Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back On-Line, (Near) Awards, and Reflections

So it appears my internet woes have finally been resolved as of this time yesterday. Turns out my internet provider upgraded the technology of my area without upgrading my modem, causing me to have on-going "spectral interference" for the last several months. And because the "tech support" people I've called, oh, half-a-dozen times are in f'ing India (or some Asian country overseas) they had no idea what the hell was going on and simply read me the same damn script every time I called.

Bunch o BS.

Anyway, now I've got the new modem and I can get on-line and check my email without running down to the damn library on my lunch breaks (only open Monday to Thursday) and I can stream the Bakshi/Frazetta film Fire & Ice from Netflix without wanting to throw something through my TV screen.

[by the way, if anyone was wondering why I hadn't posted anything till now, the weather's been absolutely gorgeous this weekend, and me and the fam spent most of the day down on the waterfront, feeding seagulls and browsing high-class toy stores for rubber blocks. Nice]

But right now it's back to business...catching up on forums and email and the blogs and such. Found out that my B/X Companion placed in the Indie RPG awards this year (no, I did not enter it in the Ennies, though I was tempted to do so). "Placing" isn't really the right term, as there was no 2nd place award, but I came in as 1st runner up to the winner for Best Indie Supplement of the Year with 20 points. Pretty good considering this is my first (self-)published product and I didn't do anything particularly innovative (um...compared to many indie RPG game designers that is...).

You know, I used to spend a LOT of time over at The Forge and swimming in indie waters the same way I now sail through the OSR blog-o-sphere. I enjoy playing other games, especially the weird and intimate or desperate or innovative or straight-up bizarre...but I don't get the chance to do so as much.

And that's fine. I mean, my current game group is a bunch of guys who work in the computer industry and are returning to Old School tabletop gaming for the first time in years (or ever, for some). This process of starting a game, theorizing, and testing has allowed me to do some serious deconstruction of the D&D game, and I've just gotten a greater and greater appreciation for it over time (as well as gotten a lot of good insight into game design).

One thing I've noticed...just about all the "house rules" I've implemented have been discarded by this point. They just haven't been necessary at all to the play of the game and the game works better without 'em. Other than the new classes I've been play-testing, there are only two house rules that continue to stick around:

- Clerics don't need to "memorize" spells at the beginning of the day
- Thief skills automatically succeed

Oh, yeah...we're also continuing to use the "two-handed weapons strike last and do D8 damage" (as opposed to all other weapons, which do D6), but since no one is using a two-handed weapon, it's kind of a moot rule.

I'll have a chance to write more about B/X game play in the coming days, as I fully expect to be drawing comparisons between it and the game play of DCC (have to go make some characters!). But it's just something on which I've been reflecting lately.

All right...that's enough blogging for now. Have to go check some forums!
: )


  1. Congrats on the near award. It turned out that a friend of mine was helping run the OSR booth at Gencon. You should have given me a stack of those books.

  2. @ Fumers: Ha! I told you I'm not much of a business man!
    ; )