Thursday, June 30, 2011

She Said: Origins 2011 Part 4 - The Funny, and Interviews!

The Funny
Story of the Flower Seller
This is more 'WTF' than funny, but I had no where else to put the story. So, here goes.
(Setting: Walking out of the Hyatt Regency at 1:30am. Tired and slightly tipsy, with my husband and my father walking right behind me. There's a short, not very well lit area which you have to walk through to get to a crosswalk. This gentleman starts coming towards me, the outline of a flower clearly visible in his raised hand.)

Him: Sir! Sir! Excuse me, sir!
Me: ...
Him: Sir! Would you like...
Me: No, thank you, sir. And I'm a MA'AM.
Him: Oh..ok...

If he'd been hungry and asked for the doggy bag of leftovers from Barley's in my hand, it would've been his. If he'd waited at the crosswalk for me to get to him, I would've been much more polite. But you do NOT run towards a woman at 1:30am on a fairly dark street trying to sell her a f*$#ing flower. Or call her 'sir'. That's just salt on the wound.

I Walk the Line ... While in Costume
I like to think I don't give a poo what anyone else thinks of me. I like to think I have high self-esteem. Every year, that illusion is dissolved when I walk out of my hotel and go 2.5 city blocks while in garb. Some people can do that, no problem. And if you're one of those that can, I wholeheartedly salute you, and wonder what your secret is. Because damned if I don't feel like a two-inch worm when I get 'looks' from those that do not attend Origins. But, every year, I do it. And you know why?

The Interviews
I did promise you interviews! And here goes.

Eric Wiener
Eric is a member of Team Paradigm, the guys that lead and guide the happenings of Arcanis/CSE from the background. (Think the Illuminati, but with bowling shirts.) He's also been a good friend of mine for 6 years, and he graciously agreed to answer my questions.
Sarah: What is in the works for Witch Hunter, both as an on-going campaign and as a game in general?
Eric: We are waiting on a proposal that will determine our plans for Witch Hunter.
Our plans are pretty much linked into that proposal, both for the product line and the interactive campaign. The one thing we are firm on is that we will be doing an expansion called Witch Hunter 2012.

Sarah: Are you planning to convert Caliphate Nights to either your new Arcanis system or D&D 4th ed.?
Eric: If we do revisit Tales of the Caliphate Nights, it would likely find a home in more than one system. We've considered the WH system, the new Arcanis system and even some other manufacturer's systems.

Sarah: Think Henry can be persuaded to write some Arcanis fiction?
Eric: Frankly, the releases needed to support and expand the Arcanis RPG line are going to keep everyone busy for the foreseeable future. Arcanis fiction, not only short stories but up to and including full-on novels has been something we've discussed. It just doesn't seem to be a near-future option for us.

Sarah: Production and publishing costs being what they are, is there any plan for either a B&W print of the new CSE book or possibly making the PDF widely available?
Eric: We have no plans for a gray-scale version of the Arcanis: RPG. On the other hand we have plans regarding the PDF that we are going to announce just as soon as we resolve the technical aspects. In short, the PDF will be more readily available.

Sarah: Are there any planned release schedules for additional CSE material, either gaming supplements or modules?
Eric: Arcanis: the RPG has a street date of July 25. Forged in Magic, the first supplement, was at Origins with some advance copies and will follow the core rulebook by a couple of months. The Arcanis Bestiary, should be at GenCon and then released late in the year. We have some printed adventures in the works as well as a Campaign Guide for the Crusade that are still to be announced for release dates from 4Q 2011 - 2Q 2012. Our major releases planed for next year are the Hero's Codex and Chronicler's Codex (GM book)

Sarah: Is there any plan to bring back the Invisible Kings program?
Eric: We don't know. We are certainly interested in story development in areas we are not going to visit for some time (if ever). The actual form of any such program is still up for grabs because we haven't yet built the foundation to build upon. Such is the hazards of relaunch. I would like to add that many authors are currently doing great work by submitting soft points. A couple of years worth of mods should clear everything up for all parties.
Sarah: Thanks, Eric. I owe you some coffee or something
Eric: *laughs* That's all you got?
Sarah: Yup. Short and sweet. I'd make a $#!tty reporter.

And last, but most certainly not least...

Shane Hensley

I've known Shane for going on 5 years, but then again, about a gazillion people can claim the same. Talk with this guy for a few minutes, and see if he doesn't practically make you feel like family. He has been the man behind the dizzying array of products, ranging from table-top RPGs to computer games to card games to books to...
Shane, do you ever sleep, my friend?
Listing all of his achievements would put cramps in my hands, so I will just link to where you can read them yourself.
Sarah: Besides The Last Sons, what else is coming for Pinnacle?
Shane: Savage Worlds Deluxe just dropped! After that is the Horror Companion, 50 Fathoms Explorer's Edition, and the collected Trail Guides for Deadlands. Two other Deadlands books are in their early stages (Relics and Ghost Towns), and Hell on Earth is laid out and going through playtesting and artifying!

Sarah: Any new editions for Savage Worlds planned and, if so, will you stick with an Explorer's Guide-type of book?
Shane: Savage Worlds Deluxe isn't a new edition, but there's lots of cool new stuff in there to *expand* the game. We're doing a limited number of hardbacks, then we'll go back to Explorer-sized versions.

Sarah: You once said Lacy O'Malley was based off of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, but were Stone, Hellstromme, or Grimme based off of anyone?
Shane: Stone was based off Clint Eastwood in a backwards way. I asked for a hero and Brom gave me the image you saw on the first edition of Deadlands. When I saw it I knew it had to be Stone instead. Grimme and Hellstromme are completely original, but their *looks* are based off the preacher from Poltergeist 2 and Vincent Price, respectively.

Sarah: What's your favorite game that you've written?
Shane: They're all my babies. The Plot Point in 50 Fathoms works the best, I think. City by the Silt Sea (for TSR's Dark Sun) was a blast. Evernight was a BLAST to run. I guess I have to go with Deadlands and Hell on Earth though--there's a lot of my soul in those books. :)

Sarah: Due to the awesomeness that is Zombie Pirates, are there any more computer games in the works?
Shane: My day job is at Cryptic Studios where I'm working on Neverwinter. I'd LOVE to do more casual games. I'm very proud of Zombie Pirates, and love the way the gameplay and the story turned out. But it's tough finding funding for smaller games, even though I think they have the greatest potential compared to their risk (Plants vs Zombies or Angry Birds, anyone?)

Sarah: Thanks again, Shane. I owe you (and Michelle) a drink next Origins if you guys go.
Shane: I never turn down a drink!

All in all, Origins was a convention well worth the time and effort. A+ eBay. Would buy again.
I now leave you guys in the capable hands of my husband. Thanks to Eric and Shane for answering my questions. I now apparently have many drinks to hand out for next year...
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Zombie Ad said...

Zombie Pirates... 'B-Arrrrr-ains!'

Timothy said...

Glad you asked about Arcanis fiction. Sorry to read that it isn't going to be in the near future.

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