GM's guide to Shadowsfall by JBE?


Product Discussion


I am looking for GM information regarding the Plane of Shadows and Fetchlings and came across a reference for the Shadowsfall setting by Jon Brazer Enterprises.

It sounds interesting, but in the product line I can only find a player's guide and the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane?

Does a book for GMs about the setting exist?


As per the writing of this, unfortunately no. I still hope for it, but I wouldn't hold my breath...


I'd like to know too. The last info I have seen suggests it would be out any time now. But, since it hasn't been mentioned in so long it is possible they are quietly letting this project die. I hope that's not the case.


Unfortunately it is looking more and more like the plan is to not announce a cancellation, never mention it again, and just let it quietly die.


It was announced on the Kickstarter page:

JBE wrote:


Update #22 - For backers only

Dec 24 2013
Long Delayed Update
Comment

Let me just start this update by saying that this is an update that I have been putting off for months. We at JBE have been looking at it every which way possible and we really can't see any other realistic option.

We are ending Pathfinder support for Shadowsfall and are winding down our support for Pathfinder in general.

The Pathfinder market, we feel, is far too crowded to where larger projects are not profitable without a major name attached to them, which, frankly, no one at JBE is. With much of the player base playing organized play and new Pathfinder-based games being released that do not allow Pathfinder Compatible support, we do not feel that there is sufficient players to make a project like the Shadowsfall Gazetteer profitable.

We are considering converting over existing Shadowsfall material to other systems (namely 13th Age and D&D 5e), but we have not decided whether we will be doing that or not.

To the matter of rewards, all rewards levels have received what was promised, except for the top tier backers. Over the next week, I will be contacting each of the top tier backers individually to discuss how to refund them each $100 of their contribution, bringing them down to the reward level of the one underneath. So everyone will have gotten full rewards.

On a personal note, I would like to thank you all. A company our size typically would never be able to participate in Free RPG Day. To quote one of my favorite philosophers, "We have done the impossible. That makes us mighty." I would like to thank you all for believing in us. Happy Gaming.

Dale McCoy, Jr.
Jon Brazer Enterprises


Thanks.

I had no idea there was ever a Kickstarter for the Shadowsfall Gazetteer. I can't even seem to find it now.

Dark Archive

James0235 wrote:

Thanks.

I had no idea there was ever a Kickstarter for the Shadowsfall Gazetteer. I can't even seem to find it now.

here


Wait. That at least explains why I couldn't find the Shadowsfall Gazetteer Kickstarter.

So, the announcement that the Shadowsfall Gazetteer was being cancelled was made in a private backer update to a different product? So, even if you knew to look in the wrong pace for it then you couldn't even view it? I can't find this announcement on the JBE website or Facebook page. The plan really was to let this one quietly die.

I get where they are coming from on the cancellation. I can understand, maybe even appreciate the reasoning. And I wish them the best on other products and systems. But, from a customer service standpoint I do think the people who bought the Shadow Plane Player's Companion, Monsters of the Shadow Plane, and Shadowsfall Favored Class Options in anticipation of the release of the Gazetteer deserve a little bit better than that - you know, at least an actual announcement.


That is a shame. Well, thanks for investigating the matter and digging up an answer for me!

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

To be honest, I was wondering when this was going to come up. I more or less decided not to say anything publicly until someone asked.

From where I sit, the Pathfinder 3PP market has collapsed. I am sure it is a different story for those that can make any of Paizo's top 10, but my sales are just downright abysmal. Take Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes for example. A full color book that has almost as many CR 15+ monsters as the Tome of Horrors Complete. We spent a year doing this monster book right. We had a significant number of experienced GM that knew high level play make sure that everything was perfect in each of these. We did the smallest print run we ever did for a print book and we are still working through it. At this point in the life cycle, the Book of Beasts: Monsters of the River Nations was on its 3rd printing, each of them were larger than this one printing. Sure that one was connected to an adventure path. Ok, compare it to Book of Beasts: Monsters of the Shadow Plane. That one easily sold twice as many as this monster book. At that time, I thought it was a disappointment. The market has only gotten worse since.

And it is not just the print market. My Pathfinder PDF sales are down across the board. My numbers show pretty much a steady decline for the past 2-ish years. This is in spite of the fact that I feel that we did some of our best work ever last year. It has just largely gone unnoticed.

I blame the drop in sales on the explosion in the market of other Pathfinder companies. It is impossible for someone that regularly buys Pathfinder compatible material to keep up with it all.

So we are in the process of moving back to Traveller and on to 13th Age and D&D 5e (if/when the license gets released). I don't see it as bad or malicious or anything; it is simply a "market correction," as a business analyst would put it. There are Pathfinder products that we want to do and we are doing them. Its just that Pathfinder is no longer our main focus. So we are not going to do any Pathfinder products that we are not fully passionate about just so we can say that we kept to our 2 pathfinder releases/month schedule. When we release something for Pathfinder you can bet that it is DAMN GOOD.

To the specific topic at hand about Shadowsfall, it was without a doubt the hardest decision I had to make, but I know it is the right one. When I started JBE, I decided one of the fundamental rules of the company is to never lose money. Many a good RPG company went under because they did not know how to keep themselves from losing money. And that is all that Shadowsfall did since the release of the first product: lose money. From the Ed Greenwood authored short story that sold about a 1/4 of what I needed it to do to cover what I paid him to write the tale to the two print books that are currently in the $2 bargain bin, none of it was ever in the black. Last year I actually signed off on some Shadowsfall books to be sent to the incinerator. That was a hard one to do. And that was from the "minimum" I thought I would ever do a print run of (see my comments on the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes, above).

Would I like to finish Shadowsfall, absolutely. However, it is not going to be for Pathfinder. Like I said in the post DM Papa.DRB quoted, I hope to do it in a different system. Should it ever get done, I'll keep it as system neutral as possible, making it easier for a Pathfinder conversion.


That's very unfortunate to hear =/


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Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

<lots of stuff>

Would I like to finish Shadowsfall, absolutely. However, it is not going to be for Pathfinder. Like I said in the post DM Papa.DRB quoted, I hope to do it in a different system. Should it ever get done, I'll keep it as system neutral as possible, making it easier for a Pathfinder conversion.

If (hoping for When) you finish it for which ever system, please announce it on the Paizo boards. I will buy a copy, regardless of system, thanks,

-- david


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Sorry to hear the Pathfinder market has collapsed for you. Your material for the River Nations was awesome. Next payday I am going to order a copy of the Book of Beasts: Legendary Foes just so I can have one before they disappear. I hope sales improve.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
To be honest, I was wondering when this was going to come up. I more or less decided not to say anything publicly until someone asked.

That's the part I just don't understand.


I was lucky enough to find a dead tree edition of the Shadowsfall Player Companion at PaizoCon 2013, and enjoyed the related Book of Beasts. Sorry to hear about the 3PP market getting a bit too much 3.0-ish for you. I look forward to the rest of Shadowsfall, regardless of what crunch goes with it. :)


:(

Are you completely withdrawing from producing Pathfinder products or just reducing their number?

Ah, start to read through the 13th Age SRD and familiarize oneself with changes done since the beta.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Drejk wrote:
Are you completely withdrawing from producing Pathfinder products or just reducing their number?

For the past few years, Pathfinder has been our prime focus. We released enough Traveller material to still technically be in Traveller. We've decided to switch that and add 13th Age as a 1st tier system.

We'll still be doing Pathfinder but only when we have something that we are truly passionate about doing that screams Pathfinder RPG. We really feel that the Pathfinder market is flooded and has been flooded for quite some time. It is far to easy for amazing products to become lost in the sea of everything else.

The first "it can only be done for Pathfinder" is Treasury of the Sands. Marie asked me about doing that and really was passionate about overseeing the creation of magic items for the Mummy's Mask AP. Her passion and dedication really showed through in her work. She has other ideas, but their release date isn't on the schedule yet. And that is probably our last Pathfinder release for a few months.

Editor, Jon Brazer Enterprises

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Adding a bit on to what Dale has said above:

The Shadowsfall line was almost exclusively my domain of work as an editor during my first year of employment with JBE. The Shadow Plane Player's Companion, in particular, was my trial-by-fire project that I began work on as soon as I came on-board with the company. I have a lot of love for the setting because of the intimate familiarity I have with it from doing this work, and if Dale sent me another Shadowsfall book to work on today, you can bet I'd already have a huge chunk of it (if not all of it) devoured and proofed by tomorrow. I've run games in the setting and will probably do so again.

But at the same time, we can't ignore market realities. Campaign settings are a hard sell. They always have been. Especially when so many people just want to play in Golarion, or the Realms, or other big-name settings. Even when you do offer something really unique and innovative, you fight an uphill battle to get exposure that rivals the blockbusters in the mainstream. I love editing and designing game material, but adding a 10-hour-a-week workload on top of a day job that already eats up 50 hours of my weekly time has to be at least somewhat profitable.

If you want to see us produce more material for Pathfinder, the best way to do that is to show us support by buying the Pathfinder products we already have in publication. Treasury of the Sands (and a follow-up to that product which I can't discuss just yet) is a great tie-in for anyone planning to play The Mummy's Mask. (I'll also endorse this product because I would like to see some of the love and support that I see for other women in game design and development extended to Marie Small, who does fantastic work on every project she touches and is just a top-notch professional to work with.)

(Heck, I've written, and contributed to, a few other titles for the company myself that I'd love to see people pick up and provide feedback on!)

Additionally, it's our hope that the material we have in the queue to produce over the next year could have crossover appeal to players of multiple game systems. So, if you see, say, an adventure we might publish for 13th Age (or D&D 5E, if that becomes a reality for 3PPs), and you'd like to play that adventure in Pathfinder, believe me when I say that we'd happily do the legwork on conversion to make that happen... but we need a clear show of support to ensure that the time investment is worth our while.

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