Thursday, December 31, 2009

too many good games is a helluva problem

So I'm trying to put together a list of games I want to sign up for at next month's Winter War. To try and wrap my head around the options I put together this spreadsheet of games that interest me in the various time slots. The two main problems:
  • The incredibly awesome Blind Sniper game has no official end time, thus taking up Saturday afternoon and very likely Saturday evening as well.
  • Saturday evening is positively clogged with good events. I'd like to play in both Chgowiz's Battletech game and Alex Riedel's OSRIC game.
As a side issue I'd really like to play the wild west minis game Desperado this year. It's a regular feature at Winter War and whenever I've walked by a table of it everyone was having a hootin' hollerin' good time. So here's a draft if I play Blind Sniper:

Friday afternoon: maybe hustle a pickup game of something
Friday evening: my Encounter Critical game
Saturday morning: Desperado
Saturday afternoon: Blind Sniper
Saturday evening: if I'm dead in Blind Sniper, hop into whichever game has fewer players, Alex's or Mike's
Sunday morning: my Empire of the Petal Throne game
Sunday afternoon: Roborally w/Al

If I skip Blind Sniper, then I'm looking at this:

Friday afternoon: maybe hustle a pickup game of something
Friday evening: my Encounter Critical game
Saturday morning: Kingmaker
Saturday afternoon: Desperado
Saturday evening: man, I just don't know
Sunday morning: my Empire of the Petal Throne game
Sunday afternoon: Roborally w/Al

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fight on, my friends, fight on.

So a new issue of Fight On! came out a while back and I said nary a peep about it here on the ol' Gameblog. That was a gross oversight and no slight was intended. Fight On! is one of the very best things to come out of this crazy thing we like to call the Old School Renaissance. Each issue is positively crammed with new classes, spells, adventures, monsters, DMs advice and all sorts of fun stuff. Issue seven has several neat articles for Empire of the Petal Throne, some crit charts, a couple full-size D&D adventures and some easily-imported smaller ones, comics, some fab new spells a retrospective on D&D Camp and the Wandering Harlot Table!

Get issue #7 of Fight On! at lulu in print or PDF form. While you're there pick up any back issues you missed and maybe something else, too. I recommend Supplement VI: The Majestic Wilderlands, Ruins & Ronin, X-plorers and/or Savage Swords of Athanor. Until the end of the year use the promo code HOHOHO to get 20% off your purchase.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter War approaches!

The latest installment of Winter War, my local game convention, will be happening on the last weekend in January. My games aren't on the schedule just yet but I've signed on to run Encounter Critical in the Friday evening slot and Empire of the Petal Throne on Sunday afternoon. Don't let Tekumel's reputation for setting heaviness scare you off my EPT game, as my approach will be the same as when I run D&D at cons: we're here to fight monsters, find loot, set off traps and laugh at it all. Don't think of it as Professor Barker's Masterpiece Milieu, but rather as Crazy Uncle Phil's Weirdo D&D Variant.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

eXPloration

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die.
In addition to being one of the coolest lines ever to be uttered in a movie, Roy Batty's death speech at the end of Blade Runner speaks to me about the nature of adventurers. A good adventurer isn't just a corpse count and a treasure tally. Part of an adventurer's soul is wrapped up in the places they've been and the wonders they've beheld.

MERP and RoleMaster have this rule where you earn 1 experience point for every mile travelled. Since it takes 10,000xp to make level 2 in those systems travel isn't the most efficient way to make your sorcerer's apprentice into the next Gandalf, but you could do it. I like the idea of XP earned for visiting new and exciting places, but I'm not sure I like a flat amount per mile. Here's an alternative idea.

Get out your campaign world map (and key if you've got one). If you need don't already have a campaign world to set your fantasy adventures then I recommend starting with Points of Light and/or Points of Light II, but this method should work with any campaign setting. Okay, you've got the campaign map in front of you. Now imagine which of the places on the map are the coolest to visit. What places are breath-takingly beautiful? Which locations are desolate beyond imagination? What spots on the map have no mortals seen in generations? What places surge with magical energies or reek of unholiness?

Take your ideas and make a list of places from most awesome to least awesome. As an example, I'll give a quick look-over to the hexmap in the center of Geoffrey McKinney's mind-rending Supplement V: Carcosa. The following places strike me as particularly nifty:
  • Carcosa (the haunted city in hex 1507 from which the setting derives its name)
  • Mount Voormith'adreth (Shub-Niggurath's lair in hex 0402)
  • Crystal City of the Space Aliens (hex 0604)
  • The Shards in the Blighted Lands (hex 2303)
  • Lake Hali
  • Damned Isles
  • Thaggasoth Peaks
  • Yaglogthotep Forest
  • Icy Wastes
There's plenty of other interesting places on that hexmap. Geoffrey McKinney positively crams Carcosa full of eldritch doom. But for a small map, I think 6 to 12 places is probably sufficient. A larger Wilderlands of High Fantasy map could maybe squeeze in 20 or 30 wondrous places, while a large campaign map (like Darlene's World of Greyhawk map) could easily hold a hundred such locations.

Next think about how much you want to award pure exploration in your campaign. I find these sorts of decisions hard to make in the abstract, so here's the a line of thinking that might help: A newly minted PC decides to cross the campaign map to visit the top item on your list, how close should they be to 2nd level after such an achievement? Set aside any thought as to encounters along the way, we're talking here strictly about the effect of the experience of visiting the location. How changed will the PC be on their return from this fey place?

If I were to run Carcosa I definitely would want visiting the city of Carcosa itself to be a life-changing experience. So let's say I go overboard an establish a 2,000xp award for visiting the place. Once I have the top item set, I can eyeball the rest of the list:
  • Carcosa City: 2,000xp
  • Mount Voormith'adreth: 1,500xp
  • Crystal City: 1,000xp
  • The Shards: 500xp
  • Lake Hali: 250xp
  • Damned Isles: 200xp
  • Thaggasoth Peaks: 150xp
  • Yaglogthotep Forest: 100xp
  • Icy Wastes: 50xp
Obviously I just pulled those numbers out of my butt. If you want to keep the PCs focused on killing things and taking stuff or chasing Elminster-imposed missions, then by all means cut all those awards way the hell down. But assuming you like the idea of PCs climbing mountains just 'cause it's there then I feel you should offer XP awards comparable to standard murder and pillage.

Now, we can glam up this simple chart quite a bit with a special rule for some of the items:
  • Carcosa City: 2,000xp but must spend one night in city
  • Mount Voormith'adreth: 1,500xp for the first human to climb to the peak, 0xp thereafter
  • Crystal City: 1,000xp but must enter the Dome
  • The Shards: 500xp
  • Lake Hali: 250xp if Carcosa City is viewed in the moonlight
  • Damned Isles: 200xp for first island visited, 100xp per island thereafter
  • Thaggasoth Peaks: 150xp if mountains crossed, double if it takes two hexes to get across
  • Yaglogthotep Forest: 100xp
  • Icy Wastes: 50xp but 200xp for crossing hex 2210, "The Frigid Heart of the Wastes"
You can also do up special rules like "dwarves earn triple XP for any ocean voyage" or "followers of St. Salamander earn 1,000xp for praying at each of his Seven Shrines". And one could establish XP awards for non-location based wonders:
  • See a dragon fly overhead: 100xp but 0xp if pooped on
  • Ride a dragon: 500xp first time, half for each additional ride
  • Dance with the fairies: 300xp
  • Watch a city burn: 150xp
  • Shipwrecked: 100xp, but 0 if you sabotage the vessel
  • & etc.
Now to make this all work you need to keep in mind 2 important points. First, you have to share at least some items on this list with your player group. You can't create a feedback loop of action/encouragement if the players don't know what's going on. Hell, get them in on the ground floor. If you're using a well-known setting enterprising players will be happy to suggest ideas. Creative ones will make crap up, to the betterment of your campaign.

Second, when the players accomplish one of these goals, sell it. Break out that over-the-top poetic voice and use those fifty cent words. Have word get around, with peasants in the street whispering "There goes Lucas of the Amber Blade, he's the only man to ever cross the Shimmering Desert and return!" Most players eat that stuff up.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

youtube awesome/cheesy movie trailer linkdown!!!

The Dark Crystal
Krull
The Beastmaster
They Live
Hawk the Slayer
The Sword & The Sorcerer
Battle Beyond the Stars
Big Trouble in Little China
Remo Williams - The Adventure Begins
Logan's Run
Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Escape from New York
Barbarella
Megaforce

That last one's not a trailer, as I couldn't find one. But that scene pretty much tells you everything you need to know to make up your mind about the movie.

Happy Shatnerday!

Of all the pics I've posted for Shatnerday thus far, this might be my favorite. Well, either this one or "Khaaaaaaaaaan!"

Friday, December 18, 2009

two from Jamie Mal

As usual there's been some good stuff over at Grognardia this week. I wanted to respond to two of them very briefly.
  • Although I'm one of the guys that idolizes the '81 Basic D&D rules, I think holding up the 64 page book as a standard or ideal may be an error. If we need a gold standard (and I'm not sure we do) then I want to offer up digest-sized stapled booklets in the 24 to 48 page range as an alternative. Drop a little money on a long-necked stapler and suddenly ordinary printer paper and cardstock can turn ideas into cheap and easily portable gamebooks.
  • Jamie Mal's retrospective of Star Frontiers reminded me of one of my favorite parts of the Star Frontiers Knight Hawks ship-to-ship rules: The hit location chart included the possibility of a fire onboard your vessel. As long as the conflagration continued you rerolled on the damage chart each round to see what other parts of your ship burned down. More spaceship games should include that. Being on fire in the real world is not fun. Being on fire in a game? Hilarious.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Adventures in the Nth Imperium

So here's a campaign idea I've been kicking around in my head off and on for a couple of years. Feel free to steal it for your home game if the spirit moves you. One of my favorite popular science books of the last decade is Fred Adams and Gregory Laughlin's The Five Age of the Universe. I've squeezed some mojo out of this particular gem once before. Today I'm going to tackle the idea on page 74 I mentioned in that old post.

The premise these guys tackle is diabolically simple: what if we run out the clock on the cosmos? Assume everything presently (well, circa 1999) understood about quantum mechanics and astrophysics is right, what happens to the large scale features of the universe over the course of a trillion years? A quadrillion years? A googol years? Turns out some pretty crazy stuff goes down, which can all be broadly divided up into five different periods. Hence the title.

According to Adams and Laughlin's analysis, we are presently living in the Second Age of the universe, the Stelliferous Era. That's the time when stars are plentiful and varied, spanning the first stellar ignitions after the big bang until the last miserly red dwarf sputters out sometime around 100 trillion years from now (give or take). That's when the Degenerate Era begins, a period where the only vaguely starlike objects left in the universe are white dwarfs, brown dwarfs and black holes. The Degenerate Era is when the Nth Imperium campaign happens.

This is the part that comes straight from Five Ages, in the form of a short fictional introduction to the chapter on the Degenerate Era. In this piece the authors imagine a future humanity as living in Dyson sphere type shells surrounding white dwarfs, the last bright emitters of radiation in the universe. Planets have long been abandoned since they no longer have suns to warm them and power biological processes. Only by completely enclosing white dwarfs in solar panel arrays can future society tap enough energy to sustain itself.

Imagine this set-up for a moment as an oddball Traveller game, where all the usual things that can happen in standard Trav are available against this unorthodox backdrop. Good ol' hydrogen, the fuel source for standard Trav FTL drives, ain't as plentiful as it used to be. The only easily accessible hydrogen sources left in the universe are the brown dwarfs, substars that never achieved sufficient mass to ignite the fusion process. In the realm of Nth Imperium, brown dwarf mining is a major factor in the maintenance of interstellar society.

Incidentally, the Dyson sphere white dwarfs, brown dwarf mines and black holes will be a lot less densely distributed throughout the galaxy than stars are today. Imagine a standard Traveller sector map with only a few dozen non-empty hexes instead of the normal 300-500. For Nth Imperium I would posit Quantum 2 Jump Technology. A Q2 jump drive can hop its jump number squared, allowing a jump-6 drive to travel 36 hexes in a single trip. Basically Q2 types drives allow for 'controlled misjumps'.

The wee tale on page 74 suffers from the same basic flaw as most future societies in science fiction: the assumption that people in the future will act just like the folks you meet at the grocery store, except they'll wear shiny silver pantaloons. In this case we're not going to solve that by trying to project some weird transhumanic society. We're talking about people who live so far in the future that they talk about the Sun as a long-gone by-product of the Big Bang. Imagine a timeline from the Big Bang to Now. Stack nearly seven thousand of those babies from end to end. That's how far in the future the Nth Imperium can be found, you can fit about 6,700 everything-that-has-ever-happened in the same period of time. Big Bang to now: one inch. Big Bang to Nth Imperium: nearly two football fields.

The sheer difference in scale demands that merely cyborging up the future ain't gonna cut the mustard. Think about how much 1977's Traveller missed the boat by in terms of computer technology. The first printing of Traveller measured computer memory in K and computer mass in tons. It took a few measly years of realworld technological developments to completely obliterate Trav's predictions of computer technology a mere 3,000 years in the future. Multiply that staggering miscalculation by ten billion to find our margin of error. It just ain't gonna work. Homework: if the sum of human knowledge, X, is presently doubling every five years, how big will the sume of human knowledge be 100 trillion years from now? For extra credit, compare your total to the number of grains of sand in all the beaches of the earth or all the synaptic pathways in the average human brain.

I see two solutions to getting a handle on the social milieu of the Nth Imperium. The first is to assume that rather than a technological singularity sometime in the future, humanity hits some sort of technological and sociological plateau. I reject that option as boring. I'm not about to substitute boring for baffling. I want a setting that is both weird and comprehensible. That's where my good buddy Fred Nietzche comes in.

I'm pretty sure it was Nietzche's Thus Spake Zarathustra where I first encountered the idea of the Eternal Recurrence. I've read a fair bit of Germany's craziest philosopher (at least in translation), but I won't pretend to have any deep understanding of the dude's work. But that won't stop me from woefully misunderstanding him and using that folly to power a game. So in this particular context I've decided that the Eternal Recurrence refers to the cycle of human history, in direct contrast to the arrow inherent in physical cosmology. To put it simply: there was a Roman Empire, there will be a Roman Empire again. And again and again. Over 100 trillion years there may be a thousand Roman Empires, a thousand Marcel Marceaus, a thousand House Unamerican Activities Committees. So when your Q2 jumpship lands at a white dwarf Dyson, you may bump into Mark Twain at the starport bar. Thomas Jefferson may be president of the subsector. Blackbeard is definitely a space pirate. Moreover, since pretty much every other science fiction setting is far, far younger than the Nth Imperium, you can pick one or two of your favorite sci-fi galaxies to be part of this recurrent history.

But why is Mae West, Adolf Hitler and your crazy uncle periodically reincarnated like that? Time to swipe from Babylon 5 here: There are a finite number of souls in the universe. At some point humanity hits its limit and people start getting recycled. Population control in the Nth Imperium isn't simply a matter of rationally managing life in the shadow of energy-poor white dwarfs, its also a way of keeping Philosophical Zombies from being born. And AI's are limited in numbers because every computer sentient is one fewer soul that can inhabit a human body. I hear Abraham Lincoln is a matrioshka brain in the next sector over.

So yeah, that's been knocking around in my head for maybe a couple of years. I think it might make a decent Encounter Critical setting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

found fragment

From the 'drafts' folder of my work email, addressed to my gmail address but unsent:
The co-evolution of dragons and humans is analogous to the arms race between weapon and armor makers of various nations. Just as plate armor is invented to deflect weapons that were deadly to the users of chain hauberks, so did the genetic code of dinosaurs invent new ways to defeat their proto-hominid enemies. And vice versa. Both genus draco and genus homo evolved cognition and metacognition (i.e. magic), though the potentialities for the two lines are different. Some dragon species seems to have a greater capacity for rational thought than their human [fragment ends]
I have absolutely no memory of writing this passage. Does it look familiar to any body? Maybe I cut and pasted it from somewhere else. That "And vice versa." as a separate sentence looks like something I would write, but I'm not entirely sure.

Monday, December 14, 2009

blogging as therapy

I just got back from taking the Graduate Record Examine, the standardized test that a lot of grad schools use in applications. I nailed the verbal section and I feel pretty good about the essay part, but my game just crumbled on the math. I bought and worked through this 300+ page GRE prep book for the math, but today I got stymied on question #2 of the math section and it unnerved me. I ended up only answering 18 out of 28 of the questions because I ran out of time. Good thing I'm looking at the humanities end of the academic spectrum! At least this puts all the writing I've been doing into proper perspective.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

slamtastic Shatnerday

"Lawler, you may have put Andy Kaufman in the hospital, but I'm William frickin' Shatner!"

(Or at least that's what he's saying in my head.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

paper sci-fi

Chock full o' crazy awesome.Does everyone here read Something Awful's ongoing series WTF, D&D!? I think it's a hoot. The recent two-parter covering the original Warhammer 40,000 Rogue Trader was a stroll down memory lane. The parallels between 1987's Rogue Trader and OD&D are pretty strong, at least in that they were incomplete crazy-ass funfests. As a kid I could only afford figures for one miniatures game and BattleTech got to me first, so for years 40K remained my favorite minis game that I didn't play. I don't like the regimented, competitive orientation of modern 40K, but I still like the crazy energy and over-the-top violence of the original book. And some days I really want to run some of the crazy ass plots found in the random scenario generator section. From the Something Awful piece:


That's just three of dozens of equally dubious scenarios. Note that this section of the book would work just dandy for an Encounter Critical campaign.

The thing is, as much as I like W40K:RT I'm probably never going to ever amass a bunch of lead or plastic minis for it. I just don't have the money or the patience to get any good at painting the wee buggers. So if I ever wanted to put together some crazy sci-fi battles paper figures look like the way to go. Here are some of the best options I've found so far.

Sparks - S. John Ross's idea of formatting miniatures as a font was a frickin' stroke of genius. Putting together a slew of them is as easy as typing on your keyboard and scaling them is easy as pie. And the artwork is topnotch. The Watch the Skies! set is a good starting place for sci-fi shenanigans, but lots of other stuff from other sets could be used as well. Do yourself a favor and click through just to read the amusing ad copy describing each figure. Ross basically hides a mini-campaign in the flavor text of each set.

Fonts by Greywolf
- Swipes Ross's idea for paper minis and makes 'em for free. Two sets of sci-fi characters.

Crow's Stuff - Free color minis for Traveller, Star Trek, Stargate and Dr. Who. Am I the only one contemplating Hivers versus Cybermen, using 40K rules?

One Monk - Lots of gorgeous full color minis, mostly sold thru RPGNow at 3 dollars a set.The "Future Battle" and "Mutants and Death Ray Guns" lines look perfect for Rogue Trader throwdowns. These figures are more complicated to put together and look like they require a lot of trimming with an exacto knife to get them done up properly. But when finished they'd look better than many half-painted half-ass metal & plastic 40K armies I've seen.

MicroTactix - I tend to think of these folks as the makers of great paper scenery, but their Cheap Folks line of figures look pretty neat and some of their alien armies look like a lot of fun. The Squarn are just awesome.

Precis Intermedia's Disposable Heroes - I like the clean look of these figures and Precis Intermedia offers a "customizable download" option for a premium. Need 20 space marine figure individually numbered? They can hook you up!

Patrick's Cardboard Warriors
- Thank goodness the Internet Wayback machine saved this page! You should all go grab copies of Patrick's fun little guys right now.

Slick's Miniatures - Slick only offers a few items, but his N.C.C. Troopers would make pretty decent Imperial Army dudes. Which is my favorite faction from the original game. They're basically poor pathetic sons of bitches who have been drafted into sci-fi fucking Viet Nam.

Stuff to Beat Up 1: Tech Terrors - Horrible things to kill those Imperial Army conscripts.

Arion Games - This outfit is using poser-type graphics for its figures. I don't normally dig on that, but I must admit that their little bug aliens are pretty cool. I'd love to see some Space Marines blow the crap out of them. They also got several sets of other aliens, including sci-fi civilians and a set of outer space villains.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

there's friends, and then there's friends

Tonight on the way my daughter and I were engaged in some light conversation of the "how was your day?" variety. We wandered off track and ended up chitchatting about Dracula and vampires. (Incidentally, my daughter's first impression of Dracula came from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, so she probably imagines the big D as a grumpy old blacula.) So Elizabeth asks me what would happen if I got turned into a vampire. Without hesitating I tell her that she would need to call my buddy Pat to come over and put a stake in my heart. Lizzy gets confused on the whole stake/steak thing, but I think she got that Pat would handle the situation.

This exchange got me thinking about Contact mechanics in RPGs. I'm pretty sure I first encountered Contacts in Champions/HERO System. It was pretty simple: you pay some character points for the privilege of writing "Contact: The Space Pope" on your charsheet. The at some point during the game when you needed the Space Pope's assistance you would throw some dice to see if the dude could help you out. The advanced version of the original Marvel game also had some contacts rule. As I recall contacts were rated High or Low. I think that meant that High contact with SHIELD indicated Nick Fury was your poker buddy, while a Low contact meant your schmuck cousin worked in the records department.

I like Contacts rules. It's a good way of establishing ligatures between the PCs and the larger milieu. Some players will use the opportunity to make up some people to add to the campaign world, others will be happy to be pals with the local Gandalf. The HERO System method of making people choose between more friends and bigger Energy Blasts seems self-defeating, but the basic concept is sound. Giving a couple freebies to players strikes me as a better option. For Labyrinth Lord and similar systems maybe 3 + Charisma bonus would be good number. An enterprising GM could have a bigass chart of NPCs for players who didn't want to invent all their contacts. Something like this:

1...Felmar, blacksmith of the Village of Omlet
2...Bumble Bristletoes, Mayor of West Shireton
3...Madame Xandaria, proprietor of the Golden Courtesan
4...Sir Graccus, the Selenium Duke's personal champion
5...Randolph the Red, a wandering wizard
6...Cross-eyed Sarah, a scribe and correspondent of the royal vizier
(etc., etc.)

A second chart would give the level of dedication felt by the contact or the type of dodgy activity they will perform on your behalf. That's where thinking about my buddy Pat comes in. Here's a first stab at such a chart:

1. Will let you and your filthy friends stay over for a few days.
2. Will lend you d100 gp with no real expectation of repayment
3. Will hide you in the root cellar and lie to the Witchfinder General
4. Will share useful or sensitive information
5. Will post bail for you
6. Will organize a jailbreak on your behalf
7. Will help you rob graves and not ask questions
8. Will sneak you in past the guards
9. Will hold a chest of dubious contents for you
10. Will find you an honest job if you'd just give up this stupid adventuring stuff
11. Will execute some side mission assigned by you
12. Will hunt you down and put you out of your misery should you be turned into an abomination against nature

Of course, any DM worth their salt will realize that Contact stuff works both ways. "We can't let some troll kidnap Felmar the Blacksmith, not after the time he tipped us off that bounty hunters were on our tail!"


This post is endorsed by the Space Pope.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Supplement VI

So Rob Conley, author of the truly excellent Points of Light and Points of Light II, has a new book out. Supplement VI: The Majestic Wilderlands is based upon his personal campaign world, which riffs off Bob Bledsaw's original Wilderlands of High Fantasy. But you don't need to be a Wilderlands geek to get something out of this book.

For example, the new classes in the front of the book would make a cool addition to any OD&D/D&D/retroclone game. I particularly dig on Rob's Myrmidon of Set class. On first pass these guys look a little like an Egyptian themed anti-paladin type, but they are actually badasses for Law. It's a harsh, unforgiving Law, but these snake-worshipping sons of bitches are on our side! Very juicy. The magic-user subsection is chock full of alternatives to standard Vancian fire-and-forget spellcasting. And the cleric section is a good example of how to tailor that class to the religions of your specific campaign world. The thief section introduces the least offensive skill system I've seen in D&D. I still don't like skill systems in D&D, but I'd use Supp VI's if a player was keen on it. There's lots of other neat stuff in Supplement VI: an easy-as-pie ritual magic system, a theory of magic, new PCs races, new magic items. This is one of those books that is just full of stuff you can cherrypick for your own use.

While you can see some threads running through much of Supplement VI, I wouldn't say there's an overarching theme to the whole book except for the delightfully simple "Here's how my game works". Rob isn't trying to revolutionize the gaming world, he's inviting us into his much-beloved corner of it. I love DMs who do that. In that way, Supp VI is a callback to the hippy days of Arduin.

Right now you can get a PDF download from RPGnow for seven bucks, but a lulu print edition is forthcoming. In the interests of full disclosure I should note that Rob generously gave me an editing credit for looking over a draft of the first two sections of the book and a second credit because he used (and niftily expanded) my Hedge Mage rules. But the Majestic Wilderlands is Rob's baby and he should get all the kudos. I give Supplement VI: The Majestic Wilderlands a hearty recommendation.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Shameful Shatnerday

Shatnerday is more than 66% over and I'm finally getting a pic up. But I can explain both that and my absence from this here blog. I've been scrambling all week to finish my paper about the Idylls of the King. I even cancelled Wednesday's Mutant Future game to get the job done.

Thanks to Gameblog reader Ed Bilodeau for pointing out this gallery of TOS-themed paintings. I especially like this study. I used the still that's based on as an an illo in my OD&D module.