It has been a long time in the making, but it is at last getting close: the first issue of my fanzine, Echoes From Fomalhaut is nearing release! The articles have been written, artwork is progressing, and the administrative needs are being arranged (yes, I even got myself a DO NOT BEND! stamp). Hence:
Echoes From Fomalhaut is an old-school RPG zine focused on adventures and game-relevant campaign materials. Each issue is planned to feature a larger adventure module, accompanied by shorter scenarios, city states, and other things useful and interesting in a campaign. Rules-related material will be limited to a few pieces of interest. A long time ago, Judges Guild’s campaign instalments established the general idea, and that’s the road I intend to follow. A small city-state? An interesting wilderness area? An island ruled by a society of assassins? Guidelines for magical pools? All that kind of stuff.
The content will feature both vanilla and weird fantasy, mostly drawn from our home games, with occasional contributions by guest authors from the Hungarian old-school scene. Most of the articles will follow AD&D conventions, but remain compatible with most OSR systems – and there will be detours.
An average issue is expected to run 32-40 pages plus the cover. The print edition, produced in the A5 format, is set to ship with larger extras like fold-out maps or what have you; the PDF edition will include these as downloadables. For example, the initial issue (“Beware the Beekeeper!”) features the following articles:
- Bazaar of the Bizarre (2.5 p): a 1d100 table to generate strange merchants, caravan guidelines.
- The Rules of the Game (0.5 p): sets out the conventions followed in the zine.
- The Singing Caverns (16 p): a two-level cavern system with 49 keyed areas, inhabited by orcs, bandits, and the mysteries of a bygone age.
- Philtres & Dusts (3 p): a sampler of magical potions and dusts.
- Red Mound (3 p): a mysterious adventure location found in the wastelands.
- Morale & Men (1 p): a simple, fun set of follower and morale rules from a Hungarian retro-clone, written by two guest-authors.
- The Mysterious Manor (9 p): the manor house of an extinct noble family, now with new occupants... or is there more to it? 23 keyed areas.
- Unkeyed city map (extra)
Yes, there is a downloadable preview (see below)!
I have always wanted to publish homemade game materials, an idea that has grown on me ever since I fell in love with the rough charm of Judge Guild instalments. I released my first PDF adventure in 2001, and the first printed one in 2003 (through my E.M.D.T. – First Hungarian d20 Society label). Over the years, I have mostly stuck to free PDF releases and community fanzines (with the occasional detour, like the Helvéczia boxed set), but something has always been missing. This is an opportunity to fix that. Finally.
The zine will debut with a pre-release version at Kalandorok Társasága VII (“Society of Adventurers VII”), a Hungarian game convention held on 24 February 2018. The print edition is expected shortly afterwards, in early March. A PDF/POD version will be published through RPGNow with a delay of a few months.
A print issue is expected to sell for $8.00 plus priority shipping ($3.5 to Europe, $4 to the US and worldwide). The price for the PDF edition is expected to be set around $5. POD is still TBD. All buyers of the print edition will receive a free copy of the PDF edition at the date of its publication.
This is slightly above the average in zine pricing (I did an Excel comparison of 39 OSR and indie zines, and they come out at $11.44 for print/worldwide), but gives you some 14,800 words worth of content per issue (not including the OGL and front/end matter), pays for the commissioned artwork, and Hungary’s prestigiously large tax wedge.
Since I had to set up a sole proprietorship to get this thing off of the ground, I am thinking about using the opportunity to republish some of my older adventure modules with new artwork in a reader-friendly format. Stay tuned!