Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thoughts On The Origins Awards Winners

With last week’s Origins Convention came the 2010 Origins Awards. The Origins Awards have been through some tough times—this award, one of the two largest our hobby gives out (along with the ENnies) has been disorganized and somewhat lacking in previous years. A few years ago, I seem to recall, the awards were given out in a largely unannounced area the size of a broom closet.

I wasn’t at Origins this year, so I can only hope that situation has improved. By all reports, it has. Let’s look at the big 3 categories of import to us tabletop gamers. The other nominees are listed in italics below the winner.

Best Game Accessory—Knights of the Dinner Table, KenzerCo: It seems like we talk quite a bit about this new gaming magazine or that. Meanwhile, we ignore Knights of the Dinner Table, which has quietly been putting out quality gaming material with their comic for years now. Always nice to see Kenzer get some recognition.
(Arkham Horror Dice Set; Q-Workshop/Fantasy Flight; d20Pro, Mindgene; Forsaken Lands Poster Map, Maps of Mystery; Fortress of Redemption, Games Workshop)

Best Role Playing Game Supplement—Big Damn Heroes Handbook, Margaret Weis Productions: MWP doesn’t seem to get a lot of love in the RPG blogger community, but their fans seem to pop up when there’s awards to be had. I didn’t review this book, so I can’t say much else aside from that observation.
(The Day After Ragnarok, Atomic Overmind Press; Seattle 2072, CGL; Warriors & Warlocks, Green Ronin)

Best Role Playing Game—Eclipse Phase, Posthuman Studios: Lost in all the ugliness about CGL’s financial diarrhea is the fact that Eclipse Phase was an absolutely tremendous transhuman/horror sci-fi RPG (and this comes from someone who normally doesn’t dig transhuman sci-fi). I’m glad the game has a new home where it can hopefully thrive. There were a couple of really good nominees from this category (like FantasyCraft), so you know Eclipse Phase earned this. And yes, it’s published under a Creative Commons license. You spend any time reading how these guys approach their craft, you’re going to be impressed (I was).
(Doctor Who, Cubicle 7; FantasyCraft, Crafty Games, A Song of Ice and Fire, Green Ronin; Supernatural RPG, MWP)

I think most of the small, dedicated core of the hobby that pays attentions to awards will be looking towards the ENnies next month, but that shouldn't take away from the accomplishments of the winners here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Thoughts On Experience Points

Yesterday, good Chgowiz blogged about his rule of assigning 100 Experience Points for each Hit Dice of a creature. I’d quite forgotten he was giving that a whirl—I was bogged down in my own battles over XP.

I never figured out quite how I wanted to do XP in Castles & Crusades. I ended up with a default system of points for attendance, and a small bonus for the best roleplaying/moments/participation of the evening. It worked ok, but I got the distinct impression my group wanted something a bit more specific than the lump “attaboy” sum I was doing.

So will I give 1 HD=100 XP a whirl when we pick back up with fantasy? I’m not sure. I don’t give XP for treasure, but do for extra-credit things like finding/drawing a pic of your character, maintaining a character journal, or sharing something cool with the group. We’re in a bit of a summer lull right now, so it seems I have some time to reflect what I want to accomplish with how I hand out Experience.

I also occasionally hand out the much-coveted "Mulligan Stones", which allow a player to reroll one of their rolls (very vital in a game where I rolled frequently on some lethal encounter tables), so I’ll need to balance XP awards with that as well.

If you do anything off the beaten path in your D&D/C&C/S&W/LL/DD/Whateverwhatever game, I'd love to hear about it. It might just give me the extra bits I need!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gen Con Shirt Survey

I'm working on coming up with a RPG Blog 2 shirt to wear at Gen Con Indy this year. I have a couple of ideas, but would like your input on which idea you like best.

OK, a little background: last year's t-shirts were plain brown, with white lettering across the chest that said "". Minimalist, but I liked it. It is doubtful anyone else did. Here are the ideas for this year:

T-Shirt 1 (centered across chest, two lines):

Let's Get Gygaxian

T-Shirt 2 (centered across chest, two lines):

A Sequel That Doesn't Suck.

T-Shirt 3 (centered across chest, two lines):

dTwo-Ohs & Prose

T-Shirt 4 (centered across chest, two lines):

More Lasers!

T-Shirt 5 (centered across chest, two lines):

Things Man Should Not Know.

There's also the polo shirt idea, having embroidered on the sleeve of a nice polo shirt, as I have been reliably informed by the wife that I am now 30, and need to have more discretion in when I wear a t-shirt. I have a pass for Gen Con, though.

And yes, we're going to be having tons of pre-Gen Con coverage as well, so stand by.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Castles & Crusades Sales

I just noticed that Troll Lord Games has the softcover versions of the Castles & Crusades Player's Handbook and Monsters & Treasures on sale for only $10 apiece. That's really all you need to get fully into Castles & Crusades, so it's a nice pick-up for only around $20. I'd previously written a bit about why I esteem C&C so highly as a gamer meeting ground here.

TLG has a few more $10 products, so if you're looking for a bit of early Christmas for yourself in late June, now might be a good time to pop on over.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Made A 1-Page Wargame

So I was thinking about making a very small, very quick-play wargame, and that's how I made Wargaming-Z ("Z" standing for "Zack", don't you know). It won't win any awards for ultra-realistic tactical whatever whatever, but it fits on a single page, and I think I can do some fun fantasy wargaming with it without having to memorize any more than a couple of rules.

You can check out the very short, very free Wargaming-Z version 0.3 here. Please, if you do play it, I'd love to get some feedback emailed my way! I'll be releasing some sample units or templates in just a bit, but I think you can see how it'd go.

If the link above didn't work, here's the direct URL:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cortex System Request: Fantasy Material

If anyone out there has any notes or houserules on using the Cortex RPG system with a fantasy setting, if you wouldn't mind sharing those with me, I'd be much appreciative. You can send them to me at mail.rpgblog(at)

MWP did a Castlemourn Quick Start using the Cortex rules, but that's been about it on the fantasy front, I'm afraid. Which is a pity, because I definitely like the system, and dug their great customer response earlier in the year. I'm still working on some just-for-fun bits for it, and would hate to have to reinvent the wheel if I don't have to.

Maragret Weis Productions, if you're listening, feel free to offer some 3rd-party a chance to create a rockin' fantasy world for your system. It deserves one.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Five Pocket-Size or Smaller RPGs For The Convention Season

With Origins this weekend and Gen Con Indy just a bit over a month away, it’s definitely the busy time of convention season. And whether you’re headed to a mid-size regional convention, or taking the gamer’s trip of a lifetime to Gen Con Indy, you’ll want to bring some gaming books. If you’re anything like me, though, you like packing light. With that in mind, here are some smaller RPG books that will fit conveniently in your carry-on or a cargo pocket. Links are provided, but of course you can also search out the gaming company itself or local gaming store, if that's more your style:

Savage Worlds Explorer Edition ($9.99): Pinnacle really set the bar high for smaller RPG books with their full-color Explorer Edition. SavWo has a pretty good gamer following, so if you bring this puppy, you can bust it out without people staring at it like it’s the Voynich Manuscript.
Pro: Full-color pages, decent player following.

Con: It’s a generic ruleset—if you need more than that on the go, get ready to do some brainstorming. Some copies may not be the most robust.

Traveller Pocket Edition ($19.95): Few games have the legacy and history that Traveller can boast. There’s lots of folks who just want to say they’ve played it, so that alone makes it a pretty good icebreaker to bring along. The Pocket Edition is pretty complete, but the tiny font may make for some rough reading and reference.

Pro: Classic-looking product; nice conversation piece. Uses d6s, so handy if no other dice are around. It’s Traveller!

Con: Probably the priciest of the options here (though still not bad). Tiny print.

Microlite20 (Gloriously Free): Microlite is a lot of things to a lot of people, but being compact and free are among it’s most notable points. If you’ve ever messed with any sort d20-based system, you know the basic precepts here, but it’s delivered in a tiny package. Comes in several different forms, and plenty of free support is available.

Pro: Free, should feel familiar to d20 adherents; fits in your pocket.

Con: If you’re looking strictly outside the d20 vein of things or want to try something new, this may seem like a cut-down version of old hat.

Pocket Risus (Gloriously Free): Is there anything Jeff Rients can’t do? He take the already teeny Risus ruleset and condenses it down to something that would fit inside most wallets. The clich├ęs that drive Risus may be a little loosey-goosey for those wanting a more robust gaming experience, but if you aren’t taking it too seriously, I can’t think of a better game to get you up and going quickly.

Pro: Free, great for beer n’ pretzel one-shot sessions; fits in your pocket.

Con: May be a little too simple or bare-bones for some gamers’ liking.

Ancient Odysseys: Treasure Awaits! Pocket Softcover ($14.95): The full title of Ancient Odysseys is nearly as long as the full text of some of the games on this list, but don’t let that throw you off. Ancient Odysseys hits a nice nostalgic feel of fantasy gaming, while being extremely easy for new gamers to pick up. If you’re looking for something in fantasy a bit more structured but still accessible, this one might be what you’re looking for.

Pro: Smooth system, nostalgic feel.

Con: If you want something with “crunchier” combat, you’ll have to keep looking. It’s fairly abstracted.

Of course, there are other pocket or digest-sized RPGs out there, from the most recent edition of Robotech to Mongoose’s Pocket Conan, but the five entries above should be a good start to packing light this convention season.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Fiend Folio Friday

Sure, we all laugh about the Fiend Folio's Flumph, perhaps one of the most ineffectual monsters ever to grace the pages of a D&D product. But did you know that reaction against the Flumph and some of the other monsters (as part of the general mixed reaction to the Fiend Folio, including a fairly harsh review by Ed Greenwood) was so severe that Don Turnbull, the creator, actually published a rebuttal to a couple of reviews in Dragon Magazine #55? Here it is below, for your reading entertainment (click to enlarge). I see nothing in regards to the Flumph, sadly:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's Make A List: Cool Things People Are Doing In The RPG Hobby

I thought it’d be nice to take a minute today and make a list via the comments section about the cool things people are doing in the RPG hobby we find cool. It can be a new idea for a game, a free product or site someone maintains, or even someone just taking the time really review or explain a setting or ruleset.

I’ll go first: have you checked out 6d6 Fireball and Chris’ ideas for the 6d6 RPG? I definitely have some questions, but I'm curious to see more, and thingk the basic concept is pretty neat.

Really looking forward to seeing what people come up with. Don’t be afraid to be optimistic or enthusiastic. I know that’s sometimes presented as anathema to the seasoned vets of our hobby, but it shouldn’t be!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Geomorphs & ORE

How is it that I just found this link? Thanks to Dyson Logos and Rob Lang for such an amazingly cool toy!

While at 1KM1KT where the Geomorphs are hosted, you may want to check out the One-Roll Engine Toolkit. I know we had some folks interested in ORE the other day, and this, along with Nemesis, should be a nice, free way to check it out.

I confess, I always want to do something cool with ORE, but it's another RPG that's never fully clicked for me. Love the system concept, but haven't found the right spot for it, yet, I guess.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rifts Lawsuit Dismissed

I ran a Rifts one-shot last night, and much hilarity and fun and explosions and weaponry with "plasma" in the title ensued. What I had failed to see from Jason Richards and Trask (who have both been doing yeoman's work in reporting developments) is that Rifts had its lawsuit against Trion Worlds (over trademark use of Rifts) dismissed by a Michigan judge yesterday. It seems to be a jurisdiction issue, so Palladium could refile in another state, I believe.

However you look at it, bad times at Palladium, and probably a bit disheartening. Courage, guys. But at least they didn't touch Floopers, by god:

I can't imagine why.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rifts: I Can't Say No

Tomorrow night, I may again possibly be running a Rifts one-shot. I know I am one of those rare fellows online who still seems to appreciate the hell out of Rifts, and I understand, even sometimes agree with some of the arguments against it.

I know the Megaversal System as presented is unwieldy. I know the irritation of waiting years for titles that turn out to be vaporware. I have watched the power creep progress from Vampire Kingdoms to Atlantis to South America to Warlords of Russia and beyond.

So why am I running it again?

Well, for one, as I've stated before, it's my Mother's Milk in this hobby, along with Palladium Fantasy. I've run it long enough that I don't need the book (it used to be I could tell you how many skill selections all the classes in the main book, and what type). Things that bother other gamers I long ago learned to cope with.

Second, I'm not really a big system guy. All systems have their shortcomings, and Rifts is descended enough from old AD&D homebrew that I can tweak and tweak to my heart's delight. And since the game craps on Game Balance and nails its mom immediately afterwards, I don't worry about my tweaks causing widespread havoc.

Rifts is messy, but so are all-you-can-eat buffets. Much like a buffet, you can get a little something of everything you want there. And with Rifts still the standard in kitchen-sink gaming, that's a pretty important aspect.

But the most important thing about Rifts is still that passion. There's the excitement of the authors, which jumps off every page. As I've said before, I want game writers excited about their product--that comes across in reading, and gets me excited about the product.

Rifts has never been afraid to be about stupid fun. Let others create games about sodomite pirates or attempt to explore sexual abuse through gaming. Rifts is there, shirt untucked, Dorito-stained hands wrapped around a Mountain Dew, explaining to you that a Dog Boy, True Atlantean, and some dude with no possessions except a giant ion cannon have teamed up to kill vampires on the Rio Grande. Maybe there's a story there, maybe there isn't. Either way, Rifts is cool with it.

There's something to be said for picking a single premise and doing it well; Rifts is a game that picks all premises, fails at some, succeeds at others. To use that old standby, it is what it is. But sometimes I think that when I pick up Rifts, the system, the warts, and the way it's presented all work to remind me about what's really important in RPGs. It isn't art, it isn't going to be perfect; it's gaming. I wouldn't have it any other way.

(...I might change the Vagina Eyeball cover on Rifts Ultimate, but that's just because I am a Classy Guy).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Interview With Kenzer's Mark Plemmons

Recently, I had the good fortune to interview Kenzer's Mark Plemmons. We discussed Hackmaster Basic, Aces & Eights, and other Kenzer items o' interest. Thanks to Mark for taking the time out of a very busy schedule to do so! Here's how it went:

1) Mark, thanks for agreeing to this Q&A. For the readers, can you explain what your day-to-day responsibilities at Kenzer & Company detail?

MP: (laughs) That's a long and complicated answer for your first question! Aside from editing and writing product, I serve as Art Director (assigning art and managing freelance artists for all our gaming products), do layout work, handle customer and distributor inquiries, ship orders and manage the warehouse, update our web store, manage our convention presence and keep watch over our volunteer HackMaster Association.

2) Kenzer's work on HackMaster, Fairy Meat, Knights of the Dinner Table, and other works often comes across with sort of a mock-serious attitude. Is this a product of the attitudes and personalities at Kenzer?

MP: I think so, yes. In my experience, it's a common attitude among groups of gamers hanging out together, and David Kenzer, Steve Johansson and Brian Jelke were friends for years before forming Kenzer and Company (with Jolly Blackburn and then myself coming on later). So the intent is, first, to make games that we like to play and then hope that other people like them too.

3) Speaking of personalities, what's the office environment like at Kenzer?

MP: It's really pretty quiet, most of the time. Jolly works from home, and David has a full time job of his own, so it's usually just Steve and I here. Lots of work is done over phone calls and emails.

4) Do you guys follow any blogs, message boards, or RPG news sites in particular to gauge fan interest or reaction?

MP: Google is my friend. My main visits are to, Dragonsfoot, theRPGsite, and ENWorld (in no particular order), to name only a few. Of course, we also have thriving discussion forums on our own website, and encourage everyone to visit and post there.

5) What's the reaction been to the new edition of HackMaster? What have been the most and least pleasant things you've seen written about it?

MP: Overall, the reactions have been quite positive. It's always great when readers gush over your work, and disheartening when someone pans it (too often while seemingly only having made a cursory read-through), but I try to learn something from every review. I think the most negative comment was that it lacked an index (which we have as a separate PDF, and also included in the PDF edition). The most pleasant comments tend to revolve around the combat system. Players like that it keeps them involved all the time, instead of having to sit around and wait for their turn.

6) With Erol Otus doing the cover for HackMaster Basic, did you get to interact with him at all? If so, what was it like working with him on that?

MP: Yes, I've been working off and on with Erol for several years now, since he painted one of our previous HackMaster edition covers. He's a great guy and wonderful to work with, though we usually only converse via email. It's actually a pretty straightforward process and probably fairly boring for your readers... I give him lots of details about what I'd like to commission, and if he agrees, he emails pictures of the various stages (sketch, color and final) for approval. We make any comments, he revises, and we move on to the next stage. Since the HackMaster Basic cover riffed on one of his previous D&D covers, we didn't have to do a lot of brainstorming; the scene was already set.

Oh, here's a little tidbit... Erol added a mysterious, shadowy figure with an oblong head and long tentacle-like arms in the background of that cover, which inspired me to design a new monster based on it. If all goes well, you'll see it in the Hacklopedia of Beasts as the "ildtritch."

7) What can we expect from HackMaster Advanced? How will the transition work between Basic and Advanced?

MP: HackMaster Basic is, as you probably know, a simplifed version of the full HackMaster rules, taking players from levels 1-5 and providing enough spells, monsters and other basic rules for that. The full HackMaster rules will go from levels 1-20, including everything that was in Basic and expanding on it with more classes, rules, equipment, and so forth.

Oh, at the moment, the plan is to just call it HackMaster, not Advanced HackMaster, though I suspect the term will linger among players for a while.

8) HackMaster Advanced aside, can you give us a look at what's coming up next for HackMaster?

MP: In the very near future we've got several more adventures planned (at least two in print and several more in PDF), as well as the Hacklopedia of Beasts. As well as providing several hundred pages worth of monsters, this is really going to be a beautiful book with lots of special features you don't usually see in monster books (sorry, ask me no more just yet). If you've seen our incredible Aces & Eights core rulebook, you know what sort of design quality we're trying to meet and exceed.

9) What were some of the toughest design decisions you guys had to make with the new HackMaster edition?

MP: Actually, David Kenzer and Steve Johansson handle most of the design decisions, though of course those get further modified by in-house and volunteer playtesting. They'd have a better perspective on that than I would. My job is primarily to add the descriptive text and flavor. For example, Steve wanted a Peryton monster written (see Knights of the Dinner Table magazine #163). After our initial discussion, I'll write the description, ecology, habitat/society text, any examples, and so forth, and I'll take a first stab at the combat, but he'll usually write up the actual stats and finalize its combat tactics.

10) As you know, there's a definite movement out there right now towards not only "retro-clone" gaming, but games that inspire a classic RPG feel--HackMaster 4th was one such game, and I think despite the rules changes, people expect the same from the new HackMaster line. Here's your chance: what does HackMaster do to rise above the competition? Why will people want to give this a look?

MP: Anyone who's interested in that grim and gritty old-school feel, where danger and death lurked around every corner, should definitely check out HackMaster Basic. Rather than attempt some sort of "copyright-free copy" of Basic D&D, we wanted to get back to how playing D&D felt to us back in the day, while revamping and streamlining some of our original material from HackMaster 4th edition and Aces & Eights. I could go on for pages and pages telling you what I like about HackMaster Basic, but I'll try to sum up a few of my favorite things. We have lots of previews on our website if your readers are interested in reading more. One website ( also has a list and links to lots of HackMaster Basic reviews.

- You don't start out as heroes; rather, you're trying to make your way in the world and build your reputation - if you survive.
- A combat system where everyone is involved all the time; unlike many games, you don't have to sit and wait for your turn to come up.
- Shields block hits instead of making it easier for your enemy to miss you
- Clerical healing works better on anointed followers of their deity
- Mages get Spell Points they can use to further modify spell damage, duration, and so forth
- Thieves emphasize the scumbag aspect over the superhero (they're also the only class with Luck Points)

11) The Western RPG Aces & Eights made a lot of noise when it was released. Are you still seeing a dedicated following to the game, and are there any plans for expansion with that game?

MP: There's definitely still a strong following. In the last two months, we've released four new Aces & Eights books, with more planned for the future.

12) You have credits in many of Kenzer's Kingdoms of Kalamar products. Kalamar was one of the most-detailed and well-supported D&D settings. Is it difficult to ensure continuity and theme across as many books as were released for that line?

MP: Oh, yes. Fortunately, now that the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting is the campaign world for the new edition of HackMaster, we're able to start (mostly) fresh. We're keeping the setting as intact as possible, but making a few minor tweaks to bring in some of the most loved bits of the old HackMaster setting (Garweeze Wurld). Just to name some examples, the Kingdoms of Kalamar setting now includes Frandor's Keep and will eventually be home to the pixie-fairy and grevan races.

13) Kenzer is another one of the American Midwest's numerous gaming companies (one state over from me, in Illinois). Do you think there's any attribute or reason that the history of traditional fantasy roleplaying can be traced through the Midwest, and why it remains a bastion of gaming today?

MP: Maybe it's something in the water? No doubt it all comes back to Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, and their circles of friends and family. You've got the pioneers of role-playing games, the origin of GenCon, TSR, D&D, and more all in this one little area. The gamers that are here know about that connection, and are passionate about it. Those who are really passionate about it often go on to emulate Gary and form their own companies.

Thank you, Mark, and best of luck to you and all the folks at Kenzer. Keep those fires burning bright!

Friday, June 4, 2010

More Rifts Ideas

Lately, I’ve been feeling that ol’ urge to run Rifts again. That’d be irresponsible of me, since I have a Traveller campaign to attend to, but I can’t help but think of it. One of the biggest joys I have as a GM is diving into the kitchen sink madness of Rifts and showing people how much fun the game can be, warts and all. Here’s a quick pitch I wrote up the other day:

Title: Coalition: SCI (Special Crimes Investigation)

One-Line Summary: Thundarr Meets Fringe Meets Law & Order: SVU Meets CSI Meets A More Lethal A-Team Meets The Kitchen Sink.

The Pitch: The CSCI, “Scuzzies”, as they are called by the other governmental law enforcement agencies and the public, are a small plain-clothes agency that deals with crime both in and out of Continually underfunded, they nevertheless compensate for this by high security clearances, less oversight than the other strictly-controlled law agencies, and an ability to hire outside “civilian consultants” as part of their team. The players will be members of one such squad, dealing with arcane opponents, infiltrating terrorist cells, battling supernatural terrors, investigating high-level murders, match wits with pyrokinetic serial killers, bring heavy firepower to bear in pinpoint strikes, and ensure that the common people of the Coalition are safe from the night.

The Setting: Some 300 years ago after a golden age in the late 21st century, an Apocalypse destroyed the Earth as we know it. Ley lines crackling with arcane energy cast races out of myth and ancient legend onto the chaotic landscape. Demons and monsters destroyed entire cities at a whim. Atlantis rose from the sea, causing massive floods. Weather patterns changed across the globe. The mystic energy of earth, fueled by billions of deaths, exploded, and magic again became reality. Humanity came close to being wiped out, but managed to survive through a Dark Age lasting three centuries.

Now, in North America, humanity has risen again in the Coalition States, consisting of a few areas in the Midwest of the Old American Empire. This empire of man despises magic and nearly all non-humans. Their Emperor, Karl I, rules over massive enclosed hi-tech cities and pastoral farmlands alike. But always, there is the threat of the unknown, with the ley lines, warped landscapes, and strange denizens of this . The Coalition sees non-humans and the arcane as the enemy, no matter where they are. They battle against these foes with high-tech weapons, robots, power armor, and the unbreakable spirit of humanity. Yet some question if their oppressive policies, frenzied hatred of non-humans and magic users, and militaristic propaganda do not poison the same people they’ve sworn to protect.

The Characters: Characters can choose from most Coalition classes, as presented in the Core book and Coalition War Campaign. Other civilian psychic and occupational classes will also be allowed. Characters should consider niche and personality over power level. Rifts is not a game that comes with game balance, any more than all the members of the Justice League are equal in power.

The Style: Rules-loose, lots of carnage, rulings not rules, lots of explosions, running gun battles, investigation, rewards for quick thinking, planning, and really, really big opponents. Not a game for rules-lawyering or min/maxing.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Looking Ahead

I wanted to thank everyone for the kind words about my site and RPG Blog 2. I wanted to share a little with you about what will happen going forward. I have the distinct impression my last post left some of you with the idea I was searching out a quiet place to take a long dive onto some sharp rocks. Whoops. Hey, it’s hard when something you wanted to work out doesn’t, harder still to realize limitations and endure them.

I’ll start by saying it’s very hard to regularly blog and keep up any expectations of quality. Quite honestly, recently I felt like I was slipping. When you start to hate what you’ve written and are substituting frequency for quality, it’s time to re-examine things.

Well, needless to say, I still love gaming, and still think I have something to contribute. But it needs to be more about quality, and less about trying to keep pace with a hobby increasingly involved with minutiae and every tiny ripple that comes along. I want to share RPG News, write now and then about Palladium, share awesome small press games you may otherwise not have heard of, and do some fun reader contests.

Well, it’s tough to go it alone anymore, especially when you to a) keep a regular schedule and b) still be happy with the product. Sort of mirrors gaming as we get older, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, there are some other folks I’ve been talking to that feel perhaps the same way or want to try something new for other reasons. That’s what’s in the planning right now—we’ll see where it leads. If it goes as well as I think, you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

I know I'm behind on e-mail and the like, so sorry if I haven't responded back to anyone yet. When I know more, you'll know more--how's that?