Tuesday, July 26, 2011

How dumb is Einstein?

“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

Seriously? You know plants pre-date the bee by like three hundred million years.

Wrong on gravity, wrong on wasps.

It's awesome to be me!


Thor's daughter.

Where did my blog go?

Been sorta busy, what can I say.

Theft, fire, flood, pandemic, quake and sword. OMFG what a week.

By the way, we're all gonna be dead in 514 days.

For reals, its science. It all begins with "the ancient cuneiform texts -- some of the earliest known writing, dating back some 6,000 years -- [that tell] the story of a race of beings called the Anunnaki [who] came to Earth from a planet in our solar system called Nibiru."


Friday, July 22, 2011

OMG A8 finished

Well, that was a long time. Now I can move on to other more exciting projects. Hopefully it will be printed and ready for Gen Con. Should be. I will talk Steve into allowing for several Gen Con specials in celebration.

Yee haw

back to the blogging extravaganza - or some sleep.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Irish gave us Guiness and Polar Bears

God bless the Irish.

Guiness and now polar bears.

Milky Way sends us a message

Astronomers were shocked by what they saw -- the ring, which is in the plane of our galaxy, looked more like an infinity symbol with two lobes pointing to the side.
An infinity symbol? Nice. Its also off-center. Crazy galaxy, does it not know to obey the law?


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Almost done with A8 - in honor

Boba Fett movie in the works

The rumor mill is churning.

Border's out of business

399 stores going up in smoke - or auction I guess.

40 years. Poof. The market for books changes, slowly but surely, the internet and e-books/publishing is having its impact.

The up side to the democratization of publishing is that more people can publish. The downside is that more people can publish.

Vikings filed their teeth

Who'duh thunk it?

...deliberate dental modification consisted of  horizontally filed furrows on the frontal upper part of the tooth crown. The furrows, usually multiple, are found on the front teeth in the maxilla...

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Inspiration

Inspiration - face the hordes

Castles and Crusades super sale


off all A series and DB series adventure modules.

Post apocalyptic setting

So the gamma ray burst article linked on a previous post made me think. What if a gamma ray burst hit the earth and obliterated 90% of life and radically altered its climate. The burst would leave much of the infrastructure of man intact but kill plant life and animals. Earth would become a scab and people would be fighting for survival against the elements and one another.

Silver hoard recovered

A hoard of twenty one silver denarii has been recovered during the recent excavation of the foundations of a clay floor in a centurion’s apartment of the late Antonine period (cAD180-200) at Vindolanda, northeast England.
21 coins I say



Small Castle gets obliterated again- again - again

Qal'a Shmemis or Shmemis castle in Syria near Hama.
Built 1st century BC
Destroyed by earthquake
Rebuilt afterwards
Destroyed 613 AD
Rebuilt 1229
Destroyed 1260
Rebuilt ?
Destroyed 1401


Lord of Death coming to Earth! Scientist's confirm?

It is apocalyptic, absolutely cataclysmic. This beast goes by the name micans fulsi ut iuguolo (or its mystical numeration is GRB 080319B).This will be one of "the most violent events in the universe" and it is "aimed squarely at Earth." This demonic creature's type has been said to "sterilise galaxies, wiping out life forms" and this one is coming "directly at Earth." Lucky for us, it only has 7.5 billion light years to travel before getting here (by which time we will probably be long gone).

 artist's conception

for reals

 gamma ray burst

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Eight-ten essential type of weapons

So basically this is my list of essential weapon types.Within each there is great variation, but it seems to me this list is missing something.


Executions at the Tower of London

This is a list of confirmed executions. I imagine there were quite a few more executions at the tower.

Did you know there is a high block and low block method. The low block crated problems for the executioner because the axe's blade was difficult to land square occasionally requiring multiple swings for a successful removal. The high block method mitigated this to a great extent.

German executioner's axe

English execution's axe

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Inspiration

Gygaxian Supernaturalism !!!

Over at the Underdark Gazette is an excellent write up on how Gary Gygax included supernatural effects in D&D.

Its funny, this is an aspect of the rules I had completely forgotten over the years. It has become a mantra that hit points represent an increased fighting ability and luck and skill and an actual ability to take damage but, I have not heard the 'divine intervention as hit points' in a decade or more. 

Small Castle on Hill

My first thought upon looking at the picture below was, excellent adventure location.

Kokorin Csatle

Good place for an adventure or two or three or four.

Small Castle with great character and interestind details

Uhh forgot name. 

Awesome Dungeon Entry

ValdĹĄtejn, Czech Republic

Friday, July 15, 2011

A future that never arrived

Castles and Crusaades is getting its first new ruleset

So I ran some playtests by Steve the other night and he really enjoyed the rules I was using. It started with fairly simple damage reduction rules for armor. Then came changes to damage, then to hit points, then attributes, then skills and even the nature of the to hit roll. They are being designed in conjunction with and for the Inzae setting. Hopefully I'll be able to the basic rules out soon and the setting and more 'complexifying' rules later.

I'm only saying something because Steve liked the rules (he's a litmus test for understandability), which means I'm giving them a green light for further development.

Bronze age tomb from Sardinia

Purple Worm discovered - for reals

The halicephalobus mephisto "can live in solid rock up to 3.6 kilometers underground" and have been found in a gold mine.

Its only 1/2 a millimeter long though. 

Time cloak invented at Cornell

The Cornell team, who declined an interview pending the paper's publication, manipulated light in a fiber-optic cable using a time lens, a silicon device originally developed to speed up data transfer. Some of the light passing through this lens speeds up, and some slows down. The waves divide, Moses-style, creating a gap of darkness. A second lens farther along the cable then stitches the light back together so that it arrives at its destination intact, with no record of a hole — or anything that happened during this brief window of opportunity.

This hole lasted for 15 trillionths of a second, long enough to conceal pulses of light created inside the cloak
15 trillionths of a second.

I'll be impressed when they get it to 10 trillionths - then I can do something sneaky.

John Carter is in final Phase - Dejah Thoris

You can link the trailer here. Disney is handling it and it looks good.

By Randy Green

Slaying the Dragon

I have Zero Emotional Investment in my Character

I am not sure I grasp the emotional investment in characters people talk about occasionally. Its not that I do not enjoy playing my current character, its not that I do not like him, its not that I would no be remiss if the character were to die. Its just I would lose no sleep over it. I don't think I would even blink.

When starting out a campaign or with low level characters, I carry a wad of 3x5 index cards with me. These are replacement characters. When a character dies, I just whip on of these bad boys out and kick him to the table. I remember a couple of years ago I kept wishing I could go through several characters to get one on the index card because he had such high stats. I did.

He died in his first combat.

I don't carry the index cards to the game now since I my character reached 6th level a bit ago and his chances of dying have diminished - though not by much apparently. He got knocked down to two hit points the last night. I was one boulder throw away from being killed. Had he died, I would have had a new character whipped out in minutes and went roaring back with renewed vigor. I know I would. I have literally lost many hundreds of characters. 

So, I really don't get the depression (that's too strong a word) associated with character loss or, you know that blah feeling, giving up the game feeling etc. I don't the emotional investment thing. Maybe I am psychopath.

I know, its like milk. Don't cry over spilled milk. You know, you can always go to the store and get more. Hmm, but what if it were beer?

Thinking on it, I'll go with the psychopath.

Not this kind                                                                           

Maybe this kind

Thursday, July 14, 2011


If I understand this correctly, for most D&D based games (including Castles and Crusades), there is very little strategic or tactical decision making in the game outside of resource spending. It is, as I understand it, a game of resource allocation and expenditure. Of course, there is some strategic and tactical decision making to be done prior to combat (spell lists for example) and during combat (when to use magic or abilities) but it seems to me, the immediate tactical or strategic decision making are left lacking. And, now where the decision making leaves off, chance takes over. A lot of chance.

Actually, as I write these ill formed thoughts I am beginning to back down but, as with any Troll, I will forge ahead with my line of thinking.

Take chess for example. This is a game all about strategy and tactics. There is no chance. No dice rolls, no nothing except strategy and tactics. Then take the card game War. In this one, it is all chance. If played properly, once the deck is dealt, the game is decided, its just getting there. Its all chance in the deck shuffle.

So the RPG generally lies somewhere in between chance and strategy. My gut tells me it is mostly on the chance side (I readily admit I could be wrong). At the very least, on the micro scale a lot of results depend upon a simple roll of the dice. A d20 at that. Each number having an equal chance of coming up. There are saving throws, to hit rolls, damage rolls, hp rolls, stat rolls etc. all of which are chance. Not even averages

Now, I prefer more strategic and tactical decision making in my games. In fact I weigh heavily on that side. I do not want that strategy to rely on resource management either (nothing personal Mr. resource management), rather, I want it to be a combination of resource management and strategic thinking.

On the other hand, the more strategic thinking that goes into a game, the more time gets consumed in the game making those decisions. I do not believe that complexity is a necessary companion of strategic thinking (again chess) but time does seem to be.

In real life (or so it seems) strategic or tactical thinking occurs in micro-seconds for boxers, soccer players, ultimate fighters etc.I mean these guys make strategic and tactical decisions all of the time while playing or fighting and they do it fairly quickly. Ring fighters do it especially fast.

So, how does one reconcile that in game?

Well, I am not sure. However, I have put together a small system based upon averages. I think it is intuitive and allows for several basic tactical stances which alter rolls each round. Suing averages is allowing me to make incremental changes to die roll to reduce mathematics and general stances to avoid getting locked down in particular skills and abilities.

Anyway,I have rambled on and need to do something. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Will my party die

So there we are on a hill; five of us, warriors proud, magic weaving about us, desire for blood in our veins. Down the ragged and rocky slope is a litter of bodies, stumps of trees and fires belching black smoke. Amongst this wreckage are eighty gnolls and five giants of tremendous size. A creek and small palisade separate these voracious and bloodthirsty killers and slayers from the community of Ends Meet.

Braelik draws a circle in the ground, his death ring. Ki looks on, drawing his sword. Stark sniffs and smells death in the air. Tolvar forces his fright away and begins weaving spells. Doffodil says, "I think we should skirt the edge of the forest and see if we can get into the village on the other side of the river and avoid these guys."

Braelik looks to everyone to see their reaction. Consideration!

"Yes, we could, like damp weasels, slink and crawl amongst the vermin of the ground and, like thieves in the night, steal into the village and hide behind wooden walls. Or we could, like the warriors of old, slay these foul beasts and make our mark in this land for all time to come!"


Oh I'm Braelik

Get to that Monestary

Last Dinosaur who ever lived now found.

And they named it Tim the Last Dinosaur Before Mass Extinction Discovered.

Of course, the location of the Dino 5 inches below the K-T boundary gives more proof to the Impact Hypothesis. Of course?

Or maybe they could go a dig to the south a little and find Evidence Of The 'Lost World': Did Dinosaurs Survive The End Cretaceous Extinctions?

 "I survived a mass extinction event."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

lmao - Wildspace video

For those of you who missed it, please go to Joe the Lawyer's Wonderous Imagining's where he links an awesome video of TSR's marketing attempt for their Wildspace video game (something to do with Spelljammer,be sure to read the comments).

One page dungeons - excellent

Check out Swords Against the Outer Dark for a list of the winners of the One Page Dungeon Contest.

Direct page link here.

I know this is oldish, but I just found it and am quite pleased.

My cleric irritates everyone

He used to go into battle naked.

He has visions.

He rarely heals anyone.

He talks about fate.

He never baths.

He was a hermit and fears large groups of people.

But, he kicks it.

My wife has plans on game night - how do you spell divorce

"What? What? You can't! How could you? Do you not care for me? All these years. More importantly, do you not care for Stark, Kee, Jamunji of Daffodili.They will all wither and die if I do not show.

The Game!"

What to do? My wife has plans and I am panicking. I have pleaded, begged, borrowed and stole to get her to change her plans. But all to no avail.

I guess my last attempt will be a divorce threat.

That or I could have a beer, relax, watch some show on the telly and show up about 10 minutes late.

how big is a hyena - big

Memories from the Office of a Game Publisher – Office Space

Everywhere I look across social media I seem to be encountering two things. Economic news about the pending commercial real estate collapse,...