Monday, August 19, 2013

Did You Miss Me?

Two and a half months since I've posted anything here, and for some reason I think that there will still be people reading it. Maybe I'm crazy. Anyway, I've got a couple of things that I wanted to mention, gaming-wise, and so I'm going to post about them now.

First off, I looked in my mail today, and found a neat little packet from Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor and GM Games. It was an envelope containing the spiffy adventure (originally a one-page dungeon) called "Where is Margesh Blackblood?". It's available in PDF form at RPGNow for "pay what you want", so you could run right over there right now and get it for free, or for a buck or two, or for a hundred dollars if you wanted to pay that much for it. It's a quick little bounty hunt for a wayward bandit. I love Tim's adventures, even the simple ones like this one. Well, simpler than some. There are some neat twists here that will probably have the players questioning their characters' motivations. Or not.

I am still thinking about how best to really review Traveller5. For a quick one-liner, though, I am sad to say that I am not entirely happy with it. Still, it's got some really good stuff in there.

I was recently nudged back toward working on my Top Secret retroclone. I opened the file, but didn't really get anything done. We'll see how that goes. Most of my other projects, such as the WRG Ancients-based RPG, have pretty much been abandoned. A major exception is the MegaTraveller retroclone idea, which I have modified into a version of that edition adapted to my own SF starfaring setting.

People who have been paying attention to that Goodreads widget down there toward the bottom of the right sidebar will have noticed that I have been reading Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series of books. This is my first time reading them. When I finish the one I am on, I am going to go ahead and read the eighth one (The Wind Through the Keyhole) rather than going on to the fifth one. I am told that this is the intended order, and that King only wrote the fifth-seventh ones first because he wanted to finish the story before he dies (the car accident that almost killed him kinda kicked him in the ass to do it quickly). I'm a little bit surprised that I have never seen a gaming version of Mid-World. I like it, though it is substantially different than my own "sixguns & sorcery" setting.

Speaking of my own settings, Tim Brannan over at The Other Side has given us his own version of Appendix N. I think that's a neat exercise, so I've done up my own, as it would currently be. Like Tim's, mine will also include particularly interesting movies (I'll list them after the books, though). I make no apologies for the fact that I include a couple of westerns, and even an SF title or two. I am, however, going to avoid non-fiction and gaming books for now:


  • Asprin, Robert L.: "Thieves' World" series (editor)
  • Burroughs, Edgar Rice: "Barsoom" series
  • Cherryh, C.J.: THE DREAMSTONE and THE TREE OF SWORDS AND JEWELS (particularly as published together and slightly revised under the title THE DREAMING TREE; can also be found together, unrevised, as ARAFEL'S SAGA)
  • Herbert, Frank: DUNE
  • Holdstock, Robert: "Mythago" series
  • Howard, Robert E.: "Conan" stories
  • Lee, Tanith: "Flat Earth" series, THE BIRTHGRAVE, et al.
  • Leiber, Fritz: "Fafhrd & Grey Mouser" series
  • Lovecraft, H.P.: "Dreamlands" stories
  • Martin, George R.R.: "A Song of Ice and Fire" series
  • Powers, Tim: ON STRANGER TIDES, et al.
  • Sabatini, Rafael: CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE SEA HAWK, et al.
  • Smith, Clark Ashton: "Zothique" stories, "Averoigne" stories, et al.
  • Tolkien, J.R.R.: THE HOBBIT, "Lord of the Rings" trilogy
  • Tremayne, Peter: "Sister Fidelma" series


  • Cat People (the original, though the remake is not terrible) and Curse of the Cat People
  • Conan the Barbarian (it is not Howard, but Milius's magnum opus is still an intriguing fantasy film)
  • The Dark Crystal
  • Dead Man
  • Dragonslayer
  • Excalibur
  • Eyes of Fire (sometimes called Cry Blue Sky)
  • Fire & Ice
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and the other two "Man With No Name" films
  • Heavy Metal (the Taarna sequence)
  • John Carter (like Conan, above, it is not the original, but it is still a good science-fantasy film)
  • Krull
  • Labyrinth
  • Legend
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Pale Rider
  • Pirates of the Caribbean series
  • The Princess Bride
  • Princess Mononoke
  • The Secret of Roan Inish
  • Spirited Away
  • Star Wars (the original, now called "Episode IV", is an excellent fantasy adventure story with coming-of-age themes)
  • Unforgiven
  • The Warrior and the Sorceress
  • The Wicker Man

There you go. I don't know if I'm back in the sense of regular posting, but I hope to at least post a little more often than I have been.