Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Slow Climb Back and Other News

With Hurricane Sandy slowly receding into a bad memory for many (but by no means all) of us on the East Coast of the U.S., it’s time to get back to business of writing adventures and meeting deadlines. That is if the nor’easter that’s now heading our way doesn’t sucker punch us while we’re stilling recovering. Here’s to hoping that power systems don’t catastrophically fail again for a week or two.

But before I start the slow climb back to getting merely swamped with work again rather than drowning in it, a few reports and announcements:

Firstly, the expanded version of The Dungeon Alphabet is now in stores. I received several copies of both the “original” cover and the limited edition gold foil to bring to an in-store appearance (more on that in a moment) and the gold foil cover really impressed me. It’s got a very sinisterly eldritch quality to it. It almost dares you to open the tome and see what mysteries await you within. Foes of the “Good Price” faux-sticker will also be pleased to note that it’s gone from the original cover.

There’s been some grumbling about the expanded version, but both Goodman Games and I anticipated that. Some people feel that the added material “punishes” you fine folks who bought the original 48 pp. version of the book three years ago. And while I understand that argument, what it unfortunately comes down to is that it’s no longer financially feasible to print The Dungeon Alphabet and offer it for the original $9.99 cover price (which was a damned cheap price for a hardcover RPG supplement that features incredible artwork and a high reusable factor, you must admit). And so the decision was made to raise the cost and, to compensate for the increase, to add more material the book. Maybe some of the dissatisfaction comes from it being referred to as a third printing rather than the expanded Dungeon Alphabet. I really don’t know; I just write these damned things and do my best to read the minds of my fellow gamers.

All I can say for certain is that if you enjoyed the original version of the book and want to see what new art and material we’ve included in the third printing, please consider picking up the expanded version. If you think you’re being cheated in some manner because there’s new stuff in this printing, I can’t change your mind with a few sentences in a blog post. See what others are saying about the book in the weeks and months ahead and make a decision once you’ve read the reviews and shop accordingly.
The expanded version is available from Goodman Games’ web store, your finer FLGS, Paizo, FRP Games, and other online stores.

Speaking of the Dungeon Alphabet, this past Sunday saw me on the road to All Things Fun in West Berlin, NJ to help promote the new version and DCC RPG. Despite apocalyptic fuel shortages and mass destruction, the trip down and back was uneventful, and I can’t say enough good things about All Things Fun. The store is clean, bright, spacious, and has a wide variety of products available from a very friendly staff. And their name isn’t hype. You’ll find everything from comic books, board games, miniatures, CCG, RPGs, and t-shirts available in the store. If you’re a gamer in the southern New Jersey/Philadelphia area, I highly recommend a trip to All Things Fun to see what they might have to offer you.

As can be expected in the wake of a natural disaster, the turn-out for my in-store appearance was small, but that didn’t stop those folks who did come down from having a good time. My players got the opportunity to playtest a new adventure I’ve written for DCC RPG, being the first living, breathing players to take a crack at it. Not only did they have fun, but the scenario seems to be working as intended, which is always nice for a designer to see. It means the crazy idea I had has legs outside of my own brain and less rewriting before final submission. A very big and heartfelt thanks to Anthony, Mike, and Rich for venturing out and climbing the Ghost Ice. Those of you interested in hearing their impressions of the day should visit the blogs Circle of Dar Janix, Swords of Legend, and Once More Unto the Breach! where those good gentlemen may have more to say about the game and their experiences.

Lastly, the first round of the Goodman Games’ Mystery Map Adventure Design Competition has ended. There were a lot of great submissions to the contest and one lucky soul is going to walk away with both $1,000 and a contract to turn their creation into an official DCC RPG adventure published by Goodman Games. Now, Joseph Goodman, Harley Stroh, Doug Kovacs, Aldo Ghiozzi, Stefan Poag, Erol Otus, and myself have to pick the crème-de-la-crème from those entries that made it to the final round. It’s not going to be an easy task, but I think between the lot of us, we’ll agree on an entry worthy of joining the DCC RPG canon of adventure modules. Stay tuned for more news as we reach a final decision.


Anthony Simeone said...

Hello there! Once again, it was good meeting you and to get a chance to help with the playtest. I'm working on my own blog post about this past Sunday, including some photos I took.

Anonymous said...

Do your friends at Brothers Grimm carry any of your products?

Michael Curtis said...

@Anthony: It was great meeting you too, Anthony! I look forward to reading about your experiences with the playtest on the other side of the judge's screen.

Michael Curtis said...

@Anonymous (as if I don't know who your really are!): BG has a long tradition of carrying the Dungeon Alphabet when it's in print. They don't have it at the moment, but should be getting it soon. The owner is also very accommodating about special orders should you want something they don't usually carry. If you're rather go through a brick-and-mortar venue rather than online, give them a call or stop in and Gil will make arrangements to get what you want. Especially if you let him know it's something I wrote!

Oliver said...

Hey, I don't suppose you know when I will be able to purchase this in the UK?
I would order from the US but once postage has been added customs will end up hitting me.

Michael Curtis said...

I don't know, Oliver. I'm highly certain it will be available in the UK at some point, but I'm not sure who Goodman Games uses as a distributor in your location. You can send an email to info@goodman-games.com inquiring about when it might show up over there. Somebody (likely Joe, himself) will get back to you.