Saturday, January 31, 2009

Round 2

Well if February isn't already upon us! January went by extremely fast it seems to me. But it was a good month. We released a good number of products in January. A5 Shattered Horn signals the revival of the A series. Bands of Orcs is a new pdf release that offers quick made encounters. Arms and Armor is a great resource for any game system and a truly unique approach to the subject. DB6 also launched this past week, The Conquered East brings us all back to the Haunted Highlands and at the last few days we shipped Crusader 15. All these products compliment the ever growing C&C universe the RPG community at large.

January has been a good month and strong start to 2009.

This of course has been complimented by a new catalog that will be made available this next week for download. Its final draft is being completed now. This is the first tool in my arsenal to revive the sagging Retailer sales that TLG has experience since 2006. The drops in these numbers reflects a failure amongst distributors to push the C&C line and the very poor reaction I have to retailer needs...the catalog being one of the most important.

Mark and I have prepped the machine shop for its expansion which is going to enhance out abilities to do new things. Look for perfect bound copies of C&C products in the very, very near future.

I'm also considering an option, I have to talk this over with Peter, to revive a project he has long wanted to do, offer the PH and MT in one perfect bound book for quick reference. I'm mulling over the options, if we do this, it must include the updated 3rd printing material of the MT and the 4th printing material of the PH. This actually allows folks a less expensive way to get the latest version of the game. More on this early in the week.

For the first time in TLG's history I'm about 90% compliant with all my end of year financial filings, book keeping and the like. Its a small miracle which can be attributed to the staff here at TLG: Mark Sandy, Peter Bradley, James M. Ward, Cory M. Caserta, Brian Kowalski, Elizabeth Stewart, Mike Stewart, Jason Walton, Casey Cannfield, Casey Christofferson, Mark Allen, Robert Doyel, Jason Alexander and Richard McBain. And of course let us not forget the indomitable Davis who blasts into my office at 11 pm with all manner of ideas and mountains of CKG notes for me to put together and assemble.

This coming week I'll turn my attention to the CKG and begin my drive into retail shops and new distribution opportunites. Mark will begin the revamping of the shop to make room for new equipment and aforementioned expansion and Peter will be hopping hard on the multiple covers we've got him working on. Also look for the previously mentioned update on Crusader to make the copy more appealing and let people know what is in each bloody issue. In short we'll be removing the cluster of crap that is the crusader copy now!

Enjoy and as always, Thanks for Gaming!
Steve

For the song's smiths!

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Yodel to the End

Well, in the spirit of bringing TLG into the digital age, albeit reluctantly (Peter just informed me that Google has electronically scanned scores of our books without permission), I thought I'd stop by, to let folks know that I'm going to schedule regular blog posts this coming week.

But until then, enjoy a little of the most pleasent sounds you'll ever here.

That's how we do it! (Peter's head is going to explode on this one!)

If that hurt your ears then check this out.

Electric! (Julian Grimm, this one I'm sure your going to like!)

Thanks for playing,
Steve

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 is upon us. Today the family, Mac’s family, Todd and Mark gathered for our traditional New Years Day feast of hog jowls, black eyed peas, turnip greens and corn bread with some local muskidine (sic) wine to top it off. Great fare…er, but for the turnip greens, that I could do without. Its supposed to bring us good luck and fortune. Here’s to it!!! And to you and yours as well!!

I’m looking forward to 2009, I really am. It’s going to be an exciting year. Its going to be a year that tests the market staying power of our communities game: Castles & Crusades. If the game does well, then we have a game that will stay and any amount of “it’s a fluke” talk that we’ve all had to endure can be permanently banished to the rubbish heap, where it truly belongs. As those of you who play already know C&C is so much more than a retro d20 game. But why am I so excited? There are several reasons.

Foremost is that the core books for Castles and Crusades are up for new printings: The Players Handbook will hit its 4th, the Monsters & Treasure its 3rd, the CK screens their 2nd. These are perfectly timed. We have literally run out of all three items at the same time. And this just happens to be the time that the Castle Keepers Guide is finally being wrapped up (Davis handed over Chapters 1 and 2 for editing this past Monday). The opportunity to address some long standing trade dress issues is golden. We can fix the books and release the new books all with the same look. To this end, several months ago actually, I charged Peter the task of making the trade dress more stark and eye catching. Bring in some colors and contrast them with the background. I also wanted at least a small overhaul to the C&C title logo, to make it more readable. He has done all these things with a gusto. The look has been on the site for awhile, but you can see the near final rendition of the new trade dress and the art for the M&T on this site, tonight. We are also going to take this opportunity to fix some long standing problems with the PH, specifically the Barbarian and the Illusionist. The Barbarian takes on a far more playable character class. I know you all are all going to enjoy it. Some other minor fixes, a new cover piece within the trade dress will top it off. The screen will sport the same art but a slightly different layout.

Next up is our growing relationship with James M. Ward. Jim, as we call him, has been hard at work for TLG for almost a year, if not long. He’s taken over the editor job at Crusader and turned that into a monthly magazine. Sagging subscription sales have picked up and the magazine seems to be inching into a new life. But more than that is the new C&C core book Of Gods & Monsters. This book explores well over a dozen pantheons and offers a host of monsters, magic items and spells to help round out the C&C experience. But more than that Jim takes a different approach to the deities, and makes them playable. The gods are given avatars and these avatars, like the Odin who wandered Midgaard we now have gods that take the guise of mortals. This book is going to be more than useful.

The Aufsrat series, the A adventure modules, lends itself to my happiness. This series is really core to the Aihrde universe as not only does it give people a playable series to dive into the setting with, but it ends with the monumental adventure: Aufstrag. We have managed to kick start the series of adventures that has sat stalled for years. A5 is already out the door and shipping. A6, the cover is done, the maps need drawn and the book edited. It should ship in January with no problem. A7 is on my desk. Peter has begun laying out the Great Tree and though work is far from done I anticipate that the moment the CKG is out the gate this adventure will dominate my attention.

Casey Christofferson has given me mountains of material to work on for the Haunted Highland series. Anticipate a folio edition of that setting coming out soon. He’s explored all manner of new items as well, next up the Black Librum
There is more C&C goodness further down the line. Much more. Miniature battle rules. Oriental rules. The Basic set. Adventures, MT 2, graph paper and more. Its too much for my overly taxed new year’s brain to put out today.

This doesn’t even touch the new adventures for Star Siege we are working. The Harvesters Game, Victorious and the oft mentioned Pulp Siege. We have a Horror Siege in the works as well. We’ll work hard on getting at least two of these out this year. Each game system will be considered for its own line of expansion and setting projects. All very much fun.
We have even more as well, but I’ll save it for later as the website is updated and it is time for me to go to my weekly game. But the shop and product line expansions will bring much growth to TLG and we are all looking forward to it with anticipation.

Alot has happened in the past year. More than any of us could have forseen. But its behind us. My mom once told me something that I use to guide my life. Her husband went off to war in Vietnam (twice volunteered), her three sons joined up during war time (first Iraq war) and I asked her once, when we all thought we would end up overseas, if it was hard saying good bye. She told me that it was harder than I would ever know, but the best thing to do, is to say Goodbye and then go on. And I can't say that in the many times that I have left my mom, when I would look back at her, that she has ever stopped and looked back at me departing. She would say goodbye and then turn around and walk away. In many respects this is what we are doing. We won't forget, we'll honor the memory and hold up the candle for all to see, but we are going forward. Always forward.

TROLLZAH

Now to the Land of Plenty!

Thanks for playing.
Steve