Friday, September 30, 2011

End of September $3 Sale

Creative Mountain Games is having an end of month $3 sale on select titles here.  Offerings include:

Lurch is a basic beer and pretzels game based on board games like chess. It uses a standard eight by eight square board and fold-up miniature figures, pawns or markers, to denote the individual units. The Basic game is simple, and there are Advanced rules to increase the complexity for seasoned players. There are also over two dozen additional scenarios to add replayability and fun to the game. An additional section explains ways to use the game within your roleplaying game as well. This game is complete and includes Basic Game Rules, Advanced Game Rules, over two dozen Alphabetized Scenarios, dozens of paper miniatures and markers.

Playouts are layouts to be printed and used at the game table during play. In this PDF, you will find a small keep. It is four stories high with a sub-level that includes storage space and cells for prisoners or beasts. Consider the staircases somewhat fudged for use with a five-foot equals one inch grid. One could claim this keep has a garrison from one dozen to three dozen guards, if one considers the beds as bunk beds and assumes that those on duty give up their beds to those who are not. The artillery is somewhat downsized from the great siege machines and meant to be akin to spear-throwers. The final two pages include a blank background and Playouts bits in case you wish to add to the keep, change a few things around, or build something of your own in the same style. This small keep is perfect as a roadside toll collector, a starter-stronghold for up and coming PCs or even as a wizard’s tower of sorts. A GM could also claim it has long since been abandoned by civilized folks and now must be scourged of evil creatures.

This series of five encounters make use of a cunning 3rd-level Kobold Barbarian and his trap-making ability in a woodland setting near three small communities.  This new 18 page pdf features high-resolution Playouts (maps to be printed up for game table usage) for five separate encounter areas plus a bonus blank map with extra bits and pieces so that you can design limitless additional areas in the same style, or to expand the areas already detailed.

Can you steer your ship by the albatross? Do you dare to wear the Boar's Tusks of Goblinoid Slaying? Will casting the Shark's Feeding Frenzy on your companions save their skins?  This 32 page pdf takes many real world superstitions and gives you tips on how to use them in your game. Nearly one hundred Magic Items, Spells, and Advanced Creatures are included.

Need a quick cohort, some ready-made bodyguards, or even a main villain? Will adding a few details and adjusting the gear or wealth save you time when someone shows up without a PC ready?  Your time is valuable and this batch of NPCs will save you hours of busy work. Just add a tad of flavor, print one out, then plug and play away!   Grab a FREE 20th-level version of the Human Fighter NPC in the Demo. The eConic Characters Human Fighter NPC is for you!  (Demo is "locked" but product is not. Plus, the product is form-fillable!)

Need a quick cohort, some ready-made miniature thugs, or even a main villain? Will adding a few details and adjusting the gear or wealth save you time when someone shows up without a PC ready? Your time is valuable and this batch of NPCs will save you hours of busy work. Just add a tad of flavor, print one out, then plug and play away! Grab a FREE 20th-level version of the Halfling Rogue NPC in the Demo. (Demo is "locked" but product is not. Plus, the product is form-fillable!) The eConic Characters - Halfling Rogue NPC is for you!

Here is the indispensable PDF of forms that will grow even more useful with time. These sheets were built with adaptability in mind while not sacrificing a compactness that makes tidy record keeping a cinch. A two-sheet solution for non-casters is the first thing to greet you. That is backed up with a single blank spell sheet that can be used for young spellcasters, multiclass characters, or on its own as a spellbook, for when a GM wants to easily hand over a captured tome treasure. All of the base spellcasting classes then have their own sheets with room to add researched spells or new ones introduced to the campaign by the GM, of his own devising or from additional sources. You'll also find summoning lists for Nature's Allies and for Monsters. Just use the sheets you need and expand your character with additional sheets as needs be.  If you do not have the full version of Adobe Acrobat you can now save filled in forms with Adobe Reader 7.0 or newer! This is the best and easiest way to keep your character records.

What do a twenty year old wrecked ship and an exquisite musical instrument have in common? You will have to catch up to a certain bard to find out but there may be other old secrets that need to be dealt with before all is done! This finely crafted adventure is geared for characters up to fourth level and easily added to any campaign setting. Players will love this adventure, which will have them guessing and keep them on their toes. Packed with vivid NPCs, The Whispering Woodwind is a chase to right that which has gone terribly wrong...and there are plenty of surprises along the way.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Games Plus in Mount Prospect, IL - Fall 2011 Auction

If you haven't been to a Games Plus auction then you haven't heard of them.  I know of no gamers who haven't found at least a handful of great deals there but, be warned, the prices are reasonable but you won't likely wind up picking up too much for next to nothing.  Many savvy gamers and eBayers make sure to keep the bottom feeding to a minimum.  Even the Troll and Toad folk show up regularly to replenish their warehouses.  So, there are good deals but sellers can be near-assured that if they put something into the auction and it s in good condition, they will see god value for it.  Remember, too, that you receive your "winings" in the form of a store credit.  That's how Games Plus manages to get their due without charging anyone for running the auction or placing items in it.  Think of it as recycling your old games for new gaming materials.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Perception of Balance

In the first column by Monte Cook as he returned to the fold with WotC, he takes a look at Perception.  He's on the right track, it seems, though the one sentence that I think bothers me is, "And it would be horrible if a poor die roll wrecked it all."  If something needs to be found for everything to work, then either it isn't hidden or, at least, there is no roll to be made.  In some instances, it is a mistake to design oneself into a corner that requires some element within an adventure to both be hidden and also be found.  However, there is a school of thought that leads to adventure design as plot-driven or story-driven in such a way as to wind up in that corner on a regular basis.  I'll discuss character driven versus story-driven gaming another time, though, so let's look at this problem from the design perspective of balance.

Now in an old school situation, adventurers might go back and forth to a dungeon and even particular areas of a dungeon time and time again.  Things that aren't found early on can often be found on subsequent treks.  New school thinking has smaller venues, generally, and they become disposable in a manner of speaking.  An adventure location is often used just once and then the game/campaign moves on to other locations.  Sure, sometimes a home base is used repeatedly, such as a city or town, but for the most part an adventure is run and then becomes campaign history.

This plays into the mindset of the business model that a large company or corporation simply needs to follow to exist.  New products must be produced on a regular basis.  For a group to enjoy one and then move on and buy another, the experience with each needs to be satisfying, things need to be found.  In this model, hidden doors and treasures cannot go unfound, again, generally speaking, because there is not likely to be a future trek in the same place to have more chances to find those hidden things that were missed.

Because of this, if an adventure or campaign is story-driven and requires that certain elements need to be found, then there needs to be a classification of "faux-hidden."  If design of an adventure is going to hinge on one or two elements being discovered, those elements simply need to be written up as key elements that the GM needs to be advised are "crucial."  There's no need for there to be discussion of how one poor die roll can ruin the story because the designer must dictate that those crucial elements do not remain hidden.  Some might cry, "Railroad!" at this, but story-driven adventures are always going to have railroady aspects to them.  They don't develop organically through character so there is no way around it.

However, as I mentioned at the top, this also brings up the topic of balance.  Once we begin to discuss crucial and non-crucial elements we also need to have the discussion about system balance and how it relates to the relative experiences of two game groups using the same materials.  If there are multiple hidden doors or treasures (assuming the treasures are hidden on their own or beyond those hidden doors), how can any adventure run for two separate groups ensure that both groups will come out the other side with approximately the same experience and wealth?  How can a two GMs be sure that if they run the same adventure one group won't find all of the goodies while the other group comes away scratching their heads over the total lack of treasure found?

In old school systems, balance issues were largely ignored.  Sure, you had levels or some type of advancement but purchased adventures were often scaled in such a way that groups of characters could consist of, sometimes, markedly different levels (generically speaking) of power from one character to another.  In many (most?) new school systems, balance seems vital to the enjoyment of the game such that some players will complain if they notice one character seeming to pull ahead of others in power, abilities, or wealth.

So, can a system be devised that manages to maintain some level of balance without being broken if balance between characters isn't perfect?  Can the idea of balance be downplayed, not so essential (small "e") that it requires homogenization of elements within the game to the point that the flavor of a system comes off as not much more than a veneer?  These questions have come up repeatedly as I have worked on Griffins & Grottos Wargame and Roleplaying System (to be released in late October 2011).  In future blogs I’ll discuss some of the ways I have tried to make the system less of a slave to balance even as I attempted to include a variety of ways in which balance is seamlessly inherent.  Sign up to follow this blog and I'll try to keep you interested as I write more on this and other subjects.

Monday, September 26, 2011

eBay Auctions on Game Books

I put up a couple dozen eBay auctions for some gaming stuff I needed to clear off the shelves.  Have a look at these -

AD&D 2E Greyhawk Adventures:The City of Greyhawk 1989

Hellfrost Player's Guide (Savage Worlds, S2P30001)

Hellfrost Bestiary (Savage Worlds, S2P30002)

Hellfrost Gazetteer (Savage Worlds, S2P30003)

Hellfrost Encounters Book 1 (Savage Worlds, S2P30009)

Survival of the Fittest Judges Guild Dungeons & Dragons

The Book of the Righteous Green Ronin d20 Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeon Crawl Classics #53 Sellswords Of Punjar PLUS Punjar The Tarnished Jewel

Dungeon Crawl Classics #31 The Transmuter's Last Touch

Dungeon Crawl Classics #11 The Dragonfiend Pact

Dungeon Crawl Classics #51.5 The Sinister Secret of Whiterock

Dungeon Crawl Classics #35 Gazetteer of the Known Realms

Dungeon Crawl Classics #29 The Adventure Begins

Dungeon Crawl Classics #48 The Adventure Continues

World's Largest Dungeon (Dungeons & Dragons d20)

DUNGEON MASTER'S GUIDE 3.0 D&D Dungeons & Dragons

Dangerous Journeys Necropolis Gary Gygax

Supers Inc RPG from HinterWelt Enterprises

House of Vega - Shadows of War - Shades of Earth HinterWelt Enterprises

Austrian Holiday (Super Soldier) Shades of Earth HinterWelt Enterprises

Circuses & Carnivals - Tales of Gaea (Iridium System) HinterWelt Enterprises

Tower of Ghosts - Roma Imperious (Iridium System) HinterWelt Enterprises.

Tales of Gaea Core Rulebook (Iridium System) HinterWelt Enterprises

Roma Imperious Core Rulebook (Iridium System) HinterWelt Enterprises

Roma Imperious Core Rulebook (True20 System) HinterWelt Enterprises

I kept the prices reasonable and included free shipping.  Good luck and good bidding!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Third Annual Dave Arneson Memorial Gameday

More news from Tavis on the Third Annual Dave Arneson Memorial Gameday.  It's on what would have been his 64th birthday - next Saturday, Oct. 1.  In his own words, it is

. . . better than ever. It runs from 9 am until 11pm, hosted by the Brooklyn Strategist which is doing really cool outreach to kids and working to become a third space for their community. It's got an all-star roster of GMs and designers, running the gamut from original D&D to 4E and beyond, and a panel discussion with journalists and cultural critics and game designers and one of Dave's original playing group exploring his impact on the modern world. Also, beer and wine and homemade snacks.  If you are in NYC and can make it, let us know at the Facebook pages for the gameday and the panel. Wherever you are, check out the Kickstarter effort that's funding the event and see if any of the rewards appeal to you. And don't pass up the chance to remember Dave's legacy on 10/1 by rolling some dice and letting your imagination take it from there.

I wish I could make it myself.  Maybe next year.  Best of luck to the organizers and I hope everyone has a blast!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Early Gaming Clubs

A recent discussion on EN World regarding game clubs back in the day got me thinking about my own early game club experience in Northern Illinois in the Seventies and early Eighties.  There were a number of clubs that existed and I frequented two primarily.  Both included wargaming and tabletop roleplaying games, eventually.

The first club I attended was in the early Seventies, not too long before the release of the first (O)D&D game booklets.  I had already been playing some wargames, having moved on from chess and parlor games like Monopoly, for the most part, seeking games with a bit more complexity and variety.  Some neighborhood friends had started going to the Belvidere Recreation Center, part of the Waukegan Park District, on Saturday afternoons.  It was a fairly diverse group, in that it was frequented by both younger gamers and experienced players, some of whom were military personel from Great Lakes Naval Training Center and Fort Sheridan.  I remember that we used their meeting rooms, which only needed to be reserved and didn't charge a fee for the space.  Sometimes we would be allowed to use their indoor basketball court to layout elaborate naval battles using rules from Jutland (1967) but mostly we played tabletop games.  I recall that the vending machines included Glen Rock Soda and Vitners snacks.

After a time a club formed at the Lakehurst Mall on the outskirts of Waukegan, that inlcuded players from the Belvidere club but was more RPG oriented.  By then, in the mid- to late Seventies, a lot more folks had begun playing D&D then AD&D.  Although most players like myself had regular weekly games in homes of friends, we would gather on weekends for larger games or games with other local players.  By then we also had begun looking forward to gaming at Gencon each year which was finishing up its run in Lake Geneva (expanding to use the Lake Geneva Playboy Club and Resort before moving to the University of Wisconsin–Parkside campus in Kenosha in 1978).  That space in Lakehurst Mall eventually became a dedicated space for the Chamber of Commerce, if I recall correctly, though I believe by the early Eighties most players had moved on.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dark Shadows (2012)

There have been some other attempts to revive the Mid-Sixties's television series Dark Shadow (1966) but none that have appealed to me as worth checking out as the latest by Tim Burton starring (who else?) Johnny Depp.  Wel, I could tell you who else, and you wouldn't be surprised that Helena Bonham Carter was cast, but how about Chloë Grace Moretz (from Kick-Ass), Eva Green (from STARZ's Camelot), and Michelle Pfeiffer (from Stardust among many other things!).  Although from some of the character descriptions it might appear they are playing toward the comedy, which I think is a mistake, it does otherwise seem to be in the right hands, so we will see.  Check out more at Entertainment Weekly here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle

It's fascinating how the minds of gamers work.  According to a recent story on Yahoo News in their plugged-in/games section, online gamers were asked to assist with the cracking of a puzzle of an enzyme an AIDS-like virus that has baffled scientists of about ten years.  As published last Sunday in the scientific journal, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, gamers and scientists co-authored an article detailed the account of this breakthrough.  Read more on Yahoo News here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chaostle (2011) - Board Game

One of the games that keeps teasing me from the shelves of my FLGS, Game Plus in Mount Prospect, IL, is called Chaostle.  If you live in the area and own a copy, please let me know and we'll put a game together sometime.
From their website -
Chaostle features 23 three-dimensional castle walls that are secured onto the game board. The fantasy fighters can move any direction throughout the castle including up and down stairways to change levels. The castle sections were originally sculpted by Bruce Hirst of Hirst Arts.
The game comes standard with sixteen collectible plastic miniature characters. Additional characters will be available and released in the future as add-ons to the game that will be sold separately. The first set of eight add-on characters will be available soon after the release of the game. Adding new characters to the game adds to the strategy and variety of game play.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zombie Rights Campaign

I wonder what the Zombie Rights Campaign would think about LURCH! The Zombie Chess Game.  I get the feeling that they might think of zombies fighting zombies as exploitation.  Nevertheless, no real zombie are ever hurt in a game of LURCH!  Still, check out their website.  They have lots of humorous takes on the whole zombie situation and taking advocacy beyond the grave.  Then play some LURCH!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Emmy Awards

The nominees and winners for the 2011 Emmy Awards are all found on here.  Congrats to Peter Dinklage on his win for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.  Game of Thrones was up for three awards but Dinklage was the only win for the excellent series.  Pillars of the Earth was also up for Outstanding Miniseries or Made for Television Movie but was edged out by Downton Abbey.  Both Thrones and Pillars were great fun to watch and I look forward to the second part of Thrones when it finally airs.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Terrainaholic GeekCon Madison Coverage

One of our favorite terrain makers Terrainaholic went to GeeCon Madson and brought back some video -

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I was fortunate enough last weekend to attend a demo session for the upcoming Catalyst Game Labs' Leviathans.  Set in an alternate historical turn of the 19th/20th Century era where a late Victorian Age scientist-genius has "isolated an electrical fluid with remarkable lifting capabilities. A single, pivotal event that would change the world."  Now fleets of armored airships vie for control of the skies!

It's a well organized board game with some nifty model ships and easy to learn rules for movement and combat.  It was first demonstrated at Gencon Indy and is due out before the end of the year so keep an eye out for this beautifully crafted game.  Having seen the trailers for the upcoming Musketeers movie, I'm already envisioning a tabletop campaign that combines RPGing with a late renaissance swachbuckling system combined with a slightly altered version of Leviathans to account for the earlier era (albeit more primative) alt-history airships like I have seen depisted for the film.  Bravo, Catalyst!

It's a beautiful game starting with the cover illustration
 that really captures the combative nature of the action!

The playing board is simple and the multi-hexagonal bases
work well to keep momement simple but challenging.

The six-sider acts as a control die while the various 12-siders,
some only going to 4, or 6, or 8 or 10, create some excellent bell-curved outcomes.

Much of the artwork is beutifully rendered by the recently deceased and much revered artist, Doug Chaffee, whose work is so familiar to fans of Magic the Gathering and Battletech.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dungeon Bastard's Videos

The Dungeon Bastard has been busy since we last checked in with him.  Here's parts four and four? (I think he meant "five") of his Racial Profiling Series -

Thursday, September 15, 2011

EN World Chicago Gameday 30 - October 15th, 2011

Event planning has begun for the 30th EN World Chicago Gameday!  We've run this event three times per year for the last decade and we're pulling out all of the stops.  Expect some great prizes and loads of fun gaming events by many seasoned gamedayers and a few new GMs too.  I'll be running a premiere event of Griffins & Grottos Medieval Fantasy Wargame and Roleplaying System as well as a a slot of Surcoat Medieval Fantasy Combat Miniatures Game.  The gameday happens on October 15th, 2011, at Games Plus in Mount Prospect, IL.  Follow this link to watch the planning stages and get a sneak peek.  The sign up thread will be opened a couple of week prior to the event.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Guild Limited Edition Soda 6-pack

If you're a fan of The Guild, you'll be pleased to know that Jones Soda Company has produced The Guild Limited Edition Soda 6-pack.  In their own words -

Introducing Jones Soda and The Guild. Who is your inner gamer most like? The strong Warrior skills of Vork Green Apple Soda....the sexy Priestess charm of Codex Strawberry Lime...the blade slingin' Rogue skills of Bladezz Cola...the Mage like insight of Clara Berry...the Long Range wit of Tinkerballa Grape....or the Warlock magic of Zaboo Blue Bubblegum. Unleash your inner character and buy this super cool 6pk collectors edition.

If you don't know about The Guild, check them out here!

And while we're on the subject, here's a couple of videos they put out separate but related to The Guild project -

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Losing your Religion, or Worse?

In a recent Huffington Post article called, How We Lost Our Geek Courage, the Rider brothers, filmmakers, recount how they missed out on something by stepping away from tabletop roleplaying for too long and how it was difficult to return. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lurch The Zombie Chess Game

Ten years ago, on September 9, 2001, Creative Mountain Games released its first free product.  It was a players' guide to the small town of Jalston.  Eventually, Jalston was also the setting for CMG's first product that went up for sale on December 18, 2001, The Whispering Woodwind, a low-level adventure.  CMG marks its official aniversary in December on that date.  Therefore, this December will be the Tenth Anniversary and CMG will be sure to do something special.  Of course, none of us could foresee the tragic events that would transpire two days after the first free product was let out into the world.  Rather than potentially mar any memorials folks might be observing, and in deference to the occasion, CMG has held off release of this new product, LURCH! The Zombie Chess Game, until today as we look toward the future.

Lurch is a basic beer and pretzels game based on board games like chess.  It uses a standard eight by eight square board and fold-up miniature figures, pawns or markers, to denote the individual units.  The Basic game is simple, and there are Advanced rules to increase the complexity for seasoned players.  There are also over two dozen additional scenarios to add replayability and fun to the game.  An additional section explains ways to use the game within your roleplaying game as well.  Please check out this game and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as the players that have been trying it out for the last few years during its development.  Thank you!

LURCH! The Zombie Chess Game is available here at 25% off for a limited time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Larry Came Back Round to Game a Bit

One of our good friends Larry was up from the Carolinas for a weekend visit along with his family.  He snuck away for a few hours Saturday evening to get in some much needed gaming.  There was a good crowd and Games Plus was rocking.

A good turn out for Larry's gaming visit

Agricola down one end of the big table

Davey the K was excited to get started

They were playing Railways of the World (USA, Western)

It's a good looking game with many components

It kept them all enthralled but Larry (white shirt and tie) eventually won the day

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Just a note to let people know that the 2011 Fall Gaming Hoopla! is coming up again.  It's a fun mini-convention with lots of gaming, particularly some old school gaming, but anything really.  It happens Friday September 23rd to Sunday September 25th, 2011, at the Johnstown Community Center, 9937 East County Road A, Janesville, WI 53546.  There's a charity component in that they donate some of the funds to the Amercan Cancer Society.  Follow the link and check out the details!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Japanese Mask Maker

Some folks love to use props in their tabletop roleplaying games and one particularly fun avenue toward that end is in the use of masks.  I knew a Game Master once who was a propmaster for a local theatre company and often would craft half-masks to represent the main NPCs that would be portrayed in the game.  Of course, he would also use various voices in conjunction with the masks, sometimes rather elaborate masks and vocalizations were in evidence, but more often than not a simple mask and slight adjustment to the cadence of his speech was more than enough to immerse the players at the table more deeply in his setting.

I bring this up because toward the end of August I ran across an article on a mask maker with some top-notch skills.  His name is Jake Davies and his keenest area of interest in the art of masks is "17th-century 'Iwami-kagura' ceremonial dance rituals."  Follow the link to read more on this expert in the arts.  See if it inspires you to fashion some masks of your own or pick some up after the next Halloween, when they go on sale for very low prices, to add some depth to your next one-shot game or even a whole campaign.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Moon, Up Close and Personal

Some recent Moon photos taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter from a little over a dozen miles above the surface give a new view of what we've left behind.  This YouTube video from NASAtelevison gives highlights from the 300,000 photos with great explanations of what was photographically collected (watch it in HD) -

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3rd Annual NYC Arneson Memorial Gameday: October 1, 2011

Much like Gary Con of the Midwest, in Lake Geneva, and North Texas RPG Con, in Irving, TX, there's an old school gaming event in New York City celebrating gaming and the legacy of Dave Arneson, one of the progenitors of tabletop roleplaying games.  It's the Annual NYC Arneson Memorial Gameday.  The event will take place next on October 1, 2011 (Arneson was born on October 1st) at the Brooklyn Strategist, a "unique, community-based, interactive board and card-game center, café and social club."  Some of the offerings includes -

 • Michael Curtis will be running games of Stonehell Dungeon

 • Joseph Bloch will be running games of Adventures Dark & Deep, and will have a new version of the Bestiary

 • Luke Crane will be running games of DNA/DOA using a hack of Burning Wheel Gold

 • Darren Watts will be running games of Lucha Libre for the HERO System

 • Tavis Allison and others will be running games of the soon to be published Adventurer Conqueror King

 • Paul Hughes will be running 4E using his poster of the OD&D random monster charts

 • Daniel Boggs can't make it, but will be writing a piece for the program book and sending a single-volume collection of Dragons at Dawn & its first sequel

 • Panel discussion about Arneson's legacy and how it's shaped modern culture; panelists will include journalists Ethan Gilsdorf (Wired, Salon) and David Ewalt (Forbes).

If you are in the area, this will be an event you don't want to miss!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The First Zombie-Proof House

As Creative Mountain Games prepares for the imminent release of Lurch! The Zombie Chess Game, I was amused to discover that KWK Promes had designed a safe house being touted as the first zombie-proof house!  It's a stunning piece of architecture that is part bunker, part castle, part nightmare.  Have a look for yourself here.

There are a lot more pictures if you follow the link and in some of them the place actually looks more like a home.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tonight (D&D song) - Allie Goertz

Here's a video of a fun song for gamers, even if it has a sombre tone.  It's well played and sung by Allies Goertz and called Tonight (D&D song).  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Not So Crafty, or Is It?

What a sad day indeed when your local Michaels Hobbies and Crafts store closes.  Such was the state of affairs I discovered when stopping in today to pick up a sheet or two of black foamcore board.  I had poked my head in just a bit earlier this week and all was normal.  Then, today, when I arrived half the store was on skids and the other shelves looked as if they had been severely looted.  As I posted yesterday, I had a good-for-two-days coupon for 50% off any single item but the signs up at the store said that everything was going for 50% off.  Everything, that is, that wasn't wrapped up and ready to be shipped off to other locations.  Sadly, the black foamcore board was all packed.

But wait, many of the shelving units, metal grid racks with rubber coating, used black foamcore board obviously cut to fit each shelf of each unit, as something for the goods to rest upon, a flat surface to keep all of the items level and prevent things from slipping through the grids.  I asked if they might sell some of those, though with dented edges and scarred in a few places.  Nope, I was told, but I was also told to just grab as much of it as I could carry since it would all be pitched into the dumpster otherwise.  So, I did.  Bascially, I got about twenty pieces of three by three foamcore board, mostly black and some white, for free.  Well, naturally, the steak dinner I had later in the evening tasted somewhat more delicious knowing it was essentially on Michaels.  Thanks, Michaels employees!  I hope you all find other positions soon, either with Michaels or at some even better place more to your liking.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Michaels Hobbies and Crafts Labor Day Sale

There's some real good deals at Michaels for the holiday including a 50% off any single item coupon good for two days, a 40% off any single item good for the rest of the week (this is the norm), but also a 40% off hobby and craft paints and markers (even things already on sale), so take advantage while the deals are going and stock up on acrylic paints and markers and such here!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor

There's an interesting website showing female characters in armor that seems much more reasonable than some of the chainmail bikini pictures that have plagued roleplaying games over the years.  Check it out at  Here's a sample of what they show there -

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Super Online Sales Sites for Games and Toys

There's a number of places online I check periodically for sales on games and toys.  Everyone knows about and eBay, so I won't go into a great many details on those, but I also like to check some others.  Notably those sites include The Humble Indie BundleLoot!, woot! and Tanga.  Each has games or toys regularly on sale for a decent discount and a couple have a whole lot more.  Here's what each site has to say about themselves -

What is the Humble Bundle? It is our take on digital distribution, where anyone can pay any amount of money they like for great DRM-free games. All of the games are cross-platform running on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Loot is a deal-a-day site focused exclusively on games and gaming related products. Every weekday (for now) we offer a new game or game-related product at drastically reduced rates to consumers.

Here at Tanga, you'll find the greatest online deals in a variety of categories. We feature daily deals in electronic devices/gadgets, magazines, jewelry (you can even buy mens rings), handbags, T-shirts, and games. If you are in search of your next awesome purchase AND affordable deals, you’ve just discovered the best place to shop.

Woot is a gaggle of unique companies. Or half a gaggle, at least. Woot Services LLC operates the websites and keeps the motor purring; Woot Workshop LLC provides creative content and mans the stereo for the ride; and Woot, Inc. sells the merchandise and pays for the gas. The aforementioned websites, of which is the alpha URL, focus on selling cool stuff cheap and encouraging (almost) unfiltered community discussion about that cheap stuff.

I'm happy to add some more to my regular rounds.  So if you know of any worth checing, please let me know.