RPGNow Sale

It’s the Christmas in July summer sale at RPGNow, and our two Dragon Warriors books are both available at 25% off for another few days:

Dragon Warriors on sale

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!


Dragon Warriors back on sale!

The pdf of the core rulebook is now available from DriveThruRPG! This is a revised version of the Magnum Opus Press edition, incorporating all the errata.

Next, we’ll be rereleasing the other Magnum Opus books. Part of the delay with the core rulebook was getting all the graphics, fonts and other design elements in one place, and now that we have all those assets, the process of updating the other books should go much faster. At the same time, work on the player’s guide is continuing.

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!

Installing new company. Progress: 96.5%

We’re almost there.  All hands are to the pumps making the final preparations for the Serpent King Games edition of Dragon Warriors to hit the e-stores, and the officially licensed product will be available once more.

We would hate to disappoint, so to be clear this is a “continuum” edition – the same books as you know and love (or are about to) from Magnum Opus, with a little further cleaning up of pesky persistent errata. An ongoing task with any rule book.

Just as soon as the books are available again we will let you know right here, so stay tuned!

And since we’ve announced that we shall also repeat that there are no current plans for a new reworked/revised/completely new system edition of Dragon Warriors, which we are often asked about.  We’re full steam ahead on the Players Book (speaking of which I better start some artwork, eh? – Jon) and some new really cool supplementary material is beginning to take shape.  And that’s our focus right now.

If you just can’t wait for something new, we’ve put up a brief history and description of the game, along with some useful links here: What is Dragon Warriors? which will hopefully be of use in spreading the word to those yet to experience the full thrill of a big dose of Legend right in the face.

And you saw this, right?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KC50RVWi9nw

Exciting times!

The clock ticks…

It’s a little before midnight, here at Serpent King Games HQ. Not that there is a Serpent King Games HQ; it’s the 21st century, and we’re distributed, not like groceries, like algorithms running in parallel on several computers. So, at Gar’s home in Ireland, and Jon’s in Scotland, and mine in Wales, the three of us have glasses raised, ready to toast ourselves at midnight. For once this isn’t some kind of witches’ sabbat (though there *are* three of us — hmm); no, we officially take over the Dragon Warriors licence at midnight! Today, whisky, tomorrow, the world! Or the Lands of Legend, at least.

Dragon Warriors: Reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated

Hi All,

Judging from our in-box it would seem that a lot of you out there are concerned by a couple of announcements you have seen around the net, and specifically in recent Mongoose Publishing forum ads, that indicate Dragon Warriors is going out of print and being permanently deleted from their catalogue.  Which you could be forgiven for thinking sounds very final.

These things are completely true for the Mongoose/Flaming Cobra Dragon Warriors line.  On April 1st that line will cease to exist, and Mongoose Publishing/Magnum Opus Press will no longer have a license to produce or sell Dragon Warriors material.  However Dragon Warriors will continue with Serpent King Games at the helm.  By agreement with James Wallis at Magnum Opus Press we will be reprinting and making available the reissued Dragon Warriors books that you might be familiar with, the only difference being a Serpent King Games logo rather than Flaming Cobra and Magnum Opus ones.

The ink is still drying on a couple of contracts necessary for this process, so there may be a a day, a week or even a month during which time the books are not available.  So for a short time Dragon Warriors will indeed be out of print.  Rest assured that as quickly as we are able to do so Serpent King Games will get Dragon Warriors back into print and available to you, as well as working on the next generation of supplements, starting with the much anticipated Dragon Warriors Players Guide which is currently in production.  Much as we would love to be able to be more transparent about our exact plans for the future right now, these things take a little bit of time and it would not be right to make announcements prior to everything being in place.

If the stars are right, and assuming you fellows haven’t snapped up every Flaming Cobra book there is, we may have some printed stock for sale direct from us. Details will follow as soon as we have them to share.

We’re on record here at SKG as recommending anyone wanting to get into Dragon Warriors take advantage of the great deals on offer from Mongoose Publishing right now.  You have only a few days left, so get busy if you would like to grab the DW rules at a bargain price!

UPDATE! Oh my gosh, how could we have forgotten – if you don’t fancy paying shipping nor waiting for your DW goodness, then do take advantage of the last few days of Magnum Opus’ e book sale here: http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?filters=0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=2630


We remain almost hilariously overworked, and are still hoping to get back to regular blogging once the current Lonely Mountains and Relative Dimensions and Fimbulvetrs of work that we have to do for non-SKG projects this month are complete.

In the meantime, the ever-inspirational James Wallis has somehow found time to release a new edition of his Afterlives roleplaying game. The old edition came out almost a decade ago and can only be found in a long out-of-print back issue of Dork Tower, so a new edition was certainly due.

Afterlives is a meta-RPG, strictly speaking, fitting in to the fantasy tabletop RPG of your choice (assuming your taste is such that the fantasy tabletop RPG of your choice doesn’t include Resurrection spells, which Wallis quite rightly asserts are essentially rather naff; my perspective on this issue is that one of my favourite things about RPGs is that you only risk character death rather than actual death when you do heroic things, and if you take away the risk of character death too you might as well just be reading a book… probably a feelgood supernatural teen romance in which good triumphs over evil and the vampire always gets the girl) at just the point where most conventional RPGs end: when your character has just died.

(As an aside, live roleplaying games are far less likely to gloss over this moment than tabletop ones, partly perhaps because the dead character is usually still being physically represented by the lying-down, fake-blood-laden player; most LARPs have funerals, at least for significant characters, and several of the more progressive ones, such as those run by Profound Decisions, give at least some thought to what happens to one’s character after death. I’m not trying to hint that one genre is superior to the other, naturally, just remarking on the inevitable differences caused by the different forms.)

So. Afterlife. You sneak a Special Guest Star gamer in to your next gaming sesh to play God (literally, the dead character’s god), and play your Afterlife metagame out as a supernatural court scene. Court scenes in games can be really dull, unless they are deliberately constrained in time, and have a judge with powers so extreme, so arbitrary, as to be able to silence boring or off-topic speeches on a whim. Fortunately, Afterlife provides both these things. The game is quite tightly timed, and intended to last for one session only. The judge is a divine agent, perhaps even the character’s god, or the god of the dead in the character’s pantheon. Due process is likely to be whatever the judge feels like, which means that so long as the judge has a good sense of drama and narrative, this game should flow very nicely.

The judge is also basically impartial, since the Special Guest Star doesn’t know the regular characters of the game at all. I’ve not played Afterlives yet, but I imagine that if done well, it could play out rather like an almost-straight version of Aye, Dark Overlord, one of my favourite storytelling cardgames. The latter would make a pretty good training game for anyone fancying the role of judge in Afterlives.

I’m not going to say who plays the Persecutor, and who the Defence, not because doing so would render your purchase of the book unnecessary (it wouldn’t; there is so much superb advice here on running the Aftermath game that, though as with most great Wallis games the rules could be described in a few sentences, the rules are not why you buy this book), but because that info is something of a mild spoiler, and it is possible that your GM will buy this book even if you don’t.

If you do ever run any fantasy RPGs, this is well worth the $3.95. You may only use it once or twice, but it will provide better closure, more amusement, more game, and more fun than any roleplayed in-character funeral.

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