I had a look at the new edition of Caverns of the Snow Witch the other day. I quite liked the illustrations in it and considered buying it. Then I remembered that I didn't like playing it back in the day so put it back on the shelf.
Assuming they continue to reissue older books I hope they don't just stick to the same ones released by Wizard (the world really doesn't need Crypt to get another printing...) and that a few of the more obscure titles get mixed in.
If Crypt of the Sorcerer does get reprinted it would do well to include the bare minimum of:
Including a choice of one of the main Potions at the start. Yaztromo's Healing Potion restoring 6 Stamina instead of 4. Make the Harpoon Flies, Chameleonite's blood, and Clay Golem less problematic. Increase the Hellspawn to Skill 10. Razaak's sword gives a bonus of 4 to Attack Strength against the Hellspawn and himself.
Optional extras: Symm and Borri inflict 1 Stamina damage on the Gargantis each round. Yaztromo gives you 10 Provisions instead of healing potions.
Knights of Doom is the only previously un-reissued book that could be brought out unless Scholastic manage to agree terms with more of the authors.
I imagine if Scholastic can convince a fairly established author like Charlie Higson to write for them they have the money to offer the other authors a decent deal. They also appear willing to put the actual author's name on the front of the books. So a deal could probably be struck with most of the authors if they were approached. The question is would Scholastic think them worth approaching? They seem to be marketing the books to new readers who would probably rather read something by someone like Higson than read a reprint of a 30 year old gamebook by an author they haven't heard of. Even Jonathan Green, Mark Smith and Jamie Thomson's books haven't been reprinted yet despite Wizard working out a deal with them previously.
Im actually somewhat surprised the original authors have any say in it. I would have thought if you wanted to write an FF book then you sign over the rights for now and always.
No, the authors retained the rights, at least initially (you can see the copyright is in the author's name if you look at the Puffin printings - Legend of Zagor is an exception since Keith martin ghost wrote than for Ian and so Ian owned the rights despite not writing it himself).
However, Jamie Thomson revealed that at one stage (probably around the time of the Wizard reprints) Steve and Ian tried to buy the rights for several (perhaps all) FF books so they could republish them as they saw fit. Thomson and Mark Smith sold the rights to Sword of the Samurai and Talisman of Death, but Dave Morris refused to sell Keep of the Lich Lord - so he and Jamie Thomson were able to publish an altered version of it themselves with no legal repercussion.
If I recall correctly, other authors have remarked that they were approached, but refused due to the amount of money offered and Wizard not agreeing to feature their names on the front covers. Perhaps Scholastic could offer a better deal now, but they may not be so keen. Wizard seemed to rely more on nostalgia of older readers, Scholastic less so.
And there are other issues - as mentioned above Keep has already been republished as a Fabled Lands book so it would be tricky for it to be rereleased as an FF book. Andrew Chapman seems to have had a somewhat acrimonious split from Steve and Ian over the lack of credit he received and his Inland Sea setting being absorbed into Titan. And of course, sadly Keith Martin is no longer with us which would mean Scholastic would have to negotiate with his next of kin.
Post by dragonwarrior8 on Oct 21, 2019 13:48:51 GMT
Oh I realize the authors retained the rights, Im just surprised that was allowed in the first place.
Not having their names on the cover would probably tick me off too though. Im not sure why that has always been an issue? I mean, Steve and Ian would still have their names on the cover as well. At the top even. Then the author at the bottom. They didnt seem to mind giving Charlie Higson credit on the cover. After seeing that, I would definitely insist on having my name on it too. Otherwise, it really does make it look like Steve and Ian wrote it which seems kind of dishonest to me.
He isnt my favorite author in the range by any means but I really felt bad for Andrew Chapman after reading about his experiences. He seemed pretty bitter about how things went down with Clash of the Princes and Steve and Ian's Bill Gates-like business practices.
They didnt seem to mind giving Charlie Higson credit on the cover.
I think that was probably due to Higson being fairly famous in his own right already - pretty much all the other FF authors were relative unknowns at the time of publication (slight exception would be the other Steve Jackson, but even he'd be fairly niche. Dave Morris had a lot of other gamebooks under his belt by the time of Keep but by then the practice was well established and I doubt he was well known outside of gamebook fans). But yes, it would be hard to justify not granting any future authors in the Scholastic range the same courtesy offered to Higson.
Post by bloodbeasthandler on Oct 21, 2019 19:59:44 GMT
That's something they could do - playtest and tweak the reprints. Some LUCK boosts and Attack Strength bonuses in Caverns of the Snow Witch, maybe make sure Creature of Havoc has the right keywords at the right place. Make Crypt actually winnable without cheating. It's not too much to ask...
More reprints of old titles released decades ago which are available second-hand on ebay or Amazon for three or four quid.
For Heaven's sake why can't they open the field up to new or established authors writing new stories? Or make the ratio one 'old' title published for every three brand new ones?
Ok, so we've had three new titles since 2017, but since Wizard restarted printing in 2002, we've had, what?, nine new books in seventeen years?
I would guess its because they dont see a penny from second-hand book sales.
Do they not playtest their own books? I mean, if you wrote the thing and therefore know the way through and even you cant beat it, that would seem to indicate a serious problem. (ie. the book is broken)
I find it a bit unfathomable that you wouldnt even test out your own game.
Post by bloodbeasthandler on Oct 21, 2019 22:02:27 GMT
Do they not playtest their own books? I mean, if you wrote the thing and therefore know the way through and even you cant beat it, that would seem to indicate a serious problem. (ie. the book is broken) I find it a bit unfathomable that you wouldnt even test out your own game.
I find it unfathomable too.
It's meant to be a game as well as a book, why would you not even play it or re-read it? Surely at least let a colleague or other party play it through. How else to get feedback?
With some of these books maybe the overriding aims were 'get it written, get it printed, and get it on the shelves' and playability and the game aspect were not prioritised.
Reminds me of those bugged computer games that used to come out in the 80's and 90's.