I’ve been a busy guy over the last fortnight, both at work and at home. Work has been mad, but I’ve found some time to complete the following at long last.
Secret Fire Games – website
I’ve built a new website for Secret Fire Games, using WordPress and also phpBB3 for the forum. I created the theme with Artisteer. I’m hoping that this will help highlight the Secret Fire RPG, and Secret Fire Games as a “micropress”. Like microbreweries, a micropress is to my thinking, to paraphrase the microbrewery definition from Wikipedia, something that “produces a limited amount [of product], and is associated by consumers with innovation and uniqueness,” which is pretty much how I’d describe what we did with The Secret Fire RPG. I’d love to hear peoples reactions to the game (and the site!).
I don’t consider TSF to be a fantasy heartbreaker – mentioned here - despite it having its roots in OD&D (Original D&D) and other FRPGs. What I’m finding interesting is just how polarised reactions can be to a game like The Secret Fire. Some old school gamers love it, some hate it – new gamers love it, some hate it too; but its the level of polarisation that interests me: it gets a very strong reaction often with no middle ground. I’m glad that the name was changed from Legends & Labyrinths and became non-OGL: it instantly become its own game as a result rather than sounding like yet another d20 system fantasy heartbreaker. Some online reviews have even said it outweirds LotFP (Lamentations of the Flame Princess): I consider that a job well done.
ORC website update
Again on the web front: I’ve updated the ORC website, but I’ve still to make the move to the next version of Joomla (1.7). I’m worried what happen with the Kunena forum and some of the modules when I do. I upgraded the Community Builder and UddeIM PM software though. I got rid of the Gallery and Mobile version as the latter knackered the site logins and the the Gallery was hugely out of date (and not really seeing much use), so that’s two less things to upgrade.
Ashes of Freedom D&D3.5 Campaign
Again at ORC, my Ashes of Freedom game concluded on Saturday, with a certain amount of sturm und drang: pitched battles featuring undead and Mandragora, Red Mandragora flying the PCs off a cliff, a Red Dragon taking on a Lich, plot revelations galore, and Demogorgon nearly fully manifesting on the Prime Material plane. And a doomsday device beginning to count down…
I’m a little sad that its over, but the game has had a good innings and there’s a lot of material I’m very happy with. It may be that I return to Volkrania again some day as a setting, but for now it is at peace. I think that no matter how you feel about D&D, if you have a good campaign vibe like that, who cares? I’ve left it open to begin another chapter at some point – always a good idea to leave ‘em wanting more.
Our GrimDark 40k RPG gaming group are reaching the end of their sessions of the Deathwatch game. I’m not used to being in a position of command, but as Squad Leader Sammeal, I’m not doing too bad: patching wounds and leading a bunch of Adeptus Astartes (40k Space Marines) against a Genestealer threat is quite rewarding. I’ve never really thought of myself as having leadership skills – I’m always hero #2 in an RPG – but this has given me a chance to shine for once in a leadership role (or at least glow dully).
So that’s the end of what I’ve been up to.
As it stands, I’m kinda amazed that I have free time to do anything else these days. However, I’m taking September off: ORC can manage without me for a month, and I’m not running/playing anything (yet); we have multiple venues; plenty of folk running games, and the website is updated as much as I can (see above). The Secret Fire RPG is out and the website has been updated. I’ve still got some tweaking to do with the theme – for different screen sizes (a right damn pain, let me tell you), but that’s a minor issue. I’ve not yet begun proper work on my part of the first TSF supplement: Fragment 1: Way of Tree, Sword, and Flame, but I’ve a lot of ideas that I’ll put down later, not to mention an adventure for TSF.
LSD and I are away to the Caribbean, Antigua to be precise, for a week and we’ll be going off-grid. No mobile, email, ‘net, nothing. I’m loading my Kindle as I fully intend to relax: I’m not going running around the island. The accommodation is all-inclusive, and I intend to avail myself of this!
The Dresden Files RPG
The Wednesday night sessions I play will switch to a fortnightly one. I’ve only recently got into the Dresden Files and love the whole idea – especially a certain scene in Dead Beat which is just… so… mind-blowingly… cool. Anyway, I’m looking forward to playing the RPG!
Arunstoun & Cthulhutech
I’m finally going to get this Call of Cthulhu setting created. With Cthulhu Brittanica: Shadows over Scotland out, I definitely need to run at least one game of Call of Cthulhu in that setting. Even if Shadows over Scotland is set in the 1920s, I may use the events to foreshadow another episode of Through the Looking Glass, my Cthulhutech setting (part of Dark Edinburgh).
Against the Odds
I’m still weighing up this setting for use with The Secret Fire RPG. There’ll need to be some changes to it, but I’m glad to report that at least one of the players from the original 4e game is using some of the events in the game to spur the plot for his own novella.
The Secret Fire
Well, I’ll contributing to Fragment 1: The Way of Tree, Sword, and Flame.
So that’s what I have been, and will be, up to!
If life is a game; I’m rolling ones. It hasn’t been the best of weeks – work has been hard-going, and I’m not feeling too good. Possibly after the shenanigans last weekend!
I’m going to be updating the ORC website soon. I’ve planned to try and upgrade the key components, but I’m not looking to make any major changes initially – although I will patch some parts of it. As the ORC website uses Joomla! as a backend, it will take a little getting used to. I’ve setup a test area and it looks like the transfer itself will be straightforward enough. I’m planning to upgrade the EventList plugin to use an RSS feed as well, so that events can be published to the ORC Facebook page perhaps, and also to my own blog. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be that straightforward – and the site (shlu.net) developer forums appear to be largely offline. Still, no hurry. I can still update the other parts of the site, such as transforming the current Fireboard forum to Kunena, and upgrading the uddeIM components. I’m getting pretty adept at this kind of thing now! Long-term, I’m not sure what I should convert to: phpBB3 or SMF forked with Zikula, or just to stick with Joomla!
It has been a pretty crummy week, and I’ve not really achieved anything: I’m either too tired or too stressed. The lock on the main door of the flat appears to be sticking (I struggled with it for 10 minutes on Tuesday) and I hope that’s not going to be a problem in the future! Last thing I need is to be unable to get into my flat! I’ve taken a day off today, as I need to clear my head.
I’ve booked the flights to Vancouver today. Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees!!!! I’m so looking forward to the official Stargate SG-1 convention where LSD and I will be spending some time.
She got me some very nice pressies for Xmas – the Collector’s Edition of the Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling (in a great little folio set inside a large tome) and the complete Red Dwarf, plus the Smeg-ups DVD. Respect to LSD.
It’s a few days after Xmas, and it’s been one of excess. I’m a bit worried about my waistline as I seem to be developing a minor gut. I’m going to spend a little more time walking around in the New Year, to burn a few pounds. I’m the perfect Body-Mass Index, so it’s just a bit more exercise I need. I’m going to do a press-up every day this year, incrementing by one each day, so I should be doing 360+ by this time next year!
After finishing work I headed over to my Dad’s, where I was house-sitting the two cats. They’re pretty low-maintenance, being in their feline 80s – all they do is sleep, eat, and crap. They’re pretty therapeutic though.
Well, I’m enjoying this time off from work. The year ahead is going to be a busy one at work – we move to MS Exchange, and are leading the migration to Active Directory. A helluva a lot of work to do!
So, this time off has been quite rewarding! I’ve shifted a number of the parts of the website, creating a forums area (with phpBB3), moving and upgrading the wikis (using Mediawiki) and creating a redirect. I also tried Joomla 1.5 and Fireboard, but quickly found them to be a sod to tweak as a CMS, so Zikula 1.10 is what I’m sticking with (the CMS formerly known as Postnuke).
Not sure what we’re doing for the New year yet, but Happy New Year to everyone in advance!