Happy New Year

To end the year I was looking for a possibility to provide the posts of this year as a PDF to make them available offline. First I just wanted to publish the "interviews" as PDF document. But it was harder than expected to find a way to get it done how I imagined.

So finally here's the result. I used Tabbloid to produce this PDF, it can be easily done, just send them the feed you want to generate a PDF out of. I chose this service of HP because it integrates pictures and links into the generated PDF. What FeedJournal, another newspaper style PDF service, for example doesn't do.

Unfortunately it wasn't possible to choose which articles and how many are included. So the PDF's content is about the articles of July until now. If anyone knows a better way to convert a blogger blog into a PDF document (including links and pictures) please contact me or leave a comment, because this was the first try to do something like that and I am not satisfied with it.

But I hope you enjoy my "half year" PDF summary of the Earthdawn Blog.

Happy New Year

The Gamers 2

Maybe you liked my post about "The Gamers" and as I discovered a little bit late, why didn't anyone tell me, the team of "The Gamers" are back with a new movie called "Dorkness Rising". You can buy also the DVD with additional material about the production and so on.

But the videos are also available on youtube. I post here the first three videos, if you like them, watch the rest of the 11 videos on youtube.


Kratas Artwork Interview

I am very proud to present you at the end of the year a new interview. The title says it all, its about the artwork of the new book of Red Brick Limited "Kratas: The City of Thieves".

"Would you short introduce yourself?"

Hello, my name is Kathy Schad, Art Director of Red Brick Limited :-)

"On the page of Red Brick were several Kratas Teasers published which show some excellent works of the book. Please tell us a little bit about the work on them and how you came to paint them."

The Kratas Sourcebook kept us busy for a while and honestly I’m happy that it’s finally done. The project has grown as time drew by – at the beginning we wanted to „recycle“ some artwork from the older Earthdawn-books, but the text and of course the topic Kratas gave us various possibilities to give creativity full scope. I didn’t add it up again, but I guess barely the half of the book is completely new artwork. The illustrators carried out really great works. Parallel to the production of the illustrations we adapted also the layout. The book became much darker, more atmospheric. It was important to me as Art Director, to connect text and pictures much more closely together, than that was the case until now. I hope we can pursue this direction with the upcoming sourcebooks, but this requires of course much time and work.

"Which work do you like most?"

Uh, that’s hard to tell. David has contributed some marvelous ink drawings, so it’s really hard to decide. But I think, the dark Raschomontemple is my favor. Damien concentrated mainly on charakterportraits - there I like the design of Veniah Indirijan most, because that is one of the characters, which I had sketched long ago for the Kratas fan project. I had imagined it completely different, but it is really exciting over and over again, to see how differently illustrators interpret and convert texts and descriptions. My favourite contribution of Sade is the thief that is wrapped in shade, which is much more atmospheric in color.
From my own drawings I like two in particular - interestingly it’s first and the last picture, which I made for the book. First was the sketch of Kratas, this mass of ruined architecture, which rampantly grows over the mountain. The latter was the illustration of the Troll nethermancer with the caged windling. I made the sketch on the EDFC (Earthdawn Fading Suns Convention) in Dortmund, but then nevertheless some weeks passed, until I drew it in color.

"Which one was the hardest to do?"

Definitely the cover. Architecture is always difficult, and the whole details munch also a lot of time. From the interior-artwork, the illustrations, that are placed in front of each chapter, were the most complex to do. Those are all in color, needless to say that this lasts much longer, than a pencil or an ink drawing.

"It's the first book wherein all the art was done by Red Brick (true?)."

As already said, not completely. I would say the half consist of new illustrations.

"Which troubles did you encounter making the interior art?"

It was mainly a fight against time. All illustrators, which contributed drawings, do this as a side job. So the work on the Kratas sourcebook had often to stand back behind the demands of the normal working life. But thinking of this, we’ve nevertheless finished it in an tolerable time frame…..at least it’s still 2008 ^^

"Which drawing techniques did you use for the different paintings?"

Oh, very different. Pencil, water color, india ink. The coloration was of course mainly done digitally.

"Which do you prefer?"

My favourite technology is the simple pencil drawing, because the individual line of the illustrator preserved the best. But I also like to work digitally, whereby I actually always mix digital with classical/manual techniques, such as acryl or water-color.

"Thank you very much for the interview and the additional pictures"

Red Brick published some Kratas Wallpapers before the book "Kratas: The City of Thieves" came out. Those free wallpapers can be downloaded on their PAGE.

I wish you all a merry christmas and a happy new year.

Roleplaying Music

When you're a gamemaster and you want to use music in your campaign, first of all: Make a good selection.

On the one hand, using music, you can create a special mood for every situation. On the other hand, if the music doesn't match, it disturbs the flow of the game and destroys the mood you wanted to create.

So you got to select music and listen and feel what kind a mood it creates.

A very useful source for roleplay music are the CD's of ERDENSTERN. They are professionally produced for roleplaying games. Erdenstein already produced several CD's like Into the Green, Into the Red, Into the Blue, Into the Dark or  Into the Gold. Each one is about a specific topic, for example the CD "Into the dark" covers sinister, dark and fearful sounds.

You can download some excerpts for free from their page

All of the CD's are very useful, if you decide to enrich your game with music.

Another source for rolegame music are of course soundtracks from several fantasy movies like "Conan the Barbarian/Destroyer" Conan the Barbarian - Anvil of Crom Conan the Destroyer - Battle Song, "Willow" and "Gladiator". But also computer games offer a rich database to include music into your game.

But as I tried to point out in the beginning, you shouldn't just click PLAY and let the music echo in the back. Find the right point to turn up the volume and create a room full of darkness and fear.

Earthdawn Quiz Nr. 3

I know, I know this is not the right order of the quizzes. Something went wrong when I numbered it, sorry. But I hope you enjoy it.

A completely new one will follow soon. The old quizzes can be made HERE.

Tom Baxa

The artist Tom Baxa did a lot of stuff for the Earthdawn editions of FASA. For example the cover of the Blood Wood sourcebook and a lot of interior art for several Earthdawn books.

A few days ago I found out that The Gnomon Workshops featured Tom Baxa as an instructor on their new DVD. On the DVD he is creating an oil painting wherein he tells a lot about dynamic fantasy painting. A short preview of the DVD can be found on the page too.

Additionally he gave an interview to Gnomon Workshops which you can read HERE.

Artist homepage: http://www.baxaart.com/home.htm

Earthdawn novel "Immortal Twilight" interview

A few days ago I discovered a post of Dammi at the german fantasy forum Tanelorn wherein he announced some interesting news about an upcoming novel written by Hank Woon. So I decided to interview him about his new novel "Immortal Twilight". I hope you enjoy it.

First of all I am happy to hear about the sequel of "Dark Shadows of Yesterday" called "Immortal Twilight". When I read the first book it was clear for me that a sequel has to be made. Was it planned to write a second part? Is it actually a second part?

The option for a sequel was always there, and I had many disconnected ideas for one while writing the first (hence the foreshadowing at the end), but it really wasn’t until after the first book was published when the story for the sequel started coming together.
I can actually thank one of the editors from Dark Shadows of Yesterday, Jacques Marcotte, for speeding this process along. Though I had some ideas already, I didn’t think I would get around to writing a sequel for quite some time. Then a certain line in the novel caused Jacques to make an offhand comment about how he could imagine the Eight Immortals of the Tower of Secrets, someday in the future, calling upon Daylen Jagaro for his services and thus prompting a new adventure. Though that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, one of the seeds I had for the sequel involved the Immortals (and in particular their magic), and because of his comment I began picking at it. As I tugged on those threads, the mysteries of the plot slowly began to unravel; revealing themselves to me, and then it all sort of fell quickly into place.

How strong is the connection to the first book, could I read "Immortal Twilight" without having read Dark Shadows of Yesterday?

The connection to the first novel is very strong, but it is easy to follow the second without having read the first. Since there are many allusions to Dark Shadows of Yesterday, the reader will no doubt get more satisfaction if he or she reads the original prior, though.

Please tell us what the book will be about. Do you continue the story about the journey of Daylen Jagaro in Cathay or did choose to write about other protagonists?

The sequel takes place just over a year after the events of the first novel, and it is the continuation of Daylen and his adventures in Cathay. The story features several familiar faces (plus several new ones), both heroes and villains. More of Cathay and its history are revealed, and we even get to see some new POVs of some of the original cast.

What is the actual state of the novel?

The draft was actually turned in just over three months ago, and right now it is nearing the end of the editing phase. After that it goes to layout, a final review, and then off to FASA for approval.

The poll at earthdawn.com crowned "Dark Shadows of Yesterday" as the personal favorite of several fans (even when it was close). Did you imagine that the book would earn such a great response and what do you expect from "Immortal Twilight"?

I’m very glad the reviews have been favorable so far (I actually voted for The Longing Ring!), and I hope the novel inspires a fun session or two (and inspires people to want to explore Cathay!). I personally believe—and this has been confirmed by the opinions of the editors so far—that Immortal Twilight is an even better story than Dark Shadows of Yesterday, so I imagine that anyone who likes the original will also enjoy the sequel.

When thinking about that you now wrote two excellent novels taking place in Cathay, did you ever think about writing other novels taking place in Barsaive? What can we expect next from you?

A trilogy is planned for the Cathay novels, actually; there is still one more adventure of Daylen’s to tell. I have a title, and I have several pages of notes, but I haven’t started on it as yet. It may be a while before I get around to it, actually. And yes, I do have seeds of ideas for stories set in Barsaive and in the Theran Empire (one in Vasgothia that I have had in my mind for quite some time now, especially). But those are all on the backburner… for now…

I know you’re not stating release dates. But we can certainly dream of a Christmas present!

Haha, well, I’m not sure exactly how much more time it will take, but I think Dammi’s latest guesstimate was early ’09. It doesn’t have too much farther to go, but Christmas is just around the corner, so I’m not too sure we can make it by then… but never say never, right? =)

Thanks for the interview!

You bet, anytime!

Red Brick Interview

After the Spiel '08 in Essen (Germany) is over, I was waiting for the Interviews from DORP-TV. Last year I posted an interview with Dammi in german, but I realized that its kinda unuseful for my english readers and for Red Brick too. So I contacted Dammi and Scorpio from DORP-TV and asked them to make an interview in english.

Today I discovered Dammi's new blog post Spiel '08 Recap and there you can find links to interviews in german and english, that were made at the Spiel '08. Great stuff!!!

Over here the english interview:

New quiz

I found a new and better way to built quizzes via mystudiyo.com and so I transformed the old quizzes and made them available again. You can perform the old quizzes over HERE. I hope you like the new look of the quizzes. Enjoy and good luck.

Gamemaster guide "Spielleiten" from Dominic Wäsch

First: I apologize for making a post in german! But I have to tell the german players about the book "Spielleiten" from Dominic Wäsch, that is published by Red Brick. The book is in german and it represents a manual for gamemasters. For all of you who want a similar book in english should have a look at the book of Robin D. Laws "Robin's Laws of good gamemastering" or the Gamemaster Law PDF that is available at DriveThru. I guess you will discover other gamemaster guides if you google it. But the book from Dominic Wälsch is one of the few (or the only?) in german language.

Hallo erstmal, dies wird einer der wenigen Posts auf Deutsch werden, soviel schonmal vorweg.

Wie ihr sicher auf earthdawn.com gelesen habt wird auf der Spiel '08 das Buch von Dominic Wäsch "Spielleiten" erstmals zum kauf angeboten. Aber natürlich müsst ihr nicht unbedingt nach Essen fahren, um eure Finger auf das Buch legen zu können und zu schwören: "Ich werde immer versuchen ein guter, ehrlicher und aufrechter Spielleiter zu sein, so wahr mir Odin helfe." Nein! Das Buch wird über LULU.com, RPGNow und DriveThruRPG vertrieben und ist somit als PDF oder gebunden für euch auf schnellem Wege griffbereit.

Ich muss selbst sagen, daß ich als äußerst professioneller Gamemaster eigentlich keinen Gebrauch für solch ein Buch habe *grins*. Trotzdem juckt es mich schon es zu lesen, wer weiß vielleicht bin ich ja beim Spielleiten doch nicht so vollkommen, wie ich es mir gerade ausmale (alles ist eben subjektiv).

Also was fehlt noch für die Kaufentscheidung? Richtig, eine Rezension.

Und jene habe ich soeben beim Rollenspiel Almanach entdeckt. Macht euch am besten selbst ein Bild der REZENSION. Die Vorschau zum Inhaltsverzeichnis des Buches findet ihr HIER.

Combat Cards

Earthdawn Combat Cards were made by EDPT and provide a very good way for gamemasters to have a quick overview about creature statistics. But thats not all, the downloadable PDF below provides some blank cards to be filled with your own characters or other NPC's the players encounter in your campaign.

I want to make these Combat Cards package freely available for you all again because EDPT is still offline and I think those cards are a good tool to have an overview about statistics of several enemy's, creatures or NPC's.

Notice that I will delete and redirect this download to EDPT when it is online again.

Dice Software Update

My research for Earthdawn dice software was.......I would call it "incomplete". But Arma left a comment about another diceroller and Elidis contacted me to provide some other dicerollers, that are especially made for use in Earthdawn.

1. The one that Arma mentioned in his post was the second step diceroller (mirror). The second step and also the second step diceroller were made by Lars Gottlieb and his mates. Thanks go to Denmark.

2. This diceroller is simply called "Earthdawn Step Roller" (mirror) and that's what it does.

3. Last but not least, if you always forget which dice you have to use at step 200, then just have a look at the step calculator (mirror). Then you realise that you will roll with 9D20 1D12 9D10 8D8. JIHA bring on Verji!!!!!!

I have to admit that I don't know the programmers of the "Step Dice Calculator" neither of the "Earthdawn Step Roller", if the producers of those programs visit this site, please contact me.

If you want to download all three dice programs at once, click HERE (mirror)

Thanks go to arma and Elidis (once again).


Another diceroller especially designed for earthdawn, was sent to me a few days ago. This java based diceroller gives you the possibility to choose the race and add karma dices to your step you roll. Just check is out, its one of the best dicerollers for earthdawn so far. This java diceroller was programmed by Kjetil Wiekhorst Jørgensen from Norway in 1996, thanks to him.

Dice Software

Well, when I read an article at Rollenspiel Almanach about a flash based dice generator, I wanted to know if there were some that fit to Earthdawn. Unfortunately most I've found are based on D&D, but they can also be used for Earthdawn.

I have to admit that I really hate this form of rolling dice, actually its not rolling dice, its clicking dice. But I can't judge about the rest of the Earthdawn players out there, so if you need a quick dice roller on you pc, have a look at those programs:

1. This flash based dice generator from goku87 is in my opinion the neatest you can find. It displays the dice that are rolled and doesn't just spit out numbers from its algorithm. This will serve all your needs, you can even select multiple dice to roll. From a D4 to D100.

DiceLite by ~goku87 on deviantART

Another very nice interface is provided by this D&D dice roller that I discovered at wizards.com. But you can't roll multiple dices and even there is no sum result shown. It's available as an online version if you prefer to roll your dice online or as a setup version.

The next I discovered at the downloadsection of dndadventures.com and it has the option to add all rolls together. It's very simple done and not very eyecatching, but it works and provides a quick way to roll your virtual dice.

To use those programs in your Earthdawn campaign one thing is still missing. Being able to roll the maximum result of the dice again. But its only one click away to reach your goal. Another thing that is not included by now is the sound your dice produce when you throw them long and far (waiting, hoping) across the table.

Surprise surprise

A few days ago I grasped the opportunity to buy earthdawn novels by the sale out "The horrors ate our margins" from Red Brick. As I introduced the new novels "Anaryas Secret" and "The Dark Shadows of Yesterday" some time ago, I decided to buy them via Lulu.com.

So my books were produced as softcover by print on demand. "Sure thing" I thought and you should have seen me jumping around when they finally both arrived.


Watch yourself:

The new books. On the left "Dark Shadows of Yesterday" on the right "Anaryas Secret".

On the right "Dark Shadows of Yesterday" and on the left, surprise surprise "Dark Shadows of Yesterday" too.

Hm let's counter-check. On the right "Anaryas Secret" and on the left "Anaryas Secret too.

I have to say that I don't mind at all about that funny mix-up, because I won't sell the books when I read them via ebay or whatever. I was just surprised when I realised that "Anarays Secret" contented "The Dark Shadows of Yesterday" and the other way round. I even didn't contact Lulu.com to tell them about that. I would say I own two unique earthdawn novels!!! Yes.......think positive.....yes.

I guess that this can't happen to you if you buy just one book and don't be deterred to order at Lulu.com, the quality of the books is extraordinary. Its just the way that I had to tell you all what I own now, two mixed-up earthdawn novels and as far as I read them by now they are worth their money.

Note: for all that haven't seen it yet, A NEW QUIZ IS OUT and I hope some of you finally manage to get 10 points at the first try.

Vive la France

How I just read at earthdawn.com made Red Brick a cooperation with Black Book Editions, a french publisher of diverse RPG's.

So all the french players can look forward to receive the Earthdawn books of Red Brick in french. For german players for example its a dream to have such an agreement, because here already exists an Earthdawn version, but not the one of Red Brick. But maybe one day......*dream*

So back to business.

Over HERE's the French Homepage of Black Book Editions' Earthdawn version, so improve your french!!

With my school french I walked through the Forum of BBE and discovered a guy whith the nick Damien C. I guess its Damien who I interviewed last month. HERE's the interview.

From the forum his blog was not far away and there I discovered some paintings of the Kratas character Codex he made, if I translated this complicated language correctly. :-)
But watch youself, over HERE's the Blog of Damien C. and his paintings. Enjoy.

Vive la France

Like Lou would say

E33 A - herAs fences R t-009 H d004 A Wood Type W N
F Or wood
E Vintage LEGO Letter V E28 r22
B McElman_071026_2472_A B Y-ucutan

Made with: Spell with flickr

Happy Birthday

It has been 15 years now since Earthdawn was published.

Of course is Red Brick celebrating. Not only with a discount on several books called "The Horrors ate our Margins!", also some important "supporters" talk about the past and the future of Earthdawn.

Discounts: @ DriveThuRPG.com, @ RPGNow.com, @ Lulu

"Supporters" Essays: @ Red Brick.com

Earthdawn Novel

The Earthdawn novel "Piercing a Veil" from Allen Varney was published only as the german translation "Die Geister die man ruft". It has never been published in english, but the english original version of the novel is free available at Allen Varney Homepage. Its a high magic earthdawn story that takes place in Travar. All I can say about the novel: "take a seat and read some pages, you'll love the story!". If you click the picture you'll come to the german review of "Die Geister die man ruft" made by Drosi.de.

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