Keeping JG World Alive
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Poll: If new JG adventures were produced would you buy them?

Yes 60%       60%  [ 26 ]
No, I like the original stuff 9%       9%  [ 4 ]
Might, I'd like some previews if possible 30%       30%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 43

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:27 pm 
 

TSR and JG are do not exist as far as producing new (worlds) content/material.
Still, with the OSR movement, there are lots of folk creating items that are as close as one can get without getting into a time machine and going back to those glory years and getting hired by one of the 2. (Yes, that sound you hear is my own horn tooting  :oops:  )

But how many JG type adventures are people creating now days? (I don't mean d20 rehashed items) I've done a couple, but I admit to being ignorant of the rest of the field's output. Is anyone else out there trying to do this?


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:02 pm 
 

Which JG products do you mean? Modules like Tegel Manor or Caverns of Thracia, campaign settings like City State of the Invicible Overlord, or reference sheets like the Ready Ref sheets? Do you mean Wilderlands-specific material or generic material that is JG-esque?


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:00 am 
 

Zenopus wrote:Which JG products do you mean? Modules like Tegel Manor or Caverns of Thracia, campaign settings like City State of the Invicible Overlord, or reference sheets like the Ready Ref sheets? Do you mean Wilderlands-specific material or generic material that is JG-esque?


Yes.
Adventures,
supplements,
etc.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:16 am 
 

Do you mean publications that are continuations...or tied directly to Judges Guild creations?

Or, do you mean items in the spirit of old Judges Guild?


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:04 pm 
 

More of "in the spirit"...

though it would be great if some one did an actual "RETURN TO DARK TOWER", the legalities of such works would prevent such, I would assume.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:16 pm 
 

The current management of the Judges Guild properties is hanging onto their titles for some reason.  A last attempt by Frog God Games to publish Tegel Manor was firmly rebuffed.  

I think they have plans to keep publishing the Judges Guild titles in some form, but either the deal isn't getting done or the movers behind Judges Guild are moving very slow indeed.

I guess it is important to remember that these are intellectual properties and an inheritance in the Bledsaw family, so it is understandable if they want to protect their rights by being cautious.

There is at least one unofficial Wilderlands City State project out there on the web and available for relatively cheap.  It reads much like an old-school Judges Guild publication...which it was meant to be:

http://www.dreamborn.com/p_tport.html

Weve discussed Tarracina Port before on the Acaeum.  The author chimed in for a while because he suddenly found he had a rash of buyers.  Tarracina includes lots of those quirky details and historical anachronisms that were a charming part of Old School Judges Guild products.

(Although I didn't start out this post to hawk Tarracina Port, there were only 500 of this comb binding publication made and when they are gone you may wish you'd gotten one, as well as the module, Loki's Wine.)


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:21 pm 
 

And...I am assuming that everyone is aware of the publication of Lost Man's Road, right?


http://www.judgesguild.org/products/index.html


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:23 pm 
 

And, people are aware of Bat in the Attic Games and their Majestic Wilderlands publication, right?


http://batintheattic.com/majesticwilderlands.php


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:34 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:And, people are aware of Bat in the Attic Games and their Majestic Wilderlands publication, right?


http://batintheattic.com/majesticwilderlands.php

Don't forget the Blackmarsh setting (pdf is free):

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php? ... rs_id=2993

FormCritic wrote:Weve discussed Tarracina Port before on the Acaeum. The author chimed in for a while because he suddenly found he had a rash of buyers. Tarracina includes lots of those quirky details and historical anachronisms that were a charming part of Old School Judges Guild products.

(Although I didn't start out this post to hawk Tarracina Port, there were only 500 of this comb binding publication made and when they are gone you may wish you'd gotten one, as well as the module, Loki's Wine.)

I was under the impression that the author had run out since you can no longer find them on Ebay.  More likely, the author probably just got sick and tired of paying all the fees.


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:37 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:And, people are aware of Bat in the Attic Games and their Majestic Wilderlands publication, right?


http://batintheattic.com/majesticwilderlands.php


Thanks for the shout out.

As for the revised Thieves of Badabaskor, I can sympathize with the dislike of d20 stat block. If you dislike reading them, I dislike them even more having to write them. What a nitpicky bunch of crap that was.

Anyway I would have written Badabaskor revision the same way if I was able to use one of the retro-clone. Basically fleshing out the terse descriptions of the original.

Citadel of Fire made way too many changes from the original. The authors really wanted to put their own stuff in the module and it hurt it. Note I wanted to write Citadel of Fire not Badabaskor. My version would have been way closer to the original.

Dark Tower was pretty a straight port as the original descriptions were fine the way they were.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:54 pm 
 

And how could I forget about Geoff Dale, Spellbook Games and all their efforts to keep the Inferno project going?

http://www.spellbookgames.com/products.html


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:57 pm 
 

Right, Kingofpain89!

I was thinking of Blackmarsh as sort of an addition to Dave Arneson's Blackmoor, but when you put it in the context of First Fantasy Campaign, you really do have a strong Judges Guild tie in!

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php? ... &products_ id=89944&filters=0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=2993


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:59 pm 
 

Also, I know I have mentioned LOVIATAR elsewhere on the Acaeum, but Christian is doing very good Judges Guild style work with his hex description series.

http://loviatarzine.blogspot.com/

In my opinion, everyone should be subscribing to LOVIATAR if they love Old School even a little bit.  LOVIATAR is dirt cheap and the quality is high.


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Last edited by FormCritic on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  

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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:05 pm 
 

Adventure Games Publishing has given up trying to sell hardcopies, but their products are still alive:

http://adventuregamespublishing.blogspo ... lable.html


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Post Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:18 pm 
 

robertsconley wrote:Citadel of Fire made way too many changes from the original. The authors really wanted to put their own stuff in the module and it hurt it. Note I wanted to write Citadel of Fire not Badabaskor. My version would have been way closer to the original.


Yeah ... I did go a bit over on my part of CoF, but in my opinion the playtesting and the resulting additions and omissions put the final nail in the coffin on this one.  Would have liked to redo a bit during the 2nd round of editing that Goodman offered, but it wasn't meant to be ... sigh!

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Post Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:30 pm 
 

I see that the "Yess'" are in the greater majority, with the "I Mights" making a strong showing.

Which leads me to wonder, then, if I should continue creating adventures in the spirit of the JG format/style?

A couple of well-answered questions might help me decide the matter.

I was always under the impression that the JG world was intended to be taken and added to by all the players and Judges around the country; and that creating new material based off what was published was encouraged.

1. Is this so? Where did I get this idea from? Is it written somewhere?
2. Would it be better to have adventures/cities specifically tied to the JG world map...via a location or name listed somewhere? Or be so generic as to be able to fit anywhere?

I personally find stat-bloc data offensive on several grounds; unless one is a Judge that prefers running things off-the-cuff without any prereading or planning, and with no intention of altering or modifying the written word (yeah, right!)
But lots of gamers love them/prefer them.
JG adventures had their own way of including them, especially after they went to the "Universal System".
In my last JG style attempt I inserted a lot of stats. While it didn't add that much more time to the writing of it, I think it did (IMO) help capture that "old style" feel. Has anyone seen/read HOUSE OF FANG? If so, what did you think?


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:08 am 
 

Thork N Hammer, Esquire wrote:I see that the "Yess'" are in the greater majority, with the "I Mights" making a strong showing.

Which leads me to wonder, then, if I should continue creating adventures in the spirit of the JG format/style?


What I tell people is that if they think they get get a 100 sales (or a 100 downloads) then they should go and write their project. It not hard to get a 100 people to know who you are but not trival either. I did it through a combination of people knowing my past work with Necromancer and Goodman Games and maintaining an active blog.

Pick one of the retro-clones that you like to use as the rules base. My own recommendation if you want to go for the feel of the oldest Judges Guild products then use Swords & Wizardry Core or Complete (OD&D) otherwise use OSRIC (AD&D).

The minimum you will need to do for the OGL is declare all your character and monster stats as open content and the rest of the module as product identity (not open or copyable).

If you want to use the Swords & Wizardry or OSRIC trademark then you will need to follow their trademark licenses. They are very simple to follow.


Thork N Hammer, Esquire wrote:A couple of well-answered questions might help me decide the matter.

I was always under the impression that the JG world was intended to be taken and added to by all the players and Judges around the country; and that creating new material based off what was published was encouraged.


The Bledsaws been generous in regards to non-commercial products however if you are going do something elaborate I suggest contacting them first.

Thork N Hammer, Esquire wrote:1. Is this so? Where did I get this idea from? Is it written somewhere?


Poke around the Judges Guild Necromancer Forums or the net you will find Bob Bledsaw saying that the Wilderlands are meant to be personalized by the referee.

Thork N Hammer, Esquire wrote:2. Would it be better to have adventures/cities specifically tied to the JG world map...via a location or name listed somewhere? Or be so generic as to be able to fit anywhere?


The Bledsaws are nice folks to work with however they are being careful about releasing any "official" Wilderlands products. My own license only allows me to publish stuff for my particular version, the Majestic Wilderlands. However there was other things I wanted to do with the hex crawl format of the Wilderlands.

So I have a separate series of products and writings that works similar to  the Wilderlands but are original works. Points of Light I and II, Blackmarsh, etc. The Wild North was published in Fight On! as a Wilderlands map under special permission. I am going to redraw the edges of the map and replace the content so I can release it commercially.

If you want to publish commercially then come up with original material that you feel that is in the Judges Guild style. Remember not everything Judges Guild released was tied to the Wilderlands, Badabaskor, Verbosh, Restomal, and others come to mind.

Thork N Hammer, Esquire wrote:I personally find stat-bloc data offensive on several grounds; unless one is a Judge that prefers running things off-the-cuff without any prereading or planning, and with no intention of altering or modifying the written word (yeah, right!)
But lots of gamers love them/prefer them.
JG adventures had their own way of including them, especially after they went to the "Universal System".


There are a bunch of OGL retro-clones that work similar enough to the original rules that you can avoid the issues that I ran into with the d20 standards. Just take your pick. Using something similair Judges Guild universal format will limit the appeal and utility of your product.

Thork N Hammer, Esquire wrote:In my last JG style attempt I inserted a lot of stats. While it didn't add that much more time to the writing of it, I think it did (IMO) help capture that "old style" feel. Has anyone seen/read HOUSE OF FANG? If so, what did you think?


The most elaborate stat block I use in my own adventure is the following.

Yoluf, Fur Trapper; AC 6[13], 3rd Lvl Fighter; HP 11; ATK 2; HTB +1; DMG 1d6+1/1d6+1; MV 120'; Save: 14; Posses: Leather Armor, Short Bow (Range 50 ft, 1d6+1), Shortword (1d6+1), Dagger(1d4+1), 20d.

The major difference is that Swords & Wizardry trademark requires the use of Ascending AC and I choose to include the optional to hit bonus that Swords & Wizardry presents as an alternative.

Some would be perfectly happy with

Yoluf, Fur Trapper, Fighter 3rd, HP 11.

The biggest caution I can give is that to take a work to a professional level (regardless if you sell it or release it for free) is about the same amount of work to create it in the first place. It is the major stumbling block that most people have.

If you are prepared to do that then it is very easy to go from there to sell commercially.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:02 am 
 

Thanks, robert--

a lot of good advice you posted there.

I am feeling more optomistic about it now.

:D


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 2:59 pm 
 

robertsconley wrote:The biggest caution I can give is that to take a work to a professional level (regardless if you sell it or release it for free) is about the same amount of work to create it in the first place. It is the major stumbling block that most people have.

As someone who bought all of these products, in PDF form, and in many multiples in paper form as store stock, the professional feel and finished polish to the product is very importand. They typesetting, proofreading, illustration and cartography are all critical. They need to in keeping with the JG style, and all of a high and uniform standard across the whole range of output. There is a world of difference between small press products that anyone can bang out on Lulu, and the professional products we have seen over the years from a few sources, and it is in understanding these differences that seperates the real talents in the industry, from the alsorans. There is no reason why anyone here could not put product out like GG or FGG, but the number who have managed to be that professional in the past five years I can count on two hands.

It is tough to be a professional small publisher in the industry. I would have thought the logical first step would be to publish the Supermodule G4-9 as a proper finished product. That way you can get used to assembling the team you need, and get used to the typesetting, proofreading, and co-ordinating the mapwork and illustrations etc. all the the same high standard that makes a product look, feel and read like a professional product.

I'd say, if you can write, and write well, but you cannot make the product look as and feel professional, go to a publisher with a proven track record and write for them. If you have the money, the contacts, and the detachment from your work to be able to edit it critically and with a professionals eye, then publish yourself.

What you absolutely don't want to do is take JG and make it feel cheap or hobbyist, because each publisher that has ventured down the JG route so far has treaded with care and consideration of the name and what it stood for. That is why many people by JG on the back of the name alone.

As regards stat blocks, the previous poster has it down to a tee.
robertsconley wrote:Yoluf, Fur Trapper; AC 6[13], 3rd Lvl Fighter; HP 11; ATK 2; HTB +1; DMG 1d6+1/1d6+1; MV 120'; Save: 14; Posses: Leather Armor, Short Bow (Range 50 ft, 1d6+1), Shortword (1d6+1), Dagger(1d4+1), 20d.


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Post Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:47 pm 
 

Great post Robert.

Just to back up your line about taking it to professional level...

A phrase we use here at work frequently is, "The first 80% of the project is 80% of the work, and the last 20% of the project is the other 80% of the work."

  
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