Wednesday, 28 November 2012

New Developments in the Purple Duck Offices...

Not that there really are offices but still this is what has been happening:

  • Legendary Classes: Medium is out to playtesters right now. We should be getting some feedback, next week or the week after.
  • Perry is hard at work developing the Lands of Porphyra and harmonizing all the work that was put in by our authors.
  • Joshua just turned in Heroes of the Siwathi Desert today and I've handed it off to Perry to edit.
  • I'm currently doing layout on a magic item book by Sean Holland that I am calling "The Armory" but that name is just a place holder for now.
  • Art is being worked on by Gary, Carlos, Tamas, and Ryan for a variety of projects. 
  • Monsters Unleashed/Monsters of Porphyra will be released next year. The art is still coming in for it and there is writing that needs to be done on it when I am not doing layout. 
  • We have had a few setbacks on some of the Purple Mountains but Purple Mountain III is out to subscribers right now and should be on sale to the general public in PDF and print sometime in December. 
  • Our newest releases right now are Encounter Pages II and Fehr's Ethnology: Urisk (9/10)

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lands of Porphyra - The Northlands

By Gary Dupuis
“I done all four a’ the Red King’s gulags, and it never hurt me none.  Well, except maybe the fingers…” – ‘Thumbs’ Johansson, thief for hire

Capital:  The Red Tower
Settlements:  The Breakers (3,700), The Deeps (4,050), Irontown (5,500), The Red Tower (850), Salttown (2,800) The Gulags (100-300 each)
Ruler: The Red King
Races:Dragonbloods, Half-orcs, Half-ogres, Humans, other slave races
Faiths:  Ferrakus, Ithreia, Myketa
Resources: Basalt, dried fish, iron, marble, salt, silver, timber, zinc
Languages: Common, Giant

Border Conditions: Porphyrite borders with the Jheriak Continuance, and the Wyrm’s Yard, which is technically part of The Northlands.  The central North Polar Region is rarely sought, and thought to be lifeless.

The Northlands have always been a harsh and unforgiving place.  The NewGod War did not change that in any positive way.  The driving away of the Elemental Tyrants may have only destabilized what passed for civilization there, leading to a collapse of the tenuous links to the south, not been completely restored to this day.
   Those in the Northlands pursued a hardscrabble life, eking out a living amongst the cold and rough terrain, trying to avoid predators, both two- and four-legged that prowled the wastes.  That all changed with the arrival of the mercenary warlord who would become known as the Red King.  Moving carefully, the Red King betrayed those who hired him and seized the Breakers as a base of operations.  His forces, the Red Host, systematically conquered the rest of the Northlands over the course of a decade.  Initially, settlements would resist and the Red Host would slaughter the defenders and pillage the place, but later, people just surrendered to the inevitable.  Irontown was the last major settlement to be brought into the fold, capitulating when the Red King himself hammered on the town gates. 
   Powers of note that did not bow down to the Red King were the Jarls of the Fire and Frost Giants, for even the Red Host was not powerful enough to conquer the Jarls in their fortresses.  The Red King has shown them his power, however, by destroying several small communities of giants that were isolated from their brethren.  Another area of curious defiance is the no-man’s land known as The Wyrm’s Quarter, a porphyrite-barriered region on the border with the Steppes that contains an enigmatic extinct volcano and the surrounding hills, all containing clear deposits of porphyrite.  That a vastly powerful dragon or clan of dragons has claimed this territory is plain to all, but disagreements continue as to its origin and nature.   Some connect the dragons with Paletius, who has a known affinity for the giant reptiles; with an internal eruption of porphyrite (and the legend of the Porphyrite Dragon); or with the erstwhile and forbidden parentage of the Red King himself.

Little is known about the Red King’s origin beyond the obvious: he is an ogre mage with red draconic heritage, massive and strong almost beyond imagining.  His sheer physical presence masks a cunning and varied intellect that he rarely shows except to his closest associates.  His rule is distant for most of the villages across the land, but harsh when defied- and the gulags are rarely less than half filled.  The gulag system enforces the knowledge that, as long as the taxes and proper respect are paid, the Red Host does its best to keep the roads maintained and safe, and keep giant raiders at bay.  The mines, which are the source of the Red King’s wealth and power, are worked primarily by slaves, which the mines have constant demand for.
   The conflict with the giant Jarls continues at a low level, with groups of giants raiding for plunder and the Red Host trying to catch them before they can cause too much damage.  The people of the Northlands maintain watch towers and hiding places to avoid being taken unawares- and being taken as slaves.
   As the Red King has finally seemed to age, after several hundred years, he has begun to turn his eye outward from his obsessive control of the Northlands to the Dry Peninsula; Kesh, Jengu-Na, and the Lotus Blossom Steppes.  The Sikoyan Tundra, a natural muskeg-ridden barrier, has begun to see roads built of basalt, and suppression of the nomadic Sikoy people and their reindeer herds.  If he decided to plunder, say, the Yeti Wastes instead, the entire peninsula would breathe a sigh of relief.
The Breakers, on the east coast of the Northlands, has one of the very few good natural ports on the north Opal Sea, but is located among a set of vicious rocks and breakers.  A pair of tall lighthouses, the Eyes of the North, ensures that ships are guided safely into part.  It is the only trade-port out of the Northlands and it is home to a considerable number of fisherman and merchants.  The Red Host maintains a strong navy here, with a wide variety of shore batteries to defend against attack.
   The Deeps, probably the northernmost city on Porphyra, exists to support a huge open pit mine that brings up slabs of marble for export.  Northland yaks pull the stone to the Glace River where it is floated on rafts down to The Breakers or unloaded under the Red Tower and shipped by road.  A Red Host fort, clad in marble fragments watches both the slave workers and for giant raiders.
    The Gulags: Specialized prison camps used for disciplining Red Host rule-breakers and civilian criminals alike: the rule of slavery is for outlanders only.  There are four of these grim camps, and the price of parole after minimum sentence is The Walk- leaving the gulag on foot.

The focus of each gulag is as follows:
·       Gulag Red –almost exclusively for Red Host convicts, it keeps an eye on the Jheriak Continuance, and has twice been completely eradicated by would-be invaders.
·       Gulag Black- For political and dangerous prisoners, from all over the world, it is called the ‘Loneliest Place on Porphyra’. 
·       Gulag White- Built into a great calving glacier west of the Continuance, convicts are roped up the sheer sides, and slide their way out on sealskins that they must hunt themselves.
·       Gulag Blue- More of a penal colony, holding debtors and families on the somewhat clement shores of the Sea of Ithreia.

Irontown, source of the weapons and armor for the Red Host, is completely walled, being the nearest major settlement to the lands of the giant Jarls, within sight of The Maw-volcanic capital of the fire giants and The Slab- glacial rift-home of the Ice Giants, land-bound cousins to the maritime Frost Giants.  Ballistae and catapults festoon the ramparts of this Red Host recruitment town.
   Salttown possesses an extensive network of tunnels beneath it, with chambers, rooms, and even temples carved out of the salt itself.  The mines of Salttown are worked by free townsfolk, using slaves for only the most dangerous tasks.  The Salttowners maintain a strong militia, led by Ithreian rangers that cooperate with the Red Host in defense of the town.

·       One of the few things the Red King needs is information, and it is something that he is willing to pay well for. He is too cautious to trust any single source of information, so reliable and effective spies will find themselves well rewarded.
·       The Red Host is always looking for brave scouts willing to locate and disrupt the forces of the Giant Jarls.  Those who prove themselves skilled in such tasks will be provided with specialized anti-giant weaponry for further missions.
·       Gulag Black, the darkest hole on Porphyra, holds a prisoner with information that is vital; so vital that he needs to be found and rescued, from the ultimate prison.

The following regional traits are common in the Northlands. 
   Gulag Survivor: Not many are tough enough to walk out of the gulag, but it makes those few even tougher.  You gain a +1 trait bonus to Fortitude saves, and cold resistance 1.  
   Red Host Training: Those that serve with the Red Host are hardy and learn tricks for fighting the giants that raid the Northlands.  You gain a +1 trait bonus to Survival, and gain a +1 trait bonus to confirm critical hits against giants.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Happy Birthday Hidden in Plain Sight!

Hidden in Plain Sight has been out on the market for a full year now.  The free trial has been downloaded 9162 times, and there have been 7248 purchases.  The purchase-to-trial ratio is 79.11%.

Here's that weird sales graph again, for the official full year numbers.  Click to embiggen.

Needless to say, the sales of HIPS, and the feedback that I've received, has far exceeded my expectations.  In fact, I admit that it's made it a little more difficult for me to get motivated to start a new project.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Guess what landed on my doorstep!

Here is a look at some of the sprues and an assembled trooper. It’s a bit dark out so I needed to use my desk magnifier lamp to get some shots. I will try to get some larger clearer images when I can get some decent lighting.

I am quite frankly amazed at the level of crisp detail they were able to reproduce while dealing with the direction of pull from the mold halves. WGF did an amazing job…. My hat is off to them.

A few spru shots before I tore into them ;)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Octospine or not

This was originally called an octospine. I think it needs a better name for Monsters Unleashed and I am opening the floor to suggestions.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

In the Pipeline

At Purple Duck Games we have quite a few things on the go but currently nothing that is absolutely ready for release, but I thought I would take some time to discuss the various things that we have on the go.

If I have missed talking about anything please ask away.

Pathfinder Compatible (By Series)
Assortment Products
- I have two separate magic items books that need some art before I can finish them.
- I would like to do another feat and trap book but haven't had any ideas lately and no writers interested in this sort of work.

Encounter Pages
Perry wrote another release in this series. I have never put it into layout out. I have no idea why. Its just gathering dust.

Fehr's Ethnology
There are two of these left in the series - Qatar and Ursik. They are written and just need to go into layout. Once they are done, Perry and I will go back and revise them for a compilation release and Print-On-Demand Version.

Legendary Classes
[Medium] Legendary Classes: Medium is currently in playtest from now until the 1st week of December so that we check some of the new mechanics in it.

- We had a couple other class ideas but we have yet to lock anyone onto writing these.

Legendary Races
- There are currently no new Legendary Races on the design docket. If I find the time, I want to revise the first three (cyclops, medusa, and rakshasa) to bring them more into design-line with the Legendary Races: Harpy.
- I have no immediate plans to continue this line, but I also do not have any immediate plans to not continue this line. I think what we need here is a writer dedicated to the vision of the line who wants to expand it.

Legendary Treasures
[Dark Weapons] A book dedicated to evil legendary weapons is currently being written. I do not have an ETA on this.

[Primative Weapons] I have a newish writer working on a book of more savage or primitive legendary weapons. The art is all in place, I wait on the test.

Monsters Unleashed
It was no longer making sense to do layout on 5-packs of monsters. The amount of work required to put them out just never made the process worth it. Monsters Unleashed will be coming out next year in PDF and Print on Demand. Gary is currently assigned to handle all of the art on the project and Perry and I are working on the text, whenever we have time. It is about 1/2 written now.

[Lands of Porphyra] With the help of 16 writers we were able to sketch out the details of our campaign setting. Perry is working to harmonize the ideas into a single book.

[Heroes of the Fenian Triarchy] Is through layout, I am just wanting on art and maybe some additional writing.

[Heroes of the Deserts of Siwath] Recently commissioned for writing to begin.

This series is dead. I loved making new templates for otyughs and other creatures but as a commercial venture it was a dismay failure. On the plus side, I have some great looking otyughs by Michael Scotta.

Purple Mountain
[Level 3 - The Feasting] This is going through final edits and layout right now. Perry has done the writing on this and I worked on the statistics. We originally had a different writer on this but he was unable to complete the assignment.

[Level 4 - XXXXXXX] The basis of the module is written but it needs some additional material to fully flesh it out. I expect, I will be doing this because I need to get my grimy paws back on the mountain.

[Level 5 - Descent into Madness] This is written and ready to go into layout but Perry is a little OCD and wants the Purple Mountain issues to come out in order.

[Level 10 - The Cavern of Enock] This module is written and in final stages of production. We need to go back to it and make sure it matches our vision of Porphyra as our setting is now a thing.

At this time levels 6,7,8,9,11 have been assigned to writers but several of them have dropped off radar. So again, I will need to venture back into the writing of this series.

Random Encounter Remastered
I'm interested in having David Nicholas Ross do another in this series but I want to hold off until the NPC Codex is ready.

Dungeon Crawl Classics Compatible
[AL 4 - Stars in the Darkness] Daniel Bishop is writing the next release in this series. I know he is busy with several projects so I am not 100% when this will see the light of day.

[DCC Psionics] This various states of development.

DCC has been good to us as a system two write for. What I need is a few more writers for this system.

Heroic Moments (4C/ICONS)
[4C Supers] I have another issue of Heroic Moments for the 4C System but I do not know if it makes economic sense to continue to support this line on 4C. The last two releases have not covered their inputs but their numbers were stable, so I wonder if more releases could help build the base for the 4C system.

[ICONS] I have a writer who was going to write another release in this series but I haven't heard from him in a bit. Perry and I do not have a familiar with ICONS yet to do the the main writing on this series yet.

There are lots of other projects that I have that we have worked on. None of them feel like they are far enough on to complete right now or high enough on the priority list to push one of the above projects down. This includes but is not limited to:

4Saken (horror roleplaying under the 4C model)
Mythos Investigators (Stefen last project; PFRPG)
Sword of Tears (Originally written for Highmoon Games, updated to PFRPG)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

What to Discuss

For Monsters Unleashed/Monsters of Porphyra
by Gary Dupuis
I am terrible at thinking of things to write about on this page. I have no idea what kinds of information people are looking for. Coupled to that problem is that the 1st and 2nd terms of my school year have been very busy so I haven't had much time to post anything. I'm going to try to rectify that starting later this week but I could use a bit of help on what you would like to see.

In the meantime here is a piece of art that Gary created for the upcoming compilation of Monsters Unleashed (Monster Update Project/Monsters of Porphyra).

Do you want to hear about:
1) Upcoming Pathfinder compatible releases?
2) Upcoming DCC compatible releases?
3) Upcoming ICONS or 4C compatible releases?
4) New content?
5) Previews?

or something else entirely.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


We still have 70 backers of the Kickstarter that have not completed the pledge manager. We are at the point that the manufacturer needs the total from all of the backers to identify how many of each product will need to be produced in order to satisfy the outstanding orders.

If you have not completed the pledge manager, we have no idea what to send you.

If you still need to complete the pledge manager, do so now.
If you do not have your login information to complete the pledge manager please follow these instructions, posted in update #66 ‘Ten day warning’

“The pledge manager will be taken off line November 1st, you will need to complete your pledge manager information before November 1st so that we can get your orders finalized.

You should have received an email with the link and sign on information for your account.
If you have not received the email, please contact and ask them to re-send.”

Wargames Factory will try one more round of emails to contact the backers that still need to complete the pledge manager, if your spam filter is not letting the emails through, please check their first. We will of course honor your pledge but it may be subject to shipping delays, as outlined below.

Backers of the Kickstarter who have not completed the pledge manager may be subject to shipping delays if they do not complete the process by November 5th as the air shipment of some of the kits will not contain their orders and they will need to wait until a second sea shipment can be arranged.

For new backers that have registered an account but have not completed your pledge manager and payment. This is your last opportunity to do so. The pledge manager will be taken off line tomorrow morning, and any open accounts that have not completed an order and made payment will be deleted with no opportunity to participate in the Kickstarter pricing or other benefits given to Kickstarter backers.

**The pledge manager will stay online for review purposes but you will not be able to place an order or make any changes.

Once again, a huge thank you to all the supporters!

Mark Mondragon