Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sgt. Rock and his Howling Commandos??

Surfing the web for inspiration and research material for “Mission: Adventure!” I ran across a blast from the past:

Back in the 90’s Marvel and DC teamed up and had some fun with their characters by creating a fictitious company called Amalgam Comics. Each company then took some of their hottest respective properties and melded them together to create whole new characters in a alternate- alternate universe. Some of the titles worked remarkably well, others not so much. But it was a fun experiment. I bought a few titles the other day-$.99 for a lot of six. They arrived on Friday and I’ve been reading them over the weekend. Great fun. Issues of the Amalgams are plentiful on EBay and there are several auctions where you can score multiple titles for less than five bucks.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nerd boy meltdown

Well the whole FASERIP ransom thing has been resolved. It looks like Phil Reed had posted the Beta to the advanced rules and had asked for feedback before he finalized it. It appears a few people responded but not a great deal he then decided to let it stay in Beta while awaiting more feedback. The problem was he didn’t communicate this fact sufficiently. And it has been in beta ever since. So it’s sort of completed but not done. Here is the link if anyone wants to take a look and comment.

I had an experience over the whole thing when I posted my Blog entry on a forum, the result that I got myself into a minor flame war, which was stupid of me. I felt I was stating the facts others felt I was disparaging Phil Reed. I didn’t see it that way but then I often come off harsh, more so when I’m having a nerd–boy moment.

Like I said- stupid of me.

But the end result is that the project is moving again and I hope it will see completion soon.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Funny: Royal Flatulence

Old Prince Phil let's one rip.
Poor Prince Harry just happens to be in the "Kill zone".
Her Majesty is not amused.
And naturally Charlie is clueless.

And now for something not so funny...
I was reading Jeff's Gameblog where his latest post jogged my memory. I put up ten bucks for a FASERIP book. So did a few others. To date...nothing.
That sucks. Phil Reed took the money. I'm sure it's spent. where's the completed game?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday Pulp

You just know Doc Savage would have had one...

Wanna buy one?
Go here:

I'm not endorsing it. I'm just letting you know it's out there...

Here's what the publisher says:

Adamant Entertainment will be kicking off our first-ever Thrilling Tales Serial Adventure -- an extended mini-campaign comprised of five short adventures, released weekly starting on Friday, September 14th.

The five exciting chapters of this serial will take your heroes from the back-room deals of 1930s politics to the underworld of Chinatown; from a hidden valley in Tibet to the fortress of a would-be Emperor; from the amazing heights of super-science to the office of the President of the United States!

Chapter One: Politics of Terror - September 14th
Chapter Two: The Scorpion Syndicate - September 21st
Chapter Three: The Valley of Death - September 28th
Chapter Four: Escape from the Crimson Palace - October 5th
Chapter Five: The Crimson Veil - October 12th

I don't mean to be harsh but I've been burned by Adamant more than once. They have style, no doubt about that. But they really lack substance, at least in the products I've purchased in the past. Case in point: Check out my review of "Perils of the Orient". It has a snazzy cover and makes a lot of promises and then falls flat. If you had 30 seconds to flip through this at a game store, you'd quickly put it back on the rack.

I really can't say the same about the Crimson Emperor series yet. I bought the first chapter and I'll let you know next week. I hope I'm proved wrong, but I'm not betting on it.

Here's a Free Pulp Mag that just came out. I downloaded it but havent printed it up yet, so I don't have an opinion on it, just passing the info.

And finally a link:

The Pulp Factory is a cooperative Blog that talks about some of the current happenings in the world of Pulp. It's very much worth a look.

And that is your Thursday Pulp report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Broadsword review

Yesterday another favorable review for Broadsword came out, this time over at RPGnet.
I’m happy to report that Broadsword garnered 4/4 stars. Of course I can’t take complete credit for the game, after all Todd Downing came up with the original 1PG rules engine that I adapted, James Stubbs did the layout and several of the adventure scenarios , and Jeff Hebert supplied the great cover art, so it was really a team effort. But I can take credit for the inclusion of the “Advantages” portion of Broadsword which was an innovation that I brought over from my Legends of Steel game. It’s the advantages section, which allows the characters to perform “over the top” cinematic stunts and in my opinion it’s what really gives Broadsword its unique quality amongst the 1 PG line of games.

I’m currently working on an expansion to the game which will include more advantages, a campaign world using locations from the first nine scenarios, and a bestiary.

My efforts so far as a game designer are small compared to most of the other guys in the industry, but my name is in print which is cool and I still get a bit of a charge when I hear from someone who had a great time playing Broadsword with their friends. I can see why guys enjoy making games, it has to be the feeling you get, because it sure isn’t about the hot babes and the big money.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Motivational Monday

Thanks to R3V forums!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Art for LoS

“Legends of Steel” is about done.
I’m having a hell of a time getting art for it though.
My buddy, Jeff Hebert is the only confirmed artist I have on the project so far. Last week I sent out over a dozen or so inquiries and received TWO responses. I’m not sure what the problem is, I have a budget (it’s small, but it’s something) for this so I’m not asking for free stuff. Either the project is too small or there’s a lot of work out there for artists. From all the whining I see on the comic art forums I don’t think it’s the latter. I’m even considering using some stock art for interior illustrations, stuff like ruins, sword, vistas etc. but I really want to get some nice ½ or ¼ page black and white line art. I can’t for the life of me find anyone local so I’m forced to go through the net. We have plenty of artists here in Sacramento but not the style I’m looking for.In doing my research it turns out all the cool artists I want are in the Philippines.
Here’s what I need.

I don't expect to be able to afford a Frank Brunner or a Darren Goodacre but if I can just find a couple of artists that at least draw in that style I'd be happy. Right now I'm just a bit frustrated.
If any of you know of anyone that draws in this style please drop me a line.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Funny

It really is you know...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It's Thursday - Let's talk Pulp!

David Drage has has started a brand new Podcast for Pulp fans called Dial P for Pulp. His first installment was released yesterday. Please support the effort and help him get it off the ground. I'm going to write him to see about exploring the Pulp gaming angle of the genre.

Speaking of Pulp Gaming-
Fat Dragon Games will be teaming up with
Exile Game Studios (Hollow Earth Expeditions) to come up with a line of paper model products for use with your "Lost Worlds" adventures. Their first release is a Drilling machine to aid adventurers reach the interior of the earth.

They also have a great selection of cavern and dungeon sets that would be excellent for ruined temples and such.

Even their futuristic line has pulp applications for laboratories.

You can't just go into a game store and ask them to direct you to the pulp figures aisle, well you can, but all you'll get are blank stares. Luckily there are companies out there like Pulp Figures that specialize in miniatures and accessories for the Pulp era gamer. check out these newest releases!

And that's your Pulp Thursday Report!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Funnies

I saw this in a recent issue of Knights of the Dinnertable Magazine. I'm reading the archives right now. Who knew being evil could be so much fun? Check it out.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

An excerpt from the upcoming Broadsword Expansion Pack I

I'm Working on the first of several planned expansion packs for the Broadsword setting from Deep7 games.
This first pack will include a small campaign setting for the game. I posted a proposed map here at the Lair a few days ago. Today I thought I'd give you all a glimpse of the format I'm planning to use to present the kingdom and nation data.

I took a tip from a marketing class I took in college. It's called a S.W.O.T analysis, and is used to map out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to a company or business plan.

Below is a sample excerpt from the Gazetteer. Let me know what you think.

Al-Khalid is a major trading city of the southern continent. It’s located at the foot of the Drujistan Mountains. Raids from Jaga and Morgal tribesmen in the Mountains are plaguing the city's spice farms. Spices and exotic opiates are the main exports of the city. There is a fairly large slave trade because of the proximity to the jungles to the west. Slavers from Al-Khalid often brave the large jungle and raid villages in the interior for slaves.

S.W.O.T Analysis for Al-Khalid


Location: Al-Khalid has no close neighbors. Any state thinking to invade it must cross a great deal of territory to lay siege to the city. The lack of farms and pastureland means that any invading force won’t be able to do much foraging for supplies. Any invaders will need a large logistics and support system to keep their soldiers fed during a siege.

Resources: The area surrounding Al-Khalid is one of the few in the world with the right combination of weather and soil conditions to produce a wide variety of rare and valuable spices and opiates; as such Al-Khalid is a very rich city.


Defense: Militarily, Al-Khalid is weak. Their navy is small and only concerned with policing their immediate coastline. The army is manned by paid mercenaries that patrol the spice farms and try to keep mountain raiders from disrupting production and attacking caravans. Military expeditions into the Drujistan Mountains to eradicate the tribes have all failed miserably.


Tribal wars: Two of the major mountain tribes; the Morgal and the Jaga are in a fierce territorial war right now. There are factions among the guilds that support the funding of one side in the hopes of gaining concessions from them once they defeat the other. Another faction advocates letting the tribes bleed themselves dry and then funding an army to destroy the surviving tribe, ending the problem for good.


Tribal unification: more than anything else the people of Al-Khalid fear the possibility of a leader rising from amongst the mountain tribes, a leader with enough strength and charisma to unite the disparate tribes and bring them down upon the city in a frenzy of blood and steel.

Friday, September 14, 2007

New feature - Flashback Friday

This morning I was looking through my old files for a couple of pieces I had written several years ago. My search brought me back to the old site that "the Lair" was hosted on before I switched to Blogger. It’s kind of funny reading some of those old posts from three or four years ago. I’m thinking of designating Fridays here as a place where I dust off some of the older stuff and post it again. I can stroke my ego AND not have to worry about posting on Fridays, sounds like a “win/win” to me.

So here’s the first,
When the Lair started it was a place for my gaming and action figure interests. Recently the action figure posts have really dried up. My interest in action figures and kit bashing hasn’t dried up but I just don’t have the time or the room to accommodate it right now.
So I thought I would drag out the old photos from the archives, of some of my earliest attempts at kit-bashing fantasy figures. As some of you know kit-bashing figures is a fluid process many of these figures have evolved and changed, some have been improved others have been stripped down and gone back in the bin. Right now I have about eight figures that are on permanent display and only come down for minor touch ups and equipment upgrades.

These are all older bashes from my early days.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Guilty Pleasure: Raven Swordsmistress of Chaos

Why does Chaos need a Swordsmistress? I have no idea. Maybe the folks at Games Workshop know.
Anyway, I read a lot of Sword & Sorcery, and I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes we ain’t talking high-end literature here. Some of this stuff is pure crap. But in my efforts to produce stuff for Broadsword and Legends of Steel, I must suffer for my art.

Raven is a series of S&S books that were published in England in the late seventies and in the US in the mid-eighties. I stumbled across #1, 2 & 5 a few weeks ago. I’m halfway through #1 and I must admit I kinda like it.

Escaped slave girl with a mystical destiny meets a mysterious warrior / sorcerer who recognizes her hidden potential. And with the aid of a sword master and his a band of raiders, train her in the fighting arts so that she can fulfill an unknown prophecy that will change the world…Yadda, Yadda, etc. You know the drill.

The locations are exotic, the action scenes are fun, and there are naughty bits, including a little girl/girl action- kind of like Xena but with some payoff in the end. I enjoyed the supporting characters and paid more attention to the locales than I usually would probably because I’m working on a campaign world for Broadsword right now.

All in all as the genre goes, I was entertained and came a way with a few snippets for use in my own gaming. From what I understand there were only five books, so I think I’ll try and hunt down #3 & 4.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Outside looking in

I’m reading quite a bit about the 4th edition-most of it negative. I suppose because it’s unknown and we generally fear the unknown. One thing I’ve noticed is that the marketing of 4th edition by WOTC doesn’t seem to be very empathetic to the current customer base. It seems almost arrogant. I saw the promotional clip that was played at Gen con. It seemed very condescending to me. It’s like the producers were saying: “listen up geeks- the way you have been playing all these years- well, it was wrong. Prepare to be enlightened.” I also ran across this “clouds in the sky” post by a WOTC employee, where he basically says “this is gonna happen so deal with it.” Well yeah, that may be true but you don’t have to be an arrogant ass about it. He later apologized, but for many the damage was done. Apology accepted, but what you said and the tone it was conveyed in won’t soon be forgotten. In my experience Gamer’s (me included) are many things good and bad, but one thing we most definitely are is sensitive, how else can we embrace a pastime that is pretty much imaginary?

In my opinion, the strategy used by WOTC to market this newest incarnation of D&D is light years away from the strategies used to usher in the 2nd and 3rd editions of the game. I was there for both events. When 2nd edition came along TSR used Dragon magazine to tease us with snippets and glimpses of new mechanics and rules. They promised a game that was different, yet still familiar without alienating their fan-base too much. Of course, back then if you wanted to bitch and whine you had to write a letter, mail it in and hope it got published. The books came out, almost all of us converted, the angry letters to Forum eventually drifted away and we moved on.

Eventually the time came for a 3rd edition. Once again the hue and cry was raised, but this time around we had the internet so the debates, complaints, and praise were heard much louder and felt more intense than in the 2nd edition transition. But still, the company (WOTC by then) took a soft approach and used their marketing skills to gently guide us to the next edition. At this point I sat on the beach with the other 2nd edition die-hards and waved goodbye to many of my friends on the 3rd edition flotilla as it headed out. I had spent too much money and time on 2nd edition to leave. But even then I had no I’ll thoughts for WOTC. They never told me my game was wrong, at least I don’t remember them telling me that.

But I’m not getting that vibe from this latest marketing campaign, it seems to me that there is a kind of arrogance out there from WOTC and the people that represent them-maybe they’re just young and cocky, sure that the geeky masses will buy the books despite their kicking and screaming (Just like they did the first two times).

In a way, I don’t really care. I most likely wont be buying the 4th ed. Books. Not out of any feelings of righteous indignation, but simply because when I want to play D&D I already have all I need. I love gaming, but I have surpassed the point where gaming and D&D are synonymous. When people talk about playing D&D my mind goes to “The Queen of the Demonweb pits” or the Nehwon section of the Deities and Demigods book. And that’s where it stays, and I’m fine with that. But it is interesting to see all the drama play itself out again.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Motivational Monday

Thanks to RPGNet

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday morning funnies

Simple to do and funny. what more could you want on a Sunday morning?
Thanks to PMikey for the heads up on these.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Broadsword Expansion update

I just wanted to share with everyone the latest incarnation of my "World of Broadsword" map.
I've been working on the expansion all day. I'm 90% done with the nations and am currently working on the geographical features of the map. Between this and the swashbuckling adventure I'm writing for the Idyll 1PG, my creative juices have really been flowing. anyway, here's the map with new additions and tweaks added on:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

1PG explosion

1 page (1PG), my favorite “little engine that could” system has recently been given a shot in the arm thanks to Heyoka Studios. James Stubbs and his team of writers are taking the 1PG license to new heights of success and innovation. They have taken older titles like Star Legion, Daisho, and Sixgun, added new adventures for all three product lines, and (in the case of Star Legion) they have expanded on the rules

When I speak of innovation I’m talking about titles like Idyll- the game of Romantic Fantasy, or Medieval Mysteries- the game that helps you run adventures solving crimes in the Middle Ages.

If you visit Deep7’s 1PG message board you will find the folks there discussing upcoming projects like- new WWII adventures for Battle Force Bravo, A new expansion pack for the 1PG superhero game Hero Force, A campaign expansion of Broadsword featuring adventure in the form of the classic Harryhausen Sinbad movies, just to name a few.

There are lots of boards that talk about games, bitch about games, and pontificate about games. Over at the Deep7 boards the people aren’t just theorizing about games they’re writing them. It’s a cool thing to be a part of right now. Do you have an idea for a genre? Stop by the Deep7 Boards and let’s talk about it.