Stan the man

I just wanted to post real fast about the passing of Stan Lee.  Stan the man was a hero of mine, he created, well in my option, the modern idea of a hero, built a culture and set in stone the modern view of what a comic could be and do.  He was the Homer of this age and gave us our own version of the Iliad.

So thanks Stan and Excelcelor.

ASA is a blast

Well our first Kickstarter was a great big blast.  The backing for ASA was huge and still going strong.  We should hit 5k be the end of the run,which will pay for almost everything.

 

We will run a small campiagn for the adventure books sometime in late Nov.  With that we will have paid for everything, as well as some more adventures.

 

Great experience I have to say.

Battle Axe 3.0 is here

Avalon Games is releasing this month the long awaited re-mastering of Battle Axe.

Battle Axe is a simple to play tabletop system for skirmish level battles.  Using cards instead of dice, you will find the game to be less luck based and much more tactical in nature.

Taking the best that CCG and Table Top gaming have to offer, and combining them, you end up with a system that offers endless option and expansion. The rules and cards provide here will be enough to get you started, and new characters and rule expansions are on the way so you can continue to increase both the size and composition of your War Bands.

This base set offers you the following…

* Full color, detailed rule with plenty of examples and diagram to highlight important concepts.

Full Color Combat Charts

* 60 card Fate deck, in full color

* The Elven and Goblin Starting War Bands, which included the faction deck for both races, and three character decks for both, which covers the Elven Warrior, the Elven Archer and the Elven Blade Dancer.  On the Goblin side we have the Goblin Thug, the Goblin Warrior and the Goblin Archer.  These will give you a good start on the game and additional characters and factions can be purchased as they are released

So don’t wait, get on board the bandwagon and wage war with your friends.

For you great fans Avalon is offering the core game and rules at a great discount.

Just use the link provided below to buy your copy right away.

 

http://www.rpgnow.com/browse.php?discount=907345660d

 

As always have a seat at the ro8nd table of fun with Avalon Games.

 

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Company with a Soul

Avalon likes to consider itself a company with a soul. With that in mind we sometimes give stuff away, or do charitable offerings. As an art teacher I get to see a lot of talented students come my way. Some of them though, just cannot afford to buy art supplies, which are always over price. We had such a girl come though this year, and as the only way to become a better artist is to make art, Avalon did a $200 dollar donation for her. We bought her a bunch of paints, an art box, easel, canvas, brushed and a lot of other art goodies. She was over whelmed I think and broke down into tears. She though will make some wonderful art with it and may well get a full ride scholarship next year.

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Anyways, if you have information on a good cause or something we can help out with, ley us know. Avalon is always happy to help out.

Avalon and 2017

Avalon and 2017

Well it is that time of the year again where I stop what I am doing and take a look back at what Avalon did in the year. Over all 2017 ended up a draw. The year stared off real slow, and continued to be slow, but with the release of a few big products we were able to pull out of the slump and turn the year into a winner. Not pulling the sales numbers we were back in 2009, but we made some money and allowed a lot of freelancers to make some cash with us.

 

Around here any year we stay out of debt, pay all our bills on time and make a few dollars, well then we are doing good.

 

So what did we do right?

 

5e D&D

We jumped into D&D again this year with the very popular HWM version for 5e D&D. This was a big seller for us and helped put us in the black this year. It also opened our eyes that this system was popular enough to continue to developed products for that game engine.

 

With that in mind we also released a version of IF for 5e D&D, which surprisingly, did not do as well as the HWM version. We will though, continue to release new stuff for 5e D&D and have plans for a solo system for next year.

 

Pathfinder

Sales for Pathfinder have been slow, save for HWM and IF, which continues to sell well. Not sure if it is just that Avalon has a glut of stuff or that the system is not as popular as it used to be. We will though, be cutting back on our support of this system, other then continued releases for HWM and IF for Pathfinder.

 

Print-to-Play

P-t-P board games in the product line of our Mini-Games continues to sell. Some titles do well, some do not. In the end these are my way of keeping my game design mind in tune and allows me to work on fun projects.

 

Counter Wars was the big release for this product line in 2017, and did not do well at all, that is until we released them all as a bundle. Then the game took off. So I guess it just took offering all the goodies at once instead of releasing them in smell chunks. In 2018 we have the Fringe version if the system coming with lots of aliens and Sci-Fi fun.

 

We will also be releasing a solo dungeon crawl based the S&G game engine, which will start with the 200th mini-game and the core system being free.

 

Other Stuff

Avalon tried to keep current with payments in 2017, but we dropped the ball once or twice and either outright missed making a payment, or forgot to add it to our lists. We will work harder at not doing this again, and mean to update our record keeping in 2018.

 

Internal communications were off a bit this year as well, with William and I both a bit silent. We tried to put out an internal update each month for our freelancers and partners, but we were not always successful with that effort. We are going to try to make 2018 more open and free flowing in terms of communications.

 

We added to our investment accounts and have a nice little fund there, growing as the market grows.

 

What did not go well?

Not all things worked well or as planned. Avalon was sort of stagnating this year in terms of trying new stuff. Every year we try new things and other ventures, some of which do well and some fail. This year we did almost nothing. Not sure why, it may be we were just a bit tired and over worked in real life and so did not have the time and energy to take on new things.

 

We will try to do better with this in 2018 and have some ideas, once again we are thinking about fiction and the like.

 

Communications lines, which we touched in earlier, were off this year. Emails not answered or late, missed communications on payments to freelancers was an embarrassment and generally not talking. We did offer support for some on online HWM games, if which we have been ghosting and answering questions, but other then that we just did not get out the word as much as we should have.

 

Making any money. Generally William and I just pay ourselves just a little bit with most income going back into the company or used to produce new products. This has worked over the years and always allowed us to produce new stuff without having to take money out of our pockets. This though, seldom allowed us to pay ourselves anything. It would be nice to start seeing some income for all the work.

 

Plans for 2018

We have a lot of exciting games coming out in 2018, as well as some other possible ventures.

 

First up will be a re-launch of Battle Axe. It has taken some time, but Battle Axe 2.0 will offer all the greatness of the first edition, but now with print on demand cards, new artwork and a new look.

 

We also have Life of Adventure, a solo 5e D&D system with a ton of adventure books on the works. This will be our big release for the year and we are looking forward to getting it into our fans’ hands as soon as possible.

 

Along with a Fringe edition of Counter Wars we have plans for new mini-games, new clip art and tons of other goodies.

 

Arcana Mega Bundle

For the last 10 years Avalon has been releasing our fantasy RPG setting, Arcana.  Over that time we have release well over 100 products detailing this grand fantasy world of high adventure and deep magical lore.

Thats a lot for someone interested in the setting , but who has not been involved from the start.

Well Avalon, in celebration of the release of the 100th Arcana Journal, is now offering the Arcana Mega Bundle.

Inside you will find the following PDFs.

The Core Book detailing the world and its rich history.

The two Regional Books, the Northlands and the Western Reaches.

The three City Books, each detailing the three great cities of the lands.

All of the Realm Books, some 12 in total

All 100 issues of the Arcana Journals, each issue offering details histories, regional descriptions and adventure sites.

Normally all of this would cost you over $350 on the listed price of these products.

Avalon, in the hopes you will love this gaming world as much as we do, is offering the Mega Bundle for a cool $50.  Thats over a $300 savings.

Jump into a world of magic, excitement and deep history with Avalon Games Arcana

A Guide to RPG Design

by

Ramsey “Tome Wyrm” Lundock

Part 3

Close the Circuits

 

One of the basic principles of any kind of electronics is that power will flow only through closed circuits which form a complete circle. (Sometimes this circle involves a lightning rod or the body of an unwary electrician, but there is always a closed circle). But a ‘circuit’ doesn’t have to be electronic. It can refer to any circular journey. So this basic principle applies to your game world as well: unless you close the circuits, power won’t flow.

The most important circuits to worry about are the ecological and economic ones.

The first refers to the ‘circle of life’ also known as the food chain, where plants are eaten by herbivores, which are in turn eaten by carnivores, which return nutrients to the soil through their excrement and their bodies after death. This is of course an over simplification. A single ‘loop’ around the circuit might involve half a dozen predator/prey relations, not to mention scavengers, omnivores, parasites, fungi, etc. Every year scientists discover new surprises about Earth’s complex, diverse ecosystem, so no one honestly expects you to plan out the entire ecosystem of your world (and if you did, no one would want to take the time to read it), but don’t populate your wildernesses with nothing but giant predators who exist for no other reason than to attack the adventurers.

Although it is important to close the large scale circuits, your readers are more likely to notice the small scale ecological imbalances. Simply put, everywhere you have a concentration of living creatures, be it a city, a dungeon, or a spaceship, you need to include ways to get food, water, and fresh air (oxygen) in; as well as a means to get refuse, waste water, and stale air (carbon-dioxide) out.

Economic systems are also circular. The first economic transactions were barter: I give you something and I get something. This is a simple circle between two people. A famous example of an economic circuit is the “Golden Triangle” of 17th and 18th Century Atlantic. This trade circuit operated between Europe, Africa, the New World, and back to Europe; trading rum for slaves, slaves for sugar, and sugar for rum along each leg of the journey respectively. This example also shows that an “economically viable” system is not necessarily “moral.”

Money complicates the issue, allowing loops involving numerous people who may be unaware of all of the participants, but the basic principle remains the same, everyone has to give something and everyone has to get something. Even in the case of imperial Rome, which lived off taxes collected from the empire “importing everything, exporting only power,” you need to remember that “power” (military strength of arms, police services, government administration) is a valuable commodity. How people in the outskirts of the empire felt about Rome, and whether or not they wanted those services, is a different matter, which does not change the fact that taxes<–> power, is viable economic circuit.

Even criminal activity must obey the laws of economics. Pirates and other robbers don’t steal for the joy of burying the treasure; they fully intend to spend the loot somewhere. Unless there was someone willing to do business with the thieves and monsters in your world, there would be no reason for them to steal money. And as ironic as it sounds, through various exchanges, this money must make it back into the hands of the very people who were robbed (or others like them). Unless the victims have a chance to earn back what was taken from them, the victims would soon run out of money, thus the thieves would run out of victims, and the entire cycle would collapse.

When creating your circuits, you can’t include the player characters. Almost by definition the player characters break the preexisting circuits. For example, rescuing a princess breaks the ransom-for-hostage circuit. This means that every treasure, person, or weapon the characters liberate from the enemy was intended for some other use; it wasn’t put there just for the characters to find. So rather than throwing in a pile of currency or a cache of high-tech weapons to reward the player characters, put serious through into where those items came from, and where they were intended to go.

Player characters will establish their own circuits, but those will play out over the course of the game and are not necessarily part of the prepared setting.

In a perfect world, all of the cycles would be closed. But Earth is not a perfect world. There are numerous examples where a new species is introduced to an area “short circuiting” the local ecology by taking too much and not giving back the nutrients in a form that other organisms have evolved to accept. In economics, if one person or group spends without producing it leads to a variety of social problems involving indebtedness and poverty. You should feel free to include “short circuits” in your setting (a dragon who hordes treasure without spending it; or a vampire who preys on humans without returning any nutrients to the soil), provided that you realize that these short circuits are not viable over the long term. And if you let the realistic consequences of these short circuits play out in your world, your readers will be amazed by the realism of your setting.