Sunday, July 31, 2011

Trying to Tame Google+

Alright, I have more followers in G+ then I have on Blogger, which is awesome - 3 weeks to surpass 2 years ;)  Of course, I have only one post on G+ as I am more geared to Blogger and blogging then social networking but I'm trying to embrace it all.

So, first thing is I have to break down my circles further it seems.  I have a ton of people in my RPG circle and the information overload means I'm missing out on stuff.  Lots of stuff.  So, I think I need to tweak that circle down to manageable sub-circles or whatnot.

Now, is there a way to mirror your blog post on G+ like you can do on Facebook?  I'm still stumbling around half blind and and shit trying to find out what the new shiny can do ;)

Any play reports from Constacon or any other of the video huddle game sessions that have taken place?  Especially interested in hearing from those that have used VTTs in the past, or even used one with the G+ video interface running at the same time as the VTT.

I feel like I've been given an awesome multi-tool without any directions or diagram.  I can understand why some that jumped into the Google+ world early have pulled the plug, but I plan on being here for the long haul.  Heck, I even tried Google Wave and saw some potential there, but G+ is leaps and bounds past that.

A Day of Success, But Little Time For Play

I spent the afternoon installing the flooring in what will be (in part) my "Man Cave".  The first row was a real PITA trying to fit it around the radiator.  Ughhh!  Still, with my father's help and expertise we got about 2/3 of the floor laid down and I should be able to finish it off tomorrow.  Yay!

I'm seeing a lot of similarities in this process with any creative project I've been with, especially today as we hit our stride and I didn't want to stop even with dinner waiting.  I get similar emotions when I write (as rare as that is these days - need to get into it again).

I'm looking forward to getting the kitchen done by a professional - that's just a cash outlay - someone else can break their back ;)

Spending quality time at the moment with the future Mrs Tenkar watching some National Geographic on Netflix on Demand :)

Sunday Renovations Update

The old floor we are going to cover today and tomorrow. My son is excited as he get my old room when this is done.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Found "Emergency!" on Netflix on Demand

I grew up watching Emergency! on a 9" B&W TV.

Can't believe all 122 episodes are available on Netflix.

There has to be a RPG campaign that could be built around this and maybe Adam 12 ;)

My Birthday Gift! My... Precious...

Well, it isn't REALLY my birthday gift, but the timing of it couldn't be better.

Greg, from Dark Horse Game Design, (click for a full sized copy) has put together a one page graphical explanation of what an RPG is.  Kudos!

How frickin' awesome is that?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Trollin' For Trolls

I'm beginning to realize I haven't played any T&T lately.  When Scott from Huge Ruined Pile was running it every other week, I kinda got my T&T fix in (even if there were sessions that not a single die was rolled - still damn fun).

We've moved on to a house ruled OD&D game, which i expect will be just as much fun, if not more, but I do feel the lack of T&T in my (sparse) gaming diet.  I may need to break out a solo or two over the weekend.

The TrollGod has made reference in passing to HeWhOwIlLnOtBeNamed (now to be known as HWWNBN) in emails in the past few months.  It seems that much of the initial anger is gone.  HWWNBN still puts out 2 Tunnels & Trolls fanzines which are a good value for your T&T dollar if you can track them down.  They are no longer on the Verbotten list it seems.

Oh, this seems to be a "coulda woulda shoulda might been" cover for a true Tunnels & Trolls 6e rulebook.  I really like this piece of art.

edit:  Dan has pointed out that apparently issues with HWWNBN have reverted to the old ways of taking folks stuff and publishing it  w/o permission.  Ken speaks of it on the Trollhalla Walla, but I missed it as the Walla is a really unintuitive and awkward way to impart information if you don't read it constantly. 

More Work, More Play!

This weekend should be a busy one. I'll be installing the flooring in the second room Sunday and Monday. Why not tomorrow? 'Cause its my birthday, silly! heh

Tomorrow will be a day of reading (I have a crapload of really good stuff I want to read and review and I'm hoping tomorrow is my chance to do so) as my son (with his newly minted license) will be doing any driving related duties.

I need to give the Google+ video hookup a try. Not sure I would use it for gaming, as I am well aware of the VTT choices out there, both free and paid, but I wouldn't mind taking it for a spin. Zak is going whole hog with ConstantCon, the Google+ powered pick up game online con of sorts. I'll be following this closely to see how well it works out. It will be interesting to see if users more up to some of the VTTs out there or even use them in conjunction with Google+.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mini Review - Oubliette Issue #6 (OSR Magazine)

It's been a while between issues 5 and 6 of Oubliette, but it's been worth the wait.  47 pages of OSR (Labyrinth Lord flavored) goodness for the amazing price of free.  Nada.  Zip.  For a liited time, so get your free copy now!

K, enough of the hype.  What do you get for your hard earned cash (did i mention its free)?

Lets see, in the "Monster Category, we are presented with the Skeleton Lord.  Nice tweak on a common adversary.

The Petty Gods preview is worth the price of admission.  We get 3 petty gods as a quick peek.  I'm all it.  Definitely looking forward to this being released.

We get a 4 page sandboxie fantasy campaign setting, Newland and a 9 page adventure set in the new setting.  Not bad.  I'm going to have to read these closer later.

Random tables for wandering dungeon monsters for the first 3 levels.

Some cartoon strips, some review, some other articles, fiction, business card sized LL character sheets...

Holy crap!  There's business sized LL character sheets!  Great for the overworked and poorly organized DM.  Awesome!

To wrap up;  get it!  It's damn good and it's free!

From the blurb:

FREE! For a Limited Time Only
47 jam-packed pages!
Written for Labyrinth Lord, but also ideal for use with any Basic/Expert/Advanced original or clone, with little or no adjustment required.
Full Contents:
• Tales from Hell - Kobold Skool
• Monster Club #9 - Animate Dead Special: Skeleton Lord
• Petty Gods Preview - A Sneak Peek at this Exciting OSR Community Publication
• Newland - A Fantasy Campaign Setting
• Shame of the Shaman - A Labyrinth Lord Adventure for 3rd to 4th Level Characters
• Whips in Labyrinth Lord
• Monster Club #10 - Dungeon Random Encounter Tables: Levels 1-3
• Goblin Quest
• Found Familiar - The Raven
• What's in the Oubliette? - Reviews of Alestorm, Quickshade, Game of Thrones and Ironwood Gorge
• Mouse Watch - The Raven Ryder
• The Song of Sithakk - Part 6 of our Serialized Story
• Plus Bonus Material: Business Card-sized Labyrinth Lord Character Sheets and Customizable Dungeon Encounter Tables
In the small preview below, some tables and artwork don't display at the reduced size. In the full-size PDF they are all displayed correctly.
Warning! Oubliette may contain content that is suitable for adult audiences only. Persons 18+ only.

What Google+ Means (and Doesn't Mean) To the OSR Community

I am thoroughly enjoying Google+ so far. It is the "New Shiny", and the new shiny is always a pretty bauble to behold. I've given out invites to those that ask, and still will if you ask. Google+ is not the Rosetta Stone of internet communication, but it does a lot of things, and it does most of what it does very well. Let's look at some of it's features that are useful to our corner of the gaming hobby.

1 - Group Video - Zak is using this with success for pick up games. Many layers of awesome here. Greg is using it to get immediate feedback on some of his gaming designs. Effective use of group video. It's easy to get a group chat going. Of course, the same features are available in the Free Pandoren / iTabletop VTT, which also includes maps, tokens, dice rollers, shared PDFs and more - but Google+ is easier to set up and has a much smaller learning curve. If they ever add a whiteboard and a random number generator, you'll have an awesome basic Virtual Table Top.

2 - Immediate feedback - As Greg pointed out, he's getting more comments on his Google+ threads then he is on his blog posts. I'll call that the "Facebook Effect". If I post "I hate commuting in traffic - aargh!" on Facebook, I'll get 6 replies in an hour. If I make a deep post on my blog, I may get 3 posts in 24 hours. Google+ is a more interactive method of communication. That being said, it's "noise to signal" ratio is much worse then a blog. I need to prune my circle tree, because at it currently is it is totally unmanageable and unreadable for me. I prefer reading and commenting on blogs at the moment

3 - Growth - everyone is jumping on the Google+ bus it seems. Those that might not read blogs may be reached by Google+. Effective use of both mediums may do well in growing the community.

Some things that Google+ is not good at (at least, not yet) -

1 - Search Engines - your blog posts may show on a web search, but your best Google+ post will not.

2 - Archives - blog posts are archived and generally easy to find. I haven't found such a feature on Google+ yet.

3 - Google+ plugin for Blogger - this is a no brainer - where is it Google? We want it, and we want it now!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Remembering Gary

My earliest memories of EGG were from Dragon magazine. Back then, when the man laid down the law, he LAID DOWN THE LAW ;) He had opinions and they were strong.

When he left TSR I didn't know the politics behind it, but I saw he was putting out Cyborg Commando, so I ordered it sight unseen. Ouch! I quickly learned the man was not perfect ;)

A few years later I picked up Dangerous Journeys at the one and only Gen Con I attended. It was good, but heavy in the Gary way, and without anyone to teach it to me, I was overwhelmed. It's still packed away some where.

Years later I found he was a regular poster on ENWorld. He was a gentleman, and upon finding out my profession, he suggested Coppers & Crullers as my tag line, which I still use there to this day. He also gave me an open invite to join a game on his porch which I was never able to attend. Damn shame. It would have been an awesome memory, but as he is a part of many of my most awesome memories, directly or indirectly, I'm okay with it.

Rest well Gary, you deserve it :)

What is Your Sweet Spot Level Range?

We all have it. The levels that it is most fun for you to DM or play in. For me as a DM, its the levels 3-7 range. The players have a decent amount of spell access w//o it being overpowering, hit points are high enough to prevent "one-shotting" without the HP tree being so tall as to be unwieldy and the PCs are still coming into their own - they are still growing.

Level 1 is fun, but usually more lethal in nature then the others. The higher levels are harder to balance an adventure for and nearly impossible to buy one off the rack without an extensive need to rework and rewrite for your party's quirks. It's also harder to avoid the "didn't we already do an adventure just like this already" syndrome.

As a player, I enjoy up to about "name" level, usually 9 or 10. At that point, the game (from my play experience) turns into the DM throwing bigger and badder things at you to whittle your spells and HP down. Repetition sets in as it turns into a game of guaranteed success or guaranteed failure, depending on how the DM balanced the encounters.

Yep, I'm into the high end of low to the low end of high game play it seems.

Where's your sweet spot?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Spending More Time With Adventurer Conqueror King

It looks like Adventurer Conqueror King will be hitting it's second goal, which will give every patron a PDF copy of Domains of War when it's released.  Not sure if they will be aiming for a third goal or not, but it's nice to see the interest in the system.

Anyhow, it's nice to see a system that addresses high level play.  Actually, that's not the right way to put it.  It's a system that allows for the progression from adventurer, to land owner (taker) to ruler.  These are the rules I had to make up on the fly.  Later on, Birthright held that potential, but it was unwieldily to play and didn't resonate with my group.  Still, everyone wanted to become more then a spell slinger pr a sword swinger.

That is the definitive difference between ACK and the rest of the D&D clones - high level play includes additional responsibilities.  It's definitely something you could borrow or steal for other OSR games with little trouble (I just love mixing my rulesets... heh).

Not that the rest of the rules aren't tweaked... they are.  I like the tweaks for the most part - I have less of an urge to tweak these rules then other OSR rules I've read.  I like the addition of proficiencies, as they allow characters to be class based yet fairly unique in their individual makeup.

Did I mention the world economy is logically thought out?  Not that I overly concerned myself with such in my earlier gaming days, but knowing how much land will support how many people (with fairly accurate historical data used to reach those number) does mean there is one less suspension  of disbelief one must accomplish.

Alright, back to reading, then an early night to bed.

The Free OSR List Mini Review - Labyrinth Lord

Time to take a look at Labyrinth Lord.  I'm sure most of you are familiar with it, it's basically a re-imaging of B/X Dungeons & Dragons rules.  Add in the Advanced Edition Characters supplement (1st Edition AD&D) and you can run the D&D game of your flavor from the late 70's to the mid 80's.

The free versions are the "Art Free Editions" - nothing is missing but the art.  You can buy the version with art to support Goblinoid Games if you would like (currently one sale for Christmas in July), but as I said, except for the art, its the same text.

If you use the Fantasy Grounds 2 Virtual table Top, there is a free LL plug in for it.  The Advanced Edition Characters isn't directly supported, but there shouldn't be an issue if you wanted to use those rules instead.

Definitely an excellent choice of D&D flavored rules.

Looking for Post Solomon Kane Reading

I'm slowly making my way through The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane and I'm looking for some "next read" suggestions. Back when I would / could read a novel in a handful of nights I didn't much like short stories. These days, I'm really appreciating the reoccurring lead character in a series of short stories. It fits well with my current reading habits.

So, any suggestions? I'll be reading on my iPad, but I find between the Kindle app and other formats I can read about 98% of what I want without killing trees or requiring more storage space ;)

The Weekend Workout

Before reattaching the molding.

After molding (which still needs touchup paint job).

Need to install transition piece.

Second room to be done this weekend.

Game tonight. Some OD&D. Woot!

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mini Review - Loviatar Issue #1 (Zine)

There is something about getting SOMETHING in the mail that isn't a bill or a credit card application.  I've been big on "e-formats" for my reading for a while, but I do appreciate getting a hard copy at my door.

Loviatar is just such a thing.  It's a RPG "Zine".  There's no "ezine" format available yet (although I will make the suggestion, as I'm sure it would add to accessiblity for those overseas).  It's available fr 3 bucks an issue, or a 6 month sub for $12.

What do you get?  A quality zine from a man who has been producing zines for as long as I've been reading them.  This issue gives us the starting area / homes for a new party of Pathfinder players set in the Forgotten Realms.  20 pages sized approximately like the OD&D booklets of yore.  It really is a fun way to get your game reading fix in, and doesn't take up too much space in the throne room ;)

I'm glad to see Christian is back at doing what he loves and does best.  Keep up the good work lad :)

Man Cave Corner

We often joke about the "Man Cave", but we (meaning men) like to have one. Why? Because usually the rest of the house in controlled by the woman. The German mirrored beer shields and cavalry sword are NOT being displayed in most living rooms. Thus, the need for a man cave.

I'll be getting the better part of a room as my office / workout / man cave. Which is cool. I'll have a place to display my beer memorabilia, a small selection of my games, my miniatures, my signed art prints and other assorted stuff. The rest of the house will have dolphins, seashells and an assortment of nicknacks. The lady gets to decorate everything but my man corner, and that's OK.

I'm just glad I secured my little corner ;)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Picking Nits in My Own Work

When I do a project (in this close putting new flooring in a room) I want perfection, or damn close to it.  I'm still quite annoyed that one box of flooring was too damaged for use (it will probably work fine in the second room, in the space where I am building the closet).  The thing is, I still found a few imperfections... peaking in two spots (one which will be under the bed) and some slightly chipped laminate where i had to work too close to a wall - they will be covered by an armoire and a bookshelf, but still, I know they are  there.

I suspect the same happens in publishing, especially when you serve as your own proofreader.  I know it happens with my blogging - and I correct it as I see it.  Thankfully, online posts and PDFs can be corrected and update.  Print copies can only be corrected by a new printing (an errata sheet doesn't really corrects the mistakes).

Tomorrow I do the finishing touches (reattach moldings, stain some other pieces, touch up paint where needed) and then prep the other room for its new flooring.  That also means I can put more time into reading an reviewing.  I really want to talk more about Adventurer Conqueror King.  I'm really digging it.

Free Quickstarts - The Wild Hunt (Savage Worlds Quickstart)

Yep, this is the same freebie that was available on Free RPG Day and in PDF from the Pinnacle website.  I'm adding it to the Free Quickstarts Tag (at some point, the Free RPGs and the Free Quickstarts will get their own pages).

Anyhow, this free Savage Worlds Quickstart is a great way to get a taste of the Savage Worlds system.  Give it a peek... it is free ;)

From the blurb:

This absolutely free version of the Savage Worlds Test Drive rules includes everything you need to play, as well as a modern day horror adventure by fan favorite John Goff!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Have a New Appreciation of Projects

I really respect those in our hobby that can sit down and produce a game, a book, a piece of art - really anything that takes time and diligence to accomplish.

Me, I'm used to doing my stuff in bit and pieces.  To the point where its really just bits here and there.  The room renovations I've been working on have been going on for - well, forever it seems.  Done in bits and pieces.

Today was the first time I found to hit it dead on, and nearly completed flooring the first room in a day.  Of course, I had to ignore my 7 month old niece that was visiting, had to get my mother to pick my son up after his 100 degree tour of auxillary service, ate lunch in big bites while taking measurements and used my father's carpentry skills to the hilt as he trimmed the boards that needed it before I installed them.  Yes, I was focused.  An afternoon of clarity.  It won't last for me.

Even getting this typed out has required a degree of cat wrestling, as my girl was neglected all day and wants to get it all in now, either by standing over my mouse or walking on my keyboard.  She is persistent ;)

So to those of you that are persistent, productive, focused and all the other adjectives that define someone as one who gets things done - I tip my hat to you.  Oh, and I'll be reading some of that work the previously mention have produced as I lie in bed tonight before passing out.  Doing this "project" shit is damn tiring.

Just look at how long it took me to complete by Bard class for S&W.  In that time, Greg has written a whole RPG from scratch, tracked down and received free yet amazing art, layout, feedback... and still finds time for the family responsibilities.  Me, I need a clone of myself to split the work :)

I'm Floored - Literally

Spent my day installing this floor. Almost done. And yes, that corner still needs wallpaper. Oh, and thank the Lord for Amazon Prime shipping delivering the AC, or nothing would have been done in the heat.

Hopefully I can get a review up before I crash for the nite.

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, July 22, 2011

Eating My Own Words

A few months ago I posted that I didn't see the need for new games built on the same OGL / OSR inspired rulesets. I guess I was wrong.

Or maybe I was half right. We don't need them, but there is certainly an audience for them, myself included. My most recent OSR - OD&D inspired game that I'm enjoying reading is Adventurer Conqueror King. Not sure how much I like the title, but so far I like the system.

I'm still plowing thru it, but I like the way it makes fighting classes viable and special w/o resorting to the LotFP Weird Fantasy method of doing away with any sort of combat progression with the exception of pure fighters. There are other ways to secure a nitch for them, and ACK found a way. Actually, from my reading so far (and I am far from reading the whole document) I haven't seen much of a desire from myself to house rule the ACK rules. With Weird Fantasy, I loved the concept, liked a lot of the tweaks (specialists particularly), but I was house ruling in my head as I read my way thru.

I think the only ruleset I haven't mentally house ruled was Swords & Wizardry, and I wrote a Bard class for that, which u might say is a huge house rule ;)

It's not that the ACK rules are how I would have run a game back in the 80's. To my eyes so far, the rules read as how I would want to run one of my games from the 80's today, if that makes sense to you.

Road Trip!

My son just texted me that he passed his road test on the first try. He is now a licensed driver, so help me God ;)

I'm half expecting him to map out a road trip in August.

Now the fight over the car begins in earnest... heh!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not All Kickstarter Projects Are Created Equally, If At All

I happen to really like the concept behind Kickstarter.  It's like taking preorders without actually taking the money for the preorders until you have enough preorders to justify actually going thru with the project.

Case in point:  AGP - Adventure Games Publishing - James Mishler's startup.  James came out of the gate with a really strong product and offered subscriptions to upcoming products.  Liking what I saw and looking to support a new publisher I ponied up for a sub - which was cancelled after one or two releases.  I'm still out the cash on that (no biggie - I'm a grown man, I knew the risks)

Then we have iTabletop / Pandoren, a VTT which was asking for $200 from early adapters - and has now gone free.

I still do the preorder thing - DCC and Delving Deeper (edit - 11/8/12 and I'm still waiting on DD to ship - When the fuck did I preorder it?) are games I placed my hard earned cash in the hands of publishers and expect to see a product down the line.  An act of faith, if you will.

With Kickstarter, you don't actually spend the cash until the project meets it's funding goals and reaches the end of the funding time set.  Which is just a bit less of a gamble.

Some projects ask their backers for input, most offer extras for higher pledges.  Eh, I've been doing the patron thing since Open Design started their patron projects.  It resonates with me.

My latest is Adventurer Conqueror King.  I know I saw someone else blogging about it earlier.

Oh, and DungeonMorph Dice, which I don't think would have been produced without Kickstarter.  I'm looking forward to my dice ;)

Come to think of it, those are the only 2 projects I've funded that met their goals.  The ones that crashed, crashed bad (and will remain nameless)

Out Like a Snow Leopard, In Like a Lion

Installing the new OSX Lion on my Mac Mini. I'm a Mac convert and only use my Win Box for gaming these days. Damn thing takes forever to boot compared to the Mac.

33 minutes to update... hopefully ;)

Turning on the Heat

I know most of the US is in the middle of a heat wave. NYC is supposed to hit 95 today, 100 tomorrow and 96 on Saturday... perfect timing for me to install new floors. Amazon is sending me a new AC for the front rooms tomorrow. Thank god for Amazon Prime free shipping ;)

Pretty much the unwritten rule with my fiancee is any discretionary spending over $100 we discuss with the other, below that we are pretty much on our own. So I mentioned the AC purchase (thumbs up) and don't need to mention most of my gaming purchases, as they tend to be well under the threshold. Planned that out well I think ;)

The plan had been to get up early Saturday before the heat set in, work on the floors for a few hours, then head into the AC to watch Netflix on Demand and stay cool. Maybe with an AC in the front two rooms, I can get more done and get ahead of the game. I still want to get some Netflix in tho' ;)

I found out last night that my fiancee may have an eye for gaming. Friday I'll dig a little deeper. More when I can talk about it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

No More Fluff! Seeking a Fluff Alternative...

Apparently "fluff" (generally used to describe setting and background type material) leaves a bad taste in the mouths of certain gamers (see comments in my previous post). I understand why. It can be seen as a negative description, almost dismissive in nature. Besides, doesn't the porn industry employ "fluffers" to keep the male performers "ready"? Don't we already have enough porn in our RPGs already? ;)

So, what alternative forms do we have for "fluff" in gaming usage? While we are at it, we may as well find an alternative for "crunch."

No more Fluff & Crunch! Maybe Meat (rules) & Potatoes (descriptive text).

Which is More Important, The Setting or The Rules?

It's almost like the the "chicken or the egg" question. What comes first, the setting or the rules?

I ask this after reviewing The Weird West RPG. It's a nice, tight, simple yet complete rule system. All in all, an amazing package for the small size. It's sole omission is a setting. I find myself hungry for the assumed, default setting.

So, what's more important to you - the setting or the rules? Fluff or crunch? How much default setting information do you want in the RPG rules you pick up? Does the genre change the amount of fluff you are looking for in the rules (standard fantasy less / horror more / etc)?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mini Review - Weird West

Well, after highlighting a Kickstarter project dealing with a Weirdish West setting, I thought I should give equal time to another Weird West type RPG, named appropriately Weird West.  Go figure ;)

So, what can I tell you about Weird West?  It's amazingly complete for 8 pages - tho if you take off the cover and the fighting chart at the back it's 6 pages.  6 amazingly complete pages.  Pages that include character generation, stats, skills, professions, spells, combat mods, a weapon list, task resolution... phew!

Stuart squeezes so much into so little.  Heck, if I go into much more detail I'll be giving the thing away for free.  Get your own copy.  It's just a buck.

All that's missing is the setting.  We NEED background material!  Get working man!  ;)

From the blurb:

The streamlined and fast playing adventure roleplaying game for weird western worlds of cowboys, kung-fu, magic and otherworldly malevolence.

The Weird West Basic Rulebook has been designed to make reading, creating characters, and starting a game as fast as possible: the fastest RPG in the west! We've cut out the 'what is an rpg', game fiction, and other 'fluff' to keep the rulebook as lean as possible while still having enough detail to make it fun. 

This purchase includes both a PDF version suitable for reading on your computer, iPad or iPhone (with bookmarks) and a special 'PocketMod' PDF version for printing. The PocketMod version lets you create your own  4.25" x 2.75" sized game books from a single sheet of paper. Take a copy to read on the go, and print one to give to each of your players.

We Have Delivery! Oh, and a Game Change Tonight

My flooring finally came at 515.  I could have gone to work and saved the day at this rate, but it's here.  Which means I get to start installing it later this week.  In the heat wave.  Joy of joys.  I think I'll need to buy another AC on friday.

I'm doing what I can by myself (well, with family help) to keep the costs down.  I figure with painting, wallpapering, flooring and new closet the 2 rooms should come it at $1500 give or take.  Now I see why many of the smaller RPG companies are one or two folks.  You don't need to pay yourself for the work, just for the supplies ;)

Tonight is the fairly regular Tunnels & Trolls game run by Scott of Huge Ruined Pile fame.  Except it's not. Well, it is game night, Scott is running a game, I'll be there, but we're going OD&D.  Should be fun.  Just goes to prove that a good GM makes the game more then the rules, and Scott's a damn good GM.

Hurry Up and Wait

I love 8 hr delivery windows. They are so easy to plan around. Not!

I'm not looking forward to installing this floor in 95+ degree temperatures. :(

On a positive note I have lots of reading time available today ;)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mini Review - Bag Wars Sage (KotDT)

I don't think I've reviewed a comic on this blog before.  I know I hemmed and hawed about the current KotDT storyline, but this here is the Gold standard.  This is the Bag Wars Saga reworked, relaid, reedited - a storyline that spanned years is remade into a cohesive whole.

Did I mention it has a color map of Garweeze Wurld?  Saweet!

I think this is how I'll be doing my Knights of the Dinner Table reading for now one - on my iPad, in bed, lights out and just pure story.  To be honest, I pretty much would flip thru the last half of each issue anyway after the Knights' story ended.

I no longer have a monthly subscription, but with the trade paperbacks (in PDF even, so no need to find space to store) I can still get my KotDT fix.  Best of all possibilities if you ask me (and no, I'm not selling or getting rid of my older issues - I started with issue 2, and it's well worn but well loved).

From the blurb:

The Knights are embarking on their greatest adventure ever… the Bag Wars Saga! However, this is no mere compilation, but a “director’s cut” of the Bag Wars story arc including expanded and reworked versions of these fan-favorite stories from Knights of the Dinner Table, plus brand new strips, totaling over 30 pages of new material! Even better, this PDF version is in full color!
    The Strips
  • A Coming Storm
  • Scorched Earth
  • Shafted
  • The Wyrm's Curse
  • A Bagful of Troubles
  • The Barringer Rebellion
  • Go Figure!
  • Troll Story
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Bag War Four
  • The Game Audit
  • The Jackson Document
  • The Bag Raiders: Best Played Plans
  • The Bag Raiders: Of Dice and Men
  • The Bag Raiders: The Share Giver
  • The Bag Raiders: The Dark Side of the Bag
  • Ours for the Losing
    Additional Material
  • Gary Jackson's Understanding HackMagick [The J-Doc]
  • Bag Wurld Cast of Characters [KODT Bios]
(116 pages including covers, color)

Far West - A Not Yet Released RPG and Then Some

Gareth-Michael Skarka should be known to my fellow bloggers - his blog is The Designer Monologues and gives some decent insight into the publishing end of hobby of ours.  His latest project is Far West: Western / Wuxia Mashup.  It reached it's Kickstarter funding goal in 15 hrs!  I've never seen that before, and I've ponied cash into other Kickstarter and patron style RPG projects in the past.

What makes this so special?  Take to minutes and let GM explain in his own words.  He's certainly hooked me (I just need to figure out by exactly how much).

How cool is that?

I have no horse in this race, but I am really excited about this project.  It has so many different facets to it, this could be a mega win or ann uber fail.  Judging from the Kickstarter numbers I suspect the "win" is more likely.

Summary from the Kickstarter site:

Imagine: A fantasy world, but not one based on Medieval/Dark Ages European culture and myth, but rather one based on the inspirations of the Spaghetti Western and Chinese Wuxia. Add steampunk elements. Mix well. 
A fantasy world that's Stephen King's The Dark Tower meets The Storm Riders meets Deadwood meets Afro Samurai meets The Wild Wild West meets Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon meets Django meets The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. meets House of Flying Daggers and more.
A fantasy world that's explored through a constantly-updated website, a tabletop role-playing adventure game, a web series, artwork, fiction, comics and much, much, more.   A fantasy world that is shaped by its own fan community.    

I Was a Tinkerer Back in the Day

My first tour through this hobby I was a rules tinkerer. The players wanted to raise an army and conquer part of the Wild Coast (pre BattleSystem)? I put together a quick system to handle mass combat with a handful of rolls (like many of my notes from the 80's and 90's, long gone).

AD&D2e with it's endless splat books? I house ruled for balance.

NPC classes? Check

New spells? Aye

New creatures? But of course. You can't keep your players on their toes if you don't put them off balance on occasions.

That all ended in 97, shortly before the released of 3e.

3e I collected and read, but never played.

Then came Castles & Crusades - and I was back in the game and active. My second tour in the hobby known as Role Playing Games commenced.

I thought about tinkering but never did much of anything until a few months ago, when I put together a Swords & Wizardry Bard Class for submission to KnockSpell. It was a blast to do. Then again, I've always liked Bards.

I think I need to do some more tinkering, just not sure what yet. Maybe expand on the Bard with new spells and magic items. Maybe resurrect some of the more balanced kits from 2e for Swords & Wizardry. Something.

I understand why the real creative types in our hobby produce what they do, as there is little more satisfying in life then creating, completing and sharing a project that your are satisfied with and proud of.

Well, that and it would be a nice occasional distraction from installing the 2 rooms worth of flooring. It arrives tomorrow and I commence installation Thursday night after work. In a heatwave. In rooms without AC. The fun never ends ;)

Runequest - The Schism

It appears that Runequest will be coming in multiple flavors. We have Openquest, which is built on the Mongoose Runequest Rules (1st edition I believe but I may be wrong) using the OGL. Then we have Legend (formerly Wayfarer), which will replace MRQ2, as Mongoose lost the license for Runequest but apparently owns the rights to the rules - but as they are OGL now, anyone can publish them.

Which leads us to Runequest 6e, a joint venture with the trademark owners of Runequest (Issaries assuming I spelled it right). RQ6e will be written using the MRQ OGL rules, by some of the folks that wrote the MRQ2e rules.

Confused yet?

All of these revisions should be fairly compatible, and both Legend and RQ6e are seeking to be backwards compatible with MRQ2e.

Releasing your rules under an OGL lets out the genie out of the bottle and theres no putting it back. The question is, does this dilute the value of Runequest or enhance it? Or does it just muddy the waters to all shit?

I expect a lot of confusion myself. Still, I've owned RQ since the original Chaosium 2e and the Avalon Hill 3e. I like the system. I hope it survives the latest transition.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yet More Free RPGs For the List (Thanks to Padre)

Padre pointed out some omissions from the Free RPG list I'm putting together (and slowly reviewing, and even slower to putting brief descriptions all on one page).

I'm putting some up now from Stargazer Games and I'll add them to the sidebar shortly.  In no particular order:

Resolute, Adventurer & Genius - This is the pulp remix of Warrior, Rogue and Mage.  Short, simple, easy to learn and free.

From the blurb:
Resolute, Adventurer & Genius is a simple, lightweight roleplaying game of pulp-style action and adventure. Explore lost ancient ruins! Thwart the plans of evildoers and madmen! Face the mysteries of the unknown! This book contains the complete game rules, including character creation, combat, equipment and chase sequences as well as hints for playing pulp-style games in different decades, from the 1910s to the 1940s and beyond.

Arcane Heroes - You want a short and sweet fantasy themed game that you can read in 5 minutes?  This one clocks in at 6 pages ;)

From the blurb:

Arcane Heroes is a rules-light roleplaying game set into a fantasy world filled with magic, wonders and epic adventures.  Characters in Arcane Heroes are members of ancient bloodlines which have produced many great heroes (and dreadful villains) in the past. But the world has changed, the industrial revolution has shaken up the old order. The ancient bloodlines are all but forgotten, but in these dire and gloomy times, heroes are needed more than ever.  Arcane Heroes uses a simple dice pool mechanic and contains all the rules needed to play a game.

Chronicles of the Four Dragons - Looking for a Far East styled RPG that is rules light?  This might be for you.

From the blurb:

Chronicles is a rules-lite, anime-style fantasy game which uses a pretty easy dice pool system and four classes: the Warrior which is attuned to Earth, the Archer which uses Air magic, the Monk who draws his power from Water and the Sorcerer who is a master of Fire magic.
The Dragon Empire
CotFD is set into the Dragon Empire, a vast nation based on medieval Japan and China. For many centuries it has been ruled by the Dragon Emperors who are descendants of the Four Elemental Dragons themselves. For a long time the empire prospered but recently things are starting to get out of hand. Barbarians attack the empire from the outside, while corrupt bureaucrats and local warlords attack it from within. But new heroes have arisen. They wield the power of the four elements and fight to restore peace and order in the Empire!

The Travellin' Dice

My fiancee was helping me pack for the ride back to the city. She noticed a rattling in my messenger bag so she opened one of the compartments and found a set of polyhedral dice.

She laughed. "Do you expect a random gaming session to pop up?"

Of course I don't expect that, but ya never know.

I didn't tell her there was a second set in my computer bag. The abuse may have been a bit much ;)

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Mundane Gives Value to Rarity

As I mentioned earlier today, I'm spending the weekend at my family's place in the Poconos.  I'm a city boy that spent my summers in the country, and for a number of years had 2 gaming groups - one in the outer boroughs of NYC, and one up here in the Poconos.  I like to think it kept me in balance during my formative years ;)

In my time in the country I've seen numberless deer (including an albino one), numerous wild turkeys and pheasants, black bear and their young, possums, skunks... not counting owls, hawks, hummingbirds and I'm sure an assortment of animals I've forgotten.

I've never seen a fox until tonight, in my own backyard.  I thought it was a very large cat until it stood up and pranced off - and it was f'n cool as all shit!  Cause I've never seen one before.

One thing that Raggi definitely got right with his Weird Fantasy rules was the importance of making certain adversaries rare or even unique.  It makes the moment special and stand out amongst the mundane.  Where he get's it wrong in my opinion, is he leaves out the mundane and fails to provide the rules necessary to create the special and unique.

Tonight's fox sighting was special not just because I'd never seen one in the wild before, but because I'd seen so much of everything else and had yet to see a fox.  If everything is special and unique then they fail to be special, and unique loses value.

I just wish I had a camera with me so I could have taken a pic.  Eh, my mind took the pic, and that's the same camera I use while gaming.  It will have to suffice ;)

The Free OSR List Mini Review - For Gold & Glory

For Gold & Glory is a retroclone for AD&D 2e.  It is still a work in progress.  Monsters and magic items still need to be edited and added, and the spell list only goes up tot he letter "E" at the moment.  That being said, the rules of 2e are certainly there.

Heck, there's even THACO - To Hit A Combat Opponent.  Nice way to get around the old definition of THAC0 ;)

I expect this to be a nice, PDF portable reference for those looking to plat with the 2e rules.

From the Author's website:

For Gold & Glory is a retro-clone of the “Advanced” Fantasy Role Playing Game (2nd Edition); designed by David “Zeb” Cook, developed by Steve Winter & Jon Pickens, and published by TSR in 1989. It served as an expansion on the rules written by the game’s original creator, E. Gary Gygax, and also brought the product into a more mainstream environment with unique campaign scenarios and friendlier writing in light of ignorant attacks against its subject matter. As a retro-clone, FG&G makes use of Wizards of the Coast’s Open Game License to create a derivative product provided no copyright is infringed upon.

What For Gold & Glory Is: FG&G is an attempt to create a close adaption of the 2nd Edition rules. It contains all information culled from the three “core” rulebooks, with the exception of optional rules, into a single product. The intention is to preserve a source that’s long out of print. The 2E books were, in some cases, poorly organized and ill suited for quick player reference. Although most books can be purchased cheaply, my goal is that you will turn to this product, quickly reference what you’re searching for, and return to your game without having to scour several documents or cart around a dozen books.

A few changes have been made to correct errors or bugs in the original publication particular when it comes to item creation rules. There are corrections to odd omissions between 1E and 2E such as some druid spells changing spheres (and thus druids losing access to staple spells) and illusionist spells. Overall, the changes are large enough for me to consider FG&G an original product (to avoid copyright infringement) but minor enough to be easily portable with little-to-no adapting on the player’s part. If you’re reading a 2E book then you can plug it into FG&G with no extra work on your part. If you can’t do this, I’ve failed in my goal.

Weekend Woodlands Escape

Escaping for the weekend to the Pocono Mountains. Will try and get a review up tonight. Got to travel light with my iPad and my RPG collection on Dropbox ;)

Pic from the front patio;

- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, July 15, 2011

Review - Savage Worlds Deluxe - Powers - Part 2

Note - thru 7/19 Savage Worlds Deluxe is 20% off

I think I could run a Savage Worlds game just fine, so long as no one chose anything from the "Powers" section of the rule book ;)

The reason I say this is not because the powers look all that difficult to grasp, but for someone that grew up on D&D and the like, it's a whole new language to learn. I think the next time I get to play in a SW game, I'm going to play a Powers user so I can get a hands on feel for the system.

Now that that is out of the way, the powers section looks really nice. Powers are initially broken down by Arcane Backgrounds - Magic, Psionics, Weird Science, Super Powers and Miracles. Trappings and Effects allow powers to be tweaked and individualized, so no two fireballs (or anything else) will necessarily be the same from different casters. I like the ability to individualize powers while still keeping to a defined list. It's a pretty neat system, I just need to get comfortable with it.

I really like the total package that is Savage Worlds Deluxe - I just need to spend some time as a player before trying to run a game with it.

The Games We Played When We Didn't Have Enough People to Roleplay

These days I play my RPGs via online chat or a VTT. If we don't have enough to game, it's basically a wash.

Back when I played in my High School, College and the years immediately thereafter, we'd pull a game off the shelf (usually my shelf) and get cracking. We had a decent assortment, and there were times that we would opt for one of those games on the shelf over the regular campaign even if we had a full group. Depending on the amount of time we had, we would sometimes do a board game and role-play. Ah, the sweet days before real responsibilities.

The games we played, in no particular order were:

Risk - the classic. My version had the caltrop plastic pieces that were murder on bare feet. My box has been taped many times, but it's still complete. No one wanted to ever use the pink army, go figure.

Ameba Wars - this was one of those boxy bookshelf game boxes. I haven't played or looked at it in over 15 years, but the sic-fi game was always a good time

Nuclear War - card game from Flying Buffalo. Holy crap but this could get intense. A card game based on the fear of mutual destruction, it fit in well for the mindset of the average college student in the late 80's to mid 90's.

Wabbit Wampage - kill the rabbit game from Pacesetter - this didn't come off the shelf as often as others, as it didn't play as well as it should have. Not sure why that is. Maybe it felt more like a game, and less like Bugs and Elmer then it should have.

Chaos Marauders - Game Workshop's card game. Now this was a f'n blast! Up to 4 players, so if we had 5 or 6 at the table it wasn't a choice, but folks would demand a session of Chaos Marauders every chance they got. I may need to bring these to the next Gathering of Fools.

Talisman - the classic game of killing things and taking their stuff. Fun to play. Repeatedly. Until you had the sessions that never seemed to end (especially when using the add-on boxes). Of the games on this list, I'm sure this was played by more readers of this blog then any of the others.

Well, that's my old groups list.

What's you list?

Trying to Identify an Old Commodore 64 RPG - Memory is Murky

Now, before I describe the game the game in question, it might be Realms of Darkness, but I don't think so.

It was an RPG that included player handouts on fake parchment paper in the game box. At certain points of the game, you were told to refer to one piece or another. It was great for game immersion (and as a form of copy protection too I guess). It was the best computer based RPG I had played (or tried to) until that time

My copy was buggered, and the disc drive would crash on loading about 9 times in 10 for that game only - it could take me an hour or more to even get the game started. At some point later in time, I couldn't even do that.

Any ideas?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Free OSR List Mini Review - Errant

What is Errant? It's an Old School RPG wrapped in New School sensibilities. It's kinda like a half-breed, or a hybrid. In any case, it works.

It's the 6 stats you already know, determined by rolling 3d6 six times and arranging in as you see fit. There are attribute test you can make against your attributes - level is not taken into account, so forget what you might have learned in Castles & Crusades and the like.

Then there are class skills. When using a class skill, you get to add your level if it's a skill you know. Which does correct a situation with C&C's Siege Engine - all skill attempts get level as a bonus in that system if I recall correctly.

Schools of Magic are arranged by school and color coded , which makes reading the list a snap. The spell descriptions themselves are generally one paragraph and easy to reference. Here's the kicker tho - casting spells require the caster to expend hit points to cast. Nice twist, and it adds a bit of strategy to the caster classes. The spell casting system would have been a good fit for LotFP Weird Fantasy's default setting - requiring casters to give of their own health and energy to cast certainly adds to the suspense.

In many ways, it looks like an Old School RPG made with New School advances in presentation. Heck, it's even laid out for ease of reading on a tablet, like my iPad.

My one gripe, and it's a small one, is that the bookmarks could be broken down just a bit more. For example, under "Classes", we could have further bookmarks for each of the classes. As it is, we just have a general "Classes" bookmark.

Of course, most PDFs aren't even bookmarked at all these days and there really is no excuse for that.

Amazing art throughout. No porn. Slightly disappointed with that... not! ;)

From the blurb:

Errant RPG is a retro-clone that captures the basic playstyle of the classic game while introducing a variety of modern innovations to improve play.

Key Innovations over the Classic Game:
- Race and Class as separate choices
- Inclusion of a wider range of classes like Bards and Paladins
- Removal of the Cleric class and replacement with a Scholar class
- Even distribution of spells across the schools so that school choice for specialization is balanced
- Expansion of Saving Throws to cover a wider range of instinctive reactions
- New Language mechanics that makes a distinction between vernacular and written languages
- A Luck Mechanic to help new character survive a dangerous world
- An Ambitions Mechanic to give your character goals
- Replacement of Alignment with a more flexible Karma system
- A new method of resolving damage/injury/death once you run out of hit points

Palladium Fantasy - Has It Ever Been RetroCloned?

I know Kevin protects his property more vigorously then a mamma bear, but I was wondering if anyone had ever RetroCloned Palladium's Fantasy RPG?

In theory, it shouldn't be too hard, as it is quite obviously built on the framework of D&D, and thus the OGL.

I am not looking to put another nail in the endless coffin known as Palladium Books, a company that rises and falls more often then the tides.  I enjoyed RIFTS for it's fluff, even if the rules were a horrid unbalanced mess, and that was my first taste of the Palladium system.  Palladium Fantasy I discovered later, and I found a lot to like.  Just wondering how well it would mesh with the OGL.  So Kevin, if you are reading this, it's just conjecture at this point.  A mental exercise.  No need for a Cease and Desist at this point.  Save the money.  ;)

When Less is More

I really need to learn some time management skills. There must be an app for that ;)

In any case, I squeezed more into one evening yesterday then any sane man would, yet I still didn't get everything accomplished that I wanted to - but I accomplished what I needed to.

I think the same can be said about many things. You want to accomplish A-Z, but you NEED to accomplish A, D, E and S... anything beyond that is just gravy.

When I was writing my version of the Bard Class for the next KnockSpell, I had a huge list of things I wanted to do with it. Once I got started, I quickly saw I had to prioritize what was needed to make the class work. The rest could wait, or maybe wasn't even really needed. Less can be more.

With the Bard Class, I cut out new spells / songs and magic items. They weren't needed to make the class work. As for class abilities, if there was something already defined elsewhere in an OGL, why reinvent it. It took a lot of effort to reign myself in ;)

So, tonight I prioritize and remove some floor molding in advance of installing my flooring. Not going to go crazy, just the side I'll be starting in. Then read some RPG rules. Maybe a post. Then, if there is time, watch the first episode of Game of Thrones. I've put that off long enough I think.

Of course, the chances of me sticking to tonight's plan is slim to none, but one has to try ;)

Double Rainbow (sorta)

We had a short sunshower / thunderbumper last evening and I caught these pics of a rainbow after stopping at a cash machine for dinero.

You can sorta see the hint of the second rainbow in the first shot.

Now where the hell is my pot of gold?!?

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's High School

When my son asked me to explain my job to him (as he is now thinking careers and such) I told him that being a cop was like spending an extra 20 years in High School. Same practical jokes. Same bullies. Same horsing around. Same authority figures, both good and bad. Same close friends, and just like High School, most of them are friends because of similar interests. Same assholes, and most of them are assholes because they enjoy being that way. Don't show up for the day and you'll get a phone call and possibly a visit.

Except that in my case, you also get a gun and shield, the authority to takes someone's freedom from them, and the responsibility to protect life. But it's still High School. If you didn't enjoy the antics and drama from High School it's going to be a long 20 years on the force.

If someone asked me about about our corner of the Blogosphere at this point in time, I'd probably have to give a similar answer. It's High School, just without the school work. Oh, and it's virtual.

I happened to like High School a lot, even in the crappy NYC Public School System.

Progress is Painful

This is getting painful - literally.

The renovations are causing more aches and pains then I'm used to. Progress is a beautiful thing despite the discomfort. Maybe as the flooring gets going I'll post pics as it progresses.

Once these two room are done I'm tapping out and hiring a professional for the kitchen ;)

Review wise, I reread some of Errant while dealing with an hour and a half texting marathon with a co-worker that is out sick with kidney stones. Weird combo, I know, but it worked. Production qualities are top notch, although I'm sure Greg would say it's not up to his new standards. Picky SOB ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Demolition Man

(not my closet - but double the size and add more wood and you have an idea)
(oh, and my holes are smaller - so far ;)

When I got home from work I returned to closet demolition.  95 degrees on the back porch and just a bit hotter on the second floor with no A/C.  The closet is / was about 8 feet wide and just about as tall, solid wood construction.  It's just too damn shallow, and the clothing bar is way too high for my Rachel.

As I did my destruction, I realized I had a Tunnels & Trolls game tonight.  Kinda buggered my time available to do reviews.  Lo and behold, I checked the message board and this week is a wash.  Looks like we may be heading to every other week, which works well with my free time.  So, reviews were back on.

Until I checked my email and found my Pergo laminate flooring, which was supposed to take 3 days to process and 3 to 6 days to ship, putting it mid to late next week, is arriving this thursday.  Sixteen boxes.  I need the space where the closet is just to store the crap as I install the first room.  So back to more destruction and less blogging.  This is my 10 minute break to cool off  before my next round.

Fun fun, but it's getting there.

So, punting until tomorrow for the next review.  Sorry Greg, hopefully tomorrow.

K, back to breaking wood...

The Return to Normality

Greg should be happy. If all goes well, should have a mini-review of Errant posted some time tonight. Heck, if I'm really lucky, I may even get the next part of the Savage Worlds Deluxe review posted tonight too. That part will deal with the powers / spells section of the rules.

Its nice to see things returning to normal. Of course, I need to spend at least an hour or so when I get home demolishing that damn closet. It's getting there. I'm tearing down the "Old School" closet so I can build a "New School" closet. How ironic ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Why Do We Blog in This Corner of the Blogosphere?

Blogweb log: a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies; "postings on a blog are usually in chronological order". (source ordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

CommunityA feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals (source google.com)

Troll - (bold is added by me) In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory[citation needed], extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. (source Wikipedia)

I know this has been said to death, and everyone has been putting in their 2 cents in the past couple of days, but I need to say my little piece on the matter.  I don't have the prose of others, and as we've seen my poetry can be a bit forced, but I'm going to borrow a minute of your time anyhow.

Why are you here?  Why do you read these gaming blogs?  If you blog yourself, why do you blog?

Probably because you enjoy all of the above, or you wouldn't be doing it.  I highly doubt anyone is getting paid to read or write this stuff (not counting the lads and ladies that are actually publishing - heck, many of them aren't getting paid either).  No one is forcing you into the blogosphere.  You are here because you enjoy the community, the camaraderie, the attention to some extent, the joy of giving to others of yourself and your skills.

So why the fascination with shitting on people?  Not all of us.  Not most of us.  Way less then some of us.  The aberrant few.  The type that kicks puppies and tortures kittens.  The type that sets a fire, then waits for the fire department to respond and watch them put it out as they risk their lives.  The type that would rather watch someone trapped in a car accident then help - not out of fear for their own safety, but the joy of watching the suffering.  I've dealt with the above in my career, and they are not wired like normal folk.  

Online communities have the same types of aberrant individuals as normal communities, but in far larger numbers.  Anonymity.  It lowers inhibitions.  Those that would never act out on these impulses in their "real life" are more apt to do so online.  A "troll" in your community, amongst your neighbors, would not last long.  Online, "trolls" have the ability to regenerate like an AD&D Trolls of old.

Of course, online communities also allow those that are painfully shy to open up.  Anonymity.  It lowers inhibitions.  

The blade cuts both ways.

If this were a forum, a strong hand by moderators would keep the "flame wars" and "trolls" under control.  In this community, the OSR Blogging Community, there is only us.  

We are not friends, at least not most of us.  Online acquaintances at best.  But we share a hobby and a community.  A good, healthy community pays dividends on a daily basis.  I'd like to think this is a good, healthy community.

K, done preaching.  Off my soapbox.  Carry on, nothing to see here!

Organizing The Disorganized Way

I really have way too much gaming material that I've accumulated over the years. More then I even realized, as I have it spread out in 3 rooms and a corner of the basement. Truth to tell, I forgot about the stuff in the basement until this past saturday. I went looking for a fan and low and behold, I found my stash of 3e gold (or fool's gold, depending on the publisher).

I also found a bag of Genesis games, which I promptly trashed (yea, I could eBay it but its not worth the hassle). I also realized my son has his computer graveyard in the same corner. I think I'll to start going thru stuff in the coming weeks. It's a good thing I just ordered a dozen office file boxes. I just need to empty out that basement corner so I can start organizing before the fiancé realizes the amount of crap I have and orders a purge ;)

I am NOT organized by nature. Surprise surprise... heh.

Still, the next stage of renovations is me putting in two rooms worth of flooring. I need to organize before I can start that, and the stuff shipped today. I can finish demolishing a closet in the heat, or I can organize crap in the cool basement. Tough one. I need room for my game collection, so I guess I do both.

I need another vacation ;)
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