Tuesday, April 2, 2013

News & Updates & Well...News

Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend (whether or not you celebrate Easter)…I know I did. Had a pretty good week in general: the family got back into town Tuesday, and I spent the last week enjoying a “full house.” Today, the wife is back again in the air (business is a bitch) and I will be back on “daddy duty” for the next few days…but now that I have the luxury of letting the house go to hell, I can find a little time to blog again.

Plus, I finally got my taxes done.

So, let’s see…news, news. Lots of exciting stuff going on over down Running Beagles way. So much so that I’m not quite sure where to start, nor what my readers want to hear about. You know, I don’t really know why people bother “tuning in” to this blog. I spend a lot of my work days (especially during the football season) listening to the sports-talk radio station in the background. Over the course of the day you end up hearing several different radio personalities, all talking about the same thing, all with their own personal spin, and it reminds me a lot of the OSR blog-o-sphere…at least, the way it was a couple years ago. People taking the same stories and running with ‘em. People voicing their own opinions with different degrees of intellectual integrity. But all covering the same thing that’s of interest to me: local sports teams (for the radio) or Old School role-playing (for the blogs).

But these days, we (the bloggers) all have slightly different agendas and/or projects they’re working on or writing about. And that’s not a bad/terrible thing. It’s just…well, never mind. This post isn’t a musing-rambling one about the evolving changes in the ‘net presence of the OSR. I’m just saying I know my own blog has changed a bit in tone, and I’m not sure what it is my readers want from me. Besides more posts about gaming, that is.

Not that it matters…I’m not getting paid to write this thing.
; )

SO…news. Here’s the stuff that’s going on (some of these might require elaboration and/or their own blog posts this week):

-        Work on D&D Mine progresses rapidly…which is to say, I’m about 5-8 pages away from a completely finished project (including formatting and illustrations and everything). This would be 5AK, which I’ve been play-testing for the last couple months. It will be a three volume set when complete (like OD&D, though organized differently) and the first two books are complete and third nearly there. I do still need to reorganize the third volume (still being written), and I may be stuffing some pertinent parts from Book 3 into Book 1 due to space considerations…but maybe not. I’m pretty sure I will be releasing it as both a PDF and as a hard copy, “bundled” pack and am considering including dice with the latter (I want to be able to offer the thing as a complete game system). It really is looking pretty good.

-        The work on Volume 3 has actually slowed a bit this week due to the necessity of researching maritime travel and naval warfare. Fascinating stuff and it really deserves its own blog post (maybe tomorrow)...it’s what I’ve been spending most of my “free time” on the last week. My hope is that the next play-test includes some “ship-on-ship” action.

-        And regarding play-testing: last Thursday I was down at the Baranof play-testing 5AK and had FIVE players show up, including two new/old faces in the form of Randy and Steve-O…both of whom died horribly (their character, that is). Man, it felt just like old times. There were some good bits with a goat, an angry abomination, the requisite ghouls and gore, and a fabulous treasure trove (which I drunkenly allowed the PCs to walk off with, forgetting the traps in the treasure chamber). Good times…and again, I heard from players that they appreciate a game that involves…duh…role-playing and not just rolling dice and gaming mechanics. Players surprised me by dealing with the abomination by releasing it from its chains (rather than…um…slaying it or something) unleashing a scourge upon their town. But that’s totally cool with me…especially as they’ll be on-board a boat (hope-hope) next session anyway. Grandma has even offered to babysit Thursday so I can make the session…but do I really want to make my mom drive home at midnight on a work night so I can slosh around at the bar? Maybe.

-        Cover art for CDF is progressing rapidly…like, REALLY rapidly…and my two proof-readers are both about halfway through their review. And I’ll be sending the manuscript out to at least one or two more readers (I am NOT going to have a repeat of the typos in TCBXA). I intend to have a general solicitation for artwork sometime this week…I just want to get this one off my computer and into general circulation. At this point it appears I’ll be issuing it as an 80 page, perfect bound book. Why not 64 pages and saddle-stitched? A couple-few reasons: A) I want to increase the font to a more average size type (it’s a tad small at the moment), B) I think the perfect bound looks nicer (TCBXA turned out nice and had a LOT fewer printing issues than the B/X Companion), C) I want room for more artwork. Still, for those wondering, those 80 pages will actually consist of:

One page cover leaf plus one page table of contents.
Three pages of charts.
Three pages of “appendices” including sample characters and spells.
8+ pages of interior artwork.
A one page character sheet.

And I might just include some sort of legalese/free use agreement so people can write their own CDF-compatible adventures and supplements. See? Still under 64 pages of actual "rules."

Yeah, that one’s getting close, too, which is pretty exciting. It’s possible (though not especially likely) that I’ll have TWO books coming out in the next three to six months. Tim down at Gary’s jokingly refers to me as a “publishing mogul” and if I DO have four books on the market, I’m sure going to feel like one…which is pretty darn nutty. I mean, am I going to have to create a web site with forums for discussion about rules and errata and whatnot?

*sigh* I don’t know why I’m so dumb and isolationist/stand-offish when it comes to this stuff. Well, I know the astrological reasons (this 7th house Saturn and Capricorn Venus not to mention my uber-Scorpio stuff combined with a Mars-Uranus opposition)…but that doesn’t change the fact that I KNOW I could get more accomplished if I were more open to collaboration. I’m just silly about working with others and/or asking for help.

ANYway…it’s still exciting, and slowly but surely things are coming together. I’ll try to get something less “news-related” and more substantive posted this week.

Later, gators!
: )

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