Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday's Boxed Question

I've been reading through my stack of gaming books I received from Troll & Toad and this morning was reading one of the adventures.  It has some very amusing box text, or the words the GM is to read aloud to the players.

I think box text is taboo thing in the OSR circles, and rightly so as it usually makes presumptions that don't fit the adventuring party.

One of the bx texts start with "You fling the door open and gasp in horror..."

OSR dudes rarely fling the door open cause they know there is shit on the other side that could eat them.  And do I have to gasp in horror?  Would it be okay if I hum in horror or pucker my lips in terror?  The presumptive nature of box text is where it fails for me.

But wait you think (see, doing a little box texting of my own here) doesn't Knowledge Illuminates have blocked text.  Guilty.  But I use it the other way.  The box text is for the GM.  Usually I write a few sentences of what's in the room, but that is just the info to give the GM the outline to run with.  The box text is there for the 'second layer' of the room.  What the GM knows, but not the players.  A physical marker to make the information easier.  People may not like that way either, but that's the way I like to write some of my adventures (some, there is not a box in sight).

My Friday, this week has been so damn long, question is, Do you like the use of box text?  I think if its used right there of course is nothing wrong with it, but when you direct the players actions within the text is a huge mistake. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Why I Publish (or Piggybacking Off of Dylan)

Yesterday, Dylan over at his Digital Orc blog posted Why Publish?.  An excellent post that goes into why he publishes and what he learned along the way.  If you haven't read it please do.  Mine can wait.  I warn you ahead a time, this is a bit of a ramble.

I can blame a lot of it on +Rob Conley for my gaming publishing bug.  I'd been tinkering in short fiction for years.  Rob and I used to get together on neutral territory and go over the writing we'd done for that week.  Fast forward a few years, Rob worked on a few projects with Goodman Games, I helped a bit.  It was the first time I saw where our ideas, from our game could come to life in print.

I published Knowledge Illuminates back on February 2011.  Hard to believe its only been three years.  Seems longer.  I hesitated putting it out there.  I was still a newb and for some reason I think there was some flame wars going on at the time.  No idea what it was about, didn't care either.  But after some discussion with friends Rob and Dwayne I released it and cringed.

I was hoping to sell 25 copies.  Thought that would be cool.  If I reached 25 then I'd do another.  Rob kept saying I'd sell 100.  I told him to give me whatever he was smoking so we could both enjoy the delusion.  I put it out there and a lot of cool people were very generous with their praise.  I surpassed my 25 in a short amount of time and before the year was out I'd sold 100 copies.  Hell, it hit #1 on RPGNow for a few moments.  It gulls me to say Rob was right.  What I learned from this was the amount of support I received.  To not worry about people liking it or not.  Just to trust yourself, make something you like and share it.

Then +Christian Walker...Mr. Walker...I know he'd been putting out zines for a long time.  Before I knew him.  My first experience was when he did 1 square = 5'.  I thought it was very cool, but it didn't trigger a light bulb.  Then he released Loviatar.  The sky opened and lightning struck.  Holy shit, I can do this.  I got a long armed stapler, a new printer and a crap load of card stock.

I can't draw a stick unless I photo copy a real one.  I needed art.  My budget for the zine was next to nothing, but I had a few coins rattling around.  +Jason Sholtis was someone I'd met and did the art for Rob's Scourge of the Demon Wolf, I asked him if he would be merciful on me and do the cover.  He did and drew me a incredible kickoff cover and then +Johnathan Bingham said he would do a picture.  And Mr. Walker himself helped me a great deal with finding my footing.  Again the support was fantastic.  It got a ton of reviews.  This one again showed me that people could get behind and get excited about something I did.  I received support from folks I didn't know.

By this time, I'd been out long enough that bad reviews started filtering in.  Bad reviews don't bother me, not everyone is going to like your product.  I appreciate the time they took to review it and hope they like the next one.  I think I only had one negative review where the person obviously hadn't read it and just complained about random things.  In those cases I just ignore it.  He didn't put much thought or time into his criticism so I just don't respond.  No need to.  And the great thing is most of the folks that have given me poor reviews I've spoken to and they are all good guys with honest opinions.  That is a good thing and some have bought follow up products and liked them. 

Most of those who read this blog know I'm very open with sales, costs, numbers.  I like sharing that hushed part of  the business.  Sometimes it gets to be a touchy subject about folks want to make a little money.  Ignore the nay sayers and booers.  I want to let people know it can be done.  Not that I'm the guy that will show them the way, but give them my experience and hope to see them release something. 

Lastly, the money itself.  I am a lousy accountant/record keeper other than the number I sell.  I know I spend more than I make on other gaming products.  And that's it, I mainly do this to get something I like out there, get the excitement of making a little cash for something I love doing and getting some extra scratch for all the cool stuff I want to buy.  Recently I've been saving a little more of my money off of projects so I can start paying my art dudes and dudettes a little more, pay people who contribute or help out.  I call it pizza money.  And the thing of it is most of them don't want any money, they just want a comp copy. 

The publishing thing doesn't happen in a vacuum.  I think nearly everyone needs the talents of others to get them to a good, completed product.  The OSR doesn't seem to have a limit of talented individuals.  I'm always fascinated by all the backgrounds and job skills people use to improve their gaming experience. 

I publish because I love to game.  To gather with friends and share something I put so much time and effort into along with the help of others.  I publish because it gets me revved up.  When I release a product I get adrenaline pumping and stay up late and painstakingly watch my email for orders.  I publish because I really need the creative outlet, and while I can do this in the privacy of my home there is a certain satisfaction you get when another person talks about it.  And I publish because, for me, the OSR is a community of folks who love sharing their ideas for a hobby they spend significant time (and money) on that invades nearly every part of their life. 

Monday, January 27, 2014


Monday morning are always fun.  Especially when the snow and wind are blowing like crazy and the road on the mountain into town is just shy of an ice slide.  Get into work and have three voice mails from over the weekend of angry people.  Get ready for a three hour meeting that only ten minutes is relevant.  Appointments lined up this afternoon with other walk in and expect you to drop everything because they have arrived.

BUT, it's game night.  And that makes it a little better.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Getting Edits from the Wife is Never Boring

I'm finishing up my first go round with edits from Whisk, aka the Wife.  And I thought I would share a few of the comments from the pages.  Most are harmless.
Cool Beans
Good Name
The there are others that are a bit more distracting.
Butt brothers?  That would explain why Buzzard hasn't nailed Chola.
A little farther down the page.
Ah.  So she might get nailed yet.
People who only know the Mad About You show will get the next one.
Bounce?  Why do you gotta say bounce?
Then she has notes on a separate sheet of paper.
This part could be better.  Rewrite.  Make it less crappy.

Regina get mentioned as being part of a guild, but before we learned she is a server.  Wait.  Now I'm confused.  See me in person for this one, preferably without pants.
 Yup.  All in red pen.  I think I could sell this version for more than the clean version.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Major Mail Call

One of my favorite on-line activities is going through the bargain bin at on-line sites.  Earlier this year I scored a ton of goodies from Pazio's Great Golem sale.  This time I went over to Troll and Toad, a store I was introduced to at Origins and follow on eBay.  Into the bargain bin I went and this is what I got for $11.06.

That's the box.  Those are my gloves.  I like my gloves.  They have nothing to do with the mail call.  I just like them and left them in the picture.

Here's what was inside the box.  That's me remote in the background, it photobombed my stash.

I like weird dice.  So I bought a few I didn't have.  But those two on the left.  How strange, they are in French.  I don't read French.  It would probably kill me.  Hmm, who do I know that could use them?

Two small monster manual.  Zine sized.  They are from Expeditious Retreat Press.  I'd never seen these before and snapped them up quick.  +joseph browning always puts out great products.

Another monster manual.  What I found interesting was that +Andy Hopp did the illustrations.  I met him in passing at Con at the Cob.  It's kinda hard to miss him.

An addition to my GURPS collection.  I'm always looking for books I'm missing.  This was one.  Just a word of advice to those two folks.  If you have two pistols and a machine gun, ALL of them should be pointed at the scary red cloud skull thing.

I bought a batch of modules for very cheap.  I like a lot of what Fast Forward Entertainment put out so why not give it a shot.  And I think Tim Brown has been cheated.  He should be in the Hall of Fame (football humor).

I know absolutely nothing about this one.  I dig the cover.  And I am all about fantasy horror so bring it on.  I'm not sure why the sticker is telling me to never mind. 

I got this because it was Judges Guild...that's it.  It's got tentacles on the cover, both guys are wearing skirts and he holding his knife like he just saw his long lost girlfriend (masturbation joke).

Another entry of Fast Forward Entertainment.  I got this one because villains are good to have.  I think the game would be very boring if everyone was chums and sang songs about happy they were.

Another entry of Fast Forward entertainment and not the last.  Super cheap so I got it.  I bought the Green Race book in another sale at Pazio and while I'm not a huge fan of it, I'm hoping the adventures will be more to my liking.

The last one for FFE.  This one I am very much looking forward to reading.  Demonic lairs.  It goes along with the Encyclopedia of Demons and Devils which is very good.  Ward wrote this one too.

Another missing link to my GURPS collection.  My GURPS shelves are going to need lubricant to get any more books on there.

Another one I'm intrigued about.  I a big fan of Camelot, Arthur, Holy Grail stuff.  Never heard of this one.  Mordred apparently is on the installment plan for his armor.  And Morgan is looking cheeky.

Now we get into the batch of Swords and Wizardry adventures by Frog God games.  I've never been a fan of water adventures.  They tend to be boring, but when you have Bruce (Jaws humor) eating a long boat (I have no idea if its a long boat, but it looks long) why not give it a chance.

Guy standing on a ice lake that is cracking all over.  I did not know what ursine meant.  It means relating to or resembling a bear.  Didn't even know there was a word for that.  I always thought "Hey, that looks like a bear" did the job.  Tower in the background, another guy in a skirt, helmet in hand, he's dead before he gets off the ice.

The second in the series.  I think I have one other in the series.  I forget which one.  Hope its not the same one.  I guess if it is, "contest at the Manor, win a Splinters of Faith adventure".  If not I'll read it and wonder why she's got two little axes and how she gets her hair to stand up like that.

And last, but not least, another Judges Guild offering.  This one has been on every bargain bin pile I've seen.  I finally decided to grab a copy because I don't have one.  Conan like man taking center stage, his buddy keeps telling him to make a big muscle and purple mage guy is making scarey hands.

All this for $11.02.  Fricking bargain man.  The shipping was more, over 18 bucks.  So I got all these 16 books, 5 dice and a box for less that $30.  You don't have to be jealous or hate me for being pretty.  You to can have some of these by going over to Troll and Toad and hitting the Troll and Toad Clearance button in the upper bar.  You'll need to have a good chunk of time because they have a ton of stuff.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Question: Campaign Prep

I've been toiling away on developing a campaign and I've been pillaging blogs and my gaming shelf for ideas and short cuts to alleviate some of the work load.  I have a campaign influence list above of some of the posts from other blogs I've really liked and plan to use.  I've also used (using) a batch of books OSRians and others have written.

My question today is, when developing a campaign what book do you use most?  Are there a certain series you use?  A single book that does for you.  Is it a gaming or  historical book? 

When I am looking for cultural nuances to put into play I'll grab some anthropology books/articles and get ideas.  GURPS books are great for boiling down a culture into gamable and interesting parts.  For classes and rules I have a batch of retro clones I like to take from.  The frame system is Swords and Wizardry Complete, but with a lot of Adventures Dark & Deep and Blood and Treasure tasted on.  Not to mention a lot of my own concoctions. 

So when you sit down to write up a campaign, what books are on the desk with you?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gods and Classes

I was going to write a post about gaming complexity balance.  I should say, I did write it, but deleted it cause it sucked and a little too pedantic.  So I wrote this instead.  It's your fault for reading.

This campaign I'm opening a couple things up, classes and gods.  I'm opening up the classes because they're are so many available and the variety is a lot of fun.  While there will be a lot of choices the classes a fairly straight forward.  I've added a few culture based classes to reflect the region and what they hold valuable.  You won't find any race class stuff.  I've never been a fan of elf or dwarf being a class.  I'm beg, borrowing and stealing ideas out of my gaming books and all your blogs out there.  Once I have a collection of them I'll edit them for the region, but I won't put limitations on the PCs.  They like to feel special.

Gods.  I normally run a 10 god pantheon with a long back history, tales and lore that go along with it, but being inspired by the Petty Gods project I've been creating a lot of nook and cranky gods.  It's been a blast creating them.  I like the weirdness that infuses into a world.  The clerics will reflect their god instead of being cookie cutter clerics.  I'm going to leave the interpretation up to the player to figure out and then we'll role-play it out.  Example, if a cleric of Lavinia, a goddess of Mercy and Healing tried to cause light wounds its not going to work and the cleric will lose his spell for that day.  But if they are healing someone they'll get a bonus to their roll.  And the gods are fickle, I'll roll reaction rolls each month to determine the god's mood.

What do you do to differentiate your religions and/or clerical abilities from one another?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lamination Time

Friday I had a mini contest of map voting and commenting.  +Ben L.  and +Brett Slocum won maps because there was a tie.  So they will get my laminated map with description on the back.  Here's Ben's before lamination.

Then I put these two back to back and laminate them together.

Yup, looks exactly the same except in plastic and for that reason alone makes it cooler.  I'd show you Brett's, but I already put it in the envelop.  They're going in the mail tomorrow.  As well as your order Ben, thanks!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Filling In My Campaign One Pebble at a Time

For the past few days I've been developing small sites the players can find in my campaign.  I like to do this because the work up front isn't all that much, they are little surprises if the players find them and it helps me flavor the immediate area.  It doesn't take a lot to get the player's interest.  While I'm stopping short of "Squirrel!". it's pretty close.  I say this with confidence since I am mainly a player.

A couple of examples:
As the party hacks away as the undergrowth this section of the forest gets darker.  The canopy of leaves blocks out most of the sunlight.  One of you notice the slightest of trails.  It winds towards a thicket of trees.  Within the trees you spot a battered shack with a severed arm at the peek pointing toward the sky.

The road looks to have been cared for at one time.  Even in rough shape it is better than most of the main kingdom roads.  Along the eastern edge of the road is a shallow swamp.  Several dozen blacken stumps jut out of the dark water.  As you continue the swamp gets larger and the swamp noises increase.  It reaches a point where you have to shout to speak to the person beside you.  Its then you notice, a half buried obelisk stands tilted about fifty yards in. 

As a player, I'm checking both these places out.  Might be nothing.  Might be just a old thing along the way.  Might be the start of an adventure.  You don't know until you investigate.

Say I decide to make the shack the home of a witch.  All of sudden the nearby villages might have animals come up missing.  A child that wandered off into the woods has not returned.  I'm about to say something corny, forgive me, but its like throwing a pebble into the pond and watch it effect the surrounding area.  Then again, it may be nothing.  And having sites like this that are mundane are very important.  Not every cabin in the woods should be an event.  Same with the obelisk, maybe its just an old decoration left over from a sunken building and that building is all but gone. 

Anyway, that's what I've been working on.  To help ease the work load I've been using maps that I've drawn, +matt jackson+Dyson Logos, +Simon Forster, and +Rob Conley.  I've been using various gaming products too numerous to name here, but I will in a later post.  Give some shout outs to those who made my campaign better.  And I'm also plugging in a few pre-made adventures by others because I liked them a lot.

Okay, time to go throw another pebble.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

And the Winners Are...

There were 29 votes for the map contest and there was a tie.  Number 2 and number 4 tied with 8 votes.  So it looks like I'll be giving out two maps.

Map #2 is going out to +Ben L. 

And map #4 goes out to +Brett Slocum.

I'll write these two up and send them off in the mail in the next couple of days.  I wanted to thank everyone for participating.  I had a much better turn out than I expected.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

22 Votes and 4 is Number 1

A few hours left to vote on the map poll over to the right.  Over there ---->

It looks like the votes are evenly spread with #4 separating itself just a bit.  Folks seem to want to know what's it that cave.  I can't blame them.

Comment on the previous post or the previous post and get entered in my little card map contest to win the laminated version of the winner.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Question: Survey

I've been drawing a lot of my little maps lately.  I've got a stack of them of varying degrees goodness and not so goodness.  I selected four of them for you guys to vote on (I'm going to use one of them there fancy voting thangs on the side).  Vote for one, and if you put a comment, I might pick you to get one of my little laminated creations.  So my Friday question to you is, which map should I develop?  I'll keep the poll up until tomorrow night and randomly select from the commentors at that time.  I know, Friday just go so much better.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Want to Run Your Own Business?

I got this email from Staples and they are having a contest to give a start up business up to $25,000.  That's the grand prize, 1st place is $15,000, 2nd is $10,000 and there are 7, 3rd prizes for $5000.  All you need to do is use a 100 words to write what your business ideas is and a list of equipment you want.  Give them your name, email, and phone number.  So if you have an idea give it a go.  Why not?  I did it a little while ago and took about 10 minutes.  Just read the rules first.

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Art Sale

Jay Penn over at his Realms of Faerie is having an art sale.  His prices are very reasonable and his pictures are fantastic.  He's got them listed on his site and they are going quickly.  Just email him which ones you like and he'll send you an invoice.  I snagged three pictures.  And to be honest, I waited to post this announcement so I could get the ones I wanted.  Muhaha

I already have a collection of Jay's work.  If you have a game room and looking for some good old gaming art, Jay has got some pictures waiting for you. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Not So Productive Today

The group decided to take the night off.  Real life's big, ugly feet stomped all over the game this week.  So I had the night free.  What could I do productive.

Edit - Nope
Draw a Map - Threw away three and not liking the fourth all that much
Write a Review - Nope, but I hope to do it soon
Write a Post - Not this post
Antagonize the Wife - Accomplished

At least I got one thing done.  I doubt Ivy was pleased.  Brain is shot for the day.  Tons of work tomorrow.  Hoping to get some of my work in tomorrow.  I'm going to go read A Thousand Dead Babies.  That ought to cheer me up.  Actually its a very good adventure by +Zzarchov Kowolski.  I want to do a review of it this week so I need to read through it again.  I very much like this one.

So maybe I'm just prepping to do something?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sleestakk Sunday: Sup'

This casual dude of a sleestak is brought to you by Angelleo 76.  Looks like he should have a pair of faded jeans, thumbs in the pockets, a sun worn cowboy hat and a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth.  This is one chill'n sleestak.

The wife and I are headed to the book store.  Doing more edits on a project of mine.  I'll announce it as soon as I can figure out this whole POD stuff.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Map Time! - Mining Camp of Abury

Another 4" x 6" card map.  I tried to give the creek banks some texture with some rocks, but it look very crude.  Ah well.  Kept this one very simple and overall I like the way it turned out.  I have about 16 or so of these little guys completed.  I did this one on a index card, wrote an accompanying card and laminated them together.

This is what the back looks like.  A simple overview.  A few stats.  A situation.  A little picture of a lizard man.  He even smiled for the camera.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Maybe I'm That Guy: A Bit O' the Rant

Last night I was reading an article about GMing and the psychology of dealing with players and running a game.  The more I read the more frustrated I got.  When I saw that the players and GM should have a 'safe word' in case things got too heated, I had a visceral reaction of wanting to punch the writer until he stopped moving. 

I'm all for folks getting along and having a game.  Gaming is supposed to be enjoyable, otherwise why do it?  But when you add pop psychology techniques into the mix on how to manage players and feelings...just saying it makes me want to throw becomes a workplace situation where being politically correct must be observed when your killing a hundred imaginary goblins with an imaginary fireball.  Screw that.

People get into arguments.  It happens.  You don't need a damn group hug and pass the talking pillow around the circle.  Group dynamics work best when you get a group with a common sense of what you want out of the game.  The Monday night crew I game with are all 40's dudes who have been playing for years who enjoy making stupid jokes, making fun of each other and rolling dice.  We cheer and laugh at the failures as much as the successes.  Probably more at the failures.  But we come together each week expecting a break from our real life responsibilities and worries. 

Others want something else out of the game.  Maybe it becomes more to them than just a game and take it more serious when bad things happen to their characters.  That kind of person would not fit into our group.  I would hate to see someone come into our group and try to be serious.  I think they would get frustrated very quickly.  We have some grade A smartasses in our group.  Yes Ken, I am putting myself into that category. 

If you need a fricking safe word or a time out chair for your group than the dynamics need to change.  A person may need to go.  It's really no big deal.  There is no congressional right to game or to belong to a group.  If you have a griefer in your group you don't invite him back.  If it's a buddy of your get in his craw and tell him to knock it the hell off and let's have some fun.

Some people will think I'm simplifying the problem.  I would tell them they are complicating the situation.  I've been very fortunate in this regard, with annoying members of a gaming group.  If I don't like it I don't go back.  Why get angry and frustrated?  I can do that at work and get paid for it.  Minimize the bullshit.  Maybe that will be my safe word.

Or maybe I am just that guy.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Random Dungeon Room Creation at Lunchtime

The door is made of ancient wood that is falling from rusty bands of iron.  There are holes in the wood, but no light or sound comes from beyond the door.  If someone looks through the holes in the door they will see nothing but darkness.  Normal light will not work.  Magical light will allow the character to see 15' within.  At this distance he will see a statue of a horned creature with powerful wings and arms.  It crouches as if its about spring towards the door.

The door can be easily removed.  Inside the room the players will find eight such statues in various positions.  The one statue has a rod in its hand, he is a bit larger and has four arms instead of two.  The other furnishings in the room are stone tables and half pillars.  They are very basic in design.

The statues are gargoyles.  They are in hibernation.  If 8 points or more of damage is done to a statue the gargoyle will awaken, even though the gargoyles can only be harmed by magical weapons.  Once awaken it will release a gravelly shriek to awaken the others.  It takes a gargoyle 3 rounds to awaken from the hibernation.

Ten feet above the floor is a small ledge.  There is a secret door in the wall.  It opens to a small chamber with 30 gargoyle eggs.  Each weights 20lbs and made of stone.  The gargoyles, if kept in optimal conditions, will hatch in twelve years.   If they are brought into the sun they will permanently remain stone eggs.  A health gargoyle egg can fetch the price of 1000sp to nearly 5000sp depending on the market.  Spoiled or Stone eggs are a high end novelty that can get 100sp at a market. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hack and Slash Therapy: Pocket Adventure

Lunch time at work.  I need some dice and an orc to kill.  I'm thankful we are gaming tonight.  I think I might create something I can stick in my pocket and use during my breaks.  Do a small pocket adventure.  Have a table of random characters, roll one.  Have a table of random encounters, roll one.  Have a table of random treasure, roll one.  If you're guy beats the baddie then you get the loot.  Record the score of you guy in the book.  Keep using the guy until he is defeated.  Record score, sorta like the old high scored of video games. 

It would be a d10 system.  Easier to find numbers on random things 0-9.  An orc may have a hit target of 3 or above.  A ogre may be 5 or above.  And each monster would have a number of hit points for lack of a better term, but in this game one hit does 1 damage.  And orc would have 2 health, and a ogre might have 4 health. 

Treasure would be multiplied by the health of the monster.  Say I randomly rolled 5gp was the treasure and killed an orc, my score would be 15. 

What do you think?  Lunch time is over and there are no dice or orcs in sight.  sigh

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lulu Purchases, Part 2

This is the second of three orders I made from Lulu when they had their 40% offered during the holidays.  I searched for older products I've been meaning to look at.  From left to right, I bought Paul's Dungeon Master Notebook by +Paul Hughes, Tomb of the Iron God by +Matt Finch, The Nameless City by Alphonso Warde and Ruins of the Undercity by Kubuki Kaiser.

When I see a deal like the 40% at Lulu (plus there was free shipping so I needed to take advantage of the opportunity) I browsed entire categories.  Lulu is difficult to find things unless you know what your looking for.  I'll search under one of the game systems, Swords & Wizardry, Labyrinth Lords or OSRIC.  Then scroll through and see what strikes my gaming fancy.

This time I wanted to get 'modules' that have been out for a while.  Ones I've looked at and never bought.  I think I had a copy a Matt's Tomb of the Iron God, but having a hardcopy is always preferred.  My wife my argue since I have outgrown my gaming shelf and I declared that I need an entire room.  Shit for one hand, wishes in the other, let's see which one fills up first.

The one oddball of the group is Paul's Dungeon Master Notebook.  He created the very cool Random Dungeons (which I should have gotten also) and the successful Kickstarter, Random Dungeon Generator as a Dungeon Map, which in turn inspired the web game Dungeon Robber.  Which, by the way, I suck at.  The reason I grabbed the DM Notebook is that I'm interested to read how other play the game.

Ruin of the Undercity, is a DM-Less dungeon generator.  I love the idea, but have no idea how it works.  I need to sit down with this one and dissect it and find all the organs and gooey parts so I can build my own.  I've always wanted to write a Choose Your Own Adventure.  I would read them on the bus to and from school to pass the time.  I'd like to do one for The Manor.

The Nameless City, I bought it because it is a Swords & Wizardry adventure, probably my main system of choice.  I was a little disappointed in the condition it arrived in.  The cover was scuffed and bent.  I sent an email to Lulu about the situation and I'll let you know about their customer service.  This will be the first time I've contacted them about a damaged product.  I am not a pristine keeper of gaming lore, but if I'm buying it new, I'd like the privilege of scuffing and bending my books first.  No idea about this adventure.  +Johnathan Bingham did the art which is a very good thing and it looks like Matt Finch edited it, another good thing.  Now I need to find a few minutes to sit down and read it.  Maybe next weekend.

The remaining Lulu purchase I'm waiting for is +John Stater's Blood & Treasure, The NOD Companion.  I went for the hardcover version.  I'm a huge fan of his Blood & Treasure system, it's the system my group is using on Monday nights to crawl through +Ken H's Monteport mega-dungeon.  My order history says it's still 'fulfilling' my order.

So with Lulu's great discount sale I was able to score a ton of great books.  Including the first order of Fantastic Heroes & Witchery Retro-RPG.  I'm glad I got it when I did.  Dominique Crouzet decided to pull it from Lulu to do more edits.  I really liked what I saw so far and plan to mine it for ideas.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Question

If you only had time to get involved in one game this year, which or whose would it be?  Could be a particular person, setting, system or more likely, all three combined.

I think this year I will have a chance to play in several games with different folks.  Looking forward to getting out there a little more and playing in that huge sandbox.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Maps for Hire!

+matt jackson does these things called maps.  He draws them himself.  A lot of them.  People need maps.  If you are reading this post then you probably need a map.  Well step right up and take a fuck'n look at this, Matt has designated his collection of Moleskin Maps as Pay What You Want.  That means he is putting the Jedi Vodoo Mind Maloik on ya.  You are will get the first one for free and chuckle.  Then you'll look at it and let it sit.  You'll grab the second one, but this time you throw in a dollar.  What the heck you like it.  The third one is right there, okay you'll get it, you've got some store credit built up, you throw him a fiver to make up for the first one you got.  Then you notice the fourth one.  The last one.  You grab your credit card and donate your child's college fund.  Matt knows what he is doing.  You have been warned.

Do yourself a favor, grab all four at once and put a tip into the jar, otherwise his Jedi Vodoo Mind Maloik will have you emptying out your bank account. 

But seriously, if you have a seriously cool game then you'll need some seriously cool maps.  Matt makes seriously cool maps.  So look not further than Moleskin Maps.

GM Games Sales Report: December

This is the last sales report of the year.  Had a very good month, netting a total of 77 sales.  I had a new release this month, Execution Corner.  It is a map and one-page write up of a location to throw into your game.  I plan on adding more to it real soon.  I have another project that I'll be going through the 1st edits soon.  I'll need another set of eyes to look at it for a 2nd pass.  It will be the first product that will be POD.  I'm looking forward to and dreading going through the set up process.

Here's hoping next year is just as fun.  I want to GM a few more games.  Learn how to use Roll 20.  Playtest a few adventures I have in the hopper. 

Enough of my babbling, on to the numbers.

December 2013
Knowledge Illuminates: released February 16th, 2011, print version released October 29th, 2012
PDF: 5 (18)   Print: 0   Total Sales: 399 (173)

The Manor, Issue #1: released May 5th, 2012
PDF: 8   Print: 2   Total Sales: 319 

The Manor, Issue #2: released July 4th, 2012
PDF: 8   Print: 2   Total Sales: 236 

Cave of Seiljua: released September 9th, 2012
PDF: (14)   Print: N/A   Total Sales: (521)
The Manor, Issue #3: released released February 7th, 2013
PDF: 8   Print: 2   Total Sales: 142

Mini Manor: Faces Without Screams: released April 19th, 2013
PDF:  (6)   Print: N/A   Total Sales: (257)

The Manor, Issue #4: released July 28th, 2013
PDF: 8   Print: 1   Total Sales: 90
Where is Margesh Blackblood?: released August 12th, 2013
PDF: 0 (14)   Print: N/A   Total Sales: 14 (167)

The Manor, Issue #5: released November 21st, 2013
PDF: 14   Print: 2   Total Sales: 73

Execution Corner: released December 15th, 2013

PDF: 17 (94)  Print: N/A  Total Sales: 17 (94)
Total Sales for November 2013
PDF: 68 (146)   Print: 9   Total Sales: 77 (146)

Total Sales
1279 (1213)