A lot hasn’t happened in the last week, but there’s been enough, I think, to warrant a post. Firstly, Wizards of the Coast released the names of the playtesters for Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. I’m in there, as Jukka Sarkijarvi, since their inferior American keyboards cannot handle the perfection of expression that is my name in its properly spelled form. The rest of my playtest group are there as well; Sampo Haarlaa, Hannu Haavisto, Mikko Laine, Marko Westerlund and Joonas Sahramaa. Thanks, guys. You made tolerable an experience that with a different group could very easily have been completely miserable.
Wizards of the Coast also released a preview of their first 4E module, Keep on the Shadowfell, that proves I was right all along when I called “points of light” a damn stupid setting concept. 977 inhabitants in a village with 17 buildings and about 1/4 square miles of farmland. I feel that to be indicative of the level of thought that went into everything in the new edition that wasn’t rules or marketing.
On a brighter and far more interesting note, Eero Tuovinen of Arkenstone Publishing says he’s releasing his zombie storytelling game Zombies! At the Door! in English for the first time at GenCon Indy. It’s an interesting game. Me and another gamer ran it at the fourth anniversary party of the Espoo Science Fiction and Fantasy Club a couple of weeks ago, with some success. It’s a simple game for beginners and will produce good roleplaying with no preparation whatsoever. I also have reports that indigenous tribes out in Eastern Helsinki that worship it as the image of a deity that will protect them once the zombie apocalypse comes.
I can recommend the game. In addition to being good, it has the novelty value of being packaged in a VCR tape box and including a bright pink d6. It might actually sell pretty well if the general Forgeness of the Forge booth will not scare people away.
Wizards of the Coast (funny how everything seems to come back to them) has yet to announce their participation in the convention, and the event registrations have ended. They’re doing a nice job of shooting themselves, Living Forgotten Realms and GenCon Ltd. in the foot. Either way, if WotC is out, other companies will have more visibility.
One of these other companies is Paizo Publishing. I have no real news about them, but they continue to be really cool, and Pathfinder RPG‘s Beta edition is being released there. Their organised play campaign Pathfinder Society is also kicking off at GenCon Indy.
It’s actually good that it won’t be available at Ropecon a week earlier, since that means we can focus our attention on Living Greyhawk and giving the campaign the send-off it deserves. We’re currently working on six modules for the Principality of Naerie, the last of the campaign. This would be a lot easier if the people who have to sanction the modules, approve the outlines and in some cases even write the damn things weren’t working on getting the Living Forgotten Realms campaign started at the same time.
I wonder if Chris Tulach ever thought that recruiting the Living Greyhawk campaign adminstration into LFR would cripple the last year of Living Greyhawk. The admins had minimal information, by the way, of what they were committing themselves to when they first sent in their applications. Had I known then what I know now – and I’m not even talking of stuff covered by the NDA – I wouldn’t have sent in my application, and I know a few others who feel the same. For the record, I applied for Writing Director of Northern Europe, a position that went to the eminently more qualified Pierre van Rooden.
That’s all for now, folks. I’m going back to watching The West Wing.