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Saturday, June 18, 2011

The D30 - Best Cat Toy Ever Invented

So, earlier today I had to determine the winners of the 1000 post giveaway.  30 commenters, so I broke out my 30 sided die that I recently ordered for use with the Dungeon Crawl Classics Beta.

Man, I thought D20s liked to roll for a long time... the D30 thinks it's nearly round.  Sucker goes nearly forever with a good roll.  Which is something my cat learned very quickly.

Ashely watched me roll it a few times before taking a few tentative taps to make it move a bit, then she swatted it off my desk and the chase was on.

It's too big for her to eat and rolls just far enough to really excite her without rolling forever like a ball.  She thinks I bought it for her.  I may need to get a second just for myself ;)

And The Winners Are...

Thirty commenters, so I get to use my new D30 (yes, a few opted out, so I'll just reroll if they come up.  If someones number get rolled a second time, it gets rerolled.  1 prize per person.

We have 2 prize packages of Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook and the Hero's Handbook: Dragonborn in PDF courtesy of OneBookShelf.  The winners are:

Joseph Browning (code sent)
Sully

Congrats!  Email me at erikATtrubluniteDOTnet so I can send your codes.

Next up we have 3 PDF copies of Resolute: The Splintered Realm.  I'm buying these copies as gifts, so you need to send me an email address you have that you use at RPGNow.com / DriveThruRPG.com.

The winners of Resolute: The Splintered Realm are:

ze bulette  Spawn of Endra (as ze opted out) (sent)
/Matt
Jagatai  C'nor (Outermost Toe) (as Jagatai opted out)

Congrats!

Lastly, we have 6 PDF copies of Action Castle.  I'm buying these copies as gifts, so you need to send me an email address you have that you use at RPGNow.com / DriveThruRPG.com.

The winners of Action Castle are:

Lecker ThAC0! (sent)
Dyson Logos (sent)
JDJarvis (sent)
Pere Ubu (sent)
A Paladin in Citadel (rpgnow is having problems with the address - email me at the above addy)
Tim Shorts (sent)

Congrats again!

I'll need the winners to email AND post in this thread (kinda like a double confirmation).  I'll get the prizes out as quickly as I  can,  but it is Father's Day weekend ;)

Congrats to the winners and a HUGE thank you to everyone that reads this blog!

Friday, June 17, 2011

1000th Post Contest Closes... Whenever I Wake Up In the Morning and Log In :)

Which means you still have a few hours to add your comment to this post (as in the link, not this actual post) and possibly come away with some free loot.

As a side note, did my LotFP's Weird Fantasy is Porn post really stir up this much crap?  The main point I was making is that for people less involved in the hobby (not bloggers / designers / forum and blog readers, etc but definitely gamers) going from say, Swords & Wizardry to Weird Fantasy is a HUGE leap in the type of content and style.  Art tends to stick out, as it's easier to notice then the written word on a quick flip thru.  So yes, they called it "porn".  It might not fit your definition of such, may or may not fit mine, but it fit someone's last saturday.

Besides, it's was a blog title that wrote itself the moment I heard it.

In any case, bloggers (including myself) tend to have huge opinions, but few if any of us are experts on anything.  Unless you subscribe to the theory that all TV and Radio Talk Show hosts are experts, in which case... I'm an expert too, cause a blog is a media outlet, so there!  Na-na-na-na!  :)

A Professional Hobby or a Hobby Run Professionally?

The way I see it, there are basically 2 types of successful RPG publishers once you get past the Industry giants.

You have the Professional Hobbyists - these are the ones that truly are attempting (or maybe even succeeding) with making a living off of RPG writing and publishing. LotFP, Troll Lord Games, Goodman are some examples.

Then you have the Hobbyists That Make Professional Games - professional releases for free or close to cost. Creativity before profit. Goblinoid Games, Mythmere, Dark Horse are some examples.

There are other tiers, but this are the main types you see in out little corner we call the OSR.

Both approaches are valid, although those attempting to make a living off of this hobby is by far the tougher path.

Still, it reminds me of my early days as a cop in the South Bronx. On weekends, my unit would come in early to do "Ho Roundups". If that sounds like herding cattle, there were some similarities. In any case, there are different "social classes" of prostitutes, even in the South Bronx. The "locals" that lived in the area and considered this a somewhat legitimate occupation, would literally get into fist fights with the girls that were from out of town, or in many cases, drug addicts. The fights were over a simple issue - the out of towners would do the same sex acts for about half the amount the locals charged. Even worse, they were happy with the amounts they made. The locals felt they were ruining the local economy (that's what they referred to it as. I remember the arguments that took place in the prisoner wagons). The 2 sides had to co-exist, but they didn't like it much, and the disputes often got nasty.

I most certainly am not likening the writers and publishers in the OSR to South Bronx Prostitutes, although the imagery is pretty funny. It's just that I see some similarities in the different attitudes and approaches from those that are looking to make a living off this hobby and those that treat it as a hobby.
No fist fights, no hair pulling - it seems to be more politics then anything else.

As far as I'm concerned, I'm just a "John". Whoever puts out the best product for the lowest price is where I'll be. I'll try not to feel too dirty ;)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Reviews in the Hopper

I've got a few reviews I want to get to over the next few days.  See, this is about me being organized... or at least trying to be organzied.

In no particular order:

LotFP Weird Fantasy: Grindhouse Edition (I need to finish this multi-part review)

Errant and Cascade Failure (yes Greg - way over due)

Simple Scenario Bundle and The Dreamers Awaken for Fantasy Grounds 2 from White Haired Man (OGL versions, and yes Viz, way overdue too)

Tavern By the Sea by Ken St. Andre (new Tunnels & Trolls solo)

Nuclear Sunset: The Southwest for Mutant Future (really enjoying what I've read so far)

Vornheim (I think I need to finish this review)

Blackmarsh from Bat in the Attic Games (free, professional sandboxie setting - its linked to the left)

Edit:  Forgot Dungeon Crawl Classics - add that to the list (thanks to JasonZavoda for the reminder)

Holy crap that's a list and a half!  I'm sure I missed something or two.  Time to get a crackin'.

Disorganized Thoughts

If any of you ever saw my desk, either at work or home, you would be amazed that I could find anything. Heck, I amaze myself at times. Organization is not my strong point.

It affects my blogging too. I start looking to do one thing, get sidetracked, and then shit falls to the side, only to rediscovered weeks or months later.

I'm going to try to keep a list of what I am working on, what i should be working on, what i want to work on. Basically, I'm attempting to organize myself.

Wish me luck ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Looking Back

I'm looking back at the past 1000 posts, and I do find it amazing that I've gotten to this point. In fact, I had such a hard time deciding on what to blog about at first, that nearly a year passed between the first and second posts.

It takes a lot of trial and error to not only find your blogging voice but also your writer's voice. This blog most certainly isn't now what it was 3 years, 2 years, 1 year, 6 months or even 3 months ago. Blogs evolve and change. They can take a life of their own. I embrace that concept myself. Sometime my blog surprises even me.

Getting readers to your new blog is mostly getting yourself out there. Posting insightful and interesting comments on other blogs is a good way to get your blog noticed. The simple fact is, for many bloggers (myself included) building your reader base is a slow process. For months, I was lucky to get 20 views a day (and i suspect about half of those were me checking out the page myself). My first big surge was my review of LotFP's The Grinding Gear. Raggi's mentioning of my review tripled my traffic that day.

I literally had no idea how to do a review early on. I'm not saying I know how to do one now, but I was really lost in the beginning. I tend not to review things that I have overly negative feelings about. Negative reviews are generally not fun to write.

Something that I used to do (and Gothridge Manor does) is spotlight new blogs that I find interesting. Adding them to the blogroll is nice, but posting about why a blog is worth reading has true value. I need to get back to that.

Hmmm, I need to post about Sex, Drugs and Dice Rolling... I'm sure that would drive lots of traffic ;)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond - 1001, A Post Odyssey

I don't want to clutter up the comments section of the thousandth post, so let me say some things here.

First - Thank You!  Thanks to all for their well wishes and congratulations.  They make me feel all giddy inside :)

Oh, and Gaptooth - Way frikkin' cool!

Next - The copies of Action Castle and Resolute: The Splintered Realm really do belong to you, the readers of this blog.  When you buy from RPGNow / DriveThruRPG from the links to the left, or a mini review or such, that small commission I get is used for gifts like this.  It's my chance to thank you.  As I type this, the 1000th post thread has 20 comments... one more comment and the pot grows to 6 copies of Action Castle and 3 copies Resolute: The Splintered Realm.  Keep it growing lads and ladies!

Now, for my next thousand posts:
      -I really need to start writing some Tales of the Blue Knight again.  I'll do my best to get another entry posted by the end of the month.
      -Obviously, more reviews.  
      -More thoughts on Tunnels & Trolls.
      -Maybe some work on another class missing from Swords & Wizardry - the Illusionist (This may be tricky, and probably wouldn't hue too close to the original, but I'd want to keep the flavor intact)
     -Assuming my Bard submission for Knock Spell gets published, I have a few ideas for spells and bardic items that I'll add via the blog.  Or if it doesn't make the cut, the bard will appear here.
     -It's time for me to start work on the campaign I wish to run, probably via Fantasy Grounds 2 (although other VTTs are in the running).  The blog is where the details will get worked out.  The call for players will be on here too, but don't hold your breath.  I have lots of work to get to that point, and less free time to get there then I have been recently accustomed to.
     -Other assorted stuff as it occurs to me.  What a surprise ;)

Thanks for the company!

1000th Post Contest - Get Yourself Some Free Loot!

Yep, this is the mystical, magical 1000th post at the Tavern. Holy Crap!

In any case, I'm giving away some free loot.

Courtesy of OneBookShelf/RPGNow, 2 fine folk that add their comments to this post will each receive copies of (in PDF format) Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook and the Hero's Handbook: Dragonborn.

But wait! There's more! Add your comment now and you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy of Action Castle! or Resolute: The Splintered Realm. Here's how the second part works: for every ten people (or fraction thereof) that add a comment to this post I'll be adding two copies of Action Castle! and one copy of Resolute: The Splintered Realm to the pot. So, if 10 people add themselves to the comment thread - 2 copies of Action Castle! and one copy of Resolute: The Splintered Realm are up for grabs. 21 people add themselves to the comment thread, 6 copies of Action Castle! and 3 copies of Resolute: The Splintered Realm are in the pot!

I think I'll set the max at 20 and 10 copies respectively to give away, but that would require 91 different commenters to hit that number ;)

If you don't want to be considered for a certain item, say so in your comment.

I'll leave this open at least thru the end of the day on Friday, June 17, 2011.

I'll add hyperlinks and any pictures tonight when i get home from work.  (edit - or maybe tomorrow - I'm beat and ready from bed...zzzz)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sneaking Up on a Thousand Posts

I never would have guessed if I hadn't seen it myself.  So, next post will list two freebies that I will be giving away to TWO lucky readers that add their comments to that post.  Yes, you need to be in it to win it.

So, what are the freebies gonna be?

Dunno, but I've got 20% off codes for:

Dark Heresy: Inquisitor's Handbook

and

Hero's Handbook: Dragonborn

use: HotJuneDrive2011 for either / or


hmmm... could that be a hint as to what is being given away tomorrow?     ;)

At What Point Do YOU Tap Out?

Sex.

Rape.

Torture.

Drug Use.

What is your "Tap Out" point in a RPG? As Padre stated in a comment to my earlier post, one can talk about rape and pillaging in a general sense without much response in most cases, but when it starts getting detailed - when it starts to become more "real" - many folks feel uncomfortable, and justifiably so.

With my old group, we hit that moment when they were torturing some humanoid to get the location of the rest of the clan. The PCs were trying to save a village, the orc (or whatnot) wouldn't talk, and they started cutting off his fingers one by one. It was all fine and dandy until the DM included the details of the torture, the blood, the screams - the shit became real, and we felt ill.

In RPGs, some details are best left behind the scenes. At least, that is my humble opinion.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reaction From Outside the Blogosphere - LotFP's Weird Fantasy is "D&D Porn"


Yesterday, at the Gathering of Fools, one of the gaming items I brought to give away was the extra copy of LotFP's Weird Fantasy Rules & Magic book.  I got the extra copy as I preordered the Grindhouse Edition Boxed set.

The Tunnels & Trolls 7.5e Boxed set lasted mere seconds after hitting the table.  Damn, but that was grabbed fast.  Weird Fantasy was the second thing that grabbed attention.  The questions started with "Why is there a Pilgrim on the cover of a D&D book?" but quickly turned to "Holy shit dude!  Where did you get D&D porn?  And why?"

That was the reaction of my old gaming group to the full page art plates in Weird Fantasy.  Over the years, I've given out copies of C&C Player's Handbooks, Osric, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry, Dark Dungeons and even had them fight it out as generic 1st level fighters for a copy of the Swords & Wizardry White Box.  The above is a main listing, I've given away other odds and ends.  One of my friends calls the collection that he has gained one of the coolest things he owns.

Never before has any one accused - maybe "accused" is too strong a term - let's say "voiced the opinion" that I brought over D&D Porn.

Heck, it's not that they were offended.  Mildly disturbed perhaps, but none of us are prudes.  Most of us are parents tho', and it never really occurred to me before that there might be products in my gaming collection that would be best stored out of the reach of children.  I've been too close to the whole blogging / insiders view of our hobby that I failed to see the forest for the trees.

Now, the nudity that was in the earlier Deluxe Edition of Weird Fantasy was more "artsy" then "porn" in my opinion, as I sit here and compare the two.  I think it is the erect penises and obvious sex act that puts the Grindhouse Edition over the edge.  Well, at least that's what got the initial reaction from the guys yesterday.  I found myself trying to defend the rules, not the art, but I shouldn't have had the need to do either.

In the end, it found itself a new home.  Wall Street Wizard should find a lot of cool gaming ideas held within that book.  He will need to keep it out of the reach of his curious young ones, which is a shame, as the book itself does not read of sex acts or anything else of the sort.  A picture says a thousand words, so perhaps James felt the less actually said, the better.  All i know is, if me and my fiancee decide to have children, I don't have all that much I will need to keep out of their hands, except the Weird Fantasy Grindhouse Edition Boxed Set, which is a shame.  It didn't need to be that way, and as written it is a good system to introduce new gamers to the hobby.  Just don't pass the rules on to any under the age of 18 ;)