My blog's evilness ==

This site is certified 38% EVIL by the Gematriculator

Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010? Why not!

One time I made a New Year's Resolution that I actually was able to keep. This was several New Yearses ago, but it was a resolution I was able to maintain for a long time: to whit, to read books constantly. It wasn't a huge stretch (as I'd given up TV and always had read a lot anyway), but it does stand as an actual resolution that I was able to actually implement - Hoorah!

One key to the successful resolution (indeed, just about any personal decision or goal) that I've found true in my own case is this - KEEP IT TO YOURSELF! The more people that know about it, the harder it becomes to keep. Makes for a pretty boring blog entry though... so I'll try to come up with my public gaming-related resolutions for shits & giggles...

1. Finish the translation of Epées & Sorcellerie by Nicolas Dessaux into human-readable english. A really wonderful game that languishes in a pseudo-english Babelfish form - Nico has continued to produce some fantastic output (Searchers of the Unknown being among my favorite games of 2009), but I'd still love for E&S to be appreciated by a wider audience.

2. Pimp Tunnels and Trolls. The Outlaw Press Fiasco really seemed to galvanize a number of us T&T fans to mush our brains together and get material out. I've got a T&T game scheduled at a local convention in February - maybe some of those folks will be interested in continuing to game with it...

3. The no-brainer resolution: to get an actual group of actual people to actually sit down and play some damn games this year! Pretty much all of my gaming in 2009 was via Internet. I'm glad - it's been a gods-send to play again at all - but the table-top's a'callin'

4. I gotta get some Zocchi dice. 4 real.

5. Massive dungeon and hexmap drawing. Another no-brainer, already spending a lot of free-time doing this.

6. Finishing my submissions for OSRIC's Dangerous Dungeons supplement by February.

7. Get myself (my hook/crook) out to the NTRPG convention.

Is that enough for now? I think so.

2009 was a pretty awesome year, and I have you of the blogosphere and forumlands to thank for that. Looking forward to seeing Swords & Wizardry on game store shelves, Planet Algol on my own shelves, and I will make one prediction (with my fingers crossed): World of Thool revival - the ruined domes shake, the winds shift in the sandy wastes, the pools of slime bubble and ooze back to life (I've just mutated a third arm so that I have more fingers to cross...)

2010's gonna be good! Happy new year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Step away from the computer...

I'll be offline for a week, so I thought I'd offer all you RPG wackos my hopes that you enjoy (or endure if you're like me) the holidays. Take care!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keep On Fightin' On!

Looks like the new issue of Fight On! has been taken off simmer and served up.
If you are looking to get it and save 10%, you can enter HUMBUG at checkout. This issue's dedicated to M. A. R. Barker and looks to have quite a bit of Tekumel content to it. (It also has some spells I penned - hence, my obligatory shilling)

Go Git It!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fates worse than death

When I started getting back into gaming (say 2004), I went in head-first with my collection of Rolemaster books clutched tightly. Managed to convince a couple of my friends who'd never played to give it a shot, and honestly, it went pretty well for a couple of sessions - in that we were having fun.

The PC's came from a town on a lake. In the middle of the lake was a ancient magical gate which was held closed by three arcane brotherhoods, as it had in past times been used as a passage for horrible demons of the Void.

Ooops! Go figure - the first session began with something going wrong with the gate! One of the brotherhoods had become corrupted, and the town could no longer be guaranteed safe - and so, the PC's were given the task (by the non-corrupted Orders) of securing a tower in the wilderness nearby - in case the unthinkable happened, and control was totally lost.

As far as the 'story' goes, it is secondary to this post, sorry. The long and short of it is this: they go and get to the tower and explore the weirdness of it, and find that some of the local denizens have claimed it (Gratar - nasty toad-men). In battling against the Gratar, one of the PCs (a big trollish fighting machine of a character) receives a fluke critical hit from a far inferior opponent. The result of this hit is a broken leg. The other characters help him back to the tower after the combat is ended, but this was to be the last session we played.

Conclusion: broken legs are worse than death.

I admit that I waffle on the simulationist/gamist axis - but find myself more and more sympathetic to the gamist side when it comes to things like this. Two months of (game) time spend knitting bones is kinda a drag (assuming no MacGuffin Inc. Super Healing Wands are available...). I love the detail of systems like Rolemaster, but that night, when the percentiles came up with a broken bone, you could feel the 'fun' rush out of the room. I would have honestly rather had the roll come up double zero and present some hideous insta-death effect - there. Done. The character's dead. End of story.

Obviously there's a couple of 'solutions' here - use something other than Rolemaster, fudge the healing rules, ignore the 'unfun' effects, etc... but the general conclusion I've come to is that lingering game-mechanic effects of realistic wounds are kinda a drag.

I'm playing in a game of 1st edition Tunnels and Trolls right now, and two of my companions have recently lost appendages to horrible noxious slime attack. Sucks, yes. But it was handled really well in the sense of - OK - cauterize the wounds, get a fake foot and a hook to replace the lost hand, AND KEEP PLAYING! No weeks or months of convalescence - No "realistic" save vs. blood loss and shock, etc. This is the way to do it in my opinion. Facts are still facts (in the logic of the game) - Drugan's got a wooden foot and Melanthios has a hook instead of a hand - but these facts do not import a bundle of realistic assumptions that would detract from getting down to the playing of a game.

I like that.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Solo Playtest 7

from 6D(Timeshadows)

Help Kragn
As you rush to the fore, you suddenly realize that something is wrong. Make a L1 SR on LK (oof! rolled 1,2 - fail).
As you turn away, the now invisible merchant manages to sink his knife deep into your back... the scavengers of the hills will feed well tonight!

Sorry about the bad roll there... (especially after the dalay) I'll get some more sections up for play pretty soon - thanks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trollbridge storefront on Lulu

Not good at announcements...So, instead, I'll just blather on about things as per usual.

I've started a Lulu Group storefront in order to make fan product material for Tunnels & Trolls available. I've started it, but it is not mine alone. I don't know how to explain exactly how this came about, as it was more-or-less an emotional reaction to the recent Outlaw Press fiasco, followed by some further research.* But the result is that members of Vin's Trollbridge will always have an outlet for material they produce,** and there's such a wide variety of ever-changing (and persistent) AWESOME there... members of the Bridge, along with other authors that produce T&T material on Lulu.

There's debate about whether this venue is the best choice out of all the options around, and it may be that the store front is torn down and rebuilt somewhere else someday - as it is a grassroots venture, there's not telling what will happen... but for now, this can serve as a waypoint for distribution. I don't expect that there will be a whole lot available before the beginning of next year - but there are two very good free PDF solo adventures available right now (by Trollbridger jongjungbu), and more may trickling up. We are also gathering our resources and planning some regular periodical publications.

So, yeah, not good at announcements. Thanks for reading!

* I will try to provide summary for those interested. It is with mixed feelings, because Outlaw Press has been the biggest 'market-presence' for Tunnels and Trolls for a while, arguably the most meaningful one... so this episode has produced both anger at the responsible party and the fear of watching a house of cards we've visited crumble... so anyway -

- Someone gets on RPGnet questioning the art attribution on a product put out by Outlaw Press. Starts here.
- That thread continues to grow, wherein a WHOLE LOT of the art comes under scrutiny. Some of the artists take note and post also, claiming that they had no idea their art was being used. Last page as of (Dec. 2)
- When I say a WHOLE LOT, I mean a WHOLE DAMN LOT - like almost everything! I spent a week watching this thing grow and grow, the revelations become more and more damning... ugh - court of public opinion, etc, etc - I've never submitted anything to Outlaw Press because I disliked the copyright policy - and never had anything of mine stolen by him (that I know of!), so I have no dog in the race.
- There's more hijinx (to be vanilla) that Outlaw has pulled over the last few years, and I'd like to reserve this space for a future edit of a hyperlink list.
- While this is going on, other people who've felt that Outlaw Press had taken liberties with their material came forward and talked about it - and research on the boards and such showed that they'd often brought these issues up at the times they occurred... much gnashing of fangs, pulling of forelocks, etc. The event becomes a kind of a wake up call...

** I dread words like 'always' and 'never'. The assumptions here are 1.) as long as lulu's around 2.) as long as the Trollbridge stands 3.) as long as the internet holds up and 4.) as long as we all can keep our gentleman's agreement to never utter the name of That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named (that's Hastur, btw...).