Friday, January 25, 2013

The Friday Roundup (012513)

Once again, it's time to give y'all a recap of all the Picks of the Day from this week. Not surprisingly, there's a couple of D&D Picks; the return of WotC to DriveThruRPG has had a tremendous impact on the entire hobby.

Quantum Sliders: Krishna's Riddle

The great god Krishna is at it again! He once set a riddle to a mortal, and now has to go back and see if her descendant has the answer. If so, he will grant her wonders beyond earthly power. Unfortunately, he’s forgotten the riddle.


Krishna’s riddle is a scenario for Heroic rank Savage Worlds* characters, part of our Quantum sliders range of adventures that’ll take your gaming group to new and exciting points in time and space, or to versions of reality that exist just over the horizon (or beyond).

Product contains: A 19-page high resolution PDF with layers so you can switch between full-art and print-friendly views. A copy of Savage Suzerain is also recommended to get the best out of this book.

B2 The Keep on the Borderlands (Basic)

This module includes a cover folder with maps and a complete description booklet to form a ready-made scenario for DUNGEONS & DRAGONS® Basic Set. It has been specially designed for use by beginning Dungeon Masters so that they may begin play with a minimum of preparations.

Within are many features to aid novice players and Dungeon Masters: legends, history and background information, a list of adventuring characters, tips on how to be an effective Dungeon Master, plus an interesting area for characters to basethemselves in (the Keep) before setting out to explore the Caves of Chaos!

"Keep on the Borderlands" was positioned as an "introductory" module; it provided instructions not just on how to run the campaign contained within, but also on how to run combats and to be an effective GM. However, it varied notably from its predecessor B1 in one area: Where the previous adventure had been a bit of a toolkit - with GMs learning to create dungeons by actually filling in the monsters and treasures - this one was a complete, ready-to-run adventure.

The Caves of Chaos themselves showed off the introductory nature of B2 in another way: They're pretty much a who's who of the humanoids you could meet in Basic D&D, with separate caverns inhabited by kobolds, orcs, goblins, ogres, hobgoblins, bugbears, gnolls, and even a minotaur. Gygax later admitted that the result wasn't "ecologically correct," but that wasn't really the point.


WINTERHAWK CHURCH is the latest addition to our growing 'Fold Flat' terrain system. Designed to come apart and have the majority of parts fold flat for easy storage and transport, the Winterhawk Church features user selectable graphic options that allow you to customize your model before printing.

This set includes:

• 28mm scale church model
• User selectable graphic options
• Ground tiles
• Full color instructions and Beginner's Guide to Card Modeling

D&D Basic Set Rulebook (Basic)

This is the 1981 edition of the D&D Basic Rulebook, which was sold as part of the boxed D&D Basic Set and also on its own. It was the first true standalone edition of what became "Basic D&D" as previous editions had instead been based on OD&D play.

The Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rules (1981), by Tom Moldvay, was the second edition of Basic D&D, with the previous edition created by J. Eric Holmes (1977). It was released in January 1981, leading off the year.

Holmes D&D. When Eric Holmes put together the original Basic D&D, his purpose was simply to clean up and organize the original Dungeons & Dragons (1974) along with some content from Supplement I: Greyhawk (1975).

He wanted to create a game that was easier to learn (as the original D&D was considered notoriously bad in that regard) and that could be better understand by the high school and junior high demographics, toward which the game was then trending. However, the expectation was that players would go on to the original D&D games from there. Basic D&D was never expected to be its own game system - at first.

Holmes' Basic Set was widely successful - sufficiently so that TSR was wary of sending its players on to the more challenging original D&D game or the more complex AD&D game (1977-1979) game. Thus, as early as fall 1979, work began on an Expert Set which would allow the hundreds of thousands of players who had learned the game from Basic D&D to continue on, past the three levels available in that game.

A new version of the Basic Set was required for release with the Expert Set.

Monte Cook, "Working in the Game Industry" [Recorded Seminar]

Veteran roleplaying game designer Monte Cook discusses his background in gaming as well as offering observations and experiences after decades working in the game industry.

This product is a recording of a live online seminar held using Adobe Connect software. You will be provided with a link to the recording upon your receipt of this product.

There you go, and have a great weekend of gaming!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The (Inevitable) Return of the King

This pretty much speaks for itself -

Some pre-answered questions: 

  1. Yes, this is all DriveThruRPG/RPGNow with a different skin. Your account with those sites works for this one.
  2. Yes, if you bought D&D PDFs from DriveThruRPG or RPGNow before, those are back in your libraries and can be downloaded; you don't have to re-purchase them.
  3. All extant editions of D&D are supported and present (or will be).
  4. No, I don't believe "D&D Next" will be on there, at least not for a while after it launches.
All for now.


Friday, January 18, 2013

The Friday Roundup (011813)

It's the first Friday Roundup of the new year; yeah, I've been slack with this. However, if you've read some of my previous posts, you know how busy I am with other stuff going on. 

Without further delay...

Deadlands Reloaded: Trail Guides, Volume 1

Take a tour of the less-traveled Weird West with your Epitaph correspondent Phineas P. Gage for the first three Deadlands Trail Guides, now compiled into one volume for ease of reference.

In Trail Guide: South o’ the Border, visit beautiful Mexico. Bask in the sun as centuries-old hatred festers in the midst of a three-sided civil war.

In Trail Guide: Great Northwest, you’ll see the snow has its own beauty. But in this land gripped by Famine, you might give your left arm for some jerky, and that might be what it’s used for! When a war between the unnatural beasts in the woods threatens to wipe humanity from the region, will your posse be up to the challenge?

Finally, the Trail Guide: Weird White North takes you to the tundra of Alaska and British Columbia, a land locked in ice north of the amazing Winterline, a fence made by Hellstromme Industries to hold back the cold itself! But something more sinister, more malevolent than mere winter is being held in check…for now!

EachTrail Guide offers you a closer look at the people, places, and—perhaps most important—things you’ll see in each region. And don’t forget the mini-Plot Point Campaigns and Savage Tales in each, as well. You’re bound to have fun or die tryin’!

Deadlands Trail Guides, Volume 1 is not a complete game. It’s a supplement for the Deadlands Reloaded setting for the Savage Worlds game system.

This is an  Explorer’s Edition sized PDF (6.5″ x 9″). Full-color. 320 pages.

Please note that this gathers three previously released Trail Guides--South o' the Border, the Great Northwest, and the Weird White North.

150+ Male Norse Names and Their Meaning

This PDF gives you over 150 different authentic Male Norse Names for your games and their meaning.

(OK, so not much for wordy descriptions, but really, what else do you need to know? Check out the rest of their offerings while you're at it.)

Deadlands Noir: The Old Absinthe House Blues

The new favorite songbird goes missing from the stage of the Old Absinthe House, and the owner turns to you for help. Can you find the missing dame with the velvet voice, or will the mystery remain as murky as the bayous and darkness that shroud the Big Easy? And if the goin’ gets tough, is the promise of a big bar tab enough to keep you goin’?

The Old Absinthe House Blues is the first adventure for Deadlands Noir.

Don't Go Drinking With Hobbits

Hobbit drinking songs for fans The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

There you are at the Sign of the Prancing Pony in Bree, when you hear the sounds of rollicking song inside.  You push open the heavy oak door to see small hobbits dancing on the bar, spilling beer and singing at the top of their lungs.

Little did you know that there are scores of great hobbit drinking songs.  Marc Gunn, The Celtfather, met up with Daisy Brambleburr of Bindbale Wood (aka Rie Sheridan Rose) in Hobbiton to discuss and share the drinking songs of the hobbits.  He came back with a plethora of great hobbit songs and tunes to share in his newest album, Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits.

About the Album

Three years ago, the Brobdingnagian Bards were invited to perform at the first A Long Expected Party where they celebrated a reenactment of Bilbo Baggins’ birthday party. It was an amazing event, a weekend of high adventure, stories, songs, legends, languages, art, and more.

Now, the same folks who brought us that bring us There & Back Again for another weekend of Tolkien bliss. Once again, Marc Gunn will be there to perform.

It was the first party that inspired the idea this album of hobbit drinking songs. Gunn loves Lord of the Rings. It is one of the reasons the Brobdingnagian Bards recorded Memories of Middle Earth. While Memories of Middle Earth featured music inspired by Lord of the Rings, this album also shares Marc Gunn’s love of drinking songs and fun songs with which you can sing-along.

With this album, Gunn asked the question, what kind of songs might the hobbits sing in a pub in The Shire?

Together with many lyrics by Rie Sheridan Rose, Gunn composed music from the hobbit’s perspective. Most of the songs you might hear in a pub. It’s music for people… with character, heart, and passion. It’s music for the olde times and new. It’s music for me and you. It’s music for hobbits and those who love them.

There's only four this week, since the Monday item was a sale that's no longer in play. Enjoy, and keep those dice rolling!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Gonna Be a Good Year

If anyone had told my 1970's self that I would, in a few decades, ever type to a friend via a chat window on a computer the following phrase -

"Time to blog; been too long since my last one."

- I would have looked at them oddly, shrugged, and said "pass the controller, it's my turn to see if Indy can get through that damn tunnel."

My life is online now, there's no denying it. All I do, and all I aim to accomplish, is directly tied to this thing that was originally developed to ensure our military and government could stay connected in the event of Communist H-Bombs (a rather ridiculous proposition when you consider how vulnerable the network actually is to EMP, but I imagine there's a hard-shielded part of it they can rely on). My future success with Evil Beagle and Shaintar relies almost entirely upon my developed capacity to navigate and manipulate the tools at my disposal to reach all of you.

Thank you, Cheryl Curry, for teaching me so much and getting me started with your home PC. Thank you, America Online, for being my first major lesson in social media.

So 2013 is already looking up as a watershed year for me and all who are working with me via Evil Beagle Games. Here's what I can say so far -

- My partnership with my old friends at Savage Mojo is firmly in place. They are currently working on the full version of Shaintar: Legends Arise and will be working with me on future Shaintar products.

- As soon as DriveThruCards finally launches, Evil Beagle will be one of the premiere publishers with Lee Ballew's Colossal Clash deck-building game.

- I have a final draft of OmniCosm: Alpha in hand. As soon as I've had a chance to do a final read-through on the draft, it will go to Scott Corum for layout and preparation for release.

- My planning document for the impending Shaintar: Legends Unleashed Kickstarter is done and is currently being studied by my "brain trust." Once again I will be partnering with Savage Mojo to make this sing, and I think you will all be very excited to see what we've got planned there.

- The aforementioned Lee Ballew and I are working on a new deck-building game concept that will tie directly into the Shaintar property. More on that down the road.

- I've recently completed a new project with Fantasy Flight Games for their Star Wars line, and I am excited about seeing that come out in the near future.

- I'm going to be handling the Hero-to-Savage translations for the Blackwyrm KS Project, Imaginary Friends.

- I've recently signed on with a very dear friend to work on a really amazing new product idea. I can't say anymore than that, but I am telling you, this is massively exciting stuff and I am proud to be a part of it.

- The gang at FASA Games is up to some exciting stuff as well, and you will want to keep an eye on their site and their forums.

That's all for now (and more than enough, as you might imagine). I hope to be able to get back into my Modern Gods development, among other things, but priorities are what they are, so that's on the back burner for a bit.

Thanks again for all your support. Like I said, this is going to be a great year!


Friday, January 4, 2013

It's My Birthday! Buy Stuff!

I am going to be celebrating my birthday with my beautiful Gamer Girl of My Dreams, Carinn, today, and with gaming all weekend.

Meanwhile, if you click on the banner, you can get some incredible deals at DriveThruRPG - and if you use this particular one, and you buy anything, you're giving me a birthday present! My Affiliate ID means I get a % of every sale.

So you get me a present while getting yourself one! Win-Win!

[EDIT - The sale doesn't start until Monday, 1/7 - so do it then!]


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Achievement Unlocked

It. Is. Done!

So, knowing I wouldn't have money to get my friends and family gifts the way I wanted to, I decided to set up and run games featuring all of their favorite characters - in some cases, Legendary characters they've not had a chance to play in many months.

I also wanted to run a Big Epic Game for my daughter, who turned 13 on New Year's Eve, and I wanted to give all of our friends who could make it multiple chances to enjoy Shaintar after so long. Some had storylines they really wanted to get back to; some had major personal goals they wanted to achieve; most just wanted to revisit old friends and discover new adventures.

And a few wanted to go out in the kind of Epic Adventure Finale that apparently is a specialty of mine.

As I sat down to work out the schedule - taking into account travel schedules, works schedules (especially the unfortunate holiday schedule of my dear Betty Law Morgan), and other factors, it became clear that the only way I could do all I wanted to for everyone was to schedule 7 sessions in 5 days.

Seven game sessions. Not re-run adventures, but unique, campaign-driven events featuring personal stories as well as epic events.

Five days. Saturday and Sunday, the first two days, had a morning and an afternoon session. Monday - Wednesday, one session each.

In all my years as a GM (starting back in 1977, and including decades of multi-session convention gaming), I have never done anything quite like this.

Tonight was the last game - "The Battle of Blue Vine River." Last night was "Interdiction of the Inquisition." As with all of the others, the players left with smiles and great satisfaction, fully invested in Shaintar and their characters once more, greatly looking forward to future sessions.

That I have any grey matter left to even write these words is a minor miracle, but I wanted to commemorate this while it is still fresh in my mind. I am, I will readily admit, a tad bit pleased with myself.

With that said, I am done, and I am now going to complete relax for a time. Tomorrow and Friday (my birthday) will be spent primarily just enjoying myself, playing some board games, maybe watching some TV or movies. This weekend, Carinn Seabolt runs her SW-driven modern fantasy/horror campaign, "The Crew," and I get to actually be a player!

I'd say I'll never do this again, but we all know better, right?

Truth is, I'll end up trying to find a way to top it.

But not tomorrow...


Beagle On Vacation

I never got around to actually saying so, but with New Year's, my birthday, and the Shaintar Marathon still ongoing, I am taking this week "off."

More Picks, blogging, and other business next week.