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Karthun holds mystery and wonders for any daring enough to travel there. Help us unlock its secrets!
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GM's Guide Update

Posted by Tracy Barnett/Exploding Rogue Studios (Creator)

Hello all!

Things have been... tumultuous for me and Brian recently. We wanted to take a moment and give you some background and let you know what's in store ahead. Let's get into where we've been.

The Grand Plan

When we got the opportunity to partner with Evil Hat to publish Karthun, we talked to them not just about the core book, but also the GM's Guides. There were plans in the works for EHP to work with us to edit and produce all six of the system books. As well, in the case of the Fate book, we were going to expand the content into a full Fate supplement detailing a city in Karthun as the setting. All-new magic system, the whole nine yards.

Then Karthun didn't perform the way any of us had hoped in the general marketplace. I can't begin to list the factors at play. Suffice it to say that EHP decided to remove some of their eggs from the Karthun basket, including putting the GM's Guides squarely back in our hands. They treated us fairly in this, including paying me for all of the work I'd done on the Fate book, and giving us the rights to that content.

That left me and Brian back near the beginning again. Brian had been working on the D&D portion of the GM's Guide and that work had been sandwiched between everything else Brian had going on at the time. I think I'm busy at times, and I am, but Brian works his ass off to do what he does.

Then Evil Hat consolidated their project lineup and laid Brian off as Art Director effective at the end of the year. Tumult indeed. And let me be clear: Evil Hat made business decisions. No hard feelings. Just a lot of certainty replaced with murkiness, which is the way of such things.

Where to From Here?

Where does that leave us? Truthfully, in not too different of a place than we were before. Brian is working on the D&D portion of the GM's Guide. When he finishes it up, I'll use it as the template to complete the other systems, with some changes. 

1. We may not be doing a Savage Worlds version. Pinnacle updated their license for Savage Worlds and I haven't re-upped Exploding Rogue for the new license as it requires we pay a percentage of sales to Pinnacle. Fair to them, but it likely won't be worth it to us. 

2. I'm going to be including all of the content I wrote for the canceled Fate of Karthun project in the Fate GM's Guide. In fact, here is all of that content, right here and now. Don't know if I'll have a chance to flesh out all of the unwritten sections but you'll at least get all of those archetypes and the magic system.

Suffice it to say, this isn't where we wanted to be. We're going to finish this project one way or another, though. We know that the point of a Kickstarter is to fund the main book, which we did, and to publish it, which we did with Evil Hat's help. We're going to get the stretch goals done and when that will happen is still uncertain. We thought you deserved to know some of the reasons why we're where we are.

So. Onward. Once I get the D&D draft from Brian, we'll put that out in short order. Following that, I'll adapt that document and will keep y'all posted as I do so. The finish line is getting closer and we're still moving forward.

Thank you all,
Tracy & Brian


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    1. Missing avatar

      Malcolm Coull on

      Thanks for the update, and sorry things haven't worked out as planned. Karthun is one of only 2 books I've ever bought physically on KS, and I have no regrets at all even though I still haven't used it. A bit bummed if the Savage Worlds GM's guide gets dropped as that's my go to system, but do what you need to do, especially if it means avoiding a financial hit.

    2. Tracy Barnett/Exploding Rogue Studios 8-time creator

      @Teris - Likely not, as these were stretch goals. As well, both Brian and I are wary of doing more Kickstarters for our work. The logistics of producing something along with managing the Kickstarter (logistics, fulfillment, etc.), well, it's all a lot. Not ruling it out, but it's unlikely.

    3. Teris

      Hm. Could the GMs guide be kickstarted on its own, with some kind of bonus for the old backers, if they choose to kick in again? The market may be unkind, but there are Karthun fanboys out there....

    4. Lorne Lehrer on

      Thank you for the update. I'm sorry to hear that things did not turn out better with Evil Hat.
      I hope that Brian finds another Art Director gig- or something equally interesting and fulfilling.

      I've been a fan of the setting from the first appearance in D20 Monkey, and was excited to see the campaign book come out. While I would love to have the GM guide in hand, I can always use more practice on my patience skill (which is cross-class for me, alas).

      Tracy was very quick to reply to a PM some time back, and I want to thank him again for his responsiveness.

    5. Troy Latta on

      If I may, one of the reasons Karthun did so badly is because of the atrocious editing errors throughout. Please PLEASE get a better editor for the GM's guides, even if it pushes publication dates later than you'd like!

    6. Travis Witty on

      Thank you for the transparency. It is not what anyone wanted to hear, but you knew that. Good luck with your endeavors, here's hoping Brian finds new work sooner rather than later.

    7. James Macleod on

      Thanks for your update and openess - I know its not the easiest but from a backer view its much nicer than a big wall of blankness.

      That being said I love the core book, and while I'm sure I would love other to come I'm counting them as a bonus. We would love to get them but dont kill yourselves over them!

    8. Simoni Simone on

      Thanks for the update, Take all the time you need. We'll be here when you're done :D

    9. Ido Merchav on

      thank you for updating! don't push yourselves too hard!

    10. Missing avatar

      DocSun on

      Thank you for this update. Sorry it comes with so much bad news. I'm super excited to see what comes of the final bits. Im personally SLOWLY converting Karthun into Genesys while I wait. Love you guys a lot. Keep on keeping on.

    11. Tracy Barnett/Exploding Rogue Studios 8-time creator

      @Dylan - Thank you so much! We appreciate that very much. We will still get the rest of this content done; promises are important to us.

      @Riley - The base conditions are all listed in each class build; at least what I got done for them. I'd love to flesh this out. Being able to do that is a function of time out plus money in, which is difficult math to predict.

      @Matt - 13th Age, D&D, Dungeon World, Fate, and Pathfinder are all still slated. Savage Worlds is the only one where the licensing changed plans. SW still *may* happen but it's looking unlikely.

    12. Dylan Baldanza

      You guys produced a beautiful book, that had more content and care to it than most that come to the open market. It was well worth the funding and I enjoy the hell out of it. While added stuff would be nice, we got all we asked for and more and I think if you make more, awesome. If things stay where there at? It was all more than worth it.

    13. Riley Crowder

      What can you tell us about the base conditions you were planning on using? It looks like your using the DFAE Mantles for your class builds, but some of the base conditions for DFAE seemed very Dresden related and probabaly dont carry over to a fantasy system.

      Also any thoughts to just finishing this out and giving it away to backers but selling in dtrpg. It might get you more sales of both the setting book, and also this system in specific so you can recoup some more of the production time?

    14. Matt Zimmermann on

      I know it was waiting until the 5e rules were completed, but is the Pathfinder version still on the table?