Author Archive

As promised I’m back with another installment of the Faire and Con Report.  This time I am hear with a preview of our next faire, the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  For our readers that have not visited this one, here is the rundown of this larger faire’s stats.  This faire is set during the reign of King Henry the Eighth and every year features a story about his reign.  However, that’s not the only theme; each weekend has its own subtheme and performing acts and shows related to that subtheme.  The faire itself is located in a comfortably shady glen in Anne Arundel County in Crownsville, Maryland.

This year I am proud to announce that our resident pirate and newest roving reporter MUM the pirate cook will be attending the fair the weekend of September 26 to join in the Adventure Weekend and celebrate all things piratical.  This fair is always one of our favorite fairs and this year is sure to be no different so if you’re in the neighborhood come out and see it.   
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~

    ~September 26, 2008~

As I mentioned in the last Faire and Con Report, we were off to the Village Renaissance Faire in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania last Saturday. We had another fine sunny day for the trip and were glad to see that this fair just keeps growing. This year the children’s area was even larger, with castle blocks, a bubble table, a music area and balance platforms for foam sword fighting on. Round Table Jousting with our friends from Period Productions put on another fine jousting show which ended in a little intrigue and was quickly followed by a bar brawl at the tavern. But the real gem of the show was Shakespearean chess where Shakespeare’s tragedies took on his comedies. This was done brilliantly, using the lines from the individual plays as the dialog on the field and the starting rundown of the plays was very funny. Then there was the food. This is another fair where they let in almost any food vender and your taste buds will thank you for it. While I stuck with the simple cheese sticks and a hamburger, Carol on the other hand had a cross between a quesadilla and an empanada [That would be an “empanadilla.” – ed.]. All in all it was a fun day.

Jousting Chess Singers

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~September 23, 2008~

With Talk like a Pirate Day fast approaching I figured now would be a good time to introduce our new employee, Pete Dunham, who will be writing a line of nautical-themed books for us.  So with out further ado, I will turn this column over to Pete. 

Why, thank you, lad, but everyone calls me Old Pete or just “The Voice of the Sea,” a title I am quite fond of as I do strive to give voice to all the sea’s myriad tails.  Allow me to explain – I am both a scholar and a sailor and over the years I have collected the descriptions of strange phenomena, the tales of old salts and have even viewed some battles firsthand.  Now that my gunny sack is stuffed with notes, I chose to take Healing Fireball’s generous offer and have begun to publish me store in a set of volumes.  This first set will be concerned with the weapons of the pirates, their powers and the tales behind them.  The first volume of this set I have entitled Blades of the Buccaneers shall deal with the myriad of weapons used by the legendary Captain Red Jack Roberts and his partner in crime, Ezekiel Drake.  So, lad, just click the link below and see a sample of this new ledger. 

Blades of the Buccaneers DEMO  

Thanks, Pete, for that great introduction to your work.  If you enjoy the sample items you can get the full book at our store as of Friday 19, 2008 or Talk like a Pirate Day.  The full book contains 16 new weapons of an exotic, technical and nautical theme, as well as complete rules for weapon entrapping and beraking and 6 feats that alter these rules.
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
  ~September 17, 2008~

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these.  I apologize for the delay but unfortunately due to work and gas prices we chose not to attend all the faires we usually do.  However I do have another faire preview for you.  This time it’s for the Village Renaissance Faire in Wrightstown, Pennsylvania.  This is a one-weekend fair that is a charity fair that raises money for the Wrightstown Village Library.  My wife and I are friends with many of the actors at this faire.  The faire itself is designed to both entertain adults with a different story every year and children with a play area and arts and crafts table.  This year the plot of the main story revolves around a plot hatched by King Phillip II and Mary Queen of Scots to remove the protestant Elizabeth and replace her with a Catholic monarch.  It promises to be fun day so if you’re in the Pennsylvania area, come out and support the library. Both I and my wife will be there taking pictures for a follow up Faire and Con Report.
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
  ~September 17, 2008~

To start this update on our web page and the blog I would like to give my wife Carol the many thanks she deserves for the redesign of the main web page and the product page as well as her continuing work on designing the store front at RPGNow. So again thanks goes to my wife for all the work that has been done and probably all the work that will be done.

Now on to the updates. The main Healing Fireball page has had a new blog icon added to it, making a more permanent link to the blog and removing the small link that was easily missed. The product catalog page has finally been completely redesigned to be more user-friendly. The main page has been better designed with a nicer visual appearance, while the subcategories have been better organized into grouped tables under the different broad categories. As for the store front at RPGNow, we have finally added the subcategories to the main page allowing you to view all the products in a single line at the same time. Also my wife completed the massive task of linking all the related products together through links on their description page. We hope this makes the web pages more useful and easier to navigate.

As for the continuing work on the web page we our hoping to get the long-awaited form up and running and to place a link similar to the blog link on the front page. Work is also continuing to utilize all the tools that RPGNow offers to make the store front more useful to our customers. As for the often-ignored child of Healing Fireball’s web page, the blog, I am still unfortunately unable to post on a more regular basis because of my other job’s workload. I will, however, try to put more effort into this part of the web page. To start I have plans to update the links section with more Faire and Con links as well as add a Friends of Healing Fireball section for some miscellaneous links. I also do hope to get the long awaited At Our Table category up and running to give you a glimpse at our own games. Second, I will be hopefully making more entries in the Faire and Con Reports section in September and October. Finally, I will be announcing a new blog category known as Wandering Fireball. This category will be a travelogue like the Faire and Con Reports, but this new category will be for more general travels. This new category will also have an associated links section where any links to the visited places will go. So until next time –
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
  ~September 16, 2008~

Once again I realize that it has been a long time since I have done one of these so I figured it was about time I gave you all an update. So to start this update I will apologize for the lack of blog posts. Unfortunately, life has gotten hectic lately and I haven’t had time to make many posts. For those of you wondering about our faire and con reports I have been unable to attend many of the usual faires and cons but I promise there will be updates as we attend faires in September and October. I will as last time also say that I have reached all of the goals that I set in my last update. Both the Combat Cards line and the Two Bit Tables line have been very successful and I have expanded them with many new titles. Also I am proud to say that it is finally here – I have completed the long-awaited Just Add Dice: Tavern Alcohol, Wine and Drink List Generator.

As for my current projects there is both good news here and bad news. The good news is that I have gotten a lot of work on the Two Bit Tables line and a new Just Add Dice product mostly finished so as these products come out of editing and get finalized they will be released. As for the bad news I will not be able to do much more for a while as I am in the process of beginning to write a paper for my other job as a research biologist. So unfortunately my productivity may be down for a while as I work on that project. So until next time –
~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~September 10, 2008~

My wife and I live within spitting distance of Philadelphia. And as any of you who have read my About Us section probably know I am a molecular biologist by trade. More specifically, I am a geneticist that specializes in reproduction and evolution. So its not particularly hard to guess that I was excited when I heard the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences would be hosting a display of the artifacts of Gregor Mendel, the father of genetics. So last weekend my wife and I took the train in to Philly and went to see this exhibition. Unfortunately, they did not allow use of cameras in the show so all the pictures below are from the rest of the museum. But other than not being able to take pictures I thought the exhibition was a lot of fun and very interesting. A large array of personal artifacts are on display from his personal gardening tools to his copy of On the Origin of Species. For the children, or the immature like yours truly, there is a number of interactive stations where you learn about Mendel’s experiments and genetics in general. The exhibition is also interspersed with a collection of art inspired by genetics and genes. All and all it was an enjoyable trip that I would recommend to anyone who has an interest in the history of genetics or who has a child that loves science.

Mendel Exhibit 1 Mendel Exhibit 2 Shot From The Butterfly House Dinosauar Bones Of Course

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~September 1, 2008~

4th Edition was released at the beginning of June and the new GSL license has been out now for some time. We here at Healing Fireball Publications have had a chance to examine both the core books to this new edition and the license regarding its use. So I thought it was about time to answer the question that the community has been in such a tizzy over asking there favorite companies – what are your plans for 4th Edition and what does this mean for my favorite 3.X lines?

In short the answer to this question is at present is that Healing Fireball Publications has no plans to update any of its lines to the new 4th Edition rules or to launch any new lines that focus on this new system. Of course in the case of our generic lines we will strive as always to make them compatible with as wide a range of games as possible including the new 4th Edition rules.

This rather large decision comes not as a result of lack of ideas for this new line but as a direct result of our understanding of the new GSL. As with the OGL before it, it fell to me to examine this new legal document, the GSL, and its accompanying SRD documentation to determine how the license could be used by our company and what kind of products we could make with it. After thoroughly reading both the GSL and SRD through several times and picking over several details I presented my information to the rest of the company And after much debate we decided that several legal issues with the license kept us from making the decision to make new products for the 4th Edition system. Below I have outlined our legal reasons for not moving to 4th Edition:

1. After careful review of the GSL and legal consultation we have found that this new GSL license fails to provide the security Open Game Content provided in the OGL. For a small company like ours it is a major concern that without the open game content safety net other larger companies might chose to sue us if we develop a game mechanic that is similar to theirs.

2. The limitations found in the SRD and GSL about what we can publish appear to be extremely stifling and would prevent us from releasing several of our initial ideas. Plus the lack of being able to redefine any rule that Wizards has already defined or even reprint the definition for easy quick reference would lead to products that would in our opinion cheat the purchaser as they would just receive a book of flavor text and cross-references. These restrictions have already led to much debate about whether a publisher could even publish a quick reference stat block for an NPC or monster.

3. Finally the stringent conversion close would force us to remove the already successful OGL versions of products if we wish to make new 4th Edition versions of those items or even new 4th edition products in that product line. We here at Healing Fireball Publications feel that to remove these items from our catalog would be unfair to our previous customers who are staying with 3rd edition and would then be unable to obtain replacement copies or updated versions of these books.

And so for the reasons listed above we here at Healing Fireball Publications have put any ideas we have for 4th Edition products on the back burner. We do not rule out publishing in this system in the future as since its unveiling several discussions and companies have begun talking about work-arounds for the GSL and there is always the hope that the contract will be changed to be more community-friendly. But for now we will continue publishing and supporting our existing 3.X lines and watch the community closely to see the trends.

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
~August 1, 2008~

The show will go on. As I said in the previous post, the NJ Renaissance Kingdom and Faire opened on Saturday May 31. Regrettably, we opened to a thunderstorm and were forced to shut early. Last weekend we opened to stifling heat and underwhelming crowds but the show went on. Below are some pictures of the day. As I stated in my first teaser, this year we are doing a pirate-themed show called the Pirates of Tortuga in which the tensions between France and England boil over onto the port of Tortuga and into the court of the pirate king. So come on down and see us. The show runs weekends from to June 21 at South Mountain Reservation in West Orange.
MayPole   This is a HoldUp!   Some Fighting in Chess   More Fighting in Chess   Tug-of-War

~Chris Baldi “The Healer”~
         ~June 9, 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~