Director’s Briefing – August 2015

Welcome to the fifty-first Briefing and the eighth scheduled Briefing for 2015.
RMU beta 2
Beta 2 continues its public playtest. A number of changes have been made already as a result of playtester feedback. Rather than upload a set of pdf fragments for these, a revised Arms & Character Law has been issued. As additional improvements are made to this and the other three RMU core books, we will issue revised pdfs if appropriate.
Again, thank you to everyone who has participated in the playtest discussions. All feedback is gratefully received. Keep reading and playtesting.
Some time ago, I acquired two books in Dave Duncan’s A Handful of Men quartet. This is actually the second quartet set in the world of Pandemia, the first being A Man of His Word. Having no particular desire to hunt down second-hand copies of the other six books, particularly since I am trying not to buy more physical books (as the half of my book collection formerly in Ireland is now in Cambridge), I checked the ebook stores and was able to purchase the complete set of eight books for my Kindle. The two paperbacks have been donated to charity and I have read all eight novels in the last few weeks. The Pandemia world has an interesting magic system where knowing words of power grants their possessors abilities – one word makes a person an occult genius with one skill, two an adept who can master any skill that they see, three a mage capable of temporary magic, four a sorcerer whose magic is permanent – read the books to learn what happens with five words. The other interesting feature of the world are the races – the cosmpolitan imps, the belligerent jotunn, the proud djinn, the artistic elves, and others – dwarves, gnomes, merfolk, fauns, anthrophagi, trolls and pixies – and all those with very mixed heritages as all races on that world are interfertile. That helped rejuvenate my sources of inspiration and I returned to the only chapter of HARP Folkways still requiring editing. I have thus been able to revise the racial abilities of the eleven exotic new races introduced in HARP Folkways and to tweak the six new cultures presented. HARP Folkways has therefore completed editing and I am now commissioning its artwork.
In addition, I have resumed my own writing on HARP Bestiary. I have extracted the Undead chapter from my Something Wicked manuscript, rewritten the introductory sections to be compatible with HARP Fantasy, and reordered the existing text. The Undead chapter was written to match the headings of Monsters: a Field Guide, e.g. Myths and Misconceptions, Treasures, etc. HARP Bestiary has a different set of headings, namely Description, Lifestyle, Abilities and Combat, Background and Adventure Notes, so reordering has involved moving paragraphs and individual sentences around, rather than simply ensuring an alphabetical order of the Undead (Lament follows Ghoul but precedes Lich). I need to add more text in certain places and then revise MaFG templates into Bestiary overlays.
Shadow World
Eidolon got held up on the last couple of illustrations. As I am away for a few days in August, I expect that it will be mid-August before we release.
Until next time
My priorities for this month are continued writing on HARP Bestiary and the RMU playtest. The next Briefing will be in August.
Best wishes,
Director, Guild Companion Publications Ltd.
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