Monday 23 December 2013

Seasons Greetings

Wishing an enjoyable Winterfest spent with friends and families to all.

Also here's to the New Year, 2014 should be an exciting year for all concerned.

Wednesday 13 November 2013

November Update

Two stories are done now for the Frozen Skies Fiction Companion, a third is in the works. The Fiction Companion is to help promote Frozen Skies proper and build interest in it, it should in theory be out before Christmas with a PDF version and then Print-On-Demand following later.

More details when its closer to release.

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Kickstarter Relaunch

In attempt to better organize things for the Frozen Skies Kickstarter relaunch (as well as kickstart my forums) started a thread on the Utherwald forums to consolidate all the feedback, etc in one handy place.

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Kickstarter Update: And She's Done!

The project has reached its conclusion, though I've had a positive response I am a little disappointed that the project didn't reach its target.

In retrospect there are probably a ton of things I could've done differently to make it more successful, the major one I believe that I probably should've spent more time promoting the project before it started. Yes we got up to 31% funded with £943 from 60 backers, had I promoted it heavily for an extra couple of months then its possible that could've been reached within the first few days.

But as I said, there is probably a ton of other factors.

So the question now is what happens next?

I think the obvious answer is get some feedback and learn from my mistakes, this includes asking on forums and sending out a survey later today. The other answer is look at ways to try and get Frozen Skies funded somehow, I know there is interest as has been proven and I'm stubborn enough to keep trying to get the book out.

So my options are as follows;

*Crowdfund via Paypal; Great for people who didn't want to use Amazon and/or Kickstarter, but may end up being a slower method of raising the funds needed.

*Try again with Kickstarter; I can get feedback and make a much better project, though my only concerns are how long do I wait before running it and whether my first project will count against me.

*Seek Alternative Funding; Been keeping my options open and seeing what else is out there that can be useful, though I don't know if anything will come of it.

So that is how things stand, thanks to everyone who has backed the project and I welcome any and all feedback you may have.

Monday 12 August 2013

Kickstarter Update: The Final Countdown

And we're close to the end.

The response to the project has been good and I thank everyone who has backed, though we still need that extra push to get it there. I've said before that £3,000 is nothing by Kickstarter standards and I stand by that, it has been raised before in about an hour or so. Even though there is less than 48 hours left I'm still confident that we'll get there. So again I ask everyone to share this project and encourage others to pledge, with a strong effort we'll get there and make Frozen Skies a reality.

Friday 9 August 2013

Kickstarter Update: The Home Stretch

We're quickly coming to the end of Week Four and the end is in sight, as ever a very big thank you to everyone who has backed this project and help spread the word.

Though a big push is still needed to get us to our target, so pester your friends and blackmail your gaming groups into backing, also share through social media and various gaming forums. Reaching our target within the time remaining is still doable, it can and will be done!

So promote like crazy over the weekend and I'll see you all on Monday.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Kickstarter Update: One Week To Go!

Just a week left to go and we're almost a third of the way to the target.

A very big thank you to everyone who has pledge thus far, though I must continue to ask that you share and spread the word about this project. As I've said before, £3,000 is nothing by Kickstarter and we've got plenty of time to get there and get there we will.

Also a reminder that every backer gets £20/$32 worth of RPG maps from Fabled Environments even if they only pledge a couple of pounds/dollars!

Monday 5 August 2013

Kickstarter Update: Rogue's Gallery

As always a huge thank you to everyone who's backed thus far or helped out in other ways!

We're now up to 39 backers and 21% funded, but with just over a week left we've still got a bit of work to do. So please please please share this project, pester your friends and post in local gaming forums or social media groups. Every new backer further proves that there is interest and takes us a step closer to Frozen Skies becoming a reality. With an all-out effort we can get there and get Frozen Skies funded!

Anyway, over the weekend a received a question on one of the forums I visit and post on; "I pledged to this because it seems like a bargain and I'm interested in the combination of dieselpunk and an arctic background, but could you elaborate on what the typical PCs would be and what they'd do? You've discussed places of interest and legends, but I'm more interested in how it would work as a game, not just a setting. Thanks."

Good question.

In my head I view the PCs as being 'from the wrong side of the tracks' and make a living on the outskirts of society, either as outlaws (smugglers, bandits, air pirates) or as pioneers in a frontier land. Think of it a bit like the TV series Firefly.

What they do depends on the sort of game the GM wishes to run, though there are a few options;

*Dungeon Crawling With Guns:- There are old ruins scattered around and there is a Gold Rush of a sort but with relics and old artefacts.

*Criminal Pursuits:- Be a smuggler or be an air pirate, either way you're up against the law and other criminals.

*The Frontier:- Its the frontier with a vast amount of blank map space to fill, either dabble in a bit of colony building or try and find a path into wilderness beyond.

I hope that helps, but if people have any more questions then feel free to ask.

Friday 2 August 2013

Kickstarter Update: Myths & Legends Preview

Yet again a big thank you to everyone who's backed this project or supported it by spreading the word, you guys are really really awesome!

We're now getting towards the end of Week Three, but there is still a ways to go until the project is fully funded. So again I must ask you to continue to promote this project and harass friends and gaming groups into back this project, even if its just couple of pounds/dollars which will still get them a bunch of RPG maps. £3,000 isn't much by Kickstarter standards and can easily be reached in under an hour, so all that is needed is to continue pushing the project.

Anyway, over a week ago posted a preview of some Places of Interest from the book. Today I'll be posting another preview in the form of myths & legends related to those places.

Chapter Seven: Myths, Legends & Folklore

Alyeska has its fair share of myths and legends. Some stem from hearsay and drunken bar-room tales, while others are stories of ancient events retold countless times and thus kept alive, mainly as bedtime stories to scare young children. In truth, the Alyeskan Wilderness is a weirder place than most folk care to admit.

Whispers on the Wind and a Sleeper in the Dark

Throughout Alyeska the Chillwynd Marches are regarded as the strangest and most unsettling places in the Territory. The unnaturally flat plains, the ring of standing stones marking its boundaries and the Monolith which sits in the heart of the Marches, all go hand-in-hand to create an eerie reputation. The most common tale originating from the Marches is the fabled 'Whispers on the Wind'. Whilst simply dismissed as just the howling of the wind, many have claimed to have heard the dead calling out for help whenever the wind blows. A Professor Davidson once recorded the so-called 'Whispers' with the intent of deciphering them. It is said he was driven insane by what he heard, and the sole recording he made was destroyed.

The Chillwynd Marches are also commonly known for the disappearances which occur every year; camp sites are abandoned with no trace of their inhabitants ever found. Investigations and searches are carried out by the Air Police, however after a month, the missing persons are declared as 'vanished without a trace', and the report filed away. As a result of all the disappearances, lone prospectors have ended up banding together into large, well-armed groups for mutual protection whenever they work the Marches. Even safety in numbers offers little actual protection. The occasional soul still vanishes during the night, and there is one famous incident of an entire expedition disappearing.

Another tale linked to the Marches, but generally only ever told in hush tones, is that of a Windryder myth concerning the Monolith. It is said that a great being known as the Sleeper in the Dark, dwells beneath the ruins in deep slumber awaiting the return of the Elder Ones. When the Sleeper awakens, he will bring death and destruction across the world, sparing no-one as he prepares for the return of his masters. Little evidence has been found to support this myth, only a few translated glyphs which make continuous reference to a 'Sleeper'. Many have dismissed it as nonsense made up by the Windryders to scare people away, though some have become somewhat...obsessed with the myth.

Gorwell's Lost Gold

Twenty-five years ago a prospector named Lious Gorwell claimed to have found a gold mine deep within the Alyeskan Interior. Every few weeks the grubby prospector would sneak into Tay River with a load of crudely minted ingots. After a year of stashing his hoard in the town's bank, Gorwell vanished. To this day no one has found the mine, and it remains one of Alyeska's well-known legends.

Some maintain he fell afoul of some beast, others blame bandits. Regardless, Gorwell's gold remains in storage at the bank.

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Kickstarter Update: Two Weeks And Counting!

There are now two weeks left to go!

A big thank you to everyone's support thus far, past day or so has seen a huge boost with a ton more backers pushing the project over the £500 mark. If it keeps up like this then there is a very good chance that not only reach the target goal, but perhaps get into the stretch goals!

Thanks again to everyone, keep sharing/bugging your gaming groups and we'll get Frozen Skies funded and released this year!

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Geek Native! 30/7/2013

Bit of a nice surprise yesterday was the Frozen Skies Kickstarter getting a mention on Geek Native and almost £200 worth of pledges over a handful of hours.

The Geek Native article can be found here;

Monday 29 July 2013

Kickstarter Update: Week Three

We've reached the start off Week Three and we're continuing to get more backers, keep sharing and bugging your friends/gaming groups and we'll get there.

Also a quick PSA; To all backers, be them current or future, please double check the amount you pledge.

This may only apply to non-UK backers, Kickstarter appears to automatically include shipping when you make your pledge. Whilst the extra money would be helpful, I'd rather people pledge the correct amount.

Friday 26 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #9 Much Ado About Skyjacking

Coming up to the midway point of the campaign, the number of backers has steadily increased along with views and exposure. The project has been mentioned on a few gaming podcasts like RPG Circus as well as a few blogs.

Still a ways off from the target, but we've got two weeks left which is plenty of time to make it. So continue to plug and share this project and we'll get there, but everyone who ahs abcked thus far or just shared the project has my undying thanks.

So time for another preview from the book; Skyjacking.

What is Skyjacking I hear you cry.

It is basically the name given to a form of hijacking of aircraft done whilst it is airborne, it is highly dangerous and typically only air pirates try it. Though on occasions military units have been known to attempt it.

Skyjacking involves a person jumping out of an aircraft above the intended target armed with a grappling gun, also a parachute if one is lucky enough to have one. The idea is whilst the person is in free-fall they are to fire the grappling gun at their intended target, hope it hooks on and then inch their way along the rope to board and take control of the aircraft. Though it remains highly risky as the grapple could miss or the aircraft's crew could cut the rope, there is also the risk of hitting an aircraft's propellers.

It is especially dangerous for air pirates as they rarely have access to a parachute.

To attempt a Skyjack a character must first jump out of an aircraft that is flying above their intended target and must be armed with a Grappling Gun. Whilst in free-fall the character must then make a Shooting roll at -4 (Steady Hands reduces this to -2), a success means they've hooked onto their target. Failure means they've missed, critical failure means the character flies into the props of an oncoming aircraft and take 5d6 points of damage.

Probably they've successfully hooked onto their intended target, the character must then make a Climbing roll at -2 and follows the normal rules for Climbing. The aircraft crew (if aware of the character) may try shooting at the character but suffer -2 for doing so, or they could simply cut the rope if they can reach it.

If the character misses their target or the rope they're climbing up is cut they then fall down to earth unless they have a parachute that works. If they don't have a parachute then follow the rules for Falling.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #8 Preview: Places of Interest

Once again thank you to everyone who has either backed this project or at least spread the word about, you guys are awesome for doing so.

Still a ways off but if we continue to promote the project we'll get there.

But in the mean time, here is another preview from the book.


Places of Interest

The Chillwynd Marches

A completely flat plain lying to the far north, its boundaries are marked by a ring of standing stones. Rumoured to be a haunted place, the voices of the dead are said to be heard whispering on the chill wind. Small mining settlements and ancient ruins lie scattered across the plains, though despite the potential fortune, most folk tend to steer clear. The heart of the Marches is dominated by a towering city known as the Monolith. Believed to have been the capital of some long since forgotten empire, its ice bound streets and halls remain uninhabited. Only tomb raiders and curious explorers dare travel here, however, those who do return, are forever scarred by their experience and quickly flee elsewhere.

The Monolith

Standing forlornly in the dead centre of the Chillwynd Marches, sits the Monolith, a ruined mountain city carved by unknown hands a great many eons ago. Towering high into the sky, its great spire can be seen for miles around; however, its interior is largely unexplored. The carvings that adorn the exterior are believed to have taken decades to complete, but centuries of neglect and exposure to the harsh northern elements have weathered and worn the stonework. Much of the surviving carvings can be found in the more sheltered parts, but even these aren't untouched, having been crudely defaced at some point.

Very few people have ventured far into the ruins, with only the outlying areas having been combed over by relic hunters. Even fewer have tried climbing up into the spire. Those who have report it as being akin to a palace....though admittedly one that has been thoroughly desecrated with strange glyphs covering every possible surface. There is evidence that the structure descends some distance underground, though hardly anyone has dared brave these tunnels. Of those who have, none have returned.

The Maw

More of a roaming storm than a fixed point, much of the year this tempest stays out over the Frostbracken Wastes. Only during the winter months does it expand south over the Bastion Peaks, shutting down the northern routes. Some of the older and superstitious aviators refer to the storm as being akin to a living beast, but only in low whispers and with a nervous glance over their shoulder. The Maw is certainly a wild thing, winds howl as dark clouds boil and rage. There is little escape for those who get caught in its grasp, the countless wrecks that litter the Bastion Peaks attest to this.

When the Maw hungers it is best to keep your feet on Terra Firma.

The MacHorne Trail

Little more than a long canyon, the MacHorne Trail is the sole overland route between Alyeska and the rest of the Commonwealth. Primarily it was used by wagons during the summertime when it was first discovered. Naturally, when the railway arrived, it was along the MacHorne that it came. During winter, it often gets blocked by snow drifts.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #7 Good News Everyone!

Big announcement concerning the project and the Frozen Skies book.

*First off, Fabled Environments have offered a selection of four of their maps as a free reward for backers of the project. The maps will be available to everyone regardless of the amount they pledge.

*Secondly, Anthony Preece has offered to write some fiction for the book. He has previously written for Savage Insider and this will mean extra content in the book when it releases.

Monday 22 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #6 Three Weeks And Counting

First week is now behind us and the project is gaining more exposure, more hits and more shares.

The next three weeks will count every bit as we get closer to our target goal, though thanks once again to those who have already backed and also to those who've helped by spreading the word.

As promised, another preview from the book in the form of a notable NPC.


Carl 'Judge' Kingsley

A veteran of the trenches during the Last War Carl Kingsley is a tough man who prefers actions over words. Originally hired by the Lord Governor to be his lackey in the Air Police, Kingsley quickly showed that he was his own man, much to the Lord Governor's dismay. Cleaning up Gravenburgh effectively almost overnight through sheer force of arms by taking out the criminal kingpins, his instant popularity with the townsfolk made it impossible for the Lord Governor to remove Kingsley. This has led to the current tensions between the two, and it is only a matter of time before an outright fight erupts on Gravenburgh's streets when the Lord Governor finally decides to get rid of Kingsley.

Attributes:  Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8

Skills:  Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Law) d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Piloting d8, Shooting d6,

Charisma:  -; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6

Hindrances: Code of Honor, Loyal, Vow (Minor),

Edges: Ace, Combat Reflexes, Command, Steady Hands,

Gear: Edward No.3 Revolver (12/24/48; 2d6+1 damage; RoF 1; Shots 6; Revolver), Dagger (d6+d4).

Sunday 21 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #5 Week Two Ahoy

I trust that everyone reading this has had a good weekend, I've been promoting the Kickstarter like crazy and getting more exposure for the project to help it succeed.

First week is over and the number of backers continues to grow, though we're still a ways off from reaching the project's goal. We've got three lefts and I'm confident we can make it, we're still getting an increasing number of hits and the project is getting more exposure.

So if you know people who may be interested in this project then by all means let them know about it, especially since if it pushes us over £1,000 this week then the project stands a good chance of succeeding.

But check back tomorrow for another preview from the book.

Friday 19 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #4 Day 5

Now up to Day 5 and coming towards the end of the first week.

Interest in Frozen Skies has been steadily growing as work continues on spreading the word about both the book and the Kickstarter. Don't expect too much in the way of updates until Monday, though unless the funding reaches certain levels over the next couple of days. On Monday another preview will be posted, though please say if there is anything you like to see.

Regardless thanks yet again to those who have backed already, you guys are awesome.

And to everyone, have a good weekend.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #3 Day 4 & Stuff!

We're over £150 and 5% of the way there by Day, this calls for yet another big thank you to those who have backed this project thus far.

Still wish to get a third of the way to the project's goal by the end of the week, so to this end I've been working hard and spreading the word to various different websites and forums. So if you happen to know people who might be interested then please tell them, likewise with websites you think would help this project reach its target and ultimately get a copy of Frozen Skies in your hands.

As a mini-reward for reaching £100 I posted a snippet from the book, I intend to post others as the project reaches certain marks. So if there anything you'd like to see or know about the book then feel free to ask for it.

I've also put up a FAQ that people should find useful, though if there is a question that I haven't covered and you feel that I should then by all means let me know.

Once again, thanks for being awesome and backing this project!

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #2 So Far So Good

Well, the project's pace is starting to pick up a little bit and I expect it to grow as word spreads to more and more people. We're now over the £100 mark, again showing there is interest in this book but there is still a long way to go. Now if we can get over the £1,000 mark by the end of the week then that will be truly awesome.

Once again thanks to everyone who has pledged thus far, I will keep on saying thanks because you guys deserve it for giving an indie their chance and help them to get their first product (of hopefully many) out into the world. So please, please continue to pester people you know or who might be interested in this book to pledge as well as spreading the word about this project.
As a small reward for those who have pledged already here is a snippet from the book;

~ ~ ~

Time's Icy Breath: Alyeska's Pre-History

For many centuries the frozen tundra of Alyeska remained a largely distant and unknown land, far removed and isolated from the rest of the world. As such much of Alyeska's actual recorded history only covers the last few hundred years, going back further than that one has to rely on the oral tales of the Windryders or piece together fragmented writings that litter the walls of ancient, snow bound and icy ruins scattered across the wastes. 

In short, Alyeska's history is bit of an enigma. 

It is known that many eons ago Alyeska was settled by an ancient civilisation, one that could quite possibly be comparable to the present day and age. They were skilful masters of engineering and construction. Their finest city, The Monolith, is the most visible reminder of their existence. This towering structure, more akin to a mountain than a city, sits in the heart of the Chillwynd Marches and remains as much a mystery as its builders. Scholars are frustrated by the lack of knowledge concerning Alyeska's original settlers. Nobody knows where they came from, or even what they called themselves. The Windryders themselves are especially tight-lipped on the matter, vaguely hinting at a terrible event which effectively wiped out this ancient civilisation only leaving scattered ruins in its wake. 

Time passed, seasons changed and the ruins endured the harsh weather common to the North. For an age the nomadic Windryders gave the ruins a wide berth out of fear of curses or evils that may be contained within the frozen stones. Gradually they began to make use of the smaller, easier to repair structures first as shelters and then over time as meeting halls. Eventually these halls became semi-permanent villages occupied briefly by a single tribe for only a few months at a time before they moved on during their seasonal migration. These 'villages' would later be taken over as outposts by a new wave of settlers and become the modern townships now dotted across Alyeska.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Kickstarter Update #1 So It Begins...

Well the first 24 hours are over and things have gone about expected.

Getting close to or even reaching the target goal this early would have been a nice surprise, though as an indie who's just getting established I have to keep expectations a little modest as I still have yet to develop a huge fanbase that larger companies enjoy.

Still, it is nice knowing that there is interest in Frozen Skies.

Though I am hoping that by the end of the first week we're looking at being about third of the way there, halfway there would be even more awesome. If we get that far then things will be looking good for getting this project funded, so get out here and ask/pester/blackmail your friends to back this project and help spread the word!

For those who have already pledged and/or spread the word, thanks for being awesome.

Monday 15 July 2013

Kickstarter Now LIVE! 15/7/2013

The Kickstarter for Frozen Skies is now live!

Frozen Skies is part of a new Dieselpunk campaign setting for the award winning Savage Worlds system and is set in the mysterious, frozen lands of Alyeska, it is an in-depth and informative guide to its history, geography, myths and legends. After Frozen Skies is successfully launched, further books are planned to cover a much wider setting known as the Realms of Darmonica.

The Kickstarter is intended to fund the Frozen Skies book with the view to release it as a PDF and through Print-On-Demand.

Thanks for your time and even more so if you decide to back this project, but by all means please help spread the word about it.

Friday 12 July 2013

Kickstarter Countdown 12/7/2013

Well around three days left until the Frozen Skies Kickstarter starts on Monday.

Figured it's a good a time as any to give a brief summary and overview;

*The target goal is £3,000 ($4,536.90 USD as of 1pm BST 12th July 2013) to cover the cost of the artwork, editing, layout, etc with distribution via PDFs and Print-On-Demand.

*Pledging £7 ($10.59 USD) will get you the PDF, £10 ($15.12 USD) the hard copy and £15 ($22.68 USD) for the PDF+hard copy bundle.

*Higher level rewards include creating characters, towns, monsters for Frozen Skies.

*There is a £60 ($90.74 USD) reward to get 5 PDF+hard copy bundles for your group, with £10 ($15.12 USD) for each additional bundle beyond that.

*High end rewards is having a game of Frozen Skies run for your group, though priced higher for the US/Canada to factor in travel costs.

*Stretch goals are a bit modest, the focus is on getting Frozen Skies out but at the same time would like for there to be a extra special reward for all the backers if the target goal is beaten.

Thanks for reading, help spread the word, enjoy your weekend and get ready for the Kickstarter to go live at midday (British Summer Time) on Monday.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

On Matters Arcana 10/7/2013

This is really a tangent following on from Monday's post, I feel that should be addressed.

Magic is a trope for alot of Roleplaying Games, not just those in the 'traditional' fantasy setting as has been proven time and again. Though I'm still hesitant to have magic in the Realms of Darmonica setting, least not in its typical format.

Course there is the Weird Science Arcane Background Edge in Savage Worlds and it just seem to slot into place as I hashed out the details behind Fultorium, something in the setting that gave justification for having the Weird Science. Also RoD is suppose to be a Dieselpunk setting with some minor fantasy elements, so Weird Science fits and allows for all kinds of weird and wacky gadgets commonly seen in both the Steampunk and Dieselpunk genres. So as it stands, Weird Science will be the only Arcane 'profession' in Darmonica for the foreseeable.

That said, I'll probably look at expanding the Arcane sides of things as ideas develop and I get feedback from players.

Monday 8 July 2013

Fultorium 8/7/2013

Fultorium, more commonly called 'Thunder Rock, is a strange mineral that has come to people's attention only in the aftermath of the Great Darmonican War.

It is widely known that the War's end coincided with a mysterious explosion, but Fultorium's role regarding the explosion is still largely unknown. Popular theory is that fultorium was previously an inert and largely useless mineral that was effected and changed by the explosion, the various veins of the mineral have been altered in an ever increasing radius from the ground zero of the blast. Basically the effect has spread in the years after the War as the mineral changes into something new.

A noticable effect of the mineral being changed is small electrical/static discharges on the surface coinciding with a small, localized earthquake due to the mineral building up energy and discharging it in a violent burst. These discharges have become common, though after initial alarm they have become an accepted occurrence and most don't paid much heed as the prevailing view is that these discharges will eventually cease.

Research into the 'new' mineral started a few years after the War and many believe fultorium may ultimately provide a new source of energy once it has been harnessed, though a few brave and mad souls have attempted to create devices based round fultorium with varying degrees of success.

Only the future knows what effect fultorium will have on Darmonica.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

And as a reminder, the Frozen Skies Kickstarter will start next Monday (15th July).

Friday 5 July 2013

Kickstarter Date And More Setting Thoughts 5/7/2013

First off, the biggest news is that the Kickstarter for Frozen Skies is set to start on Monday 15th July 2013 and will run for 30 days.

I'll post a link when the Kickstarter goes live, though in the mean time feel free to spread the word about it.


In a previous post I mentioned that a mysterious explosion coincided with the end of the Great Darmonican War, though the mystery behind it is something that won't be revealed any time soon. One idea that I'm presently kicking about that is linked to the explosion is something that may end up effecting Darmonica's future.

The idea is that a mineral existed prior to the War, though it was inert and effectively useless so it was paid little attention. However the explosion affected this mineral and changed it, starting first with the veins close to 'Ground Zero' and spreading outwards. This change wouldn't have gone unnoticed as it would've been encountered in the form of localized mini-earthquakes and electrical anomalies.

This mineral would possibly end up becoming a new energy source and perhaps even trigger another big war, though at present studies into it have only recently begun.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Cartography Time 3/7/2013

This week's Wednesday post looks at the world map of Darmonica, or at least a very rough draft of it.

Presently there are three very rough maps as to what Darmonica looks like, they're more like a puzzle than anything else to give a rough idea of how everything fits in. So keep in mind that the following 'maps' are meant to rough designs as different ideas are tried out.

Map 1; The Central Ocean

Basic idea behind this one is that the 'core' of the setting is focused round an ocean, though on side is the 'homelands' and on the other is the 'colonies'. This would allow the setting to be built up over time and expanded as other areas are explored.

Map 2: The Continent

With this idea the 'core' region is centered on a single continent, though I feel there are issues explaining how some countries got colonies on the other side of the landmass, etc.

Map 3: The Region

This idea is make the 'core region' of the setting an actual region like Europe, etc. 

~ ~ ~

Out of all three maps I'm presently favouring the first and third ones the most, though I'd like some feedback on what people's thoughts are on this.

So which one you like the most? Do you have suggestions of your own?

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Kickstarter Approved! 2/7/2013

Frozen Skies Kickstarter has been approved, looking to start it within a couple of weeks.

If you can help spread the word that'll be most awesome!

Monday 1 July 2013

The Great Darmonican War 1/7/2013

The Great Darmonican War has been mentioned in a previous post, so the objective of today's post is to give a summary of the conflict with the intention of producing a fuller guide on it in the future.

Opening Shots

Fifty years after its embarrassing defeat during the Tyland-Artian War, the Tyland Royal Army crossed the Tyland frontier with the aim of settling accounts. The Tylanders hoped that a strong show of force coupled with a quick and easy victory would be enough.

It wasn't.

The resultant battle would last for much of the war as the Tylanders and Artians clashed repeatedly over the war torn stretch of ground. Tyland's ally the Holy Sodkan Empire made moves towards flanking the Artians, trying to relieve the pressure on their allies. The Commonwealth, a long time enemy of the Tylanders, then made its move and attacked both the Sodkans on land and threatened Tyland's colonial holdings.


The fighting bogged down as neither side seemed able to gain an advantage; the Artians and Sodkans fighting themselves fighting on two fronts, the Tylanders' forces split between defending their homeland and their colonies whilst the Commonwealth's forces were even more far flung. All sides found that if they tried to deliver a knockout blow on one front, they could risk losing on another.

Thus a stalemate endured for six long years as armies threw themselves against one another time after time.

Beginning of the End

The war's conclusion began when the Holy Sodkan Empire was racked from within by large scale unrest organised by the Order of the Great Machine, the Empire was eventually to withdraw its troops from battle to deal with this threat. The effective Sodkan exit from the war meant that Artian and Commonwealth troops were freed up to finally deal with Tyland, the Commonwealth made strikes against islands off Tyland's coast whilst the Artians focused their efforts into smashing a hole through Tylander lines. The result was a disaster for Tyland as its defences crumbled and its army was routed, leading to a worse defeat than what it had suffered half a century earlier.

After being forced to sign a humiliating peace treaty, Tyland was left with a rump of its former self known as the Free State and to lick its wounds. The Artians hold a vast amount of occupied Tylander territory, though under the treaty the Artians will eventually have to give this land up and until that time Tylander resistance fighters continue their war to drive the Artians sooner than the date set down in the treaty. 

Saturday 29 June 2013

Friday 28 June 2013

Utherwald Roundup 28/6/2013

Couple of items of news from Utherwald Press this week.

First off, there is a website of a sort beginning to take shape.

You'll probably notice that the address for this blog now reads '' and there is a links section to the side for our Facebook page and now forums as well. The top level domain remains empty as it is planned for a proper homepage to be put up at a later date.

Secondly, it is planned to run a Kickstarter for Frozen Skies soon.

As with any crowd sourcing project the more support and exposure it gets the better, so help us get Frozen Skies out by spreading the word and telling your friends about. Also keep an eye on this blog for details as to when the Kickstarter goes live.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

'Mule' Tracked Cargo Hauler 26/6/2013

Part-truck and part-tank, the Mule is a heavy and lumbering vehicle built to haul cargo over rough terrain.

It is not uncommon to see a convoy of a dozen or more Mules trudging their way across the great sand seas of the southern wastes or the icefields of Alyeska. As a rugged and relatively simple vehicle it is well liked, certainly the lumber and mining companies of Alyeska have a few of them on hand and any serious prospector has at least one. Whilst nor particularly fast, the Mule's wide width and tracks mean it can handle a wide variety of terrain whilst carrying different loads.

Acc/Top Speed: 5/8; Toughness: 19/17/17 (5/3/3); Crew: 1+15; Cargo: 10 tons
Notes: Heavy Armour, Tracked

Sunday 23 June 2013

The Realms of Darmonica 23/6/2013

It is the plan to do at least a couple of posts on the blog each week, typically on Mondays & Fridays to give it a schedule of a sort. Some weeks there may be extra posts, though at least twice a week is a good promise to keep.

The Realms of Darmonica

Simply put, the Realms of Darmonica is the name of the actual setting in which Frozen Skies is set and also the title for the series of books that cover it. Darmonica is the name for the setting and as can be assumed, 'Realms' refer to the various nations that make up this world.

Objective of today's post is to give a brief overview of these nations;

The Commonwealth:- One of the most powerful nations currently in the setting, it emerged from the embers of a major conflict called the Great Darmonican War with alot more territory than it had when the war began. Though it was on the rise long before the conflict started and controlled an entire continent (which includes the Territory of Alyeska), though it started out as a collection of small islands where its capital sits and remain very vulnerable.

Presently it is dealing with a long drawn out insurgency in a former Tyland colony called Pamayan it captured during the War, though this colony and the revolt will be the subject of a future book called Blood on the Bayou.

Artian Confederation:- Another nation that did well during the War and is the Commonwealth's main rival. The Confederation actually owes its existence to the various states that it is comprised of coming together and forming an alliance against the Kingdom of Tyland during the Tyland-Artian War that pre-dates the Great Darmonican War by half a century. In this earlier conflict the Artians managed to kill the Tyland ruler which brought about the end of the Tyaldn-Artian War and set the Kingdom of Tyland into terminal decline. During the Great Darmonican War the Artians and Tylanders fought one another in a long stalemate of trench warfare until the Artians managed to smash through Tylander lines after the Commonwealth made a several pronged attack against Tyland's colonies and islands off the Tylander coastline. By the War's end large parts of the Tylander homeland was occupied by Artian troops, a situation that persists to this day.

Despite now being the Commonwealth's main rival, the Artians are more preoccupied with shoring up its border that it shares with the Iron Collective.

Iron Collective:- One of the newest Darmonican nations, having been formed in the aftermath of the Great Darmonican War. Originally it was the Holy Sodkan Empire, one of Darmonica's previous superpower along with the Kingdom of Tyland. The Holy Empire's collapse came about when the Order of the Great Machine, a radical religious sect opposed to the 'waste of resources' that the War caused, first crippled the Sodkan by causing a general strike across the Empire before taking power in a coup against the Sodkan Emperor. Not long after a powerful explosion destroyed the key city of Serlinberg on the Artian-Sodkan border, though who was responsible for the explosion was never discovered it still helped to bring about an end to the conflict.

Since the end of the War the Iron Collective has focused on becoming a technological theocracy and rebuilding, though the rest of Darmonica watches warily as to what the Collective's ultimate plans are.

Union of Sodkan Republics:- A loose alliance of small nations thats broke off from the Holy Sodkan Empire when it became the Iron Collective, the Republics branded together for mutual protection as it was expected that the Collective would try to subdue them. Couple of decades later the Collective has made no move towards them, something that has led to infighting amongst the Republics as each and every one of them see it has a chance to improve their position. A Collective attack is still expected, though doubts grow whether it'll actually come.

Tyland Free State:- A rump of the Kingdom of Tyland and what is left of its territory that isn't occupied by the Artians or captured by the Commonwealth. Alot of resentment remains following the Tylander's defeat during the War, there are a number of groups operating from the Free State supplying the resistance fighters in occupied territory. This doesn't help matters for the Free State government as it tries diplomatically to reclaim some of its lost territory from the Artians.

Sultanate of Taramate:- An ancient kingdom located in a vast area of desert known to most Darmonicans as the Southern Wastes. It shares a long northern border with the Union of Sodkan Republics with whom it shares cordial relations, to the west it shares a border with the Artian Confederation whilst to the east the former Tylander, now Commonwealth, colony of Pamayan. To the south even the Taramates aren't entirely sure what is actually there, though it reluctantly allows expeditions from other nations to venture in the great sea of sand that lies past its southern most frontier forts.

Friday 21 June 2013

What is Frozen Skies?

The Elevator Pitch

“Firefly in a Crimson Skies like Dieselpunk setting.”

The Longer Version

Frozen Skies, and by default the greater setting as a whole, aims to capture both the fringes of society and pioneer culture from Firefly and the Pulp Aviation aspect from Crimson Skies. The key thing to keep in mind with the setting is that whilst there are probably plenty of jobs to be had, it doesn’t necessary mean that these jobs are all that legal.

The general idea for games set in the setting is that the Player Characters are assumed to be working in or at least have links with the grey and black markets. Adventures could involve smuggling contraband past the law or transporting cargo which whilst fully legal the owner wishes to be kept out of sight. Though if your players tire of being smugglers they can always delve into a bit of classic dungeon crawling Indiana Jones style in search of artefacts to sell to the highest bidder.

Course if your players seek a higher level of play then there is the chance for them to form their own cartels or get involved in the power plays between the various nations that make up the setting. Certainly in future publications it is planned to introduce elements like running convoys and stuff on the various cloak-and-dagger games going on behind the scenes. In many respects Frozen Skies could be considered the introduction to the setting, your players’ band of characters taking their first step towards power and fortune.