Sunday, November 25, 2018

A few more Kickstarter projects

I've backed quite a few Kickstarters. Enough apparently, that Kickstarter considers me a Super Backer. Basically, that means I've thrown a lot of money at creators for various projects. So far, I've got a good track record. Most of the projects have delivered, and more often than not, they've delivered relatively on time. The few that have been really late have generally kept in touch with backers to let us know how things are progressing. At the moment there are a few Kickstarters running that grabbed my interest.

Secrets of Blackmoor is a documentary film that deals with the history of the beginning of D&D. The focus is on the Twin Cities Gamers and how they playtested and built the ideas that eventually rolled into Dave Arneson's contributions to D&D. At the $160 pledge level or higher, you also get a megadungeon and set of old school rules that were initially created in 1973. I'm looking forward to seeing what new tidbits the film brings to our understanding of the history of the game as well as any new ideas and info I can glean from the Lost Dungeons of Tonisborg. I've already backed this one.

Frozen Hell : The Book that Inspired The Thing is a project to print a recently found expanded version of the story that inspired the movie The Thing. The project will release a book of the story (expanded from the originally published, pared down version called "Who Goes There?") along with another book, Short Things, that will collect a series of short stories based on the novel from many notable sci-fi authors. I've backed this to get both books.

Outdoor Encounter Cards 2 is a deck of cards for generating unusual outdoor events. The cards are system-neutral, so you can take the ideas and run with them. This is the third card project from Philip Reed. If you missed the previous two, you can pick up the PDFs through this Kickstarter. There are also a limited number of printed copies of the previous decks available.

The ART of De Architecturart: collection of fantasy maps is a collection of beautiful maps by Guillaume Tavernier. He produces amazing artistic isometric maps that can be used in any fantasy RPG. The PDF reward is available at the €22 level (about $25), and the book plus PDF is available for €39 (about $44).

Finally, Tegel Manor Returns! This one is being produced by Frog God Games and includes updated versions of the manor for 5E and Swords & Wizardry. I love the original, and I'm looking forward to what comes from this version. I am especially interested to see the updated maps.

Any other projects that I missed that have grabbed your interest?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

PBS Great American Read - Release the Kraken

I've been doing a lot for a couple friends that got married last weekend, and that's taken me away from doing much with gaming lately. I've put a bit of paint on my Warhammer goblins, but haven't made a lot of progress there.

This morning, a video from PBS Great American Read called Release the Kraken popped up in my Facebook feed. In the video, they talk about a lot of different ideas for where people developed the notion of the kraken. They also talk about a few other dangerous and alien creatures that live in the ocean. That got me thinking about underwater adventures.

Sea monsters have been a part of D&D since the publication of the little brown books. Over the years, they have gotten more refined and defined through the OD&D Blackmoor supplement, the Monster Manuals, a couple of underwater or waterborne adventures, and even full on supplements.

Despite their presence, I don't think I've ever spent much time with underwater adventures. Watching this video got the wheels turning to put something like that together.

Another reference in the video had me thinking of Lovecraft. In the video they mention The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Give it a read and tell me that doesn't remind you a bit of Cthulhu.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Back to Back to the Keep

With the announcement a few weeks ago that Google+ will be winding down next year, a lot of old school gamers have looked for another way to keep the community going. Some have switched to other social media sites. Some have expanded their presence on Facebook, some have migrated to MeWe, and some have gone to various Discord servers. Quite a few of the folks that had blogs either before or concurrent with Google+ have reopened them or started posting more frequently.

This was great timing for me, since I have been thinking for about a year of reopening the blog and starting to post some of my thoughts and discoveries again. I've dropped a few things on G+ over the past four years, but most of my gaming and musing have been privately between myself and a few of the players from past groups. I've kept up with some of the gaming news through G+, a little on Facebook, and bits and pieces from specific companies. I've backed some Kickstarters (oh so many Kickstarters), played in a couple games, painted some minis, and spent a lot of time reading and collecting. Still, I have been missing some of the online community I was engaged with in the beginnings of the OSR a decade or so ago. That community was what started me with the idea of blogging to begin with and, with the demise of G+, seems to be resurging. So a few weeks ago, I made the blog publicly visible again and started thinking of how to resume posting.

I stopped posting here about four years ago, although I wasn't posting much of any significance for quite a while before then. When Google+ first started ramping up, I shifted a lot of my activity there. I also moved cross-country and wasn't doing much with gaming for a couple years. On top of that, for most of the time since I started the blog, I was dealing with a pretty rough combination of physical and mental health problems. Between all of those things, I struggled to motivate myself to write anything. A lot of that is behind me, so it's time to move forward.

I have a lot of work to do here, before I will have everything updated the way I want it. I need to clean up some of the layout and sidebars and update a lot of links. I've been looking through the old posts, cleaning up some things and clearing out some of the junk. Most of the prior posts will stay. There are some things that I will be deleting, though, so bear with me. I also need to make sure that things that were stored on old servers and links to other sites get reposted and cleaned up. I expect that to take a while yet, but in the meantime if you find any broken links or missing info, let me know.

Some of the projects I started will get finished. I plan to finish by thoughts about Chainmail and I'll be resuming the compilation of inspirational reading material for gaming.

I'm currently running a one-person Labyrinth Lord game using old printed modules and a bit of original material. I'll post about what I'm doing with that.

I've also started reading and going through as many of the old books, modules, magazines, and other stuff that has been published for D&D, its clones, and spin-offs as I can. I am trying to compile as many of the monsters, gods, heroes, etc. as possible into one big book. This is mostly for my own reference and for facilitating conversion of material between editions, but I'm sure I'll have some things to say about that as well.

I am still painting a lot of miniatures, so you'll see some things about minis, painting, and painting materials as well. One of the first things I need to do is update my thoughts about the various paints that I use, since I've started using a few new lines since the last post I put up about paint.

Finally, I'll continue to post about the other nerdy and gaming stuff I find. At the very least, I'll start posting about some of the Kickstarters and books I like.

If you want to add me on MeWe, here's my profile. If you do, please let me know you're a gamer. If I just see a request and a blank profile, I'm not likely to accept. If you're already on MeWe, I'm in a lot of groups, but most active in the Goblins & Grenadiers painting group.

Onward and upward!