Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2006

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

Welcome

To the ninetieth issue of The Guild Companion. Time for a status update on our various projects.

The Guild Adventurer

Terry Amthor has delivered a fantastic full Shadow World scenario entitled "The Temple of the Three". Kulthea is alive and kicking!

Aaron Smalley has sent in "The Red Hooded Traveler", an urban tavern ostensibly set in the Channel Cities region of his own world, Aernth, but easily usable in any town or city of the GM's choice

Despite the best efforts of the British heatwave and more real-world work crises than I care to count, the writing is well underway on my own HARP scenario.

Andrew Ridgway of rpgRM fame, who has been involved in mainstream print magazine design, has joined the team for the layout work on The Guild Adventurer.

I have received a number of promises of support for The Guild Adventurer for which we are very grateful. We will only start the ball rolling on the formal ransom once all the articles are safely in my hands. Hopefully we'll be able to kick off in mid-to-late August on that phase of the project.

The Construct Toolkit and HARP Skirmish

As it would be foolish for me to edit The Construct Toolkit myself, I had to find someone who was both an expert in HARP and fully understood the intricacies of Construct Companion. I was able to persuade Tim Dugger (of ICE) to moonlight as a freelance editor on the project, so the manuscript has been sent his way. I also have five new stellar pieces of interior art from Rick Hansen as well as his thought-provoking cover. Once Tim has finished editing, we'll thus be able to get the Toolkit into publication.

HARP Skirmish has successfully returned in final draft from Gavin Bennett and he's managed to answer all my queries and add in some excellent wargame scenarios at the same time. I hope to get into tight editing on HARP Skirmish as soon as possible.

Essence Companion and Shadow World d20 Master Atlas

Essence Companion and the d20 Edition of the Shadow World Master Atlas remain our "problem" projects with progress being slow on both. I am determined that we will bring them to a satisfactory completion, however.

HARP SF

After much trial and error (and quite a bit of frustration), I eventually settled on a program called chview.exe (created by fans of CJ Cherryh's novels) as my star-mapping program. I manually pruned a star catalog (it was quicker than dreaming up a program to do it) and used that to determine suitable locations for another nine human colonies (briefly mentioned but not detailed in HARP SF). I can now produce useful star maps of the Human Sector of the Tintamar universe without too much effort. The alien Nexus Sector is sufficiently far out that it is lost in "starfog" as far as most real-world catalogs are concerned (although doubtless astronomers and space scientists will remedy that in due course!), so I simply drew a map with pencil and paper identifying and locating some twenty star systems. At some point, I'll plug the data into chview.exe as a custom catalog and have a much better (if sparse) map. ICE asked if I could include a transit table (giving distances between pairs of star systems). As forty solar systems makes for hundreds of pairs, I did write a program in Javascript for that and duly obtained a very large matrix of numbers.

ICE also asked if I could see my way to producing rough sketches of starship deck plans. As my artistic talent would bring whole new levels of meaning to the word "rough", I asked for help on ICE's forums. I've already received two sets of highly detailed and very professional deck plans drawn to scale by Dave Cheever for the scoutship and the light freighter. HARP SF SysOps everywhere will owe that man a beverage of his choosing.

Farewell for now ...

I'm off to Chicago at the start of August, so I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the issue. We'll be back in September, but until then...

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