Saturday, August 24, 2019

Rick Loomis is Dead

A fellow that I have known since 1986, is dead. He was a game producer, not so much an author as far as I know. He always knew how to throw a party and deal with people that disagreed with him without distraction or redirection. And he provided me with a replacement copy of T&T 5th more than one time. One thing to say about him, he was always a bit fearless and respected that in other people.

Sometime in 1999, a shared associate, Shippy would start the first of his "I Want Ownership of T&T " campaigns. After months of my main publishing man at the time, James L Shipman, antagonizing Loomis and FBI, Rick would finally open up and declare it was theft to be trying to revamp T&T  into anybody's brand that he and few friend's own. Outlaw press's little president would start to show himself as bit more than flawed by ignoring the open challenge. I would not though by asking, "You don't think that I am stealing from you?" Loomis would reply, "No you're not. You're good at what you do."

A bit to learn about ppl in general when I first saw deeper into his character. I was walking with Ken St Andre and him back to their car at GenCon, Ken started going on about his hip, and I was bit clueless as to deal with the situation. Rick would walk up and offer to walk faster to go get his car and come get us if we weren't up to his pace. Ken would stare him back and buck up. Despite having been an NCO in the US Army, I learned something about leadership from him that day.

The party years would include meeting scores of people and gaming. Flying to Arizona to game and party with people that were up until that point kind of mythical to me. Always Rick asserted his conservative values and Christianity to me. Even when I departed from the accepted fold of the crowd of FBI products, he'd still invite me for drinks and try to point me in his decided right direction.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Kids on Bikes

I say this as a friend. Really. The whole' kids on bikes' thing, inspired by Stephen King's It movie and Netflix's Stranger Things as the two things relate to RPG games needs to die. Whether it happens when all fans, about 16 of you, aren't looking or whether we, the real world, have to pan on you to make you stop it, is up to you.

Nobody, including kids on bikes looking at you to be their GM, is sitting around thinking 'What would I do if I were an adolescent and Cthulhu showed up?' for more than a single evening's sitting. And if you need to wonder what it was to be a kid on bike for more than a scenario or two, I apologize to you having the time of my life when I was 10, and then at 13, and then I got a drivers license. Follow up with Grease the musical or movie if anybody needs a map.

If you are really into role-playing, you're either getting a headache while staring at miniatures and remembering obscure rules from books that haven't been printed in two decades or fulfilling a daydream where dice are rolled every now and then. 

Hopefully what you're not doing is thinking that "14 year-olds" should not be allowed to see this or that piece of RPG literature. I say that you should not be thinking about what adolescents should be viewing because exactly when was it that you started "adventure gaming" as a hobby?

Now there is a reflex for a certain reader here to bring up the fact that you are forcing your eight year-old child into playing AD&D with you just before your wife tells that it isn't cool to sleep in diapers instead of just waking up at 27 years-old. You see this is called conflation. Meaning that you are confused. You think that what you did as a teenager was childish instead of being a learning experience and that everything associated with your "learning years" was you being a child. This is probably why your 17 year-old cat is wearing a diaper instead of you knowing how to properly use a mop. But who am I to judge?

Who am I judge OUTSIDE of the role-playing industry, that is. Look we live in an age where grown men can talk about Batman and the women in their life find them sexy. As adults, we can forgo an evening of the latest MCU movie, to role-play ourselves in the role as Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy using broken down Runequest rules. Afterwards, we don't have to wake up early and "teach" 8 year-olds how to play Cyberpunk 2020.

Can your 14 year-old learn how to play Call of Cthulhu? Sure with his friends or while playing with you at a convention, Heck even bring the game to the dinner table for her after the spaghetti and salad has been cleared away on a Friday night. But don't tell the RPG community what is fit for being published.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

My Proof of the Liberal-Bias of Reality

Someone once said to me "Please ride your bike to work, so your boss drive to work in his car" and now I am being asked to donate my moneys to their wellbeing. In the Age of Paetron and Gofund, I ,somewhat suddenly, find myself at a point in life where I forgive people with funds, after telling me to go earn funds and then buy their stuff with my funds. I also paid for a dinner at Red Lobster for his fans that couldn't be bother to talk to me in the tourist Mecca of some pointless spot in Arizona. And guess what? It's only money. The man scores two times a nice dinner worth of money from me.

I have pointed out that we are all only getting older in a post that was written earlier.  Guess what! We're all getting older. But infinitely much less hypocritically, I can claim a measure my worth by NOT BEING A FUCKING HYPOCRITE.  The most "small market enthusiast" contributor to PeryPubbers has been paid whether they asked for it or not.

That said, I am sad. I don't care if I make it past 65. His minions only ask for more money, like a fire only looking to be fed. It bugs me that those folks around him aren't getting rarer by the day.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

What is the RPG "Industry" looking for?


To answer the question pedantically, the industry is looking how to connect as many people with its providers as possible. What is the answer turning out to be, is acceptable profits for board game producers and small print distributors. Content-wise it is either purist deconstruction of published material or a mishmash of allegories of  already distributed fantasy fiction. Most of the authors want to show how they have passed a collegiate level of language and show how they want to understand algebra while presenting ideas that that the authors loved during their adolescences. 

Not being wonky but still educated, the RPG industry was stuck in a rut. Okay, it all began with people playing RPG games in the 80's, while they looked up to individuals from a decade before that were flipping off wargamers around them. In their time, the 80's kids, they saw the wargamers around them suddenly come to bring the authors treasure and slaves as tribute for keeping the industry alive. I mean to say one can on re-live the Second World War about six times without getting bored. So these kids would produce their take on "not war games". Somewhere between The Siege of Stalingrad and making your sister dress up as a nun, the term "Role-Playing" would become something that was some where between passive listening to boardgame-minded distraction when it came to group entertainment.

Game authors divided between brand name ownership and creativity, things would not actually be so complicated. From their personal demons, authors would find that finding some particular political ideology would help them cope with falling sales. And those willing to advertise for any given brand could be energizing despite their falling sales. Alas sales would fall, still we claimed to be too busy.

Of cocaine-snorting assholes that thought "Hollywood Money" would justify everyone around them, Gygax would become a sucess story for only the most assholes-ish of assholes. But then Runequest insiders were always wanting to have orgies and CoC GMs kept pulling out firearms on their dice bag-wielding players. After seeing how White Wolf publishing payed at being the next "biggest PRG company" in the 90s. They had a TV show and about 800 billion viewers  on both coast (300 ppl) following. None of us really wanted to play at that bit.


So there we were. About a million books and nothing going on. Then NPR reported that D&D  "3rd editon" was about to be released. We watch Gladiator and marveled. Then the rebirth would begin.  "Old Schoolers" would stir before there were really many new or old followers. I would pay tribute to my RPG idol years before Kickstarter would jump in to make everything more or less retarded.

Snob Edition

The publishers and authors that did not see the fall occurring, say around WoTc's 4th Edition officiousness, in their practical life were all the indy game producers. Oh lordsheads, we, as Indy producers, were busy trying that right convention to sell our RPG product(s). In those spots where we could sell enough to become the next Gygax.
I actually stepped off of being being retarded at this time. I made plenty of money before 9 million copies of anything amounting to 13.17$ US were made for its investors, Noop. If you're in the RRP industry to make money, you probably need a real day job before we get anything creative out of you.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Wobble: It's Starting Again

Taking a break from writing a Halloween scenario and then the voices start in my head again... actually its the JPEGs on my media stream, but dammit its started again. Wobble notes Aug. 2019:

Side Universes:  
More like pocket universes but hey, Wobble: Every Adventure is a Side Quest.
Juxta- Land of the Lost planetoid mentioned in the 2019 release.
Needle- giant "light house" pushing back the Omicron Verse's final ingestion of this one bit of itself.
Spoons- A universe about the size of the Caribbean, settled by Dutch colonists in the 17th century, has sea serpents and aliens. Protected by the Ed-Head super machine from being consumed by the Omicron Verse.

"Here Be Dragons" PCs now NPCs:

Zoltan- Bigwig protagonist
the Quick 300
Notes: From "First Earth" has decided that both Baffin Bay and the Primrose Corporation are exploitative and trying to control Wobbling for their own agendas.

Cat-Girl- Sidekick protagonist
the Quick 125
Notes: Her own person, but Zoltan has never been on the wrong side of any Wobble debate that she is aware of.

Kessssh- "Sleestak" antagonist
the Quick 275
Notes: Getting back to Juxta is proving to be difficult. Works with the radio-apes and other less-than-harmless sorts for profit.
Son of Elvis- Tag-along
The Quick 75
Notes: One time security guard/parking lot attendant for Primrose Corporation, suckered into being a guinea pig. Now he is his owner Wobbler.

Today's Wobble Trigger:
Next Wobble scenario...


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

GenCon '19: The Tabletoppenning

So when I say "All except one of my games were filled" I don't mean full, I mean with enough players to make them worth while. Only two of my games were not full though. I come to GenCon for the running. As much as I love the return players, it is nice to say "hi" and get to know people, I love new players. I am once again at the point where I am having to come up with means to have it both ways. Back in the 'o7, I think it was the formation of Peryton Gamers, Pery-Pubbers, that helped me achieve this. Wednesday is about to host the "Two-Timers Club" events to facilitate this as well as the PeryPubbers over the next few years.

Always thought he'd be taller

Played in JerryTel's D&D session "White Plume Mountain" which seemed to be quite satisfying to everyone at the table. To me it hearkened back to a few month's in 1980 when I played that game with enthusiasm and relish, and then some older kids came along and taught me how to play real D&D and left me mostly laughing at them after I got over the headache. Though I can't say that "I don't play D&D" truthly, I really don't play D&D well.
Celebrating that I won D&D
The "morning game," starting at 11am, Crawlspace Gothic, "The Return of Count Vulgarr" had four return players and three new ones. Now the return guys were there specifically for the Count Vulgarr saga. The three new ones were a group that knew each other as well so the difference between the two cliques worked well together-- The old pros and the wide-eyes so to speak. The guy that chose to play Count Vulgarr, yes that was the session's twist, wasn't up to the task, but everyone made it work. What was awesome that we worked out a spell mechanic for something akin to an exorcism. With all the return players, I decided to set up a "Two-Timers Club" for private events for GenCon next year.

Well last year's military history horror "Over the Top" never got to the horror. This year's offering, "Green Grow the Rushes" had vampires in the first scene on. Though this combat driven scenario was working, I found myself kind of bored, but the players made it worth the while. I did have a return player from Over, so I could redeem myself. In the end, I felt like the session was an homage to Dusk Til Dawn. Connected with the return player, Michael, for future repeat offenders of Crawlspace (the Two-Timers Club) and made a friend with Vince, Mercedes Lackey's roadie.

It was when I showed up at the table for "Gotham City Major Crimes Squad" that I heard that I had two tables. Oops, JerryTel and I never closed the loop about whether I was going to have two GMs or one for the event, so he defaulted to "whatever"-- He knew I could handle it. I created four more Pregen Characters in about ten minutes. So with eleven out of twelve players showing up, we did a police drama set in the DC universe. Thanks to some really great role-players made it a cross between TV's Gotham and the GCPD comic books of the Aughts. I even got to work in references to the Justice League movie. Though not my strong point when it comes to the RPG genre, the players in this game has made this the stand-out event of the con for me.

"Night of the Cryptids" was supposed to be a mind trip, but I had no idea what a trip it would be. Three players from a clique from New Jersey faked eastern European accents for twenty minutes before letting that go. Still dropping subvocalizations into the middle of their sentences continued until the end of it. The single woman at the table would be over the top sexual throughout the game. People would show up at the table and carry on meaningful conversations complete with coy stares at everyone with a player or two, while the other players would ignore them. "Chupacabra" kept getting turned into "Cuba Libre" and things would go druggy or blue. GenCon staff would check badges twice, the only time they did during the entire convention. When I told the three from New Jersey that were one of the better organized gamer-friend groups I had met, I was told, "Everyone tells us we are the best that they ever met." I made the session a depressing art film and had Big Foot show up and carry away the Mothman hunter in a true love ending. The Nessie hunter has to wait until next year, but we were at a good stopping point. The woman turned out to be sixteen years-old, sadly no scandal to sell any books though. But now I know the age slot means nothing when it comes to ticket sales.
My second time at Rocky Horror Picture Show was better

As usual, the Spacers(TM) session, "The Green-Eyed Monster of Alpha Centauri" did not have to go space monster or violent to get into a drama about artificial intelligence and changing morality. Despite murder and a mutiny attempt, nobody in the drama (as in players and the NPC antagonist) had an unhappy ending. For all the laughs, it was a philosophical session. Though I did have a Frankenstein and a couple Hal 9000s ready to go if needed be.

I wrote "Here Be Dragons" as a stream on consciousness piece back when Wobble was a glimmer in my blog's eye. So it's about a side-dimension settled by Dutch colonists back in 1624, exploited by a spacefaring alien species, and a hidden super computer/other-worldly powerful source. Complete with radio-apes in the wood works and dragons in the surf. Every time I put it up as an RPG at GenCon, it sells out. And despite 20-30 minutes of backstory (which I round up and say "40 minutes" to the group), everyone sticks around and plays nice. That includes even the guy with only four hours of sleep in three days. Ended early and had to pancake the ending to end when I promised I would. AWESOME PC concepts by the players, so totally stealing for the LARP of this next year.

With "The Book that Dripped Blood" I was not able to just sit back and ride despite it being the most ran scenario by me ever. No the players, including Vince from Gringos on Thursday night, added too much depth, for that too happen. The players were pitch perfect in their performance to be not handled by the story-crafting me. I suppose that when the roleplaying gets going, the plot can be waylaid as much much as any miniature-driven grid game. We were at the 3/4s point but the clock was at the end-time for everyone's energy level. I found a plot ending without fully explaining the secrets of the scenario as scripted. I was flattered to explain to everybody that the scenario was published before the Sharknado movies ever aired.

Well Sunday was a bust. Sawright. I spent time with The Boy, and then Kal, and then Bruce Wayne.

Well, it was a bust.
Pure Rococo metal!

Monday, August 5, 2019

GenCon '19, Part 1: The GenConenning

So having driven to Springfield, Ohio Tuesday night/Wednesday morning for work, when I left Cleveland to get to Indianapolis I went via Toledo and down the middle, or so, of Indiana. Might as well do the whole Miami River basin in fourteen hours while I was at at. For all hype I heard about traffic jams around Indy, I pulled into the McMarriot right around expected. And the gang was waiting for me. Old Home Dinner (well late lunch) was a blast. I met our newest member Natalie, let's call her The Expert from now on. She was essential for the Supernatural LARPs this year.
Brooke earns her Pubber-Wings by getting us the VIP booth at the Ram
Heading on to JerryTel's "White Plume Mountain" I was more than a bit lubricated. Mz. Rebeccah, our waitress,  had a bob cut and tent dress and I was in love, so I had bought a couple drinks. The game was fun, the man does D&D like a master violinist. It was still D&D, and I had a headache by the time Bill Bricker showed up, about as soused as me but holding it much better, giving an excuse to disappear for a few minutes.
Miskatonic Expedition Indy 2019
The Grid Map of Madness

The morning was pretty much free. I spent time breakfasting and then napping after my roommates, Caed and her hubby, Rodney, and Dylan, a veteran from last year, ventured forth into adventure. Alternately to run games and get tickets. Rodney had some time with me at the room swapping war stories and getting to know each other before it was time for me to find out where my games were going to take place. Oh yeah, Lucas Oil Stadium is just the best place to be, if you're in a stroller. No bar and hopefully somebody else is driving anyway.
This way?


Just about there...


Probably not.

Now the conference room itself was great. The stadium is built for sound moving upwards, I would learn, so even when the medium-sized rooms filled up, it was people shouting not the noise of people speaking normally hanging around the place. Alas no ambient cloud of sound ensuring headaches among the weak-hearted and sore throats for GMs. "Alas poor Jurick. I knew him Horatio." That is to say, I wouldn't mind the place next year.
Aaron, 1st year PeryPubber, running something D&D

One of my games. A couple ppl not pictured.

Nearby over at the "Tower of Gaxx," Dan (Frank Sinatra)

All except one of my games were filled. Sunday was a was. I'll get more into the games themselves tomorrow.

Captain & Touchy-Feel

I asked him to "Pout, baby, pout."

Deadpool belly-dancer? Not trying hard this year.
Some RPGers about to make You Tube history. "A4O"/"O4A" (?) sans plucky GM. She's holding her own camera here.

Mister Awesome McAwesome. AN ORK!

Well because, you bumped into me first.

Mz. Apryl hurdy gurdy metal artist extraordinaire.
 Overall, pretty great. Stayed over on Sunday when the room service at McMarriot gets too busy to make beds or remove towels, but there is still a crowd. Kal and I had dinner and a couple drinks. Bruce Wayne later brought by two small bottles of scotch. Amazingly I was able to wake up by 6:45am w/o any prompting. Drove back through Toledo mostly for the favorite rest stop with its Hardee's outlet. I had forgotten Peryton's present, so I brought home a chicken sandwich which the franchise does the best in the whole world.
Chicken sandwich not pictured here.