Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tim the Trapper - A story of empty cabins

I wrote this up for a book on the lifestyles of adventurers (as in how much do they cost and what repercussions are there). Well, it got really long and didn’t fit the book anymore, so rather than throw it out, I’m sharing it with you.
Let’s take Tim the Trapper for instance. Tim comes to the big city with his winter pelts in early spring. He makes a killing selling them to the furriers and he is richer than he has ever been before. Then he goes to the inn and discovers how much they want for a room. Several harsh words later, he decides that he is a tough guy and he would rather sleep under the stars than pay those prices. Evening comes, he settles down and has a nice night in the light woods about a mile from the city.
The next day, he explores the city, buying gear and replenishing supplies. He returns to his campsite, but this night it rains. The next morning, he continues his shopping, wet and not as happy. During the day, he meets Milo the Merchant. Milo is selling fire wood, and Tim cannot believe how much Milo is asking for pieces of wood. I mean, come on, they’re just lying around out in the forest. So Tim comes up with a plan. The little furry creatures are shedding and mating, so it’s not a great time to trap them. So he decides to stay here for a while. He’ll gather wood, bundle it and sell it in the city, just like Milo. So Tim brings a dozen bundles to the city, but only sells three. The next day, he lowers his price and only sells four. That’s when Milo spots him. “Hey Tim,” he says, “I notice that you’re trying to sell your fire wood. Tell you what I’m gonna do. Rather than both of us standing around here all day, you go out and get the firewood, and I’ll sell it and give you half.” Well, Tim isn’t a bookkeeper, but if Milo will sell 12 a day, and give half to Tim, then Tim will still be far better off than getting all of 3 sales. So the deal is made.
Throughout this time, Tim has been improving his campsite. First he set up an awning to keep off the rain. Then he built up the fire pit into something more resembling a fireplace. Then he put up some log walls. Before you know it, Tim has built himself a crude cabin in the woods. Tim sells his firewood to Milo for a couple of weeks, but Tim is getting hungry and he hates paying the huge prices in town for his food. So he goes off for a week on a hunting expedition and brings back enough meat that he can preserve some. He brings his firewood to Milo, but Milo has already found another sucker who will go out into the woods and bring back fire wood for him, and he only wants 40% of the profits, so Tim is out of luck.
Disgusted by the whole urban drama, Tim returns to the wilderness to continue his life of hunting and trapping, leaving his cute little cabin behind. If Tim had succeeded, he would have left his cute little cabin in the wilderness behind.
The point of this little theater was to explain that in the wooded areas around fantasy cities, it would be common to find campsites and even cabins. Some might be in use, while others would have been abandoned. Any woodsman with the slightest bit of survival training would easily know how to build some manner of shelter, even if easy to find caves were not scattered across the countryside. While these shelters would likely fall in on themselves after a couple of years, there should be enough of them around that they would make common random encounters in the wilderness. If you need to, think of them as homeless shanties. They may not be everywhere, but if you know where to look (likely close to the stream), you’re going to find them.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A little help here?

OK - What’s the deal? It took a new guy from Latvia to notice that the BE website’s product links were busted. Oh I’m sure the guys at One Bookshelf told me they were changing the site around, but you know, didn’t seem relevant at the time, I’m sure. Anyway - if you notice something wrong, let us know. We’ll fix it. No, that is not a request for an exhaustive list of everything you disagree with or find grammatically incorrect on every book, but a little heads up about the big stuff would be appreciated. We can take a little criticism (but only just a little, OK?).

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Baker’s Dozen ... WHAT?!?

So hopefully you read last week’s entry about our new supplement A Baker’s Dozen Villains. We are in the process of wrapping up several other Baker’s Dozen projects, but the question is, “What would like to see?” Some of the ideas are setting, people or characters, stuff, or even plot lines. But if you have good ideas, we’ll listen! The next planned one will hopefully be out shortly. (No, really, soon, not like the time between our last product postings.) It will deal with 13 different groups that all tie together. We think it will be a good way to get some of the ideas we have out there without breaking your wallet.
The Baker’s Dozen supplements are exactly what Board Enterprises is all about - We give you great content without wasting your time and money on the stuff you don’t need. Yeah -Art is the #1 thing that wastes space and makes a supplement cost more. This is the internet - If you’re looking for fancy art, check out any one of the artist sites where incredibly good (but typically unemployed) artists showcase their stuff. It’s free, and if you find something you really like, most of them offer purchase plans for posters and what not. Meanwhile, buy our supplements when you want content.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Baker’s Dozen Villains

It’s been a bit since we posted new product, but we’ve unveiled a new product line: The Baker’s Dozen. The point of these products is going to be 13 well defined characters or environments that you can drop into your world or campaign. These are strong starting points that you can use. Not only are they great to start adventures, but they are suited for using in series of adventures, to keep the flow going. Here’s the advertisement we posted:

Need some major bad guys to give your game a little boost? Maybe your players aren’t exactly the law and order types, and they need some allies or employers. No matter which side of the fence you find yourself on, sometimes you just need some villains. Here are twelve thirteen heavies ready to mix it up. Their backgrounds and current organizations are spelled out so they’ll be ready to drop into your campaign at a moment’s notice. These aren’t your run of the mill monsters; these are intelligent enemies acting in intelligent ways in a fantasy environment.
Whereas in other supplements we’ve given you ideas that you can flesh out on your own, here we’ve done the extra leg work for you. This is the first of Board Enterprises’ “Baker’s Dozen” supplements. Each will give thirteen immediately usable characters, locations or items that you can use without wasting time on rules changes, etc. Not only should these characters be a strong addition to your world, but they will help you by sparking more ideas for future adventures, characters and even campaigns.

You can buy it either at RPG Now or at Steve Jackson’s e23. It is intentionally only $2, so it’s easy on the pocket book. Let us know any ideas you have for future Baker’s Dozen supplements. We have a few in the works and are hoping to bring them to market relatively quickly.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick Nashville update

While no one working for Board Enterprises was directly impacted by the flood, the entire region has been indirectly affected. Many meetings and events have been rescheduled, and getting around was very difficult during the beginning of the week. Our apologies, but simply in covering for stranded folks, there has not been time this week to get a blog entry out. Call it an act of God excuse, and say a prayer for those who lost everything.