Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2007

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion


To the ninety-sixth issue of The Guild Companion.

The Magic Has Returned

Yes, it really has happened. It has been a long and arduous road, but with the assistance of Sherry Robinson and Tim Dugger at ICE, and superhuman levels of persistance from Joe Mandala, Essence Companion is back and better than ever! We've fixed the Nomenist division error, corrected the Runemage spell development costs, and added a couple of pages of omitted material. You can marvel at the preview in this issue and purchase your own pdf copy from RPGNow.

Joe is looking forward to being able to write and edit for us, both in the magazine and in future issues of The Guild Adventurer. I'm personally pleased to see this project brought to a triumphant conclusion.

Projects in Progress: SWMA d20

The Shadow World Master Atlas d20 Edition now ascends to the top of the list of stubborn projects that have taken too long already. I will be focusing my shepherding efforts on ensuring that our layout and indexing expert can drag it out of its production doldrums. We do have an unknown but very real deadline for SWMA d20 in that there will be a Fourth Edition of D&D. We must get SWMA d20 published before Wizards of the Coast start the transition to a new edition, because once they announce that transition, the d20 3.5 audience will go into limbo mode and 3.5 material sales will collapse. SWMA d20 is also an enabling product. Once it exists, we could produce conversion guides that permit existing Shadow World products to be used in the d20 System. We could even produce d20 stats for (or a d20 edition of) The Guild Adventurer.

Projects in Progress: The Construct Toolkit

The Construct Toolkit is our second laggard project. In Construct Companion, I created rules that allow entity creators to imbed Demons, Elementals, Spirits and so forth into Golems and Constructs. In mapping such rules into The Construct Toolkit, I had to create new spells to summon, control, banish, and imbed Demons, Elementals, etc. Actually I only had to create the imbedding spells - the rest already existed in the original manuscripts of College of Magics. The original Necromancer profession was the master of magics relating to death, demons, and destruction. When I was writing The Construct Toolkit, I returned the demons to the Necromancer on the grounds that the spells needed a home and I was unwilling to add new professions in The Construct Toolkit, particularly since I had avoided doing that in Construct Companion. It was also unclear what was happening with Something Wicked.

Now, of course, Something Wicked is jockeying for position with the SysOp's Guide for attention in my personal project queue, and I think I have run into a compatibility issue with myself. That is, my notes for Something Wicked suggest that demonology and summoning in general should be part of that work. While I could hold firm with the original conception of the Necromancer, I can foresee issues with either requiring Something Wicked users to own College of Magics or reprinting the entire Necromancy Circle, and with game balance if the Necromancer also gets easy access to demons. (Did I mention that my notes for Something Wicked suggest that it also include more Demons and Undead?) The solution for Something Wicked , therefore, is to introduce two new professions, the Demonologist, focusing on darkness and demons, and the Conjuror, the master of conjuration. That has obvious knock-on effects for The Construct Toolkit

To make life more interesting, I have a suspicion that there may be more than two professions' worth of spells in my big list of dark magics and an equal suspicion that I need to finesse that list to avoid creating professions that would be more suitable for a future HARP Divine sourcebook. Something Wicked is scheduled to be 96 pages, so I can't afford to go off on tangents.

So I'm anticipating that The Construct Toolkit will need to go back into the workshop so that I can ensure that I'm compatible and consistent with myself again.

Projects in Progress: Dun Cru

Our very first commercial product was City of Archendurn, a hybrid Rolemaster/d20 setting module, written by Aaron Smalley. It was intended to be followed in short order by an adventure module entitled Dun Cru, but real-world pressures, computer crashes, and a slew of other problems conspired to prevent a manuscript ever being completed.

That has now changed. A first draft of a 60-page manuscript arrived in my inbox in late January. I've already sent a copy to Rick Hansen so that he can start generating ideas for artwork, and have started my first-read through.

The Forums Are Back

Thanks to the efforts of our webmaster, Rob Brott, we now have a brand-new forum system online and ready for use. We will be back-linking to a read-only version of the old discus boards in due course, but for now you can read about the latest developments regarding Issue Two of The Guild Adventurer.

Farewell for now

Time for me to get back to the real-world, so I'll let you enjoy the rest of this month's issue. We'll be back in March, but until then ...

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