JP On Gaming

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New color art!

I am very excited that Irene has been sending me some goodies. With two of our iconics getting colors and more on the way, this is coming together. I can't wait to get them all and assemble the cover of the player's guide.

No really. I can't wait.

What do you think?


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

[Troll Tuesday] Two Impalers

More trolls!

This post completes the troll starter box. I painted these guys pretty much the same way as the Axer I posted last week. However, on these picture, the spear tips definitely look more like they have been chipped, giving them that pale color.

These guys were surprisingly easy and enjoyable to paint. I really like painting trolls!


Monday, September 28, 2015

[Cryx Monday] Or [Merc Monday]? I dunno... But here are some Cephalyx

Ever since I say that cephalyx were mercenary units in the Cryx, I have been interested in acquiring some and use them in a mercenary force. However, there were no casters that would allow me to do so.

Well now there are.

And after seeing their whole look, I'm not very keen on building such an army. However, I managed to win a few sets of them cheap on Ebay, so I finally painted them up. I mean these guys waited for MONTHS. I primed and gave them a touch of paint in the winter (February-March) and I finally gave them their final touches in September.

Since drudges are "all the same" I plan to mix the plastic and metal ones into two different units. I have placed them randomly for the pix.

Of note: I dislike the banners so I will most likely redo/repaint them. They look too clean, too nice for the cephalyx.

So here they are.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

New Minis for the Iconics

It was bound to happen. I would make and paint some minis for the Tyrants of Saggakar iconics!

The first one is Kraan, the hareen ranger.

And the second one is Otallya the hajit enchantress. I just received new art for her from Irene...


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Warmachine: Grey, Metropolis, and the Steelsoul keg protector

At Gencon 2014, I purchased this Convergence mini. Every year, they have a beer-theme miniature they put out, such as the Druid gone Wilder (bought and painted in 2013), the Blighted Bather (bought in 2014, painted 2015) Blindwater brew Witch doctor (bought and painted in 2015). Finally, I still have a bombardier bombshell I have yet to assemble and paint. It is the only miniature I bought for that army as frankly I dislike the look they have. And the idea of painting an army of grey robots just does not do it for me. I know I could paint them using a different scheme, but it simple does not appeal to me. I just don't feel any interest...

Although I love grey, I have this thing that began many years ago when I played 40k. Space Wolves armies all look the same. This greyness just does nothing for me. Like black, I like it for accent and highlights, but not as the base color of the army. Black and grey/metal are two things you should not expect to see in a JP-painted army. At least not a FOR-JP army...

The paint job here is simple: metal with some blue. I don't really like the final product... I just don't think it pops as well as I thought it would. Meh. This one's going to Ebay is my best guess...

Regarding the model itself, I really like it, as it is obviously based on Fritz Lang's 1927 Metropolis, a film I recently got to see in (as much an integral version as possible). The imagery is still very pognant and the effects, for the '20s are pretty good. The plot itself is about class warfare and technology, but still of definite historical value. I most definitely recommend it to historical afficionados, but also to film lovers. A moody and futuristic view of the future full of strong images.

I am a fan.

I added a picture to the post of the robot from the movie.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

D100 OGL: Good news from Alephtar Games

Another big news I read on Realms of Chirak: Alephtar games lost their Chaosium license and will instead focus on creating their own D100 System called "Revolution100". I will admit that I am extremely intrigued by this and something I find great and will be paying close attention to.

Although I have no interest in changing Legacies to R100, I wish to leave the door open for a potential Saggakar d100 setting book. After 12 years of d20 play, a good d100 system would rock. And how it will be done will be a big factor in how I will support such a system. Note that I did not say "if".

Having seen their other material from them, I am very excited and look forward to more.

You can read the full announcement on their website.

I feel particularly close to this decision seeing how FOE recently had a similar parting of ways with LPJ Design. Business decision: sad but understandable on both sides. A parting of ways can be a big boost to both sides.

I know where some of my money is going this fall!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

[Troll Tueday] The Axer

Continuing Troll Tuesdays with the Axer. I like this model, because it seems like a heavy thug ready to bring it.

For the armor, I decided to go with an emerald green color to imitate a jade, as if their armor was actually made of stone. I like the result as it is very un-traditional and gives the axer a unique look. To contrast with the blue skin, I went natural leathers for the skirt. The final is simple but effective.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Minion Monday: The Lonesome Bog Trog

Here is the final minion monday for a while... This unique Bog Trog came in a random lot I think from one of Gamers Haven's auction (so I had it for years now)... I will use him as an RPG mini.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Legion of Everblight: The Blighted Bather (Special Edition)

Last year at Gencon, I got my hands on the blighted bather, which was that year's limited edition model. Not only is this model very nice (I am a fan of scantily-clad females in hot tubs), but I frequently play the spawning vessel in games. Now I may use two distinct vessel models... I have a feeling that bathing females will be much more common than they were before!

My daughter Kitty really likes the fact that I have "sexy girl" in my army - even if she does not quite understand what that entails, yet. Having a girl in a tub is very funny.

Some older readers will remember this post from January of 2012 where I first unveiled my Legion. Below, I placed both of the models side by side for quick comparison. I think I will repaint the base to the white/ snowy grey to match the rest of the legion.

Now to move on to more Legion stuff...


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[Troll Tuesday] Madrak Ironhide

Sometime late last year, I managed to get my hands on a starter box of trollbloods. For a while now, I have been thinking about getting my hands on some, but never had the desire or the wallet power to pay for a box. I always had other things on my plate so they were little more than a "one day I will paint them" type of project. So I kept Ebay-farming and one day! Huzzah!

I decided to give them a rather typical paint job of a blue skin with leathers.

For Madrak, I went with gold theme, leathers and a tartan on his wrapping. I like the final result.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Minion Monday: Witch Doctor Special edition

It has been months since I got to post any pictures of miniatures. Heck, it's been months since I got to sit down and paint anything! Well this past week, I had to pull myself away from my PC, with all the writing I've been doing and finally just sat down and painted the miniatures that I left half-finished on my table in Kentucky. Yeah! It's been THAT long...

I did touch a few model while I was at the apartment, but I never finished any of them. Which brings me to this past weekend. I did a number of minis, starting with my daughter's new Pathfinder Society character. So be prepared for some miniature-y goodness this coming week!

So, with all this, back to Minion Mondays!!!

This first miniature is this year's Privateer Press Gencon exclusing, the Blindwater Brew Witch Doctor. The model originally comes with two barrels. Now I decided not to put the barrels, and instead use something different (which I will post this week). This leaves me with a woman holding a teddy bear and a dagger in an alligator suit. I am thinking of using her as a Saurian Druid.


Friday, September 11, 2015

[Rant] Fantasy Flight acquires L5R

It is with a somewhat heavy heart that I learned the news today (thanks Darryl-T) that AEG sold the Legend of the Five Rings Intellectual Property to FFG. See the full details in the official announcement.

You should know by now that I have less than zero interest in anything card-game related. As far as I am concerned, watching paint dry is more interesting than playing a card game. I hate cards. With a burning passion. So whatever happens to that game, I cannot find myself to be roused.

However, I really loved the RPG. Through it, we created a band of merry men back in Dublin that met twice a week and that gathered misfits from so many countries: Ireland, Northern Ireland/UK, Australian, Italy, Sweden, France, Canada, New Zealand, and after I left, the trend continued... I value the friendship of those I met through that game to this day: Oliver, Kristian, Darryl, Mary, Tammy, Christophe. But that's a personal thing and most of you do not have the attachment...

Now I welcome this news with a very wary eye. Barely one year since I got back into the game playing the Heroes of Rokugan campaign, and now it leaves its home at AEG for FFG. I have tried their new RPGs: Star Wars was "okay", and the 3rd edition of Warhammer, I simply decided not to get involved after the dice system and the lack of tactical acumen really turned me off it.

New dice system means I'm done and out. I always liked L5R's system, and destroying it as FFG has a habit of doing does not fill my with confidence that I will be playing Rokugan in the near future.

So now they get their hands on L5R, why do I not feel warm and fuzzy? Why do I feel like some waves of not-so-awesome is about to crash on Rokugan? I keep thinking about the following:


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

My Top Five Gaming Stores

Before starting this list, I put down a number of stores I patroned over the years to find the best and my favorites. To qualify, I used the questions: Would I want to go back? Is there a cool story linked to the store? What is so cool about the place?

Honorable Mention: Orc's Nest, London, England

I remember see their ads in old (mid-80s) White Dwarf magazines and thinking this was a place I'd never get to see. However, when I finally went to London (November of 2001), the Orc's Nest was on my list of things to see.

Now far from the large stores of nowadays, this place is literally a hole in the wall a short distance Leicester Square. I walked up the street and passed in front once. Retracing my steps I entered this place. My first impression was of an old place, and I looked at the shelves loaded floor to ceiling with books. With the second half-story and the narrow staircase, it is a blast from the past. As I looked through, I could not shake away the feeling that its musty shelves might contain some lost forgotten treasure, some antique book of lore. Like I had entered a old wizard's shop.

I did not find anything overly special, but then it was during the day and not during a full moon...

Their Web Site

5- L'Oeuf Cube, Paris, France

Similar to the Orc's Nest, I learned of L'Oeuf Cube (the Cubic Egg) through their ads in RPG magazines. Every month they would redefine the chainmail bikini (of which I never had issue and actually enjoy those) in a full page spread. Like the Orc's Nest I never thought I'd actually go there, much less patron it. Like the Nest, it is small and cramped, filled to the brim with whatever you may want.

It really became a favorite of mine for its second-hand section at reasonable prices. I'm a sucker for cheap stuff and I've no problem buying used game books (hence my Ebay addiction). One of the greatest thing was that they were open on Sundays and I made a point of heading there every weekend while I was in Paris to see what they had.

Their Web Site (en Français)

4- Le Donjon, Quebec, Qc, Canada

At one point, Le Donjon had four stores, but now only "the original" one remains, tucked under the Bibliotheque Gabrielle Roy in Quebec City. The store was very close to my apartment. I remember going to the opening in Montreal (Donjon-Maisonneuve) and thinking it was a great place. At the time, it was the only store in town that had room for people to play games there! I know! Not only just one creaking table, but size 8x4 tables for people to play. In a city where game stores may had one table that was usual covered with the same Napoleonic game the owner had been playing for years, this was such a welcome change.

Also, they had a second-hand game section (see a trend?) that had some decently-priced material. When I started playing 40k, they also had cheap miniatures, allowing me to quickly build up my army with infantry, dreadnaughts, and other goodies. For a time, they also operated the "CyberDungeon" selling stuff online through Ebay. I bought a fair amount from them when I lived in Europe.

Over the years, I patroned all four locations and was saddened when Ste-Foy and Maisonneuve closed. Writing this, I just learned that the other location in Montreal no longer uses the "Donjon" name. Sigh. Oh well.

What I love about it? The team was very dynamic and ready to work and do a number of things. The guys knew their stuff, they loved and played the games they were selling, something a lot of the store owners in Montreal didn't seem to care about at the time. They wanted nothing to do with us nerds except our money. But Le Donjon was a place I felt I belonged.

Oh! And the best of all? They run a yearly auction where people can sell their used games.

Their Web Site (en Français)

3- Moonlite Comics, Frankfort KY

I will admit that when I first entered Moonlite Comics, I was not overly impressed. It was a comic book store with a little RPG and wargaming. However, it was not long and the gang there ordered stuff for their regulars (of which I quickly became one). Not only that, but the gaming community there is diverse, large and open to a wide spectrum of games, styles, and events. Many play miniatures, RPGs, and CCGs, very open gaming group.

Not only that, but they welcomed me with open arms, and pretty soon I was running and playing in games of this and that. Very cool. With time, the store greatly improved, by changing its layout and running all kinds of events and sales that call to my cheap-daddy-bone! Every time I ordered games, they came on-time and they held them for me until I'd come to pick it up.

My only complaints is that Jay, the previous owner is a Maple Leafs fan (Toronto's evil hockey team) and that is an unforgivable sin.

Their Facebook Site

2- Le Griffon Féérique, Sherbrooke, Qc, Canada

Back in my college days, I went to the city of Sherbrooke, about 100 miles east of Montreal. Surrounded by the beautiful mountains of the Appalachian Range, it is a nice town with a relaxed vibe.

Le Griffon fits in perfectly in there. The staff there taught me how to paint miniatures, how to build terrain on the cheap, and it was an all-around great place (esp their current store location). When I was President of the RPG club, I arranged a number of special sales through the store. Christian, the owner, was always super helpful. We arranged a number of events, including a Magic tournament, ran large-scale games, had a city-wide BloodBowl league (where the finalist of their league and our faced each other). Really a great place to be.

I haven't been in many years, but I have no reason to doubt that it remains as great a place as ever.

Their Web Site (en Français)

1- Gamers Haven, Colorado Springs, CO

I will admit that the rest of the list was tough to rate, but the Haven was at the top of the list. This was the "easy choice".

Gamer's Haven in Colorado Springs in a store that caters to "everything", from historicals to wargaming to RPGs. There are a few CCGs going on at time as well. One thing about the Haven is that the staff (Troy, Rob,Ed) know and play games as well. I was lucky enough to run them through the Masks of Nyarlathotep and a lot of laughable moments still exists. They only needed one last chapter to complete the whole thing.

While at GH, we played a lot of historical games, and I definitely miss that here. The community played a LOT of things. And any idea, from the wacky to the well-defined is allowed to go. I had a few wacky ones myself and they went with it.

One of the things that propelled GH to the top of the list, are their opening hours. The Haven is open at hours where gamers want and can run games, allowing us to play there most evenings until 10pm. This allowed gaming from 6-10pm most evenings.

The Haven's auctions were extremely fun to attend. Not only were they well-stocked with games, but the goal was for people to trade in their stuff. I lucked out myself on a lot of products, building whole armies for fraction of the cost. Sure, they weren't new, but an unpainted mini is... well an unpainted mini!

A big thanks for all the memories and kudos to Rob and Troy for running what I consider the best game store in the world. You guys really rock, and I wish you contemplated moving to the Nashville area!

Their Web Site


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Historical figures of renown: Louis XIV and Conspiracies

Back on the Roi Soleil after years of not posting to this thread. In this post, I will explore some of the big what ifs and conspiracy theories of his life. For someone whose youth was so filled with action, that he lends himself well to such discussions.

Was he the son of Louis XIII?

One of the big themes we see, particularly in modern-day movies is that Louis the XIV may not be Louis XIII's son. A number of movies leave this thread hanging or making the paternity one of the threads they either explore or leave hanging. With Louis being the son of a variety of people: from Richelieu, to the Duke of Buckingham, to one of the Three Musketeers (Athos or D'Artagnan usually) to a chamber servant.

That his mother Anne of Austria and his father not have the most loving relationship, they may have become friends, but I don't think they really loved each other: a dynastic marriage indeed. With that said, as a Spanish Princess (yes, I always thought it was hilarious that Anne of Austria was from Spain), she must have understood her role was to bear the king and heir above all. If she were caught doing something inappropriate - such as sleeping with another man - she would have been slandered and the king's legitimacy been questioned during the days of the Fronde.

However, while the Queen-Mother was slandered later, it was for her affair with Mazarini, which started after her husband's death. Many of these attacks were vicious and merciless. But I do not recall reading any doubts about the King's paternity. So I have to think that it was not something which was discussed at the time.

His father Louis XIII was heavily suspected of being a homosexual or at least bisexual as he was not known to have had any mistresses and no illegitimate children outside his marriage. I think that if his wife "suddenly" became pregnant he might have said something, but he did not.

So I think it is fair to assume that Louis XIII is the most likely father of the Sun King.

However, for game purpose... this is very good: we have a famous person and a reasonable conspiracy. The PCs could approach this from a number of ways: they could try to unmask the one responsible, one of them could have a thing for Anne (...), they could later seek to cover up tracks and clean up loose ends (as a very Mazarini thing to do).

What would've happened to him if the Frondeurs had taken him in custody?

Although the Frondeurs did get hold of young Louis, they squabbled away their military advantage in the political court. Mazarini managed to outplay them all and got them to fight amongst themselves. But what would have happened if the Conde managed to hold things together and not break up their party? This is one of the greatest defeat for a victory. The Princes won the war but eventually lost their power in favor of the king.

A lot of "what if"...

What if Mazarini had given up and accepted exile?

What if, following his early defeats, the cardinal had stayed away from France? This brings us to a number of interesting scenarios.

First, like in England a century and a half later, there remained an uncle (Gaston d'Orleans), a young king and his brother (Louis and Monsieur). Could we have seen the story depicted in Shakespeare's Richard III played out again? His descendents would, later (under the 1830 revolution) become kings.

Second what if the Princes of Conde had seized power for himself, he did have a claim to the throne and enough military prestige to ensure his victory. Mazarini's unpopularity helped. In the end, he got played, and Mazarini returned from Germany with a mercenary army.

What would Louis have learned from the Cardinal's defection?

The Man in the Iron Mask?

The most enduring myth surrounds the man in the iron mask. A prisoner whose head was locked in an iron mask. The French Revolution destroyed a lot of the records, but the story is persistent enough that there is likely something there.

From a campaign perspective, two reasons for his imprisonment include:
1 - He is Louis's twin brother.
2 - He knows something about Louis's birth that requires him to be removed from circulation but not killed for it.

Both of the above definitely provide material for a campaign. Alexandre Dumas's Le Vicomte de Bragelonne provides us with one particular possible outcome.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Name the Wizards Contest: The Winners!

Wow a flurry of activity right at the end! I am really super-stoked about the amount of entries I received right at the end.

My rating criteria were: originality of the character, story potential (how inspiring they were for the creation of future material) and how well they could be integrated into Saggakar. The last two are quite related I know, but I tried to take them separately: for Saggakar and beyond it.

As I wait for the winner's final names (so as not to announce aliases), here are their winning entries (in alphabetical order).

Dagmar Wyrmkin

Dagmar became deeply fascinated with Necromantic magic after losing her long time companion to a wasting disease. She devoted most of her life to finding out how to create life without needing a partner. She became more and more reclusive as her power and knowledge grew.

Drax the Blue

Drax the Blue, anarchist sorcerer and revolutionary whose exploits to free the oppressed often ended disastrously, but those that he rescued idolized him. He oversaw the running of an underground network for escaped slaves and helped build hidden settlements for them. His beliefs and arrogance finally cost him his life in a magic duel with three slaver wizards but those Drax were escorting escaped while he fought and died. His freedom loving philosophy survives in the "little blue book" which are often found among the settlements he helped found.

Vlistra Zarmon

Locals call her "The Transmuter of Weapons." Vlistra Zarmon is a transmuter obsessed with improving weapons by adding other weapons to make the overall weapon deadlier than the two weapons alone. She thinks of herself as a visionary others think of her as off her rocker.

Congratulations and thanks to the many participants. You did not make my life easy that's for sure. Not only was this a fun exercise, it was also one of the more enlightening experience.


Friday, September 4, 2015

[Predictions of Doom] Goblinworks is dead

I want to thank Tori-B from Realms of Chirak for drawing my attention to this. I thought the project was trudging along "well enough". Pathfinder Online (PFO) wasn't taking the world by storm, but neither was it being bashed to death - though I will admit to having heard more naysayers than people who loved it. Most of the negatives are things I would pass on as growing pains, and with the software not yet fully released all within the realm of the fixable: didn't like the presentation, didn't like the long walks, etc. Things that can be addressed.

I just read of the fate of Goblinworks and PFO: low money, layoffs, skeletal crew remaining, and the lead leaving. In the software industry, that's when you know it's time to bug out and that a project is dead. Right now, users are promised the servers will be up through the end of the month, that's not a very bright future for what seemed like a slam-dunk just a year or so ago. I've been on a few of those in the past and most company tend to pull the plug really quick on those projects.

It is with a heavy heart that I write this. I really wanted the game to be success. I never expected it to be on par with World of Warcraft in size, like a few of the more optimistic of my friends boasted but I expected it to have a decent success and be a product that would keep it going like a number of games out there that I enjoy: Dungeons and Dragons Online, DC Universe, Guild Wars, and Star Wars The Old Republic. As a cheapie, I would wait for it to go full free then play it, buying only DLCs and a few added bits and bobs like I've done for other games.

What can we learn from Goblinworks' experience? The short answer: stick with what you know best and license the rest. Seriously, TSR and WotC have done it with varying degree of success. When a partnership works, they continue (such as DDO) and the parent company keep raking in free cash and let others take the risk. When it is not doing so great, they stop (like that Daggerdale game). Another thing that really divided people was the "everything is PVP" that stance turned a number of people off (including myself), I suck at all PVP and generally stay away from those games - heck I don't do it in the games I play regularly!

However, we cannot write off Paizo and Goblinworks in one go. I think Paizo is still doing well enough to keep going, that the end of Goblinworks will not see it end (I sure hope not!!!) Creating software is not like writing books, you can't just throw more people at it and expect it to be done at the target date. It just doesn't work that way. In fact, the more people you throw at it, the more likely you end up with issues.

I really hope Goblinworks gets bought out by another gaming studio that we can get to see Golarion come to life.

I am seriously bummed about this news. Much more than I thought I would be , even if I don't have any money invested in it. Why? My home computer still runs XP, so I am below specs to run the game. Plus, I did not support those Kickstarters because of a number of reasons, one of them because I saw this coming.

Since this post is a prediction of doom, I have to make a dated prediction. With a sad and heavy heart, by Thanksgiving (end of November), Goblinworks will be gone and Pathfinder Online a thing of the past. The writing is on the wall: PFO is dying a quick death, how quick is the question. It was a nice dream but one that will never come to fruition.



Thursday, September 3, 2015

JP on Gaming: 1000 posts!

Wow! I can't believe I made it this far. It took five and a half years, but I reached the 1,000 post benchmark! One thousand. The big one triple-O! Rants, comments, reports, announcements. From being a father of two, to a father of three. From being a writing director for 4e through being a Venture Captain for PFS through running NeoExodus Legacies to FOE and Tyrants of Saggakar. From the days where I played 40k to Warmachine. From Colorado through Kentucky to Tennessee.

It is now hard to imagine my life without this blog. Here I rant and rave about anything gaming-related that tickles my fancy.

So this one's for you the readers! Thanks for your support, comments whether in support or opposition of my opinionated views. I appreciate it.

As a bonus, I offer a WIP of Otallya by Irene!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Five people who influenced my adventure writing

I have been thinking about a lot of things recently, and one thing I kept thinking back to were a number of people who have greatly influenced and changed the way I write. I have been looking over old Living Greyhawk adventures I wrote in 2003-07, I have to say that my writing style has greatly evolved over the years, from "Burned Flour in High Dough" to "Whose Cuisine Reigns Supreme" to "Encounter at Ramat Bridge" and now into my latest Saggakar adventures, my style has definitely evolved.

I consider these five people to hold an important place in my personal development and I value their contribution to my craft a lot, whether it is because they did things right or did things wrong. I was able to grow from their work.

This article focuses on my organized play adventures.

Eric Menge Back in 2004, I took a trip to Quantico VA for RaptorCon. I was, in those days a fairly new triad and had yet to travel much beyond the borders of Quebec (for LG). While I had heard stories of "other regions", I thought everywhere resembled our region: a well-hidden convoluted plot that was hard guess and where players had little to do with what happened. Then I went to RaptorCon. Eric' masterful storyline was exactly what I wanted to do with Tusmit. It relied on known NPCs, important plot points, unique adventures, all things I wanted to bring to the players of Tusmit. That weekend, I slept about 4 hours across three nights. But it was worth it.

KF Cole I met KF later, when I was in Colorado. He and I hit it off. He really enjoyed the stories and plotlines I worked on with the County of Urnst. Then after the death of LG, he contacted me and asked me about creating a new world, based on an organized play campaign. Start small and grow from there? Sounds familiar? Though I admit that at first, I was lukewarm to the idea and my involvement in the early project my not have been as good as we both wanted, I still think a lot of good material happened. To this day, we keep in touch and I sent him a (very early) draft of the Tyrants of Saggakar Player's Guide.

Louis Porter Jr Did you really think I'd skip LPJ? Though LPJ did not influence HOW I wrote, he did influence me in the way I go from idea to document. If you've never worked with him, he is a man of ideas (sometimes he's got too many). Ideas taken from a variety of sources, and he likes to take a trope, flip it on its head, then give it a few spins and see what happens. This way of playing with the tropes has been central to the creation of both Saggakar and Legacies. He also got me back into the world of comics. I have been reading a lot of comics from the 60s to the 90s (the more modern stuff I don't like very much).

Bradley Fenton (note that I have nothing against Brad, I disliked HOW he planned things, and this criticism is about that methodology, not the man) Brad is an influence in how NOT to do things. Brad is the man who got Living Greyhawk started in Quebec, getting us the nation of Tusmit. His original proposal for a 5-year storyline was awesome. It dealt with the return of the previous Pasha, which is exactly what we did in the end. How we got there was very different but the plot was solid. What I disliked was how he wanted to do it. Rather than having a series of major plotline adventures, he had planned out every adventure with great details, perhaps too much so. With each revelation integral to the plot (a good thing), but spread out thinly over 3 years... Without any room for anything that was not related to the core storyline. From him, I learned to define the overall idea the "points A and B" but to let things evolve between those points, to work with stories at a granular level and advance the plot that way. Perhaps it is just me. Okay it is VERY likely just me.

Lady D'Anne Goldstein How can I write such a list and NOT put down D'Anne's name? She stormed and beat up really bad on so many "great" ideas I had over the years and she has been a springboard for ideas. She did go over a lot of my stuff, and forced me to improve and make things better, avoiding contractions, numeric values and colloquialisms while writing. We took a nation in transition (the previous story arc had ended and no major plot line had yet started) and within a year turned it into one of the most vibrant regions in the west.

Of course, I owe all of them a big thank you, for putting me on a the path I am now and allowing me to avoid pitfalls. So from me to you: a big thank you!


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Name That Wizard Contest - Less than a week to go!

With the Name That Wizard contest going strong, I want to everyone send your entry to before the closing of the contest, this coming Sunday September 6th 2015 at midnight, central time (GMT-5). I plan to announce the winners on Monday the 7th.

For the full details, refer to the Name That Wizard Contest Post. I'm not looking for a super detailed bio, just a few lines about him/her/it.

I will say that I am impressed and excited at the variety and number of entries.

Because of that, I am thinking of naming a few "honorable mentions"... Not sure how I will use those just yet. Still thinking about it.

Yeah, you guys are THAT good.