure based on a railroad (seriously), Murder on the Orient Express kind of thing (I'm partial to doing something paying homage to Horror Express, a movie I remember terrifying me as a child). "As the train travels to the next place, you just move down the scroll."

"But," I say smugly, "there needs to be elements of player choice in altering the outcome of events. If we came up with ways that players could really influence this train adventure, then it could work."

She answers: "They could decide whether to die sooner or die later!"

I was so proud. She's learning!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Death Sparkle Doom: Why? and First (Recent) Playtest

"Gee, I'm already trolling the busybodies by making a Grindhouse Edition with zombies putting hands up hoohas and putting out Carcosa which portrays evil sorcery as evil. Pushing much more in that direction is fun but we're going to get to a point of diminishing warblegarble returns if we keep pushing that way. How to achieve the same effect in another way?"

That 'effect' being important because as a 9 year old owning the AD&D books, the sense of everyonethinksD&DisevilSatanicI'mgoingtocommitsuicideforplayingit, and I can't let my mother see the insides of the books she's bought me because they have drawings of boobies, and I can't read the Monster Manual at night because some of these pictures are really scary! were as much a part of the base RPG experience for me as "There's this game where you can do ANYTHING and not argue about whether you missed or not!" and I have to pay it forward. ;)

... and after a couple years of publishing, and over a year of seeing TONS of what my peers are doing through my OSR-based retailing on the web and at cons, I have this idea that releases should be events, they should be presented as unique and special things, lest they get lost in the sea of releases, lest the ideas within get ignored once purchased because the whole thing appears so mundane and same-old.

I could point lots of fingers there (and have a bit), but instead of being an armchair internet critic, I get to show 'em how it's done, right?

(and then everyone else sits back and gets to complain that I make a big deal out of everything and oh my god how much cheaper would that have been if he hadn't done that!)

Anyway, my latest outrage technique was to go cute. Present an adventure in the manner of a children's book, nice thick pages, very very bright and colorful throughout. The cover will be influenced by the colors and atmosphere of My Little Pony and the Care Bears.

That will be the new face of fear!

But I need something to put into such a product, right? Flashy is awesome, but it's one thing to make something that gets attention, it's great to do something that makes people feel they need to have it because ohmygodhowawesomedoesthatlook!!!, but it needs to be unique and original and awesome to be worthy of a presentation that's unique and original and awesome. Or else it's all shit.

... I had just the thing in the archives! The adventure was originally run about five years ago or so. It was a little puzzle-based dungeon based on the chromatic dragon color scheme, where solving several different color-based puzzles opened up a passage to go up this mountain; the alternative was to fight their way up to the top. I forget why they were going up there. Was it the observatory where dwarfs had enslaved some hill giants?

I pulled this adventure out a few years ago in an attempt to get it into publishable form. Remember, before deciding I was going to be a publisher, I was just going to have other people publish my work. I was going to submit the adventure to Brave Halfling to publish, but in my "genius" I sent the module straight up its own ass as the five chromatic dragon color scheme was muddled by including ultraviolet and infrared light, microwaves, gamma rays, etc. It turned into a big glop of shit, so I abandoned it and wrote No Dignity in Death instead... and then ended up stipulating so many things concerning the presentation that it didn't make any sense for someone else to release it...

So this "color-based adventure," if it could be brought under control, seemed to fit the "colorful children's book presentation." But it needed something a little more... Tying it in to the whole Duvan'Ku thing and making it a Death x Doom release would give it that little kick. It's been well over two years since Death Frost Doom and over a year since Duvan'Ku got any publication mention (in Hammers of the God), and Death Ferox Doom is in developmental hell, so to speak (how to get rid of the overly Traditional D&D* elements without gutting all the key parts where they are currently included, how to make the social sections of the adventure come truly alive -- the "Here are the tribes!" sections I've written seem static and boring!, and how to present it all so that it's too cool for school are all issues I am struggling with), so I'm not draining the Death x Doom well dry.

So a few weeks of organizing, note taking, general dressing up, and integration of the Duvan'Ku "mythology" (including an explanation of why this place exists and how it would function by those that made it), I had a dungeon ready to play.

It's an "everything you touch messes you up and you have to touch a lot of stuff to beat the thing" type of affair.

The first play-through of the new dungeon concept wasn't a total success.

I mean, the three PCs that went through the thing were suitably messed up. I think the basic setup is good. They conquered the dungeon, but one of them is now 18" tall, another is 20' tall, and before he accidentally popped himself out of existence the third PC was made of mist and enveloped in a field of darkness.

The Problems As I Saw Them (my players can chime in if they like):

  • The PCs destroyed the source of clues in the adventure. I actually had to fudge them not being completely destroyed as they should have been or the whole thing would have gone to shit right away. There needs to be a clue about the clues.
  • I'm getting really awful about the reward/XP thing in adventures**. "This structure protects a treasure!" OK, fine, there's a specific treasure to find at the end. But it's not a pile of gold or silver or anything. And playing shouldn't be a total binary "succeed/fail" proposition. The adventure needs more tangible rewards here and there.
  • Needs more urgency. A lot of the puzzles are tense enough, especially once the players get the pattern of what's going on. "If we touch that one there one of our items is going to go bad... and we have to touch it." But when the players are just guessing or working from wrong assumptions (say, because of destroying the clues...) it becomes a repetitious treadmill of "suffer an effect, then go check to see if it did what we want it to do." Presenting some other dangers so this isn't all being done quite at the PCs' leisure is in order, and the means to provide that is already in the adventure.
  • I used a master effects table for the various elements. So no matter if the players touched a colored energy field, got clawed by a guardian of a certain color, or decided to have fun with colored lotus powder, each color rolled on the same effects table. I think I need to separate that out so while, say, a violet energy field, a violet guardian, and violet lotus (PURPLE LOTUS III!!!!!) will be thematically linked as their effects go, the specific effects should be unique to whatever element is triggering it.

That concludes this edition of "what I wrote while waiting to download the revised Carcosa production PDF with changes made in light of the printing proofs."

* this one's hard to explain. It's just important for me, no matter the underlying system and procedures of play, to have my stuff feel different from traditional D&D. The classic TSR stuff has been done. It's continuing to be done and redone by numerous authors in our scene right now. More power to them, but I want something a bit different and distinct, "this is 2011!", not something that slides comfortably beside what was done in 1980 or a "what if?" experiment or whatever. That's one frustrating thing about the fly-by Weird Fantasy critics, yes, it's a retro-clone kind of thing, but if you embrace its assumptions, playing it leads to a different atmosphere and creative space, and dare I say a whole different game than say OSRIC or Labyrinth Lord if you run a campaign. It's not "a slightly different way to play the same old D&D." At least I don't think so. Or maybe my degree of differentiation is so slight that there effectively is no real difference. Whatever. I follow my muse, you follow yours.

** if LotFP gets a third edition someday, the level system is on the chopping block.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Mayan Calendar Is Wrong... The Universe Ends December 2011... CARCOSA IS AT THE PRINTER!

It's done. At the printer. Coming early December 2011.

Hardcover (thread-sewn binding) with a foil-stamped cover, 288 A5 pages, beautifully designed, generously illustrated... you will bow down in AWE of this thing.

And it's not just going to be a pretty physical item. It's been expanded, reorganized, extensively cross-referenced and indexed. Seriously, Eero Tuovinen has been a damn SUPERHERO preparing this book and making sure it's a thing of both beauty and utility.

I am so excited about this, not only in being able to re-release Carcosa and get it out to a wider audience, but in sparing no expense in making sure it was released in a format that did its contents justice.

Carcosa is a big fucking deal to me. It was the first thing that showed me that this whole old school thing was not only about reclaiming the respect and fan base and not being treated like backward morons for the games we like to play, but that we were going to surge forward and be more than a shadow of days gone by.

The Carcosa controversy was raging when I had the first date with the woman who became my wife. Poor girl had to deal with me taking Carcosa out at the restaurant and ranting to her about how awful and small-minded a lot of people were and that this thing was awesome and those people were wrong!

I feel so excited that this thing is out the door. So full of energy, like this is a weapon that will conquer the world and beyond.

I can't wait to show this thing to you all.

Goddamn I have the best job in the world.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Isle of the Unknown is AT THE PRINTER

Hardcover (thread-sewn for those of you looking out for that), 128 pages, over 120 illustrations, full color throughout.

Should go on sale the first couple days in December.

I hope to make the 'at the printer' announcement for Carcosa tomorrow.

An Odd Quote Pointing Out Why RPGs are a Niche Hobby!

Over at, user Shawn said:

"Of course D&D's game play should be fun enough on it's own. It's a game. If the rules are dependent on story and things the players bring to the game as opposed to what the game itself brings to the table to be fun and enjoyable enough to play, then the game has failed miserably."

To me, that's the entire point of RPGs as opposed to card/board/video games. If the players (including the Referee) bring nothing to the table, there is no game, and there's really nothing for the rules to even do.

The always-active nature of the hobby is the tough sell, I think, and why other entertainment forms are more popular.

"It's like reading, but harder!"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zombie Apocalypse Game

I'll admit that the first reaction I had when Goblinoid Games announced Rotworld was "SON OF A BITCH I WAS GOING TO DO A ZOMBIE GAME!!!!!!!"

I quickly calmed down when that little voice in my head said, "haha, yeah, when?"

But looking through the table of contents, I was disappointed to see that it was almost all system. 43 of its 64 pages are system. The Dead Rise and Zombie Creation (another 10 pages) I guess are necessary...

But to me, the heart of a zombie apocalypse game isn't system, it's not even really the zombies. It's finding out what and who's left and how difficult they are to get to and deal with.

Chapter 6: People You Meet (p44-46) and Chapter 9: Corpse Master Tools (p57-61), that's the game in a zombie RPG. "We go there. What's there? Anything useful? How infested is it? Anyone alive? What's their condition and disposition?"

And it's 8 pages out of 64 in the game.

I know it's not fair because I haven't actually read the game, but I can't help but feeling they have it all backwards. Put in a short and sweet system (suitable for "you want to play a zombie game? *BAM* you're ready!" ... and zombie combat pretty much comes down to "Are you surprised? Are you surrounded? If no and no, Are you armed?"), and then tons and tons of support for on-the-fly gaming. Basically a billion and one random charts that cover everything from "what's left in the convenience store?" to "how difficult is it to run I-95 between Jacksonville and St. Augustine?"

Basically the zombie experience is a heaping pile of random encounter charts, reaction rolls, and random treasure charts.

This sounds like I'm challenging myself to do something I don't have any time to do.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Vornheim: The Complete City Kit Promo Video

Zak put this video together awhile back, but I only recently figured out Youtube accounts, and figured if I added my video I should put this up there as well.

LotFP Night Visions Video

This was the ad that was up on the big screen at the Night Visions festival last week. Very NSFW if you need to be told.

Carcosa Will Give Me a Heart Attack

Days away from the print date for Carcosa.

... the artist has been out of touch for almost a week, with four pieces of art still to turn in. He was one of the people who lost power during that big New England snowstorm last weekend. This week has been stressful, to say the least.

But he's now he's borrowed a generator and is uploading the needed files. Nothing like getting everything done at the last minute. :D

One of the pieces is the cover. Here is Carcosa's frontispiece, with the cover being a silhouette of this to call back to the cover of the first edition: