Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adult Gaming Products

I'll have a new critter up for the weekly feature tomorrow, but there's some news from Peryton Publishing that I thought I'd go ahead and share. Here's a quote direct from the web page:
This week, Peryton Publishing will be releasing its latest role-playing innovation, the Adult Series: RPG scenarios for the Pathfinder RPG and FUDGE rules system for unadulterated mature entertainment. Authors Ken St. Andre, Tom "Kopf" Loney, Hugh J. Hefner and Christine "Columbo" Crabb have thrust their long pens and juicy creative fluids into these tightly written portals to steamy, titillating adventure. With the art of S.Z. Crompton, Marcus DeParamour and Nigel Lowslo, we're proud to bring you some of the the finest R-rated and X-rated D&D scenarios ever designed.
For the full story, click here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reanimatrix Redux

Wayback Machine to the rescue! The years-dead Dunwich Herald site is now undead, allowing me to link to a couple of the old articles listed on my freelance writing page. Others were buried too far under the Antarctic ice for even Wayback to retrieve, and of course there's no help for the deadbeat Book of Exodi, but hey, check out the "Cup of Happy" article. I'm still kinda proud of that one. And of course I can't help but pat myself on the back for the line, "Wal-Mart, like most corporations, has been accommodating hairy toad-beasts in its offices and meeting rooms for a long time," in the Wal-Mart article.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Friday Creature Feature: Bloodbeard

Here's another critter from Qalidar converted to Peryton RPG as part of my slow progress towards restoring that setting to the game for which it should always have been written. And hey, special bonus, I've added the never-before-seen beard fungus mechanic to make it new and improved. See, sometimes you do get good stuff for free! Well, fungus anyway.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

About That Doctor Who Campaign

We're still playing. Not as often as I hoped, but just the fact that we've managed to get together on something approximating a monthly interval is good news for this group. I may start doing regular session logs again. Or not. Haven't decided. I've been kind of busy.

In case you were wondering, our heroes discovered that the Editor probably is a Time Lord, although Alan is convinced that he's from an alternate reality. He lost "the greater part of [his] past" when the Time War was locked, but was not fully trapped because of his "temporally distributed" cybernetic consciousness. How this might fit in with the story of the near-identical guy from "The Long Game" has yet to be addressed because the characters didn't see that episode.

They have since foiled the Editor's attempt to punch a hole through a string of alternate realities with a zygma (yes, that's how it's spelled) beam, commandeered his time capsule (yeah, I tried - unsuccessfully - to fight the inevitable tendency to call it a TARDIS) met my version of the cybermen and helped them defeat some of the walking tank cybermen from the show, tracked down a criminal from the group they were helping, and they're in the middle of trying to stop multiple Editors from constructing a "temporal lynchpin" which would cause a-bad-thing-that-hasn't-been-fully-revealed.

One thing I've discovered: the trick to making adventure after adventure feel more like an episode of the show, and avoiding the dungeon-crawl-ish sequence of "explore maze, find bad guy, kill bad guy, collect treasure, repeat" seems to be non-player characters - lots of quirky, chatty, non-adversary (although often morally ambiguous) NPC's with stories of their own. I'm finding that this is where most of my prep time goes anymore, and it seems to be a good investment. Once the extras are introduced, the story sort of twists and turns and solves itself in all kinds of ways that I couldn't have predicted. I suppose this wouldn't work so well with crappy players who just want their non-player allies to carry the lantern, but luckily I haven't had that problem.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Anonymous TSR Employee

I came across this little bit of gaming history from 1997 on the Wayback Machine. Never mind what I was doing.
Hi. I'm a TSR employee. At this time, I wish to remain anonymous. I have a few things to say about the possible upcoming buyout of TSR by Wizards Of The Coast. For the most part, I and the other TSR employees think that this will be a good thing. Many of the WotC staff members are AD&D gamers...
Click here for the rest.
Did it ever came out who this was? Or, for that matter, was it a single person at all? Don't get me wrong; I find it easy to believe that TSR-staffers felt this way. It's just that this wasn't something that popped up on a forum or a blog comment or even got mailed to a newspaper (Or was it? I suppose it's possible that they clipped it from some other publication after the fact.). It was posted on the company website, presumably with the knowledge and approval of lots of other people.

So anyway, I was thinking that maybe several people got together and wrote this up as a group, or maybe that it was just a public relations release, or maybe it really was just one person who wrote this up and gave it to the webmaster or whoever. Anybody know?

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

The Rosicrucian

I was poking through bits of Shelley's work earlier today, mining the web for quotes, when I came across an interesting piece of information about my favorite poet: he wrote a couple of Gothic novels early in his career. Why didn't I know this? The first one, Zastrozzi, didn't really grab me, although I may come back to it later and give it more of a chance. The second one, though, has an alchemist! It's called St. Irvyne; or, The Rosicrucian. I looked around and, sure enough, the book was available cheaply in electronic format. Check out this opener:
Red thunder-clouds, borne on the wings of the midnight whirlwind, floated, at fits, athwart the crimson-coloured orbit of the moon; the rising fierceness of the blast sighed through the stunted shrubs, which, bending before its violence, inclined towards the rocks whereon they grew: over the blackened expanse of heaven, at intervals, was spread the blue lightning's flash; it played upon the granite heights, and, with momentary brilliancy, disclosed the terrific scenery of the Alps, whose gigantic and mishapen summits, reddened by the transitory moon-beam, were crossed by black fleeting fragments of the tempest-clouds. The rain, in big drops, began to descend, and the thunder-peals, with louder and more deafening crash, to shake the zenith, till the long-protracted war, echoing from cavern to cavern, died, in indistinct murmurs, amidst the far-extended chain of mountains. In this scene, then, at this horrible and tempestuous hour, without one existent earthy being whom he might claim as friend, without one resource to which he might fly as an asylum from the horrors of neglect and poverty, stood Wolfstein;--
Even if you're one of those shriveled snobs who titters at "dark and stormy nights" like Beavis and Butthead upon spotting a fragmentary curse word, you've got to admit, this is the kind of language that transforms ink on a page into free-based fantasy. Okay, okay. I realize that, if you're one of the aforementioned snobs, you won't admit anything of the sort, but you should.

Anyway, finding an unknown novel by an author I love about a topic that fascinates me - that's like something out of dream! I've got some serious writing to get done, but I allowed myself a couple of hours with this fantastic new toy to warm myself up. I always do better work after I've been reading thick and chewy old school prose anyway.

Oh, and then I did some blogging, but now I'm going to get to work! Really!

After dinner. I mean, I gotta eat sometime, you know?