Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflecting back on 2011

The end of the year, a time to reflect on the lessons of the year... What happened? How did things change in my life? What were the milestones that I reached this year?

Home Front

On the home front, things have been generally calm and good. The wife had some good health-related news, which makes every one happy. It IS true that "happy wife, happy life". The kids are growing (like weeds) and received their Pathfinder Beginner Box for Christmas.

Pathfinder Society

I cannot take the credit, but the Pathfinder Society community in Denver is growing and going strong. I must thank all the volunteer GMs and organizers who make me look good before my Paizo overlords. I am sitting on a number of awesome announcements I have to wait on before I can say anything. But again, Mike Brock and the Paizo folk are going to drop bombshells of awesome. Yes, I'm trying to avoid the NDA monster swallowing this post

NeoExodus

Last year at this time I had just started to talk with this guy, Louis Porter, not knowing how close he and I would become. I was writing an adventure for him (that we are still sitting on, called "Origin of Man"). My experiences writing that adventure, read "my frustrations writing that adventure" resulted in me throwing my hands in the air and telling him. Note the decisive tone, I told Louis that we needed a campaign book for NeoExodus. Something that would allow someone else (not him or me) to take the setting, write and run their own campaign. Most of the content that made the final book already existed in a number of smaller books: The World of Exodus, Races of Exodus, Magic of Exodus, and Hostile Environment I among others. The time consuming work of gathering information from all these sources into a complete, single book, took months.

But the final result is there. It's an awesome book! One I am very proud to have done. I really need to run more NeoExodus! I will be running some at Genghis Con this year.

Oh! And a big thank to all of you who have purchased the book and who talk about it! It's very gratifying. Keep giving you some feedback we want to hear it!

Miniatures

If you've been following this blog at all, you know that I have been sucked into the Warmachine game by Privateer Press recently. I really like the way the game plays, the quality of the sculpts, the ease of painting. As I told my friend Ed at Gamers Haven yesterday, I love the fact that the minis do not have thousand little extra crap on them. They are clean and nice, unlike the more recent miniatures by Games Workshop which have turned me off (I don't think I bought a single NEW GW mini in over 2 years. I bought all my stuff secondhand.

I am thinking of making terring to go with my Rhulic (dwarven) army. I need to make some time to get that done. But what? The background of those dwarves is that they are all mercenaries and they work for others. So I'm still thinking about what I'll do. When inspiration hits, you will all know about it right away!

Another little sideline that I really did a lot on this year was commission painting: from RPG minis to armies, it has kept me busy and out of trouble for a number of evenings. Some of the newer painting techniques I developped this year have changed my style. Thank you magic dip! But the dip itself is not the only thing... trial-and-error have given me something I like. My Warmachine stuff and the Malifaux I did for Stephen really showcase this change in technique.

Real Work

I still have my job and was given some positive mid-year reviews by my bosses who noted my efforts and hard work. It is very rewarding and encouraging. I hope to stay there longer as it is very family-friendly.

Music

This year, I discovered a few new bands I like, namely Altaria and Fairyland, both metal bands. My love affair with other bands I like continues. I still listen to a lot of classic Rush, Marillion, Sonata Arctica, and Avantasia/Edguy. No good shows coming the ass-end of the world for European metal (aka Colorado).

Non-Gaming Books

This year, I read a number of non-gaming books. Here they are in no particular order: (okay, the order in which I dug them up from my book drawer).

  • The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthus Conan Doyle
  • Les Mémoires du Diable, Tome 1 by Frédéric Soulié Re-read of this philosophical/ critique of society
  • La Scandaleuse Nouvelle-France by Guy Giguère; a collection of court cases in New France (now prov. of Québec)
  • At the Queen's Command by Michael Stackpole; a fantasy re-do of the Seven Year War/ War of Independance (I won't keep reading the series)
  • Chronicles of the Black Company by Glenn Cook; the first three books of the Black Company (thanks Todd)
  • Les Courreurs des Bois by Jeanne Pomerleau; a view on the fur trade in Canada from New France through the ealry 20th Century

Other RPGs

This year, there were good and bad times with other games systems.

I did not play or opened any 4e books for the whole year, a good thing.

Arcanis released their new system. I talked about it a lot on this blog and it generated some interest from you, the readers. There are a number of things I don't really dig about it, but I do enjoy playing with Lenny and Tena. I'll go back and play some more.

This year, I got into Shadowrun and lo-and-behold! Santa seemed to have found a second-hand copy of the SR4 rulebook at his local RPG shop! WOOHOO! I have to play some of that. However, there is no Missions being played locally. And NO, I already run one local game, I won't do two.

On a sad note, I had to drop out of Mario's Warhammer Campaign... It was a great one but work got crazy for a few months and it became impossible for me to continue. Too bad, I really loved the group we had. Oh well, maybe some other time!

Blog Milestones

This year, the blog exploded.

  • Posts: 176 times (including this one)
  • Most prolific Month: October with 21 posts
  • Most visited Month: June with 3,744 individual visits
  • Most popular post: Death of 4e Announced on Twitter?
  • Top 3 Readers Origins: USA, UK, Germany

Finally

All that is left is for me to wish you all a happy new year! May it bring a lot of dice rolling at the table, calm at home, and a lot of work!

Thank you Lord for 2011. It was a good one!

JP

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