Tuesday, November 25, 2014

We Aren't Going To Take This Anymore

If you're "tired" of hearing about things that aren't geeky, you should probably skip this post. In fact you should probably just start skipping this blog altogether. We are who we are, and we aren't one-sided caricatures who only think and talk about certain things.

It just feels like things are on a downward slope here in the world, and it makes me sad. Bad things happened yesterday, and people of color were shown that they weren't important. It is weird that protests happened around the country, and yet the media decided to only cover the violence in Ferguson, as if that were the only thing happening.

This post is to archive some tweets that I made this morning, forgive the typo in one of them. I was typing on my phone.

 Some really horrible, terrible things were said last night by some hateful people online, and people like Wil Wheaton and Chris Kluwe were retweeting the things said to them by some of these people. Why, because we have to shine a spotlight on to this hate if we are ever going to make it go away. I have doubts about that sometimes, but it was even more disheartening that people were saying that they didn't want these things to be retweeted because they didn't want hate in their timelines.

We can't look away and we have to face these things. It is the only way that any sort of change will happen. It is easy to say that you don't want to see these things when they aren't directed at you, aren't part and parcel of your everyday life. But that doesn't take those things away, and that doesn't mean that we don't stare down these things in order to make a change in our world.

Then I tied it in with some geeky stuff, in a way, from my childhood, and a really good friend of mine from when I was growing up. His name was Marc Thomas, and in a lot of ways being his friend back then helped to make me into the adult that I am now. I don't often talk about these sorts of things because, well, mostly I think it isn't my job to justify who I am or where I have come from. All of us are on a journey through our lives, hopefully to get to a better place than where we used to be.
The thing is, that I guess that I'm not really done. Not by a long shot.

This stuff in Ferguson is just another piece of an enormous iceberg of hate that is trying so hard to break through the surface of the world. Just like GamerGate is another one.

We are at a crossroads culturally in our world right now. We are looking back into the past, at a world where casual and institutional hate of people because of the color of their skin, or their sexual preference, or their gender identity were a accepted as the norm. We are looking forward into a future where we can all treat each other as humans and not worry about labels or descriptors. We are seeing that there are a lot of people who are all of a sudden surprised that they are in the future, and that their hate is not okay. Not by any stretch of the imagination. They are angry at the world because they have been left behind. This is not the fault of the world.

We really should be better than this, but because we aren't we need to keep up the fight. We need to not casually mock people of color or gays or the transgendered or those with any of the multitude of disabilities. It isn't easy, and so many things are culturalized that it doesn't make it any easier. But it isn't supposed to be easy. Being better people isn't supposed to be an easy thing, but it is supposed to be the right thing.

So many of us were brought up on a steady stream of comics, science fiction, movies and other media where the moralities were clear cut. We should know better than this, and we need to stop being silent. When someone says something hateful about the LGBT we need to shout them down. Not because of our friends who are LGBT, who can fight their own fights, but because it is the right thing to do. The same when people say hateful things about people of color. The same when people say hateful things about the mentally or physically handicapped. Things aren't going to change until we let the world know that hate is unacceptable.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BRUTES -- A Fantasy Masterbook Game From Precis Intermedia

So, this filtered through my inbox:

Brett Bernstein is working on a new RPG, a fantasy game based on the Masterbook System and based upon the setting of his Brutes miniatures game. I'm sure that a dedicated Masterbook fantasy game will interest a lot of people. Click here for information as it develops.

20 Years of Daily Illumination -- Steve Jackson Games' Daily Illuminator

I've blogged here at the Dorkland! blog for just over ten years now. That's an accomplishment for sure. However, there's a blog that has been posting every day for twenty years now...and that blog is the Daily Illuminator from Steve Jackson Games. For twenty years the people over at Steve Jackson Games have been posting to the Daily Illuminator every day.

That is phenomenal and deserves some serious kudos from the folks at Steve Jackson Games.

If you haven't ever read the page you should do so now. They also have a convenient mailable version that will be delivered daily into your inbox as well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Fantasy Gaming On The British Side: Pelinore

I meant to go live with this a week ago, and got wrapped up in some other things. Better late than never.

I've always been interested in the "British Arm" of the early days of British role-playing. Much like with the "US West Coast" style, they brought a different energy and style to that particularly Midwestern mode of fantasy role-playing and Dungeons & Dragons. The British, after all, are the ones who brought us The Fiend Folio and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying. Of course, they also brought us the Monstermark, so I guess that you take the bad with the good.

What has recently surfaced on the web is a netbook compiling the Pelinore campaign and adventures that were published in Imagine magazine. Imagine was started by Don Turnbull, who had written for White Dwarf (including creating the Monstermark system) and Games Workshop before working for TSR UK.

What makes this document so interesting is that it is a snapshot of an approach to fantasy RPGs that really doesn't exist any more. Some of it still exists in some forms in places like Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying, but what you get in its current form is different from what you got as a game back then.

If I were starting a new game right now, I would probably dig into The Collected Pelinore as my setting. It is a realized world with interesting NPCs, maps, and some interesting rules variants for your old school D&D-ish fantasy games. One of the things that I found interesting was the section on capturing monsters (instead of killing them) for use in an arena, and how to calculate XP rewards for that. "The Arena doesn't want unfettered aerial monsters - who is going to pay to watch a harpie fly away?" That's just a great quote.

Ultimately the reason that I am spreading this around is because I think that we could use more diversity in our old school conversations. What people like Gygax and Arneson did to give us our hobby was a great thing, but getting to see the weird and wild directions that people take this hobby into is a great thing, too.

Update: Thanks to +Tim Huntley (in the comments), here is a link to a site that has scanned and compiled the original Pelinore into a PDF. I haven't read through this PDF yet, so I don't know how complete it is. The truth may lay somewhere in between this PDF and The Collected Pelinore. This is useful as much as an historical document, much like the Fiend Factory file below.

Update 2: +B. Scot Hoover, the architect of The Collected Pelinore is also archiving the Pelinore modules. Right now you can find two of them (In Search of the New Gods and The Awakening) on his Google drive. In Search of the New Gods is for characters 4-7th level, and The Awakening is for characters of 7-8th level. I'll leave this here for right now, but I will probably break these modules out into their own blog post once a few more of them come out.

A big thanks to +B. Scot Hoover for all of this hard work in preserving a piece of gaming history.

As an added bonus, I give you a compilation of the old Fiend Factory monster articles from the old days of White Dwarf. You may recognize many of these from when they ended up in the Fiend Folio, but these are the original versions of these monsters, as they were first published. Some are for D&D and some are for AD&D (the emphasis changed in the magazine when the new edition of the rules came out). This PDF is old and shop worn, and has been circulating the internet for a long, long time. I'm sure that most of you have seen it by now, but it is still a good artifact and for those few of you who haven't seen it...here it is.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Goblinoid Games' Cryptworld Hits Distribution

This is excellent news from the Goblinoid Games website:
I am proud to announce that CRYPTWORLD is the first Pacesetter title to be in distribution in 30 years! Now Pacesetter horror is available to you at your local game store, so if you have been waiting to support your local retailer pay them a visit and if they aren't stocking it yet place an order. The book is available through the usual channels, such as Alliance or ACD.
Goblinoid Games' Cryptworld is the spiritual successor to the old Pacesetter tabletop role-playing game Chill. Currently, you can get it in PDF or print from the RPGNow website, but being able to order it from your local gaming/comic store is very good new for the game, and for fans.

Classic Elric Comics Return From Titan Comics

Some of you may remember when the now sadly defunct comic company Eclipse Comics had the rights to do Elric in comic form. If you don't remember this, then you are lucky because you are going to get to experience them for the first time through an upcoming reprint series from Titan Comics.

"Unforgettable action and intrigue...a must-read for any fans of science fiction, sorcery or sword-and-sorcery epics!" - Comics Bulletin

"Richly deserves to be back in print...Can’t wait to return to the Dreaming City!" - SFX

"A terrific book." - Jeff Vaughn, Scoop

Collecting the first volume of the classic adaptation of Michael Moorcock’s bestselling fantasy saga, Elric of Melnibon√© marks the perfect introduction to the series’ iconic antihero, his fabled blade, Stormbringer, and his harrowing adventures across the Dragon Isle.

Adapted by former Marvel Comics editor, Roy Thomas, and beautifully rendered by longtime comics illustrator,Michael T. Gilbert, and the multiple Harvey and Eisner award-winning P. Craig Russell, this definitive collection marks an essential read for all fans of sword and sorcery and brings the Moorcock’s epic tales to life with luxuriant imagination.

The Michael Moorcock Library - Volume 1: Elric Of Melnibone hits comic stores February 18, 2015 and is available to order now from your local comic store using Diamond code NOV141648.

Writer: Roy Thomas
Artist: P. Craig Russell, Michael T. Gilbert
Format: 176pp – HC - FC
Volumes In Series: 1 (of 15)
Publisher: Titan Comics
Price: $22.99/$25.95 CAN /£18.99 UK
ISBN: 9781782762881
Release Date: February 18, 2015
Diamond Order Code: NOV141648

To pre-order via Amazon visit:

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