Director’s Briefing – June 2021

Welcome

To the one hundred-and-twentieth Briefing and sixth scheduled Briefing of 2021. I hope that you and yours are staying well. My ICE todo list is getting longer, but in a good way.

HARP

Thank you to everyone who has spotted and reported errata in the early adopter version of HARP Bestiary. We will endeavour to fix the errata and add a series of bookmarks to the pdf in the next few weeks before preparing a print master for DriveThruRPG / OneBookShelf.

Nick Morawitz has not been resting on his laurels – he has produced the complete layout innards of the HARP Garden of Rain pdf and that is now awaiting my review.

Shadow World

I had the opportunity to do some final checks on Brian Hanson’s Priest-King of Shade, so took that opportunity. More artwork and cartography requests to be added to Colin’s queue!

RMU

The virtuous flow of artwork contracts from us to artists, artwork from the artists to us and payment in turn to the artists continues.

Even bigger news is that Aaron has sent through nearly all of the first volume of RMU Creature Law. There are some tables he is still working on and Jonathan is undertaking some additional tweaks and consistency work between RMU Treasure Law and RMU Creature Law. (He is Rolemaster Line Editor so far better he fix any residuals now rather than having to endure them later on.) I have already had a first look at the Creature Law volume manuscript and I am not seeing any major issues – I do have to do the detailed editing pass, which I expect will take time but only because this is a big manuscript. This means RMU Creature Law has queue-jumped on the RMU Character Companion manuscript.

ERA Software

In ERA, preparations are very far advanced with regard to enabling ERA support and datasets for Spacemaster: Privateers. There may be additional updates to ERA itself as a consequence.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

HARP-SF playable race – Mice

Happy Towel Day everyone! To celebrate all things Douglas Adams, I have created a brand new playable race for HARP-SF – Mice. Enjoy!

Appearance: The Mice appear as mice. Well… They are mice. But Mice are not what we think mice are. Mice are actually hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional creatures. Their small twitchy noses, black eyes and long tails are merely a three-dimensional projection of their actual form. However, as their actual form cannot penetrate beyond their own dimension, it is probably best to think of Mice as just being mice and forget that we ever mentioned that they are actually something completely different.

Biology: In our dimension the Mice’s biology is exactly the same as that of the mice you might find in a science lab or pet shop. This is mostly because all the mice you find in science labs or pet shops are, in fact, the hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional creatures that we on Earth know as Mice. Within their own dimension, these creatures are not too dissimilar to humans in their appearance and various bodily functions. However, as we will never venture into their dimension, this is a useless piece of information that I include here only in the interest of padding the word count.

Demeanor: The demeanor of Mice varies quite wildly from being perfectly happy to scurry around mazes and eat little bits of cheese to wanting to scoop out a living creature’s brain to take a look at what lies within.

Technology: Mice, and by that we mean the hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional creatures that masquerade as mice on Earth, are some of the most technologically advanced creatures in the Universe. They were responsible for the building of the Universe’s most advanced supercomputer (whose name currently eludes me for copyright reasons) which was responsible for calculating the meaning of life, the Universe and everything.

Lifespan: The average lifespan of the creatures behind Mice is around 45,000 earth years. Mice however live much shorter, less impressive lives.

Culture: Mice are a philosophical lot. They are so advanced that the only question that is left unknown to them is “what was the point of all that advancement”. Long hours are spent bickering amongst themselves as to what reason there might be behind their very existence with no one really believing any of the suggestions that they put forth.

Special Abilities:

Computer wizard, Knowledgeable authority (Xenology), Logical mind

Species Limitations: None

DP Cost: None

Director’s Briefing – May 2021

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Welcome

To the one hundred-and-nineteenth Briefing and fifth scheduled Briefing of 2021. I hope that you and yours are staying well, and if you have the opportunity to be vaccinated, you can take it. I can happily report that I now have had my first AZ dose.

HARP

As you have hopefully already heard, we have released HARP Bestiary in its pdf format through DriveThruRPG. It is on sale at 20 USD and that is an early-adopter price. The eventual price will be 30 USD due to the huge page count and the colour interior artwork. Colin, John, Nick and I are very happy to see it finally released, and we hope you are all equally glad to have it on your electronic shelves.

As always, we are inviting our early adopters to report any errors or oddities, so that we can rectify them before we send the print masters to OneBookShelf / Lightning Source. Please make use of the thread on the HARP portion of the ICE forums for this. All changes will be made to the pdf as always and an update released free to all early adopters in the traditional manner.

It is so nice to have a new HARP release.

Meanwhile Nick has turned his attention to HARP Garden of Rain. Elsewhere Joel Lovell is trying out various layout possibilities for HARP SF The Poseidon Gambit.

I have been in contact with Brad White who is making progress on the manuscript of Dark Harvest, Dark Hunt (the sequel to HARP Garden of Rain) and also with Chris Seal who is still labouring away on Caer Glais (a campaign module set in the wider world of Mithra). Jon Cassie (of HARP Loot, HARP Folkways and the upcoming HARP Beyond the Veil) is musing on a campaign module for the continent of Anias.

Shadow World

The Shadow World queue has acquired a new manuscript – Night of The Third Moon – an adventure module set in the Bladelands (Folenn). We have this manuscript in both English and German, thanks to the efforts of its author, Gerrit Guenther. I am quite aware that we still have Priest-King to get through its final stages.

RMU

I have issued a gallery of artwork contracts to Colin to distribute to artists. I am pleased to report that he has come back for some more contracts and the first pieces of artwork for RMU Arms & Character Law have now arrived. Colin is currently coming up with the full list of artwork for RMU Spell Law.

In terms of other arrivals, a complete draft of the RMU Character Companion has also arrived in my inbox for editing perusal.

ERA Software

As part of the preparation work for Spacemaster: Privateers, Max has been making additional upgrades to the existing ERA package and datasets. These have been uploaded and you can retrieve the latest versions at your convenience.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

Roleplaying adventure hooks – Science fiction

Looking for inspiration for your next science fiction roleplaying adventure? Then look no further! We’ve put together these three adventure hooks all based on technology and Artificial intelligence to give you some ideas for your next gaming session. Enjoy!

The simple life

The inhabitants of a far-off planet have rejected technology and decided to live off the land without the ‘evil’ of technology. It is their choice how they live but a number of nearby civilisations now consider them easy pickings.

A group must be sent to the planet with two missions, the first is to see off any incursions by neighbouring civilisations. The second is to work with the planets inhabitants to create planetary defences that will protect them without giving up on their wish for a ‘simpler’ existence.

Finders’ keepers

Scientists have designed an incredibly powerful new weapon that could be the difference in the wars raging across the universe. However, it requires the use of an under-utilised mineral which can only be found on very few planets and none that are under their control.

The mineral can be mined on a couple of neutral planets and even more enemy planets. A group must be sent to set up clandestine mining facilities and to ensure that no one finds out what they are doing. If they are discovered, it will arouse suspicion and the enemy may begin looking into the capabilities of the little-known mineral.

Rogue AI

After a trip to a market world, things begin to go wrong on the ship and strange noises can be heard at night. There are no new life signs on board but what does it really mean to be alive?

Upon a complete inspection of all areas of the ship a creature it found. It was human before it died but it is definitely now dead (according to all the scanners at least). There are various strange pieces of technology hidden beneath his flesh and bones but the strangest thing about him is his tale of an army of the undead under construction in hidden places across the universe.

HARP Bestiary is out now!

HARP Bestiary cover

Iron Crown Enterprises are thrilled to announce the release of HARP Bestiary for High Adventure Role Playing (HARP).

This is a BRAND NEW release for the HARP Fantasy system which includes 79 animals, 56 monsters, 4 weres, 14 dragons, 19 undead, 24 elementals, 26 demons and new talents, spells and overlays to create your own monsters. It is now available exclusively from DrivethruRPG for an introductory price of just $20 instead of the usual price of $30 (which, at 469 pages long, represents amazing value for money).

Once we’ve caught all thoughs pesky errata in the pdf, we’ll then be making it available in hardcover and softcover.

Be the first to hear about all our new releases by signing up to the Iron Crown Enterprises mailing list.

Director’s Briefing – April 2021

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Welcome

To the one hundred-and-eighteenth Briefing and fourth scheduled Briefing of 2021. I hope that you and yours are staying well.

Gen Con 2021

Gen Con has presented its current plan for how Gen Con 2021 is hoped to go ahead as a physical convention in September, and a range of options for vendors to consider. We have consulted with Pointy Hat Games and various factors – the risk of further pandemic-related disruption, the expected cap on numbers, the later timing and so forth – have convinced us that it is wiser for both our companies to roll over our Gen Con 2021 spot to Gen Con 2022. It is a disappointment for both companies, and we will support any fans who do make it to Gen Con this year.

HARP

We have had three passes now with HARP Bestiary. It is weighing in at 468 pages now that everything is in place, including an appendix providing additional creature talents and a few new spells associated with some of the new creatures. Nick Morawitz is currently wrestling with the OneBookShelf / Lightning Source template. It has been a very worthwhile learning experience – we are trying out some layout tricks that may prove useful in RMU.

Once Bestiary has reached publication, I will be letting Nick turn his attention to HARP Garden of Rain and HARP Beyond the Veil.

For health reasons, Terry is progressing cautiously on HARP Subterfuge.

Shadow World

Terry is still tinkering with mini-adventures, while work continues on the HARP Handbook for Shadow World, with current efforts looking at how to map Shadow World races and cultures into HARP equivalents.

RMU

Aaron Smalley and Jonathan Dale continue to work on Creature Law. Assuming there are no more gotchas, Aaron is hopeful that he can see the finishing line on the main body of the first volume of Creature Law. We have a known required addition, namely random encounter tables, but these won’t prevent the rest of the manuscript coming to edit. I am expecting to have a flurry around various other projects in order to ensure that everyone else is OK before disappearing into RMU editing mode. The first RMU rules supplement is also very advanced in its writing. Colin now has commissioned all of the artwork for RMU Arms & Character Law, so I have contracts to issue.

ERA Software

In addition to various enhancements and bug fixes to the existing software packages, work is underway for a Spacemaster: Privateers set of datasets for ERA.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

New release – Shoalmaster!

Iron Crown Enterprises are thrilled to announce the release of the brand new tabletop roleplaying game system SHOALMASTER!

Set underwater, this brand new game brings you everything you loved about Rolemaster and High Adventure Roleplaying (HARP) but with more fish… Loads more fish!

Play as anything from an apex predator searching their habitat for the next big kill or a bottom feeder simply trying to avoid being eaten, attacked or stepped on to an evil Sea Witch trying to take over the world or a mysterious Sea Monster. With Iron Crown’s exciting critical tables and open ended rolls, this game really will make you want to be ‘part of that world’.

Can’t wait for the release? Click on the image below for a taste of what Shoalmaster has to offer including races, professions and cultures.

Praise for Shoalmaster

“This really does have a lot of fish in it” – Fish conservation UK

“What on earth is this?!” – Captain Birdsface

“The pictures are pretty” – Suzanne (aged 8)

“It’s definitely not like anything I have ever seen before” – The UK’s top TTRPG mazagine

“Did you want chips (fries) with that?” – Local fish and chip shop manager

Read the taster booklet HERE or sign up to our newsletters to be the first to hear about the release of Shoalmaster and future additions to the Shoalmaster range.

Roleplaying adventure hooks

Looking for inspiration for your next roleplaying adventure? Then look no further! We’ve put together these three adventure hooks to give you some ideas for your next gaming session. These adventure hooks all take place when the party are suddenly accosted by a panic-striken figure. Enjoy!

Liar, liar, pants on fire

The party are accosted by a panic-stricken man. He is covered in burns and his clothes and hair are singed. “I thought I could control them. I thought it would be ok…” he stammers before fainting.

Synopsis

A man living on the outskirts of town has been breeding miniature dragons and selling them on the black market for many years now. Using his limited magical powers, he has managed to keep the creatures confined to his homestead without being discovered. Now however some of them have grown too large, burnt down his home and set free all the other miniature dragons. Someone needs to round them up.

Love is in the air

The party are accosted by a panic-stricken man. He is covered in cuts and bruises and looks exhausted. “Please help me! It wasn’t my fault. Someone stole my potions. They must have thrown them in the well”.

Synopsis

The man has been making love potions and selling them on the black market. It is a very powerful recipe. Unfortunately, a thief stole a batch of the potion mistaking it for ale. On discovering their mistake, the thief disposed of the evidence by dumping it in the town well. A week on and the town has turned to chaos. People are ardently in love with each other and willing to fight and kill anyone who stands in the way of their true love. Someone needs to sort it out and avoid being torn to shreds by the love mad citizens.

A cathedral in chaos

The party are accosted by a panic-stricken monk. “It’s all gone too far… The gods have forsaken us!” With that a loud explosion can be heard from inside the cathedral and shouts of disgust as a foul smell begins to emanate from the open doors.

Synopsis

The great cathedral is close to collapse. What started off as harmless pranks has now got out of hand. People are stealing and the in-fighting has begun. Even with oaths and promises made by the monks that they will stop causing mischief, strange occurrences, disappearances, and trouble abound within the cathedral. It is almost as if something else is behind it all. But what? A god? A demon? Or a mischievous imp?

Director’s Briefing – March 2021

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Welcome

To the one hundred-and-seventeenth Briefing and third scheduled Briefing of 2021. I hope that you and yours are staying well.

Website

The forums have now safely migrated to the “backup” site at www.ironcrown.co.uk, and appears to be working well.

HARP

Nick Morawitz has been beavering away on HARP Bestiary. It’s huge. Really, it’s huge. We are expecting it to be around 450 pages. It’s more animals, more monsters, more werecreatures, more dragons, more undead, more elementals, and more demons. Nick has undertaken a full first pass layout, I have undertaken a full check, and it is back with Nick for a second pass. Once we are happy, we will release it in pdf first, and then to print editions in the customary fashion.

All of the artwork and cartography for HARP Garden of Rain is now in the bag, so Joel is now working hard to complete HARP SF Poseidon Gambit.

Terry is still lost somewhere in HARP Subterfuge – but I am sure he will emerge.

Shadow World

Beyond the Subterfuge event horizon, Terry is still tinkering with mini-adventures.

RMU

Aaron Smalley and Jonathan Dale continue to work on Creature Law. Following on from updating the Elementals to be more consistent in their levels across the various types, there has been some reining in of Demons, extraplanar creatures and Undead for better alignment with creating, summoning and repelling spells. Aaron is back to checking descriptions match tables and talents.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

The Game Master NPC

To celebrate GM Appreciation day, we present you with The Game Master NPC for your next game of HARP Fantasy. While little is known about this shadowy character, it makes him perfect for any campaign or setting as the mysterious puppet master behind the goings on of a particular city.

A huge thanks to all the GMs out there who continue to play and support Rolemaster, Spacemaster, HARP Fantasy, HARP-SF and all Iron Crown Enterprises systems and settings. ICE wouldn’t be here without you and the world would be a much sadder place without all the fun and adventures that we’ve all had together. Keep up the great work.

And now without further ado, The Game Master NPC

The Game Master

Level: 30
Race: Human
Culture: Urban
Profession: Harper

Age: 52
Height: 5’10
Weight: 144lbs

BMR: 10
DB: 14
Hits: 111
Initiative: 19
PP: 123

St: 61 (+3)
Co: 71 (+5)
Ag: 66 (+4)
Qu: 66 (+7)
SD: 66 (+6)
Re: 81 (+12)
In: 81 (+12)
Pr: 76 (+11)

Description:

The Game Master is a mysterious and shadowy figure. People will tell you tales about him but almost all of them are false. The truth is far more interesting. No one really knows who he is or what he looks like which makes it easy for him to move around the city unnoticed. He uses aliases, changes his appearance, and disappears suddenly so that no one is ever sure if he was really there.

One thing about The Game Master that is certain is that he is involved in everything. Even the maddest conspiracy theorists underestimate his reach. He is the puppet master, controlling everything from who takes up the most prestigious public offices to the price of a piece of bread on the grimiest back street.

No one is sure if his motives are benevolent or sinister but everyone knows that the city would not function without him.

Spells:

Counterspell (10) 68
Detect trap (11) 70
Guess (6) 48
Calm (18) 93
Changing ways (7) 62
Confusion (11) 79
Fear (16) 89
Past visions (21) 99
Quiet ways (3) 42

Languages:

Common – 5s, 5w (10) 74
Racial Tongue 1 – 5s, 5w (10) 74
Racial Tongue 2 – 5s, 5w (10) 74

Skills:

Acting (10) 83, Play instrument (9) 70, Singing (5) 58, Storytelling (25) 118, Brawling (5) 32, Melee Weapon – Dagger (15) 67, Appraisal (5) 49, Crafts – Apothacary (10) 76, Healing (5) 41, Crafts – Cartographer (20) 104, Crafts – Scribe (20) 104, Mundane Lore – Religion (15) 94, Mundane Lore – History (20) 98, Mundane Lore – Fauna Lore (15) 88, Mundane Lore – Flora Lore (15) 88, Perception (25) 93, Resistance – Stamina (20) 80, Resistance – Will (25) 85, Resistance – Magic (15) 70, Charm (30) 103, Diplomacy (20) 93, Duping (20) 93, Interrogation (10) 73, Leadership (10) 73, Public Speaking (25) 98, Trading (15) 83, Arcane Lore – Dragons (5) 59, Arcane Lore – Spell Lore (15) 94, Arcane Lore – Undead (5) 59, Power Pont Development (25) 123, Runes (5) 49, Navigation (5) 49, Tracking (5) 43, Armor (5) 32, Endurance (20) 111, Jumping (7) 42, Swimming (7) 42, Ambush (10) 70, Camouflage (10) 70, Dirty Fighting (10) 70, Disguise (10) 77, Locks & Traps (10) 76, Stalking & Hiding (25) 120, Streetwise (20) 103, Trickery (10) 77

Talents:
Artistic, Natural linguist, Focussed Eloquence (Lesser) – Harper Sphere, Master Craftsman, Scholar, Quiet Stride, Subtle