Archive for May, 2008

After a long weekend last week of building and painting, the NJ Renaissance Kingdom and Faire is set to begin this Saturday May 31.  Me and my wife will be there as always working at the gift shop and this year our small shop will also be selling print copes of the original A Squire’s Guide To All Things Knightly, The Cabin Boy’s Pocket Pirate Handbook and the new Stakes, Crosses and Garlic: A Hunter’s Guide to Vampires.  We will also be selling an assortment of parchment bookmarks in both pirate and medieval designs that are perfect for gaming books.  I also hope to have a selection of other Healing Fireball products on hand for sale.  So come on over and see us.  The show runs weekends from May 31 to June 21 at South Mountain Reservation in West Orange.

Our Books and Bookmarks

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
       ~May 29, 2008~

In an attempt to better ourselves through yarn reading, Chris and I journeyed into the city to visit the Philadelphia Book Fair at the Free Library last Sunday. We certainly did not go for the sole purpose of meeting the inimitable Yarn Harlot, who was there giving a talk and signing copies of her new book, if that’s what you’re thinking. (Chris tells me to keep the knitting-related news items to a minimum. I don’t understand why yarn and gaming have to be mutually exclusive, but whatever.) My apologies to the Yarn Harlot for the photo:

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

The library was very efficient with moving people, though, so I didn’t get to take a picture with the sock, alas.

While I was hanging out with the knitty people, Chris went to hear the discussion by the folks from LibraryThing. (Visit our Library!) They talked mostly about the implementation of interesting new features, and I have to say, it keeps getting better over there. I especially like that you can now label books with the Date Started and the Date Read, so I can finally keep track of that sort of thing. (As an aside, Chris nixed my idea of doing book reviews, unless they were gaming-related or themed. He didn’t think the geeks would like to hear about Atonement. Maybe I should take a survey).

At this point, it started raining. We putzed around, and it started to rain harder. So we jogged over to the nearby Franklin Institute (sorry, it’s “The Franklin” now, it seems) to purchase some appropriately dorky drip-free umbrellas. By that point, everything was beginning to close up and we headed home. Hopefully we’ll have better weather next year, and we can actually use the tote bags for new books we brought along.

Greetings All,

This is Flash here, bringing you the up-to-date news from the Western Front. Healing Fireball Publications currently has a number of products being developed simultaneously and The Healer was kind enough to start the ball rolling, so I am here to tell you about some more of the products you can look forward to being released soon by HFP.

In the Curious Items line, work is being done on three separate products: “Gentlemen’s Magic Items” dealing with alternate magic items for socially oriented games; “Goggles and Eyewear” for all your enchanted optical needs; and “Scarves” because let’s face it, if your character isn’t rocking a scarf, he or she isn’t looking their best.

These three projects are closest to completion, but keep an eye out here for another update soon, including information on a new product line: Mythos.

Well, it has been a while since I have done one of these updates and I figure it’s about time. Let me start this by updating you on the status of the products I talked about in the first Current Projects post. As mentioned in that post, I was working on a new line of game aids called the Combat Cards. I am proud to report that this line has launched successfully and now has two products under its name – Combat Cards: Action Types, and Combat Cards: Special Tactics. As for the Just Add Dice products I was working on, the cargo series has been released with a total of four books in the set covering ship cargo in multiple types of worlds. Finally, we launched an offshoot of this line in the form of Two Bit Tables. This series of short tables, dedicated to a single topic but that were too small to be expanded into full Just Add Dice Products, currently has two forest-themed products for a mere 50¢ each.

Now on to my current projects. As I mentioned above, we have just launched the Two Bit Tables line and I am currently spending a lot of time polishing off some tables in this line on battle names and secret societies. In addition to this, I am in the process of rebranding two of our product lines with real logos and removing the D20 license from the products that will lose it in June. I am proud to say, however, that work continues on several Just Add Dice products, including the much anticipated drink and wine generator. Also, the vampire slayer’s guide is in the final stages of production and will be ready in time to sell at the NJ Renaissance Faire so come and check it out. Well, that’s about all I currently have on my plate. So until next time –
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~May 22, 2008~

Where we live in New Jersey the fair season starts with the Mercer County Lions Club Fair in Mercer County Park.  There really is not much to this fair.  The grounds are a large open field in Mercer Park the stages are either the portable rollaway kind or areas that have been cordoned off with plastic fencing and cones.  The food is served out of a collection of grease trucks or from portable carts.  But the price is right at only $7 and the profits go to a good cause.  Plus the number of vendors has steadily grown every year and it provides a place to get costuming and equipment before the larger more organized fairs start.   

This year was no exception and we had a fine day with a clear sky and constant breeze when we went.  We are always glad when fair season starts as we get to see some friends that we only see at fairs and this time was no different. Our friends at Lusty Leather had a booth as normal and we spent some time talking to them and browsing their new products.  Round Table Jousting with our friends from Period Productions put on a fine jousting show and the local troop of musketeers put on several firing demonstrations.  All and all it was an enjoyable trip and a great way to start the fair season.

The Joust     The Smith    Me and Kevin With Loot!
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
     ~May 21, 2008~

Hello and welcome to yet another installment of product previews.  Again I find that for this week’s prevue I must turn this column over to another of our resident guide writers – Alfred Sergeant, Loyal Man-At-Arms for Sir Owain, to explain his work.  Hail and well met, gentle reader.  As mentioned above, I am the loyal Man-At-Arms for Sir Owain, loyal knight to King Arthur of the New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom.  As such I have fought many battles and seen much of the knights’ ways.  So, when Healing Fireball Publications asked me to put pen to paper and record my knowledge so that it could help aspiring young squires, I readily agreed.  Below you will find a sample of this document to peruse and see its quality.  I thank you in advance for your time and hope you find my work enlightening.

A Squire’s Guide to All Things Knightly DEMO

Thanks, Alfred, for that introduction. If you liked what the Squires’ quite has to offer you can get the full guide for only $5.00 by clicking here.  The full guide is a whopping 43 pages of in-character knightly facts, including extensive descriptions of noble/church titles and their relationships, several historic/literary codes of chivalry/courtly love and large sections on the armor and weapons used by knights.  Each copy of the squires’ guide also comes with a gigantic 67-page role playing appendix chock full of advice for playing several different styles of knights, on designing a chivalric code and using honor, combat tactics used by knights, advice for game masters and much, much more.
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
      ~May 7, 2008~

For our next product preview, I will be turning this column over to my alter ego, Mum the pirate cook.  Arrr! Let’s get right to the point, matey. In my many years of service a ship’s cook for the Angelina’s Scorn, I have seen many young men join only to be confused by life onboard ship.  So when the New Jersey Renaissance Kingdom asked if I would be willing to pen a guide to life on a ship I agreed, and, seeing as I was the only one who knew how to write, it seamed like a perfect fit.  This week in our product preview, I present the fruits of my labor and what I’m told is one of Healing Fireball Productions’ most popular books – The Cabin Boy’s Pocket Pirate Hand Book.  So, lad, just click the link below and see a sample of me handy work before I have ya keel hauled.

 The Cabin Boy’s Pocket Pirate Hand Book DEMO

Thanks, Mum, for that great introduction. If you like what you’ve seen you can find a link to the full product here.  The complete guide consists of a full 39 pages of in-character pirate information, including a plethora of nautical terms, pirate slang, ship tips and several historic pirate codes.  Each copy also comes with the 27-page role playing guide including tips for playing several different types of pirates, notes on how to use knots and pirate weapons in game and much more.  All this for a mere $4.00, so get yours today.

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~May 6, 2008~  

Arrr! Welcome to my first real report on a faire.  Well, as many of you probably know, I am a performer at the NJ Renaissance Kingdom and Faire.  After recent meetings with the other performers I can offer you a tantalizing glimpse at this year’s story.

This year we will be themed as the rowdy colony of Tortuga, an exotic land of pirates and rogues where any who wishes to avoid the law can hide.  But there is trouble in paradise as frictions between the English and French abroad have boiled over to the colonies and Tortuga is no different.  Will the colony ally itself with one of these powers, will it stay independent or will infighting tear the colony apart?  Well, that’s all I can reveal for now but to find out how this story ends come and join us weekends in June or go to for more information.
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~        
~May 4, 2008~

I would like to start this entry by first acknowledging that I have not been fulfilling the promises I made in the early entries about my visions for both the blog and the web page.  Unfortunately, between work our publishing schedule and my other responsibilities I have admittedly neglected the web page and I apologize. That said, I have been working on several new categories for the blog and updates for the ones we already have so expect more activity in the coming months.

To start this new phase off right, I would like to unveil our new category – the Faire and Con Report.  For those of you who don’t know, when I am not gaming in the summer, one of our major activities is to attend Renaissance faires.  My wife and I even work for the local NJ Renaissance Kingdom and Faire.  In fact, the Healing Fireball Publications brand was founded specifically to brand the pirate and knight guides I wrote for publication at this faire.  So, since Renaissance faires have been so much a part of both mine and Healing Fireball’s history it only seemed right to create a category about them.

So what will you find in this category?  Well I’m glad you asked – my hope is that each one of these reviews will give a travelogue of our trip to a faire or convention.  With my wife’s help, I hope to post pictures of our day and descriptions of our experience.  In some cases I hop to offer a plot teaser for the faire’s main story line.  I will offer links to the faire’s main web page and to some of the shops we our friendly with.  Finally, I hope to add a Faire and Con link section to the links section of the blog.  So until next time –
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~     
~May 3, 2008~