Friday, November 26, 2010

Deals Galore

Tommy over at The Most Unread Blog on the Internet. Ever., (although I read it frequently) has posted about some excellent deals from RPGNow here. I picked up the entire line of Icons. For $1 apiece. A buck!

Has anyone else heard about any great deals?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope your day was a joyful one and your belt remains unbroken.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

So, Western Washington is covered in a gentle blanket of snow. It has been drifting down all day. Although my drive to work this morning was easy with roads clear and traffic light, I'd been hearing of horrific traffic snarls all through the day. This was also the day I needed to drive even further after work to pick up my new suit. For my interview at 9 am tomorrow. I could possibly get a promotion. I left work and made to the store in good time. No slipping, no sliding. Everyone driving safely and sanely. The suit looks good. I started driving home. Once again I avoided the worst of the snarls. I was feeling good, driving slow. I got within a few blocks of home. I've got it made, I thought. I then, quite promptly, slid in a curb at an angle. At a minimum I screwed up my alignment because it drove wobbly the rest of the way home. At worst....?

And I still need to make it down the big hill to get to my interview tomorrow morning.

This does bring to mind the novel The Sixth Winter by Douglas Orgill which was published in
the '70's. There is/was a theory that a new ice age could start in as little as six winters if all the conditions are right. This is a fictionalized account of just such an event. It has been years since I have read it but I do remember I very much enjoyed it. One image that stuck with me was of a group of Soviet soldiers being attacked by a large pack of wolves. Including the unfortunate fellow in an APC who gets his head chewed on while it is sticking out of a hatch. According to the story, with the coming of the ice age, the wolves instinctively gather in larger packs and become more aggressive. This is one of the reasons humans have such a deep-seated fear of wolves.

This would make a fun RPG scenario, either a one shot with the characters trying to survive and make it to a warmer climate or as a small campaign. Maybe for Barbarians of the Aftermath. I may have to think on this more.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Inspiration

This inspiration post is inspired by a post on campaign settings over at B/X Blackrazor. One of his campaign ideas is a Bronze Age based game.

If you are interested in some literary inspiration you might try First Heroes, short stories about the Bronze age edited by Harry Turtledove.


I've been pretty successful in my quest to find rpgs to play with my kids. At least for my 10 year old. We've played one or more sessions of Supers!, B/X D&D, Labyrinth Lord, and Barbarians of Lemuria. The problem is my 6 year old. He's played with us but loses interest after a while and wanders off. But I have found the solution for this. I was browsing the Newbie DM website and ran across rpgKids. This is a little $3 PDF that is intended for kids aged 4-7 and their parents. It is a very simple game. There are four types of characters to play, the Sword Fighter, Healer, Archer and Wizard. Each has there own special ability and there is a very simple skill system. Character creation is simply choosing the character type, writing down the skills, picking a name and drawing a picture of the character. Most conflicts are resolved opposed d12 rolls. There are three damage levels and nobody dies. They get knocked out.

There is a nifty adventure included and hand drawn playing pieces and maps. Colored in crayon. I printed them out on our color printer and my wife and sons thought I had colored them. We played through the adventure and my son loved it! We played through the entire adventure and he was riveted. Moving the pieces on the map and the simple combat system really hit the spot for him.
The maps are simple one inch grid papers and a blank one is included for further adventure. I am going to break out the crayons and make an adventure for him this weekend.
I would heartily recommend this for parents of young children as an introductory rpg.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

The 700 Thespians

There is one thing I can say for certain about the Spartans: They always had good PR. Even today their reputation is continually enhanced in documentaries and popular culture. There was a documentary on History Channel International about the Battle of Thermopylae. As usual the Spartans get the lion's share of the credit. The brave 300 making their last stand against the innumerable Persian hordes. Granted, Leonidas was the leader of the loyalist Greek forces at the pass but the Spartans were in the minority. There were some 7000 infantry in total from the contributing cities. Even when the Greeks' flank was turned and Leonidas had the other contingents bug out, the Spartans weren't alone. Nor were they the majority of rearguard. The hoplites from Thespiae stayed. All 700 of them. I'm sure they fought as fiercely as the Spartans and made the Persians pay with blood for every inch of ground the invaders gained. Two things are more significant: First, the Thespians did not have to stay. They elected to stay. Second, the 700 hoplites were apparently the entire levy that Thespiae could muster. The loss of 300 hoplites was a significant blow to Sparta. Thespiae's loss of their entire Hoplite force would've been catastrophic. But who gets the credit? The Spartans. To whom does Simonides write his epitaph? The Spartans. The Thespians did not get a monument until 1997! Yep, the Spartans knew how to enhance their reputation.

So, here is to the unnamed 700 Thespians. May their memory live long.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I find these photos spark my imagination. Imagine running into creatures like these.

Many of you may have seen the crocaparrot.

Now meet the peacrock!