Showing posts with label Mongoose Publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mongoose Publishing. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Buy Dragon Warriors Before It's Too Late

At the end of March, the Dragon Warriors role playing game license currently held by Magnum Opus Press will expire. This means that one of the best fantasy role playing games to hit the market in decades will -- temporarily at least -- be unavailable.

Dragon Warrriors is a reprinting/reworking of the classic 1980s fantasy role playing game of the same name originally published as a series of standard sized paperback rule books. James Wallis, and his crew at Magnum Opus, did a wonderful job creating an aesthetically appealing set of rule books that contained easy to read text and presented robust game mechanics. The game was originally written by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson, and some of the products feature work by the famous Undercover Economist Tim Harford, in an attempt to better capture the feel of Sword & Sorcery tales in a role playing system.

The game features an interesting setting and some of the best adventures written for any role playing game.

You can currently -- through tomorrow -- buy the printed rule books from Mongoose Publishing and the pdf versions at RPG Now. The rights will be returning to the Morris and Johnson, which is a good thing, but there are no immediate plans for a republication of the game. Morris and Johnson are currently promoting products related to Morris' -- also highly recommended -- Fabled Lands line of products. Sadly, Dragon Warriors has been overlooked by the larger fantasy role playing game community who have possibly been spending so much time with edition wars -- and have been missing out on some gems because of it.

Morris and Johnson are talented game designers and storytellers, and James Wallis has yet to make a bad product. Do your self a favor and pick these up now.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mongoose Publishing Releasing "Classic Chaosium" Michael Moorcock RPGs in PDF

I am happy to see that a number of publishers are using digital publishing to keep old and out of print games in the marketplace. In the modern market, there is no excuse for not having old products available. All you do is feed a secondary market and feed digital piracy. While digital pirates will still steal products that are made available digitally for sale, more honest purchasers have a way that they can support the games that they love. It allows new players to be introduced to historic games, and it allows people who own physical copies to keep those in more pristine shape and use the digital copies instead.

Mongoose Publishing has long been using the digital distribution stream, and they have now made the classic Chaosium Michael Moorcock inspired Basic Role-Playing games available for purchase. This includes the excellent first edition of Stormbringer by Tunnels and Trolls' own Ken St. Andre.

I know there are some who have mixed feelings about Mongoose Publishing's business practices during the early d20 boom. No one can deny that Mongoose looked at the upcoming releases of other companies and rushed out versions of similar products that were released prior to those of their competitors. This often led to inferior product by Mongoose and diminished sales for the original company. I share these mixed feelings regarding Mongoose and d20.

That said, I have been impressed with Mongoose Publishing in the Post-d20 marketplace. They have done quality editions of Traveller, and adapted Judge Dredd and Hammer's Slammers to that system seemlessly. I am also enjoying their -- slightly overpriced -- new Lone Wolf role playing game.

Regardless of what you think about Mongoose, you might want to consider what Michael Moorcock had to say about Chaosium in Kobold Quarterly #5:

"Or course, Chaosium turned out to be crooks, paying no royalties, ripping me of, behaving in a dodgy way. I tried over the years to get the stuff away from them, but it wasn't until Mongoose made a serious offer to Chaosium, plus an offer to me, that I was able to switch. Mongoose have proven a completely trustworthy firm... Gary [Gygax] told me he wished he'd known the circumstances, since he had other ideas for EC games. I too wish I'd signed with GG, who seemed a pleasant and agreeable guy."

Quite a different picture than one might have imagined. Chaosium is one of the venerable and trusted names in gaming, and most early vitriol regarding "game publisher greed" were aimed at TSR. Those anti-TSR flames were often fanned by fans of Chaosium, so if Moorcock's claims are true it puts the early days of the hobby in a different light.

I don't know the truth of Moorcock's anti-Chaosium claims, but I'll take him at his word with his pro-Mongoose praise. If purchasing the pdfs means the good author gets royalties, then count me in as a customer.