Friday, September 8, 2017

Altruism - with a helping of Self-Interest

My guess

Is that no one is reading this blog anymore. I can't blame them, I've let it go the long slow heat-death road into oblivion. BUT. Right now, there's a chance that this might reach someone. Someone who has forgotten to take this blog off their watch list!

Over at RPGNOW, there's a charity drive going on for victims of hurricane Harvey (and hopefully for the forthcoming victims of Irma). For the pittance of $25, it gives you access to a host of useful game supplements, as well as entire games.

Among those are Deep Carbon Observatory - which pdf I've bought and paid for several times now as  a part of other packages without regret.

So head on over to the link above and get yourself some goodness. There's something for everyone in it, from OSR D&D to OSR space gaming to Zombie Apocalypse gaming to just good weird old shit, man. Hurry!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Campaign Development: North and South

Now that I have the rough outline of where all the larger regions are, it's time to develop some more boundaries to the north and south of the campaign area.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Campaign Development: From Tarabi to Kohan

While taking a break from running games (I'm in a group that trades off DM duties and we're currently in mid-stride of the other DM's campaign), I'm taking pot shots at building up my own campaign.

What I'm doing differently from my regular homebrewed method, which consists of custom content interspersed with published material, is leaving space for megadungeons.

Boxed settings never interested me, but I have a fondness for modules. In this case I'm creating a customized background, while planning for large empty spaces in which I can fit things like Castle Whiterock, Rappan Athuk, Slumbering Tsar and the Greyhawk Ruins. No one lives long enough to complete all of these, but I like to leave it open. Just in case...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"The One Thing", Down Time, Restarting and More...

So in the months since closing out the old campaign I ran, I have not been idle. Mostly I've been working, brewing beer and engaging in other hobbies. But last night I started up a new campaign with a new group. Still kicking the weeds but it's promising!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The End of the Line

Today we 'finished' my ongoing campaign, started in 2003 when my wife and I had just started dating (cue: AWWWWW).

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Last weekend I finally picked up a copy of Zak Smith's Vornheim at Dundracon.

I'd been meaning to pick it up for a while, but when it comes to reference material - particularly in the rarified world of RPGs - I have learned to be very circumspect. Who does not remember picking up their first copy of the World of Greyhawk setting? The maps, the charts, the tables, the NPCs, the names, the places, the histories, the racial politics, the inclement and average weather tables, the holiday calendars... yawn. The indefatigable minutiae!

In general I try to avoid anything of that type; where rules are written into a setting in such a way that an alleged "game aid" becomes an enormous albatross around your neck, tying you to a particular setting and condemning you to struggle against a plethora of stat blocks, charts and oblique references to canonical material FOREVER. Or at least until you chuck the manual and write up your own homebrew.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Attack of the Scrivener!

I was recently turned on to Scrivener, the writer's utility, as a tool for organizing game content. Intrigued by the possibilities, I downloaded a 30-day free trial version and started putting it to the test.

It's been a few months and a few games now, and I'm hooked. I upgraded to the full version and downloaded the updates and I've been busy pecking away at the next five to ten games in my campaign. 


First of all, Scrivener is packed with features. More than you will ever likely use... unless you plan to publish your material, I suppose! That is what Scrivener is designed for, after all.I won't catalog all the features Scrivener carries but I will say it goes far above and beyond whatever your gaming needs may be.

It is an EXCELLENT tool for the GM or worldbuilder. It's incredibly convenient to able to spontaneously organize data for a game or campaign, and even if you only use the linking features it's well worth the $40 to put everything together.

Community Support

There is a huge Scrivener community, including a number of ebooks, online classes and regular print material supporting the product. Finding an answer to your questions about Scrivener should never be more than a quick Google search away.

Scrivener in your game. 

The combination of Obsidian Portal and Scrivener seems like the be-all, end-all of DMing utilities. Scrivener allows you to organize your material and work at it piecemeal in much the same way as a wiki, except that you can actually move the material around without requiring you to re-invent your  hyperlinks along the way.

One way that I use the linking is as a local rules wiki. When I create monsters, usually cut and paste from a local or internet copy of the Pathfinder SRD, I can actually use or insert hyperlinks to get to a file or website, which saves me a fair amount of time if I need to look up one of thirty or so special abilities that might be on the table at one time. The only real weakness of the linking feature is that it doesn't seem to support hash-tagging, so if I want to link directly to a feat, it instead takes me to the Feats.html document, from which I have to search to find the pertinent entry. Other than that, it's a win!