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!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Spinning Tire + Road = Potential Traction

Pride goes before the fall.
I've stripped the re-write of my ArM5 submission / edit down to the basic elements.
I've worked on the MANY and VARIED fixes required by my editor.
I've lost sleep in mulling over the story. That is what has been killing the ability to complete this beast. Too much story, too many words. It's always about the word count.
So I took a step back and hit the books. I focused my game-related reading solely on two spheres: First is the Rival Magic and RoP: Infernal books where I derived the plot and characters to play against whichever troupe chooses to take this thing on. Second is published adventures by ArM5 and the online fanzine Sub Rosa. I've pulled my head out of D&D land and have slowly re-entered the world where it is not about the body count; it is about the quality of acquired wisdom.
Seeking new traditions, making negotiations, and study in the lab.
I've broken this puppy down to three stories (adventures). I have cut/paste all the suggestions from my line editor. I've got a fresh perspective.

Pack in the wounded pride and let the re-write begin!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Well, the ArM5 do-over is almost done. The technical edit stuff is locked down, and the story flow is coming along nicely. I should have that task done by the middle of next week.

Working with RPTools for the Mythen Keep saga is grinding along slowly, but it is moving forward. It will be nice to have such a rich environment to kick off the saga in 2013.

I've been introduced to the National Novel Writing Month website. I have joined and I am looking forward to the challenge of starting (and completing) a novel over the month of November. I'm working out the structure this month, but I refuse to truly write one word until the first of next month. WOOT!

Thinking ahead to Fire and Ice, and then Garycon in a few months. I'm planning on carting along the Gloom card game, then hitting the pick-up games. It should be a fun time-o.

More to come as it happens!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rinse and repeat

The line editor has checked the work and has sent back his error messages.

Wow. What was I thinking?

Ars Magica is as much a LARP / story game as it is mechanical. I made the error of going D&D4e on it and attempted to make it into a pure action-adventure.

Needless to say, I'm doing a major overhaul on this project.

The up side is that I had a second pair of eyes check it out. Down side: It was my bosses eyes and now I have to recover from coming off like a goof.

On other local news: I'm working on the RPTools side of a game again. This is a labor of love, with the added bonus of requiring the implementation of rule sets. I get a kick out of that stuff. It's clean and logical, with the end potential of making the gaming experience more fulfilling. It's for an old ArM5 game titled 'Mythen Keep'. My ultimate goal is to write in all the cannon of ArM5 into a map of Mythic Europe. That'll be an interesting task!

Finally, it looks like it is time to start looking ahead to 2013's convention schedule. I'm thinking Fire and Ice, Gary Con, and Gen Con; with a plan to overnight at Gary Con and Gen Con. Gamers of the world, UNITE!

Well... enough procrastinating, time to get back on that re-write!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Writing a document chock-full of Latin and UK-based language, then doing the spell check.


Currently at 22237 out of 22500 (max cap) words. Not quite the 21500 goal I was aiming for.
However; I am working the spelling and grammar check. That equates to being as done as I am going to be this week.
That means: Do a final read and shoot it upstairs.

Looking forward to reading someone else's work for a while. Clear out the queue, as it were...


Monday, September 17, 2012

(Hopefully) Coming 'Round the Bend

Going through that final read-through / rewrite process, from a Storyguides POV. I found 14 'opportunities' with the information flow. Lots of cut and paste stuff, some expansion of text, and a beni in that I can ref one of the non-core books. :)

Hoping to get this part of the job done by the weekend.

Then it is time for a final read-through and to submit!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Redundancy managed.

Redundancy edit complete: 21,991 word count. I can see places that will have to be expanded on 3rd edit, but also places that are waaaay to wordy. Looking forward to what this will turn into by the coming weekend.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Over the Hump

OK. Now I'm at 22,041 words. What is nice about this number is not the NUMBER; rather the WORDS. I'm done. It's a first draft, but I am done. Now the re-writes begin.
My first re-write for this week is to eliminate redundancy. I'm good at repeating myself as I write. It aids in focusing elements of the game / story as I go along. However; now is the time to pull those 'weeds'.
Then I check the word count.
My second re-write will be one of 'trimming fat'. Something should take three words instead of ten, then cut it back to three words.
Then I check the word count.
My third re-write is the 'cold read'. This is where I try to put my mind into the place of someone reading this for the first time and use that mind set to critically expand missing bits and smooth out each section of story flow.
Then I check the word count.
Then I cheer or weep when the word count is all wrong. My end goal: 20,000 words. We'll see.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Too Many Words.

24,000 + words. Need to trim off 4,000 words and I still have writing to do on this nasty thing.
I'll do it. That's not the issue. It's just in the 'doing' that things are going to get drawn out. School starts this week, so I'll have some extra time with an empty house.
Focus. Make it happen.
See you in one week.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Word Count Tug 'o War

22,000 words sounds like a lot. The latest ArM5 publication task has been going through a swell-shrink-swell-shrink... period over the past couple of weeks. Right now, its on the fast track of blasting past the max word count.
I was hoping to keep it around 20,000-21,000 to allow for game test adjustments.
We'll see. On the up side, the endeavor is nearing a point of completion. My goal of having something to be critiqued by my fellow's might still make it by this coming weekend.

In other gaming news, I recently picked up Gloom and Cuthulu Gloom! Two great looking card games where you do some story telling as you attempt to keep other player's 'families' happy and kill of the ones under your control. Wacky fun!

On the Secret World front, I'm slowly creeping through the quest chains on the Savage Coast, but I am also starting to pick up quests for the Blue Mountain zone. It's been somewhat frustrating, as it appears that certain areas of the Savage Coast (the southern portion) are geared for higher level game play. It seems to be reeeealy easy to get nuked in those areas.

Lastly, I am steadily working full-time / part-time on my fantasy novel. I'm into chapter 6, with a rough outline for all 20 chapters set. :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

At the 25% mark...

Last week marked the first quarter of allotted time in the current ArM5 Authoring job. I'm about 60% complete with the work; although the key to writing is RE-writing. That's why I'm driving myself to get this puppy bagged and tagged by the end of August. That'll give me a full month (September due date) to fix, tweak, rebuild, and wipe out inappropriate elements after the team reviews the work.
By team, I'm talking about Line Editor David Chart and my four fellow authors...

My book and scripting co-author in crime (Jeff M) has painstakingly pried my hands away from the fantasy genre. A little bit, anyway. He's currently watching the Star Trek series (in show chronological order, not in air date order), and doing the same for the Star Wars book line. Lots of Star Wars / Trek talk these days.
As can be expected, being around SF talk brings about SF ideas. I've jotted down a concept for a three-book series of inter-related short stories. That'll be a wintertime project.
...and I'm thinking about looking into the local Gamebase 7's SPARKS RPG game group.
I've even added a link to the SPARKS game (see below).

Well, it's Monday. Back to the work of writing. The middle time period of such tasks is always the most difficult for me. It's the day-after-day routine, where the excitement of doing something new has wained and the real finesse of keeping the specific game elements 'popping' as I do the real creative writing tests my creative endurance.
I've done it before, I'm doing it now; and I'll do it again.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Whaaa? August?!?
Where did THAT month come from?
It's been a while since I've blogged. Busy... but not very productive in the gaming world.
Working on a new ArM5 game for a 2014 book. Yep. Just like the previous blog; only this time I've got a CONTRACTED DEAL! I'm dying to blab, but all of that has to wait until the book is published.
Working with a co-authoring sci-fi project for a children's lit series. Yep. Just like the previous blog. This time, it is the previous co-authoring attempt reborn!
Working on a young-adult book that might turn into a series and / or offshoot into the RPG realm. Well... I opened the files and read them. I might kick it back off once the ArM5 game is done.
One new thing is that the Secret World MMO is now 1 month old! I went straight for the vein and got the lifetime subscription. If this puppy stays online for a couple of years, it will have paid off the typical monthly subscription fees. :)
My take on SW is from a VERY casual gamer POV. It's a good game, very contemporary-dark themed; with no set toon builds. I can casually change my skills / abilities so that I can tank, strike, DOT, HOT, and play with any mix of builds that seem useful. It's allowed my toon to evolve as the environment (and my play style) does. It's fun. I've been burning up around 3 hours 2-3 times a week on it.

OK... I'm going to say it: I will attempt to do a weekly update on the gaming stuff from here on out.


Catch ya next Sunday!


Monday, April 2, 2012

Out Like a Lion

Lets see...
Working on a new ArM5 proposal for a 2014 book.
Working with a co-authoring sci-fi project for a children's lit series.
Working on a young-adult book that might turn into a series and / or offshoot into the RPG realm.
April looks to be a busy little month!
-Dave out.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ripping in like a lion

Fire and Ice is done. Little interest in ArM5 at this go-around, but the con itself was good. The 1000-foot overview for the one day that I was there is as follows:
Single, large hall. There was an on-site food court and convenient bathrooms. Appropriate space for the various games that were played, with the vendors set up as a circle around the main gaming area. This is a board game-heavy con, with 41 RPGs, 144 board games, 18 card games, and 16 mini's games. Good fun for all ages and tastes (Loony Toons Lab and Clay Wars games up through White Wolf games). It looked like they had a server and 6-8 PC's in the back as well.
The down side: with smallish cons like this, it is 'clickish'. Lots of folks were locals and many were traveling in packs / family groups. Nothing wrong with that, only there were more than a few times that one persons interests seemed to get trumped by the group's interests.
Popular Elements: About 20% of the floor was taken up by the Silent Auction items. SPARKS (the Star Wars d6 game) ran 19 RPGs, with Hackmaster (KotD) running 7 games. Also, there was an impressive array of boardgames set out for 'rent'.

I'm working on an un-solicited project for ArM5. It's an area resource and adventure guide set in 13th century Flanders. We'll see where that mess ends up... :) Also, prepping the game for Gary Con at the end of this month! WOOT!

Back to the writing.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


A few week to go until the first con of the year! Woot!!

Click the link below to get the details. Good times to be had, LOADS of gaming / game-oriented stuff to do!

Get yer geek on :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Kicking onto cruise for Feb...

There comes a time when you have to take the phone off the hook, close the office door, and focus upon the 'in' box.
I've got a script treatment for Et El films, along with co-authoring of 3 others.
I've got this Ars Magica 5 project to submit; with the goal being the end of January (so that I can revise it in February).
I'm doing a game at Fire and Ice at the end of February; the game is done, but finishing up the pre-gens is always a bit of a task.
...and I'm looking at teaching myself RPTools for online games (ArM5, of course).

Yep; the 'in box' is full.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Mucky Part of Writing

I'm in the middle of three big, potentially selling projects. This is the 'muck' part of writing for me. I have no problem authoring for three different masters; sometimes it helps. But there is always a point where I'm 1/3 to 1/2 way through and it feels like the process is taking too long.
This is where simple faith and a lot of coffee comes in.
I've finished projects and have felt good about them. I know that I can get to the end point of each of these projects as well... and it will feel great. This week and next week are the two weeks where I put the pedal to the metal and break free of the muck.
Game on.