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Black Blade Publishing is committed to publishing high-quality gaming material for fans of first edition fantasy role-playing games and enthusiasts of all of the hobby’s earliest incarnations. Here on our website you will find information about our products and details about how to order, information about Black Blade Publishing itself, and contact information should you wish to make contact.
BLACK BLADE TO PUBLISH
THE CASTLE OF THE MAD ARCHMAGETM
BY JOSEPH BLOCH
02 APRIL 2011
Black Blade Publishing is proud to announce that it has reached an agreement in principle with Joseph Bloch to publish his Castle of the Mad ArchmageTM for old school fantasy campaign gaming. While the essential terms of the publishing agreement have been settled for some time, the formal agreement between Black Blade Publishing and Mr. Bloch will likely be signed later this week. Black Blade hopes to have the finished product available in time for Christmas, 2011
Jon Hershberger, President of Black Blade, said, “It is an honor and privilege for Black Blade to publish The Castle of the Mad Archmage in partnership with Joe Bloch. This mega-dungeon is one of the really great old school projects to come out of the old school gaming community in the past five years. It is a mega-dungeon in the grand tradition of the early days of our hobby. I’ve been running scenarios using Joe’s Castle of the Mad Archmage at gaming conventions for the past couple of years. Being a mega-dungeon, the Castle of the Mad Archmage fosters a style of play that differs from gaming scenarios based on traditional adventure ‘modules’ or tournament-style adventures where the objectives and scope are more rigidly defined. With the release of the free pdf version of the Castle of the Mad Archmage, Joe demonstrated his ability to create a setting that serves as both an educational experience for introducing the hobby to new gamers and a challenging adventure locale for veteran gamers.”
The agreement includes the publication and distribution of all twelve of the Castle of the Mad Archmage dungeon levels included in the previously released pdf of the same title, plus two additional levels that Joseph wrote exclusively for inclusion in the Black Blade Publishing release of the Castle of the Mad Archmage. These two additional levels will be
-- Surface Level – The Upper Ruins, and
-- Level One – The Storage Rooms
The Black Blade release of the Castle of the Mad Archmage will be published with several other design features that will make this a truly stand-out print product, including:
-- A 220-240 page hardcover containing the encounter keys and level by level detail for all 14 levels;
-- Full-color poster maps on heavyweight stock for all 14 levels;
-- A folio or folder to organize and store the poster maps when they're not in use;
-- A deluxe box or slipcase for storing both the level key hardcover and the map folio with all of the poster maps;
-- The addition of a number of original black & white interior art pieces to highlight specific set piece encounters or unique features of the Castle levels;
In addition, Black Blade Publishing and Joseph Bloch have discussed plans to release further expansions of the Castle of the Mad Archmage, including several sub-levels and level-expansions for the twelve primary dungeon levels beneath the ruins of the Mad Archmage’s Castle.
Black Blade Publishing and the Black Blade sword logo are trademarks of Black Blade Publishing, LLC. “Castle of the Mad Archmage” is a trademark of Joseph Bloch. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.
BLACK BLADE TO PUBLISH ROB KUNTZ’S LAKE GENEVA CASTLE & CAMPAIGN™ PRODUCT LINE
08 OCTOBER 2010
Black Blade Publishing is proud to announce an agreement with Robert J. Kuntz to publish his Lake Geneva Castle & Campaign™ (LGCC) dungeon levels. Jon Hershberger, President of Black Blade, said, “It is a privilege to publish these Lake Geneva Castle and Campaign™ dungeon levels in partnership with Rob Kuntz. Their historical value dating back to the origins of the RPG hobby is significant. Rob's distinctive adventure modules are very creative and serve as both challenging settings for veteran gamers and as inspiration for future game designers.”
The agreement includes the publication and distribution of:
- Six original Lake Geneva Castle dungeon levels, including The Machine Level, The Boreal Level, and four additional levels that feature such famous and infamous encounters as the Giants Pool Hall, the prototypical set-piece encounter for The Garden of the Plantmaster, and connections to several other planes of existence for off-world adventuring. Each dungeon level will be published upon completion by Mr. Kuntz, beginning this winter with The Machine Level, which will be 32 to 36 pages in length.
- .PDF editions of Kuntz’s out-of-print adventure modules CAS1 Cairn of the Skeleton King and CAS2 Tower of Blood, with additional titles to follow as their print runs sell through (including RJK1 Bottle City).
- The .pdf edition of the adventure module Ice Grave (originally published in Troll Magazine #1 in 1997), the proceeds from which Kuntz will use as a special fund to be awarded on a recurring basis to excellent up-and-coming RPG game designers.
Future publications will release the full scope of Kuntz’s massive original manuscript collection that spans the history of the development of the first fantasy role-playing game, as played in the Lake Geneva campaigns. These publications will primarily be issued in .pdf format, with select titles also targeted for in-print releases.
Robert J. Kuntz said, “Black Blade was my first choice as a publishing partner due to their commitment to producing high-quality, printed books. I can trust them to reproduce my manuscripts with the respect, fidelity and attention to detail that reflects their historical value and context.” Allan Grohe, co-founder, project manager and editor for Black Blade, will manage the Lake Geneva Castle & Campaign™ product line. Grohe said, “Rob Kuntz’s designs stand out across the history of RPG publishing for their originality in design and challenge to player skill. It’s a pleasure to continue my long-standing publishing relationship with Rob under the auspices of Black Blade.”
About Robert J. Kuntz
One of the founding fathers of the RPG industry, Robert J. Kuntz helped to design, playtest, and expand the original Dungeons & Dragons game with Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson from 1972 to 1975. Mr. Kuntz co-authored Greyhawk: Supplement I, created Kalibruhn—the third RPG campaign setting, and one of the first RPG worlds created from the top down—and co-DM'd the famous Greyhawk campaign with Gary Gygax for many years. He also co-wrote the classic Gods, Demigods & Heroes with Jim Ward, which was later revised and expanded as Deities & Demigods in 1980. His game designs have been published through 12 companies world wide, including TSR, Paizo Publishing and Hobby Japan. His articles, interviews and fiction have appeared in 10 magazines, including Dragon and Dungeon.
Mr. Kuntz founded Creations Unlimited in 1986 to publish the "Maze of Zayene" series and Garden of the Plantmaster. Mr. Kuntz has republished and updated his classic Creations Unlimited adventures, and has also designed several board games, including King of the Table Top, Magus, and Kings & Things (which won the Charles Roberts Award for Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Game of 1986; and re-released 2010 through Z-Man Games). Mr. Kuntz was honored with the 2005 Gold ENnie Award for his design of the super-adventure "Maure Castle" (published in Dungeon Magazine's 30th Anniversary Celebration issue #112 by Paizo Publishing). In 2006 he founded Pied Piper Publishing which has to date printed 10 titles, including his recently released novella, “Black Festival”. His creative interests extend to writing novels, short stories, screenplays, non-fiction essays and his personal memoirs about the founding of the RPG industry.
The Black Blade Publishing site has been online since June, 2009, when Black Blade Publishing launched publicly. The online store was implemented in October, 2009. We will continue to add products to the online store and features to the site as we go forward with our various publishing projects.