Sunday, June 17, 2012

New Gary Gygax Setting

I don't usually do this, especially after my recent rant about Kickstarters that "over-promise," but I have to make an exception for John Adams' (of Brave Halfling Publishing fame) new project, the Appendix N Adventure Toolkits. Unlike some of the lest-tested indie publishers, who are riding on the coattails of OSR-Kickstarter craze, I know Brave Halfling's work well and have a lot of trust in John's ability. He's been around for quite a while now, and I even own some of his early publications for Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry and Labyrinth Lord. He has been behind a lot of truly excellent products, like the "Old School Gaming Box," Delving Deeper (the original Dungeons & Dragons reprint with Rob Conley's Blackmarsh) and Perilous Mazes (the Holmes Basic Dungeons & Dragons reprint).

His latest effort, however, is stunning. While it started out as simply a single, low-level module, the Appendix N Adventure Toolkits has surpassed my expectations. I find it somewhat difficult to interpret Kickstarters sometimes, so I will break it down for those who haven't had a chance to check this project out yet. After breaking four stretch goals, the project is now giving each supporter (at the paltry $20 level): a PDF copy of each of the five full adventure modules (one of the scenarios which will never be released again), a digest print copy of each of the same (each signed, numbered and shrink wrapped), a poster to hang up in your den and a special edition box to store the modules. For an extra $10, you get a second copy of each module (I guess one would be a play copy and the other a keeper? Or maybe a gift to your nephew to get him into roleplaying?) and eight (8!) more PDFs of new rules and options for DCC characters and classes.

This is really a fantastic value, and a very neat idea to boot (especially the collector's box for storing everything), and the artwork previews already released are top-notch. However, what caught my attention in the first place was the next stretch goal: an original setting developed by John Adams and Gary Gygax through their correspondences. This unpublished work was going to be for Gary's last game, Lejendary Adventures, but came to a halt with his passing. While I never thought Gary was the best game designer, his worlds have always inspired me, and I have found him to be quite a wordsmith when drawing up an old-school setting. Now, if this project gets enough funders, anyone who puts in that same paltry $20 donation will get a sixth print and PDF, "The Old Isle Campaign Setting," in addition to a color poster map of the setting. I cannot be alone in finding it a shame to leave this final work undiscovered, which was written by Adams, but with the keen editing and insight of the original Dungeon Master. Count me interested and in support of this project.

3 comments:

  1. Hey thanks a bunch! :)

    However, I do not want folks to be confused. "The Old Isle" is MY setting, approved by Gary. He helped me flesh it out as we coresponded by email about elves, evil, magic, gods etc. He provided suggestions and critiques, but Gary did not write any of the setting. He clearly had a hand in it as the editor, but it was my project I wrote for him.

    Just trying to be clear.

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  2. Thank you John, I've made that more clear in the edited article above. I think we all have our fingers crossed to see this work unearthed!

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  3. Thanks for pointing out this stretch goal. It certainly sounds interesting.

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