An Especially Fine Week

Michael O. Varhola

Had a very busy rewarding week here at d-Infinity and Skirmisher Publishing LLC and would like to share some of the more interesting and relevant aspects of it here! 

* Our most recent "d-Infinity Live!" show was one of our monthly "challenge" episodes, which I was tapped to develop, was devoted to creating an RPG setting of some sort and three pieces of game content, all inspired by the works of particular artist. All of our hosts really stepped up to the "Fine Art Challenge" and it was, perhaps, the best episode of that sort we have yet done. Clint Staples selected mystical Russian painter Nicolas Roerich and was inspired to create an epic and innovate game concept called "How Shall I Strive"; Brendan Cass picked American landscape painter Albert Bierstadt and demonstrated how he was a fantasy artist without even realizing it in "The World's Teeth"; Amanda Kahl chose surrealist artist Rene Magritte and created a clever scenario based on his works called "Cure at the Castle of the Pyrenees"; and William Thrasher picked American cityscape artist Hugh Ferriss and created a noir urban setting based on his works. I chose one of my favorite artists, surrealist Salvadore Dali, and conceived of an Astral and Outer Planar setting called "Malbonia," and as part of this put into game terms the Space Elephant, one of Dali's iconic creatures, something I have wanted to do for some time. 

* Also on Thursday, Skirmisher released prolific writer Chris "Outlander" Van Deelen's "Wisdom from the Wastelands Issue #52: Nanotech Undead"! In this latest edition of mini-supplement for modern, sci-fi, and post-apocalyptic RPGs, which I laid out and illustrated, Chris describes and stats 25 unique undead abominations created through various misapplications of biotechnology. If you are looking for a new challenge for your players or a way to shake up your games, this 26-page publication bears delving into. 

* Looking ahead to our next big title, right before starting to write this recap of the week I finished laying out and designing "World of Kos," the sixth and final volume for Skirmisher's Swords of Kos Fantasy Campaign Setting! It was written primarily by me, with some significant contributions by Clint Staples and Brendan Cass, and was illustrated largely by fantasy artists Bob Greyvenstein (including the cover image, shown above), Amdanda Kahl, and Will Thrasher. It has been somewhat overdue and so this is a big deal for us and we are looking forward to releasing it sometime in the coming week. In the meantime, I would encourage people to check out the other five best-selling titles in the series, "Kos City," "Kos Island," "Lands Beyond Kos," "Lives of Kos," and "Encounters," (and a free sample from "Encounters" is also available). 

* Finally, Skirmisher also held a "Pay What You Want Sale," in which we allowed customers to pick up for a price of their choosing any of our 11 most-popular items at our section on DriveThruRPG (i.e., our Gold and Electrum best-sellers). Our goal with a sale like this is to do something nice for the gaming community, both our existing fans and people not yet familiar with the great work we do, and we expect people should and will be picking up titles for much less than what they usually area. I have to admit, however, to being offput to discover that a majority of "customers" simply took the available books for free! If someone pays anything at all for a PWYW title, it at least registers as a sale for us, and we receive some small benefit in return for generously making it available, and it is actually a real scumbag move to take a $24.99 book and not even pay a penny for it. I want to like the people I put so much time and effort into producing game materials for, and personally have a high regard for many of them. Once in awhile, however, I am disappointed to have such widespread avarice and mediocrity revealed to me and find myself wishing that more people would step up to a minimum level of decency. 

Hope you have been among the people who have enjoyed some of the things we have done over the past week! Am going to start getting ready for the next week at this end ...