Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm Tired As...

New Map

Rob Conley sent me a few maps for Starter Adventures.  This one is for one of the magic-user scenarios.  He even drew some rats for me.  I started the layout of the sixteen scenarios.  That will be the bulk of it.  Each one is a one to two encounter created for one of the four classes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Low Level Magic Item

Gerald the Not So Swift demonstrates how not to sheath a dagger.
When I write adventures I do the stream of consciousness thing and just keeping writing and putting down what ever sounds cool.  This is how I come up with most of my magic items, monsters or additional elements into the campaign.  When writing Starter Adventures, because it is written for absolute low level beginners I wanted to include magic items, but I needed to keep them low-level in power, but still useful.  The Torch Knife is one example.

Torch Knife
This useful item originated with the thieves guild.  With the invention of the torch knife thieves no longer needed to carry around cumbersome torches or lanterns.  A light source they could command to turn on instantly and more importantly off.  Since then their popularity has grown among adventurers and young nobles who like to collect roguish weapons.  

Torch knives are activated by a simple command sound, ‘shhh’.  This will activate and deactivate it.  Custom command words are available, but this increases the price.  A torch knife gives off enough light to see a foot or two in front of the wielder.  This illumination is not variable.  It's bright enough to read script, pick locks and signal someone in the night. 

It acts as a normal knife in combat.  It is not considered a magic weapon.  For those creatures that require a magic weapon to hit them, the combatant will need to find another weapon. 

The average cost at market for a torch knife is around 100gp.  This price can be as low as 50gp or up to 200gp.  These are not difficult to find.  Nearly any adventurer supply shop or magic shop will have these in stock.

Almost Dead

Game night went well.  Everyone  showed up and on time, technical difficulties were non-existent and all the players survived...almost.  My players have a grueling foe they are fighting.  These guys are very good at illusions and shapeshifting.  So for them they are constantly questioning anyone they meet.  "Are the are who they say they are?" 

Last night they encountered a room littered with illusions.  Most of the characters figured out that it was an illusion, but failed to disbelieve entirely (failed their saves so they could still be harmed by the illusions).  Boog, failed his save and charged in.  What the other players saw was Boog get paralyzed.  What Boog experienced was a battle that nearly ended his life. 

Boog battled his nemesis Waldron, but found him quite a different opponent now they were no longer on the same side.  Their feud goes back to the beginning of the campaign when they both guarded the fort.  Waldron and Boog traded blows, but a cleric healed Waldron and he was able to strike the death blow.

A quick side note.  In our campaigns those who are honorable and serve a god can earn bless amulets from the  churches.   These amulets offer a +1 to all rolls, but if that isn't enough they also can save the wearer's life by deflecting a death blow or in Boog's case have him hover at death's door.  Boog hovered in that doorway and the others players fast actions was able to pull him away and revive him.  Once the bless amulet saves the wearer it is destroyed. 

It ended with them spiraling down into a deep cavern and poor Boog, failed his saving throw vs. death magic when he came across...

Next week the players will find out.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Expectations of a Small-Time Publisher

There has been some interesting conversations going on about Professionals vs. Hobbyists and I guess like me, most of us are both.  Some may sway toward one end or the other, but if you have put something out there selling, you are a professional.  My definition of a professional is you get paid for what you do.  Quality doesn't factor in.  I am sure you don't need any examples of books or movies where the person got paid a boatload of cash and the product completely sucks. 

Being a one of many in the crowd of small-time publishers I try to be as professional as I can.  None of the products I produce will be flawless, but I try to get them as close as I can.  I just had someone the other day point out a typo I missed.  Much appreciated.  Those damn things seem to spontaneously spawn.  If someone dislikes my product for whatever reason, I just hope they will stick around and see if they like the next one.  And then there are those times when you have someone hate what you've done, but have no real basis, other than personal or they just enjoy being a dick.  Those I won't waste my time on.  You let them have their say then forget them and move on to something more important. 

Then there is the matter of money.  I've been open about the profit margin on my products, how many I've sold and how much I made so far.  It's still listed above.  I can do this because I'm a one man show so far, but if I was producing more and had a few people on staff I would still be open about certain things, but be more private about others.  But the point I what to get to is charging for what you've done.  Some will say there is so much free stuff out there why pay for it?  And the answer is you don't.  There is a lot of great quality free stuff.  Part of what makes the OSR great.  But the other great part of the OSR is being able to self-publish and make some extra change.  I doubt many will get rich, but some people are making some serious mad money.  The public will decide whether your product is worth purchasing.  It's not like we don't have any shortage of people with opinions around here.

When Knowledge Illuminates came out I was hoping to sell 25 to 35 copies.  I kept my expectation low partly because it was the first thing I put out there and it was pretty much a one man show.  I think with my $1 sale, I've reach 90 paid sales.  I'm thrilled with that.  It was fun and a learning experience.  With Starter Adventure I am hoping to sell a 100 copies print/pdf.  To me that's scary high because it needs to sell word of mouth.  I have no distributor and don't have time to sell them by hand.  With assistance of Underworld Ink for the art and the maps by Bat in Attic I hope to produce a good quality book that people will have fun with.  I really won't know until I get it out there.

But to all of you out there that has no taken the plunge and have something they may want to publish I say take a look at it again, have you made it as good as you can at this time, if so publish it and don't be afraid to make some money.  Even if you only sell a handful enjoy the pizza you buy.  If you sell a 1000 then go ahead and plan the trip to Tahiti.  It's all good.  This is a game we are talking about.  Not a necessity.  Have fun with it and if done right others will have fun with it to.

Unfortunately I haven't had time to edit this post, the dogs are biting at my jacket and I am late to work.  Game night tonight here at the Manor and I'm looking forward to rolling some dice. And as I mention, once the guys finish the adventure I'll put it up as a free download.  It's Monday, it's raining and I would wish you to have a good day, but I doubt it.  Ha.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sleestak Sunday

This picture is from Vince Dorse.  He has a lot of cool pictures, but for some reason, I'm not sure why, this caught my attention.  Go to his site check out his work it's very cool.  Great use of color.  Sadly though, this is the only sleestak picture I could find.  Have a great Sunday folks.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Layout, Finding a Home for Art

Yesterday I spent 4 hours on seven pages of Starter Adventures. I did the layout for the dungeon adventure section and I forgot the fricking map. More layout time for me today. 

Rob Conley did the map and will do all the maps.  Jason Sholtis and John Larrey did all the artwork.  That's the best and hardest part of the layout having all these great things to put in.  When I did layouts for my other products I didn't worry about art because I had none.

For each drawing and each map I am trying to find its home in the space of the page.  I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true.  Each serves a purpose for a particular section of the manuscript.  Making them fit in a pleasing way is a challenge.  I guess I could compare it poorly to an art gallery where each has its space on the wall and there is a method to the presentation. 

When I checked my layout yesterday I noticed I placed most of the drawings in the right column near the bottom.  So I went back and altered the locations to help break up the text and assist in imagining the adventure I'm trying to convey.  It's an interesting process.  Although I have cussed out my computer screen for not doing what I wanted I think I have a handle on it.

Now I am onto the New Monster and New Magic Item sections and if I can get Ivy off the couch and pry the 360 controller from her hands (she is glazed over playing a marble spitting frog game) we may go to the bookstore.  Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Hunter and Four Orcs

I was playing RAGE a few months back and it had a great little mini game in it so I thought I would rip it off and place in my game.  Here is my version.  I think it is a simple game that I think will be a lot of fun in game.

The board is simple, it is build in a X shape.  Each arm has three spaces and the orcs start at the end of each arm and the hunter stands in the middle. 

  • Player makes a bet.
  • Four dice are rolled each round.  For every 1 rolled an orc is taken off the board.
  • If the player manages to kill all the orcs in the first round the player earns 10x his bet.
  • If the player manages to kill all the orcs in the second round the player earns 4x his bet.
  • If the player kills all the orcs in the third round he wins his bet back.
  • If the player fails to kill all the orcs he loses the bet.

Optional Variant
In larger cities gambling houses may add two more arms and one more space.  The player would roll six dice per round and the player would get a 25x payoff for the first space.

I think its a cool little game you can put in any tavern or gambling house and the mechanics of it make it game friendly and won't slow things down.  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Sale

Happy Thanksgiving to all those out there eating turkey and to the rest of you, well, have a good Thursday and try not to be jealous because I have the day off.  Muhaha.  I decided to drop the price of Knowledge Illuminates from $4 to $1 for the holidays.  So any of you out there that have been wanting a peek now is the chance to do so.  I plan on using any profit gained from the sale to send out hard copies of Starter Adventures.  So if you have some time, take a look at it and see if it might interest you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hand Drawn Map

I leave the professional map making to Rob.  But when I do them on my own I hand draw the map then add the text in Paint or some other program.  And for the building itself I did a little work in paint.  This is the medium map.  There is an overview map and of course a more detailed map of the inside.  The overview shows the three main areas where a series on three one-shot adventures take place.  This is the map for the second one.  The first one, Mine of Rot & Disease, this one is called Ambrose Abbey and the third is yet unnamed.  Mine of Rot and Disease was going to be my first release before Knowledge Illuminates, but I opted for the latter.  The cool thing about this module is Whisk did some artwork for it so I am looking forward to getting it ready for publication. 

Game Night Cancelled

After working hard on the adventure I got a flurry of emails Monday during lunch that one couldn't make it and two would be late at different times.  Because the party is in the middle of an dungeon adventure I decided to cancel and try again another time. There are times when having a partial party is fine, but when the whole crew is in the middle of a dungeon, not so much.

All is good though.  Four day weekend coming up.  Hope to get some reading done and work on a few projects.  Starter Adventures is in layout, just waiting for maps.  That is my fault for taking so long to get them to him.  I plan to play around with some layout ideas. This will be one of the more trickier layouts I've done.  Not that I have a ton of experience.  But I look forward to solving the problem.  I know I am limited by using MS Word, but its what I'm comfortable with.

Time for work.  Hope it goes quick.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Working on Tomorrow's Adventure

Finishing up the adventure for tomorrow's game.  We should have a full party once again.  It's great to have full party.  I'm using the Complete Tome of Horrors to populate my dungeon and its been a lot of fun.  Tweaking and figuring out different ways to present things.  Short post.  Just having fun on Sunday night creating havoc. 

Everybody Loves Sleestak Sunday!

Except Lurker of course.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tome of Adventure Design

I knew I was going to do It, I just didn't know when.  I ordered the the Tome of Adventure Design from Frog God Games.  Inching me ever closer to that $1000 dollar mark on the left hand column.  I'm thinking either Pathfinder's third Bestiary or some must have OSR product is going to nudge me over the edge.

First impressions of the PDF are I can't wait to get the print version.  I already have the first two books in print.  Both are excellent.  The third book is about building an adventure and the philosophy behind it.  Tables everywhere.  And if you have experience with the first two books each table has a purpose within the whole.  They are not random, random tables.

The forth book, probably the one I am most interested in focuses on out of dungeon adventures.  I haven't had a chance to look at it too closely, but I plan on setting some time aside and playing with the tables tomorrow.

Like the Complete Tome of Horrors, this tome will be a fantastic addition.

Three Things I Like Best About Swords and Wizardry (title edit)

I've been thinking about a few month old AD&D campaign and how it compares tot he retro clones. It has been a blast digging through the old books and they still fall open to the tables a DM is always looking for.  But there are a few things I do like better with the retro clones.  Here is a quick shot.

1. Ascending Armor Class
Simple, no table needed.  I like it for easy reference.

2. One Saving Throw
I do like the single saving throw more than the five different saving throws.  But, I think I like the Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws the best.  Still, the single number save is easier and keeps things rolling.

3. Easy Monster Creation
Okay, this may be a subtle difference between 1st edition and the retros, but miles easier than doing GURPS critters.  The simple stat blocks of the Monster Book (which is the only thing I wished they had included in The Complete Tome of Horrors) save the GM a lot of headaches.

Have a great Saturday and try to be nice to those gentle peasants.  Remember to leave them their wedding dresses and grandmothers.

RPG Heroes Are Jerks

Friday, November 18, 2011

friday, what to do?

Not much has been going on as far as gaming this week.  Our group took a break this week due to conflicting schedules, but we'll be ready to roll this Monday.  In a way it worked out.  It allowed me some extra time to work on the adventure they are going on.  When they are done I plan on putting it up for a free download. 

Yesterday I tempted fate by suggesting an OSR podcast and got a few replies, some said the market is saturated and I am sure it is, some said do a video (well actually James said it) and that would be cool too, but that is even more technology I would need to learn.  Some said it would be cool.  Usually in these cases when I am thinking of something like this I won't ask for public opinion.  I'll just do it and see what happens.  I know there are some good podcasts out there, but I guess I would like to see one more OSR centric.  I may get together with Rob Conley and see if we can come up with something.  He would be the tech guy and his knowledge of games and gaming is encyclopedic. 

Right now I am feeling like switching it up a bit.  I would like to get excited about a project again.  Starter Adventures is just waiting for maps so I can do the layout.  I'm looking forward to releasing it to get it off my table and move forward on the next. 

The next project will probably be Hydra related.  I'm more of a lurker at this point.  Seeing what others are doing and seeing how the group gels or segregates and go from there.  Some of the projects proposed I would definitely be interested in. Megadungeons are always interesting although I rarely use them.  It's tough to get a party through a normal sized dungeon.  Still, never did one and would be interested to see it constructed.

It's Friday.  Hope to get some good writing in this weekend.  The Whisk will be whisking so it will be just me and the pups who randomly terrorize me.  Have a good one folks and stay safe.  Snowing like crazy here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

OSR Podcast?

I am about to throw this on the forum over at Hydra.  How about someone doing an OSR podcast?  I am not that person since I have no idea how to do it.  But I know how to listen to them.  There are a ton of podcasts out there, but I would like to see one that is more OSR centric.  Do what Underdark Gazette and more, interesting blog posts, current releases, announcements, interviews and general news.  Just curious what others thought? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More OSR Products

Other items I would like to add to my list that I think are top notch products are:

The One-Page Dungeon Contest
I think most would agree this little contest brings out the best in the OSR.  Not only from the designers of the adventures, but the judges who donate their time, Alex who has coordinated it the past couple of years and the sponsors who offer some fantastic prizes. 

Beyond the Black Gate Compendium by Al
Beyond the Black Gate was one of the first OSR blogs I plugged into and had a pleasure of tossing some dice with Al.  For the past couple of years he has released compendiums which are fill with useful tables, article and ideas.  All free.  All Al.

Inns & Taverns by Satyre
Over at the Fame & Fortune Blog Satyre has been pumping out Inns & Taverns for a while.  I am a huge fan of them.  Can you ever have enough taverns?  I don't think so. 

Favorite OSR Products

James over at the Underdark Gazette asked what our top OSR products are.  So after failing to post yesterday due to technical difficulties and a light array of swearing I will bore you with them now.  Like most people said, these are in particular order. 

Points of Light by Rob Conley
I wasn't aware of the OSR at this time.  Forth edition D&D hadn't been released.  And every time I heard someone talk about being 'old school' it invoked my gag reflex. But as I look back I think this is an excellent OSR product to get campaigns started quickly.  I know I am partial to this because I helped in its creation, but I still refer to it today.

S&W Monster Book by Matt Finch
When I mention my favorite monster manuals this one right up at the top.  Before the Tome of Horrors and the new Hacklopedia of Beasts it was my favorite.  Those beautifully simple stat blocks.  Even with the two heavy weight tomes I mentioned I will still refer to this one often.

A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe by Expeditious Retreat Press
If I were a professor of RPG Fantasy 101 this book would be required reading.  It breaks down the complexity of medieval society into a playable form.  It can add a depth to a campaign that will make it a rich place to adventure for years.

I only have Knockspell on this list because out of all the magazines I like this one the best.  Fight On! is a great mag, but Knockspell seems to geared more towards what I like in a gaming magazine. 

All My 1st Edition Books
I'm using them for a campaign right now.  We are having a blast.  Even after 30+ years I still love reading through them and finding new ways to surprise the players. 

Tome of Horrors by Frog God Games
The master of monster manuals.  This hefty book could kill a kobold.  With the addition of the lairs, the write ups and excellent art this book I think is a must.  I just miss those simple stat blocks from the Monster Book.

Neoclassical Geek Revival by Zzarchov
This is a nice hidden gem in the OSR.  What makes this rules variation so interesting are the sub-systems that he employs.  Zzarchov has a fresh and interesting way of looking at things that you may take for granted in your own game.  If you get a chance I urge you to check out NGR.

There are others.  Adventures I didn't even get to mention, but time has caught me up and I now must go to work.  And its only Tuesday. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sleestak Invade Etsy

The sleestak can be found on Etsy.  I love this belt buckle.  Although that little point on his head above and below seem a little risky.  On slip or wrong bend and you've been impaled by a sleestak head. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dungeon Crawl Session

Cast of Characters
Boog, fighter – Rob Conley
Grim, thief – Brian
Corum, cleric – Rusty
Ailen, magic-user – Josh
DM – Me

Monday Night found the party’s number increased to four as Josh joined the fray.  The party now has a representative from each of the four base classes as Josh took on the roll of magic-user.  Running on only brain fumes for the session I skipped the whole clever introductions or creating an organic situation where they would meet.  Hell, there isn’t even a tavern to do the cliché meet and greet.

After the players helped remind my sorry ass of where we left off.  (Side note: I always have the best intentions of keeping detailed documentation for a campaign, but it never seems to happen beyond a few sessions.  So no having the best memory ever created I often need reminded of where we left off.)  This time I did have an idea and created a dungeon for the session. 

With only minimal introduction I had Josh join the party on the outside of the dungeon.  The party tracked one of their enemies to here, a not so abandon temple of the old Death God, Ba’al.  Abandon temples of death gods are the best.  After some muscle work from Boog the barred door fell under his mighty onslaught. 

Immediately upon entering the players saw the strange sight of a crumpled pillar with long tentacles laying on the floor about it.  After a quick and cautious inspection they deduced the pillar had been a roper.  Ailen saw that its teeth and eye had been removed.  Someone with the knowledge of components and Viz must have killed it. 

Not long after the inspection of the roper was completed the party was attacked by two 8’ skeletons with big ass swords.  Corum was able to turn one.*  The second one lumbered forward and shattered Corum’s shoulder with a massive blow.  After trading blows with the giant skeletons the party limped away victorious. 

After this attack the players investigated a couple of rooms and found the front entrance was under a good amount of mountain from the initial earthquake that cut them off from the civilized kingdoms.  Ailen discovered a Pouch of Preservation (see New Magic Item Section) with pipe tobacco stashed in it.  They avoided a room of zombies.  Although there was a nice scene with them scrambling with iron spikes to keep the door shut as the zombies piled on on the other side.  Zombies, always a good time. 

Then the unsuspecting party came upon a locked door.  After some tinkering with the lock, the door burst open with a cloud of dust that blinded most of the party.  A dust ghoul (from the Tome of Horrors) attacked the players.  The players had no idea how much danger they were in.  The dust ghoul was prepared to summon his dust zombies, but after being wounded and the decisive strike from Corum, sent the creature lifeless to the floor.  Boo-yah! 

Inside the room the players found thirteen pedestals, two empty, eleven with grotesque statues of the others gods in perverse positions.  Boog, being an art connoisseur of perverse statuary wanted to take them with him, but decided they were too heavy and would probably break off the most interesting parts during the adventure.  He put a Boogmark in his brain to come back and grab funny statues.  On the floor the symbol of the death god was inlayed with black quartz.  Corum got a very bad feeling about this room and had the party leave.

As they stepped out of the statuary room the floor trembled with a loud rumbling noise that seemed to emanate from beneath them.  Scary.

The party then encountered a strange door that was intricately decorated with thirteen skulls.  The eye sockets of the skulls were holes.  After some monkeying around and a fail trap check by Grim, Boog took a header into a 20' deep pit.  At the bottom was black water.  When he climbed out he was covered in transparent leech like critters.  Boog scream like a little girl and as they burned them off of him he screamed a little more.  After much deliberation they decided the door was no match for them and moved on.

As we neared the end of the session the players heard and felt the rumbling under their feet once again.  Something must be pretty scary under there, eh?  They found a secret door that opened to a small room with a pillar made of black quartz.  The same kind of quartz the symbol in the floor in the statuette room was made of.  They broke out the make shift wood platform around the pillar and discovered it dropped a long way. 

The final room where we ended for the evening they found a storage room.  It had enough basic supplies for a hundred men.  The most interesting part of the room was the war chest they found.  It had some money inside and a few other things, but the chest itself was something they plan to drag out of this place.

*The players don't know this and if any of my players are reading this stop now or lose 250xp.  Corum still has the ability to 'turn' undead, but it does not make them flee.  Instead it stuns them for a number of turns.  At the end of that time they can attack normally.  A house rule put into place since this is the dead god's home field. 

DM Notes
The fortunate thing was the players explored all the rooms I managed to detail.  And ended where I had gotten to so that leaves me time to get it ready for out next session.  Which will be in a couple of weeks because this week two players will be absent.  I got a good idea what will be in the remaining rooms, but I want to take the time to flesh them out a bit.  So far in this dungeon I created two new magic items.  One of which will be explained in a bit and a couple new spells.  Always cool.  The addition of a magic-user into the group I think will prove invaluable. 

A short note about the magic item.  I decided to use the ritual system that Rob uses based off the ritual system that 4th edition uses.  Which I think is a pretty good system.  A magic-user can do a ritual that take 1 turn/level in time and cost 10gp worth of components/level of the spell.  The Pouch of Preservation was created for this.

New Magic Items
Pouch of Preservation
This pouch can hold up to 50gp worth of spell component to keep preserved.  It is a fairly common item among magic-users.  It is especially useful when a component has a short shelf life.  It is not water sealed so liquid will run out.  (250xp)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Using Netflix as a GM Aid

There are enough reality shows on nearly an niche of life available any more.  For example, I know absolutely nothing about boating, but after watching about a 100 hours of Deadliest Catch I can create something for my players with a touch of reality.  I've ready Moby Dick (yes, the whole thing and I didn't even have to) and into the Heart of Darkness and a couple of other water adventure literary stories, but I learned more by watching the TV shows. The other benefit is the vast cast of characters you can collect.

I've got something planned for a future game session and one of these shows is providing a nice bit of atmosphere.  For me, it helps me realize my space, the world I am trying to develop, in a three dimensional and all five senses.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just Got MW3


Monday, November 7, 2011

Open For Business

I'm proud to announce my wife (The Happy Whisk) has opened her Etsy store, The Blanket Shoppe.  These are very warm, very fun blankets.  Shipping is free to the continental US, unfortunately shipping has increased so drastically we are not offering them outside the US, but if you are tucked away in the remote corners of Canada, England or Antarctica send us an email so we can shoot you a price and make arrangements.  So if you have a few minutes and need a baby blanket for an upcoming shower, need a different type of gift or just love blankets check out her store.  Thanks ahead of time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Slee Trek Sunday

Now this is a series I want to see.  This Captain Stak seems much more bad ass than Kirk.  However, I am a little dismayed by the rolled up jeans.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Saturday Night

Last night of vacation.  Ivy is in the kitchen making something that smells great.  I'm watching Night of the Living Dead.  I'm just saying.  It's all good.

Hydra, the Co-Op

I joined the co-op yesterday and I was immediately inundated with emails.  I rarely get email.  Whisk is the emailer.  She gets about fifty to my one.  After sifting through them I think the name they decided on was Hydra.  Good name.  It fits.  It goes along with what I think this group is going to be about.  From the introductions we have a diverse group of folks who all bring a lot of talent to the pool so if we can somehow organize and manage correctly I think some good things will come of it.

Projects are being discussed.  Philosophy and direction of the group are being discussed.  And what services we are providing are being discussed.  I won't get into all the legal crap because I don't know a damn thing about it.  All I want it to help some folks out if I can and get some help at times.  I do have a solid group of people around me now, but it never hurts to diversify and keep options open.

I haven't said much to the group.  I am more of lurker at this time.  But will offer my ideas when I have one worth saying.  Right now I am just trying to figure out the group, the personalities within, expectations and how much time I can invest into it. Should be fun.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Newest Toy

It is a custom at the manor for wife and husband to exchange gifts.  Whisk being wife, I being the husband.  This year she got me a NookColor.  I've been thinking about getting a reader for a while now.  I'm always late to the technological party because...probably because I am the guy who would buy the 8-track player, the beta recorder or the HD home theater.  So I find it best to lay back for a while and let things get sorted out then buy.

Right away I took a liking to it.  I did have to battle with the wireless in my own home.  The first night we were driving around at 12am trying to find an open feed.  It was amusing what information you can find driving around reading all the names of the wireless feeds.  After bouncing a few stores leeching off their signals, we ended up in McDonalds parking lot and I was finally able to register my Nook.  Rob (Mr. Bat in the Attic) helped me figure out the wireless problem I was having at home.

One of the reason I went with the NookColor was it already had a PDF reader.  The less I need to fiddle with this stuff the better.  Plus the screen looks amazing.  We go to Barnes a lot and you can look at books on it and do all this other stuff I haven't played with yet.  Although I did read some blogs on it.

Off I go with a parting picture of my new toy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My Stack of Monsters

Not sure why just thought I would take a picture of all the 'Monster Manuals' I have.  I didn't include the rule books with monsters in them, slayer guides or other specialty books. And this doesn't include the several PDFs of critters I have.  Just plain old, big ass, books filled with monsters!  

From the top to the bottom we have the Castles & Crusades Monster & Treasure, the Monster Vault for 4th edition D&D (this is on top because its a box and I didn't want it crushed.  The best thing about this box set is the tokens you get for all of you out there who can't dedicate a room to miniatures.)  GURPS Fantasy Bestiary is next.  I know it says GURPS Fantasy and that's because I pulled out the wrong book and I didn't feel like re shooting.  I admit it, I am a lazy photog.  Next layer is the   the eight volumes of Hacklopedia of Beasts, Malevolent and the Benign which I think is a under appreciated book, Monsters of Myth, the classic Fiend Folio, then the gigantic volume of The Tome of Horrors, Pathfinder's Bestiary 1 &2, Monster Manual 2, then the one that started it all for me the Monster Manual, Monster Manual 4th edition D&D, Monster Manual 3rd edition, and way down there on the bottom is the beautiful new Hacklopedia of Beasts for Basic HackMaster.  One book that isn't included and definately one of my favorite because of its simplicity is the S&W Monster Book.  Love those stat blocks.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Which Monster Would You...

...take to dinner?  Weird question?  Sure, but we all sorta are so this question should not surprise anyone.  Ivy and I were yapping over some cold pizza, bad wings and ice tea about her cooking new things over the vacation.  So I poised the question to her (which will be a blog on her site) which chef person would you like to go over to their house and have dinner.  To me its a no brainer, Nigella Lawson.  Cause even if the food isn't too my liking I am still going to have a good time.

The gamer version I ask to you folks, is which monster, god, demon lord or famous NPC from your gaming world would you like to have dinner with and why?