A kindred site.

Posts from November 2007

There are two books coming out, courtesy of Josh Wentz's Sidedown, for which I am a contributor. Check 'em out, will you?

One Sidedown Monograph #2. If you missed the first one, you can still snag it. Essentially, it's a collection of miscellaneous works (visual and literary) by a bunch of cool people you may have heard of. This second one includes the administrations of more cool people, such as Jeremy Simmons, Emily Martin, my brother, and its underlying theme is POLYLEMMA: a choice between many options, none of which are acceptable.

The second is Sidedown's spin-off book entitled Parallel/Serial Port, which takes a bunch of the serials that ran on Sidedown since 2005 and puts them in print. There's going to be some fun stuff in that one, including all 50 episodes of my Escapee saga, my own personal dabble in science-fiction inspired by Rush's "The Body Electric." If you'd like to see my take on robots, check out this book. If you'd like to see my take on warforged (they're not the same, damn it!) check out The Darkwood Mask when it's out in March.  :)

Both of these books, and plenty of other miscellany, can be found at the Sidedown store, but you can also see some samples here.

Josh posted some nice stuff about his contributors on his site today. This is a guy who knows how to appreciate the value of time and energy. And effort. The kind of guy who appreciates handmade personalized gifts, not gifts of cash or gift cards. 'Course, this makes him nearly impossible to give gifts to. Too damned intimidating. The bastard.

posted on 11.28.2007

gen·try –noun

  • wellborn and well-bred people.
  • (in England) the class below the nobility.
  • an upper or ruling class; aristocracy.
  • those who are not members of the nobility but are entitled to a coat of arms, esp. those owning large tracts of land.
  • (used with a plural verb) people, esp. considered as a specific group, class, or kind: The polo crowd doesn't go there, but these hockey gentry do.
  • the state or condition of being a gentleman.

Today is a pretty momentous day as far as I'm concerned. About 4 years ago, Wizards of the Coast announced an open call for a novel entitled Maiden of Pain, which would be a stand-alone book set in the Forgotten Realms world. I among many submitted for that contest and among the many fine people with which I made an acquaintance during those turbulent, hopeful writing days——and none I could relate to more*——was Ed Gentry. TODAY, 4 years later, marks the release of Neversfall, Ed's first novel. (Get it!)

My wife's picking this up for me today and tonight I'll be diving right into it. Congratulations, Ed! This...rules.

Fun Trivia: Neversfall is an anagram for Vernal Self. And Edward Gentry is an anagram for Dry Raged Newt (or Tawny Dredger or We Dry Tag Nerd or...)

(*) Sure, we disagreed theologically, but we always had Rush to unite us.

Edit: I'm a few chapters in now and I'm digging it. The first chapter I had to read slow, because Ed introduces a very different corner of the Forgotten Realms with a very different culture, but then came a big monster fight! And did I mention the giant ant people? Dude. Giant ant people. Read it!

posted on 11.25.2007

All right. I'm not a World of Warcraft player or fan, even though I am a Lord of the Rings Online fan (and LotRO certainly does derive itself from WoW's style of play). In any case, the recent commercials posted here are hilarious. Choose the "Stream in Flash (FLV)" option to watch it immediately. Both Mr. T's and William Shatner's are great.

I wish they made commercials like this for D&D.

Also, if you haven't seen it, they put the Beholder Interview on YouTube. It was originally posted on the WotC site in better quality, but at least you can still see it on YouTube.

posted on 11.20.2007

After a brief and belated anniversary vacation, I now have Thanksgiving to look forward to. Which mostly equates having two days off from work and seeing the extended family again. The one redeeming quality to this year's Indian summer heat is the delayed autumn foliage. In New England this weekend, the colors were astounding. A bit late, but still appreciated.

That said, the temperature the last few days has been just fine. Nice and chill, requiring a coat. Just like November should. I hope everyone has a good holiday to look forward. And hey, let me know what you're up to.

posted on 11.19.2007

If you're a DM, and you like short and ready-made, bite-sized adventures, then you should check out Goodman Games's The Adventure Continues, which is a follow-up to The Adventure Begins. It's a collection of mid-level adventures, an anthology by a bunch of different writes. Including:

  • Madness at the Mutilated Oak, by Goodman Games editor/writer Ken Hart. This adventures redefines the phrase "save the trees!"
  • Mistfall, by the module-proliferant Mike Ferguson. An ecological adventure, if ever there was one.
  • Yellow Jade Heart, by the topographic Jeremy Simmons. Get through the caves, win the sword! But it's not quite what you think.
  • Fortune’s Folly, by the talented twosome, Ed Gentry and Lara Gose! Fortune favors the bold and foolish...
  • Dale of the Dead, by the ever-artful Ruth Lampi of The Five Wits. A town full of zombies going about their own business. What's wrong with that?
  • Snare of the Shadow Sylphs, by pirouettrix Jess Van Oort, also of The Five Wits. What's not to love about evil fey?

Oh yeah, and...

  • The Nightmare Closet, by me. Madness. Nightmares. A child's closet and toys gone bad. Yay.

Well, it's warm and humid again. And if you haven't noticed, it's also November-freakin'-13th. Not that anyone can tell, with this temperature. Obviously, fall is on the way out. Such a shame.

posted on 11.12.2007

The Council of Elrond convened in late October, and much of the Lord of the Rings takes place between late autumn and all throughout winter (the One Ring is destroyed in late March). And why not? It's a good time for epic quests.

There's still these last two months left of 2007, but already 2008 is gearing up to be a pretty big deal. This year was crazy busy; next year may be more so, but I have much to look forward to (and much to get through first). My wife and I didn't have much of an anniversary, so we're planning on taking a long weekend in mid-November upstate, perhaps Lake George.

Before things do get more insane, I've been playing a bit more of Lord of the Rings Online, this time with my Hobbit guardian, Dadger. The most fun is visiting the "famous" places from the trilogy.

This is one thing I really appreciate this game. It really helps teach you the geography of Middle-Earth. When reading the trilogy, the names of places often slip through your mind with no real traction. Now I've got a better sense of where the Shire is in relation to the world, and where Bree is, and so on. Although the scale is certainly not as realistic, since I can run from the Shire to Bree in about 10 or 15 minutes and in the book it took the Hobbits weeks.

Ahh, Radagast. One of the Istari, one of the handful of Wizards sent to Middle-Earth to help the people contend with Sauron. But you see, Gandalf (the Grey) was the only one who ever really did his job and he had to pick up the slack for the other Wizards. Radagast (the Brown) turned hippie and chose to laze about in the woods with his animal friends. Saruman (the White) actually turned traitor, and the other two, Alatar and Pallando (the Blue) went AWOL.

At heart, Radagast is still a good guy, but he didn't do enough to help Gandalf out. So I did a handstand on his table.

The funny thing about this game is that the heroic actions and battles your character undertakes are a lot more prominent than what the members of the Fellowship ever did (although their quest was still the most important). This game makes it look like you kept all the nasties of the land away from the Fellowship so they could do their thing.

Today it won't quite reach 50°. Damned straight! I can perch comfortably just about anywhere--in the shade, in the sun, wherever! I think I'll hunker down on St. Patrick's Cathedral tonight. It's a bit of a tourist trap, but I'm a sucker for neo-Gothic.

posted on 11.05.2007