Thursday, November 22, 2012

Guarding Kalas

I was going through a new purchase I made for my Castles and Crusades game: The Town of Kalas.
I'm very impressed so far. I was reading one of the suggested uses was to have the PC's join the town watch and find adventure as lawmen. This suggestion intrigued me because Kalas is a trading town with a diverse population of human and non human inhabitants. I started thinking of the Hawk and Fisher novels by Simon R. Green that I enjoyed immensely, I remember he had a "Special Wizards And Tactics" unit for major threats to the city, he also had a "Godsquad" That specifically worked on the Street of Gods, and kept the various temples and cults from killing each other right out on the street.

My boys already have established characters in the game, but I want them to start some back up characters in case these happen to bite it. also, it would help them explore other character classes.  I'm thinking this will be a fun way to advance their back up guys.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Legends of Steel Barbarians of Lemuria & Dicey Tales Bundle sale!

Legends of Steel Barbarians of Lemuria & Dicey Tales Bundle sale!
From now through Monday, November 26th  at RPGNOW you can get the PDF versions of the Legends of Steel Barbarians of Lemuria edition, Dicey Tales #1 and #2 for just $20.00!
Legends of Steel gives you all the rules for the Barbarians of Lemuria (BoL) system and the ready-made Sword & Sorcery campaign world of Erisa.
Dicey Tales #1 and #2 expand on the BoL rules to include new pulp inspired Careers, as well as Boons & Flaws, firearms, vehicles, rules for mysterious powers, and pulp-style technology which will allow you to play just about any genre of Two-Fisted Pulp excitement.
In addition to the core rules and Campaign world of Erisa, this package provides you with 4 Sword & Sorcery adventures and 3 Pulp action adventures!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another guilty pleasure-TSR Books

I've been on a gaming nostalgia trip, not with what I've been playing but with what I've been reading. I'm re-visiting some of my favorite "RPG novels" from the old days at TSR.

Now I'm firmly in the Howard/ Leiber camp for my fantasy but I admit I do enjoy me some TSR AD&D adventure books from time to time.  Starting with the first two Greyhawk books starring Gord the rogue. For the first time the world of Greyhawk was laid out for me to enjoy in prose, and written by the old Sage himself- Gary Gygax.
I remember, the Gord books making the rounds of our gaming group and starting many a heated geeky debate. The books also had me cracking open the dictionary quite often looking up words like  "saturnine" and "lugubrious" (Gygax- gotta love him). One of my favorite characters from the Gord books was Gellor the Bard, I had never really considered Bards as a character option, but Gellor was like this cool fantasy secret agent, I saw bards a whole new way after that.
Sadly the Greyhawk books took a turn for the worst for me as soon as Rose Estes took over. You would think a book about a Wolf Nomad Shaman would be cool. It wasn't.

Here is where I should say that I discovered Dragonlance and do a paragraph on the Majere brothers and Kender.  But the truth is, while I read and enjoyed the Dragonlance Trilogy, it hasn't stayed with me all these years, though it was much touted as crashing in on the New York Times Bestseller list, gaining a following among the Muggles. I acknowledge that Raistlen is one of the Iconic figures of AD&D lore, but he's not a personal favorite.

My next big foray into TSR Adventures was in the late 80's when R.A. Salvatore wrote a trilogy of books set on the world of Toril, better known as The Forgotten Realms. His books known as the "Icewind Dale Trilogy" have become a favorite on my TSR bookshelf. in the Icewind Dale Trilogy, Salvatore introduced probably the most popular bad-ass character in the entire D&D universe to date - the Drow Ranger known as Drizzt. With his two magic swords and cool magic panther, Drizzt sliced and diced his way into the hearts of gamers around the world. The Comic Fanboys have Wolverine. The Gamer Geeks have Drizzt -what a great cage match that would be.

After Drizzt, were a slew of TSR books some better, many worse, than others. Salvatore found continued success with Drizzt. But he lost me with his Cleric Quintet- I could buy a guy fighting monsters with a stick and a pair of Yo-yo's ( I tried it and got my ass kicked).

I've mentioned Dixie Lee Mckeon's Birthright book - The Spiders Test before on the Blog. and I really enjoyed the Indiana Jones styled character of Baylee Arnvold in Mel Odom's "The Lost Library of Cormanthyr".

There are a bunch I didn't mention that I enjoyed such as the Pool of Radiance series and believe it or not- The SpellJammer books.

The TSR books have become sort of like Classic Rock music. I'll always have them around to remind me of "The good ol'days".

Monday, October 29, 2012

Don't hit me with any Epicurean trilemas before I've had my coffee!

So my oldest Minion,now in college decides to call me up before class and lay this one on old Dad:   

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” - Epicurus [341–270 B.C.]
Epicurus was a philosopher in ancient Greece who apparently spent a lot of time in his garden thinking up stuff like this, instead of working for a living.

 "I'm bored, therefore I philosophize." 

 So summoning up my best before-Coffee answer, I gave him: 
 God chose to give man freewill. Man creates evil, not God. There is no evil in the natural world only in the man-made world. God decided to allow evil when he decided to give man freewill. God could easily remove evil from mankind but in doing so he would have to control man. apparently, controlling man is not Gods intention. 

 Basically that's all I had. 

 I'd love to go back to the days when he asked me questions like: How do light bulbs work?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"You must gather your party before venturing forth"

This summer my house has turned into a gaming center. Every computer in the house has some version of Baldur’s Gate or Baldur’s Gate II loaded and my Minions are competing amongst themselves as to who can defeat what monster and who has the best team with the coolest stuff. And I couldn’t be happier. I fell in love with Baldur’s Gate years ago, during many long nights with my newborn Minions. The Baldur’s Gate series has remained one of my all-time favorite computer games, the other being the Close Combat series.
The word on the street is that there will be an updated version of Baldur’s Gate (called the Enhanced Edition) released sometime this summer or fall. It promises many updates including improved resolution, a new player character, new missions and several other tweaks – there is even going to be a version for the IPad.
'You must gather your party before venturing forth"

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hello again, Sgt. Jaeger

The other day as I was cleaning the Lair I ran across a paper bag filled with character sheets, notes, and adventures I had written back in the 80's / 90's. The trove contained a wicked little dungeon I had created for my then gaming group, which I'm gonna convert to Castles & Crusades and throw at my boys. I also found a B&W drawing of a favorite character from my "Living City" days. Sgt. Jaeger my Halfling Warrior, last I remember he made it to 6th level. Back in 1st and 2nd edition Halflings were usually portrayed as chubby cherubs rather than the pint sized bad-asses they became in the later editions. Sgt. Jaeger was the original bad-ass halfling.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Disappointing Free Comic Book Day

I've been a customer of Worlds Best Comics in Sacramento California since the 80's. After today's incident I won’t be returning.

According to the Free Comic Book Day website -
"Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE* to anyone who comes into their stores. *Check with your local shop for their participation and rules."

Today, my son and I went to Worlds Best Comics and Toys (2608 Watt Ave. Sacramento, Ca.) for "Free Comic Book Day", when I asked if they had any of the  Free Comic Book Day Heroclix figures, the sales clerk stated that they did but we had to buy $10.00 worth of merchandise in order to get one for free. 

I can understand a one per customer rule or a first come first served rule, but to make someone pay for the privilege of a free item seems to me a serious breach of the spirit of the entire event.

"The sales clerk said that the figure was "free", we just had to spend $10.00 in store to get it.

I put the comics I was going to purchase back on the shelf and my son and I left without the Heroclix.  It wasn't about the money, over the years I have spent hundreds of dollars there, it was the principle.

As a father it was difficult to see the disappointed look on my sons face, but I also felt it was an important lesson for him, about sticking to a principle.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Lost Spitfire Squadron: A pulp adventure ripped from the headlines

The setting is post WWII Asia, Specifically the (fictitious) tiny kingdom of Tong-Kai. Tong-Kai is being pushed around by a larger aggressive neighbor-the Republic of Somoy (also fictitious).

Several of the kingdoms agents have been recruiting pilots from the region (mostly down and out ex-RAF or U.S. Army Air corps Pilots) to help build an air force. When the pilots meet at the requisite seedy bar, they are met by a former RAF Colonel. and briefed on the mission:
To trek into the jungle and retrieve a squadron of Spitfires that were hidden in the jungle during the war and forgotten. They have to trek in with batteries and fuel, build the planes, prepare a field, fly them back and hump the spare parts and extra ammo back to civilization.

When they get get back to the capital they then have to help fight off the invasion led by the mad dictator of Somoy.

During the trek there are wild animals, vicious bandits and headhunters, maybe even a platoon of Japanese who don't know the war has been over for five years. you could even toss in some Red Chinese or Russian spies.

With a little work this could be quite a fun mini campaign for either Dicey Tales or DOGS of War.

And the cool thing is it's very plausible:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Draft Cover for DT#2

Here is a draft of the new Dicey Tales #2 So far it has: 
A Bestiary for Dicey tales pulp games. 
A Dicey Tales Adventure 
A Barbarians of Lemuria Adventure 
A Legends of Steel Adventure 

And we are working on an article for Contacts in 1930's Pulp San Francisco. and a article of optional Pulp style boons. We have finally turned the corner and are into the home stretch with this issue!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Great fodder for a pulp game. Watch it on Netflix!

this movie is some way out there kind of fun. Manchuria in the 20's, trains, guns, cavalry charges, bandits, brothels, treasure maps,and motorcycles with sidecars. Perfect for Dicey Tales!


Saturday, March 03, 2012


Well I just had a helluva time today. while continuing to set up my garage/game room/man-cave, I ran across an old Egyptian temple playset I bought several years ago. Now that I have the room for it I plan to paint it up and use it. In the mean time I grabbed a handful of Minis and had a bit of playtime.

These raiders mean business-they even brought their own Earth Elemental!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Changa's Safari

I ran across this title by accident, but it has become one of my favorite reads in recent memory. Changa's Safari is wonderful Sword & Sorcery storytelling set in a world right before our eyes but missed by all but a few. I was captured by the world and the characters from the very start and thoroughly entertained by the authors style and imagination. You can tell that Davis cares for these characters. There is one scene where the group suffers an attack and several porters are lost - Davis actually takes a moment to convey the grief over their loss- and you feel it. That is some wonderful writing. His characters are powerful, heroic and human. Changa is more than a sword-swinging action hero, he is a leader of men, men with families and responsibilities. He has to save the world from a demonic invasion, bring as many of these men home as he can,and still turn a profit at the end of the day. Changa's Safari is a wonderful book and I cant recommend it enough!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Things to do today:

Organize my new Lair.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


The Seventies get dumped on a lot, but looking back it was the right decade for me to grow up in. Disco was everywhere but I would have none of it. I was a long haired Mexican kid in a Led Zeppelin tour jersey and proud of it. 

I was twelve when Boston released their first album. Like everyone who listened to Hard Rock FM radio, I remember being blown away by their sound. I also remember the agonizingly long wait for the second album ( I was the first among my friends to have a copy, on 8-track no less).  Everyone acknowledges "More than a feeling" and "Long time" as the hits from the Boston album, but I want to toss a shout-out to "Something about you"  a hard rocking song with great guitar work. A song made for  night time driving in the city.