[Note: Following is the distributor update that was sent out last night. I figured we'd share the same newsbits with everyone else...]

Atlas Games Distributor Update
Sept. 10, 2003

Crime & Punishment Order Deadline: Sept. 22nd

We have a lot of projects at the printer right now! The first that will be back in our hands is Crime and Punishment, the eagerly awaited "Campaign Styles" companion to our most popular RPG book this year to date, Dynasties and Demagogues. Since the expected date of arrival is not even two weeks away, I wanted to give everyone the heads up to know we'll be needing purchase orders.

Speaking of Dynasties, check out Dungeon #103, pages 68-69, for some glowing praise of the book and reports of its growing popularity among fans.

Changes to the D20 System Trademark License

As you may have heard, Wizards of the Coast has imposed some changes on the D20 System Trademark License. We are studying the impact of these changes on our Open Game License lines, and considering whether we need to use the D20 logo on future Penumbra products, or whether Penumbra is well enough recognized by retailers and distributors that people will know the game system it works (and where to shelve it in the stores) even without that logo. Any input from you, our customers, would be gratefully received.

Coming in December: Dork 20

We're very excited to announce a new release for December: The Dork20 Deck. Working with John Kovalic, we are publishing this D20 System rules accessory in the format of a card deck -- a perfect stocking stuffer just in time for Christmas. (It's actually going to be packaged as two half-size decks, side by side, to give us more eye-catching "real estate" for the cover design.) We've been keeping this under our hat for a long time, but it looks like it's really coming together -- after extensive development and playtesting, and with most of the illustrations in hand, the product is almost ready for the printer, in fact. The cards are dealt out to players during the game, who can use them to influence game events.

There are a couple of really exciting things about this product. One is that, on the level of rules and game play, it's a wonderful enhancement to the roleplaying experience. The opportunity to play a Dork20 card and influence events, in addition to the usual player role of controlling his or her character, gives players more reason to pay attention and be involved, even when their own character isn't the center of attention, or even part of a scene.

The other exciting aspect of these cards is, of course, the familiar and beloved characters of Dork Tower, and the illustrations of John Kovalic. Every card is illustrated in full color, and includes quotes from and references to some of the most memorable and amusing scenes from the Dork Tower comic book over the years.

Once Upon A Time Reprint

The reprint of Once Upon A Time is in production. We are hoping that finished games will be in our hands before Christmas. In the past, this game has always been printed in Belgium (ganging print runs with foreign language licensees), but with this printing we are switching production to the United States. This should save us money on shipping, and more importantly, it will save a lot of time and unpredictability when it comes to ocean freight and customs clearance. Switching to the USA has meant creating new computer files for the US plant, and it also is necessitating some minor changes to packaging. The new box will be approximately the same dimensions as the old, but it will be two part, with a tray and a sleeve. Price is unchanged. We are discontinuing the display box that has been used in the past -- in our experience, 12 games is more than most individual retailers are comfortable stocking at once, so this extra packaging tends to be wasted and I don't think anyone will miss it.

I do not yet have an estimated arrival date for the reprint, but I am guessing sometime in late November.

Release Schedule Update

Here is a current summary of upcoming products through the end of the year, in addition to the OUAT reprint:

Aug AG0267 Sanctuary of Ice (ArM) HC 29.95 at press - expected early Oct.
Aug AG3223 Crime & Punishment (Penumbra/D20) HC 29.95 at press - expected 9/22
Sep AG3702 Ancestral Vault (Nyambe/D20) 19.95 at press - expected early Oct.
Sep AG6008 To Go (Unknown Armies) HC 29.95 late - should be at press this week
Oct AG1240 Dungeoneer 2nd Ed.: Tomb o/t Lich Lord 19.95 at press
Oct AG1241 Dungeoneer 2nd Ed. POP Disp (5 games) 99.75 at press
Oct AG3225 Sacred Ground 2 (Penumbra/D20) 19.95
Oct AG4010 Blood of the Valiant (Feng Shui) HC 29.95
Nov AG0271 Faerie Stories (Ars Magica) 22.95
Nov AG1242 Dungeoneer: Vault of the Fiends 19.95
Nov AG3226 Love & War (Penumbra/D20) HC 29.95
Dec AG3227 Dork20 (Penumbra/D20 Card Accessory) 12.95

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