Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CKG Release and a note from the Troll Lord

We have the Castle Keepers Guide available immediately in PDF version as well as in perfect bound softcover.  The links to get these are in the following message from Steve:

Greetings All,

Okay, so we have some news finally. First off, thank you to everyone that have borne this wait with such patience. I believe it will be worth it. So what follows is the latest news and a special offering to all pre-order folks.

In short, I told the entire crew to slow everything down and walk through the tasks as if we had all the time in the world. We've worked the problem from several angles and have come to a good working solution that has allowed us to already produce the M&T of Aihrde Hardcover and Of Gods & Monsters hardcover.

We'll apply the same techniques to the Castle Keepers Guide (but there is one hitch, as always with this book). Essentially the problems lie in the wrap itself, and the board warping. The manufacturer of the binding equipment recommends that we use a particular type of paper that by-passes this process. We did not use this in the first place due to a miscommunication with our sales rep and paper sizes versus what we could and could not do, compounded with a steep learning curve on our part.

The confusion now cleared we have begun using this new paper. Essentially it combines the laminate with the toner, disallowing the need to have the cover wrap laminated. This is good as it saves on time and paper loss. What we lose is that crazy shiny look that you have on the PH and MT. I personally don't mind this as this new paper has something of a matte appeal, less glossy to it. The laminate works just as it does in normal wraps. Basically the book is less shiny, but just as durable. This is the route we will go for the CKG. So now it needs only ordering the stock and beginning the process anew.

All of this will begin tomorrow. These shipments sometimes take several days so it will be next week at the earliest before we start manufacturing the books..."the good lord willing and the creek don't rise" as Gary used to say.

But all that mess aside, I do not feel I can keep this book under wraps any longer. Effective immediately the CKG is available in Perfect Bound edition as well as the electronic version. We do not normally release the PDF until the book has been out for awhile, but in this case, it is time to get the book out in as many forms as possible.

Its a new age, so let the CKG usher it in!

If you have a pre-order in, whether you changed it to perfect back, or took a damaged CKG, we are offering you a 15% discount on the PDF purchase price. Please email Tim Burns at tim_burns at for the information.

This discount extends to anyone who orders the book from now until it official release in 3298...just kidding. Its official release in the next week or so.

For anyone wanting a refund please email us at orders at and we'll get you taken care of.

To everyone, a very king Thank You. You guys rock.


post script: We are still wrestling with this #&@&@! warping and have many more miles to go to master it, and we will!

He Who Sits on the Elephants Back
The Troll Lord
Steve Chenault, President & CEO of Chenault & Gray Publishing, Troll Lord Games


Unknown said...

Wow. Virtually nothing in the CKG is OGC? Is that intentional? That's.. very disappointing if so.

Craig Maloney said...

I just reviewed the Player's Handbook. As far as I can tell, the SIEGE Engine is not Open Game Content, so a book that explores the underpinnings of the SIEGE engine isn't going to be Open Game Content. I'm hoping I'm misreading this, because I was under the impression that SIEGE was OGC, but if it isn't, that's the Troll's decision.

Unknown said...

I received confirmation on Twitter that the Product Identity OGC statements are correct in the CKG which makes at least 90-95% of the book untouchable. I don't know how others feel about the OGL but personally it matters a great deal to me how much a company embraces it, especially one who's sole product only exists because of the OGL. If the OGL matters to you (and perhaps to many it doesn't) then I'd skip this book.

Don MacVittie said...

I hate to tell you guys, but the OGC is effectively dead. Asking TLG to stick to it seems a bit odd, considering that WoTC doesn't, and most companies are moving away from it.
I judge a book by it's cover (this one's warped :-P)... Err content, not by whether I can cut-n-paste from it when dumping to a website.
Don't have my copy yet though, so beyond "OGL isn't a reasonable demand anymore", can't speak to it.

Bob Sandusky said...

I find these concerns about the CKG being mostly non-OGL curious. Personally, I could care less and I don't see what the big deal is. Whether a product is OGL has never impacted my purchasing decisions with RPGs. If a book has good content, and I see usable stuff for my gaming table, I'll buy it. (And if it's really good that I want my players to have it, I'll buy multiple copies -- my way of supporting the author who came up with the good ideas (rather than stealing it and posting it somewhere. But I work in editing and publishing, so I have a soft spot for that side of the business.))

Unknown said...

Don MacVittie said "I hate to tell you guys, but the OGC is effectively dead."

If you played (or know anything about) Pathfinder you'd know that the OGL is far from dead. It's what enables the entire 3.x spin-off generations to exist. Without the OGL you have no Pathfinder, no Castles & Crusades, no OSRIC, no Labrynth Lord, no.. well you get the point. The entire OSR exists because of the people who decided to open up the rules to others. Some publishers embrace and show appreciation to the OGL by doing the same, ie, releasing their creations ALSO as OGC. Paizo for one releases every single thing they do as 100% OGC as do very many of the Paizo 3rd Party Publishers. None of them seem to be experiencing negative business impact as a result, and as a matter of fact, most have publicly exclaimed the virtues of the OGL and how it has expanded their business.

Don MacVittie said "Asking TLG to stick to it seems a bit odd, considering that WoTC doesn't, and most companies are moving away from it."

1) If a company or publisher uses the OGL they MUST stick to it. It's not a matter of choice. However, nothing in the OGL says they MUST release additional content as OGC, only that the parts they use are still released as OGC. So this means that a company can use the entirety of the OGC content of every other publisher, add 10 million new lines of rules, and release NONE of their rules additions as OGC. This is perfectly legal by the OGL. Is it "fair" or "a good thing" ? In my opinion no because if a majority of that companies business is due to the OGL they ought to help expand it so that others also can reuse that content in their products, thereby expanding the breadth of content available to all.

2) WoTC doesn't, because they don't even use it anymore. They don't use the OGL for any of their products. However, Troll Lord Games (and many others) do. They HAVE to, because their entire game system depends on it.

Don MacVittie said "OGL isn't a reasonable demand anymore"

It's not a demand, its a requirement. If you are going to use the OGL for your products, you HAVE to comply with its terms. Note that I am *not* saying you have to contribute 1 letter of new content back to the OGL, but you do have to comply with the other terms. Contributing back to the open gaming community is just "a nice thing to do."

Also, to me it is a reasonable request, and it's the reason I will not be purchasing it or recommending it to the 30,000 daily visitors to

Bob Sandusky said "I find these concerns about the CKG being mostly non-OGL curious. Personally, I could care less and I don't see what the big deal is."

See above. Some don't appreciate the OGL, some do. You don't, I do. Easy as that. I applaud those who give back and give thumbs down to those who use but don't give back. Its perfectly fine if you don't feel that way, I'm just explaining how *I* feel about it.

Bob Sandusky said "Whether a product is OGL has never impacted my purchasing decisions with RPGs."

For me, if the book uses the OGL then I look to see that it gives back. If it doesn't, I move on. I view those companies that take but don't give back as anathema to the entire OG concept.

Bob Sandusky said "If a book has good content, and I see usable stuff for my gaming table, I'll buy it."

Anymore I pretty much ONLY buy content that is either 100% OGC or 90%+ OGC. With Paizo and the 3rd Party Publishers around Pathfinder that's easy and that's why they get on average $100/mo from me.