Tagged: What's next
July 13, 2021 at 4:54 pm #2571
So we’ve been going for almost a year now. Since Sept 2020 we have produced 5 books, roughly about one every other month. These are (in order of sales success):
* History of the Medieval Baltic Vol II
* Codex Superno
* Players Guide
* Road to Monsterberg, Ch 1
* Quick Start Rules
Up to now, almost all sales have been of PDFs. We just started selling printed copies of History of the Medieval Baltic Vol I via Purpleheart Armoury, which has (somewhat surprisingly) sold well.
We will be able to make two or three more books in this year. Maybe four if we really push it. So the question going forward is what to write next.
The dilemma is that our history books sell the best, but they take by far the longest to complete – Vol II of Baltic book took three years to finish. Adventure modules like Monsterberg are the easiest.
New Options Are:
* (History) Short (as in 100 – 150 page) history books focused on a city where fencing masters lived. Like Augsburg, Frankfurt Am Main, Nuremberg, Strasbourg, Bologna, Venice, Rome etc. This would be targeted toward a HEMA (Historical Fencing) audience
* (Game) Chapter II of Monsterberg. This would be an attempt at serialization of the Monsterberg campaign.
* (Game) Another magic book, possibly focused on another region or time period
* (Game) Short (75-100 page) setting book focused on historical regions and time periods, showing kit (weapons, armor, miscellaneous), character classes, skills, Martial Feats, and some information about the setting. A lot like an Osprey book for RPGs. So these settings could be say, Viking, Roman, Samurai, Age of Sail Explorer, Scottish Highlander, Migration era tribes etc.
* (Game) Codex version of B2 “Keep on the Borderlands” with a simpler version of Codex rules, targeted toward OSR gamers.July 13, 2021 at 4:55 pm #2572
So which of the above should be next? Pick two or three.July 15, 2021 at 12:14 pm #2580zarlorParticipant
I think my personal preference would be towards Monsterberg II, Setting Books, and then Magic expansion.
Based on how you say sales are going, though, it sounds like Setting Books might be the better balance between the history and the gaming crowd. After all the Osprey books weren’t gaming books (and had plenty of issues on their own, in some ways understandably since they sometimes took a rather broad time and place to try and make a succinct history book on, so it’s probably to be expected that you’ll lose a lot of nuance that way) but they were used by a lot of gamers I know to fill in flavor for games. So in a way a more focused setting book can do double duty as not just a game reference but an historical one as well… sort of like some of the GURPS setting books were for some folks I know (who also loved to use them for other game systems even if they didn’t like playing GURPS!) So in that sense you might be able to create books that appeal to both crowds.July 15, 2021 at 4:08 pm #2581
Thanks for the feedback Zarlor, and nice to see a vote for Monsterberg II.
Any preference on a setting for a setting book?July 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm #2586SamuelGassmannModerator
Personally I’d really like to the deep dives on towns with fencing masters, mentioning interesting elements of inter- and intra town rivalries for extra setting material. More Codex Superno type stuff would be amazing, especially if there’s anymore islamic or pagan material to be mined up.
Monsterberg II could work if it’s a bit bigger or the characters are more tied into the action, but it’s nice as an introduction to the setting where GMs and groups can continue on with the threads that are still there to make their own adventure. General historical one-shots in Hungary against the Ottomans, Indiana Jones style archeological adventures in Italy or Hanseatic politicking would also be amazing.August 3, 2021 at 12:16 pm #2690zarlorParticipant
Hans Hellinger asked:
Any preference on a setting for a setting book?
Sorry for the delayed response, in some ways I was really trying to mull this over. Honestly, though, I don’t know that I do have any preference there. In part I guess I think anything you might find in, say, an Osprey book might make a good setting book. Whether it’s a dive into, say, Renaissance Italy, Scandanavian countries in the age of the Vikings, France during the 100 years war, or delving into the age of Mongolian warriors, or Japan during the 1500s. Any of it could be interesting, and with the “default” setting being late Medieval in the Balkans you’ve already got a good place where characters from more than a few of those would meet (even moreso if you consider it a slightly fantastical world where the anachronism of, say, a Viking meeting a Renaissance courtier isn’t out of place despite the historical divide of timeframe). Just put your usual passion for history into the setting and I’ll be interested in it!February 1, 2022 at 6:17 pm #3824
I’m interested in a Portuguese Age of Discovery setting for lots of reasons. Also as someone who comes to Codex from other games and thinks primarily of Codex sourcebooks as system agnostic, anything you guys turn towards with the level of detail you have thus far shown will be great. For my money though, keep digging in that Central European Salt-Mine! There’s a million Viking books but this that you’re doing now is a missing niche. I would buy deep-dives on those cities.
I would buy anything that fell into that 1400-1650 period that moved somewhat south into the Balkans and Adriatic. How about Ragusa?
If you have thoughts about Middle Eastern things, do let me know as I am fluent in Arabic.February 5, 2022 at 11:36 am #3831Powder MonkeyParticipant
Italy in the 15th-16th centuries seems criminally underappreciated in the tabletop sphere. It’s bizarre researching “renaissance” tabletop roleplaying games and supplements, only to find publications on everything BUT the birthplace of the Renaissance. It’s an eminently gameable setting, and there’s a wealth of information on the period. Plus I feel like most people are somewhat familiar with the Renaissance, including some of its famous later personages.February 5, 2022 at 3:28 pm #3832
I agree about Italy, the problem from my perspective is that Italy is so complex! Each little city state and lordship is it’s own universe, and collectively they share a culture that is probably an order of magnitude more complicated than most other parts of Europe at that same time. I am just now barely getting to the point where I think I could accurately model some places in Italy (but certainly not all or even most of it).
Like I’ve been to Sienna, Lucca, Florence, Bologna, Milan, and a few smaller towns in Tuscany and Lombardy, I have some of my own photos I can use without having to contend with copyright, have done a fair amount of research on these specific places and have a basic grasp of the history of those towns in 14th-16th Centuries. But if I wanted to develop anything set in those towns, even on a very narrowly focused scale, I’d still have to figure out probably 20-30 other towns and noble families they dealt with (out of hundreds).
That means developing content is a lot of work. And I also think it’s a steep learning curve for a lot of gamers, HEMA folks and people with a casual interest in history to get up to speed sufficiently. Especially for Anglophone readers / gamers. This puts another burden on the author to be able to translate things in such a way that they are accessible and the audience can start to engage with it.
I literally originally chose the Baltic zone as a historical setting back around 2010, because I thought it would be relatively simple compared to Italy. I was right, but it was vastly more complex than I had realized getting into it!
That said, Italy beckons, continually. So let’s call it a stretch goal. I am starting to introduce Italian characters in a couple of our books, and have broad overview descriptions of a few Italian cities in the Baltic II book etc. I’ll keep adding more here and there.February 5, 2022 at 9:37 pm #3833
So this is why Ragusa/Dubrovnik appeals to me because you only have to develop Venice(!) and local principalities surrounding on the Adriatic Coast, the Ottoman menace, and balancing between the superpowers of the day.February 6, 2022 at 7:41 pm #3834
Ragusa is an excellent idea, it’s a fascinating and beautiful city with an extremely interesting and engaging history. An exciting setting, almost perfect for Codex – except for one thing. I need some good sources and while I can read a little archaic German, I have zero Croatian or Illyrian! Maybe a good Latin source or two which I can get some help translating.
Do you know of extant chronicles or good digital archives for Dubrovnik?February 6, 2022 at 8:22 pm #3835
I’ll talk to some of my Balkan friends. Alas. Though actually the history of Ragusa will probably be in Veneto? I’ll look into it. We did an epic road trip a couple years ago from Dubrovnik (side trip to Kotor- that bay is like black glass!) then up to Split (Diocletian’s palace and Klis), Zadar, Plitvitce, and finally to Laibach and Lake Bled. Best ever. I would live in all of those places.February 7, 2022 at 5:28 am #3836
Sounds like an epic trip… definitely bucket list for me. I was actually in Dubrovnic a very long time ago but I was too young then to fully appreciate it.
Dubrovnic was one of the few, maybe only (?) of the Dalmatian towns which fully broke free of Venetian rule so I thought maybe they were using their own local language. Shows how little I know about it.
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