Sunday, July 12, 2020

Online Gaming Back in 1983? Yup, Welcome To "CB D&D"

It's fairly plain to see that the world of gaming is going to be online for the foreseeable future. Sure, I miss going to conventions and face-to-face table gaming. And I've heard more than one person lament that they refuse to try remote game sessions as "it's not the same." But to those folks, I gotta tell you you're really missing out as remote gaming has been around since gaming started. (In fact, I found an interesting article that suggests chess was played remotely via correspondence as far back as the 9th century!) In fact, yours truly is an old hand at remote gaming...

I recall playing by mail back in the 1980s, where I gave several of the games run by Flying Buffalo a try (still going strong today!), and I even played Silverdawn over the course of a summer back then. But my favorite session of playing remotely was the time I played D&D over my CB radio.

My first car was a 1972 Ford Pinto handed down to me from my mom. No AC, black plastic interior, AM radio (that didn't work), but it had a CB radio that still worked left over from the 1970's CB radio craze. I used it to listen to truckers gabbing as they passed by my house on the interstate about 1/4 mile away.

Anyway, during our weekly D&D game, my cleric (Brother Jarrod) got separated from the rest of the party deep in a long-forgotten crypt. My DM, Roger, decided he would run the two groups separately until they met up again. Due to circumstances, he and I were unable to get together that week. And my parents made it clear that tying up the phone line playing D&D ws out of the question. Roger, who lived about 5 miles from me, remembered that I had a CB radio in my car.

"Hey, I think I have a CB base unit down in the basement," he said. "How about we do this over the CB?" I thought it was a great idea, so around 7 pm on a Tuesday night (school was out for the summer), I got in my car, laid my character sheet and dice on the passenger seat, fired up the CB, and Roger and I played a one-on-one game over the airwaves. My handle was "Brother Jarrod", and he was "The Overlord", as I recall. We followed CB protocol as best as we could, finding an open channel (so we wouldn't tie up "real" communications), and ending each statement with "over."

"I listen at the door. Do I hear anything? Over."

"Nope, it sounds empty. Over."

"OK, I swing open the door and charge in! Over."

We got through a few rooms, and I managed to not die in combat as a lone 3rd level cleric lost in a tomb. Roger said, off in the distance, I saw a glimmer of torchlight - likely the rest of the party. (Over.) So I ran to meet back up with them (Over.), thus ending the session. The CB game probably lasted about 2 hours and was tons of fun. And, of course, just as we were wrapping up and signing off, an amused laughing voice broke in...

"What the hell are you two kids doing on this channel? Playing some kinda game?"

Yup, it was "some kinda game", all right! Over.

"Quill Noir: Forgotten Case Files" Supplement for Quill Noir RPG Now Available


I knocked on the chief inspector’s office door and walked in before the invite. He glanced up from a stack of paperwork, an annoyed grimace on his face.

“Just returning the Henderson case file,” I said, holding up the tattered Manila folder. The chief wordlessly hooked his thumb toward the row of file cabinets lining one wall and went back to his Sisyphean task. I crossed to the cabinets, opened drawer “G-H-I”, and wedged it back into position. While doing so, my eyes fell upon several red folders stuffed in the back. I wrestled to pull them out and, once freed, I laid them across the tops of the cabinets. There were 10 folders in all, labeled “Case 1” through “Case 10”.

“Hey chief? What are these?” I asked over my shoulder.

“Huh? Oh, those,” came the chief’s bored reply. “Those are cold case files. Unsolved.”

I scowled at the thought. I don’t like the idea of someone getting away with committing a crime. It makes my overly developed sense of justice itchy. “Mind if I take these and give ’em a gander?” I asked. “Maybe I can open up some new leads.”

Once again, the chief glanced up, shrugged, and hooked his thumb toward the door, inviting me to exit. I bundled up the red folders and took my leave…

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Quill Noir: Forgotten Case Files is a scenario supplement for use with Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player and Quill Noir. To use this supplement, both the Quill rulebook and Quill Noir are necessary. Quill Noir: Forgotten Case Files takes place in the world of Quill Noir, a time reflecting 1930s pulp crime fiction novels and 1940s detective films. Quill Noir: Forgotten Case Files presents 10 new cases for would-be gumshoes and flatfoots to solve. You may find yourself investigating art fraud; rescuing someone from a burning building; testifying on the witness stand; or escaping from thugs who want to put you in a Chicago overcoat. 

Quill Noir: Forgotten Case Files is now available at Drive Through RPG. (A copy of Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player and Quill Noir is required to play.)  Quill, Quill Noir, and Quill Noir: Forgotten Case Files are available as Pay What You Want releases, so try before you buy, if you prefer. Also, all have been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

DCC Days Is Here! Play DCC/MCC All Weekend Long And Support Your FLGS Too!


DCC Days is upon us, so get to your FLGS for DCC-related goodies and plant yourself in front of your computer screen for online games and fun! 

Similar yet bigger and more focused than Cyclops Con last month,  DCC Days grew from DCC Day (singular) which was to be a one-day, in-store celebration of Goodman Games' product line. Your FLGS would provide freebies and new Goodman products and swag (ala Free RPG Day) as well as run in-store games and demos. Well, COVID-19 put the kibosh on in-store games, so the folks at Goodman expanded the gaming to the online realm. So this weekend sees online games of Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, etc., but if you want the goodies and swag, you must venture forth and visit the stores (who, in turn, could really use your business at this time).

Last night I ran a team of four mighty mutants into The Desk in Room 8-10, and Sunday, I'll be running two more MCC games: Plague From Below and The Albuquerque Starport (yes, the classic Gamma World adventure)! As the social isolation continues, I'm really getting the hang of online gaming, which allows me to play with folks from across the country and around the world. And events like Cyclops Con, DCC Days Online, Virtual Gary Con, and others to come later this year continue to bring us together while we remain apart. 

And now a few photos of DCC Days thus far!

Remember, when you go out, be sure to wear a mask!

Another band of micro-mutants tackling the dangers to be found within The Desk in Room 8-10!

Visited my FLGS and picked up a few DCC Day goodies, including the exclusive adventure "Shadow of the Beakmen" and a compilation Adventure Pack with 3 adventures for DCC, DCC-Lankhmar, and MCC!

I also picked up The Princess Bride RPG as I love the movie, heard the game was good, and wanted to support the store while there getting freebies.

Also, my nifty new toxic waste rusted drum arrived today in the mail. Perfect for holding any radioactive debris during those MCC games.

And my homemade nametag for the event. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

[Review] The Spirit Coin - The Pocket Diviner, Decision Maker, And GM Tool

Quick: Come up with the name of a wood elf your PCs just encountered. OK, now come up with his motivation as to why he's in this desolate area. Can he be trusted? And how far away is the nearest inn from here?

At the table, the GM is tasked with coming up with a lot of answers on the fly. Sure, you could refer to tables you have on hand or rely on your own imagination (although "Steve the Drow" might raise eyebrows). Or you could summon The Spirits to answer these queries through the use of The Spirit Coin.
Created by Alex Kool and launched on Kickstarter, The Spirit Coin is like a portable Ouija Board. The two sides of the coin have four circles: the two outer circles contain the alphabet (consonants and vowels, respectively); the next contains the numbers 0-9 (odd/even); and the inner-most is YES/NO. The user takes the coin in hand and concentrates on the question. Turn the coin in your hand and randomly seek out the answers you need. For example, taking the questions from above (and I swear these are legit from The Coin):

Elf name? ETWIN - That sounds good, so "Etwin" it is.
Motivation? HRNWND - I see "Horn Wind", so I'll say he's on a quest to find The Horn of Winds. He's a sailor and he can use this item to propel his vessel.
Trustworthy? NO - I see our new friend is up to some mischief. Perhaps he mistakenly thinks the PCs possess the item, and he wishes to fight them for it?
Nearest inn? 2 miles from here. And Etwin will accompany his new friends (in hopes of prying The Horn from their hands!).

The Spirit Coin is solidly made of heavy metal and comes in two finishes, bronze and silver. I've taken mine and placed it in my dice bag for those moments when I need quick answers from The Spirits. (Usually at the game table, but you also never know when some otherworldly guidance may come in handy!) The Spirit Coin is now available on Etsy for $15 (with free shipping). I've found this to be very useful during writer's block or as a random prompt for all types of situations, so for GMs who could use a bit of spiritual guidance at the table, go grab one!


Sunday, April 19, 2020

Cyclops Con Days 1-3: Seminars, Games, And Mutants-Mutants-Mutants!

As readers of The Savage AfterWorld knows, with every game convention I've attended, I have filed a daily travelogue so folks who couldn't make it would be able to game vicariously through my thoughts, photos, and amusing anecdotes. Welp, just as I did with Virtual Gary Con a few weeks ago, I'm filing today's report from Cyclops Con! (AKA, my basement and home office.)

Cyclops Con was founded, formed, and launched this weekend by Goodman Games to celebrate all things DCC, as well as give home-stranded gamers an outlet for those RPG frustrations. Since I began an old hat at online judging at VGC (or so I think), I decided to throw caution to the wind and run 18 mutants through my three Mutant Crawl Classics adventures - one available, one coming out next month, and one that got an initial playtest at this event!

As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done to give you a feel for what's going on each day I attend. However, since the "seen and done" mostly takes place in one room of my house, I'll combine all three days into this missive.

And here we go:
  • DAY ONE: After I got home from work Friday evening, I fired up the old laptop and ran six folks through my MCC 0-level funnel "Dead in the Water." I've been running this for years now, but I always get a kick out of bringing new folks into the hazards of The Island of Fire. By the time the game ended, I had killed off nearly half of the 0-level fodder, and the highlight occurred when one brave zero-level nobody took a deep breath, ran through a forcefield and onto the ocean floor, and stabbed a giant squid in the eye with a trident. Not only did the ocean depths not instantly crush him, he delivered the killing blow to The Sea-Wraith, and the survivors were welcomed back as heroes!
  • DAY TWO: Today's game was "The Desk in Room 8-10" - a small adventure (Ha!) I've written to be released next month on DCC Day. The team managed to fight their way into The Underdrawer where they met the remaining memebers of a previous Seeker team as well as held off The Ravenous Ones until they could repair MICRON to end the experiment! (Yes, I realize this is vaugue, but you'll have to play the game to put the pieces together!
  • Later that evening, I joined up with other Goodman fans (as well as with Joe himself!) at the Boulder Tossers bar, where we gabbed about our respective gaming backgrounds and kicked back with a few cold drinks. (My beverage of choice that night was a frosty Yoo Hoo.)
  • DAY THREE: Today was the day I led six excited players through the premiere run of "Plague From Below." While visiting a neighboring village, a mysterious illness began to overtake the village council. The team was tasked with finding a cure for this ailment at a recently uncovered Ancient medical complex. Skyhooks, Time Wolves, Virii, and a "helpful" med-bot named MORT provided the cure to the ailment. (Exc ept there was one last issue to take care of upon returning.) The players enjoyed the game and I got some valuable feedback on where to tighten up some plotlines.
  • Due to some technical glitches (as well as losing track of time), I was unable to attend DCC College. However, right behind it was Joe's "What's New at Goodman Games" seminar. He shared news and artwork from upcoming projects such as Xcrawl Classics, Empire of the East, and Dying Earth. He discussed DCC Day (still scheduled for next month, but some alterations could occur during the pandemic crisis). The item that stunned me was the announcement of the next in the Original Adventures Reincarnated line: "The Temple of Elemental Evil"! And finally, he discussed the new ways that Goodman Games is embracing VTT gaming with artwork and adventure support for Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds rolling out. A lot of incredibly exciting things are coming from the Goodman Gang, so keep an eye open!
  • One special treat, I recorded my game of "Plague From Below," so if you'd like to see some mutant mayhem, click this link to be taken to the video!
And, finally, as the online event comes to a close and my screen's phosphor dot slowly fades, here are some random shots from throughout the event:

Joe Goodman presents "What's New With Goodman Games"

My visit to the Boulder Tossers after hours lounge had gamers from across the country and around the world in attendance!

The players first encountered the pseudoscorpion in "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

Holy crow! The Temple of Elemental Evil has been announced as the next adventure in the OAR series!

Several MCC mutants found themselves "Dead in the Water"!

During my visit to Boulder Tossers, I inked up my MCC dice, adding gold paint to the high digits to tel them apart.

For this event, I cracked open a case of the finest chocolate-milk-like beverage money can buy!

I love the shirt designed for this year;s Cyclops Con!

And my homemade badge to commemorate the event. Thanks everyone at Goodman Games for a great time!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Cyclops Con: All Dungeon/Mutant Crawl Classics! All Weekend Long!


This weekend, keep an eye out for Cyclops Con! (Ha! See what I did there with "eye"? Because a cyclops only has...one... ahem.) Cyclops Con is the brainchild of the Dark Forces at Goodman Games who are holding a weekend-long online convention revolving around their many role-playing games: Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mutant Crawl Classics, XCrawl, Fifth Edition Fantasy, and any versions and derivatives thereof!

I've recently taken a shine to MCC RPG, creating material for the game for the annual Gongfarmer's Almanac as well as my own 0-level funnel, "Dead in the Water." So this weekend, I'll be running three adventures I've written: One released, one coming out next month, and one currently in playtesting.

Friday sees the return of "Dead in the Water" to the the (virtual) tabletop. I had retired this from convention play, but I thought I'd give it one more turn at the table for this specific con. After all, it's their game that spawned the adventure in the first place!

Saturday I'll be running a few folks through the terrors to be found in "The Desk in Room 8-10." The adventure is written and being laid now, with plans to be officially released on DCC Day on May 16! (And I may just run it again on that day to celebrate!

Sunday will see the premiere first run of my newest adventure "Plague From Below." It's a concept I've had for awhile and am super-stoked to give it its first runthrough with a team of second-level MCC players. It will be a bit "looser" as I'm still working out some of the details of the plot, but it's gonna be fun for all.

Cyclops Con has a few hundred games to choose from, plus several DCC-focused seminars and talks from the creators and authors. Also, each night has a social hangout where you can talk All Things Goodman with other fans. Hope to see you there!

"The World's Gametable": Staying Home Yet Attending Conventions

When the current global pandemic prompted the cancellation of Gary Con this year, I admit I was crushed. It's one of my favorite events to attend, so knowing I was gonna be missing out on several days of back-to-back gaming with my friends was a bitter pill to swallow. However due to some last-minute adjustments and a sweeping push by both GMs and players to migrate online, Gary Con XII lived on as "Virtual Gary Con," complete with hundreds of online events, seminars, and general drunken after-hours get-togethers. By the time the weekend ended, I ran 16 hours of games, watched a seminar or two, and hung out with about 30 other gamers from around the world as we drank and swapped tales from the table.


I attended Gary Con, all without leaving my basement rec room. And it was a blast.

Since then, spring gaming conventions in danger of being cancelled have made a similar adjustment to take place in the electronic aether. KoboldCon now launches May 1 in an online format, and this coming weekend sees the premiere of Cyclops Con, Goodman Games' new online event. Origins Game Faire is one of the recent events that has switched over to an online format (though details are still worked out at this time).

For many of us, we may have the opportunity to attend game conventions across the nation - and even worldwide - that we would otherwise never have a chance to attend. (I already have my eye on running some virtual games for some west coast events.)

Online gaming has always been a thing with many gamers, with services like Roll20, Astral Tabletop, and Fantasy Grounds remaining popular, as well as boardgaming apps like But it seems like the recent circumstantial push toward online gaming have forced grognards (like myself) and others to give it a try. Whether through a gaming-specific service or through other online telecommunication services like Discord, Skype, Zoom, or even chatrooms, it appears that online gaming will be The World's Gametable in the coming months.

So look for this face staring back at you from your screen this summer!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

"Virtual" Gary Con Day 2: Dominated Dust Mites And A Kick In The Shins

  
And my last day of Virtual Gary Con has come to a close. This last-minute shift to an online event has worked out much, MUCH better than I expected, and I have had an absolute blast. I bought some awesome stuff from dealers, I chatted and drank with other attendees, I ran four games for more than 20 folks across the country....and I never left the chair in my basement. It's been fun, and I think I've overcome my online gaming shyness by leaping into the deep end this weekend. You can be sure I'll be running more (MANY MORE) online RPGs in the near future.

As usual with these little convention-related posts, I'll share what's been going on. Here we go:
  • My (admittedly cheap) earphone/mike started frizzing during my first game, so I had to use the laptop's built in camera and mike. Fortunately they worked well enough to get me through the last two games of the event. Note to self: Spend more than $5 for future headsets.
  • The first game was another return to the world of FORSOOTH! Today we had Jim, Laura, Burl, Jon, and Greg who took on the nefarious Baron Von Bludstayne! Highlights included the ranger splitting an arrow with another arrow then splitting THOSE arrows with another arrow; the bard who somehow charmed a wyvern with his melodious songs; and the fighter whose go-to move was to kick people in the shins. Once again, we laughed ourselves silly as the team rode into the sunset on their new dragon mount (and over the smoldering remains of the tavern they burned down earlier in the game). FORSOOTH! It was an adventure!
  • After a quick lunch of SPAM (my favorite cube-shaped meat-like product), it was onto the final event of Virtual Gary Con! I had another team of post-apocalyptic Seekers venture into the depths of "The Desk in Room 8-10"! After fending off an attack from a crazed former Seeker (driven quite mad from years of isolation), they made short work of the beastly pseudoscorpion guarding the entrance to The Underdrawer. At the end, the team's Manimal dominated a horde of Ravenous Ones, turning them upon each other and escaping the microworld! Thanks to Clayton, Laura, Matt (his first MCC game, in fact!), Dan, and Nathan!
  • And, as I shut down my "basement-run" convention center for the year, I discovered talk of Cyclops Con, a new online convention hosted by Goodman Games! Now that I have the whole online gaming thing down, I think I just may be up for some more virtual shenanigans in the very near future!
  • I admit - I was dubious going into Virtual Gary Con as I've never run a game online before and was unsure how I'd do. But Gary Con is an event I feel very attached to and, wanting to help in any way I could, I made the plunge to support the con. Today, after several days of online fun and friendship, I couldn't be more pleased with event. Thanks goes out to Luke and the team at Gary Con. It's not what you planned for, but it was an amazing event that I'm happy to have participated in!
And here are a few shots I took during the day:

Set up to play FORSOOTH! If we were playing in person, the character sheets are actually goldenrod in color. THE COLOR THAT ALL CHARACTER SHEETS SHOULD BE.

 FORSOOTH! had a team of five eager players who were able to thwart the evil Baron Von Bludstayne...who sadly was NOT the villain who needed thwartin'. However, good triumphed and we all had a good laugh and a good time. Thanks gang!

I was chugging a Maui Burst Mountain Dew during today's game. Pineapple flavor! (Which led to a lengthy discussion of Mt Dew flavors during my first game today. Lotsa Mt Dew fans out there!)

When the Seeker team first encountered The Ravenous Ones in "The Desk in Room 8-10"!

And Cyclops Con lurks on the near horizon!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

"Virtual" Gary Con Day 1: Chicken-On-A-Rope And A Paladin Who Fights Dirty

 
My first true day of Virtual Gary Con is coming to a close, and I gotta say, I'm having a blast. I ran my first two online games ever for 9 folks and had as much fun as if I were at a physical table gaming with them. I must say, this online gaming thing might catch on!

As usual with these little convention-related posts, I'll share what I've seen and done to give you a feel for what's going on each day. Although I'm basically in one room, the con runs globally, so there's lots to discuss! Here we go:
  • Because it's Saturday, it's traditionally Hawaiian shirt day at Gary Con. So I pulled on my treasured Dogs Playing Poker shirt and settled in to start the day. Sadly, it's very humid in Ohio today and wearing my 100% polyester shirt was like wearing a plastic garbage bag. I was sweating like a dog (ha! pun!) in moments, so I switched into my GC GM shirt for the day's events.
  • Well I've tested the system as much as I can, and I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Time to put my online game GMing ability to the test. And here we go...
  • I had 5 players join me for FORSOOTH!, my comedy-fantasy RPG at 10 a.m. Highlights included: the bard riding around in a bus-like carriage painted to look like The Partridge Family bus; a hobbit thief who successfully disguised himself as a 6-foot-tall guard ("A wizard shrunk me..."); a druid who swung into a cavern, landed with a superhero landing, and wacked a giant spider with surprise; a magic-user who changed into a centaur so he could be his own mount; and a paladin whose "go-to" combat maneuver was to kick people in the crotch. (All combatants would then complain how that was truly uncalled for.) At the end, they defeated Baron Von Bludstayne and flew off with his dragon mount. Huzzah! Zounds! FORSOOTH! It was a fine game! Thanks for playing Skyler, Ryan, Jacob, James, and Michael!
  • After lunch, I had an hour to kill before my next game, so I wandered into the GM's Lounge (the TV nearby) to watch some Dungeons and Dragons cartoons on the big screen. Later tonight, the GM's Lounge will feature Krull!
  • I had 4 folks ready to face the perils in "The Desk in Room 8-10", my Mutant Crawl Classics adventure (to be released on DCC Day in May)! A team of Seekers made up of Bjorn, Wendy, Kenneth, and Isaiah ventured into the Terran jungle only to find themselves trapped in a microscopic world! Among many "you gotta be KIDDING me" were Bjorn killing a giant scorpion by using a live chicken on a rope as a bolo (he said he was gonna, and damned if he didn't) and the team actually stopping a horde of ravenous carnivorous insects using only a roll of Scotch Tape. Yes, REALLY, that how they won! It was an amazing game with a group of amazing players. Thanks for the fun, gang!
  • Finally, to end the night, I stopped by the DCC Saturday Night Social where folks from across the country (and a few in the UK) were drinkin' drinks, swappin' stories, and tellin' jokes. It was a great way to unwind, blow off some steam, and meet some folks socially. Typically after a long day at Gary Con, it's nice to meet in the hotel lounge or at a local watering hole and throw back a few. This was a fine substitute, and thanks to Jen Brinkman for setting it up for everyone!
And here are a few shots I took during the day:
Even when at home, be sure to wear your ID for Gary Con!

One bonus for this year's con....I can wear my comfy Bigfoot slippers while I game!

Wearing my Dogs Playing Poker Hawaiian shirt as is tradition for Saturday's Gary Con!

FORSOOTH! in progress! Huzzah!

The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon is playing in the GM's Lounge!

Four MCC players find themselves trapped in the microscopic peril of The Desk in Room 8-10!

Play in my games, get some awesome swag!
The DCC Social Mixer had folks across the country and around the globe stopping by for drinks and general camaraderie!

And my Gary Con XII shirts are ready to wear tomorrow on the final day of Virtual Gary Con!

Friday, March 27, 2020

"Virtual" Gary Con Day 0: "The Con In My Basement" And Joining The Online Community

 
With every game convention I've ever attended, I have filed a daily travelogue so folks who couldn't make it would be able to game vicariously through my thoughts, photos, and amusing anecdotes. It was to be no different when I attended Gary Con XII this weekend!

Or so I thought...

As you're probably aware (unless you're a basement-dwelling grognard, myself included), you're aware that the global coronavirus pandemic has run amok, shutting down pretty much all major gatherings, meetings, and conventions. This year, just a few weeks ago, Luke Gygax and his staff needed to cancel Gary Con XII. However, gamers are a resourceful resilient lot, and they turned their collective eyes toward Virtual Gary Con. Virtual Gary Con (VGC) was originally a handful of events to be run online for folks who couldn't attend the physical event. Once GC XII was cancelled, however, VCG mutated, grew, and exploded into a virtual online replacement for "Celebrating a Life Well-Played." In fact, as I write this post, VGC has one-third the number of gaming events, Q-and-As, and seminars as the actual convention, which is AWESOME. Extra-plus good is that folks can now attend anywhere in the world from March 26-29, making VGC a true "global" event. (Heck, it even got a nice article on the Forbe's website!)

And Your Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman is no exception to Gary Con's siren song!

As usual with these little travelogues, I'll share what I've seen and done to give you a feel for what's going on each day I attend. (And I'll try not to just show pictures of my home set-up for the virtual event, but I *am* proud of the Snider Cave so expect some show-off pix of some of my treasures.)

And here we go:
  • I had to cancel my vacation time when the event was cancelled. And because my place of employment was deemed "essential", we remained open. (Although we're a printer/publisher, we also have a distribution center that supplies other "essential" businesses.) So I was unable to truly "attend" Thursday. However tonight is Friday night, and once I get off work, I'm going to (Virtual) Gary Con!
  • When word came down that GC XII was cancelled, the GC Staff also pointed out that they had merchandise (lots and lots and LOTS of merchandise) they had specially ordered for the now-defunct event. All of the collected merch was speedily collected and placed on the Gary Con Bazaar to help offset the costs of the event's cancellation. I snatched up a Gary Con XII shirt (after all, I'm still attending, right?) and a GC Gamemaster shirt (after all, I'm still GMing, right?). I also added a GC shot glass to add to my collection. Finally, I dropped a little something extra into their tip jar to do what I could to ensure GC XIII next year. (And if you'd like to grab some sweet, sweet Gary Con swag as well as help them recover some costs, go check out their Bazaar while supplies last!)
  • Because the vendor and artists support themselves with convention sales, the cancellation was a blow. So the VGC Staff assembled a list of vendor and artist sites for a  "virtual" Dealer's Hall! Most of the vendors are offering discounts as well! I have inserted the current Vendor's Hall listing at the end of this post, so go buy some wares and help these folks out!
  • Speaking of the Vendor's Hall, I've thus far picked up the new "convention only" DCC adventure, "The Accursed Heart of the World-Ender" and the new pirate-oriented "Skull and Crossbones Classics"! (And I'm SURE I'll be picking up more over the weekend!)
  • At VGC, I'll be running my very first online games, and I must say I'm a bit nervous. Never played in one, let alone run one before. I'm an old grognard when it comes to running RPGs, and I like to keep things fast and loose -- more theater of the mind, with quick sketches drawn on a whiteboard. So I signed up a subscription to Zoom, which is an easy-to-use videoconferencing suite. Stephen Newton (of DCC fame amongst other creative endeavors) happens to work for Zoom, so he ran a few of us interested parties through the software. The fact it has an onscreen whiteboard I can sketch on during a game was a selling point for me, so this weekend, that's what I'll be firing up!
  •  Also, I had to upgrade my spotty-signal WiFi router, so I hope I'm not cutting in and out all weekend! (Apologies in advance to any players if this becomes an issue.)
  • Oh, and what games will I be running? First I'll be further playtesting my comedy-fantasy RPG FORSOOTH! My hope is to have this ready for release this summer. And I'll also be playtesting my upcoming MCC RPG adventure "The Desk in Room 8-10". That one is scheduled for release for DCC Day on May 16
  • Tonight I invited all of my weekend players to join me in a Zoom chat to shake out the system, get folks used to the interface, answer any last-minute questions, and just hang out and BS about All Things Gaming. Jon, Andy, Wendy, Jacob, Greg, and Bjorn dropped in to test the system and watch me flounder like a monkey as I tried to get the hang of sharing images. Nice to meet everyone and we'll be gaming in less than 14 hours from now!
  • Finally, one minus....NO SPOTTED COW IN OHIO! ARGH!!!!!
And here are a few images of today's "events":
Pirates in DCC? Yarrrr, me hearties! Sign me up fer the long haul!

A new DCC adventure is always a glorious discovery!

I picked up The Velour Palace of the Disco King last year, and Joe Stash reached out to sell me the follow-up adventure, which has gotta be OUTTA SIGHT! (And now I have the Rick Dees song in my head. Thanks for the earworm, Joe!)


And "Your Friendly Neighborhood Sniderman" joins the online community. See you on the Intertubes this weekend, folks!

VIRTUAL GARY CON DEALER'S HALL! SHOW SOME LOVE!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Quill Noir Available in French, And Watch It Played On Twitch (In French)

One of my favorite creations that I've written is Quill Noir, a supplement for Quill: A Letter-Writing Roleplaying Game for a Single Player that takes place in the world of 1930s pulp crime fiction novels and 1940s hardboiled detective films. It's become fairly popular, sells well, and I get a few compliments on it throughout the year. Imagine my delight when I was approached by writer and illustrator Angela Deschand earlier this year who asked for permission to translate it into French! I, of course, was happy to oblige. (She has also translated Quill: Shadow and Ink for the Quill system as well.) If you're interested in grabbing a copy of Quill Noir in French, it is available for free download at this link. (Or click on the cover to the left.)

Even more mind-blowing is that the French edition of Quill Noir was recently played live on Twitch by Samuel Ziterman! Sadly, I don't speak French, but as the author of the original supplement, I kinda could follow what scenarios he played as well as how he did. (Second game, pretty well. First game, not so much!) If you'd like to see a replay of his solo adventures into the world of gangsters and gun molls, check out this link here or click the screen capture below.


Both Quill and Quill Noir (and my other supplement Quill Quest: The Warlord's Downfall) are available as Pay What You Want releases, so try before you buy, if you prefer. Also, everything for Quill has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license, so feel free to create your own Quill supplement!