Words from the Wise (Guys)

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell © 2010

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion


To the 139th issue of The Guild Companion. This month, we're going to focus on Shadow World and our initial plans for the setting in its new home with Guild Companion Publications Ltd

A New Home for Shadow World

As described in the press release that we posted in mid-August, Shadow World has been transitioned from Mjolnir LLC dba Iron Crown Enterprises to Guild Companion Publications Ltd by order of Aurigas Aldebaron who are the owners and licensors of Rolemaster, HARP, Spacemaster and Shadow World. (Note Shadow World is a registered trademark of Terry Kevin Amthor). Terry remains central to Shadow World as its creative and guiding genius, which means that he'll be writing more new Shadow World material and he will be the one with final say on whether contributions from other sources become part of the Shadow World canon.

Which is how it has been with Terry and myself informally for the past several years as we've worked together on the Shadow World scenarios for The Guild Adventurer and on Xa-ar. The difference is that it is now official and de jure.

A Shadow World Line Editor

To assist Terry in his labours, we have appointed a Shadow World Line Editor. None other than Matt Hanson (aka Vroomfogle), he will be familiar to many of you already for his sterling contributions to Shadow World in the Nomikos Library website, and he is also the chief architect of the first Shadow World Player's Guide. We expect that Matt will serve the cause of Shadow World with distinction.

Shadow World Player Guide

The first Player Guide for the Shadow World is complete! The pdf version will be on sale from 1st September.

At this time, we are exclusively releasing the Shadow World Player Guide through the OneBookShelf network of ecommerce outlets (so www.rpgnow.com, www.drivethrurpg.com, and all their affiliates). The paramount reason for this is that OneBookShelf will be providing, via a partner agreement with LightningSource, our print-on-demand facility, with hubs in both the United States and the United Kingdom so ordering print copies should be a lot less expensive for most Shadow World fans.

Now I've said this before with regard to other products that we have sold through OneBookShelf but it bears repeating. There are options that you can choose at point of sale that allow the manufacturer/publisher to communicate with you. If you choose to let this publisher communicate with you, then there is a fighting chance that any messages about say product updates and product bundle offers will reach you. If not, I have no idea whether the OneBookShelf programs will send you a message or not. So help me to help you.

Atlases and Powers of Light and Darkness

Part of the transition involved the transfer of all the existing Shadow World products that were fully owned by Aurigas. This includes both the 3rd Edition (the Eidolon Studio RM2 edition) and the 4th Edition (the Mjolnir dba ICE RMSS version) Master Atlas. We are committed to supporting both RM2/Classic and RMSS/FRP, so we will be bringing both the 3rd and the 4th Edition back on sale as pdf-only products, as soon as we can swap in our logos and legalese and correct other outstanding issues. We have run into a slight technical hitch with the 4th Edition as we're currently missing the last 25 pages - it was absent in the Mjolnir file transfer - if it cannot be found, we may have to resort to typing the text back in or cutting pages out of the pdf version and stitching them back in. We are also working on reconstructing Powers of Light and Darkness - here we would like to incorporate the RMSS stats that Brent Knorr created for that product either directly in the core pdf or as an associated pdf.

The Shadow World Gazetteer

We do not currently have plans to make either the third edition or the fourth edition of the Master Atlas available as print-on-demand. The reason is that both are vast tomes, each containing significant chunks of material that really does not need to be in there, while at the same time missing material that needs to be in them to make them accessible to newcomers who have not been gaming in Shadow World for years.

Having discussed the matter with rpg designers and gurus from other successful game companies, the Shadow World Gazetteer will be designed to support multiple game systems, but with a different edition for each game system. Thus the initial edition will be a Rolemaster (both RM2/Classic and RMSS/FRP) version and will be followed in due course by a HARP edition. We may also use this strategy to support other game systems.

The Reconstruction of Shadow World Products

There are a number of other products that Terry Amthor produced during his own independent days as Eidolon Studios and earlier still, such as Emer I, Emer II, Haalkitaine and Eidolon itself. In addition to the minor logo and legalese modifications, we want to get RMSS stats into the GCP editions of these products, improve some of the artwork, and in due course publish HARP editions of these fine works. We also have some products that only exist as scans. It will take longer to get them back as proper pdfs. We're expecting some months where some team members do nothing but product recovery.

Shadow World en franšais

Some months ago, I was approached by a team of French Shadow World fans wanting to know how to go about translating Shadow World into French. They had already chosen their first target volume (Eidolon) and also wanted to provide some additional new French-language scenarios for this. I made some suggestions and they went to work. We have already seen a first draft in English of the first new scenario, The Diadem of Eissa, and Terry has made some requests for changes that will not only bring it into canonical status but will also link it to his own Eyes of Stone scenario to appear in Guild Adventurer #4. Yes, we will be publishing the new scenarios in English for those whose French is rusty or non-existent.

When the French edition of Eidolon is complete, we will be responsible for its artwork and layout, and it will be sold via our normal ecommerce outlets just like any other GCP product.

New Products!

Terry continues to scribble furiously on Emer III, and beyond that lies the last of the Emer quartet.

We're serious about wanting to see material from other writers for Shadow World, so start looking through your existing notes and/or think hard about new contributions. We won't necessarily be able to publish them straightaway, but once the intial disruption of transition is over, we will be very interested in knowing more.


As always, you can discuss Shadow World on our forums or on the ICE forums.

Farewell for now ...

I'm off back to the other portions of GCP Ltd's project programme, namely HARP SF/SF Xtreme, TGA#4 and Something Wicked. We'll be back in October with issue 140, but until then ...

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