View From the Pelgrane’s Nest – December 2018

This months’ View is more remote than usual, coming to you from the heady heights of New York City, where I’m waiting for my flight back to Europe after PAX Unplugged.

This was our second time at this Philadelphia-based show, and it went very well for us this year. I’m very excited by how our 2019 is shaping up as a result of the meetings I had there, and it’s always great to catch up with customers and colleagues new and old. Profane Miracles writer Leonard Balsera helped us out on the booth this year; he had some…interesting ideas about promoting the company. So, too, did freelance marketing and business consultant Melissa Lewis-Gentry, who also jumped in to help us out at the show.

Melissa was also on the Executive Women in Tabletop seminar I was fortunate enough to take part in. This was a formidable round-up of brilliant women working at the highest levels in the boardgaming and roleplaying industries. I was particularly fascinated by the career and experiences of Elaine Chase, Vice President, Global Brand Strategy & Marketing at Wizards of the Coast, who’s worked her way up through the company to her current level from being a Magic: The Gathering judge and enthusiast over the last twenty years.

She’s had a very different career and role to me, and yet we – and the others on the panel – shared quite a few of the same frustrations and doubts on our respective Lady Hero’s Journeys. It was inspiring and enlightening, and I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and get to know these kickass women.

Outside of our convention attendance and cake-eating (you can read more about our Dragonmeet experiences this year in Simon’s post here), we’ve been moving on with a number of other products.

NEW! Night’s Black Agents Director’s Screen and Resource Guide

An (unintentionally) stealthy new release, although Gareth’s been working away on this for the last few months, the Night’s Black Agents Director’s Screen and Resource Guide will be our first four-panel GM screen. The accompanying Resource Guide is stuffed full of useful advice and new features for your NBA game, like initiations (vignettes describing how an Agent got baptized into the secret world of vampires), new monsters; a dozen mid-ranking NPCs that can be dropped into any conspiracy, how to deal with complicated action sequences like fights and chases, story elements that show up in many Night’s Black Agents scenarios like trailing a suspect, meeting a source, or blowing things up; Mission Skeletons, which describe the nine basic Night’s Black Agents missions and explain how to build or improvise stories around each of them, and a selection of modern-day locations, complete with suggested clues or combat options.

NEW! Book of Ages and Loot Harder PDFs

The wait is over for the digital versions of our newest 13th Age books. The Book of Ages focuses on the dozen former ages before there was the 13th, with new icons, monsters, treasures and powers, and a literal wealth of story prompts and random tables to generate epic stories. It also includes the Engine of the Ages, a collaborative method for creating the extended history of your campaign.

Loot Harder continues in the lootylicious tradition of its predecessor, The Book of Loot, bringing even more game-changing, campaign-defining iconic relics, plus adventure hooks, new item types (scepters, chalices, orbs), lair items, linked thematic item sets, and iconic artifacts!

Work in progress update: Swords of the Serpentine

Over on our Facebook page, we revealed Jérôme Huguenin’s gorgeous cover for Kevin Kulp and Emily Dresner’s upcoming GUMSHOE swords and sorcery fantasy game, Swords of the Serpentine. You can see it in its nearly full-sized glory in this post. The book draft itself is finished, and Kevin and Emily are putting the final polishes on the manuscript to get it ready for playtesting. Having run some internal playtests at Metatopia, they’re updating the core book adventure at the moment, as the first adventure concept didn’t work as well as they’d like as an introduction to the setting and system. We’re hoping to be able to make this available for playtesting in the next edition of See Page XX. And if you’re wondering what “swords and sorcery” means in the context of this new GUMSHOE game, Kevin and Emily have shared the guidelines they used when writing Swords of the Serpentine – you can read them here.


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