Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Enclave

I stumbled across this place while I was walking to pick up the car yesterday. There's a fairly major intersection, with one distinctly smaller and homier road that goes off to the west. Right past another ordinary crossroads, the neighborhood street dead-ends at the entrance to this cemetery. I had been close enough to it before to know it was there, but I figured, despite the enticing entrance, it was still just gonna be a cemetery.

Yesterday was a nice day, though, and I had plenty of time to get where I was going. I walked through the gate and was immediately flanked by pine trees. They were all pretty old, and one of them was really striking, towering over all the other trees. Ordinary pine trees might not be as seductive for other people as they are for me. I grew up around them, playing in forests carpeted with brown needles and pine cones instead of crumpled up leaves. In my twenties, I moved off to other places with mostly hardwoods so, to me, pine trees are youth and wide-eyed exploration. Pine trees are magic.

Beyond that, there was an odd assortment of other trees and, of course, graves. I didn't spend a lot of time looking at headstones. The names wouldn't mean much to me, and, while I wasn't in a hurry, I did eventually have someplace to be. It wasn't really the history that drew me in, anyway.

It was a little bit cloudy, and, while the cemetery itself doesn't have a thick canopy, the occasional shaded nook offered patches of luxurious twilight. The busy street was not even a quarter mile away and there were houses even closer, but somehow I felt the kind of wide-open emotional freedom I usually only feel alone, at two or three in the morning.
Am I being morbid here, going on about a cemetery? I don't think so. My mind certainly wasn't on death, or even much on dead people, beyond occasionally wondering about the story behind an interesting stone. At the back, my path turned into a small loop around a big one with several smaller stones around it. It looks like just a monument or something to identify the area but, as far as I can tell, these are actual graves.
Past that, the property ended at a metal fence and a sharp dropoff into a narrow valley. This isn't a great picture, but shooting between links in the fence didn't give me a lot of options, and I didn't like any of the shots that included the fence. I really wanted to climb over and take off into that valley. It felt like somebody glued a piece of home onto the back of this otherwise flat neighborhood. It was the exclamation point at the end of all the little things that made this enclave feel so disjointed.
Of course, for all I knew, somebody nearby owned that valley and would blow my head off with a shotgun for trespassing. Plus, I did have an errand to complete, so I went back the way I came. I half expected the gate to transport me to a foreign country, or a century in the future or something, but nope, it was the same old afternoon in the same old town.

I wonder if I should go back.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Gamed Out

I've got so many regular games going (and I'm running two of them) that it was dominating my weekends, so I'm taking a break for the rest of October. Partly this is so I can get my events for Carnage ready, but that won't take all that much time. I think the other part is that I just need to clear my head a little bit so I can write more.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Gen Con 2017: FIFTY!

So yeah, that whole, "not going to Gen Con anymore" thing didn't stick, and I'm glad it didn't. Nothing else is Gen Con. I had been a little anxious about the fact that they sold so many badges that they actually ran out, but the crowds didn't seem any worse than usual, so I guess they managed it well.

Friday, August 04, 2017

New Goal

Complete rough draft by the end of the year. Preferably sooner. Normally I write very deliberately and don't have to do a lot of revision. I think I need to take a different approach to really get going again.

I can do this.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Argle Bargle

Work on The Nameless Way has been sluggish lately. I'm still putting in my time every day, but I seem to spend a lot of it staring at the screen. Maybe I'm stressed about Gen Con, which promises to be a zoo this year. Maybe I'm stressed about other stuff. Maybe stress has nothing to do with it. I'll keep plugging away. I am still creeping forward, after all, and I need this book.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Qalidar Qritter Qatalog

The Qalidar Qritter Qatalog has been released. It'll be in stores in a few months, but you can get it on DriveThru and Amazon now.

Anyway, once upon a time, there was the 2013 Pre-Release Edition of Qalidar: Resistance. It was somewhat hastily assembled, but it was the complete game as it existed at the time. All the character stuff, all the rules stuff, all the setting stuff, all the monster stuff. My original intent was to build the final release of the game on the same model, and put out a "quick-start" in the meantime, possibly with a Kickstarter once the additional writing was done. Part of this final project was that major sentient "monsters" would each have a profile section with technology, organizations, the whole deal, instead of just an entry under a stat block.

Other stuff happened and I needed to put it all on hold, so I took down the "quick-start" and replaced it with the Basic book. That book is limited to fifth level, but otherwise it's a full, playable game. I figured that would do for a while.

Time passed. I had another idea. I was, by then, certain that I would never want the crowd-funding chain around my ankle. I also had another project going which was much more important, and putting together a big ole game book would be too much of a distraction. The other thing was, I thought it would be nice if the people who bought Qalidar Basic could consider it a step towards the whole game, instead of just a disposable intro pamphlet.

That brings us up to The Fire Within. I figured I could use those species profile sections I was talking about to frame individual supplements. I was also thinking of using them to zero in on pieces of the setting. Anyway, for that one I went with the Stardust. Most of the book, to be honest, is taken up by character-building stuff and expanded rules for organizations. There was a lot of that crunchy stuff that didn't make it into Basic, but needed to be published. It still gave me a concept for the title and the cover, though, and the section that really is about fire people is pretty cool.

I'm not sure I'm ever going to write those other profiles. I don't spend anywhere near as much time on game design as I used to. I still have all the original monsters, though. I put a lot into them, before their book got pushed aside, and they've just been sitting here on my hard drive since then. Some of them weren't even in the preview edition. I always felt like, without all the weird creatures, Qalidar wasn't really Qalidar.

So I crammed all the old monsters and the new monsters into one book and that's what we've got now.