Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Inked Adventures Encounter Lairs 1 The Demon Chamber

The weekend's main achievement was this:

Click on the graphic to see it on  DriveThru website

Now on sale for $2.95
Basically, it's a one page printable floor plan (or room) designed by moi with cultist and monster figures made by Sammo of Moss Games.  The Encounter Lairs sets will feature more plans and will include figures made by different artists from the Cardboard Warriors Forum.  There's four packs planned so far.  It also prints fairly well in greyscale.  This "lair" is also compatible with the Inked Adventures Modular Dungeon Cut-Up Sections Basic Pack. 
No stats for the figures are included ... no, wait ... erm ... I mean  it's "systemless" ;)

Inked Adventures is in part my own exploration of how I feel floor plans should have be drawn, back when they were still hand illustrated.  I am heavily influenced by Games Workshop products like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain board game, the 3D top-down look of Atic Atac (!), numerous Floor Plans products - and, more recently, Warhammer Quest.  The beauty of many of those floor plans was that you could cut the pieces up to any size to resemble the DM's map exactly - as opposed to redesigning maps to match pre-made dungeon tiles.  Today, of course, this is less of an issue with colour printers and map editing software, but sometimes it's fun to have actual reusuable card modular pieces.  I may have to post at a later date about how these older cut-up plans were part of my gaming life, more so than geomorphs and dungeon tiles (although I still love both).  This would explain why my dungeon sets are met with bafflement by some gamers, who prefer the tidiness of a firm stack of square tiles, or they get frustrated because my packs don't crop well for Fantasy Grounds. etc.  Choose which pages, print and then chop them up, move them around on the table, it's fun, I promise you! ;)

Even the adverts for Inked Adventures
are a bit trapped in the 1980s ;)
One of thing that amazes me now is who much the technology is taken for granted, or even underestimated.  Providing that a player has enough ink, card or photopaper the simplest designs can printed so many times to create beautiful large dungeons.  I remember in the past that my access to even a photocopier was fairly limited, so in some ways I'm still knocked out by the concept of colour DTP in the home.  Unlike books which require binding ... maps, handouts and floor plans in PDF form was a wonderful thing to happen to table-top role-playing.  (I still love printed rule books)  Even if you ban the laptop from the gaming table, the quantity of free and cheap resources quickly available at a low cost, means that a DM can literally furnish a game the following day with lush play-aids (providing they have enough ink and dead tree).

I've had some trouble selling through Lulu recently, because the focus is on ebooks and POD.  My products are neither. Onebookshelf sites (RPGNow et al) throw in an extra level of protection for files which Lulu wanted to charge extra money for.  Lulu also refused to provide stats for free downloads.  No doubt sellers of atmospheric gaming background music have also been scuppered by changes at Lulu.  Oops, digressing.  In summary: Lulu = books for wide audience = I sold nothing there, whereas OneBookshelf (RPGNow/DriveThru etc.) = accessories of tabletop gamers (a variety of file types) = sold a LOT of Basic Packs.   Now that OneBookshelf are dabbling in print-on-demand, one wonders if I even ever need to sell through Lulu again (even if I try to publish solo-gamebooks ... but that's another story for another day).  But hey, the e-book Kindle war aint over yet and Lulu may still have a few exclusive tricks up their sleeves. Enough about formats and online selling!

Review copies of IA-EL1 The Demon Chamber (and perhaps even the Basic Pack) are available on request to enthusiastic reviewers and bloggers.  Mail me at billiambabble(at) .

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