Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Interview with Bruce Hirst of Hirst Arts

Miniatures. Some gamers love them and some hate them, and there are those who use them, and those that don't, and I'm sure there's every permutation in between those extremes. However, if you do use them then the next logical step would be the use of terrain. To me it just adds a whole new level of excitement and flavor to any game.

Whether you scratch build your own, use what comes with some of the boxed rule sets, or order from one of the many companies that manufacture terrain, then you need to check out Hirst Arts.

Hirst Arts, ( Hirst Fantasy Architecture, Inc.) is owned and operated Bruce Hirst, and his wife, Joanne Hirst. They produce a very large line of durable silicon molds that you can use to cast your own building blocks and scenery detail, to make everything from castles, dungeons, starships, well... you have many options to choose from. Choices for about every genre of gaming!

The web site has many "how to' articles, complete with photographs, and numerous plans for those unsure of how or even what to make. After browsing through the website for about the millionth time, I get a real sense of community. That's another of the things I like about Hirst Arts, it's a small, independently owned business. I consider their web site to be a real asset to the gaming and hobbyist community.

Over the past few days I've had the opportunity to interview Bruce via email.

I read on your Biography Page, on the Hirst Arts web page, that you got into making terrain, because you wanted a way to display your painted miniatures. Have you ever done any gaming?

I've done quite a bit of gaming but I'm especially fond of board games. For me there was nothing quite as fun as opening a brand new board game, taking off the shrink wrap and looking at all the pieces. I have fond memories of games like "mouse trap", "don't break the ice" and other odd games with lots of plastic parts to them.

Bruce Hirst

To this day I still enjoy making molds that can be used with board games. Some of the latest examples are walls for the "Wiz Wars" game and I'm currently finishing up board pieces that can be used with the game "Space Hulk".

How long was it before you decided to market the molds? And why did you decide to market the molds?

I originally created molds for myself. I never imagined they would be popular enough to start a business with. The reason I created the first molds was that no one offered what I wanted. I could see buildings and game settings in my head but knew the only way they would become a reality is if I made them myself.

That's also the reason I added mold making instructions on my web site so others could make their own custom molds. If I don't have what a customer wants, they might as well take a stab at making it themselves. That's the whole idea behind this creative hobby.

Most people would have thought just to sell the individual pieces? Is it more of a cost saving measure, trying to avoid shipping costs? I imagine that shipping a lot of plaster pieces can get expensive.

For me it's more cost effective to sell molds than to sell the finished pieces. I also try to put myself in the customers place and ask myself "what would I want if I were building terrain from scratch?". I would prefer to have the mold so I could cast as much as I wanted.

The detailing on your terrain is very good. Your bio mentions a background in art. Did you take sculpture in college?

Way back in high school they offered a few "crafts" class which most people thought was a waste of time. You know, macramé, batik, copper enameling, candle carving, rug making and a lot of other things like that. It's hard to believe how much I actually use all of these types of skills in this hobby.

The only real art class I had in college was pottery - and I was good at it too. My degree was in printing but I also had a strong interest in drafting and machine tool courses. I could always see things clearly in 3 dimensions. Drafting helps you to put the ideas on paper and machine tool helps you create items from raw materials.

Making building blocks is a lot like machine tool work. Adding designs, arches and textures is a challenge but it's also fun. My stumbling block lies in sculpting people and animals. I have to work really hard at them and I'm still not very good. It always comes down to seeing what you want clearly in your mind before you start.

Do you ever sell at gaming conventions? Or are you strictly mail order?

We attend Gencon in Indianapolis every year. So far that's the only convention we go to because of the enormous amount of time it takes. The rest of the time we only sell directly to customer via our online shopping

I had a few questions, but after reviewing your web site those were answered, especially by the Legal Statement. However, to clarify for the reader, if a person buys your molds and decides to sell the pieces, as long as they don't make over $1,000 a year, a license isn't necessary? And of course as long as they credit Hirst Arts with the design?

Yes, that is correct. I wanted to offer a way for hobbyists to sell their unused buildings without a hassle but still protect the copyright on the blocks I sculpted. Keep in mind that there are stipulations here. The pieces
must be fully painted and assembled, the person cannot have a store front or advertise to do custom building for others. Those types of activities are reserved for my licensees who paid for the right to make money using the molds.

Also, the legal statement mentioned that it was okay for someone who bought a mold, can make another mold from those pieces, as long as it was for their own personal use? But in the previous paragraph it mentioned unauthorized duplication was prohibited. A little confusing, but I find most legal statements and licensing confusing. Can we clear that up without you having to contact your lawyer?

You have to be careful when answering any legal statement so that you don't undo anything by a casual phrase. Unauthorized duplication is a blanket statement. It means no one can duplicate the pieces I sculpt unless I give them permission - and I do give people permission for their own personal use.

I really like that you have plenty of 'How to Articles' on your web site.  Have you ever considered compiling them in a PDF format so people can print them out? Perhaps even sell them. I would imagine having a book to reference would be easier than running back and forth from the computer.

The PDF format is a real hassle. The web page changes so often that updating that format along with the usual web page is too much work for the rare chance that someone needs the pages in that form. You can still print out the web page directly but it's not quite as neat as a PDF format.

Besides, some people have trouble opening the few PDF files I have on my "printed plans page" even though they open fine for most people. When you combine different operating systems with various versions of Adobe Acrobat you end up with occasional problems. As far as publishing a book,
this hobby is so small that publishing a book would be a financial disaster.

How many years have you been running Hirst Arts?

We have been running this business for the last nine years.

On average, how long do your molds last?

As long as you use materials that mix with water such as plaster or dental stone, I have not had one wear out in over 9 years so far.

Also, can the molds be used to cast resin, or are they only for plaster? What's your recommendation?

You can use resin but that will deteriorate the molds over time. Also resin is much more expensive than plaster, especially when you consider the sheer volume of material needed to make a large tabletop building.

What would you say to someone who says they're not even creative enough to know what to do with your molds?

I have project plans for those who do not know what they want to build or are not creative when it comes to stacking blocks. But once you start building, it's a lot like building with Legos. There are folks who don't know what to build with Legos either but most people don't have trouble with basic building blocks.

What mold or molds would you recommend as a starting point for someone who wants to make their own terrain?

I usually suggest trying one mold to see how you like casting and building first. For above ground castle buildings, I suggest mold #50 the wizard's tower because it has a lot of basic blocks plus a few decorative items. For above ground random stone buildings, I suggest mold #70 the fieldstone wall mold for the same reasons.

Any quick advice for the novice terrain builder/mold maker?

Keep in mind that this is a craft type hobby where you use your hands a lot. If you absolutely hate doing things like painting miniatures, gluing model car kits or cooking (which involves measuring and stirring), then this may not be the hobby for you.

But if you don't mind simple craft projects, the molds offer you a way to make some nice looking gaming terrain any way you want. The web site has very good step-by-step instructions on how to build everything you see on our site. I have plans for several models on the site but most people just
use their own designs after building their first project.

Thanks Bruce!

I don't own any of the molds myself, but just looking at all the photos of the various structures people have built, and most of them are impressive, One day soon hope to own a few of the molds, and begin building the scale model fantasy city I've always imagined. I wonder how many blocks that's going to take?

Here's a photograph of a great example of what you can do with Hirst Arts products...

Model by Todd Goss.

Check out the Orcsdrift website for many more great examples of the Dungeon of Doom, and other models.

DISCLAIMER: I've put a link on the sidebar to Hirst's Arts. It is not an
advertisement in that I receive no compensation for it being there, in any
way, shape, or form. It is there as a service to those gamers/hobbyists who
don't know about Hirst Arts.

Security Phrase Adventure Hook

I've been busy trying to find some good freeware programs to use in my eventual publishing efforts, and haven't had a lot of time to even think of a blog post for today.  I was hoping to have the interview ready, and all that's left is approval from the interviewee, and then hopefully it will be up tomorrow.

Security Phrase Adventure Hook

I made a comment somewhere, and I got a security phrase window instead of a word verification, and the phrase was: only iliod.  So in a sudden burst of creative synergy I came up with an adventure hook.  This is just the bare bones of an idea.  Sort of a cliche as far as hooks go, but hey...

The PCs come upon a dying man, and despite their best efforts there is nothing they can do to help him.  However, just before he dies, he reaches into his leather vest, and pulls his hand back out, it's clinched in a fist. When he opens it, a piece of folded parchment slowly appears. Then the man whispers, "Only iliod..."  he lets out one last rattling breath, and is still. 

The PCs discover that the parchment is folded and sealed with green wax, that's embossed with a strange glyph.  With the proper spells, the PCs could discover it's magical. The mystery is, who or what is iliod?  And what should they do with the parchment?  The man's only possessions are a crude medallion with the same gylph on it as the wax, a normal dagger, and about 30 silver pieces.  It's up to the players to decide what to do next...

Hope, that's in some way useful.  Anyway, I've managed to get another post up.  Until next time, keep rolling those dice. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So busy working on blog stuff...

... I almost forgot to post on the blog.  What's up with that?  I'll have to do double duty some day this week to make up for the last two days of light posting!  Oh well...

I have a really interesting interview ( well, at least I think it's interesting ), coming up within a day or two.  It's finished, I just wanted the person I interviewed to read it first.

I spent many hours yesterday working on my own set of RPG rules, and I think I've come up with a unique character generation "system".  It's very interactive between the players, and players will either love it or hate it.  The players also have a few different methods to create their character, and they have a lot of control, and choices, when making their character.  It'll be different, and IF I make it to a stage where it can be playtested, it will be interesting to see how the players react.  It's just in the first draft phase, and there's a long way to go before playtesting.  These rules may be a bit crunchy, but not as crunchy as some, even though the working title is Crunchmaster.  I really considered calling it Krunchmaster, but meh... what's the difference?

Okay, enough for now.  I'll probably post again later today.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Featured Blog

Everyone should check out Fantasy Heartbreaker blog; especially the Dangerous Archeology articles.  Some good stuff there...

Just a Couple of Things.

A few quick things before I crash for the night.  The first is that I've changed the Blog of the Week, to Featured Blog.  The reason for this is that I don't have time to track all the good blogs out there.  I was working on a scoring system, but it would have meant checking 60+ blogs a day.  I did the math.  Even if I only spend 5 minutes per blog, and I usually spend more time than that reading a blog, it takes 3 hours out of my day.  That would have been the bare minimum.  So if I find a good blog, or one that has a really good post, I may put it up right away.  Then again, if I get busy, then the blog may stay up for longer than a week.  It seems to me to be a good compromise.  It also lets me spend more time reading blogs, rather than just skimming them quickly.  I'll probably even give it some more thought if I even need a Featured Blog.  If it's on the blog list then I probably like it anyway, and if a post deserves a special mention I should just do it in a post.  Oh well, I'll try and decide later.

I'm also working on another email interview, but I'm not going to give any details just yet.

I guess a few meant just two.  I've still got a few things to do before I can rest.  Everyone have a good Sunday.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Word Verification NPC, A Creativity Exercise

Word Verification NPC, this idea came to me after I posted a comment to someone's blog, and because I have such lousy bandwidth, it takes a little while for the word verification gump to pop up. In that short time, I was wondering if it might give me a good idea for a NPC name. I thought... naw, probably not...

Well, the word that popped up was ovadimp. Hhhmmm... a little weird, but I like weird; especially in the right setting, but then I guess it wouldn't be weird? I could work with it. In fact, this became a creativity exercise, and a chance to roll some dice. ( As well as write a blog post... )

I've been working on a Mutant Futures module/scenario for conventions.  Mutant Futures is a retro-clone of Gamma World that is published by Goblinoid Games.  So I envisioned Ovadimp as a mutated Duck-billed Platypus . Then the creative floodgates opened up. Of course, if I create Ovadimp using the Mutant Future rules, and randomly generate his mutations, there's no telling what he might end up looking like. His eyes might be on the end of long stalks and he could be covered in exploding warts! Well, okay no exploding warts mutations in MF, but he might just turn out odd. However, I decided to give randomness a shot anyway. Here is the result...

Ovadimp ( A Mutated Duck-billed Platypus ) Alignment: Neutral

First I rolled his characteristics: 8 Strength, 10 dexterity, 10 Constitution, 9 Intelligence, 8 Willpower, 8 Charisma. I rolled straight 3d6 in the order that the characteristics appear in the rulebook. I also went ahead and gave him a Neutral alignment.

Poor Ovadimp. He's so average. Next, on to the mutations!

Ovadimp is a mutated animal, so he gets one free natural weapon. I decide on claws, and roll a d8 for the amount of damage the claws can inflict, he ends being able to do 1d6 of damage with his claws. I know that the platypus has a venomous spur on it's hind feet, but Ovadimp doesn't have those. I decided it was a free mutation, since it doesn't help or hurt him, not to have them.  I don't think it actually helps real platypuses either.  However, other mutated platypuses might have them.

Next, I rolled for the number of mutations, and had a bit of luck. ( I think... ) Ovadimp has 4 physical mutations, and 4 mental mutations.

The first one rolled was Natural Armor, I rolled another d6 to determine if it was moderate or extreme. Ovadimp ended up with Moderate Natural Armor, which gives him a natural AC of 6. This actually makes some sense, because a platypus has fur.  So Ovadimp has extra thick fur.  The next wasn't a beneficial mutation, but wasn't that bad. Ovadimp has a Pituitary Deformation, which is unnatural aging. Can anyone really tell how old a platypus is anyway? He also ended up with a Sensory Deficiency, so I rolled and ended up with deafness. It was 50/50 either blindness or deafness.  The last roll was for an Increased Physical Attribute! I roll once again to determine which attribute, and get Strength. It gives Ovadimp an extra +3d6 damage in hand to hand combat. You do not want Ovadimp to use his claws on you!  He would do a total of 4d6 in hand to hand combat damage using his claws.  Not bad...

Next up, mental mutations. The first was Metaconcert, here is it's description straight from the rulebook.

This ability allows the mutant to link its mind with other mutants of a similar type or those who have the same mental mutation. These include those with the Metaconcert mutation, or other mental mutations that facilitate control between the minds of two beings. The mutant may combine his WIL with the WIL of other mutants for conducting a mental attack, or some other joint
Eh, guess it might be handy. Unfortunately, the next mutation was Weak Will. Poor Ovadimp's Willpower gets reduced to 3. That's not going to help much with Metaconcert. His next one was Density Alteration ( Others ).  Cool, sort of, doesn't help him much, and he doesn't have many friends due to the last mutation he rolls up. The next one was Force Screen, which allows him to take an extra +5d6 hit points worth of damage once a day. Finally, Ovadimp gets a break. He ends up with a Vampiric Field, with a 33' foot radius. It would have had a 38' radius, but his Weak Will nixed that... Ovadimp can absorb 2d4 hit points a round from all creatures within the radius, which goes into a separate pool of hit points. Very handy, but since he is Neutral and mainly looks after himself, others don't like to hang around him, especially considering his Vampiric Field!  Not even his own kind.  Anyway, these extra hit points disappear after 24 hours.  So with his Force Screen, and Vampiric Field he might be a tough platypus, but with a Weak Will, Ovadimp is probably easy to boss around.  Oh well...

That's not how I really envisioned Ovadimp, but as a player I think I could work with this. For the scenario I'm writing he's going to be different. My original concept for Ovadimp, included the fact that he had a techno-fetish, and coveted gadgets. So if I create him for the scenario he will have mutations beneficial to figuring out technology. I've already decided that in my Mutant Futures campaign there is a whole race of mutated Platypuses. Unfortunately, they are hunted because of their protective fur, and the eggs are tasty too!

I also want to make a fantasy version of Ovadimp, and a few other genres. I even found a mini! It's produced by Reaper Miniatures, and even though it seems a bit pricey; it goes on the list. Too bad they don't have a post-apocolyptic platypod, perhaps one with a plasma rifle?  And a few photon grenades...

A Reaper Mini sculpted by Jason Wiebe.

Of course this miniature wouldn't really work that well with MF, but it's cool for a wizardly Ovadimp! This was fun. I haven't rolled up a character in a long time. The next creative exercise is Security Phrase Adventure Hook!  Which will be coming... soooooooooooooon! So, until next time, keep rolling those dice!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Interview with Karl Pajak

Texicon is a gaming convention to be held on May 21 thru 23, 2010 at the Sheraton Hotel located at 1701 Commerce Street Fort Worth, Texas, 76102. There will be RPGs, miniature games, board games, and seminars.

The cost to attend is as follows: for pre-registration, which ends May 7, it is $35 for a full convention pass. A full convention pass will be $40 if bought the weekend of the convention, and must be paid in cash. A one day pass is $25.

Texicon is the creation of Kevin and Karl Pajak, and here is the Mission statement for the convention:

Texicon seeks to support game manufacturers, game
stores, and gamers. It will do this by providing a friendly
and fun atmosphere for everyone to interact, which will
allow the gaming community to become enriched and grow.

Karl Pajak agreed to be interviewed, and answered my questions via email.

How long have you and your brother been gaming?

I've been gaming for thirty three years as a table top type gamer, but I grew up on games and have been gaming in that fashion my whole life. Kevin has been table top gaming for a bit less, probably twenty seven years. He is my younger brother though...true it's only by two minutes but still.

What was the one thing that made you decide to create and organize Texicon?

It's something that Kevin has always wanted to do. We cut our teeth in the early eighties on conventions out in California. Our very good friends Dave and Carol Turrietta, both of them passed away in 2003/2002...they are missed, helped us become more involved in the gaming community and game conventions. Of course there's all the other guys we know that are in the industry and part of this community. Hey Marcelo!

In the past I have attended conventions, and the 'gamemasters' were for the most part, not that good. It's one of the reasons I stopped going to gaming conventions. What will you and your fellow con organizers do to properly vet gamemasters?

From the way you phrased the question I'm assuming you meant Role Playing Game Masters? As you may, or may not know, GMs at conventions are typically volunteers. They are volunteers at Texicon as well. This means that we can only offer you games hosted by people that wish to volunteer for us. This also means that some of them may not be as seasoned as what your looking for. See our vision for Texicon was to assist the community as a whole. This is one of the reasons we're offering seminars. Some seminars may be focused on how to create games for specific settings, some might focus on how to sculpt and cast miniatures, others will focus on how to Game Master. Each GM is different and they all bring to the event their vision for the game they are running. Look at it this way: if I took five people and simply asked them to write a scenario where Phill was captured and held prisoner in Castle Keep Phill but the adventure was to revolve around breaking Phill out of the Castle. You'd have five different scenarios. Each GM has a vision of who Phill is, and why he's been taken to the castle, and what it will take to break him out. It's not the scenario that's important, it's in the telling of the scenario. The short answer is that we'll be looking for good GMs, we'll be asking for feedback from the convention attendees, and working with our GMs to make them better gamers. But don't take that like we think we're the be all end all of gamers...heavens no. We all need help. I remember this one group I consented to host games for. Sadly it's was the only group of people I GMd that didn't like my style of gaming. That particular group didn't last that long. Other groups I've GMd have lasted for many years. Sometimes it's just not a good fit. I suppose the long and short answer is that we are looking to the community to step forward to run our Board Games, Role Playing Games, and Miniatures Games. Out of the people that step forward we'll laud the ones that are great and work with the ones that need some seasoning. Some of them will be perfect fits, others may not be a good fit for us.

Having said all of that I would like you to understand how we setup Texicon. It is true that Kevin and I are the owners of the convention but we're not in charge, per se, that is we've chosen people we are calling Magnates. They are in charge of their area of the convention and decide what goes on in that area. Greg Pitts oversees and schedules the miniatures events, Ken Burt oversees and schedules the board games, and we've recently added Jake Cook as this year's Role Playing Magnate. We are entrusting the success of the convention in their hands. They'll be watching and assisting the GMs in their areas. We'll be looking to them to do the vetting for us. But we also need the players help. We want the players to let us know how our GMs are doing. That's why our GMs will be handing out a form that we're asking the players to fill out. There are several things we are doing to ensure that both the players AND the GMs have a good time. That's what this is about...creating communities and helping the gaming industry.

In my experience, most gaming conventions charge a small fee for the different games, i.e. anywhere from two to five dollars for a four hour session. Nothing about this is mentioned on the Texicon web site? Will 'slots' be free, or has that been decided yet?

Ahhh...what you've experienced is the larger conventions then. Like GenCon and Origins. It is true that they charge a price for the events. We do not. Which isn't totally true, we do have our Ticket Book which can be purchased at registration for $20.00. The ticket book comes with "coupons" that you'll tear out and give to the GM as your entrance fee to the event. Let's say you really really wanted to come and participate in the Lost Worlds Tournament that is being hosted by our special guest Rick Loomis, one of the founders of the industry...I mean who wouldn't want to play in that Tournament! But that's really all you wanted to do simply because you couldn't get the time off work to attend the convention. Here's the difference, you'd pull out your coupons and hand them in. After the Tournament you could use the coupons as payment for items at any of our on site vendors. But that's the only way you'd be charged a fee for entrance into an event. See most people don't understand the dynamics that are taking place. There is a tipping point that conventions can charge people to attend the convention. I used to think that it was wrong for conventions to charge an event price plus the convention badge price. I understand why they do it but it's not something we're considering doing. So yes, the only cost you'd incur at Texicon is the cost of the entrance pass (full con pass, or day pass). Personally Kevin and I think that it should just be part of the convention pass, but I now see that if the cost of the badge goes over a certain amount the attendance drops. So you have to balance the factors. You want to create as large a community as is possible but you can't loose money doing so. I don't know what the answer is, for us it's not an issue I hope it never becomes something we have to consider doing.

I think I understand what you are saying, I just want to be clear, a con attendee has two options for the con? One is to pay to attend all weekend, and all the games and seminars are free, and the other is to buy the $20 coupon book, which you can use to attend any events, say if you can only go on Saturday, and what coupons you don't use can be spent in the dealers area?

Almost. They can purchase a convention badge (either a daily one or the full con one) OR they can purchase the ticket book. Really the ticket book gives the parents the opportunity to come and enjoy some board games or play in a single game with their kids. It offers the gamer that can't make the con an option as well.

Yes, usually the bad experiences I had are with role-playing gamemasters. Everything else was usually fine, and I understand about the volunteer thing. As far as paying for gaming "slots", when I ran games at Dallas Fantasy Fair, this is what they did. A couple of dollars a slot, if I remember correctly. The only really big con I went to was the Origins that was held in Dallas one year. The slots were about five dollars or more. It's been a long time, so that may be wrong. However, I really like the approach you guys are taking.

Thanks. We think it's pretty unique and should end up helping the community.

What are you looking for in the way of GMs and volunteers?

Great! Thanks for volunteering. What games are you going to run? Just kidding. Actually we're looking for people that have passion for what they love doing and who want to increase the hobby. Take Brian Guarnieri for example. I'm very excited that he wants to be apart of Texicon. He's got passion and drive. He loves the Dresden Files and is working with that theme to provide great role playing games for people. Since this is our first convention this a great opportunity for the gamers in this region of the country to step forward and get in on the ground floor. If they are here at the start I'm sure they'll be here in the future as we'll be looking to them first for our GMs in the future.

The hotel rate seems to me to be a bit pricey. Is the $119 for a single night or the whole weekend ( Friday and Saturday night )?

The rate is per night. Once again an issue with being a new convention. I'm sure we'll be able to work with the hotel to negotiate a different rate next year. One thing we need though is for people that can afford to stay at the hotel to do so. It will help our bargaining power next year.

In our current economy do you think Texicon will be successful?

We feel that if one person has a good time we have been successful. If you mean "Do you think you'll make money?" We're not doing this to make money so that question doesn't apply. Do we need to make money to continue, of course we do. We have enough umph to get this boat in the water and to start it down the river but we need people to help us row. See...that's where, it seems, that we differ from other conventions. We're doing a lot of special things, like bringing Rick Loomis out, in an attempt to add to the community. Not that other conventions don't do those things too, but we feel that here in Texas the game community needs a bridge between the game manufacturers, the vendors and the gamers. It needs something that has a focus on creating communities and providing a place for that community to exist. Of course we are always open to ideas to make it better.

Is there going to be a dealers room? In my opinion that is one of the best things about a gaming convention.

That topic is a hot one. Initially we didn't want to have a dealers room. After receiving so many requests to have a dealers room we decided to open up two spots inside the gaming area. One of them has been filled by Pegasus Loft, the other by Two Hour Wargames. The odd thing, and I get that it isn't an easy choice for the vendors, is that as we are 24hr gaming the dealers had to consider either manning their booth 24hrs or tear it down when they weren't going to be at their tables. Pegasus is manning their booth 24hrs and Ed Teixeira will be closing shop when he's not running his great games. There just wasn't enough time to have a full dealers room. Next year we anticipate being able to have a dealers room that will have opening and closing times where the dealers can exhibit.

If there are any comments you would like to make please feel free to do so...

I love the fact that I was asked to write an interview for a blog. This was my first interview and I had a blast writing this for you. Thank you for the opportunity. I would like to say to the gamers, the vendors, and the game manufactures that are supporting the convention that we are doing this for you. We hope you'll enjoy what we're envisioning is a vehicle to create a larger community. I also wanted to thank Kevin for having the vision and drive to kick this off. He's the other half of what makes me me. I don't know what I'd do without him.

Finally, I want to thank you for answering my questions, and whether or not I get to attend in any capacity, I want to wish you and your brother success with Texicon.

You're welcome. I look forward to seeing you at the game table,
Karl Pajak

Thanks Karl!  I'm looking forward to Texicon!

Theme-less Thursday

The Thursday after Weird Wednesday shall now be, ( for the time being ) Theme-less Thursday.

I'm still waiting to hear back from the Texicon guy.  I emailed him the interview questions earlier this week, and hopefully soon I will hear back from him.  I'm trying to decide if I want to run a game for NTRPG Con.  I kind of do, but then again I'm a little out of practice.  Plus, I would need to find my battlemats.

I've been learning how to use Scribus, a desk top publishing program.  The learning curve is a little steep, and to make that climb a little easier, I read the "getting started" guide, and some of the instructions on the wiki page.  I'm having a couple of technical issues, and I have sent an email to their support team.  Hopefully, I can get those resolved.  Other than those technical issues I am really liking Scribus.  It does just about everything I want it to do.  Did I mention it's free?   That's always a good thing.

I've been wanting a good desk top publishing program for a while, and now that I have it I can start on some projects.  One of which will be a quarterly fantasy RPG e-zine.  I'm going to start with Issue #0, and it will only be four to eight pages.  After that I have at least 16 to 24 pages an issue.  Now I just have to come up with a good name.

With all the discussion of conventions on HDWT, and on many other gaming blogs, I was thinking about past cons.  One of the things I started doing in the gaming rooms, especially later in the evening when things were slowing down, was to collect all the scraps of paper dropped on the floor.  Now, I wasn't exactly trying to be tidy.  See, most of them were a player's note to the GM.  Heh... I usually found some good ones, and I kept them for a long time.  My favorite one, and it still makes me chuckle, ( and also perplexes me at the same time ) is the one that read, "I take the dragon's brain."  See, I'm thinking that the frigging dragon's brain is going to be HUGE, and that the rest of the adventuring group would notice the character performing a "brainectomy" on the dragon?  It would certainly need one big jar of preserving fluid.  Unless of course, he was going to have it for lunch.  "Hey Joe, I'm running low on rations... you got any of that dragon's brain left?"

I wish I still had that collection of notes.  I would probably frame them all.  Good times...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weird Wednesday

Today I made an editorial decision, and decided that every fourth Wednesday of the month, the theme is weird.  Weird Wednesday.  So while today's post may not have anything that weird, I have an entire month to come up with something weird, for the next Weird Wednesday.  I want HDWT to have a some kind of "structure", which in turn helps me be more organized and come up with topics.

NTRPG Con 2010

Late last night I discovered a new convention.  NTRPG Con 2010 is being held in Irving, Texas on June 3 thru June 6, 2010.  I've put a link on the sidebar so go check it out!  This con concentrates on the old school games, and mainly focuses on D&D, AD&D, and a few others.  There are a lot of great confirmed guests from the 'old school' generation,  Rob Kuntz, Tim Kask, Paul Jaquays, Dennis Sustare, Steve Winter, Jim Ward, Jason Braun, and Kyrinn Eis.  Plus other notables in the RPG industry.  Slots in the gaming sessions are limited so if you want to particpate you should head over, register, and sign up ASAP!

A Few Weird Adventure Ideas & Hooks ( Or maybe not so weird... )

  1. The characters are hired by a king to harvest some young 'flail' snails.  He developed a taste for them after being trapped underground, ( during his adventuring days ), and had to survive on them.  He wants them brought back alive, "They need to be FRESH!".  He will pay a good price for them, but he needs them in a hurry.  He wants them for a yearly feast or festival.
  2. One of the characters has a cousin that owns a 'magic shoppe', and needs to travel to a distant, large city to make a delivery, and take care of other business as well.  The characters are hired to run the shop, and guard it at night.
  3. One day a large, floating, black inky cloud starts following the adventuring party.  If the party splits up, so does the cloud.  No one else can see the cloud.  A detect magic spell, may detect it, but it gets a savings throw to avoid detection.  One day the cloud teleports the party to ______?
  4. The party is staying at a tavern, located in a small town.  They wake up in the morning to find EVERYONE in the town, and all the animals turned to stone, even insects.  Whatever happened, plants were not affected.  What do the players do?
  5. Traveling down a road, the characters discover a single line of men(?)wearing hooded red robes walking in the opposite direction they are headed.  The line goes on for miles.  They carry no packs or weapons.  Who are they and where are they going?
Well, I hope you have enjoyed Weird Wednesday.  Next time it may even be a Wacky Weird Wednessday!  Until then, keep rolling your dice!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

TARGA on Tuesday & The Eye Guy!

 I joined TARGA today.  TARGA stands for Traditional Adventure Roleplaying Games Association.  I put a link to TARGA on the sidebar.  Go check it out.  They also have a discussion group on Yahoo, and a facebook page.  TARGA is all about promoting 'traditional RPGs'.  Now you may ask what IS a tradition role-playing game?  Well, some feel it's all about the old school renaissance, and perhaps a bit of the DIY, homebrew/ house rule paradigm.  Me?  I think if it's a game, where you take on the role of a different person, character, monster, whatever, for the purposes of entertainment, roll dice to resolve things, or use other methods, then to me that's a traditional RPG.

How do you join TARGA? Well, go join the Yahoo group and/or the facebook page and you are a member.  It's that simple.

The Eye Guy

The "Eye Guy" ( yeah, I know, he looks like a crappy beholder ) was a quick sketch I was doing while trying to figure out a topic for todays blog post.  He started out like this...

This is a black and white scan of the sketch.  It was on blue graph paper.  This was all I was going to post. but I thought I should add a bit of color.  Now, the only graphics program I have is Paint, but it worked out okay.  I erased the grids, and cleaned Eye Guy up a bit.  This is a bit later in the process...

I should have drawn it on blank paper...

I've got a couple more "process" pictures, but you should be able to get the idea.  This really isn't a tutorial.  It's more about use what you have, because you can't use what you don't have.  So many times I've wanted certain "things", to be able do certain projects "better".  I want to make great maps, but I can't really justify buying Campaign Cartographer, or any of the expensive graphics programs, so I try to find a good alternative, but still delay creating things, because in my mind, this program, or that tool, would make things so much easier, and better.  In the end, I don't get many things accomplished.  Use what you have, and when you get the nicer alternative, you will not only appreciate it more, but should be able to use it better, and get more bang for your buck, so to speak.

I could have just posted the sketch as it was and be done with it.  But I decided to see what I could do with what I had, and while it's not great.  I think it's fairly good, if not a tad bit cartoonish.  I changed a few things, the arrow was replaced and I added another arrow.  I added quite a bit of detail.  The nice things is, when I was adding details I wasn't worried about mistakes, because sometimes the mistakes look better than what I had planned.  Drawing with a mouse isn't easy, but I use what I have.  It's my new philosophy.

I could have worked on Eye Guy for a long time, but sometimes you have to find a stopping point.

Eye Guy actually has a back story, but that'll be for another day.

I've actually got a few things started for HDWT.  One is an article about campaign/world creation, the other is the Texicon interview, and the third is a kind of mapping experiment.

So until next time, keep rolling those dice!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Lost & Found, or The Dice Bag o' Doom!

If you've been reading my posts; maybe you remember that since I have decided to return to gaming that I have been searching in vain for my dice bag.  Yes, the infamous, Crown Royal Bag o' Dice.  The good news is that I found it a few days ago, but I just haven't said anything about it on HDWT.  The poor bag was in my pick-up truck, which sadly hasn't run in a while, and the dice bag looks like it's in as bad a shape as my truck.  Also, some of the dice look like they've been through heck, and I still seem to be missing a few.  Oh well, it's mainly the old six-siders that look like they have been slimed, stained, and generally weathered.  Excuse my photos, the digital camera I used is a super-cheapy.

The bag looks like it's been hanging on an orc's belt for a while.

I feel better now.  I have dice.  However, I think I need MORE dice.  Lots more!

Wow, this is a horrible photo, but it's the best I could get.  This is a 12 sided dice from my original D&D boxed set.  I believe the others from that set have gone on to the great dice gaming table in the sky.  This one has seen better days.  I want to find a little glass dome to display it in.  I may use it for one more gaming session, and then it gets to retire.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blog of the Week!

Have Dice ~ Will Travel is a constant work in progress.  As long as it exists I will be making changes, if for the only reason to keep it "fresh".  During the initial process of creating HDWT, I wanted to have regular features, and Blog of the Week was one of them.  Now, I have no real criteria about what it takes to become blog of the week, but tonight I stumbled across Superhero Necromancer , and after scanning some of the posts, thought, 'Yup, here's the first BOTW.'  Why?  I like it!  You may not, but I encourage you to check it out; ( that is if you haven't already ).  I'll be reading more of the past posts as the week progresses.  Looks like there is some really good stuff there...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Back from the Land of the Semi-dead...

Whew, time flies by so quickly. It seems I failed to make a successful saving throw versus convention exhaustion. These past eight days I have been worn out, and haven't felt much like doing anything. However, I'm feeling much better now, and I'm ready to go.

Convention Report:  All-Con 2010

Really, I don't have that much to report now that I think about it. About the only gaming at All-Con was either console/computer gaming, Lazer Tag, or a modified version of Monopoly, called Life's Not Fair Monopoly. All-Con is more of a science fiction/fantasy/comic book convention with a few other things thrown into the mix. It is a very good con if you are into these areas of fandom.

Created by a friend of mine, Life's Not Fair Monopoly can be a lot of fun, and also really annoying. I spent most of the my first 10 turns or so in jail, lost the few properties I had acquired, and bought everyone's "dependants", which were depicted by little plastic babies. ( You can acquire dependants when you draw cards. ) Anyway, I grew bored, left to watch a demonstration of roller derby, came back, started playing again, and eventually realizing I was not going to win, I gave away my money, and the babies were just gone I guess. I pretended I sold them to white slavers, after all I bought most of them from other players.  I wandered the con a bit, but came back to watch the game.  Eventually time was called, and the player with the highest net worth won.

While I was wandering around at All-Con, I picked up a flyer for a new gaming convention in Fort Worth, Texas called Texicon . I plan on conducting an email interview with one of the organizers. Hopefully, I can get this accomplished within a reasonable amount of time. In the past, I have not had the best luck when attending gaming conventions, and had to deal with some mediocre to poor, and some down-right horrible game masters. That's if they showed up at all.  I've also had some really good experiences at gaming conventions as well, but not as many as the negative ones.  This is one area I will cover in my questions. The really sad thing is I may not get to go to this con, but I'm working on it.  Well, more on Texicon next time...


During my "recovery" I did spend some time browsing the World Wide Web, and found a place that prints and/or laminates maps. I've never used the The Gamer-Printshop , but I may try them in the future.  I've added their link to gaming web sites on the sidebar. It looks like they support the major file formats of mapping programs, as well as JPEG, etc...

Dungeons and Dragons

I've mentioned before that I started with the original D&D, waaaaaaaaaay back when. I'm fond of the first editions of AD&D, but I wonder if I will ever find any players for it when I'm ready to start gaming again? Who knows? Well, maybe one day I'll even play Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition, but somehow I doubt it. Have you seen the price of those books???

Okay, enough for now.  I hope I can start building a following. I really want many, many readers! If not... that's okay!  I'll just keep plugging away!  Until next time, keep rolling those dice!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Busy two days!

I just got back from All-Con, and the workshop I gave went well.  The people were enthusiastic, and seemed to enjoy it.  I've been invited back next year.  I will go tomorrow just to hang out and have fun.  Not much in the way of games, but I'll write a more detailed report later.

After the convention is over I can get back to regular postings.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Ballad of Zanazaz

Every blog should have it's own theme song. If you don't know, or haven't figured it out; the title for my blog is inspired by the great TV western that originally aired from 1957 thru 1963, Have Gun - Will Travel. So today I decided to rewrite The Ballad of Paladin.

The Ballad of Zanazaz

Have Dice Will Travel reads the dice bag of a man.
A GM without players in a savage land.
His fast dice for hire head's the calling wind.
A soldier for gaming is the man called Zanazaz.

Zanazaz, Zanazaz Where do you roam?
Zanazaz, Zanazaz, Far, far from home.
He travels to games wherever he must;
A 20sider of silver is his badge of trust.

There are game room legends that the players spin
Of the man with the dice,
of the GM called Zan-aaa-zaz!

Here's the orginal lyrics as written by Johnny Western. Really that's his name!

The Ballad of Paladin

Have Gun Will Travel reads the card of a man.
A knight without armor in a savage land.
His fast gun for hire head's the calling wind.
A soldier of fotune is the man called Paladin.

Paladin, Paladin Where do you roam?
Paladin, Paladin, Far, far from home.
He travels on to wherever he must;
A chess knight of silver is his badge of trust.

There are campfire legends that the plainsmen spin
Of the man with the gun,
of the man called Pa-l-l-l-l-a-din

Today while I searched for the lyrics, I discovered that Gene Roddenberry wrote several episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel. Of course if you are a science fiction fan, you know Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek. DeForest Kelley, who played Bones on Star Trek TOS, was a guest star, as well as June Lockhart from Lost In Space.

FYI, Richard Boone played Paladin, his real name was never revealed. He was a champion-for-hire. Perhaps a good idea for an adventure campaign?

The Death of a Collection

I've been busy browsing eBay and checking prices on stuff I want to replace.  Mainly 1st Edition AD&D, Rolemaster, Gamma World, GURPS... well it's quite a list.  My original collection consisted of things like the original boxed set of D&D and Gamma World that I bought back in oh... 1976, and a lot of gaming stuff that I bought over the years. Now, I didn't lose it all at once.  It was a war of attrition.  Some of it was lost when a closet in my first apartment flooded, and soaked everything on the floor.  This included some almost impossible to replace comic book collectibles, including some limited edition prints.  Some of my stuff just "dissappeared", borrowed items that were never returned, and well... you get the idea.  I replaced some things, but a few year later, after I was married, I had much of what was left of my collection in a storage unit.  Bad idea.  The ceiling leaked when it rained.  So when I discovered this, I realized I was paying 30 bucks a month to have my stuff destroyed, so I ended up selling most of what was left to a used book store.  I should have taken my time, but my wife had just left me, and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it. 

So fast forward to NOW.  After a very long break from all things geeky, I want to get back into gaming and collecting, and in a big way.  I plan on starting with the core titles, and go on from there.  I guess it was more of a gaming library than a collection, but I want it back.  All of it, and MORE!  All I have right now is a hardback Champions Rulebook my brother no longer wanted, the original Gamma World fold out map, and some ancient hex paper.  My battlemats may be somewhere?  Who knows...  Oh, and a Crown Royal bag o' dice.  Where is that thing?

gaming miscellania

There's a great thread in The Workshop forum on the dragonsfoot website that's about The Herculoids .  People are taking the characters and creating stats and descriptions for them.  One person is also making some very nice PDFs of the characters, and it looks like a whole Herculoidian Campaign World may result from this.  It's all very fun to read, and brings back memories of those early Saturday morning cartoons!

"Somewhere out in space live The Herculoids...Zok the laser-ray dragon! Igoo the giant rock ape! Tundro the tremendous! Gloop and Gleep, the formless fearless wonders! With Zandor their leader, and his wife, Tarra, and son, Dorno, they team up to protect their planet from sinister invaders! All-strong! All-brave! All-heroes!! They are The Herculoids!!!"  from The Herculoids Wikipedia article.

Check it out!  It really is loads of fun!

blog stuff

I actually thought of a few more blog names, but I'm starting to like Have Dice, Will Travel...

Some of the names I thought up were:  The Dice Academy, DiceWorld,  RPG Academy, and last but not least, The Insane Ramblings of a Delusional Insomniac.  Anyway, I like the current title, and eventually will have a HDWT embroidered dice bag.  Somehow, that just sounds cool...

What's in store for next time? I have NO IDEA!  Perhaps I'll do the write up of an item that I thought of today, sort of an artifact.  Tymer's Terrible Trunk, the worst piece of luggage an adventurer could possibly find.

Until next time, keep your gaming books safe, and your dice bag close by!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cartography & Digital Map Making

Well, since my interest in gaming has returned; especially role-playing games, and being a gamemaster; I have become obssesed with maps and map making.  I have been searching for a good freeware mapping program, and I found another one yesterday.  It's called AutoRealm, and it seems it might be very good.  I experimented with it some, and there are a lot of features.  I also found a manual for it, but I haven't read it yet.

I was also experimenting some with Dungeonforge, and wasn't all that happy with it.  I was frustrated with trying to get a tile set I had downloaded into the right file.  I tried to follow the brief instructions, but they weren't much help.  I may discard Dungeonforge.  Dungeoncrafter 3 has possibilities, but I still need to work with it some more.  I also had trouble getting the tile files in the right folder, or to even work for that matter.  I am not sure what I was doing incorrectly.

I also plan on experimenting with Paint.  I can actually work on a map in DC3, and export it, and work on it in Paint.  I also want to download Inkscape, and see what that is like.  I would like some better graphics programs, but those just aren't in my budget at this time.  So far DC3 has been the best, although I haven't spent much time on any of the programs.

One thing I haven't ruled out is good old pen and paper map making.  I've started calling it analog map making, and I could get very creative doing this.  Plus, I can scan the maps, and have them printed.  If I have a particularly good map, I can also have it printed on canvas.  A nice, if not expensive option, for a player map.

During the search yesterday ( for the already forgotten object ), I found a remnant of my gaming past.  It was an old Gamma World map, the one that came with the original boxed set.  ( I forgot what I was looking for because I was excited about this map. ) My original GW book is long gone, but I still have the map!  I think I may use it in a Mutant Future campaign.  Unless, of course I can manage to replace my Gamma World book.  I'll try and get a photo of it up soon, but I've got a lousy digital camera, and it may not turn out good at all.

There is one thing bugging the heck out of me!  Is it map making, or mapmaking?  Two words or just one?  I've seen it both ways...


In yesterdays post I mentioned Origins 84, a national gaming convention. These days they are calling it,  Origins Game Faire , and the dates are June 23 - 27, 2010.  The deadline for entering an event submission was March 1st, but there is no way I can attend this year anyway so that's a moot point.  On a positive note I now have about a year to come up with something good to submit.  Origins has really good benefits for the GMs that run games at the con.  Work enough hours and they give you a spot in one of the volunteers room.  That would save you a lot of cash, but on the other hand you would spend much of your time running games.  It's been 25 years since I attended Origins 84.  Where did all that time go?

Speaking of conventions, this weekend I will be attending All-Con 2010, a local covention here in Dallas.  All-Con doesn't really have much gaming content; in fact very little at all, but that could change in the future.  All-Cons main motto is, "We Serve The Fan Community".  However, it really is a good convention, and supports fans of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Renaissance, Anime, Costuming, Theater, Performing Arts, Mystery, Art, Crafts, Collecting, and Film Making.

I will be giving a comic workshop on Friday, and we will be creating and publishing a "small press" comic.  I haven't done this since 2007, and look forward to the workshop.  Here's a photograph of me and one of the guests of the 2007 All-Con.  All I can say is WOOT!

The very attractive woman is Luciana Carro, she played Kat on Battlestar Galactica.  She's a very nice person, although I didn't get to talk to her much at all.

Later people, I need some sleep.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Rainy Sunday...

It was a rainy Sunday so I spent most of the afternoon, and evening wandering the world wide web in search of gaming blogs. I was also on the hunt for a freeware mapping program. I finally found a site that wasn't "corrupted" or something, and downloaded Dungeon Crafter 3. I experimented with it a short time, and like it so far. Not really great for anything but floor plans, but I'm happy with what it can do. I know the program has been out a couple of years but it's new to me. I also found Dungeonforge, but it's downloading as I write this ( I'm multi-tasking ), and probably will play around with it tomorrow. I also plan on comparing the two for a review; a Dungeon Crafter 3 versus Dungeonforge article.

Speaking of maps, I was looking through a storage box for something, and I found an old map I had made as a prop for my Rolemaster campaign. I drew the map on parchment paper; then I aged it a bit, crumpled it, and even scorched the edges a bit with a lighter.  I then later photocopied it so I could make notes about what was in the dungeon, and be able to give the map to the players.  ( I thought it would save time mapping.  They wanted very accurate maps... )

Here is the map:

It looks like part of the northwest corner is missing!  I apparently tore it off, or the years of getting packed and repacked haven't been kind to the map.  I may make another copy, then age and distress it even more.  Perhaps add some odd markings, runes or something.  Maybe a blood spot or two...

It's not that big, and not all that impressive, but it was an effective prop for the players, and made my life a little easier.  Once I start gaming again, I plan on using more props.

A word on creativity...

If you get the chance check out the blog,  A Hamsterish Hoard of Dungeons and Dragons  , the blogger in one of their many great posts describes different kinds of unusual metals. I thought they were very original, and while I may never use those in a campaign; I may eventually create some of my own odd and unusual substances for a campaign.  Here is the description of one of the metals...

Pashken: Dull, almost pewter grey in colour, this metal is strong enough to be made into weaponry but is not recommended for armour. It is riddled through with a strange absorbent quality to its substance; a pashken sword, for example, will absorb as much as a flask of any fluid applied to it. Impact will cause the fluid to be expelled.
Imagine a dagger made from Pashken.  It could be dipped in venom, poison, or maybe even acid, and as long as it was handled carefully the next blow would deliver not only a nasty wound, but also quite a surprise!

This is one of the reasons I have started to peruse the many blogs, and websites about role-playing games. Reading what all these different GMs create is very synergistic. It really helps to jump start my creativity.  If you ever feel yourself in a creative slump it helps to see what other people are doing.


While I was searching for whatever I was searching for ( I have already forgetten! ); I found a blast from the past.  The convention program book from Origins 84!  I'm surprised I still had it, and flipped through it.  It was mainly advertisments, with a few interesting things which I may write about later.  Now, if I can just find my Crown Royal bag of dice...

Origins was a national gaming convention, and at one point apparently, an international gaming convention.  Now I believe it is called Origins Game Fair, and mainly held in Columbus, Ohio.  About the only thing I remember about this convention is that I forgot to mail in the early registration packet for me and a friend.  UGH!  When I told him about my mistake on the first day of the convention he was, to put it mildly, a little ticked off.  At least he was until we saw the line for early registration.  It was much longer than the line for people buying their ticket that day.  We were lucky, we speed through the line, and was in the convention so much faster than anyone who had pre-registered.  And if I recall correctly we got to play in all the games we wanted to.  One worry was that the slots may have filled up, but that wasn't the case.  Bwahahahahahaha!  I was soooooooo lucky...

Time for me to sign off for now.  Keep on gaming!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Blog Stuff

So far I'm happy with what I have done with "Have dice, will travel...".  I wanted to keep it simple for now, easy to read and look at, but not too plain. I think I've accomplished that.  I wasn't really happy with the name I came up with at first, but it's growing on me.  My first choice was, "Roll the Dice!", but it had already been used by someone else.  So thinking quickly, I came up with HDWT.  I like it, it's kind of generic, but I didn't want to call this blog, "Frank's Dungeon" or anything like that because I wanted to cover quite a few different areas of the "gaming hobby".  If I do come up with a better name I will change it.  I'm not opposed to change, as long as it's good!

I've already added a few links, but most of these can be found on other gaming blogs, and websites; so nothing new or exciting.  Just some of the blogs and websites I like.  I'll try to keep them current, and get rid of dead links ( I really hate dead links... ), or blogs that haven't been updated in a while.

Later today or tomorrow, I hope to have some really good content posted.  I'm ready to get rolling!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

There must be a beginning...

So it begins...

I've been thinking about doing this for a long time now.  Writing a blog about gaming.  Two days ago it was the second anniversary of the death of Gary Gygax; one of the co-creators of Dungeons & Dragons, and in my opinion the indisputable father of  role-playing games.  I had the idea to start the blog on that day, but it just didn't feel right.  So I decided to wait, mainly because I wasn't 100% positive I was going to start this blog.  The past couple of weeks I 've been reading all the gaming blogs I can find, and I thought that maybe there were enough blogs of this type already.  Who knows?  Maybe there is, and maybe there isn't?  Anyway, I decided to go ahead, and create this blog.  I'm not sure what direction this blog will take, but I hope you find it interesting, entertaining, perhaps helpful, and maybe even informative and educational.  In any case if you read it, let me know what you think, good or bad.  Feedback is important in almost any endeaver.

What will I write about?  Well, games of course!  I will probably reminisce about past gaming sessions, brainstorm about game design, discuss old games and new games, throw out some campaign ideas I'll probably never use, make up charts ( every old school rpger should love a random chart! ), write up some magic items, and invent new critters.  I'll probably even discuss and review other people's gaming blogs.

Well, it's late, and I need some sleep.