The last 24 hours have been a little insane.
Early last night, as I was picking up my new set of spectacles (I have no-light vision in my right eye), Chris Merwin (the creative genius behind Black Star Studios, LLC) posted a link to the Ennies on my Facebook page. I very quickly discovered that The Shadowlands Conversion Guide, which I co-wrote and designed with him, was nominated for two Ennies. The first, entirely the effort of infamous cartographer Jon Roberts, was for – you guessed it – Best Cartography! The nomination is well-earned. Jon does amazing work!
The second nomination, which I am particularly proud of, is for Best Free Product. I knew Chris wanted, much like I had, to give part of his setting to the gaming world for free. So, seeing it recognized for that is a real honor.
(Sort of makes me wish I had submitted the Rhune character primer back in 2010 for the 2011 awards.)
Just getting the nominations blew us collectively out of the water. Because Chris and I work together on a lot of fronts, we tend to share ideas, challenges, and victories. You might even say that Storm Bunny Studios, LLC and Black Star Studios, LLC are brothers-in-arms; as far as companies go, we tend to look for creative, positive, and constructive ways to challenge one another.
So you can probably imagine that their nomination feels like a victory for Storm Bunny Studios, LLC.
But in all victories lies challenge and this serves as a call-to-arms as well. It’s a reminder that I have a lot of work to do, plenty of room for improvement (a recent two-star product review reminded me of that), and a very BIG vision – both Rhune: Dawn of Twilight and Storm Bunny Studios. And while I will have to start generating some income for the company (good art isn’t free), I still want to be able to give away stuff – a fact I’m going to continually re-work into both SBS and Rhune: Dawn of Twilight.
Here’s what I’m going to ask each of you.
If you are running anything Stormpunk, in Rhune or outside of it, tell us about it. Leave comments, share stories on our Facebook page, or take pics of play. Make suggestions. Let us know how we can serve the D20/PFRPG community better. Give us challenges. Tell us what you want to see.
And when and where we can improve, you can bet we will make every effort to do just that!
Concerning the Automata & Skill Restrictions
In the above mentioned review, the reviewer (who I believe was more than fair) mentioned a few things he didn’t feel balanced about the Automata. While I don’t agree with all of his comments (and I won’t discuss all of his points), he did mention one that, now that I look at it, is very poignant. He points out something that is in dire need of correction and that was, at the time, worded very, very poorly. He wrote:
“However, as presented, the pdf lacks crucial information on the race and its design-decisions did not convince me – the untrained skill-restriction, the customization-magic item-overlap, the penalization of arcane casters and the lack of healing-skill-clarification all conspire to drag down what could have easily been a stellar pdf, as the basic premise and balancing seem sound.”
In the product, the Skill Restrictions paragraph says:
“• SKILL RESTRICTION: Unlike most living races, the automata learn and memorize skills in a very specific manner that makes using skills they were not programmed with very difficult. As a result, automata may only use the following skills untrained: Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy,Intimidate, and Perception.”
In hindsight, this was a bad design call. When the automata are incorporated into the next Rhune: Dawn of Twilight Stormpunk Character Primer (which will incorporate Paizo Publishing’s Advanced Races Guide, Ultimate Magic, and Advanced Player’s Guide), we’ll fix this.
Until then, feel free to following errata:
“• SKILL RESTRICTION: Unlike most living races, the automata learn and memorize skills in a very specific manner that makes using skills they were not programmed with very difficult. As a result, automata only receive ability modifier bonuses on the following untrained skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy,Intimidate, and Perception. They still receive ability modifier bonuses on all trained skills. Because of their design and weight, automata cannot swim.”
Of course, fully expect to see a height-weight chart, as well as more information on healing the automata at that time, as well!