Friday, May 22, 2015

A Quick Review of My Past Year

So, you thought it would be in writing...?


























This picture is worth a million words...





















Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Concise Example of Closed and Open Form

I have always referred to the following scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as a pretty fine summary of open form and standard formula.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AoCK5r2TWg


Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Four Amigos at Gary Con VII


From Left to Right:

Guy Fullerton of Chaotic Henchmen.  CH President, Apple, INC employee, astute player and GM who has some great designs through his outfit as well as can explicate the whys and wherefores of good design in a heartbeat. I missed not being at Gary Con and hanging with his positive and insightful self.

Paul Stormberg of The Collector's Trove.  Is there anything Paul doesn't do besides run the grandest auctions of TSR and RPG artifacts available on the Internet?  Paul has organized and conducted 4 auctions of my collection and possessions, with another major one on the way.  He has also conducted in excess of 100 hours of interviews with me over several months, this many years ago.  The intention was to clarify TSR history in its various areas. He and his long-time buddy Martin Wright (R.I.P.), the latter whom I dedicated the Bottle City adventure to, scanned all of my major manuscripts and artifacts to CD, and it is he who I am partnering with to bring the CD Collection to collectors and the public.  Besides all of the above Paul organizes the Legends of Wargaming events at Gary Con every year.  This includes a replica of the old LGTSA's sand table for miniature games and many other events centered upon tried and tested games of the 60's-70's, with an emphasis on early TSR titles and/or their predecessors from Guidon Games, etc.  These events have been adjudicated by many ex-IFW, ex-LGTSA, ex-MMSA, and ex-TSR personages, such as:  Bill Hoyer (R.I.P.), John Bobek, Terry Kuntz, Michael Mornard, Mike Carr, David Wesely, Michael Reese, James Ward, Jeff Perren and others.

Jon Hershberger of Black Blade Publishing:  BB President and work horse, Jon seemingly has unlimited energy.  He has to date organized and edited many of my former works and he and I conference regularly on the state of our publishing agreement and the future directions being taken to expand it into many other areas, including LGTSA/TSR period RPG material, essays on the craft, related game fiction, and many other offerings that keep us both creatively engaged.  Jon has also championed the publication of my works for the DCC RPG as concurrent releases with BB's 1st Edition ones.

Allan Grohe of Black Blade Publishing:  BB Vice President and editor and a long-time friend.  Allan and I met at DRAGON CON #1 and started corresponding soon afterwards (yes, these were hand written letters where you checked your own spelling errors).  A Greyhawk fan (I say, "fiend") and a contributor to many projects far and wide, such as for White Wolf publishing, etc. Between Allan and Paul Stormberg they have sucked this designer dry of information about Greyhawk, TSR-related information and other odds and ends no doubt put to nefarious game use.  Allan helped me organize, edit and market the Bottle City project and was the one-time editor for the Lake Geneva Castle & Campaign line of products from Pied Piper Publishing before I closed down its operations.

And there you have capsules of four great amigos.  And for those women out there interested in any of them, they are all happily married with children (with Paul leading the pack with three girls and a boy).



Saturday, March 28, 2015

At Gary Con: Castles, and Druids and Cairns, oh my!

A quick update from the trenches at Gary Con!

Rob's design work on Maure Castle gave us a strong test last night, as Jon Hershberger ran 8 of us through the Chamber of Antiquities level, looking for a couple specific artifacts. Unsurprisingly, it had one of Rob's trademark MASSIVE rooms, with really (!!!) dangerous elements that practically dare you to hang yourself.*

Jon Hershberger probably giving Nik Dunn some bad news. We are playing AD&D, of course!
Rob has been known to put high-HD, many-headed beasts in modules targeted for 1st-3rd level characters. So if you see a similarly-shaped monster in a deep level than only 12th-14th level characters are likely to get to ... well, give it plenty of respect. Dwarves, please don't rush forward and hurl your hammer at it. At least only the Dwarf died. The rest of us pointed and laughed!

But I shouldn't laugh too hard, because my fighter "fell at the hands" of hordelings. (Inside joke.) Thank goodness for the Elixir of Life!

In other news, the Black Blade Publishing booth at Gary Con has lots of Rob's work available: New printings of Cairn of the Skeleton King, Tower of Blood, Dark Druids and The Original Bottle City, along with the earlier versions of both Dungeon Sets, El Raja Key's Arcane Treasury, and Cairn (2nd print, IIRC).


Stop by the Black Blade Publishing booth to check those out, along with all the other great stuff nearby!

* Just a note:  Chamber of Antiquities was originally published in DUNGEON Magazine by Paizo and for 3rd edition; and it was later converted for use in AD&D.  The link details an adventure into it using the former rules. --  Thanks to Guy for the report and to Jon for making the session a fun time had by all (maybe excepting the dwarf....)  RJK

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Cairn of the Skeleton King & Tower of Blood Available at Garycon!

Boxes of Cairn of the Skeleton King and Tower of Blood were shipped by the printer to Garycon and copies will be available there for purchase from Black Blade Publishing.

Black Blade is also handling Chaotic Henchmen's sales distribution (there and in the future), so Dark Druids and their other titles will also be acquirable at Black Blade's booth.

Though I am not attending the convention I will be receiving updates from Jon Hershberger, Allan Grohe, Guy Fullerton and Paul Stormberg (including photos) of what they are doing there, snapshots of convention activities, etc.  I will post con information and photos when I receive them.  In fact I just talked to Jon and he and Allan are in Des Moines on the way to the convention at this very moment!  :)

More updates later!






Sunday, March 15, 2015

New Auction

To support my move, my upcoming marriage and the publication of various here-to-fore unpublished works of mine including RPG material, CD Collection, fiction, board game design, and my current non-fiction work, I am holding another auction through the Collector's Trove here: LINK

Currently only game related items have been listed; and the listings will include many more collectibles and interesting artifacts as Paul continues to post these over the upcoming days.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cairn of the Skeleton King reprint - off to the printers



Here’s an update on the reprint of Rob’s Cairn of the Skeleton King adventure that is being published by Black Blade Publishing.  The adventure has received another editorial pass and an all new layout including the cover shown below.  


This version of Cairn of the Skeleton King is a very faithful reprinting of the adventure published by Pied Piper Publishing.  The editing and layout are complete and just today the production files were sent off to the printer.

We should have these available at the Black Blade Publishing vendor booth at GaryCon, and they will then be available directly through Black Blade Publishing.

Thanks for your interest, and thanks to Rob for working with us to bring this adventure back into print.

Jon