Friday, August 26, 2016

Hooting with Strahd

Assorted Stuff:
  • The novel is progressing slowly but, while that pace is frustrating, I realized the other night that I'm really enjoying seeing it take shape. It's nice to feel like I'm doing the right thing.
  • I might be running a Halloween session of D&D. One of my friends asked me to because her boyfriend has never played and is eager to try it out. Of course, there's a more-than-fair chance it'll never happen. I found a cool low-level setting from Curse of Strahd to use for the Halloweeny stuff. I figure I should also make sure there's an opportunity for a little bit of dungeon crawling just so he'll know how that goes. I like how the book is useful for that kind of thing even if you don't run the whole campaign.
  • We played another session of the Scrap Pile campaign last weekend and are supposed to play D&D this weekend. Gaming is good.
  • I went to a fun David Bowie tribute concert and had a margarita with jalapenos in it. Okay, yeah, I actually had two.
  • Our water heater crapped out and took forever to replace, but it's back now.
  • I'm gonna try to get The Fire Within out to game stores for December. And that reminds me, another of my friends is opening his own game store in Cleveland. I'll post again with a link when there's more info available.
  • I'm running some stuff at Carnage in November but I haven't worked on any of it. I'm not even sure when my events are, anymore. I didn't think to write down what I submitted because, usually, they send me an email. That didn't happen this year. I'm sure it'll come together somehow. There's still plenty of time.
And now here's Dazzler fighting Galactus:

Friday, August 05, 2016

Gen Con Nostalgia

This is the first Gen Con I've missed since I started going in 2004.

I might go back next year. I don't know. The convention has become so grotesquely bloated that I wonder if it's worth it. I suppose there's a chance it is. Every one of the previous years has built more great memories, housing lottery or no.

On the other hand, I've had the house to myself since Tuesday, which has been therapeutic. And productive. I worked my way past a block that was annoying me on Gorgudai and, when it was time to take a break, I started drawing a more presentable version of the map. I might still hire somebody to draw an artsier version, but this is at least something I could put on the web page eventually. Mostly I was just playing around.

Anyway, here are some pictures from Gen Cons past:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Qalidar RPG: Supplement 1 and Fire

I had almost given up on this one. A while back, I decided that, instead of working towards a big "complete" Qalidar book, I was going to continue to expand on the Basic book. The first order of business, naturally, would be to add in the rules that had had been left out, most importantly the remaining level progressions, but also the complete chapter on organizations. I also wanted to give it a theme, because that stuff sounds kind of dry all by itself. Part of my plan for the complete Qalidar book was that the intelligent species would each have their own section instead of being mixed in with the miscellaneous critters section, so I decided to use one of those for the theme. I was always fond of the Stardust, so I picked them.

But, after an initial burst of progress, it kind of languished for a long time. Eventually, I stopped considering it a project I was working on and moved it off to a nebulous, "maybe someday" category.

Lately, I've been feeling a bit more energetic. I'm not sure why that is, or how long it will last, but I figure I'd better do what I can with it. Even so, I had been leaving this project on the back burner -- the way, way, way back burner. Last week, though, I ran into a bit of a block working on something else. Instead of watching TV or taking a walk or something, I dug up The Fire Within and started plugging away.

Eventually, this happened.

The next time I get writer's block, I'm thinking maybe I'll do a "monster" book. How bout Qalidar Qritters for the title? Maybe something less whimsical? We'll see.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dance Hall Days

I was listening to this song waxing nostalgic about "Dance Hall Days" when it got to "take your baby by the ears and play upon her darkest fears," and I suddenly remembered why I never felt comfortable dancing! It all goes back to some asshole at a junior high social grabbing my ear and whispering about how all my teachers next year were going to be Burgess Meredith.

Thursday, July 07, 2016


I dumped the G+ comments option and went back to regular Blogger comments. It's unfortunate that the comments made while it was in G+ mode got dropped, but oh well. It just didn't feel like it was worth the fuss.

Monday, June 20, 2016

All This Stuff

Back from Origins, although it was kind of drive-by conventioneering for me, this time. I didn't do much.

Even after cancelling Gen Con, I was a little short on vacation time this year, so I had to wait until Friday to head down to Origins. I had planned to run several events, and then cancelled them all. I heard later that people were still able to sign up for them, so my apologies to anyone who was disappointed.

There are a couple of things I've never liked about running convention games. The first is pre-gens. One of the games I was running was a Cypher System one, and, despite a number of ways in which this game is fantastically easy to prep, making characters for people to play is fidgety and time-consuming.

The other thing I don't like is teaching people how to play the game. Nobody ever knows how to play the damn game. Sure, most real gamers know how d20 variants work, but anything else is a struggle. The last time I ran Cypher, the general alien-ness of the expendable attribute pools took what seemed like an eternity to get through, and of course I had to explain every single cypher to them. The game itself was a lot of fun, once everybody (sort of) knew how to play but, when you're GM'ing at conventions, that despicable boulder rolls back to the bottom of the hill with every new session.

So yeah, this time I just couldn't stand the thought of it. I don't know where that leaves me for the future. I've been in kind of a mood lately, so maybe it'll pass and none of this will be a thing. It was a nice trip anyway. I think Origins will make an acceptable replacement for the morbidly obese Gen Con, if I end up needing a replacement.

Oh, and I bought some stuff and got a few other things in trade. Here's the loot I came home with:

Sunday, May 22, 2016


I think the worst of my addictions is my addiction to noise.

If I need to keep coffee flowing like the Spice, I'm in good company. If I use alcohol to get through social situations and I like to have a drink at the end of the day, who cares? If I sit down to relax or work and immediately turn the TV on for some background chatter, though, that can trip me up.

If the place is quiet, and my mind drifts, I reflexively conjure something to fill the void. Mostly, it's silly, useless stuff that I never even write down, but it's still my brain being creative. If my mind drifts with the TV chattering, though, it just drifts to the show and goes passive. Bad, bad, weak brain.

I'm not sure why it's so hard to break, considering that I love the results when I do, but it is.