I had intended to write a more thorough post on the state of the company back in March, but things have continued to transpire which have both kept me from doing that and made anything I was going to write at the moment very much invalid at this point.
As we near the end of June, and thus the first half of 2009, Highmoon Games remains in, essentially, hiatus from publishing. It has not been a good year (so far) for Highmoon Games, partly due to slumping sales and partly due to personal issues dominating my time. We were able to publish Jeremy Puckett’s Ronin: Oriental Adventures in Tokugawa Japan in its d20-compatible format but that has been it on the game supplement front. We do have other projects caught in various stages of production, including other versions of Ronin (True20 and Savage Worlds have been explored), a couple more issues of Heroic Moments, Issue 5 of Targum Magazine, a FATE/Spirit of the Century-compatible mini-setting, and True20 Ancients: Rome (this last one is done and in layout). There is also a secret project being done in conjunction with another gaming company that has not been announced yet.
On the podcast side of things, The Digital Front remains on hiatus since the beginning of the year, and as much as I want to cover certain events happening in the field of tabletop e-distribution, it has not been possible to do so. The Gamer Traveler, however, has been going very well; since turning into a blog as well as a podcast, I have been able to ramp up the number of stories published significantly, mainly because I don’t have to wait for a chance to record an episode to get them out. Episodes of the podcast have been released, but now they form an audio companion rather than the sole medium for my travel & gaming niche.
So what does the second half of 2009 hold in store? Frankly, I don’t know. The personal issue that has kept things on hold so far continues to be a major factor, so effectively Highmoon Games is to remain on hiatus until further notice. As I am able to work on some projects and bring them to fruition I’ll release them, but take those, if/when they happen, as happy surprises, not something to be expected. I am, however, not closing the company nor declaring any of the podfading any of the podcasts; I very much want to return to this endeavor once life returns to normalcy, whenever that is.
To all our customers, colleagues, supporters and friends, thank you so much for caring and inquiring and sending many well wishes.
Welcome to Ronin: Oriental Adventures in Tokugawa Japan, a world of honor and steel at the edge of the modern age.
Ronin brings you to Japan during the Edo Period, characterized by the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1600-1868). This is the height of samurai culture, when feudal lords commanded fearsome warriors and ruled vast lands, when the mysticism of the past clashed blades with the coming of the modern age. Will you be a samurai beholden to a master or a free-ranging ronin? Will you follow the way of the sword or call upon the arcane spirits? Will you explore high society or delve into the commoner’s world? A world on the edge of turmoil awaits you.
Ronin gives players and Game Masters will find invaluable information to bring the rich historical era of the Edo Period to their games, including:
- An introduction to Tokugawa Japan, covering topics such as geography, culture, daily life, nobility, commoners, outsiders and outcasts, magic and mysticism.
- A primer on samurai culture.
- New Rules systems, such as the all-important Honor, as well as Flaws.
- New Basic Classes, such as the courtier, shudoshi (Zen seekers), and vagabond.
- New Prestige Classes, such as the blade saint, blind swordman, hedge witch, medium, merchant, and shinobi.
- New Feats, 16 in total.
- New Magic, including 12 new spells.
- A Bestiary of menaces from the natural, magical and ghostly realms.
Ronin: Oriental Adventures in Tokugawa Japan is a sourcebook in the 3rd Fantasy line, compatible with the 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.
Written by: Jeremy Puckett
Art by: Zach Ashmore (Cover), public domain Japanese artwork.
Layout by: Mark Reed
Developed by: Daniel M. Perez
We have decided to extend our $1 Sale until the end of the year.
All our d20/OGL products will be deactivated for the time being while we remove all traces of the d20 license, which expires on Dec. 31, 2008. So if there is something in particular you wanted, your best bet is to get it in the next two days for only $1.00!!!
Highmoon Media Productions and MonkeyGod Enterprises present At the Edge of Dreams.
The body of a Faean lord is found skewered by an iron lance, one of his retinue surviving long enough to whisper, “Mortals” An entire human family is found ruthlessly slaughtered in their sleep, traces of Faean magic still lingering in the air. Ancient pacts between the Faean and the village of Graymeer have ensured a lasting peace over the centuries. Now, however, with ever increasing atrocities occurring to both sides, the pact is strained to the point of breaking. And if they break, there will be a war between the Mortals and Faean, a war that will escalate to throw all of the Shield Islands into chaos.
Something, or someone, has been purposefully trying to drive the Faean and Mortals into direct conflict. The heroes have one chance – they must find the true culprit behind these incidents, and then travel to the mysterious Faean Realm, At the Edge of Dreams, to convince the Faean Court to halt their attacks, before it is too late.
At the Edge of Dreams is a d20 fantasy adventure for 6th- & 7th-level characters.
Written by: Christopher Coyle
Cover by: Scott Fischer
Artwork by: Theodor Black
Highmoon Media Productions is supporting The Tome Podcast’s Summer Contest with three “gift cards” worth of HMP products. The Tome also has other sponsors for their contest and in episode 78, Jeff takes the time to talk to all of us about our companies and the products we are giving away.
The Tome Show: Episode 78 – 2008 Summer Contest
(HMP interview at 7:58)
Check out the episode to learn how to enter The Tome’s 2008 Summer Contest and win some great prizes.
Sale is in effect from August 13 – 31, 2008 at RPGnow and DriveThruRPG.
Grab some good d20 fun and head off to the dungeon in style. After all, who knows if these adventures will be seen again after the end of the year, once the d20 System license and logo have expired.
I’m super busy getting ready for my trip to Seattle, so I won’t be doing a long post about this. Short version: the GSL sucks and I don’t see Highmoon Media using it to produce D&D 4e-compatible products in the near future. The license is horribly restricting in what I can and cannot do, reference, or develop, but the dealbrakers are the clauses dealing with OGL conversions (6.1, 6.2), with beyond-termination limitation of my GSL-released products (6.1), and the draconian sections dealing with litigation and damages (10), especially the one where you waive your right to a jury trial for any legal proceeding dealing with the GSL (19).
There’s more stuff that annoys me about it (like the fact that the license seems to put a clamp on anything I develop for 4e/GSL to be used solely for that or not at all), but it will have to wait for me to break that down further.
Honestly, I feel they should just have closed the whole game. I know some folks with use this GSL to release products, but in general, it feels like a forced participation in the idea of Open Gaming, and only in the most bitter of ways.
Wizards of the Coast continues to become a company that I more and more do not want to support with my dollars.
I miss very much the Wizards of the Coast of the Peter Adkinson years, but that’s a different post.
Highmoon Media Productions is proud to present Domains of Adventure: The Havenmine Gauntlet.
Situated in a high butte near the bend of a river canyon, Havenmine, named for the predicted security of its lofty location, is anything but safe. A few years ago, when chasing a vein of garnets and other precious gemstones, a house of diligent small folk and a tribe of ambitious kobolds met in a most awkward of situations. After many battles, both the gnomes and kobolds began to fortify their halves of the mine, carving the stone to fit their guerrilla needs, the series of traps and chokepoints known as the Havenmine Gauntlet.
The Havenmine Gauntlet is a systemless 9-page ebook detailing a drop-in location for your fantasy game. It includes a general overview of the location, and area-by-area descriptions of the gauntlet, its challenges and traps.
If you would like The Havenmine Gauntlet with Rules Appendixes for open rules systems, click below:
Rules Appendix Options
Domains of Adventure is a series of systemless products showcasing interesting and unusual locations usable in a variety of games. By focusing on the narrative element instead of the rules mechanics, fans of a variety of rules systems can all enjoy the material and find use for it. To that effect, all Domains of Adventure releases feature additional support in the form of a Rules Appendix, featuring all the rules mechanics relevant to each main release, already translating the narrative elements into ready-to-use stats for a variety of open rules systems. Visit www.highmoonmedia.com/domainsofadventure for more info.
KOBOLD QUARTERLY AND HIGHMOON MEDIA PRODUCTIONS TO RELEASE “DOMAINS OF ADVENTURE: THE HAVENMINE GAUNTLET”
Wolfgang Baur’s Kobold Quarterly magazine and Highmoon Media Productions have teamed up to produce and release a special edition in Highmoon’s Domains of Adventure line, the Havenmine Gauntlet, written by WereCabbage Adam Daigle, with art by James Keegan.
Describing the “neutral zone” between warring clans of gnomes and kobolds, the product features seven rooms full of devious traps and wicked challenges for any party that braves the dungeon. This special product will be released as a bonus to all current Kobold Quarterly subscribers as of April 18th, 2008. It will also be sold by Highmoon Media Productions via RPGnow.com and DriveThruRPG.com.
“I am excited to finally release this joint project,” said Highmoon Media Productions owner Daniel M. Perez. “I’ve been a fan and subscriber of Kobold Quarterly since the moment Wolfgang announced it on Open Design, and I jumped at the opportunity to give something back to that community. Without a doubt, one of the easiest and most enjoyable collaborations I have been a part of.”
Domains of Adventure is the series of systemless products showcasing interesting and unusual locations usable in a variety of games. Domains of Adventure releases feature additional support in the form of a Rules Appendix that translates the narrative elements into ready-to-use stats and mechanics for a variety of open rules systems.
Domains of Adventure: The Havenmine Gauntlet will be released to Kobold Quarterly subscribers first, along with the Rules Appendix – d20, and become available to the general public one week later.
Subscribe to Kobold Quarterly:
ABOUT HIGHMOON MEDIA PRODUCTIONS
Founded by Daniel M. Perez, Highmoon Media Productions is a Miami Beach-based publisher of gaming products producing support material for the popular d20 System, including Targum Magazine, a magazine supporting Ancient World campaign settings. Learn more about Highmoon Media Productions at www.highmoonmedia.com.
ABOUT KOBOLD QUARTERLY MAGAZINE
Kobold Quarterly is the leading RPG magazine for fantasy gamers. It offers playable, fun articles by the industry’s best, including Ed Greenwood, Keith Baker, Nicolas Logue, and Wolfgang Baur. It is available in print and PDF forms, and features contributions from gamers around the world. Learn more about Kobold Quarterly at www.koboldquarterly.com.
ABOUT WERECABBAGE PUBLISHING
The WereCabbages bring together more than thirty of the most successful and promising RPG writers, artists and cartographers. The Cabbages are a one-stop shop for RPG publishers, whether they need an experienced team to complete a large project or a single author or artist for a special task. Learn more about the WereCabbages at www.werecabbages.com.
In the last couple of weeks I have engaged in two different experiments with Highmoon Media Productions. Since we won’t be doing any D&D 4e material this year, and I want to be careful about how much time I spend on 3.5 material that may be possibly obsolete (or at least harder to sell), I figured I might as well give some things a try and see how they panned out, perhaps open up some new options for the company. So far my experiments have been… interesting. One has certainly done well enough for me to consider it a success, the other I’m still trying to figure out.
Experiment 1: Domains of Adventure
I started this line to provide system-independent locations, coupled with Rules Appendixes for various open systems (d2o, RuneQuest, etc). I published the first product for sale on November 1st, and offered the Rules Appendix for free as a download from my site. Since 11/01/07 it has sold 21 copies, i.e. really poorly. Of those, 14 were sold before March 2008, specifically before the GM’s Day sale that just ended. Right before the GM’s Day sale began (on March 2), I decided to add the Rules Appendix (now d20 and RuneQuest) as free products available through RPGnow, if only so I could get an idea of how many of those were being downloaded, and to see if by offering the mechanics for free it encouraged people to purchase the fluff material as well.
As I mentioned, the product has sold 7 copies since March 1st, all of them during the March 3-7 period of the GM’s Day sale. During that time as well, the two free products have been downloaded 249 times (133 d20, 116 RuneQuest). That means that I sold one Domains of Adventure product for roughly every 35 free downloads of the Rules Appendixes. Ouch. Now, I had never put out a free product, so I do not have any previous context of the number of downloads for a free product; I know it’s a lot, but this is only from hearsay. I expected the Rules Appendixes to be more downloaded than the paid product, but I guess I was naive in expecting a better free-to-paid ratio.
Now, this does mean that I have a large number of new customers in my mailing list now (not sure how many exactly though, as I have no easy way to correlate how many of them have purchased from me before) that I can target directly for my next products, and especially for any new Domains of Adventure (a new one is coming out in a week or so). I will also see if I can convert some more of those free downloads to paid customers with a coupon, though in my experience this rarely works out.
So, I’m not sure how well this experiment turned out. I have a mind to take off the free products, but I haven’t decided yet. I know my next DoA product will NOT be sold the same way as the first one. This one I will pre-package with the Rules Appendix and sell each combo as a separate product (the d20 version, the RuneQuest version, etc) and see how that goes. I could also sell the fluff part and the Rules Appendixes each, and put together a bundle for each rules system, but I want to avoid the exponential proliferation of product entries in my vendor page.
I’ll revisit this one after I release the next DoA product and I have some more data to chew on.
I’ll talk about my other experiment in the next entry.