Saturday, January 31, 2009

Inkheart: wait for cable, go buy Stardust.

We saw Inkheart last week. Meh.

The hero was what they call a “Silvertongue” a person who when he reads about a character in a story, that character comes to life. Cool power, and totally wasted on the hero who fumbles his way from one encounter to another.  If I was in his place the first thing I would do is hit a used bookstore and pick up a few copies of …




Friday, January 30, 2009

A bunch of books and Head East Live

I took the car in for scheduled maintenance today. The dealership said an hour and a half.  It was more like two hours. Luckily they had  a Used bookstore within walking distance.  Have a look at some of the treasures I unearthed amongst the musty stacks-


Banners of Sayen

Delia of Valia



Legend of the Damned

My lord Barbarian

Red as blood

Whetted bronze


And in a miscellaneous bin was a real blast from the past.

Head East Live

I had this tape. I loved this tape.  The live version of “There's never been any reason” is one of the greatest driving songs ever performed.

I don't even have an 8-track player anymore, but for .25 cents I couldn't resist.

That girl on the cover has got to be in her sixties now…

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hi, I’m the Evil DM- Trust me.

Evil DM Logo 

The other day at Target I picked up season one of the classic TV show “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.”  It’s a great show to steal ideas for Mission:Adventure!

As I was watching the episodes I came across one where the crew begins acting strangely, it turns out that saboteurs have introduced a hallucinogenic gas into the submarines air supply. I was thinking of the viability of using this plot device in an adventure. The only problem is that the players need to put their trust in the GM. 

Now I’ve found from personal experience that getting players to trust the GM is easier said than done.  Maybe its flashbacks from adolescence when a sadistic  DM killed their 9th level Elven Ranger with a trap from the Tomb of Horrors module or some such silliness, but I've found that players will rarely give up even a smidgen of their characters fate without a fight.  and while that's come to be expected in most RPG’s I find it an extremely  tough issue to get around in Pulp gaming.

Pulps almost always invariably have the hero cornered in an impossible situation where their death is all but guaranteed, only to have fate, amazing luck, or wild coincidence save them at the absolute last minute.  Now for that type of situation to happen in an RPG setting the player MUST trust the GM. The player needs to go along with the GM (with a wink and a nudge) for the good of the adventure and the ultimate enjoyment of everyone at the table.

In my case I believe my failure was that I didn't adequately explain this to my players (in my defense I will say that this was a play-test session using pregenerated characters, so I wasn't expecting quite the level of commitment to the characters as compared to a character that's been nurtured through years of constant play).  As a result, Half my players went one one way,the rest went the other, and the game folded with uncomfortable silence all around. 

The next day I beefed up the section in LoS on trusting your GM and letting your character get captured once in a while, so I guess something good came out of that awkward and embarrassing experience.

So the moral of the story:

Communicate with your players, let them know the tone of your game and remember that they look to you to provide the canvas. 

And players trust your GM. Remember that your character is one cog in a large engine that is the campaign.  There may be reasons for what is happening that is beyond your knowledge or understanding- and that's OK. You don't need to know everything right away. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Evil DM update


Just to let you all know that I have been hard at work on not only the ZeFRS version of Legends of Steel but also on Lost World of Hador. This explains my lack of posting and presence on some of the message boards I usually frequent. I can easily blow half a day just reading blogs and looking at funny pictures.

So if the posting is sparse, it’s because I’m actually trying to be productive.

Legends of Steel is at layout. I heard from James via email this weekend and we went over a couple of design things. It is being worked on and will come out as soon as It possibly can.

Lulu is starting to look like a viable option for those who want a printed copy in their hands (I know I want one at least). So I’m tackling that.

Hador is coming along nicely, Ryan is making good progress on the map, Joffrey is coloring the cover art, and I’m getting all my thoughts onto paper.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Rhino-man- Yea or Nay?

the other day I was at the mall with “She who must be obeyed” While she went to Ross I stopped into a little Mom and Pop toy store that has managed to survive in the world of Toys R Us and Wal Mart. they specialize in the less commercial toys. This is the kind of place you go to to find and Ant farm or a wooden train set. the kind of toys that kids would balk at today. I could just imagine the outrage of my minions if we stuffed their Christmas stockings with bags of marbles, spinning tops, and wooden farm animals.

Anyway, I saw a marvelous display of a fantasy castle with a large collection of nicely painted plastic figures. castlepapo The figures were sold individually and while the paint and quality were top-notch, they were just a bit pricey for me ( was more of an Airfix HO scale army men guy myself).

airfix romans

But what really caught my eye though was this figure-

Rhino man

This lil guy looked awesome. He reminded me of the Spell Jammer Giff characters, but much cooler. A Rhino-man. A rhino-man with a big Fricken axe! I have to put you somewhere… Not on Erisa (it’s a bit too high fantasy for that setting). But on Hador he might fit right in. I already have a race of Lion-centaurs, and I’m toying with a place that has an H.G.Wells “Island of Dr. Moreau” / David Gemmell “Joinings” vibe. so why not go balls out and throw in

Rhino-men? I think they look cool. But as I have stated before the “Rule of cool” is a thin line. Does Rhino-man cross into silly? or does he have a place on Hador?

What do you think?

By the way, their Lion-man is pretty swift looking too.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Motivated Employee

H/T "She who must be obeyed"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pulp Thursday - Pulp Fanatic Magazine - Wow.


Since I began my game designing odyssey I’ve built what I consider to be a rather large and varied paperback library of  “Pulp” publications- Sword & Sorcery, Noir, Men’s Adventure, Espionage, Sword & Planet, Western, Thriller, Horror, Historical Adventure, Mystery and a large quantity of “Adult” titles in everyone of the aforementioned genres.  I have become quite the collector, and I wince when I think of all the titles I’ve passed by through the years.

So it must be fate that one of the blogs I follow (and I can’t for the life of me remember which one) made mention of Paperback Fanatic Magazine.  At this point and time in my life I can truly appreciate this publication.  Paperback Fanatic Magazine is loaded with photos of wonderful paperback art, interviews, and articles. The fact that the magazine deals mostly with English paperbacks is inconsequential.  The magazine is a delight from cover to cover. I learned about titles I was completely unaware of and best of all the articles include bibliographies of all the series titles in the sidebars. Paperback Fanatic Magazine is definitely a labor of love. It’s a quick, informative, and fun read.


Paperback Fanatic Magazine will run U.S. buyers around $10.00 give or take.  I ordered my copy on 01/07/2009 via Paypal and it was waiting for me on the kitchen table when I got home on 01/14/2009, One week turnaround from England?  Hell, I’ve waited weeks for Ebay items from neighboring states, so color me impressed.  It was also kinda cool  when I walked in the house and one of my minions called out “Hey dad, you got “Royal Mail”!

I sat down in the evening and devoured it.  Half-way through this issue I went and ordered a back issue (I would have ordered more but they are sold out of all but the previous issue).

I even got a chuckle at the end as I recognized that one of my favorite authors Simon R. Green ( Hawk & Fisher, Deathstalker, and Nightside books) dropped them a fan letter.

So, Paperback Fanatic Magazine…Two enthusiastic thumbs up!


And that's your Pulp Thursday report!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yo Joe!

Tip O'the hat to Chris S.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Evil DM Productions update

Legends of Steel is at Heyoka studios. Its queued up for layout and will be ready for release in a few weeks at most. I’m really excited about this. I started this journey back in 2005 and I'm finally getting to the end. This hobby is full of dreams and imagination, lots of people with cool ideas and concepts. Unfortunately few are ever seen all the way through, I’m kind of proud that I was able to see this through. The plan is to release Legends of Steel –Savage worlds as a PDF.

First off, I’m going to send a few review copies out to a few key people who post on message boards, blogs and podcasts and then I’ll make it available at my website. Later, I’ll pass it over to Heyoka so they can host it at RPGNow and Drive through RPG.

At the moment the price is going to come in around $12.00, I really gave this a lot of thought. I’ve always been a firm believer in not paying more than $15.00 for any PDF products and so I’m sticking to that same conviction when it comes to my own stuff. But I do need to make sure that I at least recoup my investment. The cover art and the full color map are great, but they’re great because I had talented professionals create them, and talented professionals don’t come cheap (and rightly so).

I figure to sell directly initially and try to avoid the RPGNow commission bite. I have a PayPal account in place and I’ll monitor it closely. I may not be able to provide the instant downloading that RPGNow can, but I’ll make sure that orders are processed within a couple of hours at the most.

The second release in the Legends of Steel line will be the “Broadsword Edition” which will be geared to the Broadsword 1PG system RPG by Deep7. LoS-Broadsword will be released directly through Heyoka Studios, as they hold the license from Deep7 for all new 1PG products.

And third in line will be Legends of Steel the “ZeFRS Edition”. This edition will be a collaboration between myself and Mark Krawec, with all proceeds going to purchase new art and fund content for further ZeFRS Projects.

As for now, I hope to follow-up with The Lost World of Hador within a few months of the Legends of Steel release. I received a preliminary sketch of the cover art back from Joffrey Suarez and I’m really pleased with what he’s come up with.

Here’s is a sneak peek at the concept sketch for the Lost World of Hador cover…