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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magazines For Give-Away

Nick, from the Carto Cacography Blog, is looking to give away a pile of classic magazines for the mere price of postage. Read more below:

As a member of the US Armed Forces, I am expected to pick up everything and move myself every two to three years. With one exception, I have not lived anywhere for longer than three years in the last fourteen, and in some cases, I lived someplace for as little as three months.
I enjoy this lifestyle. I get to move alot; I get to see new places; I get to experience new people and things. Luckily, my wife also enjoys the lifestyle. Just as important, my kids seem okay with it.

One aspect of this lifestyle is that I get to sort through all of my belongings every few years. (For someone with packrat tendencies, this is a good thing.) To be honest, nothing forces me to look through my stuff, but when you watch a mountain of boxes being packed onto a moving truck and then unpacked a few weeks (or months) later every few years, you get the idea that that mountain should occasionally be downsized.

Today, as I was looking through boxes, I came across a stash of Dragon magazines that I completely forget that I owned. In the same box, I also came across some classic Golden Age D&D modules. Ka-ching!

But now we get to the meat of this post: I also came across a vast quantity of old magazines that I have no desire to own anymore. Having had subscriptions to many, I am now at a loss for what to do with them. Frankly, just chucking them in the trash (or recycling bin) seems like a colossal waste. In some cases, I've been holding on to them and carrything them around for 20+ years.

I have a fairly large collection of OMNI magazine, described on its wikipedia page as follows: "OMNI was launched by Kathy Keeton, long-time companion and later wife of Penthouse magazine publisherBob Guccione, who described the magazine in its first issue as "an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal."
I also have a large collections of Family Computing magazine (and its later incarnations, "Family & Home Office Computing" and "Home Office Computing"). If you were into computers in the 1980's, you might remember this little gem.
(Not really science fiction, fantasy, or geek related, but I also have a massive collection of Boy's Life magazine, if anyone is interested. Any Boy Scouts out there feeling a bit nostalgic? Huh?)

All of the issues that I have are from the late 1970's through the early 1990's.

So, here is the question: What should I do with these?

I have some ideas, but here is my offer: I will give them away to anyone who wants them from me, for free. The only thing that you'll have to pay for is the postage. If anyone is interested in them, please let me know. Also, for those of you who have blogs of your own, please throw up a quick post and advertise this. I don't want to dump them in the trash, but that is where they will end up sometime before Christmas.

If anyone is interested, please drop a comment below, or send me an email at fantasy.cartographic@gmail.com.


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QuickStart - Trinity RPG Quickstart

Two quickstarts released in a week... not bad.  I'm not even sure how many I have tagged at the moment.

The latest one is for White Wolf's Trinity RPG.  Clocking in at 28 pages, its a decent size for a quickstart.

From the blurb:

In the 22nd century, humanity has ventured to the stars. Yet amid the wonders of this new age, makind faces many dangers from without and within. Alien races, fractious colonies, contending governments, ruthless corporations and aberrant mutations all vie for supremacy.

This quickstart provides an introductory look at Trinity. It does not contain every aspect of the game, but it should give you a feel for the Trinity universe.

Holiday Hit-list Request

Am I the only one that has a problem figuring out what I want for Christmas? I really need to put a list together just to get my family off my back. I'm open to suggestions, whether its gaming, tech or otherwise.

Thanks in advance.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mini Review - OS1 - Something Unholy Stirs

It's always a treat to read another Old School style adventure, and Something Unholy Stirs is no exception. It's written for OSRIC (with conversion stats included for Altus Adventum 2e).  You get a small sandboxie area setting and a dungeon to kill stuff and take their stuff.  Damn hard to go wrong if you ask me ;)

It's for 1st to 3rd level characters, which may be an issue for some, as it seems there is a large portion of Old School adventures that already fall into that range.  From my personal point of view, you can never have enough low end adventures.


From the blurb:


              For the people of the border town of Aldin, danger was part of life. Savage beasts, extreme    winters--these were things the people were prepared to deal with. What they weren't expecting to face was something so unholy that it was forbidden to speak of.

    Now a young group of would-be adventurers on their way to potential riches are forced to take refuge in Aldin due to a severe storm. Will they manage to escape...

WotC's D&D Virtual Table Top Goes Closed Beta

And here I thought this was vaporware. I just found a thread about it on the ENWorld forums (you'll have to search for it, as my ability to hyper link on my iPad is piss poor).

It appears to resemble little of the software that was first announced with 4e's release, but anything is a good thing. Just having WotC release a VTT will mean more exposure for the other VTTs in the market, which can only be a good thing.

Okay, now i need to actually read the whole damn thread ;)


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Capping the Troll God Saga

Well, I've spent the last 3 days trying to decide whether or not to post the Troll God's apology letter to Trollhalla.  Yes, it's pretty personal (at least for something that was sent to every member of the Trollhalla community).  Revealing and insightful too.  Or not.  I just don't know how I feel about it in the total sense of it.  Or I do, and I am not comfortable with it.

The thing is, I was asked to post open letters to further Ken's cause, and then after the change of heart, I'm kinda left by myself pissing in the wind.

I had no horse in the race, but I added my voice upon request.  In the long run, this is a pimple on the ass of Trollhalla, Ken, T&T and whoever else got caught up in it.  It too shall pass, and will be forgotten by most.  Still, I was a pimple popper in my teens.  Drain the bastid and let it heal instead of festering for weeks.

Which means I probably should post the damn thing so I can put the thing to bed on this blog.


Where should I begin?
You can't imagine how bad I feel right now.
Tom Loney is right.  I am a hypocrite and a bad person who thinks only of his own welfare.  No matter how charming I may be, I'm really a sociopath, and if you stay with me long enough, you are bound to be hurt.  Just ask my wife, Cathy, if that isn't true.
The only thing I can say in my own defense is that I never really wanted to harm anyone--not anyone.  I don't hurt people because I want to hurt them.  I do it because I can't help myself.
I apologize for turning Trollhalla into a tool to be used against a single person (namely James Shipman). I apologize for asking people to join me in spreading news of my personal argument with James Shipman. I apologize for starting a crusade, and then bailing out when it looked like I might be the first person killed in that crusade.  I apologize for looking after my own interests and not considering the interests of others who might be involved.
I have never claimed to be a perfect, or even a "good" person.  I know how many flaws and weaknesses I have.  I had rather hoped that no one else would ever find out, but of course these things come out here and there.
I can promise that such things won't happen again. At least I'll try to make certain that they don't.
Anyone who wishes may feel free to forward this apology or put it up on their websites. I hope you don't, but . . . YOU ARE FREE AND EMPOWERED TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT.  I am not your leader, and you don't have to answer to me or to anyone but yourself and God for your actions.  Believe me, I pay for my sins every day.
Bitterly,
Ken St. Andre

Gaming Music Review - Transylvania (Nox Arcana) - Monolith Grpahics

In general, I'm not big on music in my RPGs.  I generally find it to be distracting in my D&D sessions, even the soundtracks that are supposed to be evocative of sword fighting and such.  Yeah, I know the soundtracks from Lord of the Rings do a decent job, but again, I would find them distracting during gaming.

Horror gaming, however, lends itself to atmosphere.  Music is probably the most effective way to get your group into the mood for a nice nerve-racking Call of Chtulhu session.  The Transylvania - Nox Arcana album from Monolith Graphics does a surprisingly good job at setting that mood.

I say surprisingly, because as I stated earlier, I'm not big on music in my games and never used it in the past.  This album I think I could use.  CoC, Ravenloft... maybe even a Chill session.  Hmm, or maybe not Chill -  the camp factor is a bit high there.

I'm surprised that Monolith didn't release this just prior to Halloween.  They kinda missed a built in promotion by nearly 3 weeks.  Still, it's good.  Is it worth the 10 bucks?  If you asked me 3 weeks ago, I would have told you to have this playing as the Trick-or-Treaters made their rounds.  Now, unless you have a horror game session coming up, its kinda outa place.

It's al in the timing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

QuickStart - Legend of the 5 Rings - Legacy of Disaster

When I first started tracking down all the Quickstarts that were available in PDF, it was a daunting task.  Thankfully, for the most part, all I need to do now is catch them as they get released.

Legacy of Disaster is a quickstart for Legend of the Five Rings.  It was a Free RPG Day giveaway, and is now available in PDF at RPGNow.  With all of these Samurai style releases over the last few days, I may have to seriously give the genre some further thought.

Here the blurb:

For over a decade role-players have come to the Emerald Empire of Rokugan to learn the true meaning of honor and glory. Now it is your turn to take up your katana in the name of your Clan.
The minor daimyo Doji Haruki has always craved more power and prestige among those who possess true influence in the Imperial Court. Now, on the eve of his greatest and most promising court, mere hours before his moment truly arrives, his most valued treasure is stolen. The daisho of the great hero Seppun Daiori, gifted to Haruki by the Seppun family, is mysteriously absent. Fearful that his greatest triumph shall become the moment of his ruination, Haruki turns to a handful of samurai who arrived for court ahead of schedule, desperate for their aid in returning the daisho before the court concludes.
Legend of the Five Rings 4th Edition Role-Playing game is on sale now. This free adventure contains everything you need to get started.

Random Mid-Week Thoughts

A bad internet connection lost my first attempt to post this in the black hole of the internet, so lets see how the second attempt goes.

The one way pissing match between St. Andre and Shipman has been a weird ride that has left a strange taste in my mouth. After all the negative press Shippy has had over the last year or so, I was more then happy to relay the emails that the Troll God asked to be posted. Then came a small redaction. Then a request to delete one of the posts. The latest Troll God email on the subject sheds some light on a situation that seems to have been more personal then anything else. I haven't posted that one yet and I'm not sure I will. But the story is half told at this point, and the only way to clear it up may be to post it.

Did i mention I hate wearing my old work hat with my new work hat?

All went well last night. Hopefully there is some peace of mind as a result of it.

I have a perfect view from my office window of someone picking his nose as he looks out his window. Lovely.

Did I mention my 3g connection sucks? Can't get on the web. Can't post at Trollbridge. Can't post in the play by post im in over there.

Still have an hour before i can leave for home. Sigh


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sometimes Son Knows Best

I'm sitting in my car, in the rain, outside a major NYC hospital (Nila, you know the one) as my son gets himself checked out for some reoccurring headaches. His grandma is with him, there is no legal parking in 10 blocks, so I sit and wait.

My money is on seasonal allergies, but as his mother passed from a brain hemorrhage (and complained of headaches immediately prior) I understand his concern.

Of course, he could have told me of his concern during normal doctor's hours, but he IS my son ;)

Back to more gaming stuff tomorrow, assuming I get any sleep tonight.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Blog Spotlight - Errant RPG Blog

Yep, the link is up there on top of this page.  Some of you have already found it.  The rest of you need to check it out.  Greg Christopher (of the Synapse Design Blog) is using the Errant blog to highlight his latest project, the Errant RPG.

For the basics of what to expect, click here, but to summarize (as best I can... I'm sure Greg will correct me if I am wrong), this D&D clone is more of a toned down 3.5 then a straight out clone of one of D&D's earlier iterations.  It's not so much Old School or New School but a D&D without all the unnecessary crunch.

So, why should you check out the blog, let alone another D&D clone?  Because Greg is a thinker and a puzzle solver, which leads me to expect this will be really sweet when all the pieces are put together.  Well, all that and the fool likes to put together really professional projects and then gives them away for free.  I figure get his stuff before he wises up ;)

I kid... he ain't wising up anytime soon ;P

You can also follow him at Synapse Design.  Give them both a peek.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mini Review - Blood and Honor

John Wick has returned to feudal Japan with Blood and Honor.  Here's your chance to play Samurai and their clans using the system from Houses of the Blooded (Houses of the Blooded is NOT required).

Personally, I like the idea of Clan emphasis, it reminds me a bit of Ars Magica (one of the best games I never played)

From the blurb:


After ten years, John Wick has returned to the world of samurai!
Blood & Honor: Samurai Tragedy in Old Japan is a new way to tell stories of honor and steel!
Blood & Honor includes:
* 170 Fully Illustrated Pages
* Rules for Creating Both Clans and Characters
* Task Resolution that allows Player Narration
* A New System for Duels and War
* Magic and Religion from Old Japan
* Streamlined Seasons System for Long-Term Goals
* Chapters Devoted to Player and Narrator Advice

Welcome to Old Japan...

Then then there is my (so far) favorite quote from the book:


But I Want to Play a Ronin!
So... you want to play a wave man, eh? Okay. Here are the rules.
Make a character. You get no Clan Points. All of your equipment is poor quality. You have no horse, you have no food, you have nothing.
Oh, and samurai treat you like crap because you’re a coward. You didn’t have the courage to kill yourself when your Daimyo died.
Playing a ronin is the modern equivalent of playing a homeless person in modern America. Yes, you can get picked up by a Clan as a sword arm, but they’ll put you in the crappiest part of the army and expect you to die quickly. You’ll have to do manual labor for food—remember the samurai cutting wood in Seven Samurai?—and you’ll be scorned wherever you go.
Those are the rules. Have fun with them.

I haven't played with an Oriental RPG setting since Oriental Adventures for AD&D.  This is tempting, even if it is just for the good read.  At 5 bucks, its a steal.

First Look - Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes

The boxed set of MS&PE (if you can find it) is the standard sized RPG Box (not the smaller box size that was used with T&T 7.5e or LotFP Weird Fantasy). As such, even tho it is larger, it seems to be less, as the box is not overflowing.

The rulebook is impressive - the box might not be overflowing, but the rulebook is. Just flipping thru I stopped at the section on Martial Arts and came to the realization that this is a rulebook I will need to read from cover to cover. Whereas Tunnels & Trolls is fairly straight forward in play, MS&PE appears at first glance to crank that up to 11. Might be a nice way to bring skills to T&T tho'. Time will tell.

The paper in the rulebook feels kinda cheap - it's from the Blade generation, and the printer used appears to have been different then in previous T&T products.

I'll try to get some pics up later today or tomorrow. Well, that and hit upon the rest of the goodies in the box.


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Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Poll Results Are In - I'm Going to be a Busy Little Beaver

Yep, the poll is closed.  We had 38 voters (who could vote for as many choices as they wanted).

The solo run throughs easily came in first with 19 votes.  Its a busy plate and I think I'll be adding Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes to the systems that will get a workout.

MS&PE came in second (barely) with 11 votes.  I might actually do this first.  It depends on how things work out.

The comparison of different T&T editions came in third with 10 votes... it was that close.  I'll get to this at some point.  It's probably the biggest project of the three, so don't expect me to get to it too soon ;)

Thanks to all who voted.  Now I've got some work to do... heh

Trollgod Speaks - Healing the Wounds

The Trollgod has been pretty busy with his communications the past couple of weeks, and even though this wasn't specifically indicated to be shared with all the blogosphere, it was shared with all of Trollhalla.  Personally, I think its important enough to be shared with all (if I am wrong, I am fairly sure Ken will tell me to correct things quickly enough).

Ahem,
I want to tell you all that James Shipman and I have resolved our personal differences.  He has agreed to stop selling my works without permission and to stop collaborating with him.  I have resolved to stop saying anything negative about him on the web.
This doesn't mean that James has resolved his differences with anyone else.  He has not resolved his differences with Flying Buffalo, for example.  He will never resolve that until he stops using, making, and selling Flying Buffalo's trademarked property Tunnels and Trolls.
In the past I said I would rather not have members of Trollhalla working with Mr. Shipman, but you, of course, coould do what you wanted.  I have softened my stance a bit.  If you wish to work with Mr. Shipman on any of his publishing projects, go right ahead. It is none of my business, after all, what other people do with their time and their talent.
--Ken St. Andre

Tick Tock

Less then 5 hrs to go with the poll, and the race is still for second place.  Vote, and vote often ;)

Football afternoon starts in 10 minutes.  Woot!