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Thursday, November 30

Comments on Gonnes, Sons, and Treasure Runs

Azgulor wrote:

Great story hour! You seem to be blessed with a good group of players and you know how to tell a good story. You and your fellow DM also seem to handle the absence of some players and the introduction of new players very well. Any pointers? Handling those two occurences never go as smoothly for my campaigns as I'd like.

Again, great story hour. Keep 'em coming please.


Hi Azgulor,

There are a variety of factors that help make things go smoothly. I often think of better reasons for why characters aren't there for the story hour (as opposed to just before the game). Here's a few things that I think contribute to keeping the story moving without getting too tripped up by the character appearances/disappearances:
  1. Know who your core players are. There are three consistent characters: Vlad, Ilmare, and Kham. Ilmare is played by my wife, so I pretty much know when she'll be around. Vlad is played by a coworker, so we're in constant contact. And finally, Kham is played by an old friend who really likes to play D&D and is happy to travel to a game if need be. I focus the plots on these three characters most of the time, thus ensuring that the other characters who come and go aren't missed too much.
  2. There are always good excuses for PCs to not adventure. Really, it seems like all heroes do is run around being heroes. So I use these absences as reminders that life sometimes life isn't all monster-killing and treasure-grabbing. Sometimes this is just a basic duty, like Quintus having to serve as a legionnaire and Vlad serving Duke Adolphos val'Tensen as a bailiff. But other times it's tragedy or, my personal favorite, "recovering from really bad wounds". You'll see this happen a bunch going in the upcoming story hours:
    • Catching a disease and falling ill while the PCs try to find the cure.
    • Getting "hurt real bad" and spending time recovering in a secret location so that said PC is not assassinated.
    • Being kidnapped by a cult (this has happened to two different characters now), sometimes for weeks at a time.
    • Imprisoned. *COUGH* Kham! * COUGH*
    • Working on the creation of a new magic item.
    • Doing research on an esoteric subject.
    • Investigating bad guy activity on their own.

  3. The adventures are Living Arcanis RPGA adventures. They're meant to be played in the span of four hours or less and thus go quickly. This means that PCs are never so committed to an area (like say, a dungeon) that they can't get out of it. We're planning adventures in other dimensions and such that will make PC comings and goings harder.

As for new players, having a well-defined world really helps. We don't have too many crazy anomalies...there's no minotaur fighters showing up in the world that I have to explain. Probably the most fantastic/strange is Bijoux, who is literally one of a kind (a flying catfolk race that came from one of the first Living Arcanis adventures) and Calactyte, a big lizardfolk. Both of those characters sometimes have difficulty fitting in, especially the horror-themed adventures; it's hard to be scary when you've got a big scaly superhero beating up bad guys. On the other hand, they are both intricately tied to the world; lizardfolk are considered a menace in most parts of Arcanis and Bijoux is a representative of a world that fought the Unspeakable One and failed. So even the anomalous characters serve a purpose.

Of course, we haven't had a new character join since Dril. Dril fit in easily enough because he was a character that made sense in Arcanis: he's an urban ranger/rogue who serves in the Shining Patrol, hates ss'ressen and lizardfolk, and is from Altheria. Which means he's got ready made conflict (wait til Dril meets Cal!), an allegiance to a homeland, and plenty of motivation to help people out.

And of course it helps that I have a great bunch of players who are generally all interested in party unity. The story hours help reinforce that, elaborating on each character's background and history while at the same time encouraging them to do things that "fit the story." I should point out that all the players are intensely aware of this story hour and want all the moments to "look good in it." It's almost like they're on a reality show, so that definitely helps people get along.

Thanks for your comments! It's good to know someone's reading this story hour.

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Wednesday, November 29

Alien Invasion Review

Alan D. Kohler gave Alien Invasion four out of five stars at ENWorld:

You May Like This Book If…

You may like if D20 Modern is your game of choice and you are interested in seeing game material strongly based on UFOlogy and modern alien conspiracy SF, and want to spin your own setting out of it rather than use Dark Matter. Dark Matter fans may find some parts of this book usable fodder for their game as well.[MORE]

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Alien Invasion Review

Shane O'Connor gave Alien Invasion four out of five stars at RPGNow:

This product outlined a number of ways to play a Modern d20 game with invading aliens, including benevolent alien races and the human cults who gain power from them to help fight otherworldly invaders. Plus, the myriad references to real organizations, such as the Aetherius Society and the Raelian Movement, lends this product an eerie edge perfectly suited for the subject matter. [MORE]

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Alien Invasion Review

Andrew Branstad gave Alien Invasion four out of five stars at RPGNow:

Alien Invasion is a well-researched book with all of the proper tools for running a d20 Modern campaign in which alien conspiracy theories are the main focus. The rules are well crafted, the writing is good, and art and layout is very professional. [MORE]

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Tuesday, November 28

The Senator's Seal - Part 7c: Battle for the Seal

Vlad pounded past both of them just as Jaleon skidded to a halt. Vigiles had lined up with firehooks at the other end of the street. He ducked down an alley…

Only to stop at a dead end. Jaleon spun on his heel as Vlad advanced. He drew the dagger he purchased from Melosia. Jaleon was too well armored to fight with swords in such close quarters.

“Come on then!” he spat. “If I go down, I will take you with me!” [MORE]

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Sunday, November 26

DVD Review: House of 1,000 Corpses

Zombie obviously has a lot to prove, as evidenced by his gonzo style of filmmaking. There's a lot of "fades to pastel" (that's the only way I can describe it) instead of fading to black and white. There's a creepy clown. And there's plenty of down home wisecrackin', clownin', cannibalism, sadistic acts, and some science fiction crap thrown in at the end. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:30 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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I Did It!

YES! I've finished the first 50,000 words of my new novel, Dun. Unfortunately, that's not nearly enough for a publishable novel. Fortunately, I plotted the novel out quite a bit beyond what I wrote. Now I just need to reach 80,000 words to make it publishable. My goal is the end of the year, but we'll see. Here's the remainder of the sneak preview from the first chapter:

The stewardess hustled forward to deal with the issue. George's gaze followed her until the kicking started again.

BUMP.

At least the baby's not crying, thought George.

BUMP.

George craned his neck. "Where's your mother?"

He knew damn well her mother was right next to her.

BUMP.

There was a strange gurgling sound. George turned around.

The pretty little blonde girl, not more than six years of age, was staring upwards at the screen. But it was completely incongruous with what her hands were doing. They were firmly wrapped around her baby brother’s throat. She slammed the infant's head into the back of George’s seat. Over and over and over, as if it were a reflex, as if it were a nervous tick. George couldn't believe his eyes. He looked searchingly at the mother, but she was nearly catatonic, staring in the same open-mouthed at the screen.

"Jesus Christ!" shouted George. Then all hell broke loose.

* * *

Henry stepped out of the restroom, ready to deal with whatever stupidity drunk kids had concocted that day. But in all of his years of training, he had never expected this.

One man was grappling with his wife, squeezing his fingers into her eye sockets. She shrieked, but the noise was drowned out by the other sounds of calamity throughout the cabin.

A woman was stabbing an older man, over and over, with a pen. It was hard to tell; it could have been a knife, but it was dripping blood. Great ribbons of red pirouetted as she lifted the pen again and again, punching holes in her companion with frantic urgency.

A man, who must have been sleeping, squealed like a pig as a younger child climbed up on his head and nearly tore his nose off with its teeth.

Henry drew his pistol. He didn't know who to shoot first.

Then the plane dipped hard, and for a brief moment the insanity stopped as people were hurled up against the bulkhead and smacked into each other. Breathing masks popped from the overhead compartments.

Henry stumbled backwards, back towards the bathroom stall; the only safe place left.

One man came screaming down the cabin when the plane dipped hard again, this time almost straight down.

"THE KING IS COMING!" he shouted. "THE KING IS COMING!"

Henry recognized him. It was the pilot.


Zokutou word meter
50,788 / 50,000
(101.6%)

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Thursday, November 23

The Senator's Seal - Part 7b: Battle for the Seal

A moment later, the wall swung back again. Janthi slunk over to Ilmarė’s unconscious form. Blood trickled from a wound at her temple.

The Senator put the back of his hand to her mouth. She was still breathing.

He pulled a dagger from its sheath at his belt. “Too bad they all died trying to defend me,” said Janthi. “A stab wound in the chest should speed this up.”

Janthi lifted up the dagger…[MORE]

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Wednesday, November 22

NaNoWriMo Update

Henry heard a thump. It was a strange sound, but not necessarily unwarranted. People kicked and bumped into things all the time on planes; it was a confined space after all.

Then there was another thump, and a muffled grunt or cry. Noises that didn't belong on a plane.

Henry cursed. Fucking kids.

He flushed the toilet and didn't even bother to wash his hands. It might have been someone drunk, but he was betting it was kids. Those were his two biggest headaches these days.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
36,892 / 50,000
(73.8%)

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Monday, November 20

The Senator's Seal - Part 7a: Battle for the Seal

“Need reinforcements,” said Ilmarė. She called to Osalian for help…

His answer came in a glowing canine that flashed into the room. It immediately charged Jaleon.

An arrow pierced Dril’s shoulder and he spun to the ground.

Jaleon turned his shield to fend off the canine, giving Vlad enough time to back out of the bodyguard’s reach.

Ilmarė rose again to fire at the archer but a teeth-rattling blow knocked the wind out of her. She caught an image of one of the henchman raising his bloodied mace—her blood—over his head. Then everything went dim. [MORE]

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Sunday, November 19

Half.com Blowout Sale!

Just wanted to let everyone know that there's 27 books and one CD on sale at my Half.com store. In every case, I strive to be the lowest price for the product available (I'm more interested in cleaning out space than making a buck, but my conscience won't let me just give it away for free). Check it out at: http://shops.half.ebay.com/trescami_W0QQ

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NaNoWriMo Update

Sarah peered at the DVD player. She looked over at the band members in first class. "Did you touch this?"

The men were giggling like a bunch of schoolgirls. "Maybe."

"That's not funny, sir." Sarah went to hit the eject button but the lead band member grabbed her wrist.

"Wait," he said with deadly seriousness. "We’re still waiting for the porn."

"What?" Sarah tried not to burst out into laughter herself. That would be hilarious, all those soccer moms having to cover their kids' eyes when two people made the beast with two backs all over the screens on the plane. Of course, it would also get her fired.

"Uh," said his band mate," I don't think this is porn."

He was transfixed, staring at the sea of black and white on the nearest TV screen. Sarah shook her head and was about to respond when one of the stewardess assistance lights went on.

Ding!

God she hated those lights. She turned to look.

Another one went on.

Ding!

Then another. Then all the assistance lights lit up like a Christmas tree.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
34,548 / 50,000
(69.1%)

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Saturday, November 18

Pyramid Article: Contagion!

The threat of disease is always a problem in medieval and Renaissance societies. Even with magic, the possibility of a plague raging out of control is ever present. In the d20 System, perhaps the only thing worse than an outbreak of the plague is an outbreak of undead.

A variety of undead have the ability to reproduce by killing living humanoids. In the case of the mohrg, any creature killed can acquire the zombie template, including animals. So what's to keep vampires from taking over the world [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 2:55 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, November 16

The Senator's Seal - The Senator's Seal - Part 6c: There is No Honor Among Thieves


Ilmarė tore the blindfold from her face.

They were just outside an ornate door. Dril took his own blindfold off and looked up at the crest on the door.

“Senator Janthi val’Sheem’s office,” said Dril.

“You know, if I were attacked right now I could totally fight like this,” said Vlad.

“Take off the blindfold, Vlad,” said Ilmarė. “We know all about your night fighting skills.” [MORE]

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Wednesday, November 15

NaNoWriMo Update

Sarah was having a long day. The leers from the older men were bad enough, but even young kids, kids who probably hadn't even a pubic hair on them, were making a convincing imitation of leering at her too. At one point, she was pretty sure father and son were trading notes on her measurements.

Disgusting. Some days she hated the job. Today was one of them.

Sarah knew it was going to be one of those flights when the cranky, balding middle-aged guy started whining about the movie. She knew the type; they whined about everything, because they of erectile dysfunction or a bad day at work or some stupid excuse that had everything to do with them and nothing to do with her.

But this time something really was wrong with the movie. A black-and-white silent film, from the looks of it, was slowly unspooling on screen. At first she thought it might be a commercial, but they were supposed to be showing an in-flight movie. All the in-flight movies were mild piffle that were intended to not offend anybody but usually offended somebody anyway.

Sarah shrugged back at the passenger. Then she looked up and down the cabin. Damn, she was closest. And since she was closest, it was up to her to deal with it.

"Great," she sighed. Then she put on her meanest face and strutted towards the seat nearest the DVD player.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
22,611 / 50,000
(45.2%)

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Sunday, November 12

NaNoWriMo Update

WOOT! I just hit 20,089 words today. We're back on track for NaNoWriMo!

There were a lot of safeguards that kicked in when a man was dragged kicking and screaming from a security checkpoint. Henry Stubbs was one of them.

Henry shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He probably shouldn't have had that double latte, but it was the middle of the day and he was tired from pulling an all-night shift. The good news was that the latte worked. The bad news was that the latte worked

Henry scanned the aisle again. All the citizens looked more or less respectable. Except for the band.

He'd done his homework. The band was called the New Monarchs. They were a throwback to the punk era, a time when being rebellious was all the rage. Nowadays it was more fashionable to be fundamentalist than outcast, follower than leader. That was one of the reasons why Henry liked his job so much; it put him in control, in the know, making him both special and part of the system at the same time.

The New Monarchs weren't much of a band, but they were trouble wherever they went. The latest altercation was just one of a string of incidents in their spotty past, most of them involving drugs, alcohol, or public disturbances. Traditional band stuff, really. Henry found it amusing that they were more common than their outrageous reputation might otherwise warrant.

Normally he wasn't supposed to get up to go to the bathroom, but he had to really go. The NSA be damned, he wasn’t going to sit there and piss his pants in the name of national security.

So Henry got up.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20,085 / 50,000
(40.2%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:40 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Saturday, November 11

NaNoWriMo Update

It was George's responsibility to make sure things went smoothly, so off he dutifully went. The problem was that there was no one to make things go smoothly for HIM. Who made sure that George got the Diet Dr. Pepper he so thoroughly enjoyed? Who checked to see that some fat slob wasn't sitting next to him, causing George to be in much closer contact with a man's thighs than he had ever been with his wife? And who—God, who?—was in charge of shutting the damn screaming baby up behind him and the kid sister that was kicking his seat every few seconds.

Somebody had put the in-flight movie on, which was fine with him. Finally, he had something to distract him from the screaming baby and the little shit with the hyperactive knees.

George gave the screen a cursory glance. It was a black and white film.

He squinted. It was a black and white film that was subtitled.

"Oh for crying out loud," George muttered loudly. "Did they cut the budget so much that you people can't put on a decent movie?"

He timed it so that the stewardess heard him as she passed in the opposite direction. She wasn't looking at the movie. George was half hoping she'd keep going so he could take another look at her from her best side. Instead, she turned to see what he meant.

The actors were made up in the usual makeup reserved for silent movies, where emoting and expressions where paramount. They gaped in horror before something off screen.

"The King in Yellow arrives!" said the card.

George squinted. It looked as if the screen nearest him was starting to go; he'd seen the same effect on his TV set before he sold it for one of the new flat panel types. Yellow spots appeared on the TV one day and never went away.

"That’s not an in-flight movie," said the stewardess. "Not one of ours."

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
14,031 / 50,000
(28.1%)

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The Senator's Seal - Part 6b: There is No Honor Among Thieves

“Not the blindfolds again,” said Ilmarė with a resigned sigh.

“Did I mention I’m a trained night—” asked Vlad as the blindfold was applied.

“Yes!” said Ilmarė and Dril.[MORE]

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


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Friday, November 10

NaNoWriMo Update

So I'm doing research on the technology behind my King in Yellow silent movie, the movie that makes people go nuts. And lo and behold, there's a patent for it!


United States Patent 4,717,343
Densky January 5, 1988

The present invention relates to methods for conditioning a person's unconscious thought patterns by having the person view a program of video pictures projected upon a screen in order to alter that person's behavior.

It is well established in medicine and science that the human mind operates on two planes, the conscious and the unconscious. That part of the human mind used for reasoning and communicating with full awareness by the individual and which also controls voluntary behavior such as talking and walking is called the conscious mind. The unconscious mind, sometimes referred to as the subconscious, controls those functions which take place without the person's awareness such as heartbeat, breathing, glandular action, and such involuntary reactions as appetite, tension and pain.

Hypnosis was one of the first techniques used to reach a person's unconscious mind. In the late 1800's hypnosis was used to trigger the release of the endorphins, an opiate-like substance manufactured and stored within the brain, to serve as anesthesia during surgery. More recently, hypnosis has been used to effect appetite control, smoking abatement, reduction of stress and depression, and painless childbirth. During the first half of the 1900's Dr. Milton Erickson introduced the use of structured linguistic patterns in hypnotic therapy.

In the early 1970's Richard Bandler and John Grindler pioneered neuro-linguistic programming in which the therapist auditorially (by voice) tells the patient to complete a certain mental exercise in his mind's eye in order to bring about behavioral change at the unconscious and conscious levels of the patient's mind.

Both hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming are methods of conditioning a person's thought processes through sounds transmitted by voice.

Another method of affecting an individual's unconscious thought processes is subliminal suggestion. Audio subliminals consist of a human voice repeating auditory suggestions over and over, and the voice is "covered over" by a sound such as ocean waves which is the only sound the conscious mind hears. But the unconscious hears the voiced suggestions. Video subliminals inject written messages (such as "buy popcorn") at a rate of about one frame per second into a moving picture film. There are 24 frames per second in the standard movie or video and thus the subliminal message registers only on the unconscious mind. One suggested use of video subliminal suggestion is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 3,278,676 granted Oct. 11, 1966.

Suggestions have also been made to use visual displays projected upon a screen as an addition to audio signals, electric shock signals or other sensory messages to assist a person to build up an aversion to an undesirable habit. One such suggestion is set forth in U.S. Pat. No. 3,782,006 granted Jan. 1, 1974. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:22 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, November 9

NaNoWriMo Update

"Aw, come on mate, s’ not so bad. We can do without Mick."

Hugh looked inconsolable.

Stewart sighed. "Look. Mick was just trash anyway. I don't know why you keep these people on, honestly."

"He was good for a laugh," Hugh said meaningfully. "Mick got things done. This is how the business works in the States, yah? Maybe he was a paranoid son of a bitch, but that's the kind of guy ya need. "

Stewart flumped down in his seat in the first class row. The very first row. "You mean YOU need."

"Yah, maybe. I'm too trusting. Mick wasn't trusting at all. And now he's not with us."

Hugh looked over at the stewardess. She was a nice but of fluff, tall, with long legs that were sleekly silhouetted by her stockings. But despite the view, Hugh wasn't checking her out purely for her physical assets. She wasn't looking at them; who cared about a couple of nobody band members flying out for their first States gig? Even if Hugh was actually from Boston?

"I know something that'll cheer you up." Hugh grinned as he flipped the silvery disc out of his jacket. "

Stewart peered up at Hugh over the emergency instructions. "Wot's that?"

"Just a little educational viewing," said Hugh with a leer. "What's say we give these yanks a real in-flight movie?"

"Fucking brilliant!" cackled Steve, but softly lest the stewardess notice.

"Don't blame me," said Hugh. "It was Mick’s idea."


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9,880 / 50,000
(19.8%)

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Wednesday, November 8

NaNoWriMo Update

Hugh paced as they led Mick away, hands in his hair. "What the fuck am I supposed to do now?"

"Fuck him," said the lead guitarist. "That crazy shit roadie can rot for all I care. We don't need him."

"We've gotta keep going, Mick," the bandleader said to Mick's back. "He’ll catch up once they charge him or whatever. Stupid shit’s lucky ifn’ he doesn’t get deported. But we gotta make this gig, it’s important; that’s the business, right?"

The security guards jerked Mick in the other direction. "Yeah," Mick said quietly. "It's only business."

Phil slapped Billy on the shoulder. "Pay up."

He had been so caught up in the events that Billy forgot the bet. He dug into his wallet as the guards and band went their separate ways.

"You're good." He slapped the fifty into Phil's palm.

"Nah," Phil jabbed a thumb in Mick's direction. "He's just that stupid."

As he was dragged away, Mick smiled to himself.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
7,625 / 50,000
(15.3%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:50 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, November 7

NaNoWriMo Update


"Step through please," Billy said more firmly. The security guards tensed.

Hugh came over. "What's up lads? Mick causing you trouble?"

"We're just trying to get your friend to go through a standard security checkpoint. Which he was just about to do...wasn't he Mick?"

Mick looked back and forth. "Fine, fuck it." He stepped through the sensor. It beeped.

"Step back please," said Billy.

Mick stepped back. "That's right, pat me down. ‘Specially the crotch."

Billy patted him down. He came up with nothing.

“Ya don’t think it’s the big metal belt buckle staring ya in the fucking face that’s causin’ the ruckus, do ya?”

Billy peered down at Mick’s waist without looking at his crotch. Sure enough, he had been so preoccupied with finding a weapon that he had missed it.

“Take it off.”

“Fuck you.”

“Sir, please take off your belt.”

“Sir,” Mick said back politely, “please go fuck yourself. I don’t take off my belt fer no man, and despite those saggy tits, I think you’re still a man.”

Billy’s face turned bright red.


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6,606 / 50,000
(13.2%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:32 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, November 6

National Novel Writing Month: Dun

I've shifted gears this year and had some time to work on my novel while I was the World Fantasy Convention. This year I'm writing a modern horror. Yes, that's right. And it's got mature themes (violence and a lot of foul language, certainly). So get ready!


"You know that guy's a terrorist, right?"

Billy looked over at his older partner in dismay. Phil wasn't prone to hyperbole. Or rather, he was, but usually the hyperbole was well earned.

He asked the obvious question. "How do you know?"

"Oh I know," said Phil. He imperceptibly nodded towards an unsavory looking type with long, stringy black hair. "I can tell by looking at them."

"How?"

"It's just a sixth sense you develop."

They were security guards hired to step in where the TSA had failed. After a disastrous report came out about the ineffectiveness of the dead-eyed, underpaid screeners, airports had begun to outsource their own security. Without official notice, of course. Official notice brought regulation, and nobody wanted that.

"Bullshit," said Billy. "Since when do you have a sixth sense?"

"It's more an art.” Phil tended to shift gears in mid-sentence. "I learned from the best."

"An art, huh?" Billy looked over at the subject without looking like he was looking at him. That too, was an art.

"Yeah. I was trained by the master of criminal profiling, Larry Loskovitz." Phil puffed up just a little bit. "With the TSA, the screenings don't work anymore because they're dealing with the physical symptoms of a bigger problem. Terrorists try to put bombs in shoes and they scan shoes; the put bombs in bottles and they ban bottles. They're always one step behind."

"And you're always one step ahead?"

"Yep."

The man was with a bunch of other people, similarly dressed. They were a band, judging by the pieces of oddly shaped luggage they were checking in.

"See, a man who's up to no good has signs. Signs that give him away. Larry trained me to look for them."

Billy got a little bolder and peered at the man. There was nothing out of the ordinary about him, other than that he was trying very hard to be out of extraordinary. They had seen band members all the time and they were always too flashy, too ridiculous to be taken seriously.

"I know what you're thinking."

Billy looked sideways at Phil. "You're psychic now?"

"No, I know what you're going to say, I mean. What is about this guy? I'll tell you what it is. It's the way he looks. He looks nervous."

"Maybe he's got flight jitters. People get 'em."

"Sure. Maybe. But this is a guy who's pretty fearless. Look at him. He's dressed to get attention. Too much, I think."

"Hiding in plain sight, huh?"

'Yeah," said Phil. "Wanna place your bet?"

Billy let out a long sigh. Phil was always betting.

"You're that certain huh?"

Phil nodded.

"Okay, a fifty if your magical hunch turns out to be legit. But it's got to be something good, not some immigrant missing his papers shit."

"You're on." Phil patted Billy on the back. "Watch and learn bucko."


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,501 / 50,000
(11.0%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:32 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Accidental Survivors Mentions Alien Invasion

Accidental Survivors: The Modern Gaming Podcast is a gaming podcast for modern campaigns brought to you by Sword's Edge Publishing.
  1. News & Views: Planetary by Warren Ellis and John Cassady. There's also the hilarious Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. and the interesting The Authority; The EN World post "Early morning phone calls, death threats and other strangeness" that introduced me to Alien Invasion; DrivethruRPG has a free download of CJ Carella's Witchcraft RPG; Jericho, the TV series; China's EAST Fusion Reactor from Discovery.ca. Check out: Fist Full of Comics (and games)andthe Dragon's Landing Inn
  2. Feature: Kung-Fu Fighting; Blood & Fists. Check out: All Games Considered andGamer: the Podcasting
  3. Inspiration Time: Brotherhood of the Wolf; Great Challenge; Parkour and some Parkour videos; Angry Chicken, Toyota Ad, Home-made Russian video ("Russian Climbing") Hero
  4. Feedback: accidental@swordsedgepublishing.ca, http://www.forgedrpg.com, call or fax us at 206-222-2519 or send us an ODEO.
  5. SEP News: Teams: Hit Squad, Available at RPG Now. Mundus Novit, the Changed World . . . more information forthcoming.

Don't forget to listen to Fear the Boot, Geekson and The Round Table by House of the Harping Monkey.

[LISTEN TO PODCAST]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:28 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Highmoon Media Productions Sale

Today is the first day of the Giant $1 Merger Sale! As you know, RPGNow and DTRPG have merged; at the same time EN World closed down EN World GameStore and opened an affiliate site (essentially, a local "EN World Branch" of the merged company).

To celebrate this, a whole host of publishers have decided to get in on this sale, making this the biggest RPG PDF sale in history! You should participate and pick something up even if it's only to that you can tell your grandchildren you were there!

Highmoon Media Productions celebrates the creation of OneBookShelf with a $1 sale on all our Bardic Lore, Liber Sodalitas and MonkeyGod adventures. In addition, we have critically-acclaimed titles like From Stone to Steel and Frost & Fur at a 75% discount. Sale runs from Nov. 6 to Nov. 11.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:18 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Pyramid Article: Elemental Side Effects in d20 System

Sure, it's easy to hurl fireballs and lightning bolts at foes. But what's left in the aftermath? This article examines just what happens when wizards go to war; or rather, the environmental effects of what's left when they're done. After a spell caster witnesses the damage he's done to the local environment, he might think twice before casting a spell in his home town. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 12:45 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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The Senator's Seal - Part 6a: There is No Honor Among Thieves

“You’ll have to trust me,” said Dril. “This is the only way.”

“Don’t worry,” said Vlad. “I’m a trained night fighter.”

Ilmarė took a deep breath. “Fine. But if I feel one hand touch anywhere but my blindfold, that man will no longer be able to clap. Do I make myself clear?”

The Cafelan thugs chuckled. “We’ll be nice as long as you’re nice,” they said.

“Then we’re screwed,” said Vlad. Ilmarė was blindfolded before she could glare at him. [MORE]

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Thursday, November 2

International Horror Guild Awards

The IHG awards were pesented beginning at 8 pm, November 2 in the Wedgewood Room of the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, TX during the World Fantasy Convention. Artist John Picacio hosted. Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, this year's Living Legend and the first woman honored, accepted her award from Suzy McKee Charnas. Recgonized for achievement in the field of horror/dark fantasy during 2005:

Novel: Brett Easton Ellis. Lunar Park (US: Knopf, UK:Macmillan/Picador)

Short Fiction: Rick Bowes. "There's a Hole in the City" (SciFiction 06.15.05)

Mid-Length Fiction: Caitlin Kiernan. "La Peau Verte" (To Charles Fort, with Love)

Long Fiction: Gary Braunbeck. Kiss of the Mudman (Home Before Dark)

Collection: Joe Hill. 20th Century Ghosts (PS Publishing)

Periodical: Postscripts (Peter Crowther, Editor/Publisher, PS Publishing)

Illustrated Narrative: Memories by Enki Bilal (Humanoid/DC)

Nonfiction: S.T. Joshi and Stefan Dziemianowicz, editors. Supernatural Literature of the World: An Encyclopedia (Three Volumes) (Greenwood Press)

Art: Clive Barker for Exhibition: Visions of Heaven and Hell (and Then Some), Bert Green Fine Art, Los Angeles, CA

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Wednesday, November 1

Yes, I'm Insane

So we had a Halloween party.

The theme was "Heroes & Villains."

Guess who I dressed up as?



That's right, The Monarch from the Venture Bros. show.

Yes, I'm insane.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:08 PM | 2 comments links to this post


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The Senator's Seal - Part 5: The Gold Merchant

Even to the untrained eye, the level of craftsmanship was quite extraordinary. The light filtering in from the small windows reflected off of the mirrors of polished gold to bathe the room in a warm, argent light.

“Look, merchant,” said Dril. “It’s been a long day. Did Aljandros come—“

“You have a lovely neck,” said Iphicles, sidling up to Ilmarė. “Long, pale. It looks naked without these amethyst earrings. They would go perfect with your hair.”

Ilmarė watched the merchant through half-closed lids. “Fine. I’ll take them.” She counted out Imperials from a pouch at her belt.

“Ah yes,” said Iphicles. He pulled up a stool and led Ilmarė to it. “I remember Aljandros coming in earlier in the day. He wanted something melted down into ingots.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 11:06 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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