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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:14 pm

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Yeah, The Publisher Guy

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:18 pm
Posts: 1118
I think this book will surprise and please a lot of people. Due to space limitations, we had to cut the Ocmulgee Indian Mounds from the original Dinosaur Swamp World Book. The author, Todd Yoho, had a few additional ideas and he asked me if he could weave it into a small, 64 page adventure sourcebook. I said, sure.

Then I got to thinking about Dinosaur Swamp myself and the ideas started to pour out of my head. Before I knew it, I had enough material to write another small sourcebook, so I decided to combine Todd’s and my work to create a nice, juicy companion book.

Like most boys, I’ve always had a thing for dinosaurs. It all began with a great picture book my Mom and Dad bought me when I was a three or four. I loved my Mom reading to me about the dinosaurs and I started memorizing the stories and drawing pictures of dinos. In fact, my first public art debut was at five years old when I wowed my kindergarten class with crayon drawings of dinosaurs complete with their (misspelled) names. As I grew up I kept reading about dinosaurs, watched every TV show about them and collected a handful of fossils and sculptures, not to mention a ton of dinosaur books. Yep, I love them dinos. That’s why I put Dinosaur Swamp into Rifts®, so we could all play with dinosaurs!

I loved Todd’s twist on dinosaurs who could cast magic, and liked what he did with the environment of the region, only I didn’t think he took it all far enough. I wanted to really get across the idea that Dinosaur Swamp is this wild and woolly land of dinosaurs and weird dimensional forces. A savage, ever-changing realm where magic, dimensional energies and weird alien creatures co-exist with dinosaurs from throughout the ages. This was my chance to do that, so I took Todd’s excellent new material and wove in my own. I also reprinted a few dinosaurs from Rifts® New West and snagged some material from Rifts® Underseas about the Horune Pirates and gave‘em a little twist and orientation for their behavior in Dinosaur Swamp.

I was also inspired by the artwork of Kent Burles and newcomer, Jeffrey Russell. Jeff is a natural born monster guy. He lives on the East coast of Canada, where he apparently reads and plays Palladium RPGs and thinks up weird monsters. He came to Palladium out of the blue wondering if we might be interested in him doing some artwork for us. His samples sat buried on my desk for something like four months before I finally took a look at his work and was floored. Realizing he had been waiting for a response for a long time, I feared someone else had already snapped up this monster-making genius. It was a relief to find out that he wasn’t put off by the long delay and would love to design critters for Palladium. Jeff must be a patient guy, ‘cuz fate would conspire against him to prevent his work from seeing print for the next year!

Jeff Russell’s first assignment was 20 creatures for Tome Grotesque, and if you think his creatures in Adventures in Dinosaur Swamp are awesome, you ain’t seen nothin’ until you see his work in Tome Grotesque. (Yes, I’m working on Tome Grotesque, really I am). Then he did some artwork for the Rifts® Ultimate Edition, but it got axed due to space problems (it will see print in the new, expanded, Rifts Sourcebook One). Then he had to wait several months for his dinos and monsters to see print. Yikes, poor guy. Thankfully, Jeff is a wonderful and kind fellow, so he’s waited ever so patiently. I’m telling you though, this guy’s art is fantastic.

But I digress . . .

Adventures in Dinosaur Swamp is packed with, well, adventures and dinosaurs, weird things, forgotten magic, and danger. When I wrote the 101 adventure ideas, I strove to capture the danger and weirdness of the Swamplands, and judging from the reaction of the Palladium staff and a few others who have seen the finished product, I have succeeded. I also worked to make them more than just, “T-Rex charges out of the jungle and attacks.” Oh, there are encounters for every type of dinosaur and creature that inhabits the Swamplands, but they involve more than just “when dinosaurs attack.” In fact, one section deals entirely with strange dimensional anomalies and effects, and another with encounters with intelligent beings.

Meanwhile, Todd wrote something like two or three dozen Hook, Line and Sinker adventures, and set up Neenok’s Second Expedition to Dinosaur Swamp, complete with stats for Neenok. That was another great surprise for me. It turns out Neenok’s not human, but a . . . um, I guess I shouldn’t spoil the surprise for all of you. But I was totally caught off guard and loved it.

The Horune Pirates’ role and place in Dinosaur Swamp are clearly defined and make for great villains up and down the east coast of North America.

From a designer’s point of view, Adventures in Dinosaur Swamp was fun, because it’s a chapter in a bigger story that you guys and gals don’t know about. You see, I plan on describing and showing you more of the Eastern Wilds. I hesitate to say too much, because people get excited and then disappointed if it takes too long for the stuff to come out, but I feel confident the East Coast books will come out over the next year or so. The Dinosaur books are just the first; Madhaven (the ruins of New York) will hit store shelves this Spring, I have just okayed a small sourcebook on the Shemarrians, and the Republicans will make their big entrance in the expanded Rifts Sourcebook One. There are a few hints about them in one or two of the adventures buried in Adventures in Dinosaur Swamp!

Thanks for listening to my rants and murmurings.

– Kevin Siembieda
President, Publisher, Writer and Crazy Guy

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