Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goodman Games to Publish “The Dungeon Alphabet”

Finally, the big news:
The Dungeon Alphabet
An A-to-Z Reference for Classic Dungeon Design

Designing dungeons is as easy as A, B, C! The Dungeon Alphabet compiles twenty-six classic dungeon design elements in one place to assist the game master in creating subterranean challenges. A is for Altar, B is for Books, and C is for Caves: the Dungeon Alphabet has advice, hints, and randomized tables that bring new life to your adventures. Suitable for any rules system, the entries are accompanied by outstanding art from classic fantasy illustrators, with a foreword by noted game designer Zeb Cook.

Rules Set: Systems-neutral, designed to be used with any RPG

Writer: Michael Curtis
Foreword: David “Zeb” Cook
Cover Artist: Erol Otus
Interior Artists: Brad McDevitt, Jeff Easley, Jim Holloway, Doug Kovacs, William McAusland, Jesse Mohn, Peter Mullen, Erol Otus, Stefan Poag, Jim Roslof, Chad Sergesketter, Chuck Whelon, Mike Wilson
GMG4385, 48 pages, hardcover, $19.99

The official announcement went live on the Goodman Games website today, freeing me up to make public something that I’ve been sitting on for months now.

Not too long after “The Dungeon Alphabet” appeared here, Goodman Games approached me about expanding the Alphabet into a gaming supplement. The goal of the book was to give game masters, bright-eyed newcomers and grizzled old veterans alike, a handy reference guide for use in creating and stocking their dungeons. Each alphabetical entry would be expanded to include advice, hints, and random tables that would help fire the imagination and provide a new way of looking at some of the classic elements of the dungeon. Certainly not the easiest challenge! But I very pleased to say that I took up that challenge and my more than twenty-five years of gaming experience on both sides of the screen came in quite handy. I truly feel that I rose to the task and I’m very proud of the newly-expanded Alphabet.

As the project continued to grow, I kept getting updates as to who had signed on to lend their talents to Alphabet. Just by looking at the names above, you can imagine how excited I was to have so many legends in the hobby agreeing to participate. Well, maybe not, because I don’t think there’s a word that accurately describes the emotional state of proud/shocked/ecstatic/scared/mind-blown/giddy. But if there were, that’s what I was feeling.

But enough about me. After all, compared to some of the names above, I’m a flyspeck on the face of role-playing. Let’s talk about the art, my friends. Having seen the completed pieces that will be sharing page space with my words, I can honestly say that there’s not a single piece of art that I don’t love. I wouldn’t mind owning several of the pieces to adorn my home and gaming area. Even if you don’t find my talents to your liking, I encourage you to take a look at the book if only for the artwork.

Hopefully I’ve sold you on the idea enough that you’ll be interested in getting your hands on a copy of The Dungeon Alphabet (Hey! I can put that in italics now because it’s officially a book title!!) when it hits your local game store. I’ll have details on the release date when I get them but I believe the plan at the moment is to have it available at Gen-Con.

As could be expected, I’ve pulled the Dungeon Alphabet posts from the blog. I hope you’ll forgive me for turning off the freebie tap but I obviously want to encourage people to buy the book. It’s bigger and better anyway, and chock full of great art, plus neat tables, cool adventure seeds, and other weirdness from the mind of yours truly.

I want to thank Joseph Goodman for having the faith that I, an unknown writer, could pull this off and for getting so many luminaries in the gaming world to contribute their talents to The Dungeon Alphabet. I've very grateful to everyone for their amazing work.


Santiago Oría said...

Erol Otus made a cover on a book you wrote. Now, if something can make me envious it must be THAT!


Michael Curtis said...

I was pretty amazed when I learned Erol was doing the cover. Talk about a old role-player's dream come true.

Thank you, Santiago.

Timeshadows said...

Congratulations! :D

I'd like an autographed copy. When you get your hands on some physical copies, please let me know. :)

occultsearcher said...

Wow now that's great news. But are you sure getting the stuff away from web is good idea? I think if you hold the original posts in site and place a link to buy the "bigger and better and more awesome" book, it might even get more sales.

Ragnorakk said...

And taking the Alphabet posts off just means that there's room to do another installment! How about Cyrillic? Khuzdul?

Restless said...

I guess this means the coloring book version is out of the question. :-D

Michael Curtis said...

I'd like an autographed copy. When you get your hands on some physical copies, please let me know.

I may have an idea or two of what to do with some of the author's copies but I'll worry about that down the line.

Sham aka Dave said...

Stoked and very happy for you. You must've been bursting at the seams keeping all of this so quiet! Again, Congratulations on the book!

Michael Curtis said...

I think if you hold the original posts in site and place a link to buy the "bigger and better and more awesome" book, it might even get more sales.

I think between the run the Alphabet had here on the blog, as well as it's appearance in Knockspell, that enough people have had a chance to sample it or print it out. There comes a point when you have to bring in the cow and stop giving out the milk for free if you hope the dairy takes off. ;)

Michael Curtis said...

How about Cyrillic? Khuzdul?

Look for the Black Speech of Mordor Alphabet coming to a bookstore near you in 2033. :-)

Michael Curtis said...

I guess this means the coloring book version is out of the question. :-D

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Goodman Games opens up a Children's Books division...

Michael Curtis said...

You must've been bursting at the seams keeping all of this so quiet!

It was difficult at times, especially when I felt like I was letting the blog slide a bit. I kept wanting to say, "No, really! I have ideas and big things coming!! Just a few more months..."

And thanks again, Sham.

grodog said...

Congrats, Mike!: that's great news! :D :D


Al said...


Otus, Mullen, Poag, holy crapfemental evil look at those artists!

A well-deserved accomplishment, Mike :-)

Orion said...

How to publish a book:

1. Write brilliant blog articles
2. Publisher sees brilliant articles
3. Expand on articles
4. Have Erol Otus draw a cover
5. ????

Count me in as buying one! Now we just need a City Alphabet book and sell them as a two-fer deal!

Anonymous said...

The Alphabet Trilogy Special Compilation Edition, 128 pages - I'd buy that! :)

In the meantime, TDA has been added to my "if I ever have more money than I'm likely to have" list... and, thanks for the confidence boost this gives all of us who are considering publishing their own gaming material.

The Grand Wazoo said...

climb stair case to atic loft.
See books and cloths scattered about, with many sheets of crumpled paper.
On the walls; large tree diagram of canoe race times, odd photos, rejection lettes from publishers, and an Erol Otis cover for YOUR book!
just awsome.

jdebetolaza said...

Congratulations!!! I really enjoyed the Dungeon Alphabet (and its successor, the City's Shadows Alphabet). It sounds like a great resource to have behind the screen! :)

Michael Curtis said...

My thanks again to everyone who took the time to offer their congratulations. It means a lot a me. Keep up that enthusiasm until August!!

Mister Scratch said...

Hot damn tamale! This is the best news I've seen since that asteroid missed us. I will be buying several copies and giving them as gifts to all my friends. Which means Christmas will be less of a surprise for you than you think. One for each room in the house and a signed one so I can say I knew you when.

Mister Scratch said...

Wait, no David Trampier?

Michael Curtis said...

One for each room in the house and a signed one so I can say I knew you when.

I agree the kitchen cookbook shelf could use one. Alton needs some manly reading to keep him company.

Michael Curtis said...

Wait, no David Trampier?

If Tramp came out of role-playing retirement to do art for the book I belive I would have to throw myself into an active volcano in order to appease the Role-Playing Gods for being so grossly undeserving of such an honor.

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

Holy crap, that is awesome. Congratulations.

You and GG should reconsider decision to take down blog though. Their impact as advertising, marketing, samples, etc. is greater than any imagined competition they might pose.

After reading them more people would rush out and buy the book than think "Gosh that was so fantastically awesome I think I'll pass on opportunity to get more and expanded version of same."

Adrienne said...

Hey Mike- just heard the news- congrats!


Michael Curtis said...

Hey Mike- just heard the news- congrats!


Hey! Adrienne, how are you? Good to see you in my electronic backyard! Thank you very much for the congrats.

Anitra said...


Here's how to handle the autograph requests.

1) get a post office box.
2) publish the address on the blog.
3) advertise that you will sign labels sent by buyers - only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped, return envelope.
4) when a request arrives, open the envelope, sign the label, put the label in the accompanying SASE, seal and drop into the Out pile.

I have had a lot of success sending blank labels to authors, accompanied by a request for an autograph and the above SASE