Sunday, January 3, 2016

What's gone and what's happening (sort of a New Year's Resolution)

Because writing such a thing in June would look funny. And it's always good to announce stuff. I'll keep it short :)

Last Year is gone, but ...

What a year that was! Lots of changes (like moving 450 kilometers) and beginnings (like writing my own game). Other than the years before, I didn't stop blogging to compensate the waves of life, but embraced writing here as a way to keep at least some of the old routines and posted as regular as possible (close to 2 times a week, amounting to 90 posts!). Also had the chance to meet some of you awesome people and made new friends here (Yay!).

There can't be enough of the good stuff, so there should be more of the same in the coming months. I already have a backlog of things I want to write about (more free stuff from the hard drive, more D&D RC Oddities, way more about my crazy ideas and, I hope, some surprises) and I will try to post more often.

The only two things I really regret about last year (blogging-wise) is that I totally neglected to post more about the Goblin-Tribe Simulator and writing a adventure location for a zine that never happened. But I'm eager to tackle both as soon as I see an opening.

I also started some projects and even made progress. Let's take a look.


Lost Songs of the Nibelungs: Some people are really into the game and some are at least curious. I'll take it all and thank you beautiful people for embracing the game that is created here on the blog! One of the hardest (and most important) lessons I've learned last year, was that you can't get them all. It is hard to see if a design choice is plain wrong or if it's a matter of choice, but there are occasions where I just have to say: Well, than Lost Songs is just not for you ... and that's totally okay. No, actually, it's crucial. This is not about opinion, but about what works. And if it's working, but just not for everyone, it still works for me. And what have I left when I'm giving away what drives me to write it just to make someone else happy? Nothing.

Anyway, let's close this one with a more positive note. A friend of mine not only took a liking on Lost Songs, he also started drawing interior art for the book and I'm really, really happy with the direction he is taking here:

Open in new Tab for more detail (art by Vincent Leppert)
There is more where that came from, so expect more of that soon as I start tinkering with the layout for Lost Songs.

Amazing Adventurers incredible Exploits 2e (short: AAiE! 2e): So +Mark Van Vlack  wrote a game once over a weekend, played it a bit, talked about it on his blog and moved on. The version of the game he had made was what he needed to make it work at his table. At some point I got a pdf of that game and fell in love: it's a diamond in the rough, a game where everything is random, from the character generation to the first adventure seeds. Strong characters might end up being Wizards, only with a cooking pot as their main beginning weapon. It features dozens of great random tables for everything. It's deadly, it's glorious and I thought it's very, very funny. Something like a "Beer & Pretzel meets Rogue-like" p&p RPG.

I also thought this game needs a proper layout and more art. We talked about it, I proposed a layout and some ideas and we decided to go for a completely revised version with additional content like "The Town" (a boom town that grows as the characters advance), new character classes (a turtle character class!) and more art. His writing, art and ideas, my editing and layout. The cover:

Art by Mark van Vlack, inkscape helped me make that cover ...
Honestly, this makes me happy (and I am proud owner of the first edition). We'll take the time needed to make it, but expect more about this in the coming months (and I totally believe it's going to go live this year). Here's what Mark is saying.

Nice Streets Above (aka NSA) by +Christian Kessler: I'm just helping a bit with the historical context here (English sources are scarce in this case) and will do some beta play-testing later this year. Although my participation is very small in it, I think it's worth mentioning here just to give this megadungeon based on a real location (I wrote about it a few years ago) some more attention: NSA will play in the Oppenheimer Kellerlabyrinth under Spanish occupation during the infamous Thirty Years War of the 17th century, using the Lamentations of the Flame Princess rules (and elements of horror, as you'd expect). Christian has some great ideas for it, does a mean job with art and layout and you can (and should) read about it on his blog.

I'm really looking forward to this one. Not only did I like what I saw so far, but it also plays in a dungeon I actually visited.


So all this will keep me somewhat busy. But apart from that I'm also writing my very own first adventure for publication right now: the Mines of the Screaming Stones (I wrote about it here) and will keep working on all the things I started over the years. The Goblin-Tribe Simulator being the first among many loose ends.

That's it for now. But who knows what 2016 will also have in store ...


  1. Yes thank you for your interest in AAIE, and I for one look forward to reading the Nibelungenlied and playing some more lost songs in 2016

    1. AAiE! is a great game, my friend :) And you are right, I need to start thinking about scheduling some online LSotN games ...


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