Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2009

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion


To the 119th issue and a Happy New Year to all our readers.

Looking Back at 2008

In terms of the magazine, 2008 was another hard year in terms of securing large numbers of contributions. Nevertheless the quality of the submitted articles remained extremely high and we're very pleased with all the submissions that came our way.

The same difficulties that beset the magazine also delayed the third issue of The Guild Adventurer as we waited on appropriate adventure material arriving. It did arrive in the end, lovely pieces of new artwork from Rick Hansen have also started appearing in my inbox, and we'll see our way to publishing TGA#3 early in 2009.

In February 2008, with the asistance of the good people at ICE, particularly Tim and Bruce, we opened our own storefront on the ICE server, and many of you have enjoyed the convenience of shopping there.

Our biggest coups of the year were the publication of Xa-ar (more formally Shadow World: The Land of Xa-ar and Northern Saralis), the all-new 128-page supplement for Shadow World by Kulthea's guiding genius, Terry Amthor, followed by the restoration of Rolemaster Companion One, the original and first of the Rolemaster 2nd Edition written by Mark Colborn way back when and painstakingly brought back for the 21st century.

The demise of the d20 System Trademark License and its replacement by the much more restrictive Game System License caused us to push hard to renovate our very first commercial product, City of Archendurn, stripping out the antiquated d20 3.0 stats in favour of RM Classic and HARP stats in combination with the existing RMSS/FRP content. And at the same time, we brought Aaron Smalley's long-awaited followup module, Dun Cru, to a successful conclusion, releasing both 2nd edition City of Archendurn and Dun Cru to bring our publication efforts to a close for 2008.

On my personal projects, the final beta of the HARP SF manuscript was too big for a single volume and has been split into HARP SciFi and HARP SF Xtreme. HARP SciFi appeared in delta and gamma pdf editions but has been stalled at ICE awaiting the delivery of the interior artwork. Meanwhile I have written large chunks of Something Wicked for HARP Fantasy..

Looking Forward into 2009

We would appreciate any and all article submissions for this magazine. The editors dislike having to respond "Nothing" when I ask them to shake the editorial intrays for articles each month.

We would appreciate submissions for the fourth issue of The Guild Adventurer. These can be either full adventures or adventure locations. Multiple statting of adventures is preferred but we have several people who are variously expert in RM Classic, RMSS/FRP and HARP, and in Spacemaster and HARP Sci Fi, who can help create stats for systems that you aren't familiar with.

As you may have seen on our own forums and on ICE's forums, we've issued a call for eagle-eyed people to spot any typos or other potential errors in both of Xa-ar and Rolemaster Companion One. This is in preparation for producing small print runs of both products using ICE's printers. We've some logistical issues to finalise regarding the shipping and handling (because the books will not be coming to Cambridge first for shipping by me - as I've said before this is not my day job), so we figured that while we sort that out, there was an opportunity for fans who want perfect books to track down those last imperfections.

If these print runs go well, certain of our other products will also go to print. We'll probably ask for a "show of hands" to ensure there's sufficient demand before investing time and effort needlessly.

In terms of new products, we are going to get the OGL edition of the Shadow World Master Atlas out this year. Terry, Robert and myself have spent too much time on it for us to let it die. Matt Hanson, aka Vroomfogle, has been collaborating with Terry Amthor on the Shadow World Player's Guide and we hope that will be a significant SW release in 2009. Terry's next major solo project will be Emer 3. I have no intention of jinxing any of these projects by naming dates or deadlines. They'll be ready when they are ready and they will be very good indeed when they are ready.

There are a number of other projects at various stages of progress, including three at first draft manuscript status, but we won't be making any announcments concerning them until they are much further advanced in order to avoid jinxing them. Expect some surprises from us this year.

In terms of my own projects, I have three remaining chapters to write on Something Wicked in order to bring it to a complete first draft and then a pass around the manuscript to sort out anything that I've forgotten. Then I can finally get back to The Construct Toolkit. Hopefully we'll also see the release one way or another of both HARP SciFi and HARP SF Xtreme this year.

I'm also on the committee for Constitution, see http://www.constitution-con.org.uk/, the latest in the series of biennial roleplaying conventions to be held in Cambridge, which will take place on the weekend of July 30th to August 2nd. Among the guests are Sean Punch (GURPS Line Editor), the writer Steph Swainston, Henry Gee (editor of the Tolkien journal Mallorn and author of The Science of Middle-Earth), and the filksinger Sib Machat.

Farewell for now ...

I have writing to do so I'll leave you to enjoy this month's issue. We'll be back in February with issue 120, but until then …

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