I’m busy working on the handler for .otherwise in TableMaster, which is enough to drive anyone to talk about table packs instead! And it appears there are people who are curious what I’m going to be doing with them, and if there will be new ones.
I’ll answer the second question first, because that one’s easy: damn straight! I’ve already got a big list of notes for what I want to do for a brand-new table pack, and I’ve got at least preliminary notes for a possible second one.
Now, as for the old ones…
I’ll be updating them and re-releasing them. Some of them are looking a bit long in the tooth now, but they’re still useful stuff (unlike some of the more painful pun tables that came as samples. I was just using one called “knots”for testing; yes, it’s a tied table) There are all kinds of things I want to add to improve individual tables. For instance, playing computer games like WoW and Diablo has really opened my eyes to the wide variety of stuff that can be found in the classic dungeon; the dungeon dressing table is going to get a major boost. (some of the things I found the last time I cleaned out the fridge might make an appearance there, too!)
A lot of things have changed since I first wrote those tables — starting with us not having to use filenames like SHIPCRGO.TBL anymore. Also, many of them were written to work with some of the earliest versions of TableMaster and thus some don’t take advantage of the more advanced features. So all the tables will be brought up to modern standards and be given better names.
In addition, I’ll be expanding or otherwise improving many of the tables, and very probably adding some new ones to each pack. I’ve had 16 years to think of things that I really should have put in there, after all! And there are a lot of those things. Ideas for tables are all around me. Most of them have nothing to do with gaming at all.
For instance, I’ve got a mobile hanging over my desk that’s a bunch of photographs I’ve taken hanging from little clips. As I looked up, just now, the breeze from the fan blew two of them to the front: a tall ship at Salem, MA, and an side-wheeler excursion ship on Lake Winnipesaukee that a group I was with went on some years ago. Old ships. Pseudo-vintage photos (I was messing with filters). Instant idea: Ships at docks. Type of ship, cargo, captain, crew, something about where it’s from, secrets it holds, anything else I can think of that might relate to a ship. That’s where tables come from. And now that one will probably be in one of the re-released Fantasy Table Packs … and a variant with starships instead for the SF Table Pack. I’m not sure if I could do anything for the Apocalypse pack with that, but I’ll probably think of something. (convoys?)
So, that’s what you have to look forward to: overhauled and updated versions of all four existing table packs, and at least one new table pack. There will definitely be some kind of package deal for all of them! Plus, as I mentioned a few posts ago, there will be a new version of the old Arcane Alphabets font package, now including stuff like the graph paper and hex paper fonts. (and remember, you can pick up the old version of the hex paper font free off Wintertree Redux)
A few months ago I had no inkling I’d ever touch TableMaster again. Now I’ve got a running program — far from feature-complete, but the first TM of any sort that’s run on anything past Win98 — and I’m shopping for good prices on screen-printed T-shirts. Life can be weird sometimes.
Now that I actually have a program rather than a pipe dream, the thought of doing a Kickstarter project to frontload sales a bit seems more practical. It could give me an idea of whether it’s worth going to DragonCon, too. One big problem, though, is that I have no idea what I can offer for perks besides TableMaster itself. Some old manuals from that box I found? (would anyone even want one?) Get some new T-shirts made up? I buy you dinner at Hard Rock Cafe at DragonCon? I dunno, it’s sounding pretty lame.