Showing posts from July, 2011

Getting ready for GenCon and my month long sojourn back to the States

Yesterday was my birthday and I had a great time with my family and friends grilling out and enjoying their company. It is kind of bittersweet as I'll be leaving for GenCon and taraveling about the States visiting family and working. During that time I'll be away from Daisey and the kids. I've done an extensive amount of traveling in my life and leaving my family for more than a few days is never really easy. But GenCon is sure to be fun and going to Florida and spending some time with my 86 year old grandfather will be awesome. He's an amazing man and I'm looking forward to getting to spend some time with him. My Internet connections will probably be spotty and I'm sure much of my time will be otherwise consumed so I'm sure posting here will be sporadic. However, I'm on Google+ and that seems to be a bit more condusive to short updates so if you haven't already, add me to one of your circles and I'll do the same.

Happy Birthday Gary Gygax!

Yeah, I'll jump on the band wagon. But let's face it, some kids get a football when they are a kid or a guitar or whatever and that sets them down a certain path. I was given an AD&D Monster Manual and that has had a MASSIVE influence on my life. The only things that have come into my life that have even been close are my wife, kids, and punk rock, well and beer I suppose ;). At any rate, here's a toast to Gary. Keep rockin the dice all!

Maedsid Progress (Sea of O'Sr Adventure Path)

I never had the chance to play in an Arduin campaign. I've heard quite a few things (good and bad) about it over the years. I think I'm going to try and make a point of finding out a bit more about is at GENCON. For whatever reason, I've been stuck on this wacked out 70's vibe listening to stuff like Hawkind and other space rock stuff and 70's US punk like the Dead Boys and Richard Hell and watching Flash Gordon and other campy 70's sci-fi and fantasy. I'm not sure how much of that is currently informing my decisions I'm making about my Maedsid adventure, but I suspect reading Lovecraft and Moorcock and listening to crazy ass 70's rock is going to have some effect. I really wanting to look over the Arduin Grimoires while I'm gone and see what I think. Ah, who the hell knows. But anyways, I'm working on another map for Maedsid for one of the dimensional sublevels. I'm having fun. Floating arboral islands with open aired temple

So what are your GENCON plans?

I'm mostly hoping to meet some of you folks that I talk to here o the Interwebs and get in on a few ad hoc gaming sessions. I'd like to spend some time at the OSR booth chatting as well as wondering around the hall. This is my first major con so I'm not really sure what to expect. I'm really looking forward to getting a set of Zocchi dice. I ordered some, but hell, I just really want to check out the Game Science booth and pick out some as well as get a dice cup and some other accoutrements. For those of you going, look me up and chat!

Wired Geek Dad blog feature about some OSR projects

A nice little spotlight on our corner of the world today. Over at the Geek Dad blog, he mentions a couple of ways to get your name up in flashing lights in the RPG community . Like me, he is corrupting his son by involving him in various RPG projects ;). Adventurer Conquerer King and Fight On! are explicitly mentioned. Who knows, maybe oneday Bear Bingham will be on the rolls of RPG game designers/illustrators.

On OSR Compatability

I think one of the greatest strengths of this whole nebulous OSR thing is the willingness of folks involved to share ideas and broaden their scope to encompass other ideas all the while still giving full credit and homage to the idea originators. I say that is hella cool. James Raggi is working on a compatability license that lets folks create compatable material with is Lamentations of the Flame Princess game. You can read the preliminaries here . I'm also really excited by the similar but complimentary domain game systems coming out from CKatulik at Hill Cantons ( Borderlands ) and the Adventurer Conqueror King system from Autarch. Also check out the sort of combine forces approach for the domain games over at Hill Cantons here . As for me, I'm looking forward to how I can incorporate these ideas into my Shdows of the Umbra Palace Adventure Path (which also overlaps with the Sea of O'Sr adventure path via my Maedsid adventure). Speaking of Maedsid, I'm not an

Two weeks until GENCON!?!!?

Holy crap, that is coming up FAST! I'd hoped I be further along on a few things at this point, but oh well. I'm very much looking forward to getting some game time in and meeting people. This will be my first major convention ever so I'm not sure what to expect. Actually I have no expectations really I guess other than just to see what is out there and actually meet some of the gamer folk I communicate with online. Anything after that will be a bonus.

Maedsid Update (Sea of O'Sr Adventure Path)

So I'm at just a little over 8100 words. Five dimensions, eight new monsters. And I'm not even half through. I'm having fun and I hope when I do finally get done that others enjoy it. So far the gist is that a sect of druids, in their quest to get closer to their divinity and separate themselves from the world, inadvertantly weakened the fabric surrounding their most holy site and caused some beasties from other planes to get through. I'm going for a somewhat odd mixture here that I hope ultimately pulls together well. Think Celtic flavored druidic myth/legend meets Lovecraft meets Moorcock in a sort of crazy Keep on the Borderlands Caves of Chaos type setting that allows for further extrapolation by enterprising DMs. Yeah, well, we'll see. More to follow but back to work ;).

Advanced Adventures Riddle of Anadi for Sale

I am pretty pleased with the art on this one. You can read about it here . That is all ;).

Maedsid Progress (Sea of O'Sr Adventure Path)

So, Maedsid has definitely grown beyond what I had originally envisioned. So far there is the island proper with adventure sites as well a two level funerary mound (with four other-dimensional sub levels). It's coming out to have something on the order of 100 keyed locations as well as every creature being being unique to this adventure. So far I've detailed most of the first two levels of the funerary mound and am getting ready to start in on the other-dimensional sub levels. I'm thinking that it will be an adventure for 6-8 characters level 6-8. We'll see. Oh yeah, I still intend to release it for free (at least some version of it). I might do a version with art and the like and put it up on Lulu or something for sale at some point.

Ennie Awards Voting

I know that there was some grousing a couple of weeks back about the Ennies. I am pretty ambivalent myself, but awrds do have the tendency to raise awareness and that can only be a good theing for us old school gamers. Having said that, there are several old school publishers listed in the Best Publisher category to include Expeditious Retreat Press, Black Blade Publishing, Frog God Games, and Lamentations of the Flame Princess. You don't have to vote in every category and you don't have to vote for every item in every category. So if you just want to go and cast a single vote for Expeditious Retreat Press, then have at it. Here's the link .

On Druids (brief)

Just a couple of quick thoughts before I have to head out for work. One of the classes that I really was intrigued by in 1e AD&D was the druid. The whole Celtic preist thing really got me. And if I recall, not too many folks played them back at the time. After reading Dragon 119, I was totally hooked. I know most old schoolers revile Unearthed Arcana, but at the time I thought the whole idea of more level progression to the hierophant levels was a cool thing. At any rate, what is the current consensus on the druid class? I really didn't care for the whole animal pet thing found in the later editions.

Black Blade Publishing Imprint of OSRIC

I just got my Black Blade imprint of OSRIC in the mail today. I have the original version which is cool but the Black Blade version is a thing of beauty. James Smith over at The Underdark Gazette did a nice "unboxing" post on his blog with some good photos which you can see here . I did do quite a bit of artwork for OSRIC and it is interesting to see some of that work (now alomost six years on) and see how I've evolved from then to now as an artist. There's also losts of great new art by many other OSR artists in it too (so if you have the Lulu version, the new art is pretty damn keen if you're into that). I tend to vascilate between OD&D/Swords and Wizardry, BECMI/Labyrinth Lord and AD&D/OSRIC. I'll have to consult my newly forming gaming group and see what they would rather game with. I've been doing most of my adventure writing in Labyrinth Lord Advanced Edition Companion format so that might be the direction we go. In any event, if you

I think I'll just eat some pie

Wow, lots of crap slinging has been going on around the OSR Blogosphere. I am a bit saddened that Stephan Poag decided to not stick it out since the fun had been drained out of it. Well, as for me, I'm choosing to keep it light and just kick back and have some pie and put some adventure ideas together for my soon to be formed game group! I hope to be back at the DM helm when I get back from GENCON. I hope all's well with everyone else!

Destination Unknown

I sure hope Christian of Destination Unknown is simply taking a hiatus. I really enjoyed hearing about his zine, his game groups, and the different happenings. I know that when you are simply trying to have fun and share with like minded people and some purile, garbage mouthed yob who hides behind anonymity comes along and makes personal attacks sure can take the fun out of it. So, Christian, keep having fun and I hope at some point you'll be back on filling us in on the happenings in SoCal.

Vornheim: A Review

So, I'm the kinda guy who likes quirky stuff. I listen to 70's and 80's punk and protopunk and postpunk. I like to watch Ray Harryhousen movies. I thought Amazon Women on the Moon and UHF are hilarious. I love indie and experiemental comics by guys you've probably heard of like Robert Crumb and Harvey Pekar and stuff by guys you might not have heard of like Brad Jones and Archer Prewitt. So why am I telling you all of this? Because Vornheim by Zak S. Of I Hit it with my Axe and Playing D&D with Porn Stars fame has put together a quirky little city supplement called Vornheim: The Complete City Kit . Vornheim is a slim, hard back book published by Lamentations of the Flame Princess (James Raggi). Vornheim is digest size with b&w interior. The cover has a removable dust jacket that has a map of Vornheim on the inside and a set of instructions to use the charts on the front and back covers of the book. Yeah, pretty much every surface is designed to be us

Pork Products and Prepping for my Vornheim Review

So, Vornheim is one of those products that is not the usual RPG book. I feel like it deserves something a bit different. The key of Vornheim is to actually USE it in crafting your adventures. Zak S has put together a unique experience from city building. So after spending the day in Padova at the botanical gardens and looking at street art, I came home to my grill - my demense to read through Vornheim ( check out my wife's blog for my Vornheim read through ). Vornheim is not a big book. Only 64 pages. But you know what? Those 64 pages are packed FULL. And so is the cover. And the Dust jacket. Random tables and charts, strange characters and locales, and snakes as books. Brilliant. "But I'm not here to bore you with that," to steal a quote from the book. No, I'm going to actually use this tool to build a city and then review the book based on the experience. At any rate, based on the read through, this is great stuff. But being a good read and a use

Hey Hey I Want Some Chinese Take Away Cause I'm the Joker in the Pack!

The kids are both outta school, folks are starting to go on vacation, headed to the beach this weekend.... summer is here!!! I remember being a kid and having long all night sessions playing D&D, Marvel FASERIP, Top Secret, Risk, Axis and Allies, etc. I'll have to break out Dungeon sometime this weekend and play a game with Bear. We're off to Padova today to see the botanical gardens and then back home so I can grill out some sausage and pork ribs. Later I'll do some more work on Maedsid and then watch Exit Through the Gift Shop about the Street artist Banksy. Nothing like an awesomely beautiful day, some pork on the grill, hot punk rock on the iPod, a game book in one hand and a cold pilsner in the other. I woke up with some Adicts tunes going through my head. One of my favorite punk bands. Have a great weekend and have a fun and safe 4th for my American friends!!

Weekly Creature Feature: Kulakir

Here's another creature that I'm working on for Isle of Maedsid. This one has its inspiration in Moorcock's work to add a bit of Swords and Sorcery feel to Maedsid. I've got an idea sort of similar to Keep on the Borderlands with a few different races that are fighting some running battles inside Maedsid. Anyway, as per all my creatures, the Kulakir is designated Open Game Content. Name: Kulakir No. Enc: 3d4 Alignment: Chaotic Movement: 60’ (20’) Armor Class: 7 Hit Dice: 5 Attacks: 2 Damage: 1d8, 1d8 (or by weapon type) Save: F5 Morale: 9 Hoard Class: XVII Description: Kulakir are a degenerate bestial race that was once common but went extinct with the rise of man (or so it is believed). Kulakir are a horrific combination of both baboon and raptor. They possess the savage visage of a baboon with a crest of feathers resembling a fish eagle. They possess the hands of a primate and the great, gouging talons of a bird of prey. A

Ouch!!! How to stop the bleedding?!?!? Free OSR Adventure on the way I promise!!!

I just noticed that I lost several followers today. I haven't been as active in the blogosphere lately due to the fact that I've been focusing all of my normal blog time to working on Isles of Maedsid. So, I'm hoping that I don't lose my entire following before I'm finished. Oh, did I mention that I intend for a free electronic release to include maps and illustrations. It's a Labyrinth Lord/Advanced Edition Companion release but it should fare well for adapting to most other Old School ruleset. Maedsid is also populateded by many entirely new (and open game content monsters) as well. I'm not going to say you won't be disappointed (because some folks just have strange tastes you know), but hell, if nothing else I hope you find some interesting nuggets in there. Besides, can't go wrong with free right? So bear with me, I intend on doing a sort of barebones release prior to me leaving for GENCON. I hope to meet and more importantly GAME with som