3/26/2022

Assorted Small Stuff

Just going to run down some of the latest stuff by way of keeping in touch. Big thanks to those who've been corresponding with me lately; please keep that stuff coming; you folks rock.

Bit by bit, Hammondal Gets Done

The Hammondal book continues to excite me. Work is a little slow due to health concerns (those who know me know: I'm currently blind in my left eye, have some brand-new kidney disease, hands are increasingly numb and semi-paralyzed, fallout from stress and heartbreak yadda yadda), but man even the slow work is just electrifying on this book. I haven't felt this hyper about a project since Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom back in '07.

I've also been getting a lot done on the Trusty GM articles (including spiffed-up versions of articles which started here), which will be a big, open-ended series but the first stack are all in a tight orbit around each other and while it's very, very challenging writing (a lot of the topics require some outrageous dance-steps to weave through redundancies and presumptions) it's also just energizing because it's me writing down the absolute core of myself as a roleplayer, as a GM, as a designer and as someone who just loves RPGs to tiny huggy bits. I'm also making solid tools for GMs to enjoy, and I love that stuff.

Sandra and I have been digging the bounty of nerd culture so much lately. We were able to find a screening of the new Batman movie that only had a few other people in the theater (we're still being extra-cautious about Covid), and what a surprise that movie was! From the marketing I expected it to be mopey, gritty and self-serious, but that's a veneer it sheds very quickly. It's a downright warm take on the difference between a pissed-off vigilante and a hero, and it's an origin story for Batman becoming the heroic version of himself, instead of just the vigilante, and it's good stuff. Catwoman steals all the scenes she's in, then Carmine Falcone steals some more, but everyone's doing a good job.

If you skipped Star Trek: Prodigy because it's a cartoon for kids, you're missing out. Jus' sayin'.

I've been boning up on old Moon Knight comics by way of looking forward to the Disney+ series, and man that's been fun. Doug Moench is kind of a lunatic, and I regret that as a kid I mainly only knew him for Six From Sirius.

To my considerable shock, I wandered across a genuine high-trust fantasy adventure from the OSR, of all places (normally I consider the OSR more like "Toleration > Trust," to a degree that doesn't suit me). It's called Kidnap the Archpriest, by Skerples, and it's a solid 4/5 on my personal scale. There are a few small things I'd remove or rewrite (things included specifically for the presumed habits and concerns of the D&D crowd, and a few arbitrary walls I'd knock through) but it's a legitimate high-trust fantasy adventure and I recommend it and intend to run it. I feel like it's a long-lost cousin to Toast of the Town in some ways (a kindred blend of time-pressure, logistical challenges, etc).

I've been revisiting all of my favorite RPG city-books (and Citybooks) as part of the Hammondal process, and I should do an article about those. I do love a fantasy city book, so much.

Finally, politics is a gross topic and I don't like to mention it here, but if you find yourself in need of, let's say, some background chatter while drawing a fantasy map, to pick an utterly random example, put this video on to listen to it, and listen to the whole thing. It's a really beautiful conversation between two flawed humans trying to do the work. It's the best political thing I've listened to in a good long while:

Hope this finds you well. More soon.