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My copy is on its way!
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Information Print-On-Demand experience
Posted by: DragonReborn - 10-27-2016, 06:14 AM - Forum: MX News and Discussion - Replies (2)

In this post, I would like to comment on the process of getting a book printed through RPGNow's print service "Lightning Source". For starters, this is how it began.

The spiral bound book I am showing off in the release thread has only been a “localized” test. A pre-alpha so to say. I had to reformat the source files to DIN A4 and sent them to an internet print service. Finally a way to hold the finished work in hands. Their print results are top notch but it also posted me with some troubles that would arise once I setup the printing title with RPGNow.

Some picture areas of the book were quite dark. This is a common effect when printing something that has been prepared in RGB colors. Printers use the CMYK color profile and converting from RGB to CMYK will result in a darkening effect. To some extent you can plan ahead and expect this effect with a brighter toned picture. Unfortunately, there is another effect called “overink”.

Today’s number is “240”!

240% is the total amount of ink RPGNow – or better, their printer Lightning Source – demand to be present in a preflight document. Since the colors CYAN, MAGENTA, YELLOW and black  (KEY-plate) get layered during printing, having too much ink in one spot may blur or result in smudges. The common color profiles bring 300% to the table and colors look rich, you don’t care. Once you apply a color filter you can identify those areas which are subject to an “overink” effect. The trick is now to desaturate the black colors while trying to stay as true as possible to the original image. That happened.

It took a couple of long nights to reformat the print sources and do a bunch of conversions. With all requirements in place, exporting the preflight document now takes up to half an hour on a quad core. The finished pdf is clocking in at 250MB!
With the initial conversions out of the way, I am happy to announce that the files are now off to the printer for validation. How long that will take, I cannot tell. The internets knows of anything from two to three weeks for files to process. Even then, it might get rejected and further changes might be required. For now, we’re good.

The print files were uploaded on October 19th. Today, on the 27th, the status remains unchanged: "We have sent your files to the printer for validation".

I am not sure if it is a good or a bad thing that this is taking so long. There is one other publisher who has posted similar experiences for an RPG-book. Apparently, Lightning Source employs a certain software for file validation. Since the source material for the printed book is about 250 MB without covers, it may have some crunching to do.

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  Bladestorm Calculator
Posted by: DragonReborn - 10-17-2016, 06:15 AM - Forum: Product Errata - No Replies

The calculator is built on tables provided by Bladestorm Second Edition. If you find any errors, please let us know.

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  Bladestorm Second Edition - 7600
Posted by: DragonReborn - 10-17-2016, 05:08 AM - Forum: Product Errata - Replies (4)

Even though we do our best to ensure an error-free product, there is still a possibility that something may have escaped our eyes. If you find errors, please don't keep them to yourself.

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Information Bladestorm Second Edition Released
Posted by: DragonReborn - 10-16-2016, 03:22 PM - Forum: MX News and Discussion - No Replies

Good news fellow painters, gamers and miniature enthusiasts. We finally tied all loose ends together and released Bladestorm Second Edition this weekend. 

[Image: BS2E_release_banner_2016.gif]

From 1990 until today, this is indeed a 25th anniversary update (well, +1). Instead of letting the setting have control over the rules, we decided to turn the spotlight over to the miniatures and the stories they have to tell. Quite early on, we took the 1st edition rulesbook apart and started work on an Excel based calculator tool. This, together with some scratch made forms would produce playable combatants with Bladestorm rules. The mechanics are fast and intuitive. Every weapon has an attack value (usually some 6 and 10 sided dice) and does some damage when it hits (read the highest or lowest dice results). All you have to do is roll higher than the target's defense. 

This easy approach has been and continues to be the basis of Bladestorm rules. Everything else is topping.

One might ask: why go through such an ordeal to release an update when the game already exists? The answer is easy. 1st edition was sort of rushed when it was released back in 1990. If you look closely at the latter chapters, especially the generation of forces for the game, you find lots of type errors, wrong stats and simply missing information. Worst of all, battle values (total point costs) were introduced but applied nowhere in the entire material, nothing! Now if you wish to include any kind of balance for plays or introduce a concept for advancement and challenges, you need battle values. 

This is one of the strong points that you will find with the new release. The streamlined creation of forces takes center stage this time and is supported throughout the entire rulesbook:
- The combatant calculator lets you create a playable combatant, unit or vehicle plus it's value
- There are predefined summoning charts to allow quick summoning of entities plus their values. No math necessary in game unless you wish to create the summoned creature yourself.
- More than 80 mercenaries all with stats and values in the Campaign Rules, so you can harvest experience points from them ;-)
- 14 predefined archetype heroes (one for each profession), also complete with stats and battle values. 

Now we do have these really cool miniatures that we want to call heroes. Those that stand out from the regular crop. 1st edition didn't give any further details on what really sets heroes apart from other combatants. This is where the new edition also plays a major strength. You can now assign a profession to a regular combatant to create a hero. A profession usually has two benefits and a penalty. Most importantly, each profession consists of four skills that sort of identify strong points of a miniature and the character it depicts. A fighter for example has "1-Handed Weapons", "Blocking", "Polearms" and the "Fighter Specials". These four skills each consist of four passive and four active ranks. The more ranks you add to the fighter, the better he gets and the more funny stuff he can do outside the regular rules. This goes on for all 14 professions we included in the game. If that isn't enough, you can remix them to create new professions that resemble your style of play. Over all, there are 26 skills to choose from. 

When I said "add to the fighter", I am referring to a simple experience system. Now that we have Total Point Costs (battle values) for each entity on the table, we can start counting our successes by adding the TPC of slain opponents. This is especially nice when playing any kind of campaign game, be it competitive or an adventure path. After an encounter all experience is distributed between one player's combatants. A fraction is turned into development points (the calculator does that for you). Spend it all or save it for later. It is a level-less system that lets you gradually improve any combatant of the game.

I know there are countless systems out there and there is no time to get into all of them. So in order to make it easier and quicker to decide if Bladestorm is something you might like, we opted to make all material except the rulesbook free items. Together with the Quick-Start Rules, the calculator and the templates you can already setup encounters. The 14 archetype heroes can also be played out-of-the-box.

If you check it out and have any questions, I am looking forward to help out. 

Best wishes

MX Bladestorm Dev

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  Release Hype
Posted by: darbymcd - 10-12-2016, 06:45 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (3)

So would it be helpful to collect a list of sites that are good places to make sure get the release announcement?  It sounds like you are doing ICE, but there are some others

gamesquad (wargames in general, has minis sectionç)
BBG (this is important one I think)
consim world (mostly hex and counter games but has some minis esp. in fantasy/sci fi section)
miniature wargaming
there must be some reddit groups

is there a way we can help get out the word?

I would also say that if possible you should think about some support for people playing on something like roll20.  would be excellent opportunity to work with map and token makers and much much bigger audience.

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Posted by: darbymcd - 10-12-2016, 04:32 PM - Forum: The Continent of Folenn - Replies (2)

Do you have a vision for some changes to Folenn?  Mostly, I f'ing hate BladeStorms.  They were put in by the ICE people, I believe, to justify skirmish battles as the norm in the setting, pretty much the same as the Brood in SD.  But I don't see it as necessary.  Do you see further development of the setting, maybe some campaign/scenario collections, or maybe some equivalent of the adventure path idea in Paizo, but for BS!

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  Thank you!
Posted by: darbymcd - 10-12-2016, 04:29 PM - Forum: General Discussion - Replies (1)

I really am impressed with what you have done with BladeStorm!  I have twitchy fingers on my CC to purchase first day.  

What else can we do to help?  I live in Lima, so there isn´t much of a convention scene here, but I will try to set up a couple demo games if possible, the language barrier being a bit of a problem.  

I have a test game I did for the beta rules, I will rerun that with the new ones and post an AAR.  What else do you think would help?

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  Silent Death?
Posted by: darbymcd - 10-12-2016, 04:25 PM - Forum: Website and Forum Feedback - Replies (2)

Can you update us on the status of Silent Death?  Is this the new incarnation of MX?  Basically can you clarify what is going on with the company, its relationship to previous stakeholders (ICE, the other owners, etc) and maybe what your vision is going forward?

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  Painted Menhir Miniatures
Posted by: DragonReborn - 10-10-2016, 06:15 PM - Forum: Your Works - Replies (2)

Not too long ago I received several miniatures from Argentinian sculptor Menhir Games. Their miniatures are very well executed and capture a combination of South American cultural heritage with known fantasy themes. 

Check out their blog at menhirgames.blogspot.com

This here is my favorite, the Akkiri Elf!


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Information BS2E: This is Release Week
Posted by: DragonReborn - 10-10-2016, 12:11 PM - Forum: MX News and Discussion - No Replies

After countless revisions and table corrections, the time has finally come and we are steering towards the release of Bladestorm Second Edition (or BS2E in short). 

Here are the hard facts:

  • The new product file is called "Bladestorm 7600 - Rulesbook Second Edition.pdf"
  • As all other digital content, the new version will be available at RPGNow
  • The official release date is October 14th, 2016
  • Across time zones, we have 5 days to go until product launch! 

Five days to get everything ready! Let's go!

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