Tuesday, January 26, 2010

So leave a light on, Leave a light on for me

Well, it wasn't too long ago when I detailed a few plans for the fresh year of 2010. However, like so many involved in the OSR, writing, playing and publishing rpgs is a hobby. You know where I'm going with this, I'm sure...

With a heavy heart, I must put aside my cherished hobby to put some hard work into personal matters. As we know, there's only so much time in the day, and the amount of time required to produce Prime Requisite Game materials is simply not available to me as of now.

Don't worry, friends, because as the Joe Cocker post title implies, I will be back sometime when my real life obligations aren't so hectic. I have a ton of gaming materials swimming around in my noggin that I need to get outta there!

Since I have no idea when I'll be returning to the OSR publishing circles, let me say this: The past year and a half have been amazing. I've "met" so many positive, creative, helpful, and encouraging people within the old-school rpg community. The incredible response I received for my written adventures was humbling.

Prime Requisite Games modules have always been with the "quick game" in mind - for those who play infrequently and need an adventure to provide as much entertainment as possible for a one or two night play session. That's the way I like 'em anyway: a quick start, nice little hook, lots of action and plenty of treasure.

Although I have a soft spot for all my released modules, I'd have to say that The Courtyard of Gerald Red is my favorite. It has everything I enjoy in a low level adventure: deadly mysteries and curses (the rings), surreal spectacles (the fighting skeletons), fake-outs (vampire coffins??), and loads of treasure that will be hard as hell to obtain (giant piranhas) but is worth it all in the end if you get it.

Again, since I don't know when I will be back to the OSR stomping grounds, let me get out a few thank yous (Yes, I know this isn't an awards show, but please indulge me).

First, I'd like to thank Dan Proctor, not only for his excellent product, but also for his help and encouragement in PRG. The forum space he kindly gave me at Goblinoid Games really helped to shine a bigger light on my work, and I can't thank him enough for that. Here's hoping that the Revised Edition as well as the AEC will be a huge hit for Dan and the OSR.

Thanks to John at Brave Halfling Publishing, who was a major influence in me getting PRG started. It's awesome to see how far BHP has gone within the span of one year.

A big thanks to Matt Finch for the editing help and publishing The Labyrinth Tomb of the Minotaur Lord in Knockspell #3. People seem to really enjoy that adventure and I grateful to Matt for getting it into so many hands. I owe him a new module that I hope to get to him someday.

Jim Raggi and Michael Curtis for their thought-provoking gaming materials. Anyone that has a spot of writer's block needs to thumb through a copy of Green Devil Face or The Dungeon Alphabet to help the spinning tires get out of the mud. (Side note: I have a submission sent in for GDF #4. If Mr. Raggi decides to use it, I'll pop my head up on the blogs and forums to let you all know).

David Bezio, who, along with John at BHP, was another influence in my OSR publishing. As I mentioned many times before, his Lost Daughter adventure was the first LL module I ran for my noob group. I still owe him an X-plorers module.

Moritz at Soapbox Games for his unending support of all things old-school. He has mentioned my modules on his blog and I don't think I've ever gave him the proper thanks he deserves for the support. So, thank you, Moritz! :)

Thanks to Bruce at Barrataria for his killer gaming materials and for being such a cool cat.

The many blogs out there (James at Grognardia...I'm lookin' at you. But not in a weird way). Thanks for the hours of your food for thought. My gaming experience was all the better from the old-school blogs offering up their 2 cps on rpgs.

I definitely must thank my family who put up with my endless late-night writing sessions. My wife Else is fantastic, and I know that she's proud of what I've accomplished here. Love you, girl!

Finally, a big thanks to the followers of this blog and to those who downloaded/bought my modules. Your excitement in old-school rpgs in turn made me excited about producing quality adventures. This community rocks.

I know I forgot a few folks out there. I'm sorry!

So, other than the occasional comment I may offer up, I am going to sign off for a while. I don't know if it will be in six months or 24 months, but I will be back to writing and publishing old-school rpg adventures again.

So please...leave a light on for me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Labyrinth Lord sighting and a set o' dice

While browsing my FLGS (Tabletop Games in Overland Park, KS), I noticed a fresh Labyrinth Lord paperback on the shelf. I asked the kind gentleman (dude) if he has people coming in asking about LL. He said, "Oh, yeah" and went on to tell me that the number of people buying the small press products is growing and growing.

That's encouraging news. Especially for small press publishers like BHP and Black Blade Publishing getting their products up on the shelves.

It was hard to not buy the LL paperback, but since I just received my hardback from Lulu over a week ago, I had to leave it behind for another lucky bloke to find.

Instead, I saw that they had a bunch of Gamescience precision dice, so I bought my first set- blue opaque. Beautiful. My wife asked me if was going to retire some of my old worn-out dice. Haha!


Never, ever, ever throw away dice. I don't care if the sides of my old d20 are so worn that it more resembles a marble. Never toss out dice! I keep 'em all, even the so-called "cursed" dice (I give those to my players - heh heh).

One day I'll have enough dice to satisfy my gaming needs. But then again, probably not. Probably not ever. :P

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Test-play for new adventure completed

Two two straight nights we hacked and slashed through my new adventure The Dead Heir of Kressik Keep. The players came out the other end of this module with more than a few bumps and scrapes, but everyone survived. Even Jason's thief survived this time, which is a rare occurrence 'round these parts. :P

Kressik Keep was going to be my submission to Knockspell #4, but I missed the deadline with this one. Many obstacles kept me from my hobby including a sick two year-old daughter and a severe case of writer's block.

Well, not that I wasn't writing, it's just that the adventure was not quite coming together. It was done. I had the map and all the rooms were keyed, but...it sucked. Blah. Patooie.

So then came the rewrites. I knew by this time that I would miss the Knockspell deadline, but I needed peace of mind with my work. With a bit more planning and a heavy dose of help from the Dungeon Alphabet (man, that book can stir up ideas!), I was able to reach a point with Kressik Keep in which I was comfortable enough to run a test-play.

Now, after a two day marathon of Labyrinth Lord fun, it's back to the rewrites, tweaking what needs to be fixed before I submit it to Knockspell, hoping to get it into issue #5. We'll see!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Dungeon Alphabet and the OSR make me feel great!

I finally received my pre-ordered copy of The Dungeon Alphabet, and it's beautiful. With its $9.99 price tag, such a book is truly a steal. Looking over the material, I must say that Michael Curtis really knows how to jump-start the imagination. From the wondrous to the disturbing, The Dungeon Alphabet is teaming with ideas that would prove valuable at the fingertips of any dungeon designer.

Yes, I am a fan.

While I may come off as some sort of slobbering fanboy, it's difficult for me to contain my enthusiasm due to all the quality products available from the OSR. I haven't acquired so many gaming materials (both bought and for free) since the TSR days.

For those of you who were gaming in the late 70s to early 80s, I'm sure you remember the bubbling excitement of visiting your local bookstore to thumb through the game books, modules and magazines. To me, it felt like my friends and I were onto something truly unique, and as far as we were concerned, it was all lovingly produced specifically for us alone.

Such is the feeling I get with the new material streaming out of the OSR. In fact, the products getting churned out of people's basements ARE specifically for us: the FANS who love this crazy hobby. When I think of all the great materials published by Goblinoid Games, BHP, Mythmere, LotFP, 3 Headed Monster, Barrataria, Grey Area, ect., etc., and so on, it takes me back to that small local bookstore to find that one strange product to add a bit more fun into my rpgs.

Right now is a wonderful time for our hobby and I hope many within the OSR are taking advantage of the goodies provided and soaking in the old-school rays of resurgence. I know I am (to the best of my ability, both money and time-wise). Right now, I am awaiting the arrival of my copy of Stonehell and the hardback copy of LL Revised. Meanwhile, I have my eye on a print copy of the Companion Expansion and when AEC is released, I'll get that, too.

Now, back to my copies of Green Devil Face and The Dungeon Alphabet to gather up a bit of dungeon creating inspiration. Yep! Again, what a great time for us old-school game-lovers.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Another Half Price Books Score

I braved the frigid temperatures and went to the Half Price Bookstore during my lunch break today. In the past, there I have found near-mint copies of Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure ($7), The C&C core books ($9 each), and a ton of old Dragon magazines.

Today I was able to replace my missing copy of the Moldvay Basic rulebook for $5. This sucker is also in near-mint as the pages haven't even yellowed much.

In addition to this fabulous find, they were selling comics in bulk - 20 for $5. I landed a bunch of 70s/early 80s issues of Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man, and Invaders.

Man, I love HPB. :)