Saturday, December 21, 2013

State of the Blog...

It has been almost two weeks since I last posted.  Work has been pretty hectic with extra hours and extra days recently but it always picks up during the winter in the bus industry.  I am just thankful that I have one of the “easier” jobs instead of the back breaking labor that others are doing all day.  We are on holiday leave until Jan 6th so I plan on getting back to regular posting.  In an effort to do some catching up, here are some snapshot thoughts on various subjects.

Posts & Traffic
My last post was the 300th post to this blog and there have been almost 45,000 page views since the start.  I know some of the traffic is the result of random search results but there are others that could be considered faithful readers and I appreciate it.  Thank you all for stopping by and also for commenting when the mood hits.  Even if we disagree, I enjoy reading the other viewpoints and experiences.

A Look Back
Starting this blog was a random thing for me.  I have always enjoyed writing but it isn’t always easy for me.  Once I get started it seems like words flow pretty easy but getting started is definitely the hardest part for me.  It often feels like I drag the words out while they are holding on kicking and screaming the whole way.  If I can keep up the writing it is much easier but if I go weeks on end then it becomes difficult again.  I would assume that – like any skill – you have to exercise it to keep it up to snuff.

The Way Ahead
I began blogging with real no plan in place.  I just started posting about Adventures in Fantasy and went off in other directions for the content of other posts.  While random ideas and concepts served me well for some time, there is something to be said for having a plan with a goal in sight.  I am going to try to get back on track with committed posts planned out – not sure of the frequency – to eliminate the mostly random nature of my blog posts.   

Adventures in Fantasy
I started this blog by examining Arneson’s Adventures in Fantasy game.  I got sidetracked and I still owe any interested readers the final post or two for this game.  I stated the same thing earlier this year and have yet to fulfill that goal.  I am making a commitment to complete that series of posts before the end of January 2014. I also have other resources for this game that I would like to make available – reference sheets and a character sheet, specifically. I have even tossed around the idea of making a game in reaction to Adventures in Fantasy similar to the way that Tunnels & Trolls was written largely as a reaction to D&D.

Perilous Journeys & SteamCraft
I am a fan of both of these games from Perilous Journeys Publishing.  I converse with the author on a pretty regular basis.  I am hammering out some fan support for both of these games and will post them on my blog in the coming months. 

I am a fan of the movement and I definitely appreciate their efforts.  The professionally published games I have really been drawn to lately are Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and Swords & Wizardry Complete; I plan on putting up some resources for both of these systems in the coming months.  Those two games really show both ends of the clone spectrum as far as I am concerned – one is closer to “by the book” and the other is closer to “by the spirit” – and I will probably hold off on purchasing any more of these types of games unless something really knocks me off my feet. 

That does not mean I am not interested in other clone games.  I really need to take a closer look at Raven Crowking’s work and I would be really interested in seeing a full blown game by Venger Satanis after seeing some of his other work and through conversations we have had.  I am also currently working on a Toldara sourcebook for the Back to the Dungeon RPG by Eldrad Wolfsbane.  For the most part, however, I believe there are probably enough of the core retro-clone systems available at this point.  I hope the movement starts spawning more supplementary material, more speculative material, and more neo-clone material.

D&D Next
I saw earlier that D&D Next will be released in 2014.  I will definitely do the cheapest buy in possible to check out the final design.  I am interested but I am also a little standoffish about the final product.  I am not confident in their “one system to unite all D&D fans” goal and I am pretty skeptical about how this will work in application.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out next year.  I am sure that it will sell like crazy initially and will most likely knock Pathfinder off the top spot for a short while.  Let’s see what happens after the hype dies down…

Other Games
Now, more than ever, I am curious about breaking out and playing other games.  I want to see how USR handles in actual play.  I am also interested in breaking out my copy of RIFTS and giving it another go.  After reading the game reports from Venger Satanis I am really interested in picking up the Vampire:the Masquerade 20th Anniversary edition because I missed the original wave of popularity and I have become increasingly interested in the game over the years.  Unfortunately, most of my gaming experience these days is purely academic.  It is rather difficult at times to coordinate schedules to get people together and my wife works on the weekends at night so online gaming can be a real challenge with two young children at home; my 7 year old is autistic and that can be demanding at times.  Please, don’t forget about me when sending the Google+ Hangout game invitations because one of these days I am going to make it!

Board Games
I do not have a tremendous amount of experience with board gaming; I enjoy RISK and Axis & Allies.  Even though I have relatively little experience with board gaming, I do have some concepts for board games that I am working on with other bloggers.  Progress is going to be slow and there is a high probability that neither will ever get completed.  As much as the idea intrigues me, I am falling short on expanding ideas.  I have learned that when it comes to board games I can come up with concepts and ideas for the game but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts design there is something not clicking.

The End

That should just about cover it for now.  I am curious to see what the next year brings to the blogosphere.  I enjoy reading your posts and I hope to continue to produce more “good” than “bad” posts.  I know not every post is going to be gold and that is fine with me.  It is beneficial to get the clutter out of my head so I can move on to writing the next post.  I have put you through enough of my rambling and now it is time to post this so I can catch up on some of blog reading…


  1. I thought sure this was going to be a post saying you're done blogging! I'm glad that's not true. I'd never thought much about Steampunk games till your numerous posts about them. But are you sure they don't plan on releasing D&D Next in 2114 instead of 2014? I'm sure they want to playtest it another 100 years at least, it's been nearly that already hasn't it? I don't think I'll notice it if it does appear. There's just too many interesting games coming out from indie game writers; I especially like the free rules-lite games.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, the frequency of posts may fluctuate but I'm here for the long haul. You are correct - way too many interesting games coming out from others - to get too caught up in the D&D Next thing. I will look, of course, but there are far too many options available today to just settle. There's a ton of neat little games that would be a blast to play and read. I follow the Hackenslash RPG development group on Google+ and the author is doing some neat stuff with a 2D6 fantasy game. That's just one example.