Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Greatest Adventure...

What lies ahead for these and other adventurers? Cover art ©2016 Jon Hodgson, used with permission.

Just a brief update to those of you interested in what I talked about in my previous post concerning Beyond the Wall. The cover above is what is going to be gracing the PDF for my starter book for BtW. Yes, that is indeed a Jon Hodgson cover. Years ago when I started building my first company I bought the one-time use rights for it from Illodeli, a publishing resource company Hodgson was part of. Years passed and Illodeli folded, but I've kept in touch with Jon and he assures me the agreement holds.

I'm sure those of you who keep a close eye on the module numbers are wondering why this is showing as "BW3" when I previously showed the Dragon's End project cover bearing the same module number. The reason this book will be BW3 is because I suddenly realized that Dragon's End is going to take a lot more writing and work than this one. Additionally, the cover design and title for Dragon's End are still not solidified.

So what happens with the revision of the GM screen? It continues at a slow pace thanks to a number of real life issues (work, broken AC, and vehicle woes). I just wanted to get the cover done because it's part of what stimulates me to work on this stuff. For the record, despite the color cover, the interior will be greyscale because the character art I'm choosing for the character sheets will be greyscale. And yes, the title is a riff on the lyrics from "The Greatest Adventure" by Glenn Yarbrough, which is the theme song to Rankin & Bass' animated version of "The Hobbit".

I look forward to posting more updates about these projects, but it's back to the salt mines for me, folks!

EDIT: There were some concerns raised on the BtW Google+ community regarding the provenance of the artwork I'm using and the fact that two other publications use the same art. To be honest, there's no worry about trade dress issues or confusion of products as the covers are significantly different from one another. as shown here:

My cover, again; artwork ©2016 Jon Hodgson, used with permission.

The cover for OpenQuest by D101 Games. Note that the halfling is now a duck as a nod to the system's roots in RuneQuest and Glorantha.
MaquiEdicion's World of Monsters cover.
Here is another licensed use of the artwork I found online.
So, as you can see, given the differences in cover designs, there's absolutely no way to confuse these products.

Also, here is the exact language of the license, courtesy of the Internet Archive:
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The copyright to the illustration remains with the artist, who is granting permission to the purchaser to use the illustration once.

Other customers of IlloDeli may also buy the same image and use it. That’s the “non-exclusive” part. 
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We request you do not use downloads from to make derivative works – processing with filters, recolouring, making heavy colour adjustments. Over laying of trade dress, logos and so on is fine. We like to keep things as simple as possible, and offering artwork to you the customer, to be used as closely to its downloaded state is our aim. There are potential legal implications to allowing the use of our work to make derivative works which we would really rather not get into. We hope you understand. All artwork should be credited as (C)2008 the artist. If you wish to mention that’s greatly appreciated, but we do not demand it. Hopefully as a customer you will be satisfied enough to mention it to your friends in publishing anyway! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us. We would much rather deal with a “silly” question than leave you guessing.

All our artists also provide bespoke work to order, and can be contacted through the links on this site to make deals outside of IlloDeli. We do ask that of course you don’t bother them by offering less money for the same rights we sell here – the whole point of the site from the artists’ perspective is to cut out all that unnecessary communication and allow you to buy direct from Illodeli. However if you like what you see and you’d like to commission more in a similar vein, to order a special bespoke piece, or you’d like to talk about exclusivity, then by all means drop them a line.

By offering this service we recognise are taking something of a risk. We aren’t going to be able to track every use of our work as sold through this site. But we do hope that you respect our work, and respect the service enough to honour our terms. In that way we can continue to provide what we feel is great art at a great price delivered quickly and simply to your desktop. The better it works out, the more stock we will add, the more artists we will bring on board, and the better it will become as a resource for our customers. Of course if it turns out the temptation not to comply with these conditions is too great then we reserve the right to cancel membership at any time without notice. If such a situation was regularly to come to pass then we would clearly have to rethink the whole enterprise. So please let’s all play fair!

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  1. Hey, fellow Omaha GM who happened across your blog.

    I love, love, love that cover. I have that version of OpenQuest in hard copy, and half the reason I bought it was, in fact, that cover.

    I also recently got Beyond the Wall (in hard copy as well because that book is beautiful) and I've run it twice and had a lot of fun with it.

    Anyway, added your blog to mine. Perhaps I'll see you at one of the Nuke Con game days or something to that effect.

    1. At the last Nuke-Con I attended, I ran a number of BtW events and had a blast. I had a regular crew for two events and the third was a wash, but it was still fun. It was great playing with a group that wanted to carry their characters over to the next event. I have to honestly say, after some unhappy interactions with the Omaha gaming scene, your comment is making me reconsider my decision to end my run at any of the cons here.

    2. Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I've also quit GMing at the local conventions, though that really has more to do with bad scheduling luck that seems to plague me around con season. I'm going to try to be better, because I think we need more GMs at the local cons. These days I do most of my con GMing at convention in Kansas City.

      I'm hoping to get some more BtW going in the near future. I typically use it as a "break" game between legs of regular campaigns. I had a player at my table last time who had never played an RPG in her life and she had a great time, especially the village creation. I also know someone who is running a heavily modified BtW (it's pseudo-steampunk, for one) at Dragon's Lair every Sunday.

      I'll also be reading your Traveler stuff. I GMed MegaTraveller in 7th grade (early 90's) and Mongoose Traveler (four or five years ago) and I just couldn't make it work. I'm a fan of the d6 system, if only for WEG Star Wars.

    3. My run of bad luck has been people not showing an interest or saying they're interested and not showing. I had one family group sign up for a Traveller game a couple years ago and nobody showed. It's even extended to FLGS games and the like. There's some fandom-political aspects to it as well, but I'm not going to hash those out in public. If I could handle driving long distances without falling asleep or getting the thousand yard stare, I'd go to Tri-Con in South Sioux City or even to the Great Plains Game Fair in Lincoln, but until I drop some weight and get rid of my sleep apnea, it ain't happening.

      That being said, if you're looking for a break and be a player, or if you want another player, let me know. I enjoy GMing more than playing, but playing's good too.