Words from the Wise (Guys)
An Editorial Rant
To the thirty-seventh issue of The Guild Companion.
Mythic Entertainment and the new ICE have come to an amicable arrangement
concerning the futuristic miniatures game, Silent Death. Readers may recall
that the rights to the Silent Death setting were purchased by Mythic Entertainment
in the last days of the old ICE's Chapter 7 bankruptcy period. It appears that
the new ICE will be able to publish new supplements for Silent Death, giving it a
renewed lease of life in its tabletop format. Details remain sketchy, but the future
looks a lot brighter for Silent Death fans.
Fans of Terry Amthor's Shadow World setting will also be pleased to hear that Eidolon
Studios and ICE are joining forces to publish Shadow World as the premier Rolemaster
world. The Third Edition Master Atlas and other existing Eidolon products will enjoy
the benefits of substantial print runs. Additionally RMSS/FRP GMs can look forward to the
ICE editions containing RMSS/FRP statistics prepared by Brian Olson, a former Rolemaster
series editor. But RM2 diehards need not fear - RM2 statistics will be remaining
essential features of the new books. Terry himself is looking forward to being able to
spend much more time writing new Shadow World books.
In other news from ICE, a projected product schedule for the rest of 2002 has been
released. In addition to Shadow World projects, highlights include Fire and
ICE (a new Elemental Companion for Rolemaster) and Vehicle Manual, the
third volume of Tech Law for Spacemaster: Privateers. You can find more details
on ICE's schedule on their website at www.ironcrown.com.
In very late breaking news, ICE has decided that it is not interested in publishing Bladelands,
the fantasy setting created by John W. Curtis III, which was bedevilled by schedule slippage.
Moreover ICE has decided not to permit the independent publication of Bladelands using the
Rolemaster rules. John Curtis has indicated that he plans to take a few months off before
making any final decisions on what to do with Bladelands.
The MERP Moratorium
We are very pleased to be able to announce the lifting of our moratorium on MERP articles.
Although Tolkien Enterprises' new policy remains obscure to us, Decipher has no concerns about
us supporting both their Lord of The Rings roleplaying game and MERP. So we intend to do just that,
releasing the first article in our MERP backlog in this issue.
We have not yet received any indication from Chris Seeman as to his plans regarding Other Hands.
The Purchase of Infantry Commissions?
What do the Code Duello, the Cult of the Supreme Being, techniques for getting
elected as a Member of Parliament for a "rotten borough", flogging, and the purchase of infantry
commissions have in common? They are some of the revisions that I've been making to the
manuscript for GURPS Age of Napoleon. However the last of them, namely the purchase of
commissions, is still giving me grief.
First a little background. One of the lessons learned from the English Civil War was that
an army officered by men with no stake in the status quo had little incentive to protect the establishment.
Thus the "purchase system" was introduced, requiring potential officers to buy their commissions as ensigns,
lieutenants, and so on up to lieutenant colonel. So barring promotions for bravery, only
gentlemen could afford to become officers and proceed step by step up the ranks. The
purchase system was in use during the Napoleonic period (Wellington bought his way up to
lieutenant colonel), and was highlighted as something which needed to be included in GURPS
Age of Napoleon. Explaining the process is relatively easy; finding a complete set of commission
prices for any date from 1769 to 1821 is not. I've determined that an ensigncy cost 400 pounds, a lieutenancy
500 pounds, and a captaincy 1500 pounds. If anyone happens to know the price of commissions for
infantry majors and lieutenant colonels, please let me know.
Farewell (for now ...)
Time for me to disappear again to finish the rest of the revisions to GURPS
Age of Napoleon. Our next issue will appear in April 2002, but until then,
Keep gaming and have fun!
Nicholas HM Caldwell
General Editor for The Guild Companion