Image via Wikipedia
Finally we will take a closer look at the German Earthdawn community, its past and future, the books that were translated and the fanpages that you should have a look at.
The German Earthdawn community has a long tradition and a lot of fans are/were active on several webpages, forums and mailing lists. But when did it all start and who was pushing Earthdawn in Germany?
Well, in the beginnings of Earthdawn in Germany, FanPro or Fantasy Productions GmbH had the rights for the German edition and they published the translation of FASA’s First Edition in 1994. The cover of the first German sourcebook looked like this:
Image via Drosi.de
Almost the whole product line of FASA was translated and published in Germany so far. When the German copyright holder FanPro dropped Earthdawn around 1998, the rights to publish Earthdawn books in Germany went to Games-In-Verlag, who owns them until today. Games-In-Vlg located in Munich, kept on translating and publishing FASA’s First Edition and when the copyrights went to Living Room Games, Games-In continued translating their stuff. But some books of LRG haven’t been translated or published until today (watch the table below). Games-In started to publish ED2 edition after the “death” of Living Room Games with a new revised and updated sourcebook that is based on the rules of Living Room Games’ 2nd Edition.
Here’s a list of German publications:
|Earthdawn 1st (1993)||Earthdawn 1te (1994)|
|Earthdawn 2nd (LRG) (2005)||Earthdawn 2te (2005)|
|Companion (1994)||Kompendium (1995)|
|Arcane Mysteries (1997)||Arkane Geheimnisse (2003)|
|Barsaive Box (1994)||Barsaive Box (1994)|
|Blood Wood (1997)||Blutwald (2003)|
|Horrors (1995)||Dämonen (1996)|
|Dragons (1998)||Drachen von Barsaive (2004)|
|-||Heldengilde von Travar (2008)|
|Skypoint & Vivane (1995)||Himmelsspitze & Vivane (1997)|
|Creatures of Barsaive (1995)||Kreaturen von Barsaive (1996)|
|Crystal Raiders of Barsaive (1998)||Kristallpiraten von Barsaive (2009)|
|Legends of Earthdawn Vol. 1 (1995)||Legenden Earthdawns 1 (1997)|
|The Book of Exploration (1996)||Legenden Earthdawns 2 (2000)|
|Magic: A Manual of Mystic Secrets (1996)||Magie: Handbuch Mystischer Geheimnisse (1996)|
|Parlainth Box (1994)||Parlainth Box (1994)|
|The Serpent River (1996)||Schlangenfluss (2000)|
|The Theran Empire (1997)||Theranisches Imperium (2005)|
|Throal: The Dwarf Kingdom (1996)||Throal (1999)|
|Denizen of Earthdawn 1 (1994)||Völker Earthdawns 1 (1995)|
|Denizen of Earthdawn 2 (1994)||Völker Earthdawns 2 (1995)|
|Prelude to War (1996)||Vorboten des Krieges (2001)|
|The Adepts Way (1995)||Weg des Adepten (1996)|
|-||Abenteuer in Barsaive (2004)|
|Skypoint Adventures (1995)||Abenteuer in Himmelsspitze (1997)|
|Parlainth Adventures (1994)||Abenteuer in Parlainth (2002)|
|Throal Adventures (1996)||Abenteuer in Throal (1999)|
|Terror in the Skies (1994)||Geissel des Himmels (1995)|
|Blades (1995||Klingen (1998)|
|Shattered Pattern (1994)||Namenlos (1997)|
|Mists of Betrayal (1993)||Nebel über dem Blutwald (1994)|
|Infected (1994)||Verseucht! (1995)|
|The Longing Ring (1993)||Der Magische Ring (1994)|
|Mother Speaks (1994)||Die Stimme der Mutter (1994)|
|Poisoned Memories (1994)||Vergiftete Erinnerungen (1994)|
|Prophecy (1994)||Die Prophezeihung (1994)|
|Talisman (1994)||Der Talisman (1995)|
|Scars (2005/2010)||Narben (1995)|
|Little Treasures (not published)||Kleine Schätze (1995)|
|Shroud of Madness (1995)||Schleier des Wahnsinns (1996)|
|Lost Kaer (1998)||Das vergessene Kaer (1996)|
|Piercing a Veil (not published)||Die Geister, die man ruft (1998)|
Books that haven’t been translated yet and I guess won’t ever come out in German, because there is no proof that a translation is planned or being worked on, are listed in the table below. Note that RedBrick books are excluded because Games-In only translates/translated old FASA and LRG books.
|English title||Published in|
|Ork Nation of Cara Fahd||1998|
|Barsaive in Chaos||2002|
|Secret Societies of Barsaive||1997|
|Barsaive at War||2000|
|Way of War||2002|
|The Wanderer’s Way||2005|
Today the only company that still translates and publishes German Earthdawn books is Games-In-Vlg (I don’t link to their page anymore because it is a mess, full of errors and won’t inform you that much). They started to publish their “own” works and until today there are two unique German Earthdawn books on the market.
The first one is “Heckel & Kooch’s – Heroes Guild of Travar” or in German “Die Heldengilde von Travar”. Some of you might have heard of “Heckel&Kooch”, that’s because the book is based on a publication of the White Wolf magazine #47 where Heckel & Kooch’s Emporium is introduced. I don’t know if the German book is a simple translation of the White Wolf article or if it has been extended, based on the previous publication. It also contains a chapter with a rule summary to introduce new players to Earthdawn and additionally two new disciplines are introduced, the dwarf librarian and the temple servant. So the 109 pages are not completely about the Emporium of Heckel & Kooch and Travar. But it looks like that the book is in general a good resource for gamemasters to start campaigns in Travar.
The second one is “Adventures of Barsaive”, a sourcebook which I don’t possess, so I can only tell you what the description of Drosi.de tells me. The 80 pages of the book contain 5 Adventures that take place in Barsaive, the adventures are set for character of the first to fifth circle.
The responses of German Earthdawn fans to those two books was divided because a lot of fans criticized that “Heckel & Kooch’s – Heroes Guild of Travar” is a simple translated copy of the original White Wolf material stuffed with the already existing main rules and some descriptions of Travar.
The publisher Games-in created its own new artwork for his latest last publications/translations. Like always some like it, some don’t. The books that contain completely revised artwork are: “Drachen von Barsaive”, “Kristallpiraten von Barsaive“, “Das Theranische Imperium“, “Abenteuer in Barsaive”, “Barsaive”, “Die Heldengilde von Travar” and “Arkane Geheimnisse” (have a look at the table above for the English original titles). Some of the artwork was published as wallpapers at the Games-In homepage (damn it I finally linked to their page ).
Well the German novels were published by Heyne Verlag since 1994. Ten translated novels were released and until today Earthdawn fans can acquire the out of print novels via eBay. Funny story: the German title “Die Geister die man ruft” is the translation of the original novel “Piercing a veil” of Allen Varney. The English original was never published as print version, but the translation was. After a closer look at the picture on the left you’ll notice that the authors name is misspelled as Alan Varney. The English original is free available at Allen Varney’s homepage. I can only recommend the novel because of the great description of illusory spells and their use and the whole story that takes place in Travar. This is the last Earthdawn novel that was released in Germany, it was published in 1998.
You might have recognized that the novels “Scars” and “Little Treasures” are/were already published in German. The novel Scars was re-released this year by RedBrick, but the English fan community is still waiting for “Little Treasures”, the second book of the trilogy written by Caroline Spector. The third book of the trilogy is “Worlds without Ends” a Shadowrun novel.
Another title that was first released as a translation and then as the original version was “Lost Kaer” by Nigel D. Findley. The new novels of RedBrick haven’t been translated nor published yet. It is a pity that those great books won’t be published in German.
Now to the fanpages. The fan page culture was better in the past (“everything was better in the past, even the future used to be better” ^^) and many pages are outdated today, but a few are up to date and worth a look.
First page to mention is of course Earthdawn-Wiki.de. I don’t know how many guys and girls work on it everyday but be sure that it is up to date and definitely one of the best pages out there. The page offers a wide variety of information about talents, knacks, artifacts, creatures, horrors, goods and services, NPC’s and and and and. Unfortunately there is no English version of the page available, so the Google translation might be the best solution to view the page for the non German speaking rest of the world :-)
Ardanyan.de is the page of Dammi where he presents some Earthdawn fan works and info's. The page is also available in English, but most German works are missing in the English version. Therefore you can download the English adventure “Woodland Whispers” for free.
Earthdawn-Rollenspiel.de is a page set up by Javen and is in my eyes the most complete source for German fanworks so far. Every German Earthdawn beginner will look there for free additional PDF material like adventures, creatures, maps and gamemaster supply. Great resource!! HERE’s the English translation.
Well these are only some of the main pages for German Earthdawn fans. To find further, smaller German Earthdawn pages have a look at the link list of Earthdawn-Wiki.de.
Present and Future
The current Earthdawn situation in Germany is “indescribable” because a lot of players still play the Games-in version which is either the translation of the FASA First Edition or Living Room’s second edition. This is mostly because those are still the only “German” version available so far and most non English speaking groups grab this edition. Others switched to the Classic version of RedBrick and the rest entered the Third Edition train of RedBrick because a constant development of the product line seems to be guaranteed at RedBrick.
As you might have noticed, while reading this article, I am not satisfied with the current situation of Earthdawn in Germany. The publisher who owns the rights in Germany has done a lot to make Earthdawn popular, but the great years are over and Earthdawns popularity has descended year after year. Why? Have a look at the publishing dates of the books in the last years (Barsaive in 2007, Heldengilde von Travar in 2008, Kristallpiraten in 2009) and remember the fact that we have now the translation of the Second Edition which is dead because Living Room Games has no longer a license to publish new material for it. Understand? One translation per year and since 1.5 years nothing happened? What should happen when the companies you translate from are dead and no longer publishing books? Damn it.
The only thing we can do in Germany, in my opinion, is to hope that another publisher comes along and starts to publish a translated German version of RedBricks Third Edition. Another solution would be the collaboration between Games-In and RedBrick, but in my opinion Games-In is no longer interested in Earthdawn, they prefer to develop other product lines instead.
So as long as one of those solutions doesn’t become reality, German Earthdawn fans should nevertheless be happy and satisfied with their situation, because compared to other countries and communities where no publisher exists, we are very lucky that Games-In held up the flag for so long, even if they didn’t publish a book since 1.5 years now. But change has to come to the German Earthdawn and I hope it’ll come soon. Like Dammi replied in an interview questioned about a far-in-future-upcoming-Earthdawn-Third-Edition-translation for Germany: “There is hope….”
Note for German players: Recently prices of some German Earthdawn books dropped dramatically because the price fixing of the books was suspended. For all those who are interested in the sell out should have a look at the following two German RPG shops: Sphärenmeister and Tellurian Games.
For questions, critics and opinions on this article use the comments, thx.