Director’s Briefing – April 2016

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To the fifty-ninth Briefing and the fourth scheduled Briefing of 2016. This briefing will feel very HARP-centric but even if you are not a HARP gamer, stay the course – there is unexpected good news for Rolemaster and Shadow World fans at the end.
Nagging, nagging, nagging. Stay the course, please.
Shadow World
It’s springtime in Virginia, so I am gently nagging Terry on various projects, while he endures the allergies.
The crowdsourced (or more accurately team-created) adventure module is moving gently from initial ideas to more concrete elements as its team figure out what makes sense and what does not. I am looking forward as is Terry to seeing a full outline in due course from them. Obviously this is a bit of good news for Shadow World, but it’s not the big piece of unexpected good news for Shadow World. Stay the course, please.
Rolemaster Software
As we mentioned last month, Max created a new dataset for the ERA suite, which covers the Armory in both an RMSS/FRP edition and a RM Classic edition. Terry prepared some faux cover images for both datasets, and both products are now on sale from OneBookShelf. Another piece of really good news for Rolemaster support, but this is not the unexpected piece of good news. Stay the course as there is more to come.
Buy ERA for Rolemaster The Armory RMFRP >>
Buy ERA for Rolemaster Armory RMC >>
HARP Wishlist
Last month, I indicated that we were working on a first wishlist for HARP Fantasy of new sourcebooks that we would like to commission freelancers to write for us. Note that this is the first wishlist and over time we will be adding more potential titles to the list, so don’t despair if nothing on the first list piques your interest.
The entries on the first wishlist are in alphabetical order:
HARP Martial Arts (support for martial arts characters)
HARP Strongholds (where I would expect to see a good selection of stronghold layouts)
HARP Subterfuge (which we would expect to see support rogues, thieves and similar, just as Martial Law was for the fighters and College of Magics expanded magic).
As indicated last month, we need formal proposals. The formal proposal must include a detailed outline, that is a proposed table of contents that indicates your intended chapters and the sections within each chapter. If you have never written a rpg rulebook or supplement for us before, then you need to also submit a sample section (500-1000 words of prose and rules). If you have written a HARP or Rolemaster product in the past either for GCP or for an older incarnation of ICE, I don’t need to see a sample of your writing.
We would like proposals in by the end of May so that we can review them in early June. If there are no proposals for a particular title, or if none of the submitted proposals make the grade, then we will leave the project on the wishlist and hope a good proposal arrives at some future date (and we will regularly review the proposal submissions)
HARP Bestiary
My A5-sized notebook joined me on a number of train journeys during the months. I have wrestled with the costs of the new abilities for the Elementals, worked out skill lists, went back to their abilities again and revised some. Then worried about how powerful the Elementals might pan out to be and struggled with mechanisms to ensure close parity. For instance, it seemed unlikely that Elementals would be wearing armor so where could I give them some DB? Earth Elementals could receive Tough Hide, a Water Elemental in ice form similarly but then it would need a talent for switching from water to ice, and what about Air and Fire? Very messy, likely to lead to significant Element inequalities. Then I got clever – the Elementals could acquire DB through skill rather than talents and since Elementals are imagined as delivering elemental damage through “unarmed” attacks, Chi Defense suggested itself as the DB mechanism. So Elemental Warriors are not Fighters, but are actually Monks! A very simple spreadsheet that my tablet apps could handle and I could crunch numbers. HARP monsters have to pay for their stats and talents as well as skills with DPs. Crunching the numbers and after paying fair and balanced DPs for their innate talents, skill totals were looking too low, so I boosted the levels and the revised crunching then made sense. Twenty pages of handwritten notes later and the Elementals chapter is essentially complete.
And the really good news bit?
So you stayed the course. Let’s repeat the key phrase – the Elementals chapter is essentially complete. That means I can stat Earth Elementals. That means I have the complete set of monsters for Robert Defendi’s Who Saves the Savior scenario. That means that we can finally complete The Guild Adventurer #4 with its four Rolemaster scenarios (statted for RMClassic, RMSS/FRP as well as HARP) and its Shadow World scenario.
Which means I have statted HARP Earth Elementals, I have all the monsters for all the scenarios and I have already sent The Guild Adventurer #4 to Terry for layout.
There’s the piece of unexpected good news you weren’t expecting.
I said that this would be a year of persistence and perseverance, and when there’s enough persistence and perseverance, there are new products as the reward. This is the first reward.
Until next time
So what’s next? My goal for April is to perform a full editing pass on the HARP SF adventure module (The Poseidon Gambit) and to tackle the Demons chapter for HARP Bestiary. The former will allow Joel Lovell to bring his module to completion (another reward). The latter involves writing a handful of new demons, specifically an imp or familiar demon, a succubus/incubus, and a demon lord, and converting the material from the Demons chapter in the Something Wicked manuscript to compatibility with the current HARP Fantasy rules set. So off for some more persistence and perseverance. The next scheduled Briefing will be in May.
Best wishes,
Director, Guild Companion Publications Ltd.
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