Director’s Briefing – September 2015

Welcome to the fifty-second Briefing and the ninth scheduled Briefing for 2015. September this year for me means being overwhelmed by research consultancy work bids and degree revalidations at the same time as my due diligence on a new module and module updates. So if you get a very succinct answer to a query from me, it just means that I am answering emails on the train or on a short break.
Rulebooks in Colour or Black & White?
At some undisclosed point, I will feel comfortable that regardless of any additional improvements to be made to RMU, it is in a position where we can start commissioning artwork. As you have undoubtedly noticed, all of our enhanced Shadow World sourcebooks have had colour interior art and have only been available in colour print editions. Conversely, all three enhanced HARP Fantasy books and HARP SF were only available in black&white, with HARP SF Xtreme trialling premium color in order to better support the vehicles and vehicle combat chapters, but also available in black&white.
Printing in premium color via OneBookShelf / Lightning Source costs ten US cents per page, printing in standard color costs 3 cents per page, while printing in black and white is 2 cents per page. Premium color is therefore not sensible for most folks’ budgets, but the differential between black&white and standard color is modest.
We are minded that RMU should have standard colour interiors for its rulebooks. What do you think?
What about HARP? Should future HARP supplements such as HARP Folkways, HARP Bestiary and so forth embrace colour? Should we colorize the existing HARP and HARP SF books in the future, perhaps at the same time as performing an errata cleanup?
I realise that there is a significant fraction of our fan base who only buy rpg products as pdfs and ebooks now. Would you prefer colour interiors?
Tell us what you think on the forums.
HARP Bestiary
I have written all the Undead text and Overlay mechanics for HARP Bestiary. I still need to generate example instantiations for each type of Undead, i.e. apply the Skeleton Lord overlay to a standard Fighter, a Lament overlay to a Harper, a Sorcerous Head overlay to a low-level mage. The complete set of Undead to appear in Bestiary are as follows: Apparitions, Blue Men, Corpse Candle, Gaunt, Ghost, Ghoul, Lament, Lich, Mummy, Phantom, Sandspirit, Skeleton, Skeleton Lord, Sorcerous Head, Spectre, Vampire, Wight, Wraith, and Zombie. I have been inflicting various of these on my players in my Cyradon playtest campaign.
I have also made substantial progress on the Elemental chapter, adjusting text to fit in its new home of Bestiary rather than the original Something Wicked chapter. My remaining tasks are rejigging the Elementals themselves, and subsequently modifying the Elemental Heritage and introducing generic Elemental Overlay mechanics. I intend to donate the Elemental Creatures to my coauthors for use in non-Elemental forms and chapters.
Until next time
Despite my real-world deluge, I hope to sneak some time on the train for Elemental writing amongst other editing and organisational tasks. The next Briefing will be in October.
Best wishes,
Director, Guild Companion Publications Ltd.
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