Sunday, August 30, 2009

Preview of the Canterbury Isles: The City of Bondaea

This is a look at the small fantasy city that will be included in my upcoming World of Arkara: Gazetteer of the Canterbury Isles.

Bondaea (pronounced bond-A-uh) is a city obsessed with law. Containing temples to over half a dozen lawful gods, the city has become a police state with identity checks and a large force of guardsmen.

Recently, the Duke who rules the city has converted to the worship of Therran the White, "human first" god of racial purity. All demi-humans have been restricted to the slum quarter of the city, setting the stage for rising tensions with the elves and dwarves of the isles, who outnumber the humans.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Do you want to date my avatar? (The Guild)

If you're not watching the guild, and you read this blog, you should be.

If you don't read this blog, feel free to disregard this and all other posts.

Best fantasy setting material of all time

In writing for World of Arkara, I've been giving a lot of thought to my favorite RPG settings.

Here's my short list and why I think they're awesome.

1. World of Greyhawk.

This world has scope, it has depth and its dripping with plot hooks.

2. Village of Hommlet

The book that really showed me how to "start small" with world design.

3. Thieves' World (Chaosium)

This sourcebook for converting Thieves' World to a score of Fantasy RPGs is just amazing. The best urban fantasy sourcebook of all time by a wide margin.

4. Dawn of the Emperors

Really, I could have picked any of these Gazetteers because I think they all are worthy of a long campaign. But I picked this one because it was first and because it was written by gaming god (just don't call him a Champions guru) Aaron Allston.

These were close-up books focusing on an area of the Known World, the official world of Basic D&D.

If that sounds familiar to you, its because I took this model as an inspiration for the way I'm organizing my World of Arkara setting, with the next book being the first of my close-up gazetteers of Arkara.

5. Dragonlance

Yes, the adventures were railroady as hell. Yes, the novels are really bad.

However, they are railroady adventures and bad novels set in an amazing fantasy world that showed me its ok for your world to have its own rules.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Arthur Lives Narrator's Guide in layout

Now before you get too excited, this process will take awhile, but it IS currently next in the queue.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Stuff that is probably only significant to me

So between Arthur Lives and World of Arkara, Vigilance Press has done as much business this month as it did in the last six.

Here's hoping that upward trend continues.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

World of Arkara has been released!

World of Arrkara is an old-school, "sandbox" style fantasy setting for the OSRIC system.
The first in a series, the Gazetteer of the Known World provides an overview of the world, its gods, customs and social hierarchies.

It includes three full pantheons of deities, new rules for making the clerics of one deity different from those of another deity, rules for social class, and a new class, the Crusader.

The Gazetteer also includes four new variant classes: the Anti-Paladin, the Bounty Hunter, the Hunter and the Poacher.

Variant classes take an existing class and modify it just enough to give it a new feel.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Survey: Gamers are fat and depressed

And this just in!

"Reporters" and "scientists" are f***ing dumb.

Here's my question for these idiots-

How the hell do you draw a "conclusion" by testing 552 gamers in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

That's right! They tested less than 1,000 people in one localized area.

Here'a a conclusion I can draw from this study that MSNBC was not falling all over themselves to publish (once they found out where Michael Jackson's brain is of course! priorities!):

100% of gamers hail from the Seattle-Tacoma area.

And of course, they were comparing gamers to non-gamers, so actually, they were studying two groups of less than 300 people in one localized area.


So, I watched the Rocketeer again tonight

This is a movie I remember very fondly from seeing it in the theater when it was released.

I was anxious to watch it again because of what I remembered about:

1. Dude with jetpack.
2. Dude with jetpack punching Nazi Timothy Dalton IN THE FACE.
3. Dude! Jetpack! Nazis!
4. Jennifer Connelly.

And despite all that still definitely being there. Plus awesome stuff I had forgotten, like Terry O`Quinn playing Howard Hughes (he had hair!), Paul Sorvino playing a mob heavy (again!) and Timothy Dalton's henchman who was straight out of a Dick Tracey comic, I still can't recommend this movie.

It's pretty amazing to see Jennifer Connelly back before Hollywood figured out that her appeal was not "they're real and they're fabulous".

She's smart and she can act.

Watching her play the vapid starlet and girlfriend of the hero (was she really going out with him?) was flat out distracting.

And the movie was kind of slow paced.

If you're not going to have balls-out action every 20 minutes, cast people who can act (I think they did this) and let them act (this- not so much).

So there you go. That's my review of a 20 year old movie.

Next up- Black Hole!

#89 with a bullet?

Not to be braggy, but Modern20 was 89 on RPGNow's top 100 list yesterday.

Not bad for a book released in October of 2007.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

We have always been at war with East Asia

It's been brought to my attention that "Ariakus" is one of the big bads of the Dragonlance series.

Therefor, be aware that the name of the world is now Arkara and has always been Arkara.

Ariakus is down the memory hole.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A taste of Arkara


The Axelands used to be one of the most prosperous realms in all of the Northern Continent. Once this land was the breadbasket of the Kingdom of Damask, the most powerful and influential kingdom in 500 years. All that changed when Lord Illanyra launched his bid to take over the kingdom and attempted to assassinate the entire royal family.

While civil war raged in the south, numerous humanoid tribes that had plagued Damask’s northern border for centuries saw an opportunity to take control of the kingdom’s northern regions. When the dwarves of the Axehandle mountains that border northern Damask decided to use the civil war as an opportunity to destroy the troublesome kingdom of men, and began supplying the humanoids with top-notch weapons free of charge, the trickle of humanoids became a flood and then an army.

Now this region is a war-torn hell of villages struggling just to survive another day, surrounded on all sides by murderous humanoid tribes bearing Dwarven weaponry. Currently the Deathspear Goblins, the Nightstalk Bugbears, the Duneblind Ogres, the Swiftsand Goblins and the Bloodhawk Gnolls infest this region.

Recently the Warband has brought the only glimmer of hope this region has seen in almost ten years. One of the largest groups of Rangers ever gathered together at a single place and time, they are led by Erik Loftin, the leader of the Knights of the Old Order and Leora, Archminister of the goddess Dannos. Still, even this group has served only to stem the tide of evil and chaos, like a tourniquet on a severed vein. They have even had to attack the greedy Axehandle Dwarves to cut off the humanoids’ supply of weapons, adding to the difficulty faced by this powerful, but hopelessly outnumbered collection of heroes.

Still, the Baron who rules this land still lives and has pledged his support to the Warband, offering them what little aid his can while his ragtag army fights a guerilla war. He is as outnumbered and outmatched as the Warband and has put out a call for brave adventurers, promising gold, titles, land and anything else he thinks might attract the ambitious and the young to his standard.

On the coast, across the Axehandle Mountains, live group of elves that have no love for the rampaging humanoids or the greedy Dwarves who have been assisting them. While the Dwarves have closed the mountain passes to these elves, they have begun to make the long journey north around the mountains and have been appearing in the region in greater numbers of late to assist against the threat.

Nominal Rulers: Baron Malcolm Boergrim owing fealty to King Lucius III of Damask (humans); King Branislav, Lord of the Axehandle Dwarves (Dwarves); Lord of the Coastal Wood Mikaere (Elves)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Actual World of Arkara info

Ok, so I've decided to actually talk about the World of Arkara itself, unlike my previous posts which had a kind of "I did it! No one can stop me! It's too late! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" vibe to them.

World of Arkara is an old-school fantasy world in the vein of Hyboria and Greyhawk. It provides an overview of the world, its gods, social hierarchies, laws and customs, along with a new class, the Crusader, and 4 variant classes: the Anti-Paladin, Bounty Hunter, Hunter, and Poacher.

And it does all this in a very tight, concise 25 pages.

If this does well more installments will follow, each putting a spotlight on one realm and giving it a detailed treatment.


I like this. It's very clean and simple. Which is of course the point. Emphasizes its old-school-ness.

So... uh... that World of Ariakus thing...

The first book, an overview of the world, its gods, customs, lands and laws is done!

I am going to let it sit for a day or so before I send it to layout, because I did 25 pages in like 3 days, including 12 pages last night.

Yeah baby! I am so wasted right now!

But I want to read it after I sleep, to make sure it doesn't read like a frakking dream journal or something.

And of course I wasn't designing from scratch. Bits and pieces of this world are drawn from numerous campaigns I've run over the years.

But yeah.

World. Three days. Done.

Welcome... to Chuckworld

Ok, that's incredibly dumb. How about- Welcome... to the World of Ariakus.

Oh yeah and... Coming Soon from Vigilance Press: the World of Ariakus, a complete campaign world for OSRIC.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Out now from Vigilance Press: Arthur Lives!

Arthur Lives! is a True20 roleplaying game of supernatural adventure, conspiratorial intrigue, and occult mystery. Heroes and villains from Arthurian myth have been reincarnated, coming back to life in the cinematic present. At first, these individuals don't remember their former lives, but as they begin to recognize each other, old feuds and tragic affairs resurface. Why has the King returned now? Does some unseen danger threaten? And even if the answer is yes, will these legendary heroes be able to put their old grievances aside long enough to oppose it?

Arthur Lives! is a complete campaign setting using the True20 system. This book includes:

  • Complete rules for character generation. You can play any character from Arthurian myth, or even make your own character from the myth that no one has heard of until now! You have been reincarnated in the present and so you have your own modern, mundane life. How will you reconcile these two lives? And with your new life comes old enemies, allies, and rivals.
  • Rules for Magic and Enchantment. Enchantment is a new Supernatural Philosophy for True20 Adepts, replacing fatigue cost with an ever-escalating risk that the Enchanter's magic goes out of his control to disastrous effect. This chapter also includes rules for crafting potions and a collection of supernatural Echoes -- visions of enchanted objects like Excalibur and the Holy Grail which characters can quest after.

Friday, August 07, 2009

One more note about the Philanthropist

Those looking to check the show out, the first 7 episodes are currently on Hulu.

Which reminds, yet again, how awesome Hulu is, but that's another thought for another post.

TV Shows you should be watching: The Philanthropist

Honestly, the Philanthropist is a show I usually wouldn't look twice it.

It had "typical TV bullshit drama" written all over it. You know, like Grey's Anatomy.

Then I heard it was by Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, guys who produced a little show called Homicide, and starring James Purefoy, the amazing British actor who played Marc Anthony in Rome.

Before you know it, I was watching the show religiously.

It's about Teddy Rist, an incredibly wealthy financier who makes his money from "natural resources", basically raping countries in Africa. He's a drunk, a womanizer and he likes to spend his money on cars and flashy paintings.

Then he has an epiphany and begins to use his money to help people.

For the comics fans out there, if you think Tony Stark minus the battlesuit, you'd have a really good sense of who this guy is, complete with a Rhodey-esque black bodyguard, played to perfection by Michael K. Williams, who fans of The Wire will recognize as Omar Little (maybe my favorite character of that entire series).

The show is the type of modern campaign I'd never run, but maybe it's the kind I should run, if that makes any sense.

Anyway, if you liked Homicide, Rome and/or the Wire, you should definitely check this show out.


20-page free preview of Arthur Lives! now available at RPGNow

Check out this 20-page PDF preview of the Arthur Lives! Player's Guide for True20, available now from Vigilance Press.

Arthur Lives! is a True20 roleplaying game of supernatural adventure, conspiratorial intrigue, and occult mystery. Heroes and villains from Arthurian myth have been reincarnated, coming back to life in the cinematic present. At first, these individuals don’t remember their former lives, but as they begin to recognize each other, old feuds and tragic affairs resurface. Why has the King returned now? Does some unseen danger threaten? And even if the answer is yes, will these legendary heroes be able to put their old grievances aside long enough to oppose it?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Interface Zero Modern20 edition out now!

So, it never rains but it pours I guess!

Interface Zero, Reality Deviant's cyberpunk setting was converted to Modern20 by me and is available even as we speak!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Voyages of Discovery is on sale!

Check out the awesomeness here.

Also a link to the previously mentioned 20 page preview at that link for those still on the fence (AKA bad people).

Monday, August 03, 2009

Voyages of Discovery Webbook included free with PDF

Just what it says on the tin.

Dear Wizard Magazine

Maxim Magazine is a magazine written by and for frat-boys.

It is not cool.

Wanting to BE Maxim Magazine is a terrible, terrible idea.


Burn Notice

My growing love for Burn Notice has once again crossed my mind.

When I started watching this show, it seemed amazingly simply. Throwback with a retro twist.

It was continuity-free TV. One fuzzy bear short of being Starsky and Hutch.

But slowly, they have woven more continuity and character into the show and have completely sucked me in.

This is in direct contrast to shows that slam you with a front-load of continuity right up front, letting you that they demand, DEMAND I say, a huge commitment from you.

In the case of shows like Lost and Warehouse 13, I appreciate this. It lets me watch them once and NEVER AGAIN.

Night Ride Part 1

Night Ride Part 1 “Look, Pa, it’s my turn. Also, Nana is having one of her spells again and she has no idea who I am when she gets this w...