Ok, this is a composite entry that covers three releases.
Ye Little Book of HeroQuest 1 Dungeoneering (D101-011), released Sept 2010.
Ye Little Book of HeroQuest Monsters (D101-012), released Nov 2010.
Both of which were only available in pdf.
Ye Little Book of HeroQuest Fantasy (D101-023) which appeared years later in 2015 and is the combined pdf/print version of the above.
In 2009 if memory serves me rightly Moon Design offered the HeroQuest Gateway license 2 to potential third-party publishers. I had already done some generic gaming with HeroQuest, so thought let’s give it a go.
The “Ye Little Books of HeroQuest Fantasy” was meant to have been a series of cheap and cheerful short releases, a sort of counterpoint to all the D20 and even Savage Worlds pamphlets that were flooding drivethrurpg.com in those days. Looking at my folder on my hard drive, I also had plans to do “Adventures”, “Heroes”, and “World Building” as part of the series.
So I quickly brought the project together. HQ was easy to write for and I think each release only took a couple of evening writing sessions to write because I had a laser-sharp focus on what I was doing 3.
Dungeoneering was well-received. In its lifetime it was a Silver Medal seller on Drivethrurpg.com. Monsters did less well but still got a Bronze medal over its lifetime. I’m not surprised since it was basically a generic listing of typical fantasy critters, using the descriptions and art from OpenQuest at the time, and we’ve all got far too many books of that sort of nonsense 😀
I decided when I was putting the project together the whole series would then only get a full release as a printed version when all parts had been out. This is why there’s a huge delay between the pdf releases and the combined version. I kept putting it off because I kept thinking that I would do the other parts, which for one reason or another never happened. Truth be told by the time I put out YLBoHQ Fantasy, I was quite jaded with the whole idea because being a HQ Gateway publisher had not been the road to instant fame and fortune that I had expected it to be 4. I’d not had that crucial moment of self-realisation that the pdfs had actually sold quite well and had been well received by fans, who quietly emailed me politely asking when they were going to see the other parts. In short, I should have put my head down and got on with it 😀
1. The game is currently being rebranded as QuestWorlds and is due a new edition from Chaosium (current owners of the game) soon(ish). The actual rules have been released for free.
For the purposes of this article, I’ve kept with the old brand name, which has been sold back to Hasbro so they can bring back the board game of the same name, for historical reasons. Plus referring to it as “the-game-formally-known-as-heroquest” is a bit longwinded 😀
2. The HQ Gateway license was actually quite elegant. It nicely explained what you could do with the HeroQuest ruleset, basically do supplements/adventures without going too risque (or edgelord as we call it now) in a way that would damage the brand and reputation of Moon Design, and no Glorantha (but I had a separate license for that). And that was it. No approval process, apart from Moon Design giving you a license in the first place.
3. One of the successes of this project, was that I really got the whole idea of writing a scope, refining it, and then delivering it without scope creep. Well for the first two releases any way 🙂 This success helped me in other D101 Games releases further down the road. If nothing else it made me the master of putting out short pdf to print fanzine sized books, which are now actually good sellers and quite popular.
4. This was quite a depressing internal battle that I fought with myself over the next five years or so. 2010 was a great push to get as many books out, in the effort to become a “name” publisher. Something I’ve realised further down the road, due to my personality, I’m not all that interested in. For me, it’s the creation of the work. I’ve seen some RPG creators go to great lengths to publicise their works, and it just strikes me as vulgar. It coincided with a slump in my energy levels. Work and having two kids were to blame here 😀