Thursday, January 10, 2008

Against The Shadow/Darkness Falls

I'm not sure how familiar you might be with Fantasy Flight's campaign setting of Midnight, but it always struck me as a remarkably well-done setting, especially with its What-If-Sauron-Won sort of presentation. To limit the setting to that description, however, would be a disservice. It's a setting where players will face true evil, incredibly long odds, and an uphill battle the entire way. In a sense, the world itself never stops challenging the characters, and I think that's what I like about it.

I ran into Against The Shadow the other day, which is a great Midnight resource. I'm sort of surprised I hadn't run into it before, but there you go. It goes quite well with Darkness Falls, the Open Gaming site for Midnight (yay OGC!). I always love to see that sort of fan support, especially for a well-done setting. Check those sites out, as well as the Midnight homepage, if you haven't had a chance to see what this setting is about yet.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Farewell to Fraser

Sad news: I learned via The Evil DM that George MacDonald Fraser had passed on. Besides being an extremely distant, distant relative (and one whom certainly I never met), Fraser was best-known for his Flashman books, which took the villain from Tom Brown's Schooldays and turned him into a despicable, sex-crazed, immoral, cowardly, and yes, lovable, anti-hero that showed up everywhere from the Zulu Wars to Custer's Last Stand.

Fraser had an amazing eye for historical detail; the footnotes denoting the crazy and near-unbelievable (but very real) historical figures are worth reading alone. Never did I come away from a Flashman novel but that I felt I knew more about some part of history then when I starting. And it was always a grand romp, too. I think the characterizations and events Fraser wrote about really influenced both my choices in historical reading, fiction, and even plots and characters for some of my RPGs.

The Flashman books are one of those books my dad and I can have a good conversation regarding--the love of history, the humor about life in the British Empire and the military, and the hilarious political incorrectness and sly pokes throughout the novels.

It's a solace that Flashy isn't going anywhere, the scoundrel. He'll stay on my bookshelf until Queen and Country call again, and it's time to lie, cheat, wench, and squirm into a "hero's duty" once more.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Campaign Builders' Guild

This site came up in a discussion at The RPG Site, and I'm super-glad I checked it out. A lot of very talented folks, talking about and engaged in some stellar homebrewing and campaign-building. More of these folks should be working on commercial projects, if they arne't already. If you like world-building or homebrewing up a campaign, this is a great site to check out. I wonder if it'll get any submissions for ENnies Best Fan Site?