Freebies & Previews
September 29, 2006: Product update! Sales of The New Argonauts have slowed to a trickle (the book is almost two years old). Accounting for these little amounts (especially as I pay a royalty to my editor and typesetter for each copy sold) is a hassle and no longer worth my time. I could just pull the book from the "virtual shelves," but I feel that we're all better off if works remain available even after they're not financially viable. Therefore I'm going to release TNA for free as of November 1st, 2006. You'll be able to download it for free, make copies for anyone you want, and so on. I'm putting off the free-release until November because I don't want anyone who just bought the book to feel they got ripped off; hopefully this one-month delay is enough time that they feel they got their money's worth. Enjoy!
May 24, 2006: If you want to use Curse of the Moon to make weredinosaurs, check out the new article in the Freebies & Previews area that expands the COTM material to allow you to do just that. :)
May 1, 2006: It seemed like it would never happen ... Curse of the Moon is finally available as a PDF download from DriveThruRPG and RPGnow.com! The print version is soon to follow. Phew!
January 22, 2006: Hello again! Today I'm previewing a few feats from Curse of the Moon--feats that let you turn the simple lycanthrope template (from the book) into something very much like the MM lycanthrope template, if you are so inclined. Check out the Freebies & Previews area for more info!
December 28, 2005: Happy upcoming new year to everyone! We have another update in the Freebies & Previews area: a new Monster of the Month (the gatebent horror). Curse of the Moon still isn't ready. :P
November 15, 2005: I've started to work on How to Build Spells and it's inspired me to hammer out three variant versions of the fly spell for conjurers, illusionists, and necromancers, available in the Freebies & Previews area. Curse of the Moon is still in typesetting but should be done soon if I stop being so nitpicky about the art. :)
October 28, 2005: Long overdue, but we have an update in the Freebies & Previews area: a new Monster of the Month (the pusmother).
October 5, 2005: Due to ongoing personal issues limiting author Brian Cortijo's free time, his books New to the Game and Standard Deviants are canceled. Basically we don't know when he'd be able to finish them, and I'd rather not keep pushing back the estimated release dates every month.
September 30, 2005: Phew! A long delay because of many deadlines. Today there is a preview for Curse of the Moon: the simple lycanthrope template and moon hit points, available in Freebies & Previews.
Unrelated to the book, I suffered a major hard drive crash last week and I may have permanently lost some data, including mail in my inbox. If you sent me an email about something and I still haven't answered you, please resend it as I don't know when I'll be able to recover that data.
August 15, 2005: I'm off to Gen Con Indy tomorrow. Sean K Reynolds Games is sharing a booth (#1142) with the Wicked Dead Brewing Company. We're in the quiet zone in the middle back of the exhibit hall, just go straight in and left past the concession stands (here is a map of our part of the exhibit hall). If you're going to be at the show, come by and say hi! And buy something. :)
July 25, 2005: Two updates regarding The New Argonauts. One, you can now order print-on-demand copies of the book from Lulu.com (Lulu is the POD service that RPGNow uses for its print books, so you're basically going to the source if you order the book from Lulu). Two, I've uploaded a 21-page preview of the book (with excerpts from every chapter), which you can download either from the Freebies & Previews section or from the book's RPGNow product page.
July 7, 2005: Two updates in the Freebies & Previews area: a new Monster of the Month (the kerexoloth) and two new Hellenic Alchemy items for The New Argonauts (the gorgon shield and Kaukasian eagle cloak).
June 25, 2005: If you're curious about what creatures are in Hungry Little Monsters, there is now a short summary of each creature in the Freebies & Previews section.
June 21, 2005: Update on the Hungry Little Monsters t-shirts: we can now do the t-shirt coupons for DriveThruRPG as well as RPGNow. Yay! So follow the link to that page for info on how you can save $2 if you buy a t-shirt and the book.
June 16, 2005: Celebration! Hungry Little Monsters is now available as a PDF from DriveThruRPG and RPGnow.com. Pick up your copy of this book, and check its product page for a special offer on Hungry Little Monsters t-shirts.
May 31, 2005: Just under the wire I've added a new Monster of the Month to the Freebies & Previews area. Check out the uargleth, a mutated landwalking aboleth exile!
May 19, 2005: I met The New Argonauts cover artist Gerald Lee in Manhattan yesterday, and I realized I had wallpaper for his Hungry Little Monsters cover art but not for his The New Argonauts cover art. Today I remedy that ... go grab it in the Freebies & Previews section.
May 18, 2005: One of the players in the original playtest campaign for The New Argonauts tracked down his character sheet, so you can now take a look at Zale Thromes, scion of Poseidon, in the Freebies & Previews section.
May 17, 2005: In case you didn't know, event registration for Gen Con Indy opened yesterday. For your convenience, here are the SKRG events at Gen Con Indy this year:
April 19, 2005: Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help proofread Hungry Little Monsters. We now have plenty of proofreaders for this book, so if you haven't contacted me yet about it, please wait until the next time we ask. Thanks for your interest!
April 15, 2005: Hungry Little Monsters is 99% typeset (we're just waiting on one illustration) and it should be ready in the next week or so. I'd like a few proofreaders to look over the book for typos and such, so if you're interested in proofing the book, please contact me.
Also, let me remind you about the Hungry Little Monsters t-shirts. If you order a t-shirt (and all profits from the shirts go to the charity, by the way), email me with your order number and I'll email you a coupon for $2 off the HLM PDF. I hope to see a lot of people wearing HLM shirts at Gen Con Indy this year!
April 14, 2005: For those of you clamoring for new magic items made from the monsters slain by your Greek heroes, check out the Freebies & Previews section for an article called "More Hellenic Alchemy." In this new article (which I'll add to as time goes by) you'll find four new magic items built from Greek monsters. While intended for The New Argonauts, these items include standard d20 stats and can be used in any d20 campaign.
April 3, 2005: I've added a new section to the Freebies & Previews area -- Monster of the Month, designed by me (Sean) with art by Scott Purdy. Check out the two new monsters there, and stay tuned for more in the future!
March 20, 2005: Good news! Those of you who've been wanting a print copy of The New Argonauts don't have to wait any more -- RPGNow has a new feature that lets you purchase many of its PDFs (including The New Argonauts) in a high-quality print form that looks just as good as something you'd buy at a game store. Just click the button (you can even buy the PDF and print versions at the same time).
March 17, 2005: The updated version of The New Argonauts is now also available from RPGnow, as I predicted on March 14.
March 14, 2005: Long time, no updates! I (Sean) have been busy with deadlines and moving cross-country, but now things are rolling along and a lot has happened in the past week.
February 23, 2005: Two announcements today!
First, Greek Counters of Doom, a PDF of printable Greek character and monster counters from Fiery Dragon Publishing, is now available for sale from DriveThruRPG.com. If you're not into miniatures but want to be able to represent the characters and monsters in your Greek-themed game, pick up this PDF as it was designed specifically with The New Argonauts in mind.
Second, Duane Nutley reviewed TNA for D20zines.com ... and gave a couple of good suggestions that we're going to incorporate ASAP (such as providing printer-friendly PDF downloads of anything we post in the Freebies & Previews section so you don't have to cut, paste, and reformat it to look nice on paper). Thanks, Duane!
January 10, 2005: At the advice of Justin at OgreCave.com, we've put a slighty modified version of Sean K Reynolds' scorpion scion and serpent archer classes in the Freebies & Previews section, as they're both listed in The New Argonauts as prestige classes suitable for the campaign; now they're much easier to find.
January 7, 2005: We're pleased to draw your attention to today's statement by Fiery Dragon which announces Greek Counters of Doom, a PDF set of printable counters of Greek characters and monsters as a tie-in to The New Argonauts. We'll post an update here and on our page for The New Argonauts when it's available.
January 1, 2005: Happy New Year! We hope you had a good and safe holiday season and year's-end festivities. Speaking of festivities, you can now download My Big Fat Centaur Wedding, a Freebies & Previews self-contained one-shot adventure for The New Argonauts. This trio of PDFs contains the adventure, pregenerated PCs, and a printable page of character and monster tokens so you don't need to deal with having the right miniatures for the game. Sean ran this adventure at Gen Con So Cal.
And speaking of tokens, we should have an interesting announcement in the next week or so....
December 17, 2004: Two announcements! One, Gen Con So Cal was fun! Check out Sean's photojournal from the show here, and be sure to check out the two Argonauts games he ran (soon we'll post the four-hour adventure and the characters here on the site). If you get the chance to attend any of the Gen Con shows, you should, they're great. You'll definitely see Sean K Reynolds Games at Gen Con Indy 2005! Thanks again to The Game Mechanics for letting us use some of their booth space.
Two, we've posted information on one of our upcoming products, How to Build Spells. This book contains spells (50 new spells plus every Open spell Sean has ever written), detailed guidelines for creating spells, and design analysis of over 200 spells (including a large number of Sean's spells published by Wizards of the Coast in books such as Magic of Faerûn). If you've ever had problems designing or balancing a spell for d20, you need this book! Coming May 2005.
November 29, 2004: This just in ... our friends at The Game Mechanics graciously donated some of their booth space at Gen Con So Cal to Sean K Reynolds Games. Thanks to them we'll be selling copies of The New Argonauts on CD at the show. Come check us out at at booth #714 (left side, just in front of Upper Deck ... look for the tabletop display of Greek heroes fighting a giant at a ruined temple)!
November 8, 2004: You can now download the web enhancement for The New Argonauts in Freebies & Previews. This PDF extrapolates the cyclic nature of the Greek pantheon, offers an idea for the next generation of Olympian powers, and a cleric-themed prestige class.
November 3, 2004: Some people have pointed out that The New Argonauts PDF is $5 and RPGnow's minimum order is $6.50 (because they get hit with a fee every transaction, so it hurts them to have more smaller sales than one larger sale). That means you can't just buy TNA and check out. If you're looking for another book to buy so you can meet that minimum order, we recommend:
October 31, 2004: By the gods! The New Argonauts PDF is now available for purchase from DriveThruRPG and RPGnow.com! Download this 64-page PDF for the special discount price of $5 ($2 off the normal price of $7).
If you're a fan of gaming miniatures, take a look at our Suggested Miniatures List for The New Argonauts ... appropriate minis for all but the very weirdest creatures of Greek myth.
October 28, 2004: We're gearing up for the release of The New Argonauts this Sunday, and in anticipation of that we've posted an NPC and a monster in the Freebies & Previews section.
We'd also like to point out something about The New Argonauts. While our goal at Sean K Reynolds Games is to provide quality game material that helps you better understand the rules of the game and important game design concepts, that mission statement congealed when The New Argonauts was about 75% finished. As a result, this book has less of an explanatory aspect than we intend for our future releases--it has parts that talk to the reader explaining the reasoning for certain game design decisions, but it wasn't always intended for that purpose; don't buy it expecting a comprehensive look at the do's and do-not's of a low-magic campaign. It's not intended to be that and we don't want to disappoint anyone expecting it to be that. It's a sourcebook for a thematic low-magic campaign, with rules catering to that idea, and only secondarily is it a teaching tool for planning other low-magic campaigns. If you're looking for advice on running a low-magic campaign, you'll get some tips from this book but it's not a how-to guide for low-magic campaigns.
October 23, 2004: We have the final cover art for The New Argonauts, showing the monster Scylla, two Greek heroes, and a Greek trireme.
It turns out The New Argonauts is a full 64 pages rather than just 32 (apparently the monster stat blocks pushed up the page count by a lot!); this means we're bumping the official price up to $7 for the PDF, but until November 15th we're offering it on sale for the originally-stated price of $5.
Also, did you remember to check out the October 16 Preview of The New Argonauts? It talks about how a low-magic campaign is low on healing, what effects that has on the game, and how our book takes a stab at dealing with those effects.
Finally, we want to say that we strongly support the sharing of material through the Open Game License, and our goal is to have as much of our text Open as possible. Furthermore, any original Open content in our books is freely available for use by any publisher according to the terms of the OGL. In other words, if you want to know if you have our permission to use our original Open material, the answer is "yes." You don't even have to ask first, though we'd appreciate a courtesy heads-up so we can mention your book on our site. (We added this information to our About page, as it's part of our company goals.)
October 23, 2004: Did you know? Today is Mole Day!
Chemists use a term of measurement called a "mole" (pronounced just like the animal), which is the number of atoms necesarry to equal the substance's atomic weight in grams.
In other words, if carbon-12 has an atomic weight of 12 (because of 6 protons and 6 neutrons, each weighing 1), a mole of carbon-12 atoms weighs 12 grams.
Consider that protons and neutrons weigh a very, very tiny amount. So how many does it take to weigh a gram? A huge number: 6.02 x 1023 (ten to the twenty-third power (100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000), thus 10--23, or October 23rd in the USA). Yep, that's 602,000 million million million. This number is also called "Avogadro's Number," named for Amedio Avogadro, an Italian scientist from the 18th-19th centuries.
In practical terms, how big is a mole? If you had to walk a 6.02 x 1023 inches, you'd have to walk from the sun to Neptune over 20 billion times. If you had to wait 6.02 x 1023 seconds, you'd be waiting for more than 200 billion centuries. It's a huge number, but we only use it to count incredibly tiny things.
Why is this number important? Because chemistry and biology don't base reactions on weight, it's on the number of atoms or molecules involved in the reaction. When you react hydrogen with oxygen to get water, it doesn't matter that each oxygen molecule (O2) weighs sixteen times as much as each hydrogen molecule (H2), what matters is that each molecule of O2 reacts with 2 molecules of H2 to create two molecules of H2O. With this knowledge and Avogadro's number, you can measure out 2 mols of hydrogen gas (4 kg) and 1 mol of oxygen gas (32 kg) and get exactly 2 mols of water (36 kg). That may not seem important when we're talking about water, but in our industrial society, knowing exactly how much of each reagent to use in a reaction is important, as an excess of one reagent can cause a different reaction, waste that reagent (which adds to the cost of production), or be dangerous (for example, if a toxic reagent is used to create a nontoxic product).
So happy Mole Day, everyone!
October 18, 2004: As RPGObjects already has a line of books using "Blood and..." in its titles, to avoid any confusion about product names we've decided to change the title of Blood and Moon to Curse of the Moon. We've updated our product pages to reflect this change. Sorry, guys!
October 16, 2004: It seems we've caused some controversy with our mission statement! All we want to do is make games that (1) are fun to play, (2) give you more insight about how the game works, and hopefully (3) encourage you to use that knowledge to spot and avoid bad products.
Do we think we're the masters of game design? No. Do we think we're going to revolutionize the d20 industry with sermons from the mountain? No. Do we think all gamers are dumb and need to be taught the "right way" of gaming? No. Do we think we're going to destroy all rival game companies with our righteousness? No.
Our perspective is that most of the core d20 rules are there for a good reason, whether it's for game balance or a certain amount of playable realism or to force players to make difficult choices. Understanding the reasons why those core rules are in the game makes you a better designer, DM, and player, and gives you an informed perspective when you change those rules. Yes, "when you change those rules." Sometimes to suit a campaign's theme, you make changes to fundamental game rules (like critting an undead creature, as you can in the zombie-movie genre); you should think about the consequences of that change and plan for them so they don't surprise you mid-game when a player uses that change to do something you don't expect. That ties into our second goal; if you have a better understanding of how the game works, you recognize more quickly the consequences and can plan for them.
Again, we're not telling people how you "should' run your game, we're showing them the inner workings of the rules so they can make informed choices about what they want to change.
(That said, there are books out there that are, to put it bluntly, bad. There are designers out there who don't know the rules in the Player's Handbook and make up stuff that they think works without playtesting it. They haven't read the guidelines for design in the DMG and write things that slow the game to a crawl or make it hard for the DM to run the game. They can't be bothered to get the stats right from monsters in the MM (SRD, of course) and create deadly or pointless encounters because they don't bother to check a monster's CR. They don't even play the game to know what works and what doesn't. Yet some people keep buying their books! If we can get people to recognize that those books are bad and stop buying them, stores will stop ordering them, and that frees up room for the next great up-and-coming designer's book to get on the shelf.)
Meanwhile, why not take a look at our new Preview of The New Argonauts? It talks about how a low-magic campaign is low on healing, what effects that has on the game, and how our book takes a stab at dealing with those effects.
October 13, 2004: Thank you for the positive response to yesterday's announcement! There are a few other things we need to mention.
October 12, 2004: Welcome to Sean K Reynolds Games! We have very high standards for the material in our books. With us you won't find feats that let you shoot three arrows per round at 2nd level, do cold damage to cold-immune creatures, or sneak attack undead. Why not? Because that's bad game design, and you don't need it in your game, on your bookshelf, or at your local game store.
Almost since its inception, people have been saying that the "d20 bubble" will collapse and most of the d20 companies will fold. Strangely, that hasn't happened, and that's partly because many gamers out there can't recognize bad game design when they see it. If you knew something was garbage, you wouldn't buy it, right? And if more people did that, the companies that produce volume after volume of garbage d20 product would go out of business and there would be more space on the shelves for good product.
That's our goal. Show people how to look at their gaming books. Give them the knowledge and tools to recognize what's good and not. Put the garbage-peddlers out of business. (Oh, and while we're at it, put out some fun game products of our own.)
What will you find in our books? Quality materials (both "crunch" and "fluff") that are creative and well thought-out. Our books won't surprise you with an übercharacter combo or an unexpected total-party-kill. Our books are written by people who really understand the game, care about the game, and think hard about what effect each rule has on the other parts of the system. Just as you need quality tools to build a house that you can enjoy for a long time without it falling apart, you need quality game materials to have an enjoyable campaign that doesn't break down because of rules problems.
So welcome! Take a look around, see what we have to offer.