We Have Date!!!
Well, a projected date really. But assuming all goes according to plan we should be putting Blight books and assorted sundries associated with it in the mail by the end of the July. Here's where we're at.
You should've just received TB1: The Crooked Nail if you're a backer who ordered it. That brings our Blight releases so far to:
- TB1: The Crooked Nail (1st-level adventure)
- TB2: Horror in the Sinks (3rd-level adventure)
- TB3: Bloody Jack (5th-level adventure)
- TB4: The Crucible (7th-level adventure)
- The Tome of Blighted Horrors
I have just sent the 3 versions of TB5: The Children of the Harvest (Bill's 9th-level adventure) to Chuck for layout. That closes out the last of the stand-alone support modules as well as the monster book.
I have also received back from editing and conversion for all but the 5e version of The Blight Player's Handbook and The (system neutral) Blight Player's Guide. Those I am about to send to Chuck for layout so he can do them hard on the heels of TB5. From talking to the converter on it, I am expecting the 5e version of The Blight PHB at any time. We'll release the PHB when it gets out of layout, but we're going to hold off on the Player's Guide because it comes with one of the poster maps which are still in the works. So we'll release it when we get the maps back.
Hard on the heels of the PHB and Player's Guide is The Blight GM Guide which is completed and I just sent for final editing today. Once it's back, it of course goes to conversion and then out to you. Even better news is that between those 3 pieces, they represent roughly the first third of the main book as well. So as they are being laid out and prepared, that same work is going towards the final big volume's layout as well.
That leaves the last 2/3 of the book which is the rest of the Blight Campaign Guide (along with the aforementioned pieces) that covers the 10 districts of the city individually and the Blight Adventure Path which is a series of 9 connected adventures taking place within the Blight (separate from the stand-alone TB series adventures). The city districts and AP adventures have all already been through editing and development. They're maps are going to cartography now, and their art has already been done.
So one of the big hang-ups we've experienced on this project (other than trying to siphon all of this mass of inhumanity through my own little desk) has been working to adequate conversion resources for 5e and S&W. We had an owners' meeting last night about The Blight, and I have been assured not only additional dedicated conversion resources, but logistical/development help as well to ease the funnel that this thing has been oozing through. So within the next day or so we're actually going to begin sending the districts and adventures to conversion resources without using the same ones that will be receiving the GM Guide as soon as it's through editing. So we're basically doubly the resources which allows us to get some of the pieces moving that have been in a holding pattern for awhile. I have also been assured of unfettered access to Chuck's laying out since now that we can get stuff through the final development and conversion at a faster pace, we can actually keep him constantly stocked with Blight stuff to do whereas before it was always stop-and-go as he waited for the next piece from me.
So in short this is the most stream-lined and resource heavy we've been able to be on The Blight up to this point and actually allows us to make a projection on when we think we'll mail it. Whereas before I was always hesitant to conjecture because it seemed like I was always waiting for the next calamity to strike the process. I'm feeling a lot better about the process now, and hopefully you are too.
That said, mailing in July puts us 1 year past our original project goal, of course. And though we've been releasing stuff in dribs and drabs as we were able I can understand everyone's frustration. Some folks have asked for refunds, and I can't blame them. And if you want one we won't stop you. I'm hoping that the end product here is going to assuage some of that frustration for the long wait, as this is a ginormous book (more than likely the largest that we'll ever do) and it's certainly not something that's just been slapped together.
But nevertheless I sincerely apologize for the extremely long wait you've had. We learned some lesson along the way, and I don't think we'll tackle any more projects quite this size again. Adding the 5e option at the 11th hour increased the production far more than we anticipated, and we did not have adequate resources lined up like we thought we did. You've been extremely patient and supportive throughout this project and its looooong tail, and I truly appreciate that. Maybe we can set up a "Punch Skeeter in the Face" booth at NTRPG Con or something. I know it should probably be me in the booth, but honestly Skeeter's a lot tougher than me and would probably enjoy it more. I'll noodle that with the guys and see if we can come up with anything.
Anyway, until then that's what things are looking like at the moment. We hope you'll hang with us down this final stretch so we can get this monster into your hands and off my desk. Thank you to all of you for sticking with us this long and allowing us to get this ball rolling to begin with. We say it all the time, but it's always true: We couldn't do any of this without you guys.