It’s been a year since the last Page XX, and there is still work to be done updating the archive into the new format and adding useful tags. I’m pleased with the new look and all the functinality of WordPress, a distinct improvement from the original Dying Earth website, and my humble follow up to that. This has been a succesful year saleswise, and I’ve enjoyed working with new freelancers and publishing partners as well as my stalwarts, Ken Hite and Robin Laws.
Cthulhu is Nominated – Please Vote
This year, we’ve been nominated twice for ENnie awards for Armitage Files and Rough Magicks, with Shadows over Filmland receiving an honourable mention. I wrote about this here. Voting is now open, and I will not look askance at your votes if you think we are worthy.
The Earth Dies Once More
Last July saw the expiration of the Dying Earth license, and this month sees its reinstatement. Thanks to the enormous wave of support in the last month of the license, I was able to renew the license, and acquire a license to the bulk of Jack Vance’s science fiction work – the Gaean Reach. We’ll be producing The Excellent Prismatic Spray again, and Ian Thomson will finish his series of adventures. I will also reprint those items which are out of stock for purchase..
Reach for the Stars
Jim Webster and Peter Freeman are already combing through the Gaean Reach stories, picking out strange cultures, peculiar foods and esoteric organisations, much as they did for the Compendium of Universal Knowledge. The rule set may well be mixture of GUMSHOE and the Dying Earth/Skulduggery mechanics, and will be written by Robin D Laws, but here is a good place to give feedback if you have suggestions. I am open to the idea of one-shot small games, set in the Reach.
Over the last year, we released Rough Magicks, Armitage Files, Watchers in the Sky, Castle Bravo and The Black Drop, with Skulduggery just shipping. The PDF adventures have been especially interesting
Coming this year for Trail are Ken’s Bookhounds of London and its companion book, An Occultist’s Guide to London, which will be an actual in-game book printed and written in 1930s-style with no game text by Paula Dempsey. It will double up as murder mystery – come up with the most plausible way in which the fictional author died, and win a prize. Expect more Cthulhu one shots such as Not So Quiet by Adam Gauntlett, an adventure set on the Western Front in the Great War and Dance in the Blood, an addition to Graham Walmsley’s Purist series.
Graham Walmsley has written most of Cthulhu Apocalypse; a Campaign Frame set post-Mythos-disaster in the 1930s. I’ve played through the first three adventures, and it’s like John Wyndham meets Lovecraft and they have tea, but the tea has a psychodelic drug in it.
Will Hindmarch and Jeff Tidball have been working on Eternal Lies our giant Trail campaign, with James Semple and his team supplying music. This is a big project which will be playtested in sections, starting after GenCon. I’ll put out the call when slots are available.
You’ll note a paucity of non-Trail GUMSHOE material, something we intend to rectify this coming year, though licensees and more, directly commissioned work. Expect new material for Fear Itself, Mutant City Blues and Esoterrorists. We are aiming for one new short supplement every month, in PDF form starting in November. Please let me know what you’d like to see.
We’ll also be releasing three new Skulduggery settings, including The Wedding.
Also New for 2010/11
We’ll be releasing Ashen Stars, our big GUMSHOE Space game, currently in playtest, and Night’s Black Agents, Ken Hites’s Bourne-esque vampire-spy mash-up. I hope to make Ashen Stars hardback and in full colour, and to that end, we’ll have a big pre-order program. Read more about that here.
Will Hindmarch continues working on RAZED his modern post-apocalyptic setting (more here), and Bill White on New World – his non-GUMSHOE game of colonisation.
So, in all, a busy year!
Now that the Page XX website is sorted out, you can expect a return to our more frequent schedule.