Welcome, and well met!

I'm a fan of pen-and-paper RPG's. That's what you are going to find on this site. Sometimes there might be a blurb about the Secret World MMO; but the focus here is my drifting through Wisconsin's gaming communities.

Links will be added as cons are visited, games are played, and authoring is published.

Wander around. Grab a tankard. Relax and immerse yourself into polyhedron geekness, Wisconsin style!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Writing up a French covenant for the game, but I have the Beast of Brey Road on my mind.
We'll see where that mess gets me...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Back to skool'en

I'm reading!  Not just one, but TWO books.
Syd Field's The Screenwriters Problem Solver
Save the Cat! Strikes Back!
Both are 'how to' books on screenwriting. I know in my gut that I have the tools to write well. It's the lexicon and mind sets of those who are in the business that I have no clue about. So; I will read a little and hope to absorb a LOT.
Working on two submissions for ArM5... still. Both are for the same book, each has a very unique flavor. I hope one of them flies.
Digging into my past writings. Some are over a decade old. Some can only be books; others might work as potential non-novel media.  We'll see where it all falls apart... er TOGETHER.  Yeah, that's it. Together.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Building a couple of houses.

An authors call has dropped from Ars Magica. Although the details are confidential, the project is right up my method of preferred writing... so much so that I am planning on hammering out two submissions for the project!
Other than that, its been game writing this past week. I'm expanding some secondary groups that should serve as diverse (and hopefully interesting) foils for the PCs.
-Dave out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Holiday Happy!

I've completed the rough draft of the ship's 'bible' (which clocks in at 9200 words). There are still areas of the craft that are wide open, but there is PLENTY of timeline, command, passenger, and tech info filled in! WOOT!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Feeling good.

I have created 20 separate writings on locations concerning the space opera that Jeff and I are working on.
I have also put together all but 3 PC's for the Ars Magica con games (for 2012). The next step is to crack open the planned (3) games and polish 'em up.
Interspersed through this, I managed to catch up on the first 2 seasons of Warehouse 13 and caught the film Insidious. Neither are too bad, considering what they are... I never expect too much from the SyFy channel. They can only do so much within budget and actors must fall into very specific niches. However; the essence of the Warehouse 13 bits are fun to watch. Insidious was a little bumpy, but I got a kick out of it. The acting was very natural and felt real-world. The final act of the bit revealed too much of the 'behind the curtain' for my liking; but it left things open for the next flick that will probably come along...
All in all, it's been a pretty good week for creativity.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Returning out of the fog

The pre-holiday sinus thing seems to be finally breaking. Dug into my ArM5 game stuff yesterday. Planning on tweaking one or two of next years convention games. Creating a 'Fordors Guide' for a current environment that I am co-authoring.
Not too much, just kind of moving along in second gear.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Once more into the...

...realm of co-authorship.
Began working on a space-based story this week with a fellow author. This is the first, focused, non-gaming co-authorship project... ever.
All in all, I'm pretty geeked. Because of my gaming background and Jeff's writing / directing backgrounds, we have fallen into what comes naturally to each of us: I'm the environment builder and he's the man who will breathe life into the characters. Each of us agree that the characters are what make the story, which is nice for me. I'm looking forward to improving that element of my skill set.
The spooky thing is that it is sci-fi. I've worked the genre before and have nothing against it; but fantasy is my 'happy place'. That being said, the environment of the book is off-center enough to really peak my creative juices.
Onward and upward!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Revisions and retrofitting

Into the Valley has been revised and published back to the folks at Ars Magica.
Now, onto the gaming plans of 2012...
I am digging out all the old write ups and cut/pasting them into the Obsidian Portal site. Its nice knowing that the casual writing has a copy online, both for off site work and to protect against system crashes. My goal is to have the three con games done by November. Then it will be onto the full saga writing and whatever publishable work that comes down the pipe...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Playtesting part 1

The good playtesters out in the UK have done their thing and now it is time for me to do mine. Nothing too painful from the reviews. I got it back a couple of days ago and let it soak in. The primary fixes appear to be focused upon further expansion of the Houses of Hermies: Societates rules that were used. This game book is designed for Storyguides to play with only the core book in hand. Time to get into the editing mode!

On a slightly related note; the latest submission has been truncated. I've got a few nifty thoughts about magic rules and local fauna; but I quickly found that I would need about six months to give the work a proper write up. That would never meet the November deadline...

Such is life in the writing biz. Some hints have been dropped about future projects; thus I cast my gaze upon those horizons!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Writing, writing, writing.

I began writing the submission in earnest, with my goal being 25,000 words by the end this month. I am at 10,871 as of this writing. The plan is to hit the 75,000 word goal by mid / late October and spend the rest of the month editing. At this 1/8th point, I am still entering 1220-esque facts and history, with notations for the supernatural elements. This week, I plan on expanding upon reference elements from the other ArM5 texts.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Good gods, bad gods, and purgatory...

Great week for gaming! I got a chance to (finally) see the film Thor. Only a guy like Branagh could balance out those two worlds. Great fun, strong acting, and finally a little 'magic' in the Marvel movies.

We had a meetup 4e D&D one-shot game this week. More big fun! This was an adventure based upon 'fourthcore' rules; which is 'hardcore gaming set in the 4e game system'. It is the good old-fashioned Gygazian killer-puzzle-room-where-its-OK-to-metagame style of game. The game concept was based upon a generational challenge where the gods of the world allowed a single group of heroes to prove humanities worth. We failed, and the world was submerged in seawater. Sorry everybody.

Finally, my wife plugged in Wristcutters: A Love Story. Good film. Worth the couple of hours to watch. Yes, there is suicide. Yes, there is purgatory. Yes, there is a love story (a number of them, actually). Watch it for the textures and the humor; there's some classic stuff in there.

Monday, September 12, 2011


When writing about a given region or group, I find that I can't do it justice until I've researched it beyond necessity. In the case of the current ArM5 submission work, this requires two unique, initial 'historic digs'.

   First; I start at the period of pre-history and work my way into 1220 AD (or a little beyond). This allows two major aspects into the writing: lost beliefs / supernatural elements, and a greater sense of depth to the writing of 1220.
   Second; I begin a dig into each of the ArM5 texts, looking for cookies about the region. It's a little nerve-wracking, but keeping to the canon of the game is important to me. It also helps out in getting my mind into the mindset of the previous authors, so that the same textures may be used when I expand upon those ideas.

So here I am today. I've got three maps of the region printed off. The first is dedicated to the Supernatural, the second to Real History, and the third is for Story Elements (set in 1220 AD). From these three maps, the hundreds of scribbles all over them, and the various notes jammed into an OpenOffice file; I should be able to begin sorting out the mess this week and hopefully begin writing in earnest next week.
More to come...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feels like the New Year

Wow.  What a weekend!  It was the last day of the Bristol Faire... and boy was it packed.  My daughter got to play with the fey, we got to eat our fish and chips out of the newspaper, and the raptors were flying well (even in the dust-filled wind gusts).
A new writing proposal came down the ArM5 pipes by Mr David Chart.  This is for a regional book that shall remain unnamed at this time.  Looking at the projects I have listed on the dry-erase mounted next to the screen; I think the best I can do is to submit various 'filler' pieces (hooks, legends, regios, and all of that).  Rather than delve into the vast and rich history of the area in question, I am going at it from a natural landmass and local architectural POV.  We'll see how it all flies.  I have until mid-November to submit, but my goal is to have everything locked down by the end of September.
The Obsidian Portal stuff has been structured: 1) Mythen Saga and 2) 2012 Con games lit package.  Now to fill it out.  This is 'rubber hits the road' time.  No more 'new' projects, just note new ideas for later work....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August costs in gaming = $0.00

This month was something of a cheat.  I had no purchases nor games played.  However; I AM in the planning stages of 2012's conventions.  In that respect, I spent time but no monies on the development of new sites...
1. Obsidian Portal: A free wiki and forum site to focus gamers and maintain game information. Began the process of creating the structure for my Mythen Keep campaign.  Still off-site planning for the 2012 con game downloads, but I've got some ideas locking down...
2. Rotating Dice! I've never blogged before and thought I would quietly try doing it for a month.  Its a good tool to focus the 'gaming mind'.  I think I'll keep working on this.

End total: $0.00 in cash, but roughly 2 hours / day in authoring and game planning.  Pretty good.  Now if it actually takes flight...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Clean up week!

Its cooling off nicely around here! This week is a good time to clear out the nooks and crannies that have been collecting stuff over the summer.
That includes my writing and game projects as well...
First, to move as much paper onto the electronic files. Then it's time to:
1. Get the Obsidian Portal (Mythen Keep) game together for 2012's cons.
2. Secret World MMO is set up (go Dragons!); at least until the beta issues are cleared up.
3. Into the Valley is on hold until the playtests are done (October).
4. Continue working on the Ars Magica PC's for the con games.
5. Dig into the desk and gaming area; get that puppy organized.
6. Work on my daughters fairy wings set up for Halloween (and the Ren faire).
The week is going to be whatever I make it. Time to rock 'n roll!

Monday, August 22, 2011

We have achieved trough.

Just coming off of a pretty downer week. Low energy was the culprit. Planning on turning it around as of a couple of days ago. Still reading Wind, still a pretty good read (although every time I would get comfy and start the reading, I would fall asleep from the low energy thing). I really enjoy books like this; Kvothe's character has returned to society and the simple acts of being true to himself is continuing to add layer upon layer of issues. Good stuff!
Writing wise, it's been a pretty random week. Being exhausted does have its good points: there is very little filtering of ideas, so many ideas (if recorded) are created. In this, I've started three new 'projects'. Two are ideas for future Ars Magica books and one is for the 2012 gaming con circuit.
The game con stuff is basically an ArM5 'primer' to introduce the foundations of the game to the masses of Wisconsin. I'm creating a fully-fleshed out troupe (1 magi, 1 companion, 2 grogs) from each house; a nifty little covenant that will house 6; and some one-shots for the cons. I have a program called Metacreator that has been a godsend in the creation process. My goal is to enable newbees to come to the table, get a little rules background and simply begin play. We'll see how the whole thing goes...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wind, witches, and writing

Today is brought to you by the letter W.
I started Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind over the weekend. Pretty good read so far (I'm about 1/4 of the way through it). I'm enjoying the 'fly on the wall' feel in following a single character (a Doc Savage-esque man name Kvothe). He does a nice job of giving all the other characters their own voices, while staying true to Kvothe's internal filter.

I also wasted a couple of hours and watched Season of the Witch. Six scenes and a lot of 'Hammer horror' elements. Ugh. I even tried to look at it through the lens of black humor and just could not do it.
1. The crusade montage scene, ala the opening credits of Wolverine.
2. Taking the job in Marburg.
3. The first watch and a mass grave.
4. The rickety bridge.
5. Wolves!
6. The monastery.
OK. Now I feel purged.

Last, but not least; Into the Valley is in playtest. That means I am on vacation until October. So now I can write on other projects. I've got two ideas for ArM5 to rough together. We'll see what the opinion comes back as. More on that stuff later.

Monday, August 8, 2011

...and so it begins

I have decided to raise the bar in my hobby of gaming. I am setting myself to the task of dipping my big 'ole toe into the authoring of publishable roll-play gaming materials.
Well, moving beyond the 'gotta do what you love' sits the keystone of 'gotta afford what you love to do'. In short; I am going to see just how much of this hobby can pay for itself, without diminishing the joy of the game.
Over the months of July and August, I submitted and re-edited the adventure Into the Valley for Ars Magica games. Its been approved and now awaits playtesting (and further tweaking). I've learned a lot over the past two months. About Style Guides. About Templates. About working with other authors.
All of it has been GREAT!
More to come later...