Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:40 am 
 

Good morning all!

I put this question out on FB today but I'm adding it here too - sorry if some of you will see this message twice - I value feedback with my work and especially value what Acaeum collectors think.

"A question for you book lovers out there: when DMing a generic fantasy adventure for your group, do you prefer the print materials to all be in one book or separated in to two books, one for the adventure and one for the stats/rules for multiple systems? I ask because I'm publishing a new series that will cross between 3 systems (1E AD&D, 5E D&D, TSRS) and wondered if the rule/stat differences as in-line text would be too much. But using two books might be cumbersome to some DMs. Thoughts?"

To elaborate further:   The first 2 books some of you purchased in my current series were written for Basic D&D.  I then published limited print runs of the same adventure for my system guidelines.  I did this because the systems are different enough to require specialized layouts, etc.  I really never want to do this again... Doing the layout twice for the same adventure, double print runs, etc. is a major hassle.  With only one book left, I'll complete the series in this way but I want to build the books for my next series in a less painful way.  

TSRS is closer to 5E than 1E, but at the end of the day, they are all FRPs so I *should* be able to merge them in to one book.  I really just want to know what people prefer... one book with all the stat/rule blocks in line, or two books with the second book containing the differences.  I'm really kind of hung up on this design issue and would love to hear your thoughts...

Thanks,

Thom

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:32 am 
 

I really like the layout of your books.  The look/feel and retro appearance is very pleasing.

I think it's fairly common to put stats at the end of the book in an appendix, I would think that or a second booklet would be just fine.  I woudl prefer that, as it keeps the narrative and plot flowing.  I like maps and diagrams near the appropriate descriptions.

General feedback: it took a fair bit of concentration to get through the 'fantasy' names of npcs, places, etc.  Too many uncommon letter arrangements and multi-syllabic names make play unnecessarily complicated, in my opinion.  It was a relief to get to Dragonstail Pass :)

I really like the numbering/signing convention you've adopted and encourage you to continue.

Thanks again for publishing these, I will continue to be a supporter!


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:00 am 
 

Thunderdave wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:I really like the layout of your books.  The look/feel and retro appearance is very pleasing.


Thanks Dave!

Thunderdave wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:
General feedback: it took a fair bit of concentration to get through the 'fantasy' names of npcs, places, etc.  Too many uncommon letter arrangements and multi-syllabic names make play unnecessarily complicated, in my opinion.  It was a relief to get to Dragonstail Pass :)


Could you elaborate further, just so I'm sure what you mean?  I do use a lot oflocation/people/god names from the Terra Minor World Guide (and All-in-One Guide from KS) - they are used in all my work as the general setting...

Thunderdave wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:Thanks again for publishing these, I will continue to be a supporter!


As long as people buy my work, I'll keep writing/publishing.  I have over a dozen adventures in various stages, most of which are 80% complete.  2015 will be a high-output kind of year!

Thanks!

Thom

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:15 am 
 


General feedback: it took a fair bit of concentration to get through the 'fantasy' names of npcs, places, etc.  Too many uncommon letter arrangements and multi-syllabic names make play unnecessarily complicated, in my opinion.  It was a relief to get to Dragonstail Pass :)

Could you elaborate further, just so I'm sure what you mean?  I do use a lot oflocation/people/god names from the Terra Minor World Guide (and All-in-One Guide from KS) - they are used in all my work as the general setting...


I don't mean to nitpick, just a general suggestion from my point of view, is to be careful too many proper names with different letter combination conventions, make it tough for me to a) hit a reasonable sounding pronunciations and b) remember the names.  

For example: Jenustik, Gulldep, Mung-Tu-Kep, Rhak'tul'nak, Jwellan Sissnop, Ghak'tanesh, Thringalesh.  The last two have similar sounds, and yes it's nice to have a dwarf character *not* named Longbeard or Ironaxe.  I just found the flow suffered while I tripped over unconventional names.  

Other names, like Baron Wyrmbul, Rumblefist, Gibbik the Growler (love it!) are much easier for me to work with.

Just my two cents, and only mean to offer this constructively :)


I draw the line at collecting... D&D Towels.

Did we need: Jade Magi Sewer Crawl

Shoulda been: ".. from Pangreenia to Floratopolis, from mystical Treeonia of spectral Forests to Schruborial dimensions."  - The Forests of Leng

  

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:23 am 
 

Dave,

... and taken constructively too.  No worries, just trying to make sure I understand your meaning, which I now do.  Thanks!

You're right, there are some complex names - there is purpose to some of that (regional, racial, etc.) but your pronunciation point is well received.  Perhaps a pronunciation snippet next to each name when introduced would help too?

I'll definitely take that in to consideration in the next book.

Thanks!

Thom

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 12:38 pm 
 

throwi wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested: 
I have over a dozen adventures in various stages, most of which are 80% complete.  
2015 will be a high-output kind of year!


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:52 pm 
 

This may not be an informed comment, but didn't the early Gygax modules just have the hit points listed? That helped readability to me. You would then go to the appropriate manual (or index, in this case) to get the actual stats of the creature or NPC. Of course, perhaps hit point systems have changed a little too much for you to do this.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:46 am 
 

throwi wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:I really just want to know what people prefer... one book with all the stat/rule blocks in line, or two books with the second book containing the differences.


Two separate books meshes better with my DM style. I usually have a 'stat' sheet that contains the stats for NPCs and monsters when I'm running, and if I'm running a pre-written adventure I'll prep this ahead of time. It makes it smoother when I want the adventure to be more dynamic, such as bringing in bad guys from an adjacent area. I know to always just look at the stats sheet rather than try to remember which room the bad guys are keyed to. That said, if you did it all inline, I can just create the stats cheat sheet myself.

Thunderdave wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:General feedback: it took a fair bit of concentration to get through the 'fantasy' names of npcs, places, etc.  Too many uncommon letter arrangements and multi-syllabic names make play unnecessarily complicated, in my opinion.  It was a relief to get to Dragonstail Pass :)


On the other hand, I love complex names! Disclaimer: I'm a language nerd, and have even worked on creating my own fantasy language specifically for consistent names. The names given as examples excite me, and make me feel like it's quite a different culture than the "common" language names. What I love the most though, are names that are consistent and have meaning. For instance, the -esh prefix could mean "son of", kind of like -ian/-yan in Armenian. You can see this well in Middle Earth with place names; Gondor and Mordor, for example.

Cheers,

Richard

  

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:52 am 
 

Thanks for all the feedback guys.  With what was posted here and at FB, I think I'm going to try for 2 books, as long as the cost to print isn't too much more.

~throwi

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Post Posted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:07 am 
 

u2622 wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:
On the other hand, I love complex names! Disclaimer: I'm a language nerd, and have even worked on creating my own fantasy language specifically for consistent names. The names given as examples excite me, and make me feel like it's quite a different culture than the "common" language names. What I love the most though, are names that are consistent and have meaning. For instance, the -esh prefix could mean "son of", kind of like -ian/-yan in Armenian. You can see this well in Middle Earth with place names; Gondor and Mordor, for example.  


Richard,

I intended the "-esh" suffix to mean "one of" or "first of".  It works well for the twin brother god Thringalesh (actually born first) as well as the high priest Ghak'tanesh (born and bred to serve his god, the last of his kind).

Although an amateur at best, I enjoy creating cultures and worlds, even languages to a certain degree.  If you carefully search my website, you'll find references to Colossevm, a game I've been writing now for over... 15 years... yes, 15 plus years (but really over 20 since the first inception)... it's a graphics driven, text based Internet game that focuses on strategy and immersion.... I won't get in to it too much here, but there is a race in the game called Jadaagians - they are a desert-dwelling, Mongolian-like group that has been at war with the empire for years.  I've created the language for this group and have much of the fundamentals built, including simple words and phrases, and critical nouns/verbs/adjectives/pronouns/etc. .  There is a bit of crossover between the world of this game and the world of Terra Minor (the TSRS world) by design...

Thom

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:36 pm 
 

I finally have some news (and pictures) to share here.

The first book in the next series will take adventurers from the southern reaches of Wynhelm and in to the dark jungles of Nolgur-Wul, pushing back the evil forces looking to expand their foothold.  The first book, "In Defense of Thuil", could be considered a one-shot but leaves the door wide open for continuation in to the four book series, "Trail of the Serpent Queen".

My artist is in the midst of the cover illustration and my cartographer (who some of you will recognize from AS&H fame) has completed the first of two maps.  See the sample attached.

The book is 100% written, but needs adjustment for the 3-system design (1e, 5e, TSRS).  Then it needs editing and interior illustrations.  I'm targeting the release for last week in April.

Thanks,

Thom

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:36 pm 
 

NICE!  I really love the look of that one.  I can't wait until it hits the presses.  :)


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 10:38 am 
 

Good morning all!

I'm looking for a head count for those interested in this next series...

This book, "In Defense of Thuil" will be 20-24 pages in length with a detachable cover, cartography by Monkey Blood Design, and artwork by Lucas Pandolfelli.  The book is already written;  I'm waiting on the second map and interior artwork.  This book will be the first in a four part series, "Trail of the Serpent Queen" [book2 in July, book3 in September, book4 in November].  It will be printed the last week in April and shipped the first week in May.  Note that "In Defense of Thuil" is part one in a series but can be used as a standalone adventure.

Those of you waiting on book three of the False Promises series will get "God Slayers" in late May.  I'll check for that head count early next month.

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:02 am 
 

Count me in.


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:08 am 
 

I'm in!


I draw the line at collecting... D&D Towels.

Did we need: Jade Magi Sewer Crawl

Shoulda been: ".. from Pangreenia to Floratopolis, from mystical Treeonia of spectral Forests to Schruborial dimensions."  - The Forests of Leng

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:54 am 
 

Add me to the list.  For 2, if that's ok.


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:02 pm 
 

lucyjoyce wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:Add me to the list.  For 2, if that's ok.


Of course!  Thanks!

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:09 pm 
 

Count me in too!

The map looks great, but the stairs in room H1 seem really oddly placed. I don't think it makes sense unless the stairs are further back within the antechamber :D

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:28 pm 
 

sure!

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:41 pm 
 

u2622 wrote in Book 1 of the Next Series - Design Feedback Requested:Count me in too!

The map looks great, but the stairs in room H1 seem really oddly placed. I don't think it makes sense unless the stairs are further back within the antechamber :D


Agreed, there was more detail added to the entrance of the chambers below than was necessary - I may move the stairs or make the area smaller.

Thanks!

Thom

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