Castle of the Mad Archmage switching to print bundle

As of December 1st, the three core Castle of the Mad Archmage™ books will only be available as a bundle.

Up until now, due to limitations in the OBS software, we weren’t able to offer the books in print as a bundle; you had to add each separately to your cart. As a result, from our sales reports we know that some of you only bought one or two of the three books in the series.

The three books are the Adventure Book (also available for Pathfinder), the Map Book, and the Illustration Book.

If you’ve only purchased one or two of the three, and you’d like to get the ones you missed for whatever reason, now’s the time to pull the trigger. Once December hits, you’ll only be able to purchase the books in the three-book bundle, as we had originally wanted to do when they were first released. They are intended to form a coherent whole, and we feel that not having all three robs you of some of the experience.

I cannot thank you enough for helping to support Castle of the Mad Archmage™ this year. The astounding success of the megadungeon has truly astounded me. And I can tell you that there are some expansions coming soon to help you get even more megadungeon goodness into your game. Because it wasn’t big enough already…

So bottom line, if you’ve held off getting one or two of the books in the series for whatever reason, now’s the time to “even out” your collection. Starting next month, they’ll only be available together (and that goes for print and pdf, I should mention).

Many thanks, and for those of you in the United States, have a great Thanksgiving.

Midsummer Madness Sale Happening Now – 30% off Everything!

It’s here!

From June 20-22, BRW Games is having a sale, with 30% off all of our titles. That’s pdf and hardcopy. Rulebooks and adventures. Supplements and novels. Everything.

If you’ve been holding off getting Castle of the Mad Archmage, now’s your chance. You can get it for under $14 in pdf, and under $25 in hard copy. See the 13+ level megadungeon in all its glory!

If you’ve been curious about Adventures Dark and Deep, now’s the time to strike. You can get it for under $25 in pdf, and under $50 in hard copy. The answer to “What might the game have looked like if Gary Gygax been allowed to keep developing it?” can be yours.

But the madness will end soon. Sunday evening. So get them while you can – no telling if We’ll ever do a sale again. It’s an experiment.

Click here for the sale!

Midsummer Madness is Coming, June 20-22

We don’t do sales. We’ve never done sales. But now, We’re about to do a sale.

Midsummer Madness is upon us!

In conjunction with both Free RPG Day and the Summer Solstice, all BRW Games products will be available for 30% off from Friday June 20 through Sunday June 22.

What does this mean?

It means you can get all three Castle of the Mad Archmage books for less than 14 bucks in pdf. Under $25 in hard copy (under $32 if you go hardcover). And that goes for the old-school version as well as the new Pathfinder edition.

It means you can get all three of the core rulebooks for Adventures Dark and Deep for less than 25 bucks in pdf. Under $50 in hard copy (under $70 if you want to go hardcover). And if you need some spare Players Manuals for your table, this is the perfect time to stock up on ’em.

But its only for the three days around the Summer Solstice. Once the Stars are No Longer Right, you’re back to paying bust-out retail for another year at least. No idea if I’ll do this next year.

Personally, I think it’s a pretty good deal. Spread the word, tell your friends! If you’ve been wondering what folks are talking about, now’s the time to find out.

Castle of the Mad Archmage Pathfinder Edition now available

I am pleased to announce that the Pathfinder-compatible edition of the best-selling Castle of the Mad Archmage is now available, in pdf, softcover, and hardcover editions. Converted by veteran Michael McCarty, Castle of the Mad Archmage features more than 1,500 keyed encounters on more than 13 dungeon levels, and includes new monsters, magic items, and spells.

The Castle of the Mad Archmage is designed as an old-fashioned “funhouse” megadungeon, with tricks and traps, many different factions of monsters, and can provide literally years of mayhem, dismemberment, and other fun.

The adventure is comprised of three books; the Adventure Book, the Map Book, and an Illustration Book with pictures to show your players what they see at key and interesting points in the dungeon (due to a limitation of the RPGNow site, you must add all three of these books to your cart separately).

Castle of the Mad Archmage on RFI

This weekend the Roll for Initiative podcast did a very nice and in-depth review of Castle of the Mad Archmage. Very positive; most of the crew gave it four or four and a half swords out of five. Definitely check it out.

They did have a couple of questions, and I thought I’d just cover them here real quick (I’ll also send an email, in case they don’t read this). (Caution: Spoilers! – actually there are spoilers throughout the podcast too, so don’t listen if you think you’re going to play in the adventure.)

  • I’m pretty sure the grey monks are original, and not found in Gygax’s dungeon. I don’t recall hearing about them…
  • The gate to Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland is in the mushroom forest in the Greater Caverns.
  • Unfortunately the three books can’t be bundled on DriveThruRPG/RPGNow because of a technical limitation of the site. You can’t do bundles of print books, so you have to add them separately to your cart. The pricing for the books was adjusted so that the total is what it would have been if I had been able to do a print bundle.
  • The maps were printed in their own book based on playtest feedback. It’s *far* easier to have a separate book rather than needing to flip back-and-forth in one larger book. I found that out myself, too, running it for my group at home as well as at conventions. When the decision was made to do an illustration book (because the fans overwhelmingly said that was something they’d like to see), it made sense to treat it the same way. 
  • You’re correct about the designer’s notes that were in the original free version – they were excised because, as a published product under the OGL, I was much more sensitive to copyright issues. I might do some designer’s notes here on the blog, if people think it would be fun and/or helpful. Let me know!

Thank You

I can’t believe it. Two months after it was released, Castle of the Mad Archmage is still in the top ten best-sellers list on RPGNow.com. That kind of support really means a lot, and I would like to thank each and every one of you who has bought my magnum opus megadungeon, either in pdf or hard copy.

Thank you.

Castle of the Mad Archmage Now Available!

At long last, the print version of Castle of the Mad Archmage is now available!

The free serialized version from several years ago has been added to, scrubbed, edited, and generally improved upon. The adventure now is self-contained, from the surface ruins to the dreaded lowest levels, with a separate map book and illustration book (with pictures to show the players what they see at given places in the dungeons). You can get all three of the books that make up this adventure at RPGNow.com:

All three books are available in pdf format as well, and as always you get a free pdf copy when you order the hard copy books. The adventure book was written with the Adventures Dark and Deep rules in mind, which means it can easily be used with most OSR-type rules.

You can get get the whole set for $20 pdf, $35 with a softcover adventure book, and $45 with a hardcover adventure book (the map and illustration books are only available in softcover).

It’s been a long time getting here, but I hope you have as much fun with it as I have over the years.

Some more Castle of the Mad Archmage News

We’ve made a lot of progress on Castle of the Mad Archmage™, and I wanted to give everyone a quick update. We’re still right on track for a February release (maybe earlier). There are only five pieces of art still outstanding, and the manuscript should be coming back from the editor any time now. The map book is done and MAN does it help having the maps in their own booklet. I ran a session of CotMA yesterday (down in the crypts and lesser caverns) and it made a HUGE difference. I think that’s going to be one of the best features of the published version.

Although the first publication will be made using the Adventures Dark and Deep™ rules (which means, of course, that it will be usable with just about any 1E-compatible OSR rules set), the keen-eyed among you might have noticed that call for Pathfinder conversion experts that was posted not too long ago. That is because Castle of the Mad Archmage™ will also be published in a Pathfinder version later this year.

I don’t have any details in when it’ll be available – I’m still sifting through the responses to find just the right person who can do it justice – but it will happen one way or the other.

Castle of the Mad Archmage Status Update

Hey Ho! Now that the Adventures Dark and Deep™ Bestiary is out the door, my baleful glance carries to the next project in line; the Castle of the Mad Archmage™.

I know a lot of folks have been waiting for this for a long time, and frankly so have I. Now that it’s back in my clutches, here is where things currently stand with the project:

  • No Kickstarter. Turns out that given the scope and particulars that I’m looking at (see below) no Kickstarter will be required to get the books into your eager hands. 
  • Expanded and revised material. The whole thing has been expanded since the free version from a few years ago. It is a complete environment now, and includes the surface ruins and first dungeon level of the castle. Each level of the dungeon has new expanded overviews for the game master, to give pointers on how the various factions and personalities will interact with one another, what might happen as time wears on, etc. All of the Greyhawk references have been removed, and the whole can be placed in any campaign world, or used as a tent pole adventure location in the upcoming World of Erseta Fantasy Setting™. It is designed to be used with the Adventures Dark and Deep™ rules, but can be used with just about any old-school rules set with minimal fuss.
  • Three books. There will be three separate books; the adventure book, a map book, and an art book. The art is designed to be a “this is what the players see” type book, like TSR did in the old days with products like Tomb of Horrors. The adventure book will be available in hardcover and softcover. The other two will only be in softcover (saddle-stitched).
  • Maps are done. I have received all of the maps from my most excellent cartographer, Joe Bardales (he who did such sterling work on the digital cartography of the original version), and the map book is now complete. I will be sending it to the printer to order a proof this week.
  • Art is mostly done. I continue to be blessed by the Gods with a terrific crew of artists. There is a deadline of mid-November for the art, and we seem to be on track to meet it. Once that happens, I’ll send the art book off to the printer for proofs.
  • Adventure book is mostly done. Specifically, the text of the adventure itself and all the introductory material is complete and already sent to Steve Rubin, my excellent editor. The only thing that is still being worked on right now are the appendices (things like new spells, new magic items, etc.). Estimated completion date is mid-November, and hopefully the whole thing will be back from Steve by Thanksgiving. 
  • February 2014 release. Right now we are very much on track for a release no later than February of 2014. Like BRW Games’ other products, it will be offered as a print on demand product via RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, and as a pdf bundle. All print versions will include the pdf versions of course. Depending on how things go, February might even be a pessimistic estimate.