This is for Jim Ward

This is for Jim Ward

This proved to be quite a popular post on Facebook. I had only posted it to relate something to Jim, but its popularity compared to everything else I posted says something about the longevity of Mr. Ward’s creations and games in general. From Facebook…. I live in what could easily be described as a Podunk little town. Today I was wearing my Metamorphosis Alpha t-shirt (its the height of fashion) and while at the convenience store a young woman commented, “Is that the game where you are on a lost spaceship? My grandfather and I used to play that all the time when I was a little girl. Where did you get the shirt?” “The same place I met the gentleman who wrote the game.” “You met him? Will you see him again?” “I see him a few times a year.” “Tell him Thank You if you remember, I have great memories of my grandfather and that game.” That’s for you James M. Ward, your fans in small towns are getting more youthful than...

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What the Gnome reads on the Internet

Tenkar posited a question about reading habits of RPG fans generally and OSR types specifically. I was as surprised as he was that he could meet someone at THE old-school con (NTRPG) and get only blank stares after he introduced himself. But he did and asked for his readers take (link). This is the comment I posted (edited to make me look smarter)- This is a windows into how deep the rabbit whole goes after discovering the OSR. I use an RSS reader app that updates constantly on my phone. I have about 5 gaming related categories and hundreds of individual feeds. Generally, I start here, read the posts at the Acaeum (I don’t pretend to collect anymore though I buy plenty of material, mostly from small press guys you all know), Then I check the rest of the ‘news’ type blog feeds (OSR Today etc), G+ I try to limit to scanning as it could take hours to just pull myself away. These are my daily reads. I have a section of feeds dedicated to blogs that post creative content that I read twice a week at minimum. It includes some blogs that only post 5-10 times per year.  The content is top notch and I know they would get lost without the being on my feed. I have a section that ‘professionally’ related I check infrequently, maybe every other 4-5 days. Cartographers Guild and the RPG net games industry forum fall in this category (which also includes Adobe CC feeds, design tips, Roll20 posts etc). Finally I have my forum feeds (odd74, DF, RPGNet, ENWorld etc). I am not going to rank preferences but I find some odious and most overwhelming given the volume and frequency of posts. I scan them occasionally but I use the search function weekly. I search for my products in case there is something I can address, Cons I attend, Product names I am interested in buying etc. I rarely post unless I have something to add or the thread was started by Mike Badolato and requires an insult 🙂 My general take from all of these is the very active forums attract and serve a useful purpose for active players and GMs. While blogs have more visibility with creators and potential creators. I have just started keeping my own actually after I realized how much I use them in purchasing decisions and...

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RPG Nightstand

RPG Nightstand

I was asked in an interview with RPGgeek.com what my early influences were as a game designer. It made me realize that when I have the same question of other contemporary RPG designers I am more interested at where they are currently drawing inspiration. So I am using an unread corner of our blog to start posting about it.   Currently on the nightstand…Street of Gems by Peter Rice, the Companions 1983. I like small press items though sometimes for the wrong reasons. Street of Gems is very cool however. Any discriminating RPG nerd can tell it is an early 1980s just from the cover art and printing style. It’s vintage is even more apparent given the presentation of the primary scenario. Date and time are a significant consideration given the setup. Much darker subject matter than I expected, though Mike Badolato warned me about that. The strongest component is the actual writing, both descriptive and mechanical. I think I am going to need to get some of their other...

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Game Store Visit

After a quick trip to the Bay Area the last few days I wanted to report on some gaming related goodness I noticed at an FLGS in Berkeley. I went in expecting to see the same old selection of Wizards of the Coast and Paizo RPG’s and supplements (Not that I have anything against them, I don’t, but I am personally and professionally more interested in small press stuff) and I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of what I consider to be ‘labor of love’ type products from OSR publishing companies prominently displayed. I asked the friendly counter nerd how the smaller press stuff sold and he said slowly at first but interest had been growing. For the record I saw Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Vornheim, Blackmarsh, and Stars Without Number to name just a few. They had probably one of the best selections of miniatures for old-school games I have seen in a retail store for over decade as well. Seeing and hearing this only encourages us to work even harder to make the most polished product possible. Good things are already set in motion for Whisper & Venom, so if you know anyone interested in Old-School RPGs please spread the word. The store was Games of Berkeley which had a inevitable sign out front about being the Game Store of the...

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