Sometimes you just have to get away from the internet for a while - at least, sometimes I do. Otherwise I begin to get obsessive (in a less-than-optimally-healthy way) - so I've had a blog-sabbatical, and I feel refreshed. Got back to reading real books, and man did I get some good ones - Moorcock's Byzantium Endures, the first book of The Black Company, M. A. R. Barker's Man of Gold, Encounters with the Archdruid by John McPhee (who is our greatest living author if you ask me - his works, regardless of subject, have never failed me). Currently reading Moondust (talking to the astronauts who walked on the moon) and Under the Black Flag, "the romance and reality of life among the pirates". Next up is one I'm particularly excited about Ardneh's Sword by Fred Saberhagen - apparently a bridge story between Empire of the East and his Swords series... some of my favorite stuff!
Several gamish things have transpired while I've been unblogged. Acquired Rob Kuntz's Bottle City (and it is magnificent!) and the Ready Ref Sheets (finally). Thanks to a tip from Tavis I signed up for Paperbackswap a while back, and it's come through with the Rolemaster Companion II (in fantastic condition) and a late printing of the original cover AD&D Monster Manual (in bad shape, but FREE!). So at this point, I've regained all the 1st edition AD&D books that I want - Huzzah!
Started running a couple of friends through a dungeon a while back, but we haven't had time for any sessions recently. It was going well though, and hopefully we'll be able to restart in the near future. I talked them into testing out a dungeon, the kind of dungeon that is on the other side of a cursed scroll that teleports the reader and party somewhere obtuse. It's been a while since I ran AD&D, so I used the sessions to identify some of my rough spots, started to figure out how I want to handle things (initiative, higher level spells and some powerful magic items, etc... things I never really had the chance to adjudicate BITD).
Now I'm working on a small 'setting' - sort of a mini campaign area. It's been fun building things from scratch - generating a lot of information randomly and then building connections between them. The whole thing started out when I decided to generate some intelligent magic swords. I ended up with a powerful Holy Avenger that spoke several bizarre languages, and so to justify the sword's esoteric linguistic capabilities, designed its history. This established the presence of some powerful evil monsters (namely manticores and ogre magi). Anyway, I've been working on really fleshing out the populations in this area and it has been a lot of fun putting faith in the dice and establishing some story-threads afterwards.
The first Trollszine was published and proved to be a popular download. Felt great to have that come out - I have to admit that the whole Outlaw Press meltdown left me feeling very much like withdrawing from the internet gaming world - it was just such a let down and filled with personal acrimony and, frankly, that's not the kind of thing I need in the main distraction I have from real life (which all too often already has enough negativity to deal with). I got really wrapped up with that, and I think I needed to take a step back - so that's what I did.
If it wasn't for Joesky the Dungeon Brawler and Vaults of Nagoh, I don't know what I'd do!