Well, the stormy weather a couple nights ago tried to keep today's column from you by killing my internet connection for about twelve hours, but the conspiracy was foiled, as here I am to deliver the Saving Throw! It's a bit of monster today, too, with fourteen release dates and six news stories, including reports on a fundraising effort by Green Ronin, the opening of voting on the ENnies, and the upcoming swimsuit edition of the Rifter.
The contest is still light on reader participation, but thus far, reader scores remain low due to unlucky guesses. Leaper joins the fray, but only earns two consolation points. Fortunately for him, Karlinn also only gets two consolation points. He remains the leader among readers with only five points, so this is still a great week to enter the contest. Among staff, Macstorm and Carabbit surge ahead with 20 and 12 points, respectively. Since these two are the authors of this week's entries, they stand to surge even further ahead. Fortunately, they can't win; they are only competing for bragging rights. For more on the contest, please check the contest page.
Anyway, it's a long column, so it's time to get to it. On to today's Saving Throw...
As a result of embezzlement by one of its partners last year, Green Ronin Publishing has decided to hold a fundraiser to help speed the payment of debts to freelancers. The embezzlement is reported to be from Osseum Entertainment, Green Ronin's former sales and fulfillment house; Green Ronin received no money from sales of many expensive-to-produce products, delivering a significant financial blow to the company. This has, in turn, delayed payments to freelancers who write, edit, and illustrate many Green Ronin products. The company reports that these freelancers have been understanding and patient thus far, which is why the company wishes to speed payment of these debts and perhaps do something more to show its appreciation.
Funds for this program are being raised in several ways:
Through preorders for the limited edition Bleeding Edge, an adventure for the d20 System. This item will be published in 2007.
Voting for this year's Annual Gen ConEN World RPG Awards was opened on July 17. There are a large number of categories available to vote on, including, but not limited to, Best Fan Site, Best Writing, Best Adventure, Best Supplement, and Best Game. The nominees for each of the many characters can be found here. Those interested have until July 30 to vote. The votes are performed under an Alternative Vote/Instant Runoff Vote system designed to reduce the effects of "strategic voting." In short, voters rank their favorites starting with one for the product they'd most like to see when, but they provide no vote at all for any products they would like to see lose. The awards will be presented on August 11 from 8 to 10 PM.
Exile Game Studio has announced plans to launch a new "pulp adventure" roleplaying game called Hollow Earth Expedition at Gen Con Indy. The game is inspired by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The game will utilize the company's Ubiquity Roleplaying System. The rulebook will retail for $39.99; at Gen Con Indy, the book will sell for $40 without tax and comes with a free set of Ubiquity dice. Those who reserved a copy before August 9 to purchase at Gen Con Indy will pay only $35 assuming the book is picked up there.
On an entirely unrelated note, Steve Jackson Games posted this wonderfully odd little gem about the "nation" of Sealand. While certainly recent events there have been tragic, this little micronation has quite an... interesting history, so to say. This little country is basically an old World War II marine antiaircraft base which rarely has more than five permanent residents. Despite this, it has its own currency, which it claims is on par with the US dollar. It also printed its own passports for a long time. Even more bizarrely, this tiny little constitutional monarchy has had an attempted coup; the failed rebels operate a government-in-exile, claiming there are the rightful rulers of Sealand.
At any rate, I figured I'd leave you with that. Perhaps you'll find it as amusing, or at least as strange, as I did. And with that, I'm outta here...