Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

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Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:54 pm

Mystara now has Theshold. Is there enough support here to create a Spelljammer fanzine?

While I know that Beyond the Moons hasn't been updated in a while, I think "Static" (the webmaster of BtM) might be willing to support such a fan-created magazine created by the membership of The Piazza. (I seem to remember that many years ago he tried to get a Spelljammer fanzine started [don't quote me on that, however].)

For the Spelljammer fans here, would you be willing to help spearhead a Spelljammer fan magazine (with or without BtM support)?
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Silverblade-T-E » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:41 pm

long time I go I'd have helped but not now, all can do is art now and then but I'd be happy for it to be used in such a fanzine of course! :)
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:52 pm

I would definitely be willing to write for it.
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:06 am

Silverblade-T-E wrote:long time I go I'd have helped but not now, all can do is art now and then but I'd be happy for it to be used in such a fanzine of course! :)
That would be great. We'll see who else chimes in.

I'm hoping Big Mac gets on board with this idea.
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:11 am

The Angelic Dragon wrote:I would definitely be willing to write for it.
Idea! :idea:

Threshold has "My Mystara"; a SJ fanzine should have something similar. A "My Spelljammer" article/column. For each issue, a different author would detail a homebrewed Crystal Sphere.

I'd be willing to go back and revisit/rewrite my homebrewed 3E cosmology. It could use some major updating.

Other ideas?
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:13 am

And what would be a good name for such a mag?

Phlogiston?
Wildspace?
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:23 am

Knightfall wrote:Mystara now has Theshold. Is there enough support here to create a Spelljammer fanzine?

While I know that Beyond the Moons hasn't been updated in a while, I think "Static" (the webmaster of BtM) might be willing to support such a fan-created magazine created by the membership of The Piazza. (I seem to remember that many years ago he tried to get a Spelljammer fanzine started [don't quote me on that, however].)
I was involved with an attempt to create a Spelljammer fanzine back in November 2004. It was called Into the Void and nine other SJ fans were on the team. My main article was about an asterioid I created for Clusterspace and someone (I don't recall who) was kind enough to make a picture about my article.

I had my computer die, while we were working on the first issue. (It was one of two times that my computer died while I was working on Spelljammer stuff. I spent more than a year travelling into Central London in the past to log on at Internet Cafes.) I wasn't the only person who had real-world issues get in the way of my contribution to the project.
Knightfall wrote:For the Spelljammer fans here, would you be willing to help spearhead a Spelljammer fan magazine (with or without BtM support)?
Theshold Magazine did a great thing in the way that it encouraged new stuff but also went back to feature stuff from Vaults of Pandius. It would be good if a Spelljammer fanzine was able to do the same thing and revive and renew content from Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons. And I've long wanted to see Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons have stronger ties with the SJ community at The Piazza. So I would prefer to see an attempt made to bring Static onboard, before the "without BtM support" option is considered.

I am as willing to be part of a Spelljammer fanzine now, as I was back then. :D
Silverblade-T-E wrote:long time I go I'd have helped but not now, all can do is art now and then but I'd be happy for it to be used in such a fanzine of course! :)
That's a real shame. I would love to have been working on the same team as you.

Do you think you would be able to knock up uber-short things (like sidebar subjects) from time to time? Would it help at all if you could dictate stuff for someone else to type up (or if you had a ghost writer to work with)?

I know you have been rerendering a few things recently. Do you think that any of your existing 3D models would be things that could be rerendered in portrait format?
The Angelic Dragon wrote:I would definitely be willing to write for it.
That is great TAD. :cool:
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:06 am

Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Mystara now has Theshold. Is there enough support here to create a Spelljammer fanzine?

While I know that Beyond the Moons hasn't been updated in a while, I think "Static" (the webmaster of BtM) might be willing to support such a fan-created magazine created by the membership of The Piazza. (I seem to remember that many years ago he tried to get a Spelljammer fanzine started [don't quote me on that, however].)
I was involved with an attempt to create a Spelljammer fanzine back in November 2004. It was called Into the Void and nine other SJ fans were on the team. My main article was about an asterioid I created for Clusterspace and someone (I don't recall who) was kind enough to make a picture about my article.

I had my computer die, while we were working on the first issue. (It was one of two times that my computer died while I was working on Spelljammer stuff. I spent more than a year travelling into Central London in the past to log on at Internet Cafes.) I wasn't the only person who had real-world issues get in the way of my contribution to the project.
I thought maybe you were involved with that attempt. :D

I remember the "Into the Void" name. (I ended up using the exact same name for the Spelljammer Yahoo! Group when I became a moderator for it.) I was disappointed that it didn't see the light of day.

But now, it would likely be easier to build something snazzy like Threshold for the SJ community.
Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:For the Spelljammer fans here, would you be willing to help spearhead a Spelljammer fan magazine (with or without BtM support)?
Theshold Magazine did a great thing in the way that it encouraged new stuff but also went back to feature stuff from Vaults of Pandius. It would be good if a Spelljammer fanzine was able to do the same thing and revive and renew content from Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons. And I've long wanted to see Spelljammer: Beyond the Moons have stronger ties with the SJ community at The Piazza. So I would prefer to see an attempt made to bring Static onboard, before the "without BtM support" option is considered.

I am as willing to be part of a Spelljammer fanzine now, as I was back then. :D
Like with you and Angel, I'd be willing to contribute to such an endeavor. I didn't get involved with Threshold due to my workload last semester. This semester won't be as intense, so I should be able to help, somehow. Also, with Threshold, I didn't feel that I was knowledgeable enough about Mystara to contribute. Maybe at some point.

I would perfer for Static to participate, but his interests may have waned/shifted. (Don't quote me on that, however.) If we can get official support from BtM, I'm all for it. However, I think it would be better to have this new SJ e-zine be driven through The Piazza's membership. And if people want to revise their original material on Beyond the Moons for the mag, it should be their choice.

Do you want to run it by Static since you probably know him better than I do?
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Cliffrice » Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:41 am

i can contribute here and there, but i have allot on my plate at the moment.

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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Cliffrice » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:47 am


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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by AuldDragon » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:00 pm

Are you offering to lead and manage the project? :)

I ask simply because without someone willing to take the burden of organizing it all, it's not going to go anywhere, even if you have a lot of people willing to write articles (I have some ideas that could definitely be turned into articles, but I don't have the inclination to be the organizer at this time).

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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:55 pm

Knightfall wrote:
The Angelic Dragon wrote:I would definitely be willing to write for it.
Idea! :idea:

Threshold has "My Mystara"; a SJ fanzine should have something similar. A "My Spelljammer" article/column. For each issue, a different author would detail a homebrewed Crystal Sphere.
That may be a bit rigid.

People have a lot of different ways to play Spelljammer from the people that want to learn the canon and work around it to the people who want to swap out parts of Spelljammer and replace them with their own homebrew.

If people are going to talk about "their Spelljammer", I think it might be worth working out some sort of shorthand for letting people know if people play towards pure canon or away from it. That could help GMs work out how easy it might be to borrow that material.

Plus, we would all have to be more like Paul Westermeyer and give people a list of the sources we are working from.
Knightfall wrote:I'd be willing to go back and revisit/rewrite my homebrewed 3E cosmology. It could use some major updating.
Sounds good. I bet a lot of people have ideas that could do with updating.
Knightfall wrote:Other ideas?
Into the Void was going to have an element of 3rd Edition conversions. I think that any new Spelljammer magazine should be open to that, but I think it should be open to 2nd Edition and material for any other editions too. Hopefully most of the content would have enough edition-neutral content to be useful for everyone.

There was some interest in 4th Edition conversions before, but I didn't see much progress after The Piazza set up a project for it. But there is some Spelljammer content in some of the 4th Edition books and I think it would be good to see that reviewed.
Knightfall wrote:And what would be a good name for such a mag?

Phlogiston?
Wildspace?
Of the two names, I think that Wildspace is the best. But it is the name of a TSR product line (Spelljammer's sequel).
Knightfall wrote:But now, it would likely be easier to build something snazzy like Threshold for the SJ community.
Do not underestimate the amount of hard work that the Threshold Team must have put into getting their magazine up and running. The Into the Void team worked for three years trying to get their magazine off the ground. I saw a preview version of Issue 1. And PelinoreRevived as fighting to get their Pelinore magazine out to the community.

If you are hoping to get further than ItV, you are going to need to be prepared to work hard on this, and not have other things that might distract or derail you.
Knightfall wrote:Like with you and Angel, I'd be willing to contribute to such an endeavor. I didn't get involved with Threshold due to my workload last semester. This semester won't be as intense, so I should be able to help, somehow. Also, with Threshold, I didn't feel that I was knowledgeable enough about Mystara to contribute. Maybe at some point.
You say you are willing to "contribute"? So you are not offering to run it? Jeff is right. There were a lot of people calling for The Piazza to have a "4th Edition Spelljammer conversion" just because there should be one. I was hesitant about it, because they all seemed to be wanting someone else to do the work. But against my better judgement I supported it and then the people that wanted it to happen did not follow through.

I had something similar with Spelljammer Wiki, where a lot of people gave encouragement, but did not sign up to help me. (Worst still, I had "back seat helmsmen" who were keen to tell me how I should run the project, but not so keen to actually come and work for me.)

I believe Threshold Magazine has rotating editors, so maybe that could be done, but SJ is a hard thing to set up projects for. So you need to be totally sure who is part of your crew and who is just cheerleading.
Knightfall wrote:I would perfer for Static to participate, but his interests may have waned/shifted. (Don't quote me on that, however.) If we can get official support from BtM, I'm all for it. However, I think it would be better to have this new SJ e-zine be driven through The Piazza's membership. And if people want to revise their original material on Beyond the Moons for the mag, it should be their choice.

Do you want to run it by Static since you probably know him better than I do?
I've not spoken to Static for several years. But I believe he was busy, rather than uninterested. I'll have to see if I can find contact details for him.
Cliffrice wrote:i can contribute here and there, but i have allot on my plate at the moment.
Maybe the magazine could have spaces for articles of different scales, so that busy people can contribute smaller amounts of content.

That logo looks nice.
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Silverblade-T-E » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:09 pm

David
I have my ships "saved" so I can put them in new scenes easy enough, building complex scenes though like Bral etc take lot of effort/time, space scapes with single ship are easy though :)

just let me know roughly what kind of dimensions you want the images to be, colour or black and white etc
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Jaid » Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:23 pm

one problem i would have is consistency.

every so often i'll come up with something and go nuts working on it for several days (or however long)... and i have no way of knowing when that will happen. and even less control over whether it would be useful for an article in your magazine, particularly since the subject is generally a random thought i get.

it could be tomorrow. it could be a month from now. it could be ten years when i'll get my next crazy idea that i want to explore the idea of.

on the other hand, if you want me to clean up any of my old posts about something into an article, that's a lot more controllable =S i've had a few crazy ideas over the years on using stuff that sometimes is little more than a paragraph somewhere in a book :)

(i think i like my drop commandos best though :P )

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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:13 pm

AuldDragon wrote:Are you offering to lead and manage the project? :)

I ask simply because without someone willing to take the burden of organizing it all, it's not going to go anywhere, even if you have a lot of people willing to write articles (I have some ideas that could definitely be turned into articles, but I don't have the inclination to be the organizer at this time).

Jeff
I'm assuming you're asking me. :|

I'm not sure I could lead such a project (for every issue). I'd likely be able to co-lead at least one or two issues, perhaps to start. I think the mag should be designed like Threshold -- each issue has its own team. Or is there one person who has been driving Threshold? I would not be able to do that for a Spelljammer fan e-zine. :o

Who else would be willing to consider a leadership role? (You wouldn't have to be 100% in charge.)

The main issue for me is that I don't have access to high-end graphics programs. The best program I have is OpenOffice.

(I'm sure we'd get lots of article submissions.)

Should each issue have its own theme? An issue about Realmspace? An issue about the Rock of Bral? An issue that highlights 3E (or 4E) conversions?
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:44 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Idea! :idea:

Threshold has "My Mystara"; a SJ fanzine should have something similar. A "My Spelljammer" article/column. For each issue, a different author would detail a homebrewed Crystal Sphere.
That may be a bit rigid.

People have a lot of different ways to play Spelljammer from the people that want to learn the canon and work around it to the people who want to swap out parts of Spelljammer and replace them with their own homebrew.

If people are going to talk about "their Spelljammer", I think it might be worth working out some sort of shorthand for letting people know if people play towards pure canon or away from it. That could help GMs work out how easy it might be to borrow that material.

Plus, we would all have to be more like Paul Westermeyer and give people a list of the sources we are working from.
I was just putting out one many possible ideas. I'm sure people will want to contribute their own homebrewed Crystal Spheres (I know it's one of my main ideas [but not Kulan]), as well as their own variants of how to run a Spelljammer game (i.e. mechanics). And providing sources is very important, as is making sure not to step on IP/copyright.
Big Mac wrote:Into the Void was going to have an element of 3rd Edition conversions. I think that any new Spelljammer magazine should be open to that, but I think it should be open to 2nd Edition and material for any other editions too. Hopefully most of the content would have enough edition-neutral content to be useful for everyone.

There was some interest in 4th Edition conversions before, but I didn't see much progress after The Piazza set up a project for it. But there is some Spelljammer content in some of the 4th Edition books and I think it would be good to see that reviewed.
Doing 3E and/or 4E conversions in the magazine might force us to include the OGL and/or GSL, which could be a pain. We should find out if WotC would have any concerns with such inclusions. (Mearls?) Does Beyond the Moons have the OGL on it for its 3E conversions?
Big Mac wrote:Do not underestimate the amount of hard work that the Threshold Team must have put into getting their magazine up and running. The Into the Void team worked for three years trying to get their magazine off the ground. I saw a preview version of Issue 1. And PelinoreRevived as fighting to get their Pelinore magazine out to the community.

If you are hoping to get further than ItV, you are going to need to be prepared to work hard on this, and not have other things that might distract or derail you.
I realize it won't be easy, but I just feel that good publishing software is more accessible, overall. Any fan-based e-zine is a lot of work. Threshold seems to be a success but that might be due to the large Mystara fan-base here at The Piazza that is extremely passionate about the setting.

Is there enough passion about Spelljammer to sustain a fan magazine for the setting?
Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Like with you and Angel, I'd be willing to contribute to such an endeavor. I didn't get involved with Threshold due to my workload last semester. This semester won't be as intense, so I should be able to help, somehow. Also, with Threshold, I didn't feel that I was knowledgeable enough about Mystara to contribute. Maybe at some point.
You say you are willing to "contribute"? So you are not offering to run it? Jeff is right. There were a lot of people calling for The Piazza to have a "4th Edition Spelljammer conversion" just because there should be one. I was hesitant about it, because they all seemed to be wanting someone else to do the work. But against my better judgement I supported it and then the people that wanted it to happen did not follow through.

I had something similar with Spelljammer Wiki, where a lot of people gave encouragement, but did not sign up to help me. (Worst still, I had "back seat helmsmen" who were keen to tell me how I should run the project, but not so keen to actually come and work for me.)

I believe Threshold Magazine has rotating editors, so maybe that could be done, but SJ is a hard thing to set up projects for. So you need to be totally sure who is part of your crew and who is just cheerleading.
Rotating editors would be good. I think the base team should include 5 to 6 people. Is that enough?

Anyone who wants to be part of such a team needs to state it outright, here in this thread.

I am willing.

(Perhaps we need to hear the qualifications or is that too rigid? :?: )
Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:I would perfer for Static to participate, but his interests may have waned/shifted. (Don't quote me on that, however.) If we can get official support from BtM, I'm all for it. However, I think it would be better to have this new SJ e-zine be driven through The Piazza's membership. And if people want to revise their original material on Beyond the Moons for the mag, it should be their choice.

Do you want to run it by Static since you probably know him better than I do?
I've not spoken to Static for several years. But I believe he was busy, rather than uninterested. I'll have to see if I can find contact details for him.
Okay, let me know how it goes.
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by night_druid » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:22 pm

I'm willing to help, but without someone willing to see this through, I doubt this will ever get off the ground. :p
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Silverblade-T-E » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:59 pm

Knightfall I already posted before about how you can get Photoshop and Illustrator, free, legit, look it up on goggle :)
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Chimpman » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:24 pm

Just wanted to chime in and say that I would love to see this happen! I'd also love to contribute to such an endeavor (although due to my commitments to Threshold, I think such contributions would be sporadic at best - at least in the foreseeable future). I definitely have a few home grown Crystal Spheres I'd love to develop some more and share with folks.

I'm sure anyone on the Threshold team would be willing to give you insights to our inner workings. We have 4-5 rotating editors at this point (as well as several other staff members without which we would not be able to publish the fanzine!). Thankfully some of those folks had worked on these kinds of projects before and were able to give the team a jump start and provide the rest of us with some pretty good advice and insight. Being able to rotate relieves a huge burden, but even now (working on Issue #3) we are running up against new problems that weren't faced in the two earlier issues.

We also have a small core of fairly consistent writers/contributors (many of which also act as editors). That doesn't always need to be the case, but I think that kind of dedication may be what sees the fanzine past its first several published issues and helps to gather a much wider base of contributors. As more issues are published, you'll get more readership and more people will be willing to contribute. So I'm betting that the core group may not only have a lot of organizing/managing to do, but they may also end up writing quite a few of the articles at first.
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Ashtagon » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:41 pm

Someone pointed me to this thread, since I allegedly have a rather good knowledge of typefaces (from a secret project that shall never be made public). So, what can I do to help?
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:17 pm

Silverblade-T-E wrote:Knightfall I already posted before about how you can get Photoshop and Illustrator, free, legit, look it up on goggle :)
I'll take a look later. I have my night class tonight.
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:19 pm

night_druid wrote:I'm willing to help, but without someone willing to see this through, I doubt this will ever get off the ground. :p
That is the challenge, isn't it? :P

Would you be willing to be part of a rotating team of editors. And, no, I'm not asking you to go first. It feels like if I want to push this into production, I might have to go first (or work with a co-editor).
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:21 pm

Getting a bit ahead of myself...

Idea for first issue -> Rock of Bral.

It stands alone or can be tied into any sphere, so it might be a good place to start. Plus, the Rock of Bral accessory is one of my favorites. :D
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:27 am

Silverblade-T-E wrote:I have my ships "saved" so I can put them in new scenes easy enough, building complex scenes though like Bral etc take lot of effort/time, space scapes with single ship are easy though :)
I really love Cloud Hammer, where you have a ship over a world, but I'd bet that is on the complex side of things*. If you were able to put one (or more) of your ships into a space scene, with stars, a world or some other space feature at the back, that would look awesome enough to

* = Anna Meyer just finished off her 3D model of The Flanaess (which she squishes down to 2D to make her maps). If you were more up to it, I would have loved to have seen you grab a copy of her data and do some sort of "spelljamming ship visits Oerth" picture. :)
Silverblade-T-E wrote:just let me know roughly what kind of dimensions you want the images to be, colour or black and white etc
Maybe someone from the Threshold Magazine team could give some advice on the image sizes they found most useful.
Jaid wrote:one problem i would have is consistency.

every so often i'll come up with something and go nuts working on it for several days (or however long)... and i have no way of knowing when that will happen. and even less control over whether it would be useful for an article in your magazine, particularly since the subject is generally a random thought i get.

it could be tomorrow. it could be a month from now. it could be ten years when i'll get my next crazy idea that i want to explore the idea of.
I'm like that too. Sometimes I need to be in the right frame of mind to get a good idea.
Jaid wrote:on the other hand, if you want me to clean up any of my old posts about something into an article, that's a lot more controllable =S i've had a few crazy ideas over the years on using stuff that sometimes is little more than a paragraph somewhere in a book :)
I've had a lot of unfinished ideas over the years. So if you could reboot and refine old ideas, maybe I could too.
Jaid wrote:(i think i like my drop commandos best though :P )
I wonder if you could get an entire adventure out of the drop commando concept. They could certainly make a good adventure hook.

I've always loved anything you have done, where you run a bunch of numbers and come to a conclusion (especially if you have slugged it out with a bunch of fans in a debate). You seem so good at running numbers. If Paul W. is the "history professor of Spelljammer" I would say you were the "maths professor". :) I wonder if you could design some sort of number-related tables that help SJ GMs work out stuff that the SJ products don't make clear.
Knightfall wrote:
AuldDragon wrote:Are you offering to lead and manage the project? :)

I ask simply because without someone willing to take the burden of organizing it all, it's not going to go anywhere, even if you have a lot of people willing to write articles (I have some ideas that could definitely be turned into articles, but I don't have the inclination to be the organizer at this time).

Jeff
I'm assuming you're asking me. :|

I'm not sure I could lead such a project (for every issue). I'd likely be able to co-lead at least one or two issues, perhaps to start. I think the mag should be designed like Threshold -- each issue has its own team. Or is there one person who has been driving Threshold? I would not be able to do that for a Spelljammer fan e-zine. :o
It is natural to think that someone who floats an idea is thinking of leading it.
Knightfall wrote:Who else would be willing to consider a leadership role? (You wouldn't have to be 100% in charge.)
I love Spelljammer as much as the rest of the people in this thread, but to be realistic:
  • I need to get back on finding a stanalone host for Spelljammer Wiki, learn how to manage MediaWiki and get back to work on that project (because that is my personal continuity bible, as well as something I hope will inspire canon-compatible fanon),
  • I need to help Ashtagon finish adding and updating the content of the Book House at The Piazza (to help pay towards my favourite D&D community),
  • I need to restart my efforts to convert Spelljammer to 3rd Edition rules (because I want to play SJ using 3e rules and my previous lack of progress has stood in the way),
  • I need to work out how to turn Greyspace, Krynnspace, Realmspace into a setting (or settings) that "feel" as "real" as Greyhawk, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms (because that is My Spelljammer)
  • And I need to organise all my old unfinished stuff in a way that will make it easier for me to move forward from concepts into game material.
I've also got a few commitments to non-SJ projects that I'm either spending time on or that I should be spending time on.

So maybe I might have some of the skills needed to do this, but I would be getting in my own way. I'm kind of frustrated at my own lack of progress already (something that my non-SJ loving friends don't really understand). I feel that I've got a lot of potential, but I just have not nailed down the stuff that I "need" to nail down.

If Spelljammer Wiki was on its own server and mostly finished (and if I had several editors working for me who were onboard about adding citations and not copying and pasting copyrighted content) I would not feel frustrated by that.

If I had built the rules and the setting I needed to run my own Spelljammer campaign (and if I found some people in London that wanted to play Spelljammer with me ;( ) I would not feel frustrated by that.

I think that, I could probably use a Spelljammer magazine to test out ideas for "fluff" or "crunch" that would move me nearer towards getting one of my personal SJ targets. But three RPG people I know (who have finished cool projects that I admire) have all advised me that I should try to focus on stuff. And I know they are right.

There are a lot of people in this thread (including you) who inspire me, and I would love to read magazine articles from everyone here, as well as lots of people who have not written in this thread. But I need to figure out how to organise myself and get some forward momentum with my personal objectives. I love being part of the Spelljammer community, but I've procrastinated for too long, while people I admire have created cool stuff and I actually get pretty pissed off with myself and the lack of progress I've made sometimes. I shouldn't, because (as I said elsewhere) I a surrounded by awesome people who inspire me. But sometimes I wish I had learned to create cool pictures, like Silverblade or written a cool book, like Night Druid, or done something else that was useful (apart from be friends with anyone who loves Spelljammer). :(

So, I have to say, that I owe it to myself to tell you that I am not going to be the "Frodo", who takes your ring to Mordor. I will help, if I can - especially if something for the magazine can also be recycled to push forwards the objectives that are frustrating me, but I'm not going to be the leader or your magazine team.

Having said that, if you can gather a team and if your team think they can work hard enough to get this concept off the ground, I'll be as happy to give the project as much support as I gave to Threshold Magazine. If you can create a business case to apply for the same sort of private forum that Threshold Magazine asked for, I'll chat to Ashtagon about it. And if she says yes, I'll set it up. I'll even be the gatekeeper (one of the admins needs to do that) and let in anyone you want on the team. I know a bit about Facebook pages, so (when you actually had Issue 1 published) I would even help you set up a page similar to the Threshold Magazine page. And I would help promote the page to Spelljammer fans, because I do that sort of thing anyway, when I see cool Spelljammer stuff.

I would love to see this happen. A Spelljammer magazine would be good for me in many ways. Getting some of my half-finished ideas nailed down and published in a SJ magazine would probably be very good for me. I could get some constructive criticism (from people who actually matter to me - rather than random people) and make my ideas as good as they could be. And the more practice I have at that, the easier it will get to knock out large amounts of useful text. That could also help me create some building blocks to get other stuff done, but I do not have the time to spend on editing a magazine that is not going to focus 100 percent on the SJ stuff I need to create (and a good SJ magazine would need to cover a broad range of stuff outside of my own personal niche). I really do need to focus.

Jeff is right. I once called Seethyr the "Michael Knight of Maztica" and I once called Kneverwinterknight the "Michael Knight of Pelinore". You have a good idea here. If you can make it work you could be the "one man who can make a difference".
Knightfall wrote:The main issue for me is that I don't have access to high-end graphics programs. The best program I have is OpenOffice.
I think the main thing this project needs is a "project manager" who will pull a team together, run a brainstorming session to discover some realistic objectives for the first one or two issues, find out what team members are willing and able to do and stay in touch with everyone to make sure that everyone gets the support they might need to get their work finished. The leader would probably also need to come up with some contingency plans, so that if someone got stuck, the magazine could still move forward.

Art and typesetting could probably be done by someone who is not the actual leader, but you would need to have a team member that could handle that before you started.
Knightfall wrote:(I'm sure we'd get lots of article submissions.)
You should do. But if you were able to knock up small amounts content on demand, you could help fill any gaps left by articles that were not exactly a page long (or exactly 4 pages long if you want to make the thing easy to print as a folded and stapled magazine).
Knightfall wrote:Should each issue have its own theme? An issue about Realmspace? An issue about the Rock of Bral? An issue that highlights 3E (or 4E) conversions?
You could probably have a lot of special themes, but I'm not sure they should dominate the entire issue. If, for example, you started with a Realmspace issue or a 3e issue, you might struggle to find enough specialised content to fill an entire magazine and you might also create an issue that was of no interest to anyone who did not like that niche part of Spelljammer. But if you had a certain percentage dedicated to a theme but had a wide variety of other topics, that would give a wide variety of SJ fans something they could enjoy reading.

Knightfall wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:Idea! :idea:

Threshold has "My Mystara"; a SJ fanzine should have something similar. A "My Spelljammer" article/column. For each issue, a different author would detail a homebrewed Crystal Sphere.
That may be a bit rigid.

People have a lot of different ways to play Spelljammer from the people that want to learn the canon and work around it to the people who want to swap out parts of Spelljammer and replace them with their own homebrew.

If people are going to talk about "their Spelljammer", I think it might be worth working out some sort of shorthand for letting people know if people play towards pure canon or away from it. That could help GMs work out how easy it might be to borrow that material.

Plus, we would all have to be more like Paul Westermeyer and give people a list of the sources we are working from.
I was just putting out one many possible ideas. I'm sure people will want to contribute their own homebrewed Crystal Spheres (I know it's one of my main ideas [but not Kulan]), as well as their own variants of how to run a Spelljammer game (i.e. mechanics). And providing sources is very important, as is making sure not to step on IP/copyright.
Sure. That is a good enough idea. But, as you say, there are other ideas. Some people don't have things nailed down to exact regions (like crystal spheres). Someone might enjoy designing monsters or ships without worrying about the setting.
Knightfall wrote:Doing 3E and/or 4E conversions in the magazine might force us to include the OGL and/or GSL, which could be a pain. We should find out if WotC would have any concerns with such inclusions. (Mearls?) Does Beyond the Moons have the OGL on it for its 3E conversions?
If you can define an article (rather than the entire magazine) as a "work" you should be able to attach the OGL/GSL only to that specific article.

I'm not sure you need to talk to WotC. Threshold Magazine has done the groundwork on this front.

Beyond the Moons does not need to use the OGL, as it has an independent agreement with the IP owner. The rest of us have access to the ESD Conversion Agreement, which allows for use of any old school D&D IP, in the context of a free 3rd Edition conversion. (You do not need to reprint the ESD Conversion Agreement, just add a couple of lines to the copyright section of the OGL.)
Knightfall wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Do not underestimate the amount of hard work that the Threshold Team must have put into getting their magazine up and running. The Into the Void team worked for three years trying to get their magazine off the ground. I saw a preview version of Issue 1. And PelinoreRevived as fighting to get their Pelinore magazine out to the community.

If you are hoping to get further than ItV, you are going to need to be prepared to work hard on this, and not have other things that might distract or derail you.
I realize it won't be easy, but I just feel that good publishing software is more accessible, overall. Any fan-based e-zine is a lot of work. Threshold seems to be a success but that might be due to the large Mystara fan-base here at The Piazza that is extremely passionate about the setting.

Is there enough passion about Spelljammer to sustain a fan magazine for the setting?
I think that Threshold is successful, because they have put together an awesome team, understand how hard the work is and are committed enough to get that work done.

The same could be done for any other campaign setting. There is a pair of magazines for Greyhawk and one coming soon for Pelinore.

There is easily enough passion for a Spelljammer magazine, but there are a lot of different niches in the SJ community. I believe there was some concern about that in the Mystara community. (I know I've seen some fear in the past that people who enjoy canon will somehow play the badwrongfun card on people that like to reboot stuff). There was also a tiny bit of concern by Mystara fans that do not hang out at The Piazza about what the association with The Piazza meant. The Threshold team quickly moved past that and came up with a format that gives everyone at least a little bit of what they want. I really admire what they are doing. You could learn a lot by talking to the Threshold team about what challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

You already have several people willing to help out, but you have two people that suggest that it will go nowhere without a committed leader. So I guess I could turn your question around and ask: "Are you passionate enough about a Spelljammer magazine to be the leader?"
Knightfall wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
Knightfall wrote:I would perfer for Static to participate, but his interests may have waned/shifted. (Don't quote me on that, however.) If we can get official support from BtM, I'm all for it. However, I think it would be better to have this new SJ e-zine be driven through The Piazza's membership. And if people want to revise their original material on Beyond the Moons for the mag, it should be their choice.

Do you want to run it by Static since you probably know him better than I do?
I've not spoken to Static for several years. But I believe he was busy, rather than uninterested. I'll have to see if I can find contact details for him.
Okay, let me know how it goes.
I'll have to locate his preferred email first. Keep plugging on with creating the plan for your magazine. :)
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Re: Spelljammer Fan Magazine?

Post by Knightfall » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:00 pm

Big Mac wrote:You already have several people willing to help out, but you have two people that suggest that it will go nowhere without a committed leader. So I guess I could turn your question around and ask: "Are you passionate enough about a Spelljammer magazine to be the leader?"
After reading your post last night and thinking hard about this section in particular, I think the answer I have to give is, no. I wish I could say yes but I'd be lying to you all and myself. In truth, the only setting I'm that passionate about is my own, World of Kulan. (Hmm, a different idea is forming.)

I'd still be willing to help in a significant manner, but I am not to Spelljammer what Seethyr is to Maztica or kneverwinterknight is to Pelinore. :facepalm:
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