Well, all, here we are: the first blog for Elf Lair Games on Blogspot. Some of you may be aware I was doing semi-regular updates on Lulu when they had a blog function, but they killed that functionality, so I've been hem-hawing about doing another. I decided what the heck. It's nice to give people a place they can keep up with the goings-on as we try to build Elf Lair into a real publishing company.
At this point Elf Lair is about 70% me, and 30% Timothy Brannan, who's done a lot of behind-the-scenes work, been an invaluable sounding board, and is doing "free" writing (that is, he's working for copies at this point) for me. He may come on board as an official partner at some point, but we have to work that out, still.
So, what's new? The (very) limited-edition boxed sets of Spellcraft & Swordplay have shipped, save two that I have to send out today. Then I'm going to contact the 3 or 4 holdouts from whom I haven't yet heard, and I may still have a few for sale (I've already gotten four requests, though, so we shall see!) James over at Grognardia gave a wonderful review of the set, and as always I'm grateful to him--he's been a supporter ever since S&S first game out.
The sales of this boxed set are going directly towards setting Elf Lair up as an official business and producing an actual print run (ISBN and all) of Spellcraft & Swordplay, which we hope to see on game store shelves within the year.
On that note, I'd like to address something. We've taken some flak from certain vocal members of the Old School community for not making S&S free like other games such as OSRIC, Swords & Wizardry, and Labyrinth Lord, but I'd like to clarify that S&S is not a retro-clone like those games. It does NOT seek to reproduce an old system. Rather it is heavily inspired by the early days of roleplaying, but it is very much its own game. This is not to say I have anything against the guys producing S&W, OSRIC, or LL--indeed, Dan Proctor is a longtime acquaintence of mine from my freelancing for Eden Studios, and is a stand-up guy all around (and LL is probably my favorite of the retro-clones). S&W and OSRIC are absolutely phenomenal products and I'd heartily recommend them to anyone who enjoys old school gaming.
But what we are looking to do is build Elf Lair into a full-fledged game company, and S&S is our first flagship, which we hope to use as the basis for many products in the future, such as adventure modules, campaign settings (which may or may not be full games unto themselves) and even other genres. I have likened it to OD&D as Troll Lords' Castles & Crusades is to AD&D. So if you lay out C&C, OSRIC, and AD&D on one hand, and S&S, S&W, and OD&D on the other, you get an analagous relationship, with S&S filling the C&C role on the OD&D front. Same feel, very different rules.
I am currently working on a Science Fantasy/Space Opera game that uses the S&S system as its base. Don't want to say too much about that right now as it is in the early stages of construction, but I think fans of S&S will be more than pleased. I think the ideas flowing out are just a great deal of fun.
It won't be OGL, but will be compatible with S&S, this accomplished mostly by simply renaming the same concepts (ability scores, for example, are Strength, Agility, Toughness, Intellect, Willpower, and Presence, all of which have a direct parallel to the OGL abilities).
We had thought to call the S&S System the O.G.R.E. System (Old-school Generic Roleplaying Engine) but I am told that may conflict with Steve Jackson Games, who have a game called OGRE. So we may have to come up with a new acronym.
Thus, we are going to call the system the Old-school Roleplaying Core System (O.R.C.S.).
Well, I guess that's about it for the first blog. I'll try and keep updates here as I have them to post, and welcome! Don't forget to visit our store at http://www.lulu.com/elflairgames and our message boards at http://elflairgames.proboards.com/