I write this at just under an hour until midnight in the Eastern time zone, here in Southwest Michigan.

2014 was a great year for RPGs and me.

I went to my first Con in thirty years or so at Marmalade Dog in Kalamazoo, and I did nearly daily posting and many days multiple posting for over half the year. There was a great start to blogging with the D&D 40th anniversary in January, and the April A t0 Z challenge.

I got involved in a weekly online AD&D game every Wednesday in March and it is still going, only the DM and three players with two characters are left from the initial group, we have added replacement players and look to add a couple more when we resume play after a two week break for Christmas and New Year’s. I have only missed a couple hours of one session and family interruptions for a few others.

I finally made it to GenCon for the first time, something I had wanted to do since the 1980’s when it was still in Lake Geneva. GenCon is too big and requires much more planning. In November, I participated in UCon and had a great time. UCon is much smaller, but has enough for everyone. I would like to do GenCon again, but don’t know if it will be in 2015. I will be at UCon and plan to stay in the hotel so I don’t have to chance driving on ice and snow for a couple hours or more to get there and back. There was AetherCon and another online Con the same weekend as UCon. If AetherCon is not the same weekend as UCon, I may participate in 2015.

A personal milestone, I finally re-built my original collection of AD&D manuals when the same day I ordered a Dieties & Demigods from Wayne’s Books, my son presented me the same volume as a belated birthday present. I also had several weeks in a row where I DM’d for my oldest son and his girlfriend and built up my long designed and little played campaign world.

I also participated in several Kickstarters. So far, I am not disappointed in the ones that funded, other than the D&D movie on hold due to litigation. Follow ups are planned for the ones yet to deliver in 2015.

I also jumped in to take part in the Tenkar’s Landing OSR design project, for which I need to wrap up my hex. I had planned to have my part done before today, but life happens. Thankfully, the milestone was moved to the end of January.

The triumph of over 60,000 words towards the first draft of the novel for which I had the idea back in college in 1984 or 1985 was sweet. I finally got my winner’s shirt this past week. I still have the last few chapters to do. Since Thanksgiving, things have been hectic at home and work. A complete first draft was my goal by now, so one more thing I didn’t think would bet delayed.

Last week, I volunteered to run one slot each day at the 2015 Marmalade Dog in Kalamazoo with The Village of Hommlet. Hommlet is one of the two modules I own, however, I have never ran it. I bought it for an example of a low level started adventure. I bought the PDF from DriveThruRPG so I can read it on my tablet on lunch breaks at work. I think I will have to recruit some people for a play test.

I support payroll and accounting software, so December and January are my busiest time of year at work. Every client calls at least once trying to either do the year end procedures or process their W-2s. It leaves me little time to sneak a moment to think about something else while at the office.

January also sees my youngest son, who lives out of state with his mother, turn 18; and my oldest son and his girlfriend expect a baby any day, making me a grandfather.

I turned 50 at the end of September, wow, where did the time go!

I did make it to Las Vegas in December, for the first time. I had a lot of people incredulous at the idea of me never going there before. I don’t know why that is so hard to believe, most of the world has never been there. I did try my luck with the one-armed bandit and roulette, and lost, but only the amount I set aside, so that I could say I did it. I bought two dice that say, “Fabulous Las Vegas.” After I got home, I realized I should have bought more, as you need at least three to roll up a character. the shop in the hotel where I bought them sold them for a pair for something like $1.99, so I should have bought another pair. Oh well, something for my list if I am every back in Vegas.

2014 was a good year over all and a great one for me in the realm of RPGs. I look forward to reading the musings of others, more playing, more DMing, and building more friendships with fellow gamers both online and in person.

The only way 2014 would have been better would be to have a woman in my life, but I want it to be the right woman, so maybe I’ll find her in 2015.

Happy New Year and Game On!

Dungeonmorph Dice Initial Shipment

I backed the Inkwell Ideas DungeonMorphs 2: Cities & Villages: Map Generator Dice/Cards and just got my initial shipment. I backed at the $40 level which gets two sets of dice, so I took one set from the original dungeon morphs dice and 3×3 dice tray, which is what arrived today, with a pack of cards and two bonus dice. The base set of five dice come in a cloth drawstring dice bag. The two extra dice are dungeon morphs on 5 sides and a village on one side.

I joined this Kickstarter after my October post on my backed Kickstarters.

The dice are easily an inch on a side and appear to be very sturdy with a slight “edge” to the ink. The images on the dice are cut into each face and filled with color. If the color were to fade or flake, one can easily re-ink it themselves. The dice curve in slightly on each face. I don’t think it will affect their rolls. If you don’t like a roll, you can always change it to your liking. It’s not like they are milled to Las Vegas casino standards. These are substantial and would make a lot of noise on certain surfaces. Some finished surfaces could potentially be scratched, chipped, or dinged. So the same caveat for rolling any dice on nice furniture applies. 😉

The dice tray has a high enough “wall” around each square to hold them in position while you move it out of the way or for temporary storage. The tray is sturdy and does have some give in it it one uses force. The only way it would break is if it got caught in something very sturdy and a strong force was applied, like between a door and the doorpost.

The shipment with the new dice is planned for I think May, 2015. I was not finding the planned shipping date when reviewing the Kickstarter. I will post another update when those ship.

Unboxing DungeonMorphs 2
Unboxing DungeonMorphs 2


Emptied the dice bag
Emptied the dice bag


All the dice in the tray.
All the dice in the tray.

Hobbit Battle of Five Armies

Went to see Hobbit The Battle of Five Armies yesterday.

It was good and consistent with Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien’s world.

The conclusion to the Dol Guldur situation felt rushed.

There were new creatures that made the movie different from the books in an unexpected way.

One army and one character were way late to the battle, and one army was replaced by a different army.

If you haven’t gotten over Peter Jackson changing some things so much from the books, you won’t get past these differences.

There is a lot more struggles of certain characters with their situation than in the prior movies.

If you can let it go and enjoy the movie as its own thing, you will like it.

Hero Forge Backer Mini Ordered

The Hero Forge Kickstarter was one of the first Kickstarters that I backed. I got swamped with real life and missed out on playing with the beta websites.

Tonight I finally made time to go online and design my mini and place the order. My Kickstarter pledge for $30.00 gets me a detail mini and free shipping. As one of the backers I have access to the beta hexagonal base, for no additional cost.

What is really cool, is that you can name and save the character and then click the share button to get a link to that character. My mini is my interpretation, limited by the options of the Hero Forge site, to make Griswald Stewart, my long-time character in my brother, Robert’s AD&D 1st Edition game. Griswald is a half-elf fighter/cleric/magic-user of 10th/10th/11th level , and is the one for whom Robert drew the wolf’s head image that is Griswald’s personal symbol. Griswald was the only one with a magic weapon when the group he was with encountered a wolfwere. Slaying this magical beast gave Griswald the appellation, “The Wolf”. Griswald’s father was a hillsman, who are based on the Scottish clans, so he is supposed to be wearing a kilt, it is the lower half of robes.

I will show pictures of the unboxing when it arrives.

I will now have to locate paints and other supplies to prepare it. I will do my best to put the wolf symbol on the shield. I will have a post or two on the progress as I paint it. That could take some time, as January is my busiest time of year at work, plus my first grandchild is due in mid-January, so I may not get to it until sometime in February.

I found the Hero Forge website to be easy to use. I could have chosen from many different genres, like science fiction, western, modern, or east-Asian. You pick a genre, body type, racial type and design from head to toe including facial expression. It is all point and click. The low end mini is $15 and is not suitable for painting. The detail mini is designed to hold paint, and there are three inch and six inch versions available, for a big increase in cost. Standard shipping is $5.00. It is also very cool that you can change your view of the mini in design to make sure you know how the whole thing looks and if it is to your liking.

If you want a mini that is massively customizeable, this is a quick and easy way to get one, although I find the cost to be one to limit my purchases to either favorite characters or major NPCs to use in my game. I only have eight lead/pewter miniatures from back in the day, so I don’t use minis in games I run.

I will include further impressions of the actual mini as part of my unboxing post in the coming days….


Who Said A Mace Can’t Have A Little Bite To It?

Cool! A re-creation of a 15th century German mace, only $90. I _NEED_ one, right?

Way at the bottom are the specs:

Flanged mace, a German style from the early 1500’s. Eight radial flanges welded to an octagonal steel shaft with a rounded wire-wrapped grip. All steel construction, satin brushed finish. Elegantly brutal. This mace proves that weapons can be art.

length: 24 1/2″
flanges: 4″ x 1 3/8″
shaft and butt: 19″
octagonal upper: 6 1/2″
rounded lower: 12 1/2″
weight: 2 lb 2.5 oz [Interesting maces are 50 gp weight for a horseman’s mace and 100 gp weight for a footman’s mace. As per the 1e PH. Yes encumbrance is bulk AND weight.]

Flanged Mace
Flanged Mace