Thursday, January 5, 2012


Over at D&D With Porn Stars, Zak has some very nice things to say about Secret Santicore and its contents, including the following tidbit about my 'Merchants of the Silk Road' piece:

"Excellent excellent.  Should be the standard d100 merchant tables."

That was more than sufficient to get me through the day - several, actually.  There's nothing quite like positive feedback and comments to keep propelling you forward!

Those tables were the submission on which I spent serious brain-time, as compared to the other two, which were 'OMG we might be short on content' hand-ins.  I love love love random tables, but I'm particular - I want to use (and generate) tables that don't just fill in a blank at the table, but actually generate plot hooks and seed the imagination.  My favorite entry from those merchant tables is "comely widow and her disrespectful son" for precisely that reason -- six words that not only give you the merchant you asked for, but also NPCs which are fun to improv and a situation which practically dares the PCs to comment or do something.

If you don't have Secret Santicore yet, you need to download it and check it out.  If you DO have it already, tell people how you're using it or how you're thinking about using it.  I have an idea or two for 'Secret Santicore Plus' content that dovetails with my submissions (including an expansion for The Moon-Eye Caves that should fill it out into at least a night's worth of adventure), and hope to have some of that up over the weekend (y'know, actual gameable content!).  I also have a very nice scribble-map my son has created for the 'Hamburger Soup' feature - I need to get it scanned in, visually tweaked, and populated with monsters (in this case, some carnivorous plants from Secret Santicore, zombie-fungus, and a colony of malicious ant-men); that should be up in the next week-plus as well assuming all goes right with the scanner.

I had a couple of questions asked today regarding the Wampus Country setting - such as 'what other critters are out there', 'more on the barbarians', and 'who manufactures the firearms?'.  We'll be taking those as post-topic requests, of course.

New Year's Resolutions have never really been my bag, but if I have a gaming-related one for 2012, it is these:

1) Don't let random ideas die on the vine, type them up and share them.  A half-developed idea, shared, has more value than a fully-developed idea, kept secret.

2) Play, play, and play some more.  Run games everywhere at the drop of a hat, and play in other people's games even if it's just to try a new system, setting, or GM.  Learn from all of this.  Hit the FLGS on gaming-day, meet people, and get a game going, even if it's a one-shot.  Never forget that the writing, the dreaming, the screwing around all exist to facilitate play.  RPGs are a social hobby by definition.

Both of those are kind of related to losing inhibitions, which the pensive part of me finds interesting.

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