Friday, February 25, 2011

Beach Creatures

I'm always looking for real world sources of inspiration for my gaming.  I like this video.

Friday, February 18, 2011

pdf Pricing - Yeah

I'm going to have to agree with what he said.  I just don't see a pdf as being worth that price, any pdf.

Because it is a topic that interests me a lot, I thought that I would link to several posts that Tenkar has written over at his tavern.  First, he starts with some general questions pertaining to the pricing of pdfs.  I think that the questions he poses are all valid.  Unforunately for the erstwhile publisher, the answers to those questions vary across the buying public.  Valid questions that might be impossible to answer, unless one does market research, which by its very nature  is not done by publishers in our little corner.  Too expensive.

Later, Tenkar discusses the pricing of the Castle Keeper's Guide and what he might have charged for it.  Thanks, Tenkar!

I should say that in both cases, the comments are just as interesting as Tenkar's initial thoughts.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Game Design Wisdom (Not from Me)

Jeff Vogel, over at the Bottom Feeder, writes this about game design.  He isn't a pen-and-paper rpg guy but an indie computer rpg designer.  I've linked to him before, because I think his insights are pertinent to our corner of the gaming world as well as his own.

As I think about his post more, I realize that his point is relevant to a 4E D&D experience moreso than it is to any old school fun.  4E has minions, monsters that will perish with one hit.  Is there a place in old school gaming for such a concept?  I think that there might be.


Interesting (to me at least) is the fact that one of the posts wherein I did link to him (this one, if you are interested) happens to have the most page views of any post in the history of this blog--almost double the number of page views of the number two post.  I wonder why that is...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Campaign Concept: "Seven"

I find inspiration for gaming just about everywhere I turn.

You might think that I am proposing a campaign concept from the movie "Seven" starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, which is, of course, based on the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins.  I suppose that there is a campaign idea in there somewhere, but that's not where this comes from.

Take a read of the following.  I think that there is plenty here for inspiration.

And I saw an angel come down unto me
In her hand she holds the very key
Words of compassion, words of peace
And in the distance an army's marching feet
But behold, we will watch them fall

And we lay down on the sand of the sea
And before us animosity will stand and decree
That we speak not of love only blasphemy
And in the distance, six others will curse me

And we will see a plague and a river of blood
And every evil soul will surely die in spite of
Their seven tears, but do not fear
for in the distance, twelve souls from now
You and me will still be here - we will still be here

There will be a new city with streets of gold
The young so educated they never grow old
And a, there will be no death for with every breath
The voice of many colors sings a song
That's so bold
Sing it while we watch them fall

All seven and we'll watch them fall
They stand in the way of love
And we will smoke them all
With an intellect and a savoir-faire
No one in the whole universe
Will ever compare
I am yours now and you are mine
And together we'll love through
All space and time, so don't cry
One day all seven will die

More than likely, you recognize that the above are lyrics to a song, even if you do not particularly care for it or the artist.  But that really doesn't matter, because there is plenty here for a campaign.

Angels carrying keys, armies, blasphemy, plague, rivers of blood, a new city with streets of gold, young so educated they never grow old.  Who or what are the Seven?  Are they good?  Are they evil?

And whether or not you like the song or video apart from the lyrics, I find both also to be inspirational.  The tone is generally Middle Eastern to me, with a little horror thrown in (background music), and his outfit is something that I can imagine a desert mystic assassin wearing as he approaches his quarry before silently slitting its throat.

Maybe I should just stick to maps, but, to me, this song drips with inspiration.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Real Life's Twists

There are a few people with whom I spent the majority of my gaming time with.  One is my older brother, who I have written about before.

Another is my childhood best friend.  I haven't seen him in years, but we do keep in sporadic contact.  And that is a shame, because when I think of D&D, I think of him.  Well, a little over two years ago, he, a very physically fit guy in his mid-thirties, had a heart attack and almost died.

It's strange to me to even write the above sentence.

He has come through it and is doing well.  Yes, there are a variety of minor and not-so-minor complications, but he is working, living, and getting on.

Why do I write about this, today?  A lot of people at various blogs have posted about the "forefathers" of gaming, the men whose writing inspired the hobby that we all love, and how the world would be a very different place were it not for them.  That is obviously all true, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those authors, early gamers, etc.  But we also owe a debt to those who brought us individually into the hobby, who make up large portions of our personal gaming histories, and who continue to inspire us in simple and sometimes profound ways.

My friend started a blog awhile ago, that he occassionally posts to.  I only recently became aware of it.  If you have a moment, go check it out.  Help me thank him for the hours of joy that gaming with him gave me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

He Did It Just Like He Said He Would

I wrote a little about treasure junks (gigantic, wooden-hulled Chinese ships) back here.  In the comments of that post, Joe Browning mentioned an adventure that he was putting out that took place on what is basically a treasure junk.  That adventure, entitled The Frozen Wave Satsuma, can be found here for sale at RPGNow.

I haven't purchased it yet, but I will be.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I've been away for the past week or so.  Not away away, but not having the time to post here.  A couple of things have jogged me back:

1. Got a nice email from my best friend from the olden days that reminded me just how much fun we had playing D&D when we were younger.  Ah, memories.

2. There's this little thing about "three-hour islands" that I've heard about.  As a lover of maritime campaigns, this really speaks to me.  I need to draw one up!  But not today...

One of the reasons that I haven't found the time to post is that the results of the big sporting event that occurred this past Sunday evening were not to my liking.  Not one bit.  I'm still trying to come to grips with it all.  But let's face it: Life must go on.  There are an ever expanding number of maps that need to be perused.  I better get on it (in addition to drawing an island).