Archive for May, 2011

31
May
11

rick jones, sorcerer (pt 3)

Avengers 57 by John Buscema

Using Sorcerer to run Atomic Horror type stuff, which I only know from comic books:

building a sorcerer scenario: the relationship map

In Dungeons & Dragons, players typically navigate a dungeon, designed more-or-less as a flowchart.

Zork I as flowchart

Sorcerer is one of many role-playing games that doesn’t work well in that format.  Instead of constructing a flowchart that depicts physical space, you build a house of cards, the “relationship map” showing lines of tension between NPC’s.  Here’s an example I found for some version of Vampire:

somebody's Vampire game as "house of cards"

Players, in the process of pursuing their own interests, will knock into the house of cards, and hijinks ensue.  All of this is addressed at great length in Sorcerer’s Soul, one of the supplements to the game.  But I’ll work out an example over the course of a couple posts.

N.B., obviously some of the really famous D&D modules use both techniques.  I’m thinking of something like B4: The Lost City or B2: Keep on the Borderlands, where the dungeon-dwellers have their own factions, alliances, and vendettas which the players’ arrival will inevitably throw into disarray.

step 1: draw lines of sex and death

All this day-dreaming about alternate Marvel Comics rosters makes me think about the House of Pym, and how it influenced the formation of the Avengers.  So my source fiction is gonna be Avengers comic books from, like, 1963 through 1973, with a focus on Hank Pym and the people linked to him.  Scripted by Stan Lee and Roy Thomas, illustrated by Jack Kirby, Don Heck, and John and Sal Buscema.

At this stage, you plow through the source material again, keeping an eye out for relations between characters, particularly primal stuff like sex and killing.  Then you draw a little map: click to embiggen.

by some miracle I am not a virgin

genealogy of the Vision, 1967 through like 1973

Christ, that’s a lot of people!  Let’s pluck out the main characters:

The Pyms:

  • Goliath is a mad scientist with a massive inferiority complex.
  • Wasp, his wife, a generation younger.  Fabulously rich, spoiled nymphomaniac.  “Supportive” in a belittling way.
  • Ultron is Goliath’s creation: an indestructible, brilliant, genocidal robot with an Oedipus complex.

The Williams:

  • Wonder Man: a businessman who embezzled from his own company.  He gets blackmailed by the Enemy into becoming a double-agent.  He dies, heroically, as a triple-agent.
  • Grim Reaper is Wonder Man’s brother.  He’s not wrapped too tight.
  • Vision is Wonder Man’s brain downloaded into the body of a ghost-like robot.

The mutants:

  • Scarlet Witch is a ex-terrorist mutant who falls in love with the Vision.
  • Quicksilver is an ex-terrorist mutant who is rabidly possessive of his sister, the Scarlet Witch.
  • Magneto is a terrorist mutant who emotionally dominated Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.  Later revealed to be their father.

The sub-plot:

  • Goliath II (a/k/a Hawkeye) is Goliath’s jackass friend.  Naturally the original Goliath supplies him with an addictive steroid in the interests of national security.  He is sweet on the Black Widow and the Scarlet Witch.
  • Black Widow is an alluring Soviet spy who’s got Goliath II wrapped around her pinky finger.  Her ultimate loyalties are extremely murky.

step 2: identify moral crimes

Doesn’t have to be illegal, just morally disturbing to the reader.

  • Goliath, at Ultron’s urging, tries to scoop out the Wasp’s brain and plant it into a robotic body.  Because he loves her.
  • Ultron (Goliath’s darker side) scoops out Wonder Man’s brain and places it into a robotic body.
  • Goliath and the Wasp are locked into an extremely toxic marriage filled with physical (and emotional) abuse and a constant struggle for dominance, mainly fueled by Goliath’s raging insecurity, which the Wasp exploits when it suits her.
  • Magneto emotionally abused his children into joining his holy vendetta against the human race.  When the kids have second thoughts about it, he arranges to shoot the Scarlet Witch so that Quicksilver goes berserk and rejoins Magneto’s team.  Their betrayal costs the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver their only human friends.
  • Goliath II is wild for the Black Widow, but she exploits him in service of the Reds.
  • The Grim Reaper goes crazy when Wonder Man dies, and swears revenge against a whole bunch of innocent people.  (Oddly, he’s kind of okay with the idea that someone scooped out his brother’s brain and put it in a robot.)  (The Grim Reaper is a pretty lame character.)

“but i only care about dungeons and (inexplicably rare) dragons”

I’ll get back to D&D soon.  I want to finish this up.  Later this week we’ll conclude scenario creation for Sorcerer.

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30
May
11

mighty marvel minimalism

A brief post because I’m tired after a long but enjoyable game of BrickQuest, run by our man Foner.  (Maybe Charlatan will share pictures and recollections.)

On the heels of yesterday’s post wondering what Marvel Comics would have looked like without Jack Kirby, here’s another probably pointless thought experiment:

What happens if you only used the superheroes featured in the 1984 Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game?

To refresh, that would be . . .

What If . . . 9 (second series), Rich Buckler pencils

  • Spider-Man
  • Wolverine
  • Captain America
  • Captain Marvel
  • Thing
  • Mister Fantastic
  • Invisible Girl
  • Human Torch
  • Thor (mentioned)

And on the villain side:

  • Doctor Octopus
  • Radioactive Man
  • Scorpion
  • Beetle
  • The Fixer

If you wanted to include guys with speaking parts in the rule books:

  • The Watcher
  • Doctor Strange
  • Beast
  • Professor X
  • Jarvis
  • Doctor Doom
  • Arcade

As noted in the Kirby post, it wouldn’t look too different, since most of the Marvel Universe was explored by the Fantastic Four.  There’s some version of the Avengers, and references to the X-Men.  Presumably the line-ups of both of these teams would be wide-freakin’-open for brand-new characters, created either by the Judge or by the players.  To me, it seems to hold just enough of the familiar Marvel Universe to be playable, but also so much is absent that  it’s practically a blank canvas.

Almost all of the villains are technological super-genius types.  The Scorpion, of course, is a lackey mutated into a freakish form by science run amok–presumably he’s out for revenge or dominance against other super villains, as well as against heroes.  And Arcade is, apparently, the deadliest assassin in the world–maybe he wiped out all the other X-Men.  (Ugh, it kills me to write that.  Arcade is a terrible character.)

Presumably Doctor Octopus and Wolverine have something in common in their origins: both are cyborgs.  Doctor Doom, scarred after his college experiment, may have studied sorcery under the tutelage of Doctor Strange.  Spider-Man and the Scorpion were both belted with radiation, possibly linking them to the Radioactive Man somehow.  Professor X and the Fixer may once have been close allies (replacing Magneto and Mentallo, who fulfill reciprocal roles for each character), until the Fixer betrayed him by harvesting DNA from Xavier’s students.

It’s possible that without the Puppet Master, there’d be no Alicia to take the edge off the Thing–meaning he’d still be carrying a torch for the Invisible Girl, and might still be in his raging, hair-trigger mood from early in the series, sort of filling the niche vacated by the Hulk.  And without the Hulk to have epic battles with, maybe the Thing takes his aggression out on Thor from time to time.

I don’t know where I’m going with this.  D&D blogs occasionally ask, “What if we only used monsters from the Fiend Folio” or whatever, so I figured I’d go through an analogous exercise.  I think where I end up is, “Gee, how about that . . . Okay, moving on.”

29
May
11

marvel minus kirby

What would the Marvel Universe look like without Jack Kirby?

Daredevil 7

My rule: all characters commonly credited to Kirby are out.  Furthermore, all characters who debuted in a title created by Kirby (Wolverine in Incredible Hulk 181) or in a spin-off of a Kirby title (everybody in New Mutants) no longer exist.

Titles we simply wouldn’t have:

  • Avengers
  • Capt. Savage and his Leatherneck Raiders
  • Fantastic Four
  • Incredible Hulk
  • Invincible Iron Man
  • Journey into Mystery (The Mighty Thor)
  • Marvel’s Space-Born Super-Hero, Captain Marvel
  • Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos
  • Sky-Rider of the Spaceways, the Silver Surfer
  • Tales of Suspense (Captain America)
  • Tales to Astonish (featuring Ant-Man & the Wasp and the Hulk)
  • X-Men
  • (Several late 70’s titles like 2001, Black Panther, Devil Dinosaur, Machine Man and Eternals)

A small handful of Silver Age titles would survive:

  • Amazing Spider-Man (pace authorship disputes)
  • Here Comes . . . Daredevil, the Man Without Fear
  • Strange Tales (featuring Doctor Strange)
  • Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner

It’s the loss of Fantastic Four that really hurts.  No Negative Zone, no Inhumans, no Kree, no Skrulls, no Blue Area of the Moon.  Without the other titles no Asgard or Stark Industries.

You lose female superheroes, at least in the Marvel Silver Age: there weren’t many to begin with, and without Kirby there are none.  The first black superhero wouldn’t be the Black Panther (Fantastic Four 52, July 1966) but instead the Prowler (Amazing Spider-Man 78, November 1969).  Jimmy Woo was among the very first Asian-American leading heroes in comics (Yellow Claw 1, October 1956), but he’s a Kirby character too.

And you lose creators.  Claremont, Byrne, Englehart, Starlin, Gruenwald and Simonson are all best-remembered for their work on Kirby-created titles or spin-offs, and under this experiment their voices would fall almost entirely silent.

what’s left?

By the 1970’s things expand out a bit:

apparently you had to be there

  • Adventure into Fear with the Man Called Morbius, the Living Vampire
  • Beware!  The Claws of . . . The Cat (a/k/a Tigra)
  • Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu
  • The Most Supernatural Superhero of All, Ghost Rider
  • Giant-Size Man-Thing
  • Howard the Duck
  • Iron Fist
  • Luke Cage, Hero for Hire
  • They Came from Inner Space, Micronauts
  • Night Nurse
  • The Man Called Nova
  • Omega the Unknown
  • Red Sonja
  • Rom, Space Knight
  • Savage Sword of Conan
  • Shanna the She-Devil
  • Skull the Slayer
  • Son of Satan
  • To Know Her is to Fear Her . . . Spider-Woman
  • Supernatural Thrillers: The Living Mummy
  • Tales of the Zombie
  • Tomb of Dracula
  • The Power of Warlock (okay, I’m cheating a little)
  • Werewolf by Night

Moving into the 1980’s…

  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Comet Man
  • Dazzler (arguably)
  • Elektra: Assassin
  • Jack of Hearts
  • Killraven, Warrior of Worlds
  • Longshot
  • Marc Spector, Moon Knight
  • Power Pack
  • Punisher War Journal
  • Rocket Raccoon
  • Speedball, the Masked Marvel
  • Team America
  • U.S. 1

put that into a cliche-larded archetypal game setting

In the grey centuries before the dawn of History, men and women fought demon-spawn.  With cultists fleeing the sinking of Atlantis came the Serpent Crown, bringing with it madness, death, and power.  The insidious litany of Set was memorialized in the Darkhold, repository of the foulest sorcery, and from its black pages were created the nosferatu and zuvembies.

These horrors stalked among us for millennia uncounted.  The blood tide of chaos was only cast back through steel and sorcery wielded with desperate courage.  (Welcome to Conan, Red Sonja, and so on.)

That legacy of evil persists even into this very age.  Unearthly things creep through the Nexus of All Realities and strike bargains with the unsuspecting or sire children with the unwary. (Okay, so, our modern day super-horror titles like Man-Thing, Son of Satan, and Ghost Rider.)

Memories of bygone days have faded, and ever anon man yearns to know that which is forbidden to him, prying matter apart to glean its secrets.  No surprise that in these vain experiments have left a mark on unlucky witnesses, who are lauded and shunned in equal measure.  (Spider-Man, Daredevil, Cloak & Dagger, Power Pack, etc.)

Yet this time mankind does not struggle against the darkness alone.  Across cosmic gulfs, alien intelligences–no strangers to the endless conflict between Law and Chaos–have sent strange emissaries to Earth to aid, inspire, and lead.  (Yep, Rom, the Micronauts, and Rocket Raccoon.)

isn’t this pointless?

Yeah, I guess so.  It beat doing real work.  Plus it lets me toss up this cover, which in this hypothetical would not be a sideshow curiosity, but rather  a huge frickin’ deal:

art by Michael Golden

 

28
May
11

stop! kirby time!

Metron, painted

From Fuck Yeah Kirby!

"Howdy Pardners, spend some time with two deformed freaks!"

From a 1990 Comics Journal interview.

Kirby, based on a story by Clarke and Kubrick

From a super-long but rich discussion of Kirby’s adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Jim Steranko’s adapation of Outland.  I have not seen either of these movies.

Steranko, based on a story by Peter Hyams

Aw hell, some Jim Steranko in there too, just because the whole thing is on-line.  I didn’t even know it existed!

27
May
11

simple marvel minion rules

Gearing up for a one-shot of the Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game (“MSH”), I’m wondering how to handle the minion arms race.

Ordinary villainous henchmen–your street thug, your violent civilian in a lynch mob–has around 20-30 Health Points.   If you’re a superhero, you’re going to be fighting mobs of these dudes frequently, and you can’t afford to spend too long plowing through them.

We ran into this exact situation a few years ago, when a friend was playing Nightcrawler dealing with an violent gang of anti-mutant bigots.  Nightcrawler connects with a punch maybe 60% of the time, for 6 points of damage.  He would, on average, need six rounds to subdue a perfectly ordinary guy.   This is extremely disappointing, because the one thing Nightcrawler can do reliably is whomp on whole mobs of minions.

Now, sure: Nightcrawler might get lucky and stun people with a single hit, using finesse and talent rather than raw power.  But that requires him to score a very rare “red” result on the combat table (around 5% of the time) and for the minion to then fail an Endurance saving throw (which happens about 50% of the time), so Nightcrawler is only going to take someone out with a single hit about 2.5% of the time.

So two ways to handle this: boost Nightcrawler’s Strength score to around 30 points, or lower the minions’ Health to 6 points. (I guess you could also make stuns easier by massively changing the game’s economy, but sheesh, lots of work.)

Boosting Nightcrawler’s Strength is kind of a bad solution.  Your Strength score has an objective value in the game: if you have 30 points of Strength, you’d be able to lift 1 ton, which doesn’t fit Nightcrawler at all.  We’d have to reconfigure the Strength chart, and boost everyone else up accordingly.  Plus it would de-value characters’ body armor: if you have 20 points of Body Armor, Nightcrawler couldn’t hurt you with 6 points of damage, but would wear you down if he did 30 points.  Nerfing body armor might not be a bad thing, since it’s extremely powerful in this game, but I think that step needs to be thought-through very carefully.

The easier solution would be to use something like minion rules.  Here’s a thought:

Minion Rank Health Points Example
Feeble 2 Schoolyard bully. Angry invalid.
Poor 4 Civilian, riled up by Hate-Monger or whoever
Typical 6 Normal, un-organized criminal hoodlum guy
Good 10 Serious crook. Mobsters. Policeman.
Excellent 20 Mafia hit-man. Soldier. The Enforcers.
Remarkable 30 Super-goon.
Incredible 40 Robotic or extra-brutish super-goon.
Amazing 50 God-goon

Minions can have the same Primary Abilities as any other NPC, just that Health is figured based on their Minion Rank rather than totaling up the scores of their physical Primary Abilities.  Optionally, Minions can have an Endurance equal to their Minion Rank, making them easier to slam and stun.

As soon as a minion gets a name and agency, he or she ceases to be a minion and becomes a regular NPC, with regular Health points and so on.

Note that this also would permit certain characters to have Minions as a super-power: in any particular scene you can have 1d10 Minions to assist you, at a cost of, say, 10 Karma per minion.

ETA: getting the last word, from the future, but in the past

So I’m incompetent at blogging.  Below, Zak S comments,

If your Nightcrawler guy is walking up to minions and smacking them, the wrong player’s playing nightcrawler.

I meant to throw some images in a reply comment, but I don’t know how to do that.  So:

it kills me I can't place this issue - I think it's Dave Cockrum's art though

And then also:

Claremont and Byrne - like, issue 131 or 132

I’ll be generous and say that reasonable folks can differ over something so vitally important to the world at large as Nightcrawler’s ability to show off in comics from, like, 30 years ago.  So it’s not like Zak is insane: this character does have a license to get creative.  But I think this is an established trick, too, and I’d like to be able to pull it off a little bit more reliably.

20
May
11

rick jones, sorcerer (pt 2)

Building off Part 1.

"Betty, I love you, but you're crazy."

What in God’s name are you babbling about?

  • The Incredible Hulk, vol 1, issues 1-6 (this is the only stuff I know well)
  • Donovan’s Brain
  • It Conquered the World (boy does this sound like a Sorcerer story)
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Quartermass Experiment
  • The Iron Giant
  • The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Basically, any “science-horror” from the 1950’s and 60’s featuring an alienated protagonist with a problematic relationship with an inhuman force.  If you know any good examples, please pipe up in the comments!

misfits of mad science

One of the fun things in Sorcerer is putting together specific types of demons, lore, and so on.  This is where setting acquire a lot of the occult trappings, superhero continuity, and all that stuff that gamers love so dearly.  Here’s a very rough draft of some of that, consistent with the tenets of Kirbytech.

Skrulls from Outer Space

Deliquescent slime-mold entities who have parasitically colonized the Andromeda Galaxy, the Skrulls have set their sights on the conquest of Earth.  Longlived and patient, the Skrulls have opted for a strategy of subversion.  By promising Earthmen scientists the fruits Skrull research, the Skrulls hope to corrupt our greatest minds and take over the world.  In Sorcerer terms, these guys are Passer demons (meaning they walk around independently) with Shapeshift and an appropriate Cover, desiring Power.  Within the Empire there are many competing rivalries, and even a sub-species of renegades, the Dire Wraiths.  (Can inflict Special Lethal Damage with their lightning-like tongues, and the Need to consume cerebro-spinal fluid; telltale is leaving a thin layer of ash behind after feeding.)

Phantoms of Limbo

Visiting Earth from the earliest days of our species, the Phantoms are intelligent patterns of flux in the Higgs Field.  When conditions are right–either in the ionosphere during sunspot activity, or as the result of the magnetic field contortions in a Moebius cyclotron–the Phantoms arrive.  They cannot be seen by the naked eye, but photographs and other reflections reveal weird blurry patterns in the air.  As immaterial beings, the Phantoms hunger for physical sensations, experienced vicariously through the humans they work with: in particular they get high on the operation of various “mood-chemicals” in the human brain related to violence, guilt, sexuality, and transgression.  In game terms: Inconspicuous demons, usually with the Shadow, Psychic Force, and Link abilities, possibly others as well; Desire is typically Sensation.

The Skrulls and the Phantoms are at war: the Skrulls seek to subvert and mind-control the human race, whereas the Phantoms derive sustenance, or some kind narcotic, from human depravity.

Radioactive Monsters

Some “demons” are entirely home-grown, rather than as intruders from beyond.  (Treat as Immanent demons from Sorcerer & Sword:  as creatures from this world they cannot truly be Summoned or Banished.)  As is well-proven in peer reviewed scientific journals, radiation makes ordinary creatures ginormous and incredibly strong.   (High Stamina score, abilities likely include Big or Vitality.) These creatures may be mindless or super-intelligent, but hunger for wanton destruction.  (Desire: Mayhem.)  Without constant gamma-ray bombardment they will lose their potency (Need: radioactivity.)

Radioactive monsters are usually Passer demons, but might be Parasites (radioactive spider-bite) or Possessors (Hulk, Lizard).

Thinking Machines

Computers and robots are invariably created to benefit all mankind through great intelligence (Boost Lore) and invulnerability (Armor).   Equally invariably, having a servant who’s smarter and stronger than you can lead to trouble (Desire: Knowledge, but frequently Mayhem as well).   Pioneering work in this field stems from early Nineteenth Century research conducted at the University of Ingolstadt, techniques which involve grafting human neural tissue to overcome limitations of computer hardware design.  (I’m trying to think of what the Need would be, what the “demon” requires in order to function.  Best practice is to make it something that endangers the “sorcerer’s” humanity, which is to say – personal loyalty, friendship, decency to others.)

put that together for me

Here’s a stab at Rick and his gamma-irradiated friend.

Rick Jones

early on, the Hulk always tries to kill Rick

  • Stamina 2, Scrapper
  • Will 6, Zest for Life + Vow
  • Lore 2, Apprentice
  • Cover 6, Crafty Juvenile Delinquent
  • Humanity 6 (starting)

The Hulk

  • Type: Immanent Possessor (host: Bruce Banner, subconsciously complicit)
  • Telltale: Grey-Green Skin
    • Big: seemingly impervious to harm
    • Special Non-Lethal Damage: titanic strength
    • Travel: leaping
  • Stamina 9
  • Will 10
  • Lore 3
  • Power 10
  • Desire: Mayhem
  • Need: Gamma Ray Bombardment

Bruce Banner would be an NPC “sorcerer” and Rick’s mentor.  The Hulk, in these early issues, is “bound” to Rick rather than to Banner.  Because Sorcerer is more of a horror game than a supers game, this version of the Hulk is “under powered” to comics fans, but should be able to dish out and withstand a great deal of damage, at least on a personal scale.  If you want more protection, I’d add the ability Armor.

19
May
11

Classic Rob Kuntz Modules on Loot!

Today’s deal at Gamerati’s Loot! website is definitely of interest to readers of the Mule: five classic adventures by Rob Kuntz, who co-DMed the original Greyhawk campaign along with Gary Gygax and created many of the seminal pieces of early D&D history. Much of this stuff remains unpublished, such as El Raja Key, Rob’s own castle + megadungeon combination – third in the lineage after Blackmoor and Greyhawk – and the world of Kalibruhn, which was once slated to be Supplement V for OD&D and then later a Pied Piper release based on “400 typed pages out of the several thousand pages of notes, maps and ancillary material extant on it.” Pieces of Rob’s work which did make it into print, like  Maure Castle (Mordenkainen’s Fantastic Adventure), are amazing, especially (to my tastes) when they haven’t been translated into later-edition d20 presentation, and that’s what Loot! is offering up today.

Here’s the description; since their website only shows each day’s deals, if you’re not reading this on May 19, 2011 you’ll need this to tell you what you missed out on:

For all you collectors of awesomeness we have a great out of print deal from 1987. Maze of Zayene #1-4, Garden of the Plantmaster & City of Brass Promo Flyer (1st Printings). As an little bonus this includes a promotional flyer for the NEVER released “City of Brass” module! Written by Rob Kuntz one of the most memorable writers for TSR.

Full titles included:

Maze of Zayene Part 1 – Prisoners of the Maze
Maze of Zayene Part 2 – Dimensions of Flight
Maze of Zayene Part 3 – Tower Chaos
Maze of Zayene Part 4 – The Eight Kings
Garden of the Plantmaster (stand alone adventure)

All are in near mint to mint condition IN THE ORIGINAL SHRINKWRAP.

Some notes to make this not just a “buy this now” post – although yes, you should do that right away, I’ll wait here while you do.

  • I believe Garden of the Plantmaster, like Bottle City, is derived from one of the special areas in the original Castle Greyhawk dungeons, making it a fragment of one of gaming’s Holy Grails.
  • From a collector’s point of view, it’s nigh unbelievable that you can get these all at once, in shrinkwrap, with a promotional poster, for such a low price. However, having been a publisher it makes perfect sense. The customer sees scarcity because they’re on the far end of a distribution pipeline. There are ever so many ways this pipeline can break down, from troubles in the distributor and hobby store chain to lack of initial consumer demand to suck things through, at which point the publisher on the other end gets stuck with crate after crate of ’em. What seems beautiful, precious, and jewel-like in isolation – and oh, how I can’t wait for my copies of these modules to arrive – seems like so much slowly yellowing tree pulp when you have a lot of  it on your hands.
  • Even in the long-tail days of the Internet, maintaining these distribution networks is costly and effortful. In theory, my old company Behemoth3, Inc. still has print copies of A Swarm of Stirges and Maze of the Minotaur to sell you – in the dog days following the collapse of the d20 boom, we sure didn’t run out of even the 600 we did print-on-demand. However, the website we had that would have let you order them from us direct is long gone; we weren’t making enough to justify paying its hosting fees, especially when each year in which we didn’t dissolve the company’s assets meant another annual cost to stay current as an S-corp. (B3’s foolish decisions would fill another post by themselves). Assuming you reached us somehow, it would take some effort to figure out whose attic has the boxes of these copies, and more to haul them out and mail ’em. And we’re just talking about a six-year-old smallest-of-the-small-presses product here!
  • The stories of TSR’s vast warehouses, filled with endless crates in which relics are hidden, winding up in the dumpster make more sense to me from this perspective; yes, it’s tragic, but in publishing as in war, veterans have a jaded perspective on tragedy. All the more kudos to the Gamerati, then, for not only uncovering this wondrous treasure hoard but also moving it through a working distribution network that transforms it from burdensome crates of paper into gaming jewels once again.
  •  Erik Frankhouse, the Gamerati Network’s sales manager, was at Gary Con III; although I didn’t get the chance to meet him this year I’ll be sure to do so next time. Might this bode more such treasures of interest to old-schoolers coming down the pike? It can’t hurt to sign up for Loot!’s email notification service just in case…



Past Adventures of the Mule

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