Making Stuff, Charging Nothing

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I have been working on assembling my notebooks (paper and virtual) to provide gaming stuff to share. Some of the material needs a larger format than the blog, some of it is too short to post about. It will be a lot of work to translate it from Scribblese to English, but it is a lot of fun.

To that end, I created the layout for Odd Duk, an occasional 'zine about Swords & Wizardry, one-off games, and anything else I can find in my years of stuff. You may or may not find it useful, but I enjoy sharing whatever I have. It will be available in PDF and Mobi formats for certain. I will try epub, but I don't have a good way to test that format.

Don't worry, there won't be a dead tree version for sale, it will always be free. I don't have the long stapler to assemble them, nor the budget to print them. I will, however, post separate pdfs of the cover and the content so that you can make your own.

I also finished the game I had originally planned to make for the Ptolemaic Dice contest. It won't require a Ptolemaic Die to play, but it should work with other alphabet dice out there. It's based on Microlite20 (legacy rules), so it won't be rules heavy.

Unlike a lot of things, I have all the fiddly bits worked out. No endless fussing over fonts or layout. Add content and pictures, process, publish. Wish me luck!

Eldritch Is An Interesting Word

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The American Heritage dictionary defines eldritch as:

strange or unearthly; eerie.

The etymology of the word is thought to be from a Middle English word elriche. æl- is an Old English prefix that means strange or other. (The word for foreigner is elþeodig.)The other part is a bit sketchy, but I choose to believe the American Heritage Dictionary because I like it. Anyway, rice means kingdom. One synonym for kingdom is realm, so that gives me a rough translation of eldritch as "strange realm".

For the three of you that haven't tuned out yet, the Old English word for strange is closely related to the word we have nowadays as elf.

Why do I care about this? Well, I am on the search for words that convey eldritch, but in another language. Through the magic of Google Translate to provide a "good enough for gaming" translation, I get some word(s) that might prove very useful.

  • Alamaneh (two words in the original language)
  • mdaula (again, two words in the original language)
  • kinga tanga ke
  • Garib D'Yar

Maybe I will only use these as inscriptions on magic items. I will say, though, that I really like Garib D'Yar. It sounds otherworldly to me, even if it sounds a lot like Galeb Duhr. Maybe they can be connected.

Tomorrow morning, I'll have a post about a big project regarding magic for S&W. This post is about a related random idea in an effort to get posting instead of just thinking.

More to follow.

Focus For NaGa DeMon 2012

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After two weeks of thrashing around ideas, a killer birthday party, a bridal shower and four nights of insomnia, I've decided what I will be doing for November.

I'm going to finish a setting and make an add-on for ACKS.

I seriously considered writing a novel or a collection of short stories. A good friend of mine has written a few books and has a great magazine. I would like to be a part of that at some point. However, I couldn't bring myself to attempt a novel with so many game ideas.

A few ideas were not RPG related at all. I want to finish my redesign of Statis-Pro Football. I want to make a couple games for my kids. I had all sorts of ideas for various bits and bobs to be manufactured by the GameCrafter. My lack of funds helped me to put those ideas aside.

I still want to create my own five suited deck of cards. I know that Five Kings already exists, but mine would have Aces, Jokers, Sergant-At-Arms and other extra cards. (You can do a lot more than rummy.) I just don't have the money to pay for art. I don't have the talent to make my own face cards.

In the RPG world there are all kinds of settings I want to finish, especially my space fantasy setting.

In the end, the two projects were chosen because I have a lot of groundwork already in place for these two projects. The ACKS Psionicist, I believe, fits into the spirit of the ACKS rules. Also, the psionicist rules fit very well into one of my favorite settings, Tanah Con-Rahn. This setting is inspired by Southeastern Asian traditions from Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, though no real historical accuracy is attempted. In addition to setting rules, the book will include a spell creation system. The goal is for all of this to fit into a 128 page PDF.

The system for this RPG will be largely based on Labyrinth Lord with the Specialist and some other features of Lamentation of the Flame Princess game. LOTFP has an elegant skill system that also handles demi-humans very well. Although written as its own game, Tanah Con-Rahn should be easy to adapt to your system of choice.

The setting itself features an eternal struggle of the Naga against the Garuda as the primary backdrop. Unlike traditional D20-based games, the Naga are the good guys and friends of mankind. The Garuda love nothing but destruction and to inflict suffering on others. Demi-humans, both traditional and diverse sit on both sides of the conflict with mankind squarely in the middle.

Urban adventures, wealthy landowners, tedious bureaucrats  and much more await in the mythical Land of the Naga.

I can't wait to get started.