Friday, March 2, 2012

Open Friday: Highly Anticipated But Delayed Gaming Products

Owing to some technical issues, it looks like the Dwimmermount Kickstarter won't go live today, though you can view the preview of its page here, if you'd like to see it, including a piece Jeff Dee did for the book's back cover (the front cover, by Mark Allen, is almost finished as well). Rather than vent my frustration at this unexpected turn of events, I thought I'd turn it into an occasion for an Open Friday post.

So, here's my question: what are the gaming products you most wanted to see released over the years but were delayed again and again -- perhaps even to the point of never coming out? For me, I think the big ones are Gary's Castle Greyhawk and City of Greyhawk products, about which I've talked before. What are yours?

64 comments:

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    1. I know you won't take it as a criticism, merely enthusiastic support for its eventual release.

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  2. It's been thirty years. Safe to say they won't come out...

    Isle of Darksmoke, Part II
    Catacombs of the Bear Cult, Level II

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  4. The Dwimmermount Kickstarter is live, I just pledged. I appear to be the first one.

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    1. Congrats on being first and thanks for your pledge! I was wondering if it was someone who even knew we were delayed...

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  5. The Temple of Elemental Evil.

    The time from when T1 first came out to when T1-4 finally came out spanned the entirety of my hardcore D&D playing years. I thought it was terrible when it finally came out. Not sure now how much of that was having been burned out on xD&D by then.

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    1. Huh. Too bad. You're obviously in the minority on this one.

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  6. As for delayed products, I make sure that I ask Steve Jackson about Hot Lead every time I see him. I'd love to get my poster for it signed, but I think he'd probably tear it up, B-D.

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  7. Back when I used to play Castles & Crusades, I was pretty anxious for the Castle Keeper's Guide to come out, mostly because I thought it would resolve all of my problems with the game. I ended up switching to B/X long before it ever made its way to print.

    (In retrospect, I of course realize that my "problems with the game" were, in fact, me.)

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  8. The new review process by Kickstarter took a lot less extra time than anticipated! The project is now live; we just got our first backer and are 0.006% of the way to being fully funded.

    I will go eat crow at the Mule, but want to give props to James for creating two of these most anticipated projects, and to apologize for my role in making one of them the most briefly delayed project ever to count as delayed!

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  9. Aaron is cruel and, unfortunately, quicker than me.

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  10. Add my vote to Petty Gods as well.

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  11. A.I. by Digest Group Publications...I'm guessing that one's never going to come out. :(

    As for other ones, I've not really had that dying feeling that something wasn't going to come out too often, usually because I often don't have a game supplement on the radar screen far enough in advance for that to be an issue, though I've had a few that I was eagerly anticipating until they came out (admittedly on time).

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    1. I asked one of the rumoured authors about that product some years ago. In short, don't hold your breath. It will probably never happen. IIRC, even the draft has gotten lost.

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    2. Actually I know the story, including a little bit from Joe Fugate himself. They lost a draft due to a hard drive crash, and I think Joe just kind of gave up on the RPG business in general shortly thereafter.

      The rights to DGP's back catalog was bought by Roger Sanger, who briefly fiddled with the idea of doing new Traveller material around the time 4th Edition was going strong...but he turned out to be more talk than action. As far as I know, he's never done anything with the catalog, and if he has any of the AI material, nothing has come of it.

      Ironically, I bought some of DGP's old stock off of Roger a few years ago, including a spiral bound copy of Traveller's Digest Issues 1-4 in a red binder. Turns out they were Joe Fugate's personal copy (his name was written on the inside front cover of the binder).

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  12. The supplements for "Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space". Cubicle 7 recently announced that the 11th Doctor edition is *finally* in production, but I wonder whether they'll have to change remaining books from David Tennant & co. to Matt Smith & co. and get approval from the BBC all over again. And, White Guardian forbid, if Matt Smith leaves at the end of the upcoming season, and they have to rebrand *again* for whoever the 12th Doctor might be ...

    Also, back in the day I had hoped for more Fantasy Trip support, but Metagaming closed its doors and the rights-holder Howard Thompson disappeared.

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  13. Currently I'm waiting on the slightly delayed Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, though its only a couple months.

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  14. I've got to agree with Polynices about the Temple of Elemental Evil, but also with you about City of Greyhawk and Castle Greyhawk, but I'd probably throw Armies of Greyhawk (the mentioned miniatures game) in there as well.

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  15. DC Heroes and Villains volume. 2.

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  16. +1 for ToEE. Really intolerable when you consider how seminal T1 was, and the relative lack of content at the time.

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  17. Welcome To Metro City, the Final Fight supplement for Living Room Game's never-released Capcom World Tournament RPG.(Viewed by some as the spiritual successor to White Wolf's seminal blacktop, beat 'em-down, bar none RPG: Streetfighter: The Storytelling Game.) The RPG was supposed to hit in early 2004, and the Metro City sourcebook was to follow in mid-2005, but sadly its publisher was unable to afford the license due to the state of the market at the time. There are optimistic murmurings every few years, but nothing ever pans out... :-(

    My *other* selection or most highly anticipated but delayed gaming product is WGR7: Ivid the Undying from the Greyhawk Adventures line. During the early 90's, I was a huge mark for Greyhawk, and eagerly awaited(and bought!) each announced supplement. Of all the products announced before the line was discontinued in 1993, I wanted Carl Sargent's Ivid the Undying the most, but it was never released. Bits and pieces of the book were revealed in a couple of articles in Dragon Magazine circa 1994, and it was seemingly forgotten until 1999, when TSR posted a free text version of the manuscript, along with jpgs of its maps, on their website.(Along with other goodies for various worlds still available on WOTC's website, but you'll have to search with the current layout being what it is...)Since then, this free sourcebook been archived on the Acaeum, and a fan has produced an outstanding PDF, which is now quite commonly found online. It'd be nice to have a print version with the artwork slated for use with the book, though!

    Also: another vote for radnoff and James' choices.

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  18. HeroQuest from Chaosium, first advertised as coming soon in 1979(?), came out in 2000. Everything comes to those who wait :-)

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    1. 1978.

      [And the _Hero Wars/HeroQuest_ game that was finally released wasn't it.]

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    2. RuneQuest II also announced Elfpack and Mostali Campaign.

      10 years later, Elder Secrets of Glorantha (1989) was supposed to be a version of that but was not as detailed as Trollpack. On the other hand, Mongoose has a Duckpack...

      RQ also mentioned The Masters of Luck and Death (a "heroquest boardgame" about the Holy Country), The Sartar Campaign, the Grazelands Campaign, the Lunar Cults and Ships & Islands.

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    3. +1 Heroquest.

      +1 what we got wasn't it.

      And I'll add the Jakallan Underworld, which supposedly will be coming out soon. Also tons of other Tekumel goodies, along with a popular, well-received rules set. :)

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  19. Temple of Elemental Evil. And, man, what a letdown it was.

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  20. @Polynices

    "Not sure now how much of that was having been burned out on xD&D by then."

    No, it was just a mediocre product.

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  21. GURPS India

    "The manuscript we received was not satisfactory. We'll eventually do this book, but right now we don't have an author. We're looking for one."

    Steve Jackson Games - Daily Illuminator - June 10, 2003: Delayed Products: A Status Report


    GURPS Middle Ages 2

    "GURPS Middle Ages 1, the first volume in the GURPS Middle Ages series, covered the history of the British Isles between the mid-7th century and late 15th century. Middle Ages 2 will pick up where Middle Ages 1 left off, covering the same time period in France, the Holy Roman Empire, and Italy. It will discuss the economics, folklore, people, politics, religion, technology, and warfare of these times and places. As well, it will present concise information on specific historical topics, including the Merovingians and Carolingians, manorialism and feudalism, the Black Death, the Hundred Years War from the French point of view, the social and economic changes resulting from the Crusades, the Catholic Church (including the Investiture Conflict, Guelph and Ghibelline, the campaigns against the Cathars and Albigensians, etc.), the Italian city-states (Genoa, Florence, Milan, etc.), the beginnings of the Italian Renaissance, and the Condottiere Wars. Other topics will be discussed as space permits, and might include the Norman Conquest from the continental point of view, the Normans in Italy, peasant revolts, the development of organizations such as the Hanseatic League, and less influential cultures such as the Bretons."

    Steve Jackson Games - Capsule Descriptions (GURPS Projects)

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    1. I'll disagree on these two. The GURPS India playtest manuscript, available from the usual suspects, did lack much merit. As for Middle Ages 2, perhaps that will finally get sold. It took a very long time for GURPS Abydos to finally go on sale, but that happened.

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    2. Put me down as another who was hoping to see Middle Ages 2 come out.

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  22. A new Wiz-War, perpetually "coming soon" from Chessex, but finally produced by FFG. (Good grief, I just looked and they still have it on their damn website, even though FFG has the new edition out now.)

    Also, a new edition of Ogre. Still waiting on that one.

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    1. At the BoardGameGeek Con last fall I talked with one of the guys at the SJ Games booth, and he said they had a prototype built for the next version of Ogre, but the earliest he thought it would come out was 2013.

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  23. From the Acaeum -- "The WG7 code was originally earmarked for a module entitled Shadowlords. From the Summer 1986 Mail Order Hobby Shop catalog: 'A high-level module set in the World of Greyhawk. Journey to the perilous Plane of Shadow to rescue Princess Esterilla and confront the master of the plane... where you find yourself an unexpected guest at a wedding where the guests include a lizardman, a catlord, and a mistress of illusion!'. Assigned TSR stock # 9184. Gary Gygax and Skip Williams were collaborating on the project, but it was shelved due to Gygax's lawsuit with TSR..."

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  24. Delving Deeper. I kind of hate to complain ,I love BHP, but it has been almost a year now, and I need my fix(plus with DD out of the way I'm hoping that the X-P will get some love.)

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  25. Castle Greyhawk, Jakalla Underworld, Arduin Bloody Arduin, Hymenoptera( aka Chitin 2)...and ofcourse the Petty Gods ;)

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  26. The sequel to Judges Guild's Inferno. Oh yes, and Petty Gods!

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  27. The RPG-ish board game I'm going to make one day.

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  28. Oh, and Dice Man #6. Dice Man was a series of gamebooks (like Fighting Fantasy or Lone Wolf) but done as comics, by 2000AD. It mostly had 2000AD's characters as the stars (Judge Dredd etc), but they also had the Dice Man, who was a hard-boiled private eye in a Lovecraft-like world.

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    1. An excellent series, indeed. I have a hard time believing there isn't a market for graphic novels done in the Fighting Fantasy style. I can easily see it one day catching on as well as the FF series of books (i.e. a million+selling series).

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    2. One of the stories in this past Christmas' 2000AD was a wonderful gamebook-style Judge Dredd strip.

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    3. Late to the party, but wasn't Proteus another magazine that tried the comic/gamebook hybrid?

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  29. Let's see...how about EVERYTHING with Pagan Publishing's name on it: Cult of Transcendence, The Unspeakable Oath, Our Darkest Hour, Bumps in the Night, etc. ad nauseam.

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  30. Black Blade's Castle of the Mad Archmage. Last update I received was that "We are still planning to release Joe Bloch's Castle of the Mad Archmage, but obviously we're way behind our target of releasing in time for Christmas (2011). The project is being edited and further developed to expand upon the material that Joe initially wrote. Cartography is underway, as is the first pass at art solicitation. I cannot predict with any degree of confidence when this will be released. I am, however, as committed to it's eventual release as ever."

    sigh.

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  31. I waited for many years for the remaining volumes of Zebulon's Guide for Star Frontiers before I gave up hope. That taught me to be wary of buying into a product line when it had just started.

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  32. Pulp Cthulhu was announced as being "close to publication" around nine years ago. Still "on the way" according to periodic updates from Chaosium.

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    1. Isn't CoC essentially "pulp Cthulhu" anyway?

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  33. Two immediately come to mind:
    (1) In the 1970's TSR released Star Probe and Star Empires, which were billed as the first two of a trilogy of SciFi games. The third one was supposed to be a RPG and I'm still waiting.
    (2) An obvious one is Gary's Castle Zygag from TLG. We got cover art for a half dozen or more products, then things fell apart and we only got a small peek at the upper levels of the thing.

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  34. Back at 2001 and 3rd Edition madness, the “Book of Regency”. It was (theoretically) dedicated to dominion rules, mass battle and kingdom buildings – all topics that are now making a coming back with 5th.

    The 2nd and 3rd place in Wizards of the Coast contest that resulted in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

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  35. After the 3rd edition was dropped by WotC in '93, Talislanta dipped into (un)publishing limbo for a decade. First Daedalus was supposed to make a "Black Moon Rising" edition but they faded away into the ether. Then Pharos announced a 1997 10th anniversary edition, but after just a few years-late ashcans that arrangement disintegrated. Finally, some fans formed Shooting Iron to make 4th edition in 2001. It was glorious, but unfortunately that led to a new realm of limbo when supplements were announced but never finished, though the manuscripts were incorporated into publications put out by Shooting Iron's successor Morrigan Press.

    So, being a Talislanta fan the last twenty years has mostly meant reading publication schedules with increasing scepticism and cultivating a sense of patience. Fortunately nowadays Talislanta has evolved into a post-publisher format (www.talislanta.com).

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  36. Zebulon's Guide volume 2, Talislanta, and Champions the Computer RPG.

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  37. Hackmaster 5ed. I picked up basic when it was released in 09 with the promise of "advanced" we have the monster manual now and the phb lools likeits on the way soon but I was a little shocked dnd announced 5th before I have my phb

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  38. I very surprised about the negativity towards ToEE. I'm not sure what people expected, but I guess some people are never satisfied. Maybe people's imagination and speculation got the better of themselves and the end result wasn't what you expected.

    Get over it. It's done and over with. Sh*t happens and such is life.

    AS far as other "vaporware": sometimes things just don't go right. Things get put on "hold" for one reason or another. Sometimes it's delayed for months or years. Sometimes it never sees the light of day. And even when it does get published, there are people who still complain about the end result.

    Which goes to show that gamers are some of the most fickle and unsatisfied consumers around who refuse to look at the gaming industry with a realistic eye.

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  39. So, there's this monastery where all of the monks have to take a vow of silence. The Abbot allows this to be broken once a year, so that monks may request, in person, any items that they need.

    The youngest monk, in his first year, requested pens and paper, so that he could write.

    In the second year, he requested more fruit in his diet.

    In the third year, he requested a new robe, as his was getting threadbare.

    At this, the Abbot exclaimed 'My God, man! You have been here three years, and all you do is complain!'

    ***

    This is a thread asking for complaints. That is the *entire purpose* of it. Of course people are going to complain on it! I count fifty five posts, not all of which are actually complaints. And that's for a hobby that's been around for nearly forty years. If someone were to ask for everyone's complaints on, say, a forum dedicated to the recent Star Wars MMO, it would very quickly get hundreds of posts full of outraged gibberings - about a game not even three months old. But somehow, it is table top gamers that are the fickle and unsatisfied.

    Look, people don't like a product that you like. There's a disagreement there, and I understand that. That's no reason to go all Cassandra on everyone, proclaiming the doom of the hobby for what appears to me to be an extremely polite discussion.

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    1. I never proclaimed the doom of the hobby, Where did I say that?

      I just think that most gamers need to get over themselves and take a realistic view of the whole gaming industry.

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  40. Replies
    1. Several products from White Wolf back in the day, including a graphic novel for Werewolf and an atlas for Changeling.

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  41. Dune RPG. Not sure it if ever came to be.

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    1. Dune was eventually published. WotC did a one-time print run, a limited edition that was sold exclusively at Gen Con, AFAIK.
      It's a collectors item that goes for more than $200 on eBay and Noble Knight.

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  42. Tunnels & Trolls: Catacombs of the Bear Cult, Level II was agood catch.

    There was a medieval historical RPG in the works called Tapestry. I very dimly remember the name Jo Walton to be associated with it, but I could be wrong.

    Mike Nystuls's Crusade, a zombiecalyptic medieval fantasy RPG in which the characters were supposed to be superhero like heroes. Archangel Games had a flyer for that game at at least two Gen Cons, one a b/w thing announcing the book and the setting ("Briarwood") and later a color cover by Christopher "Iron Empires" Moeller.

    And then of course Hogshead's FRUP and Bloodlust...

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