[1998 to 9th January 2000] [10th January 2000 to 1st June 2000] [2nd June 2000 to 2nd October 2000] [3rd October 2000 to March 2001] [7th March 2001 to 23rd April 2001] [24th April 2001 to October 2001] [October 2001 to January 2002]
3rd October 2000 to present
I attempt to get printer quotes. Following James Wallis´ advice, I contact a number of printers, and learn strange printer
terms, such as offset, coated, lpi, 2/2, smyth sewn and bizzare American paper weights measured in pounds (instead of good
old simple gsm)
Phil Master (GURPS Diskworld, etc.) agrees to write a few thousand words for a project initiated by Robin - "Cugel´s Compendium of Indispensable Advantages" These contain tweaks - an example of which follows:
"Is That Your Spear, or Do You Hide Behind it from Small Children?"
Allen Varney sends through the laid-out Quick Start rules. Greg Staples cover art arrives. It is a striking an attractive image, with only one fault, Greg has added two moons! In the Dying Earth, the moon has long since departed (some say in the Great Tumble). I send the art back to Greg.
Jim sends through some articles for the as-yet-unnamed magazine, some 14,600 words. Jim a gregarious and amenable character compensates for his total lack of layout ability by finding an experienced designer and zoologist, Sarah Wroot. She agrees to set the magazine.
Greg's final artwork for the front cover is scanned and finished. Here's a glimpse:
The Scaum Valley Gazetteer cover is underway. We asked all the contributors to make suggestions (artwork by committee, I suppose) This is what Greg Staples had to work with:
Comments from the writers:
Somehow the picture should look placid without anyone making any real effort, even the barge should drift.
The Valley is natural, with natural tombs on the north side, but artificial on the south.
My mental picture of the Valley. The Scaum runs basically East to West so the sun should be to the south side of the river. Travelling down stream you have the sun on your left hand side. The south side of the valley is the one with the artifical accretion of tombs , the North side is the natural hill side,.probably running up to a plateau which will inevitably be forested. On the north bank there is a village which provides the homes etc of those who work among the vines. Near the river where streamlets draining the plateau run down the north face they have eroded some graves and have washed the contents down onto the river margin forming the "bone fields" where the locals grow some grain for their own consumption.
The valley is long, so you needn't pick out all these feautures. Many of the tombs are covered in ancient grape vines which yield a harvest of fine wines.
This is what Greg came back with first as a rough idea:
We mentioned a few coloration problems, and he came back with this
The final cover is now at the A3 scanning bureau, so we can't show it to you. But my, is it impressive!
A discussion over the name of the magazine continues. I shortlist three:
I change my mind; The Excellent Prismatic Spray it is.
Printer quotes come in. We take the rather brave step of using a Thai printer; the quality of their samples is excellent, and their pricing is such that we can do hardback (although not two colours) Their salesman seems to be knowledgeable and cooperative. (Please don't quote this paragraph if it all goes wrong!)
Ralph has spent a week doing additional artwork for the magazine and some extras for the main rule book. His usual high quality is in evidence.
The Scaum Valley Gazetteer reaches 92,069 words. David Thomas chases his contributors with a danny-stick to ensure prompt completion of their contributions. Words derived from Dutch, French and other inappropriate foreign languages are banned. The Dying Earth master map is in CC2 form, and we have made some adjustments to it to reflect certain inconsistencies between different writers´ versions.
Sarah Wroot sends us the first version of her layout for The Excellent Prismatic Spray (XPS). It has a suitably classical style. Allen Varney, with Aaron Rosenberg has cut down extraneous material and re-worded the magic chapters to bring them down to 25000 words. I read through and can´t find anything missing. An amazing job. With a few minor changes, John Snead expresses his satisfaction at the new version.
Allen Varney´s front cover draft comes through. Eye-catching.
Quick Start rules are printed! The Excellent Prismatic Spray is at the printers! Hooray! Sorry about the exclamation marks.
Pelgrane Press launches the Quick Start Rules and The Excellent Prismatic Spray at Dragonmeet 2000. We sold lots of copies of the Dying Earth Tales,
even more copies of The Quick Start Rules, and some magazines. We generated a good buzz. Steve Dempsey demonstrated the game to
an entirely unfamiliar audience. Most of the playtesters enjoyed the game to the extent that they would purchase the rules.
[1998 to 9th January 2000] [10th January 2000 to 1st June 2000] [2nd June 2000 to 2nd October 2000] [3rd October 2000 to March 2001] [7th March 2001 to 23rd April 2001] [24th April 2001 to October 2001] [October 2001 to present]
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All words and images are ©2000 Pelgrane Press. Based on the Dying Earth book series by Jack Vance. Produced and distributed by agreement with Jack Vance c/o Ralph Vicinanza.The Dying Earth Roleplaing GameandDying Earth Quick Start Rules are trademarks of Pelgrane Press. All rights reserved.