We just made an update at the BEOWULF kickstarter. Late pledges are available now here.
The headline is: progress is great, and everything is on track! September is going to be a busy month here at Handiwork HQ – we’re moving office, and taking delivery of basically everything other than the book itself! Fingers crossed the new office door arrives before all the miniatures/other goodies! Below is the more detailed breakdown – some of this is catching up on things we’ve shared on our discord channel, so my apologies if you’re seeing some of this stuff again.
Alternatively, if you’d like to join up and see this stuff sooner, point your browser at www.discord.me/handiworkgamers
There’s loads more to read under the cut!
Inspiration Pool Mats
We now have all the inspiration mats on hand thanks to our friends at Custom Patriot. And they look awesome! This is just a small stack from the much larger stack. Can’t wait to have a full set of tokens to show off with these!
Metal Miniatures are casting now, and we’re looking forward to getting them this month. Our sculptor, the mighty Richard Dickens sent us this photo of the first metal masters. Real metal! It’s very exciting! If you want some miniatures it’s not too late to add some to your pledge!
The miniatures box will come with MDF bases for the heroes and Monster. It was exciting to order THOUSANDS of bases. They were delivered super quick, which was mind-bending!
So that’s what forty gazillion mini bases looks like…
I’m expecting the first proof copy of the miniatures box today! I made this 3d video of the box which was really useful in refining the design. When we lay out packaging we do so on a net – an flattened or exploded view of the various sides. That can be hard to properly visualise, so this 3d tool is very useful. If you’re super eagle-eyed you might be able to spot the difference between this box and the flattened template we showed in the last update.
If you want some miniatures it’s not too late to add some to your pledge!
For most of August of what we’ve been doing has been managing the production of all our accessories, but in the last couple of weeks I’ve been concentrating a lot more on art and polishing up our text. Here’s the art for the weapons section. I’ll probably still tinker with this, so I’m loathe to call it finished just yet but Fransiskas and Angons and Seaxes oh my. And I’m thinking about adding some sheathed weapons too, because Anglo-Saxon scabbards are so cool.
I’ve also been working on the map of the Whale Road. This is intended as a bridge between our modern world and the setting of BEOWULF, as a reference. There is no “in-world” map that looks quite like this, but it’s a tool to help players and the GM understand what and who is where. Precise geography isn’t a super-important aspect of the setting – we’ve said amongst ourselves many times that we’re not making a sailing simulator! But a map like this is a very useful part of presenting the peoples and places.
Poster of Map
We’ve also been investigating some poster options for the Whale Road Map. For logistical reasons we won’t add this to the campaign manager, (put very simply, we just don’t want to make picking and packing your pledges any more complicated to ensure we deliver KS rewards accurately and on time. But we also don’t want to stop developing cool stuff for BEOWULF!) but it will be available in our web store once it’s ready to go on sale.
With the accessories all underway, and all of our work on that front done, progress on text has been really solid. We’re at the point of really polishing everything up, and we’re passing the text between desks to make sure it’s as good as it can be. BEOWULF has been an interesting one to work on – the “difficult” part has been the design, more than the writing. I don’t often see this called out as separate things in rpgs. We spent many, many months deciding how everything works before we committed to writing actual sections of the book. And as we said going into the campaign, we have a bunch of stuff written, and we’re at the point of filling in the remaining gaps. And it’s all going well!
Foreground NPC Generator
Here’s a video showing one part of the appendix to BEOWULF:Age of Heroes – a system for generating foreground NPCs, like the characters you might have met in The Hermit’s Sanctuary. you’ll find lots of useful tools like this in the rulebook.
This is the big noise in the world of Beowulf right now, and I had it on pre-order forever. If you’re aware of the fuss caused by Heaney’s translation of “Hwaet!” as “So!” you’ll be amused to see this version begin with “Bro!”. Maria Dahvana Headley brings us a bang up to date translation, full of contemporary slang, swearing, and a coast guard who literally says “There’s a dress code, you’re denied”.
While this translation is not going to be to everyone’s taste (what is?) I personally feel that the poem is sufficiently robust and can easily take this kind of contemporary treatment in good style, much like Shakespeare can. And I loved it.
If you want to understand the story of the poem very directly, this is a great read. I very much enjoyed the mix of contemporary language with some absolutely cracking, very traditional kennings. There’s some absolutely wonderful poetry in this version.
Beowulf a new translation by Maria Dahvana Headley is published by MCDxFSG Originals, ISBN 978-0-374-11003-1
That’s it for now! I’ll be talking to our Become the Hero backers and retailers shortly! And I haven’t forgotten I’ve been promising some videos – of minis painting and book collections. All in the works!