Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all; no palace too great, no cottage too small. - Phillips Brooks


Friday, December 16, 2011

Life is full of surprises

Haven't posted in a while, busy with Advent events and celebrations.  In the midst of my Advent planning I was surprised to receive a phone call and subsequent meeting about a reassignment in the next few weeks. I will be leaving my first pastorate of Epiphany of our Lord and heading west to Immaculate Heart of Mary, New Melle. While I know this is all part of my ministry, it is far from easy. I have loved this assignment very much and will miss so many people and things about my life here. I suspect gaming will come to halt for a good while as I adjust to the changes and learn the ropes at a new place. I have made a home wherever life leads me , I am sure I will do so there.  

I am  blessed to have been here for seven and a half years of my priesthood.  I imagined it would be longer, but my life is not entirely mine to plan.  I pray this will be my best Christmas at Epiphany and deepen the gratitude I have for all the people I love here. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Parody: Nights at White Castle

Something humorous from a local radio station back in the 80's.  Our gaming grouped listened to this song many times while playing Dragonquest.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Night Jam - 38 Special


Takes me back to High School and Friday Night Vidoes on NBC

Gaming groups and player artwork

At the end of summer our gaming group split up upon their return to Marralion.  The men-folk went off to find assistance from Re's family while the women-folk went to the capital of the empire to try and find support for the liberation of Marralion.  At some point I'll write something about their adventures, but for now here is some artwork from Pandora. More details on the players down the line.




Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Rush - The Trees


I always think of playing Dragonquest or some other Fantasy RPG when I hear this song.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Albert the Great

Three home runs in a World Series!  While I am not a baseball fan, I did get to see some of the game last night during our Chili Cook-off.  People here were crazy watching the Cardinals. I think we were expecting the Rangers to sweep us in four games.  Now how about a post on gaming - - -

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Areosmith

Retreat was great!  Hard to beat spending some extra time with the Almighty!  Now to sort through a ton of e-mails, snail mails and phone messages. Tomorrow maybe - - unpacking and shopping seem to be on tonight's agenda.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Going on Retreat

I'll be away for the week on a silent Retreat. While thoughts will be turned to other things, I'll be sending some prayers to the Almighty & Mysterious for all of you have frequented @ Padre's. May both of our weeks be blessed by God's hidden presence and subtle graces.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Night Jam - The Unlikely Pairing of Jason Mraz & Sixx am

Your feel good video of the night
Normally I don't listen to pop much, but this song caught my attention years back and I have enjoyed it and Jason Mraz ever since. 

WARNING! Evocative video

Seeing the video once was enough, but I sure like hearing this song when I am out driving. I think the lyrics actually have a good message and the video gets in your face. It's good art even if I don't have a real preference for it.  Here is what Nikki Sixx has to say about the song & video: 
                   "Make no mistake when I refer to 'the lies of beautiful people' I mean what I say but I am also saying look beneath the skin. I do not and will not attack the exterior of anybody, but my intention is to pull back the veil on your internal truth. We need not worry if we are black, white, amputated, burned, maimed, a fashion model, or even have the face of Hollywood's latest leading man… We are who we are… Either poisonous and evil or honest and willing… Willing to make a difference… 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One of my other simple pleasures


Some have fridges of beer, others have wine racks, I have my little gin closet. At some point I may have to do some reviews of the various gins. If you like gin, there are some great ones out there. If you don't like gin you may have have been turned off by some of the cheap crap that is out there. Of course, you may not like alcohol at all so this won't have much to offer.  HOWEVER, if you do like gin there are more awesome varieties out there then ever before.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Midnight Syndicate


Not really a jam so much as mood music for playing Fantasy & Horror RPGs & games.  Really some great stuff along with Nox Arcana discography. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Revamping Blood Moon

Originally I thought I would be playing Blood Moon by now, but that has changed as I have done more thinking about the setting. While I have no problems with launching into an idea half-baked, I would like to have a few more game elements nailed down before I give the setting/game a test drive with players. Right now I am restructuring the player races for Blood Moon into various categories according to their relationship to a world dominated by demonic & necromantic powers.

The Remnant - Mongrels, Gnolls, Nightlings, Asherake & Ogrun
The Undying - Graven, Haunts, Deathbonded, Eleti & Gaunts
The Drifters - Goblins, Frey, Darvoths, Pickers & Blickish
The Forsaken - Minotaurs, Outcasts, Trollkin, Drow & Gith
The Forgotten  - Lomandrins, Gnomes, Sendashi, Changelings, Dragonblooded

More descriptions on them later for any who might be interested.  IF,  I manage to get it into some set form I may offer it as a PDF for any who might be curious to see what is under the proverbial hood of the setting.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday Morning Wake-up

Well I missed the Friday Night Jame because of our Homecoming. A poor excuse, but I was enjoying all the festivities and events of the evening. So to make up for that grievous error here is your Saturday Morning Wake-up video.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Tome of Horrors- Complete

Just picked this up at RPGNPOW and hope to look at it over the next few days. I have the 1st & 2nd tomes in print, I didn't realize there was a 3rd tome.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The blog is Rated PG - but I found this more helpful

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
I ran the "test" the other day and I got G, today it is PG.  Beats me.


If eaten by a cannibal I would taste like mesquite chicken. I always feared I tasted like chicken.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Cee-Lo Thank You

As we approach this Sunday and the 10th Anniversary of 911 I want to say a personal word of thanks to all the firefighters, police personnel and paramedics who gave witness to the true nature of heroics that day when they risked and often gave all in the line of duty to help their neighbors. Tonight's Friday Night Jam is dedicated to them, the living and the dead. May God bless and protect all those who answer the call to service & sacrifice in the Civil Service and our Armed Forces. May God comfort all those who have lost loved ones and still mourn their loss to this day.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Our most recent session of Dragonquest - The Group

Happy feels like Monday to all!
Last Friday the girl group got together to play with two new members. All in all it was a lot of fun. Nothing big happened but it moved along the story line and they all seemed to have an enjoyable time. The two new players are both Pandora add-ins. One is her younger sister and another is her classmate in High School. So the make up of the girl power group is a total of seven (a size I wanted to avoid, but what the heck I am a sucker for more players.) For those vaguely interested here is their roll call:

Luka Dragonclaw - A Chromithian Dragoon armed with a her hand & a half and kite shield in service to her draconic master Rhakrosarddenar Grimdusk. Due to a recent trip to the world of the Forge in the Oathbound setting Luka has acquired some magical ability. Her training as a sage also comes in handy during encounters with various creatures.


Jayana - A Frey Dancing Knife who has  advanced enough in her profession to be considered a dangerous threat to anyone who dismisses a person only armed with daggers. Her ability to throw four daggers in any direction is a single pulse coupled with her high defense make her much more formidable than her appearance.


Pandora - A Frey who has advanced in training as an Acrobat and Beastmaster. Armed with her trusty cutlass she is a a quite but powerful member of their party. Pandora also supplies much of the artwork that has graced this blog or Grievous Injury. Her wolf has gained he ability to transform into a Kith which is a native animal of the Forge.


Rubella the Raven - A Hobgoblin warrior who is uncharacteristically kind and lenient for her race. She is steadily advancing in her training as an Ultimate Fighter and is often the muscle of the group. Thankfully Rubella does not throw her weight around except with the long ship of orcish raiders who occasionally need to be reminded of her authority and power.


Crystal-Rose - A Valco adventurer who recently joined the group and shows promise as a vital group member. Her private quest is the find the ever elusive "red elf."


Axella-Xia - A Quissian adventurer who also recently joined the group. Xia is fairly quite but will go on to be a vital and active contributor to the group. (I think I have her name wrong, but I don't have her character sheet.) When I get it from Pandora I will correct this.

Yet to be seen is Athena the Wolfen assassin.
For information on their races go here http://www.dragonquestfrontiers.com/generation.html

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Johnny cash 2 for 1

It's a long song, but worth the listen. If you have never listened to Johnny Cash's American recordings you really are missing out on some amazing music. A great collection of music done by the Man in Black. After Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash is probably my favorite musician.   As suggested in the title for the post - This is two for one and the second video is perhaps one of the best cover songs of all time.  Chill out and enjoy a more mellow Friday Night Jam.

Yes, I am a curmudgeon

I know I am being a curmudgeon, but I don't feel the least inclined to look at Goolge+. My life is already too full of social medias that I don't have enough time to manage. Waa waa, I whine.  I just recently put our parish on Twitter hoping that it may help communicate weekly events in the parish, but I doubt much of our parish utilizes it. I have looked at Facebook as a means to communicate to the parish, but often just avoid it because I don't care to see that some "friend"  just got a great deal on shoes, is having a great day or needs help in the latest game obsession of Facebook. Google+ sounds very interesting and the reports from various bloggers using it is are promising, but I'll pass for now.
Coming to your home soon
Not safe for work or the kiddies


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reflections of a middle-aged GM

       As I cruise into midlife I find it rather interesting that there may well be more gamers out there than I ever imagined as a teen playing Dragonquest back in 1981. Perhaps its just that my circle of relationships is so much larger now than as a teen, but I seem to have an abundance of players and not nearly enough time to play the various games that I would like to with them. My hope is that some of them will decide to run games for themselves because my track record for consistent playing is pretty poor. While I enjoy gaming immensely, it is still only a hobby, one among many, that I try to find room for while tending to the realities of my life and ministry.  One player has taken up that task and is running his own Dragonquest game. He is the youngest of the players and I think he has become very fond of the hobby. He is also frighteningly smart, I mean beyond smart. So are his two brothers and sister, I think the plutonium enriched milk really payed off for their parents. I am hoping that he might look at some other games as well. There is an abundance of excellent games.
       The current crop of new gamers rounds out at about 8 girls and 2 boys and 1 dad. The boys have broken into their own group and may add a few other players that I or the gaming prodigy mentioned above may suggest for the game.  Of the girls playing the game 4 of them are really committed to the game and 4 are relatively new. We'll see how they all shake out in the wash as they move through high school and get involved in other things.  2 of the girls rolled up characters for the game, but I suspect only because they hear their oldest sister talking about it and it sounds fun. I hope they play, but I don't know that they really will. My old gaming group from 12 years back would like to strike up something and that would bring in another 3 to 5 players depending on the group size.  It's a great problem to have.
       I keep trying to get the oldest girl playing to consider running a game, but she is more interested in playing. She is the daughter of a DM so it is her DESTINY!  But I don't think she sees it that way.  :(   Gaming is just one hobby among many. She is another of those incredibly smart people and I think she would do great at running a game. She is right on par with the previous prodigy. She has a full plate with the demands of High School, and probably does a better job taking it more seriously than I did.  I tended to think about the game during the last two years of High School and other ways to waste time. I never got any bad grades, but I certainly wasn't working at my full potential.
          Anywhoseit, recent experiences rolling up characters has made me consider some revisions for Dragonquest and the Blood Moon setting for the game. One of my main problems as a GM is my inability to leave the game alone. I am always adding something or doing some minor tweak or revision.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Shinedown


When this CD was released it rocked! It was one of my most played CDs that year and this song ranks among my favorites from it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Badges for Padre

Tactics It's hard to play Dragonquest and not have some tactics. The combat aspect of the game can often feel like a mini-wargame.  Keeping encounters & conflicts balanced is a real challenge.


Mirror If the characters have a good suggestion I have no qualms about incorporating it into the game. I think it gives them a sense of ownership as well. The game is our collective endeavor. I may host the game, but it really is our story. I only have an inkling as to how it may play out with time.


Improvisation I usually have a final encounter in mind, or the closing act of the session but rarely more than that. How the groups gets to the final conflict/resolution is part of the fun.

Destined I always plan on them becoming destined for greatness, but fate does intervene and random deaths do occur from time to time. My hope is always one of appropriate challenges and entertaining/engaging story lines.

Death  GRIEVOUS! They happen, and someone usually dies. More than a handful of times have I planned for that final encounter only to have one of the players grievous their main opposition and bring the final chapter to an abrupt end.  However, fate is fickle and watching some well developed characters fall to random encounters seem to balance out the karma of the dice.

Beer & Pretzels In the end if it isn't fun I can't imagine getting all that excited about playing. I tend to see this one as a more light-hearted approach to the happenings of the game. Losing a beloved character is painful, but it shouldn't be the end of the world.

Tinker I wish I could leave the game alone as it is, but that will never happen. I will stop modifying Dragonquest once I am dead or have lost my mind.


Thanks Stuart for the awesome badges!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reality vs Myth

I was recently over at a friend's home for dinner and their two daughters play Dragonquest. In the course of the discussion the daughter that plays Luka Dragonclaw kept asking me if her old mentor/patron was dead or alive.  I have often told her that the bronze dragon mentor was dead. The group has been away from the main campaign world and things got ugly in their absence. One of the lines I blurted out was that I was God (as far as the gaming world went) but any good GM/DM/Narrative Provider can tell that is a myth. While one might fancy themselves the "god" of their little campaign world, the real truth is very much the opposite. You play a cast of thousands, mostly forgettable, many dead, and only a few memorable castings along the way. Memorable NPCs can add a lot to the game and its fun, however they are not the core of a campaign, the players are. Bad GMs flex their nigh-divine might more readily and will probably lose players in the end as a result of their indiscretions and erroneous decisions. Bad GMs tend to make their NPCs overshadow the players as the main agents of narrative flow. When this happens, one has to ask why the players even bother to play? Anyway, just a random comment on a slow morning.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

All present and accounted for

Last night we played Dragonquest and everyone was present. 5 teenagers,  pre-teen and a dad make up the party and I get to supply the rest.  It was a fun evening light on the combat and more of piecing together the story line since we last played in June. Our brave adventurers have returned to their home plane only to find that a few centuries have passed and things have gone to pot in their absence. Many familiar faces and names are gone and replaced by newer hostile ones. They have found a few links with their past, but not many. Kelvin (The Dad in the group) always provides artwork while we play so I will be posting some of his random drawings here shortly. The evening culminated in the group splitting up with Rubella, Luka, Pandora and Jayana discerning the best course of action against the Draconic Kalz-Okrannian Empire (not much of an empire, but dragons do have egos) while Kevlin, Re and Tedzen plan on moving against the Drow who have conquered Marralion and renamed it Shadowfall. It was a fun evening and perhaps Luka will write some narrative accounts of it. (hint,hint)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Marshall Tucker Band

Since The Secret Fire has been on my mind most of this week, this seemed like a fitting Friday Night Jam.  Actually this song could make a good reason for an adventure.  By the way, its cool to hear some other group  use a flute besides Jethro Tull.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Just what every game needs and TSF delivers

Ok, maybe it doesn't deliver it. But it does include it in the rules. Thanks to Tenkar for not only pointing out that section in the text but now giving me a reason to hum this song the rest of the morning.

Monday, August 8, 2011

CROM! - The Secret Fire

"Whenever a PC suffers damage, he may call out for aid to any Elder God in which he has Ranks. This assistance will come automatically and without visible effect, except that it will reduce by half the damage taken by the PC. A character may call for aid once per day for each Elder God in which he has Ranks. For example, twice per day if a PC has Ranks in both the Void and the Great Unknown."

Normally calling out for the gods to do something in Dragonquest has no effect unless one is a cleric, templar or inquisitor. I think letting characters call out an get answers with unknown consequences would certainly be fun. Obviously you don't need this game to include such a thing, but it was a fun read. The game definitely has a more Lovecraftian feel to it than many fantasy RPGs.


"Be warned: These debts never come in the form of simple penalties to Attack, Damage, or Skill checks — they are infinitely more interesting, or bizarre, than that. A PC may wake from unconsciousness to find himself lying in a pool of blood — the blood of his allies, who lie dead at his feet, clearly murdered by his own hand."

While I may never play the game, it has an interesting flavor. The only thing that bugs me a little bit is some of the artwork and some of the footers that looks like more demonic incantation imagery.  I know, I know it's all part of the genre, and its only a game.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

First gut reaction to The Secret Fire

Lookie!   Satan makes it to page two! Ok, even given my profession my first gut reaction is not to do a knee-jerk reaction. My only real complaint is that throwing such artwork right in the beginning creates a certain impression of the game. Too often I think that inclusion of occult imagery in games is like adding nudity to a movie, not essential but often used to juice up the rating. Now does an average fantasy RPG contain demons, more then likely but most games are not centered on dealing with demons, selling souls and such stuff. If they are, that is something that the players and Game Master feel comfortable with as part of gaming.  The two initial pieces of artwork a purchaser of the game sees from the get go is a typical group fighting the dragon and meeting Satan of the Moobs.  Speaking of which, he could really use a chain mail bikini.   Hard to take "The Adversary" seriously with man boobs.


“Life’s too short to spend 60 hours a week crouching in front of a typewriter writing rules. The more you explain, the more you have to keep explaining. Use imagination and initiative, for heaven’s sake!” - Gary Gygax

I have to say this quote makes the game worth reading and potentially playing.

"EP are the most important game mechanic for a TSF player. They represent the untamed forces that propel adventurers ever forward, as well as a player’s strength of character in the face of adversity."

Another great quote and an interesting ability in the game.  Thanks for the nudge Tenkar!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Bowling for Soup

Was going to put Johnny Cash up here tonight, but wanted something a little lighter and fun. Maybe the Man in  Black will get the post next week.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Red Dragon Inn

The first game introduced us to the four adventuring friends gathering at the Red Dragon Inn to drink, gamble and fight. Zot the wizard with Pookie, Gerki the Sneak, Fiona the Volatile and Deirdre the Priestess each have their strengths and weaknesses while interacting at the inn.    The game is essentially a run to be the last person left at the table. You lose your seat at the table by either getting drunk, suffering too many injuries or running out of money. The cards are very easy to understand with such headings that indicate when they can be used in game play.  Anytime, Something and Action cards the three main cards that a player can chose from in playing the game.  "I don't think so" is the fun denial card that occasionally allows you to prevent someone from spiking your drink, twapping you hard or taking your money via gambling or other means. Play with your friends and make sure there is something to do for those who get knocked out of the table early on in the game. There are two expansions to the game and I will offer some comments one them soon. It's a lot of fun and make sure to read the description of various cards as played, that's part of the flavor and fun of the game.




Here is the link to Slugfest games:
 http://www.slugfestgames.com/games_rdi.php

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Clapton


While Clapton is not God, he comes close to playing the guitar as good. There is so much to choose from in his musical catalogue that there is no easy place to begin.  I have more recorded music from Clapton than from any other artist. Johnny Cash is a distant second. This is one of my favorite songs from Clapton.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New drawings from Pandora




Perhaps after we get back to playing Dragonquest on a more regular basis we will see more player artwork. More scans to come from Pandora.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Age Activated ADD

I can so relate to this video, except I got a bit of a head start in life.  Now what was I just doing . . . .

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Remembering Norway today

I am trying to avoid over reading the stories on the maniac in Oslo. My prayers go with the family members and friends of the victims of that unrestrained evil. I play games where players often combat evil, yet real evil is a far more frightening thing and reading about a remorseless killer shakes one's faith in the fundamental goodness of humanity.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Morphine

I first encountered Morphine in 1993 at my first assignment. I was pretty much into classic rock and some alternative, Morphine caught me with their sound and simplicity. I was talking about music with the husband of  our school secretary when he mentioned his son's musical taste. It happened to be the first time I heard of Marilyn Manson as well as Morphine. While I didn't find Manson all that appealing, I did get into Morphine. Enjoy!

Decisions, decisions

Too many options are set before me, which is a good thing, except that there is too little time to attend to them. I have a number of ideas stewing around in my head but I am not sure how they will get actualized. Summer is going by too quickly and I have been far busier with ministry than anticipated. Not that I am really complaining, it's all good, just the time for focused attention on the hobby side of life has been lacking. Anyway some of the ideas that need attention:
  • Blood Moon - More work on skills and elemental technology
  • The Mutant Epoch - Reading, rolling and actually playing the game
  • Once upon a time - A fairy tail based setting for Dragonquest in early development
  • Dragonquest Frontiers - Site Renovation and 2nd Edition Project

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hobbit Production Diary #3

Watching this just makes me more eager for the movie and excited about it release. Enjoy!

Worst game ever


Wait till he finds out there are no extra lives.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chain mail bikini



Someone sent this to me a while back, while not exactly safe for the kiddies, I did appreciate the humor in it. As a teenager few things were hotter than chain mail bikinis and Princess Leia dance wear. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Mutant Epoch - Early thoughts

Well I am wading through the book and getting fairly excited about the possibility of a campaign, of course I still want to flesh out the elements of Blood Moon for Dragonquest. Right now all I have is a location for the TME campaign, other elements will come with time and focus, neither of which I possess in abundance at the moment.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Cee-Lo

Ladykiller was my favorite CD in 2010 and I still find myself listening to it a lot. Here is some older Cee-Lo for your enjoyment.

Meet Calista

My other babysitting responsibility while my friends are out of town. Calista is very happy, Rosie is with me and Calista has free reign of the house. She did a nice job posing for this picture.

Imagine if they were playing D & D?

Yahtzee Game Provoked Brothers Jason And Andrew Cobb To Kill Mother:
       Police have arrested three brothers in Minnesota for allegedly slaying their mother on Christmas because she wanted to play Yahtzee and they didn't. The brothers are also accused of hiding her mother's remains, which were discovered buried in the family's backyard last week Jacob Cobb, 17, allegedly strangled mom Tamara Lee Mason on the living room floor when she suggested that her sons play the board game in the rural town of Alberta last Christmas, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported.

       A sad story and I don't mean to make light of the women's death or insane behavior of her sons, but can you imagine if they had been playing D & D? While I would like to think that the crazy days of the 80's devil-worshiping, violence glorifying, maladjusted social misfit generalizations are gone for good I know they are not if there is a story to be sold.  I'm wouldn't be surprised to find out that the boys played D & D or its computer descendant like WOW, or they engaged in something else that "caused" them to act this way. It can't be that they just happened to be mentally-emotionally ill on their own. On the good side, with so much information out there, the opportunity for the media to lead us into group-think is about gone.
 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

How I wish. . .


I got this clock as a gift years ago from a principal because I was often running late to appointments because of overscheduling. I wish I could ignore time, or perhaps just ignore sleep.  Too many things to do in the parish and too many things I want to do with various hobbies.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

High School Never Ends - BFS

I put a link over on Tenkar's blog, but thought what the heck, I will just add the video here. I actually came across Bowling for Soup back in the 2002 with Drunk Enough to Dance. The name of the CD was enough reason for me to buy it. The only time I danced in college was after I had a few too many. Since their first CD I have enjoyed their comical approach to music. I'd have to agree with Tenkar that for the most part I enjoyed High School even if I was something of an marginal person and did not run with the popular crowd.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking a peek - Mutant Epoch & Mutant Future


I hope to look at both of these games in the near future, probably some late night reading on the iPad to see which one grabs me more. Gamma World was the only d20 game I ever played for any length of time and really enjoyed the one summer we played it on a nearly daily basis. Every time I go over to A Field Guide to Doomsday I want to roll out a apocalyptic campaign. While Mutant Epoch is not OSR, some of the reviews seem to think that it captures the spirit of some of the old games. I guess I will know soon enough. To be honest, when I heard it was based mainly on percentile, I was suckered in enough to look at Mutant Epoch.

The internet – Community & Communication – Blogs and other social mediums (Facebook – Myspace)

I’ve been bitten by the blogging bug since February of 2010. It was reading Grognardia that inspired me to start up Grevious Injury. (It should have been Grievous Injury from the start, but that’s water under the bridge.) After poking around there I found many other blogs both in the OSR community and beyond that I followed thanks to the fun folks at Google. 

Blogging remind me a lot of chat rooms except you can never be sure who your audience is, or even if you have one.  Yeah you can track visitors to your site, but in the end you may put a lot of effort into your work that no one reads or appreciates. I guess that raises the question that Tenkar recently talked about, why does one blog? Why does one read blogs?
I read blogs because I seek what others have to say, what their experience is, what’s going on in their game/life and what they may have to share about things in general. For the most part it is a combination of entertainment and information that I seek. It is a time dependent reality for me. Summer is slower, had the recent attack on a fellow blogger happened during Lent or Easter I would probably have missed it or just glanced at a few of the postings or comments without having much time to reflect upon it.
Why do I blog? I guess it gives me a chance to babble about things that I normally don’t chat about in my daily conversations.  To be honest I don’t think I have a whole lot to say on blogs other than to indulge my ADD thinking patterns.  I don’t invest the level of dedication, talent and creativity I see in a number of the OSR blogs and on the some of the other blogs that I frequent.  I admire those who do invest their time and efforts to share with others.  I get irritated in verbal conversations when someone makes an asinine comment about others “having too much time on their hands.”    I can’t help but thinking I have found another swine to whom I will not throw the pearls. I try not to knock creativity even if I don’t completely get it or feel drawn to a particular expression.  
Finally, I think there is a real disconnect between what people think of as “anonymous” and its potential backlash in real life. The various Facebook-Myspace-Twitter dramas show a profound lack of good judgment regarding the nature of a social medium.  If you can’t stand behind your words, better to never put them into print. If you don’t want the world looking at your picture/post/comment, don’t post it.

The internet – Community & Communication - MMORPG and other games

Warcraft II & Age of Empires
With both of these games I was playing with people I either knew in person or had met over the internet and talked with over the phone to get a more personal dimension to the relationship. No real risk involved there since I played with no unknown factors. The games were fun, if a bit tedious. Rapid resource utilization and massive body waves really seemed to be the way to win. Whoever did it quickest probably won.

MMORPGS
Evercrack, Rubies of Eventide, Horizons, City of Heroes and Aion were all played over their last 11 years with about 5 years of no playing scattered throughout those 11 years.  In all of these games there was a greater degree of community because of things like guilds and the fact that you rarely played the game in a solo manner. Don’t we have console & PC games for that? I met some really interesting people and few imbalanced people to make me more than hesitant about the health of internet communities. I think Chicagowiz’s quote of Raggi’s general advice is pretty apropos about the nature of community, conversation and comments. They are rough words, but honest ones. Sometimes the truth of human nature is hard to ignore. Trent B over on A Pack of Gnolls comments mentioned something along the same lines about a place where one can be a dick.  I appreciated his analogy. I don’t visit sites where free-range jerks are a plenty. Piranha infested waters are dumb places to swim.
 Games go even farther in creating a false sense of familiarity.  Until you meet someone outside of the internet medium it still is not a friendship. I guess something like Teamspeak or Vent can help cement those relationships, but even then the lack of a face-to-face relationship can FUBAR things quickly. On a few occasions my inner jerk escaped during some of the drama of MMORPG communities and added to the grief. They are not moments I delight in remembering or hope to repeat. Typos can total screw up things too, one absent word can totally change the meaning of a sentence and do substantial damage to further conversations.
Well, this is longer babbling than it needs to be. MMORPG like all hobbies depend upon enjoyment, when it ceases the game is over and it’s time to move on. Just be mindful of the good will and ill intent that playing with others can bring into your life.  Be mindful of the fact that the lack of face-to-face interaction makes the jerks more brazen but does not lessen the sting of their words if they hit a soft spot.  On the flip side, be thankful for all the great people you meet through a small window of interaction who seem pretty cool and you wouldn’t mind meeting in real life.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's too early to tell -

Teamviewer may just change the way I think about Apple FOREVER. 
I just experimented with the program this morning, has any one had any experience with this? It seems too good to be true. If it is as simple as it seems, the ipad will eventually eliminate laptops.  All this time I thought Steve Jobs was just full of crap when he made a similar comment a year or so ago.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A less angry Elrond

I am hoping with the upcoming release of The Hobbit we may see a less angry version of Elrond. I think it was over at Grognardia that someone mentioned the disappointment with the portrayal of Elrond in the LOTR movies. He always seemed so angry and resentful over the frailties of humanity. “I’ve seen your best and it wasn’t good enough!”  Agent Smith donned his hippie gear but still had the same contemptuous view of humanity.   Here’s to hoping Elrond is less of an angry elf and a more of a friend to humanity.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Chili Peppers

While Eric Clapton goes down as my favorite musician of all time, the Chili Peppers are my favorite group. This is usually my #1 motivational song

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Internet - Community & Communication - Chat Rooms

I have been on the internet since 2/29/96. At least that’s what my AOL account tells me.  Hard to believe it’s been fifteen years of poking around on the web and experiencing the joys and woes of internet communication. Given the latest episode of disruption with an internet troll I thought I would share my experience of the internet with whoever might read this post. Don’t expect this post to be insightful or change the way you think about things. I just share my experience and what I have tried to learn from it.
Chapter 1 Chat Rooms
One of the first things that wowed me about AOL was e-mails and chat rooms. While e-mail was cool back in 96 for being able to send things easily to other people, it was chat rooms that were really amazing to me. To get a spontaneous group of people together to chat about whatever from around the globe was nothing short of miraculous to me.  On AOL I tried the various rooms for Catholic chat, named after the 3 Archangels and also went to a room called the Front Porch which was for more philosophical and general talk. My main screenname then was REVTCM –Rev. Thomas C. Miller. Incidentally try a google search for that, my name is soooo vanilla you will find out that we are almost legion.  Anyway, I tried to be up front about being a priest and let people know that in chat rooms.  It’s hard to gauge how people reacted to that, for all they knew I could be some punk kid making up an identity or some weirdo with the missing milk carton kids tucked away in a freezer.  To be honest, my skepticism about people on the internet was something that really got to me in the early days because I was so suspicious of the seemingly anonymous nature of the internet.
What I discovered early on was that the anonymous nature of the internet did not bring out the best in many people, it did just the opposite. I have never been attacked verbally in person like I have in a chat room.  The Catholic chat rooms tended to be the worst. Even before the scandal unfolded in 2002, I had the well adjusted people of AOL chat making comments about being a pedophile and unloading their frustrations with the church or clergy. Things were said that no one has ever said to me in person, because I would be tempted to punch them in the mouth or rip into them myself.  Lesson #1 was anonymity = cowardly irresponsibility. Not everyone, but too many were malicious, irresponsible and just plain gutless.  Far too many were spiteful, and I let a number of the jerks get to me. Against my better nature I got drawn into arguments that were a colossal waste of time and emotion.  The other thing I found was that the semi-instant nature of chatting seems to have made more people, including myself, into impatient argumentative pricks. While I would like to think that my dance as a self-actualized prick was infrequent, I fear that it was much more than it should have been as a decent human being let alone a priest. Mind you, I don’t believe in pedestals for anyone living. Praise the dead, their chance to totally mess up their lives is past, but the rest of us are still a work in progress. I have no illusions about thinking I am “better” because of my life; in fact I fear just the opposite that I am giving the Boss the green light to cook my goose for being such a lousy servant. Anyway, being cursed as a smart-ass was not a benefit to chat room conversations. After a two year flirtation with chat rooms, they lost their charm. While in many ways they allowed me to meet some wonderful people, in the end they tended to be pretty impersonal. Seeing insults and personal attack in print did not help me as an individual.  While I would tell myself that the words of some unknown jerk should not bother me, for whatever reason they often did. Chalk it up to my own insecurities or personal defects, but on a bad day a chat room could really take the joy out of my life. On a good day I thought they were pretty amazing.  I guess I am thankful that I only had time in the evening for chat rooms. If the world had become a global village, does that mean we only get to encounter more village idiots? And how do I know that I have not morphed into one myself?  I know neither of the questions are true, but back then I asked them often enough to remember them now.  Next . . . MMORPG’s Evercrack – Horizons – City of Heroes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Magic in DQ

Having played Dragonquest over the years I am often prone to think that the designers envisioned everyone having some magic ability and attempting spell casting. Unlike D & D, when one entered a magical college they were able to choose a number of spells from that college limited only by their magical aptitude.  Beginning adepts started off with a variety of general knowledge spells that were often helpful. Special knowledge spells often aided combat or helped in more profound ways. One’s MA not only determined the number of spells one could memorize, it also effected the casting percentage and cost to learn a given spell. As I kick around the idea of magic in a new campaign I am tempted to abolish colleges and go with a more generalized practitioner of magics. In my current campaign there are 24 different colleges which are all exclusive. It’s one of the things I like about DQ, but also one of the limitations of going with a focused practitioner of magic. I am thinking of breaking down the colleges into various groups of magic from which an adept can choose spells. Right now I am thinking of five general practitioners:  Elementalist - Psychic - Magician - Necromancer – Sorcerer. Hopefully with those titles the basic focus is self explanatory, the one real difference would be sorcerers who could learn any type of spell but are more limited in the number of spells they can learn.

Rosie

I'm babysitting Rosie for a couple of weeks. You may be afflicted with random pictures of her from time to time. But she did smile for the camera! As bulldogs go she is pretty petite, snores a little, has a minor drooling problem, but other than that she is a sweet girl.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Back to Blood Moon

I hope to get back to preparing for the Blood Moon Campaign this week. I am still bugged that Grievous-Injury suffer a fatality, but I don't expect blogger to address that problem anytime soon. I hope to lay out the particulars for the campaign here and welcome any feedback from the community. Since I am using a system that is on the verge of extinction, I doubt I will get much Dragonquest specific feedback, but I welcome any thoughts and comments from the community at large. Collective experience and wisdom always has something to contribute to the creative process and its discernment. Some of the elements of the campaign setting include:
  • A post cataclysmic world warped by elemental, necromantic and demonic magics 
  • Elemental tech (think steam punk power by elemental energy)
  • Life beyond death - the ability to play an undead version of a character

Something new to add to the Christmas wish list

From Rolling Stone Hottest Live Photo's of the week.
The Flaming Lips perform at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, June 17, 2011.

I guess I have been living in a cave again and missed the earlier appearance of man sized hamster balls. But come to think of it, wasn't there something like these things on American Gladiators? I just don't remember them being clear and looking like a giant hamster ball.


Happy 4th of July

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable 4th of July. I usually pray for the safe and discretionary use of alcohol and fireworks. May everyone have a great day and enjoy the freedoms we possess in this society.
On another note (somewhere in the area of cool & stupid) one of my typical high school activities was to have a bottle rocket fight with my friends. It really was a lot of fun, I am sure our parents would have freaked-out if they had known just how close we had come to getting hurt.  We tried other fireworks like roman candles, but none of them were as fun as bottle rockets. Smoke bombs were sort of cool, until the area was so smokey that we would get driven out of it until it all dissipated.  Bottle rocket fights usually followed up a sessions of playing Dragonquest or watching some cheesy fantasy VHS movie that we had rented for the evening.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Poker Night @ Padre's

I'm the old guy at the table tonight.  All younger guys coming to play some nickle, dime, quarter poker. I tend to be fan of any game other than Texas Hold'em. I go more for the Dealer's Choice just as long as everyone is clear on the rules for a given game.  It's hard to beat Pass the Trash which probably isn't poker, but is still a fun betting game.  I'm also a fan of Black Mariah variants. It's hard to beat the fun of having the Queen of Spades ruin a hand.

Pearl of wisdom

If you want an audience, start a fight. - Gaelic Proverb

I like quotes, I came across this one while I was adding a quote to my other blog http://quoteathon.blogspot.com/ I started it a while ago, added quotes daily then like all good things fell out of the habit and let it collect dust. With the beginning of July I decided to dust it off and see what my many books of quotations offer up for that blog.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Night Jam - Joanne Shaw Taylor - Bones



I just started listening to this young musican a couple of days ago. I have to say I am more than impressed with her playing, singing and song writing. While I doubt she will ever come to St. Louis, one can hope. Cee Lo Green finally got bumped from the most played on iTunes.

Little bag of dice

These arrived today from Tenkar and now rest beside my percentile dice I have had since the late 80's. I am hoping to try some d20 game soon even if I long ago swore off the use of crazy dice. - Padre 

This is also a test post from my iPhone

Dungeon World

Of Ireland and the Irish

Of Ireland and the Irish

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