Sunday, September 10, 2006

TaleWeaver, Second Edition

Well, I finally got around to it -- the Second Edition of TaleWeaver. The First Edition has been available on  for awhile, which seems like a big deal, but ain't. If you care, here's the story behind the story about the story of making up stories.

Back in 1999, I originally wrote the 100 story/game/poem cards that form the basis of the project as a stand-alone deal-i-o for my wife and future (at the time) son. Had no intention of doing more with it, really, than playing it at home with them and some friends and family. But I was told (by her and others) to "Get with the program" and write down the rules. So I did, and formatted it in a friendly way for the nice gnomes at Kinko's to print out, along with the cards.

I made up about 12 copies In that format --  which I guess was "TaleWeaver beta." Hah hah hah... does this make the current version "TaleWeaver 2.0?" NO IT DOES NOT! I will rant on the whole "2.0" thing if you give me even half an excuse. So don't get me started... anyway...

So I had the "beta" done and hanging out, and my friend Jeff called me up and we were talking. And he, it turns out, had started one of the first online self-publishing companies, "Great Unpublished." And since they were new, they needed whatever projects they could get "on the shelves" when they went live. He asked me if I had any "book length manuscripts" or such that could fetch some attention. The only thing I could think of, other than ganging together every scrap of poetry I'd ever written, was TaleWeaver.

So I gave it unto him, and he published it for free. At the time, GU was charging like $150 or sumfin as the set-up fee. No big whoop. The he and his partners sold GU to a company called BookSurge. Which then got sold to Amazon. So now my wee book, through no work and with no effort and no payments on my part was on Amazon. Cool. Ish. Because the cover was really crappy, as the initial GU covers were all very basic. And the cards were included as pages inside a paperback book. Yeesh. And I had no control over the typography. All of which, as a design-wank, made me nuts. But not enough to cause me to do anything about it, as I hadn't done anything about it to get the thing published in the first place.

But then, if you'll check down there... a couple posts down... no, not the one about shaving your nuts... you've scrolled too far... a couple higher... yeah... that one... you'll see that I got a nice email from a guy who used TaleWeaver as a lightweight RPG. "What a neat idea," I thought. "If ever I update TW, I should include that."

Well it bugged me. A good idea like that all, well... Unincorporated. That and the crappy cover, and the cards in the book, etc. So I've been working on the 2nd edition for the last month.

And now it's done and you can get it at Lulu. I'm pleased with how it's turned out, especially the RPG system. I resisted the urge to get overly complex. There's just one mechanic in the whole dang game. Hah! Take that, Steve Jackson! And you can buy the cards separately now, as a downloadable PDF, and print 'em on your own card-stock. Which, since I can't find a way to do custom cards over the Internet (yet), is the best I can do. I may offer a deluxe gift pack or something in my Etsy store where I'll put the book, a printed deck of cards and a couple dice together in a nice box along with an autographed picture of anyone other than me.


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