27 Feb

Reading List – Voices From Chernobyl

My typical reading selections rarely fall in the “uplifting” category. In talking to fellow gamers and writers I’ve also learned that I read far less so-called “genre” fiction than what is typical for someone who often enjoys writing in the science fiction and fantasy fields. Instead, I spend a lot of time on non-fiction and “not genre fiction.” (As usual, I don’t want to get into my thoughts about labels for fear of digressing too far.)

Voices from ChernobylI just finished Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster and, if you have any doubt at all, this book does not fall in the “uplifting” category either. I find uplifting and moving to be two very different things. It might occasionally have an optimistic moment, at least relative to what surrounds them, the book is more notable for such a raw presentation of human emotions and vivid look at human perspectives, not only about disaster and tragedy, but also about self-delusion and grim necessities. Continue reading

31 Jan

Andrew G. Schneider, 5 Questions for the Author

Undercaffeinated and Overexposed

I had the pleasure of making Andrew G. Schneider’s acquaintance after two of our articles for Dungeons & Dragons Insider contained some overlapping material. (Both adventures were set in the Chaos Scar, but Andrew’s “Scarred for Life” connected nicely with my adventure “Reflections of Ruin” thanks to an exceptional ogre and the Deck of Many Things.) We continued to correspond and commiserate about the joys of freelance and have even managed to get a game or two in on occasion.

Recently, Andrew published not one but two novels so I took a few minutes to lob some questions his way, chat about YA fiction, and see what he has planned now that Nothing Left to Wish For and Undercaffeinated and Overexposed: The Tale of a Coffee Shop Princess are off his desk. Continue reading

16 Oct

The Eternal Rest in Dungeon World

Dungeon World

Last week I mentioned that my system neutral fantasy game supplement The Eternal Rest is currently on sale over at DriveThruRPG.com on the Drunken Goblin page. I also indicated that I’d been thinking about Dungeon World and adding some moves to further supplement The Eternal Rest. I wrote the PDF around the idea that its hooks could be put to use in any rule set and would leave the mechanics up to the game master.

With Dungeon World on my mind lately, I decided to take my own challenge and bolt on a few straightforward mechanics to The Eternal Rest. Even if you aren’t familiar with Dungeon World (and why not?), each of those moves can still be looted for added hooks to spin off from my PDF. Continue reading

11 Oct

Eternal Rest After the Zombie Run

DriveThruRPG Drunken GoblinThe zombies didn’t get me. Well, actually they did, but I think I’m just a carrier of the virus rather than a full on zombie. The fact that that I walked off the course with a smile and no limp is, to me, a win. I have to say, if a Run for Your Lives event takes place in your neck of the woods, you should check it out. And, to celebrate my lack of injuries and the impending creepiness of Halloween gaming, I’ve put The Eternal Rest on sale over at DriveThruRPG.com on the Drunken Goblin’s page. Continue reading

4 Oct

Personal Zombie Apocalypse

Run For Your Lives - Zombie RunZombies aren’t anything special to me, but they’ve gotten quite a bit of PR lately thanks to the resurgence of zombie literature, zombie movies, and zombie games. Several years ago a friend who worked in the computer game industry confessed “zombies are the new WWII” with regards to every studio falling over themselves to make a zombie game or at least insert some kind of Zombie Mode. Don’t get me wrong. I can enjoy the new zombie brand that has emerged from the dead (again). I just think the “zombie people” should realize they’re just like the “vampire people,” but without the terrible fake accents.

Why am I talking about zombies, though? Because apparently I’m going to be attacked by them. Continue reading

18 Sep

The Importance of Dragon and Dungeon Magazines

D&D Insider LogoNews of the hiatus for Dragon and Dungeon magazines from DDI saddens me. Not just because I won’t be pitching anything in what would have been the Fall submission window, but because they are landmarks on the landscape of Dungeons & Dragons. (And, for the record, I don’t see them as landmarks of any particular edition.) To me, in print or digitally, they were a part of the game that I have always played. They were full of content that I always read, whether the material would fit my game or not. Put simply, the two magazines  have always represented “more.” Continue reading

17 Sep

The Plural of Hiatus

D&D Insider Logo

My constant internal conflict with writing is that time spent promoting isn’t time spent writing. But you need both of them to be successful. I’ve had a successful run over the past few years writing Dungeons & Dragons material for D&D Insider. Any given morning during that time, when faced with the choice of writing an article for D&D Insider or writing a blog post, the decision was not a difficult one. Continue reading

29 Apr

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying Game, Tragic Endings

Marvel Heroic Roleplaying gameI’ve been a bit quiet (read: happily busy) of late, but I didn’t want anyone to miss out on the last chance to get hold of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. I was a big fan of the game system after several opportunities to play it, so the news the license was ending came as a surprise and a disappointment. I strongly recommend picking up a copy of the Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game while you have the chance as it will no longer be available on DriveThruRPG after the end of April! I’m sure print copies will start getting harder to find as well. Continue reading

3 Apr

Torn Armor Kickstarter Final Assault

Torn ArmorThe Torn Armor tabletop miniatures wargame Kickstarter is in its final 24 hours. It’s already been successfully funded, so now you’re just buying into a sweet collection of miniatures, a solid wargame, and the history of the Torn World. If you haven’t already, check out my interviews (part 1 and part 2) with the creator of the Torn World, Alyssa Faden. Then head over to the Torn Armor Kickstarter page and take a look at what’s on offer.
Continue reading

22 Mar

Robotech RPG Tactics

Robotech RPG TacticsIf Dungeons & Dragons, Choose Your Own Adventure books, and Tolkien were my early fantasy genre influences, my science fiction side was tempered in those early years by Star Wars and Robotech. And while Star Wars finally got a good ship to ship miniatures combat game thanks to Fantasy Flight Games, I relied on FASA’s Battletech to scratch my mecha combat itch. But I knew it wasn’t Robotech, and Robotech was what I wanted. After decades of waiting, Palladium Books is working with Ninja Division to bring me… well, us, I suppose, Robotech RPG Tactics. Continue reading