* ROB KUNTZ, Special Guest at ARNECON 2 GAMING CONVENTION 2024, Minneapolis MN, See You There! *

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Lucca Comics & Games 2015

Lucca Comics & Games was a blast and a high-calibre experience not to be missed, as the second biggest comics and games convention in the world after San Diego CA, in terms of size and visitor numbers (300,000+). Lucca is certainly a creative force to be reckoned with as an international event bringing together a plethora of guest artists and creators (authors, game designers, illustrators, cartoonists, publishers, movie makers, etc.), and genres and platforms as varied as movie extravaganza (Star Wars) to D&D (Rob Kuntz and other D&D creators), to manga.

The atmosphere was upbeat, as can be expected from such a type of festival, with a plethora of costumed individuals hyped up by the Halloweenesque time of year, lending it a surreal vibe, against the solemn grandeur of the historical Tuscan town of Lucca. For the event spills well out of the confines of the halls and tents, into the Renaissance streets, past the opulent architecture of the town.

Most of all, we were impressed by the friendliness, dedication and professionalism of the team of volunteers, helpers and show enthusiasts who work consistently year on year to make Lucca Comics & Games a resounding success!

Meanwhile we shall leave it to the pictures to do the talking...

The fun starts here!
Rob meets up with fans at the Mondiversi Publishing booth
Rob and Amos Pons (Mondiversi Publishing)
Rob DMing the first session of The Cairn of the Skeleton King
Rob's workshop on design philosophy: Lateral Thought Processing in Real-Time RPG Design
Overhead view from the 'tower' of the dealers section
Rob at the Mondiversi booth
Rob and Mark Rein-Hagen, with our Italian interpreter and assistant, Anna
Awards ceremony
Mark Kelly, C.A. Suleiman and Rob doing his best zombie imitation!
Relaxing before the video podcast
The 'A Team' of behind-the-scenes helpers, Paolo, Irene and Gian Luca (Jurgen)!
Rob on the video podcast
Andrea D'Urso (left), one of the main event organisers, Lorenzo and Rob
Rob and Nathalie
Presenting awards for the winners of the D&D tournament
Looking Italian!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Back in Hacking THINGS

So many things...  Don't we all have these...?  These... THINGS.  Most of us do not report on these things, for they are only, in retrospect, just things.  This, that and other.  Why I should feel, unlike so many others who do not report on their things, that is, to report my THINGS as important things by comparison, or, maybe not by comparison, but perhaps out of egoistic need to classify things as categories best suited to thing-mongers, perhaps?  Well, the keyboard presents an ever-present opportunity to alleviate the need for reporting on such things, which is a thing (or, many related things) of itself,  So here starts another round of thing-disgorging, or thing-acclimating, depending upon one's perspective or proclivity...

THING 1:  I have moved to France and settled with my wife-to-be.  We live in a secluded place in the mountains.  Just up the slope are the ruins of an old medieval castle (Genoese).  I have not been there as yet, but when we do investigate the ruin I will be sure to be looking out for the errant stirge as well as snapping a few picts to post here.  Otherwise the champagne is superb, as is the fromage...

THING 2: The LUCCA Comics & Games festival was a hit!  The festival had 300,000 attendees and could have sold more tickets.  I was very busy, participating in two interviews (one real-time video podcast) a Q&A session (see pict below), many signing sessions, received an honorary plaque award, did a workshop on RPG design philosophy, DMed 2 adventure gaming sessions, and attended many formal and informal dinners. Nathalie has a ton of photos and when we find the time we'll post some of these with descriptors.  There's much more to report, but this partial thing must suffice as the thing of the moment...

L to R:  Anna, my lovely and highly professional interpreter for the festival, myself, and Marco Signore. 

THING 3:  The Collector's Trove has confirmed a date in mid-January for the release of the RJK DVD collection.  More on this as we close in on the release date.

More things to follow...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Onto the Next Adventure!

I brought Rob to the Wichita airport today for his outbound trip to Paris (via Atlanta).  He got off safe and sound, and we'll definitely miss him here in the 'States.  Wish him bon voyage, good luck, farewell, and safe travels in the comments :D

Rob's next appearance will be at the LUCCA Comics & Games Convention from 29 October through 1 November, in Lucca, Italy.  At the convention, Rob will run two sessions of Cairn of the Skeleton King, and will conduct a workshop on game design theory, in addition to participating in panel discussions, et al.  Full details appear on Rob's LUCCA page.


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Off the Radar but Definitely ON TARGET

With my pending move overseas right around the corner, with my upcoming marriage, my whirlwind appearance at the LUCCA Comics & Games show starting October 29 and my commitments to not only BBP on various projects we have in the works but to those of my own--well, I will be strained to update much here.  Most future updates will be related solely to creative-business concerns that are in the works.

I can say this in passing:  Much is on the horizon, not only from my extensive RPG intellectual property but also from other original works that my wife and I will be forwarding:  My book, a new enterprise, a new partnership I've formed for producing the RJK DVD Collection (which is making great headway), and a few more surprises.

So, stay tuned during our transition.  There is not only a change of latitude in the making but a change of attitude in the air!

In between, may you never get caught in a dead end by an iron golem!

Rob & Nathalie

Friday, October 2, 2015

Of Corsica!!

Now that my move is in full swing for my repositioning from dry plains to beautiful island charm, I will share a few pictures of my destination spot with you--made all the more beautiful due to my charming wife-to-be!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

They said...

Rumblings from the very Far Side...

...that Gary Gygax had said...  that Vance said... who heard Leiber say... that he had read that Wells had intimated... what Voltaire had said while drinking wine... that Dante had eschewed... what was otherwise promulgated by a slave of Tacitus... who had said that an unnamed student of Plato... said that a nature priestess... had written... what the last cave-man had garbled before dying from its own mistaken identity...

And thus started the codification of MYTH (as ongoing) with all of its attendant foolishness...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Robert J. Kuntz Interview For Lucca

Here are the interview links from the excellent online 'zine,  Isola Illyon, and as conducted by Luca Scelza.

The Noblest RPGer of Them All

Dave and me at GENCON 2004

I have noted some things a little here or there about my book that I am finishing.  But the most important thing about it, I feel, is that it will set a new standard, a new view, about what David L. Arneson's concept accomplished, the very range and dimension of what he intuitively leveraged to produce the first role playing game.  When I began researching the book over 7 years ago I concluded from the very beginning that it would be dedicated to Dave.

His birthday is October 1; and sadly there is not much to be seen proliferating about the 'net or elsewhere regarding the man, the designer, the educator, that brilliant "kid" from the Twin Cities.
A search on his name produces almost as many hits referencing his passing many years ago as it does his accomplishments.

That will soon change...

Extracted from my book's--A New Ethos in Game Design--concluding paragraph of the chapter, "What Arneson Knew":

In summary there are few game designers who through the generation of ideas, to their modeling, then to their extended uses, who can rightly claim through such an intertwined process to have created a playable game let alone to have been one of the primary people in generating an industry from doing so.  There is no doubt in my mind that if the intuitive Arneson--the man who was known to walk into convention halls filled with tables of miniatures and therein exclaim, “Oh boy!  Toys!”--had ever lost his “child within” prior to Blackmoor’s advent that there would be no hobby or industry today as we now know it. (Copyright 2013-2015 Robert J. Kuntz. All Rights Reserved)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

LUCCA Special Releases: Covers for CotSK, 1 and 2

Amos Pons of Mondiversi in Torino sent the covers for Cairn of the Skeleton King to be released at the LUCCA Comics and Games Convention.  The second is the limited edition of 50 copies being offered to the Italian market.  Enjoy!

Cover art by Jim Holloway

Front cover art by Emanuele Manfredi

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BOBBO's 60th Level Party

As arranged by the god of electrons...

BOBBO: "My dear designers and die-hards, Book-bounds and Shadybucks, Grubbers for recognition, Clubbers, GMO corn-sowers, Pocket Bulgers, Seekers of Garlands Galore and Loud Louts."

[No one laughs and Bobbo waves to same.]

BOBBO: "Today is my 60th birthday!"

[Silence; and Bobbo waves to same.]

BOBBO: "Alas, 60 years is far too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable folklore." "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

BOBBO [after a short pause to light a cig]:  "I am going now, far over the expanse of yore, exchanging the known for its perkier side, and straight into the bosom of the past to begin a new future!"

[Most of the party-goers have dissolved by now, leaving only the designers and die-hards from the original list. There is an audible CLICK! and the page resets upon a You-Tube video showcasing the next sexy sensation.  An audible sigh of relief is heard from the exited party-goers.]

BOBBO proceeds EAST…

Monday, September 21, 2015

My Wikipedia Bio-Catastrophe, Lucca Update

Herein Started My Publishing Career in 1973

As I have mentioned in interviews, in person and in various other modes of communications, my "bio"
on Wikipedia is a...  Well, I am more concerned with what it--and what others related to D&D history and designers in general--IS NOT:  In my case, it is an abomination, strewn with errors, assumptions, quotes from sources which were never verified through me, etc.

Take for instance the opening paragraph.  I mark the parts that have issues in red, which is, almost the entire paragraph:

Rob Kuntz was born September 23, 1955 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.[2] His older brother is Terry Kuntz. Kuntz learned about miniature wargames at age 13 while skimming through an issue ofPlayboy; he saw a game called Dogfight listed in a section describing party gifts for Christmas. Kuntz began playing boardgames, miniatures and play-by-mail games.[2] Kuntz met Gary Gygax in 1968.[3]:240 In 1972, at age 17 Kuntz lived just a few blocks away from Gygax, and got to play in the second-ever game of Dungeons & Dragons set in the World of Greyhawk, taking on the role of a fighter named Robilar.[3]:240 In 1973, Kuntz began running his own "Castle El Raja Key" campaign for Gygax.[3]:7 His campaign world was known as Kalibruhn.[3]:240 By 1974, the group of D&Dplayers sometimes included over 20 people, so Kuntz became the co-dungeon-master, allowing each dungeon master to referee groups of only a dozen players.[3]:7 Kuntz brought in some elements of his campaign into Greyhawk, and some levels of El Raja Key were incorporated directly into Castle Greyhawk.[3]:7

I could, right now, correct the many things I've noted that plague this paragraph and, concerning the entire article as published, which sunders it from my own reality. But I am leaving that for post-move overseas and for the new firm that my wife and I will be forming.  More on that post LUCCA.

In other news: I am assured to be attending LUCCA due to Italy's open border with France, so even if I do not acquire a visa my passport allows me entry.  Meraviglioso!

I will be participating in group seminars, DMing many sessions of CotSK and doing some other fine stuff as arranged by LUCCA and Amos Pons.  I am getting revved up for it and just may provide a surprise or two for my sponsors or for stragglers who are wanting some extra classic gaming.

Nathalie is also very excited, for she has never attended such an event, though she observed a small convention of RPGers playing in Manchester, UK many, many years ago.  Being the XTRA-Imaginative sort, she has fallen right in like I did at first and will no doubt be conquering the play of it with great leaps and bounds.

I've already designed a multi-mapped starter environ for her to test the waters with comprised of a small outdoor ensemble and a 2-level abandoned manor house...  As she is way into architecture of all types I thought that a once well-appointed manor was in order.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Minor Update: CotSK in Italian

Mondiversi of Turin, Italy, operated by Amos Pons, will be releasing Cairn of the Skeleton King in Italian for their RPG market at the upcoming Lucca show I am scheduled to appear at.

Besides doing a full-fledged reprint and translation Amos has also ordered an additional limited run of 60 copies with a different cover (ten of these have been set aside for me, the author), these for the Italian RPG collector's community.

This whole effort by Amos and myself is a reintroduction of classic gaming in the Italian hobby which, as far as I can tell, does not have its own, country-produced, RPG platform, as was the case (in the past) with the French, etc.

Here's the cover art for the limited run copies...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lucca Confirmation Announcement

Well, for good or ill, I have been listed as a guest at the upcoming Lucca Comic and Games Fest in late October:  NEWS LINK.

I say "ill" only because I have yet to be issued the French visa I applied for, which would also let me cross into Italy for the show.  I am expecting word on this in about a week.

Hopefully when the dust settles from this activity I will find myself not only attending the show but relocating overseas where I will join my better half, which is truly the better half of the news that is unfolding.

I will make announcements regarding all of these important events for Nathalie and myself when those in control give us the green light.

Fingers Crossed...

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Lost, Lost City of the Elders (AKA 1+1 ≠ 2)

The Lost, Lost City of the Elders (AKA 1+1 ≠ 2)

Why oh why do people continue to speculate upon something I created so many years ago for personal play?  I mean.  I still live as an author, then should not such speculation upon its eventual publication, if at all, be considered my province?  Is this the price creators and their creations “pay” for not serving up the goods, the objects in whatever appropriate or inappropriate fashion as deduced by consumers?  Is this trammeling of mere mentions of it in passing, some play sessions of it at conventions, seed enough to disgorge a faintly guessed at simulacra in order to placate or otherwise assuage an emptiness felt only by those who believe they deserve such satiation, even at the cost of exacting payment from the work itself, and thereby making the creator’s charge a mere mockery of object-driven minds, an anecdote whipped on by the unsatisfied needs of the hack or, worse, the addict?

Peace I say!  No bequeathal has been made, no sacrifice offered, in all, that was not my own and of my sweat.  No counterfeit that, no matter the gauge one might attempt to refit such history with in order to watch the resulting illusion bounce to and fro.  And to what end?  A name.  That is all it would be.  Just a name.  It would lack the very substance that I clothed it in, would mock the nurturing that I sustained it with, and thus would be meritless except for what could be derived from a name.

Faint recompense even for the greedy, or for each self-appointed steward of the "Cult of the Entitled."

Would we now turn over stones just to smash them?  Is this what history, whether that be Greyhawk’s, or my own, deserves?  Such a footnote would read more like a tombstone inscription:  “Here stands defaced that which still lives...”

Peace I say again!  Scratching errantly at the past only dirties and bloodies one’s hands...  Patience in the future, whatever the outcome, cleanses them with dignity...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Newest Auction of RJK Library and MSS

Is here through the Collector's Trove:  RJK Auction

Want some choice research and/or classic fantasy, it's there.

The money raised is being used for my move to France and to set up a new creative partnership, which will include the publication of many original works of mine including RPG, Board Game, Card Game, fiction, to name a few.

The highest bidder will be receiving a personal card from me when I am relocated overseas, and from the Hotel Kuntz, Paris where I will be honeymooning.  :)

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...