Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stonesky Delve

Just finished all the character hand-outs for the Stonesky Delve tourney at Gen Con this year. Takes quite a bit of time to get 10 PCs written up on the old goldenrod-style character sheets. Thanks to the Mad Irishman for his sheets!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Advanced Adventures - Down the Shadowvein

The 1e adventure, Down the Shadowvein, is 7k words in the bag as of today. I've only described the general area and 1 location in detail, so it's looking as if it may turn into a long adventure, or perhaps even a two-part series. For those who do not know, Down the Shadowvein is a continuation of Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom. That excellent adventure by Matt Finch featured an underground river called the Shadowvein. I'm fleshing out the underworld downriver in a D1-D2-D3 fashion.

And having a blast doing it. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old-School Thoughts

A thread popped up at Dragonsfoot concerning the idea of the clones fracturing the gaming community. I'm going to include my response below, as I think its integral to my creation of Sorcery & Super Science as well as our Advanced Adventures line. Bluntly, once the creation is out of my hand and into your game - you are the only authority on what exists or happens. The game is yours, not mine.

My honest response is because the clones do not fracture the gaming community a bit. Most of them can easily be seen as "codified house-rules" that appeal to those who play them. If someone tells me they're playing OSRIC, I hear "I'm playing 1E with X specific alterations." If someone tells me they're playing Labyrinth Lord, I hear "I'm playing Basic with X specific alterations." If someone tells me they're playing Swords & Wizardry, I hear "I'm playing Oe with X specific alterations." A clone does not fracture the community any more than any other set of house-rules and I expect every single house to have their own set of house-rules already.

To me, if it seems as if the clones are fracturing the community, I'd postulate that the community is instead choosing to fracture itself using the clones as an excuse. I believe the real issue of much of the "fracturing of the community because of the clones" is actually based upon concerns of gaming authority as opposed to actual game-related issues. Since we all believe that each of us has the right, or perhaps even the responsibility, to alter his home game as dictated by the GM's and player's wishes, a 1e game played as OSRIC plays has no difference at the table, or in the community, than a game of by-the-book OSRIC. The only difference is in authority - who's name is on the book and which company published it. The play at the table is the same.

Personally, when it comes to rpg gaming, I don't care about authority. Authority gets thrown away the minute the game gets played. All the authority rests in the GM and the players of that individual game, so I don't care what the book title says - I care about how the game plays.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I wish I was an artist

Al Hajarah, Yemen

I wish I was an artist. I would have so much fun with cartography from the many awesome places that really exist. Translating something like this into a gaming environment would be very nice indeed.

Paper and Pencil

When I design, I design on paper first. Although I have many technological advancements at my fingertips, many of which that will be used later when bringing a manuscript up to publishing quality, I always start with a blank piece of graph or hex paper, a pencil, and a set of dice handy.

These are games playable with paper and pencil, after all. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Creative Process

I don't talk much about my creative process, but here's a wee bit. A dream I had last night - a dream that's going to be a great old-school adventure.

Long before there was a material plane, a winged serpent flew through the ethereal - a serpent of unimaginable size, a serpent of an age older than that of the ethereal itself. A great serpent, immune to all trials and travails excepting time itself. At the moment of death, it spoke a single word, the only word it had ever spoken in its ageless eons: begin.

As death claimed the great winged serpent, it's body sundered into thousands of millions of pieces - each fleshy piece covered with the blood of the mighty serpent. Its scales too scattered throughout the ether, some landing upon the bloody surfaces of the pieces of the serpent.

And thus, the material plane was born, from the flesh of a gigantic winged serpent. Planets from it's flesh, oceans from its blood, and upon the lucky planets, scales. For the scales of the serpent contained its intelligence, power, and life essence, and over uncounted ages the scales seeded those lucky planets with life.

Some say these gigantic scales still float upon the sea, magnificent intelligent islands of creation. Islands that control every aspect of their living terrain. Islands that test those who land upon their shores - test them to see if they are worthy of the life bestowed upon them by an eld serpent from eons prior.

I think I'm going to have fun with this one - The Floating Isle Quhultassyth. It'll be a tough write, but something that I believe will be worth it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Stonesky Delve arrives

Just got Advanced Adventures #15: Stonesky Delve from the printer. It's the tourney adventure for this year's Gen Con 1st edition tourney. Once we're back from Gen Con, I'll go up for sale, but until then only I have my grubby paws upon it. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The House of Blue Men finished.

Finished The House of Blue Men and work begun upon The Scourge of the Mall Rats. Suzi'll be running this adventure at GenCon, but the published version is going to be quite different. I've found that running a quick one-shot doesn't always provide enough umph! for a published adventure, so the published version contains a lot more information. Both are great, but the published one will be playable over a longer period than just 4 hours.

Also did more work on old school stuff for a as-yet-revealed project. It's not an adventure, it's not a monster book, it's not a setting book, and it's not new player-oriented stuff. I'm having a blast writing it and once a few bits and bobs are tied down, I'll announce it. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sorcery & Super Science ready for Pre-Orders

We're now taking pre-orders for Sorcery & Super Science at our website! I'm pleased as punch that this one is almost out the door. It's been quite the labor of love for me and I hope you all like it and play the hell out of it. Also, we've $4 sale on all our 4e products (Freeport and Nevermore are $10) at our website this month as well.

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