Gamebook store

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Marvels yet to come

Following on from news of the Fabled Lands gamebooks and RPG, I can reveal there has been some early-stage talk about new print editions of both the Blood Sword and Way of the Tiger gamebooks. Now let me stress that it is just in discussion so far - but Oliver and I have already struck a deal with Fabled Lands LLP for Blood Sword, and Min (that's Mark Smith) is ironing out the WotT details with Jamie. Also, fans of WotT might also be interested to hear that, if Min and Jamie can find the right publisher, there's even a possibility (still but a twinkle in the mind's eye at this stage) of an Orb RPG. How cool is that? Cooler than the back of the icebox in Superman's fortress, that's how cool.

On top of that, and now that we're all clear that this is gossip over the washing line, I'm hearing rumours that a new publisher may be about to approach Fabled Lands LLP with a proposal to take over the Dragon Warriors license after Magnum Opus Press bows out early next year. The good news for DW players is that this would ensure a smooth handover, hence an uninterrupted flow of new titles. So cross a finger or two, Legend fans. It ain't over till you see the white of Balor's eye.

Anyway, leaving aside all the scuttlebutt and promises, you might like to hear about a cast iron take-it-to-the bank certainty, which is that my current project Mirabilis (co-produced with Leo Hartas, Martin McKenna and Nikos Koutsis) will be out in the form of two splendid full-color graphic novels in plenty of time for Christmas. Mirabilis is a whole other blend of whimsical fantasy from the swords-n-spells of Legend, Orb and FL. Find out if it's your cup of tea right here.

21 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Awesome! I'm fairly new to gamebooks and never expected to see them make a comeback. The news about Fabled Lands, Blood Sword, and Way of the Tiger is excellent, but, I must ask, is there any chance for some new Virtual Reality books?

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  3. I think they'd be quite some way down the list, as the VR books came later, as the sales of gamebooks were contracting, and they don't seem to have as many fans as the other series. A pity, as I thought they were probably my and Min's bet work.

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  4. a new publisher for dragon warriors? that would be so nice. i hope for a real 2nd edition with some revised rules or at least the same business with the current rules. fingers crossed!

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  5. Dave,

    Fantastic news all round! Extremely excited about the prospect of books 7-12 of FL being published.

    Are there any plans for any further material, rules balancing, rules, bonus quests etc in the existing books of the three series? This would definitely hook in those of us who have entire collections.

    Bloodsword feels very complete, though I'm intrigued as to whether Jamie/Min would extend or change the somewhat abrupt ending to Book 6 'Inferno' of WOTT.

    New VR books would be nice - I'd be the first in the queue to grab them! I recall there was supposed to be a seventh book already written with an oriental theme?

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  6. Hi Drake - there was a seventh VR book, written by Min, and it was complete. It wasn't Oriental, though. It was called The Masque of Death - loads of intrigue and danger set amid mad Renaissance revelry, inspired by the works of Fritz Leiber Jr. The only person who might have a copy is VR's ex-editor, Ian Marsh, who now runs Fighting 15s.

    Bloodsword is definitely complete, seeing as the fifth book culminates in the end of Creation :-) I've asked Jamie about the final WOTT but he seemed a bit surprised that readers felt it was unfinished. However, if sales are good I expect he and Min could be coaxed back to do another.

    Jamie and I talked about adding bonus quests. The problem with that is, say we added 50 paras to each of the existing six FL books. Would that really make all the difference in sales? Or would that work be better spent in writing half of Book 7?

    Ultimately we decided that the important thing is to get the six FL books out with minimal revision. If enough people buy them, there will be more books and that's where we should focus our attention on new material. I hope fans who have the books already will support us by buying the new editions as gifts for friends (another reason why we want to get them out for Christmas) but we need to attract a lot of new readers, not only cater to the faithful, or we'd risk making the mistake Dragon Warriors 1.1 made.

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  7. I thought yesterday's news about FL was good, but this is fantastic! It's been a rough ride for Dragon Warriors recently, so hopefully this transfer to a new company will pan out OK.

    If Bloodsword and WotT do see print then chalk me up for a full set of those, too!

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  8. Jiminy, the DW plans are just at the talking stage, remember. In fact, I only heard about them unofficially and the FL LLP guys don't even know yet! However, you can bet I'll do all I can to nudge FL LLP to go along with it ;-)

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  9. Amazing news - as a long-time RPG fan and somewhat nostalgic gamebook reader I'm overwhelmed by the news of FL reissues and a RPG; and slightly more-so by the news that there is even a *CONSIDERATION* that Blood Sword may see the light of day again. (I adored the visceral quality of the Blood Sword series.) Kudos and much success to you Dave!

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  10. This is all great news. I picked up all 5 copies of Blood Sword not too long ago and haven't had the chance to actually sit down and play through them. If they get reprinted, I'd still be happy to add those to my collection as well and I know I'd have a couple buddies who would like them as gifts.

    Minor off topic question, I remember wondering about movement in Blood Sword, when I read the rules section I don't think there was any mention on how movement worked. Can I just assume you can move anywhere you'd like on the grid without any real restrictions?

    Also any idea when the FL website will be up and running or when the new books will be listed on Amazon. The only reason I ask, is that I've been starting to sort of preach the word on the web to let people know these books are going to be seeing a new breath of air. It's just much easier to give them an all inclusive link to follow on their own as opposed to just telling them to keep their eyes peels. For the time being though I give them a link to this blog to keep them updated on the status of things to come.

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  11. Yep, you can move to any square you like that's not obstructed or impassable. I don't know whether we'll keep the tactical maps in the new editions, though; it may put a lot of casual players off. Oliver and I only included all that at the publisher's insistence (they had some idea that existing gamebooks weren't gamey enough) and would rather have dispensed with dice altogether, as I did in the Virtual Reality series. In one introduction I even told Blood Sword players they could ignore the tactical rules, I was so against using them.

    As for the new FL website - I'm not sure. It would be up in a week or two if I was doing it, but I'm not so I'll just suck my teeth and say, "Soon." I am going to try and get the FL books listed on Amazon by the first week in December if I can. You'll hear it here first.

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  12. This is amazing news, as a Dave Morris renaissance is forthcoming, and the US will finally realize who you are. I have asked over a thousand people, and they have all stated that they have no idea who Dave Morris is, which is disappointing. Luckily, I will be able to illuminate a veritable treasure trove of information to readers. I haven't heard back from them yet, as they are extremely busy, but if not, I will search for another interested publisher.

    If you go to http://www.1and1com or http://www.1and1.co.uk, you can set up an ecommerce website for $9.99 per month. It allows you have up to 50 products listed in 5 different categories, customer feedback, SSL encryption, and a merchant account. Plus you receive a $25 voucher for each of the following: Yahoo Search Marketing, Google Ad Words, and CitySearch (although I’ve never hear of the latter). Plus, they have been around for around 20 years. I have used 1and1 for a real estate website that I have developed, and found it intuitive to use.

    On another note; I was never able to find any copies of Bloodword or The Way of the Tiger, although I was mesmerized by what I had found when I was 12 years old (a decade ago). One day when I went shopping with my folks, I glimpsed an interesting scene out of the corner of my eye. When, I went over and laid my hands upon Quest: Cities of Gold and Glory, I HAD to have it. It was a bit ragged and coffee stained, but I flipped through it and was instantly sold on the concept. "A game in a book?”, I exclaimed. My parents came over to see what I was excited about, and when they saw the price of $1, they said that I couldn't have it. I was in complete shock! After reading a bit of your trademark splendor, viewing Russ' character sketches, and especially the AMAZING world map (*sigh*); I HAD to have it. So I went about doing chores and such, scraping together enough pocket change in order to hold it in my hands forever. The next week, as luck would have it; the kind lady at the counter asked me to come up to the register. She noticed my plight the week prior, and saved the book for me, as she saw the wonder in my eyes when I first found it. So, I bought it and spent countless hours playing that 1 book; noticing all of the references to other books, and savoring every moment.

    I always thought to myself, especially as a young lad; that Dave Morris, Jamie Thomson, and Russ Nicholson must be people who think outside the box, rather than maintain the status quo. This excellent blog is proof of that. I had found the Fabled Lands group after over a year of searching since I had received Cities of Gold and Glory, and have been a member ever since.
    I had introduced Fabled Lands to a single person that 6th grade year, as no one seemed to be interested. We have snuck the book and dice back and forth during classes, so we each would have equal play-time.10 years later, this other person doesn't remember that much about his earlier years, he fondly remembers the excellent title, and is ecstatic when I told him the news that the Fabled Lands series is making its triumphant return. Now if we could only convince Jamie to give us his take on this wonderful news! I for one can not wait to purchase FL, the FL RPG, Blood Sword, and The Way of the Tiger game books.

    The best of luck,
    - Mike Mielke -

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  13. What a marvellous story. Mike, that is the reason we wrote these books: to bring a ray of joy and wonder to the kids who we felt were out there. Every time I hear an account like yours - and that is not often, but now and again - it makes me very glad I was able to create a book that meant so much to someone.

    While writing the books, I suppose in a way we were imagining ourselves at that age. If only there had been a book like Fabled Lands around when I was 12, I would have had exactly the reaction you did. Although I probably would have just nagged my parents for the money, not done any chores :)

    I've been telling the Fabled Lands business guys that they need to knuckle down to marketing. I'm going to copy that link to them and keep up the pressure. There may be lots of potential gamebook readers out there who don't even know the books exist, and now we have to reach them.

    A thousand people don't know who Dave Morris is? I know that airport security guards think I'm the eco-terrorist Dave Morris (I'm not, honest) and that causes me a real headache every time I fly!

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  14. Thanks Dave. Yeah, that many people give or take, have never heard the name. I believe that gamebooks haven't found that much success over here, which is why they don't stock Fighting Fantasy titles. 1and1 would be the most economical choice for a web host, as it has a great price + excellent service. If you transfer service to them, they add the remaining months to the new due date. It includes a tool to set up everything automatically, you just add your item pictures and prices, and you'll be set. You can customise and reprogram it using any coding language. I'm not sure how much use it will be, as I'm not certain as to whether Fabled Lands, LLP host the site themselves or pays for hosting services.

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  15. Eco Terrorist? That must be a difficult title to deal with :-( Wasn't he the arsonist who done it to save animals from experimentation? I don't know the details, so i'm going from what little I recall.

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  16. Quote: I know that airport security guards think I'm the eco-terrorist Dave Morris

    It's because they've read "Green Blood" !

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  17. lol. Olivier, that's so unfair, though! Min wrote that one.

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  18. I like Mirabilis. And of course, I like gamebooks, so I'm likely to get the new editions!
    But I guess it's reaching to more people that matters, and I wish you luck in achieving this feat!

    With respect,
    AsenRG

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  19. Thanks, Asen - I hope the standard paperback-sized format will help. It brings the cover price down, anyway, and hopefully that means more people might try out the series.

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  20. Who, may I ask, comprises Fabled Lands, LLP? Is it a board of directors that you have appointed to handled IP rights, or is it an unaffiliated company that you don't necessarily have control over?

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  21. Jamie and I are shareholders in Fabled Lands LLP. We get a vote in how it is run, but there is a board of directors. The company does give a lot of weight to our suggestions, however.

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