What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Contellation Dice

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Arcana Creations Update!

Arcana Creations has always been more of a hobby than a dedicated pursuit.  Over the past few years, there has never been a tremendous amount of output and, depending on the year, my efforts have shifted depending on what I saw as priorities at the time.  And of course, life and my regular 9-5 mean that all my hobbies -- gaming, writing, reading, painting, and the like all take a back seat.

With 2016 finally coming to a close, one of the reasons I have been quiet this year, is some of the work I've been doing.  Instead of writing reviews or chatting up on my blog, one of the things I've been doing is a large editing job on a novel.  At present, this is over 75% completed and at the current rate, it should have gone to layout before the end of the month with proofs being done shortly thereafter. Specific details on this release will follow just after the holidays.

That said, there is one title currently being worked on with the tentative title of 'The Shaman of the Mire'.  Troll Lord Games has just finished a short, three-day campaign to release two modules that take place in the Darkenfold in their setting of Aihrde for Castles & Crusades.  It was a very successful campaign that will also produce a boxed set with plenty of goodies.  Arcana Creations has pledged a digital copy of this new adventure to every backer ($10 and up) of the project.  Once my commitment to that project is met, it will be made available for general sale as well as a physical print run.  The delivery of TLG's kickstarter is slated for June 2017.

Arcana Creations plans for at least TWO other releases in 2017 but I don't want to get ahead of myself.  In the meantime, there is A LOT of work to be done but I am enjoying it.  However, one of the things that will need to be completely OVERHAULED before the end of the year is the Arcana Creations website...


Monday, November 21, 2016

Adventurers Backpack - Final 24 Hours in Kickstarter!

Wow!  After last night's post, pledges have climbed and that combination flipbook which contains the full Players Handbook for Castles & Crusades and the complete contents of the Adventurers Backpack has been UNLOCKED.  Everybody at the $59 level and above will get a copy of this along with the rest of their goodies!

At the time this is being written, the kickstarter is $104 from some Jokers added to the deck of cards and then just another $1k to realize a full deck.

The next two goals are a bit further off -- they are two more adventure modules in the ever growing and popular C-Series that Troll Lord Games has been putting out.

So, in the last 24 hours, are these goals even possible?  Well, in the past 24 hours, the campaign managed to raise $2600 so ANYTHING is possible.

Check it out:



Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kickstart This: C&C Adventurers Backpack

Ending in under three days is the latest project being crowdfunded on Kickarter, the Adventurers Backpack for the Castles & Crusades RPG. But before I talk about this new book, I want to talk about an old classic -- the Unearthed Arcana for AD&D.

The Unearthed Arcana always held a special place on my gaming bookshelf, and given how I got started into AD&D, I've always viewed it as a great and special book. When I started gaming, I came a bit late to the party. TSR had just released second edition so the first books I cut my teeth on were the newer PHB and DMG.  A friend of mine had some D&D boxed sets so we mixed and mashed as necessary. The thing is that, this other book I saw had a class called the cavalier and another for the barbarian.  These were fantastic classes and why they weren't available in my copy of the Players Handbook was just weird and sadly disappointed.  In that single moment of discovery, the Unearthed Arcana became very important to me and my game.

Looking back now and knowing a bit how the Unearthed Arcana came about, I also understand why many first edition gamers took kindly to this book as well -- new classes, spells, and a few oddities.  It was just so much more material that, in one fell swoop, brought in a breath of fresh air to a game that had seen countless hours of adventure!

This is what the Adventurers Backpack could very well end up being for Castles & Crusades.

The first iteration of the Castles & Crusades game came out over ten years ago.  It was a white boxed set and contained three booklets. This was quickly followed by full length gaming books, a multitude of adventures and accessories, and small but dedicated and ever-growing fan base. Along with the Castle Keepers Guide that had been talked about for years but took at least five to finally materialize, the Adventurers Backpack was a project that had been talked about for what seems just as long.

A brief preview was released as a booklet in the Black Collector's Box set released at GenCon 2014 and it previewed 4 new classes, some new spells, and a selection of 'pre-packed' backpack lists to quickly equip characters.  The Kickstarter is funding a much larger book that builds upon this preview.  There are 13 new classes in all which are, class variants and complements to the current 13 core classes in the Players Handbook.  There will be, for instance, a Thief class which will have some different skills to make it standout from the Rogue class we already know and love.  There will be a different sort of ranger suited for a more 'urban' environment (the name of which is still being finalized).  Some new spells and non-derivative ones at that ... totally new spells which also build up and expand as the character advances in level.  Pre-generated equipment lists (aka 'backpacks') for all the classes, as well as some oddities and advice.  Due to special request, I would be fully prepared to see a section devoted to Pole-Arms too ... much like the Unearthed Arcana had.

Of course, being a Kickstarter, there is a bunch of other goals and loot to be had!

The book itself will be a full-colour hardcover in other to best complement the current, existing corebooks and Codex of Aihrde for Castles & Crusades.  At over 150 pages, it should make for a nice book to add to the gaming bookshelf.  Along with this, there are plans for a deck of Equipment Cards for reference and, upon reaching a particular strech-goal, this deck will be expanded up to 52 cards and double up as a deck of playing cards.  Poker anyone?? There are also bookmarks, additional free books and adventure modules (some already achieved and others being just around the corner) as well.

Depending on the pledge level, you can just go in at $1 and pick and choose a variety of add-ons providing a great chance to pick up a few things you may not already have.  There is a $20 PDF only level and a $40 level which gives the physical book and PDF.  The most popular is the $59 level.  At this level, you get the main book in physical and digital format, a deck of equipment cards, a nice dice pouch, and eligibility to a bunch of stretch goals (currently bookmarks and two modules).  Presently, the campaign is less than $1,800 for the next stretch goal which is a perfect bound copy of a book that combines the full PHB and Adventurers Backback in one volume!  There are a couple pledge levels higher though it is significantly more in comparison.  But, by pledging at $150 you get everything mentioned in the $59 level plus a nice, heavy duty canvas back pack, lapel pin, t-shirt, water bottle, and a digest version of the book as well.  That backpack looks GREAT!!

If you also like the TLG leather copies of their books, you have an option to get it hear as well, either as part of the highest tier or as a separate $50 add-on which is a pretty good deal IMO.

In any event, if your curious to know more, head on over HERE and check it out.  There is about 48 hours left to go and a few more stretch goals that would be nice to hit.  It is shaping up to be a great resource for fans of Castles & Crusades and with other projects constantly being wrapped up, this is looking like a great buy-in.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Mail Call: Good Things Come In Three's

Last Thursday, I was very happy to receive my package from Italy.  I posted here about it shortly after midnight.  A day later, another package was waiting for me and, after a busy weekend, a another delivery of two small packages!

Three packages in almost as many days.

Classic Fantasy is what was waiting for me on Friday and, fortunately for me, no one else walked off with the package when the UPS guy decided to leave it on the floor of my building lobby!!!  I have fallen in love with this book.  While technically not a stand alone book, it roots to the BRP system and RuneQuest run very deep.  Right now I'm running some 7E Call of Cthulhu and have always had a soft spot for the system and was thinking about doing a fantasy game using the same system (thanks in part to the Dark Ages sourcebook with bits from the BRP Rulebook book to help.  This books goes a step further and give me a way to get a D&D experience with a BRP ruleset.  By doing so, it has just armed me with so much stuff from D&D that I can terrorize my Call of Cthulhu players (not that the game is lacking in that department).  Classic Fantasy is a sourcebook of Mythras which is RuneQuest 6 with the serial numbers filed off.  From what I have seen of it, I actually prefer it to RuneQuest.  So, despite the fact that I have been slimming down my gaming collection the past few years, I'll be acquiring Mythras for the books shelf at some point.

Next up was these four miniatures from Antediluvian Miniatures.  When I saw this familiar looking group, I knew I *had* to have them.  And if they don't seem familiar to you, I suggest it's time to load up and watch the Princess Bride!  We have Inigo Montoya, Fezzik, Vizzini, and Westley (the Dread Pirate Roberts) of course.  Due to the scale of the miniatures, Fezzik isn't as imposing as he should be compared to one of the D&D mini's slightly bigger 'heroic scale' but will look impressive enough against 28mm Reaper mini's!

And last, but not least... some dice!  In this case... small dice!  16mm dice (if I'm not mistaken) and I only have a black set (someplace).  It was a great way to test and try out Massdrop.  Besides, you can never have too many dice!  ;)

I'm expecting at least one other package in the days ahead but beyond that, I don't think I'll have many other surprises between now and the holidays.  I'll be sure to give a much more in-depth analysis of Classic Fantasy as well as a better look at the latest edition of Call of Cthulhu having now run a few sessions.  The short version, I like it a lot but there are still a couple little things that could use a bit more thought and tweaking.  More to come!


Friday, October 14, 2016

Mail Call and Signs of Life

What happened to September... the rest of August... and what do you mean we're almost halfway through October!?

Things have been busy around here.  I certainly lost track of time though.  I am doing a bit of work on some projects as well as continuing to 3D print and paint here and there.  At least when I can manage it.  More significantly, I have been subjected to more dental surgury in the form of a significant bonegraft.  Rest assured, I draw breath still.  ;)

But things are still coming in -- be it books or miniatures.  Today this came in the mail for me:

Inspired by 'Stranger Things', that Netflix series veryone was (and still are) talking about, I was happy to find the 'infamous' demogorgon. Mirliton Fantasy now owns some of the old Grenadier molds and happened to have this particular model in stock but between the diversion from the Euro, the shipping from Italy, and the minimum order amount, it wasn't cheap.  Still too cool to pass up though.  Since there was a minimum purchase amount, demogorgon was accompanied by a friend -- a rather small Cthulhu!

I am very pleased with these and, despite the expense, will likely to order a few more things in the future.  The only question now is how I am going to paint demogorgon.  I am a bit tempted to paint it in a style that is reminiscent of the series and keep it a but simple.  Guess we'll have to see.