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Changes at Serpent King Games

DragonwarriorscoreYou may have heard a rumour of changes coming at Serpent King Games. The rumour is true. Jon Hodgson here to fill you in.

The short version is that I’m departing Serpent King Games.

The long version begins with some history: When we formed the company 3 years ago I had reached a point in my freelance art career where I realised I wanted a change. So I put a bunch of irons in a bunch fires, worked hard at each of them, and waited to see what would happen. As it turned out working with Cubicle 7 as their art director, and more recently deputy CEO, has burned significantly hotter than any of the others.

The downside to this is that I just haven’t had the appropriate time to give to Serpent King Games. This has never sat easily with me. I love Dragon Warriors, getting to work on the Magnum Opus edition was huge for me. Sadly when there were new SKG Dragon Warriors books for me to apply my illustration skills to, my time was all spoken for.

My departure has been a long time coming, and I’ve worked hard on some different strategies to try and stay an active contributor of the game, but there comes a time to admit I can only work 12 hours a day. Rather than hold up already delayed projects I feel it’s more appropriate to step aside, help the guys find some new art talent with a bit more time to spend, and wish them all the best.

The last thing I’m working on is all the art for imminently forthcoming The Knight’s Tale, and handing over all my art direction notes for The Player’s Book to the new Serpent King art worker. I’m leaving behind permission to use all my artwork, which was my major investment in Serpent King Games, since the copyright to that art is owned by me, rather than a part of Dragon Warriors.

It can’t be overstated that my departure is entirely amicable, and I wish Ian, Gar, Kieran and the artist slated to take Dragon Warriors forward all the best. Each of them has invested significant time and resources in keeping Dragon Warriors available, and not one of them has taken a penny in return. A true labour of love.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing what new material this new era brings for Serpent King Games.

Out Now! The Miller’s Tale

MillersTaleCover

Available now at rpgnow – The Miller’s Tale. A tale of death and vengeance by Kieran Turley, illustrated by Jon Hodgson.

Something is rotten in the village of Jib’s Hollow and it’s not just the local weaver’s aversion to bathing. When a despairing ghost calls for justice can the heroes find his murderer before more people die?

A 9 page murder mystery scenario to challenge a group of Dragon Warriors characters of 2nd to 5th rank.

Available here.

Meanwhile work continues on art and layout for the eagerly anticipated The Players Book.

Not Dead Yet!

Hi All,
Jon Hodgson here.

We’re long overdue an update hereabouts!  So you have heard it before, but it remains no less true – work continues on the Players’ Book for Dragon Warriors.  We’re done writing, editing and playtesting.  Right now the book is in the artwork stage.

We’re not giving any projected release dates just yet.  It’s crazy season for those of us working day jobs in table-top gaming, with Gen Con print deadlines fast approaching.

With luck on our side we can show some previews of art for the forthcoming Players’ Book before too long.

Thanks as ever for your continued patience!

Dragon Warriors Core Book: Now in Print

Head on over to our new products page and click the Dragon Warriors button to be taken to Drivethru rpg, where you can order Dragon Warriors in print!

We’re working hard to bring you the rest of the Dragon Warriors book in hard copy, and as ever, work progresses on the Player’s Handbook.  It’s a long time coming, we want to get it right, and it will be worth the wait!

Meanwhile on-board The Valiant


We asked long time DW fan and Player’s Book contributor Damian May to write up some of his many adventures in Legend…

Read more

Update!

Hi All,

First up our sincere apologies for going dark for so long.  All three of us running SKG are incredibly busy in other areas of our work, from studying games at the highest academic levels, to running line development on Dr Who rpg and writing a gazillion words a day, to art directing at Cubicle 7.  You would be more than forgiven for thinking Dragon Warriors is currently, to be kind about it, in a deep slumber.

However, whilst progress has been slow and sporadic we have never stopped working on the new Players Book and DW in general, from writing and testing new material to making translation deals and clearing up after things go badly wrong with those, and so on.   We have been remiss in not posting more here, and for that we can only apologise. Often times it feels we’d be repeating ourselves if we were to say yet again “we’re working on it” with little to show.  But, well, we’re working on it.

The mainstays of the DW line remain available in pdf format here, and plans for print have remained in flux for a long time, due to a couple of factors it isn’t possible to discuss here.  Rest assured we’re working on the best option for Dragon Warriors.

Thank you as ever for your continued patience.

Arting by blog post

Here at the SKG blog we shouldn’t bore you by only trying to sell you our gamebooks, marvellous as they are. We can bore you by talking waffle too.

So I just starting the very first 3 pieces of work for the forthcoming players book for Dragon Warriors, which is auspicious.  I don’t really know why it’s auspicious, but it feels that way: Just run with me here a while ok?

And whilst painting I usually spend a great deal of time surfing the net.  The way I work is quite intense – 3 minutes of laying down tone and form very quickly, then a minute or two of being distracted by the web, which sits just behind my work on the computer, and then back to the fast painting.  Now this might sound like slacking, or a lack of concentration, and I would utterly forgive you for that judgement. But it’s how I’ve worked the last ten years or so and so far it seems to be going fairly well.   As a youth using traditional media I used to sit with my acrylics and a hair dryer for those paints renowned for their fast drying times didn’t dry fast enough for me.  That’s the general background of how quickly I like to paint.  Anyway whilst on one of those brief surfing breaks I stumbled across a blog post by our wonderful benefactor and DW creator Dave Morris, which linked to something I wrote a few months back about my early experiences with Dragon Warriors.  It seemed Dave approved, which is always nice to hear.
Rereading my earlier posting struck a chord for me.  Something very important about working on something you love is that you are still in awe of it, almost frightened of it.  That’s part of what makes the love significant.  So I’m painting some of the new professions we will see in the players book, along with some of the new life path type template thingamajigs which will be in there.  These are of course optional bolt ons to the core rules, but they are additions and changes to something we love.  We don’t do this stuff lightly.  And that’s good.

A lot of thought, frequently in the form of worry goes into depicting these characters.  It is very rare for me to restart commercial pieces of artwork. Time and tide is always against the freelance artist, and every moment spent wondering, pausing, thinking or worse doubting comes directly from your pay cheque.  So frequently its a case of doing the best you can within tight constraints.  And hey I could write another lengthy ramble on how that can actually get the best out of you, but I’ll bore you all with that another time.

When you own (part of) the company you don’t have those worries to the same degree.  Of course there are time constraints, but they are different to those imposed by a lot of freelance work.  I can stop and redo these if I want or need to.  So I spend a lot of time thinking about whether these fellows are “Legend” enough.  Are these generic fantasy fellers, or are they specifically Legend people?  What do Legend people look like?  And there’s the rub – I get, in part, to make that up.  And along with the rub comes that very healthy fear and respect for the subject matter.

There’s probably a point in there about love and affection that one could ferret out if one was so inclined.  There’s fear in there somewhere, and that not all fear is negative.  And we often fear things we love and love things we fear.  But hey, this is a post about making goblin drawins for a role playing game, not a self help book.
So anyway, buy our books, and if you have a few spare moments, what do people look like in your Legend?  You can interpret that as broadly as you like.  Perhaps I’ll steal your ideas.

Unleash the beast! The Bestiary is out!

http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=92332

Almost there…

Just a quick one to keep everyone informed.  Progress is progressing, and it shouldn’t be long now before those DW books are back on sale.  We have a working pdf version, we’re just giving it another run through for errata and tightening up here and there to make sure it’s all appropriate for SKG release.

There have been some truly boring delays to do with business banking, which is fantastical in the scope of it’s tiresomeness.  I guess we all do need to be certain we’re selling roleplaying games rather than plotting the downfall of Western Civilisation.  And that apparently takes an incredibly long time.

Art direction has begun on much anticipated “The Player’s Book”, and other stuff to do with design, editing, writing and so on that your humble author for today’s post doesn’t understand is also now happening in earnest.

Our new partners over in France L’elf Vert have announced preorders of the French edition of Dragon Warriors. Check out their Facebook Page here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=126484327374186

Stay tuned!

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