First, I want to thank you — the fans — for another fantastic FreedoniaCon. It’s our chance at FASA to give back to you, our fans. Hopefully this will continue in 2023 with a third annual FreedoniaCon.
Next, with the announcement made public, allow me to introduce myself as the new line developer for Earthdawn. I’m not a new figure in the community and my work is best known as a designer, but I’ve been working behind the scenes as developer and editor for much of Fourth Edition’s run. What does this mean for you as a fan and consumer? If you attended some of my seminars at FreedoniaCon, this should sound familiar. If not, here are my goals:
- Clear and honest communication.
- Regular updates about the Earthdawn line.
- Exploring Earthdawn products beyond our supplements.
- Bringing a coherent vision to the line and how releases support each other.
To be clear, there are no plans for a Fifth Edition right now. I know a new line developer usually heralds that development, but it isn’t on the schedule.
Part of my clear and honest communication means being direct. It’s simply who I am. If there’s something I cannot or won’t discuss, that’s it. By the same token, anything I put out there means it’s going to happen and I will do everything in my power to accomplish it. This means there may be less discussion of new products because I don’t want to give any false impressions about what we’re working on.
Which leads me to the regular updates I’m planning to provide through the FASA blog. This should give everyone a solid grasp on what we’re actively working on and some idea what the project is about. Each will have a project name to easily communicate what it is. This should avoid miscommunication about what we have in the works, which is always a problem when news travels only by word of mouth. Or the contemporary equivalent through terribly inconvenienced electrons.
There’s been interest on the Earthdawn team and from fans for products beyond our books. The Fourth Edition launch project included shirts, we’ve had a pin, poster maps, a challenge coin, and a miniature. I may be forgetting some, but I don’t think I am. Outside of shirts — which we are never doing again — these have been modestly successful and I’m looking at other opportunities. At the same time, I’m also looking at how other crowdfunding projects fared with such items. While positive feedback on these items is great, I’m most interested in the numbers. If they’re successful, we will continue to pursue them and increased success means more aggressive pursuit. Which is to say, we’re strongly tracking sales to show what other products have the best performance.
Many of these are slated to return in the forthcoming Grand Bazaar project along with something wholly new I really hope is well received. To be clear, this isn’t a free-for-all of new ideas and products as this is an area things can go horribly wrong. I have more than a few friends who are in the red because they overextended their product line and are sitting on a mountain of t-shirts. This is going to be a conservative expansion based on doing the best possible to ensure anything new is successful.
I’m making a concerted effort to align future releases with a plan for unfolding events in Barsaive. These books will support each other and the future events we have planned. This means a return to focusing on Barsaive rather than far flung regions. Nothing currently announced and in active development is affected by this. It’s only a forward-looking statement. This isn’t going to make everyone happy, but part of being clear and honest is acknowledging not everyone is going to be happy with all the decisions. That’s impossible. There are still many stories to tell and places to explore in Barsaive and its immediate surroundings.
With all that aside, let’s look at the current project line up in active development:
- Arancia — This marks the first visit to this nation which was indicated only briefly in The Theran Empire sourcebook from First Edition. There is currently no estimated release date. Developer: Kyle Pritchard.
- Deeper Secrets — “The magic book” is in active development but going slower than hoped due to all my other commitments. It contains new spells for all spellcasting Disciplines from Circles 1-15. These include revised spells from previous editions and all new spells. It’s not just a book for spellcasters as there are also knacks for everyone. There is currently no estimated release date. Developer: Morgan Weeks
- Grand Bazaar — A detailed look at Throal’s Grand Bazaar as not just a place to buy things, but a location unto itself full of character and adventure. Just as Throal changed in the wake of the Second Theran War, so did the Grand Bazaar. This is currently scheduled to launch on Kickstarter at the end of March. Developer: Michael Allegro
- Hinterland — A combination introductory adventure and sandbox location. It’s intended to slowly introduce a starting group to the elements and mechanics that make Earthdawn unique and take them through Fifth Circle. After that, there are characters, locations, and mysteries for the GM to use and are suitable for any group, not just those who played the adventure. There is currently no estimated release date. Developer: Morgan Weeks
- Urupa — Finally, a visit to the city on the Aras Sea! Also the nearby Abyss of Aras Nehem. There is currently no estimated release date. Developer: Josh Harrison
Hinterland is the new product on the list was just announced during FreedoniaCon. I’m very excited to be bringing it to life, giving a dedicated introduction to the setting and system in addition to a product with things to offer long-time fans and existing groups. Given my dislike of creating false expectations, or expectations which could be false, I’m keeping most of the details about these projects under wraps until they’re ready.
If you have any questions about these or other Earthdawn topics, the best way to reach me is on the company Discord.
From the bottom of my blackened heart, thank you very much.
Earthdawn Line Developer