Whew! Been awhile, hasn't it? Well, Elf Lair Games is still here and still working, albeit more slowly than I'd like.
Just a few quick updates for you all. Eldritch Witchery, the (too) long-awaited second sourcebook for Spellcraft & Swordplay, has been sent back to Tim for some fixes on the spells section--a bit more work needs be done there before she's ready for prime time. Part of the delay is my fault, I freely admit. I took far too long in editing it to this point. Hopefully we'll move forward pretty quickly from here on out, but that's why I don't like to announce release dates. ELG is a one-man show and I'm far too busy a guy these days.
Next, a quick update about a project you haven't heard about in quite some time. Apotheosis: The Wasted Lands, which is to be our core Lovecraftian/mythic swords-and-sorcery RPG. This game is, as I've mentioned before, farther along than I realized, as I did what turned out to be a lot of the preliminary work for it while working on some notes for an OD&D campaign I'm running. Over the past week I've had a few brainstorms about the magic in the game, how it will work, and the spells, and it's going to be pretty labor intensive, so I need to get up the gumption to sit down and plow through it, but it's going to be cool (and familiar) when done.
It will require me to make A:WL an OGL game, which I had not originally intended upon doing, but that's not a bad thing by any stretch. The magic will look somewhat familiar to many folks, but won't look like your typical OGL 3.x fare. I think it's going to be very cool when done. I can say that schools of magic, rather than being tied to things like Abjuration, Enchantment, etc., will be tied to specific Great Old Ones. So you'll have spells that call upon Yog-Sothoth, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Yhtill, etc.
I would like once again to entreat everyone if you have the funds and are a fan of Elf Lair, to pre-order Amazing Adventures, the Pulp RPG I have done for Troll Lord Games. I plan for the proceeds from this game to fund Elf Lair and launch us to the next level.
Speaking of the next level, onto Twelve Parsecs. As I've said before, I just need to square away the psionics for this game and it'll be just about ready for editing and layout. I am going to include a meta-setting in it, and I have what I think are some pretty cool and unique ideas for the setting, so that needs to be drafted as well.
And this brings me to my final bit of information.
There are just too many generic retro-clones and nostalgia games on the market right now. Spellcraft & Swordplay, no matter how strong it may be, doesn't have a prayer anymore of actually competing in this saturated market. Thus, while S&S will stay in print and publication, future development efforts are going to be on less generic applications of the O.R.C.S. system. A:WL, for example, is going to be a game with a complete packaged setting that will be developed. It is my belief that in order to sell a fantasy game these days, you need to give people a reason to pick up the books--most of us just don't need another generic fantasy game. Twelve Parsecs is going to fall somewhere in the middle--it will be a largely generic sci-fi rules set applicable to just about any type of sci-fi game you want to run, but there is also going to be a packaged setting that I'd like to develop as we move forward. I think the industry is swinging back to original setting material, which can be run without a great deal of preparation on the part of the time-strapped Referee. Developed settings also make it a lot easier to create tailored adventure modules, and these, I believe, are essential to supporting a game these days (incidentally, I just need to rough out some maps for our first S&S/A:WL adventure module and it should be about good to go).
I understand that all of this might turn some folks off, but I guess you can't please everyone and this is where my interests as a developer lie these days.
I like to hope, however, that the game elements you'll see in A:WL and 12P will be "toolkit" enough that you can use them generically if you're not big on the setting.