Another sample of writing…

Hey hey Mad Minions,

One of the things I am doing, is I am writing a story for a Chinese IP. I am sure peeps like the South Korean stuff and the board game stuff, but this blog/vlog whatever, is going to be mainly about writing. Writing stories. Writing D&D adventures. Writing ransom notes. So here is the first draft (pardon the typos and bad grammar) of a chapter in one of the books (more on the other stuff soon) I am working on.

Its a short chapter, but it is one of my favorites.

As always, this is used with permission from Zeus Interactive, if you copy it they will come after you with pointy sticks.

Chapter 12

“For the Love of One’s Mother”

The meadow Bren wandered through was full and green. He felt the heat of the sun bear down on him; the low buzz of the cicadas tickled his ear as he slowly pulled the cart down the bumpy road.  All the roads in this part of the world were in this condition, “At least it didn’t rain. This road would have been a lot worse.” He mused and smiled to himself.

“Keep it down will yah?” His father said from the cart, entwined amongst all the items his father some how ‘aquired’ during their treks to the outskirts of the newly formed human kingdom of Porttown. “King Callum thinks he can unite the races with the dragons gone? Imbicile cannot even build a decent road.” He added some indecipherable mumbling before starting to snore, nursing another hangover.

Bren just smiled wider and kept on walking. It didn’t matter to him that his father drank a good percentage of the profits away, and then passing out for most of the way home. It didn’t even matter that he had to pull his father’s drunken body home, since that is the only time he had peace and quiet. He loved his father, but a twinge of resentment crept into his mind every once in a while for his mother. She worked hard for him yet he constantly drank away the profits that would allow them to obtain a better life. His mother must have once been a beautiful woman, but now her light brown hair was always snarled and unwashed. Her face had deep lines of aggravation etched under her eyes as if by a heavy knife. The clothes she wore were as shattered and torn as her dreams.

Occasionally, both he and his mother, Ahiss, would show up with black eyes, or bruises on their bodies. They lived in the ‘unsavory’ part of the city, so sadly this was common for many. Despite all this, he loved his father. Bren was wise for his age, he knew that while Ogger, his father, may not be the most scrupulous man, he tried his best. It was only twelve years after the war with the dragonborn and he exploited the elves decimation from the poisonous bomb the dragonborn created, to earn a living. But it was still a living. Many had their homes destroyed and had loved ones lose their lives in the war. The mortar was not even dry yet in the newly built city of Kingsport, which was erected on the Spine Tears River, marking the expanded northern border of the civilized lands.

Bren took a slow gulp from the water flask that hung on his belt and continued to pull the cart. Ogger even used to use him to ‘acquire’ objects for him to sell to the elves when he was younger. But now, even at the age of twelve, he was almost as tall as his father. He grimaced at the memory where his father beat him because the goddesses cursed him with a son that was too tall to be any use. Instead his father used him as a workhorse, carrying heavier things like furniture and of course, pulling the cart. Bren liked this better anyway, he always felt remorse when he had to steal and even sometimes left something in its place. Even if it was a few pennies he had saved or a loaf of bread he took from father when he wasn’t looking.

The cart hit a bump in the road, and Bren froze as his father rolled around a bit cursing in a drunken stupor, but did not jostle fully awake Bren could not believe his good luck. If Ogger awoke, he would have gotten a beating and he knew it. ‘This is turning out to be a good day.” And smiled to himself. He contemplated whistling to release some of that happiness bubbling inside of him, but then decided not to push his luck and instead continued on in silence.

It was late afternoon by the time Bren had made it to the outer gates of Kingsport. His father was awake and laying sprawled out in the back of the wagon. He awoke a while ago due to a large number of horses running by in the opposite direction. Since the horses were fast and loud, one could hardly sleep through such a ruckus.It was Bren that got an apple core in the back of the head from his father for being disturbed from his slumber. Weaving through the bustling city streets, he pulled the cart and his father behind him. Turning down Rickety Street, his anticipation bubbled inside. He could almost smell Ma’s cooking from here and his mouth began to water. The area took on a more sinister air here, the local residents were a lot dirtier and most of them wore clothes that were worn and tattered. He turned down Cistern Alley where he called home.

An old woman whose back was so crooked she had to lean on her broom, stared at them through black rat-like eyes, “Back already Bren? She said. When he smiled and nodded at her, she added, “Glad you made it back alright.” Her face hardened a bit, “Glad you made at as well Ogger.” Bren wasn’t sure but he thought he heard her mutter something under her breath.
“Mind your own business you antique battle axe.” He said with a grunt. “Here I brought you a present you crooked old biddy.” He quickly guzzled the last of the contents of the bottle he held and threw the empty bottle at her feet where is broke sending pieces of glass dancing down the street. Ogger laughed, “There. Now you have something to do instead of bothering me.” Then set about pulling the cork from a new bottle with his teeth.

Bren looked his neighbor with an apologetic look upon his face, but she did not notice. She already began to try to sweep up the glass so none of the younger children in the alley would not step on the jagged pieces. Bren wondered what made his father so mean sometimes, but only for an instant. He only had one father, so he told himself he had to make the best of it. Their wooden house leaned heavily and many of the shingles had fallen off the roof and lay in the street in front of the building like discarded playing cards. Despite its appearance Bren sighed in relief after being on the road for so long he pulled the cart up to the front door and prepared to go in.

“Where do ye think yer going you lazy sod?”

“I wanted to greet Ma and let her know we made it back alright.” He secretly wanted a bite to eat since he had nothing to eat since the half of a loaf of stale bread this morning but he dared not tell his father that.

“I will tell her that. You need to get this cart unloaded.” He motioned to the cart and the crates and barrels it contained. He took a swig of the half full bottle and swayed a bit as his wavering gait got him to the three stairs to entrance to the house. He then challenged himself to lift his feet to the next step that lead to the front door.

Bren turned away, uncaring to see whether or not his father accomplished his impossible task or not. He did not care either way. He just wanted to hurry and finish this task, go inside and rest his feet, get some food in his belly and find out how his mother was doing. He just told himself unloading always went quicker and easier anyway since the crates and barrels were not empty when the trading is complete. The thought made Bren smile in spite of himself and he found his second wind. In just under ten minutes the empty  cart sat in front of the house completely empty and the containers stacked neat alongside the house. Bren even sat on the front steps for a moment and took off his shoes. He winced at the smell as he peeled them off from around his toes. After a minute a resting after his labor, he stood to go inside, proud of all that he accomplished the last few days.

Entering the door he heard his mother cry out, “Bren! How could you?!”

“What? What do you mean?” He looked bewildered. This was not the reception he expected form his mother.

His mother wept in her hands while his father stood nearby. His fahter looked from Ahiss to him and said while shaking a finger at him, other hand clutching his half empty bottle so tight his knuckles began to turn white, “You know what she means you lazy do-nothing!” he took a wavering step toward Bren with the glint of murder in his eyes. “Because of your carelessness while pulling the cart down that bumpy road boy, we lost over half of the money! We are gonna starve because of your stupidity!”

Bren stood there as if someone nailed his feet to the floor and it felt like time slowed to a stop. No words formed in is throat as he saw his mother with her face buried in her hands, every tear emerged from between her fingers and taking an eternity to fall to the floor. Not his mother, not her.

Bren clenched his ten your old fist and struck his father directly under his jaw, sending him reeling back a few steps. “Leave her alone!” He screamed and swung again but this time his father was ready and used his free hand to block the clumsy attack even while in his drunken state.

“You ungrateful brat! I will kill you!” His father brought the hand with the bottle down upon the top of Bren’s skull knocking him to his knees. He struggled to get to his feet and looked up to see his mother with her face still in her hands, too ashamed to even look at her own son.

He managed to say, “Ma…” before the bottle came back down hard on the back of his head again, making the world flash white with pain before an unending blackness engulfed him.

Hope you enjoyed it!
Until next time, be good.

 

Twilight Imperium 4. More epic than the Sony Fant4stic Four movie.

Hey hey Mad Minions!

Just a quick update because I am just getting over my flu.

BUT! I wanted to post these videos showing off some cool peeps playing Twilight Imperium 4th edition.

I did not get here in time to join, but if people vote to have me to do a video on more board games in Beijing… then I will gladly will … will do… those things… and stuff.

 

 

Seriously, this game is a lot of fun if you have not played it.  It’s sometimes a long game… but fun stuff.

 

Finally, a new Dr Demento album came out this week! You cannot be a Mad Overlord with out new Dr Demento albums… so run out and buy a new copy for every day of hte week, all nine of them.

This is just some of the awesomeness you will hear:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iwfrb6Eja8

Plus, Weird Al does a Ramones cover.  What more could you want out of life? Food? Shelter? World Peace and equality for all? Your neighbors dog to stop pooping in your yard?
Trival In No Sense Nonsense comparatively.

Stay tuned. This weekend is the BIG Chinese New Year company Holiday party…  Long lines at the US embassy and me eating.

No really.

Be good.

 

The SK-K-K took my bay-bay away.

Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooody doo! Mad Minions!

Recently I had to take a trip to South Korea to reset my Visa (long story.. I will relay it here some day, just not today – I am just happy to finally get these videos up).  Wish I could have stayed longer, since it was a lot of fun. Met an old friend of mine, who is a very cool gent… I hope some day to come back and we can play some board games.

What is kind of scary is at the time i was in SK (January 4-6) North Korea launched a missile and it went off course and crashed into one of their own cities. Seoul is pretty close to the NK border… but people there did not even bat an eyelash at this news.  Crazy.

So when you came to this page today, I bet you were saying to yourself…. SELF! I wish I knew what the inside of a Korean comic book store looked like?

Here at Mad Overlord Studios, we aim to please!

(Disclaimer: aiming to please void if it does not match our plans of world domination as well as some parts of Utah)

So without further ado, Let’s hear me sniffle endlessly while wandering in yet another country!

An intro!

Three Videos about wandering in a Korean comic book store.

 

Korean comic books store 2

Aaaaand last, but not least… In the center of Seoul at night. You can see the palace in the background.  Yeah, I am still sniffling during this.

 

Okay that’s enough for now. I went to a really great bookstore, but I will show the pictures this weekend (since I am fighting off the flu).

Stay safe! Stay Happy!

EDIT: Okay I am feeling really bad so I am going to send the afternoon loading up the bookstore pics.

First Pic. This is the South Korean subway map.  It looks like a drunken spider web… but in general the subway system runs a million times more efficiently than Beijing.
(The people are more polite as well. Sorry China, but they are.)

The next few pictures are of this road that splits Seoul directly in half.

The next NEXT few pictures is the BOOKSTORE!!!! Man, I spent a lot of $$$ and I could of spent so much more. IN the coming weeks I will be doing book reviews on some of these.

(After all I started this blog to keep after me writing correct?)

 

These last few pictures are of some of the WONDERFUL food I had there. So tasty. I recommend a trip to Seoul for the food alone.

Second to last picture… the subway map was posted clearly in the station. Unlike some places (Boston cough, cough) And the last picture is from when I landed again in China, this guy was putting on his coat and hit me in the side of the head when putting on his coat and then looked away without apologizing.

Just because I am Mad does not mean I have bad manners. Madners. Madders. Maaaaa …
Whatever.

ANYWAY! Hope you enjoyed the SK pics. It was a great trip and I encourage people to visit.
Now I am going to go lay down and try to feel better.

*Sneezes all over the place*
Bleah.

The Beginnings of the Wanderings in The City.

Hey hey Fun Team.

As I mentioned yesterday in the first episode of Mad Overlord tv (you did watch it didn’t you? If not, go watch it. I sound like a goof since I never really did anything like it before… but it will get better), I mentioned I would start a D&D campaign based on my old game world.

Right now there are only two players (we are running the game over skype). The characters rolled up were Roofie O. the Middenlund Bounty Hunter. Str 15, Int 13, Wis 9, Dex 10, Con 9, Cha 7. And Zanax the Proth Witch Hunter. Str 11, Int 8, Wis 13, Dex 12, Con 17,  Cha 9.

Humans and dwarves are second class citzens in the City. The elves rule the city (this was mentioned in a few of the older posts back in October 2016. in the posts I made about how the game world changed over time.) The elves keep most of those who are not elven into the slums in the eastern quarters of the city. They started in Freilunder’s Gasthaus. The time was 10am and most of those establishing such a place were the dregs of society. In the dirtiest part of the city, in one of the worst inns.PLAYER MAP 2

Rumors flew about bandits who preyed on the locals. But that is where we had to stop.
More to come!

From the last days of 2017… The City stirs.

Two posts in two days! Hoody Hoo!

Hey fantastic fun folks,

As this year draws to a close, it is a perfect time to discuss my future plans for the page (now that I can post here again).
2017 was not good to me. I am writing the main story for a Chinese game company and they keep changing the goal post location.

Them: “Write what ever you want!”
Me: “Oh boy!”

Them: “I just saw Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League (I am so sorry), and I think our story should follow that.”
Me: “You do realize I am about twenty chapters into the book and 2/3rds of the way with finishing the main story line.”

Them: “Yeah but everyone has to change things sometimes.”
Me: “This is true.” (Anyone who has ever worked in the game industry knows this.).

Fast forward to next week (doodlee doodlee doodlee DOO).

Them: “The story line is falling behind schedule. Everyone needs to work on Saturday and Sunday” (In China there is no OT).

The entire writing team: “Whooda whada WHATA? You just changed the whole story and Had to rewrite TWENTY CHAPTERS?!”

I do not mean to sound like a Dr. Wah, but there is such a thing called realistic expectations. Basically, I stayed awake for three days straigh tto rewrite everything (because I am awesome). But that is the way most of the year went. Sure its a nature of the beast… but sadly, this left little time for me to work on my side projects like the D&D version of Castle of Blackwood Moors, the Gamebook Sequel and The novel I have been working on.

This left a lot of half done projects out there. *Sad Face*

The good news? I will have a lot of projects crossing the finish line in 2018!

This will not only include the three above projects. But two sourcebooks! One for the Blackwood Moor area, and one for the ‘City at the Edge of the World’ which islocation of the novel (Like I said, some of this stuff is LITERALLY done, I just need to find some artists, layout artists etc and they are ready to go. Hear that? I hear Kickstarter calling!)

I am planning on running a D&D campaign taking place in the City as well.

So I cannot show the full map of the City at this time. You guys (and you know who you are) no spoilers here! muhahaha!

City_Edge_World_players

 

I am also planning on documenting more stuff on Youtube or vid.me or whatever. To give a look see into my creative process.

So all you Mad Minions! Hang onto your socks! 2018 is going to be a busy year.

P.S. I have not forgotten about Hendl’s Landing! HAW!

Merry Christmas! I have learned how to bypass the Great Fire Wall.

After a zillion, billion, million years, two months, nine and a half weeks, four days, twenty six hours, eight minutes and .0003 seconds. I have found out how to dance around the Great Firewall of China (as I just said right above here in the title of the article. No really. Its right up there. Look).

Okay… Time to get serious (or as serious as I can get. If you do not know me that well…trust me, do not set your sights too high.. I am a screw ball.), Christmas just passed, so what did I do? I spend a lot of time helping Alenah’s Kids. http://childrenshope.net/

Now to be Politically Incorrect for a moment, most of these kids have never unwrapped a Christmas present, so I went out and bought them a bunch of presents and wrapped them (well, I had some help to be honest. Mucho thanks to Alan, Danielle, Shino and Rebecca. Many people volunteered, yet when it came time to put your foot in the stinky shoe, they actually showed). It WAS a lot of work, do not kid yourself, carrying about 40-50 presents around Beijing is a special kind of misery… every day in China is like Black Friday times 10). But I wanted to make sure these kids knew the joy of unwrapping a present at least once in their life.

That paragraph went longer than I thought.

All this was worth it though. Check the pictures. The kids were happy.

20171210_16260220171224_13412620171224_16365920171224_14355820171224_160542Screenshot_20171224-19264420171224_150727(0)20171224_15073020171224_15091220171224_15092120171224_15092420171224_152418mmexport1514153961075[1]mmexport1514111985858[1]mmexport1514111982084[1]

 

20171224_172838The kids are all physically or mentally disabled. The girl I was pushing around in that chair, she is mostly blind from MS. It made me smile to see these kids enjoy the presents, yet it was heartbreaking at the same time. But these kids need someone, and it is the Christmas Spirit to help others. Anyway, I am not sharing this to be an sphincter, and be like “Look at me! I am SOOOO kind and wonderful!
Crap, that is the LAST thing the internet needs is more narcissism ( I am looking at YOU Facebook). I did it because the Christmas season is not about what you can get, but what you can do for others and hopefully it will inspire others.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

HEY WAIT A MINUTE AXIOM YOU JERKFACE! Who is that guy in the last picture?
Oh yeah!  I am glad you asked, multiple personality me.

Christmas is only another ‘getting stuff’ holiday in China. Seriously, this country has like fourteen valentine’s days and you need to buy stuff for ALL of them. There are decorations, but few people actually get into the spirit of the holiday. (A popular saying here is Go! Go! Go! Buy! Buy! Buy!) I live behind a huge mall called ‘Joy City’ (I will cover that in another episode) and after getting out of the taxi, I was mobbed by people all ready to spend on themselves.

Pushing and shoving, not caring about others, just ‘what can I get for me (That is not a mentality just for China either, just saying)? So I go around the back of the mall where the deliveries come in just because there are less people there. But there was this Chinese delivery guy, dressed as Santa! He looked at me and smiled (as you see) and in broken English he said, “Mirry Crissmass!”

Between the magic of the kid’s faces, and this nameless delivery guy, I truly had a Merry Christmas.

Hope you did as well.

Sea Fever by John Masefield

Hoody doo fun friends.

More news is coming. But while I am busy doing secret Axiom stuff… I will leave one of my favorite poems here (I am a huge poetry nerd, love the stuff).

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Till next time wonder gang. Be good.

Wow.

I have been getting a LOT of great feedback from my the table top game (and book) Castle of Blackwood Moors.  Included are a few screen shots of some of the great feedback people have sent (part of Jon’s post I put in the last update).

This is cooler than I ever hoped, that people would like something that I have created. I just hope I do not become an arrogant jerk-face. I leave it up to you folks to harass me often so I do not too ‘big for my britches’. Sheesh, I sound like my mom when I say that.

I do like the fact Jon did give me some criticism by stating the one encounter was not set up well for group play.

Let me unpack that.

In the gamebook, there is an area where if you do not bring a certain object, it is an auto death scenario. Happens all the time in gamebooks. BUT the group he was in did EXCEPTIONALLY well and got the furthest of the three groups I ran in the four hour allotted time.  Honestly, I did not think anyone would get as far as they did… but as the old saying goes, never underestimate your players. I had the Outer Bailey all plotted out for group play, but did not do any of the Inner Bailey since I did not think anyone would get there. Needless to say, when the second group got there… well, I had to run the adventure right out of the book, including the deadly encounter.

Not making excuses or anything, just letting you know what happened. I like it when people cut things apart, makes me a better writer/designer.

Anyway, so without giving any spoilers, that is what happened.

Thanks again Jon and Mike for your review and running out and buying copies of my book!
Please continue to give me feedback, compliments, criticisms, venomous hatred; I can take it.

And I haven’t said it in a while, but thank YOU for stopping by. I hope this blog is entertaining and puts a smile on your face with all the crazy stuff I do here.

Fall out. Fall out with all the leaders and gangs. Fall out. Fall out with all the leaders and gangs.

The first post POST Gary Con 9!

So much has happened the past few days I totally nerded out (as you will see) and I got to run some adventures based on my book Castle of Blackwood Moors. It was a big hit and everyone really enjoyed it. This is a quote from one of the actual people who played in the game on the second day:

“As for how you ran your game, I’d be happy to play at your table again!  While I had good experiences at all my Garycon events, I wouldn’t go back to everyone’s table.”

This means a lot. A lot of times if you design something, you do not really get a lot of feedback. So it means SO MUCH to hear people actually say they like what you did and how you did it. (Thanks Jon! I would like to add I did not kidnap any of his loved ones or threaten to hide his tv remote or anything like that to get him to say nice things).

We will get back to the game in a little bit. Now to switch gears as we come to the first batch of pictures. If you know me, and I know I do, you will know I LOVE the Post Apocolyptical genre. The Mad Max series is my favorite movie series (even Fury Road even though Max is in it for only about 15 minutes, and Beyond Thunderdome ), Brave New World is my favorite book (and the great tv movie with Lenord Nemoy as Mustapha Mond. Canticle for Leibowitz. Love it, love it, love it.

Needless to say, the Fallout series is one of my most favorite video game series ever (I wish it would go a bit darker, but that is another topic for another day). So when I saw these three people in costume at GaryCon I just HAD to get a picture with them, and they happily obliged which is only the start of the awesomeness. After the picture was taken they asked me if I ever played Fallout and even they were amazed at what a nerd I am. So the one woman had a G.E.C.K. on her belt, she opened it up and gave me a small pouch. When I dumped it out in my hand… it was full of Nuka Cola Caps!!!  She said they were mine for being a fan and I was stunned. Remember a few posts ago when I said table top gamers are really a lot nicer and friendlier than some other kinds of gamers? These three really backed up this ideal in my mind. I never got their names, but if they ever read this blog, you three really made my day that day.

Okay. On to the next thing! In the last post, I mentioned Frankenparty! it was a great time and I met friends old and new.This year Frank had a kind of scavenger hunt, where you looked around his house to find clues and those who got all the items won a set of original dice from the original Mentzer Dungeons and Dragons box set!!! I tried my best but I got one wrong. One of the questions was about a type of rock, and I guessed Rose Quartz but it was really amethyst.  Needless to say I was pretty mad at myself (I get down on my self pretty hard when I do not know things like that), but I still had a great time as you will attest to the pictures below.

Not only that, look at the first picture! That is the original drawing Larry Elmore made for the Basic D&D box set! As you can see, they cut some of it out and changed it a little into the picture beneath it.

Also, if you look close at that picture of the books. You can see The Castle of Blackwood Moors on Frank’s shelf! How great is that! For a newb writer like me, its pretty great. I also gave a copy to Jim Ward this year since I took a lot his writing advice over the years, and both Frank and Jim were huge influences on me, and they are both wonderful people. Very no-nonsense , direct people who also both have a lot of experience dealing with social misfits like myself, so I always enjoy speaking with them.

Finally, in the picture of me sitting at that desk… This desk is now at Frank’s house (and I had pictures of this last year if you ever seen them), but this was Gary Gygax’s original desk. The one he sat and created Dungeons and Dragons at. Very cool. The only uncool thing is look at how fat I have got since I have been living in the USA. Bad me.

Okay! the next, NEXT thing. Here is me running my first game at Gary Con. The people were great and everyone said they had a great time, thank goodness. There is even a picture of one page of the notes the gent who sat at the far left took (His handwriting is so much nicer than mine!). There was a second page, but the picture I took turned out really poorly. I think I must have sold thirty books over those few days.It is always great to see what players do when you run a table top RPG and it made me feel alive in ways I cannot even begin to describe. Running table top RPG’s is really my calling in life I guess since nothing makes me happier. The only down side to running games like this is once all the other people came in at 10 (if you recall I started at 8), the game rooms were packed SO tight everyone had to scream at the top of their lungs to be heard and I was going hoarse by the end of the game. Mr. Luke Gygax sir, if you read this, please, please, please spread the rooms out a bit more next year… or if you can request a smaller room or something. If I could get a smaller quieter, room, I would run 3 or 4 games a day for each of the 4 days.

Welp, that is GaryCon 9, 2017 Fun friends. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. In a few days, I will get back to the regularly scheduled thoughts on game design, rpgs, and blow the dust off of Hendl’s Landing finally.

Do not forget to keep perusing your passion. I know everyone says that. It has almost become kind of a cliche, but if you can touch your dreams, what truly makes you happy in life… I promise it makes the bad days so much more worthwhile.

EDIT: I should start a contest, who ever is the first person to guess which song is used in the title, wins… something. Not sure yet.

It’s a Frankenparty. Who could ask for more. Everybody’s comin’, leave your body at the door. Leave your body and soul at the door .

Another ANOTHER short post as I am getting ready to leave to Frankenparty!  What is Frankenparty you ask? Well true believers, Frankenparty is a house party held by none other than Frank Mentzer, the gent who created the Red Box Dungeons and Dragons set…  No not the 4th edition one… that was just a terrible attempt to cash in on the coolness that is the original Red Box. I digress. Where was i? Oh yeah! It is a party at Frank’s house. His ever awesome wife feeds us, we play games, we talk about Dungeons and Dragons, we play a ton of board games (Frank I am coming for you! You kicked my butt last year at that balancing game so this year I will have my revenge!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHA! Just kidding you will probably kick my ass again), and generally have a great time.

One of the things I really like about table top gaming and the gamers that play it… is we are a very pleasant bunch. Think about the nature of some games…. so in games like League of legends, call of Duty etc.sure you have your team mates, but it is an us against them attitude while playing against faceless opponents. Now take board games, where there is an essence to win, but the people are sitting around face to face with you, and unless you have problems, I am willing to bet you are all laughing and joking even as someone places a road across your land in Settlers of Catan (I hate that guy. Just kidding He owes me five bucks so he is my best friend in the world). On top of that, look at Role Playing games. Everyone strives toward a common goal, sure its usually to beat down everything you come across and strip them bare so you can sell all of it, but it is still a ‘together’ activity. This is why I prefer solo video games (when I am anti-social), and role playing games to all others. I like that dynamic of ‘all of us use our strengths for a common goal’ style of game play.

The point of my ramble is this: Everyone I have met at 8 years of Garycon have been truly remarkable. Sure there are a few people that wont shut up about their favorite edition, or they will tell you about cool stuff their Half elf, half demon, half llama, half halfling, half half eaten sandwich, half vampire, half bike rack, half half and half did in a campaign six years ago but that’s okay. We are nerds, and social skills are never our strong suit. But we are some of the most passionate people you will ever meet (and I mean that. The word passionate gets tossed about a lot these days by mainstream folks and unless you are practically autistic like I am, you know these people have NO IDEA what they are talking about).

I am still rambling. I guess my point is that table top gamers are really the nicest people I know and I am thankful Frank invites me into his home every year ( I sure as heck would not invite me into my home, I am kind of weird).

Last but not least, lets take a look at the pre-generated characters I made for the Castle of Blackwood Moors adventure I will be running. Even though I am using a modified basic D&D character sheet, the mechanics and abilities are all of my own design. For example, if you look at the Helm and Shields, they have a +______HP next to each of them. This shows that unlike most versions of D&D Helms and Shields do not raise your Armor Class, they give you additional hit points. The first amounts of damage you take till be from these items, and when they are depleted, they will break, ruined forever.  I wanted to set up a mechanic were equipment is valued, and non permanent. In by the book D&D, a shield lasts forever and players do not give it an ounce of thought until they find a magical one. Now my players judge how many hp their shield has left, should they replace it? In a world where there is little magical healing, they need to constantly think about this for survival. A simple change, but it greatly altered the way my players think.

Oops. I am rambling again, this time about game mechanics. I will shut my pie hole and on with the character sheets!!!

Needless to say, please do not steal my game mechanics, or I will tie you to a chair and make you watch the Star Wars Holiday special 5 times in a row.

Hope you like the character ideas, and I hope even more that you will head down to Lake Geneva this week and roll some dice with some great people!

If you don’t think you know any great people, I encourage you to keep looking. They are out there, I promise.

Sometimes you kick, Sometimes you get kicked, Sometimes you kick, Sometimes you get Kickstarted.

Happy Mondays!

Hope everyone had wondiferous weekend.
Gary Con is this weekend. Make sure you come and see me in the Evergreen room 1 on Thursday and the Evergreen room 3 on Friday and Saturday at 8am each day. Yeah I am an early bird, that is when I do my best stuff.

I will post pictures of the event here so if you cannot make the event, stop back here and you can gaze upon the oodles of people having fun. Or maybe they will be lynching me… so who knows..

Anyway, as I continue to write the second book… its getting to the point where I need to plan out the promotional video for the Kickstarter campaign. For those of you who have not seen the original kickstarter video (shame on you! I wont be your friend for at least 5 seconds……………………………………………………………………………………….Okay. I am your friend again. Wasn’t that painful?) you can check out the video here:

Still a better love story than Twilight. *ahem* Sorry. Anyway, the video was a lot of fun to make and I would really like to do something else fun and zany like that for the second book. On a side note: Sheesh was I a pork rind in that video. I think I lost about 30 lbs since that was made.

I’d like to try and get some of the old school people from TSR to help me out, but I do not want to wear out my welcome with anyone. I am a well mannered Mad Overlord.

But that is it for today, another short post while I make some pre-generated characters for the upcoming con.

Roll some dice in honor of Gary, he really gave us the power to unlock worlds of imagination.

If you do not have any dice, just ask me. I have plenty.
Later kids!

EDIT: Since I was in SF for almost a month looking for work, I missed the launch of Reid San Filippo’s Kickstarter… goes along with today’s theme thank goodness. Funny how things work out sometimes.

BROKEN MOON

Wait? Who is this David Konkol guy that will be writing some things for this project? I don’t know him myself, but I heard he was built upside down -i.e. his feet smell and his nose runs.

If you would like to back the project, head on over to:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/276689953/the-umerican-survival-guide

Looks like a great project! Go Reid go!