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Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:53 am
by pawsplay
Don't get me wrong, I like pretty much every version except being lukewarm about d20 and 3e. But I really prefer 2e. It preserves the notion of basic spells of Talislanta, it has levels, it has long lists of ingredients, it has juicy black and white art, it has randomized damage. I like the elegant but workmanlike typesetting. I like the cover art.

Re: Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:13 pm
by Big Mac
Was 2e Tal done back in the time when SMS was still doing most of the work of running the product line?

Re: Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:38 am
by Mulsiphix
Yes Big Mac. I did an interview with SMS quite a while back. In it he talks briefly about his involvement with 2E. Here is an excerpt:

"During the time I was running Bard Games, I was single, living in an inexpensive apartment, and driving an old VW that I’d paid $150 for in cash. Even though I was making very little money, my expenses were so low that I was able to afford to work full-time on the Talislanta game and the business. Once Tal was ready to be published, I was fortunate to find a partner who help paid our expenses, and front the costs of art, printing, etc until we started to sell some books. So from my POV, it was never a hardship – plus thanks to my “musician training”, I had no problem living a very low-budget, bohemian lifestyle :)

We ran Bard together for a few more years, and for awhile it did surprisingly well; the 2nd edition Handbook sold over 12,000 copies in 2 years or so, which was pretty good back then. We got into trouble when we tried to publish the Cyclopedia series – though the first volume sold well, the rest didn’t. But the biggest problem came when an inexperienced book trade buyer gave us a huge order for one of the Atlantis books. I tried to talk him into reducing the order, but he was sure all the books could sell. A year later we got huge returns, and had to give back something like $20,000. That pretty much sunk us, and we barely made enough to pay back the money my partner had invested in the company before we had to shut down."

Re: Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:42 pm
by Big Mac
Mulsiphix wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:38 am
We ran Bard together for a few more years, and for awhile it did surprisingly well; the 2nd edition Handbook sold over 12,000 copies in 2 years or so, which was pretty good back then. We got into trouble when we tried to publish the Cyclopedia series – though the first volume sold well, the rest didn’t. But the biggest problem came when an inexperienced book trade buyer gave us a huge order for one of the Atlantis books. I tried to talk him into reducing the order, but he was sure all the books could sell. A year later we got huge returns, and had to give back something like $20,000. That pretty much sunk us, and we barely made enough to pay back the money my partner had invested in the company before we had to shut down."
Ouch.

That sounds similar to the thing where TSR had a deal with the printing company that was printing too many copies and loosing them money.

I'd bet that the Talislanta 2e product line would have made a profit, if you took the $20,000 black hole out of the equation.

Do you know if Bard Games had any outlines for additional 2e Tal books that got cut because of the financial problems?

Re: Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:17 am
by writermonk
Do you know if Bard Games had any outlines for additional 2e Tal books that got cut because of the financial problems?
Well, the Cyclopedias were going to of course cover the whole continent, but there would be other issues with the Cyclopedias that bumped up against the continuity that SMS had in his head/notes for the setting.

Given that SMS had some extensive notes when Wizards was working on the product line, I'd say that Bard likely had a fair bit planned. How much of that stuff made it from planning to outline is an answer I don't know.

Re: Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 11:45 am
by Mulsiphix
Big Mac wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:42 pm
Do you know if Bard Games had any outlines for additional 2e Tal books that got cut because of the financial problems?
Unfortunately, I do not know.

Re: Talislanta 2e is the best

Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:11 pm
by Big Mac
Thanks for your help.

Maybe something to do with the Bard Games plan will turn up at some point.