Words from the Wise (Guys)
An Editorial Rant
To the thirty-ninth issue of The Guild Companion.
At the beginning of the year, I made a preliminary announcement concerning The Guild Companion's commercial licensing agreement with ICE to employ Rolemaster and Spacemaster in our own modules. Since then, various Guild members have been working flat out to finish our first two products, so now is perhaps an appropriate juncture to report on our progress.
Our first setting module, City of Archendurn, written and internally illustrated by Aaron Smalley, was actually completed in a system-independent form in the summer of 2000. (However the uncertainty concerning ICE's future caused us to place our commercial publishing plans on hold during the bankruptcy period). Aaron has since added an appendix of key NPCs with full Rolemaster statistics. He's currently hard at work on the conversion of these NPCs into d20 System format. Meanwhile Joel Lovell, creator of the CEATS initiative system, has produced some very elegant cover artwork for this module. Once the d20 statistics are in the back, we'll be giving City of Archendurn a final editing check and ensuring that it is fully license compliant, before releasing it as the first in our Aernth series of modules.
Long-time readers of The Guild Companion will recognize Aernth as the setting for a series of city articles contributed by Aaron Smalley. (Do a search on our archives (via any "Scrolls of Wisdom" link) to retrieve them.) The City of Archendurn is located in a different region of Aernth to that detailed previously in The Guild Companion. Archendurn, and Aernth generally, is a low-to-medium powered fantasy setting, which will appeal to GMs and players with a taste for more realistic and human campaigns. GMs who simply need a pre-built city will find it relatively painless to slot Archendurn into their own campaign worlds.
Our first campaign module, The Collector, written by D. Andrew Ferguson and Jarrett Sylvestre, and with a lavish set of maps drawn by Robert Defendi (of Spacemaster: Privateers fame), is currently in the last stages of layout. Paolo Angelini, our assistant editor, has the delicate task of teasing errant paragraphs and NPC statistics into their proper place on the page. We are still developing appropriate artwork for its front cover, but once that is ready, The Collector will be released as the first of our Golandra campaign trilogy.
Guild Companion readers will be familiar with Andy's d20 System articles for us - his first scenario is published in this issue. Andy and Jarrett have also contributed to the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting and their Villain Design Handbook is to be published by Kenzer and Co. Golandra is their own high-powered fantasy world, which they have successfully used as the backdrop to epic campaigns using both Rolemaster and the d20 System. The Collector provides setting and story in one compact package. Its sequels will reveal more of Golandra and provide ever-more challenging scenarios.
I'll be reporting on the progress of both products in next month's editorial.
While I was distracted with the requested revisions for GURPS Age of Napoleon, my players were making rapid progress through the prepared plot of my d20 campaign. At one point, I was only one session's worth ahead of them, but I now have sufficient material to keep them in mischief for at least four sessions and I suspect they'll want to do some "shopping" before I send the party into the unmapped wilderness of the Eastern Steppes, inhabited by the very hostile Nomad Khanates ...
So I should be able to catch up on some of my promised reviews for The Guild Companion (including Cugel's Compendium, The Book of Eldritch Might, Fool's Paradise, and perhaps some recent d20 System books from Mongoose Publishing) and just possibly write an article or two!
Farewell (for now ...)
Time for me to get back to shepherding some modules to completion. Our next issue will be published in June 2002, but until then,
Keep gaming and have fun!
Nicholas HM Caldwell
General Editor for The Guild Companion