Breakfast and Games: Back Filled With Ideas

It has been a while when I wrote the last installment of Breakfast and Games – but it has been very busy here! From Christmas until mid of January we were in the United States; not only visiting family but also a big drive from Seattle to San Francisco. And of course – we had to pay Greg Stafford a visit on our way down (talking Glorantha stuff while Finn chased Greg and Suzanne’s chickens).

During our time in the Seattle area we tested a few new adventures – documented in pictures by Mike O’Connor. Last week Ian Cooper was over in Berlin to finish editing “Coming Storm” with Jeff – one of the books for release later this year –, letting our Berliner game group playtesting the heroquest as part of the story. Aside of this, Jeff is working like a maniac (after suffering from a bad bug which kept him out of commission most of last week) to finish Pavis and Big Rubble and get those books out. Jeff says that Pavis is nearly done – Jeff is finishing up two scenarios, then it’s done! And art is being commissioned (the cover is AMAZING!). Jeff is trying to get it out for Eternal Con in June. Big Rubble will come out afterwards (everything done except for the scenarios and art). Then – Coming Storm and the Guide of Glorantha.

We are redoing the Glorantha-Website including a direct possibility to post my block, “so you can post more often,” Jeff says. We’ll talk more about that in a later blog, when the planning is finished.

However – not only Jeff is busy – when we came back in mid January my work needed me 200% because of a new project. I’m sorry but all my creativity was used up there even if I had a lot of ideas in mind what I could post. Since last Tuesday Finn is now 7 hours in day care which gives Jeff and me some more free time to do things.

As I hinted already I have a lot of things I can post about. However – I will not start with one something in the past but with an idea I had yesterday during breakfast – more appropriate for this blog given its name!

As you know – I love the art used in the books. I know that Jeff, Rick and Simon put a lot of work into finding good artists and commission art with proper descriptions to get what they want to illustrate their books. In a game it is always good to illustrate something. I don’t know about your games, but I’ve always given the book around (with the finger high up –“do not read this paragraph” or with paper over key sections – which is always awkward to handle) or you make a copy before the game (which means you have to prep carefully – most of our games have a certain amount of spontaneity in them and players usually do not do the things a game master has planned for!).

So yesterday I had the idea to print card decks with art used in the books not only to illustrate your game session but maybe even use decks with art to produce random encounters (like encounter tables) or to enrich your story with some random ideas by the art from random drawn cards. It’s not about making a card game – I really have only in mind to put a piece of art on a card, a title, and maybe some info. Jeff told me “Cool – do it”.

Hmmm. I know already were to print it but have still no idea how to put a deck together. By theme? By book? By region? Cool art I love? Is this something useful at all? Anybody imagine they might use something like this? Give me your ideas and feedback, please!!! Post your ideas at the HeroQuest Facebook page.


Breakfast and Games: Sartar Companion is finished!

It’s out – finally! – Sartar Companion is out (at least in PDF form)!

I told Jeff I would not write any new blog entries until I could announce that the book is done. Uff – that was a hard weekend. It was a bit of a count down – Jeff kept me updated how many pages were left fort he layout. And then there was the index which made so many problems with the Sartar book. Not this time (juhu!).

However – Sunday evening I got angry. Yes I put a lot of pressure on Jeff to finish the book but we had friends over for dinner and a board game. For dinner Jeff left his seat which was nearly glued to his butt on the last days (food was maybe smelling too good) but I got really angry when he sat there chatting with Rick and Simon and reading when we wanted to play. OK – he got some extra minutes while I “parked” our friends in front of the TV showing them Firefly while I put Finn to bed.

Then I really expected Jeff to join us (he was actually very much looking forward to the gaming evening and we both together put he date together). But he was still glued to his chair. I read the rules (he said he knew them – from three years ago – ha! He didn’t). When we started the game I got really angry because Jeff still had “only this paragraph” to write. And he pointed out that it was me who said that the book needs to be done. Grmf – it’s like somebody points your own weapon on you. However – he came over and played with us (which was in my opinion very important for him anyways to get his mind  a bit clear), we all had fun, drank something, talked afterwards about comics, movies and games and – I was very surprised – after our friends left he went to bed! And they still got things finished the next day :).

And now a few lines about the book itself: No – I haven’t read it yet but I saw all of it – I stood behind him when he “flipped through the pdf-pages” and showed it to me (the complete book – all the little pieces I saw before fell into place like puzzle pieces).

It is beautiful!

And before anybody starts to rent about typos or stuff they find in the book described differently than they are playing for 20 years – the typo is a feature and you played it wrong all the time! It is a high quality product – the team behind it tried to make it as beautiful as possible and put as much real content into it as possible (I know this – I heard all the discussions live).

So buy it and have fun (the file is already at the printer – Jeff will get the “printers proof” next Monday and the printing presses will run for Sartar Companion – means with a bit of luck by the end of next week we will have boxes of books in our sleeping room – huzza!).

And – Jeff is already back writing on the Pavis book.

So much this time – we drive to the game fair in Essen tomorrow – business for Jeff and a lot of fun for Finn and me!

And here is the link for the Sartar Companion PDF again!


Breakfast and Games, kids, maps and the Sartar Companion

By Claudia Loroff

The status on Sartar Companion? Jeff told me – another week. Grmpf. I already tried to blackmail him (things he will not get until it’s done) and to encourage him (things he will get!) .  He is already grinding his teeth – trust me. Especially because he can not really push things forward – Rick is doing the final bits on the layout. And as Jeff knows it already but I had to learn it – layout is an art. Never press an artist if you want to have high quality stuff out of them! And doing layout does not only include the artistic bit but also being very “pingelig” (German word for nitpicking) and perfectionist. I mean what would you think of a book with cool art, cool text but terrible layout (except you are a geeky collector)? You would not buy it.

However – as I reported last time Rick was sick and now - Jeff told me - he is off with his sons for a boy scouts weekend. I said that’s fine as long as he takes his laptop with him. Jeff grinned and told me that he said the same to Rick. I mean isn’t there anything better than have a cool weekend with your boys, letting them play alone and you sit in a corner layouting gaming books? Arg – yes it’s a joke!

This morning at 5.30 am Finn woke me (he is sick so we take turns sleeping in his room to comfort him – tonight was my turn) first with coughing (poor guy), than with a loud scream (not the one “I’m afraid! I had a bad dream!” but the one “I want to have attention now – get me out of the bed and entertain me!”). So I tried to ignore it with not moving and pretending to sleep. I thought maybe he falls back asleep…. Then Finn got my hair and drag on it – not in a bad way - more like “Mummy wake up!”. Still I tried to ignore him pretending to sleep. Than he sat down in his little sleeping bag in the middle of his bed and started to mumble and clapping his hands (the handclapping he just learned at the kindergarten). That was so cute!!! So finally he won and I had to get up. These are the little moments you do not want to miss!

Rick: of course it is more important to spend the weekend boy scouting with your sons! Everybody with a kid will fully understand that and for all you gamers without kids – it’s like you rolled a critical just in the right moment – instead of dying (which was for sure before you rolled you lucky dice) your character wins the battle, gets the treasure, the magical sword and the beautiful princess/prince! Oh – and I forgot the 1.000.000 experience points – oh sorry- wrong system – 5 hero points for amazing and fantastic roleplaying.

Final conclusion: you still have to wait a few days for the book – sorry - I really do my best!

Someone asked what was in Jeff's mysterious package from Greg last week – a lot of old notes the guy from the customs would say. A lot of notes for games and cool sketches I would say. A lot of paper to play with, to draw on and to “reorganize” Finn would say (actually show because the words he can say so far is a baby-version of please, thanks, hello – and very important – hatschi which means cool stuff). A treasure pile Jeff says (and be sure – Finn does not get this papers to play with, draw on or reorganize them). So what was in there (btw. the box had the format of a usual folder and was filled with paper – making you more curious? ;)).

OK – in there was a huge folder filed with maps of Gloranthan history (example, maps of Peloria showing the political boundaries and the events for every 50 years between the Dawn and 1650), maps of Gloranthan mythology (some 50-60 maps), deep background on several of the important empires and cultures of Glorantha, maps and documents pertaining to the events of the Hero Wars, artwork showing how various temples, buildings, clothing styles, etc. throughout parts of Glorantha, Celestial charts explaining the Gloranthan skies at several key events and even more!

Means for Jeff Christmas, Easter, Birthday and Thanks Giving on one day! Be sure – I lost him on this material. Every evening he locks himself into his workroom drawing maps of the historical development of Gloratha for different epochs. He proudly showed me his first three maps this morning (I just put butter on my role and tried to eat), explaining the details while Finn threw eggs and bacon on the floor. But the maps looked cool!

Jeff also picked up another package from Greg on Friday – this time a big tube containing big accurate maps without cities or political boundaries which Jeff can use as models for his maps for the guide of Glorantha. Finn loved the tube using his like a light sabre fighting with his dad. But now Jeff just cursed that Finn hid one of his small tubes with three precious maps of his – you see Finn is already full in gaming (maybe he thought this is a cool dagger?!?) and knows what is important!


Breakfast and Games: Sartar Companion appetizers

Note: thanks to a screwup on Jeff's part this was mistakenly not posted last week to LiveJournal.

It’s coming! In the last days Jeff was (and still is) very busy in finalizing Sartar Companion. Rick is doing layout like a maniac and Jeff has to quality-check every page. However – an end is in view (and I get my husband back!).

This time I concentrate the blog on the new book – it’s our main topic at home anyways! ;) (Aside of Finn’s experiences at the Kindergarten which he attends to since Wednesday – ignoring us completely there because the other kids are so much cooler it seems…)

Now about the book:

Jeff did a very huge old-school style encounter table for 42 encounters + special encounters (for sandbox gaming or for tired or hungover game masters to give them ideas if they had not enough time for preparation due to partying – OK – nowadays due to long job hours). A big thing was how to present the information behind the table means the encounters. Every encounter comes with at least one-page of background and encounter description including art.

Because of me, the layout will take a few more days because we discussed how the information would look best and I threw the practicality argument in – in my opinion something like that has to be easy to use (like a little encyclopedia). So I threw in not to make it place/page-efficient but layout each encounter page by page (which means not more than one encounter description per page). It looks very cool but I’m sure Rick cursed me for that because he had to redo several pages eating up more time and you will curse me because maybe this means adding two or three days to the release. But we all agreed – it looks now so much better (and it’s nearly done)!

I am now trying to convince Jeff and Rick to make an own little booklet out of this (of course it will stay in the companion book) but from a practical perspective it’s so much easier to use a little booklet for a quick game session using random encounters than the big book. The cool thing is that it also gives you a lot of background information about the area – means you can also use it to give players an idea of the people/creatures living in a certain area. What do you think of this? Of course – it’s the same information as in the main book but for practicality reasons….

Enough of encounters (reminds me on our last gaming session were we hit the number with the Triceratops and had to deal with it…) – I squeezed a few appetizer pages for you out of Rick! (there are still a few „XX“ when referring to other pages in it and the page numbers itself can still change but it should water your mouth anyways ;) ).

The first appetizer (click here) is about important people in the city of Jonstown – but especially check out the art: The lunar commander and the Tarshite commander – isn’t that cool? I love the facial expression of the Tarshite – and his beard reminds me on the funny Prussian beards from the 19th century. The artist is Jan Pospíšil.

The next appetizer (click here) is the picture from the Lhankor Mhy temple from Gill I showed you last time including some of the descriptions. Of course – if you like to know all about the temple you will need the book (no, I’m not an Issaries apprentice ;) ).

These two pages (click here) introduce you into the Colymar wilds and the Black Spear Clan. Also including cool art – I love the unusual bird-perspective you have on these Black Spear thanes. And you can see the tattooed runes on their skin, the holy Black Spear of the Colymar and a raven observing the scene. This picture is made by Simon Bray begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

This page (click here) is out of the section of Runegate showing important people again. As I read the descriptions, dealing with Captain Endelkarth could be interesting. It seems he tries to play people in his favor – which player party is able to play him? Maybe they will get a positive poem from Korol Serpent-Tongue – if they fail and he finds out he will have a lot of fun in the mockery! However – have a look at the picture on this page. Take your time and figure out all the little details – the cool head of the horse-queen, the swine-tattoo and the swine on the scepter of Kallvale the Sow, all the runes on Jarkandos Long Face and on Korol Serpent-Tongue. Look at the scar of Darsten Black Oak. And I nearly oversaw it – the little horse head on the brooch of Selelmal. The picture is also done by Simon Bray begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

So much about book appetizers – hope you like them!


Breakfast and Games: a package from Greg

Most important thing first: When is Sartar Companion done? Rick was sick like a dog on Thursday and Friday but Jeff told me hopes the book is done next Sunday.

What happened this week? Jeff and Rick worked like maniacs on Sartar Companion. OK – that’s nothing new.

Jeff is working on the Pavis book. Also not new.

Jeff got a mysterious package from Greg Stafford – hmmm. That was interesting.

On Friday Jeff had a mysterious notice from the German customs (division in Berlin) dealing with postal packages in our letterbox. “You got a package and you have to come personally to get it from us”. Jeff got very nervous. Actually – we had friends over but Jeff couldn’t wait and one of our friends offered to drive Jeff to the place. Big mistake because of course Jeff wanted to leave ASAP. Jeff was waiting for some hand drawn notes from Greg. So they drove to the place and had their little adventure to get the notes.

As Jeff told me the customs women got curious because the package was insured for $500. Means something of value had to be in there – no doubt something of value they want to sell in Germany and here customs comes into play! Jeff and our friend Marc tried to explain that insuring a package in the US is a very common thing and has nothing to do with selling goods (btw – not in Germany!). After some discussion and disbelief on both sides, Jeff had to open the package and the customs woman went all sad because there were really only some handwritten notes and drawings in the packages. Jeff and Marc helped also another couple out having the same problem over some used clothes from Japan.

When they came home Jeff ranted first about the customs (I explained him that usually you do not insure packages in Germany except there is something very valuable inside) and then we lost him because he put his nose into the notes and I had really to threaten him to put them aside. After our friends left I lost him totally  - only showing up once telling me that I need to do an Ikea run (?!? – usually IKEA is the shop of hell for Jeff!) to get frames for some drawings. And he mumbled something like: “If I would had these a year ago – oh that’s fantastic – ah I have to chance x – oh that is so fantastic. Do you have any idea how old these are? Oh that is sooo fantastic!….” and so on (I’m still surprised that he had not put gloves on before touching ;). It was a very fantastic evening for Jeff. Grmpf…. ;)

So what fantastic things did he get from Greg? A paper stack (about 10 cm high) of historical and mythological maps in great detail, the secrets of the Hero Wars, notes about the future of Glorantha, detailed Information on the Lunar Empire and tons of Gloranthan Gold (Yes – I just asked Jeff about it and he showed me the stack again – he really reminded me a bit of Gollum – “…my precious…”).

However – even if this maybe sounds a bit sarcastic – Greg – you made Jeffs day with these notes (and because of that also mine). For all other – this means a lot of cool material which Jeff will put in one way or another into the Moon Design publications – means a lot of hard work for Jeff!

Sorry – this time no art. Our son Finn is now for a good week in Kindergarten and we are all a bit sick – I have to go back to take care of the little one (as you know – I lost Jeff into higher spheres… ;)).

Breakfast and Games: the Jonstown Library

It took me more than two weeks to write something again – we were very busy: an other archery tournament (it was a fun tournament – however, I did not very well this time – but I shot for the first time three arrows from a horse – OK it was slow walking and the targets were very close – but it was cool!), we had to put our 16 year old cat (a long-time incarnation of Yinkin known to a surprising number of Gloranthan luminaries) to sleep because of kidney failure and I had a birthday – what better way is there to celebrate than with a cool roleplaying game? Enough excuses why I took me so long here now chitchatting and news  – breakfast and games.

Last time we already had peeks into the Lhankor My cult (OK – it was my interpretation manifested in my Lhankor My character). A little while ago I wrote something about imaginary books. Now I would like to introduce you to the big Lhankor My library called the Jonstown Library (btw no – Lhankor My is not my favorite cult! It’s all pure coincidence!). The picture is super cool and I can tell you a bit about the story behind it.

Nearly exactly a year ago Jeff, our son Finn (not even two month old) and I, we toured for a week through northern Germany. Our goal was the battleground of the Varus Battle in Kalkriese (that’s where the Germans under Arminius destroyed several Roman legions under Varus). It at that time exactly 2000 years ago (now 2001 years) when the battle happened and naturally they had a great big exhibition on the battle there.

However – on that trip we also visited other villages on the way (like Goslar and Hameln). Our first night we decided to spend spontaneously in Wolfenbüttel. Most of the next day we spend in the Herzog-August library – one of the biggest collection of mediaeval books (and its still a library means which means that with the right forms and papers you are allowed to read the books! Jeff keeps threatening to get permission to use the library which would mean another vacation around Wolfenbüttel). They not only have thousands of old books there – also maps, globes and “library equipment” like this cool wheel to read books. You will find this wheel in the tower of the Jonstown Library in the middle – it looks a bit like a watermill wheel but it actually contains books.

To finish the bit about our trip to the Herzog-August library – Jeff was fascinated, Finn slept (he was not even 2 month old and I carried him in one of these baby blankets wrapped around me) and I was tired from carrying Finn. However – this library somehow burned into Jeff’s mind and he told me the rest of the trip and afterwards that he has to use it somehow in one of his books. A good month ago he had and idea, made a sketch and asked Gill Pearce to transfer his idea into a picture for Sartar Companion (btw – one of the last things which needed to be done. Rick is doing layout and maybe I can squeeze a few pages out of him for the next blog as an “appetizer” – he hopes to be done with layout in two weeks and than it’s up to the printer, your order and the post how fast you can lay hands on your copy! Yes – a bit of advertisement is OK and Finn needs new packages of diapers! ;) And I never promised to be neutral – he he).

However I saw Jeff’s sketch and now I see what Gill made out of it and it is so cool! We all know that Lhankor Mhy libraries are shaped into a “Y”-Rune – now we see what that means. And he sent Gill pictures about the book wheel and so on. I love the way she let us peek into the library itself and all the other rooms (dormitory on the far wing, workplaces and kitchen in the left wing, the hart of the library in the middle tower, entrance on the first level of the right wing, more books on the second level and the books of power on the third level (Jeff told me that as a “mere” initiate my precious character Jorjar is not allowed there – grmpf) of this wing including a little shrine for the god on the far right side. Isn’t this cool? I love the details – so many things to discover! And I can imagine my character working there (and I’m pretty sure he will find a way to get into the third level!).

I already told you about the status of the Sartar Companion. Jeff is very busy working on the Pavis book. Our gaming group is now playtesting some of Jeff’s new scenarios – in the moment it feels a bit like a movie from Quentin Tarantino (a very good thing!). Yes, we killed a bunch of Lunars and then realized we had a huge problem so yes we decided to throw them into the sewers (there was no available pigfarm). We will see what happens next….


Breakfast and Games: NPCs versus Player Heroes

As I wrote in my last blog today I will discuss characters (you know – the thing when somebody tells you about his or her character and what famous thing they did and it is sooo boring for you! ;)). I blame Jeff for this topic; he wrote a cool NPC for the Pavis book and he told me this is a typical character I would like to play. I got curious and asked him for the relevant paragraph:

Elarona the Bull Priestess

Elarona is the rare female Bull Priest. A Pol-Joni, she was a wild, problem child and grew up to be a fierce fighter. Elanora expects deference from others but gives them none. Strikingly attractive and fair in appearance, she is lusty, energetic, fearless, and crafty. Anyone who can best her in battle will earn her respect. Elanora has a passion for gems, liquor, and honey. She and her band of Bullmen roam the plains searching for Chaos. Elanora greatly enjoys setting traps – both physical and intellectual – to bedevil strangers.

Elarona is typically accompanied by her own personal band of Bullmen recruited from amongst the Pol-Joni and Bison tribes. They are foul tempered and dangerous – the town watch discretely follows them when they leave the Farmers District or Oldtown.

Hmm – when I read it I thought that’s more like the characters I usually play in a freeform – you have the goods she likes and you can bribe her with, her back stepping temper and her goons. I would love to play this character in a freeform but in my opinion it would not work as pen and paper player character - only as an enemy or ally. Why? Because she is not really adventurer-party compatible. She would have to be the party-leader and would never accept a no or a different idea from another character. Who likes to play in a party like that? Of course from time to time it’s fun to play a servant of another character. But a whole group? And because she is a very tough fighter-priest she fights the others down if they do not do what she wants. She is too tough for a gaming group. Playing tough characters is OK. But especially the tough ones need to have good weak points to fit into the player party.


[Jeff comments: Elarona is a NPC after all! A great enemy or ally for your party. But she is based on how you play freeforms….]


How boring is it to play an honest Humakti killing all evil. OK – you can boost him so he will win every fight but without a bit of insanity or a cool weakness it would be so boring (of course - when you were 16 you liked these characters but today as an experienced gamer?). I play a female Humakti in our Dorastor campaign. Oh – she is very useful in battle but most of the games the important thing for the other players is to maximise the sheep or to marry the players as best as they can (means getting more wealth in form of cows and sheep’s and getting more influence). A Humakti is NOT very useful in raising sheep (she has to stay away as far as possible from the livestock) and you can’t marry her because she is already officially dead. I still can play her because she is not only strong in the death-rune but also in darkness and eternal battle – means if it gets too boring for her she drinks with some Stormbulls and goes out for a Broo – hunt or kills a Telmori. But this is one of this characters you sit around a lot in a game without doing anything (good if you have a one year old son who demands entertainment) until the fight starts. Than you are in the centre of everything and burn hero points like pizza vanishes with gamers immediately (had the Pizza even touched the table before it was eaten?).

The sister of one of my characters made it into Sartar Companion. Jeffs says Jorjeria Latish, a Lankhor My Priestess, is much nicer and useful as my character Gorgor Latish is. I can’t believe it…   

Aristocratic, commanding, and beautiful, Jorjera is a member of the powerful New Pavis Latish family. Her father is the Chief Librarian of the New Pavis Knowledge Temple. Jorjera is a remarkable librarian with a remarkable knack for finding the right scroll. Ambitious and a skilled politician, it is widely believed that Jorjera seeks to succeed Garangian Bronze-Guts as Chief Librarian and has lined up support from powerful sages including the great Minaryth Purple.

Jorjera came to Jonstown Temple about five years ago and has become a specialist in the genealogical records kept by the Temple. Her knowledge of old clan and tribal disputes is second to none in the Temple

But it seems that one of those abilities is a family thing: “
finding the right scroll”. Combined with “remember something out of a scroll” and you have the main abilities of my character Gorgor Latish, her brother. And Jeff gave him the flaw “shift the blame” – Gorgor is now very good in that! However – this character is actually the total opposite of my Humakti. He can not fight at all (always telling the others “the feather is stronger than the sword!”), is a total wimp, likes to drink and go into brothels, hates his cousin because she puts him always in dangerous situations (an other player character), has noble manners, runs around with fine cloth and a lot of beard wax (he is a priest after all and the beard has to look good!) and always loses his mules in adventures he never wants to do but is always dragged into by his cousin, an assassin and thief. This character is a lot of fun to play and no – really – he can not fight or heal at all and still can be useful (in my opinion)!

Oh – and there is my third character – Shiny – my sun-worshipping-want-to-be-Yelmalio women who loves everything shiny and fights excellent with a shiny weapon. Yes yes yes… I stop here to talk about my characters before it gets too boring.

When I discussed my characters with Jeff he told me that they are untypical for women. I asked why? He said in his experience many women play characters that empower women. Strong, tough, excellent in their way. I thought about it – these were the characters I liked to play when I started with role playing a long time ago. But now in my job, I have to be strong, tough and excellent and so on. And not only in the job. From an emancipated women it is expected to be strong, tough and excellent. I don’t want to have it different! But maybe this is one thing why I like role playing games – this is a good possibility to test something totally different or totally weird. In the last years my characters differed more and more from each other. The thing they usually have in common is that they are extreme in their ways. And that’s a lot of fun as long as they are still group compatible and playable. To play them is like holidays for the brain. Maybe that is also a reason why I like one-shot-adventures a lot - you can be extreme and if your character does not survive it’s fine. Or if it does not work out for you its fine as well because next time you can play someone else.

Hmm – I don’t know if there is a higher meaning in what I wrote but I let my mind drift – make something out of it – or not :)!


(no subject)

Today was my first workday after spending a year at home to take care of our son. Orlanth sent thunder, lightning and a lot of rain on us this morning – perfect mirror of my mood. However – I survived, Finn (our son) survived and Jeff (who has to take care of Finn until Finn goes to the child care) survived. We will get used to it and of course – this is a situation Jeff put into his planning for the upcoming publications.

As I wrote last time Sartar Companion will be delayed a month (the last proofreadings, layout and so on) due to our internet problem last month. But this has also a good side: it gives artists more time for art – in fact there will be additional art. Colin Driver is making an extra map on the basis of ideas of Greg Stafford. Additional maps of locations (cities, temple – even the Jonstown Library) are being worked on. Jeff used a lot of the “internet free time” to make sketches of the different locations (some of the original papers of Jeff’s are a bit crinkled because our cat spilled a bowl of water over them) which are put into nice drawings by proper artists right now.

Here is one of Jeff’s four sketches of the library. This is of the ground floor. A real artist (I think Gill Hellion) will make his crude sketches look good!


And here a few more archery bits as an answer to blog comments:

I took 5th place at the World Archery Championship. And yes – I love the Robin Hood stories (always did) and – I started archery with 10, role playing with 15 – maybe it was archery that got me interested in roleplaying. And if you want to buy a bow – there are shops for archery like for everything else – even in the internet. But keep in mind – a bow is no toy but a dangerous thing. Join an archery club and don’t shoot ever at your neighbour's dog!

Last and longest topic: What do I not like about the RQ3-archery-rules? Start with the range. I don’t know if somebody forgot to convert feet into meter but an effective range for a long bow of 90 meters is totally unrealistic – a maximum range of 275 meters is something you simply can not do. Nowadays you shoot relatively accurately (think of something of the size of a boar or a deer) up to 45 meters – if you are very good maybe up to 60 meters (but even here you would miss with a fourth of your arrows an unmoving target).

There is a fun competition where you try to hit or come as close as possible to a stick at 175 m – with a long bow you are lucky if you even get an arrow this far. And these are modern long bows (different woods laminated together to get higher speed and a softer shot)! Most of the people are not so insane to shoot 80 lbs bows but something between 45 and 60 lbs is very common which in my opinion equals the stronger bows they shot in history.

What you call in roleplaying a composite bow I would say is a a rider or horse bow with a bit of a recurve bow. A rider bow usually does not shoots as good on far distances as a good long bow (the use is different anyways – from a horse). With a recurve bow (without any fancy stuff to target on it) you shoot better than with a long bow on longer distances. But in the end your results are better but you do not shoot longer distances.

The thing which is described as “self bow” is I think what I built in a course where an historian showed me how to build an English long bow. Hmmm – however – horn tips are the only protection for the bow ends against the bow string and they look cool. Nothing else. And the strength you need for a bow has nothing to do if it is a “self”, “composite” or “long” bow. It depends on how the bow is made and which wood is used. If you take wood away on the right places the strength you need to pull the bow goes down. Bamboo is much softer to draw and has a not so bad aftershock than yew. However, yew was in Europe the most important bow wood because the core wood and the outside have very different flexibility attributes. This combination is good for bow making. Nowadays you glue different woods with different attributes together to optimize this effect. But keep in mind we are playing a game in a fantasy world and maybe in this world it is possible to shoot so far so please don’t take my renting too serious and have fun in your games!

Hmmm – this got much longer than I expected….

Not much about HeroQuest this time. Promise – next time I will jump into the pit of doom of “don’t tell me more about your character…” and discuss the fun of playing eccentric characters in our HeroQuest games and how they slipped into the next publications! ;)


Breakfast and Games: archery and squids

I’m back from my archery competition and – more important - we have finally (since yesterday evening) our proper internet connection back! A good reason to write something new!

Jeff and his work suffered a lot over the last three weeks due to the lack of our internet connection. And I suffered because he always stole my iPhone to answer his emails. We have now a new provider (the other really needed three weeks to send somebody over to fix the problem) and I have a new iPhone (and Jeff got my old one – only in case….).

However – even without internet Jeff was very busy. He accompanied me to my archery world championship in Dahn (in the Pfalz-area in Germany, close to the border to France). He, my mom and Finn explored all the old castles and ruins there – there is one on nearly every hill/mountain. He visited museums, took many notes, bought books and so on. Translated this means a lot of input for his writings.

BTW – on one of our five archery parcours we had five targets in an old castle ruin. Only to let you know – it is next to impossible to defend a castle with a longbow against an assault. You have to stand very high up to be able to shoot over the walls which means you would be exposed and very likely shot. Keep this in mind for your next adventure (we had a very cool shot 50 meter down from one of the towers). And maximum range to hit a target with a more or less good chance with a longbow or composite bow is something around 40 meters (if the target stands still). Everything further away is difficult… I’m doing string walking with a composite bow and we had targets up to 73 meter – to hit something over 60 meter constantly was very difficult and I do this sport for a long time… I hate role-playing game rules concerning archery because usually they are very unrealistic. Sorry - I got carried away.

What is the Moon Design news? We came back from the archery tournament last Saturday which gave us the chance to visit The Kraken (Fabians fun new convention) on Sunday. This was a business trip for Jeff. One of the guests of honour there was Greg Stafford and the two discussed a lot of content, maps and future plans for publications (I played a card game killing many monsters). Jeff also used the opportunity to throw ideas at Alex Fergusen, Ian Cooper, Eric Vanel, Henk Langeveld and a few other people. And got a lot of useful feedback.

It was also a good opportunity to discuss the supplement “Coming Storm” Ian Cooper is writing (adventures and background for Sartar). Ian stayed at our placed over night and Jeff and he worked until late at night and the next day until Ian’s flight left.

Because we are talking of publications – due to our internet problem the release of the Sartar Companion book is delayed a bit. Jeff is sorry for this (and cursed our internet provider a lot) but for him it’s more important to publish quality than publish fast. His expected release is now early September.

More soon!

PS: Jeff wanted to throw in some images of the sacred regalia of the Hohenstauffen Emperors of Germany. A few ideas perhaps for Glorantha?