Sunday, May 21, 2017

Being (Fantasy) Conservation Minded

    One of our more common examples of economics in a fantasy realm is the way that one adventuring party found a way to harvest mastodon tusks and flooded the world with cheap ivory.  But nothing is without consequences in the world of Fletnern.

    Not too long after the source of the ivory became apparent, a group of pacamen came looking for the person who was selling all the ivory.  The pacamen (for those who don’t yet know) are like minotaurs, except that they are elephant headed instead of bull headed.  As such, they have tusks - short ones, but tusks.  They see elephants as incredibly important objects of their religion.  And they are willing to fight to protect elephants and elephant graveyards.  Their assumption was that someone had discovered some manner of elephant graveyard and was lying about the mastodons.  They came to put a stop to it.

    The point really isn’t about ivory or pacamen, but instead about religions and perceived morality.  Chances are, no matter what a people find to be valuable, there will be some group that believes that the items of value should not be disturbed.  It could be ivory, the hides of predatory cats, special aromatic woods, or the landscape that was once atop a coal strip mine.  Especially in a world with elves and numerous gods, someone is going to be upset by just about anything.

    So what do you do as a GM?  Well, I let the players do whatever they want, but then decide how to punish them if they seem to be doing something too easily.  Truth be told, the pacamen were not really a deterrent to the PCs harvesting the ivory.  This was because the pacamen couldn’t survive the frigid north where the mastodons were, plus they were not numerous enough to start a war with the humans.  But the threat was there - a reminder that nothing can be gotten for free.  The PCs hired on extra protection for their ivory caravan, expecting trouble from the pacamen, slightly decreasing their profits.

    Yes, I think everything can turn into a mission or quest spark.  In this case, nothing really came of it, but it was a part of what the party had to consider when taking missions:  Could they risk being away while these guys were in town sort of looking for a problem?  Loot doesn’t have to be easy!

    So what else can you do?  Major jewelry items were stolen from a temple decades ago and are now cursed.  The elves think that the emeralds taken from that mine belong to the goddess of {green or whatever} and should never have been taken and certainly not cut.  The centaurs’ god is actually a zebra centaur and they therefore object to anyone killing zebras for meat or hides.  The ironwood grove is sacred to the fairies and they refuse to allow anyone to harvest the trees.  Jet or ebony is seen as being evil, and no one in town will buy it.  An alchemical potion requires the heart of an eagle, but taking the heart from an eagle causes the eagle to haunt you for the rest of your days.  This is high fantasy after all!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Small Bites Debut - Take 2

Well, we’re still talking about Build Your Fantasy World in Small Bites or “Small Bites”.  Why?  Well, because it is the biggest project we’ve ever taken on.  The Legend Quest Omnibus Edition was over 300 pages long, but this is running at 40 pages per month.  So within a year it will be bigger than the Omnibus Edition, and I can tell you - that’s a lot!!

Have you seen what we’re doing with Small Bites?  Why not?  Is $ FREE $ too much money for you?  Come on - check it out!  You know you want to.  Not sure where it is, well here:

Each one is 40 pages of content - stuff you can use in your game worlds, stuff that will spark your own creative juices.  Sure, it’s all written like it comes out of our FREE (there’s that word again) World of Fletnern, but if you honestly have trouble carrying an idea from a different FRPG world to yours, you shouldn’t be game mastering.  (That’s really not harsh, because we know you can!)

So what’s Vators about?  Well, the truth is, it started out as All About Knights, but knights are nobles with lands and horses to maintain.  Adventurers are a lot more like the men-at-arms who serve under the knights, so as we got further into it, we thought men-at-arms was more directly valuable to players and GMs.  We’ll do knights!  When?  Well, that depends on what you folks tell us you want.  We weren’t just floating those surveys out there for fun; we honestly listened and changed the lineup of when themes will come out depending on the stuff you told us!

We really want you to come and share our world.  A novelist I like and sort of know signed a book to me saying “Welcome to my world!”  That is exactly how I feel!  I want to welcome you into my world, and I want you to become a part of it!  (and Rick, if you’re reading this, let me know your new email!)

The folks that got advanced copies felt Vators was far better than Avatar, not that Avatar was bad!  but they did feel that Vators was more cohesive.  I don’t know that I see that, but I’m trying to so I can make the next ones that much better.  What is the next one?  Well, if you sign up as a patron before the end of the May, you will immediately get Killer Crime Families of Garnock aka All About Organized Crime in Fantasy.  After that comes Hoards and Other Treasures  - not surprisingly my favorite subject!! 

It’s time!  come get involved.  Welcome to my world - let’s make it our world!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Why should you patronize Board Enterprises and Small Bites

That is the big question, right!  Why should you give your money to us in order for us to issue blog posts every week and world posts every month?  We’ve already said that we’ll keep doing that regardless, so what does it benefit you?  Well, the honest answer is this:  Board Enterprises makes a small amount of money by selling game reference materials.  It’s not a lot!

Do I think you should really care?  Well, no.  But, the reality is that the more money that the Patreon project Small Bites can generate, the more we can concentrate on it rather than on the more “hard dollar” stuff like Legend Quest and our generic supplements.  The Fletnern wiki is over five years old now, and it sometimes falls a bit dormant when we’re working on big projects, like our recent reissue of Legend Quest under the Omnibus Edition.

But I don’t want it to go dormant for months at a time.  I want to expand it - I want to share it.  and we need your help to do that!  So if you want us concentrating our time on Fletnern and Small Bites (and the blog), then please, become our patron!  Yes, you get loads of stuff in the Small Bites editions!  Yes, you get to support the continued growth of the Fletnern wiki and some of the other things we’d really love to try!  and YES!! you get to help us figure out what’s coming next.

The folks here at Board Enterprises are a passionate bunch.  We’re passionate about gaming and we’re passionate about the projects we work on.  We react to passion in other people too!  Show us a bit of interest and I guarantee you will be surprised at how much interaction you get with us, and how much we’re willing to do to bring you what you’re looking for!