Monday, April 25, 2011

Vornheim is the Greatest Gaming Supplement Ever

... I was wanting to shout that at passersby all damn weekend, but thought it would be bad form.

(my wife was already trying to advise me I was being enough of a Loud American already. As if I have a choice in the matter. :P She also vetoed the airhorn idea, much to the relief of everyone I'm sure.)

I couldn't contain it anymore. I need to shout it out. TO THE WORLD!

Luckily I have this blog which is nothing but bad form. And dammit, this is Zak's book, so he's the one that needs to pretend to be humble about it, not me.
Hyping this shit is my job, right? Why the hell should I feel self-conscious about it?

It's like I got infected with shame when I started accepting money in exchange for stuff. I put everything into these books and then sit there, hands behind my back, shuffling one foot around waiting for people to tell me I did a good job so I can repeat what they said and call that "marketing." Weeeaaaaaaaaakkkkkkk Sssssaaaaaauuuucccccceeeee.

Everyone at GothCon that passed my table without picking up Vornheim missed out on gaming excellence at a slightly discounted price before the rest of the world even had a chance to get their hands on it. Can you believe these people? Point and laugh at them next time you see them.

OK, maybe I'm exaggerating.

Maybe it's not the greatest gaming supplement

But maybe it is.

At the very least I can stop flinching every time I look at the Dungeon Alphabet, lamenting the fact that LotFP never released anything so awesome. I can rest a bit easier with my own stuff that's in the works, knowing that no matter what comes next, LotFP has released one of the all-time awesome things in gaming. No footnote in gaming history here; this gets a mention in the main text.

Think this is just some big empty hype from someone with a financial interest? Yeah? Well I disagree with you. On the Internet.

Fact: Everyone who plays runs games with cities in them can find something to use immediately in this book, and likely a whole lot more than just "something."

Fact: Everyone who writes RPG material will learn new things about the presentation and organization of gaming material.

Fact: Your gaming library has a great big gaping sucking hole in it if Vornheim's not there.

Fact: Great big gaping sucking holes may be good in other places, but not in your gaming library.

Cheers to Zak for writing such a clever and useful book and for giving me the opportunity to release it, cheers to me for getting the darn thing out, cheers to those that have ordered it so far, cheers to those who will order it, cheers to the games that are going to be enriched by the book, and cheers to the Vornheim hacks and derivatives that will surface at game tables worldwide as people's minds go kaboom when exposed to this book.

Whew. I feel so much better now. :D

Now hopefully the other 1900 copies arrive tomorrow as (re)scheduled...


  1. Vornheim > Dungeon Alphabet. Fact.

  2. Zak has a knack for taking a fresh perspective on something that already exists and increasing functionality and fun. Many of his different randomizations are variants on tables -- and Zak clearly enjoys tables -- buy there is usually a visual element that tables lack. Consider his method for determining city layouts. I'm looking forward to this book.

  3. I blogged twice already about how Vornheim is awesome and stuff, but the experience was marred by the lack of an hardcopy. I guess in a few days when the postman will make me a happy and complete person by delivering it to my door I'll be able to have a fuller experience, and rave accordingly. :)

  4. Vornheim is an amazingly cool supplement. I've been using mine (PDF) almost since the day it came out. And keep in mind I'm using it for Mongoose Runequest II, (which is my current rpg love) so some of the neat charts that you physically roll on to determine level and hp of NPC's and such are lost on me this time out. But the thing is just so innovative and usable and most importantly inspiring.
    Until Vornheim I always held Chaosium's "Thieves World" and TSR's Lanhkmar as the cream of city supplements, but Veornheim has outdone those greats, if this thing doesn't change the way folks do rpg cities then I don't know what will.

  5. I've already used Vornheim to generate space zealot Patriarchs and their cults, and I am looking forward to buying the improved, expanded version in a years time.... since LOTFP seems to be the masters of making products that you will buy twice :)

  6. The physical copy of Vornheim just arrived (good thing I live in Finland), and boy it is good.

  7. First, let me preface this by writing I'm not being a wise guy (although some will take it that way. Because when I ask questions like I'm about to ask people immediately take offense for some reason). But I'm really curious to know...

    What sets Vornheim apart from Citybook I, II, III, IV, V, VI by Flying Buffalo? What sets it apart from Sharn:City of Towers? Tell me why me, a guy with a collection of city books, should get Vornheim?

    A good answer is not "It looks really cool." Or "The author is this really neat guy." A good answer will focus on substance, content.

    If you feel the book is not for me, you can tell me that too.


  8. The book is in two parts:

    Vornheim. Zak's city from the Axe show, with some adventure locations (and adventure locations are the only fleshed-out and detailed bits) and quick bursts of info. Full of good ideas and it's going to let you run games that feel like they're in Vornheim, but for me personally this isn't the big draw of the book.

    The second part of the book is all about running city adventures on the fly - or at least making a city come alive around whatever adventure you're running. No pre-fab stuff here. I've always sucked at this, and this is something that's going to make my adventures in cities 1000% better. It's all quick-use, totally customizable, 100% play-oriented stuff.

    And the book isn't pretty - it's functional.

    Here is Zak showing off some bits of Vornheim.

    Here is Zak talking about RPG book organization in general - at length. Zak made all the important layout decisions on this book.

  9. Got mine this morning. I'd had a look through the PDF but much prefer reading ink on paper, and I've noticed a lot of good stuff I'd overlooked in the tables. But my main reason for writing is the presentation. I'm a bookseller by trade, and these days it's a rare pleasure when I get to handle a book that's as aesthetically pleasing an object as Vornheim is. It's also not often I can enjoy a book for twenty minutes or more without even opening it. Those covers are inspired, and had me reaching immediately for my d4s.

    Vornheim deserves to be a big success for Zak and yourself. And, on the strength of the production quality here, I'd better start saving my shekels for Carcosa, Isle of the Unknown, et al.

    Consider me a satisfied customer. Cheers!

  10. Ok, I just got done GM-ing a game of Trail of Cthulhu (good shit, btw.) and I was getting excited for my S&W game this Saturday. And I've been thinking about this book for a long fucking time since I read what Ken Hite said about it (i.e. the write of Trail of Cthulhu!) "Vornheim is the Sex Pistols covering Ptolus"... I'm like, WHAT? I read a few reviews..., man. I WANT THIS BOOK. So, I can't afford to buy it, much less send it to California. BUT!!! Get this, I'm going with my girlfriend (my birthday gift!!1) to Germany!!! There are gamers in Germany, RIGHT?! Of course there are. So will I be able to find this book there? I don't speak German, and I don't know how to look for this stuff in Germany. I will be in Germany at the end of the month, Berlin then eventually Munich. There must be game shops there, and one of them MUST have a copy of Vornheim... I'll buy it Germany! Can anyone help me?

  11. Ulisses Spiele is starting some in-store German distribution for me, but they won't be receiving their copies for another week and a half, and it won't be extensive coverage - at least not at first. We can hope it's successful so more stores hop on board...

    If you did find it in Germany, it would be about the same price as it is in my webstore (13,63€ to Germany through my web-store).

    Maybe you could get fancy and place an order 3 days ahead and have it delivered to your hotel in Germany?