Feb 252015

Is it ironic that I’ve this idea bouncing around inside my head for about a month now and I’m finally getting around to posting it? Well, let’s just say that time is at premium right now and I don’t always have the time I did in the past.
While I’m not using these techniques for my RPG writing, I do tend to use them for the drafts of fiction.
Free Writing: This is what I did for Nanowrimo. It’s pretty simple. Just sit back and write. Spelling, grammar and everything else be damned. While this probably won’t get you a coherent draft, it’s gets those ideas down on paper. It’s gets the story done in at least some fashion. And who knows you may just add something cool that you wouldn’t have thought of while you were fretting about format. Just let the creative juices flow.
The Lester Dent Formula: My first love of reading came from the old pulps (No, I’m not that old.)and Doc Savage was one of my favorite. Lester Dent is credited with 181 of the Doc Savage stories. He cranked out about one a month. From that he derived a formula. You may scream, “Formulas! NOOOO!” But like so many things it’s a starting point to get things moving. Guideposts if you will. Keep the action and tension going. Just look at the formula and adapt it to you and your story in your way.
Write A Novel in Three Days Lessons from Michael Moorcock: Just read this article which also references the Lester Dent Formula. Trust me.
Now, stop reading and just start writing.

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 Posted by at 10:56 am
Feb 232015

So I was driving to the weekly game and within minutes I witnessed two cases of road rage and it sparked a little idea on how road rage is a little bit like like Internet outrage.
First, I was the fourth car back at the stop light waiting to make a left turn. It was near rush hour so the intersection was a bit congested. From somewhere at the intersection someone was laying on their horn. The light turns green and go to turn left and there on the opposite side was some guy banging on the driver’s side window of the car behind him and he was yelling and screaming at the person inside. There wasn’t any place for me to turn around safely or anything like that. My first thought was man what an ass hat. But then I thought I didn’t have all of the facts. while it’s obvious that the screamer’s actions were wrong, immature, ill mannered, and down right fucked up. I didn’t know what started the confrontation. I can condemn the actions of the jerk yelling and screaming at somebody but I don’t know anything else. While Mr. window Banger overreacted in a dangerous manner and should not have acted the way he did, I have no idea what triggered what he did. I didn’t have all the facts.
Then just a ways down the down the road, I was driving behind a white car in the right turn only lane. The traffic in that lane was moving along without a problem. the other lanes were slightly backed up at another stop light. Ahead a Mustang pulls out in front us to get in the “straight ahead” lanes blocking the right turn lane and making everyone slam on their brakes to avoid a nice little pile up. The white car ahead of me lays on the horn. I mean the steady lean not beep-beep. The driver of the Mustang flips off the driver of the white car. The traffic inches ahead and the Mustang moves enough for the folks in the right-turn lane can keeping going. Cool. It’s over and we can continue on to our destinations. But no. The driver in white stops and yells at the Mustang driver. Yeah, sure I was pissed and the people behind were also probably a bit upset. But instead of moving on, the white car stops and does pretty much the same thing that started the whole situation. Sure get angry because some ass blocks traffic but then don’t be hypocrite and block traffic again because you just have to get that one last fit. Neither action makes anything any better.
Most folks spend so much time in their cars that it becomes almost like a second home. It’s our domain where we’re trying to get our dreary jobs and be minute late or else we get the tisk-tisk from our bosses. Then we head home to whatever lies there; be it good or dramatic. When somebody invades that space or even possible endangers us or our friends and families, we get angry. I understand that and I’m even guilty of it. That ass who’s zipping between lanes is probably just that. An ass. But maybe that person is rushing home. Maybe there’s a real emergency. Chances are slim but it’s a possibility. I know that if there was a real emergency at home I’d bend the hell out of some traffic laws to get there as quickly as possible.
So what am I saying in this overly long rant and how does this even remotely relate to the Internet? Don’t jump to conclusions and get the facts. Recognize opinion from fact and slanted propaganda for what it is. Don’t be hypocrite. The Internet is a bit like driving our cars. They’re our little moving domains and when someone invades that domain we get our feathers ruffled however we share that space with others who are on the road. On the Internet, we each can have out little soapbox to express our thoughts, feelings, and opinions. But we share that space with others. When someone comes along and craps in our space we get angry and sometimes justifiably so. But there are way too many times, it just becomes a childish little bitch fest that does no one any good.

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 Posted by at 10:00 am
Feb 122015

In case you haven’t heard the RPG Blog Alliance will be shutting down at the end of April. It was a great ride while it lasted.
First, I want to say thank you to all the work and time the crew there spent setting the whole thing up. I jumped in as soon as I could. Thanks to the RPGBA, I met a lot of really cool people and read some wonderful blogs that I might never have had the opportunity to see. It was very useful and helpful. I know in the early days a lot of traffic to my blogs were thanks to the RPGBA. Once again thank you.
I’m also the kind of person that is willing to take a hint from the universe. I’ve been thinking about doing some changes here on this blog and this just seems like the right time. No, I’m not shutting down. You see. I never intended this blog to be about RPG’s. It just sort of happened. I’ve been thinking about changing that and with the announcement from the RPGBA, now is the time.
So here’s the deal. This blog is going to stay around and be about whatever the hell I feel like ranting about. Just post crazy stuff or something that strikes my fancy. It’ll be more about me ranting about life and the world in general. All of my RPG stuff is going to be on my other blog, They Might Be Gazebos. This change is going to be a little slow and happen over the next few weeks. I’m going to do a little tweaking here and there. Plus, I’ll go through the archives here and re-post some of my “Greatest RPG Posts” over there. So adjust your RSS feeds or how ever you keep track of what I rant about.
Thanks again, RPGBA. You will be missed. Let’s have fun out there. Roll some dice, kill monsters and take their stuff.

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 Posted by at 8:38 am
Feb 092015

Why the heck would I pay $10 for a system neutral setting that’s only 30 pages long? Because it’s freaking awesome.
If you’ve been following along with my blogging, I’ve been on a real space opera kick lately. When I heard about this, I thought cool. When I started hearing good things about it then I thought I just have to get this.
Now, I’ve seen plenty of system neutral settings or even settings with a system and so many of them sucked. They were clunky, over complicated or just down right silly. Strange Stars isn’t any of those things. The layout and the information is put forth in a clear, evocative and entertaining manner. While it’s system neutral, Game Masters have enough info to port it into whatever system they want. There’s plans for an official FATE version and an OSR style game. But heck you easily use Traveller, Hardnova 2, d6, Stars Without Number, Machinations of the Space Princess, Star Frontiers, X-Ploreres or Savage Worlds (There reliable rumors of a fan hack coming soon). Any way those would be my games of choice to run Strange Stars with.
The background is interesting. You can see the fingerprints of common settings and tropes without it seeming like somebody just filed off the serial numbers of Star Wars and Star Trek then tried to cram both of them into a crazy fanboy universe. And heck you could just tweak it and mix it with your own ideas.
All in all, Strange Stars has the goods. It’s got plenty of ideas for totally rad Space Opera from days gone by. Now if you more detail about what’s going on in the book, just head on over to Trey Causey’s (the author) blog.
You can get Strange Stars at Drivethrurpg. It’s worth every penny.

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Feb 032015

I wanted way to give Extras in Savage Worlds a little boost without making them full Wild Cards.  Then this little idea popped into my head. Let’s call them Wild Extras.  I know not that original but it works. The idea is to make an opponent that’s a little more dangerous than your average Extra but not having the full Wild Card monty.

So Wild Extras get a Wild Die for Skills and Attribute checks but they take wounds as a normal extra.  That’s it simple and to the point.

And as my usual Savage Worlds disclaimer, in case someone else has already came up with this idea let me know. I did a little googling and didn’t see anything but that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there.

And yes, I know this is a really short post.  Hey, I’m busy.  New puppies don’t housebreak themselves.  Wouldn’t it be nice if they did?

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 Posted by at 10:10 am
Jan 202015

My head has been bouncing around on way too topics of late and as usual it bounced into the gaming area of my brain.  I thought about all the different games I’ve played and ran over the years.

There’s systems that have struck my fancy for a while and then faded to depths of gaming shelves (or even sometimes boxes).  I had my time with Hero, GURPS and World of Darkness.  Pathfinder has grown a bit tedious and overly crunchy, splat book heavy and just “meh”. FATE was an experiment. We all get to have those now and then.  But in the end, it just really felt flat as game but still has useful ideas (or dare I say aspects) that are useful.

Then there’s a whole slew of games that are fun and I really enjoy. But there’s a few that just cause my little gamer heart to go all aflutter and I start bouncing in my chair. First, there’s all that OSR stuff.  I admit, I didn’t come wandering into the old-school until late in the game. But when I did that old passion came back.   I dug out my White Box with the Little Brown Books. Those feelings that got me started in gaming in the first place. And with a thriving OSR online community, there’s plenty of really cool, creative and original ideas.  Yeah, go ahead and call it nostalgia. But the simple games of yore have special place in my heart and dang it just like wine somethings do improve with age.

There’s also Savage Worlds.  Yeah, I know I haven’t blogged about in way too long but see the above paragraph.  Whenever I get a chance, I’ll hop right into a Savage Worlds game.  Fast, Furious and Fun. That’s the tag line.  It’s an awesome game that’s pretty easy to tweak to whatever setting/genre you want. Yes it does have a bit of pulpy/cinematic feel.  But some games need that.

So that’s my little rant.  I suppose I should throw in some special mention to faithful D6 system.  My mind has wandered back into that territory too.

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 Posted by at 10:02 am