Q&A with Frank

Quest for the lost city of Empyrea in Frank Mentzer's Aquaria Setting.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by K2h2m3 » Sat May 30, 2015 6:13 pm

Glad to hear about the progress at EE!

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Le Noir Faineant » Sun May 31, 2015 12:34 am

ExTSR wrote:As long as the trolls have the Freedom to piss in the pool, I have the Freedom to refuse to swim in it.
(Shortened that, because I share your opinion.)

Yeah, it's a shame. Announced today that I am leaving there, as well.
Heya. I remember you well. And in the future we're gonna talk about translations (tho I know you're a pro and presumably expensive). ;>
:D No worries about the price, there, though - I got myself a way better job in the meantime, and since it's not the question whether I can afford the small, or the big portion of ramen noodles any more, I'll be happy to work for you for free. :)
We had some special events that won't apply to you. In our very first year, both Jim and I had heart attacks. That can slow things down. :/
Oh, goddamn. :( Have you recuperated well?
Unlike some campaigns, this one has an 'End', and they're right on the verge of it, a preset chronological Event.
I structure my campaigns the same way. :) Will there be a substantial difference between published and private Aquaria?

For example, my own home games are usually completely different than anything I'd put on paper - if only because of the language gap.
So add all that up, and the signs point clearly to a major Aquaria KS in the future.
Definitely sounds like a project I would fund. :) I am very sceptical of the recent crowdfunding craze, for Aquaria, especially considering the wealth of material you likely have saved for it, pretty much the best way to go.

Can't wait to see how things develop! :)

- R

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 31, 2015 6:40 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
ExTSR wrote:Would like to post chunks of the current Aquaria map (duly marked with my copyright and all that, but better shared than hidden).

As I understand it, I have to upload those somewhere and link; no local Library.
Correct?

And if so, is it feasible with this MB software to add a Library function?
While the forum software has the ability to allow uploads, the reality of hosting images internally within the forum system is that it would cause the database to bloat rapidly.

The website hosting account that the forum is based on has unlimited file space available, but strictly limited SQL database sizes. I chose early on to restrict file uploads to the forum to prevent that SQL file size growing too rapidly. Instead, I would recommend using one off the free image hosting services.
@Emma: Is there anyway you could get me and/or Havard the ability to administer a Piazza download section, that was outside of the forum database?

Failing that, I am part of another project (called RPG Jam) which was set up specifically to try to support The Piazza, by providing services that The Piazza is not able to provide itself. It was founded by Trampas Whiteman (Dragonhelm) who heads up Dragonlance Nexus and who helped MWP a lot with their 3e Dragonlance products.

I remember that he was working on a fansite for Sovereign Stone, a while back, but I think he stepped back on that, to get the official website to be the main focus. He probably would not have the time to build a full-blown fansite for Aquaria, but maybe we could get an Aquaria section added to RPG Jam, and put up a blog article that gives some details about your Aquaria map, the context it exists in and the copyright information and so on.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Sun May 31, 2015 6:43 pm

fwiw, I hope to upload and freely distribute my own (primitive) version of the Full Aquaria Maps, in digestible chunks.
This would preface the formal published versions of same (which I still want Darlene to do, in GH style).

F
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 31, 2015 6:54 pm

ExTSR wrote:fwiw, I hope to upload and freely distribute my own (primitive) version of the Full Aquaria Maps, in digestible chunks.
This would preface the formal published versions of same (which I still want Darlene to do, in GH style).
Thanks Frank.

Sketch maps, by designer, are really interesting. I had a blast comparing Sean K Reynold's Ghostwalk sketch map, with the professional map that WotC created from that map.

Professional maps are a beauty to behold, but when you get the sketch versions, you can see the design behind that detail.

Are you able to get your sketch maps up on your blog at Eldritch Enterprises or should I start talking to Dragonhelm about getting an Aquaria section prepared? :)

BTW: Darlene doing a GH style Aquaria map would be awesome!
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Sun May 31, 2015 8:08 pm

Big Mac wrote:Sketch maps, by designer, are really interesting.
Weeellll... I do my campaign and dungeon maps in Photoshop, usually. The 'easy' way, as a straightfoward bitmap graphic handler. (Useta use a far more primitive one, but it won't work on the newer OS, and my InDesign publishing suite included PS, so...) That said, they're cruddy bitmap-only vanilla images, so they may qualify. ;>

I do draw some minimal oldschoolish dungeon maps on occasion, but I switch to digital asap, in case of future product. ;>
Are you able to get your sketch maps up on your blog at Eldritch Enterprises or should I start talking to Dragonhelm about getting an Aquaria section prepared?
::sigh:: The lousy website is another issue we'll address soon. We need a full revamp, AND a part-time Person to handle routine things.
No download section there. Happy to aim my spout at whatever library you create/connect. :)

F
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Dragonhelm » Sun May 31, 2015 8:46 pm

Hello, Frank! Big Mac pointed this thread out to me.

If you need a home for Aquaria, let me know. I'd be happy to give it a section on RPG Jam.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Sun May 31, 2015 9:14 pm

Cool. We'll talk.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:13 pm

Breaking news for a Monday Morning:

Darlene has tentatively agree to draw the Aquaria campaign map -- in her distinctive style that has hung in thousands of gamers' dens for 35 years.

Gary personally (and in writing) gave me permission to include my campaign on the World of Greyhawk (East of it, across the Solnor).
Corporate stuff made that 'unofficial'. Gary's handwritten note (framed in my office) is good enough for me. :cool:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ghmaps/914434461953288/
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Bochi » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:04 pm

What grand news! Darlene is probably my all-time favourite TSR artist. I was very sorry when Jasmine came to an end in Dragon magazine, too.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Havard » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:18 pm

Great news Frank! Congratulations. Having Darlene make the map really seems fitting given Aquaria's history with Greyhawk. Plus, Darlene is really talented so it is going to be cool to see more work from her! :)

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:26 pm

:cool: Awesome news!!

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Sock Puppet » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:39 pm

ExTSR wrote:Would like to post chunks of the current Aquaria map (duly marked with my copyright and all that, but better shared than hidden).

As I understand it, I have to upload those somewhere and link; no local Library.
Correct?

And if so, is it feasible with this MB software to add a Library function?

F
It looks like once I get back from France I will have several weeks available. I think I'll take the opportunity to set up an upload/download area for anyone who requests upload privileges.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:14 pm

Flying to Dallas, Texas tomorrow, to attend the "North Texas RPG Convention" (aka "NorTex" in my shorthand):

http://ntrpgcon.com/

Most readers of this missive are not attending, frankly. It's intentionally small, and overstocked with 'guests' (current and former game industry writers, artists, and publishers). Very intense. They're going to (grudgingly?) expand due to demand, so watch for developments.


The boss down there is good at tech, so they have a YouTube channel of various past events! (Have plenty of time to watch 'em, tho. :/ )

https://www.youtube.com/user/NTRPGCON
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by RobJN » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:49 pm

I'm about three hours (as the wife drives) south of there. Might be able to afford to go nest year or after. It is definitely tops on the list of the very short "places I acatually want to go/things I want to do."

Yet another reason I need to win the lottery......
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Bouv » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:38 pm

I've heard a lot about the NTRPGC from the RFI and Save or Die podcasts. If I didn't live half way across the country from Texas, I would gladly attend, sounds like my kind of convention!

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:05 pm

bak

The thing about NorTex (NTRPGCon) is the body count, as a ratio of industry to non. Only 300-400 total people, and more than 50 are artists, authors, publishers, crafts, vendors, other... This leads to certain situations rarely found at game conventions.

At one extreme you have GenCon, 50k+ people. Superstars like Hickman Weis Elmore Greenwood and others are overwhelmed with signings, promotions, booth appearances, seminars, media shots, the works. They wave at each other en route to appointments, no time to chat.

At this one, early in time slots (i.e. everyone busy gaming), I saw Tracy, Margaret, Larry, and Darlene at various times, sitting in an otherwise near-empty area, chatting about old times, getting caught up. They never get to do that. It's a phone call or text or skype, on the run. They loved it.

SO cool.

http://ntrpgcon.com/
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ghendar » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:12 pm

Hi Frank.
I don't know if you've been asked this question before. Apologies if its been asked. Do you have any contact with Graeme Morris or any of the other TSR UK folks? The UK modules are some of the best ever produced. Would be great to try to get one or more of them here, if possible.
Thanks, Jeff
Last edited by ghendar on Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ExTSR » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:04 pm

ghendar wrote:Do you have any contact with Graeme Morris or any of the other TSR UK folks? The UK modules are some of the best ever produced.
Concur. :) I reviewed all the UK- and U- modules at the time, gave them some tips on what we (TSR USA) were looking for and what was 'loose' by our standards. Graeme and the others did a fabulous job quickly meeting our parameters while cranking out top-level adventures.

And my dachshund ate Graeme's hat.
Okay, not the whole thing, but a big bite out of one side.
Classic British felt. Must have been delicious.
We settled at the time. I think I still have the hat-with-a-bite-out, actually.

But we didn't stay in touch.
otoh I've seen their names occasionally (the TSR UK design team)... might be findable.
I leave that to the outreach efforts of you and others. :)

F

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Havard » Tue Jun 09, 2015 7:10 pm

Welcome back Frank! Sounds like you had a good time :)

Any news from Margaret, Larry, Tracy, Darlene or the rest?

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by ghendar » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:26 pm

@ Frank, thank you for the response. Maybe I'll give my google-fu a try and see what I can dig up. A quick search shows some promising stuff about Jim Bambra. Not seeing much on Graeme though.
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by lostanddamned » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:47 am

ghendar wrote:Hi Frank.
I don't know if you've been asked this question before. Apologies if its been asked. Do you have any contact with Graeme Morris or any of the other TSR UK folks? The UK modules are some of the best ever produced. Would be great to try to get one or more of them here, if possible.
Thanks, Jeff
You might want to check out http://realmofchaos80s.blogspot.co.uk/ as this guy has interviewed a number of ex-Games Workshop staff, including a couple who used to work for TSR-UK, including Paul Cockburn of Imagine Magazine fame!

Some of them also make posts on Facebooks Oldhammer Group as well https://www.facebook.com/groups/400319303383363/
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:06 pm

ExTSR wrote:Flying to Dallas, Texas tomorrow, to attend the "North Texas RPG Convention" (aka "NorTex" in my shorthand):

http://ntrpgcon.com/

Most readers of this missive are not attending, frankly. It's intentionally small, and overstocked with 'guests' (current and former game industry writers, artists, and publishers). Very intense. They're going to (grudgingly?) expand due to demand, so watch for developments.


The boss down there is good at tech, so they have a YouTube channel of various past events! (Have plenty of time to watch 'em, tho. :/ )

https://www.youtube.com/user/NTRPGCON
I see Jennelll Jaquays showing the logo of this convention every year, so it sticks in my mind. It sounds pretty interesting.

(Meanwhile, GenCon sounds a bit of a "victim of its own success" as I'm hearing stories that RPG companies are unable to get the space they need.)
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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Havard » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:00 pm

Hi Frank,
quick BECMI related question. Have you ever considered using the Dominion Rules system for managing other things than proper Baronies? For instance, could it be modified to run a Thieves Guild, a religious organization, a Merchant House etc? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

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Re: Q&A with Frank

Post by Big Mac » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:32 am

Hi Frank

Over in the Chainmail Campaign Setting forum, I've got a topic called: "Aquaria vs Chainmail" to discuss how your campaign setting might co-exist on Oerth with the Sundered Empire created during the 3rd Edition Era.

Some points have been brought up about your description of where Aquaria would have been relative to the Flanaess and the Dragon Magazine map (which got updated to be the Chainmail map).

If you could pop over some time and suggest roughly where the RPGA version of Aquaria would have been located (if you and Gary had gone onto make your setting into a full-blown Greyhawk product) that would be really helpful. :)
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