« May 2005 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31
You are not logged in. Log in
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
Wednesday, 11 May 2005
Still Here...
This is just a little note to mention that although I haven't added anything to the blog recently, I am still here and the blog is still active.

The thing is, everything is sort of stalled on the "news" front until M&T comes out, and it's been delayed for quite a while.

Meanwhile, I've had a lot of things going on in my own real life, so I haven't been updating the blog very frequently.

One little nugget that Davis has mentioned is that there will be a line of C&C miniatures released at some point. I'll probably talk about this in detail at some point soon. Now, however, time is limited - so I will upload this entry and move along.

Posted by mythmere at 6:38 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Monday, 4 April 2005
Waiting for Godot and other stuff
We'll start with the other stuff.
The Castles & Crusades Society is working together on a pdf to contain mini-adventures for C&C. The link is
If you've got a short adventure of your own design, come and visit!
For the first time around, I'm editor in chief, and Scadgrad is the Art Director. The artwork by Scadgrad, which is posted in the group, is worth the trip just for its own sake.

Waiting for Godot
As everyone knows, neither M&T nor Yggsburgh is on the shelves or in the mail yet. This is, of course, disappointing, but it's not unexpected -- see my earlier blog entries.

When I was a kid, whenever we went to one of those buffet type restaurants, I used to pile my tray high with stuff, and my mother would look at it and say, "You've got eyes bigger than your stomach." By this she meant that I was getting more food than I could eat. The Trolls are in a similar situation - they are committed to more product than the company can produce in the time frame they want to produce it in. You run into this sort of problem when you publish a hit game and you've only got a couple of people in the company to handle the situation.

I don't blame them for the delays, but it's frustrating. On the other hand, I wouldn't want a repeat of the grammatical flaws that marred the CCPHB, so I'm willing to wait. Not that while I'm waiting I think they should sleep, or anything...

Posted by mythmere at 6:51 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink
Tuesday, 29 March 2005
Assault on Blacktooth Ridge
Now Playing: Castles & Crusades!
I got my copy of Assault on Blacktooth Ridge last Friday, but the kids were home on Easter break, which kept me pretty busy.

Yesterday, though, I posted my review of the module; the actual review sites all take a while before a review is posted, so the only place it's up is on the ENworld message boards, Here

I think it's an excellent module. We're still waiting for M&T and for Yggsburgh. It doesn't look like we're going to have March release dates for either one - it's the 29th already. Nevertheless, I think we'll see both in April.

I'm also coordinating a pdf, to try and create a web supplement for the game. I think it would be nice for TLG to have a fan-created document for download.

Posted by mythmere at 1:29 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 11 March 2005
Thanks, Sieg!
Quick entry - I'd like to recognize Sieg for taking the lead on a couple of projects that are really directed toward advancing the game. One is already mentioned below - the project of converting existing TLG modules into C&C rules. The second is creating a pdf of some treasure tables, which I have just posted on the site as the first general resource. For space reasons (pdfs are memory-intensive), I'll probably take it down when M&T comes out, but until then, it's a great resource that fills an important niche.

Posted by mythmere at 11:23 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 9 March 2005
Today's Musing
The kids are home on spring break this week, so my free time's not as uninterrupted as usual.

I'd like to welcome any new C&C players who might have found their way here through the Troll Lords' website. It's hard to gauge how fast the game has been growing over the last week or so, but I'm guessing that the huge initial surge of players that bought Players Handbooks just after the initial release has started to slow down.

One thing to suggest otherwise is that the Trolls have been notably absent from the TLG messageboards and from other sites such as ENworld -- Peter confirms that things are insanely busy over in the Troll Forges, and that suggests that perhaps the initial wave of buying isn't quite over yet.

(The Trolls have mentioned in the past that they're not really set up to handle many direct orders - they work through distribution channels - but the interest in the game has overloaded them with the simple but time consuming job of packing and mailing lots of books).

The other possibility is that they're swamped with the task of prepping all the product that's going out this month. I mentioned in a prior blog that I'll be astounded if it all comes out on schedule. It's just a HUGE product rollout coming together all in one month for a company the size of TLG.

It's probably a combination of both.

Over on the Dragonsfoot forum, Sieg is organizing a very cool project - converting TLG d20 modules to C&C rules. From what I understand, TLG will send text files to the converters so that the entire module can be converted to the new rules. I think this is an excellent use of fan resources, and to manage the growth of C&C, the Trolls will have to depend on fan resources to a large degree. Kudos to Sieg for a good idea and for taking charge of it.

I'd been working on other stuff up until this weekend, so I haven't had much of a chance to build up the resources on Mythmere's Wondrous Resource. Hopefully in the next few days I'll put up some new items.

Unfortunately, I'm having trouble creating or posting zip files - which really limits my ability to post anything that's memory intensive, like a pdf. Working on that...

Posted by mythmere at 9:43 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 4 March 2005
Specialist wizards
One thing I wish we had: specialist casters in addition to the illusionist. Especially necromancers, although that would mainly be an NPC class.

I don't think that 3E handled this matter particularly well - the specialist wizards have access to a large pool of arcane spells in 3E, and they're a bit better at casting their own spells. But there's not the feeling of true specialization like you get with the C&C illusionist. C&C Illusionists have an entirely different spell-set from wizards, and that's what I'd like to see with other magical specialists.

This may be something I turn my hand to eventually, but I might wait until I see the CKG guidelines for character class generation. It isn't like there aren't tons of other C&C projects I've got in mind.

One thing I'm working on right now is a planar campaign setting I'm going to call Mythmere's Myriad Worlds (with a cool little "tm" next to it). I was working on it for a while before I ran into C&C, using d20 rules. However, something about the C&C rule-set gave me an interesting new take on planes of existence, something that I think radically removes planar adventuring from the Planescape model that has dominated all planar adventuring since it was published.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm still eagerly awaiting the appearance of all the product that's due out this month.

I can't believe that with all the stuff in the works, the Troll Lords are going to try to produce a free pdf - it's a GREAT idea, as I've opined before in the blog, but the guys are trying to move mountains at this point. If everything that's supposed tome out this month actually does, I'll be shocked and amazed.

Posted by mythmere at 12:44 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Monday, 28 February 2005
Little News Items Presented in an Offhand Manner
It's been a few days, and nothing has really sprung to mind for a new blog entry that I haven't already covered. We had a lot of big news all at once about the March roll-out of lots of product, and after that there hasn't been much.

Websites have been extremely active talking about C&C, which is good.

Serleran has started a blog to describe the strange eons in which C&C was conceived and developed by the Castle & Crusade Society. Serleran, for those who don't know, did the monster conversions for M&T and is one of the major contributors to the game.

The Trolls are busy packaging books and sending them out, not saying much. This doesn't surprise me, since you do revisions and read proofs after something goes to the printer - and they've got a LOT of stuff at the printer. Busy trolls, making good stuff like Santa's elves.

Special thanks to Kravell for his help in spreading the word about the game, and a hearty welcome to Treebore, who finally made his debut on the Troll Lords message boards.

I think there's kind of a hush as everyone waits for M&T to come out, although momentum is definitely building on the internet as more and more people hear about the game. Amazon has reordered, and we know from the net that several local gaming stores have contacted the Trolls directly for copies of the CCPHB.

Nobody knows where Assault on Blacktooth Ridge stands - it's at the printer and has been for a long time. The Trolls haven't had time to provide an update. We'll probably hear any time now, but I suspect we'll see it about the Ides of March.

All the news is good, even if none of it is exactly headline quality. Everyone is waiting for March...

Posted by mythmere at 8:25 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 23 February 2005
Guessing at Troll Psychology
Now Playing: Castles & Crusades!
If anyone missed the first (and at this point only) entry on the prior blog entry, there is big mojo good news.

Castle Zagyg, unless it's a typo (not unheard of in Troll-screed), is slated for a late March release.

Whoa, Nellie. The bull is out of the gate. Castle Zagyg, as pretty much any reader of this modest blog knows, is probably the most anticipated product in the old-school D&D community. It is the original dungeon.

And it is written for Castles & Crusades.

I had been wondering why TLG said that their CZ previews would be released biweekly, when the production date was set for GenCon. That's a lot of free supplements. Now I understand.

I believe I've got an inkling of something else, too. We've seen a minor split of opinion between Steve and Davis in recent days, with Steve focusing on new product - a limited-rules pdf, maintaining production of the CCPHB, etc. Davis, on the other hand, seems to have supported a program that's less draining on cash flow - a pdf of the CCPHB while the company conserves its supply of the print product.

Davis is on the net more than Steve, and is seeing the community's ambivalent reaction to typos and other production-value matters in the PHB. We supporters of the game are hammering on the quality content and the price point, but it would be nicer if we could do that without having to prepare readers for typos.

Now I understand that the Trolls had a major product far closer to roll-out than anyone realized. Both Steve and Davis's opinions were stemming from their inside knowledge that CZ was going to ship well before GenCon.

The release of CZ means a high up-front cost - the print run is probably much larger than the run for the PHB, because it will be bought by lots of d20 or 1/2E grognards who might not buy C&C. Big money for another "I'm all in" product.

Davis is watching another "bet the company" release going out two months after the first one. "let's go with the PHB pdf and let our cash flow develop enough to fund the second print run safely," he thinks.

Steve, on the other hand, sees market momentum - TLG has hit the sweet spot on timing. Just as the first product's wave it at the high point, the second major product is coming out. How do you ride the wave? Make damn sure that there's a PHB next to Castle Zagyg on the shelf. For that, you need a print product, and supplies are running out. "We must," he thinks to himself, "make sure that we hit this wave the right way. When you've got the demand, you've got to have product available."

Davis notes that coming out with a second CCPHB printing, with associated costs, may mean that they can't even afford to go to McDonalds to argue about it - at least until the money starts coming back. A second printing means that the "bet the company" aspect of C&C increases proportionately.

What should they do?

Posted by mythmere at 9:18 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink
Friday, 18 February 2005
Current roll-out status of C&C products
Now Playing: Castles & Crusades, of course!
From what I can tell, this is where things stand for C&C products...

Assault on Blacktooth Ridge: At printer now - late
Feb deliveries?

Monsters & Treasures: Mid March, 05

pdf version of PHB first printing: no date yet (but by the end of March, perhaps?)

pdf basic set: no date (not even sure if this isn't superceded by the fact that the PHB will be on pdf) - Late March to early April according to the message boards.

Goodman Games C&C module???

Castle Keeper's Guide: August '05

PHB second printing: August '05

Castle Zagyg (Yggsburg): August '05

Posted by mythmere at 1:35 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Thursday, 17 February 2005
Free pdf Rules
Now Playing: Castles & Crusades
The news is out that the Trolls plan to release a limited ruleset as a pdf. We don't know much more about it than this - I don't think they've got much more than agreement between Steve and Davis to begin the project.

Clearly this project is intended to bring brand-new players into the game. If you have to pay for it, you're targeting someone who wants to try out the game, but isn't willing to drop $20 on a PHB and $24 on M&T. Fair enough. If you can get an intro game for $5 or $8 to try it out, you might do so.

However, if the goal is to bring brand-new players into the game, there's an even better way to do it, in my opinion. Produce a free pdf that you WANT people to steal, copy, distribute, print, leave around in their offices, and mail to friends.

If TLG were to produce a pdf that's got rules, say, only for fighters, and goes up only to third level, it's not going to hurt sales of the game no matter how widely it's distributed. Anyone who tries it and likes it will buy the game; it's just too limited to do anything else. Why is this different from a for-sale pdf?

Middle schoolers. There are kids everywhere on the net, and they have a lot of discretionary income. But they don't have credit cards. They can't download a pdf unless it's free. Now, this is an exponentially larger market than adults who are willing to pay $8 (this is for the sake of comparison - I have no idea what the price will be) for a limited-version game.

Don't get me wrong - with no monsters in the PHB, the $8 vs. $44 price point distinction is big. And with a lot of buzz on the net, it's going to haul in lots of people.

But I wouldn't rule out the idea of a free, totally bare-bones version of the game that's targeted at those who can't use credit cards on the net.

Intro to game 1 page
Intro page on fighter 1 page (with 1st-3rd lv class abilities) 1 page
Description of attributes, modifiers and skill checks 1 page
Description of combat 1 page
Description of saving throws 1 page
Equipment list 1 page
Quick adventure (including how to CK) 6 pages.
5 iconic monsters 1-2 pages
Chits for dice substitute 1 page.
OGL 1 page

This is a 15 to 20 page project; it provides no risk to future sales, and the most beautiful thing about it is that the more people who see it the better.

You mustn't be afraid that it will lose you sales if people see a limited product. Rely on the quality of the game. Gateway products work - see how many people started gaming with the Moldvay Basic set, which only had 3 levels.

And if you're looking for a gateway product, go all the way. Make it free.

Posted by mythmere at 10:35 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink

Newer | Latest | Older