Saturday, March 22, 2014

Speaking of Jetties

All those medieval houses one seas with the upper floor overhanging the lower floor? Like this.

That building method/style is called Jettying. Cool huh? Here are he possible reasons for it;

To gain space.

The structural advantage of the jettied wall counteracting forces in the joists or tying a stone wall together

To shelter the lower walls of the house from the weather.

Uses shorter timbers, a benefit due to timber shortages and difficult handling of long timbers especially in city streets.

As a status symbol or "...symbol of wealth and status.

I would imagine there is a little bit of all in that.

Wki article.


A wharf and quay

are the same thing. It is a place on a bay, seashor, river or canal where ships can load and unload people and things. It might be built on pilings or perhaps not. Berths or moorings are located along the wharf where ships can stop or 'park.' Piers often extend from wharfs to accomodate more ships or allow them to moor during low tide etc. Jetties are typically used to channel river water or ocean currents.


Ahh the maritime trade centers. Awesome place for adventures. hmmmm.



Senses and The Game

There are five senses, maybe six or even seven or 21 if you ask some people. Who can keep up with the internet and its bomb of opinions positions and stances and beliefs and, well its cosplay as well. There are five sense that I care about right now; sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste. Those are the ones I care about. Ok maybe chronoception.

The activation of these sense is an important part of the game experience right. I mean we got minis and terrain, music, dice, and incence sticks and....

what about taste. How does one bring the tasty salt air and sweat and blood medieval hamburgers to the table. I want to taste The Game. So how does one taste the game.

Food of course. We could go this route

But I think the medieval meal is best. Here is my thinking. Its the freakin' middle ages, how difficult could a meal be. Just throw some grain in a pot and call it a meal. And well, there is a recipe nearly like that. who'd uh thunk it? I've got Barley and sugar and lemon at home. Mayhap tonight I shall cook dinner! from here.

Recipes for barley water appear more often in medieval medical texts than in cookbooks. Still, it's a light and pleasant non-alcoholic drink. There are many different versions of this recipe in the middle ages that add various flavorings such as licorace root, rose water, anise seed, and figs.

1/4 cup pearl barley

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 cups boiling water

Peel and juice from 1 lemon

Combine all ingredients, cover, and let sit until cold. Strain beforeg


Friday, March 21, 2014

Daily Cosplay

Awesome Dungeon Masters Screen


I don't know anything about these as these images come from some ebay files (I think). anyway, cool huh?

Cool cave Formations

is it alive

Gollum? nah the rare Azure Naga

home sweet home - ahh kobolds

Tyrion Lannister says

Shit that Gary told

So there is a thread on rig net asking about gygax games. Nothing new (and I don't know anything) so don't worry about that. There was an interesting comment by a poster …
Some of us would like to try to better understand that magic that started it all, the better to capture the magic now, even as a different magic is required in the changed world today
I am just going to throw out a quick opinion. This is MY opinion and its worth about that much. The magic that started it all will not be found in the game material, the notes, the plethora of literary debris that Gary left lying about here there and elsewhere.

The magic that started it was in Gary's childhood.

Gary and I rarely talked games. We just jabbered about this that and the other. The Game was an expression of who and what he was. He and what he was was somewhere else. The magic was in his youth. He told some spectacular stories of his youthful adventures.

In one he related how he and a group of friends snuck into and abandoned mental institute (my memory is fading on several specifics). I think it was a mental institute. In the clambering about at night, in the dark, over rotting floors with half working flashlights, odd noises, knocking down doors and other crazy things he let on that a friend of his fell through a floor. The floor just gave out beneath him and he fell.

That is the magic. Those were the magic moments. I think that many of his childhood romps were the genesis of the magic of the game. The Game appeals because it appeals to the adventurous child in us all.

Anyway, just my thoughts. And here's to you Gary. Gary, a lifelong companion I had the honor of knowing for a few years.

He also told me to talk less and work more.

Considering that….

Steampunk looks cool

I have never run a steampunk role playing adventure. I imagine its all the same with different dressing. The whole setting has always fascinated me.

Never heard of the comic above but I may grab a copy and give it a look see and through together a game using Amazing Adventures.

Word of the Day -- Hoardings

A hoard or hoarding was a temporary wooden (shed-like) construction that was placed on the exterior of the ramparts of a castle during a siege.  The purpose of a hoarding was to allow the defenders to improve their field of fire along the length of a wall and, most particularly, directly downwards to the wall base. The latter function was capably taken up by the invention of machicolations, which were an improvement on hoardings, not least because masonry does not need to be fire-proofed. Machicolations are also permanent and siege-ready. It is suspected that in peacetime, hoardings were stored as prefabricated elements.
In some castles, construction of hoardings was facilitated by putlog holes that were left in the masonry of castle walls.  Some medieval hoardings have survived including examples at the North tower of Stokesay Castle, England and the keep of Laval, France. The Ch√Ęteau Comtal at Carcassonne, also in France has reconstructed wooden hoardings.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Daily Cosplay

I don't think this guy is actually cosplaying
I think he is just drinking

Who is the Scarlett Witch

I was reading some 'news' this morning and read that the Scarlett Witch is finally going to be realized and a screen shot was now available. Being somewhat curious, I thought, who in the hell is the Scarlett Witch.

Another Marvel Superhero. How many are there? So I went over to the Marvel wiki thing and read about the Scarlet Witch. Does it ever seem like someone somewhere is grasping at straws? Also, it also appears that a rather complex tree of interaction is being developed as I still do not know who her real father is.
And then there was this,
Wanda has since been living on Wundagore mountain in apparent powerless obscurity. Thus far only Hawkeye, seeking closure after his multiple deaths and resurrections at Wanda's hand, has sought her out.
Damn, poor Hawkeye.

Strange Monsters fro realz

I used to get a laugh out of all the strange monsters one could find in any Game setting. Just looking through the various monsterous manuals and splatters of splat books and modules of doom, the sheer weight of monstrous diversity was enough to make me crack one smile after another. The utter ridiculousness of many left me aghast as I often think they have no place in a 'real fantasy' setting.
Then my head screws on right as my pointy eared, furry footed character casts a fireball into the mouth of an icy creature from the wretched planes.
And then there is this. The Anzu Wyliei. This crazy dinasour is roughly 10 feet tall, four or five hundred pounds, 'eats the eggzez' and perhaps other small and well, not so small prey.
nip tuck a party wandering through the savanah.
Anzu is a an summerian or persioan lesser god who stole some table of destiny or some such. The bird/lion bird could breath fire and water.
Just google it. Ok I did. I stand corrected.

What I am Working on

So this make me laugh. Years ago, many years ago, when Steve and I attended a Gen Con in Milwaukee we were sauntering around from one place to the next late at night. We had the unfortunate experience of running into every single bum and beggar Milwaukee owned and managed at the time. We were, quite simply, overrun with bums begging for money, cigarettes, booze, food, rides and whatever else it is a bum might need that it felt like a bum apocalypse.

Later that night I invented the game, Run the Bums. The idea is simple, you start out with x number of things (money cigarettes, booze what have you) and you have to make it back to you hotel room with as much as possible avoiding bums, barkers, muggers, beggars and the occasional representative of our government, the IRS local taxman.

Oh and an occasional drunk driver.

Anyway, Steve asked me where I was on that!

Ten years into development and one would think I would further than this

Reaper the Banshee

I should get this for my girls as I am always telling them to quit screaming like banshees out of some Irish nightmare.


And here it is


Painted by Alison Baily

03475: Labella DeMornay, Banshee

Julie Guthrie ($6.99)


Google Humor

Had 6 people contact me (and I don't know that many people really) and tell me to watch this video.  I miss a lot of the trending videos, but this one was very humorous.  I haven't seen the others in this series, but I bet you can guess what I'll be doing at lunch...

Big Bang in the Bag

So there are a lot of articles out now headlining proof of the big bang and such. This has occurred since Stanford? has recently released its study in which those quantum gravitational waves were observed. Something something science and such leads them to believe these only resulted in the big bangs inflationary period.

I don't doubt what the scientist are saying, I just find the reporters manner of reporting it galling. Now in all honesty I quit watching the news years and years ago and started gearing my reading to experts in particular fields (which has its own problems) but I am just a little ranty this morning after having read that some reporter over at CNN floated the possibility that a black hole swallowed the missing malaysian airlines.

Proof positive, cementing the big bang, undeniable proof, as expected and yada yada. Ok it adds a great deal of credence to the big bang, we get it, we may be 95% there but its science, we always gotta look and say, uuu maybe not. But not with the black hole thing. no no no. some things just no.

But then again, I am Conan, I am Conan, I am Homer Simpson.

ugg I am going back to sleep.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Daily Cosplay

Trailer ~ Maleficent (3)

This flick is just looking better and better. Loving the wings on the witch. Very cool.

Sword and Sorcery Notes part Eight

Are divine spell casters necessary?
With regards to my Sword and Sorcery notes and general question about the Game and its design in and of itself, I find myself wondering if divine spells as a category are necessary. I find myself not being to keen on the divine/arcane divide. Much of this has to do with its implementation I suppose.
I get the arcane thing. Literature is rife with magicians of one stripe or another. No matter the origin of their knowledge or the manner of spell casting, there are clearly arcane spellcasters. There are fewer literary references to 'divine' casters. More or less the lines are blurry in literature. They are less clear and less often used but I know those types of casters are there (from solomon kane to those dudes in the game of thrones.)
In any respect, I think if divine casters were to be included, then a whole new paradigm would need establishing for them. Also, the spell effects and such would need changing.
The spells would come from a divine source. They are not learned in the traditional sense. They would not be forgotten. They could be exclusive and even particular. They would reflect the will of the divinity and be subject to its desires or whims. The divine casters abilities would almost be innate.
Or I could just ditch them all together and lump all 'spell casting' into one great category with subcategories for specialties and such.
As a game mechanic I like the latter approach better. I can not distinguish a divine fire from an arcane fire except in its origin (and color I guess if I so chose). I am speaking technically, in game, a fire is a fire is a fire. A lot of times the spells are actually only distinguished by name and not effect (with minor casting time variations etc).
Also, I have never like the 'squad medic' role of the cleric. In fact the whole 'squad' approach does not work in an sword and sorcery setting.
The more I think about, as I am writing this, I am liking the idea of dropping the divine caster from my home game. I remember Mac made a comment a few years back about how the divine caster did not feel right in my game and I should drop it or merge it with the arcane caster.
Well Mac, consider them merging.

The Giants of Callabria Italy

So theses giants are wandering around Italy wreaking havoc! Brave adventurers needed. Ok so, there are some unusual stone formation in Italy called the Stone Giants of Callabria.
The two structures are three-metres apart and are referred to as the Cyclops and the Elephant. The Cyclops is the most difficult to distinguish due to erosion, but with imagination you can see two knees and the legs below them; the remains of the body lie upon the ground beside the legs. Below the Cyclops are caves carved out of the land; it’s these caves that suggest that there was once an ancient civilisation that chose to spend part of their lives living underground.
uhhh yeah. I can see clearly now, the rains have...
There is more. Even an whale!
Anyway, the cool thing is, this could be an encounter area with giants sleeping in the earth. And of course the skeptical locals do not realize they are about to wake the giants!

What I am Working on

I want to find the time to do one video a week - at least. One would think I could pull two hours out of my hat. Alas, my hat is small.
In other news, I am laying down the groundwork for my Inzae material. Currently I have three books planned; a players guide, a game guide and a monsters guide. I have not yet decided if I am going to go with the three book model. I much prefer the one book model. On the other hand, I prefer smaller books to larger books. There is more portability. Anyway, two, three, one, or eight. Who cares, I really just need to focus on writing it first.
The other project I am working on (just started) is fixing the U1 module maps. I thinks it is D1, Chimera's Roost. This is going to be painful. The map was complicated to begin with and much was lost between my head, the paper, the map i drew for Peter, peter's interpretations of my chicken scratch and all. Anyway, I am working on that. To make it even more challenging, no one knows where the originals are. HA
I have designed a game called Conquest of Airdhe. Its a supply based and artifact find type wargame. Sorta Enchanted Forest meats Risk one night and have a child who has a fondness for supplies. It needs some work, but it is there.
There is something else I am supposed to be doing, but I can not think of it. I am sure Steve will let me know by the end of the day.

Reaper Con upcoming

For those who did not know, Reaper Miniatures has a con. This year's con is in about 5 weeks. I am going to give a big long shot at going this year but, recent events have deemed that unlikely. But
Free Food
and minis
painted by Martin Jones
50308 Vermina
Patrick keith


Terrain building will begin shortly

All right, so rummaging around I found a Woodland Scenics grass mat like the one below,
Its a generic summer mat. For anyone who has one, you know what I am talking about. They are nice color wise I suppose but have absolutely NO character. The problem I have had with these mats in the past is getting them to lay out flat. Once rolled, it appears that no amount of glue, staples or nails is gonna get that thing flat.
So I am going to try something new.
Home Depot was selling some 18x18 inch pink foam squares (the pink insulation foam as below).
I have always wanted to use pink foam squares as modular terrain pieces but without investing the space and money to get the proper cutter my foam squares will always look like Euclidean geometry as seen interpreted by Piccaso. Not Square.
I have these two things now, some gorrila glue, some wood glue and some tacky glue. All right, So this is what I going to try. I will humidify the roll of grass in the hopes to break that papers memory, then staple and glue its corners and such to the foam. This will be followed by a re-grasssing of the sheet and light texturizing. Not a total regrassing but enough to cover the staple and such.
If this does not work out then I am going to toss the grass mat and just grass up the pink foam.
And work out from there.

Gratuitous Sword

I love this sword.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Daily Cosplay (Artemis?)

Upon the Flntlock

The Flintlocks are a southern spur of the Grundliche Mountains. They range higher in the east, descending the further west they go. The Flintlock ranges from jagged, steep inclines to soft, rolling hills. Throughout the whole there are steep and shallow valleys, long narrow ridges and massive boulder fields, generously spread amongst the low peaks and rounded mountains. To the south there are finely wooded areas with many red cedars and tall thin pines.

Water is plentiful, as moist air rolls across the hills from the Ashen Gap. The snows fall heavy and thick during winter, blanketing the entire region in a perpetually white drift.

The hills and valleys, cliffs and peaks are dotted with fortresses, mines, caves, houses, farmsteads and the like. Many are abandoned but some are still held by the gnomes who live here in great numbers. These friends to the dwarves were once part of the kingdom extending from Grundliche Hohle. But no more, the wars with the Punj left the region out of the Mountain Kingdom’s territory and the gnomes call themselves kings of their own now, ruled by the Clan Thanes.

There are 47 clans that reside here. Stout and harsh, the gnomes patrol the mountains incessantly, scouring the landscape of any and all unwelcome intruders. Many foul creatures keep them busy, for without the aid of the Grundliche dwarves, the gnomes face enemies they never had to battle before. The place is becoming positively dangerous to travel through, as more and more creatures of ill intent make there way to these lands. Gotzenburg Keep, long a gwarf stronghold, is held by orcs now. They hold to the old ways, are fiercely organized and ruled by the Anjak (Orc King), Rwin of Ateck, a large burly orc with an eye for human slaves.

                  ~ The Codex of Aihrde


Songs from the Drowned Lands ~ Kernaghan

Recently I took a trip to New York (the city) and needed something to read that I could easily carry on the plane. I don't really buy pa...