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Steve C
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Old-school D&D Dork
Old-school D&D Dork

116 followers
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The newborn and wife are asleep, so Daddy is up tonight doodling maps. I'm terribly out of practice doing these kinds of campaign maps!
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Tie-dye is still in fashion, right? RIGHT?!? Just checking. ;-) 
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I'm going to see Iron Maiden tonight, so of course I've been thinking today that something called ''The Book of Souls" will be the central religious document in my next campaign. It will even look like this.

I'm not sure how much pseudo-mesoamerican religion and iconography will work its way into the campaign, but probably at least some. I'm thinking my previous idea of a campaign based in a place called the White City of the Death Monkey God, which will be loosely based on a real place in Honduras (IIRC), is a good start.

An excerpt from "The Book of Souls"

Good day, my name is Necropolis
I am formed of the dead
I am the harvester of the soul metal
And I suck the lives from around my bed
My own two sons I gave them breath
And I filled their living corpses with my bile
What humanity I knew I have long forgotten
For me eternity is nothing
But a short while
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Crum the Barbarian fell down the dark shaft and landed with a squishy, echoing thud. Groping in the dark, his hands found numerous knotted fleshy nodules. He rose and drew his enchanted sword. Glancing quickly about, he beheld a cavernous chamber stretching beyond his sword's dim light. Then suddenly his eyes flashed wide and he gasped with horror. The floor was littered with beholder birthing pods!
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Magnificent monthly magical makings from the marvellous mind of Microadventure Machine +Tim Shorts​! Mony mony!

OK, I'm not entirely sure that Billy Idol song is manly fist-bump appropriate for praising Tim's work, but what the hell, I just heard it on the radio, so here we are. 😀
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This Bundle of Holding is pure awesome! S. John writes it better than that, but that's what he says and it's gosh darn true. CityBooks, Grimtooth and Treasure... Oh My. These are some of my faves from back in the day. Get them in PDF on the cheap while you can and help of a good cause.

Almost every city I ever used in a fantasy game had some versions of The Diamond Spider Tavern, Sleaz's Tattoo Parlour, and the House of Thelesha Moonscry. 😊
THIS IS NOT A DRILL

Sometime in the next year, I have a big ol' blog post planned where I just gush for a thousand words or two about why the Citybooks stand among the greatest works of RPG design, and that's deliberately down the road because I want to get better at blog-writing first, so I can do them justice.

So for now I'll just say a few words about why this is a big deal. First, they've never been available as legit PDFs before. Second, a couple of them are sometimes hard to find at sane prices in hardcopy. Third, with this bundle you get not only the Citybooks, but also the Grimtooth's Traps series and MS&PE and a few other items as well to the point where it's just insane. (But: CITYBOOKS).

Most of these things (all of the Citybooks; most of the other things) are blissfully free of mechanical cruft: just pure, straight-to-the-vein game design you can actually use, no matter your rules of choice.

Selfishly, there's some of me in one of these books (Citybook 7, for which I wrote three entries: Mother Footcandle, Blind Geoffrey, and Clanghollow Teeble), and if you like the way I make stuffs, I made those stuffs.

But anyway, if you know enough to be excited, you're already excited and don't need my help. It is a good day for roleplayers.


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In a past life, it used to be that a good saturday night consisted of mostly reckless, often dangerous, 'adventure' that wrapped up by coming home from goodness knows where, sometimes accompanied, sometimes not. Always with a buzz of some sort, and a story to tell, if I remembered, the next day.

These days, my saturday nights typically wrap up with the best companion ever, my wife, upstairs asleep, my baby boy having a nap on my chest, and reading stories about one or another old adventuring buddy. Tonight is Conan, in graphic novel format. Yeah, these are much better nights.

I'm glad I made it this far because life is pretty damn sweet. 😀
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Today's Topic: Language, political correctness, orthodoxy, and censorship.

Let's see what Orwell had to say, shall we? :-)

#letsseewhatorwellhadtosay

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'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn't only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take "good", for instance. If you have a word like "good", what need is there for a word like "bad"? "Ungood" will do just as well -- better, because it's an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of "good", what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like "excellent" and "splendid" and all the rest of them? "Plusgood" covers the meaning, or "doubleplusgood" if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already. but in the final version of Newspeak there'll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words -- in reality, only one word. Don't you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.'s idea originally, of course,' he added as an afterthought.

A sort of vapid eagerness flitted across Winston's face at the mention of Big Brother. Nevertheless Syme immediately detected a certain lack of enthusiasm.

'You haven't a real appreciation of Newspeak, Winston,' he said almost sadly. 'Even when you write it you're still thinking in Oldspeak. I've read some of those pieces that you write in The Times occasionally. They're good enough, but they're translations. In your heart you'd prefer to stick to Oldspeak, with all its vagueness and its useless shades of meaning. You don't grasp the beauty of the destruction of words. Do you know that Newspeak is the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year?'

Winston did know that, of course. He smiled, sympathetically he hoped, not trusting himself to speak. Syme bit off another fragment of the dark-coloured bread, chewed it briefly, and went on:

'Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words, and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there's no reason or excuse for committing thoughtcrime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak,' he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. 'Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now?'

'Except-' began Winston doubtfully, and he stopped.

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say 'Except the proles,' but he checked himself, not feeling fully certain that this remark was not in some way unorthodox. Syme, however, had divined what he was about to say.

'The proles are not human beings,' he said carelessly. 'By 2050 earlier, probably -- all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron -- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like "freedom is slavery" when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking -- not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.'
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Excerpt from 1984.


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My weedy patch of lawn next to the driveway needs trimming. Maybe I can get the neighborhood hare Mr. Fuzzy Bunny Snuggles to eat some weeds!
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