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A classic tabletop RPG returns. Set in the Age of Legend, heroes are needed to bring hope to a damaged world.
A classic tabletop RPG returns. Set in the Age of Legend, heroes are needed to bring hope to a damaged world.
1,019 backers pledged $109,596 to help bring this project to life.

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Post GenCon and where things stand

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Hi there. I know this update comes right on the heels of Ross Babcock's missive from yesterday, but I was intending to do this anyhow, and he suggested that I include some additional information in it.

GenCon was, as usual, a blast. Busy and tiring, but fun. We had a whole bunch of Earthdawn games (along with 1879, and Demonworld, and Noble Armada), and got the chance to meet a bunch of fans. Some are familiar faces at this point, while others were met face to face for the first time.

Let me summarize where we are now, and what plans are in store.

Released products:

  • Player's Guide
  • Gamemaster's Guide
  • GM Screen
  • Travar: The Merchant City

The last of those is in the process of being shipped out. a few went out before GenCon, but now that our shipping folks at Studio 2 are back at the warehouse, the rest should be making their way out to backers who are getting them.

PDF copies of all four of these are available to all backers (who backed for "All PDF" or higher tiers), and coupon codes were released as backer only updates when the books were made available. If you've been having trouble downloading them, let me know!

Still to come:

* Shirts. We finally got the issues sorted out on the embroidery design. I saw the final version at GenCon (and got mine), and those are being produced and should start shipping in September. Here's a picture:

ED4 Polo shirt. The ones for backers will have the Kickstarter "K" logo below the image.
ED4 Polo shirt. The ones for backers will have the Kickstarter "K" logo below the image.

* Companion. Editing pass continues on this. We'll be starting initial layout shortly, which will give us a sense of how much needs to be cut. There's a bunch of stuff that was developed in conjunction with the other two core books, and it likely won't all fit. As has been the case with the other books, I'll make a pre-art draft available as soon as we can. I've had some previews of the upcoming material over at my developer's blog at fasagames.com

* Elven Nations. The manuscript needs another pass or two, then it will go into layout and production. There hasn't been much work on this recently.

* Questors. In-character chapters are in various draft stages, the power framework for questors has been fleshed out, and work is proceeding on the actual powers and abilities. It's shaping up well, and I'm excited to see what the end result looks like.

I want to get these books out (and in your hands) as quickly as possible. You have all been incredibly patient. I hope the final results meet your expectation, despite the delays. We've got a new product manager that is coming on board, which should help better manage my time with all of this. I sincerely hope to have one (if not two) books out by the end of this year, with the third in the first part of next year.

The delays and such are largely on me -- this KS campaign was wildly more successful than we anticipated, and the excitement got the better of us when it came to stretch goals. I also woefully underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete the promised books. Lessons learned.

A couple of final things to wrap up.

If you are having problems with PDFs in the web store, it is better to send me an email directly (josh@fasagames.com). There are one or two people I have emails from already that are being sorted out, I should have a response for you in 24 hours (or less) from this update. Any other questions or issues, send me an email as well.

Next, Morgan and I spent a couple of hours at GenCon going over plans for what is coming up. There are a couple of proposals I've been sitting on, and will be looking at those, but here are a couple of things we're definitely doing. (1) "The Magician's Grab Bag" (working title). This will be a smaller supplement that will contain more spells (including ED4 versions of many older spells) creatures, knacks, thread items, and the like that didn't make it into one of the other core books for whatever reason. (2) A setting book focusing on Iopos and the Denairastas, not just the city itself, but also the plans and plots of the current major villains of the setting. 

We've got good ideas in mind for the themes and focus of Jerris and Urupa, and will be looking at books to develop those areas in the future. With the changes to Vivane in the wake of the Second Theran War, a book updating that area is a possibility as well.

In other news, we finally released the ED4 Quick-Start Guide, as well as "Toys in the Attic," the first chapter in the "Legends of Earthdawn" campaign based in Haven. These scenarios are written and developed for our convention appearances, and involve players in the current events in and around Haven. Since everybody can't get to a convention, we're making them available.

That does it for now. I'll do my best to keep you all updated here, without spamming you with updates. More regular posts will go up over on my developer's blog, and we've got good communities on our forums, as well as our official Discord server.

A Message From Ross Babcock

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Dear FASA Kickstarter Backers,

Thank you for supporting our Campaigns. Our third successful campaign just closed on August 21st.

Given today’s marketplace, Kickstarter is one of the best ways to reach you, our customers. The campaigns let you know what new products are coming and give you an early peek. The funds raised let us finish our current products and even help fund future ones.

We want each successive campaign to be more successful then the last. We measure this by the number of backers who make their commitment to us. The monetary goal of each campaign depends on the products involved, and while a good measure, is not as important as the number of you out there who want our games.

Many of you have supported each of our three campaigns. Thank you once again. I know Earthdawn backers are still waiting patiently for the last of their rewards. They are coming and I know you will be happy with the result. As we have said before, we learned many lessons with that campaign and have implemented solutions in the next. We will not offer a campaign unless the product is written and just needs art and printing to finish. This way you, our backers, know the hard work of writing and development is complete. Finishing the artwork and scheduling the printing are much more routine steps and usually have a much more reliable timetable. Our 1879 Gamemaster's Guide campaign followed this guideline, and saw the last backer shipment go out in early August. It has been completed successfully, from funding to delivery. Our 1879 London campaign has successfully funded and we are working on the last steps to get those books finished, printed and delivered. We want to deliver our campaign promises in months and not years. We want you, our backers, to keep coming back and playing our games.

Once again,

Thank you.

Ross Babcock
President
FASA Games, Inc.

Travar Shipments and looming GenCon

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Hello everyone. Time is a fickle thing. There never seems to be enough of it when you want.

As you should know, Travar was completed a few weeks back and the coupon codes for the PDF went out to backers. (If you missed it, check out earlier updates.) We were expecting the book to be delivered by a particular date, and set the 'live' date of the print version to coincide with that.

It wasn't until that happened and we started getting orders we learned that was't actually the case. We sent shipping info to the distributor and got told, "We don't have the books."

After some communication with the printer and binder, we found the reason for the delay. The book includes a large version of the map I teased a couple of updates back. This was printed separately, and one needed to be collated into each copy of Travar, and then shrink-wrapped so the map stays with the book until delivery.

The books are now at the warehouse, and should be going out (some may already have). Apologies for the delay on that -- our attempt to make the map more useful than the one in the GM Guide backfired slightly (in an unforseen way).

The potential hiccup, of course, is that GenCon 50 starts in less than a week, and part of Studio 2's (our warehouser and distributor) energy is getting everything in order for the show. (It's going to be a big one.) When we have the shipping info back from them, we're hoping to do a mail-merge thing like we recently did with the 1879 Gamemaster Guides and send people their tracking number.

I'm desperately trying to get all my ducks in a row before I pack up the family and hit the road for Indianapolis myself. I leave tomorrow, so my availability will be spotty over the course of the next few days.

Work continues on the Companion (the next book slated for release), with Morgan going over the stat blocks in the Horrors chapter. I've had a couple of recent previews of material go up over in my dev blog at fasagames.com.

Sorry for the delays in getting this latest book out to you. Look for a more comprehensive update post GenCon.

Redemption Code for Travar

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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

Travar's gates are nearly open!

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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.

Map of Travar (click for larger version)
Map of Travar (click for larger version)

 

 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.