Greetings, folks, and happy 2018! The year seems to have gotten off to a rather frigid and snowy start here in the eastern U.S., so wherever you are, I hope you’re staying warm and safe. The same goes to all my friends elsewhere in the world — even in the bitter, post-apocalyptic wastelands of Canadia. ;-)
My good friend and business partner, Jason Walters of Hero Games and IPR, asked me if I’d write up a year in review report for my little dba, Elvensong Street Press. There hasn’t been a whole lot going on, but I figured I could at least manage a brief summary of what I’ve done, and what’s to come.
Unfortunately my productivity this year suffered a couple of severe blows. The first came from my top-to-bottom home renovation and remodeling project, which began in October 2016 and finished in the first week of August 2017. During that time I lived in an RV in my backyard (not exactly a condition conducive to creative work, at least not for me) and had to deal with a lot of construction-related issues. And then I had to move back into the house, which was a pretty big chore itself — it took me nearly three weeks just to get all my books on my extensive new bookshelves. (Lovely, lovely bookshelves....) Second, for over half of the year I suffered from poor health, which left me exhausted and unable to accomplish much of anything. I’m feeling better for now (though I’m definitely not out of the woods yet), so hopefully my health won’t cause me so many difficulties in 2018. Fingers crossed!
Despite all those obstacles, I got some writing done here and there. My main focus, as it has been for the past six years and should be for at least another five or six more, is my massive Mythic Hero project — a comprehensive review of world mythology for gamers and writers in general, and HERO System gamers in particular. I didn’t get through quite as much as I hoped, but I completed chapters for the following mythoi:
Incan and South American
I am currently at work on the chapters devoted to Celtic Mythology — the last major world mythos I have left to cover (though by no means the final one in the book; there are still plenty of minor mythologies to research and write up). I expect finishing it will take me half of the year, or more — but progress is progress, however you slice it.
Other than that, I prepared two PDF products for the HERO System that have been on sale in the Hero Games Online Store, IPR, and sometimes elsewhere:
—Gun Fu (an extensive list of gunfighting maneuvers, abilities, and tricks, organized into a system of “ranks” for easy learning); and
—Insect Powers (to help you create a friendly neighborhood insect-themed superhero, a master of insect magics, or similar characters).
I have plenty more of these small PDF products in the works; finishing them is just a question of getting a little time here and there, and which one I have interest in at any particular time. Some of them include: Hands Of The Mummy (a Pulp Hero murder mystery involving an archaeological expedition and its discoveries, set in and around the British Museum); MEDUSA (a group of supervillainesses for Superhero campaigns); Anti-Paladins (pre-generated character sheets for various anti-paladins, an ideal type of villain for Fantasy Hero campaigns); more expansions to the Superhero Gallery from Champions; and possibly a researched article on the Leopard Societies of Africa (aimed primarily at Pulp Hero gamers, but also useful for many other kinds of campaigns).
Last, but not least, as time has allowed, I’ve slowly but steadily worked on The HERO System Advanced Player’s Guide III for Hero Games. It’s been quite a while since Hero published APG2, and in the intervening years I’ve accumulated hundreds of rules questions from gamers. It’s time to get all that material polished up and in print, and that’s what I’m doing. I also intend to include some optional rules for various other subjects that I’ve thought of or that gamers have requested of me, such as the concept of Long-Term STUN. (And as always, when the proper time comes I’ll post a “what do you want to see” thread so anyone who wants to can suggest an idea too.)
So hopefully that means lots of fun stuff to work on and great products to release coming from Elvensong Street Press in 2018. And while you’re waiting for them, I hope you have a lot of fun gaming!
Over at the High Rock Press Blog, Jason talks about the year in review (including the publication of two Hero System books), as well as his plans for 2018, which will include at least two more Hero System products.
It is with great sadness that I tell you my friend and associate Michael Satran, known on the Hero Forums as Balabanto, passed away on the evening of October 28, 2017. Michael was a Hero System superfan, and the author of numerous zany supplements and settings for the Champions roleplaying game, including Journey to the Center of the Earth, King of the Mountain, War of Worldcraft, and Foxbat for President. He also tackled more serious and darker subjects in works such as Imaginary Friends, Unkindness, and Pretty Hate Machines. Though it is not widely known, for years Michael volunteered to help with the Indie Press Revolution booth at GenCon, stalwartly assisting us in the not-very-glamorous business of setting up, tearing down, inventorying products, helping with the marshaling yard, and generally doing what he could to help the RPG small press. He was a sincere, generous, and kind man, always eager to help a friend in need. I will miss him greatly. Amicus Aeternum Vale.