Hi there one and all. Josh here.
Apologies for the silence of late. I was reminded that I hadn't posted an update, and wanted to let you all know where things are for Travar, as well as the upcoming books.
After the pre-release draft I shared a few months back, Travar went back under my red pen for another round of edits and revisions. While generally positive, there was some feedback that highlighted weaknesses in the text that needed to be addressed -- some aspects that didn't really fit the space Earthdawn traditionally carved out, parts that didn't really hold together, and a need for a tighter focus.
The result was a drop in overall page count. The book is down to 320 pages from the 347 of the pre-art release. The cuts are largely the result of tightening the text, removing or revising some of the more explicitly non-Earthdawn stuff (for example, the adventure framework featuring time travel has had that aspect removed). All in all, the book is a touch leaner, but much stronger. Nothing of import was lost, and there are even a couple things that were added in (a couple more creatures, for example).
At this point, we are waiting for a couple of final art pieces to be delivered, build in the page cross-references (now that the book text and layout are locked), and finalize the index. Actually... two indices.
Old guard fans of Earthdawn might remember the original Throal sourcebook included a Gamemaster character index -- a list of all the GMCs included in the text, with a page reference and brief one or two sentence description. We had room for that in this book, and I liked it, so I brought it back.
The book will also feature a fold-out map of Travar. We heard the feedback about the map included in the GM Guide, and improved things. The map is beautiful, and I'll share it here for your enjoyment.
Once we get the last couple art pieces (which should be in the next week) and finalize the indices, the PDF will be released and, as with past books, all backers will get a code to redeem through our web shop. The book will go off to the printer, and physical copies should be delivered (and start going out to those who backed for physical books) in June.
As for the other stuff. the Companion has a deadline for June 30. All the material for the book should be done by then and it will go to layout. After the initial proof is generated, we'll figure out how much we need to cut to fit desired page count (because there's a lot of creatures/masks/items/knacks/etc that have been created, but probably not room for all of it). The book will come out as soon after that as we can get the art and layout finalized, probably September. (As usual, a pre-art draft will be shared with backers.)
Elven Nations has a whole bunch of notes that I need to deliver to the writer for edits. That's on my radar for this weekend. Hopefully the revision process goes well on those, and we can see that book delivered for layout and art in August or September.
Questors has the in-character pieces in revisions, and somebody working on powers. We've got a solid structure in place, and just need to hammer out the finer details. We've also got something resembling an actual production process, so fingers crossed, we'll see the rest of the books delivered (or very near to it) by the end of this year.
There are a couple of other things in the works, but I've gone on for a bit here, and need to get on to other things. Best way to keep up with the latest developments, official and unofficial, is to keep up with us on various social media.
As always, thank you for your patience and support. It is greatly appreciated.
Hey there one and all. Josh here. Happy new year!
It's been a bit longer than I had intended to get you fine folks an update, and for that I apologize. With the way things have been the last couple months... well, I'm not the only creative type that has found it hard to focus on stuff, let alone have enough extra energy for everything else.
Anyway, here's where we stand with things right now.
Travar: Our German partner and licensor, Ulisses Spiele, is continuing to work on getting art for the book. A pre-art draft was made available to backers in a previous, backers-only post. We've received some good feedback on that and I've been sending typos and such over to be incorporated into the final draft. We hope to see that book go to press as soon as the art is finalized (probably a month or two).
Companion: If you haven't been following the blog over at our website (which got its long awaited update in November, along with improvements to the web store), I've been doing a weekly post previewing the talent progression for the Warden and Master tiers of the Disciplines, accompanied by some additional commentary from Morgan Weeks. In a soon-to-be-released update to you folks, I'm going to let you play in that sandbox a bit early with a pre-release of the Discipline progressions and full talent rules from the Companion. In addition, we've got working (near final) drafts of the Enchanting and Thread Items chapters, Creatures, and Masks (the creature modification templates we talked about ages ago). The Knacks and Airships chapters are also nearing delivery as they've been revised during playtesting.
So that book is shaping up nicely, and Ulisses will handle the art procurement for that as well. It is my sincere hope to see that book in print in time for GenCon.
Elven Nations: I have the draft (have had it for a while, actually) and have been reading through it, getting a sense of its scope and making some notes. My initial reaction is that it won't need as much work as Travar did, which is mostly due to the relative experience levels of the primary writers involved. I expect that book this year as well. Probably in the fall.
Questors: I have at least first drafts (and a couple of second drafts) of all twelve in-character pieces for the book. As I've mentioned before, Morgan and I have a solid framework in place for how questor powers will work, and when he's done with his work on the Companion he'll shift over to working on the specific implementation and suites of powers available.
We really want to wrap up delivery of the books promised from this campaign this year. Whether Questors squeaks in under the wire depends on a lot of factors, so it's tough to say for sure at this moment.
After Questors, we're looking at a magic supplement. A smaller book with more spells, knacks, items, stuff like that. There's been a lot of stuff developed that just couldn't fit in the books we've done so far. I've also gotten a couple of proposals for larger works, and I'll be looking at those as well.
A couple of things to wrap up. We finally got a design hammered out for the polo shirts. The test run came back with a couple problems, so we've gone back to tweak the design so it works better. Here's the test run:
As you can see, things need to be tweaked so the alignment is a little better, and the face needs to be simplified so it reads better.
In related shirt news, over at the tail end of December we did a promotion called "Eight Days of Namegivers" that featured 8 shirts, each depicting one of the eight Namegiver races with art by Jeff Laubenstein. The shirts are still available through our shopfront at Spreadshirt.
An (unofficial) Earthdawn podcast was launched in the new year. Called "Live from Barsaive" it's put together by a husband-and-wife team in Florida. Three episodes are up this far, and I've been enjoying it so far. You can find it here, along with links to subscribe through various feed services.
I know that a bunch of people have left messages for us, and I will be replying to those in the upcoming week. This weekend, however, my time is booked as I am running some Earthdawn sessions at Snowcon, our local con up here in the Northeast.
One last item before I wrap up this already lengthy update. We've got another game line headed up by Andrew Ragland called 1879. This is a "steamweird" game set in the Victorian era, where a mad scientist accidentally opens a portal to another world--one where magic exists--and sort of kicks off the Awakening about 150 years early. It's a bit "steampunk Shadowrun," crossed with a bit of Burroughs/Doyle lost-worlds style pulp adventure. It uses the same Step System core engine as Earthdawn, with some modifications to suit the game.
The Player's Guide has been out for a while, and we've been trying to get the Gamemaster's Guide released. To that end, we've been running a small Kickstarter to fund the art and print costs of that book. It's funded, but a couple of days remain so if you want to get in, you can. Backing gets you instant access to the pre-art draft of the GM Guide, and reward levels allow you to get the already released Player's Guide as well if you like (with a price break compared to retail). We learned our lesson -- no extra book stretch goals, few frills, and the book is done, so we expect it to go to press about the same time as the Travar book. If you're interested, here's a direct link to the campaign. A lot more info is available over there.
(The reason for the additional KS is because the funds from this one are already earmarked to produce the promised books, and our cash flow with extra sales hasn't been as good as we had hoped, essentially requiring a pre-order to fund the new book.)
Finally, as I've said in previous updates, if you are having any issues or questions about your pledge -- books haven't arrived, problems with redeeming the backer coupons on our web store -- drop me a line: email@example.com and I'll do my best to get you sorted out.
I hope the new year find you well, and as always I appreciate your patience and support.