Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Final Call for Order of the d30 Tables

Regular posting will resume shortly, but I just wanted to post a final call for submissions for my collection of d30 tables. In a couple days, I'll start compiling entries into a basic document which will then be magically turned into a lovely, free, open-source PDF.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed thus far - even if I don't receive any more submissions, there's enough material on hand to make for a pretty killer collection, if I do say so myself. But there's always room for more!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Call for Submissions: Conclave of the Order

"It is time to compile a book of The Order of d30 tables."

So says commenter Matthew W. Schmeer in a comment on my hallowed Order of the d30 post. And by gar, he's right!

Basic membership in the Order, of course, is granted to anyone who implements Jeff Rients's "Big d30" house rule: once per game session, you may substitute the roll of a d30 for any other dice roll (save for attribute or hit point rolls).

But I know there are some Order members out there who have put together charts, tables, or rules for use with the venerable d30 (::cough::Chgowiz::cough::). So here's where I put out the call. If you've generated a chart, table, or rule for use with the d30, send it to me at my email: dlarkins78 at the Gmail type address. I'll give it a week or two to collect and collate everything, then I'll post a compiled PDF on this blog for all Order members (and non-Order members too, what the hell) to share.

So start sending 'em in folks!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

And Speaking of Dragon Warriors...

The silver lining of the Dragon Warriors line going into hibernation is that Magnum Opus Press is now offering every book in the line at the cost of the PDFs. You can grab the entire line, including the Core Book, for a mere $80.00!

If you're in the least bit curious about Dragon Warriors, jump on it. I know I'll be filling out the gaps in my collection...

Monday, February 7, 2011

In Praise of 80s British Fantasy

In between working on this, that, and the other, I've also been enjoying some casual reading in the realm of classic British fantasy from the 80s in the form of Dragon Warriors and and the Lone Wolf gamebook series. This is always a pleasure for me, dipping back into a time when fantasy imagery was firing both my young imagination and my love of history.

Although I can see some merit to latter-day, anime-influenced fantasy such as one finds between the covers of Pathfinder, my heart will always belong to 80s fantasy. I've written of my unabashed admiration for Larry Elmore in his prime and the "fantastic realism" of American fantasy in the 80s, but where I get really starry-eyed is with British fantasy art and imagery from that decade. I suspect that, in addition to pure nostalgia, this has a lot to do with the fact that my attraction to D&D in the 80s stemmed in large part from my budding interest in medieval history. Knights, princesses, and dragons came first; Tolkien and Howard came some years later.

As someone who went on to develop that budding interest into a B.A. in History and writing history professionally, I continue to appreciate the imagery of British fantasy in the 80s (and down to today in the form of such heritage brands as Warhammer and Dragon Warriors). British fantasy seemed to take the concept of "fantastic realism" to an almost absurd degree. For example, the world of Legend, the default setting for Dragon Warriors, is barely more than a mythical medieval Europe with a fresh coat of paint hastily applied. Warhammer's Old World is hardly better.

Yet these are not faults in my eyes, but rather assets. I can't really explain it, but the rampant historicity of those worlds - or of my own personal favorite, Magnamund - clicks for me in ways that 6-foot swords and wuxia theatrics never will.

That being said, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Warhammer's Old World and the land of Legend perhaps stray a bit too close to being simulacra of our own past. I think that's why I prefer Magnamund; for all its trappings of an 80s British fantasy world, it also includes healthy doses of Tolkien and even Star Wars. Although it's possible to spot the historical analogs, they're not as glaringly obvious to someone schooled in medieval/Renaissance history.

I'll leave things off, then, with a little tour through the visuals of Magnamund courtesy of the inimitable Gary Chalk and the late, great Brian Williams. Whether this is all new to you or you're an old hand, I do hope you enjoy...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fight On! Back Issues Up For Grabs

I'm clearing some space off my shelves (as always) and I've decided to part ways with my hard copy issues of Fight On! I just don't refer to them often enough to justify the physical space, and I get by fine with the PDFs.

So: if you're interested in one or more issues, drop me a line at the email address to the left. I'm offering the issues at half off the going rate, but I'll also consider offers of trade or some combination of cash and trade. All issues are in Very Good to Near Fine condition, complete and unsullied by time or the elements.

Issue 1 (Spring 2008): $3.50
Issue 2 (Summer 2008): $4.50
Issue 3 (Fall 2008): $4.50
Issue 4 (Winter 2009): $4.50
Issue 6 (Summer 2009): $4.50
Issue 7 (Fall 2009): $4.50

First come, first served. I'll update this post as/when issues head out the door.

EDIT: All issues have found their way to new homes!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

[Solo GPC] 516: Echoes of the Past

The countdown to the climactic Battle of Badon Hill has begun. The new generation is stepping up, shouldering aside the old knights. The Golden Age of Arthur is nigh. The only question is how will Sir Herringdale weather these changes as the sun sets on his portion of the tale?

To answer this question, I envisioned this year as forming the first of a three-part arc. Yes, some day canon fanboys of this chronicle (I'm sure there's one or two of them already out there, partially-formed) may refer to this as the "Saxon arc." Or maybe I'm just calling it that right now myself. As the name suggests, this year marks the return of the Saxon menace...along with the return of some ghosts of Herringdale's past.

But first, we check in with the heir apparent of our campaign, Lady Meleri. I'm going to try and work in a little time with her in upcoming sessions until she becomes the main character, if for nothing else than to help with the inevitable passing of the torch; Des recently told me Herringdale has taken pride of place as her favorite character of all time. No pressure, Meleri!

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