Category Archives: Blogging

8th Anniversary of the Blog

Today marks the eighth anniversary of this blog. Over 650 posts, almost 320 G+ subscribers, nearly 220 Twitter followers, and about 35 followers on Facebook. I’ve dipped my toes into YouTube this year and have a whopping 21 subscribers.  Last Wednesday I was interviewed on Nerdarchy!

This year I started off with a new social media avatar and blog header by +Satine Phoenix. Recently I added a second blog header by +Del Teigeler. Now there is a rotation of headers. Two styles by Satine and the one by Del. I opened a CafePress store to sell shirts and hoodies with the logo by Satine. She really likes the one I gave her at Gary Con 9.

Satine Phoenix Approves This Shirt
Satine Phoenix Approves This Shirt

I started off writing stories from “back in the day” and then telling about introducing my sons to D&D. I’ve done reviews, interviews, made tables, shared thoughts on settings and more. Most of my focus has been on old school gaming. However, I recently had my first review of a 5e module.

Elsewhere I’ve written that after reading the sentiment somewhere online, that I think I should at least know 5e well enough to run a game, since most people new to D&D will come to it through 5e. I’ll still have an eye to running with an old school style of play. I’m still looking to get into a 5e game to ease into the differences in the rules so I’m clear how to DM it without too much rules consulting.

I’ve been contributing to Multiverse for over a year, and helped promote the TopSecret: NWO Kickstarter, which wraps up in just over a week. I have written in multiple forums, in addition to my blog, that the new TSR has that name because WotC let the Trademark lapse. Some seem to think that owning the TSR trademark makes all the old TSR games that are no longer published under the new TSR. People confuse copyright and trademark for some reason. Owning the name and owning the right to the words on paper are two different things.

I’ve got a set convention schedule for every year: GaryCon, Marmalade Dog, GrandCon, Gamehole Con, and UCon. I may try to add in North Texas RPG Con next year.

Basically I spend a lot of time and money backing Kickstarters, going to conventions, and spending a lot to run a blog and now make videos. Adding in hotel costs, meals, gas, incidentals, web hosting, domain name, blog art, webcam, editing software, Kickstarters, etc. I spend a couple thousand probably about 3.000, but I’m a little afraid to add it up. My only sales on CafePress have been to myself for giving to family and friends.

I’ve made maybe ten cents on YouTube, and enough via DriveThruRPG/RPGNow/DMsGuild affiliate links to help buy products I use & review.

As long as I have my current job, I can easily afford this much spending. I like it and have made some great friends online and added them to real life friends at conventions. However, I should realistically look to at least negate my expenses. I have really slowed down on Kickstarters this year.

If you like what I do with my blog and YouTube, consider using the affiliate links and watching my YouTube to help offset my costs. I had an Amazon affiliate, but no one bought anything, so I lost it. I plan to try again, so things you can buy online will have those links. I might try to do a Patreon, but that won’t happen for awhile. I need to be more consistent in my blogging and videos. I don’t expect to make a living at this, but off setting a large percentage of my expenses would be awesome!

Here’s to more time sharing what I love about RPGs!

New Blog Header by Del Teigeler

Today I get to unveil a new blog header by +Del Teigeler! Check out his website here.

It is so awesome! I really enjoyed getting intermittent updates over the course of this project. I contacted him at about the same time I asked Satine Phoenix to do a new header and avatar for my online presence. Of course, Del has lots of other projects he had already committed to. He also asked me to let him work with only electronic tools, for the practice. You may have seen him share snippets of this image on G+. I think the end result is awesome!

This image totally represents my character, Griswald, hiring mercenaries to go fight the bad guys and orcs, and almost always all being killed. On the left you see the happy and dedicated hirelings ready for battle, and on the right the results of following Griswald into battle. Griswald stands in the center. You can learn about Griswald’s story here.

I’ll leave Del’s version as the blog header for a while, then I will set the existing headers to rotate. I’m torn about whether I should add any text to this image, I don’t want to cover anything.

CafePress Shop Now Open

As you probably know, the current blog header and image I now use for my online avatar were done by +Satine Phoenix. I launched the new image on January 19, 2017.

Satine and I discussed the final product, and she commented on how she really like the image for the black background and would really like it on a t-shirt. I said, “What size?” She said, “Small.” I told her I’d bring it to Gary Con IX. She forgot we had that conversation and was so excited when I gave it to her. Satine was kind enough to model for a picture with her new shirt. She even laid it out in front of the table where she and her partner, +Ruty Rutenberg, the DM on Maze Arcana did a seminar on live streaming. She proudly told everyone, “I did that!”

Satine - Set Up Livestreaming Seminar at Gary Con IX
Satine – SettingUp Livestreaming Seminar at Gary Con IX

Ruty told us after the seminar that she was so excited about how it turned out that she talked about it for a few weeks. I thought that was so cool, and she is glad to let me use these pictures to promote my online presence. I also want everyone to check out Maze Arcana (on Twitch every Sunday, on YouTube, and see their Patreon), GM Tips on Geek & Sundry, and her website. Also check out her book, Action Heroine’s Journey on Amazon. She’s working on a new book, and you can help support those efforts at her Patreon.

CafePress Shop Now Open

Now I’d like to announce my CafePress Shop, where you can get my first offering of the image for the black background. More variations and other designs to come in the months ahead. Profits from the shop will help offset costs for running my blog, and social media channels. If I make enough from the shop, I can buy more art, or support more people on Patreon.

This design and future designs will also be available for giveaways as my channels grow. The fun and excitement of Gary Con last weekend has re-energized me. I’m hoping for great things in the months ahead.

If you like what I do and want more of it, please drop me a line. Tell me what you like and what you’d like more of. I’m becoming known to many for reviews. I do reviews anyway, but touch on all kinds of my tabletop gaming and geeky/nerdy interests.

Satine made a channel intro for me last year at Gary Con VIII. Here’s  the blooper reel.

Here is the video announcement for my CafePress Shop:

New Art For the Blog by Satine Phoenix

I’m super exited to share my new blog banners and icon/avatar by the talented +Satine Phoenix.

She gave me two versions of each, so I’ll have to put them on rotation, since I can’t decide which I like better. I really like how the image of the avatar is like an arrow pointing to the right. This fits right in with the left to right reading of the blog title.

You can see other examples of Satine’s work here. Her plate is very full, so allow plenty of lead time if you have a target date for art.

Be sure and watch Satine on her live play D&D (Eberron Campaign) show at Maze Arcana on Sundays 12-4 PST.

The new banners:

By Satine Phoenix
By Satine Phoenix
By Satine Phoenix
By Satine Phoenix

 

The figure in the avatar is from my favorite AD&D character, Griswald, and half-elf Cleric/Fighter/Magic-User, I have written about elsewhere on the blog. The shield design is based on one my brother, the DM drew. This gave rise, in game, to his nickname, “The Wolf”. My brother also taunted me with what I settled on for the title of this blog. Read more here, and here, and hear it here, where I attempt to emulate the way my brother says it.

Satine was also kind enough to record an introduction for my inactive YouTube channel at GaryCon 8 last year. Here’s the Blooper reel.

The new avatars:

By Satine Phoenix
By Satine Phoenix
By Satine Phoenix
By Satine Phoenix

Satine suggested the black background for a T-shirt. I’ll order and see how they look. Might be something I offer for sale in the future. Suggestions for online services that don’t require outrageous prices to make money on T-shirt sales are welcome.

I also engaged another busy artist for an art upgrade to the blog, and his preliminary sketch is so on target to what we discussed. I’m pumped to see his final work. I’ll announce who it is with the big reveal.

Blog Reorganization

I’m working on cleaning up the layout and presentation on the blog.

I’m moving and consolidating information from the right sidebar into pages. See links for pages at the top.

It’s a bit chaotic at the moment, and the information on the pages is in rough form. Trust me, I know it needs work.

I didn’t want to take the blog down while making these changes, so I didn’t have to deal with messages about it being down.

I’m debating whether or not to change the theme. However, organizing/cleaning up come first.

I plan to have a couple professional artists do up a new blog image for a rotation. One will be available soon, and the other will be sometime after the first of the year. SO COOL!

Seven Years – I missed it!

July 18 is the anniversary of this blog. This past July marked seven years since I started this journey.

I was reflecting on what to write about next, and the idea of “Why blog at all?” I have written about it before, My Take On Blogging About RPG’s.” I found re-reading that a good reminder of how I do things.

For me, blogging is as much about sharing my ideas as it is cataloging them for later. I touch on a variety of topics, and follow other blogs with ideas that interest me. Reading about how others do things gives me ideas and helps me to be a better player and GM. Interacting with those same people increases the circle of friendship and makes it a cool experience to finally meet and play together in real life at conventions.

I may take breaks from the blog when the well of ideas runs dry for the moment, or hectic times with work, or situations with family that require a change of focus.

I view this blog as the stake in the ground. It gives me a focus to come back to. It invites others to share my ideas and give me feedback. It is a tool that I find helpful. I can search it to find what I have written in the past and read it months or years later with fresh eyes. Even the limited writing I do helps scratch that itch I have to write.

I hope to keep blogging as long as I’m able to play RPG’s. I’m coming up on 39 years of playing D&D in the Spring. Four more decades of life with RPG’s sounds like a good time to me!

Still Alive

The blog’s been quiet for a few weeks. Real life is keeping me busy. Work is unusually hectic for this time of year. Also my oldest son and his family are moving out of state the weekend after July 4th, so I am helping as much as I can plus spending all the time I can with my granddaughter before then. She is about 18 months old and in the last few weeks started calling me Grandpa. It brightens my week to spend time with her. I wish I could afford the gas and hotel expense to drive 9 hours one way every weekend to see her…. I foresee a lot of Skype time in my future….

I had enough energy after work that I wrote and posted a new article on Multiverse, and I drafted two articles for this blog. I have an idea for another article for this blog and will get a draft started for that momentarily.

I’m going to Gamehole Con this year, so I’ll be getting signed up for some games ASAP. I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones, and meeting online friends in person!