Monday, 30 July 2012

The Time of Horror Approaches, Maybe

Well that's unexpected.

In the past couple days, Broodmother Sky Fortress and The Seclusium of Orphone have both made their funding goals, so congratulations go to Jeff, Stuart, Vincent Baker and Cynthia Sheppard. Jeff's adventure was an early front-runner and even the naysayers couldn't deny that there was a good chance that it of all the adventures would make its funding. Baker's adventure had a fair way to go this time yesterday, but it's got there with just over two days left, so that leaves...


By some weird twist of fate, that leaves my adventure as the next closest to its goal. Now I'm a long way behind the other two so there's a lot of money to make up in two days, but it doesn't hurt to try, and if nothing comes of it then the previous offer still stands.

To be honest, I think it's too late and I don't expect Horror Among Thieves to make its goal, but then I never expected it to get as close as it has done, to have attracted more interest than Monte Cook's adventure or the one by the bloke from GWAR. The fact that it has is down to you lot, and I can't thank you enough.

For those of you still on the fence, perhaps a glimpse at some of my other games writing will give you an idea of whether you'll like Horror Among Thieves. Dinner With Susan is an appparently well-regarded scenario for Call of Cthulhu that shares some elements with my new adventure, and the idea of being trapped in an enclosed space with some horror also cropped up in my contest-winning One Page Dungeons of 2011 and 2012. All three adventures are free and are somewhat indicative of what you can expect from Horror Among Thieves, and you can find more -- along with many examples of my art -- at my website.

Thank you again.

Monday, 23 July 2012

More Horror Among Thieves

When I announced that I was going to produce my adventure Horror Among Thieves as a pdf and give it away for free, I intended it as a small way to say thanks to those who backed the project.

I had mentioned the plan to Lamentations of the Flame Princess head honcho James Raggi, and I had his blessing, but I had no idea that he was going to then pull something like this:

 Kelvin Green’s gone nuts and he’s infected LotFP Central!

If Horror Among Thieves does NOT fund, LotFP will still be publishing the adventure. It won’t necessarily be on the same timetable as if it were to fund, but we’ll put it out.

Anyone contributing $10+ to the campaign will get the adventure PDF, WHETHER OR NOT THE CAMPAIGN FUNDS.

Anyone contributing $20+ to the campaign will get the physical book, WHETHER OR NOT THE CAMPAIGN FUNDS.

That’s right, if the campaign doesn’t fund, you get your contributed money back at the close of the campaign, and you will get the stuff anyway when it’s published. (Note that if it doesn’t fund with this campaign, books will be shipped 2nd class and it does not include any of the campaign extras.)

Spread the word. Now there really is no excuse not to fund this thing.

That's a bold move; I'm risking nothing by producing the adventure whether it makes its goal or not, but James is going to be putting his company's resources behind it with no guarantee of financial reward.

In the day or so since James made his announcement, the campaign total has almost doubled, so thank you James, and thank you to all who have contributed so far.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Horror Among Thieves

Oh look, I'm going to be writing an adventure for the Lamentations of the Flame Princess role-playing game!

"The Tenebrous Hand don't rule the city, but they may as well. If they can't bribe you, they can sneak into your home and threaten you and yours. That's why they get away with it. But you know what I think’s fishy? No one's seen one of their men for a while. No one's been collecting the protection money and I've got this constable mate who says that there aren't so many robberies these days. I’ll tell you another thing: he also says that the people in charge are more worried than ever, because if a thief's going through your pockets, you at least know where he is, you know what I mean? And you’ve got to wonder, if the Hand really are gone, then what’s happened to all their loot?"

It’s nice and ominous, but it doesn’t tell you, the buyer, much about the adventure, does it? At the same time, I don’t want to spoil things too much; I want to surprise you -- I hope in a good way -- when you open the book and read it for the first time. So what can I tell you?

I can tell you that the chief inspiration behind Horror Among Thieves is the work of John Carpenter, in particular his remake of The Thing. There’s a bit of Escape From New York and Big Trouble in Little China in there too, and just a tiny smidgeon of Prince of Darkness. Attack the Block, which is not one of Carpenter’s but may as well be, has exerted some influence too. If the adventure had a soundtrack, it would be full of ominous synths.

It’s an urban adventure, set in a block of buildings that can be dropped drop into the city of your choice, and the surroundings should force an interesting moral choice on your players. What are they willing to do, or rather what are they willing to let happen, for the promise of treasure?

As I’m also responsible for the art on this project, I’ve got the opportunity to do more than just illustrate the text; I want to create a closer relationship between images and words than we tend to see in role-playing adventures. It’s a lofty goal, perhaps, but after reading Vornheim, I know that there’s more we can do with the format of these things. I hope I’m up to the task, and I hope you’ll join me in finding out.

So, if you want to know what happened to the Tenebrous Hand, what they have hidden in their vault, why that unfortunate fellow over there is so keen on forgiveness, and what the heck the Brotherhood of Pus is, then pledge $10 or more and you’ll find out.

Whether or not this campaign makes its goal, anyone who contributes at least $10 will get a pdf of the adventure; if the campaign is a success, the full weight of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess design and layout team will be thrown behind it and you’ll get the fancy pants edition detailed on the campaign page. If not, then I’ll be putting it together myself and it won’t look half as good, but you will get the full text and all the art; all the content just as if the goal had been reached. That’s my small way of showing my thanks to you for showing your support.