Thursday, January 20, 2011

Long Time No Blog

I think I made my last blog post on the eleventh.  I figured it was time to check in and say hello.  I'm currently blogging from a remote location. i.e. the hospital.  My mom needed a break.  She's hardly left the hospital since my sister was admitted.  Today makes two very long weeks my sister has been here.  Fortunately, the hospital has a nice WiFi, and since my sister is mainly napping this afternoon, I have some time to write something, between visits by the doctors and nurses.  She has about a half a dozen doctors working on her case.

Needless to say there hasn't been much going on concerning gaming.  I found a copy of the RMSS Arms Law on eBay for the "Buy It Now" price of $2.75, or best offer.  Of course I make an offer of $2 which was fairly stupid because the $2.75 is a great price.  So I immediately went ahead and bought it, and I'm glad I did, because it is in great shape, and even with shipping it was a lot better price than the $16+ at the used book store for a beat up copy.  My final cost was $6.75.

So I now have the three main core Rolemaster Standard System rulebook.  I could actually run a game.  There are still a few of the RMSS books I want to get, which shouldn't be that difficult, except for Castle & Ruins which always seems to run at least $50 on eBay, and other sites.  I need to check around a little more I think.

Well, I think I will close for now.  This was my second attempt, the first time I lost the connection, and for some reason it wasn't auto saving.  So I only managed to save the first paragraph.

My sister isn't out of the woods yet, but she seems to be feeling better.  Thanks to everyone who left the kind thoughts and words on the comments sections.  It's been a long, rough, and stressful two weeks, with no end yet in sight.  Take care people.  I hope to be back soon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

11 Days

Eleven days into the new year, and things seem to have gotten derailed due to my sister being in the hospital.  I won't go into a lot of detail, but it turns out she had pancreatitus, which could have been very bad if left untreated..  As it was her temperature shot up to 106 and caused her heart to beat 140 times a minute.  This was last night.  It wasn't good.  She's doing better today, and the treatment seems to be working on the pancreatitus.

I spent 16 hours at the hospital yesterday, and will probably go back later, or tomorrow.  I'm still stressed out, and a bit exhausted, but want to check in.  I really haven't had much time to do much reading of blogs, but I've been skimming most of the ones I read.  Of course I'm really too preoccupied to give much of anything a lot of thought.  Just killing a little time.

Sunday, when I went out to eat; I did stop by the used book store and bought a copy of the Rolemaster Standard System Spell Law.  So it's my first gaming purchase of the year.  There's one more RMSS book I want to buy there, and hopefully it will remain unsold until I can afford to get it.

On a side note there was some new stuff on the shelf, and some Judge's Guild publications.  In fact there was multiple copies of the items.  There were a couple of issues of Pegasus and they looked new, so I don't know if they are reprints or not?  The sticker price was $5 for the magazine, and I'm not sure I would buy them at that price.  There was also a couple of old AD&D modules.  My memory is a little hazy, but I think it was A1 and A2, Slave Pits of the Undercity?  They were priced just under $4 a piece.

That's all for now, and I may be gone a few days again, or maybe not.  It depends on how my sister is doing and my energy level.  The one thing I have learned out of all this is that hospitals aren't anything like the hospital dramas you watch on teevee, which is probably a good thing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

This isn't about gaming...

A couple of posts ago I wrote about communication.  I feel it's really important.  That's why I'm writing this.

My sister has many health issues, and my mother took her to the hospital this afternoon.  I called my brother because I hadn't heard from her, and he told me she had called, and they were just getting admitted to the hospital.  He said she called him around four this afternoon.  I waited to hear from her, and well, while I'm not one to freak out over anything, when it comes to my sister, I freak out.  So after a couple of hours when I didn't hear from her,  I had to get out of the house for a while, and just chill out, mainly because there was nothing here to eat.  I don't have a cell phone, so of course there is no way for my mom to get in touch with me.  I stay out longer than I probably should have because I am stressing hard.

When I get home, I expect them to be here.  Nope.  No message on the machine; which is kind of odd.  It also means they are still at the hospital.  Which isn't good at all.  So if I don't post over the next few days, this is the reason.  It's really late and I am worried about my sister.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Creating Caverns

I was experimenting with yesterday, and discovered an unusual way to create a cavern map.  I thought about writing a tutorial, but I think there are better, faster ways to create a cavern map.  I like the random look, but it takes a while to get the final result.  Drawing them freehand is much faster.

I also finally found the page layout program I was using before my computer hard drive crashed.  It's called scribus, and while the learning curve is a little steep, and the program isn't that intuitive, the price is right.  It's an open source program, and "shareware".  There are some tutorials online, it just takes some searching.

On a side note, I gained a follower then lost one.  Oh well.  I hope I didn't offend someone.  I don't think I did.  If I did it was not my intention to do so.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Importance of Good Communication

Have Dice ~ Will Travel is my attempt at communicating with people that share my interests, i.e. gaming, whether it's role playing games, war gaming, boardgames, etc.  I want my writing to be clear and understandable, so as not to create any confusion about what I am trying to communicate with the reader.  Am I successful at this?  Most of the time I think I am, but there is always room for improvement.

Almost everyone who has attended a college or university for an extended length of time has probably taken a speech or communication class.  One of the things Speech 101 covers is that hearing is not the same as listening.  One is biological, and the other is psychological, and requires active participation.

I think reading can be viewed in a similar way.  It's one thing to skim through a piece of writing, barely looking at the words, and not grasp what the writer is trying to communicate with the reader.  Seeing the words is not the same as understanding the words.  Comprehending what you are reading is important, and if you are tired or distracted, then chances are it's all lost on you.  Have you ever read something, and had to go back and reread it, because you realised that you missed something?  I've done it many times, whether it was fiction or non-fiction.

Why am I even writing about this?  It's because one of the things I've come to dislike is when someone comments about something I've written, and they have totally missed my point, or misunderstood what I was trying to say.  I go back and look at what I've written, and try to decide if I was clear enough, or is it really confusing?  It's all about constant improvement.  I try my best, but I'm not perfect.

Of course most of what I write is my opinion.  Please keep that in mind.  If I write that the sun will rise tomorrow, that is an opinion.  Who knows?  Maybe space aliens will blow it up before then.  Far fetched yes, and an odd way of making a point, but... hey I've been sick.

Another thing I want to point out is that this blog is ME and my ideas.  Not some Internet Persona.  When I read some blathering idiocy, and call the blogger on it, and then I read something like "it's their Internet Persona" I cry foul.  Be yourself, or go home.  I don't find it entertaining. I find it disingenuous, and in a way, cowardly.  But I digress...

So many problems are caused by miscommunication, and it all could be avoided with a little extra effort.  Whether it's between you and your spouse, or between a game master and the players, communication ( either vocal or written ) can make things great, or cause huge problems.  It takes effort to have effective communication, but the results will be worth it.

Random Thoughts on the 110th Post

Last month I broke my posting streak because I was sick.  I'm sick again today, and just because I can be stubborn I decided to write a quick post.  I deny the sickness!

As I sat here thinking I should get back in bed, and not post, I wondered how many DMs actually use mundane sicknesses in there campaign?   I can't recall if there is a chart in the AD&D 1E for mundane illnesses?  Would it even be a good idea?  Sorry, you're at a ( insert appropriate modifier ) to hit, because you have the flu.  Jakron the Crazed Dwarf can't go into the dungeon because he has the beard flu?   Probably wouldn't go over so well with the players.

Then again in a fantasy campaign you have certain resources that will nip most diseases in the bud.  I can imagine that the Cure Disease spell, or a lesser form of it, was created for these situations.  Cold and flu, etc. being more common than mummy rot.  Then there are always herbal cures.

Anyway, enough for now.  Back to bed for me.  I think my OTC pain medicine is kicking in.  No dungeon delving, errr... dungeon creating for me tonight.

Ooooooo... space monkeys.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wooo hoooooooooooo! I won!

Tenkar had a contest at his tavern.  If you don't already read his blog you should check it out.  Anyway, this was the last contest of 2010 on his blog, and I noticed he had announced the winners.  So I head over to find out who had won, not really expecting to have won anything.  So I read down to the big winner, and thought man... it's never me, who is this Zanazaz guy... oh wait... that's me!  What was the prize?  $125 worth of PDFs from RPGNow.  2011 is starting off great!

Logo A Go-Go

After I wrote the last post, I laid down, and fell asleep.  For five hours.  So now I can't sleep.  Oh well.  I started playing around with, and came up a logo for my creative endeavors.

I designed it to be modular.  I can change it around fairly easily in  I like the design, nice and simple.  Sometimes I think I should have pursued graphic design as a career.  Now I think I'm going to finally work on a dungeon.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Year of the Ten Foot Pole

I know I said I was going to take a break from blogging, but I'm bored.  As far as first day of the year goes this one wasn't that great.  I stayed up late, and slept too long, and didn't get much accomplished.  Of course it's not even 7 PM here so I still have time to get something done.

The title of the post is kind of a joke.  It made me laugh.  It would be difficult to carry that kind of theme all year long, even if I only had a post a month about ten foot poles!

Thinking back on last year I still find it hard to believe I wrote a post about iron spikes.  It's even more surprising I actually posted it after I wrote it.  Well, that's what the Reader's Choice Challenge was all about. Of course after I wrote that post, someone wanted a post about ten foot poles.  I can't win.  The scary thing is I could probably write another post about iron spikes, but I'm afraid I would start losing followers.

However, thinking about it, I realise that trying to write about something as mundane as an iron spike, or a ten foot pole, can spur on some creative ideas. Yes there will be a post written about ten foot poles, but it might not be what you expect.

Now I think I'm going to spend the rest of the evening working on a dungeon.  In one of the rooms I'm going to have a workshop where they make nothing but ten foot poles.