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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Setting what if?

Tekumel came first, but had little impact for the hobby overall.
Next was Greyhawk, with it's generic Tolkien Western Europe fantasy, which was huge and still maintains a large following.

What if the first truly successful setting by TSR had been something else?

Maybe Ravenloft as presented in 2e? Our hobby would have much more of a horror feel than the generic fantasy it has now. And it might have gotten more general horror fans involved in gaming.

Maybe the Scarred Lands? This setting has much more of a mythic feeling to it. It's almost a post-apocalypse. It definitely has a lot more flavor than the generic stuff. I actually really like this idea.

Maybe Forgotten Realms? Yeah, it's generic, but it got tons of support. Before all the NPCs became god-like, it was a very cool setting. I think that's where it jumped the shark.

Imagine if something like Eberron had been the baseline. It actually kind of fits what was being published in novels better than Greyhawk. Many older fantasy books combined tech with fantasy.

I think another cool setting would have been like Mythic Russia. Russian folklore is pretty damn cool.

Or maybe people just would rather keep Greyhawk be the first big dog.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

More print info

I ordered a proof copy this morning. Once I receive it, and it's ok, I'll post it. I ordered media mail because the damn shipping is so expensive, so it will take a week or so to receive the book.

Good news is that the book will likely be $3.00. Bad news is the cheapest shipping to PA was $4.90. At least, at this cost, you'd actually be better off buying multiple copies at once, in case you have a group of players. Even if you only buy one copy, it's going to be super cheap.

I did redo the layout a bit from the pdf version. Because of the way the gutter and margin worked, and the page requirements, I used a better version of my original layout, especially regarding page breaks. It would have been too much hassle to bother someone else about yet more potential layout issues. Even so, I think it looks pretty damn good this time around. The book won't win any layout awards, but it also won't have strange spacing.

I'm sure at least one or two reviewers will be irked at the amount of white space, but at the size and cost of this, I really don't care. I'll be happy if even one book sells and it actually gets used at a game table. If it does, I will think my book is a success.

Also, good editors and layout people should consider contacting Chris Gonnerman, as he has a number of books that just need edited, so that they can be put into print.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Print news

I got some great help from Talysman/John Laviolette with the cover upload. I submitted the file, and it looks like the print cost is going to be around $3.50 (I forget the exact number). I should be getting a proof copy sometime next week. If it looks good, I'll let everyone know.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another Lulu sale

Checkout code HAPPY305 for 20% off. I recommend Fight On!, particularly issues 3, 4, and 6.

Now that S&B is done

I plan on never doing another book again on my own. From now on, if I have an idea, I'm just submitting it to Fight On!. Layout and art is way too much hassle for me to bother with. It just seems like POD publishers go out of their way to make publishing with them difficult.

Regards the print version, I have the text uploaded. I have no way to do the cover, since I don't have a program that works with the cover template formats. I have sent emails out, so hopefully I will hear something back by Monday. At least RPGNow and Lightning provide avenues of communication, unlike Lulu.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Final pdf is done!

Mike Davison sent it over. I've posted it to RPGNow. Hopefully, I will have a print version in the near future. I will need to get a proof of it and once I have a good copy, I'll post here. Thanks!

PDF final today or tomorrow

Mike let me know he's nearly done with the pdf. Just a heads up.

Stop-gap pdf up

Current Version

This version should not have any extra spacing inside words, though there is some extra spacing between words due to justification. Overall, it should be a big improvement over the first version. Hopefully in a few more days, I can post a nicely formatted version. Thanks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Possible layout fix?

Could someone who has had layout problems with Sword & Board (spaces inside words) contact me with your email address? I think the pdf layout issue may have occurred when I was compacting the file. I would like to test this. Mike is still hopefully working on a nice layout, because this version still has extra spaces between words, just not in them, but I would like to put up a stop-gap so people can actually use the pdf.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It should be another week before I have the improved layout in hand, courtesy Mike Davison. Once I have it, I'll upload and let everyone know.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Maybe wait a couple days to download if you haven't already

I will hopefully have a well-formatted version of Sword&Board available in a few days. I know I couldn't get it to look right. Once I get it, I'll post about it here. Then I'll submit for a print version, and after I get a proof copy that looks good, I'll notify everyone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can someone pdf my stuff?

I have tried numerous times to make pdf files for this book, and it seems like it screws up every time. I embed the fonts and everything, but I get weird spaces. I assume the newest file still has spaces in each word, even though I don't see it on my computer. If someone could help me out, I'd really appreciate it. The file is a Word document.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Updated pdf file

If you downloaded the pdf of Sword & Board, I recommend re-downloading it. I fixed some severe spacing issues that were introduced in the pdf conversion process.

Sword & Board pdf is available!

Sword & Board: A Basic Fantasy Companion

The pdf is now available! Hopefully, I will have a print-on-demand version available in a week or two. The pdf is free. The print-on-demand book will be cheap, as I am pricing it for no profit to myself. The book is sized for digest. Enjoy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Why is publishing an OSR supplement so damn hard? *rant*

It's written. It's formatted. It's ready to go.

Lulu submission process doesn't work.
Dragonsfoot does not accept pdf files.
I had to print out and sign some weird contract for RPGNow and scan it and email it back.
I emailed Chris, asking him to put it up on the BFRPG website. Hopefully that will happen, but the site has not been updated since November.

I'm sick of this crap. Why does everyone make it so damn hard to just publish a free pdf and not-for-profit POD book? I will never do this again. I don't know how the normal publishers don't go crazy messing around with stupid BS.

I now really hate Lulu. How is RPGNow?

Their site is about as unhelpful as it can be. The directions for the cover don't work. I uploaded my text, after multiple attempts, and then Lulu says it can't make the file print-ready. However, it doesn't bother to give me even a little clue as to why it isn't print-ready.

I know RPGNow has recently gotten into POD publishing. Is their formatting and submission stuff easier to use?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just waiting on one piece of art

Figures the hold-up is one of the few pieces of art I had to commission. And it's been two weeks, with four separate promises of "I'll get it to you tonight". All for a 3"x4" ink drawing. Blah. Combined with the cover fun, this part of the project has easily been the most frustrating.

Friday, February 4, 2011

New cover?

I also love this picture. My big problem now is fighting the stupid Lulu template.

Cover art - fuck me

The 3rd version of S&W White Box Announcement

Thanks to the kindergarten playground fight involving White Box, it looks like my cover has been taken. After I have had my cover posted for over a week. Fucking frustrating. I'll try and find something else that looks good, but that picture is pretty damn awesome.

*And the new BHP game will use the existing WB cover.*  = that cover is temporary, found out in the comments. Leaving here so the comments make sense.


I suspect this shall be the most maddening phase of the book. I'm doing a relatively simple one-column digest book, with art in places. But I've already found the indexing in Word is off by one number for some reason, and I can't just start numbering pages from one a couple pages into the document. I'm sure there's a way to do it, but Microsoft has done it's damnedest to hide it.

In the end, I'll give it my best shot. If I can't get the numbering to work right, I just might remove the index. While I know some people like them, I never use them, and the book will be relatively short. I'm not going to frustrate myself for hours on something I don't need.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Companion info

I've been finding some stuff that is OGL that I've used a lot in my games, that just isn't in BFRPG. That's one of the areas I'm targeting with my book. Stuff I've added: the Lich, Robe of the Archmagi, Ioun Stones, Bracers of Armor (or Defense), and some other miscellaneous items.

As usual, many of these will have my own take, and not be direct conversions.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The ENnies are biased as hell

While I don't agree with the Pundit on a few things, I think this article really exposes the ENnies for the crap that they are. Just like how the Origins Awards are relatively useless thanks to corporate crap.  Some of the in-crowd publishers should be ashamed of themselves.

Another Lulu Sale

NOSHADOW305 - 20% off code

BFRPG, OSRIC, Fight On!, Nod...  All of them on Lulu.