Q&A with Tim Beach

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Tim Beach » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:58 pm

From Havard:
Did you read the novel The Black Vessel?
No -- I have never actually seen a copy. I'm a little jealous.

I do kind of like the idea of Hutaakans among the gnolls (and the lupins, for that matter).
Brain Collectors are fun, and I've always liked the kopru too.

cimmeria wrote:
Stupid question: what's Black Steel?
No, that's not a stupid question ... see a more complete answer below.

From Ashtagon:
I believe it's a mashup of Red Steel and Ravenloft that Tim has been cooking up.
Yes and no.
The yes: Back when I was with TSR, I had envisioned a magazine piece titled Black Steel, which would be a portion of the Savage Coast sucked into Ravenloft, probably as an 'island.' I'm thinking it would still be fun to write something up for release here on the Piazza.
The no: I also think it would be fun to do a larger setting, for actual publication, that uses elements similar to Red Steel and Ravenloft ... and very likely, Dark Sun, Maztica, and maybe even Birthright (which already bears some similarities to Red Steel). For more, please visit the currently (but-not-for-long) stalled Black Steel thread. And for convenience if nothing else, I've almost got a name I like for the OGL publication version.

Tim

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Havard » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:41 pm

Tim Beach wrote:From Havard:
Did you read the novel The Black Vessel?
No -- I have never actually seen a copy. I'm a little jealous.
Too bad. I think it is the best novel ever written for Mystara. This view seems to be shared by most of this community. Its been years since I read it though. Maybe I should read it again :)
I do kind of like the idea of Hutaakans among the gnolls (and the lupins, for that matter).
Yes, it is pretty interesting. The novel was a bit confusing about how the Hutaakans got there (escaping the Gnoll invasions of Traladara). Do you have any further thoughts on the Nithians from the history of the Savage Coast? Am I right that you preferred using the Oltecs as a source of ancient lore, artifacts etc for the Savage Coast?
Brain Collectors are fun, and I've always liked the kopru too.
Yup. Pretty interesting races. Malfera are a Nightmare race appearing in the Red Steel. How do Nightmare races find their way to the Savage Coast?
For more, please visit the currently (but-not-for-long) stalled Black Steel thread. And for convenience if nothing else, I've almost got a name I like for the OGL publication version.
Can't wait to see more on both of these! :)

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Havard » Sun Mar 08, 2009 4:08 pm

Tim,
in this thread, the concept of Psionics on Mystara is being discussed. GP mentioned that Shapechangers like the Mujina seek to eradicate Psionicists in order to preserve their own secrets. I guess this was your idea? What is your take on psionics on Mystara in general? :)

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Tim Beach » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:38 pm

I wanted to apologize for being off the forum for a while -- I received an offer too good to turn down.

Besides working on my own setting, and now on a Black Steel variant or two, I've also been building a variant on the d20 system. I was planning on launching sometime this year, but then friends offered to run something for me at Origins -- so I now have a (tight) deadline. I've been getting things lined up so I can do at least a preliminary launch in June. I have a couple of artists and have been working to finalize the system, write adventures to be played at Origins, develop a setting, and decide what art I can use and what must be generated. I also need to secure some stuff on the business side as well, such as another domain name, a trademark, figure out my software, and that kind of thing.

I should be back to visit pretty soon, and if you're interested, I'll pass on some details about the new stuff at that time.

Thanks!
Tim

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by cimmeria » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:25 pm

Tim Beach wrote:I should be back to visit pretty soon, and if you're interested, I'll pass on some details about the new stuff at that time.
Please do!
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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Havard » Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:45 pm

Good to know you haven't forgotten about us Tim! Looking forward to seeing what you have come up with :)

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by NPCDave » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:26 pm

Tim,

Not sure if you know of this, but Monte Cook has launched a website which provides a dungeon campaign setting which he sells as a subscription service, whereby users get to read online content as it develops, and provide feedback.

I bring this up as a suggestion since WoTC has something similar, with users paying for online content.

I see it as a viable business model for those RPG developers selling their settings and games.

Print or online though, I will buy or subscribe.

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Tim Beach » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:05 pm

NPCDave wrote:Not sure if you know of this, but Monte Cook has launched a website which provides a dungeon campaign setting which he sells as a subscription service, whereby users get to read online content as it develops, and provide feedback.

I bring this up as a suggestion since WoTC has something similar, with users paying for online content.

I see it as a viable business model for those RPG developers selling their settings and games.
I am aware; we keep in touch a little.
Paizo also has does subscriptions to Pathfinder, and they have a good design group. It can definitely be a good model.
Print or online though, I will buy or subscribe.
Um ... to what? If, as it sounds, you'd like to see me do something similar, and would subscribe, what would you like to see? (And if that's the case, thanks for the vote of confidence!) There is one problem with this, of course: I have a day job. For Monte, that is his day job. Ditto for the folks at Wizards and Paizo. Still, it's worth considering, and I could base a subscription fee on the amount generated, which would be considerably less than what Monte can do, at least for now.

I currently have two main irons in the fire, as it were, with discussions here in the Piazza for a third.

They are:
1. A simplified system. I've currently got one setting attached here, and I've been referring to it as "darkly whimsical." I am considering other settings as well, and will probably attach two or three others to the same system. This is the system and setting that is currently occupying a lot of my time. (And I have to get back to writing pretty soon.)
2. An altered 3.5 OGL setting, which I'm not quite ready to discuss, but may end up being previewed in the project I seem to be preparing here ...
3. Black Steel. And actually, for the sake of convenience, I'd like to now differentiate the two different paths:
A. As soon as I have time, I'll write up Black Steel, which will be a Savage Coast setting pulled into Ravenloft. This will be a fairly short piece, perhaps 16-32 pages, probably without art (maybe some to which I have rights), and free.
B. A setting with similarities to several of TSR's old worlds, which would be done for publication, with art, and not free. Please see the Black Steel thread for some more information.

I have a number of other ideas in mind for things I'd like to do, but they'll have to wait until I have more time.

Tim

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by TraverseTravis » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:12 am

Tim, in the Savage Coast Campaign Setting it says:

"Other groups on the peninsula include the Karimari of the Nakakande Rain Forest and the nomadic hunters (the coppery-skinned Urdukkabilas and the dark-skinned Karatunda) in the Konumtali Savannah."

The Karimari are something like Mystaran Pygmies, but what about the Urdukkabilas and the Karatunda? What Real World cultures are those two groups like?

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by mktriton » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:56 pm

TraverseTravis wrote:Tim, in the Savage Coast Campaign Setting it says:

"Other groups on the peninsula include the Karimari of the Nakakande Rain Forest and the nomadic hunters (the coppery-skinned Urdukkabilas and the dark-skinned Karatunda) in the Konumtali Savannah."

The Karimari are something like Mystaran Pygmies, but what about the Urdukkabilas and the Karatunda? What Real World cultures are those two groups like?

Travis
The Karamari are the version of the congolese pgymies, however the Urdukkabilas are suppose to be like the Arab/Egyptian Bedouin traders who done the camel trade from India to Egypt and North Africa, and the Karatunda are most like the Serengeti Tradesmen of Sub-Sahara Africa, mainly those who travel from Nigeria to the Sudan during the pre-age of exploration. Their clothing are similar, but their skin tone are different.

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Plaag » Fri Jul 17, 2009 4:28 pm

We still have Tim around, what with the forum moves and all. Anyone contact him lately?

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Tim Beach » Fri Jul 17, 2009 6:43 pm

I am back, thanks to an e-mail from Ashtagon, letting me know that the Piazza was back up and running. I've checked in periodically, and am glad to be back.

Right now, I am getting close to launch of the d20 variant I mentioned a while back, and I have a couple of conventions to prepare for. I have also been making notes on Black Steel and the variant, which is probably named Darkkensteel (see the Black Steel topic for some more info, and more to come soon).

I had a successful preliminary launch and final playtest of the new game at Origins. I was also reminded of the joke:

Q: How do you make a small fortune in the gaming industry?
A: Start with a large one.

On the other hand, friends like Shane Hensley (Pinnacle/Deadlands/Savage Worlds, etc.) agreed that I was doing things right, as far as releasing as PDF first, then doing print on demand or small print runs. And Shane liked the concept and art, which I take as a great compliment.

I'll announce here as soon as I have a signed agreement with the artist(s).

anyway, I've still got lots of work to do, but feel free to ask questions -- especially about Red Steel and the Savage Coast, which is why we're here. :)

Tim

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by cimmeria » Sat Jul 18, 2009 1:51 am

Don't know if you got astked about this, Tim, but are you planning something D&D 4e compatible?
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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Tim Beach » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:04 pm

@cimmeria: No, I haven't been asked directly, but I have stated an opinion. I like 3.0 and 3.5 a lot, though I was reluctant at first: 2E wasn't broken in my mind, so why fix it? But 3.0 brought a lot of consistency to the subsystems of the game (with the strange exception of Grappling). I also liked the ease of multiclassing, the removal of race/class restrictions, and the ability (with the OGL) of easily mixing genres (if I wanted, I could run a home campaign with a Jedi, a dwarf mage, an undead gunslinger, and an elite spy, all traveling to different published worlds through a Stargate). There is a part of me that enjoys the level of detail and, yes, complexity in 3.X.
I think 4E is a fine system, and a good game ... but for me, it's too much of a departure from the D&D I grew up with. There are some things I like, and some things about which I'm ambivalent, and some things I dislike (I want to be able to roll my saves, for example; that had always been one of the unique things about D&D) -- but that's typical of a game designer looking at any game, I think.
In addition, the comparison of 3.X's OGL and 4E's GSL ... well, there's really no comparison. The OGL is the open gaming license, and the GSL simply isn't. Even after its revision, it's very restrictive for 3rd-party developers (which is fine: it is certainly Wizards' right to protect their intellectual property as they see fit, just as it is my right to not use their license).
Will I never do 4E-compatible? Well, never say never ...

Tim

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Havard » Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:44 pm

Glad to see you're back Tim!

I fully support you going 3E with this thing, though I would be mainly interested in the rules independed parts anyway :)

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Big Mac » Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:21 am

Necromantic Bump! (Just found this thread.)
Tim Beach wrote:I also did bits for Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Spelljammer, and Gamma World.
You did Spelljammer stuff? I've not found your name in any of the credits I've put up on the Spelljammer Campaign Setting pages of Spelljammer Wiki. But I have noticed that both MC products were naughty enough to put in recycled artwork without re-crediting the artists.

Did you do something in the SJ product line that you didn't get a credit for? Or did you perhaps do some Spelljammer content in mainstream D&D products (like Colin McComb and his Spellljammer section in The Complete Book of Elves)? Or have I made some sort of mistake on the wiki that I need to correct?
Tim Beach wrote:I like 3.0 and 3.5 a lot, though I was reluctant at first: 2E wasn't broken in my mind, so why fix it? But 3.0 brought a lot of consistency to the subsystems of the game (with the strange exception of Grappling).
That is pretty much how I got into 3rd edition. It was: "why?", "why?", "why?", "why?", "why?", "why?", "wow!".

One of the things that has really sold me on 3e (and why I'm not considering 4e) is the OGC aspect. The ability of people to use the SRD means that people like Monte Cook can either work for WotC or sell 100 percent compatible things via other channels. It means that, as long as a designer wants to work on one of their creations it can never get burried in a filing cabinet (like Ghostwalk nearly did).

But better than that, it means that 3rd edition can never go "out of print" because another company can always step in and pick up the torch (like Paizo did). While 2e fans struggle to get secondhand books (that will increasingly become harder to obtain) a 3e publisher can always fill a gap in the market with a budget reprint of the SRD in a form similar to the three core rulebooks.
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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Big Mac » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:41 pm

Hi Tim,

Over in Colin McComb's thread, I've been asking who the Siberia Six were*. Colin has remembered: himself, Bill Conners, Bruce Heard and Jon Pickens as the first four and Rich Baker, yourself or maybe Thomas Reid as the other members. As you are in the list of seven names, I wonder if you could confirm the names. (Or did the Siberia Six maybe expand to seven without changing the name?)

* = Because they were in the credits of PHBR8 The Complete Book of Elves.

It is bit of a nerdy question, I must admit. But I was thinking of getting wiki articles up for all the authors of Spelljammer stuff, and at some point, will be wanting to put up a short article under the title Siberia Six that points to the individual designers (even if they are just people who get a "thankyou").
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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Tim Beach » Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:38 pm

Sorry for another long absence. Lots to do ...
Big Mac wrote: Over in Colin McComb's thread, I've been asking who the Siberia Six were*. Colin has remembered: himself, Bill Conners, Bruce Heard and Jon Pickens as the first four and Rich Baker, yourself or maybe Thomas Reid as the other members. As you are in the list of seven names, I wonder if you could confirm the names. (Or did the Siberia Six maybe expand to seven without changing the name?)
I was in the Siberia Six. I don't believe there was room for seven in Siberia, so that would leave Thomas out.

I'll have to look to be sure, but I think my work on Spelljammer was uncredited, and may have been limited to a small contribution to War Captain's Companion.

I'll check.

Tim

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Big Mac » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:13 pm

Tim Beach wrote:Sorry for another long absence. Lots to do ...
Big Mac wrote: Over in Colin McComb's thread, I've been asking who the Siberia Six were*. Colin has remembered: himself, Bill Conners, Bruce Heard and Jon Pickens as the first four and Rich Baker, yourself or maybe Thomas Reid as the other members. As you are in the list of seven names, I wonder if you could confirm the names. (Or did the Siberia Six maybe expand to seven without changing the name?)
I was in the Siberia Six. I don't believe there was room for seven in Siberia, so that would leave Thomas out.
Thanks for satisfying my nerdy curiosity. :geek: :oops: :D
Tim Beach wrote:I'll have to look to be sure, but I think my work on Spelljammer was uncredited, and may have been limited to a small contribution to War Captain's Companion.

I'll check.
Thanks for checking.

I've been trying to make sure uncredited Spelljammer work is now recognised. I've already got: Those ones (apart from the artwork borrowed from SJR3 Dungeon Master's Screen) were pretty easy to "fix", as they were in other products that I own. But other uncredited work is going to be a lot harder for me to spot. If you have a record of things that you were not credited for, I can help make sure other SJ fans know who to thank (or blame ;) ) for those things.

One thing that I thought was really a massive oversight, was when I found out that the guy who designed the Spelljammer logo didn't get a credit for it. There are a ton of D&D campaign settings (with Savage Coast having two, thanks to the Red Steel thing). These logos are massively iconic for fans, so it seems strange to me that something that I kind of assumed was part of the first product's cover art was actually something else that was added on.

If you worked on War Captains Companion, then I'm sure you were onboard with Spelljammer too late to be involved with the logo, but did you have anything to do with the Savage Coast or Red Steel logos (or even one or other of the names)? Is it the sort of thing that the TSR management used to consult setting designers on, or was this sort of thing handed out to you as part of the project brief?
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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by AuldDragon » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:42 pm

Tim, I just noticed that you're credited as "Additional Design" on the Maztica campaign setting. Did you have anything to do with the gods, or was that all Doug Niles? Could you shed some light on the inspiration of some of the gods? I posted my quick suppositions here. If you didn't work on them, but I've sparked some other memory about the project, feel free to share it as well. :)

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Havard » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:46 am

Hi Tim!

Some cake for you over here:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=118&p=71381#p71381

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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by RobJN » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:06 pm

Tim, you're credited with product design of the first CD Audio Adventure, "Hail the Heroes." Can you tell us anything about the design specs you were given for the writing? Did you script the audio segments? Most importantly, was there anything that you wanted to include that there just wasn't room for?

I'm working on a side project based off the adventure scenario.
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Re: Q&A with Tim Beach

Post by Knightfall » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:49 pm

Tim Beach wrote:cimmeria wrote:
Stupid question: what's Black Steel?
No, that's not a stupid question ... see a more complete answer below.

From Ashtagon:
I believe it's a mashup of Red Steel and Ravenloft that Tim has been cooking up.
Yes and no.
The yes: Back when I was with TSR, I had envisioned a magazine piece titled Black Steel, which would be a portion of the Savage Coast sucked into Ravenloft, probably as an 'island.' I'm thinking it would still be fun to write something up for release here on the Piazza.
The no: I also think it would be fun to do a larger setting, for actual publication, that uses elements similar to Red Steel and Ravenloft ... and very likely, Dark Sun, Maztica, and maybe even Birthright (which already bears some similarities to Red Steel). For more, please visit the currently (but-not-for-long) stalled Black Steel thread. And for convenience if nothing else, I've almost got a name I like for the OGL publication version.

Tim
Fascinating stuff. And I like the name Black Steel.
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