Staff Update and Rumors…

Wanted to share the awesome update on the Erinbour Team. We recently agreed in principle with a great Pathfinder mind to work on the rules development and editing for Erinbour. This will allow us the confidence to know the mechanics will fit the setting and allow the creative process to work out. We could not be happier.
George “Loki” Williams IV
Loki, the one from New Orleans, has been gaming since the first DM Guide was released back in 1979. He is one of the managers of Planewalker.com, the Official Planescape Website. Since joining the Planewalker team in 2004 he and his co-manager have won two Silver ENnie Awards (’05 and ’07 in the best fan site category) for their work. Founder of the largest Pathfinder RPG Community on Google+, Loki has also published Pathfinder based design work in Dark Roads and Golden Hells (Open Design), Dungeonlands/Suzerain (Savage Mojo), Book of Heroic Races Vol. 1 (Jon Brazer Entertainment), and Eldritch Races: The Runeborn (Heroic Journey Publishing). He answers only to one beautiful woman and two unruly cats. Rumors he is a construct are completely unsibstantiated.
Bonus Easter Egg
Also as it is our plan to create system hacks to port Erinbour to multiple systems. Rumor has it James Spahn of Barrel Rider Games has agreed to work on the OSR Hack guidebook for us if we can get to that stretch goal obviously.

Erinbour Launch Set

I announced this yesterday but I wanted to make it official. All the planning done. We have the pieces in place and we are ready to launch our campaign. August 4th at 9am barring any technical glitches is the planned launch date and time.

I want to thank everyone who has helped so far. I appreciate all the feedback that we have received so far. I want to thank everyone who has shown me and this project support. I feel really good about the campaign and reaching our goals.

If you have any questions about the project please feel free to ask. I am really excited to get started.

Erinbour – Meet the Staff

The following is a list of people who have already been contracted or have agreed in principle to work on Erinbour in some capacity. I wanted to share them with everyone because everyone on this list is incredibly talented and amazing to work with.

HJP Staff
Mark Reed
Grew up gaming for the last 25 years. Mark came into the Industry in 2005 as a layout artist and has done work for Atlas Games, Maschine Zeit Games and several others. He has worked as a graphic artist, publisher and writer for Heroic Journey Publishing as founder since 2008. Mark understands deadlines and works very well with writers and artists to meet those deadlines.

Chris Perrin
Came on board with Heroic Journey Publishing in 2009 and has worked as Editor Head writer and is the developer for the “Mecha” line of RPG titles. Chris understands what it takes to get a book finished and to print. Having spearheaded the Successful Mecha:Combiners Kickstarter he has learned how to make sure promises are kept.

Wayne Humfleet
Wayne has been a member of the Heroic Journey Family since 2009 and has been head of the Social Media guru when called upon. He brings valuable experience to the team having been involved with the industry with writing for Star Wars d6.

David Moore
Has been a friend of Heroic Journey for a long time. Best known for his podcast“The Game Master Show, Dav”id has been a voice within the community in bringing interesting games to people. He officially joined Heroic Journey as a Developer in 2014.

Christopher Cortright
Is a recent friend of Heroic Journey and has recently accepted a position of Staff writer with the company. He is also working on his own things and is a welcome addition of talent to the team.

Contracted
Elizabeth Leggett

Is a freelance artist of incredible ability. She was the cover artists for Lightspeeds “Women Destroy Fantasy” special issue, Illustrator for upcoming art collection project of SJ Tucker’s music, Featured artist for 3 pieces in Women Destroy Science Fiction. She has been contracted to work on art for the Erinbour line. Visti her portfolio page at archwayportico.com

Agreed to contract in principle
Filamena Young
David Hill
These two great writers are best known for their work at White Wolf/Onyx Path publishing and also their own company Maschine Zeit Publishing. David was one of the original writers that began working on what will become Erinbour back in 2009 with our Places of Power series. He brought Filemena Young to our attention to work on a second piece. Both are incredible talents and have agreed to continue work on Erinbour as freelancers to help shore up the edges. They have proven they are beyond talented and can and do consistently meet deadlines. We at Heroic Journey are extremely happy to call them friends.

Eloy Lasanta
Eloy has been afreelance Layout Artist with Heroic Journey Publishing before working on the Mecha Line. He is best known for his own work at Third Eye games and brings with him that level of quality that heroic Journey Publishing looks for in people. Eloy has agreed to do the Layout work on the Erinbour books and we are excited to know that once we go to production it will be done professionaly, quickly and look very good.

Preview of our Kickstarter

I wanted to give a preview of our Kickstarter as we put the final touches onto the campaign. This is our section telling the story of Erinbour and what we are planning on doing. I want thank James Spahn for helping with some parts. I hope you enjoy this preview and it gives you a better idea of our plans with Erinbour.

Welcome to Erinbour!

The world is broken. Beneath the weight of a terrible curse that blights the land and without a king to serve as a symbol of hope for the world, Erinbour bleeds. But from a century of darkness, there comes hope. By sword and spell, by deed and word, heroes have come forth to face the vile beasts that are now plaguing the already weary lands of men.

Some are guided by the divine glow of the High Church and its Knights of the Lucent Order. Others serve the secret purposes of the Seekers Guild, who search the broken landscape for signs of hope. Yet still others whisper of the Builders, whose unknown purposes may be noble or nefarious. All are of them are heroes. All of them hold the fate of Erinbour in their hands.

Erinbour: Places of Power is a high fantasy setting designed for use with the Pathfinder and Bare Bones Fantasy role-playing games. But it is not a static world. Erinbour is a living, breathing place and the choices your character makes will change the fate of the world. Designed with the core belief that the player characters are heroes (and sometimes villains) whose actions will have an impact that lasts for generations, Erinbour: Places of Power puts the destiny of the world in the hands of you, the gamer.

In addition to providing a dynamic and original, fantasy role-playing campaign setting, several adventures in written for use with Erinbour: Places of Power will offer players the opportunity to have a deep impact on the setting itself. They won’t be limited to saving villages from marauding orcs, they’ll be restoring kings to fallen thrones. They’ll be causing political and social upheaval that will change entire nations. Indeed, they may even become legends themselves. It all depends on the players, their characters and the choices they make.

Welcome to Erinbour!

Its got a nice ring to it, to be honest the name is very new to the setting as its been something I have been thinking about for a long time. This project is to develop a game setting where choice matters. During your Characters time here you will have to make these choices and they will affect the outcome. The setting is being designed to allow for open choices from the Players & Characters that can have far sweeping changes to the landscape of Erinbour.

Erinbour is a dual stated product with writeups for the Pathfinder RPG and the Bare Bones Fantasy RPG from DWD Studios. The why behind this has another story to tell. Back in 2009 I and Chris Perrin developed 12 commissioned 6 mini-setting stand alone adventures we were calling “Places of Power” it never saw the light of day. We decided to take those 6 adventures, written by some great writers, like David Hill, Fillemena Young, Jennifer Schoonover, Tony DiGerolamo and Brennan Bishop and combine them and we created the outline and started filling in Erinbour.

We talked and decided that instead of settling less we would wrap them all together and the remaining 6 maybe more, into a full campaign setting module. This allows us to do something I have wanted to do. I thought what if we created a unified setting, a single setting that supported in its design multiple systems from the start. What I mean is I figure if we make a setting that people want to play they will probbaly want to hack it to their system of choice.. So our stretch goals would allow us to create guidelines to help. We want you to enjoy the setting by playing the style of game you enjoy, whatever that is and I want to help you
We are taking Erinbour and the Places of Power, originally d20, converting it to Pathfinder and we are going to create Eribour the setting for our Bare Bones Fantasy: Dynasty, best of both worlds. Since we have a majority of the Places of Power finished; that is what we are going to start off with. Kickstarting the Pathfinder side of it, if we can get through that goal then hopefully we can develop the BBF: Dynasty fully , the upside is we are going to do both, as the setting developed from the Places of Power Kickstarter will carry over, minor stating tweaks and then Dynasty Rules and we have the books.

Inclusiveness and Gender in Erinbour

I have been working on how to put this in words and get it right. I will try and I ask that anyone who reads this as offensive tell me so I can fix it and be better moving forward.

I decided about a month ago I waned to make sure Erinbour was Inclusive and began trying to figure out how to put it in the books. There was some help and I am greatful from them to help me write this about gender/sexuality in Erinbour.

“A character may define themselves as Male, Female, fluid, as either or neither male or female as they see the character at anytime for any reason. It is your character and you should play them as you feel the most comfortable.”

Sexuality/gender in Erinbour has no mechanical bearing and I want to stay as gender neutral as i can.  Again I know this is not perfect but I am asking from others especially in the Trans* and Intersex community to make sure I am getting this right from the begining.

In which I begin my GM Odyssey

I recently posted that I felt there were six key areas that a person could apply everyday skills to GMing and improve their ability and become a more effective GM. I want to take some time and address each area briefly from a high level and begin discussing them in depth in future posts.

For a refresher the list is as follows.

  1. Acting
  2. Public Speaking
  3. Organization Skills
  4. Managerial
  5. Sales
  6. Stress Management

This is by no means an exaustive list but it really is the major areas and most things fall under one of these areas as a subset of them if we are being honest. So lets take a look at each one and why it is an important skill.

Acting

I have heard this a lot in my GMing career. “I wish I was more improvisational” or “I wish my NPCs were memorable” This is where acting and improvisational skills can help. The GM while not primary Storyteller does have the influence of every character not listed as PC. his is a huge opportunity to make memorable characters and situations. The ability to become different characters in different moments is a key element to being not just successful but memorable. Plus side maybe you can bring your talents to a local play or make a youtube movie and get noticed. Acting can also help you read other people and understand motives behind situations.

Public Speaking

The number one enemy behind GMs and players opening up is fear. Fear of being laughed at, fear of getting it wrong, fear of it all blowing up and going wrong. Having the skills, and mind you they are skills that can be learned, to be a public speaker. Showing confidence and the ability to prepare talking to an open forum (albeit usually small) is still challenging and when there is constant feedback it can feel daunting. Sometimes even stifling, but being prepared to mentally be in front of an audience will help in your ability to think quickly and react with confidence.

Organization Skills

Being able to keep records, keep track of your game world and your story is very important. This most people would agree is a no brainer, but not everyone is very good at it. It takes skills and the ability to follow a plan to keep things organized by developing a process to do that. No jus throw it all in a folder but making sure things are easily found and easily gotten to are key elements to make sure things don’t get forgotten or fall through the cracks. You have to be your own administrative assistant.

Managerial

Lets be honest, the biggest part of GMing isnt managing the game its Managing the people. You’ve got the Rules Lawyer, the want to be Larper, the Power Gamer, the “It’s what my character would do” guy. That collection of egos and opinions can be enormous and you are looked to  lead the group through a collective story, a shared experience of cool awesome. Well the key is learning how to communicate and prod people in a way to get their best without upsetting is a difficult set of skills that Managers, coaches and leaders of all kinds have had to learn and learn well. These are not innate inaccessible skills but ones learned in business classes, and political work.

Sales

This one is a bit tricky. I am not talking about trying to convince you to buy something sales. I am talking about the ability to understand what people need or want out of the game, really understand the type of person that person is find the gap between where they are as a player and help them bridge to where they want to be in the game by providing the idea, system, time in the spotlight, etc. The ability to ask questions and dig deep into a players wants and needs for the game really plays a key role in helping them and yourself have fun. This is a definite sales technique and the better you are at uncovering needs it will translate well in Sales jobs, telemarketing jobs; even retail jobs.

Stress Management

The last area a GM needs to be good in is Stress Management skills. After Being an Entertainer, giving speech after speech, being your own administrative assistant, Manager of the group and even spending some time selling you are exhausted (and we haven’t even been a storyteller yet). The stress of wearing multiple hats can really get a person down. One bad night or one off hand comment can tear a person down when they aren’t ready for it. The ability to understand where stress comes from and redirect it is a set of skills that can be invaluable to you in life let alone your GMing career.

 

GM more then Storytellers…

Alex Mayo brought this up today on Google+, about the GM as Storyteller and how the more of a Narrator/Storyteller the less effective he believes the GM is. I agree with this and have found that a GM has a role to play just like PCs but his role is not just narrator, the role of Narrator or Storyteller belongs to each player, PC and GM, at the table. Some are better at it then others and typically the GM has some idea of plot direction as the story unfolds and this is the were most people make their mistakes.

“Since the GM has the most Plot control , therefore his primary role is that of narrator.”

This is where the real issues come up. The GM has more Plot direction then most PCs but the PCs can do whay they want with the plot from dealing with it or ignoring it.  The basic fact is that everyone works together to tell the story with the GM really directing focus from each plot point being thrown at him by his players or that he is throwing back.

 A brief background on me.

I have been GMing for more then 25 years, started way back with Marvel Super Hero’s and 2nd Edition. I’ve run Storyteller system, BRP, 3rd, 3.5, 4th, Star Wars (d6, d20, saga) Paranoia, SotC, PrimeTime Adventures, Bare Bones Fantasy, the list goes on. I’m not the end all be all of GM knowledge but I’ve seen a thing or two in my career. I’ve put a lot of thought into what makes a good GM, and I learned a lot from my failures as a GM. I’ve learned from both good and great GMs that I’ve had the pleasure to sit at their table. Also I’ve learned much from my life and “real” world experience. I hate calling it that, because GMing is Real World experience for many careers.

Where am I going with this?

There are  6 Primary areas of Individual and dare I say it Corporate career paths, and frankly many more areas, that GMing prepares you for and GMs can learn a lot from. Today I am going to List those 6 areas and touch briefly on them, I will delve deeper later but this is getting long winded as it is.

 The list goes like this

  1.  Acting
  2. Public Speaking
  3. Organization
  4. Managerial
  5. Sales
  6. Stress Management

Some of these you are probably saying, “well duh!” and I am sure a couple are flat out confusing as to why I would include them. I will break these down over the next few posts to explain my thoughts and reasons.

Until then, thoughts and wild speculation may abound. Please feel free and comment.

Erinbour: Hodge Podge of Info Dump

The other day I wrote this

“I should say a little about the High Church of the Holy Light. The church believes in the Creator a single godhead that consists of a Trinity. The Mother is the Creator and protector, The Father the judge and hunter; The Child is seen as a redeeming figure protecting creation from the Judgmental Eyes of the Father. The Family Trinity is seen as one Entity one god but three personas both Male and Female as the Child is seen sometimes as a Son and other times as a Daughter.”

about the high church of the Holy Light. So I wanted to take a few moments to mention a couple other religious orders within Erinbour. Talk about a new Pathfinder Class Idea , a moment about Magic and Spirit.

Ancestral Worship

Some people might feel that Ancestral Worship moves counter to our decision to be a monotheistic base for all religions within Erinbour. It really isn’t and here is how. First the Ancestor Worshippers believed there was one God/Goddess who created the universe but in doing so gave up themselves to become the universe. We came from the universe therefore all before us have returned to the universe should be venerated as their Life was given like the Creator to the universe.

So the “trinity” to this religion follows, Creator/Universe/Us as being one essence yet seperate Individual personalities. It fits very well into our decision and we feel gives the world a different perspective.

Agnostic/Atheisim

There are those that believe there is no god/goddess though some agree that there was a creator and the creator either like the clockmaker set the universe in motion and left and others follow a similar thinking that the universe is a outcome of the “creators” death. I bring this one up to show that Erinbour will be inclusive of ideas and a lot of faiths will be presented within Denominations. I will share more as more “Denominations” are developed.

Aether vs. Ether

I want to spend a moment to talk about the Magical Energies that permeate Erinbour, known as the Aether. This is the Magic that Wizards and Sorcerer’s tap into when they craft their spells. It is a powerful force and can be harnessed through study, and force of will.

The Ether is the Spirit realm and it too can be drawn upon for Magical effect. Typically weaker in that to draw upon it draws first upon your own internal life energy, the Ether is what gives ordinary people the ability to spontaneously cast magic.

This leads us to a Quick Introduction to a New Class we are working on

Spirit Guide

The Spirit Guide will be able to commune with the recently decessed, have some mastery over the Ether, provide some Undead control/Rebuke and will potentially have earlier access to Reincarnate/Resurrect type abilities. We haven’t statted him up at all but I wanted to share the concept to everyone because we really like it.

Thats all for today as always please feel free to comment and let us know your thoughts.

 

A Few Groups in Erinbour

Today I wanted to give you a simple write up on a couple groups and organizations within Erinbour that have some prominence. I wanted to share a bit on The Seekers Guild, The Builders, and Knights of the Lucent Order. Again this is all first draft info and may change over time. Comments are always welcome.

The Seekers Guild

The Seekers Guild is more like a Club then a real organization. With Chapterhouses around the kingdom, The Seekers Guild provides rest, support and camaraderie for adventurers who return to the WIlds to gain fortune and fame. With Much of the land lost to the Curse and the Wilds there is an ever growing concern as well as desire to try and reclaim the Land for Erinbour.

They have a charter which describes them as searching for a way to return Erinbour to glory it once had but in fact little beyond exploration for the sake of exploration and riches seems to happen from those members who still brave the adventure. Many chapter houses have been come more of a club for telling tales then true places to launch an adventure from. Many old timers will tell stories of lost treasures, near death experiences and wild creatures roaming the wilds.

There is still some respect and allure to The Seekers Guild and its membership is limited to invite only, so to be called by the Guild to adventure has some prominence left, but only because it is done so rarely these days. It seems that like the rest of Erinbour a sense of ease has settled in.

 

The Builders

The Builders are a secret group that permeates the entirety of Erinbour. This Secret Society is whispered by the Nobles as well as the Commoners as anyone can be a member. Membership is invite only and induction is done through a secret rite. Little is know behind the Builders ultimate reason for being, some believe it is politically motivated, other rumors is they are trying to raise a new Religion, and still others believe this to be a Social organization helping each member to gain higher rank and power.

The truth is no one really knows outside the Builders themselves. There is a rumor that all of these are true and that while the Builders have a unified exterior, the organization is riddle with smaller factions al trying to accomplish similar goals but in very specific ways. If you know a builder they can be friend or foe basically at a whim as they will support as long as you fall within their personal agenda within the Builders agenda.

 

Knights of the Lucent Order/High Church of the Holy Light

This is a religious order of Knights for the High Church of the Holy Light. This group is organized for public defense as well as a way for the Church to maintain its interests. The Knights are semi autonomous and typically are good folks trying to defend each other from the wilds encroachment. They do follow a very religious strict lifestyle putting the Tenants of the High Church first before even their own life. Believing in the Mother to guard them and welcome them home in death.

I should say a little about the High Church of the Holy Light. The church believes in the Creator a single godhead that consists of a Trinity. The Mother is the Creator and protector, The Father the judge and hunter; The Child is seen as a redeeming figure protecting creation from the Judgmental Eyes of the Father. The Family Trinity is seen as one Entity one god but three personas both Male and Female as the Child is seen sometimes as a Son and other times as a Daughter.

The Knights promote this belief and are charged with defense of the Faith. They are not ever called upon for any kind of Crusade as their autonomous nature allows them to only defend the Church as its Shield never as its sword.

 

 

With Great Power…

The following is a peak behind the curtain on Erinbour as we develop the History and background of this setting. What I bring to you today is 3 Mythological artifacts from the Legends of Eringbour. These are still first draft write ups and Mechanics for them as far as how it interacts with Pathfinder.

 

Mais Lance

This is one of the Lost Weapons of old. According to Myth Mai carried a Spear type Lance into battle against the Great Dragon Lords before being named Queen of Erinbour. History tells us that shortly after her Death the Weapon was lost to the ages. It was believed to be buried with her but no one can confirm this and no one dares open her burial tomb. The Weapon can be thrown and upon throwing the Spear will streak and become a Lightning bolt of significant power. Thus Mai being known as the Lightning Queen.

Mechanics: On a critical Hit the spear becomes a Lightning Bolt equal to a Lvl 20 caster.

Healing Light

this is a Crystal of unknown origins believed to be a Holy Relic. Kept at the Grand High Church of The Light this Crystalline Gem always glows with a light blue hue. Those bathed in the light are cured from any diseas , it is brought out for public view once a year for the Service of the Light

Mechanics: Anyone bathed in the light is treated to a Cure Disease spell . Good once a year. May even cure Vampirism and Lycanthropy once.

 Teryn’s Salvation

This spiked shield is considered to be one of the greatest pieces of protection lost to Myth. The shield according to Legend fuses with its wearers Armor and provides levels of protection from all elemental attacks. According to Myth the Shield finds a new owner in times of great peril and defends the realm until it is no longer needed. Named for the First Hero to wear it Teryn fought along side Mai against the 5 Dragon Lords

Mechanics: Anyone Wearing the Shield gains Damage Reduction 10 to any and all elements.

 

Comments and ideas are all welcomed, again somethings may change before these hit the final book but as I said a brief look into whats going on.

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