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Director’s Briefing – December 2017

Fri, 12/08/2017 - 12:37

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To the seventy-ninth Briefing and the twelfth scheduled Briefing of 2017. November was an unhappy month in terms of me making personal progress in editing or writing, with at every turn some new demand on my time from the day job, usually with incredibly short deadlines.
Dragonmeet 2017
John, Colin and I attended Dragonmeet, running our annual stand. We had some great chats with fans, we sold books and generally had a good time.
What we did not have this year were any games being run by Chris Seal as he could not make the convention (and I really wanted to present him with his author copies of HARP A Wedding in Axebridge in person – his copies are on their way by Royal Mail.) Next year, we will have at least one demo game – I may well GM a game myself.
UK Games Expo
Over the past eleven years, UK Games Expo has grown from a modest event in 2007 of about 1,000 attendees to the 2017 extravaganza of 16,300 unique attendees (30,000+ attendee-days). UK Games Expo caters for roleplayers, boardgamers, card gamers, wargamers, and gamers who defy such categorisation. It is a three day event held in Birmingham in late May/early June, so not as easy for us to organise a full-blown presence but in terms of our growth, it’s the next obvious convention presence. I suspect we are looking at reconnaissance in force for 2018, with a proper stand in 2019 if it looks like it should work for ICE.
A Wedding in Axebridge
The print masters were accepted and HARP A Wedding in Axebridge makes for a slender perfectbound book. Really pleasing. We look forward to publishing further adventure modules in 2018 (with Poseidon Gambit for HARP SF and Garden of Rain for HARP Fantasy at the front of the queue.)
You can purchase HARP A Wedding in Axebridge HERE
Shadow World
All I have to say is “Keep writing, Terry!”
All I have to say is “Keep revising Something Wicked, Something Wondrous” and “Keep editing HARP Bestiary” to myself, and “Keep working on HARP Beyond the Veil, HARP Strongholds, HARP Subterfuge, HARP SF Vehicles, Poseidon Gambit, Garden of Rain and Caer Glais” to the other freelancers. Duly refreshed from his break after completing his work on various chapters of HARP Bestiary, Colin has accepted another writing assignment from me, but he has to read himself in first.
To Joeri and Jonathan, keep fighting those creatures.
Until next time
I am off to heed my own injunctions on editing and revising, so all that remains for me to do is wish you all a very Merry Christmas (or other holiday of your choosing) and a Happy New Year. The next scheduled Briefing will be in January 2018.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News

Spacemaster 2nd Edition Player Book goes Electrum!

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:27

Spacemaster 2nd edition player book coverIron Crown Enterprises are thrilled to announce that Spacemaster 2nd Edition Player Book is now an electrum pick product on RPGNow!
We’re incredibly proud that Spacemaster 2nd Edition Player Book has joined a number of other Iron Crown products in reaching the level of ‘electrum pick’ which very few products ever reach.
Huge congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in creating Spacemaster 2nd Edition Player Book and thanks to everyone who has bought it, played it and supported it. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Spacemaster 2nd Edition Player Book
The Spacemaster system is usable in a variety of environments, from a dark near future of post-holocaust Earth to a culture of high-tech exploration to a distant time when civilisation has fallen to superstitious ruin. Spacemaster 2nd Edition can also be integrated with Rolemaster 2nd Edition -used together they set the stage for sweeping, coherent, science-fantasy and multi-genre campaigns
This is the Player Book of ICE’s original science-fiction roleplaying game (Spacemaster 2nd Edition), containing character creation rules, personal combat, psionic rules and general adventuring rules
If you haven’t bought your copy of Spacemaster 2nd Edition Player Book yet, you can get your copy from RPGNow where you can also get a wide range of other Spacemaster products from Iron Crown Enterprises.

Categories: Company News

Tips for new GMs

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:09

Making the move from playing to GMing can be daunting. You know how you want things to go but how do you make your dreams a reality? We recently asked our friends, followers and forum members what advice they would offer new GMs. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Don’t Panic
2. Remember that your primary goal is to make sure your players are having fun so find out what your players enjoy (Combat? Role-play? Accumulation of wealth or fame (or both)? Do they think adventurers are above average examples the population or just like everyone else?
3. Rules aren’t written in stone. If something isn’t fun, change it.
4. Listen to your players. They may not know what they want, but you can read it between the lines.
5. Start each session with a recap of last session’s details.
6. Players brainstorming as they try to figure out what is going on is a great source of ideas as to where to take the campaign next.
7. Remember that neither the rules nor your plot are the star of the show; the players are. That doesn’t mean you have to give in to their every whim or demand. But it does mean you have to be flexible.
8. Keep the game flowing, move it along if the players seem to drag. If you have to get some strange help for them to get over a hump do it.
9. Understand that your players will often derail your best laid plans. Learn to anticipate this possibility and know there will be times you have to wing it. However, remember you can sometimes ‘move’ your planned event into the players path.
10. Don’t leave players with nothing to do for long periods of time. If someone is captured or incapacitated figure out a way to not leave them twiddling their thumbs.
11. Have your players write up a bit of a background that you can then incorporate into the campaign. It engages the players even more when something they wrote gets into the campaign.
12. If you need a number between 1-100: 42. It’s the answer to everything.
Thanks to everyone who contributed their tips for new GMs. If you have any tips that aren’t on our list of if you have specific questions about GMing for the first time, visit the Iron Crown Enterprises forum and let us know.

Categories: Company News

Director’s Briefing – November 2017

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 08:33

If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.
To the seventy-eighth Briefing and the eleventh scheduled Briefing of 2017. Deliberately short this month as I want to focus on the editing and writing of sourcebooks.
Dragonmeet 2017
Dragonmeet is imminent – it is 2nd December this year. Colin has been involved in lots of preparations already. John has been doing the annual stock check. I have ordered a supply of HARP Folkways in both softcover and hardcover.
If you are in the UK and available for a visit to Dragonmeet, then we would be delighted to see you at our stand. All fans are always welcome. Any GMs willing to run HARP or Rolemaster or indeed any of our game lines, please let us know. Dragonmeet is our UK con presence.
A Wedding in Axebridge
We believe we have fixed the pdf version of HARP A Wedding in Axebridge. In doing so, Terry has produced the print masters. It’s unclear to us whether the print version has to be staple-bound (it is right on the page count cusp) so I have uploaded the staplebound cover and am awaiting the word from OBS/Lightning Source. Terry has already prepared a perfectbound cover so I am ready to upload that version.
Obviously the goal is to have a whole bundle of AWIAs for Dragonmeet.
You can purchase HARP A Wedding in Axebridge HERE
Shadow World
Terry has exported a bundle of new high-level NPCs in RM2/Classic format for Jaiman, so I’ve asked Charles nicely if he can generate RMSS/FRP versions. Will we be able to complete Jaiman in time for Christmas? Keep writing, Terry!
On HARP Bestiary, John Duffield has sent over a number of Demons, trying his hand at Archdemons, Battle Demons and Demon Trees as his starter batch. You can tell that we have the number of Development Points available per level is about right when even Demons have to think about what they spend their points on.
I have continued working on the manuscript previously known as Something Wicked. I am now calling it at least on my tablet “Something Wicked, Something Wondrous”. I have completed my work on Mana Sources as described in last month’s Briefing and have “completed” the Greater Rituals section as well. I say “completed” because I may be inspired to add some extra Greater Rituals to the chapter but I will see what inspiration strikes as I progress into other chapters. Thus three chapters have been fully revised.
I am now working on the Black Magic chapter. This introduces new cantrips, new High Magic and spells for the new professions and extra spells for existing professions. All of the spells need to be updated for compatibility with HARP Fantasy and HARP College of Magics.
If you have requests for spells that you would like to see, then please post on the forums. Ideally requests should be additions for existing professions (both the semis of Harper, Ranger and Warrior Mage, and the variant mage professions) and “Mentalism” spells. Spell requests that would be better positioned in the Cleric sphere and similar spheres or for Nightblades and similar are more likely to be passed on to the authors of the future HARP Beyond the Veil and HARP Subterfuge sourcebooks.
The creature update work continues. Joeri and Jonathan will surface for air in due course.
Until next time
Back to editing HARP Bestiary material and revising more of Something Wicked, Something Wondrous. The next scheduled Briefing will be in December 2017.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News

The Sci-Fi timeline

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 07:29

As I was casually browsing the internet I came across this great graphic from Glow New Media. It illustrates the relatives times at which some of the most famous Sci-Fi films occur. Check it out to see where your Spacemaster or HARP SF game would fit.

The SciFi Timeline
The Sci-Fi Timeline

Categories: Company News

Real life critical fumbles – The office

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 07:24

Fumbles exist because sometimes even the most experienced and prepared adventurers have a bad day. In gaming terms fumbles can lead to you injuring yourself, injuring your friends or aiding your enemies, but fumbling in real life can be no less disastrous. Some days life just feels like one critical fumble after another.
Had a bad day at the office? Here are our real life critical fumbles:

01 – 25 You accidently bought decaf coffee this morning – Initiative at -10 26 – 30 In your haste to get something printed, you load the printer with the wrong paper and it jams. Spend 15 rounds trying to fix it yourself before sneaking off and pretending it wasn’t you. 31 – 40 You open a window and all your papers fly everywhere. You must now spend 30 rounds picking them up and organising them. 41 – 50 You accidentally call your boss ‘mummy’ -50 to all charm type skills 51 – 60 You enter the toilets to find a colleague sobbing uncontrollably. Spend 60 rounds consoling them. 61 – 65 Your computer breaks and you have to spend the afternoon working in the spare office with Kevin and his knock knock jokes – Make a resistance roll against rubbish jokes (less than 50 results in -10 to all skill checks for the rest of the day) 66 Your new boss arrives and it’s your ex – All skill and RR are now at -20 as she makes life very difficult for you. 67 – 70 Run too fast to a meeting and run straight into your boss as you turn a corner -5 hits each, both prone for 5 rounds 71 – 80 The birthday cake you bought in for Susan in accounts had some bad eggs in it. Everyone is sick -50 to all charm type skills, all your relationships are ruined and pr at -10 81 – 85 Miss your mouth and pour coffee all down your front -20 hits, A fire critical 86 – 90 Get trapped in a lift. Unable to do anything for two hours whilst you await rescue 91 – 95 Spill your coffee all over your computer causing it to break and starting a small fire -10 hits, B fire critical, any friendship you had with the IT team is now gone 96 – 99 Whilst trying to fix your own computer you accidentally electrocute yourself -20 hits and C electrical crit 100 In a hurry to find your next meeting you go into the wrong room where a voodoo cult are just discussing where they will find their next human sacrifice. Your last thought in this world is “why were they using a meeting room in this building anyway?” – Death

Categories: Company News

Director’s Briefing – October 2017

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 07:20

If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.
To the seventy-seventh Briefing and the tenth scheduled Briefing of 2017.
A Wedding in Axebridge
Wedding in Axebridge coverThe pdf edition of A Wedding in Axebridge has been released on OneBookShelf and is available now.
Buy A Wedding in Axebridge >>
A Wedding in Axebridge is an adventure module for four-to-six low-level heroes. It is set in the world of Mithra, but in an archipelago of the Shatterings far from the continents of Anias and Cyradon.
It has been updated to be consistent with HARP Fantasy and indeed its monsters are consistent with HARP Bestiary. It has new art and new cartography. One of the maps is not as clear as we would like so Terry and Joel have been collaborating to improve this. Once we are happy, we will upload an updated version of the pdf file to OneBookShelf so that everyone can have the best possible version. We will also be producing a slender softcover print version – this will be staple-bound, Axebridge is just too low on page count for a viable perfect bound cover.
Shadow World
Terry reports that he is closing in on completing his writing and reworking of the enhanced version of Jaiman. He is hinting that Emer IV is singing a siren song for his attention once Jaiman is finished.
On HARP Bestiary, Colin has completed his portion of the introductory chapter. Thom still has his designer notes to write, while John Duffield has demon stats and designer notes to finish.
I have been working on making revisions to the manuscript previously known as Something Wicked. The professions chapter has been duly revised and is marked done on my todo list. I have also revised the chapter on sorcery, a demon-inspired magic where knowledge of the truenames of Demons enables its practitioners to compel or bargain with these infernal beings. I am currently deep in a third chapter, wrestling with Greater Rituals and mana sources.
The manuscript formerly known as Something Wicked introduces five new types of mana that characters may utilise, namely black mana (an aggressive form of ambient mana), dark mana (sourced from Demons and the Abyss), elemental mana (sourced from the elemental plane), raw mana (sourced from the ethereal plane) and red mana (taken from life-force). It is quite possible that a character might wish to be able to draw upon multiple source of magical energy. There is an implicit assumption within the HARP rules that characters only develop one Power Point Development skill. Justifying how a single Power Point Development skill can cope with the varying natures of the mana sources and in particular the varying recovery rates among sources if a caster has the ability to tap two or more sources is challenging. GMs run the risk of requiring players record which spells used which mana (increasing book-keeping) or imposing ruling by fiat (the mana choice for the first spell of the day dictates the recovery rate for the rest of the day). Messy. However, nowhere in the published HARP rules that I can find have we explicitly ruled that characters may only learn one Power Point Development skill. So the simple solution is to declare that characters who wish to use mana from multiple sources need to possess the requisite Tap talents and need to develop Power Point Development skill for each mana type. As characters have varying racial Power Point bonuses, the racial Power Point bonus may only be applied to the primary mana source chosen by the character. This will prevent magically focused races becoming more powerful and will dissuade some players from buying 10 ranks in multiple PP Development skills just to optimise Development Point expenditure (as this is the obvious rules abuse.)
Jonathan and Joeri are battling with RMU Creature Law. I am pleased to report that they have broken through the logjam of the megaspreadsheet covering 843 creatures, which is a major victory. The creatures now have to be updated in line with the spreadsheet.
Until next time
Back to editing material and revising more of Something Wicked. The next scheduled Briefing will be in November 2017.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News

New adventure for HARP Fantasy released!

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 07:35

HARP A Wedding in Axebridge coverIron Crown Enterprises are thrilled to announce the release of a BRAND NEW adventure module for High Adventure Role Playing (HARP) Fantasy! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the newest member of the ICE family: A Wedding in Axebridge!
Buy it now >>
A Wedding in Axebridge
A Wedding in Axebridge is designed as a HARP Fantasy adventure module for 4-6 characters of up to 4th level. This module is set in the Aeden Isles which form part of the southernmost Shatterings of Mithra (aka the world containing Cyradon), but the adventure may be readily relocated to a different fantasy setting.
A wedding is normally a time for celebration and festivities, but in the village of Axebridge the celebration takes on a sinister undertone. Axebridge is a small, close knit village that lies on the south bank of the River Clearwater. The village takes its  name from the ancient stone bridge that spans the river, and the crossed axe insignia that decorates its walls. Across the river, on its north banks, two ruined watchtowers stare out across the vast expanse of the Alfwood.
The lands around Axebridge are renowned for strange  happenings. Unbeknown to the inhabitants, these occurrences happen because Axebridge is situated close to a place of great magical power, which was once the site of a great druidic temple. In more recent times, fey creatures have been drawn to the nexus. With the inevitable contact between fey and mortal, old wounds have been  reopened. When a jealous admirer is thrown into the mix, the village of Axebridge finds itself under threat, and hope for the village’s future lies in the hands of a few bold souls marked by fate.
A Wedding in Axebridge is available now at RPGNow for just $5. Buy it now >>

Categories: Company News

Iron Crown Enterprises’ Gen Con roundup

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 06:55

NewICEIn case you missed it (and I don’t know how you would have done), this year Iron Crown Enterprises had a stall at Gen Con. It was the first time in many years that we have attended and we had an absolute blast!
Firstly, we would like to publicly thank all our volunteers and helpers. We had people playing games, people manning the stand, people helping with logistics and all of them doing so out of the kindness of their hearts. A huge and heartfelt thank you to all of those people.
Secondly, we would like to thank everyone who came and said hello or played in an Iron Crown game while they were at Gen Con. The crowd were great and a lot of people were really excited to see Iron Crown Enterprises back at Gen Con. So to those people, thank you for your support. Hopefully we will see you again next year.
Now to the facts: this year we shared a booth with Pointy Hat Games and Aaron Smalley was absolutely brilliant as our man on the ground and liaison between the two companies. We had a lot of great helpers but Aaron is definitely worthy of a special mention. With all the logistics managed from the UK, preparing for Gen Con was not a particularly simple process and I cannot speak highly enough of the amount of help and advice Aaron gave. It was invaluable and a huge part of how we managed to attend and run a stall.
We took with us a large order of all the HARP and HARP SF products and the majority of the Shadow World products. We received a number of comments and questions from fans asking why we weren’t offering any Rolemaster products. The reason is simple. While we understand that Rolemaster remains very popular and people are still keen to buy the old products, we do not wish to actively promote a product that we know will be formally superseded by the new edition in the future. It just feels unethical to us. When the new edition of Rolemaster is released we will DEFINITELY be taking it to Gen Con with us.
We learned a lot of lessons from this year’s convention which will hopefully help us make next year even better. We have already agreed with Pointy Hat Games that we will once again be sharing a booth with them next year and we’re now focussed on making next year even better than this year. So, there’s just time for one more thanks to everyone. See you all at Gen Con 2018!
Want to read what Aaron Smalley thought of Gen Con? Find his report here

Categories: Company News

Aaron Smalley’s tales of Gen Con

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 06:54

A tale of incredible magic…
The essence storms were particularly violent this summer. Two Navigators, Aaron Smalley and Monte Iafrate, were swept away and landed in the land of GenCon. There, they met so many wonderful people and would like to take this opportunity to thank them.
First, we must thank the Gods of Orhan, “Nicholas Caldwell and his assistant Colin Smith”. Travelling to a new land can be tumultuous at times, but knowing we were supported in our adventures at GenCon made all the difference in the world of Kulthea. The communications we received throughout our travels were always encouraging and supportive. We cannot thank them enough for believing in us during this adventure.
We would also like to thank the Loremasters we met during our quest. The creators Coleman Charlton and Olivia Fenlon beamed with joy upon our ICE campsite. Talking with them about the past was an encouraging catalyst for the years to come. These visionaries looked forward to the future of ICE with supportive words. This is the chant of success for all of us and this is the song of our future. The artistic Bards Foxworth and Ramones spoke about working with ICE and how wonderful those time were for them. Hugs of comradely cheer were strewn about our meetings and it was humbling to be in the presence of such greatness. Margaret of RMC 4 and 7 smiles were rejuvenating and looked back with pride at the work they had accomplished at ICE.
I would especially like to thank the Changramai Monks who helped fight the battle at our table, including Mark Christiensen, Bruce Meyer and Andrew Durston; as well as a little help from a warrior from the land of GaryCon named Kevin Turner. Commerce was the fight they fought and they handled it with knowledge and information for our customers to be successful with their future battles of realism in fantasy. ICE systems that capture fantasy like no other. The knowledge they spoke of made sense to the travelers and it is with hope that they perhaps changed the thinking of all generations of gamers.
We would especially like to thank all the travelers who visited our table. Their journeys were sometimes random, yet others chose us as their destination. The weary travelers were rejuvenated to see ICE still in existence. A phantom from long ago that has proven it will never die. A phantom who has eternally shaped their view and attitude of gaming. They are forever changed to strive for a better game through ICE products.
It is with great pride that I say thank you to all.
Safe travels and Godspeed.
Read Iron Crown Enterprises official Gen Con round up here

Categories: Company News

ERA Fire and Ice The Elemental Companion out now!

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 16:34

ERA Ice and FireLove the Electronic Roleplaying Assistant (ERA)? Then this will make your day: Iron Crown Enterprises are pleased to announced the release of yet another new module! Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome ERA for Rolemaster RMSS/FRP Fire and Ice The Elemental Companion!
ERA for Rolemaster RMSSFRP Fire and Ice The Elemental Companion
The RMFRP Fire and Ice package for ERA includes 11 professions, 9 attack tables, 2 critical tables, 50 spell lists, and 80 creature templates.
Add an elemental touch to your campaign with the hottest and coolest RMFRP content. Create an elemental specialist for any of the 6 elemental powers, or combine them all under an Arcane Elementalist. Travel the elemental planes with an Elemental Explorer, or fight alongside the elemental companions of an Elemental Champion.
Special attack tables are presented. From the gigantic Boulder, to the powerful ball attacks of Aether and Nether (accompanied by their very own critical tables).
All characters can benefit also from access to the Closed Elemental spell lists. Control light and wield fire, create ice and move the very earth under your enemies.
Elemental creatures of all kinds can take form in your adventures. Fight against an Air Serpent, charge into battle on an Earth Steed, or roam the skies on an Ice Riding Drake.
Buy it now >>
Electronic Roleplaying Assistant
This module is an add-on feature package for ERA for Rolemaster which is available for free from RPGNow.
ERA allows players to create their characters using a step by step wizard, level them up and configure all details in terms of stats, skills and special abilities. These characters can then be added to a running campaign in the adventuring module from which the game master can control all aspects of the game including resolving maneuvers, resistances, resting, and of course, spell casting and combat.
Try ERA for free >>
Love ERA? Check out our complete range of addition modules:
Rolemaster Classic
Character Law
Spell Law
Arms Law
Shadow World Module
Combat Companion
Rolemaster Companion I
Creature Module
Rolemaster Fantasy Role Playing
Core and Character Law
Spell Law
Arms Law
The Armory
Shadow World Module
Combat Companion
Mentalism Companion
Essence Companion
Channeling Companion
Arcane Companion
Creature Module
You can also now get ERA modules in one of three different bundles:
RM Classic core dataset (containing Arms Law, Character Law, Spell Law and RMC Creatures)
RMFRP core dataset (containing Core and Character Law, Spell Law, Arms Law and RMFRP Creatures)
RMFRP companion dataset (containing Arcane Companion, Channeling Companion, Essence Companion and Mentalism Companion).

Categories: Company News

Director’s Briefing – September 2017

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 07:31

If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.
To the seventy-sixth Briefing and the ninth scheduled Briefing of 2017.
ICE at GenCon 2017
Reports from our representatives at GenCon 50 indicate that the convention was a success. Many fans of ICE’s products going way back were delighted to discover that there is still an ICE, that we still make great games and that there will be a new Rolemaster edition. Colin will be bringing you the after-action reports, but I would like to say thank you to Aaron, Monte, Mark, Bruce and Andrew and all the other volunteers for all their hard work in making it possible for this incarnation of ICE to attend and have a successful GenCon.
ICE at GenCon 2018?
Yes. We’ve already agreed with Pointy Hat Games that we should combine forces again for next year’s GenCon.
Shadow World
Terry is still hard at work on the enhanced version of Jaiman. Concurrently we have Craig John creating some of his splendid illustrations for Jaiman.
HARP, HARP SF and Adventure Modules
On HARP Bestiary, Colin has submitted all his updates for the normal and dangerous animals chapter and his water monsters chapter, so only has to write his portion of the introductory chapter (he and Thom were probably hoping I would forget that they owe me some designer notes!) John Duffield is still battling demon stats in the Abyss. I should have a clear evening or two this month to work out what new art we need to commission and what of our existing art resources can be reused for Bestiary. (I can work out the big list of required art on the train with my tablet, but playing match the art need to existing art needs more screen estate and easier multitasking.) If I am really clever, I will do this in a sufficiently systematic fashion that the resulting spreadsheet / database will make the same process for RMU Creature Law much less painful.
“A Wedding in Axebridge” (by Chris Seal) is with Terry for layout, jostling for his attention with Jaiman. A firsst layout draft is expected in a week or so. Chris Seal has already sent me several large chunks of the Caer Glais draft, his followup campaign module, and I’ve made a small preview of its deep history for the Guild Companion.
I completed my editing pass of the draft of the Garden of Rain adventure module by Brad White. It is really good. I have asked Brad to add in RMSS/FRP and RM Classic stats. Brad has already written RMU stat blocks (compatible with Beta 2). Dependent on timings and whether any elements of RMU change that affect what Brad used, the RMU stats will either be in the book or will be available as a free download.
I have started the revisions to the manuscript previously known as Something Wicked, carefully removing material from the professions chapter that has been covered elsewhere. There will be at least four new professions introduced – the Demonologist, the Mentalist, the Warlock/Witch, and the Wildmage. The Demonologist and the Mentalist are intended as additional variant Mage professions, such that the Demonologist is the magical counterpoint to the Elementalist and the Mentalist is the magical counterpoint to the Thaumaturge. The Warlock/Witch is intended to support the literary and fantasy stereotypes of the classical witch and witches’ coven. The Wildmage is a self-taught magical practitioner whose spell set is as individual as they are. In Rolemaster terms, the Wildmage is closest in spirit to the Rolemaster Arcane Companion’s Chaotic – unlike the Chaotic, the Wildmage does not have a fixed set of spells – they are assigned semi-randomly.
HARP currently lacks a full-blown caster of mental magic. The original College of Magics manuscript introduced a caster known as the Mystic, but for space reasons, it was omitted from the 2004 published edition. As the focus of the reworked “Mystic” spells will occupy the same conceptual space as Rolemaster’s Mentalist and Seer professions, calling it a Mentalist makes sense. Looking to the future, a HARP Mentalist profession will make it easier to support Shadow World using HARP mechanics.
ERA for Rolemaster and RMU
ERA for Rolemaster Ice and FireMax has been busy creating another dataset for ERA. This time he brings us the RMSS/FRP Fire & Ice: The Elemental Companion dataset. This is available now from OneBookShelf.
He is also carefully adjusting ERA so that it will be able to handle the transition to RMU mechanics seamlessly, and is in conversations with the RMU team on various rules issues and clarifications.
Until next time
Back to editing drafts, writing my own and gently nagging freelancers. The next scheduled Briefing will be in October 2017.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News

Save money on AutoHARP and ERA with e-support bundles

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 11:37

ERA for RolemasterWhile some roleplaying gamers love scratch paper, friends round a table and the feeling of holding your dice in your hand, others are keen to remove what they see as some of the less exciting, more administrative aspects of gaming so that they can focus on the characters, the adventure and the excitement.
To that end, Iron Crown Enterprises has created a number of different e-support products to manage everything from character creation and combat tracking to complete virtual tabletops.
We’re really pleased with the products that we’ve produced, so much so that we want as many people to be using them as possible (if that’s how they like to game) so we have created bundles on RPGNow so that you can buy complete sets of Iron Crown e-support products all in one go.
Electronic Roleplaying Assistant for Rolemaster
ERA (Electronic Roleplaying Assistant) for Rolemaster is the ultimate companion for Rolemaster campaigns. This free application manages all aspects of your RPG including character creation, campaign management and combat resolution.
You can download the application for free from RPGNow and now you can buy add-ons for the product in three bundles: RM Classic core dataset (containing Arms Law, Character Law, Spell Law and RMC Creatures), RMFRP core dataset (containing Core and Character Law, Spell Law, Arms Law and RMFRP Creatures) and RMFRP companion dataset (containing Arcane Companion, Channeling Companion, Essence Companion and Mentalism Companion).
Each of these bundles are now available for just $20 which is almost half the original price.
In addition to the ERA bundles, we are now offering two bundles for the brilliant AutoHARP e-support product.
AutoHARP combines a Character Creator and a Combat Tracker and is available for both HARP Fantasy and HARP-SF. We are now offering two bundles for AutoHARP – An SF bundle (containing AutoHARP SF and AutoHARP SF Xtreme datasets) and an AutoHARP Fantasy Supplements bundle (containing the Martial Law, College of Magics and Folkways datasets). Both bundles can be picked up from RPGNow for just $15.
For more information on Iron Crown Enterprises’ e-support offering, please visit our e-support page. For hints and tips on how to get the most out of ERA for Rolemaster or AutoHARP and to have your say on which features you would like to see next, visit the Iron Crown Enterprises forum.

Categories: Company News

Director’s Briefing – August 2017

Thu, 08/03/2017 - 12:28

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To the seventy-fifth Briefing and the eighth scheduled Briefing of 2017.
ICE at GenCon 2017
GenCon is only days away. Eight large boxes of HARP and Shadow World books have safely made it to the Pointy Hat Games gathering point and will be on the road soon to GenCon. Various packs of flyers and bookmarks and assorted odds and ends have also arrived. Colin is geared up to support with some transatlantic marketing. Our representatives (Aaron, Monte, and Mark) are ready to man the stand and our GM reps have tables booked, and we wish them all every success.
ICE at Dragonmeet 2017
The call to traders to book stands went up mid-month. I had our stand and our trade badges booked that very same day.
Dragonmeet will be Saturday 2nd December. This year, they have added a new hall, increasing the gaming, seminar and demo space considerably.. Tickets are now available from
Shadow World
The time window for Terry to get Jaiman complete for a last-minute print run for GenCon has already closed. Which is a shame, but looking on the bright side, I will have a less madcap editing phase, which means fewer typos in the pdf and the ability to release the pdf well ahead of the print books (so hopefully even fewer typos in print).  
HARP, HARP SF and Adventure Modules
The adventure module, “A Wedding in Axebridge”, is now ready for its layout phase – again too close for GenCon safety. A real cover by Raymond (rather than giving the game away with a location map on the front cover as in the previous edition), new interior artwork by Raymond and Maria, and refreshed maps and layouts by Joel. I completed the stat block update to be consistent with HARP Fantasy. Once Terry completes his writing work on Jaiman, I will edit Jaiman while he does layout on A Wedding in Axebridge.
I am now embarked on my editing pass of the full draft of Brad White’s Garden of Rain adventure module.
Nothing new to report from Jonathan and Joeri from the RMU Creature Law trenches
Computer Software Projects
HARP Folkways coverWe are very pleased to announce the release of the latest AutoHARP dataset, namely AutoHARP Folkways. This has all the new races and cultures from HARP Folkways plus a random culture generator based on the tables found in that volume.
AutoHARP Folkways is available now from OneBookShelf.
You will note that this dataset has been priced at 7 USD. We have listened to customer feedback and we have repriced all of the AutoHARP products. In addition, we are now offering two bundle products – an SF bundle containing AutoHARP SF and AutoHARP SF Xtreme, and an AutoHARP Fantasy Supplements bundle containing the Martial Law, College of Magics and Folkways datasets.
Similarly we have held discussions with Max regarding ERA and we are now very pleased to offer three bundle deals for ERA – a RM Classic core dataset deal of Arms Law, Character Law, Spell Law and RMC Creatures, a RMFRP core dataset deal of Core and Character Law, Arms Law, Spell Law and RMFRP Creatures, and a RMFRP Companion dataset deal of Arcane, Channeling, Essence, and Mentalism Companion datasets. Each of these bundles is priced at 20 USD, so an effective saving of almost 20 USD compared to purchasing each dataset of the bundle individually.
The validation event for the new MSc Computer Games Development degree at the University of Suffolk took place today (1st August). I essentially invited myself – there have to be some perks to being a professor! – but made it clear that I was attending on behalf of ICE.
The degree was successfully validated. Some modest conditions for the course team, but nothing that they cannot handle trivially.
One of the course team has already been in discussion with me regarding possible projects, including a possible project that he could undertake himself as a way of encouraging students to engage with us. We look forward to setting the students some significant challenges which will hopefully lead to some great computer games and apps.
Until next time
For those of you fortunate to be attending GenCon, have a great time.
For me, it is back to a mix of writing Something Wicked and editing manuscripts. The next scheduled Briefing will be in September 2017.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News

Green Gryphon Inn now an electrum pick!

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 11:32

Green Gryphon Inn RPG adventure coverIron Crown Enterprises are thrilled to announce that Shadow World: Tales from the Green Gryphon Inn is now an electrum pick product on RPGNow!
Very few products on RPGNow ever reach the level of ‘electrum pick’ and we’re incredibly proud that Green Gryphon Inn has now received this accolade and that it has achieved it quite so quickly.
Huge congratulations and thanks to Terry K. Amthor and everyone involved in creating the product and thanks to everyone who has bought it, played it and loved it. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Shadow World: Tales from the Green Gryphon Inn
Terry Amthor brings you a brand-new adventure module for Shadow World. Set in northern Rhakhaan on the continent of Jaiman, this module includes:

  • Nine complete adventures, plus several adventure seeds
  • Complete plans of the Green Gryphon Inn, along with profiles of the eccentric staff.
  • Complete stats for major NPCs in Rolemaster Second Edition/RM Classic and RMRFP /RMSS.
  • Charts for area encounters, pricing charts for food and lodging. Information about the Kingdom Highway crossroads.
  • Powers of the ancient Gryphon Bridge, built by the mythical Earthwardens.
  • Layout of the town of Gryphonburgh, including important locations.

If you haven’t bought your copy of Shadow World: Tales from the Green Gryphon Inn yet, you can get your copy from RPGNow where you can also get a wide range of other Shadow World setting material from Iron Crown Enterprises.

Categories: Company News

What makes a game great?

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 07:06

What makes a tabletop RPG great?Regardless of which tabletop roleplaying game is your favourite, everyone who has ever played an RPG, whether as a GM or as a player has got a story to tell about it. Whether they are perfectly timed critical hits, hilarious critical failures, epic stories, life-long friendships or perfectly rounded characters, everyone has something to say about “this great game I played in once”.
With that in mind I wanted to see if there was some commonality about these ‘great’ games. Is there a recipe for success? Can GMs follow a step-by-step guide and create a game that people will be talking about for generations to come? We asked our fans and followers what they thought made a game great and here are the results.
First off, we asked people how much they felt certain aspects of a game contributed to making it great. What follows are the game elements from most popular to least popular with their weighted scores. To be clear, we weren’t asking what made an RPG system great but what made an individual game run by a GM great.
An engaging story – 2.78
A talented GM – 2.68
A well thought out and fleshed out world/setting – 2.51
The opportunity to develop your character – 2.49
Players that you get along with – 2.41
Playing a system that you know and understand – 2.27
Excitement and high stakes – 2.22
Funny moments – 2.12
A sandbox type environment – 2.10
Puzzle solving – 1.90
Politics and intrigue – 1.90
Lots of combat – 1.80
A clear beginning, middle and end to the game – 1.73
While the results don’t show an obvious winner, it is clear that an engaging story and a GM with the talent to carry the story off and help players remain immersed in their world for the duration of the game are the keys to success.
While it doesn’t show any huge surprises in terms of what people look for in a game, I was a little surprised to see that “players that you get along with” and “lots of combat” were as low as they were.
In addition to this, we asked respondents if they had any other comments on what they felt made a game great. Though we can’t show all the responses, below are a few of the more thought-provoking ones:
“Players who play well”
“Allowing players to be anything they want and develop their characters however they want”
“An environment for playing that has very few distractions”
“A well-balanced adventure in which each player has a chance to shine”

What are your thoughts on what makes a game great? Is there anything you think we have missed or anything you disagree with? The survey is now closed but you can still have your say on the ICE forum.

Categories: Company News

Director’s Briefing – July 2017

Thu, 07/06/2017 - 07:22

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To the seventy-fourth Briefing and the seventh scheduled Briefing of 2017.
ICE at GenCon 2017
GenCon approaches. An order for several hundred HARP and Shadow World books has been placed through OneBookShelf to LightningSource. It’s a mixture of hardcovers and softcovers, so hopefully something for everyone’s budget. We will be watching with baited breath as the books are printed and dispatched to the Pointy Hat Games gathering point. We don’t know whether we have underestimated or overestimated demand and one of the jobs of our reps will be to keep a close eye on sales. Regardless, those boxes of books will be giving an important message to GenCon goers – ICE is back.
Shadow World
Terry is back from his short vacation and has been going all out on an enhanced version of Jaiman. Craig John is already working on the art. As soon as Terry can send me the complete manuscript, I will commission the RMSS/FRP stats and undertake an editing pass. Terry is hoping that he can get Jaiman ready in time to sneak some hot off the press print copies to GenCon.
Terry has put Haalkitaine and the editorial work into holding mode so that he can focus on completing Jaiman in this narrow time window. (We will aim to have Haalkitaine available for Dragonmeet. Which reminds me that it is nearly time for the call to book stands for Dragonmeet 2017 to appear.)
HARP, HARP SF and Adventure Modules
While Terry is focusing on Jaiman for GenCon, my focus is on A Wedding in Axebridge. Joel has transformed Chris’ sketches in a set of wonderful and effective maps and location layouts. I am labouring away on getting all the stat blocks in place. I still cannot tell if the final version will be large enough for print-on-demand. If it is, then it will be a softcover only, probably staple bound like the Shadow World Player Guide rather than the slender perfect-bound edition of Tales from the Green Gryphon Inn. Again, it’s a hard push to get it ready for GenCon, especially if it is a print-viable product.
Jonathan and Joeri are working furiously on monster skill bonuses (so that you have plausible and consistent numbers for when you need a creature’s skill in Perception or Stalk/Hide). They are also figuring out the best split of Creature Law into two volumes.
Computer Software Projects
The validation event for the new MSc Computer Games Development degree at the University of Suffolk has been set for 1st August. A validation event is where a panel including external experts from academia and industry reviews a proposed new degree and determines whether it has been appropriately designed and developed, and whether the proposing department and staff are able to deliver. I may be invited to attend – if so, I will be attending as a Director of ICE to give my views on how ICE can work with course academics and students to create innovative computer games which will be good for the students in terms of gaining experience and building portfolios, and good for ICE fans in terms of new stuff to play with and to support all our games.
Until next time
Back to a mix of writing and editing as we race to GenCon. The next scheduled Briefing will be in August 2017.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News

Roleplaying adventure hooks

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 07:23

Looking for inspiration for your next roleplaying adventure? Then look no further! We’ve put together these three adventure hooks to give you some ideas for your next gaming session. Enjoy!
Political suicide
One by one the city’s politicians have been brutally murdered. Now no-one is willing to take office and the city is slowly slipping into anarchy.
A large city state has seen all its politicians murdered one by one. Now officials are resigning in fear and no one is willing to take any kind of public office. Local law enforcement have got no leads and the city is beginning to slip into anarchy. Your adventurers must find the culprit and keep the city running in the meantime.
The haunted woods
On a scouting mission you find an un-touched gold mine. You could be rich beyond your wildest dreams. But you will need to tell some lies to get it.
Your party are sent to scout a location for a new settlement and rid the area of beasts. However, after a brief look round, it becomes apparent that you are standing on top of a huge seam of gold. You could be rich but you’ll have to convince the townsfolk not to move here and to forever avoid these ‘haunted’ woods.
Friends in need
An ‘earthquake’ has caused the collapse of large parts of an underground dwarven city. You must find survivors, survive yourself and discover the cause of these quakes.
A messenger arrives from a nearby dwarven city. An earthquake has caused a cave in and hundreds are trapped, dying or dead. You must send aid. However, it soon becomes clear that these are not natural earthquakes and to prevent further death, your party will need to find the source of the ‘quakes’ and put a stop to it.
Previous adventure hook posts:
Adventure Hooks #1
Adventure Hooks #2
Adventure Hooks #3
Adventure Hooks #4
If you think you could turn one of these adventure hooks (or one of your own creation) into a full blown adventure module for publication, we’d love to hear from you – Get in touch >>

Categories: Company News

Rolemaster Classic goes electrum!

Fri, 06/09/2017 - 07:14

Rolemaster Classic CoversIt is with great pride and pleasure that Iron Crown Enterprises can announce that all three core rulebooks for Rolemaster Classic (Character Law, Spell Law and Arms Law) are now electrum pick products on RPGNow!
We’re proud of all of our products, but it is always good to see one (let alone three) surpass the bronze and silver pick products to become electrum. A huge thanks to everyone who has bought and supported these products. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Rolemaster Classic
Rolemaster offers advanced and expert role players the opportunity to take part in a game filled with gritty realism and exciting open-ended dice roles where the only limit is your imagination.
Character Law pioneered many of today’s gaming concepts and still sets the standard for fantasy RPG character creation. Character Law offers you the power to create the character of your dreams, from the toughest fighter to the most powerful spell caster.
Arms Law is about fantasy roleplaying combat – the kind that leaves you shaking and bragging to your friends about your character’s exploits. If you prefer safe, ho hum, by-the-numbers RPG combat then Arms Law is not for you. If you are looking for fantasy roleplaying combat that leaves you breathless your quest ends here.
Spell Law is at the heart of the Rolemaster system. Explore new realms of power and plumb the depths of magic without sacrificing playability. Why settle for less when your spellcaster can have it all?
If you haven’t yet tried Rolemaster Classic, you can get the core rules along with supplements such as RMC Creature & Treasures, the Electronic Roleplaying Assistant and Emer III and other Shadow World setting material from RPGNow.

Categories: Company News

Director’s Briefing – June 2017

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 11:25

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To the seventy-third Briefing and the sixth scheduled Briefing of 2017. Its marking season again for me – the worst is now over, but there will be a second spike in the second week of July as summer term module assignments and resit exam scripts turn up.
ICE at GenCon 2017
Another month closer to GenCon. Colin is tracking availability of people to man the stand and run games. We have been asked by fans “Do I have to run game X?” and “Do I have to man the stand?” and similar sorts of questions. The simple answer is that we want all our fans to have fun at GenCon. So if you want to run RMU, HARP, HARP SF, Spacemaster (2nd or Privateers), Rolemaster (Classic or FRP) or Run out the Guns!, then go ahead. Run the game you want to run and run it well, so that you have fun and your players have fun. In terms of manning the stand, we believe we have coverage, but if you want to do some stand work for a couple of hours, let Colin know and he’ll add you to the supporting list.
Last month, I indicated that there was a three-writer race on who would finish their portion of HARP Bestiary first. I won! I finished the Elemental chapter. All 72 stat blocks completed. Since I knew the marking hurricane was coming, I rewrote the introductory chapter to bring it into alignment with the rest of the manuscript. I also performed an editing pass on John’s chapter on Lycanthropes. In terms of the race, it is now between John finishing the Demon stats and Colin finishing his stat checking. Once both John and Colin are finished, there will be a full manuscript editing sweep, the artwork phase and then the layout phase. As all the monster entries are known, we don’t need to wait on John or Colin. I need to create the big list of illos required, we (and it will probably be Terry and I) need to determine which illos can be met from existing art resources, and for which illos we would like new art, and then get artists underway on those new illos.
Last month, I indicated that we had received a very strong proposal for HARP Subterfuge. I am delighted to say that the author (who wishes to remain anonymous at this time) is now under contract with us. Elsewhere Jon Cassie is still working quietly away on HARP Beyond the Veil (the divine sourcebook) and Sam Orton is fortifying himself with work on HARP Strongholds. In HARP SF, I am equally delighted to report that Clint Fell is formally under contract for HARP SF Vehicles Compendium, and that Joel Lovell has been producing additional art for his Poseidon Gambit adventure module. I have distracted Joel, however, with some cartography work.
Adventure Modules
Andrew and Heleen Durston have asked to be released from their contract on the “Trail of the Corrupt” adventure module for personal reasons. They have generously offered their working notes to anyone who would like to take over the project.
Brad White has completed his full draft of the “Garden of Rain” adventure module and that is now in my editorial intray.
Having been released from the critical writing path for HARP Bestiary and with Bestiary now essentially stable, a number of projects can now advance (as they are no longer waiting on monster stat blocks). I have already completed a full editing pass on Chris Seal’s A Wedding in Axebridge module. We have a gorgeous front cover and some fantastic new additional interior art already – Joel is reworking Chris’ sketch maps and plans. I have to essentially drop in the new monsters stats from Bestiary and then this module will be ready for layout. The only question is whether the new version of A Wedding in Axebridge will have enough pages to be viable in a printed edition as well as a pdf edition.
Rolemaster and ERA
Jonathan and Joeri are still crunching monsters for Creature Law. I am currently trying to figure out how best to perform my editing pass on the other RMU books –I am fairly certain that large portions of the editing won’t be sensible to undertake on my tablet. Still experimenting with what works and what does not.
Max has been updating ERA to include RMFRP flaws in the RMSS/FRP datasets, fixing some bugs and preparing ERA for future support of RMU. Updated datasets can be downloaded from the OneBookShelf network.
Computer Software Projects
As those of you who read these Briefings on a regular basis are likely aware, I am a computing professor at the University of Suffolk. Officially I am Professor of Information Systems Engineering (so almost Professor of ICE) and one of my big tasks has been to expand the computing portfolio at Suffolk, sometimes in concert with other teams. The next degree we expect to validate will be a MSc in Computer Games Development, as a postgraduate taught progression route for undergraduates.
So why do you care?
Firstly in the UK, all undergraduates do some form of final-year project. For students on our BA Hons Computer Games Design and BSc Hons Computer Games Programming degrees, they do final-year projects and other projects throughout their programmes which typically involve the creation of game software artefacts of varying complexity, so that they have portfolios to show to future employers. Secondly, the intention of the MSc Computer Games Development degree is to go beyond this with student teams forming virtual companies to develop software from conception to release. Wearing my ICE hat, I offered my colleagues in computer gaming the opportunity to have their students create games for our rules systems and settings, whether these be desktop, web or mobile app games. My colleagues are keen to run with this.
We would be interested in hearing your ideas for what sort of computer games you would like to see created using ICE rules and worlds. I have already suggested that something like Baldur’s Gate but using HARP rules and the Cyradon setting would be great. Post your ideas on our forums.
I should note that there are still places available on our undergraduate gaming degrees for September 2017; once we have the MSc Computer Games Development validated, we will be able to accept students on that programme – we may even run a cohort in September 2017.
Until next time
Back to a mix of writing and editing. The next scheduled Briefing will be in July 2017.
Best wishes,
Director, Iron Crown Enterprises Ltd
If you would like to receive the Director’s Briefing straight to your inbox each month, you can sign up to our mailing list HERE.

Categories: Company News