Sunday, June 30, 2013

Please Return In...

Announcement coming.

Sleestak Sunday is Shaking

What would a Sunday be without a sleestak?  I found another brilliant person over at Etsy who loves sleestaks, YokaiJohn.   The sleestak is wearing his slingbow low around the hips and Enik is just happy to have a buddy.  But what are they?  Something tells me there is something more to them than just happiness.

That's right, they are salt and pepper shakers.  Or two salt shakers.  Or two pepper shakers.  I guess you could put cinnamon in them or sugar.

These are great.  I want to go season something.

Check out YokiaJohn's store at Etsy.  There are a lot of cool things.  A dwarven ramrider, a gorilla with a laser gun and some guy with an eye in his butt.  What's not too like? 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Question: Manor Content

This question is going to be directed at me so excuse my selfishness.  I'm about to send the 4th issue of the Manor out to proofreaders.  I've got a three and a half projects scheduled after the its completion.  For the fifth issue of The Manor what kind of content would you like to see?  I was going to give examples, but rather leave it open ended.  I've got some idea about doing a mini hex crawl for the next issue, but curious as to what others might like to see. 

I have a fairly big announcement coming on Monday.  It will be slightly different than the normal yapping here.

I hope everyone has a great Friday.  This week has last for 27 days.  I only wish my weekends felt like that.   

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Random Picture Wednesday

I got no post.  So when all else fails, put up a weird photo.  I like this photo.  I know nothing about it.  And I do believe that is a swastika on his button.  

Jeremiah just provided me the identity of the photographer.   David Pritchard, I liked to his site.  He's got some great b&w photos. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

One Zombie Horde and a Rope

Last night our GURPS game took an interesting twist.  Our current group is building an inn with the money we received from a ransom after capturing the Scanadian King.  We acquired land and permissions, builders and allies.  Next door to the place we choose to build is a place called the Plain of Cairns.  Probably not the best location, but it looked good to us at the time.

Current session.  Our inn is being built.  We were coming back from another mess involving a mage guild.  That’s a whole other story.  When we get back to our site we notice something is amuck.  No one is at the worksite.  Well, one zombie is walking around.  Crap.

Delvin (Ken, The Rusty Battle Axe) and Brom (Chris, Clash of Spear on Shield) went ahead and played whack a zombie.  I stayed back just in case.  It was then I noticed a large group moving to the north.  I got the other two and up we went on our horses.  Horses became the single most important thing in this game.  We came upon a horde of 25 to 30 zombies chasing our workers through the woods.  These were the fast 28 days later zombies.

I came upon a brilliant idea.  Actually it was pretty cool.  I had one end of a rope and Brom had the other.  We formed a taut line and then rode through the zombies knocking them all prone except for a handful.  We got into a short battle, took out a couple of them.  Enough to allow the workers to get away.

Then the horde got up.

This is where the speed of the horses saved our bacon.  And our asses.  It was obvious that we wouldn’t survive a frontal attack.  Even a strategic attack would find us joining their ranks.  So we ran. 

This is where is got cool.  We used Pathfinder’sChase cards.  They really added a cool element to the chase.  Like the instructions said we laid down 5 cards and flipped them over as we went.  It was a blast.  The cards helped us get rid of the pursuing zombies. 

Two of the horses nearly died, one of the chase cards was a giant snake and two of the ponies went down.  Luckily I had a couple of neutralize poison potions. 

The second half of the adventure was us dealing with the mage guild again.  Like I said that’s another story and another post.  Rob (Bat in the Attic) ran a hell of a game.  It was a lot of fun and a great adaptation of using a product from another system. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Organizing a Project, Part 1

Organizing a project can be mind numbing at times.  There is always more work than you expect.  I’m going to write about my process of organizing a project.  There is a lot of dysfunction in my process and get hung up on details that a better organized person would avoid.  If you’re planning to start a gaming project here are some things you might want to ask yourself.

How long will this project take?
More often than not it will take longer than expected.  I always think I’ll get something completed long before I do.  For some reason I can get 90% of a project done in good time, but that last 10% kicks my ass.  The better you plan ahead the quicker you can avoid the wall.

Do I have time to put into it now and if it goes over my expect time? 
This is a big one.  KickStarters suffer from this in epidemic proportions.  If you are brave enough to put a release date then you should do your best to keep it.  Gamers are pretty forgiving, but if you want people to take you seriously you should do your best.  If you’re late let them know.  For The Manor I never have release dates, but I always set a date in my mind.  I think I’ve hit one.

Do I have the resources to complete the project?
Resources can be money, people, equipment and/or time.  Most gaming products can be done on the computer with free programs, downloaded to POD service and you are good to roll.  If you are like me you’ll need to find someone to do art for you.  Proofreaders are gold.  Get a good one, get two if you can. 

Will I still be interested in this project weeks from now?
This one is huge.  Some projects sound like a fantastic idea and then when the grind to finish it begins, interest begins to wane.  Is this something you want to invest your time into?  Sacrificing some nights with the family, missing a few movies and if you think you can just crash on the couch and play Black Ops II then forget it.  The last one I have still not mastered.  It is a serious commitment.  So make sure what you’re going to do will keep your interest weeks on down the line.

Do you know where your project is going?
Meaning is this going to be a print or PDF product or both?  Which store you’ll use.  Do your homework.  A lot of them are similar, but there are enough difference in submission, payments and costs.  A little time up front looking at stores will save you problems later on.  Or maybe you’re going to keep it in house.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Knowledge Illuminates Pay What You Want Update

I put Knowledge Illuminates on the Pay What You Want on RPGNow and now that its been over a couple of weeks I thought I would update how its been going.  I know some are interested. 

Total Sales: 51
Free: 38
.01:     1
.10:     1
.78:     1
$1:      5
$1.50: 1
$1.90: 1
$2:      2
$10:    1

Nearly 75% of sales were free downloads.  Of the thirteen paid sales I made $23.29 (not going to figure in the RPGNow cut).  I averaged .46/sale. 

This is a skewed result because KI has been out for a while and most who wanted it already got it.  While the results aren't spectacular they are interesting.  I appreciated who plunked some coins into the tin cup.  All the sales I made went to ConTessa fundit.  I'll keep KI on PWYW, but not sure if I would do it again.  I do like having the option though.

I'd be interested to see how others fared. 

Sleestak Sunday Jewelry

Have a new love interest in your life?
Have an old interest that's pissed off at you?
Or do you like to rock sleestaks yourself?

Steamplanet over on Etsy has Sleestak Skull pendants that are the answer to all the questions above. 

Seriously.  Go check out Steamplanet.  They have some crazy cool stuff there.  If you are a steam punk fan than go now.  Go to Steamplanet and come back lighter in pocket, but cooler in finery.  Here's a couple more of my favorites Steampunk Sculpture Terror Tractor with Death Ray!  If you don't click on that link just to see it you are on the wrong blog.  Go away.  I could put the entire inventory on here they are all great.

Happy Sleestak Sunday.  Even you Lurker!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Question: Overrated and Underrated

I'm a huge NFL fan and I'm over on a lot just checking out the latest football news.  Not all the other nonsense around it.  Recently they had the most overrated and most underrated players of each team listed.  So I thought I would parlay that into Friday question here.

What gaming product do you think is the most underrated?  And what gaming product do you think is most overrated?

For me the underrated product will be the Citybooks by Flying Buffalo.  They have always been a favorite of mine since they first printed them.  I guess I find them very useful in several ways.  I can plug in one of those shops and have three adventures at the ready. 

Overrated?  Hmm.  I'll have to think on that one a bit. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Saving Throws

Do you go with the five?  The ref, will, fort?  Or the single throw?

I decided to stick with the single throw with a simple adaptation.  Saves start at a base of 18 for all first level classes.  These saves will decrease by one for each level gained until it maxes out at 9.

Each save will be accompanied by the appropriate ability modifier.  Along with the ability modifiers there will be instances where being a certain race will get a bonus.

I haven't decided what races I will use, but I plan on having a variety.  I like having different types of dwarves and elves.  But rarely do you see that done with humans.  The difference won't be on the racial level, but on the cultural level.  I won't get all anthropology on this, but enough to add a variety.  Using real life differences between a desert and city culture.

Just something I'm working on between projects.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: 6 Iron Spikes & a Small Hammer #1

I received my issue of 6 Iron Spikes & a Small Hammer, Issue #1, earlier this week.  It is written by +john yorio, proprietor of Tabletop Diversions blog. 

The Physical
John's zine is 16 pages long.  This includes the front and back cover.  It is made of 20# paper, not cardstock cover.  It is bound together by some fancy use of floss.  It works really well.

The art is clipped and pasted and gives the zine an old time zine feel.  I think of safety pins, mimeograph machines and inky stuff everywhere. He does provide an example of what he doesn't do the art himself.  I would love to see more of his art in it.  It's childishly creepy.  He's hand drawn the maps.  Did an excellent drawing of a sea monster.  The cover, the guy has got a mustache to twirl.  It's killer.  I have to say, when I saw the cover I thought the zine was going to be western themed. 

As you can see on the front cover this is a Sandbox of Dr. Moreau.   John gives us an introduction.  He sites H.G. Wells' Little Wars as an inspiration and reintroduced him into gaming again.  But it was The Island of Dr. Moreau that "grabbed his brain like a Leopard Man tearing off the head of a rabbit."  How can you argue with that?

John provides information to plug in Moreau's Island into your campaign.  There are no stats to tweak.  You'll need to do those yourself.  The map is simple with a few sites of note.  My aged eyes needed to look a couple times to find the location noted.  He provides some adventure seeds/hooks.  Then a random encounter table.  Most of which are one time encounters.  I do the same with mine also.  He provides a second table for more generic encounters.

One of the things that I thought was very cool was the Beast Folk Generator.  Five tables to roll on to develop your own critters. 

I really enjoyed reading 6 Iron Spikes & a Small Hammer.  It has a real zine feel and look.  I mean come on, he sewed the pages together with thread or dental floss.  It will require work to stat the NPCs and a few weird creations.  But finding a place to put in your campaign should be easy.  This could add a mad scientist/mage element to a campaign.  A man creating his own race. 

If one does as God does, enough times, he becomes God.

That makes an excellent premise to build an adventure upon.

It's $2.  For the print version.  Go get it. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Campaign Seed Material

I admit it.  I'm working on a campaign setting.  A little bit between the other things I've got going.  I bought that Piccadilly notebook and jotting down idea, house rules as I think of them.  I'm setting aside some OSR created supplements to use in the creation of this campaign.  I'm trying to keep the list small because there is so much it could easily become overwhelming.  I specifically targeting things that are very specific.  Here's the list I have so far.

Kefitzat Haderech, Incunabulum of the Uncanny Gates and Portals by +Paolo Greco.  I wrote a review for it in May.  This book is going to be great for developing gates I have planned.  This is something I've never done in my previous campaigns.  Looking forward to adding this element.

Trick, Empty Room & Basic Trap Design by +Courtney Campbell.  And also by Courtney, Treasure.  He's a solid producer of gaming material.  I haven't used these before, but I've kept them in my campaign notebook for a reason.  I will definitely be referring to them this time around. 

I have a list of workshops, with guild deign sheets, but not sure where I got them from.  The list of shops is great for city creation. 

And the last thing I currently have is Medieval Mining by +John Stater.  It is from issue #5 of Nod.  One of these days I want to get all his issues.  John does an excellent job of breaking down what I want to do in game into mechanics or ideas I can use. 

This is the start I have so far.  I've decided to use the S&W Complete ruleset.  I'm looking for a few more cool classes to throw in. 

If you have any suggestions please let me know and add a link in the comments.  Thanks.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sleestak Sunday

Wow, this is a bad ass version of a sleestak brought to you from Creature Spot.  This one looks like a cross between piranha and bi-pedal reptile.

 Then the a few version of sleestak armed with weapons.  Great work. 

I'm spending the day trying to reorganize the office.  It's a practice in futility, but I might actually get a clean spot. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Free RPG Day Score & More

Is that a beautiful picture or what?  So I hit two stores today for Free RPG Day.  First was Gold Star Anime.  I got there before they opened.  For Free RPG Day I get a self set, small allowance to blow on gaming stuff while I collect the free stuff.  At Gold Star I picked up a copy of Dungeons of Dread.  I've been wanting to get this since its release.  S1 is the dungeon I grew up on.  Then I got a pay of over sized d20s and a pack of Gamemastery, Chase Cards.  Mine has a different front.  I like these decks.  They are very well done and sometimes I bring them out just to work them in.  After purchasing them I got to pick from pretty much everything.  I got a copy of Cosmic Patrol Quick Start, Reap the Whirlwind, XCrawl Dungeon Crawl Classics, Pathfinder's We Be Goblins, and my two favorite, Hall of Bones by Frog God Games and the winner of the day, James Raggi's Better Than Any Man.

I haven't scored that much in several Free RPG Days.  The owner asked me to run an adventure, but time is not something I had this day.  Although I may schedule to run something there in the future.  On to Erie, Book Galore awaited me and more RPG Day trinkets to be had.

 I had a dual purpose on going to Book Galore today.  I've been tinkering about getting back into comic books, but as someone who hasn't bought one since 1979 the selection is overwhelming.  So many different one and so many different story lines for a superhero.  I remember Fantastic Four had two different comic types.  I never understood why, but I like the art better in the one story line, but liked the story better in the other.  Then of course Thing had his Marvel Two-In-Ones.  Thing was my favorite.  I always thought he got a raw deal a lot of times.

So I go in there and gamer guy is not there.  My good mojo continued.  I spoke to the one guy who seemed to know his comics well and I asked him about the New 52.  I was interested in seeing what it was all about.  Batman's story interested me so I ended up getting Batman, The Court of the Owls Vol. 1 and a copy of Batman, Zero Year.  Super psyched to read them.  The other thing I picked up was Pazio's Giant's Revisited.  They have a bunch of these books and I haven't been disappointed with them yet.  Plus I got it for 40% off.  I got to select three Free RPG Day items.  Alas, no dice.  Crap.  There I picked up C&C's A Pot of Broken Bones, T&T's Preview Pack and a second copy of Hall of Bones.  Rob was at Origins today and I wasn't sure if he'd have time to pick up a copy. 

My day continued on.  I picked up three micro notebooks I plan to use to write down ideas I have during the day and can never remember them when I get home.  I always used to do this when I wrote fiction, but for some reason I stopped.  I picked up a Piccadilly notebook because they are great and I got it for a good price.  And lastly at the bookstore I also got a free issue of a Superman comic at the check out. 

I came home, got a pizza and felt the weight of all the bags of great stuff I had as I brought them into the house.  Spread them out on a table, took a picture then wrote this blog.  Now I'm going to go read it.  I've got my gamer buzz going. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Free RPG Day and a Flashback


Free RPG Day is tomorrow.  With Origins and 3E going on I think it's getting overshadowed by these big boys.  I will always have an appreciation for this day because it was one of the events that directly affected me into exploring my old games again.  It looks like two of our local stores are participating.  The one store mainly sells MtG cards and  tons of weird anime shit, but they've got dice and host all kind of games.  Then the regular store I go to is participating again.  That's the store I have problems with.  I'll repost what happen two years ago. 

I'll only be allowed to select one item from the one store because I'm not a member.  *shrug*  I rarely go there much.  Too much of a battle.  So I'm thinking I'll probably be able to get one item from each.  My first choice is Hall of Bones from Frog God Games.  Second choice is I'll pick up Better Than Any Man from LotFP.  I think I have two copies of We Be Goblins!  They've been giving that one out for a couple of years I think.  Of course what I would really love to score the d6 Free RPG Day commemorative die.  And I'm always curious about the Tunnels and Trolls offering. 

If you can only get one thing tomorrow which one would it be?

and now you hear the harp music accompanied by the scene going all wiggly and fading out as we go back in time two years ago for RPG Day when I encounter the gaming guy.  And I don't remember what was going on with the blogs at the time.  Must have been some nonsense firestorm.

So here it is Free RPG Day, I was not feeling all that enthusiastic about it to begin with, but damn it I wasn't going to miss it.  I wanted to get my commemorative d6.  And who knows I might actually meet a cool gamer or two.  So into the game store I go (I won't mention the name because I am not going to be too nice here in a few) and at the counter is the gaming guy.  This store is mainly a book store, but it has a decent gaming section and he is in charge of it.  This gaming guy is about as irritating as they come.  He's one of those I have an opinion on everything especially about the things I don't know about.  If you've been to the moon, he's been there twice.

He's talking to two other gamers.  "Goodman Games DCC is crap.  He's trying to be all 'old school'"  He did that little finger quote thing when he said old school.  "The OSR is such lame shit."

Ya know, I try to be a nice guy.  I really do, but sometimes things just don't work out.  So I ask gamer guy, "Have you ever played any of the old school games or the clones?"

Without a beat "No.  Don't see the point.  If they were any good WotC would still be publishing them."

Now there are so many things wrong with that statement I stood there for a second hoping he would laugh or give me the gotcha sign or something.  Nope.  Dead serious.  Now, like this recent fray on the blogs, I knew speaking with gamer guy would be like going into a deep mineshaft without a lantern.  No chance of changing his mind.  So instead I addressed the two gamers.

"If you guys are interested at all in playing some old school style gaming you can download the rules for free.  *gave them S&W, LL, and Osric were the ones I could remember*  There is a game just south of here we play twice a month, your welcome to join in any time you feel like it.  It's a great time.  If you don't like it it won't cost ya a thing."  Also gave them my email if they had any questions.

The two guys were interested, gave them some gaming blogs to read.  I am not sure if that was the best thing considering the rants of late.  The gamer guy actually tried to grab the paper I gave them.  WTF  Luckily the goof has the dexterity of a dog turd and nearly fell down.  The two other guys laughed at him and left.  Said they would give it a look.

So now I am alone with gamer guy.  He's pissed and I still didn't get to pick any of my free stuff yet.  This was going to go well.  I am thinking, I'm going to get arrested today.  And to tell you the truth, I was in a mood where I was okay with that. 

Fast forward ten minutes after looking at some other gaming stuff.  I ended up buying Pazio's Misfit Monsters.  They always do a great job.  Luckily for me and my arrest record gamer guy's shift was over and the owner lady took over.  I didn't say anything about what happened to the owner because the gamer guy is her nephew.  I ended up getting the Dragon Age quick start and Goodman Games DCC.  What I failed to get. and one of the main things I wanted was a commemorative d6 for this year's Free RPG day.  I'd gotten one for the past four years. 

Sales Donation

Reposting this one today.  Two more days to grab some gaming PDFs and help out Con Tessa.  Or donate directly what ever works best for you.  

+Stacy Dellorfano is working her butt off to get +ConTessa going.  I'd like to help her out because when I see people put so much effort into something and when that something is pretty cool, I'd like to see them succeed.  She's asking for donations to get it going.  I've added the donation link to the right side so please donate.

Here's the deal on my side, I want to donate to it.  Here's how I want to do it.  Any sales on RPGNow I make until Sunday I will donate towards Stacy's cause.  I'm already donating what I've made through last weekend so I have a small amount to donate, but would love to donate more.  Buy any GM Games product on RPGNow and all the money goes to +ConTessa.

Or donate directly. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Manor #4 Progress

It seems like zines are popping out everywhere these days.  Look what you started Christian.  So far Dungeon Crawl #2 has come out.  +Wayne Rossi is looking for submissions so get them in there before June 30th.  I just recently posted about 6 Iron Spikes & a Hammer being released.  I believe this is +john yorio 's first attempt and I'm looking forward to a copy.  And recently announced was Copper Droppings, I believe it is headed by +Michael Garcia and +Erik Tenkar.  Michael recently revealed the header.  It looks fantastic.

With all these new zines popping out I need to get #4 on the road.  I have been working on it a lot lately.  Like last issue I ran into a problem where the idea I had was too ambitious and needed to be tailored down.  Now that I've done that I think it serves the adventure better.  I should have all the text completed by this weekend.  Just need to finish the last section of the adventure.  Stat NPCs.  Then do my own read through before I hand it off to my proof readers. 

This was the original village map I had.  Twenty buildings, geographical locations.  And way too big for the space I have in a zine.  I like the map and will probably use it in a future project. 

This is what the current map looks like.  The Hamlet of Low Ridge is where the adventure begins.  There are two other locales that are included and needed details so space was precious.  As you can see the number of buildings was reduced from 20 to 7 which helped save space and made the adventure tighter. In the zine this map will be in b&w. 

The section Beneath the Manor, a mini monster manual is pretty much done.  Just need to do a read through and make sure all the stats jive.  The art is incredible.

I'm hoping to get more work done tonight.  Lairs need to be laired and monsters need to be monstered.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Zine Alert!

+john yorio has completed his first issue of 6 Iron Spikes & a Hammer.  Look at the stash.  Wonderful.  I'm very excited to see what John has come up with.  If you feel like ordering a copy of 6 Iron Spike & a Hammer then click the link, its only $2!  I wish John the best of luck with his zine and hope he can sell a truckload. 


Note: Just read through this and it is a bit of a ramble.

Censorship.  A mild topic for an early morning wouldn't you say?  I'm focused on self-censorship, what you think should stay in and what should stay out because of content, not necessarily quality reasons.  Maybe its sexual content, a graphic description or something that maybe just didn't jive with the vibe of the project.  Example, B2 is a straight forward adventure, here are the good guys.  Here are the monsters.  Just a fun romp of hacking and hauling.  If someone would have written in a rape room or explicit sacrificial scene it wouldn't have matched the tone of the adventure.

I have a long background of working with others, especially children.  Because of this work I censored myself a lot during the early years of my game writing.  I kept my writing light, fun with a touch of sarcasm.  Okay, maybe more than a touch.  For the past few years I've been working more with adults and that automatic self-censorship is fading.  If you've downloaded Faces Without Screams you'll find it more graphic and kid unfriendly.  It's not something I choose to do before hand, it's brutality fit the tone of the work I wanted to write. 

I don't like things that are weird just to be weird, or gross to be gross, or sexualized just to add an edge.  When I read these kind of things I get bored.  There is enough room in RPG writing to explore all these subjects without needing to reach for them.  Connected to this thought is people who try to censor others.  More often than not when this happens, those who wish to censor something end up driving more attention towards the product.  I remember back when the 2 Live Crew got all their attention because of the explicitness of their lyrics and cover.  It was a shit CD, but because other censor wishing people wanted to ban it, the CD blew up.

Quality sorts out what should be on the shelves more than the content.  While I can't stomach a lot of mutilation, rape, or any violence against children I would never tell anyone else they couldn't.  If the details fit the context of the adventure and well done its a lot easier to take.  When its written just to be shocking the quality often sucks and uninteresting.  That is, unless someone gets self righteous and thinks it should be banned from the land.

I'm thinking of this because of the writing session Rob and I had yesterday.  We are working on a sandbox setting for LotFP.  It's set in England and I thought of having an incarnation of Jack the Ripper show up centuries before he gets big.  Jack the First, I call him, is a traveler, he targets women, drugs them with a sleeping potion then slips on his cock blade to murder them in the act of sex.  While not the most imaginative or gruesome it was graphic enough to make me hesitate.  That self-censoring kicking in.  Years earlier I wouldn't have written it.  But even today I bounced the idea off of Rob and asked if he thought it was too much.  (I'm also aware of the nature of many LotFP adventures and know that my encounter is well within its bounds.  I wouldn't write the same entry for a product for Goodman Games or Brave Halfling Publishing.)  Rob thought it was an interesting idea so I kept it in.  Whether it is written well enough to stay in when we start editing is another matter. 

I'm not really sure how to end this entry.  It feels like I should have some sort of summation, but I don't.  I guess I'll end it with a question.  Are there boundaries you won't cross in your writing? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

RPG Writing Session

Let's step in the Wayback Machine...

...come on in there is plenty of room. 

We button a few buttons, lever some levers and whoosh we head back to 2003.  Ten years.  +Rob Conley and I are sitting in our local library writing.  Rob wanted to get more fiction savvy and I needed to knock off the rust off my prose.  There we were, before blogs, before iphone, tablets, and I could still go to Borders cafe and get a javanilla.  Man, I miss those. Neither of us were blogging.  I hated the word blog.  Back then it was the noise a wet fart made.  OSR?  Retro clones?  I think 3.5 just came out.  Not sure. 

We're sitting in the library.  Talking about what kind of stuff we would like to write.  RPGs always comes up.  What we could write?  How we would get it out there?  Neither of us had much of an idea.  I was writing more fiction than anything at the time.  Stories lingered half written on floppy discs.  Rob was more involved in the forums.  I wouldn't go on them.  Didn't like the noise.

Okay back into the Wayback Machine...

...back home.  Back to today.

Oh look, there is Rob and there I am.  Sitting in the same seats at the library.  This time Rob is surrounded by technology.  He's got a tablet, laptop, external harddrives and I think he has a bionic beard.  I'm sitting there with a notebook and pencil.  Ten years later we are working on a gaming project.  We've got several under our belt now.  Rob asked for a bit of assistance and I'm always glad to help. This time instead of talk about how we can do RPG projects we are talking which ones we want to do.

It took us a while, but we did some things we talked about ten years ago.  We got our gaming ideas out there.  We continue to have more ideas.  We've did what we set out to do 10 years ago.  Tonight we're sitting there and bounce ideas off one another.  "I need a name for a witch hunter."  "Do you think a cock blade is too much?"  "What spell system is being used?"  I really enjoy the process. 

Here's to the next ten.  My guess is I'll still only have a pencil and notebook. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Project Idea...Sending Up an OSR Flare

As if I didn't have enough to do. 

I've been thinking about this idea for a while.  I want to do a magazine of gaming, short stories.  Yeah I know, fiction doesn't do all that well in the OSR, but I'm too damn stubborn not to do it.  I won't go into any details because I have none.  Why do I want to do this?  'Cause I like to read.  I think it might be interesting to collect a bunch of gaming stories from folks I know.

Let me know what you think.  And really let me know if you'd be interested in contributing.  

Where most of us will probably read it.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Pay What You Want for Knowledge Illuminates

Last night I added Knowledge Illuminates to the Pay What You Want list of of OSR items.  After the responses to yesterday's Friday's Question and reading what others, more proactive than myself, have said.  After a little consideration and kick ass pizza and an episode of Ghost Adventures (I really do like the show, they crack me up) I decided to go for it. 

I'm a fan of options.  For a buyer this is one of the biggest options you can have.  As I mentioned in the previous post, as a buyer I'm not all that fond of picking a price.  Never have been.  I know others have said get it for free then plop in the money.  It may take some effort, but I'll get there.  The interesting thing is that of all the OSR products on the list of PWYW, I already bought all, but two of them. 

Random Thoughts (some are obvious)
  • Of course this won't work for print versions.  No way could I do this for print versions.  I'd end up paying others to read my stuff.  Had to do that for college.  Didn't like it all that much the first time around.  But I think this is a no brainer.
  •  I think a suggested price would be helpful.  Although I haven't seen how I can do this.  When Knowledge Illuminates comes up in a listing of products its old price is there, but when you click on the product page it just has the PWYW box.  It would be great to have an area just to put a suggested price.
  • For GM Games I don't see doing this for new products.  I will probably wait a few months before offering it PWYW.  But, there are ideas that I would develop just for PWYW.
  • It makes bookkeeping a nightmare.  lol
  • RPGNow for some reason did not put the PWYW option in the price section.  I had to get on Google+ and but Tenkar where to find it.  You'll need to go into Update Product Files.  This is where you usually select that its a PDF file.  If you want PWYW you'll need to select it in the drop down menu.
  • I read someone mention they hope that free stuff doesn't go to PWYW.  I know I won't be doing that.  I'll continue to put out weird freebie stuff once in a while. 
 I thought about doing a perceived  value story here, but I won't.  It bored me when I wrote it.  Short version, Ivy and I ran a business for over five years and there is a lot to be said about perceived value of something.  Lowering the price does not necessarily make it sell better.  Not at all. 

Here's a little glimpse of what has gone on since I placed Knowledge Illuminates in the PWYW category.  It hasn't been 24 hours yet, but with the speedy Erik Tenkar he already reported the change.  I've translated all the money into US dollars.

I've sold a total of 17 copies since late last night.
12 got a free copy.
1 person paid .78 cents
1 person paid $1
1 person paid $1.90
1 person paid $2
1 person paid $10

This seems about average from what I've heard from others.  The other thing to consider is KI has been out for a while and most of the people who were going to get a copy has got it.  Nearly 33% of the customers threw some change into the tin cup.  One generous person laid down a tenner.

As a publisher it comes down to what you want out of your product.  Is this a viable option for you and your product?  I'm going to see how it goes.   I just checked and 3 people have KI in the shopping cart and 34 have it in their wishlist.  This has been a fairly steady pair of numbers.  With this option will it persuade them to choose KI?  I don't know, but its kinda cool to see how it will work.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Question: Set Your Own Price

RPGNow has implemented a payment option where the buyer can pay what he or she wants.  I always like having options, but not sure if I like it.  For me as the buyer, I like to know how much to pay.  I hate haggling.  Put a price on it and I'll decide.  But....I'm very curious how this will work and on the verge of liking it.

So my question to you is, do you like the set your own price option?  Why you like or why you don't.

Tenkar already listed a bunch of fantastic products that are using this pricing option. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Gnomes of Levnec


First the the info, Gnomes of Levnec sprouted from the twisted mind of Zzarchov Kowolski, proprietor of the Unofficial Games blog.  It is available on PDF format on RPGNow for the weird price of $2.91.  And on a recent blog, he reported he has physical copies ready to mail. It's a 16 page adventure.  I'd even call it a mini setting.

First impressions...this is a adventure is disturbing and hilarious.  I got a lot of entertainment  reading it.  It doesn't matter if you like gnomes or don't like them you will love this adventure.  Zzarchov takes the Travelosity pitch men and terrorizes them.  I loved it. 

Here's the gist.  Gnomes are magic.  If you eat one, you get the magic.  Big magic.  Gnomes taste good with bacon.  Gnomes don't like to be eaten.  There is even a recipe on how to prepare Gnomes and a fantastic pictorial to assist in telling the difference between a delicious Gnome or one that's rotten.

The adventure is set up sandbox style.  Or at least that's how I interpret it.  A series of detailed locations.  The plot runs through each location and its up to your massive GM creative intellect to weave your players into this horribly fun adventure.  There is a lot of meat to work with.  I like it when adventure are set up like this, its non-linear and the players can explore as the wish. 

This adventure is worth the price just to read and will make a fun night of adventure.  The prep time is minimal other than a good read through.  Zzarchov's warped sense of humor shines through in this adventure.  I highly recommend Gnomes of Levnec to all you twisted folks.  And to the straight ones, its okay to get a little twisted, just make sure your gnome is ripe. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sleestak Sunday with New/Old Gaming Books

It's got a sleetsak in it so it makes the grade.  Kinda creepy cool.
My last day of vacation is ticking away and while I wish I was independently wealthy and could afford to continue on with life of luxury, but I'm not so I won't.  Back to work for me tomorrow. 

Yesterday I wrote about gaming profits.  Wanna see where they went?

The original Monster Book by Matt Finch that inspired the back breaking tome Monstrosities.  This is one of my top monster books.  So simple, minimal art easy to use.  I bought in PDF format when it came out a while back and I've been wanting to get a print version since. 

The same thing happened with Goods and Gear: The Ultimate Adventurer's Guide, bought in PDF, really liked it and have wanted in print. 

With some of the profits from GM Games I was finally able to grab them from Lulu.  Shipped out fast, got them in great shape.  I'm compiling another list to grab, but I've got to finish Manor #4 before I get too spendy.