Christmas Adventure!

12/1/04: After a few weeks of almost constant immersion in it (Sandra was so sweet about it, tagging along with me when I went out to work so I wouldn't be Sandra-less), I'm very happy to release a new title over at Cumberland, a little something I've been gaming with (in various forms) for twelve years now. Now, it's available for your amusement as well, so many of my most wicked secrets are out (and I don't just mean the story about when I played Santa at a shopping mall, though that's in there, too). It's called A Kringle in Time. I'm especially pleased with some of the maps, done in Risus "doodle" style.

On the groovy-freebies side, I've got the new Free Font of the Month up, which is pretty Kringly in its own right.

And I love that the holiday season is here. People are going around wearing jackets and stuff here in Austin, too, and I love that. I think people (any people) look their very best when dressed for cold weather.

Another Rambler

10/21/04: Sandra and I spotted the season's first supplies of fresh cranberries at Central Market the other day, which I think makes it officially autumn for us. Texas doesn't get autumn until wintertime (or rather, it gets autumn instead of wintertime), so the cranberries help us mark the season ... Plus, as you may remember from last year, we've become cranberry junkies and we've been waiting many months for a fix.

Speaking of comforting and homey things, the newest Uresia fan-page that I'm aware of is about a family that does Uresia games together - mom, pop, and kids. I've heard from other families that do this, too, which makes for a very excellent trend (there's a hidden reference to one in Caravel, in fact) but this is the first such campaign I know to have a homepage. Read it for the kid-quotes!

On A Roll (w/Mustard)

9/14/04: It feels good to actually get more than one Blue Desk update posted in a month! I've decided to be more casual about why I post, to not be too concerned about having something substantial to announce. Just chatting, as it were, or (in this case) announcing something of little substance.

The something of little substance is a new upload I've made to the files section of the Uresia Mailing List, a new blank map in what looks to become a series of them. This time it's the Rindenland, with a fragment of the Elu Islands poking in, done in the same style as the earlier Dreed map. Like I said, not much substance, there, being blank and all. But it's in that same nice woodcut style as the Grave of Heaven and Caravel maps, and it's so much crinklier than the ones in the original book. Crinkliness counts for something. It invites the imagination to peer closer, somehow. I'm not sure how that works; maps are magical in a way that I enjoy but don't claim to comprehend.

The other day I tried one of those inkjet refill kits. You've probably seen them at the drugstore or computer shop, claiming that you can refill your printer cartridges for just a couple of bucks a pop, saving big bucks. I picked them up (and put them down) several times over the past couple of years, remembering the days (now long ago) when my old friend John Franks told me about re-inking dot-matrix printer ribbons! Sounded messy. And these new kits looked either too complicated or too-good-to-be-true.

Anyway, I needed a new printer cartridge and I needed to save some cash and Big Lots had the kits remaindered for $8, so what the heck.

I can report, very happily, that the thing works exactly as advertised, with minimal mess (a smudge or two on the fingers), and I'm enormously pleased with the results. Thanks to the cleaning fluid the kit included, the cartridge actually prints better, now. So, I'm hooked. If you've been hesitant about the notion, there's a testimonial to consider.

See, the problem with me having nothing to say is, I pad it out. I think that's a rule of writing. Normally, I have a lot to say and I pride myself on a kind of brevity, that "density" Kenneth Hite has commented on. But when I don't have anything to say, I ramble on, loose and sloppy. Feels kind of good, actually. Writing lots of words with little to say is much less work than the other way around. This explains much.

The weather's been nicer, too. Not cool, really, but noticeably cooler. At night it's really good on the skin, gentle. More breezes lately, too. Autumn will be along soon, and I'm really looking forward to that. More later. Or sooner.

Welcome, Weekend!

9/04/04: It's been a tiring work-week for both Sandra and I, but despite flip-flopping on my sleep schedule again (it happens every couple of months, an occupational hazard) it's been a really productive one.

On the other hand, it's been productive in a way that doesn't make very thrilling Blue Room copy. I've been doing groundwork on Lisa Steele's Medieval France, and while I'm very excited to publish an edition of the most detailed medieval RPG worldbook ever, the groundwork consists of lots of map-drawing and scanning and stuff. Hard work, but the results will be on the sunny end of stunning. The rest of the week I've been devoting to the ongoing Points in Space 2 project and assembling the sample solo adventure for Fly From Evil. Oh, and the new free font, of course!

In this week's Fly From Evil campaign session, by the way, we had a Total Party Kill. Very dramatic, very tense. A good time. Thank goodness it was the side-plot gangster campaign and not the main private eye one! Gangster PCs are like mayflies.

Beyond all that, I'm really pleased to hear that Jack Black will be in King Kong (and that Andy Serkis is back in the virtual saddle handling the motion-capture acting). That's groovy stuff. Rock on, Peter Jackson.


8/28/04: After an almost eternal absence from selling things on eBay, I'm back with an odd item for fans of the newly-released Vampire: The Requiem ... The original artwork for the "Clan Nosferatu" font, which is Arvigo, available over on the Cumberland Fontworks.

There is a brief story behind all of this. The Vampire art director chose Arvigo just because she liked it for the purpose ... It had been placed in the White Wolf folder of available fonts some time ago, and she chose it without taking any notice of the fact that it was by a game designer (and a former White Wolf writer, on occasion). She also chose it without realizing White Wolf didn't have an actual commercial license to use it - but such is the nature of a company font folder when many hands assemble it. When I pointed out the oversight, White Wolf was very prompt and professional about correcting it. I now have it on good authority that Arvigo will have a steady gig as the Clan Nosferatu font as the new Vampire line progresses. So, we all lived happily ever after.

Here at home, Sandra and I had a visit from my Mom, recently, and that was cool. We got to show her around the Story of Texas museum this time, which was a lot of fun. She's already talking about how she wants to visit the museum again next time she visits, and I can't blame her (Sandra and I are members; it's a very cool museum).

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