Recently, EN World shared James M. Wards’ article, “The Making and Breaking of Deities & Demigods”, discussing the behind-the-scenes dispute surrounding the famous first printing of Deities & Demigods for D&D 1e. I’ve never owned a first printing, so when I shared that fact on my Facebook all of my friends commented that they did and, more so, they bought theirs in 1981 from dear ol’ Gar himself when he was going door-to-door selling D&D like it was Encyclopedia Britannic but with a free demo gaming session. [WRITER’S NOTE 2019-05-30: Completely fictionalized made-up untruth. Save for the part where every gamer but me has a 1st printing of Deities & Demigods. I’m not bitter at all about that fact. At all. To be continued below.]
Among the folks I spoke with was Andrew J Lucas, which led to talk about what he’s freelancing on that was worth doing a write up about.
EGG EMBRY (EGG): Hey, Andrew. What are you working on at the moment? 🙂
EGG: Excellent! It’s good to see that publishers know the value of your work. Is the fiction for specific projects?
AJL: Yeah, it’s a dinosaur anthology coming out next year, and I have an Endless Realms story that needs finishing. Kirsty was disappointed in how the Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits performed on Kickstarter. I think next on tap is the Brimtide location I wrote. THAT will be fun.
Oh right, Rebel Minis is relaunching the Dark Hold Goblins line that I’m in charge of. We’re starting with a short adventure then a large compilation book with all 4 books in it.
EGG: In-charge? Wow! That’s AWESOME! Congratulations!
AJL: Mike and I have been so busy it feels like Dark Hold has been neglected but looking back we are actually still producing steadily.
EGG: I’m glad it’s been steady progress. That’s better than mine (fits and starts).
AJL: Yeah, but any motion forward is good. For Dark Hold, we are planning to have two version for the compilation book. One SWADE [Savage Worlds] and one 5E [D&D].
EGG: Wow! SW and D&D? That’s ambitious and a good call. With that wide a net, it will find its home. 😀
AJL: That was our plan. Cut our teeth on a user-friendly system (SW) then move to where the money is. 🙂
But we will continue with SW with the new system.
Let’s jump over to how the Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits Kickstarter went. When I spoke with her last, Kirsty Garbe of Lunar Games had greater hopes for ToS. I hate that the Kickstarter did not reach the levels it should have because the books look great.
- Endless Realms Kickstarter – 356 backers pledged CA$44,986 on May 29, 2018
- Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits Kickstarter – 153 backers pledged CA$10,581 on May 23, 2019
AJL: The Tome of Spirits is great. But I think many people might have thought it was too focused. We’ve talked and I think we need some adventures and locations out there.
EGG: You may be right about Endless Realms. Adventures and locations will help, it’ll move copies of Spirits and the core rulebook as the gamers become aware of the system/world. I know it’ll find its audience. 🙂
AJL: It will be a big step forward for us. Brimtide is filled with locations and plot hooks and 4 full adventures, so I think that will help.
EGG: When you say full adventures, how long is each (are they one-shots or campaigns)? Do they interconnect?
AJL: In Brimtide, each adventure is about 10 pages, with enough encounters to last 2-3 game sessions.
EGG: With Brimtide, that’s a good length. 4 adventures, so a 40ish page book? That should be easy to fund and get out there. Any idea around the timeframe you’re thinking on?
AJL: Without the adventures the main text is 34K+. That has no NPC stat blocks yet.
EGG: 34k without blocks, that’s a nice project! I think it’s a good call. 😀
AJL: All locations, NPCs, history and such. The map is beautiful. I expect the entire book will be closer to 90 pages.
EGG: Ok, 90 pages is good! Who did the map? Is it a world map or more focused?
AJL: There will be lots of maps. A provincial map of the area, which can be used for the adventures which feature some of the locations on it: A full city map with, I think, 30 fleshed out locations, and 5 building maps including a tavern, a lighthouse and maybe a ship (as a stretch goal).
EGG: A lighthouse? I want to see that! It all sounds good! I’m eager to see this come out! 😀 Any idea on the date?
AJL: I think we talked about a Kickstarter launch in August.
KIRSTY GARBE: I doubt we can launch the Brimtide adventure in August simply because Kickstarter could pull the project since I would have yet to fulfill the physical rewards for the Tome of Spirits Kickstarter.
EGG: Very cool! I wish Lunar Games and you luck! I will be happy to cover it. 😀
AJL: Oh, I’m writing a spirit adventure too. Dilema at Dedburn. I’m considering making it a dual plane adventure where you flip into the spirit realm and the DM flips the book.
EGG: That sounds cool. Is D@D for Endless Realms or another system?
AJL: Endless Realms.
EGG: Thanks for all you’ve shared. 😀
AJL: You’re welcome. None of that is secret. 🙂
EGG: Thanks, again. For fans interested in learning more about your work, where can they find out more about you?
AJL: Mostly on Facebook. I use Twitter rarely, mostly because I’m too busy. I’ve been freelancing since the late 80’s but never really got around to making a Blogspot or website. My writing shows up all over the place, usually because I’m attracted to a neat project and my day job is secure enough that I can play around in plenty of sandboxes. Wait until you see the two adventures I wrote for Carbon 2185, I really brought a Bladerunner vibe to the adventures that I think will get all the fans jazzed.
This year I’m especially excited as you can tell with my contributions to Endless Realms, but I also have comics coming with Cornerstone Studios and each year I have short fiction appearing in two or three anthologies.
[WRITER’S NOTE: One of my roleplaying group received their Carbon 2185 playtest copy, so I’m looking forward to playing that!]
EGG: Interested in trying out Endless Realms? They have products at DriveThruRPG (here) or you can join the Endless Realms: Tome of Spirits Kickstarter Pledge Manager (for late pledges).
[WRITER’S NOTE 2019-06-05: Out of the clear blue, Andrew J Lucas sent me a 1st printing of Deities & Demigods for D&D 1e. That was totally unexpected and an amazing gift! I’m still stunned that this book that was my 1e Holy Grail arrived in the mail. Gaming and gamers make me happy! Thank you, Andrew J Lucas!]