First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Advanced Fighting Fantasy discussion
Post Reply
GreatArc
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:14 pm

First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by GreatArc » Fri Aug 05, 2016 11:10 pm

Hi there.

About 25 years ago my best friend and I wrapped up our last adventure. Luthar and Zanthar, two wizards successfully finishes their quest to become Gods. For some reason, that meant that we could choose one thing in the world to shape in any way we wanted. My pal chose stone, and Zanthar spend eternity shaping mountains into cool geodesic dungeon designs, I chose flesh, and sent eternity making new monsters to add to Out Of The Pit. We didn't know it then, but we'd never play AFF again. I put away my books until the next game which never came. Moved on to D&D and AD&D through high school and then the books became lost the way they do. Last I heard, it was all with my other D&D stuff in my gaming knapsack I left at a pal's house and went to Israel when he moved (I live in Canada!)...

And so, a quarter century later, having all but forgotten anything about this game, with a 3 year old girl of my own, I started thinking about the magic of RPGs in my own childhood and wanted to have them around. Tracked down all my old RPG systems book by book online until I had everything I could think of, when TITAN arrived in my mailbox a week ago, it was complete.

I went around soliciting people to run an online game of AFF and got some interest and started poring over my volume of Dungeoneer and Blacksand! to familiarize myself with the rules and classes and game dynamics. When suddenly I became aware of a 2nd Edition of AFF! I asked around and since no one had the original rulebooks and we would be playing online, I decided it would be easiest to buy the new edition and learn it over the next few days.

I have to say that it looks really well-thought out and fun! The strength of this game was always in it's simplicity (and that Jackson/Livingstone style!), but I am right at home flipping through the pages--a 10 year old kid in 1988 in his 4th hour of play wondering what will the next page bring?


QUESTIONS (in no particular order):

1.) Why is everything sold out everywhere online? How come you don't just print a huge run of books and resupply everyone! By the resale rates and the scarcity of copies it seems there's a big market. Where is a good place to [EDIT: Neverrrrrrmind, just found out Arion has fully stocked webstore!]

2.) Do you have a chat on this site? If not, might I suggest one so people could run games on here!

3.) How many people are on the site?

4.) Um....oh! Is the referee still called the 'Director' like it was in Dungeoneer? Or is there a Games Master or what is the DM-equivalent?

5.) Is this an active forum like Dragonsfoot or something like that, or is it still growing (well, that's a dumb way to put it, of course it is growing), but I mean when you post things, do you get lots of views and responses? Who are the moderators on the site? Are there successful RPG sites you're going to model it after? Are there any plans in the works?

6.) Just glad to be here and talking about this amazing RPG! Excited to learn more about 2nd Edition and get the whole library!

Image


Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by Nuvole! » Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:18 am

Welcome!
I'm the real Nowhere man, sitting in my Nowhere land, making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

User avatar
SkinnyOrc
Hero
Posts: 682
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:53 am
Contact:

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by SkinnyOrc » Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:20 pm

Good to have you here! The interweb tells me there's loads of people who were into RPGs in the 80s and 90s rediscovering it now, often through their kids. Mine's only 2 and a half and I'm already lining stuff up to play with him!
GreatArc wrote:2.) Do you have a chat on this site? If not, might I suggest one so people could run games on here!
Don't think so, anyone know better? There's PMs but that'd be like play by email ;)
GreatArc wrote:3.) How many people are on the site?
Plenty of people still look (unless it's Hullalla loading every post a hundred times...) but not many post regularly. Looking at the old threads there were a lot more years back but I guess AFF2's been out a good while now and it's gone a bit quiet.
GreatArc wrote:4.) Um....oh! Is the referee still called the 'Director' like it was in Dungeoneer? Or is there a Games Master or what is the DM-equivalent?
The books still use Director but you see both here. I think saying GM is a habit for a lot of people, me included. But maybe Director gets new players thinking of AFF more as like a movie than a video game, which isn't a bad thing.
GreatArc wrote:5.) Is this an active forum like Dragonsfoot or something like that, or is it still growing (well, that's a dumb way to put it, of course it is growing), but I mean when you post things, do you get lots of views and responses? Who are the moderators on the site? Are there successful RPG sites you're going to model it after? Are there any plans in the works?
That would be BottG. There're new AFF books due this year which will be give us something to chew on and an updated website in the works.

User avatar
bottg
Site Admin
Posts: 1354
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:53 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by bottg » Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:46 pm

GreatArc wrote:
QUESTIONS (in no particular order):

1.) Why is everything sold out everywhere online? How come you don't just print a huge run of books and resupply everyone! By the resale rates and the scarcity of copies it seems there's a big market. Where is a good place to [EDIT: Neverrrrrrmind, just found out Arion has fully stocked webstore!]

We did have a distribution agreement with C7, but with all of their own games, AFF got pushed aside somewhat, and went out of stock everywhere. So a while ago i started supplying directly through my webstore but also directly to various shops (mainly in the UK but also Noble Knight). I am working on expanding this range, but have a real issue that when i contact a shop by email (as they ask me to do) they never then respond. The shops that do stock the books sell lots, so it is worth it for a retailer, but for whatever reason, they don't always order.

Therefore if you do have a FLGS, hassle them (and pass them my email address) until they agree to stock them!

GreatArc
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:14 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by GreatArc » Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:45 pm

I shall.

Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:18 pm

unless it's Hullalla loading every post a hundred times...
:roll:
I'm the real Nowhere man, sitting in my Nowhere land, making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

User avatar
LordArioch
Adventurer
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: Having tea with Yaztromo

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by LordArioch » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:32 pm

There is considerably more traffic here than on the Fighting Fantazine forums*, but far less than Dragonsfoot, but the latter is D&D-oriented, of course.

The books are scarce and, in North America, very hard to locate, but with the availability of affordable PDFs coming out now, there is no need to worry.

Outside of the UK, AFF probably doesn't have much of a following, judging by the number of pledgers of the recent Kickstarter, so it is a niche-within-a-niche hobby.

Now, if Jackson and Livingston are savvy they will have a big mottion picture deal and elevate the name-recognition of the brand, bringing in far, far more players and stimulating more publishing developments. :)


_________________________
* I've been asking questions there and either get a very sluggish response, or, most of the time, none. Very frustrating!

Nuvole!
Archmage
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by Nuvole! » Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:36 pm

If Ian Livingston had Lara Croft playing AFF :idea: it would have been a real breakthrough!!! :lol:
But he didn't. :roll:
I'm the real Nowhere man, sitting in my Nowhere land, making all my Nowhere plans for Nobody.

User avatar
bottg
Site Admin
Posts: 1354
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:53 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by bottg » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:35 am

LordArioch wrote:There is considerably more traffic here than on the Fighting Fantazine forums*, but far less than Dragonsfoot, but the latter is D&D-oriented, of course.

The books are scarce and, in North America, very hard to locate, but with the availability of affordable PDFs coming out now, there is no need to worry.

Outside of the UK, AFF probably doesn't have much of a following, judging by the number of pledgers of the recent Kickstarter, so it is a niche-within-a-niche hobby.

Now, if Jackson and Livingston are savvy they will have a big mottion picture deal and elevate the name-recognition of the brand, bringing in far, far more players and stimulating more publishing developments. :)


_________________________
* I've been asking questions there and either get a very sluggish response, or, most of the time, none. Very frustrating!
There is a fair following of FF and AFF in the USA and Canada, and reasonable in Brazil for some reason.
France is big, and spain is not far behind.
Australia and NZ seem to be big fans, judging by KS pledges and webstore sales!

Noble Knight are the main US sellers of the books, and they normally have most of our books in stock.

My understanding is that a film version of both "Deathtrap Dungeon" and "House of Hell" are both at some stage of planning. I am not sure exactly what stage, but they may happen!

GreatArc
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:14 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by GreatArc » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:29 pm

Here in Canada we had our fair share of FF books in most bookstores in Toronto in the 80s, but AFF was a scarcity. I got my books by blind luck and never ever managed to find a copy of Allansia, any of the Sorcery! stuff,.

User avatar
LordArioch
Adventurer
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: Having tea with Yaztromo

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by LordArioch » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:20 am

bottg wrote: There is a fair following of FF and AFF in the USA and Canada, and reasonable in Brazil for some reason.
France is big, and spain is not far behind.
Australia and NZ seem to be big fans, judging by KS pledges and webstore sales!

Noble Knight are the main US sellers of the books, and they normally have most of our books in stock.
NK have something of a monopoly here in the States. They are wont to tack on quite a bit more onto the price, making them even harder to afford, but that is their SOP in recent years. That, plus their packaging is woefully deficient leading to damaged books (speaking from experience). There was a time, about a decade ago, when I would often sing their praises. Now is a different story...

(By comparison, the prices of AFF2e books on Ebay are often laughably outrageous.)
My understanding is that a film version of both "Deathtrap Dungeon" and "House of Hell" are both at some stage of planning. I am not sure exactly what stage, but they may happen!
I hope that such projects can claw their way out of "development hell" and see the light of day!

User avatar
dcpchamber
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:39 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by dcpchamber » Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:03 pm

As a fellow brazillian fan, just to clarify FF popularity here in Brazil (at least from my own experience and my friends):

During the 80s, we barely had access to foreign RPG books in general (due to chaotic economics, brutal inflation, military dictatorship, just to name a few). Thus, a subculture called "generation xerox" was created, which managed to keep RPG alive through fotocopying books from friends and relatives who traveled abroad and brought back rulebooks, supplements, etc. Our economy was extremely closed to everything imported, from cars to books. We had few stores and places to play RPG during these years, but things flourished nevertheless. In the late 80s/early 90s, after the end of the dictatorship, our economy started to become more open and thus several companies started translating and bringing every kind of RPG to Brazil. We had lots of releases, public was fierce, and this was the time where the FF gamebooks were translated into portuguese. People became INSANE and many, many kids were reading FF in school. I was one of those lucky kids, because my older brother played RPG and FF, and my father encouraged us in this hobby. I even had a Dungeoneer copy which I colored with crayons! I can credit FF and RPG in general to help my reading skills.

We had close to 30 gamebooks released (which did not follow the standard UK release order), the first 3 sorcery books (imagine living your whole life without being able to kill the Archmage), Dungeoneer and Blacksand, the first 2 novels, and the other books (Riddling Reaver, the introductory FF adventure and Fury of the Princes). Economy in Brazil was never a reliable thing, so by the mid and end of the 90s, most RPG companies and stores were closed, the FF line was discontinued and became a rarity nowadays. A small company bought the rights to release the books from Wizards in the last few years, but they are releasing around 2-3 books a year.

Well, sorry for the long post, I got carried in the good ol' memories. Hope that this can clarify somehow the FF popularity here in Brazil!

GreatArc
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:14 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by GreatArc » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:04 pm

dcpchamber-

That is really interesting, generation Xerox!

And while I can say my early introduction to playing D&D and reading the FF books precipitated a quantum leap forward in my vocabulary, spacial skills, cartography, and project planning abilities, I was certainly without parental encouragement.

Like many other parents, mine had mildly succumbed to the pernicious rumours and PR campaign championed by parents' groups at the time, and any passing knowledge they had of RPGs was that they were, at best, without any redeeming quality and contributed to weirdo children, unfocused on schoolwork or outside interests, and at worst, inviting serious psychological problems where we would become far too immersed in fantasy. Growing up without any hint of religious notions in our home, at least they didn't invest any value in the ideas that the games were actually demonic, and involved devil worship where our actual souls were in peril!

Similarly, D&D amongst my peer groups was regarded as exclusively the domain of friendless nerds, and one had to very carefully seek out other players, being very sure they played as well, lest you expose yourself as a "D&D Nerd". in the mid and late 80s, things had become so bizarre that it became virtually the same thing as trying to ask around if anyone else had an active interest in torturing small animals and would like to go to the library at lunch time to poke a horse with a sharpened stick--it was something you rarely disclosed about yourself, and yet the game could not be played alone so such invitations had to be carefully placed st the time. Some teachers literally did not allow games or materials to be in the school.

All in all, it was a very strange time, and while I wouldn't wish that public perception of RPGs to re-emerge, there was something very cool about running these subversive games in the woods, in basements, and in forgotten corners of libraries away from the prying eyes of those who just wouldn't understand. While the stigma of RPGs may never have reached the South American psyche, dcp's descriptions of a generation of youths, hunting down treasured scraps and pieces of games written in another language has the familiar ring of both the D&D witchhunting climate of North America, and recalls echoes of actual adventures themselves.

Anyhow, thank you for that really cool reminiscence.

User avatar
dcpchamber
Posts: 79
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:39 pm

Re: First Post! Lots of thoughts/questions!

Post by dcpchamber » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:39 am

GreatArc, thanks for your kind words and for sharing your amazing experience also. I was thrilled to remember them good ol' days :D

Post Reply