Friday, September 30, 2005

What's on the boil?

There's an awful lot of stuff going on for us at the moment.

Some of it- like new game stuff- we can't tell you about just yet, but there's more than enough stuff on the boil that we can talk about...

The second part of the 'Paths of the Damned' trilogy- Spires of Altdorf- has just hit the shelves. Pleasingly, it seems to be well received by the fans. For the most part this seems to be down to David Chart's excellent writing, and the feedback we got from the forums after the first part- Ashes of Middenheim- came out.

Meanwhile, we were able to bring that something extra to Gamesday by releasing a couple of copies of 'Karak Azgal: Adventures of the Dragons Crag' a month ahead of time. It was printed in Germany, so it's reached us well ahead of time. Hopefully, we'll be able to do something similar by previewing 'Realms of Sorcery' at UK GenCon.

The final part of the 'Paths of the Damned' has just moved into 'extra proofing' before we send it off to print-so if 'Realms of Sorcery' doesn't manage to slay the dread typo beast, then 'Forges of Nuln' surely will...

Further out, David Chart has struck gold again with our Bretonnia supplement 'Knights of the Grail' which we're using to help us in our current playtest adventure- 'Barony of the Damned' Frogs, pigs and men dressed as women abound...

meanwhile, the
rodent saga continues, as does the Black Industries adventure competition- which we chose the second stage entrants for this morning. Looks like it's going to be a close race that one- still, it's bound to be a winner with time strapped GM's out there.

Phew, with all that going on, it's a wonder we have time to write up things on this blog!

We'll leave you with our favorite quote from 'Forges of Nuln'

"None can say whether the name Eyk's End was intended to honour the sturdy burger family of that name, or whether the street name was coined due to some perceived resemblance between one of the city's foremost citizens and the disfigured gargoyle baring its orange buttocks from the large townhouse on the corner"

-The BI Dev team

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Source...

Take a look at our latest source of inspiration

-The BI Dev Team

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Cheers to volunteers!

Ah, Gamesday- we had a great show, and ran lots of games.

Our set up crew were great, and the retail stand lads worked like troopers all day- but still, we couldn't have done it without our volunteers- two sterling blokes who both traveled through the night on a coach to come down to the show. For some reason they must breed roleplayers of stern stuff in Scotland- both chaps were relentless in running demo after demo, convention game on convention game- and loved it!

That sort of passion and dedication is a reminder to us- to carry on making games that people get this excited about.

Great work guys, and thanks!

-The BI dev team

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Anyone who works in the Roleplaying Industry for more than a year becomes painfully aware of one of its pitfalls: Convention Crud.

This unpleasant affliction strikes down anyone who's worked a convention, event or meet, with a mucus filled sore throat and week long tiredness. There are of course variations on the theme- Whooping Crud is a sort of chesty cough and sweats, whilst Crusty Crud attacks the eyes in a sort of 'pink eye lite' way.

If you spend a day or more in a hall with thousands of other people, chatting, gaming and interacting, it's pretty inevitable that you're going to pick some sort of illness up. Despite that, we all have our own little theories on how we can avoid the dreaded crud.

In preparation for Gamesday this Sunday- where we'll be running 'Visual WFRP' a couple of convention games and an info booth (mmm! Count those disease vectors)- we've employed multiple strategies. One of us has gone as far as breaking his arm so that he doesn't have to attend- which is effective, if a little extreme. Others have been taking lots of vitamin C, Zinc and Garlic in an attempt to build up their immune systems. Still others have applied science, and learnt that washing your hands 5 times a day can cut your chances of picking up a cold by up to 40%. Most popular is the 'Alcohol therapy' which involves sinking a couple of stiff whiskeys after the event to 'scare off the bugs'

Whatever the strategy, we're all prepared for a full on day of talking, gaming and fun. For all the talk round the office, we don't really mind catching a sniffle or two that much... After all it's one of the few days we actually get to meet the guys and girls who read our books and play our games.

Besides, if we're all going to be ill afterwards- well, misery loves company.

Pass the tissues.

-The BI Dev team.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sudden realization

There have been few posts on the BI blog recently as we're all putting our noses to the grindstone to prepare for Gamesday- so far 30 odd miniatures have been painted, several playtest sessions held and God alone knows how many handouts laminated in preparation for 'Oi, That's my Head'

Whilst all this has been going on, we've also been intently proofing 'Realms of Sorcery' in the eternal quest for a typo-less product. Proofing is hard on the eyes and the mind- after 20 minutes or so you forget that you're looking for mistakes, and you end up reading, not checking.

With a book like 'Realms of Sorcery' it's hard not to. There's some pretty fun stuff in there- today ended with a sudden realization of a well hidden gag by one of the writers...

Aside from all the new careers, backgrounds and rules, 'Realms of Sorcery' (or Realm_Saucery as the printer's file is called- we always thought that was something to do with Slaanesh, but that's beside the point...) contains lots of new spells for each of the Colleges of Magic. One of these- 'Taste of Fire' was loudly read out in the office

"You impart one batch of food or drink with a fiery potency. This makes food spicy...The effect of spicy food on those unaccustomed to it- the caster is always considered accustomed- causes intestinal distress for several hours until a Toughness Test is passed"

On hearing this, our audience looked in askance at us...

"Don't you realize what this spell is?" we cried

"a cheap gag about bottoms?" said a passing sales guy

"no no!- it's effectively 'Summon Curry'"

"Ah," he nodded "you would adventure with a mage who could cast that..."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

All in the details

This seemed pretty topical, given the on going office rodent saga. This is just one of the tiny 'filler' illustrations that we had drawn for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

For those not in the know, a filler is basically a small picture that can be dropped in anywhere that there's a space that needs filling. For example, a chapter might end half way down a page, leaving not enough space to put a colour picture. You can't start a new chapter so what do you do? Put in a filler. They can also separate one section of text from another- usually if two sections are significantly thematically different- or if the page just needs a bit more decoration.

As with covers, fillers are best if they tell a story, or make a visual pun, like Ratpie above. Next time you're waiting for your GM, why not get out your Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay books and see how many you can work out...

-The BI dev team

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

GenCon Signing

Here's a picture of Old World Bestiary author T S Luikart signing the copies of his book that we had at GenCon. It's from some video we took as an experiment in documenting shows.

As the Bestiary was up for an Ennie, and TS had brought his own pen we figured 'fair enough' and duely submitted him to the camera phone- with the above grainy results.

Seriously though- if you bought the Bestiary at the show, you'll have a little gold signature on the 'cover' of the Grim and Perilous beasts section. We didn't make a big thing of it- after all, these sorts of things make a great suprise- get the book home, read it, enjoy it, then realise it's been signed- It's like a tiny bonus for visiting us at GenCon.

Will we be doing this at the next show? Who knows. Gamesday will have two WFRP authors at it, UK GenCon at least that again- we'll have to see if we can whip up a little added extra for people who come down.

- The BI Dev Team

Monday, September 12, 2005

Where? There on the stair!


We have mice.

They're in the book archive. Must be something about the musty smell of ancient 'Realms of Chaos' books. That or the cheesy WFRP puns.

That's pretty odd, considering our office is in a building less than two years old. Mind you, it does have some cool meeting rooms- when you walk in you're greeted with a load of signs saying 'Bretonnia this way' and 'Ulthuan upstairs'

The rooms almost seem to have personalities- Naggaroth has broken air conditioning thus is always cold, whilst food has been banned from The Moot as there have been lots of incidents with chocolate stains and crumbs. Messages from on high are often delivered from The Vaults, whilst phone technology seems to constantly fail in Bretonnia...

Coincidence or design? Who knows?

-The Black Industries dev team

Friday, September 09, 2005

In development

Currently we're working on an event senario for UK Gamesday. For those of you who don't know, Gamesday is a large (8,000+) convention day for fans of all things Games Workshop (more here:

We've pitched the adventure at raw beginners- who've never even heard of Roleplay. It uses an extremely cut down version of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rule set, plus lots of minatures to help people focus. You get one skill, nine stats and ten wounds to help you fight against Goblins, Ghosts and all sorts of other nonsense. In homage to The Other Game (tm) we've christened this 'Visual Wfrp' and hope to use it to introduce the concept of roleplay to as many of those 8,000 or so visitors as possible.

As we're promoting the adventure setting Karak Azgal: Adventures of the Dragons Crag at Gamesday, we've given the Visual Wfrp senario a Dwarfen theme. Known as 'Oi, that's my head' it takes place deep in the tunnels beneath Karak Azgal- and features an all Dwarf party of player characters. The picture you see here comes from the character sheet of Grah the Miner- the tough guy of the group.

More on how the playtesting is going later!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Cover story

Getting a good cover for your books is really important- not only do you have to make sure it's attractive- so that folks pick the book up- it also has to hint at what's inside. If at all possible, it should tell some sort of story.

For Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay we decided to make the first few books tell the tale of a fictional Gaming group's adventures in the Old World. We created five iconic characters and set them loose- from the initial ambush on the rule book, to the intrigues and alarums of the Paths of the Damned covers.

You can see two of the characters on this initial concept of the Wyvern attack thats on the front of the Old World Bestiary- Christer Sveen did a great job of creating a dynamic image- and capturing the essence of our two favorite characters.

Here's an except from the background that formed part of his brief:

"Urrel worked in the forges of his fathers once, crafting steel and iron into marvels and wonders. His Kin-folk named him ‘Evenhand’- high praise indeed, for smiths so often have strength at the expense of skill. Urrel had both, in equal weight. And so the Years passed. His Beard grew. Amongst the Dwarves of the Middle Mountains his name was whispered. ‘Runesmith’ said the elders. ‘Master Artisan’ said his friends. This was not to be.

No Dwarf alive can name Urrel’s Great Shame, for no Dwarf lived that fateful day.
Urrel journeyed out with three Elders, for they were to initiate him into the ways of the Runes. Four set out, and only one came back. Urrel returned bloodied and alone. His kinsfolk saw him enter his home and bar the doors. For seven days and seven nights his hammer rang out from his father’s forge. They say the entire hold feared to approach when at last the anvil fell silent.

Urrel emerged bearing the crest of the Slayer, and two axes, bright and hot from their forging. Urrel looked upon his clan and named his weapons ‘Pride’ and ‘Fury’. These, he roared, were his undoing, and these would be his end.

Apart from a few knives in his belt, Urrel owns little other than these axes."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Notes from the Shop floor

The Black Industries Blog is born!

Not only will we be posting all sorts of juicy tid bits about what is going on inside Black Industries, we'll also be musing on all manner of development team topics- from current RPG trends to our latest game sessions and even what's on the office stereo.

We aim not only to document the creative process- but also to offer fans an inside track on what we do, who we are, and what we beleive in.

This photo seemed a suitable one to mark the launch of our blog- on it you can see a proud moment in BI history- the arrival of the first proofs for our first books- the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay rule book and Plundered Vaults senario book. Ewan- our man on all things logistical- literallly ran all the way up from the post room with the proofs shouting "They're here! They're here! I can't beleive it!" Roughly five seconds after this photo was taken, so were the rest of us...

A great day and a proud moment

-The BI dev team