Sometimes the very best of intentions just aren’t enough. Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for mid-July, as the Crafty Games crew was preparing for Gen Con 2011. It was a heady time, with the Mistborn Adventure Game nearing completion and heading into approvals. Excitement was high as we neared the end of a very long road to bring our first licensed game to market, and we made what proved to be several very strong decisions about previewing and pre-ordering the game at the show.
We also made one very impulsive and very stupid decision, and that was to pre-order Spellbound at the same time. You see, we were also close to done with Spellbound, and we’re even closer now, but the book isn’t quite done, and for that we apologize.
We could say it’s the intensity of pushing what wound up being a new core line
over that last hill, we could chalk it up to the need for a larger media push to promote that line than we've ever attempted before, we could list the many, many
logistical hurdles both books have faced since inception - and that we’re going to be grappling with all the way to press, but none of that matters. We shouldn’t have announced it was finally coming until it was completely finished, at least as far as the home office was concerned, and that will be the very last time we ever make that mistake.
From now on, when Crafty Games offers a release date, even to the month, you will have the certainty that text is 100% finished. There may still be some layout or art to complete but those are small concerns for a game company blessed with as many professionals in its stable as we, and those steps are ultimately easy and fast enough to get done that any amount of lead time — and the gaming industry forces a great deal on you — is enough to project a release date with authority.
Text, on the other hand, is often a fickle, unpredictable beast. Between the rigors of initial design, the constant in- and out-of-house playtesting and all the revisions that entails, and the intricacies of working with a system as robust as Fantasy Craft, what looks like a weekend job can sometimes literally turn into weeks of work. Spellbound is all that amplified by several orders of magnitude: 20 classes, almost 900 spells, support material for nearly any kind of magical campaign, and so much more, all interconnected and refined to suit needs and ideas you've brought to us, and then refined again to give you that extra ounce of cool you’ve (rightly) come to expect.
In the end it was just too much to cram into the wrap of con season alongside a major multimedia release like Mistborn, and we fumbled the ball, a bit. The book’s close, but it’s not quite there now, and while we could rush to get it out immediately that would put its release right on top of Mistborn (which, for reasons associated with the broader novel brand, wound up being scheduled for release in late October
rather than in mid-November, as originally planned).
It’s Marketing 101 that a company our size doesn’t release two high-profile products like this within a month of each other, even when they’re for different lines, and we’re already inside that window, so the only option is to push Spellbound back a bit. It sucks, but it will buy us the time we need to put a really shiny bow on this bad boy and give it an extra special slap on the touchie on the way out the door (in other words, make sure every stitch of it is in absolutely top form before you get with the spell slingin’).
So when will you be seeing the book, and more importantly, what about the folks who’ve already paid for it? As usual, we have a plan. The PDF can’t hit earlier than the end of November, and depending on the holiday season it may wind up slipping into the first couple weeks of December (again, Marketing 101). The print book will likely hit stores around January, though we’ll be sending those out to anyone who buys the book as soon as we have them, and the folks who pre-ordered will get literally all things Spellbound — the PDF, the print books, and every single preview — as soon as the pieces are ready. In some cases this will mean days ahead of everyone else but especially in the case of the PDF it will likely be more like weeks ahead.
The pre-order folks will also get the PDF for free
and will also receive several exclusive bits of pre-release content we won’t be sharing anywhere else as a thank you for their support and a token of our solemn commitment to make good on the promises we’ve made and those we’ve had to break.
We will of course keep you apprised as the rest of the book gets done. Starting very soon you’ll see regular updates over on the Product Updates page
, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions we can as we go. We want you to be a part of dragging this book across the finish line, and we look forward to sharing the end of another long road with you, our friends at gaming tables everywhere.