Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mental Scribbling

Got the goblin off my back
For some reason my weekend has been filled with me writing a quick game setting, Gangstas and Goblins, which while fun was a bit draining. 19 pages of typing, a few crappy illustrations by me, and Wallah! Oh that magic feeling when it's done. I can check emails again.  It will hardly sell, I know that, but I did get to get my notes on Types (that's classes to you who speak D&D) like Paladins, Witches, and Rogue sorcerers written. And I clarified in my head what style of urban fantasy that I'd like to run. The only thing is the hangover from all the beer, like 9, and then the four vodka cocktails, I drank while powering through the last parts. Bleg. I need to save binging creativity and partying for GenCon. Back to Spacers(TM): Universe where coffee and tea can be used for paragraphs not pages.

Is M. Mercer the Donald Trump of the RPG world? 
I like my web-series as much as anybody else. I was quite the fan of David Nett his Gold-an RPG series. I've gotten to watch the work of Eric Radic and Adam Rady from Walking in Circles evolve into Dragons & Stuff/Things. While I loved the movie The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, I dug seeing the gang, especially Jennifer Page, in JourneyQuest. But why is it that I keep hearing about the Critical Role or some such? I am not a D&D guy so I'm just not that into the informercial shows directly for the 5e. I guess the scandal around whether it's authentic or wrestling style table-top acting gives the show promotion as well as those involved in the back and forth. I suspect that in a year, the show or podcast or Youtube series or whatever it is will be just another RPG-oriented bit of culture struggling to keep the interest up. In short, he who lives by the crises dies by the ennui of the audience.

So here's my own crisis advertisement!
Buy it now. They are running out of paper for PDFs!

Monday, January 7, 2019


Around 1983, maybe 1984, I was standing in a gaming store, as in RPG and wargame store, somewhere in the thumb of Michigan looking at Chaosium's take on Larry Niven's Ringworld. I had read the Ringworld Engineers as a serial in Galileo magazine in '79 or so and was quite taken with the work. I had read the author's other Known Space stories, the setting behind the mega-structure, in a Playboy or Penthouse collection of the S-F works like the year before. I had some money in my pocket and I was starting to dig science fiction role-playing. I had it in my hands and was about to buy it. Then something happened, I bought something else. I think one of my friends was running something and I purchased that product instead to get ready for those sit-downs.

Then the mid-80s would roll into the late 80s and 90s, where I was too busy to buy games but could run and play in games for a couple of months here and there. Deeper into the 90s, I would pick up Niven'snovels The Throne of Ringworld and The Children of Ringworld in the depths of Eastern Europe, Poland and Romania, from train station bookstores' "international" sections spending a bit much for the paperbacks but definitely worth it. Then in '99 I finally read Ringworld itself. Oddly enough, having access to the new world of fantasy fandom on-line, I could never find a substantial community around the works. I did notice that the RPG was going for 200-300$ (US). That said I realized I was still quite the fan. My T&T crowd would tease me for bringing it up in our group, usually citing the author's mention of sex as a turn off to their own tastes, so I'd shut-up about it.

In the Aughts, I bugged old gamer friends that were Chaosium enthusiasts looking for copies of the work-- something I'd rather do than pay some stranger now 350-450$ on Ebay. I actually had been burned buying some materials on E-Bay on book resale sites with books so full of mold and cracking pages, I definitely wouldn't trust the outlets again. Anybody that I knew that had the work would not sell it to me. A couple owed me a bit of money even. I would check for it at Chaosium's site and convention booths. I would look for it at used RPG book sellers at those same conventions. So around the Tweens ('10-'15), somebody would get me an illegal PDF, so at least I could try to read through the work on my Kindle which was wholly inadequate for the task, but I did get through all of it. The resulting headaches were worth it, the material was dry but very detailed. It'd help me cope with the big budget fan fiction that I would read as "prequels" promoted as being co-authored by the now dead Larry Niven and staff writers for the Fleet of Worlds series and whatever the Fate of Worlds was.

So I thought I was done until some TV producer might come along with a Ringworld-derived mini-series or some such. And then Pery posted to me about it being now available at our FLAG store, Weird Realms. Well, it's close to my B-Day, and I just happened to have about 150$ in my wallet yesterday, and the price was less than that. Wallah! I know have a legitimate copy of the work. I can die now.

Knowing my luck, Chaosium will now release the work for PWYW at  DriveThruRPG.