Golden Panda: Denied!

This is a double of a post over at Sword’s Edge. If you’ve read one, you’ve read them both!

If one has to lose, this is a race in which losing doesn’t feel so bad.

Even by trying to rig the system by sending in two stories (what can I say? I had to lines of inspiration and followed them both!) I only tied for second in the Jennisodes Golden Panda contest.

If I had a vote—and had not entered, ‘cause then you KNOW I would have voted for myself—I would have gone with the haiku. Sure, it was short, but it was a haiku! For an animal native to China! There’s so much meta there it’s awesome.

Thanks to the Jennisodes for getting me to finish two short little stories. It was a fun exercise. Now, I must plan out how I shall acquire a hardcopy of Fiasco without paying 18 ga-jillion dollars in shipping.

You can read the entries here

All the entries are titled “the Golden Panda,” but if you are interested in mine, let’s subtitle them “Death and Life in the Jade Empire” and “He of the Knife.”

Thanks Jennisodes.

December’s Sales

Late again, but if you’ve seen the last couple of posts, you’ll realize I was a little bit busy.

It will be interesting to see how the numbers change in the next few months. Not only will new products be released—which always gets the backlist going—SEP is moving to an exclusive agreement with One Book Shelf, the company that runs both RPG Now and Drive Thru RPG. Pretty soon, our products will only be found on those sites.

While changes are in store, December was pretty much as standard month. A little bit of product moved, but the money that SEP got once commissions and webhosting were paid, wasn’t even enough for a case of beer. Now that is sad.

December Sales
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113) 1
Khorforjan Gambit 1
Qalashar Device 1
Raid On Ashkashem 1

Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section 1

Line Zero 1

All Time Sales
Albenistan: Election Day (Modern Dispatch 113)      26
Khorforjan Gambit      83
Qalashar Device      98
Raid On Ashkashem      136

Covert Forces
Canada’s Combined Security Reconnaissance Section: 73
Covert Forces      100
Covert Forces Redux      119
In Her Majesty’s Service      110

Modern Medieval
Gunpowder Plots      73
Man-At-Arms Advanced Class      36
Mercenary Advanced Class      39
Spy Advanced Class      34

Roles & Classes
Capable Hero      84
Combat Hero      83
Counter-Terrorism Assaulter      95
Covert Hero      92
Spec Ops Recce      93
Special Operations Marksman      93
Talent Trees Assembled      68

Treasure Chest Unlocked
Gems     66
Incense    7

Cyber-state Avatar Toolkit      35
Line Zero      32
Relief Effort      45

Sword Noir Sneak Peak

There are two things that are making me really happy right now. One is the layout for Sword Noir. Rob and Melodie Wakefield have totally kicked ass and turned this book into a piece of art. Maybe I’m biased—okay, I am biased—but I’m really excited about the look.

Second, Ed Northcott has handed in his line art for the book and it is amazing. Ed is a friend, but he is also a professional illustrator, and when he said he’d be willing to help out with Sword Noir, I was thrilled. He’s totally nailed the look of the two iconics I created for Sword Noir’s included setting.

Below, have a look at the character blocks for Aterus and Fasgar, then take a gander at a preview of the art depicting these two. If that’s not getting you pumped for this game, I don’t think anything else I say will.

Fasgar, Right Hand of the Invisible Judge: This is a massive brute of a man with long, muscular limbs and a broad chest. His blonde hair passes his shoulders and his reddish beard is plaited. He claims to act for the Invisible Judge, a rumoured enforcer of justice in the Warrens, though he exhibits an independent streak and a tight friendship—closer to brotherhood—with the thief, Aterus Pullo, who can be found in Al-Sham.
Concept: Warrior Skald +2
Background: Northern Barbarian +2
Faculty: Swordplay (Phy) +4
Flaw: I am an Honourable Man -2
Phy 18; Agl 15; Wit 9; Cha 15; Wil 18
Brute Force (Phy +4); Wolf in the Night (Agl +4); Charming Rogue (Cha +2); Traveller of the World (Wit +2); Voice like Honey (Cha +4)

Aterus Pullo, Right Hand to the Many-Eyed: He is a small man with bright, alert eyes, dusky skin and dark hair. He is dressed in tarnished finery with a feathered beret on his head and a slim sword at his hip. He claims to represent a wizard known as the Many-Eyed, but has an independent streak and a tight friendship—closer to brotherhood—with the barbarian, Fasgar, who can be found in the Warrens. Aterus himself resides in Al-Sham with various flophouses and apartments, each with the exterior appearance of pathetic disrepair, but hiding palatial interiors—and many, many trips, traps and locks.
Concept: Civilized thief +2
Background: Failed scholar +2
Faculty: Cat Dancing (Agl) +4
Flaw: I am Smarter than You -2
Phy 9; Agl 18; Wit 12; Cha 15; Wil 12
Beauty of Swordplay (Agl +4); Cat Burglar (Agl +2); Cat’s Paws on Carpet (Agl +2); Dabbler (Wit +2); Pupil of the Many-Eyed (Wit +2); Crystal of Scrying (Wit +4)

Click for embiggenage


I have some good news and some not so good news.

The not so good news is that all releases are being delayed due to some behind the scenes business stuff.

The good news is once that stuff is all done, I can pretty much guarantee three releases in the next three months. Arcane Kingdoms is on the launch pad and ready to lift off in February. For Simple Coin: Four Tales of Sword Noir has passed all its tests and should be graduating in March. And the Sword Noir RPG is in the final stretch, and unless there is an absolute disaster, it will be ready to go in April.

Kiss My Axe is in the final stages of writing. Art hasn’t begun yet, but we are optimistic. Given that its slot has moved to May, I am confident we can hit that date.

So there we go, release months (if not exact dates) for the first quarter of this year. Not bad.

After that? Who knows? If we do well, there is an adventure ready to be released for Sword Noir. I have also had some people asking about more modern stuff—which may mean a resurrection of Spec Ops or perhaps even the Osiris Files. If Kiss My Axe does well, I have a Sword Noir hack for the Roman legions that I could bang out. If For Simple Coin does well, I have a second collection of short stories I could release.

Or if nothing that SEP does creates a splash at all, I might just roll it up and concentrate on my fiction writing.

The future is murky and my divination skills suck.

Arcane Kingdoms Preview

The time will soon be upon us when Arcane Kingdoms will be released into the wild. In case you need some reminding, Arcane Kingdoms offers descriptions of seven nations in a PDF with 27 pages of content. The expected price is $2.99. Arcane Kingdoms will be released in January 2011.

The purpose of Arcane Kingdoms is to provide a small amount of information on a collection of nations that could be used in your game. How these are used depend on what you need.

If you are interested in seeing a quick preview, click on the thumbnail to go to an image of a page from the product. It should give you some idea of what you’ll be getting yourself into if you purchase the product.

Arcane Kingdoms will be released within the next two weeks. SEP’s schedule has taken a bit of a hit due to some delays with Sword Noir. But don’t worry, everything is coming, if slowly.