Tuesday, January 31, 2012

With which they conquered the Sea!

Pretty cool shot of an old Viking Ship, a craft perfected by the northmen and used to ply the waters of the North Atlantic for the better part of 5 centuries. When you think about all the successful ventures this wandering adventurers had, you must remember the cold remedy of death that swallowed so many in the Ocean's deeps.

Even before the Vikings settled Greenland . . .

This tree was 300 years old. That is an amazing picture of an old man taken in South Carolina courtesy of Dancing with Trees.

When the World was Warmer Still

(that title is going to get me in trouble). But the Vikings settled the western fjords of Greenland back about 1000 years ago. They built a number of settlements and small towns, carving a living out for themselves in the green pastures of Greenland. Eventually the changing weather and expanding Eskimo tribes drove them out. But, living upon the edge of two worlds, can you imagine how peaceful it must have been . . . .


See more images of the viking ruins here!

Death Valley set to spew more Death

Not really. But there are some craters there that may have the possible potential to active in the near future (meaning sometime within the next 2 trillion years). Intersting read. I knew there were a few craters in Death valley but not dozens. I had learned when I went there that they were completely inactive.

That just may not be the case.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Game of thrones season 2 teaser

I have not read nor seen anything regarding the Game of Thrones. The books or the HBO series anyway. I have read a bit on the net and heard from reliable sources that both the books and the series are really good.

The teaser for season two is out.

All the talk and what little I can pull up on youtube has my interest. Now, should I read before watching or watch before reading?
The new Troll Lord Games Store Front is open for business. We have updated the store, and brought it in line with the rest of the homepages. It is easier to navigate as well. We were not able to port over everyone's accounts, so please take a moment to hop over and sign back up! To make that annoyance a little easier to bear we've put up the newly minted A Lion in the Ropes (400th printing) for $2.00. Peter Bradley's art for the cover is breathtaking!
 
 

Boy toy of the year

In 2011 of the year. And by boy toy I mean a boy's toy.


Nerf N-strke stampede ECS

Awesome
The fully automated Nerf N-Strike Stampede ECS has the ability to launch an astounding three darts per second. Your child can either squeeze the trigger once to let a single dart fly, or hold the trigger down and have the Stampede launch Nerf darts in rapid-fire succession. With three extended 18-dart clips, a quick-reload 6-dart clip, and 60 Clip System darts, the Stampede is ready to reload and keep the foam flying.

Toys aren't for kids

We've been hearing it for a decade ot two. Kids love video games whether on console, tv or at the arcade. Scratch that. Are there anymore arcades left in the world. That's beside the point.

Boom. Doom.

Kids just ain't playing with physoical toys as much these days. Whether for good or ill, its just the march of change. Where does that leave the tabletop rpg? The table top might be heading out the window. However, the game may just go virtual.

Actually, that's where I think it is going. The technology is not quite there yet,but I imagine a day where I am sitting in a lounger, outside, by a fire with a console attached to the chair. I am scrolling though images to create an encounter that shows up on a 3d board for other's to see.

Yup

good morning

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Existance explained in 105 pages - for reals

This was gathered form Paleoblog.
The basic idea of Dr. Andrulis’ framework is that all physical reality can be modeled by a single geometric entity with life-like characteristics: the gyre. The so-called “gyromodel” depicts objects—particles, atoms, chemicals, molecules, and cells—as quantized packets of energy and matter that cycle between excited and ground states around a singularity, the gyromodel’s center. A singularity is itself modeled as a gyre, wholly compatible with the thermodynamic and fractal nature of life.
You can download the paper here.

Abstract: Life is an inordinately complex unsolved puzzle. Despite significant theoretical
progress, experimental anomalies, paradoxes, and enigmas have revealed paradigmatic
limitations. Thus, the advancement of scientific understanding requires new models that
resolve fundamental problems. Here, I present a theoretical framework that economically
fits evidence accumulated from examinations of life. This theory is based upon a
straightforward and non-mathematical core model and proposes unique yet empirically
consistent explanations for major phenomena including, but not limited to, quantum
gravity, phase transitions of water, why living systems are predominantly CHNOPS
(carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur), homochirality of sugars and
amino acids, homeoviscous adaptation, triplet code, and DNA mutations. The theoretical
framework unifies the macrocosmic and microcosmic realms, validates predicted laws of
nature, and solves the puzzle of the origin and evolution of cellular life in the universe.

I have not read it but keep thinking its April 1st today.

Medieval Castle in the Ozarks

For reasl. This project is awesome as all get out and trumps anything else being built today. If you have any interest in castles or castle construction, peruse this site! They are building a castle in the ozarks.

I wish we could have troll con near there.

link

Friday, January 27, 2012

Supernova detection is a go

Uh yeah, read this article, got a bit of it, and come away with the possibility we could detect a supernova in out galaxy shortly before it happens.

It will look like this

or maybe this

before this


I think

Dinosaurs in 3d for the iPad

A new app for the iPad allows you to explore the world of the Dinosaurs in 3d.
A fully-interactive digital dinosaur encyclopedia, Inside the World of Dinosaurs leverages all the multimedia capabilities of the iPad to engage everyone from paleontologists, to school students, and even fans of 'Jurassic Park' or BBC's 'Walking with Dinosaurs'.

It features all the discovered species from A to Z - from Archeopteryx to Zuniceratops - and a library of 60 fully animated and interactive dinosaurs. You can touch 3D images of the beasts to look at details that pique your interest.

For example, you can analyze skin texture and color by spinning the dinosaur around and zooming in on some areas.

More here. 

The app is somewhere in the education section

Music afternoon

Well, its Friday and I needed some pik-me-up music to energize my weary mind.


Wake UP

They have discovered Ngorondoro The Goblin Cave

Apparently it lies in Vietnam and is large enough to put a 747 into with plenty of space to book. Filled with scores of caves and crawls this mammoth complex is not yet wholly explored.

Nation Geographic does it again!


Photo property of Nation Geographic, taken by Carsten Peter who has some astoundingly beautiful pictures on his site! This is where the characters go!

Wallee

This guy keeps on working. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No breaks. Work Work Work. He's old school. Its the Wallee of the real world. The Mars Rover, Opportunity by name, begins its ninth year of exploration on Mars. Of course we should note that those are nine Earth years and 5 Martian years as the Red Planet moves at a slightly more majestic rate through the cosmos than the Lady Gaea. 

Now if he could only find a Thark!

Its not often a movie . . .

. . . . grabs my attention, as Hollywood has decided to leave the realm of heroic adventure and enter the worlds of pseudo-intellectual clap trap, but watching the trailer for The Grey made the hair on my neck stand up. Man against nature, the most powerful of all struggles, as it embodies the primordial! On the surface that movie seems to capture all those long buried fears about the wild that we have buried but can never escape for at our heart it is what we are!



And I have to say, Liam Neeson, is doing a kickass job at the box office!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

World's oldest dino nest discovered

This may be old news to those of you who follow such things, but the oldest known dinosaur nesting site has been discovered in South Africa.

“This amazing series of 190 million year old nests gives us the first detailed look at dinosaur reproduction early in their evolutionary history, and documents the antiquity of nesting strategies that are only known much later in the dinosaur record,” he added.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What in the world is that

The ki-lin or chinese unicorn. Sorta freakish looking.

Imagine this for REALS

Random internet wanderings found this site, Way Past Normal, with this juicy tidbit in it. Adventure fodder.
Icelandic children lived in fear of being eaten by bloodthirsty ogres living in the mountains. The most ferocious of these was Mother GrĂ½la, who wandered through the village at Christmastime with her evil cat.
Fun site.

Unholy Savings

As we wind things down at the old store and prepare the new one for launch. I thought I would throw up one last sale through that portal. For a limited time only you can get the Castles and Crusades Players Handbook and Monsters & Treasure bundled at 30% OFF!

Pick em up, with other items HERE!


Cover piece by Jason Walton!

Dog bites Archaeologist

Not really. A while ago I posted an article about the dog being from somewhere in china (the mother of all domesticated dogs so to speak). Maybe there was some shark jumping going on.

A domesticate dog skull was found in Siberia dn its 33,000 years old.

That's older than me! But just by a hair.

The dog and its skull



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Troll Con planning

So we have a convention here in Little Rock every year. Or about every year anyway. We just had our first preliminary pre-meeting get together, idea generator, thought provoking moment. It looks like the end of September or early October are looking like the dates.

Yee Haw

Rethinking some adventure material

So, an idea occurred to while pondering the hero. If the 'hero' in an rpg is basically the adventurer, at least initially, then mayhap the manner and mode of adventure design needs changing.

A long time ago I came up with this idea called Adventure World. Adventure World was basically a setting bereft of theme and what I would refer to as deep content. It was essentially a world whose coherence was based upon satisfying the entertainment needs of the players and not that of a story. Coherence was not much of a concern, rather, like a series of unrelated though highly entertaining action movies, the motion and action were the guiding theme and the story element. It did not make sense in the manner that LotR makes sense, but more in manner that World of Warcraft does not make sense. (A note here. I do realize there are story elements to WoW but the story elements followed the game element, not vice versa.)

So, there was Adventure World. I can't remember what I actually named the place, but it had a name. In any respect, I was thinking of revisiting the concept and starting a city adventure. A 'Thieves World' type setting but with dungeons, dragons and other such craziness.

Anyway, just rethinking some adventure paradigms.

Davis


Track from the movie Beowulf! GO SEE/RENT/BUY IT. It is AWESOME!

Solar Storm Coming Take Cover Now

I have to say this type of article drives me insane: "The sun is bombarding Earth with radiation from the biggest solar storm in more than six years with more to come from the fast-moving eruption." SIX YEARS??? Madness! The gulf of time in inconceivable! That must make this solar storm almost...almost...average!

At any rate,the sun is acting up again.

Image from sciencedaily.com

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/24/2605032/strongest-solar-storm-since-2005.html#storylink=cpy

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Classic Hero, an RPG missing link?

So, the recent news of 5e's release has generated much discussion across the boards and blogs in the rpg world. A good sized portion of the discussions and ruminations concern the nature of The Game. What I find interesting are the descriptions of people's games and preferences in play and style. This has always fascinated me. Why do we play rpgs?

A long time ago I put pen to paper and started to generate some ideas about collective story telling, modern myth making and the roll rpgs play in filling an 'empty mythic shoe box.' My contention was that we played rpgs to 'be' heroes. By that, I do not mean we experience being a hero vicariously, rather, that we tell the story of a hero to fill in the gaps of a mythic landscape bereft of heroes - at least in part.

I am thinking maybe I am wrong. We play rpgs for something entirely different and the 'mythic shoe box' may, by accident find some articles floating in it, but by no means is filling it the primary reason we play.

Think of the character you played or types of characters you enjoy playing. Think of the types of adventures you like to undertake. Do your characters fall into any of the classic hero molds? Are there actions and adventures those of a hero?

Classic Heroes

star Wars the "director's cut" released again

important again important news for all of you fans of the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars Is being released again. For Free on the interwebs.

Look and see

cool Sci Fi Posters

over IGN There is an article on the 20best Sci Fi posters E V A R. I've seen all the movies except for Another Earth.  The movies may have been good but the posters, after looking at them, make me go, HUH? I'm not a big poster art guy.

But I do have my favorites!

Philosophy is dead, dead, dead

So said Stephen Hawking. Uh... what? It irked me then and does so now. Luckily Stephen has been wrong about big things in the past and is not a little off base on this one as well. There is a write-up in the Atlantic


offering a rebuttal.

Here is the best part (from my perspective),
Newton would call what he was doing natural philosophy, that's actually the name of his book: "Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy." Philosophy, traditionally, is what everybody thought they were doing. It's what Aristotle thought he was doing when he wrote his book called Physics. So it's not as if there's this big gap between physical inquiry and philosophical inquiry. They're both interested in the world on a very general scale, and people who work in the foundations of physics, that is, the group that works on the foundations of physics, is about equally divided between people who live in philosophy departments, people who live in physics departments, and people who live in mathematics departments.
Hawking is a philosopher. He just killed himself.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Walk the Line ... to Stonehenge

It would seem that people have been walking for a long time, and over long distances. They have discovered through studying isotopes in various bones at Stonehenge (or in common parlance, that big thing with all the blocks) that some of the people buried there came from the Mediterranean area, in 1500 BC and maybe before. That means they either walked on their own volition or were carted there via the slave trade. But the article poses the idea that Stonehenge attracted people from many diverse regions.

Very interesting article over at Adventures in Archeology.


Of course its always a little arrogant for us to assume, because the distances are daunting to us, that early bronze age cultures found such distances daunting. They may have taken a summer jaunt up to visit their aunt's inlaws. Who can say where the bronze age is concerned.

Man eating Tulips found in Burgess Shale

This massive tulip shaped creature roamed the world gorging itself on man and beast in a ravenous rampage.

Roar.

Ok, that's my fanciful take. Its not quite massive, being the size of a dinner knife, it couldn't have roamed much being anchored to the ocean floor, and likely could not have eaten much but plankton and such and even lived long before man graced the world with his presence. It did look like a tulip.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Termite Awesauce

Termites are just cool...well unless they are eating your house...unless you have a house of stone, but even then you probably have a house of stone with wood frame. But as you may or may not know termite mounds are air conditioned and have been for thousands of years. Well seems to be that in Zimbabwe they are building a building modeled on the termite mound.


I stole this post from Tim Burns!

If a castle can be sold, then the Acroplis can be rented

So says the Greek Culture Ministry.



So save up a little money and rent the Acroplis for a night. Invite your friends and have a ball. Maybe there can be reenactments of those Dyonesian celebrations and all as well. A bachanalea so to speak. Or even an rpg convention.

TROLL CON 2012!!!!!!!!!!

Popcorn is 6000 years old today

Well maybe.
A new study suggests that people living along the coast of Peru snacked on popcorn 1,000 years earlier than previously believed, based on corncobs recently found at an ancient site.
It appears as though opcorn could be 6000 years old or even older. So, this leaves me wondering, is gaming 6000 years old or older?

In a Perfect World . . .

What a wonderful idea. One of the coolest scenes in the movie Excalibur is Arthur and his knights in shining mail riding forth from the gates of Camelot, the sun begins to shine and the trees spring to bloom and flowers fall, to line their road to battle. It is perhaps the best of the Utopian ideals. And picking up from the wikipedia page the comment by author/historian Nancy J. Morris, in her book "The New Arthurian Encyclopedia, "Camelot, located no where in particular, can be anywhere."

Camelot is where all is as we would wish it to be.

Ahhh Camelot!


Could not the world be as portrayed here in the painting God Speed by Edmund Blair Leighton?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Electrons dance and spin for our computing pleasure

Apparently some new developments are occurring in getting electrons to dance and spin like fleas in a circus making it even more possible that a quantum computer will be developed in my lifetime.

I am hoping the quantum computer can just live my life for me and make better decisions than I do. That or create a cyborg zombie army that takes over the world and creates a matrix like existence for us.

sweet. Check it all out at Science Daily!

Pirating material

James at Dreams of Mythic Fantasy takes a nice stand on piracy. Read his comments(short and to the point). Piracy be wrong. No matter the company, it takes money, time, effort and energy to create something. Without some compensation, most people would not have the time to make them - especially large products like those from WoTC. Also, if it ain't yours, don't take it. Sheesh.

Also check out the weird unnamed Map at this link. Looks like a Dinosaur world.

The only reason you should be pirating, is if you are THIS GUY!


Did I just pirate that image? Well I tried to find the originator of it and give credit where credit is due! But I couldn't.

Project Avalon, Project Camelot, Project WTF

KD: The significance is that you can find pyramids all over the world on each continent. The question is when and who did build those pyramids? Why many of those pyramids all over the world are looking very, very similar?

Another question is did there really exist a global civilization? I think many of our researches are really telling us that once upon a long time, a global civilization existed, but how many thousands of years ago we don't know.



Uh, maybe the pyramid is an easy architectural structure and, well, resembles mountain. But seriously. Children build pyramids in sand boxes all the time. Its a basic structure which has the added bonus of being stable.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vardzia

A monastery in Georgia.

Here is the Unesco link.


Steve's assessment of the internet

Its one giant s*** factory.

LOL

Onward!

A Lion in the Rope went over to layout today. It should be ready by this weekend. I have retooled it a bit so that if one is so inclined it can serve as a lead in to the adventures in Rune Lore. Which was a nice segway into working on that book some more. Each of the 44 spells is being re-written entirely. Something that promises to be fun and challenging. It will bring 44 new spells and items, all unique, to the C&C game table!

Inca had no economy.

well, more precisely that had no professional merchant class. The marketplace was unknown to the Incan. Very interesting article on the redistribution of goods in a pre-industrial society. all this managed without merchants nor cash. Good read. Linky.



Opinion: There seems to be something missing but I can not quite put my finger on it.

Davis

Castle for Sale - with cool maps

Montbrun castle is for sale - still


its on 24 million euro. i'd wait until europe implodes and the euro becomes monopoly money to make a purchase. just me though. i'm sticking my 24 mil in my pocket until said time.

the maps on the accompanying link are cool. linky

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

tree houses or gnome home


It was a dark time with many skeletons about


By Hans Holbein the Younger. Check out his 'death art.'

The Viking Sword (sword porn)


Sword Porn.

The terror of Europe for 300 years. Just read about the sack of Nantes where the local Lord invited the Vikings to attack the city to weaken the supporters of King Charles; what he didn't know was that some 60 long ships would sail up to the city, attack and destroy it. The Viking wandered the streets killing people everywhere, even chasing them into their homes, entered the church and slew the Bishop and his congregation; burning, looting, basically laying waste to the whole town. 

Battle of Grunwald (largest medieval battle ever) - in Legomotion

I believe this was the largest battle in medieval history, between the Polish and Lithuanians arrayed against the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The Teutonic Knights were defeated as beautifully rendered in LEGO!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mad Max returns

Mad Max: Fury Road finally seems to be getting some traction

literally


These puppies are being sent to Africa. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy (not the author, he is long dead) are supposed to be the leads. The shoot is for two movies (Furioso being the second). This is somehow a retelling of the tail of Mad Max, but brought up to speed for the 21st century.

I think the 'completely lacking in original ideas' producers in Hollywood would plan a remake of Kane or Gone with the Wind. Angelina Jolie could play Scarlett.

Romans hated their dead

Well, that's a bit harsh. ets say they could have given a rat's a** about them. Literally. The places were strewn with trash and garbage. Our cemeteries tend to be well manicured and tended areas. Sacrosanct. A place where we go to remember the dead and well, other stuff.

The Romans were not so concerned with the dead, or more particularly, the places they were buried. This article on Pompeii provides some inside and what I consider a well thought out cultural interpretation of the finds.

"In general, when a Roman was confronted with death, he or she was more concerned with memory than with the afterlife. Individuals wanted to be remembered, and the way to do that was a big tomb in a high-traffic area. In other words, these tombs and cemeteries were never meant to be places for quiet contemplation. Tombs were display -- very much a part of every day life, definitely not set apart, clean or quiet. They were part of the 'down and dirty' in life."

Evolution in YOUR face - or why all orcs look alike

"We found very strong support for the idea that as species live in larger groups, their faces become more simple, more plain," said lead author Sharlene Santana." (interesting article)
 Because orcs are every-freaking-where there must be billions of them and hence, they all look alike.


Check out REAPER MINIS!!! Shameless plug for we love them so!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Honey badger

So, being a company owned blog there is a lot stuff we find on the internet we can't post.

However, Joe the lawyer can! Watch with fear in your eyes.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Almost Store Wide Sale C&C Sale

Hey folks, wander on over to the Troll Lord Games RPGnow or Drivethru stores and check out the latest sales. You'll find Crusaders, Adventure and many of the regular rule books such as the CKG and PH on sale. Sale prices range from 30%-50% off list price! Trollzah! Follow the links below!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Death in the Treklant

Castle and Crusade Screens product test with sword

Frfriggatriskaidekaphobia

Fear of Friday the 13th.

I only fear the reaper.


Speaking of which,  I like this song. A fan thingy, Pretty good.

Planets as common as orcs in rpgs

Planets as common as stars in Milky Way

 Using six years of data from planet-finding surveys, an international team of researchers concludes that, on average, every star in the Milky Way is accompanied by 1.6 planets. That’s at least 100 billion planets.


Everywhere.

Like orcs. Or goblins. What would a frpg be without orcs?

Mechanical Stories

We've just released Issue 33 of the Troll's Tusk. You can subscribe HERE. In the Tusk we talk about trollish things but also pop culture, movie reviews and industry news. This week I talked about the concept of RPG mechanics vs. RPG storytelling. Here's the essay from the Tusk.


Mechanical Stories

News has hit the streets that 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons is coming our way. I wish WoTC all the luck and hope that Mearls and his team can bring the dragon back to the dungeon. But whilst reading the announcement in Forbes (well, to be honest, reading the Forbes online article) I noted a theme that has been prevalent in the table top community for awhile.  

Do people want mechanics or do they want story telling or do they want a game that seamlessly brings the two together? I read that concept in the Forbes mag and have seen it recounted innumerable times. I am probably guilty of it myself if I were to think upon it rather hard. 

However, allow me a moment to be the devil's advocate, and let me be a little dystopian about the games and the games we play. 

Not long ago I had the opportunity to run a game for a bunch of 10-12 year olds. The party was made up largely of girls. None of them had ever played a TTRPG before but they liked the concept of role playing as they had done it on such games as Star Doll, etc etc. One of the young gentleman explained to me that he and his online buddy get on the game Red Dead Redemption and before they begin their wild west forays they invent stories for their characters and then play them out online. He was role playing. So everyone was primed for role playing, much as I had been back in the 70s after spending so many years playing with my awesome marx toy sets. D&D was a natural outlet then and C&C is a natural outlet now.

So reluctantly (I was rather tired) I agreed to run the game. Quickly I realized that this would not be any normal game. I let them make characters, explaining only the basics of the siege engine, attributes and the dice. They equipped, armor and weapons only, and made names for themselves and we were off. I began with a simple flooded river crossing to allow them to make multiple attribute checks and get the hang of it.

Castles & Crusades is simple enough and they all picked it up in a few minutes, and the game was off. We played for several hours on Saturday and again on Sunday. The same group migrated to Mac's (co-author of PH) house and forced him to play and now again tonight I'll be running them. Long of the story is they loved the game and loved the role playing; from the shop keeper where they finally bought rope, food and back packs to the battles where they clobbered an ogre.  

But I noticed something in running this game. These kids were really playing it. Really playing. Not just waiting for the expected fight/role play encounter and trying to weigh the CL of presented challenge, charting ability scores and the like. These kids didn't care about any of that, they left all that to me, wanting only to chose their own path, right or wrong and move forward.  

That's when it hit me. Its not about mechanics. Its not about story. Its about fun. Its always been about fun. And what's more fun than role playing, good story or bad. C&C, like any RPG, is a game. Its a game with rules. But the rules are dynamic. When you open up Monopoly there is a set of rules in there that tell you how to do things. When you open up an RPG, there is a CK, GM, or DM there to tell you how to do things.

So let the CK run the game, if the rules don't work, they'll fix 'em, if the story is dull or bogs down, they'll fix that too. Keep the rules behind the screens. The rest of us need but role play and have some fun. So the trick isn't about mechanics or storytelling. The trick is letting the GM/CK/DM (the rule book) run the game, they can open up a landscape of fun and excitement for those playing it.

On Sale NOW

We are running a limited action SALE over on our website. Check out the items rolling out of the Dens. We have a busy year coming up and need to make some room, so give us a hand! Trollzah!

Tears in Rain

Bladerunner is classic science fiction...and by classic I don't mean its old and cool because we were 15 when we first watched it. Its classic because it was conceived when science fiction was still exploring those themes of what it means to be human, not in a metaphysical sense, but rather in sense that is grounded in the reality of cosmos. And this scene is one of the best hollywood renditions of that classic science fiction: 



For those who may not have had the opportunity the movie is based on a Philip K. Dick story, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." Its different than the movie but the themes are there.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

what is it about space

I can look at pictures of space forever.


It seems so peaceful up there.

Well, except for supernovas - at 30 a second thats a lot of destruction.

Elder Scrolls

UNtil the announcement of 5e I had no idea wtf this was. In fact, the only think that sparked my interest in the NYTimes article was the mention of Elder Scrolls. Primarily b/c I had no idea what it was. So I did some looking.

Its a game. I still don't really know what it is exactly, but the prom film looks awesome.



Now, from the wiki article, I found this tidbit fascinating, "where the more a skill is leveled, the more it helps to level the character. This shifted the focus away from character creation and more onto character development."

How to move xp to motivate roll play rather than killing. Then again, maybe killing is it.

New Cover for A Lion in the Ropes

Not being satisfied with working on one project at the time, we broke out Lion in the Ropes for its re-release into the C&C March Column. The editing is going surprisingly fast. Peter had finished the cover some time ago, and there was some debate that it might be used for the 5th printing of the PH. But we've decided, much to Peter's enjoyment, to put it back on the cover of the book it was intended for in the first place. I have no idea how he's going to get the logos on here.

Wargames, I have a thought

So, I noticed a thread over on our boards about board games and it got me to thinking. I designed a board game last year. It is a war game board game. It has some cool elements to it like construction of troops, troop feeding, raiding, heroes, random events etc and lots of troops. The game was initially designed as a war for the conquest of Airdhe.

The concept was simple and akin to risk in its broad scope and initial appearance. However, it plays much differently. A player builds troops with resources acquired form each province they own. Thing is, the resources have to be moved to the production centers. This alone made for some interesting strategies in play as the movement of resources without troop escort left them open to raids but spreading troops out too thinly produced a weak army set up. Anyway. once a troops is built, it also has to be fed! So there was a lot of resource movement.

The conquest of terrain was important to get more resources and build deeper defenses. Its also how one wins - the more one owns the more points one has. Terrain grabbing was strategic as resource types are limited by terrain and some really bizarre kingdoms were created. Also, choke points and such were quickly sought after and battled over.

Combat is via a chart like in the olden days of gaming. Rolls are effected by leadership and tactical cards as well. I toyed with terrain effects also.

Ohh another interesting aspect was secret armies. The size of an army need not always be revealed (unless a spy got to it).

Fun game. Steve and I are thinking about producing it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hobbit "Misty Mountain" song - 25 minutes A+


Very much looking forward to this movie. This rendition is a just a looping of the tidbit from the trailer.

Adventure time!

So Steve made me sit down and watch a show on the Cartoon Network called Adventure Time. Not being a watcher of much TV (any really since I cancelled the service last year), I was somewhat dubious.

But the show was really cool. One of the cooler aspects being the show lasts 15 minutes or so. But it was waaaay cool. So give a gander at Adventure Time. It can be fodder for some adventures. Also, interestingly, the guy writing it must have played RPGs at some point.

Adventure Time



Oh and check out the website of the maker.

Trolls Tusk

We are working on another issue of the Tusk today, so sign up for all the latest news on the Trolls and to read out pop culture meanderings!

Rune Tiles

These shipped today methinks!

One Person changes the WORLD for EVER

with a random mutation giving them blue eyes.


"Blue eyes have their hue because of a single genetic mutation that occurred fewer than 10,000 years ago in one individual and swept rapidly through the European population, according to a study published in the journal Human Genetics in January.

After studying some 800 individuals from Denmark, Turkey, and Jordan, the researchers pinpointed a single base-pair change in the human genome that showed up in all the blue-eyed people and none of the brown-eyed people. “There was one founder mutation that gave rise to all the people in Europe who have blue eyes,” says report coauthor Jesper Troelsen, a University of Copenhagen molecular biologist. “It was quite surprising.”

From Discover

So sing it for us Mrs. Gayle!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012