Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Need To Get Off My Butt And Get On My Butt...

...and write a book for once damnit.

I made a goal for myself once: "In 5 years' time, I will earn income from my creative abilities".

That was nearly 3 years ago. Hmmm.

The other day I had a neat idea for a book -- I say 'neat' becuase it actually holds my attention, which is an epic event if ever. I like it enough to spend time with it. I dunno of it'll be saleable, but -- how else am I gonna find out?

I need, desperately, to get away from projects I never finish.

*cough cough podcast harrumph*

Saturday, July 28, 2007

At Last!

Avalon, my Friendly Local Games Store, called on Thursday to tell me that the copy of the Castles & Crusades Players Handbook I ordered right after Fathers' Day had finally arrived. On Friday I went in to get it and now I can officially stop whining.

Again, the delay was through no fault of the store's; the book had just been reprinted and had to work its way to distributors, etc., and that was unfortunate but not, you know, horrible. I had faith in my FLGS; all I hadda do was wait.

I also got the Castle Keepers' Screen, which is what it sounds like. It looks damn useful and it's the sturdiest of the screens I own, and it's laminated on both sides. Soda-proof!

I've played a little C&C with my wife, actually, using the freebie Quickstart rules that were given out 'round Free RPG Day. We like it fine; it suits our style of play and my lack of desire for bighuge* preptimes. I am, as they say in the vernacular, down with it. Plus all of our other D&D stuff workswith it, from the Mentzer stuff on up to 3.x craziness. Bonus.

Soon, I will start a regular campaign in crazy, nigh-unprepped style. Adventure, ahoy!

*Not a typo! 'Bighuge' is a real** word!
** 'Real' in the sense that, uh, you're...not imagining it.
***What are you doing?! This is a Footnote From Nowhere!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Q: Are We Not -- Uh, Girls...?

I saw this on TV during Eureka tonight, and...well, it must be shared with the world.

Oh, *I* Know What He'd Do.

Which Encounter Critical character are you?

YOU ARE THRAZAR!!! In the annals of the mighty land of Vanth, none is mightier nor possessed of better fashion sense!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I Think I'm Painting A Dragon.

I'm not sure.
It's slow work, but digital painting is fun. I've wanted to do it for a long time, and tonight I drew a dragon head using help from Jessica Pfeffer's DragonArt book. I scanned, I started to ink, saved that and switched to painting.

The above represents 1.5 hours' work. Like I said, slow going.

Ah, but! It doesn't totally suck! And that, dear friends, is Progress.

oh my god it's full of maps

Thanks to a series of financial windfalls, I now own copies of Gary Gygax's Castle Zagyg: Yggsburgh and Necromancer Games' Wilderlands of High Fantasy. These will be used in my upcoming Castles & Crusades game...as soon as my Local can get me the PHB. (It's not their fault; keep reading.)

I purchased Yggsburgh last Friday, and I'm giddy with delight at all the little details and all the adventure opportunities. The Tomb of the River King up on Mound Island is especially alluring, and can't wait to see some aventurers traipsing over there to see what's what...and to get a little something-something. Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Yesterday, my copy of Wilderlands was delivered. I ripped the shipping box open and took a hobby knife to the shrinkwrap with Cimmerian ferocity, and lo and behold it's full of maps and ideas.


I could say that I'm overwhelmed with what I have in front of me, but oddly enough the inverse is true: I have a hell of a wide net to jump around over. I'm planning to find a few empty hexes on my Wilderlands map, drop Yggsburgh and environs into it, and let it all rip.

Also, would someone please put Anne Hathaway in a SF movie? Thank you.

I've even come up with a few of my own things to drop in there -- there's The Old Stone Head of course, as well as a couple of ruins and an innocuous temple which may (or may not) be more than it seems.

And you know what else fits in there? The ruined keep from the MentzerBasic D&D boxed set.

Plug and play!

Oh, yeah. Avalon, my Friendly Local Games Store here in Bloomington, IN, is having a hard time getting me the 3rd printing of the C&C Player's Handbook, which has just been printed and, according to Troll Lord Games, shipped to distributors. I've had this sucka on order for close to a month and I'm about to pee my pants. When in Bloomington, stop by Avalon at 223 N Pete Ellis Dr, turkey!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Old Stone Head

The last few campaign maps I've drawn have, invariably, featured a recurring item: The Old Stone Head. I keep plopping that thing down on my map for no reason other than that I want one in my campaign area.

With a Castles & Crusades game coming up, I decided today to try out some ideas as to what, exactly, The Old Stone Head actually is.

I figured it out, but I ain't tellin'. It'll take a merry and valiant band of adventurers to go poking at the thing before I spill.

Meantime, I made an image of it (not very well) in PhotoShop:

Monday, July 09, 2007

¡Ay, Chispita!

So, as I've mentioned before, I lived in Mexico City back in the 1980s. It was a hell of an experience and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Living in Mexico City in the 1980s means that, by default, I saw a lot of neat stuff, and I saw some really weird stuff stuff, too.

One thing I didn't see, back in 1983, was Coqueta ("Flirt"), starring Lucerito, Pedrito Fernandez and Rosita Quintana.

But yesterday, my friends...I became a man.



I became a man who has seen Coqueta, starring Lucerito, Pedrito Fernandez and Rosita Quintana.

You can say what you will about Wal-Mart, and I will, too, believe me. But there's an immutable fact about Wal-Mart and that is this: they sell Mexican movies, on DVD, for $5.50 a pop.


From the ground, now: Coqueta is bad. It's not even really 'so-bad-it's-good' bad, it's...just...well, here: It's like they couldn't afford to actually crash a Renault, so they drove it up to a lamp post and simulated the accident with sound FX.

And anyway, I didn't buy it for its technical or artisitic qualities, of which it is pretty close to bereft.

I bought it because it was made in Mexico City in about 1983, and that means it contains the following two things:
  1. Copious footage of city streets and people's houses; and
  2. More legs-o-mutton than a butcher's shop.
Watching this film was like a shot of pure nostalgia, straight to the brain. School uniforms? Wore one. VW Beetles and Renaults parked everywhere? Walked past 'em. Tile floors instead of carpets? Ahhh, yeah.

This was a glimpse back at my childhood -- one I thought I'd do better just to ignore, but one which, frankly, I've come to miss a lot.

The movie itself is a gelatinous mass of story, sent a-quiver with the occasional badly-lip-synched pop tune, with a tiny, possbly cartilaginous plot inside: Boy meets girl, boy gets girl, girl is revealed to have debilitating heart disease, girl dances too hard, girl dies.

No, really, that's it.

At least the girl, Lucerito (now just 'Lucero') is pretty cute, and I remember thinking so then, too (I was 9 when the movie came out, and she was really popular); I don't think the same now. But that doesn't matter.

What matters is that I got to see all those places, all those things again; and although I don't recognize the specific locations, they are immediately recognizable as Mexico City.

Recognizable as my youth.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


So! Some of you may have noticed that my web presence has...er...thinned lately. Yes, yes it has.

I have good reasons. Chief among them: I'm trying to spend a little more time with my wife and daughter, and a little less time with my computron. Also, I'm ticked off royal at Audacity, and they're curbing our non-work-related 'net usage at the office, so I have a little less time to do stuff.

Ergo, some quick updates:

  1. Tonight, I'll have a couple of hours on my lonesome, and I WILL tame the podcast;
  2. Boy, I sure wish my copy of the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook gets here soon;
  3. Remember Anthony? Looks like he's gonna be running some Marvel Super Heroes RPG action for me and some others;
  4. The new Hellboy Animated flick, Blood & Iron, was even better than Sword of Storms; and
  5. Salsa Verde Doritos are totally-motally ACES.
There! Now let's see if I can get myself back on track.