Honestly i didn't expect this, and i am intentioned to peruse deeply in this matter: It is called "Realm of Atlantasia".
Holding his new book, Vulcan resident John Holland says words cannot describe the feeling.
"This is the culmination of 18 years of work," he said about the self-published 544-page The Game Master's Bible, which delves into the world he created, Atlantasia.
Holland had come up with his medieval fantasy world in anticipation of writing novels set in Atlantasia, but became frustrated after finding the popular RPG Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was not challenging enough.
"When I got bored with D&D, it's like, OK, put novels on the backburner, let's get a real game going here," he said.
Holland says other companies' RPGs are "passé" and "too generic."
"To tell you the truth, I'm really not in this for the money," he said. "I'm in this to do a David and Goliath. I'm going after the big boys."
Holland wants to give them "a taste of what's to come," and what's to come, he says, is realism.
He's marketing the game as the most realistic fantasy based role-playing game (RPG) on the market.
In his game, called The Realms of Atlantasia, realism means bows are less useful in the rain, armour rusts and horses die if not cared for.
"Your weapons and your armour take damage in battle," he said. "You've got to get them repaired."
"As realistic as I can get in a fantasy-based world, we have added it in this," he said.
Like in real life, players won't find the same stores everywhere they go, and similar stores don't have the same prices and merchandise, he said.
And players have to make sure characters practise their skills or their characters won't develop as quickly as they could, said Holland.
"It's part of the realism," he said.
Holland has introduced exchange rates into his game, something he says no other role-playing game has done before.
"Something else that no one RPG game has done, and this is my pride and glory, is the magic using class," he said. "Every other game it's all generic, it doesn't matter kind of priest you are, what temple you worship, you get all the same spells. It doesn't matter what kind of mage you are, you get all the same spells.
"In this world, there are eight different temples, there are eight different schools of magic. Each one of them has their own spells."
There are 900 spells in the game, and there are many more to come, he said.
Out of the 52 monsters introduced in the game, 44 of them nobody has ever seen before, he said.
Holland has many supplementary books he wants to publish to give his game a more "3D like experience."
The supplementary materials include a dictionary for each of the languages he's come up with, atlases, and books on potions and poisons.
The game is certainly involved, with an eight-page character sheet. (The D&D fourth edition character sheet is two pages.)
Holland wasn't always sure he was going to complete even the first book, let alone others that delve into his world.
"I got halfway through the 900 spells and I thought I'm never going to get this done, and (his wife) Alisa just kicking me in the butt," he said.
He said he was getting disenchanted dealing with publishers, but when she found a company with which he could self-publish the book through IUniverse, it became a reality.
The Game Master's Bible is available online, both in print (for $44.95) and ebook (for $3.99). Holland is selling it on the website www.realmsofatlantasia.com, the iUniverse website, www.iuniverse.com, where it can be found by searching for The Realms of Atlantasia, and the websites of large bookstore chains including Chapters, Indigo, and Barnes and Noble. The soft cover book is $44.95, and the ebook sells for $3.99.
The next steps are to get the book into game stores in southern Alberta, and then onto the shelves in the large bookstores, he said.
Holland plans to auction a signed first edition, complete with documentation and a case, on eBay sometime in December.