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Friday, July 26, 2013

Kickstarter - Updates From the Terminally Late Projects - Dwimmering the Far West with Nystul's Quantum Powers!

There are updates and there are - non updates.

I'm not sure WTF these are, but they really don't say all that much. Still, why should you have to go all over the place just to find these tidbits?

Here's some recent ones:

Far West: this was due Dec 2011

Limited Run News

Update #72 · Jul 26, 2013 · 3 comments  
Another quick update for you -- a lot of you have been waiting to hear about this:

I had a conference with Dom at Cubicle Seven this week, and I've confirmed that we WILL be doing a separate limited print run of the core rulebook for the Kickstarter backers.

The Kickstarter Limited Edition will feature a leatherette cover (basically leather-bound, but using faux leather made from cloth), and will of course precede the general-release edition sent out to local game stores world-wide (any new estimate on WHEN?)

I'll post an image when we have a sample.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll get back to work...  gotta do something to keep The Normal's 1978 groundbreaking industrial track "Warm Leatherette" from playing, over and over, in my head.

Gareth-Michael Skarka
Lawrence, KS

Quantum this was due April 2012

Breaking Bad Silence

Update #78 · Jul 18, 2013 · 8 comments  
Hey folks!

This is just a quick update to let you know I'm still here and the game is still progressing. I hope to put up a larger update next week showing some rules changes implemented during my work this last month. Until then, here are teasers of those changes:

Armor Rating changed to be simpler and require less paperwork.
My original intent was to have Style Trees rather than just Styles. I figured out how to do that without changing much.
Style Trees allow for "builds," even within Paradigms that aren't the Generalist.
Each Paradigm (except the Generalist) has two Core Styles and two Core Abilities. The rest of the Styles are now General Paradigm Styles learnable by most Paradigms. General Paradigm Styles will still be restricted to Fatigue or Prime, though some have neither as a requirement.
There are three Style Trees, tentatively called Melee, Omnimancy, and Erudite. You start at the top and purchase your way down various branches of your choosing to get the build you want. The Melee branch is associated with Fatigue, the Omnimancy branch with Prime, and the Erudite branch with neither.
Next week I want to preview the new Archer along with possible builds. This will serve to both preview the rules changes and show off the new Archer. (15 months late and the system still isn't finished?)

Until then!


Axes & Anvils - AKA Nystul's Fiasco - project that spent the money with nothing to show for it

Day Two Update (actually, this was posted early Thursday morning - technically Mike missed wednesday's promised update in addition to Monday's, which was supposed to be Day One. Mike needs to learn to follow the schedule he set for himself)

Update #53 · Jul 25, 2013 · 3 comments  
Hard at work. I will have some fairly big chunks to show you very soon. First up - Character Generation (which is big fun and practically a game itself). Until then, some news.

• The Okum Arts A&A set will be provided to you guys in a day or two - as soon as we get the file set up for you to download. It has a lot of really great character. I'm super happy with it.

• A test sculpt of stones was just completed - there will be pictures as soon as the artist takes them and sends them to me. I know some of you are concerned that with no real motivation to produce more the line will die with the first book. To offset that possibility I'm working with a local game store to have a regular Axes and Anvils night. That will ensure ongoing games that will breed new material. Also, if any of you is in Austin let me know and I'll arrange to run for the game for you. (WGAF?!? There's no money to make this shit anyway)

Below is the cover of the Okum Arts minis and the current Table of Contents. As I pass along stuff to look at please be aware that this is pre-release - pre-edit stuff. I'm a game designer, not a writer and certainly not an editor. Every thing goes through an editor before you get it.

More tomorrow.

Day Three Update

Update #54 - For backers only (sorry Mike, but you lost those privileges)· Jul 25, 2013 · 2 comments  

Another busy day. Still finishing up the Character Creation chapter. (this makes it seem like Mike actually write games. I though he was the "idea guy" and "overseer")

Andrew is working on the introductory adventure.

The artists who did the stones for me is at a Ren Faire and will have to get home before she sends pictures. As soon as she does I will share them.

The Axes and Anvils paper minis are ready for download. Okum Arts will sell these in about a month - they are free to Backers. Please do not share this link. There is no special download protection on this folder.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx no link for you! ;)

These print and cut minis are not a replacement for anything you are owed. They are a bonus for Backers of the project.

More tomorrow

Dwimmermount (I wondered where Tavis was the past month)

What the Goalposts Look Like

Update #57 · Jul 26, 2013 · 2 comments  
It's been a month since the last update, during which the development team has been racing pell-mell to get the Labyrinth Lord version of Dwimmermount ready for Gen Con. The bad news is that we won't have a book that we'd be satisfied with complete in time. What we will have for you in August are the illustration book and the outdoor maps. If you'll be at Gen Con, you can pick these up there; if not, we'll mail these to you around that time. Although in some cases the project could save money by combining the illustration books with the rest of your order, there's a lot to be said for using this opportunity to work out all the kinks in the shipping process before it comes to the hardbacks. Over the next week I'll be sending out an email blast to all backers who are getting print rewards, letting you know which address we have for you. If you want your illustration booklet sent to a different address, please reply within the Kickstarter system. (I'll try to make sure that all the address changes already sent in are reflected before sending out this email.)

If the bad news is that we won't have all of the book where we want it to be for August, the good news is that we do have 87 pages laid out to the development team's satisifaction (pending a final proofing step). The link in the last update now has the files for Chapter 5: Muntburg, Chapter 6: Outside the Dungeon, Appendix A: The Four Worlds, Appendix C: New Monsters, and Appendix D: Rival Parties, as well as the finished cross-section maps from Last Gasp and the complete set of door-revised level maps from Tim Hartin.

I hope that these sections make a compelling argument that the work we're putting into organizing, polishing, and presenting James' manuscript is worth waiting for. In deciding not to skimp on what I felt was necessary to do justice to this first publication of Dwimmermount, I was guided by the results of last year's development survey and encouraged by reactions to the revised sections like this, sent via private email:

Having seen the layouts you posted in the most recent update, all I can say is "Wow!" I am profoundly grateful for your vision and the way you went about implementing it, especially as you describe it in the introduction.

Although such feedback helps me feel we're on the right course, I'm going to return to weekly updates to crowdsource the process of making sure the project is on track. Under the time pressure of the Gen Con goal it seemed to make sense to spend all my time doing what needs to be done rather than making announcements about it. However, sharing regular progress updates helps the development team as well as honoring our responsibility to backers, and I'll be glad to work at a less break-neck pace that allows time for reflection on where we've been and what the next steps are.

I expect we'll also see a return of the (in)famous charts (Fuck Me ;). The things we now have that make this possible are a comprehensive list of what remains to be done, and data about how long it's taken the development team to do similar work on the sections to date. In this update I'm going to focus on the remaining to-do list. Over the coming week I'll be talking with the team to refine our estimates about how long it'll take us to do this work, refining the projections from previous performance in the light of things we know are coming up like summer travel or dedicated blocks of time free to work on the project.

One of the ways a project can fail is through the quest for perfection. The more we've delved into getting the manuscript ready for publication, the more improvements suggest themselves, and there is a certain temptation to keep tweaking Dwimmermount forever. Fear not: the desire to get it out there for people to enjoy will always be stronger. Here's the list of things I see as necessary for the remaining sections to be worthy, if not perfect; a comparison of how the existing layouts differ from the original drafts may be helpful in interpreting these fragmentary notes.

Chapter 4, Referee's Overview: Many changes are in the Word file available for download at the link in the last update. Remaining steps are to complete the discussion of access control systems to include the brooch of the Terrim and link to the indexes of control rods and passkeys, and to add some quotes about naming and link to the tables of sample namesJames contributed.

Chapter 7, Factions in the Dungeon: A table of each faction including leader's name, HD or level, alignment, and location in the dungeon is complete, as is the spreadsheet delineation of factions on levels 0, 7, 8, and 9 that weren't included in James' draft. The remaining steps are to complete the summary of these factions, with a greater emphasis on inter-relationships between factions and levels; to present a chronology of how factions have shaped the history of the dungeon, especially the recent changes since the Termaxian infiltration; and to sketch out different faction's relationship to coins and treasure, with a house rule about bribery.

Dungeon Levels 0 - 9: Tables of each level's wandering monsters, key rooms, treasures, and inhabitants are complete in Excel and divided up by faction; these will form a facing page to the map of each chapter. Most levels then need an introduction along the lines of the ones James wrote for levels 0 and 9. These intros will include a concluding section about future developments, focusing on the key rooms included on that table and marked on the cross-section maps. The dungeon keys need a final development pass to make sure that contradictions resolved in the revised intro chapters, like whether dwarven corpses are stone or decaying flesh, are reflected throughout. Most such instances are marked by comments in the development drafts.

Appendix B: New Magic Items: Editor Pookie has written descriptions for some items implied in the text - the athame of law and the Typhonian mace - that weren't originally contained in this section. I need to do the same for the helm of astral movement and the astral vessel, the details of which have been worked out in development calls and recent emails with James. Pookie has also done an analysis of the different kinds of cloth garments found in the dungeon and their special properties, which I need to integrate into a couple of different items that can be described discretely.

Appendix E: New Spells. In the course of writing up the Rat Boss I created a new spell, lose coin, which will go into this section as well as a to-be-written new spell that the King of the Cats offers to his animal clerics. We've also hit on the idea of using spell research as the model for getting the Great Machine to do things like lower the barriers around the prison, so the more substantial work to be done on this section will be to describe the various things the Machine could do and what level effect these would be considered for the purpose of the time/investment required to develop them.

Appendix F: New Gods and Demigods. This is a new section which will subsume the content I've referred to in early drafts as Secrets of Turms Termax. My existing writeup of the Rat Boss will go here, as well as being included in Petty Gods (pending the addition of a stat block), as will the King of the Cats. Erol Otus has given us an evocative and creepy description of Turms Turmax's lieutenants; Jonathan Bolding is working on the description of their powers, as well as that of their questionably-divine master. This section will also include a slightly expanded description of the Sleeping God's capabilities and physical characteristics, currently found on Level 9.

Appendix G: Azoth. This section will be revised to accord with Turms' powers once that section is complete; we've discussed ideas about how his golem body uses azoth as a fuel and a weapon, which will be reflected here.

Once the above changes to the text are made, they'll undergo another editing pass and then go to layout. We'll then do a final proofing based on the layout. Since the bulk of the email I quoted above was devoted to just this kind of proofing, I should say that it is very helpful indeed. Changes pointed out to us by backers and fans aren't being ignored even though they're not reflected yet on the sections available for download; they're  accumulating on hardcopy markups that Richard will use when the time comes.


  1. Rat Boss will appear in Petty Gods Booklet 1, along with 49 other divine weirdies.

    1. Sounds awesome. Petty Gods DCC Patron Appendix would also be nice.

      PS. Tenkar did you forget about July DCC RPG Contest? ;p

    2. not forgotten, but spent much of lastnight packing - will announce the winners later today ;)

    3. Steve Goodman gave me the green light on a DCC version of PETTY GODS a while back. Now that I've read DCC I'm thinking a Book of Patrons is definitely in order, so you read my mind basically Hex Ox. Stop that.

    4. @Gorgonmilk
      It isn't my fault that there was a nuclear power plant accident when I was still in the womb and I can't control my awesome powers :p

  2. Is Petty Gods going to be a print offering? Can't remem if I have read that anywhere.

    1. Eventually PG will be available as a hardcover cyclopedia, but before that happens it will appear as a series of pdfs designed to be printed as LBB-sized booklets. Booklet 1 will appear in August or early September.

  3. "I have no company and my credibility is shot, effectively my career in this industry may well be over but that doesn't matter."---Mike Nystul.

    LOL. MAY well be over? Uh....

    Mike B.