Sunday, 21 July 2013

Birthdays, Book Blocks and Behind the Throne!

So it’s my partner’s and my birthdays this week, and I’ve gotten myself a neat little present (the missus has already been sorted). This week should herald the availability of the Print on Demand option for the Core Rules! The book is already available from however their printing costs are rather high and the end price of the book is far above what I envisioned our customers having to pay for the hardcover. This will all change with Lightning Source having accepted the book block files and I eagerly await imminent arrival of the print proof this week. As meticulous as we have been, I hope there are no major flaws with the design and layout and I anticipate the POD option being activated shortly after I have the hot little number in my hands.

So, stay posted and I may even debut the release with a special discount in celebration for this milestone.

In other news:

·         Behind the Throne – Enchantments Supplement for HoF is in development. There is still tons of work to do on it, but already there’s plenty of source material to explore and expand on. We introduce several new factions, a plethora of new spells, a sinister back story to the shadowy Oculus bogey men, and an introduction to the mysterious Fae of Karth.
·         The Book of Artefacts. Work in progress introducing a multitude of Artefact type magical items to HoF. From Plot Device level of power all the way down to the everyday items sold by street vendors, the variety of Artefacts in the Hands of Fate universe deserves its own supplement to do it justice.
·         Animism and Benedictions Supplement still in concept phase. We envision exploring the Shaman faction of Karth, as well as touching on their ancient enemies, the diabolists, and the coming darkness that’s been hinted at in other parts of the fiction sprinkled about the Hands of Fate books. For Benedictions we plan to have more religions detailed and to add some fiction to support their implementation into Karth.
·         Softcover editions of Monsters of Karth and Ars Academia planned. Now that the whole process of book block creation is no longer a mystery it should be fairly easy to put together the required typesetting. We plan on releasing all supplements as softcover standard colour in order to keep costs as low as possible.

A Note on Costs:

Low costs = low prices, which is everything we stand by here. This endeavour (I’m talking about Audio Samurai Games) does not have making money as its end goal; our end goal is to provide quality gaming products that are affordable to just about everyone. As a gamer myself I know how expensive it can get trying to collect as many gaming books about your favourite systems as possible, and that’s something we want to alleviate here at Audio Samurai Games. In order to create quality products, however, we need quality artwork to break up the walls of text. We’re always on the look-out for decent, yet affordable artwork, especially if it’s free! If you have a doodle of a cool character from your favourite games (and they don’t look like someone trademarked) and you’d like to see it in print we’d be happy to accept donations. I can’t promise you much in the way of cash but you’ll definitely receive a mention in the credits and we’re happy to give out complimentary PDF’s of our products (or possibly a Core Rules if the artwork is exceptional). Tell your friends; tell your family; or anyone you know that can draw either digitally (preferred) or on paper and wouldn’t mind giving away some free time.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

What to Expect...

So the Print on Demand version of the HoF Core Rules is nearing completion, and I thought I would take some time to let people know what to expect. Well, first of all, as mentioned previously all the artwork has been reconsidered and it now has several magnificent full page splashes of fantasy art courtesy of Joe J. Calkins of Cerberus Art. We’ve used a few pictures from the Wyn D’mere Art Pack from and by Shield of Faith Studios / Matt Jordan and some of the artwork available from the Arcane Monthly e-magazine. A few of the original pictures made it into this iteration of the Core Rules as well. It’s not that the previous artwork weren’t good, it’s more that the pictures were just littered through the publication to fill space and break up the walls of text. Not much in the way of theme.

I’ve talked enough about artwork (did I mention that it looks brilliant?), what’s going to be different?

I’ve gone through and revised about 60% of the rules. This revision included rewrites to clear up confusions about some of the information, reordering sections within the chapters to make more sense and outright adding more goodness.

Some examples of new content:
·         Rules clarification about using Aces and Jacks to activate Talents, and Aces not able to activate Combos
·         Grammatical fixes for some entries
·         Introducing the concept of ‘0 Value Cards’ – when defending against an attack with more cards than you have, you may still apply your modifiers to Effect against those pesky low valued cards that always seem to do the damage as they’re undefended. Now you can pop that errant +1 to Effect onto an imaginary card with a value of 0, essentially defending a card with nothing more than an Effect bonus
·         Added the Dazed and Confused Conditions.
·         Reworked Enchantments – added 2 new types of Enchantment spells; Divinations and Cantrips. These new spell types introduce a new way to cast Enchantments, and offer more flavour and versatility to this magic style. Cantrips are effects that affect the physical world, such as telekinesis, rope tricks and orbs of light. Divinations allow for gypsy like fortune tellers and mind reading abilities. Several new spells!
·         Animism has a few new Spirits of the Wilds added. Some of the process of summoning and communing has been streamlined a little. More information on Diabolism, including 3 Demon Types to summon and serve…I mean befriend.
·         Games Mastery has had a fair bit of re-write done on it, to clear up the wall of text that used to be the Interactions section about NPC reactions and diplomacy or intimidation. Re-ordered the sections on Narration and Passing the Narrative. Added better information regarding weather effects.
·         Creature Features – Added several new Features; Tough – add points to tough creature’s Hand without increasing Expertise, Shapeshifter – change the creatures appearance slightly, such as facial features to appear as someone else, True Shapeshifter – change the entire body, size and shape of a creature, Heroic – Changed to remove the reference to Second Wind (oops), Acid – removed reference to Chemistry (was meant to be Alchemy) and changed the way it operates, Fleet – add movement to creatures without having to increase their POW, Plant – changed the references to include notes about movement and Immunities and Vulnerabilities, as well as discussing INT scores.
·         And more that I can’t think of right now

So, tons of new stuff, we’re pretty excited about the completion of this task, and will keep you informed of expected changes in the near future.

Stay Sharp!