Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Publishing Struggles Sometimes Works Outs for the Better

Yesterday, I wrote about my struggles with getting approval from RPGNow, but that may be a good thing in the end.  While I am still struggling to find out what's wrong with my file, I don't understand the message they sent, and there have been a few very cool OSRians like +Joseph Bloch, +Rob Conley and +Pete Spahn have been helpful.

While the process is frustrating, RPGNow has always been fantastic to deal with and I've shot an email to Chuck, who apparently is the gatekeeper.

While I was frustrated, after looking it over...again...I found more small things I wanted to tweak.  A stat block shifted a few lines.  Another block cut off the last sentence in an entry and their are a few orphans I want to find homes.  Orphans are a single word of a sentence that has its own line.  So there is some cosmetic things I want to tweak and make it the best I can.  But its about as good as I can make it now so I need to get it out there or I'll start messing with it and screw it all up.

I write theses posts as I go through the publishing process to share with others.  I always enjoy reading these posts from others.  Because if I can get through this stuff it should be fairly easy for the rest of you.

Tonight I'll tweak the mistakes I found, shouldn't take too long and then get some assistance with the other problems.  It's a learning process.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another Hiccup in the Process

I received a denial from RPGNow for Starter Adventures.  When I did it the first time, it was approved.  I made adjustments on the color of the cover and resubmitted it.  This time I was denied because the interior art was too low of resolution.  I hadn't changed anything in the interior.  Plus I'm not sure which image they are speaking about.  Here's the message:

Your product Starter Adventures (Softcover Color (Premium)) was rejected by LightningSource for the following reason:
Title Received - Contact CSR
B3 - 36 - Low resolution images in interior file
LOW RESOLUTION IMAGES IN INTERIOR FILE Lightning Source recommends images be 300 ppi.
B3 - 36 - Low resolution images in interior file

Not sure what that means, but I email Chuck to help me figure out what I need to do.  RPGNow customer service is top notch.  I've always had great luck with them.  I would just like to put this puppy to bed.  It's been a long wait.

For any of you out there in blogger land can speak RPGNow technicalese please let me know.  I thought it meant the image on page 36.  There's isn't an image on page 36.

Anyway, that happened.

The Nonchalant Egbert is Burning while This Urn Stands Alone Adventure

I thought of several titles for last night's game.  So I used them all.
  • The Nonchalant Adventure
  • Egbert is Bruning
  • This Urn Stand Alone
We had a full compliment of three mages and a dwarven meatshield.  In addition we had a small group of 'charmed' minions to get in the way of those nasty blades and arrows.

We met the Abbot Heinrick.  The big baddie from last adventure.  He made a threat.  We killed him.  We found another prophesy that was nearly unreadable.  I think I hurt myself a little trying to interpret it.  Although, it was not as bad as our trusty GM who needed to do yogi stretches during the session after yanking his back.  I believe the entire party was glad it was not a video session.  No one should have to suffer a GM in yoga pants!

We then inadvertently pissed off the god of the temple we were in by trying to steal, well not so much steal, as investigate the these bones protected by a nasty trap.  We did our best to stop the trap, but we all got singed anyway.  We put the bones back because once we did the healing pedestal stopped.  We needed that.  No clerics, no band-aids for the boo boos. 

We then went outside.  Ah, the fresh air.  But this foul stench reach me nose.  I turned to gib smack Egbert, he had a habit of casting stinking cloud out his ass, but then we saw a scene out of Bambi.  All the little animals were running.  A noxious green/gray cloud chased them. 

The party had to chose, track the cloud where it came from.  How do you track a cloud you may ask, follow all the corpses of all the slow animals that got caught.  Or return to Tarn and save the village from Mr. Grumpy Pants.

We decided to track the toxic cloud.  Deduction, I'm not so much worried about Mr. Grumpy Pants killing me, but that toxic cloud certainly looked to be able to do the job.

After two days we found a steel domed structure.  Our dwarf friend made short work of the door and inside we went.  Lots of metal things were going bang, click, clomp and bzzz.  I found a plaque and it said 'Armageddon Outpost 12'.  I was also attacked by stirges, but held my ground. 

A gentleman named Turd greeted us with a wrench.  I charmed him and he was very useful after that.  Turd showed us...his name was Runt, not Turd, but I remember him as Turd.  Anyway, he showed us around and he spoke of a Master.  We meet the master who is vaporous and mean.

The Master Squirted Egbert with acid.  A battle started.  Conner, the brilliant mind, ordered the party to attack the urns the Master was coming out of.  So while Darius battle the Master single-handedly, six of us battled the urns.  It was no easy task. 

Once the urns were destroyed the Master vanished, Egbert ran into the room with a giant book and threw it like a cross-eyed 10-year-old girl, still smouldering and poor Darius was nothing more than a charcoal we collected the loot and ended the adventure.

Another very fun adventure by +Chris C.  These adventure are no difficult or long, but there is a lot of cool nuances and these bit sized adventures are fun because you feel a that the party accomplished something.  There were a few times where anyone of us could have died.  Chris makes all his rolls in the open so no fudging.  The arch of the adventures, I think, is discovering who we are.  The Cindarians.  We are catching glimpses to the bigger story.  Very cool.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Games I'm In

Tonight is my standard Monday Night game.  I can't even remember how long I've been gaming on Mondays.  Has got to go back 15 years.  There were gaps of no activity, but Monday's has been standard and been through a few groups. 

 Ephemera
This Monday we have Ephemera by +Chris C. of The Clash of Spear on Shield blog.   I think we will be entering out 6th session.  I've already had one character murdered by his malicious hand, but so far my mage, Conner has survived.  Mainly by staying in the back and shouting out worthless instructions.  I think he has made it to 2nd level, so that's a big day.  Double my spell ammo.  With a party of mages we have been good with avoiding major trouble by the liberal use of spellage.  I don't see that changing any time soon.

Monteport
+Ken H of The Rusty Battle Axe, had been running the fantastic megadungeon, Monteport, but he needed a break.  I guess he's playing too many music gigs these days.  He does do a great imitation of the insane laugh off of Pink Floyd's, The Lunatic is on the Grass.  I guess we all need to start somewhere.

Alien Menace
The other game I partook in was The Alien Menace by +Douglas Cole from the Gaming Ballistic.  We played our first session this past Saturday.  We are using GURPS 4th Edition.  And Fantasy Grounds.  Doug got a real education of how wonderful and how much a pain in the ass it is to use Fantasy Grounds.  The group is made of hardened soldier who are assigned to take down the aliens and get the information back.  None of that talking.  My guy is modeled after Rayland from Justified, but with a grenade launcher.  Boom! = Fun. 

Doug said its been several years since he GMed, he did well corralling us into a single direction.  He also had an excellent audio clip to get the adventure rolling.  It was fantastic.  Hope he shares it soon.

Castle of the Mad Archmage
The last game I've been playing is +Erik Tenkar's Sword & Wizardry trip through +Joseph Bloch's Castle of the Mad Archmage.  I've gone through one session.  I think we have another one this Friday.  We'll plod through more rooms of poo.  This one I play a cleric/mage.  I got some strength, so I can smash big things into small things.  So far so good on this one.  I'm glad Erik doesn't play with disease rules or all of our characters would be septic.  

 Majestic Wilderlands
Another game we've been playing a few sessions here and there is +Rob Conley's Fudge edition of the Majestic Wilderlands.  He's been toying with the idea of developing an entire supplement.  I know he's got a big chunk down.  My opinion about Fudge/Fate as a system is still to be determined.  At least I have some dice to play.  

 Waking to Oblivion
The final one is a setting I've been developing just for my group.  I've run one session.  Ready to run a second.  It's a micro developed type setting where I have groups and places detailed to an obscene level.  It's been fun to write and I am hoping its as fun to explore.  Session two should be happening in a week or two.

I guess I need to get a calendar for all my gaming sessions.  Game on tonight.  Stand back, Connor's got two spells.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Winners of the 5-Year Giveaway

Thanks to those who responded.  Sometimes I like to hear from the lurkers who visit.  There were a batch of readers I don't think I've heard from before.  Glad you stopped by and said hello.  Much appreciated.

Now for the winners.  There was one print and three PDF giveaways.  Here's who won.


Print version goes out to Jeremy [Retro] who is indeed a very special person in need of a giveaway.  You win Jeremy.

The three PDF winners are:
+Christian Sturke aka the rorschachhamster
+Jay Murphy
+Moe Tousignant

Just Google+ me or email me at elder(underscore)sensa(at)yahoo(dot)com.  And let me know what you'd like to receive.  Anything it up for grabs: any of the Manors, Adventures or the soon to be released Starter Adventures. 

Thanks again to all the took the time to stop by.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gothridge Manor Turns 5 and a Giveaway


Howdy folks.  Today my place in the blogosphere turns 5.  I'm not feeling very nostalgic or sentimental so I won't go on about my last five years.  However, if you are a regular to my blog and either love it or hate it or want something free, just comment below. 

I'll select one person who will win a print version from anything in my catalog.  Even the as yet to be released Starter Adventures.  This offer is not restricted to US entries.  If you're living in Greece or Australia or Tibet I'll ship it to you.

For every 20 comments, I'll select an additional winner to chose anything of mine in PDF.

It's my way of thanking all the cool readers out there who spend a little of their day here.  And it's good to hear from people that I know visit.  Thanks for making the Gothridge Manor my fun place on the net.

Now go comment and win something.  I'll keep this post up until Sunday when I'll announce the winners.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Starter Adventure Proof in Hand

As the title reads, I got my proof copy of Starter Adventures.  It looks good, but the cover needed tweaking.  The reds were muted.  That was my fault.  I used a textured red and it didn't translate well.  I changed it up with a more striking red that will make the words and cover pop a little more.  Ivy also said, "put your name on the damn cover, that's where it belongs".  So I added it at the bottom.  That's a light glare in the bottom right corner.


On the back cover, the picture's colors and reds were also muted.  I changed the contrast on the picture and that improved it.  Ivy also said, "put your blog address on the damn back cover, that's where it belongs".  So I added it at the bottom.  The upper left corner got dinged pretty good during shipping.


Here's a glance of what it looks inside.  It came out better than expected.  I'm happy with the guts of it.  And look at how +Jason Sholtis and +John Larrey and +Rob Conley made it look amazing.


A little trivia.  Jason drew a picture of stirges for me way back when this project started.  While this project languished in land of dust bunnies he needed a stirge picture for Frog God Games, Monstrosities.  It looks spectacular in those pages.  So Jason drew me a whole new stirge picture.  I think my stirges are scarier.


I absolutely love the map Rob drew for me for the adventure.  You'll find several masterful maps by Rob inside.  And Jason captured the final moment of an adventurer with an unfortunate name.

I tweaked the covers and submitted the changes to RPGNow and await their approval.  Last time it took six days.  I'm going to release Starter Adventures on PDF for $8 and print at $16.  If you purchase the print version you get the PDF for free.  I'm also going to see if Rob can create me a VTT friendly version so GMs can use it on Roll 20 or Fantasy Grounds without the room numbers.  This will avoid any complains from grumpy dwarves or metro-sexual elves. 

If you have any questions, please let me know.  You can email me, Google + me or just comment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Monster: Scourge Goblin

Here are the stat lines of the scourge goblins.  I'm using Swords & Wizardry for the system.  I'm not a fan of alignment or assigning a single set of stats because I like a range.  In this case I've given you stats for 1HD to 5HD goblins.  Their damage increases by 1 point per HD. 

Scourge Goblins
Hit Dice: 1 to 5 
Armor Class: 5 [14]
Attacks: 2 fists (1d2) and 1 bite (1d3)
Saving Throw: 17 to 12
Special: Immunities
Move: 12
Alignment: Neutral
Number Encountered: 1d4 x 100
Challenge Level/XP: 1/15 to 5/240

Scourge goblins are much like a locus swarm, when a group settles into an area they consume all plant and animal life creating a dead land.  These creatures were created many years ago when the necromancers to the south decided to expand their territories beyond the great river.  The massive goblin tribes were between the undead army and the human kingdoms to the north.  The undead slaughtered all but one tribe who sought assistance from the humans.  The mage-king, Barakus, agreed to aid the goblins by giving them the power to fight the undead.

Barakus's plan succeeded beyond his imagination.  The goblins were now imbued with the immunities against the undead.  They are not paralyzed by a ghouls touch, not drained by a wight nor will they contract a disease by a mummy.  They are immune to the undead's natural abilities.  This immunity does not expand beyond the undead.  A mage casting paralyze has a normal chance of succeeding.  The goblins fought back the undead.  In fact they ate any of the remains they came across.

What occurred afterwards, Barakus has no way of expecting.  The goblins began consuming and multiplying at an alarming rate.  He soon found his kingdom being consumed by his own creation.

Scourge goblins have an extremely high metabolism.   They need food constantly.  They also age and multiply quickly.  The goblin females instead of having one offspring now have a litter of goblins.  A horde of scourge goblins can double in size in one month.

Scourge goblins build very distinct settlements.  There are grouped villages surrounded by a large earthen wall that wraps around miles of area.  They are able to construct these massive walls extremely quick.  Once the wall is completed, they begin devouring the countryside.  It seems the only things they will not eat are the four elements, even water.  They usually stay in one location for two to three months before moving on. A stark dead land marks their path.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Goblin Scourge


I settled on Goblin Scourge as the new name for my goblin offshoot.  Here's the map I drew that got me to thinking about them.  As you can see the brown, 'dead' areas.  They move into areas and the destruction begins.  As you can see a chain of farming villages are protected by the river...for now.

The gray lines within the dead areas are the earthen fortification.  Scourge goblins are masters at building these structures. 

I'll try to write up something for a post tomorrow, to stat them.

Getting Ideas from Maps

One of my favorite fantasy tropes to play with is goblins.  I've written about them in past posts, Re-imagining the Goblin and Goblins! because in my campaign I find them very versatile.  While having a crazed horde of goblins storming across the country side is a lot of fun, it also lacks any depth.  It's just another goblin horde.

The goblins I have in my campaign are very skilled at adapting to their environment.  Some type of goblin can be found in nearly every part of the world.  And their ability to adapt is not just environmental, but culturally.  Goblins are adept at assimilating the predominate culture in the area.  They have no gods, traditions or history.  I've covered this in the previous posts.

Last night while drawing a map I was playing around with another idea.  Where goblins become a sort of pestilence.  Or blight on the land.

In this version, the goblins are vicious omnivores that consume plant and animal life at an alarming rate.  They will settle into an area and quickly build primitive fortifications on a massive scale, covering miles of territory.

The creation of these goblins came about as a answer to an outbreak of undead.  These goblins consume the undead, bones and all.  They are immune to the paralyzing touch of the ghoul and the drain touch of the wight.  They cannot effect incorporeal undead, but put them against a horde of skeletons and zombies, they'll make short work of them and you won't have to clean up the mess.

Of course the problem was that after they finishes consuming the masses of the undead, they began devouring everything around them.  Only stones are dirt seem to be not of their taste.

This is a idea seed I got from my map...that I can't show you because I am at work and my map is at home.  

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Starter Adventures Approved


Yesterday I got the okay from RPGNow to order a proof copy.  Ordered it ASAP.  Now I'm waiting on that.  In the meantime I need to go over to Lulu and do the same thing and get the PDF finalized.  I'm very excited about getting this done and out there.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Got My 3rd Printer from Epson and it Didn't go Well


Not sure exactly why they are unable to send us a printer that works correctly, but now they they have decided to avoided our inquires.  The help center would not put us through to a manager.  After Ivy's insistence she is still on hold 35 minutes later.

I'm not nearly as upset as she is, but I am ready to move on.  I won't be buying an Epson again.  While they tried to fix the problem, they just created even more problems.  Three Epson printers in five days.  I doubt there will be any difference on the forth or fifth.

Good-bye Epson. 

RPG BS Session I is in the Books

Last night I host a RPG BS Session on Google Hangouts.  I was surprised by the turn out and got to meet a lot of gamer dudes.  In Hangouts there is only room for 10 folks and we were at that max for most of the night with people dropping in and out.  Here's who showed up or at least paid the doorman to get in.
+Rob Conley
+Random Wizard
+Joseph Bloch
+Jim Pacek 
+Joe D
+Erik Tenkar
+B. Portly
+trey causey
+Edgar Johnson
+Christopher Helton
+Chris C.
+Mike Evans 
+Richard LeBlanc
+Zzarchov Kowolski
+Douglas Cole
+Keith J Davies

I would have liked to have spoken to some of the guys more in-depth, but with ten of us in the hangout it's a juggling act to get everyone included.  When it wound down near the end, about six of us were in the hangout and much easier to get into more depth of conversation. 

My intent for running this BS session was to just get guys together to talk about gaming, stuff that they're working on, past gaming stories, share ideas and products, and telling dumb jokes and still laughing at them.  I had a blast.  It was a lot of fun and a few asked if this would become a regular thing.  I hadn't really thought about doing it more than once, but I may do another one in a month.  But if someone else would like to host an RPG BS session, please do and let me know. 

I appreciate to all those who participated and made it fun.  To those who were trying to get and couldn't, I wish there could have been a away to open a 2nd room.  Maybe if we do this again I'll get a 2nd gamer to host a 2nd room.  If anyone has a suggestion on how to run it better let me know.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Look Babe, Your Printer Arrived

Only I can't lift the box so Bug and Wiggy are keeping an eye on it for you.  Now, as long as this one doesn't vomit yellow everywhere too, you'll be good to go on the next Manor.

PS: We're out of Turkey Hill Chocolate Marshmallow.  Please stop on the ride home.  Thanks and smooch. 

PPS: All your gamer dudes out there.  Aren't you glad your wives don't know the passwords to your blogs? 

PPPS: For those that might not know.  Tim's Epson started crapping yellow ink back after about a year of owning it.  They did nothing even though this was a known Epson ink issue. 

Then on Monday I found a different contact number and called for a free replacement.  Only thing, it's a refurbished model.  I asked the girl if it was going to be the same piece of crap we have now, or if it would work.  She assured me it would work.

Now, we have to wait for Poop-a-doopers to get home and see if it really works.  They also sent free ink.  It's a good day.