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Words from the Wise (Guys)

An Editorial Rant


To the twenty-sixth issue of The Guild Companion.

The Future of Rolemaster and Spacemaster

In our last report, we noted that while the bids had been submitted, the Trustee was as yet unable to sell off ICE's intellectual property assets. At the time of writing, this was still the case. However the Trustee has arranged the sale of ICE's physical offices and has organized an auction of ICE's office furniture, equipment, and sundry other items.

Meanwhile the RoleMaster Investment Group (RMIG) - the consortium led by Karl Foelsche and Stephen Lee - has signed articles of agreement with Golden Oxcart Bandits (a California-based gamer consortium) to create a much stronger potential successor company to ICE. Other independent investors are believed to be in talks with the new organisation.

More news as it happens.

The Future of Middle-Earth

As you may have read elsewhere, Decipher Games has acquired the license to create and publish role-playing games based on "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy (both books and movies), adding to their existing license covering collectible card games. Decipher Games are well-known for their successful CCG lines; they are not a role-playing company per se. Or rather they weren't. Some months ago, Last Unicorn Games was bought out by Wizards of the Coast. In the ensuing transition, the Star Trek role-playing license was retrieved from Last Unicorn Games by Paramount and sold to Decipher Games. Recently Wizards was forced to lay off staff and reduce costs - the Last Unicorn Games developers were given the choice of relocating to Seattle or accepting redundancy. Almost all chose the redundancy package and they've been hired by Decipher Games as a complete role-playing division. Their first mission - to create a brand-new system to handle both the Star Trek universe and the Middle-Earth mythos.

Whoa! Does this mean that we can expect to see Captain Kirk joining the Fellowship in a violation of the Prime Directive to deal with an unholy Sauron-Romulan alliance?

No. The underlying game system will be the same - much as Rolemaster and Spacemaster share many concepts and mechanics - so gamers who enjoy both settings will only have to learn one new system, but crossover abominations will be avoided by the designers. What GMs choose to do in the privacy of their own holodecks is their business!

We wish the Decipher team well in their new endeavours and look forward to working with them in the future to support Middle-earth gaming in all its diverse incarnations.

The Return of the Gamesmaster

Those who know me well or who are careful readers of our Discussion Boards (which you can visit via any "Voices of Reason" hyperlink) will know that I have been extremely busy on a project for Steve Jackson Games since last summer. Well, the manuscript has been submitted, much to the relief of my editor and myself, so I'm once again freed from the relentless grip of deadlines. At least for the moment. The manuscript will return, there will be requests for changes from editors and proofreaders, there will be suggestions from the playtesters, but hopefully the worst is over.

On informing my own cadre of "Top Men" that the manuscript "had left the building", their first reaction (after congratulating me on finishing) was "So when will your next campaign be starting?"

It's a good question. Barring the two demo games that I ran at last year's Dragonmeet convention, I have not GM'ed or played since August. Far too long.

Unfortunately I have yet to dream up a new epic fantasy campaign. However I do have ideas and brief notes for half a dozen one-shots and mini-campaigns, ranging from a follow-up Run out the Guns! scenario to "A Fistful of Doubloons" through some adventures for GURPS Age of Napoleon to an extended superheroes game using Brave New World. And I'm really looking forward to running all of them.

As I will be attending RoCoCoCon (the successor to the 1999 Baroquon convention) this summer, I will be running at least a couple of the one-shot scenarios there before submitting them to the appropriate Guild Companion editors for inclusion in future issues of the magazine. (By the way, RoCoCoCon will be held in Cambridge from 20-22 July - since I live a couple of streets away from this year's location, it would be a crime for me to miss it. Just don't tell the Committee where I live, OK?)

My writing purdah has not prevented me from buying a lot of gaming products in the past six months (though it has limited my reading!) - I'll be reviewing the best of these over the course of the next few issues, so stay tuned.

Farewell (for now ...)

Our next issue will be released in May 2001, but until then,

Keep gaming and have fun!
Nicholas HM Caldwell
General Editor for The Guild Companion

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