Well since two or three days I check the RedBrick forum and realize that no one, yes no one talks about the newly announced novel “Liferock” which will come in October 2010. No questions, no answers from fans, author nor developers, no one. So I’ll pick up the topic to talk a little bit about the novel written by Jak Koke. I think it deserves a discussion about what is new and what the novel is about.
My last post about the novel of Jak Koke was about the “old” version of the book. So is the now announced novel really a “new version” or do we just look at a new cover with old content inside? I guess not because the guys from RedBrick might have helped Jak to adjust the book to the new rules or the new setting of the Earthdawn Third Edition.
The “old” book contained a foreword which said that it was written before Denizen of Barsaive Vol. 2 came out, so there might be some differences inside comparing the rules and the traditions of Obsidimen described in the sourcebook and the novel. As Arma stated in a forum post this was only one example of many when fans asked questions like: “In the novel XY they make the spell this way but the rules say……”. That’s why I think that the novel has been reworked, so that there won’t be any differences anymore between the sourcebooks and the novel when Obsidimen lifestyles are described.
Another sign that the book has been reworked are the number of pages; the “old” version had 313 pages whereby the new one will have 288 pages.
Have a look at the announcing page at RedBrick.com to read about the story of the book. The book will be available via Lulu.com and I guess the prices will be similar to the other novels of RedBrick. For softcover $19.95 and hardcover $29.95.
All the speculations I drop here are just speculations, all of the information above about the reworking, story and prices of the book are not confirmed yet.
The following selection of Earthdawn web pages represents the “must see” pages for Earthdawn fans and beginners. I chose those which are up to date, most informing or offer the best downloads.
1. RedBrick LLC
Publisher of the latest Earthdawn Third Edition with an active forum, blogs of the developers and news about their products.
2. Mongoose Publishing
Main source to order the latest Earthdawn Third Edition books. Even pre-ordering of yet unreleased books is possible.
3. Earthdawn deviantART Gallery
The Earthdawn deviantArt Gallery started early 2010 and keeps on growing since then. Some highlights are the unframed Earthdawn book covers of RedBrick LLC Third Edition books.
4. Allen Varney
5. Order of the white Rhino (last update 2002)
Well, this is the first page of this selection which is completely not up-to-date, but the pictures of Iopos or the King Varulus III Monument are only two of the unique treasures that can be found on that page.
6. Circle of Four (last update 2004)
7. Earthdawn Journal
This page is all that is left of the former “Earthdawn Journal” print version. Most of the content of the magazine is available at this page.
8. Day Trip to Barsaive
The polish distributor Q-Workshop is well known for excellent dice designs. Also Earthdawn dice can be ordered at their page.
10. Earthdawn @ Obsidian Portal
The Obsidian portal in general is a platform for organizing a roleplaying game. The Earthdawn section about a group playing in Denver, CO offers a great resource of NPC characters.
The following links lead to international pages, I linked to the original pages. For everyone who prefers the translated English version, use Google translate by simply pasting the URL.
11. Kharro Aropagoi
Welcome to Hungary! This page is the first address for Hungarian Earthdawn fans.
12. Black Book Editions
The French publisher Black Book Editions is the main source for French Earthdawn fans. They publish the translated version of the RedBrick Classic Edition.
The tower of strength of the polish Earthdawn community is always up to date and provides for example some unique descriptions of Urupa.
German page which provides most German fanworks ever made.
15. Earthdawn Dice Roller
The list or selection doesn’t represent all Earthdawn related websites that you should have a look at, of course. So if you miss a website that should be on the list of “must see websites about Earthdawn” add it in the comments. Please describe briefly what makes the page special.
- Mongoose publishing released the 84th issue of Signs & Portents including an article about bizarre flora and fauna of Barsaive
- 20 great fantasy style fonts
- Project Indigo is a concept by Jesse van Dijk, the oversea-island-city is located on a huge pillar inside an inactive volcano. Would be a great resource for an oversea stop on the journey to Cathay. Even some airship art can be found on his concept page. (via Telarus’ forum post)
- Lego Mergoblins
- Robert Carney builds Lego Castles based on real Castles. He created a lot of models of European castles, the great thing is that he provides floor plans of the castles. So if you’re looking for castle floor plans, HERE YOU GO
- eHow.com provides step by step instructions for Earthdawn: How to run a horror campaign? ; How to run a forgotten city campaign? ; How to create an Earthdawn character?
- Writing for the Earthdawn Adventure Resource Contest? Here’s a great collection of web resources for writing adventures.
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.