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Von Blonde Beer,

My Queen,

Your Eyes have been following increased traffic of corsair slaver vessels to and from Silexia. We have witnessed landing parties far and wide from Taphria to Augea. We have observed a number of emissaries having dealings with the savage hobgoblin tribes. While these findings are nothing out of the ordinary the increased frequency and tempo of these meetings is a growing concern. Perhaps what is more alarming are landing parties traveling further from the coastline headed towards The Steel Road. We have long known our dreaded cousins line their coffers and trade with the Infernal Lords through intermediaries, but direct contact is certainly rarer.

We have yet to fully appreciate what this means, and we know not if the vessels are merely fulfilling increased demand or a planned buildup of resources for imminent invasion.

We have scant penetration into the military organization of the Infernal Lords as coin loving hobgoblin assets frequently end up fuel for having looked to long at the wrong task master let alone their inability to hide their treachery. What we have gleaned thus far are whispers about the following individuals.

Overlord Emgies a charismatic orator and known be somewhat of a Fixer. Paradoxical rumors suggest he is rather agile for dwarf.
General Snarkhunter - a commanding leader of some repute with numerous unchallenged victories
Subjugator Squigkikka - perhaps known best for his ruthless command over the lesser races. A direct liaison with Hobgoblin servants.
Prophets Niedfaru and WhammeWhamme, both dominate clergy, maintain a steadfast hold of doctrine to maintain order and prevent descent.
Vizier Fthunder - who can be heard proudly yelping the command to hold the line with the gusto of a brass bull.
Engineer Gomio - his craftsmanship is superior and purportedly has an eagle eye to rival the best of our artillery crew.
Lugar’s Chosen Odoamar - a cunning strategist, tactician, capable to securing objectives with ease.
Hobgoblin Chieftain Tyranno, something of a leader among the savages. We believe he will be a prime target for coercion to play both sides.

I strongly advise we follow these individuals’ movements and doings as the activity around sulfur mines and the stench of burning brimstone grows daily blowing westward.

The truth shall make you free,
Watcher 117

9th Age Community,

We are pleased to announce the first official Legendary Army Book task team for Infernal Dwarves under our new production structure. Before we get to each member here is a summary of the design process.

For several months the project has been investigating ways to improve our products so that they can be delivered more efficiently. This not just for sake of community demand but also to maintain the drive and motivation of an all-volunteer staff striving for a professional environment. We have opted to apply an Agile / Scrum methodology for production of 14 Legendary Army Books (LAB). This methodology of production seeks to empower team members removing barriers and hierarchical bottlenecks. Individual LAB Task Teams (X) will be composed of members from traditional departments or groups such as RT, BGT, ADT, PT, etc. Each member will bring expertise from their individual areas and skill sets. By doing so, the teams should be self-sufficient. While self-sufficient, the representatives from traditional teams will be able to communicate and keep their department colleagues apprised of developments in order to maintain guidelines needed by each larger group.

At its heart, the process of development will be laid out as small bite sized junks ensuring that forward progress is manageable and steady. A varied number of tasks will be determined and set for what is called a Sprint. A Sprint in most cases will be a two-week period. A Sprint might be to define the roles of an army book’s 4 cores units, define how background might drive these roles, compose rough stat lines representing these, create 4 magic standards, etc. That Sprint will be tailored around the difficulty of items being produced and the number of Backlog Tasks will vary from Sprint to Sprint. This log of tasks will be tracked and tackled with frequent quick meetings.

The iterative process, guided by a Team Leader and created by LAB Task Team members, will aim for a 6-month creation cycle followed by a 6-month period of Public Playtesting whereby point balancing can be achieved with as much data driven evidence as possible. The 6-month creation cycle will be divided into three phases: Conceptual Phase, Mechanical Phase, and Adjustment Phase. Within each of these phases, tasks will again be structured around 2-week Sprint cycles described above. Within each Sprint, work flow will be iterative, much like the overall structure of phases meaning: defining tasks, completing the work, reviewing completed tasks and deciding to either circle back with a new iteration or proceed to playtesting.
Along the path of progressive iteration and internal playtesting we hope to be able to provide WIP glimpses to the community, possibly in the form of concept surveys not unlike a movie screening process to seek larger community validation. We aim to improve our quest for transparency.

We can’t stress enough that the new process is very much about empowerment and in many ways a mindset. We are fortunate to have had individuals behind the scenes with real life experience in a broad range of applications utilizing Agile methods. Some of these folks may not be in the lime light but we are proceeding forward with people in positions of observer and facilitator roles to help staff work together more efficiently by passing on their own professional knowledge. By doing so we not only have a group progressively working on the ID LAB but also individuals job shadowingto be able to lead the next LAB team. While this learning process is taking place, we aim to simultaneously work on at least two books this year. Obviously, ID and most likely DE. Once we help train several staff members the plan will be to release 4 LAB books per year with slightly staggered start times to offset high demand departments like Art, Background and Layout.

With a focus on team work, healthy mindset, and broad skill sets we put together the following team:

Emgies will be the first Team Leader and will bring to the table professional design experience along with a penchant for discussing the finer points of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
* Full disclosure the Legal Department fully vetted Mr Emgies and we assure you no one is receiving royalties from Pentagon Wars.

Next up we have Snarkhunter. One of our newest members recently added to the RT team. He will bring his experience from the formerly dissolved BLT to the new RT. Along with a general ability to strike terror into first round opponents making them question their luck even before fully unpacking, though you won’t meet a humbler podium veteran.

Squigkikka brings a history of Dwarven Holds ADT experience to the team and is a self-proclaimed “long time lover of Goblins (no orcs!) and Dwarves.” His interest in ID is a natural next step.

Fthunder a patriotic mercenary of sorts able to bring multiple armies to bare. Surely you have heard him on some podcast or another, or enjoyed his other community engagement efforts as TO. His 9th support began in PT before moving to an ACS position in EoS and then earning a place in ADT.

Gomio is a veteran ID player. He started out as an ID ACS member before joining the rank of ADT and contributing to recent ID version updates in addition to other unreleased 9th Age products. His experience with ID Hobgoblin Bolt Throwers is legendary. He consistently finds ways to completely decimate Scourges, Gortachs and Feldrak Elders with these lucky shooters yet fails completely using Infernal Engines at frequency that defies the odds.

Odoamar finds his way to the ID task team after tours of duty in PT and as OK ACS. One of his fondest tales of victory will surely ignite his enthusiasm for communicating PT requests to PT Management. He once incinerated an entire regiment of filthy rats with a pendulum with a pair of flame throwers and Hereditary spell leaving but a single champion to turn Tail and pass on the warning to others.

Niedfaru is a master wordsmith, with an unparalleled command of the languages of the 9th Age. Leading the way through the linguistic forest for the BGT, he will prove invaluable in developing the society of the Infernal Dwarves to tie their development into the rich tapestry of the 9th Age.

WhammeWhamme made his way to the BGT through the fiery forge of the ID ACS. His passion for all things short and hot cannot be underestimated, and he will bring a commitment and drive to the Infernal Dwarven army book.

Tyranno will be our ACS front man, please feed him not the trolls. His dedication to the ACS team condensing multiple community interactions into juicy tidbits of information to help inspire and fuel designers’ efforts will be invaluable. He’s “the dude that scratch-built his entire ID army from parts and sculpting putty” so we know he will bring a great amount of enthusiasm to the conceptual design stage and help get it right in the playtesting feedback period.

This task team is in the midst of its first few Sprints, learning the process and gathering steam. We hope to have updates on this process soon.


9th Age Management
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