29 June 2017

grodog's NTX 2017 Convention Report - Part 1

+Jon Hershberger  and I have been attending the North Texas RPG Convention since its inaugural convocation in 2009, and our first publication premiered there, too---our 1e conversion of the Goodman Games module DCC 7 Secret of Smuggler’s Cove.  So, NTX holds a special place in our hearts, both as gamers and as publishers.  

NTX wouldn't exist as a convention without the organization, sponsorship, and commitment of its founders, Doug "ScketreWhisp" Rhea and Mike "Badmike" Badolato, and the best news from the convention was seeing Doug Rhea and how great he is doing!  For those who hadn't heard, Doug announced just before Christmas last year that he had stage 4 colon cancer and would begin radiation and chemotherapy in January.  His treatment is continuing, but he looked great at the convention, and was in his usual excellent spirits---hustling, bustling, and making everything come together just-right throughout the event! :D

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Jon and I drove separately to Dallas this year, and I left a bit earlier in the morning than he and Nathalie did, so I arrived mid-afternoon.  There was a lot to sort through on the initial arrival, especially that we could begin setting up our joint Black Blade-Goodman Games booth tonight (we weren't originally going to have access to the exhibitor hall room until Thursday morning, but the event that was scheduled to be in that space cancelled on the hotel, so we were able to begin setup on Wednesday evening).  

As a result of that unexpected news, I cancelled my Pagan Publishing "Grace Under Pressure" game for Call of Cthulhu (which I had scheduled for Wednesday night knowing we wouldn't be setting up the booth...), which I felt bad about, since it was a full event (8 players), and I've never cancelled a convention game like that before.  Despite my misgivings about cancelling, and even with getting started early, Jon and I still worked on the booth until 11:30pm, so it was the right call.

The other good news from Wednesday was that the half-palette of cases of Tales of Peril all arrived safe-and-sound the day before, on Tuesday.  We also had copies of The Twisting Stair #2 (Summer 2017)---which arrived at my home in Kansas two days before on Monday---and a number of other new titles at the convention, including:

  • Dwellers in Dark Places by Matt Hargenrader - a new monster manual for OSRIC
  • Mothshade Concepts' Avremier, Dhavon, and House of Illthrix by David A. Hill 
  • The new Goodman Games reprint of the Judges Guild Book of Treasure Maps by Jennell Jaquays
  •  Rob Kuntz's new non-fiction book, Dave Arneson's True Genius
  •  The new conventions-only module, Blood of the Serpent, and two new sets of DCC Dice---Ming’s Infernal Bones and The Dice of Lost Lemuria---for the DCC RPG from Goodman Games

Thomas Denmark's new games, Terence Gunn's Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier, the Epsilon City boxed set for Metamorphosis Alpha, and a pile books from third-party OSR and DCC publishers rounded out our newest offerings at the convention:

Black Blade Publishing and Goodman Games at NTX 2017

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Thursdays at NTX are usually the busiest at the convention, and this year proved to be no exception.  Sale throughout the day were good, and we also donated Tales of Peril #1 to the Saturday night auction to support Doug's cancer treatment:  

+Chris Holmes arrived early afternoon and was able to check out the book for the first time.  He was very pleased with it, and promptly started showing it off to folks wandering by the booth :D

Thursday night normally closes with Jon and I gaming at the Knights & Knaves Social, but we ended up arriving a bit later than usual (just before 7pm or so), and the game was already well-underway.  

Standing at the head of the table are co-DMs Steve Robertson (of Vanquishing Leviathan and the OSRIC Players Guide fame) and Jimm Johnson (of the equally-famous Scribes of Sparn), while the motley crew of K&K veterans, regulars, newbies, and random victims of the tabletop.events registration system:

Jimm, with Random Wizard, brews the beer for the Social each year---this year featured both Black Wizard Stout and OD&D Bug Bear Pumpkin Ale:

Steve wrote an excellent event summary over on K&K (and in following posts; login probably required to read it), and you can download the KK2 The Mystic Cup of Gygax adventure for free from Jimm's blog, too! 

After enjoying the mayhem with Chris and Jon for a little while, shooting a few pictures, and cackling madly with the DMs behind their screens, we left to eat dinner at Terra Mediterranean, and it was excellent (and not too far from the hotel).  The only advantage of not playing in the K&K Social was that I did at least get to bed at a decent hour :D

Part 2 to follow!


25 June 2017

How to Order Tales of Peril (and other books) from Black Blade Publishing

Black Blade Publishing premiered Tales of Peril: The Complete Boinger and Zereth Stories of John Eric Holmes the first week of June 2017 at the North Texas RPG Convention, in Dallas, Texas!

Tales of Peril is Available!
Tales of Peril is Available!

Like our flagship OSRIC rule book, the Tales of Peril book is heavy---just over two pounds, which is still half the weight of the monstrous four-pound OSRIC rulebook---so fewer shipping options are available. 

In our research with USPS, we've discovered some useful ways to try to reduce your shipping costs, while still providing superior protection for Tales of Peril during transit:
  • Within the domestic United States of America, USPS Media Mail and USPS Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope are very close in cost, due to the weight of Tales of Peril and $50 insurance to the baseline USPS Media Mail shipping rates. 
    • We recommend shipping via USPS Priority Mail, since it includes $50 insurance as well as tracking for the package.
    • The USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box offers the best-possible protection to the book while in transit, and the protection of the box is superior to USPS Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope.  
    • Delivery for USPS Media Mail should be within 6-12 business days.   USPS Priority Mail should be within three business days. 
  • For international orders, the USPS Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope also provides the most-affordable shipping option for a single copy of the book.
    • International shipping rates for multiples copies of the book are very high, so the most-affordable option then is to combine shipping for multiple books together, since the shipping costs will already be ludicrous.   


How to Order

While the Black Blade web site remains down, to order Tales of Peril, follow these easy steps:
  1. Each copy of the Book costs $35.00. 
  2. Use the tables below to select your shipping option.  International customers should request a shipping quote from Black Blade via email to tacojohndm@yahoo.com 
  3. Total the cost for your books plus shipping, and remit that amount in USD to the Black Blade Publishing Paypal Account:  tacojohndm@yahoo.com

Additional Terms and Conditions

  1. Payment to Black Blade Publishing LLC may be made by PayPal (send payment to: tacojohndm@yahoo.com) or by major credit card (we’ll have to arrange to get your credit card information---please do NOT email that data to us).
  2. We can also send you a PayPal invoice if that is more convenient for you. Invoices are due and payable at your convenience. 
  3. Shipping for Domestic USA larger orders will be by FedEx or UPS ground service, which are both slower than USPS Priority Mail. Delivery by FedEx or UPS ground should be within 5-7 business days from the date of shipping. 
  4. Order turnaround runs 24-48 hours from the date orders and payments are received, holidays, weekends, and in the immediate aftermath of games conventions excepted.
  5. Once your order ships, you will receive an email confirmation of shipping, an estimated date of delivery, and a USPS tracking number.
  6.  Please retain all shipping materials if there are any problems with your order, in case an insurance claim needs to be filed with the USPS, FedEx, or UPS. 
  7. Also, if returning part or all of your order, please pack the return shipment to protect the items being returned. 
  8. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. Period.

If Shipping Tales of Peril Alone

If you are ordering a single copy of Tales of Peril, use the following shipping rates:
  • USA DOMESTIC Shipping & Handling

    1 copy @ 32.0 ounces.: USPS Media Mail with $50 insurance @ $6.50USPS Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope @ $8.50, USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box @ $15.00

  • INTERNATIONAL Shipping & Handling

    1 copy @ 32.0 ounces.: USPS Priority Mail Padded Flat Rate Envelope @ $35.00

If Shipping Tales of Peril Order Combined with Other Black Blade Titles

For both domestic and international orders, please contact Black Blade via email at tacojohndm@yahoo.com to request an individualized shipping quote.


If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please post them here, or via The Black Blade Publishing Facebook Page or email us at tacojohndm@yahoo.com.

Previous Tales of Peril Previews:

08 June 2017

The Twisting Stair #2 (Summer 2017)

The second issue of The Twisting Stair, an old-school dungeon design newsletter/zine (we're still not quite sure of our product identity yet ;) ) premiered at the North Texas RPG Con in Dallas, Texas last week/end.

TTS #2 is 20 pages (an increase of 4 pages from The Twisting Stair #1), features a nice goldenrod cardstock cover,
and is now available for purchase!:

TTS#2 Contents

Here's what's in The Twisting Stair #2 (Summer 2017):
  • From Kuroth’s Quill:  "Treasure Maps: From Traditional to Engimatic" -- Part 2, concluding Allan's FKQ column from The Twisting Stair #1, with the following new/modified tables (baselining from the DMG page 120): 
  • Maps and Symbols: the Keys to the Mega-Dungeon by Allan and Tony -- A comprehensive listing of symbols to use in your mega-dungeon maps 
  • Critters and Glitters
    • New monster - The Naamah (a greater devil) by Tony  
    • New 4th level MU spell - The Multi-Faceted Portal-Penetrating Gaze by Allan 
  • The Centerfold Mega-Dungeon Map by Tony and Allan -- The next 11"x17" level!
  • Wandering Pairings by Tony 
  • Down the Twisting Stair by Tony Rosten -- Mega-dungeon Accoutrements
    • Locks and Keys
    • The Lanterns of Celestial Lights
    • Blighted Brambles 
    • The Chronoporter
  • Dungeon Geomorphs by Tony and Allan
    • 9 designed geomorphs
    • 3 blanks

Interesting Developments!

If you haven't seen TTS#1 "in action" yet, +Guy Fullerton and EOTB have both begun to key and populate the mega-dungeon map from TTS#1!  Feel free to join in the discussion over on The Knights & Knaves Alehouse, or in the The Twisting Stair G+ Community.

Postage Costs

Thankfully, shipping rates remain largely the same for TTS #2 as for TTS #1.  Rates remained the same as for TTS#1 except for international shipping outside of Canada when ordering two copies:

USA DOMESTIC Shipping & Handling

  • Envelope Only
    • 1 copy @ 3.0 oz.: 1st class large envelope @ $2.50, Priority Flat Rate Envelope @ $7.00 
    • 2 copies @ 5.2 oz.:  1st class large envelope @ $2.50, Priority Flat Rate Envelope @ $7.00 
  • Envelope + Cardboard Backing
    • 1 copy w/cardboard @ 5.1 oz:  1st class parcel @ $3.50, Priority Flat Rate Envelope @ $7.00 
    • 2 copies w/cardboard @ 7.3 oz.:  1st class parcel @ $4.00, Priority Flat Rate Envelope @ $7.00

INTERNATIONAL Shipping & Handling

  • Envelope Only
    • 1 copy @ 3.0 oz.:  1st class international large envelope @ $3.75 to CANADA, @ $5.25 to AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, HUNGARY, and the UK 
    • 2 copies @ 5.2 oz.:  1st class international large envelope @ $4.25 to CANADA, @ $8.00 to AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, HUNGARY, and the UK 
  • Envelope + Cardboard Backing
    • 1 copy w/cardboard @ 5.1 oz:  1st class international large envelope @ $10.50 to CANADA, @ $15.00 to AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, HUNGARY, and the UK
    • 2 copies w/cardboard @ 7.3 oz.:  1st class international large envelope @ $10.50 to CANADA, @ $15.00 to AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, HUNGARY, and the UK

Combined Shipping:  We're happy to combine shipping of copies of TTS#1 and #2, of course. 

The Fine Print on Postage:  All prices are in United States Dollars (USD), and we may need to change them with issue #3 (which may be larger than the 20 pages in issue #2), or if I go to the post office and find that our due diligence didn't quite pan out for some reason.

How to Order The Twisting Stair

New orders can be placed by sending $4 for TTS#1 and $5 for TTS#2 and using the above postage guidelines to calculate postage due.  You can submit payment via Black Blade Publishing's Paypal account (we'll eventually set up TTS with its own Paypal account) and send payment to tacojohndm@yahoo.com.   If you would like to buy more than 2 copies of The Twisting Stair #1, you'll have to request a postage quote by emailing thetwistingstair@gmail.com, then Tony or Allan will get back to you.

FYI, if you're ordering just copies of TTS, Allan will ship those orders; if you're ordering copies of TTS as well as other Black Blade Publishing books, then Jon is happy to combine shipping for those orders.  

Subscriptions, Submissions, and Other Questions

At this time, we are neither offering subscriptions to The Twisting Stair, nor are we accepting submissions.  We're also only offering TTS in print.  Those statuses may-well change in the future, but since The Twisting Stair is a new venture for both Tony and Allan, we're trying to keep things manageable while we get our sea legs. 

If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments, please post them here, or via The Twisting Stair Google+ community or The Twisting Stair Facebook Page or email us at thetwistingstair@gmail.com.


05 June 2017

Tales of Peril - the Final Preview: the book has arrived!

Tales of Peril: The Complete Boinger and Zereth Stories of John Eric Holmes, premiered last week at the North Texas RPG Convention, in Dallas, Texas!

Tales of Peril: The Complete Boinger & Zereth Stories of John Eric Holmes
Tales of Peril at the Black Blade Publishing Booth
at the North Texas RPG Convention!
The book was well-received by +Chris Holmes and the rest of the Holmes family (via text message ;) ), and was one of our best-selling titles at the convention.  I'll post a full convention report later in the week, as well.

+Jon Hershberger and I will be posting ordering details as soon as we determine the best packaging options for shipping the books safely, and their corresponding postage costs!


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