Greetings. Final Redoubt Press would like to thank you for your patience and announce the long-awaited release of our 5th Echoes of Heaven Product: In His Name/The Last Hallowed Place. We’re very proud of this product and hope you gain as much enjoyment from its use as we did producing it.

Skip to the end for details on a special release-day discount.

In His Name details the churches of The Echoes of Heaven setting, with mechanical write ups, politics, NPCs, and dozens upon dozens of adventure seeds. It also details the great holy city of the Human church and it inhabitants and special sites. A must for any Echoes of Heaven player or GM.

The Last Hallowed Place is the 5th adventure in The Moving Shadow Campaign. Now that the characters have escaped from the trap set for them in The Tainted Tears, Morthorn has almost completed his plan to end the world. Can our intrepid adventurers stop him in time, or is this the end of the Mortal Realm as we know it?

For those who have waited so long, we’ve provided a special release day sale. Use the link below to purchase the bundle version of the product including the OGL, Rolemaster, and HARP rules for the price of a single version. Get three times the content and help us at Final Redoubt Press return with a bang. It’s our gift to you and your gift to us all at the same time.

http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?discount=73358

Thanks, and good gaming!

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In my last post I said that I made a pass at all the covers. I was hoping I was mostly done but dreading, honestly, that I was anything but. Many, many hours of work later, and I have finished a second pass on all the covers and turned them over for copy editing. How much more work is necessary depends on how many errors the copy-editor finds.

In addition to that I’ve started updating the internal text (including the preview download) to include updated information about the licenses. At the same time I’m upgrading the interior of the preview to full color, like the 4e version of the products. I don’t want to delay the other existing copies with large-scale interior updates, so I’ll restrain myself and only handle the licensing issues in those.

On the Death by Cliche front, I’ve finished an output of the e-pub version with a table of contents. I did this while gaming at a friend’s house, however, so it hasn’t been tested yet. The Kindle version is still pending. I don’t have news on a cover, there.

That’s the major news, the covers are just dozens and dozens of hours of work. With them receding, however, I hope to get updated copies online over the next weeks.

Regards,

Bob

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Just a quick update on the week’s progress. On the Echoes front I’ve been working on bringing the existing books into compliance with the new license situation. That means editing covers and interiors to meet the requirements of the new ICE license. I also need to update the text describing the licenses and the other versions of the products. This is a time-consuming task and I’ve finished my first pass on all the existing covers.

As I mentioned in my recent post on Playtesting.net (this post will be showing up in both locations), it looks like my HERO System license won’t be renewing. Since I’ve started releasing small conversions for 4e, I’m adding that as my fourth system, although the actual 4e conversions won’t have a place in my schedule I finish getting Death by Cliché up and released. Essentially, I only have time to work on two Final Redoubt projects at once.

As for Death by Cliché, I’ve done my initial page making pass and it is finished. I’ve also done a proof of concept export for Kindle and e-pub and some subsequent exports to handle formatting issues. They all look good now. I’ll need to add a table of contents to the e-book versions for navigation purposes. That’s next on my list. I also need to get a cover. It looks like I’m not going to be able to get a piece of reuse art for the cover—my first choice—so I’m going to need to commission an actual piece. We’ll see how that develops. I’ve found some artists I think would do a good job but I haven’t contacted them yet.

We’re within a few weeks of starting the Rolemaster playtest of the final adventure, O What a Hell Would Heaven Be. I’m very excited about it. I’m halfway through the RM/HARP conversion of the final bonded weapon of the campaign and I’m VERY glad that bit will soon be done. There is only one major NPC in this one, so the statting of the adventure itself should proceed apace. I should be able to keep ahead of the playtest group handily enough once the NPC is statted.

So that’s where we are. I’ll try to keep you posted on events and thanks for your patience.

Regards,

Bob

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Rallying Cry

30/06/11

So its been some time since I’ve been truly active in posting.  First a quick update.  As you probably remember, my mother had cancer, a double mastectomy, and a course of chemo.  Shortly after that began, I was laid off from my last job.  I did find a new job and that’s involved a lot of schedule updates and quite a bit of overtime.  Also, there was a major change over at Iron Crown Enterprises that made all my licenses with them invalid.  That has been remedied now, and the time that took was completely my fault, not theirs (they in fact told me I could continue selling while we worked out the terms, but I knew I wasn’t going to be as responsive as I’d like during that period).  Things have settled enough that I’ve started writing again and I feel that I’ve proven to myself that I can work regularly enough that I can take up publishing tasks again.

So what does this mean to you?

If you’re a fan of my game products, it means I’ve begun working on them again.  Unfortunately, I think I’m going to have to drop the HERO System portion of the line, at least for the time being.  I haven’t been able to work out a new license on that front.  Over the next weeks, you should see Echoes trickling back into the stores as I update their covers and adjust the legal text to comply with the new licensing.

If you’re a fan of my fiction, I’ve spoken with my trusted consultants and we’ve decided that the e-book industry has taken enough of a hold for me to begin producing non-PDF e-books.  In that vein, I will be releasing Death by Cliché for purchase.  You’ve enjoyed it for free and there is, of course, no obligation to buy, but if the book brought you joy, I’d like to invite you to buy a copy.  I intend to release it for Kindle and in e-pub.  I haven’t determined for sure yet if it will only be available for e-pub in my store or if you will be able to buy it through iBooks and Barnes and Noble.  I intend the latter, but we are in the preliminary stages.  I also intend to release a print version on Lulu for those of you who are e-reader adverse, but this is just as a service to you.  While I’ll probably make more money per book with Lulu, that won’t likely help grow my business.

So here’s the rallying cry.  Sometime in the next months, I’ll be officially releasing these books.  I know that many of you are probably in either the Nook, iPad, or Kindle camps.  That’s fine.  We’ll probably try to hit all of those more or less at once.  The crux is this, we’ll want to hit them with purchases all on the same day.  The more of you that buy at once, the more the features of these stores should take notice.  Amazon, for instance, ranks the sales position of each book in the store.  If we can crank that high in one day, we might be able to get the store to take notice and if we can get it to begin offering the book to new customers, and if you give me plenty of thoughtful reviews, we might just be able to accomplish something here.

If not, then at least you have a copy of a book you enjoyed.

I’ll be talking about this over the coming weeks, and because of my full-disclosure policy, I’ll probably be blogging about or answering questions on the business considerations.  But Chime in if you want to buy a copy and let us know the format of your choice.  I’d like to know what the level of enthusiasm is here.  I know that it’s asking something to expect you to give money for something I’ve already given you for free, especially so long after the date.  So let me know.  Do you want to purchase a copy of Death by Cliché for your very own?

Bob

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Stay Tuned!

30/06/11

I know I’ve said this before, but stay tuned. I’ve fought my way back into the light of day and I intend to make an announcement today or tomorrow. If you loved Death by Cliche or you just want to help give me the excuse to start producing again, you’ll want to be a part of this.

So stay tuned. Look for my rallying cry.

Bob

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BTW, I tweet more than I blog. @robertjdefendi :)

So someone just mentioned in a tweet that I haven’t updated this in a while. I’ll take a quick break to do so now.

I’m employed. I work for a wonderful company, upgrading client software. It’s a lot of overtime, and I haven’t figured out how to meld all my scheduling needs together. I bought a new laptop. I’m hoping that will help me use those inefficient parts of my time better.

Anyway, I just thought you should all know.

Bob

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Still unemployed. My mother had a couple surgeries last week, related to the cancer. They went well, but took a long time. They removed half her thyroid and a tumor. Both turned out to be benign.

I’m nearing the end of my edit for the novel I’ll probably record after the Echoes short stories. It feels good to be in the climax. I’m writing a book that will either be the next major novel podcast or the one after that. It’s going well. I’m in a writing group with Howard Taylor (schlockmercenary.com) and Dan Willis of Dragonlance, among other worthies, and it seems to be going well.

More next week.

Bob

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New Job Lead

16/05/10

One bit of good news this week. Friday I found out that my old employer has a job opening for a tech support supervisor. I’m not sure if there’s any layoff stigma attached to me, but if there isn’t, I think I have a pretty good shot at that job. My last job there had a great deal of overlap with the supervisors. I don’t think that anyone could be applying with as much relative experience as I have, not even the other people who had my job (I had the shift that needed to sup for supervisors most often.)

Anyway, I applied Friday night when I got home. Obviously, they haven’t even seen the application yet, but it’s in. We’ll see how that develops.

Bob

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This Week

13/05/10

The job hunt continues. No big news on that front. We’ve (Howard Tayler, Dan Willis, and I, plus friends and Sandra Tayler) started a writers group that meets on Wednesdays. I’ve started running the Echoes of Heaven novel through the group. It’s nice to have something that will force me to write something new.

Anyway, not a whole lot to report on this end right now.

Bob

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Birthday

06/05/10

My birthday was Tuesday. Monday night I received a call about a job interview, so I scheduled it for Tuesday morning. It was the only birthday present I was expecting on my birthday, so I thought that was a nice little present to myself. I was up nights at that point (I guess I still am), but it was at 9 am, so I figured, hey, I’ll go to the interview, then come home and go to bed. Howard Tayler (www.schlockmercenary.com) and I planned on going out to eat that day, and I had a date that night, so I planned on getting to bed about 10:30 am, sleep until 3:30, get up, meet Howard, then head up to my date.

All in all, a good plan.

I took a little nap that night because I’d only had about 4 hours sleep the night before. Woke up at 6am after two hours. Enough to get me by.

Left at 8 am. It’s about a 40 minute drive, but I’ve never done it at 8am and I didn’t know how bad rush hour would be. I knew it was TERRIBLE coming back in the evening.

Pulling out onto the main road, lights flashed behind me. Evidently I saw my opportunity to merge with traffic and didn’t come to a complete stop at the stop sign, then merged in front of a sheriff. The stop put me about 15 minutes behind, but I thought I still had time.

Then, about a half a mile away from the interview, I blew my right front tire. Pulling over, I realized that when my key bent we made four copies from the bent key, but none of them opened all the locks on my car. The one I had on my keyring opened only the driver’s side door, and I didn’t think any of them had opened the trunk. It was 8:55. Cursing, I called my mother to see if she was willing to go find the other keys, then come meet me. Then I threw out a thumb and caught a ride going to a building one away from the building where I was interviewed.

I got there at 8:59. I went to the bathroom after checking in the the receptionist.  As I walked out of the bathroom, I heard her telling the interviewer that I had just arrived. I told him about my trip and he seemed impressed that I still made it on time. Whew.

I didn’t feel like calling my mother back during the interview. I thought that would be a bad move, so I waited until it was over. She doesn’t have a cell phone so she couldn’t really leave until we knew I would be ready to go. So I settled in and read a book on my iPod while I waited for her to do the 45 minutes or so of driving.

It was then I realized there was no way I could go out with Howard. If I did NOTHING else, it would be 1 pm before I got to bed. I’d have to be awake by 5:30 to get to my date on time (it was 50 minutes away . . . everything is 45 minutes away from my house), which meant 4 and a half hours sleep at the most, and we all know you never get to bed immediately upon getting home. So I called Howard and rescheduled, mad at my day for another thing going wrong.

My mother found me and one of the keys opened my trunk (and the other doors, BTW). She’s never changed a tire herself, and she had a hip replacement surgery that’s set an upper limit on her applying force to anything, so she sat in the car and watched.

Then I had to change a tire. I have had two rear-impact car accidents that have damaged my lower back. I can think of NOTHING more painful, that I have actually done, than changing a tire. I was literally on the verge of tears from the agony by the time I was done. My mother came out toward the end and found that there was something she could do. Every time the wrench fell off a lug it was an excruciating processes for me to move from the position where I could turn the lugs to a position where I could reset the wrench, and then another excruciating move back. She just stood next to me and reset the wrench when it slid off. When my back finally gave out completely and I just couldn’t possibly be in position one moment longer, I said I needed a break. She turned the jack twice at that point (it was basically finger loose) and pulled it out.  I hadn’t realized I was basically done.

I called a couple tire places on the way because you usually save about 30-50 dollars if you call in a head of time. Tire places will often cut you a deal if you’re shopping different places by phone (they want you to come in), but they give you their normal prices if you walk in the door. I found a decent deal and drove there.

By the time I got home, I could barely move from the pain. I ate dinner, went to sleep, woke up after 4 hours, and went on my date. Saw Clash of the Titans. The author did some interesting things with that movie that I don’t think anyone but I noticed. :) Then I came home, napped, and Called the day dead.

It seemed like a bad day. Let’s list the bad:

1) Got pulled over on the way to a job interview.
2) Blew a tire on the way to the same interview.
3) Didn’t have a way to get into my trunk to fix the tire.
4) Had to wait a long time for a ride.
5) Had to cancel the only thing anyone was planning on doing for ME on my birthday (Dinner with Howard).
6) Had to make my mother drive out to save me.
7) Had to change a tire.
8) Had to buy a tire when I’m unemployed, using up the money I’d intended to spend on myself for my birthday present.
9) Had to go on a date with 4 hours sleep.

But I’d like to point out:

1) Didn’t GET a ticket despite being pulled over.
2) Blew the tire in a high traffic area instead of in the middle of nowhere on my fifty minute drive to my date.
3) Still made it to the interview.
4) Interview went well enough that I’m cautiously optimistic.
5) Got picked up by the first car when hitchhiking. (That has NEVER happened to me before. People NEVER pick me up. I’m large and sometimes I frighten people).
6) Found out I DID have a key that opened all the locks.
7) Had a pleasant date.

So I still didn’t get much in the way of any birthday presents (my mother produced a pair of dockers for my interview that she told me after the fact would be my birthday present . . . she’d bought them months or even years ago) I call the day an interesting series of good luck rather than bad. Let’s call that a win.

Bob

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