Friday, February 22, 2019

Slumbering Ursine Dunes: The Extended Dance Version (Series Omnibus)

[Before we get into today's matter at hand, if you find this blog helpful and most of all want to help me get a new Hill Cantons book out please consider backing my Patreon. I am about to drop the first chapter of the new Revoca Hill Cantons book next week so it's really the optimum time.]

Going on two years now 1-2 times a month I seem to field a variant of the question “are there plans for a compiled version of the Slumbering Ursine Dunes books?” With a whole damn reddit thread (that I was blissfully ignorant of for a fortnight) and What Ho off my plate I think I've reached a tipping point.

Yes, I want to do an omnibus of the first four SUD books.

And I want to do it sooner rather than later with an eye for actual value and increased playability for both existing and new readers.

Likely Going In:
  • All Four Books. All four SUD-kickstarter books back-to-back in sequence. So expect to see Slumbering Ursine Dunes, Marlinko, Misty Isles and What Ho under one cover with one unified, sharper, more user-friendly layout. Hell I want this for my own table.
  • Larger Format. Likely switching from digest size to full 8.5 x 11. While digest is my own personal jam, we need to let some of those cramped tables and illustrations breathe.
  • Hardcover. Preferably with stitching (better quality binding, easier to lay flat over time) and likely with a high-quality traditional print run rather than only Print on Demand.
  • Index. A traditional back of the book index to assist with play at the table.
  • Bookmarks for Digital. The PDF edition will have them for reasons above, a perennial ask for the books from readers and reviewers.
  • More Illustrations. Luka's generous and productive mind packed the last two SUD books with illustrations, looking back from the Dunes and Marlinko they could use some more interior illustrations to snaz them up.
  • Unified Appendices. All those new monsters, items, new classes, subsystems, and weirdo subsystems will be organized together for ease of use.
  • New Cover. Hell, we do judge books by their cover, don't we? Something big, something splashy and hitting the Hill Cantons aesthetic just so.

  • Supplementary and Cut Material. In the maybe category is pulling in wider material to give the books more context and usability. Why I say maybe is that I am laser focused right now on not only finishing the Revoca book but getting it out much quicker than the previous books (and at the same quality level) which means realistically my writing time is sparser. But with my recent move and crazy person level of organization I keep finding whole notebooks of campaign notes relevant to all four books (tons of monsters, items, and even some dungeons) and pinko DIY me loves throwing value at readers who support the Hydra.
  • Design Notes. How and why the sausage was made.
  • Largescale Aesthetic Makeover. Maybe even if we do crowdfunding really kicking it up some design chops (more than than the significant makeover I am imagining above even).
  • Strong Unaccounted Stuff that Readers Want. Seriously, here's your time to chime in. What do you want? Nagging questions from the text? New vistas? The sky is the limit.


  1. A condensed Hill Cantons compendium would be awesome. Also, new classes and monsters would be scattered through the four books, maybe an insert that had them in one spot would be awesome

  2. 1. Depending on how much cheddar you have to throw at layout, moving to the spread style you progressed towards in the last book would be an immense boon.

    2. Sholtis and Duncan on twice as many Marlinko pieces.

    3. Half-height wraparound dust jacket of Luka's banner image for the Hill Cantons

    4. Big yes on stitching/lay flat hardcover and larger format.

    5. Map index at the back for printing/reproduction if you can afford the extra pages.

    6. Two (2) ribbon bookmarks.

    7. Let me roll around in the pile of completed, pre-shipment books like a filthy animal.

    8. Summer Kickstarter so I can afford to dunk money on you from orbit post-UVG campaign.

    9. Chapter by chapter edge marks.

    10. You know where to find me so I can roll around in the book pile and/or help in any way you need

    11. Give this to me, Chris.

  3. Personally, player-friendly Maps (No Secret doors, no numbers, no Spoilers) would be a big plus, also for the VTT Folks. 😁

  4. Revision, addition and real print job sounds excellent to me.

  5. More than additional content I'd like to see a distilled and polished version. I'd like to see cut or replaced anything that you think that didn't live up to the standards of the book or superfluous. Fix any inconsistency you found after publishing and read negative reviews (not that the original content had anything wrong, but there's always room for improvement) to see what valid criticism you could improve.

    Also it would be cool to see a visual representation of the elements of the book. Like a lotr map. I'm thinking of an index version of one page dungeons. I usually get lost in big setting and adventure books and to see everything in one page as a reader it would be very helpful. Indexes have the problem that they don't offer information about what entry is about. Something not so much for pages references but for usability.

  6. Not really a purchaser of gaming material (and Australian, so shipping bites) but would love to see more of your evocative (digressional?) texts. Along the lines of the 'How the Sun Lord lost his shoes, and other stories.' All the fluff and none of that darn crunch getting in the way :)

  7. Yessss!!! Map index at the back would be great. More material is welcome, as always, but just the baseline you've outlined above would be phenomenal.

  8. Has anyone heard from chris lately? Hope you are well!

    1. Oh yes doing fairly well-ish. Just sucked into this intense communication director job. I actually wrote some new material this week.