Director’s Briefing – October 2021

Welcome

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

Terry Amthor RIP

As you have undoubtedly heard, Terry Amthor has passed away. I still cannot really believe that we have lost him. It feels like we have lost our very own Tolkien, but a Tolkien whom we all knew as a friend, not just as a creative genius.

Terry lives on in his work, through his contributions to Rolemaster, Spacemaster, Middle-Earth, and, most especially, in his most glorious creation Shadow World.

Shadow World

I know many of you have been wondering what will happen to Shadow World. Terry’s Estate have been in contact and are seeking to locate all of his manuscripts for us. We hope that their search will be successful.

We will continue to publish new Shadow World modules from other carefully selected writers, with Priest-King of Shade scheduled to be first. We will support Shadow World in both RMU and HARP.

HARP

Speaking of HARP, the HARP Garden of Rain adventure module was released at the start of October. Although it is formally named as part of the HARP line, it is statted for RM Classic and RMSS/FRP. We hope that you will find it a useful addition to your collection of ready to run adventures. If you find any errors, please let us know and we will remedy as part of the creation of the print masters.

We are expecting to create the print masters for HARP Bestiary shortly. Nick Morawitz has been undertaking a layout pass on HARP Beyond the Veil and has taken over the layout work on HARP Subterfuge.

RMU

I am back on the case of RMU Creature Law.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

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Iron Crown Enterprises Announcement

To all in the ICE family

It is with the greatest sadness that we must inform you that the incomparable Terry Amthor has died. We extend our most heartfelt condolences to his sister Tamara, his family and his friends.

The cause and circumstances of his death are still under investigation, so we cannot provide any details on this and will defer to his family on what they choose to disclose in due course.

Terry was a founder member of the original ICE and a cocreator of Rolemaster and Spacemaster, writing and contributing to many of its most iconic products, and to some of the most exceptional 1st edition Middle-earth modules. Most of all, he has shaped our imaginations with his masterful Shadow World epic fantasy setting. He continued to develop Kulthea through his own Eidolon Studio company, before joining forces with Guild Companion Publications to create new sourcebooks and adventures bringing ever more of Shadow World to life, and working as our layout guru for most of our other products.  

Author, designer, world builder, and friend, Terry’s genius has enriched our lives for decades. His creations will continue to inspire us all for years to come.

Rest in peace, Terry.

Nicholas, Colin, John and Thom

HARP Garden of Rain is out now!

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

This is a BRAND NEW adventure for the HARP Fantasy system and is designed for 4 or more characters of 5th or 6th level. It is also statted for Rolemaster Classic and Rolemaster Fantasy Roleplaying.

It is available now exclusively from DrivethruRPG for an introductory price of just $10 instead of the usual price of $12.

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

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

Director’s Briefing – September 2021

Welcome

To the one hundred-and-twenty-second Briefing and eighth scheduled Briefing of 2021. I hope that you and yours are staying well.

Apologies for August

Apologies for the absence of an August Briefing. I finally managed to have a break at the start of August and exhaustion caught up with me hard. A moral – I need to ensure that I get my leave more regularly – I will blame the pandemic for making that very difficult in the past two years or so. Alas, I returned to various work crises and by the time they were under control, it was too late for the briefing to be useful. Back to normal now.

HARP

Brad sent in the additional stats for the NPCs and these have now been included in the HARP Garden of Rain pdf. We are currently reworking the key of one of the maps but once that is done, we will release the pdf version.

RMU

The artwork for RMU Arms & Character Law and RMU Spell Law has continued to arrive. Additional artwork has been commissioned for RMU Treasure Law.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

CTMTTYAC Competition

Welcome to the Colin The Marketing Troll’s Ten Year Anniversary Competition (CTMTTYAC) – I had ten years to think of a title for this, I really should have done better.

The competition

Throughout September I will be hiding secret codes around ICE’s various platforms and outlets. When you find a secret code, submit it using the form at the bottom of this page. At the beginning of October I will then collate all the entries (each code is a separate entry so the more you find the greater your chances of winning) and pick winners.

Each secret code will start with CTMT and be followed by four numbers (ie CTMT-1234). We will release a new secret code each day (so there will be 30 codes overall). They will be hidden across all ICE platforms and outlets including: Emails, ICE Facebook page, Rolemaster Facebook page, HARP Facebook page, Spacemaster Facebook page, ICE Twitter, Discord, ICE forum and of course the ICE website (only the ironcrown.co.uk site). Some will be better hidden than others but they will all stay in place from the day they are released until the end of the month (ie you don’t have to find them on the day they come out).

In short – Keep an eye on pretty much everything we do in September and if you see a code, submit it through the form below.

The prizes

1st prize – $30 voucher for DrivethruRPG
2nd prize – $25 voucher for DrivethruRPG
3rd prize – $20 voucher for DrivethruRPG
4th prize – $15 voucher for DrivethruRPG
5th prize – $10 voucher for DrivethruRPG

It would be great if you spent these vouchers on ICE products, but we’re not going to force you.

This competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who took part. We hope you enjoyed it.

Terms and conditions

We want everyone to take part and enjoy this competition so we will only allow one prize per person. If you’re drawn as the winner of 1st prize AND 2nd prize, you will only get first prize and redraw 2nd. We hope you think this is fair.

Incorrect codes and duplicate codes (the same code submitted from the same email address) will be removed before drawing winners.

If I feel that a player is attempting to cheat the system I will remove all their entries at my own discretion

10 years with Iron Crown Enterprises

What a difference 3652 days make!

Can you remember what you were doing 10 years ago? I can. Roughly a decade ago I (Colin the marketing troll) was sat on a park bench in the quietest spot I could find trying to convince a man that I had never met, that I was the right person to run the marketing for his company. I’m sure you will have guessed that the man on the end of the phone was none other than ICE Company Director Nicholas Caldwell and (spoilers) I got the job.

Ten years on and a lot has changed for me and for ICE. I’ve made some mistakes, learned an awful lot and got more involved in all areas of ICE than I had ever imagined. For those of you that don’t know, I was an author on the recently released HARP Bestiary, I’m working on the Cyradon source book and adventures, I have taken on the rather grandiose title of ‘Art Director’ and have taken over the management of licensing ICE IP to 3rd parties. All in addition to my normal marketing troll work. What started off as a small job to gain experience and earn some extra money quickly became a passion project that I enjoy much more than anything else I do. I love the ICE team. I love the games and the projects we’re working on. But the thing I love most is the fans.

Over the past ten years I have moderated your chats like a creepy big brother, talked to a number of you about a variety of things and even played games with some of you. You’re a great group of people and it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you over these last ten years and I hope that we’ll all get to know each other better in future.

I hope you think that I have been a net positive for the games you love and the company that produces them and I’ll do my best to continue to help out in any way I can.

As a thank you for all your support over these ten years and to celebrate this amazing milestone, I have put together a little competition to give five lucky ICE fans the chance to win one of 5 DrivethruRPG vouchers ranging from $30 to $10.

You can find out all the details on the Colin The Marketing Troll’s Ten Year Anniversary Competition (CTMTTYAC) page which will go live tomorrow (and will be linked to here, on social media and just about everywhere else I can think of). Tell your friends, family, followers and even people that you’re not overly fond of. I’ve been toying with the idea for this competition for the best part of a year so I’m hoping a lot of people take part and that everyone enjoys it.

Once again I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support, encouragement and just generally being lovely people over the past decade. Thanks to the ICE team, especially to Nicholas for taking a chance on me all those years ago. I hope I didn’t disappoint.

Here’s to the next ten years!

Love and hugs
Colin the marketing troll

7 alternative guilds for your fantasy tabletop RPG

Guilds and groups are a great tool in tabletop gaming. They could offer work to the party, they may be part of some political intrigue in the local area or might (for whatever reason) be opposed to the party’s activities. Whatever their role in the story, there are some go to guilds that are a common trope in fantasy tabletop roleplaying games. To offer some variety, here are a few ‘alternative’ guilds and groups that you might want to consider.

The beggars guild

The beggars guild is a philanthropic organisation that works to help people who have fallen on bad times by providing food and shelter for anyone who needs it. The guild is not particularly popular with actual beggars as they encourage local people to donate to the guild rather than individuals so that they can ensure that any money is spent on food, housing and safety for everyone who needs it.

Some people have suggested that certain branches of the beggars guild are up to no good, taking the money for themselves or forcing the beggars to work (or perform other, more troubling acts) for their food and shelter.

Argaton Academy Alumni Association

Argaton Academy is one of the most prestigious schools in existence. By sending their children to the academy the rich and powerful ensure not only that they receive the best education possible, but also that they form long-lasting relationships with others who will one day become very rich and powerful.

The Alumni Association ensures that everyone who has ever attended Argaton keeps in touch through numerous events and circulars. Some say that the Alumni Association is an attempt by the Academy to constantly drum up new funds for the Academy Head’s lavish lifestyle, but no one can deny the Academy’s impact in ensuring peace due to the fact that all rulers and their children have attended the great school.

The pilgrims of the burning flame

Deep in the old forest lies a holy flame that is said to have burned since time immemorial. The church of the burning flame have set up their home surrounding the flame. Their lives revolve around the worship of the flame and all that it represents. A special few are chosen to be members of the elite band known as the pilgrims of the burning flame. Each pilgrim is tasked with taking an anointed candle, lighting it from the flame and taking it out into the world to spread the word of the church of the burning flame.

Unfortunately due to weather and the size of the old forest, not one pilgrim is yet to reach anyone else to spread the word. Each time the flame goes out and each time they trudge back to the flame feeling unworthy.

The glutton club

The beginnings of the glutton club are unknown. It is less an organised club and more a lifestyle. Small groups of people (usually wealthy and usually men) make it their life’s work to try and eat every creature that graces the planet. Great acclaim is given to the member that brings the most exotic meat to the feast.

A number of members of the glutton club have been lost as they have tried to capture exotic (and dangerous animals) for their feast. Because of this most members will employ more expendable people to seek out, kill and butcher exotic animals.

The society for the prevention of cruelty

This group is a conglomeration of a number of smaller groups including the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, the society for the prevention of cruelty to plants and the society for the prevention of cruelty to children. The group is now against cruelty altogether, whoever or whatever it is aimed at.

The group may sound like a joke, but they’ve achieved a great many things since the group’s creation. They will often prevent the killing or capturing of magical creatures, protect lands and creatures against encroachments from towns and cities and have been instrumental in overthrowing any governments that are deemed to be ‘cruel’.

The wild farmer’s guild

Wild farmers do not believe in fencing creatures or plants in. Instead they forage for plants in the wild and will hunt creatures in their natural habitats. They claim that this gives their produce a more natural, wholesome taste.

In practice the guild applies pressure on governments to place taxes on more conventional farmers for using land that the guild claim could be put to better use. They are also not above causing problems for ‘conventional’ farmers that live and work in their areas.

The housewives’ guild

There are many who say that this guild does not exist, that it is an urban legend and nothing more. There are certainly no documented cases of anyone ever admitting to being a member of the group. Legend has it that the guild’s members secretly train in magic and unarmed combat to protect any women who require it.

There are no official rules of membership or political aims. There’s no hierarchy and no leadership. It is just understood by all that sometimes things have to change for the safety and continued happiness of an individual or of the group. The means through which they achieve this range from gentle political pressure to sudden disappearances of ‘problematic characters’.

Director’s Briefing – July 2021

Welcome

To the one hundred-and-twenty-first Briefing and seventh scheduled Briefing of 2021. I hope that you and yours are staying well.

Guild Companion

The Guild Companion magazine has been on hiatus for some while and has recently disappeared from the web. I have had a chat with Kristen Mork and Rob Brott, and we have acquired a complete archive of the Guild Companion magazine way back to the very beginning. Colin is busy getting the archive onto the new ICE webserver so we hope to have all issues available again soon.

HARP

A continued thank you to everyone who has spotted and reported errata in the early adopter version of HARP Bestiary. I have held off asking Nick to make changes as another batch of errors were caught, but hope to be able to call it ready soon for the print masters for DriveThruRPG.

I have reviewed the complete first draft layout of HARP Garden of Rain pdf and have caught a few issues, which Nick has happily resolved. I also spotted that a few of the NPCs managed to escape getting their stats for RMC / RMFRP and/or HARP, so I have a request with Brad to stat them up. Brad, by the way, has been working on the sequel adventure module HARP Dark Harvest, Dark Hunt.

RMU

Jonathan has completed his additional tweaks and consistency work on RMU Treasure Law, with Colin using that as a basis for artwork commissioning, and this version also with Max for his work on preparing the new RMU datasets for ERA.

ERA Software

Speaking of ERA, Max has produced a new ERA dataset, namely RMFRP Arms Law 2003, for those who would prefer to use its attack and critical tables in ERA rather than the 1999 edition of Arms Law. In operation, the datasets are mutually exclusive, so you either use the 1999 or the 2003 dataset. The dataset has been released on DriveThruRPG.com.

Until next time

Please stay safe.

Best wishes,

Nicholas

Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd

New addition to the ERA for Rolemaster

We are thrilled to announce the release of another great addition to the ERA for Rolemaster e-support product. We give you ERA for Rolemaster RMFRP Arms Law (2003)!

This feature package adds all attack and critical tables in RMFRP Arms Law (2003). Arm your characters with weapons from the sling to the battle axe, and your monsters with 11 different natural attacks. Or just go bare handed with martial arts strikes or throws. For increased damage, deal some of Rolemaster’s acclaimed criticals. 

Please note you can only use either this 2003 dataset or the 1999 Arms Law edition dataset which is already available.

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