Tuesday, December 20, 2005

That's it for this year

So, we're about to head off on our Christmas Holidays.

Mince pies have been eaten, crackers have been pulled, the office Christmas 'do' has occurred.

We went for a pub quiz this year. For those not acquainted with this custom, this is where you commandeer the back of a bar, organize yourself into teams and then collectively write down the answers to trivia questions bellowed by a central 'caller' Once you've written down your answers, you pass your paper to another team and the caller shouts out the answers. The team with the highest marks wins.

Simply really- and jolly good fun.

Sadly, we have to report that the Black Industries team-The Dark Angels- didn't win. Instead, a monstrous chimera of a team- fused from accounts and sales folk (an unholy mix if ever there was one) seized the day, and claimed the pub quiz prize for their own. Yes, the Black Templars were quaffing champagne, whilst BI were taunted as 'the sinister corners' and 'the dark angles'

Nevermind- there's always next year.

Speaking of which, it's been damn busy for us so far- but we're looking forward to 2006.

We've got some great announcements coming up, and of course, we can't wait to see what people make of things like the Bretonnia book (Knights of the Grail) and the Mousillon adventure (Barony of the Damned)

We want to know if other groups fall into the same traps, tricks and peculiarities as our playtesters did- and how they get out of them. Most of all, we want to know what people make of the Black Pig of the Woods, and the mysterious Grand Sow.

But on that, we can speak no more...

All that remains then, is to say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and keep you eyes peeled for 2006!

-The BI dev Team

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


This month we have mostly been... Creating familiars.

We like the new Realms of Sorcery rules so much that when we've had a spare ten minutes or so we've been feverishly jotting down ideas for strange wizardly companions, like there's no tomorrow.

We want to put them together to form a 'generate a familiar' program for the website. The stat and skill generation is proving a little complicated, but we've got the descriptions licked!

Some are based on people in the office whilst others are simply mad inspiration. Which is which, you'll have to work out when we put them online.

Meanwhile, here are two of our personal favorites:

The helminthoid form of your familiar fills you with disgust and the stench it gives off causes most creatures with a sense of smell to give you a wide berth (apart from cats, who tend to show an interest in eating the thing). It rudely subjects your efforts at sorcery to mockery. You can communicate with it telepathically, but you dont particularly like the way it thinks. On Levydays it tends to go missing and when it returns it is bloated and sluggish.

This familiar is a small, podgy creature, assembled from the off cuts of meat. Perhaps the size of your hand, it has rudimentary limbs, sheeps eyes and a lipless slit of a mouth. When upset it weeps tears of blood, which it frequently does, for it is a delicate soul, trapped in an unlovely body. It has a peculiar horror of flies, and is obsessively devoted to you.

-BI Dev Team

Monday, December 12, 2005

Letter from America

We got our first piece of prison mail today. A chap wrote to us to say thanks for the new edition and request a catalogue of what’s coming out next.

You might be thinking ‘Jail mail? what the hell?’ but stop and think about it for a moment.

If you’re banged up, and you’ve got time on your hands, what better to do that spend it roleplaying? We roleplay for different reasons- fun, social enjoyment, habit, achievement, boredom- to name but a few- but primarily it’s a great form of escapism. It’s a chance to get away from the everyday, the ordinary, the boring and persue a different life for a couple of hours. Whether we’re at school ignoring essay deadlines, or hanging out in the garage with our collegemates (or even escaping the kids and the ironing for a few hours at the local gaming club) we use games to have a mental holiday, a laugh, a break from the norm.

It’s certainly not uncommon for games companies to get letters from prison- pretty much any RPG you can think of has a jail fan base. If you consider roleplaying as a past time its not a bad fit for anywhere there’s limited space and plenty of spare time- from prison, to oil rigs to the military to university dorms. It’s pretty cheap, only requires a few books (which can easily be mailed to you) a couple of dice and some pencils.

Yep, RPG’s certainly get further than the back rooms of hobby stores and the sticky corners of University bars.

We’ve yet to get a letter from someone who’s played Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay in space…but it can only be a matter of time.

-The BI Dev Team

Btw: Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever roleplayed?

Friday, December 09, 2005

There's something in the air...

Every so often, our office building is surrounded by...well... a strange smell.

It's a curious thing- it's not sewerage, or gas or chemicals or anything unpleasant. It's a sort of sweet yeasty aroma- not unlike cooking, but certainly not food.

The Green Ronin guys commented on it when they were last over. They figured it had to be a brewery- but there aren't any near our office. The answer remained a mystery.

Over the weeks since the visit, we've been pondering what it could be. Perhaps Bugmans (our pub) or even the canteen? Maybe some sort of concentrated new book smell from the warehouse? Glue from the hobby department? The fevered brows of the Black Library guys? The sweet smell of senario competition sucess? Perhaps (as the number of colds, coughs and lurgys aorund the office will attest) some foul nurgling was nesting in our air conditioning unit... perhaps... perhaps...perhaps...


None of these options were true.

Today the mystery was solved.

Turns out there's a cigarette factory down the road. It's roasting tobacco we can smell.

Ah well. Least that explains why we miss it when it's gone.

-The BI Dev Team.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The things people say

Making role-playing games is somewhat like the wheel of Dread and Pleasure. There are some great highs, and some terrible lows.

Getting thoughts, opinions and feedback from fans is always a mixed pleasure. Some people can’t be kind enough, whilst others hate what you’ve done with a passion. Most folk fall somewhere in between- but whatever the case, we have to listen. It’s part of the job.

You can’t make something better if you don’t know what people like or didn’t like about it. That’s why it’s always useful to sit in on gaming- or watch people pick up and look over a book for the first time.

We were at an English convention called Dragonmeet last weekend. It’s a smallish affair- attendance about 600 and odd- held in Kensington, London. Sitting in on the gaming, and watching the guys with their brand new copies of Realms of Sorcery reminded us of all the great (and not so great) comments we’ve heard in the past. And what’s a blog for if it’s not for sharing? Here’s our favourite list of fan comments:

“Is it d20?”
-Every show we’ve ever done

“Hey look, an index!”
-Origins 2005

Fan one-“is it d20?”
Fan two- “Nah, d10.
Fan one- So it’s half as complicated?”
-GenCon Indy 2005

“Killed in a gore drenched fashion…wow…critical hits are cool!”
-GenCon Indy 2005

“Why isn’t it d20?”
-Every show we’ve ever done

Player one: “eyes made out of mushrooms? That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever read”
Player two “wait till you read this bit”
-Dragonmeet 2005

“I’m so glad it’s not d20”
-Every show we’ve ever done

“I love the rule that lets the GM throw the book at players”
-Origins 2005

“Man, this game could rock. If only it was d20”
-Every show we’ve ever done

“Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. When masochism isn’t enough”
-GenCon Indy 2005

Guy one: “Look at the size of that pad of character sheets- do you go through characters that quickly?”
Guy two: “You’ve clearly never played”
GenCon UK 2005