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 Post subject: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimoire
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:11 pm 
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Mkay. So this is a guy writing some **** down out of his, well, living room right now. And really, really thankful he's still got a living room, to be honest.

But I digress.

My publishing imprint is called Land of Phantoms. And I'm putting together two books for DCC: Transylvanian Adventures and The Transylvanian Grimoire. If anyone wants to know more, I'll be happy to talk on and on like I know what I'm doing.

The "flyer" is posted on the blog, at the moment. A pretty low res version too. I don't have any web hosting at the moment. So if anyone wouldn't mind an Occupy Bandwidth image hosted on their site, I'd be happy for the help. :D

Some people are going to LOVE this **** thing. Some people are going to be repulsed by it like a scantily clad vampire bride from a garlic pizza with extra garlic.

But one thing I know for certain... NONE of you will be able to read the text on the flyer. So here it is in its questionable glory.

This is MY fantasy heartbreaker, folks. I'm merely comforted by the knowledge that my fantasy hearbreaker will, in fact, have cleavage. It's a questionable art direction. But I've decided to just go for it.

(Text of the flyer follows)


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 Post subject: Rising in 2012
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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Transylvanian Adventures

Set aside those “Domains of Despair” for a World of Adventure!

Ancient secrets and epic adversaries lie buried in a land of mists and supersition.

Frightened innkeepers bolt their doors for fear of the stranger at the threshold.

Stoic villagers stand helpless against horrors beyond belief.

It is up to you to turn back the tide of darkness. And it all starts here!

Transylvanian Adventures is a supplement for Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. New character classes, rules, monsters and a hexmap are all included to capture the feel of adventuring in the land where modern horror began.

No Elves. No Dwarves. No Sparkly Vampires.


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 Post subject: Rising Slightly Later in 2012
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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The Transylvanian Grimoire

Eldritch enchantments and ancient mysteries are laid bare in The Transylvanian Grimoire.

You’ll uncover an entirely new list of spells for the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG, tailored to campaigns of dangerous, yet subtle, magic.

You’ll also exhume new patrons and schools of magic like Ritual Magic and Alchemy.

The Transylvanian Grimoire can be used in any existing campaign of DCC to transmogrify it into something heavier on the sword than the sorcery.

No Transylvania Required!

A word of caution, however. The Transylvanian Grimoire contains rule modifications that were too terrifying to be considered “essential” rules in Transylvanian Adventures.

Invite them to your table, if you dare!


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:07 pm 
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I'm glad to see this announcement and looking forward to some fun in Transylvania. :)

If you want to send me a high-res of the forum I can host it on the GG site - just send it over.

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 Post subject: Re: Rising in 2012
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:23 am 
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Both Transylvanian Adventures and Transylvanian Grimoire sound like a lot of fun. I like the idea of creating a setting for DCC where you use the main rulebook then fill in with classes, adventure threads and spell ideas to make the setting different from others out there.

I was a little confused by "where modern horror began," however, becasue I can't tell for sure if this is a fantasy Transylvania or a Victorian Transylvania (e.g. like the Dracula book) or a modern Transylvania. Either Victorian or modern is different enough from fantasy to hopefully grab a lot of attention from folks who want a change of pace. Fantasy could be cool, also, but not quite as different.

smathis wrote:
No Elves. No Dwarves. No Sparkly Vampires.
This would look great on a t-shirt!

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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:31 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:52 pm
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goodmangames wrote:
I'm glad to see this announcement and looking forward to some fun in Transylvania. :)

If you want to send me a high-res of the forum I can host it on the GG site - just send it over.


Thanks, Joseph. I'll send that your way.


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 Post subject: Re: Rising in 2012
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:09 am 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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finarvyn wrote:
Both Transylvanian Adventures and Transylvanian Grimoire sound like a lot of fun. I like the idea of creating a setting for DCC where you use the main rulebook then fill in with classes, adventure threads and spell ideas to make the setting different from others out there.

I was a little confused by "where modern horror began," however, becasue I can't tell for sure if this is a fantasy Transylvania or a Victorian Transylvania (e.g. like the Dracula book) or a modern Transylvania. Either Victorian or modern is different enough from fantasy to hopefully grab a lot of attention from folks who want a change of pace. Fantasy could be cool, also, but not quite as different.

smathis wrote:
No Elves. No Dwarves. No Sparkly Vampires.
This would look great on a t-shirt!


Ah. Well, Gothic fiction is kinda, sorta where our idea of the modern horror story comes from -- at least according to my research. And some note Bram Stoker's Dracula as the "first modern horror" novel. So, whatever that means. There are certainly elements of Lovecraftian and Japanese Horror to TA as well.

It's easy to say it's DCC's "Ravenloft" but that's not entirely accurate. TA "corrects" some of the missteps I think 2e took in converting the classic Castle Ravenloft module into a bona-fide setting. There's 95% less pathos and 180% more ***-kicking. There's less Wuthering Heights and more, um, Van Helsing? In that respect, TA is probably closer to "Castlevania" than it is to Ravenloft.

The setting is NOT fantasy. It has fantastic elements -- such as monsters and creatures. But it is NOT what most people think of as "fantasy". There are no demi-human races. PCs are only ever human. Or some sort of human hybrid. One class allows for that. Magic is a lot more John Dee than Harry Potter. There are Wizards (kinda sorta) but they fall more in line what you'd read in a Tim Powers or Neil Gaiman novel than a Robert Jordan novel.

The setting is nominally "Victorian", as in time period. But time period is very vague. If you've ever seen a Hammer Horror movie (like Horror of Dracula or Curse of Frankenstein), you'll get what I mean. The details of the "historical" setting are superfluous. It's all atmosphere, fog and creepy stuff focused within the rough geographical confines of Transylvania. As a campaign, it could go anywhere from Brotherhood of the Wolf to Vampire Hunter D. With some re-skinning on the VHD bit, like making muskets and flintlocks into laser rifles and blasters. Maybe that would be a good appendix for TG?

For those who aren't inclined towards Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, I think the real value will be the classes, rule addenda and the new spell list. All three of those could dramatically shift a DCC game towards something very different. Let's say the entire bit about Transylvania is ignored. What is left is a low magic, heroic (yet gritty) framework with rules and classes that support games where humans are the protagonists and demi-humans (be they elves, serpent people or whatever) are this strange "other". So, very Robert E. Howard in that respect.

Bits and pieces of the books can also be lifted and grafted on to any DCC game. At least that's the intent. So the new spell list can just expand the DCC spell list, especially if characterized as "Black Magic" or some sort of Necromantic or Demonologic form of spellcasting. Or the new classes become new options. Most of the classes fall into a "hybrid" mode anyway. So, for example, those wanting a "Paladin" class or a "Fighter-Thief" class should be able to easily recognize which TA class they're gunning for. There are actually a couple in TA that could fit that mold. Also the spellcasting in TG *should* support casters who do nothing but cast Rituals or concoct Potions or play around with constructs (be they steamworks, clockworks or something weirder). So, yeah, I guess you could put together a sort of Artificer or Alchemist with this spell list. Although the spellcaster(s) in TA just assume you'll pull your spell list together however you want. So while you may have some whizzbang spells here and there, you might be more of a potions guy who knows a couple of rituals.

And the rituals? They should be real fun.

All in all, this could be a "Gothic Horror" setting for DCC.

Or it could be your own personal "Unearthed Arcana" for DCC.

Or Arduin Grimoire.

That's why I think it's cool. Hope that answers more questions than it raises. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Rising in 2012
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:30 pm 
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smathis wrote:
No Elves. No Dwarves. No Sparkly Vampires.

SOLD!

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 Post subject: Re: Rising in 2012
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:42 pm 
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smathis wrote:
The setting is nominally "Victorian", as in time period. But time period is very vague. If you've ever seen a Hammer Horror movie (like Horror of Dracula or Curse of Frankenstein), you'll get what I mean.

Awesome! That's what I was hoping for, but I wasn't certain based on the way you phrased the blurb.

Put me down for a copy! 8)

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Just wanted to say that Joseph has been absolutely awesome with advice, help and anything else really when it comes to TA/TG. He's come through again in a big way by hosting these flyers.

Here's the small version of the flyer...

Image

And a downloadable higher rez version.

Thanks again to Joseph and his merry crew of Dungeoneers!


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:51 pm 
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DCC RPG needs a spiffy logo in a cool font. The one in the picture was okay but not really memorable.

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:34 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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finarvyn wrote:
DCC RPG needs a spiffy logo in a cool font. The one in the picture was okay but not really memorable.


I like the logo. Just my $.02.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Ooh...sounds good. I love hammer horror and all that blood on satans claw lark...if this gets me some cool fog filled adventures to run then count me in.

I like the logo too.

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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:23 pm 
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RevTurkey wrote:
Ooh...sounds good. I love hammer horror and all that blood on satans claw lark...if this gets me some cool fog filled adventures to run then count me in.


That's the intent. The only thing I'd say that would be demonstrably different from the Hammer Horror movies is that Dracula will not go out like a chump. He's actually quite nasty as an adversary.

:twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:14 am 
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smathis wrote:
That's the intent. The only thing I'd say that would be demonstrably different from the Hammer Horror movies is that Dracula will not go out like a chump.


Off topic aside:

This is what I *love* about "grassroots" roleplaying games – Smathis isn't just doing TA because it is that time in the RPG cycle to release a Ravenloft clone.

No siree. He is writing TA because, damnit, it is time Dracula didn't go out like a chump.

Now, I have no idea what that really means in the context of a DCC. But I know that whatever it is, however it manifests, it will probably be really fun to read and play, because Smathis is so darn passionate.

And somewhere, someone out there is super pumped about writing a

    Fighting Men of Mars variant ...

    ...or a grim, Dark Age/Inquisition variant

    ...or a post-apocalypse sci-fi as magic (mutations in place of corruptions) variant

    ...and on and on.

If the game happens to get you guys excited to make weird, wild and wooly games, that makes me a happy man.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:36 pm 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
I know that whatever it is, however it manifests, it will probably be really fun to read and play, because Smathis is so darn passionate.
Agreed, and I'm fired up already by just reading this thread. Smathis, is there a timeline for when you expect it to be released? (I must have missed it somewhere obvious. Probably in the flyer. :oops: )

Harley Stroh wrote:
And somewhere, someone out there is super pumped about writing a Fighting Men of Mars variant...
That's the one I want to do. Or maybe someone will get to it before I do. (Crosses fingers.)

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 2:18 pm 
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Tight-Lipped Warlock

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finarvyn wrote:
Agreed, and I'm fired up already by just reading this thread. Smathis, is there a timeline for when you expect it to be released? (I must have missed it somewhere obvious. Probably in the flyer. :oops: )


Initially, I'd had a pretty definite timeline. But I'd hoped to be done with what I'm calling "draft phase" by now too. But to give a brief synopsis of my life over the last 6 months... my company imploded and I became unemployed, my stepfather passed away, i started a new job and then all the usual kids, Christmas, birthdays, etc.

So my timeline slipped catastrophically.

The flyer just says 2012. And I feel I can deliver it sometime next year. The plan is for TA to go out first, followed by TG when I can get that completed.

Right now, I'm taking care of the "real" locations on the hexmap. So far, this has been the WORST part of the whole book to write because it's required more research than any other part. TA stands at 22,000 to 24,000 words and I'd estimate it's about 2/3 done. It's far easier to write up "fictional" stuff than real locations. I mean, I can't say Bistritz sits on a high plateau where water is scarce when, in actuality, it's right next to the Bistrita River...

After this, though, it's pretty much smooth sailing because I'm essentially writing out of my notes -- the research paper portion will officially be done! The sample adventure will be short. Kind of a 5-Room Dungeon sort of thing with a bit of intrigue/investigation at the beginning.

There's at least one more revision on the horizon as well as some playtesting. Anyone who has a hankering to face off with the Big Poppa Pump of All Vampires can help with the playtesting. I'm hoping to have at least part of TG underway by playtest (if not the whole thing drafted). The spells are really evocative. And creepy.

I'm also not expecting TG to take nearly as long as TA. Again, due to the lack of need to do such heavy research on the topic. I have spell lists. I have the math figured out. I just have to type up effects. And I can type FAST!!! :lol:

I'll release more details over time. And ask for some playtesters when it's ready. I'm hoping to maybe kick off playtesting in the Spring of 2012, moving forward or backward if life interferes or gets out of the way.

finarvyn wrote:
Harley Stroh wrote:
And somewhere, someone out there is super pumped about writing a Fighting Men of Mars variant...
That's the one I want to do. Or maybe someone will get to it before I do. (Crosses fingers.)


A John Carter of Mars sort of setting would be awesome. Really, you could tack it on to the rules/classes in TA. It might need its own spell list (for that awesome Thundarr magic-and-lasers feel). But the rule tweaks and classes in TA would lend themselves very well to any sort of "pulp" setting.


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:30 pm 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
This is what I *love* about "grassroots" roleplaying games – Smathis isn't just doing TA because it is that time in the RPG cycle to release a Ravenloft clone.

No siree. He is writing TA because, damnit, it is time Dracula didn't go out like a chump.

//H


Assuming TA meets your expectations, I think this is a pretty awesome quote. When it comes time to add in things like this, I'll ask your permission to use it.

Assuming the final product doesn't completely suck (pun intended).


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 3:56 pm 
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smathis wrote:
finarvyn wrote:
DCC RPG needs a spiffy logo in a cool font. The one in the picture was okay but not really memorable.
I like the logo. Just my $.02.
I'd like to revise my eariler opinion. Having seen the logo on several of the 3rd party products I must say that it's grown on me. I like it, too!

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DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:16 pm 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer

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Logo? Where was this announced?


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:53 pm 
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jmucchiello wrote:
Logo? Where was this announced?
My guess is that it was a "behind the scenes" announcement, since folks have to deal with Joseph directly if they want to produce DCC-compatible products.

If you look at the graphic Smathis posted earlier in the thread you can see the logo at the bottom. The same one appears on other product images in the other announcement threads in this section.

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Marv / Finarvyn
DCC Minister of Propaganda; Deputized 6/8/11
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DCC RPG playtester 2011, C&C playtester 2003,T&T since 2003,
ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:15 pm 
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Fin's correct. No announcement per se, just working behind the curtain with publishers interested in releasing 3pp DCC material. Joseph's been involved with them for a while now and I know there are more folks that have yet to post.

For my part, I'm looking forward to breadth and depth of their creative works. You all are working on some really cool releases.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:00 am 
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I think this shows great promise. Ravenloft (the module) was one of my favorites and the gothic horror/Hammer horror genre in general is so ripe for role-playing. I'm looking forward to the release.

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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:43 pm 
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ThickSkullAdv wrote:
I think this shows great promise. Ravenloft (the module) was one of my favorites and the gothic horror/Hammer horror genre in general is so ripe for role-playing. I'm looking forward to the release.


I'm also pretty certifiably nutso. So that should make it interesting, if nothing else.

If this is a sell for anyone, there's a CLEAVAGE rule...

That's right. A cleavage rule. It *is* emulating Hammer Horror, after all.

Moreover, it was designed by my wife.

Yes, she's highly qualified.

No, I will not post pictures.

So, if Ravenloft took a right turn at the corner of doom and despair, you can pretty well be sure that this will be taking that same car, outfitting it with a silver crucifix hood ornament and a huge stake sticking out of the front bumper. Then driving that car off the highway, smashing through a graveyard, slamming through the plate glass window of a lingerie shoppe and piercing the unbeating heart of the Bride of Dracula.

It would be like if the guys from Gamma World were accidentally assigned to write the Ravenloft setting in 1984. Or if Geoffrey McKinney and James Raggi IV developed an unhealthy obsession with Ingrid Pitt, mainlined a gallon of vampire blood and typed madly awesome stuff.

With marketing like this, who needs art? (Just kidding, I'm going to have art. Did the flyer myself while mainlining a gallon of vampire blood I bought off Amazon.)


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 Post subject: Re: 2012: Transylvanian Adventures & The Transylvanian Grimo
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:09 am 
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Hey I wanted to say thanx for the nice things you said on my earlier posting and on my thread. I also wanted to say DON'T SELL YOURSELF SHORT! :mrgreen: I never was much of a Ravenloft fan because of the, as you call it, "Wuthering Heights" aspects; but I'm quite keen to see your version! It sounds awesome! {edit: and when gamers are concerned, you really can't go wrong with a 'cleavage rule'.}

Keep stabbing that keyboard 'till it bleeds for you!

Cheers :mrgreen:


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