Friday, July 10, 2009

Brave Halfling says "No More OSR"


Sadly, it looks like BHP will be leaving OSR territory to support Castles & Crusades and Eldritch RPG (an odd, obscure choice), exclusively, according to the blog post here. Ostensibly this is due to a hectic schedule and wanting to focus on his favorite games, thoughJohn has a couple of odd posts before that, here, and here, where he seems to be linking slow sales of BHP stuff to the OSR's excitement over supporting the LuLu contests for FightOn and Mythmere Games. I suppose its possible, but I would think attention for one publisher would be good news for the rest?

He then goes on to say that he receives "many profanity-filled emails and PM's from members of the Old-School community informing me that BHP, well, ought to just close up shop". Well, that sounds very strange to me, in the 2 years or so I've been following the OSR everyone has seemed very kind and gracious. Apart from the odd barrage leveled at 3E/4E, or the occasionally heated differences of opinion over one rule or the other, comments on folks' publishing efforts, projects, and blogs have been overwhelmingly supportive. At least that's been my impression. If you've been hurling curses at BHP and telling them to quit, well, what's up with that?

Despite this puzzling series of events, Brave Halfling put out some very cool-looking stuff for old-school games, including "People of the Pit", which J over at Grognardia gave a very favorable review, and the "Obregon's Dishonor" Carcosa adventure. In fact, these two came out very recently. I'm surprised John hasn't given these at least 6 months or a year to see how well these sell, rather than a few weeks, but I'm not in the publishing biz. At any rate, check this stuff out here on LuLu, and drop by to wish John the best of luck!

13 comments:

  1. Ditching OSR for C&C and another RPG? Interesting. I hadn't had their blog on my roll because of the OSR stuff, but now that they are digging into C&C with a bigger spoon, I'll have to keep a closer eye on them...

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  2. Any idea who "another new publisher is already forming to continue supporting Labyrinth Lord!" is?

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  3. Wow. I cannot believe people would make those kinds of comments towards his company/products. Takes all kinds I guess.

    That said, I can certainly understand wanting to create products for the games you are actually interested in/want to play! No doubt the finished product will be much better when your heart is in it.

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  4. I think he's either telling the honest truth from his heart, or he's crazy.

    Wait, it could be both. :)

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  5. Considering the way that some members of the OSR have been lately, sadly, I am not surprised. I do wish you the best, John, and I will be pestering you for help on my project that we talked about as I have it almost done. This is about fun and when it ceases to be enjoyable it is a chore.

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  6. [J]ohn has a couple of odd posts before that, here, and here, where he seems to be linking slow sales of BHP stuff to the OSR's excitement over supporting the LuLu contests for FightOn and Mythmere Games. I suppose its possible, but I would think attention for one publisher would be good news for the rest?

    I had a conversation with another OSR publisher recently, who also expressed some misgivings about the Lulu contest. The gist of the greivance (perhaps to strong a characterization) was that the contest was causing a competition. Excusing for the moment that this is what contests do, his point was that "buzz creating" as BHP put it, was too much in the forefront. The buzz was more about creating a sense of obligation in the OSR community to provide support than the products standing one their own. I take that publishers point, but I think whether you are publishing for the OSR out of pure creative joy or trying to establish a profitable publication (no matter how meager), generating buzz is a legitimate way to create interest. I am not offended by the liberties taken in generating that buzz. I am capable of filtering it and am unlikely to support someting out of sense of obligation. Loyalty, however, is a different matter. Breaking from the OSR community seems a drastic step to me; one unlikely to generate loyalty. C&C is not my cup of tea, but I wish BHP luck.

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  7. I made my decisions for exactly the reasons that I listed in my blog. Sure, my frustrations with the OSR community played a part in it, but they were a very minor part.

    While some folks support my decision, many see it as a betrayal of OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, and Swords & Wizardry - as if I am, for some reason, obligated to publish material for them. Why?

    BHP released over two dozen retro-clone products in less than a year and a half. I have given away dozens and dozens of free products to folks in the a OSR - for reviews, for Cons and to those who just couldn't afford them. I supported the One-Page Dungeon Contest and helped get the first retro clone products out in German and French.

    I have nothing to apologize for. I haven't left the OSR or turned my back on it. C&C is my game of choice. It is the OSR that has, in general decided that C&C isn't really "old school" and I'm not going to try and change that.

    Play what you want. :)
    Thanks for letting me vent a little. I think I needed it.

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  8. Word.

    When people start throwing around terms like "betrayal" or "turned away from" or "loss of loyalty" with regards to your decisions, things are just getting dumb.

    TLG is a respectable, professional, successful RPG company, and teaming with them is a great thing. People should be happy for you, not looking at you like some sort of traitor or judas.

    So, for what it's worth, you've got my double-thumbs-up and congratulations. Will be looking forward to the fruits of this union.

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  9. Let's hold back on the hyperbole. No one used the words betrayal or turned away from. Nor did I say that BHP was disloyal. I implied that consumers of OSR material would likely not be loyal. That is a completely different thing. I cast no dispersions on TLG. By all accouints they are wonderul people. I just don't care for C&C and said so unoffensively. I closed with wishing BHP luck. So where is dunb?

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  10. "No one used the words betrayal or turned away from. Nor did I say that BHP was disloyal. I implied that consumers of OSR material would likely not be loyal."

    I was not referring to your post, I was describing the reaction to my decision in general.

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  11. I was also referring to the reaction in general, not your comments in particular. Sorry, leadjunkie, if you thought my comments were directed at you.

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  12. From my blog:

    Good news!

    BHP is back to supporting Labyrinth Lord!

    All of BHP's original guys (Greyharp, Lizard of OZ, Dubeers, Atom and Moritz) have decided to work together to make sure that BHP can continue to develop and publish material for Labyrinth Lord! (That gives BHP a team for Castles & Crusades development and another one for Labyrinth Lord. Plus, I will still have time to take care of all BHP's business stuff and create some new material of my own as well.

    But more than that, our next LL module will be released in game stores in December.

    Yeah, this is all WAY too much drama for me too. :)

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