Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old School News Round-Up

A couple of quick news items of interest to readers of this blog:
  • According to various sites, Black Blade Publishing is the previously-mysterious company that will be publishing Swords & Wizardry for distribution in game and book stores. They'll also -- unless the plans have changed since Matt Finch first talked about this several months ago -- be producing a line of S&W support products, although I have no clue as to what those products might be. My guess is that they'll be primarily adventures, with the occasional supplement, but I have no special knowledge on this matter.
  • Goodman Games has released The Dungeon Alphabet, written by fellow blogger Michael Curtis. The book is an expanded version of a great series he did on his blog and ought to be excellent. I consider the original Dungeon Alphabet series to be one of the best things old school blogging has produced and serves as a terrific primer for anyone trying to make sense of the Old Ways, particularly as they pertain to dungeon design.

16 comments:

  1. Dungeon Alphabet + me = Sold.

    I really respect Goodman Games' ecumenical approach to Dungeons & Dragons. I hope it's doing well for them.

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  2. The Goodman Games website has the Dungeon Alphabet slated for a January release. Are they bumping up the release date?

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  3. I appreciate the kind words, but, unless you've heard something that I've not, the Alphabet remains to be released. GG announced that it would be part of their Good Prices program this weekend, and the release schedule is still being tinkered with (I believe), but the book isn't out yet --As far as I know, anyway...

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  4. Jim Raggi did a review of it on his blog the other day and quotes from it are posted on the Goodman Games site, so I assumed it was out already.

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  5. I was reading the review of The Dungeon Alphabet, and all I can say is:

    SWEEEEEETTTTTT!!!!!! :D

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  6. They must have sent Raggi a review copy, so I'm assuming they've been printed. Amazon has it slated for an October 28th (tomorrow) release date (I've preordered :). Hopefully Goodman has just neglected to update their own website to reflect an earlier-than-Jan release...

    Verification Word: "nonsese" - The language spoken by those who make no sense.

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  7. Amazon has the price at 19.99(!!) Goodman is going to sell it at 9.99.

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  8. >>They must have sent Raggi a review copy, so I'm assuming they've been printed.

    I have a "draft layout" pdf copy.

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  9. Amazon has the price at 19.99(!!) Goodman is going to sell it at 9.99.

    Yeah, I just noticed that today. $9.99 does seem a bit more reasonable than $19.99 for a 48-page hardcover. Hopefully the Amazon price will go down somewhat before release (Also, I'm paying with an Amazon CC rewards certificate, and shipping will be free, so I want to stick with my preorder regardless).

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  10. After searching around, I see that the original Dungeon Alphabet posts have been deleted. Apparently he doesn't have a lot of faith in it being so much "bigger and better ... and chock full of great art, plus neat tables, cool adventure seeds, and other weirdness" that people would be wililng to buy a book I feel bacd for people who linked to his posts; it really sucks to tell your readers, "Go here to read this great article!" only have them actually arrive at advertising with no content. And while I sympathize with the desire to make some money from one's writing, this destroys the value as "a terrific primer for anyone trying to make sense of the Old Ways"; anyone who needs a primer probably isn't so convinced that they'll spend money to do it. Deleting the blog posts mostly reduces his audience to the already converted.

    I'm also curious about the 48 page hardcover. I own a copy of one book in that size that is hardcover, and it's physically ridiculous. There is more cover than actual book. I'll yield that $9.99 sounds quite reasonable, but I'd happily save one or two bucks in exchange for a paperback cover. I don't, for example mind that my copy of Robin's Laws is physically just a comic book with a slightly heavier cover.

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  11. >>Deleting the blog posts mostly reduces his audience to the already converted.

    Actually, getting off the internet and off the blogs is the way to reach out to the uninitiated.

    It doesn't make any sense, but the for-profit, expensive books out in distro land are the driving force for getting things done and making people aware, not freebie giveaways.

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  12. Credit where credit's due: Chgowiz broke the news about Black Blade's deal to do S&W first over at his blog.

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  13. I can't speak for Michael, since I don't know all the details of his deal with Goodman, but I suspect that deleting the posts was a condition of his contract, much in the same way that Jim Raggi could no longer sell his original Random Esoteric Monster Generator after he'd signed on with GG to produce a "mass market" version.

    As to the rest, what can I say? Michael has consistently come up with superb ideas. His work will speak for itself and I have little doubt that, when published, The Dungeon Alphabet will find a whole new audience beyond the one it already possesses.

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  14. I wonder if this would apply to S&W as well and discontinuing it as a free download.

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  15. It's been strongly promised that S&W will continue to be available as a free download. It's all OGC anyways.

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  16. The S&W rules will remain available as a free download.

    I'm very much looking forward to reading The Dungeon Alphabet, whenver I'm able to do so. I loved the initial version published on Michael's blog (and in Knockspell #1), and think that the content can only be enhanced by the old-school artists working on the project.

    re: price: even at $20, I didn't object to the price; I just figured it was the size of a larger children's book hardcover, and didn't think about it further.

    Allan.

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