6/28/04: It's been a good couple of weeks for freebie downloads. The release of Uresia: Caravel put me in a perky kind of mood, and I've been posting them here and there. The "here and there" probably means that you don't know about all of them, though. I've been taking advantage of the files sections of some of the mailing lists. Here are the most recent items of possible interest, and where I've squirreled them away:
I've also posted two "thank you" freebies specifically for supporters of some of my for-sale stuff. The Risus Companion booklet version is a scrambled-pages version of the RC (available via the Mailing List), and the "Tactical Pepper" file is a quick little version of the Caravel deckplans in minis scale, with a square grid overlay. It's on the Uresia Mailing List, and it's for supporters of Caravel.
And of course, there's been the usual fun with free fonts, wallpapers, some older freebies spiffed up (like the Uresia Navigation Maps, now on Version 3 with perfected scaling) and cool stuff from the fan community, including Risus' ninth foreign translation (this time to Norwegian), and new Risus and Uresia material from Kenneth Coble, who rocks.
Keep Rollin' On
6/10/04: It's an especially sad day when a man as great as the mighty Ray Charles leaves us. You don't need me to go listing Ray's achievements; his work will enrich music for generations to come. But I will say that his recording of “Old Man River” is one of the few songs that always give me goose bumps, every single time I hear it (the only other one that comes to mind at the moment is Louis Armstrong's “What a Wonderful World”). I lived in Albany, Georgia a few years back, and one of the best moments I ever had there was realizing I was in Ray's own home town.
I'm not sure what to suggest as an appropriate observance. Maybe pop The Blues Brothers into the VCR or DVD player, and enjoy both his sense of humor and his music, in one of the best films of all time. But whatever you do, give Ray a nice thought tonight.
Well, that loss aside, A-Kon was a joy ... The hotel was entirely unprepared for us and there was chaos at nearly every turn, but I learned to accept that as standard operating procedure for a convention many years ago. The good stuff was very good indeed: nearly 10,000 happy fans meeting as family, talking, gaming, watching anime, dancing, costuming, hugging, and otherwise doing those things fans do. My panels went over well, and I got to meet more of my own fans than I expected would be at an anime con. These included Guy Hoyle, long-time Risus supporter and master of the RisusTalk Mailing List. I ran some Uresius: Grave of Anything, made some new Risus converts, and also got to help a few startup game publishers hone a skill or two with workshops and one-on-one instruction. Two of the coolest outfits I ran into were Battlefield Press (who are specializing in licensed properties, very impressive for a self-starting company) and Sacred Wolf (doing a groovy looking d20 conspiracy RPG). I also got to finally hang out and chat with Michelle Lyons, a colleague I've only met online before (you probably know her recently as one of the writers of Slayers d20).
Caravel is launched over at Cumberland Games. Drop on over, snag the sample version, and see if it strikes your fancy. I've always said that Uresia feels like home to me ... Now, I'm pretty sure I'm most at home when I'm at sea ...
5/23/04: Life's been busy, even moreso than usual. I'm finishing up Caravel for a pass in front of the playtesters. That's very cool (I'm awfully proud of how it's come together). Richard Biggs passed away this morning. That sucks. I was prepping for my game the other day when Keanu Reeves wandered by. That was kind of odd. I was present at an accident the day before that and got to find out just how much of a bureaucratic runaround a 9-1-1 operator gives you before offering any help. That was decidedly uncool. Sandra and I have been together for seven years, now, and that's just the best, most beautiful, warmest and nicest thing ever. Shrek 2 was good (especially Puss). Super Size Me is a must-see. A-Kon is on the horizon; I'm looking forward to that.
It's a mixed bag, to be sure, but to repeat the one part that matters: seven years with Sandra. I'm a very happy man, madly in love.
Snoozing at the Wheel
4/23/04: Okay, the spiffy link didn't last long, did it? Argh. No, I'm not dead! We're doing great, actually ... I just keep forgetting that not everyone subscribes to all the mailing lists and other places where I (sometimes randomly) post whatever's been up, lately. Everything's ticking along groovily, and apart from this page, I've even been updating the website pretty constantly! Oops! Even my Dad is telling me the Blue Room needs an update ...
The new d20 edition of Uresia: Grave of Heaven should be appearing in shops right about now (with d20 stats added by Ian Sturrock); I haven't seen a copy yet but the cover (by Niko Geyer) is plenty spiffy. I've been pounding the planks on Cumberland's latest Uresia project, a mariner's-eye-view sort of thing.
I'll be appearing as a guest at A-Kon in Dallas, this June, so if you're thinking of attending, drop around and I'll be doing the usual mix of panels and games and hanging out and other fine forms of convening.
2/20/04: Sometimes only a stellar new link will nudge me into breaking radio silence, and I have one today, to be sure. Daniel Peace is the creator of this Interactive Pokénomicon, a nice little tip of the hat to the Petersen's Guides (which were, in turn, a tip of the hat to the Peterson's Guides) via my own tip of the hat to Pokémon and Call of Cthulhu. We tip big around here.
And I continue to post little things here and there, keeping this and the Cumberland site ticking along. This article is is a notable addition: it's for Uresia fans keen on using BESM Dungeon in their games; it's new on Blue Lamp Road.
There are a million other things to talk about, but I'm so wrapped up in them that it doesn't feel like there's much time to do the talking. The biggest news, I guess, is that Sandra and I are moving. We've been in the same apartment since the summer of 1998, so we've decided to pull up stakes and journey about 40 yards down the parking lot into another building. Our address is changing to the tune of exactly one digit, even, since the new apartment is in the same position within its building (it's a bit larger, though).
So, everything around me is gradually becoming piles of brown boxes, and beyond that there's some very exciting work-stuff (including a very spiffy new medieval Russian fantasy RPG I'm edging toward playtest) to discuss another day. In the meantime, best of everything!
Friends & Neighbors
1/23/04: There are four new characters in the Character Archive for Blue Lamp Road this morning, and there's been a wave of new Risus material from the fan community, too, including an extraordinarily odd (and very funny) webcomic inspired by a bit from the Risus Companion, and a spiffy Risus adaptation of the Firefly TV series (favorite part: the stick-figure version of Jayne and Vera). Other Risus material new to the web includes Nomad 99 (a cute-and-bizarre postapocalypse thingy) and a Schismatrix adaptation. Plus, Bruce Baugh recently provided a spiffy new port of Risus for the Palm OS (you can find it in the files section of the Risus Mailing List) and Uncle Bear is running a Companion excerpt.
Blue Lamps Glowing
1/1/04: I've uploaded some substantial new material to the Fan Archives on Blue Lamp Road today, most of it in the form of another full-length adventure ("Criminally Traditional") submitted by Uresia überfan Timothy Hixon. I've also added a new character (and his summonable demon flunky) to the characters archive, and fleshed out the descriptions on the main Fan Archives page. All in all, a nice afternoon's reading for the Uresia fans tuning in. I've also done a few other minor spiffs around the edges of the site (including an update to my Bio page, which had been growing a little fuzzy with age) and have more to come -