Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bundle Up For Spring!

As you know, I've been working on getting everything ready to sell the print version of AiO via DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. After a couple of false starts, everything is finally in order. Much hard work has gone into correcting the graphical issues, and it has paid off.

Now when you visit the Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road product page on those sites, you can choose to buy the PDF, the print version, or both. That's right, that Holy Grail of RPG marketing, the Print/PDF bundle is now available for just $14.99! It's like buying the book and getting the PDF for FREE!

Also, Lulu has sent me a discount code for their site. If you purchase the print version there between now and March 31 and use the coupon code MARCHSPECIAL305, you can get 20% off your purchase.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Time to Celebrate Oz!

First of all, welcome all Oz fans, old and young, new and familiar! And if you're just getting to this blog from the Oz Celebration, you're in for a treat.

My name is F. Douglas Wall and I am the designer and publisher of Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road. AiO (as I call it for short) is a roleplaying game intended to help you create your own Oz story with characters you create. All you need are this rulebook, some friends, some dice from your favorite board game, paper, pencils, and imagination.

In honor of the Oz celebration, for this weekend only, you can purchase the Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road rulebook for 10% off the regular price of $14.99. In addition, is currently offering free ground shipping with the coupon code GROUND305

If you've been intimidated by other roleplaying games, like Dungeons & Dragons with multiple thick books full of rules to learn, have no fear! AiO is only 136 pages long and is the only rulebook you need. It features simple rules that let you quickly make your own Oz character, advice on serving as the Narrator to guide other players through your own Oz adventures, and descriptions of over 35 locations from the original Oz stories with goodies for both players and Narrators.

And if you have any questions or want more information, this blog is updated every Thursday with new info on Oz, RPGs, and publishing.

See what others are saying about Adventures in Oz: Fantasy Roleplaying Beyond the Yellow Brick Road:

"...after reading it, you'll want to start having your own adventures in Oz"
-- Jared Davis, The Royal Blog of Oz

"The game’s magic system, background material, and other elements nicely capture the tone of this classic book series"
--David Millians, educator

"An in-depth look at the land of Oz, incorporating TONS of detail..."
-- Jason Levine, RPG author

"Adventures in Oz is a labour of love which takes a more child-friendly fantasy world with different tropes than the classic Tolkein ones and presents a very playable game"
-- George Quail

"Like the stories, it has been designed for the youngest and oldest of children."
-- Jo Kriel

"... this game celebrates imagination and whimsy."
-- Jordan Block, Victorian Adventure Enthusiast

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dr. Nikidik, I Presume?

While Baum was not famous for consistency within the Oz stories, the differences between the two appearances of the Powder of Life were significant enough to affect how they were represented in the rules of AiO. But were they really intended to be the same?

David Maxine does accurately point out that while Dr. Nikidik's Celebrated Wishing Pills are indeed a product of Dr. Nikidik, the Powder of Life isn't necessarily. Though the connection is strong enough for Gregory Maguire to have Nikidik's appearance in Wicked include a demonstration of a prototype Powder of Life.

In The Road to Oz, we learn some more details of the fate of the Crooked Sorcerer. He apparently fell off of a precipice and died (this is apparently before Baum instituted the "no death" rule), leaving his possessions, including a small batch of the Powder of Life, to a distant relation named Dyna. This Powder was used to accidentally animate a blue bearskin rug, creating a rather pathetic creature.

But in The Patchwork Girl of Oz, we meet Dr. Pipt, who claims to be the inventor of the Powder of Life. He also claims that he gave Mombi (and ultimately Tip) the batch that was used to animate Jack Pumpkinhead, the Sawhorse and the Gump. He doesn't mention the Wishing Pills, so it's certainly possible that Dr. Pipt and Dr. Nikidik are two different people.

However, this does not tell us who died and left the Powder of Life to Dyna. Did Dr. Nikidik fake his own death? Or did he actually try to kill himself only to be thwarted by the magic of Oz? Maybe the bearskin rug knows. But without the lungs he used to have, he is rather unable to speak.

Although when you think about it, many things without lungs are able to speak in Oz. Maybe it's actually a curse of silence. So lifting the curse may be the first step in unraveling the mystery. Where it leads is up to you.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Disaster Averted

I know that yesterday, there was a lot of worry about the tsunami resulting from the earthquake that hit Japan.

My fiancee woke me up quite early because she had gotten a phone call warning of the tsunami and suggesting evacuation. (I later heard from a coworker who lived in another section of town that her phone call was soon followed by emergency workers showing up to evacuate her.) Eager to get back to sleep, and realizing that any kind of tsunami coming all the way from Japan isn't going to be terribly scary after expending so much energy crossing the ocean, I told her not to worry about it.

Before going back to bed, I did get her set up streaming local radio station KHUM, which was broadcasting news and information about what was going on. Streaming because we don't really have a radio in the house. Also, I figured if any link in that chain broke (power, internet), then it would be a good time to worry.

Time to worry never came. Although most of Old Town was closed because of fears of flooding, it never materialized. It was just a lot of disruption of business. Two items that came up on KHUM were bakeries that were unable to serve customers in their usual way (one had to close their Eureka store for the day and the other couldn't deliver to grocery stores that were closed) and were therefore having a huge sale for the customers that they could reach.

Crescent City, 100 miles to the north of me, did take significant damage to boats in the harbor. 4 people were reported to have been washed out to sea there, apparently ignoring ample warnings to stay away from the water.

When I got to work, I heard that they had had a very interesting lunch rush. Since we were one of the few restaurants in town that was open (and I'm pretty sure the only pizzeria), lunch was a madhouse. From there on, it went on to be a mostly normal day at work.

Now, for the people who didn't get off as lucky as myself and most of us on this side of the ocean, DrivethruRPG is holding a Red Cross fundraiser. They didn't take the time to gather a bundle of stuff to bribe people with, so the only compensation you'll get is the knowledge that you helped. And that's enough, isn't it?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Third Time's a Charm

For those of you who have been paying attention, I've been having a little trouble with printing my book anywhere other than I recently got back the revised files for the book, which should have corrected the graphical issues. Wednesday morning, I ordered my third proof copy from OneBookShelf in the hopes that this will be the one that will finally have no graphical defects.

Along with the graphical revisions, there was a little errata busting as well. Remember that little glitch in the magic system? Fixed. Also, I've added a lower resolution version to the PDF package, so maybe printing it out won't be as much of an issue. All of my lovely PDF customers should have been alerted to the update. If not, consider this the alert you've been waiting for.

I'm a little worried that my print customers won't get the updates. But then, there are a few copies out there that don't have a proper gutter in the map, so some of it gets lost in the binding. Should I put on a sale to let my print customers cheaply update the older copy? Put the PDF on sale to encourage customers to go digital? Or just shrug and say "Such is the lot of the early adopter?"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cast An Ozzy Spell: The Powder of Life

While the first post of the month has traditionally been an Oz character, I thought it might be fun to mix things up a bit. Especially since the list of protagonists in the Baum stories is relatively small (though if someone wanted to stat up a character from the extended canon, I would post it). Between what I've got on the blog and some of the characters in the upcoming characters pack, I've cut a pretty wide swathe through that list. Also, part of the idea of posting characters was to get people comfortable with the system and to show off how well the system represented Oz. Posting magic spells can serve much the same effect.

Dr. Nikidik's Powder of Life
First Appearance: The Marvelous Land of Oz

Power: Animation (4)
Scope: Self/Person/Object (0)
Ritual: Complex (-1)
Item: Limited Use (-2)
Effect Power: 1

Dr. Pipt's Powder of Life
First Appearance: The Patchwork Girl of Oz

Power: Animation (4)
Scope: Self/Person/Object (0)
Ritual: None/Simple (0)
Item: Limited Use (-2)
Effect Power: 2

The Powder of Life is the main example of the Animation power. When sprinkled on an inanimate object, it has the power to grant the semblance of life to that object. The sole difference between the two versions of this powder is the ritual required to activate it. Dr. Nikidik's powder requires a 3 step ritual, while Dr. Pipt's seems to simply require exposure to the powder for it to work.

Dr. Pipt's powder has two known ingredients: 5 years of the creator's life and 4 kettles stirred simultaneously. Of course, nobody ages in Oz, so the 5 years must be invested in the creation of the powder. So for all of you AiO Narrators out there, it is perfectly fine to require exotic ingredients that are not necessarily objects.
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