[vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by George.Fields » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:59 pm

Mark Plemmons worked for Kenzer & Co for about 10 years.
He didn't know much about Dark Secret of Death Isle, but he did point me to the person to ask. I might see this person at ACEN next month. I'll have to remember to ask him about it.

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Mark Plemmons » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:25 pm

Big Mac wrote:EDIT: I've sent Mark a PM. I'm not sure if he will have the spare time to get in touch with me, but I've got my fingers crossed.
Hey Big Mac! I tried to reply to your PM but your inbox is full and not taking new messages, so I figured I'd post my reply here.

-----

Hey Big Mac,

Wow - it's been several years since I worked on that project, and I don't really recall much about it that you haven't already discovered. [edit: okay, the more I typed of this email the more I remembered...] It was still in the very early stages when I stopped working on it - I think because I was working on so many other KenzerCo projects that took a lot of my time. I remember working on it at home, away from the KCo offices, so I probably just had too much else to do and had to drop it. I don't really remember why it got cancelled. Maybe because it had originally been a freelancer submission that didn't fit well into the setting. My memory's fuzzy on that.

The Khydoban was one of the first pieces of the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting that I really fell in love with, in the older AD&D-compatible version of KOK, and I also had several ideas that I wanted to explore. Of course, even as a KenzerCo staffer, all the details hadn't gotten approved by the higher-ups, and so what I'm telling you might never have gotten published - at least not in the way I'd originally envisioned.

Of the races, I recall wanting to have savage, primitive, ugly, desert-dwelling 'blood elves' that used whistling noises to communicate private messages. The halflings from the nearby hills, and the scrawny desert-dwelling hobgoblin tribes, were an option as well. No native dwarves, gnomes, or half-orcs. I probably would have had to use the desert orcs from the Fury in the Wastelands supplement for monsters, but I doubt I would have had half-orcs. There would definitely have been several human Dejy tribes - some on the south coast, some nomadic, and some clustered around the larger desert oases (which you can find in the KoK Atlas maps). I know at least one of the human tribes I'd based on the Tuareg people of Africa - the "blue men of the desert."

For monsters, the 'kingdom of the undead' mentioned in the campaign setting book would have been very significant, of course. I believe there would also have been some desert gnolls who raided necropolises in order to gnaw on the flesh and bones. I also had written something about old black obelisks scattered through the desert - I think they were the centers of 'wild magic' zones. Oh, and Fomorian Giants! My idea for them was that they were a race of once-normal giants (hill giants, maybe) who had been mutated by generations of exposure to 'pitchblende' - which could be found in high concentrations in certain desert locations, due to something that happened in centuries past.

I recall talking to Dave (Kenzer) about what he had in his head for the history of the Khydoban beyond what was in the books, AND I recall editing a tiny bit of my Khydoban history write-up and putting it in the Dijishy supplement PDF - I think in the brief history of the region. If you see any desert-themed illustrations by Caleb Cleveland in that PDF, or in other Kalamar or HackMaster products, they may have been re-purposed from the Khydoban supplement [edit: see Dijishy p21, 27, 56]. The odds are good that I ended up pulling several pieces of art or text and reworking them to fit in other KoK products.

I doubt you'll see any of my ideas in HackMaster. Even though the text of what I did write is probably still somewhere on their servers, I don't think it fits the new HackMaster feel. Still, I hope I've helped fill in some of the blanks at least!

- Mark

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Greylond » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:18 pm

Yea, Mark is a good resource on K&Co product history!

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:37 pm

Mark Plemmons wrote:
Big Mac wrote:EDIT: I've sent Mark a PM. I'm not sure if he will have the spare time to get in touch with me, but I've got my fingers crossed.
Hey Big Mac! I tried to reply to your PM but your inbox is full and not taking new messages, so I figured I'd post my reply here.
Sorry about my (ENWorld) inbox being full. It is fairly small and I've let it get filled up a few times. Even here, where I've got a much bigger inbox, I sometimes have it get full.

Having said that, thanks for actually signing up this forum, to give me a reply here. Welcome to The Piazza! :D
Mark Plemmons wrote:Wow - it's been several years since I worked on that project, and I don't really recall much about it that you haven't already discovered. [edit: okay, the more I typed of this email the more I remembered...] It was still in the very early stages when I stopped working on it - I think because I was working on so many other KenzerCo projects that took a lot of my time. I remember working on it at home, away from the KCo offices, so I probably just had too much else to do and had to drop it. I don't really remember why it got cancelled. Maybe because it had originally been a freelancer submission that didn't fit well into the setting. My memory's fuzzy on that.

I do try to avoid being the guy that says: "Dear Mr Designer, please would you tell me what the fourth sentence on that book you wrote 20 years ago means." :oops:

Thanks for sharing what was going on. It is good to know that the project was cut to help others get to press. It kind of makes me think that it wasn't an especially "bad" concept but was probably judged to be the "least viable" of all the other things you were juggling with.
Mark Plemmons wrote:The Khydoban was one of the first pieces of the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting that I really fell in love with, in the older AD&D-compatible version of KOK, and I also had several ideas that I wanted to explore. Of course, even as a KenzerCo staffer, all the details hadn't gotten approved by the higher-ups, and so what I'm telling you might never have gotten published - at least not in the way I'd originally envisioned.

I think I read on the K&C forums that they want to go back to review some of the parts of Kingdoms of Kalamar to make sure there are no elements that don't fit in with the vision of the campaign setting. I suppose that the thing with a "cool idea" for a suppliment is that if it is "too cool" it can kind of outshine the main concepts of a campaign setting and be too big a deal.

I didn't realise that Khydoban was in the old AD&D KoK books. I'd kind of written off buying those (as I'm a 3rd Edition fan) but maybe I might need to have a look at them, if they contain some things that never made it to the 3e D&D version.
Mark Plemmons wrote:Of the races, I recall wanting to have savage, primitive, ugly, desert-dwelling 'blood elves' that used whistling noises to communicate private messages. The halflings from the nearby hills, and the scrawny desert-dwelling hobgoblin tribes, were an option as well. No native dwarves, gnomes, or half-orcs. I probably would have had to use the desert orcs from the Fury in the Wastelands supplement for monsters, but I doubt I would have had half-orcs. There would definitely have been several human Dejy tribes - some on the south coast, some nomadic, and some clustered around the larger desert oases (which you can find in the KoK Atlas maps). I know at least one of the human tribes I'd based on the Tuareg people of Africa - the "blue men of the desert."

Communication by whistling sounds pretty good. I guess that (mechanically) that could work a bit like morse-code.

Maybe I was wrong in my earlier guess that Khydoban would have been sort of like an Al-Qadim subsetting for Kingdoms of Kalamar, as this sounds half-African. :?
Mark Plemmons wrote:For monsters, the 'kingdom of the undead' mentioned in the campaign setting book would have been very significant, of course. I believe there would also have been some desert gnolls who raided necropolises in order to gnaw on the flesh and bones. I also had written something about old black obelisks scattered through the desert - I think they were the centers of 'wild magic' zones. Oh, and Fomorian Giants! My idea for them was that they were a race of once-normal giants (hill giants, maybe) who had been mutated by generations of exposure to 'pitchblende' - which could be found in high concentrations in certain desert locations, due to something that happened in centuries past.

Gah! That sounds pretty interesting. I kind of want to buy this "non-book" now. :lol:
Mark Plemmons wrote:I recall talking to Dave (Kenzer) about what he had in his head for the history of the Khydoban beyond what was in the books, AND I recall editing a tiny bit of my Khydoban history write-up and putting it in the Dijishy supplement PDF - I think in the brief history of the region. If you see any desert-themed illustrations by Caleb Cleveland in that PDF, or in other Kalamar or HackMaster products, they may have been re-purposed from the Khydoban supplement [edit: see Dijishy p21, 27, 56]. The odds are good that I ended up pulling several pieces of art or text and reworking them to fit in other KoK products.
Thanks. So is the city of Dijishy in the Khydoban region? Is this second book sort of like a revamp of the one you had to abandon? I don't own it yet, but maybe I should stick it on my wishlist.
Mark Plemmons wrote:I doubt you'll see any of my ideas in HackMaster. Even though the text of what I did write is probably still somewhere on their servers, I don't think it fits the new HackMaster feel. Still, I hope I've helped fill in some of the blanks at least!
Thanks ever so much for filling in some blanks. That was awesome. :cool:

I'm primarily looking to the HackMaster Era of K&C products for things to "augment" what you can get from the 3rd Edition Era of Kingdoms of Kalamar products. If, after they finish the core rules and get going with new Kingdoms of Kalamar suppliments, they are completely duplicating the 3e Era stuff, I might not actually be buying them. But I was kind of figuring that if they make new places (or revisit "abandoned" projects like The Sands of the Khydoban), that might be worth buying (and trying to retro-convert to D&D rules).

So that is kind of why I was wondering where you got with this. But, I suppose with The Sands of the Khydoban being unpublished. It has no "canon" status and the new designers won't have to worry about being accused of "making continuity errors" by fans if they choose to do different stuff.
George.Fields wrote:Mark Plemmons worked for Kenzer & Co for about 10 years.
Past tense, huh? Excuse my ignorance, but I'm still fairly new to Kingdoms of Kalamar, so I'm still working out who is who and who did what when.

Are you off designing different settings for different companies Mark? (I've got an interest in RPG settings in general, so if you are making a new world, I'd love to know what it is, in case it is something I might be able to do something with.)
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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Greylond » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:19 am

Mark wore many hats at K&Co, Art Director, Editor, Warehouse flunky/manager, HMA/Convention Manager, etc, etc.

IIRC He's working as an Editor now but outside of the gaming industry. Something in the medical field.

He's a great guy, really talented and a lot of fun to hang out with.

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Mark Plemmons » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:27 am

Big Mac wrote:Having said that, thanks for actually signing up this forum, to give me a reply here. Welcome to The Piazza! :D
Thanks! :)
Big Mac wrote:I didn't realise that Khydoban was in the old AD&D KoK books. I'd kind of written off buying those (as I'm a 3rd Edition fan) but maybe I might need to have a look at them, if they contain some things that never made it to the 3e D&D version.
I don't have the books in front of me, but I suspect that the 3E text for the Khydoban was very similar to the 2E version, if not identical.
Big Mac wrote:Maybe I was wrong in my earlier guess that Khydoban would have been sort of like an Al-Qadim subsetting for Kingdoms of Kalamar, as this sounds half-African.
My thinking was to pull inspiration for the culture of the human desert tribes from Earth's actual desert cultures, so as to make each Khydoban tribe just different enough from each other while still being realistic.
Big Mac wrote:Thanks. So is the city of Dijishy in the Khydoban region? Is this second book sort of like a revamp of the one you had to abandon? I don't own it yet, but maybe I should stick it on my wishlist.
Dijishy is Elos Desert. Looking at the Dijishy PDF, though, it looks like what I input was pretty minimal. I could swear I reused some Khydoban text somewhere in another KoK book, but maybe not.
Big Mac wrote:Past tense, huh? Excuse my ignorance, but I'm still fairly new to Kingdoms of Kalamar, so I'm still working out who is who and who did what when. Are you off designing different settings for different companies Mark? (I've got an interest in RPG settings in general, so if you are making a new world, I'd love to know what it is, in case it is something I might be able to do something with.)
No worries! :) I was with Kenzer and Company from Jan 2001 to August 2011, if I have my months right - so nearly 11 years. I started as Comic Manager on the Dungeons & Dragons comic line, but you can find my byline in nearly every project in one way or another.

As Greylond mentioned, I'm in the medical publishing field now, but still dabbling with RPGs. Other than editing the first Adventures Dark & Deep: A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore project for Joe Bloch, and some minor consulting work, I've been spending a few hours here and there doing all the writing and graphic design and layout and everything on Corporia, my own RPG project. Here's a blog post from last year that explains it a bit and there are a few sample pages here and there on the blog, though I've been pretty slow about updating it lately since my wife and I had our first child two months ago! :o

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Mark Plemmons » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:30 am

Greylond wrote:Mark wore many hats at K&Co, Art Director, Editor, Warehouse flunky/manager, HMA/Convention Manager, etc, etc.

IIRC He's working as an Editor now but outside of the gaming industry. Something in the medical field.

He's a great guy, really talented and a lot of fun to hang out with.
Awwww.... :D

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Greylond » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:43 pm

Mark Plemmons wrote:but still dabbling with RPGs. Other than editing the first Adventures Dark & Deep: A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore project for Joe Bloch, and some minor consulting work, I've been spending a few hours here and there doing all the writing and graphic design and layout and everything on Corporia, my own RPG project. Here's a blog post from last year that explains it a bit and there are a few sample pages here and there on the blog, though I've been pretty slow about updating it lately since my wife and I had our first child two months ago! :o
Cool! Glad you are keeping up with that!

And Congrats Dad!

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Big Mac » Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:28 am

Mark Plemmons wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I didn't realise that Khydoban was in the old AD&D KoK books. I'd kind of written off buying those (as I'm a 3rd Edition fan) but maybe I might need to have a look at them, if they contain some things that never made it to the 3e D&D version.
I don't have the books in front of me, but I suspect that the 3E text for the Khydoban was very similar to the 2E version, if not identical.
Thanks. I'll hold off on buying any 2e stuff then.
Mark Plemmons wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Maybe I was wrong in my earlier guess that Khydoban would have been sort of like an Al-Qadim subsetting for Kingdoms of Kalamar, as this sounds half-African.
My thinking was to pull inspiration for the culture of the human desert tribes from Earth's actual desert cultures, so as to make each Khydoban tribe just different enough from each other while still being realistic.
Bah! Now I want to buy that book you didn't write. It sounds pretty good. :lol:

There are actually a Arabian campaign settings around now. As well as Al-Qadim there is Tales of the Caliphate Nights, Players Guide to the Dragon Empire and Legend of the Burning Sands. Perhaps one of those could stand in for Khydoban until Kenxer & Co get a chance to revisit this project concept. :?
Mark Plemmons wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Thanks. So is the city of Dijishy in the Khydoban region? Is this second book sort of like a revamp of the one you had to abandon? I don't own it yet, but maybe I should stick it on my wishlist.
Dijishy is Elos Desert. Looking at the Dijishy PDF, though, it looks like what I input was pretty minimal. I could swear I reused some Khydoban text somewhere in another KoK book, but maybe not.
Well, I've got most of the Kingdoms of Kalamar books on my wishlist now. I'm watching for the prices to dip, so I don't suppose I'll buy them in any sort of logical order.
Mark Plemmons wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Past tense, huh? Excuse my ignorance, but I'm still fairly new to Kingdoms of Kalamar, so I'm still working out who is who and who did what when. Are you off designing different settings for different companies Mark? (I've got an interest in RPG settings in general, so if you are making a new world, I'd love to know what it is, in case it is something I might be able to do something with.)
No worries! :) I was with Kenzer and Company from Jan 2001 to August 2011, if I have my months right - so nearly 11 years. I started as Comic Manager on the Dungeons & Dragons comic line, but you can find my byline in nearly every project in one way or another.
Is that IDW? I've been waiting to see if they will reprint the Spelljamer comics. :)
Mark Plemmons wrote:As Greylond mentioned, I'm in the medical publishing field now, but still dabbling with RPGs. Other than editing the first Adventures Dark & Deep: A Curious Volume of Forgotten Lore project for Joe Bloch, and some minor consulting work, I've been spending a few hours here and there doing all the writing and graphic design and layout and everything on Corporia, my own RPG project. Here's a blog post from last year that explains it a bit and there are a few sample pages here and there on the blog, though I've been pretty slow about updating it lately since my wife and I had our first child two months ago! :o
I've heard a few good things about Adventures Dark & Deep, although I'm more interested in settings than rules.

If you ever do get Corporia to the commercial stage, we have a special "industry news" forum at The Piazza, called The Wishing Well. You can talk about anything like Kickstarter over there, without it being viewed as spam. (I've even seen one of our pro-members writing about someone else's Kickstarter in The Wishing Well before!)

You might also want to use your forum signature (which you can find in the User Control Panel, under Profile and then Edit siganture) to link to your blog or the Corporia page or anything else you want people to be able to find easily.

If you haven't published Corporia yet, I'm not sure if it counts as "homebrew" or not, but The Piazza has a Homebrew Worlds forum for homebrew and an Other Worlds forum for any campaign setting that does not have a bespoke forum here yet. So if you ever fancy talking about that, there is a place for it. :)
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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Greylond » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:37 am

Big Mac wrote:I'm watching for the prices to dip, so I don't suppose I'll buy them in any sort of logical order.
Last few years K&Co has been having a huge Cyber Monday Sale after Thanksgiving. Last year they extended to include the entire Thanksgiving weekend. If you haven't fullfilled your wishlist by then I'd recommend checking them out. Another way to get some KoK stuff is from swag at conventions that they support.

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Big Mac » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:53 am

Greylond wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I'm watching for the prices to dip, so I don't suppose I'll buy them in any sort of logical order.
Last few years K&Co has been having a huge Cyber Monday Sale after Thanksgiving. Last year they extended to include the entire Thanksgiving weekend. If you haven't fullfilled your wishlist by then I'd recommend checking them out. Another way to get some KoK stuff is from swag at conventions that they support.
I heard about this Cyber Monday thing (for something else) from one of the American members of The Piazza. I was a bit baffled by it (at the time) as I'm not from the USA and don't really have Thanksgiving in my head. To me "Thanksgiving" is a word that comes up in my Facebook feed a lot one time a year. :lol:

But I'll have to keep my ear to the ground in the future, as that is a very good suggestion. Thanks. :cool:

Do you know if Kenzer & Co ever do any UK conventions?
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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Greylond » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:50 pm

I'll try to remember to cross post when it is happening next time.

The K&Co D-Team says that they would go but travel expenses would have to be paid for them to be able to go. :)

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:53 am

Thanks Greylond.
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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by qstor » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:23 pm

::: casts raise dead thread:::

There was a dwarf book by Paul "Wiggy" Williams too. He posted material from it on his website.

Mike

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Re: [vapourware] Four cancelled Kalamar products

Post by Big Mac » Sat May 02, 2015 1:27 pm

qstor wrote:::: casts raise dead thread:::

There was a dwarf book by Paul "Wiggy" Williams too. He posted material from it on his website.

Mike
Thanks Mike. And welcome to The Piazza. (You might want to pop over to the Introduce yourself here topic and say "hi" to everyone.)

Do you recall the name of the dwarf book?

And do you have a link to the page where Paul "Wiggy" Williams posted the material? I can't even find his website. The search results for his name are flooded with stuff.
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