Sunday, November 28, 2010

What I've been reading...

The end of the Daily Blog Challenge is in sight...This is post number 28. Just two more posts after today. I don't have a plan for posting once December starts. I don't foresee the daily posts. I may end up trying to set up a regular schedule to keep myself dedicated to writing and posting. I think I laid out enough threads over the past month to keep myself pretty busy.

So, besides Hollow Earth Expedition, what else have I been reading?

Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary RealmsI'm about halfway through Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks, a sort of a combined memoir and exploration of gamer lifestyle. Subtitled "An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms", the books covers traditional table top RPGs like D&D, LARPs, MMORPGs like World of Warcraft, SCA events, and gaming and other fantasy related conventions. Described by NPR as "Lord of the Rings meets Jack Kerouac's On the Road," the author, Ethan Gilsdorf, travels the globe, interacting with fans of role playing of all types. He plays with a few legends at GaryCon, swings some foam swords at a boffer larp, and interacts with some interesting people spending their free time exploring fantasy worlds. So far, it seems like he's grasping towards some sort of reason why people gravitate towards these types of experiences, but even at this point in the book, I'm not sure he's really going to find it. It's got to be pretty different for different types of people. Sometimes, it even seems a bit disjointed, almost like he is trying to force some kind of theme across the book. That said, it's been a fast and easy read. It's fun, but in the long run, I don't feel like I'm really going to learn much about my group of friends or myself. It did make me want to attend GaryCon at some point, though.

CoverI also read James Raggi's latest Lamentations of the Flame Princess module, Hammers of the Gods. A stand alone module designed for character level 3-5, it looks like it could be inserted into just about any home campaign pretty easily. I'll probably be using it for a future OSR campaign, so I want to avoid spoilers, especially since my players read this, but I'll point out some highlights. First, I love the list of books held in the library. There are 100 titles, all with descriptions, that are chocked FULL of ideas for future adventures for the players. The alternate history for dwarfs is interesting and can certainly fit within the ideas I've been constructing. Like the other LotFP stuff I've read (the RPG box set, Stargazers Tower, No Dignity in Death, parts of the 4 issues of Green Devil Face), the adventure is steeped in atmosphere. What it lacks in combat encounters, it makes up for with interesting environments. I'm curious to see how I handle his modules in action, since I more used to running highly combat oriented RPGs. I'm also curious to see how the players will react to a significantly more deadly play style than what they are used to playing. 

The B/X CompanionFinally, I've really been digging the writing on B/X Blackrazor, an OSR blog out of Seattle. The author is probably best known for his OSR book The B/X Companion, which provides a continuation/completion of the game presented in Tom Moldvay's Basic Rules and continued in the Dave Cook/Steve Marsh Expert Rules. I haven't read the book, but his writing on the blog has me curious. He recently provided a highly amusing play report of his group playing through the classic D&D module White Plume Mountain. Far too often, I find play reports to be tedious, even if I understand the purpose from the DM & player point of view. I found his reports to be a great deal of fun to read. I need to spend some time digging through his older posts for interesting content. 

That's all for today...See you tomorrow!

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