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!

Swords of the Damned 2nd Printing Now Available

A few months ago, BRW Games published the first novel based on Adventures Dark and Deep, called Swords of the Damned, by Richard Tongue. Unfortunately, as some readers pointed out, it was somewhat lacking in proof-reading, and contained numerous errors.

I’m pleased to say that a second printing is now available, which hopefully rectifies this situation. It’s been gone-through by our own Mollie Carson-Vollath, she who edited the ADD rulebooks, and I think you’ll find that the new edition is of a much higher quality.

For the next few days, the new edition will be available for only $6.95, which is more than 20% off the regular price.

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.

Q&A: Verbal Patter

A player was going through the Adventures Dark and Deep Players Manual and asked the following:

Regarding the Jester’s and Bard’s verbal patter skills, how do you reconcile them with the fact that all players should be able to try to befuddle a group or try to have them distrust someone through pure dialog with the DM? 

My answer: I generally play it by ear (heh).

Ahem. Seriously, I tend to encourage the players to try their verbal patter on me (as GM) and then roll. If their actual attempts were lame, but they made the roll, then they succeeded anyway. If they were genuinely good at the table, I might give them a bonus to the roll, so if it was a mediocre roll, they might still succeed.

Alternatively,  it would be the case that if someone who did not have verbal patter as a class skill did a lousy job of trying to actual befuddle me at the table, they’d fail. If they did a great job, they’d probably succeed. They just wouldn’t have the chance to succeed on a die roll even when they do a bad job at the table.

Hope that helps!

Game Industry News

Two very interesting bits of industry news, for those who are inclined to follow such things (like game publishers… ahem).

The first is from TechCrunch, and focuses on Kickstarter founder Yancey Strickler. Of particular interest in the gaming realm is this:

Strickler pointed to board games as one of the community-driven enthusiast areas that the platform has been able to support — noting that as of this week Kickstarter will pass $100 million having been cumulatively pledged to board games.

“Last year there was actually more money pledged to board games than video games,” added Strickler. “It’s like $55 million in board games. It’s kind of counterintuitive to the way that we think the world is moving but I think the board game market on Kickstarter is very illustrative of what it is that we actually do.

“I remember meeting someone is 2009 or 2010 — really early for us — who said that Kickstarter was the first thing to change the board game industry since the early 70s. Basically it’s this huge fan community… They weren’t in a scale to where the Parker Brothers or Milton Bradley would drop a huge chunk of change on it. So we ended up stepping in and being this perfect conduit for these communities to exist.”

There’s more at the link, of course, including a reiteration of Kickstarter’s intention not to get into the company-equity business. That decision probably has a lot to do with the legal implications; there are all sorts of Federal regulations around such activity, and Kickstarter probably feels it’s just too much trouble and risk.

The second is from the New York Times, which has a very nice article on board games in relation to video games:

New tools now power the creation of tabletop games — many in the strategy or fantasy genres — from idea to delivery. Crowdfunding sites provide the seed money and offer an early gauge of demand. Machines like 3-D printers can rapidly create figurines, dice and other prototype game pieces. And Amazon, the online retail giant, can handle shipping and distribution, cutting out the need for middlemen.

Sales have followed. While the video game business long ago eclipsed its low-tech cousin, sales of tabletop games have continued to grow. … Amazon says board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013.

All in all, it’s a great time to be a gamer. And a game publisher.

(h/t to Global Toy News)

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.

Swords of the Damned hard copy now available!

Woo-hoo! “Swords of the Damned,” the first-ever novel based on Adventures Dark and Deep™ novel is now available in hard copy! Here’s the cover blurb:

Morcar, a professional adventurer down on his luck, is shanghaied into attempting his riskiest mission yet – venturing into the labyrinthine tunnels underneath the ancient city of Graybarrow. Accompanied by a band of desperate renegades and rogues, he faces both the dangers of the unknown depths and a force that lies beyond death itself, with cultists and warriors on his trail. Can he conquer the Swords of the Damned, or is he destined to join their ranks…

You can get the softcover book from DriveThruFiction.com here, and don’t forget that the ebook format is of course still available directly from the author via Amazon.com (sorry, there’s no way to buy them both at the same time due to licensing).

It’s really a nice book, and if you’re a fan of Adventures Dark and Deep or fantasy fiction in general, you should definitely check it out.