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Tuesday, February 28

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 5c: To Take a Black Ship


“Some of the teams made it!” said Holden. Far fewer grizzled adventurers that had stood with them at Balamshal remained. The survivors were heavily engaged with the sailors that crewed the Black Ships.

“Where are all the ships?” asked Vlad.

The cove was huge. All about, a few of the black ships were listing badly, with one in particular mere moments away from becoming a fixture on the sea floor.

“There!” shouted Ilmarė. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:43 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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New Review: Blood & Blades: The Profiler's Guide to Slashers

Blood & Blades: The Profiler's Guide to Slashers just received a five-star review at RPGNow from Poe Sade:

This pdf was worth the price. If you've ever thought about running a Modern Horror campaign and needed quick write ups for classic slasher flick baddies, get this book. You'll thank me later. [MORE]

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Wednesday, February 22

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 5b: To Take a Black Ship

A coruscating cone of colors washed over the sailors. They collapsed to a man.

“Nice job, Sebastian,” said Kham. “I don’t suppose you can cast any of those lightning spells.”

“No,” said Holden. “That’s why I have this.” He snatched up his rifle again and aimed it at the doorway. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:20 PM | 2 comments links to this post


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Sunday, February 19

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 5a: To Take a Black Ship

Darkness engulfed them. Only dark-kin could see through it. Solano charged forward as the door broke down.

The baying of a wolf pack reached their ears.

“Did I just hear wolves?” asked one of the sailors. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:25 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, February 15

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 4d: Inner Conspiracies

Quintus was visibly relieved. “Ilmarė!” He turned to Kham. “Is she all right?”

Kham rubbed his chin. “She’s her old self again. Listen, I don’t mean to break up this happy reunion, but we’ve got bigger problems.”

“Like what?” asked Holden.

Something heavy slammed into the door of the antechamber. A chorus of angry shouts accompanied it.

“Like that,” said Kham. [MORE]

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Sunday, February 12

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 4c: Inner Conspiracies

Kham came skidding to a halt in front of a scene of total carnage. Inside the room, Quintus stood frozen, torn between attending to the fallen Elorii in the hall or joining the battle further beyond the antechamber.

Ilmarė lay just outside of the doorway, her flesh still smoking from the blast.

“Whoa,” said Kham. “I’m gone a minute and you lose the elf?” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:39 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, February 9

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 4b: Inner Conspiracies

Quintus walked up to Kham and in his usual booming voice, said, “Here’s your scimitar back. What have you discovered?”

Kham put one finger to his lips. Then he put two fingers up and pointed at the door.

Something heavy thudded on the other side of the door.

“They’ve heard us,” said Ilmarė. “It sounds like furniture is being moved.”

Kham shook his head at Quintus. “Do you have to shout everything?”

“What?” boomed Quintus. “This is my usual speaking voice.” [MORE]

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Wednesday, February 8

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 4a: Inner Conspiracies

After a moment, the other voice responded. “Agreed. We will send our most talented. I have already seen to the neutralization of the mold. Gemellus Pravus will not live to see the next morning.”

“Excellent. With his death blamed on one of the other Fingers, Ymandragore will be awash in paranoia as rivalries turn into bloody war.”

“I have agents assembled, ready to assist your servant,” said the softer voice. “How will we know who to assist?”

“You shall know him,” the other voice said cryptically, “by his smile.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:15 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Book Review: Jack the Ripper: Portrait of a Killer

Cornwell doesn't mince words: Walter Sickert is the killer (you can find this out if you turn the first page of the book, so no, it's really not a spoiler). The book is less a true crime mystery than a non-stop attack on Sickert-physically, socially, mentally, philosophically, and artistically. And he's an excellent candidate too; Sickert was fascinated with Jack the Ripper, painted creepy art that involved threatening and dismembering women, and traveled in all the right places where Jack the Ripper skulked. So he must be the Ripper, right?

The biggest flaw in Portrait of a Killer is that it really is "case closed." Cornwell's work hands down a verdict before any evidence is presented, making the whole book an entertaining but ultimately flawed argument about who Jack the Ripper really was. [MORE]

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Tuesday, February 7

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 3: The Bridge is Out

“I don’t have time for this,” muttered Kham.

The stream was 40 paces wide and the current flowed quickly and violent through it from one of the chamber to another. The passage would normally not have been a problem, as a wide, wooden footbridge had been built to cross over it. But someone had destroyed the center portion of the bridge.

“Freaking Ymandragorans,” Kham said, pulling out a length of rope.
[MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:55 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, February 6

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 2b: A Fork in the Road

Kham held up a plain golden ring. "You need a ring to command the Ymandragore ships, right?"

"Yes," said Quintus, "but you don't know—"

Kham slipped the ring on the middle finger of his right hand and admired it. "Nice. I wonder how much it will sell…" Another ring appeared on the middle finger of his left hand. "Cute, a matching pair," he said. Then his amusement turned to horror as the two rings slowly forced themselves together. With a loud SNAP! Kham's hands were forced into a praying position.

"Praying to Althares?" asked Quintus.

"My fingers…they're stuck!" said Kham.

"Perhaps you should have thought of that before you put it on," said Ilmarė. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:09 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Sunday, February 5

The Tick vs. Role-Playing Games


Oh man. I love the Tick. In the latest issue of "The Tick: Days of Drama," the Tick uncovers a cult of bad guys taking over The City. They're your usual cultists, wearing hoods and wielding wavy-bladed daggers. They worship something with tentacles. Standard stuff.

Except when you get to page 13.

"RIP!" goes the Cultish Crunchitos (a requirement for a cultist trial of evil)

FWSH goes the Devil's Dew (only more caffeine goes caffeine).

"Behold! The Table of Transformation!"

And what's on the table?

"The Devil's Worship: The Role-Playing Game"

Hilarity ensues, including the Tick not understanding how dice work. I did a quick Google search and apparently I'm the last living role-player who reads the Tick. You heard it hear first! [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:18 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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The Well of Stars: Edit Complete!

I went through and edited my recent novel, The Well of Stars, from start to finish.

I describe it as a cross between the Addams Family meets Lord of the Rings. Basically, what would happen if a fuzzy little fat man decided to keep the ring and conquer the world? It will take a one-eyed prince with amnesia, a necromanceress and her zombie servant, and a rogue captain of the guard to save the world when traditional heroes (an elf, a dwarf, and a human ranger) fail. Inspired by Nordic fantasy and Tolkien's work, The Well of Stars has high fantasy, low humor, romance, and plenty of action.

If you're a publisher interested in reading it, let me know!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:51 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Fear of Girls

This video has been all over the Internet already, but it bears pointing out:

True Love is but a +2 Broadsword away. [MORE]
This video would be just plain sad, if it were not for the following reasons:
1) I've gamed with guys who consider "chaotic neutral" means the right to kill everyone and not give them any mercy.
2) There are definitely guys who run around in cloaks all the time (even though it's supposedly only for Live Action Role-Play or LARPing).
3) I've gamed with guys who have asked to "have sex with" a female character in a Dungeons & Dragons session. In front of five other guys. At a convention.
4) This video is made by gamers. It's dead on: from the barbarian rage to the Brujah clan reference.

It's funny. It's sad. It's true. Don't let it be you!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 1:47 PM | 2 comments links to this post


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Thursday, February 2

Assault Upon the Gate of Tears - Part 2a: A Fork in the Road

"Great," said Vlad. He flexed his limbs a few times to shake off the paralysis of the thralls. "Now what?"

A series of metal bars barred the way, fifteen in all. They ran sideways, from wall to wall.

"Too bad the big, angry lizard isn't here," said Kham. "We could just point him at the bars and stand back."

"The big, angry what?" asked Holden.

"It's a long story," said Ilmarė. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:41 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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PBWiki Rules!

And now, a word from our sponsors.
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I'm picky about my wiki. So I was delighted to move into PBWiki. What's PBWiki you ask?

Wikis are easy-to-use Web pages that let you collaborate online and share information. I tried a few and dumped them before I found PBWiki, where my Welstar site resides. Check it out at http://welstar.pbwiki.com. The gang at PBWiki is always making improvements and focused on making it the best wiki there is.

The Wiki Wars are just getting started. For me, there's only PB! Get a free wiki at PBwiki.com.

PBwiki: As easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. Check out the PBwiki tour!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:23 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, February 1

Finally, a Gaming Geek on Reality TV

Somewhere on http://www.rpg.net, a poster made a comment a few years ago that said (and I'm paraphrasing): "It's too bad there aren't any pen-and-paper gamers on reality TV shows. They'd probably be a lot more interesting than half the mutants on the shows today."

Now this was a biased comment coming from a forum all about pen-and-paper role-playing. I have no idea who that poster is or if he's still paying attention. But the theory is now a reality. I give you...

KarlKarl - “Dungeon Master”
Karl graduated from North Park University with honors in biology and is currently applying to pharmacy schools. This 23-year-old watched the first season of Beauty and the Geek and knew that if he was on the show, he would “totally rule.” Having gained a great deal of confidence from his partner, Danielle, Karl says he hasn't had time to ask any girls out. He loves “Dungeons and Dragons” and plays every Friday night with his friends. To fuel his enjoyment of running, Karl is considering training for the Los Angeles Marathon.

You can read more about Karl at the Beauty & the Geek Web Site. It's true, Karl's existence is basically to be utterly mocked for his lack of social skills, further stigmatizing role-playing games. But if Karl wins...well maybe gamer geeks everywhere have a chance. And here's his partner...

Danielle
Danielle - “Cocktail Waitress”
Twenty-five-year-old swimsuit model, Danielle, would not change a thing about her experience on Beauty and the Geek and would do it again. Currently a circulation assistant at a public library and a part-time cocktail waitress, Danielle plans to return to school to become a nurse. When not working, Danielle likes to go clubbing with friends, workout and shop.

All is not hopeless for Karl. Danielle works at a public library, so they've got a lot of common right there...

Oh whom I kidding, he's screwed. I don't care, I'm still rooting for Karl. GO KARL GO!

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:22 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Cthulhu Document Generator

This thing is great! I found it by accident:

Welcome to the Cthulhu Document generator. I was going thru "Propping up the Mythos" the other day and was reading George Burruss' how-to for generating latin text. Since I don't use Excel (or Windows) and the process seemed a bit intensive labor wise I thought I could develop a document generator for the web that automatically creates the random latin pages

Yeah, I know its not going to change the world but it might save you some time making those mysterious papers/notes/tomes. Just give the generator the parameters you desire and fire away. Then copy the text from the page into your favorite editor, select all, choose your favorite font and boom! you're done. Well, kinda. Read Propping up the Mythos for more cool stuff. If I could write a php script to bind, age and distress your documents/books I would. Cest la vie. Ia ia. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:21 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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