Player's Companion Hardbacks Coming Soon
In case you're only now checking in on the Player's Companion Kickstarter - perhaps because this is the first non-backers-only update in a while - or if you could just use a refresher on its status, here's the most important things to know:
- Hardcover copies of the Player's Companion are are on track to reach backers in the second week of January, followed by the fulfillment of pre-orders taken through Game Salute.
- If you weren't a backer or pre-orderer, the hardcovers will be available in stores and online once we've made sure that everyone who was has had theirs for a while. Stores that participate in Game Salute's Preview Nights program will have the books first, then they'll be generally available.
- The PDF Player's Companion should be in the hands of all backers and pre-orderers now! We will be sending out one more email with information about how to download it (which is also found in the last backer-only update), and then making it available for sale at Game Salute, DriveThruRPG (who helped us provide an alternate fulfillment route for the backer PDFs - thanks guys!), and Paizo, probably within the next week.
Print Proofs Corrected and Returned
Our assurance that the hardcovers are indeed coming soon was given a tremendous boost when we received the proof of the book from our printer, McNaughton & Gunn. Apparently all the Autarch folks in Durham hugged it to their chest, danced around with it, and so forth. To my great chagrin here in NYC, no pictures of this were taken before it was returned to the printers.
Still, it is good that the proof is no longer around to be photographed. The fact that it's back in Saline, MI means our reps at McN&G are now fixing the errors that became evident once the physical book was in hand. Here's what the process of marking up these goofs looked like for the cover (which is printed separately from the B&W interior, and then assembled by the binder):
Advanced Templates and Proficiency Guides
Templates are the parts of the Player's Companion I've been finding most useful in everyday play - as opposed to awesome things that happen at the start of the campaign, like introducing new character classes, or awesome things that require much striving by the players, like having enough research funds to enable the invention of new spells. The Adventurer Conqueror King System uses proficiencies to offer players a high degree of character customization. This often goes hand in hand with lengthy character generation, which is where templates come in. Those who just want to roll some dice and get going right away can randomly generate a thematic package of proficiencies and equipment: on a 7, your barbarian is a Sea Rover, swashbuckling with a bearded axe, while on a 13 you have a Pit Fighter whose combat reflexes were honed in arena combat with net and spear.
As a way of thanking our backers for the regrettable delays in fulfilling the Player's Companion reward, I've been creating some tools that increase the usefulness of the template system. The Advanced Templates document makes it faster to create a character at any level by presenting proficiencies chosen for every stage of a PC's career. And, for those looking to choose their own options rather than using a template, the Proficiency Guides are one-page handouts for each character class, listing the proficiencies available to that class and providing a brief description.
This week, the backer downloads include Advanced Templates for all the core ACKS character classes as well as the Player's Companion ones up to the barbarian, as well as a statblock maker that you can use to quickly generate all the details for a character of these templates at any level desired. And the Proficiency Guides have been updated to include the Gnomish Trickster, who was inadvertently left out of the otherwise-complete set.
For information on how to download these files, backers should check out the previous update; any of the methods you've used previously will work. (The info isn't repeated here so that we can share this update with non-backers as well).
We're looking forward to getting the Player's Companion out the door and turning our attention to our next project, Domains at War. Thanks to our backers whose support helped make this project a reality!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me personally at (917) 749-6938.