Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I can has a blog.

Blogs. Hate them. Hate them, hate them, hate them.

Why? They're mostly pointless. The format is not well suited for full-fledged discussion, and they encourage the "publication" of half-baked thoughts and pointless crap... Basically, anything substantial put into a blog seems better suited for other formats.

So why am I starting one?

Because I have a lot of half-baked thoughts that really don't have enough meat on them to be put anywhere else. :P The LotFP: RPG message board should probably be saved for real announcements and such, whereas the blog can be used for thinking-out-loud and general rants.

So what will I be talking about?

LotFP: RPG stuff. I am a publisher of no great means, and I've just begun putting out things of interest (hopefully) to traditional gamers. My first release is the The Random Esoteric Creature Generator for Classic Fantasy Role-Playing Games and Their Modern Simulacra, and that's available here. The purchase price includes shipping and the pdf version. Yes, that's a mouthful, no, I don't refer to it by its full name, ever, but I wanted something colorful and searchable on the internet.

I'll also be talking about traditional gaming. It's weird, I was introduced to gaming on my birthday in 1983 (so I missed the real "old school") by my mother. She wanted a hobby, and painting miniatures was what she decided to do. (She was younger at the time than I am now.. argh) But she couldn't just do that for some reason, so she got me into D&D so she could buy the things "for me." My first purchases were The Village of Hommlet and Keep on the Borderlands... but not any rules for them. I also knew no other role-players, and wouldn't come into contact with any until the very late 80s, maybe even the early 90s. So everyone that I gamed with was because I "recruited" them into the hobby. This also means I had no contact with the greater gaming community (although I did buy Dragon for awhile, mainly for the Marvel articles and characters). And I almost always was the GM.

Games I played in this timeframe: Dungeons and Dragons (Mentzer Basic and a kludged AD&D, which I discovered I was playing completely wrong in the 00s when I started frequenting RPG boards), Star Frontiers, Justifiers, Bureau 13 (YEESSSS!), Champions, GURPS, Marvel Super Heroes, and whatever self-made systems I was screwing around with at the time.

In the early 90s I fell out of gaming. Way out of gaming. Details in this rant here. I still kept some stuff just in case (and I still think Warhammer's The Enemy Within campaign is the best-written RPG adventure series ever, even though I never ran or played it and think it may not be the best to actually game... but the writing is spectacular).

In mid-2003, I decided that I wanted back into gaming, but I hated everything at the local game store. There was nothing for me. It didn't occur to me that I could play out-of-print games, or that anyone else did either. So I was going to write my own RPG and make it very affordable, and to my tastes. That went on for a good long while (and I still have a few scraps of notes for things). It never really worked, because deep down, what I wanted to play was the D&D of my youth.

But it wasn't what I wanted to play, really. After deciding to make my own game, I got involved in the online communities. RPG.net, the Forge, and Dragonsfoot. Two things became apparent: Gaming was MUCH MUCH bigger than I ever dreamed, I really had no interest in all this new shit, and there was so much stuff I didn't do right as a gamer in my youth.

So I went about fixing that. I bought all the 1E rulebooks and started a campaign here in Finland. Details of that, from the first ideas to the setup to the player recruiting can be found here. (this blog is basically a rehash of the first post there, so you can skip it... but 1983 is the right year, not 1982 as noted there)

For a year, we met weekly. At the campaign's height, I had 9 players showing up every week. That campaign ended and I settled into a HERO System supers campaign, and then into a BFRPG game.

I became interested in publishing that looked like the D&D of my youth, but through the OGL, fairly early on (evidence here). Kuntz had announced his new module but BFRPG was still in development (and I didn't know that when I started) and OSRIC hadn't been announced yet. So maybe I didn't do jack shit for the simulacrum movement, but I was there.

Then I announced a product (Insect Shrine of Goblin Hill) and began taking pre-orders. Third biggest mistake of my life. Closing in on the promised release date, my marriage (biggest mistake of my life) started falling apart and my creative will was done.

I'm just now fixing that, and everyone that's requested refunds for Insect Shrine has gotten them, and those that didn't will get it when it's finally ready, and they're getting all of my releases in the meantime as well. Work is ongoing but it's associated with a weird time in my life now so it's almost like a cursed project. Ah well, I'm doing what I can to fix that.

So today. The Creature Generator is out, work has begun on the next adventure and Insect Shrine and I'm getting productive again in my writing. (But my heavy metal zine, focusing on my other obsession, is suffering. Figures.)

So 'allo, all of you. Did I miss anything that I should have said here?

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