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    Canonfire :: View topic - Cairn of the Skeleton King by Rob Kuntz - reviewed by grodog
    Canonfire Forum Index -> World of Greyhawk Discussion
    Cairn of the Skeleton King by Rob Kuntz - reviewed by grodog
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    CF Admin

    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
    Posts: 1521
    From: Wichita, KS, USA

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    Sat Aug 19, 2006 1:51 pm  
    Cairn of the Skeleton King by Rob Kuntz - reviewed by grodog

    I posted my review of Rob Kuntz's recently-released Cairn of the Skeleton King on my web site at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/games_reviews_cotsk.html.
    While I have published RJK's works in the past, and remain a fan of his creative efforts, I didn't have anything to do with the production of CotSK (other than arranging for some printing quotes), so I thought I'd be a good candidate to write a review :D
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    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
    http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/greyhawk.html
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
    Posts: 3836
    From: So. Cal

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    Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:41 am  

    How I do love Holloway's art! He needs to sell prints of his work. Cool
    CF Admin

    Joined: Jul 28, 2001
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    From: on the way to Bellport

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    Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:16 am  

    Nice to see a new review Allan! You definitely interested me in the product.

    However, while I prefer to see a module in my local game store, the one reason I'll likely not purchase it, despite your excellent review, is because it uses a nonstandard system that would require me to translate it to 3.5e.

    Is the market for RPG products that use AD&D-esque rules substantial?
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    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
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    From: Southwest Florida

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    Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:50 pm  

    The market for such products is substantial enough for a small outfit like PPP to make enough money doing them to at least break even, possibly turning a small profit.

    The big companies would rather try and ride the line between old school and new, creating d20 lite/variant products that appeal (in theory) to both the grognard and the new school player. You get things like Castles & Crusades, The Dungeon Crawl Classics line, etc. Bigger market, but questionable longevity of the product line. DCC has had a lot of success in capturing the essence of old school adventures well enough to make those of us who play OD&D or AD&D1e buy the modules and convert them, while also appealing to a fairly good sized segment of the core 3.5e D&D market. Other publishers, such as Necromancer games, have had less success, building a reputation as being "1e friendly", but penetrating the non-3e segment of the market to much less a degree. C&C's success remains to be seen, honestly, it hasn't been out long enough yet to really tell what is hype and enthusiasm of the people playing, and what is actual sales success.

    Then we have things like OSRIC, where an outfit tries to take the d20 SRD and "pull a fast one on wotc" by rereleasing AD&D. First off, the questionable legality of the whole process bothers me, secondly, none of these attempts have had any real impact on the market at all as of yet.

    So, if you're willing to crank out a lot of work for a small payoff, the AD&D knockoff route might be worthwhile. You won't get rich doing it, but one must assume RJK knows that by now.
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 13, 2006
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    Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:56 pm  

    mtg wrote:
    the one reason I'll likely not purchase it, despite your excellent review, is because it uses a nonstandard system that would require me to translate it to 3.5e.


    What I appreciate about RJK going this route is that he, unlike many other publishers trying to take advantage of the nostalgia market, recognizes the fact that a small but stubborn niche of the market doesn't want to convert material from 3.5e/d20 backwards. To put it bluntly, there is plenty of material out there for the 3.5e/d20 player, and its comforting to see someone cater to the old school niche with true old school product rather than try and pander to us with some d20 variant attempting to pass itself off as an AD&D clone.

    Rob's forthcoming stuff is moving toward a "variant d20 lite" version of his generic ad&d system found in the Skeleton King module, and while this may improve sales and lower the risk of lawsuits for him, it frankly lowers my likelihood of buying the stuff.
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    -Rich
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    Joined: Jun 29, 2001
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    From: Wichita, KS, USA

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    Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:16 pm  

    Hi Marc---

    mtg wrote:
    Nice to see a new review Allan! You definitely interested me in the product.


    Heh, it has been awhile...

    mtg wrote:
    However, while I prefer to see a module in my local game store, the one reason I'll likely not purchase it, despite your excellent review, is because it uses a nonstandard system that would require me to translate it to 3.5e.


    Rob's shopping around for d20 publishers, but if that fall's through, PPP will likely publish d20 conversions.

    mtg wrote:
    Is the market for RPG products that use AD&D-esque rules substantial?


    It seems to be on an upswing, somewhat astonishingly:


    • RJK released CotSK, and I'm in the process of editing Tower of Blood, as well as working up printer quotes to publish the Bottle City level from Castle Greyhawk (for which PPP has heard a loud outcry of support! :D )
    • the newly-released OSRIC OGL rules reproduce 1e AD&D in OGL terms, and at least three publishers have announced plans to produce OSRIC-based materials (Expeditious Retreat Press is the only one iwht a product in the pipeline already, however: they are currently selling .pdf of The Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom, and the print version arrives next month; at least one other d20 publishers have expressed intent to publish for OSRIC, Phil Reed's Ronin Arts)
    • the C&C rules system (Troll Lord Games) continues a full release schedule of products in its 1e/2e version of AD&D, including EGG's Castle Zagyg project
    • Goodman Games released a 1e conversion of one of their 3.5 adventures at GenCon, which sold out of it's 60 copy print run in 90 minutes; they're doing preorders for a 2nd printing now, to be released in September/October


    I can't say that the market is huge, but it seems to be hopping at the moment.
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    Allan Grohe (grodog@gmail.com)
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Nov 11, 2003
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    From: Ulek

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    Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:03 am  

    I was initially a bit reluctant to pre-order this module but ended up doing so.

    My reluctance was unfounded.

    The art is stunning, the maps are GREAT. I like the plot of the module and it is a fairly solid work. It has impressed me enough that I'll definately be placing a pre-order for the Tower of Blood.

    The fac that I can run it in my C&C campaign converting on the fly is a bonus. Good, good stuff. Happy
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