My PC finally returned yesterday! Hopefully, after I've reinstalled everything (tonight) and get it running again, I can return to work on all the outstanding items on the release schedule. It's very difficult to do more than mapping by hand and note-taking when you are completely without a computer! I will start by scanning the hand-drawn maps for "Mysteries in Mannath" and adding them to the current layout. This adventure will likely be ready to publish within the week! Other hand-drawn maps for the World Guide and a text only Res Magicus I will follow soon after.
Lucas has completed two of the last four monster images for the final Lusus Naturae (IV). So far, the Giant and Floating Eye pics are excellent! He has the Dragon and Demon left to do. Once done, I'll publish the final monster guide with art. I'm hoping that Lucas will be ready for more work; Res Magicus I and two adventures will need illustrations soon. One of the adventures may get printed for Free RPG Day (and likely will be in my backpack at GenCon in August) and will need a few choice images.
The latest installment of the Community Submissions book is now available for download. Two additional guidelines from JeremyK and ElijahL offer some interesting variations to the core system. Check them out here. Well, that's all for today. Hopefully, that darn PC will be finally fixed and ready for work!
[ What is TSRS? It is a simple tabletop RPG designed to be heavy on roleplaying and light on rules. Guidelines are optional so GMs can modify, add or drop whatever they wish. GMs can also submit their changes to the site for others to use. And the best part? The entire system is free! All guidelines, support tools, monster books and adventures can be found on the Downloads page. ]
Last night, we started our new TSRS campaign in the the world of Terra Minor. Adventure notes can be found here. After a slow start, it went well. We got side-tracked a few times with side jokes and elaborate video game references, but the session went well. We learned that there is an optimum design for Combat - Missile adventurers (the ranged adventurer brought down a majority of foes with his bow before anyone else could get involved) and that a Stealth trainee can still fight when needed. The melee and destruction specialists saw little action in the first night but I suspect in the coming session their skills will be invaluable!
This group is playtesting the first continuing campaign series adventure, "In Defense of Thuil". This adventure takes place in southern Wynhelm and will eventually take the group in to the jungles of Nolgur-Wul. This should be published in the 2nd quarter of 2013. While we're playing through the first three books of the campaign series, I hope to publish several one-off adventures that are in progress now. I've been talking about "Mysteries in Mannath" for ages now and it is nearly ready. Another computer mishap has slowed me down (actually sent the system back to the manufacturer for repair as I've lost 2 drives); when this system died, a few of the images created with Campaign Cartograhper hadn't been backed up and were lost. I've decided to recreate the images by hand using a few techniques learned from the Cartographers Guild. So far, they look great. I hope to have "Mysteries in Mannath" finalized this month.
Work continues on the other in-progress items: Res Magicus I rewrites, "The Evil Within" finalization, and Lusus Naturae IV artwork. Quite a bit is going on! Enjoy!
A new version of Lusus Naturae III is now available for download. This version includes three excellent illustrations from Lucas Pandolfelli. The monsters in this book are quite nasty, ranging from PR 25 to 40. Lucas will begin work on the four images for Lusus Naturae IV in the next week or so. Original illustrations for demons, dragons, floating eyes and giants will fill the empty spots in the last monster guide. Is this truly the last monster guide? It's unlikely; I'm planning a special foe guide for 2014 that will inlude unique variants of creatures from the first four books as well as gods and immortals.
"Mysteries in Mannath" is still not finished but is very close. Several editorial rewrites and additional maps have prevented me from releasing it on schedule (or even close to schedule), but it is nearly ready. This multi-adventure book is close to 32 pages in length and is full of illustrations and maps. Work on three other adventures goes slowly while E1 is completed.
I'm holding off on the Kickstarter "all-in-one" project; there is still so much more work to complete before I'm ready to commit to a project of that magnitude. There are still two magic guides to illustrate and finalize, as well as the complete writing of the GM and Battle guides. At my current pace, it's likely that these 4 books will be completed in the fall. As we get closer to that point, I'll look at the Kickstarter again.
The community section has a new section on the gods of Terra Minor. Over the next week or two, I'll detail gods from each province. Enjoy!
Progress on TSRS products and storylines is a bit slow right now, with focus prioritized on many other different areas of my life. Don't worry, I've begun to shift a bit more time back to Throwigames FRPG work. So where am I at?
I'm still finishing up the last map for "Mysteries in Mannath" - just adding the finishing touches and sizing. The adventure booklet is truly done. I just have to put that last darn nail in! That should show up for download in the next week. Lucas has finished the art for Lusus Naturae III and once I've paid him for it, he'll begin the much anticipated work on LN IV. This last monster guide has the best creatures; dragons, demons, giants, and liches. I know he's looking forward to the work he'll get to do on these beasties, and I can't wait to see it. As a teaser for LN III, I'm putting his fantastic work on the Troll at the end of this blog post.
I've nearly completed the first draft of "The Enemy Within", an adventure I wrote several years ago for d20. Porting in to TSRS was easy but I found that a few of the areas needed rework. That goes well. "Welcome to the Swamp" is underway as well. A new adventure that I plan to print up especially for GenCon called "The Great Minecart Race" is also underway. This short, one-evening adventure really tests the boundries of the TSRS system and the players themselves. Look out for that one in the coming months.
On a discouraging note, my TSRS Guidelines were not selected for the 3 Castles Award at NTRPGCon. I was really hoping for a better showing there but I was competing against Goodman Games, the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerors of Hyperborea, and a few other, well-known RPG developers (Jeff Dee of TSR-past, and James Maliszewski of Grognardia fame). I have some thoughts on the NTRPGCon selection process but I'll keep those to myself.
Well, that was a longer break than anticipated. When you work on two different "side projects", your normal day job and try to spend some time with the family, it gets a bit hectic. Here's a quick update on what's going on with TSRS:
We had a bit of website downtime recently... It appears that you all have been downloading the heck out of the PDFs and I have blown out my monthly limit. I've upgraded the site service plan so this shouldn't happen again. I'm still amazed at how many documents have been downloaded to date!
I'm working on several world and adventure maps for the new campaign starting next month. These adventures will eventually get published as the TSRS Continuing Campaign Adventures, 'C' series. The first up is "In Defense of Thuil", a starting adventure that takes place in southern Sivona. As my campaign group (aka playtesters) completes the adventures in each booklet, I will revise, update and publish it on the site for others to use. The map making portion is the hardest part - I'm still a novice with the Cartographer products, especially CC3 (City Designer and Dungeon Designer are much easier to use). I'm also critical of my own work and throw away maps that aren't just right. But, they are coming along and nearly done.
"Mysteries in Mannath" is nearly done after several edits and map redesigns, with a couple of the images from Lucas thrown in as well. There are enough scenarios and action for a several nights of gaming. Other adventures from the campaign series as well as stand alones like "The Evil Within" and "Welcome to the Swamp" will follow soon after. Lucas is working on the handful of images left for Lusus Naturae III and IV and should be done in the next couple of months.
Finally, I've completed a Kickstarter outline. After much review, I found it hard to produce a TSRS boxed set: it was not cost effective and would likely cost me a bunch of money to print, build and ship. I have decided to go with an "all in one" book instead. This would be a softcover book containing 6-10 guidelines and manuals, with additional adventure scenarios added depending on stretch goal achievement. Several upgrade options are available to enhance the book, e.g. you can pay extra to have the book upgraded to hard cover. There will be more information on this Kickstarter in the next month. Enjoy!
The 2nd monster guide, Lusus Naturae II, now has illustrations and is available for download. Lucas has down a great job again - the book looks great! He's going to start on the next guide shortly; this one is a bit smaller and will only require a few images. I'm very excited for illustrations of an ogre, troll, and a wight. I'm super excited about images for Lusus Naturae IV! Lucas will get to put his pencil to the task of dragons, giants, and demons! Wonderful!
Three of the six territories of Ornaklia have been highlighted in the community sections with three more to go in the next week. Lunramal, the desert lands is up next. After that, I'll detail the southern jungles of Nolgur-Wul, and wrap up with a little information on the unexplored territory of the far east. The details provided on the Community page are just excerpts from the larger, Terra Minor Guide, available for download this quarter. Enjoy!
I'm changing my normal pattern of posting every week by adding a new post only a few days later! Well, I don't really have too much news but I thought I'd stop in and add a few things. First off, Lucas has finished the last of the art for Lusus Naturae II. I've already integrated his work in to the document and will post it in the downloads page once I've paid him for his work. Yes, you can't have it until I do my part and paying Lucas for his time and talents is my part indeed. I've also added a new thread on the Community Page for Terra Minor, specific to the territory of Sivona. Over the next several days, I'll add content for the other four provinces, and may even shed some light on the Untamed Lands.
I'm supposed to receive my new hard drive from Vendor X no later than next Friday so that I can fix my brand new PC. Hopefully, if everything goes according to plan (or luck), I'll have all the software resinstalled and running by the weekend after. The last two maps for "Mysteries in Mannath" should get completed by the end of that week (2/17), inserted into the adventure and published a few days after that. Let's hope anyway. In the meantime, I'm working on the Terra Minor Guide (TSRS1501) and "The Evil Within", E2 (TSRS2102). E2 has all but one map already and needs additional content added. It's really almost done. Well, off to do family things... can't let that part of my life slip! Enjoy!
Hello again! It's been a busy week, with a lot of focus on both TSRS and Colosseum. I'm writing content and code (respectively) for both systems every day and although I'm excited about the progress, I'm a bit tired. Here's an update for TSRS: I've finally replaced my trusty old Dell PC for a brand new, powerful system... that arrived defective. This new system (the company name remains anonymous, unless of course they don't fix the issue) came with hard disk issues, namely bad sectors and corruption. I'm waiting for the replacement drive now. Why is this an update for TSRS? Well, I can't get to my mapping software, it's not installed on the new system. The old system? I knew when I finally shut it down, it wouldn't restart. And it won't. No mapping software means I can't finish the last two maps for "Mysteries in Mannath". So, I decided to complete both Lusus Naturae III and IV instead. They are both available for download today. They, as well as Lusus Naturae II, are without art. Lucas is on the last image for LNII and should begin on the next batch for LNIII and IV shortly.
I've also posted a few threads for Terra Minor in the Community Forum section. This content is extracted from the Terra Minor Guide, underway currently. The new campaign series adventures start soon and take place in this new world. My playtest group will play through the adventures and world first; I'll post final products thereafter.
As for Colosseum, I'm mostly writing administrative code for backend functions and PHP delivery code. Although mundane and not very challenging, this code is necessary to drive the site and behind the scenes processing. It is a breath of fresh air however. With the really hard code behind me, it's nice to write easy code for a change. More on this to come. Have a great week everyone, and enjoy the new books!
I can't believe we're already in to the 4th week of January! This month is moving quickly. Well, a couple of updates: In honor of my son's 15th birthday, I've created the first Community Submissions document with his three ideas, found on the Downloads page. His optional guidelines for failed attacks and DR checks, and the experience idea for Health increases are good ones. They may provide your game with a few interesting options. Happy Birthday Ben!
I've also uploaded the last of the adventurer sheets, the Construct. The Advanced Guidelines suggest ways for powerful spellcasters to create constructs like Golems or mechanical-like structures. The Construct Sheet (TSRS1309) is useful for tracking attributes, body location DP, and other abilities given to the creature. You can find it on the Downloads page as well.
Starting at the end of January, I'll begin detailing the campaign world I've been building for the last year. Descriptions of the world will begin on the western edge of a large land mass and over the next few months, I'll move eastward. I'll provide a few maps, major cities (and territories), race information and other interesting facts about the world I call Terra. Most of my posts for this thread will take place on the new Community Forum page, found here. Look out for these posts in the next week or two! Have a great day everyone, and enjoy!
Hello again! It's been a couple of weeks since my last post but sadly, I have nothing too exciting to report. Progress continues on the January releases (Mysteries in Mannath, Construct Sheet, Lusus Naturae III (and LN II with art), and the three user submissions wrapped up in a nice document). Life has been exceptionally busy so it all goes slowly. It is likely that I'll publish all the releases within a single week at this rate, probably in the last few days of January. Lucas has completed two more images and is closing in on the six needed for LN II.
Well, it's back to work for me! Happy gaming all!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from Throwigames! It has been a good (but busy) few weeks with family and friends - however, that does translate into minimal progress on books due this month. I've pushed the schedule into January as I'm not going to make it by the time the ball drops! Seriously, I'd rather not rush these adventures and guidelines. They will get published next month. Please bare with me.
I've started roughing out the costs and designs of a TSRS Boxed Set. I may use Kickstarter as a way to get the word out and raise the funds necessary to put it all together. My plan is to have the Core Guidelines, Advanced Guidelines and four Lusus Naturae bound as one complete book. The boxed set will also have at least two adventures, likely ES1 and E1 (or E2). Kickstarter encourages "stretch goals"; right now, I think additional adventures and custom dice would be nice upgrades in the boxed set. More on the details later. Of course, a boxed set is impossible if I don't finish the work! So, I'm back to writing tonight! Again, Happy New Year and be safe!
Lucas has finished a couple of images for the Lusus Naturae II book; I'm posting them here as a preview.
A Queen and her soldier...
Wow, that was a quick couple of weeks. I've been very busy with my day job; this has made it hard to be productive at night, the time I spend on TSRS development. I'm making progress but it does go slowly. Here are a few updates to mention...
Illustrations for the second monster guide (Lusus Naturae II) continue. Lucas has one of the six completed with a second in a rough draft state. Both images look great! I really like his work and hope that he'll stay on to develop images for all four monster guides.
I've entered the Core Guidelines in a 3rd competition, the Origins Award. I found that they had extended the deadline to December 15th, and managed to get the print copies to them in the nick of time. I'm not sure how I'll do in this one (fewer categories than the ENnies) but it's worth a shot. They haven't posted entries yet but you can check the website to see more about the award and the Origins Game Fair next year.
Development of a community page is coming along. I'm more focused on the completion of actual TSRS products but I know the website needs more of a community focus. I hope to have a new page with community interaction (Q&A, etc.) up by end of January. Finally, "Mysteries in Mannath" is nearly complete and ready for edit. It should get posted in the next week. Here is the Mannath town map, created in City Designer 3.
Although I try to do my best when editing my work, I occasionally end up with errors. Spelling and grammar issues annoy me but I can generally live with those. When the mistake is with game mechanics or table data, I'm really disappointed. Well, the print copy of the Core Guidelines has two small issues. They aren't extremely painful but an Errata sheet was needed anyway. You can now find this Errata sheet on the Downloads page. A new version of the Core Guidelines PDF (v1.29) has also been loaded with the fixes.
Work continues on both the adventures due to release this month. With much of the CC3 tool learning behind me (well, at least the basics), maps are much quicker to make; I can now spend more time on the adventures themselves. "The Evil Within" differs from "Mysteries in Mannath" in that it will come with four pregenerated adventurers, use of which is of course, optional. These four adventurers are part of the storyline so if they aren't used by the players, the GM should incorporate them as necessary. I had started writing "The Evil Within" for D&D 3rd Edition, then 3.5, then 4th before I finally stopped. I had hoped to submit it to Goodman Games for publication but never quite finished it. When I picked it up again last week, I realized it was more than 80% done. This adventure will likely be between 32 and 48 pages when completed.
Two new docs are now available in the Downloads page: Lusus Naturae II (without art) and the User Rules Submission Guidelines. I've pushed the User Adventure Submission Guidelines to later in December because, quite frankly, I'm not sure what I want in the guidelines. Obviously, I want users to submit their adventures in whole with all the pages, maps and tables necessary to play, but there are some design elements that I'd like to have included - even I have not released official TSRS adventurers in a consistent way yet. When I complete "Mysteries in Mannath", an adventure due to release this month, I should finally have landed on a format and style that will be used as a baseline for adventures going forward. The Submission Guidelines will likely follow this adventure.
What's so special about "Mysteries in Mannath"? Well, it's the first group adventure for TSRS. It is also a collection of the playtest scenarios used in the development of the TSRS Core Guidelines and Lusus Naturae I. Many of the playtesters will recognize many of the scenarios and actors. There are several encounters that each, should take only an evening of play (great for periodic play) but can be strung together as a starter campaign; Mannath is a small village that has several issues and they need help! This collection of mini encounters has a bit of everything: combat, puzzles, traps, and mysteries. All adventurer types should improve their attributes or gain new specializations by the end of the book.
"Mysteries in Mannath" is also the first TSRS adventure using the impressive Campaign Cartographer 3 software. Specifically, City and Dungeon Designer was used for all the maps. If you haven't seen this software, take a look. It's really amazing.
An archive page now contains posts greater than a month or two old.
Before I shifted gears from Colosseum (see the blog link for reference) to developing the Throwigames Simple Roleplaying System, I used several other media channels to record and discuss my efforts. See my 2011 blog here and my little used Facebook page (search Facebook for Throwigames.com) for past updates. Going forward, the new website will be my primary method of cummunication and interaction with players.