Doc Tempest And The Murder Machine

…from the June, 1942 issue

Coming Soon To A Dundracon Near You

I’ve decided to run a 3D minis battle to the death arena in Open Gaming this year. Here are the facts as they stand now…

Title: Hack ‘Em Up!

System: Totally homebrew, rules light and based upon rolling 1d20 for actions and assorted other dice for damage. Movement will be secret and simultaneous, then you’ll get 1 minute to asses the situation and write down your actions, then everyone reveals together.

Premise: You are all badass killers, armed to the teeth with various weapons. You really need the 10,000 gold piece prize money…plus, you really like killing people. Thus, all of you go in, but only one comes out.

The Arena: It’ll be 3D, with walls, stuff you can climb on/hide behind, traps, healing potions and other goodies, a few wandering monsters and (if you step on the right squares) teleport spots.

The Minis: I’ll be using my vast collection of Little Plastic Dudes.

Number of players: Not sure, but probably no more than 12 at a time.

So, if yer going to Dundracon, come test your luck.

Gooby, The Musk Ox Who Thought She Was A Dog

…a book for children

So, I went to bed early last night…about 9:30 pm. This is very rare for me, but I had been dragging ass since about 7:30, so I finally gave up the fight.

Which is mostly why, on a Saturday morning, I’m up and at ’em at 7:00 after giving The Girls their Second Breakfast (First Breakfast having happened at the usual time of 4:30 am.

It is pretty foggy out, which I like as long as I’m not driving in it. Here in Central California, we get some of the world’s densest, most long lasting fog. The driving populace, however, seems to think nothing of this and so drives like it was a bright and sunny day. Which is why you’ll hear about 200 car pile-ups on I-5 or Highway 99 every couple years.

But for walking around, really dense fog is great. Sounds are muted, everything is mysterious, nobody can see you unless they are within arms length. Lots of fun. In an earlier portion of my life, fog was a great ally in my then career. Yeah, I loves me some fog.

But I loves me some tea even more, so I’m out of here to put the kettle on and scare up some grub. More Live Journalism later, including, maybe, a new bit of Poll Based Madness.

Dinner In The Gobbler Green Zone

…no anti-turkey terrorists here

The Chicken and Dumplings turned out to be SuperYummo. Ditto the rest of the meal. But I know that what y’all really want to know is…

What did Daisy and Winker have for dinner?

Well, Gentle Reader, they had Curry Flavored Rice with Sauteed Chicken Livers and Natural Balance Lamb & Brown Rice Kibble. It got rave reviews: Two Tails Up.

Attack Of The Mutant Wiener Dogs

…with laser beams!

Happy birthday to John Kovalic, whom I first met at GenCon in 1991. I hope you have a good one, buddy!

Ya know, for an unemployed bum, I’ve got a fuckin’ busy day ahead of me. First up is a visit to Dr. Yen’s Anti-Psoriasis House Of Fun, then I have to ::REDACTED::…TWICE, then I have to buy groceries and pay (and by “pay” I mean “send a minimal token to”) some bills, THEN I’ve got to wash these two lovable but funky smelling hounds and THEN I have to wash dishes and laundry. I’ll let My Sweet Little Thirteen Lined Ground Squirrel Of Passion cook dinner.

And now, I’m outta here. More Blog-O-Rama later.

Giant Rotifers Ate My Cookies

…the bastards

Hokey Smoke, Bullwinkle, yesterday was one of those LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG days where you do stuff that, individually, takes only a bit of time, but end up with you being totally drained and sleeping for 10 hours. starting at 8 AM, there was lots of driving, doing stuff, more driving, more doing stuff, etc, etc. Then, upon finally getting home about 7 PM, there was still more shit to do until the wee hours. Grace, The Girls and I shall all be taking it easy today. Fuck you, laundry and dirty dishes!

Still, we did find out that the price of gas in Lodi, California, is $1.69 for Regular, which is like, twenty cents cheaper than the cheapest here in Sacramento

In other news, we are all pretty healthy. In fact, I plan to get somewhat healthier as soon as my breakfast is done cookin’.

More blogging later.

Deadman’s Learning Curve

…not the song by Jan & Dean

Ok, I’m back. The job hunt goes on with no results so far. It’s a pretty shitty time to be 54 and looking for work along with a huge number of your fellow citizens, but what ya gonna do? If I was half my present age and weight, I’d be rolling in dough via some of my old skill sets, but I’m not, so I keep hitting the bricks every day.

By the way, my fellow A&Eers and gamers, my next couple of issues are taken care of, so please don’t call or write Lee with offers to cover me. Thank you so much, those of you who came to my aid unasked. Y’all are pretty fuckin’ great.

Now, for a bit of content, here is my take on a list that I’ve seen on at least 3 other LJ’s and/or websites…

12 RPG’s That Everyone Should Play At Least Once

1: Good old hack & slash dungeon crawling D&D. Preferably the boxed version with the rather garish dragon.

2: AD&D, but using the original Ravenloft boxed set. Barring that, use the equally innovative and utterly cool Al Qadim setting.

3: Runequest, because it is asskickingly cool, has a wonderful setting and ducks.

4: Over The Edge, played with balls out wild abandon and maybe just a hint of your favorite mind altering substance. In my not at all humble opinion, Al Amarja is the single coolest and most possibility filled setting in the history of RPGs.

5: Champions, because playing superheroes is way fun and by the time you are finished, you’ll either love or hate the Hero system, but either way, you’ll know the meaning of “complex & detailed RPG rules”.

6: Paranoia, because it is pants pissingly funny and hilariously violent. It is probably the easiest system to GM, since many sessions never get beyond the briefing room…and if they do, R&D will stop them cold:)

7: Call of Cthulhu, for it’s just damned perfect meshing of rules and setting. Unlike most RPGs, in CoC, you don’t get more powerful as time goes on, you just get closer to going into sanity’s abyss. A well run session of CoC should make it very hard for you to fall asleep afterwards.

8: Traveller, in whichever flavor you like, as long as it’s all about cruising the spaceways trying to earn a few credits by hook or by crook.

9: Castle Falkenstein, because it has steampunk, faerie both good and bad, swashbuckling action, airships, evil Prussians, criminal masterminds, mad science, magic and the goddamn Bear Flag Empire of California under the leadership of his Imperial Majesty, Norton I. Damn, I got wood just thinking about this RPG.

10: Toon, because it’s easy to learn, has a universal subject matter (go on, tell me who you know that has never seen a cartoon), plays fast and can run on the most tissue thin of plots.

11: Mutants & Masterminds, because it let’s you play any superhero that Champions does, but with waaaaayyyy fewer (and way easier) rules and a single d20.

12: The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen, because it perfectly blends storytelling, drinking and audience participation into one big old cream filled pastry of roleplaying goodness. Besides, you know you’re just dying to tell us of the time you rescued the Queen of the Moon from her imprisonment by the French aided by only a deaf terrier, an overweight Welsh bricklayer and your pet budgie, Otis.

And now, I must go to bed, so as to arrive bright and early tomorrow for my first of many sessions in Dr. Yen’s Ultraviolet Radiation Booth Of Happiness.

Black Ice Hotel


Just a quickie to let y’all know that if I don’t post for a few days, it’s because I’m desperately looking for any work I can get. If I don’t post for a couple of weeks, you can figure that our phone service has been shut off, possibly followed by our electricity.

And for those of you who are A&Eers, this month will mark the first time in right about 20 years that I will not be getting A&E. Hell, I still owe Lee for lastish.

This year has sucked ass.

Doc Tempest And The Time Lord

…from the October, 1971 issue (the first Doc Tempest/Doctor Who crossover)

HooHaa! It’s going to be sunny and in the 70’s today, so as soon as I finish this Bigass Mug O’ Tea, I’m out of this house for the day! No going online, no writing, no housework! Nope, I’m taking my faithful hounds to the park, then doing some grocery shopping, then thrashing about in the garden. Go me!

How To Cook A Porcupine

…they do taste like both pork and pine

Stuff…now with added vitamins & minerals

1: Because, like most gamers and all Gamemasters, I’m mad as a hatter, I’ve signed up for an account at Epic Words. If you’ve not heard of it, it is a new site that allows people to play in and GM blog based RPG series. I think I might be coerced into running a game for some of y’all, but you’ll need to sign up. Fortunately, signing up is free and if you do it before the 15th, you get some beta user bennies. You can also have a paid account, but since I’m an out of work bum, that ain’t happening. Anyway, if any of you roleplaying scalawags are interested in getting a bloggerific gaming group together, let me know.

2: My miniature Square Foot Garden is humming along quite nicely. Grace has been enjoying radishes every day and the lettuce is nearly ready for a salad. There are now 24 spinach seedlings growing and the carrots and pea plants are coming along, albeit slowly. Using milk crates lined with plastic trash bags and/or newspaper seems to be a winning idea, so I have high hopes for the Humongous Spring Garden.

3: I have a strong feeling that, having gone through the Surprised, Determined and Despairing phases of unemployment, I’m about to enter the Seriously Pissed Off phase. I have no idea what this could mean, altho I trust that Grace will prevent me from doing anything too stupid.

4: There is no #4.

More blogging later.

Steampunk Dogs, Clockwork Cats, Magical Mice

…it’s a Castle Falkenstein menagerie

Yo, Veterans!

To all of my fellow veterans and active duty personnel, especially to those serving in country right now, I say “Thank You”.

And to all of the miserable fucking right wing chicken hawks like Dickhead Cheney and Lardass Limbaugh, I say “Fuck you, you fucking cowardly pukes.”

Jet Girl Romiko Versus The Insect Mecha Army

…more faux manga

Well, Gentle Readers, the combination of overcast skies, cold and unemployment based cabin fever are doing their level best to bring on a visit from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’m attempting to counter this via a dangerously high caffiene intake, playing with the dogs (who are quite tuckered out just now) and doing some of the less odious housekeeping. Later, I’ll run out to Safeway to buy trash bags and a few odds & ends.

Writing may or may not happen today, but as the tea amps me up, it does become more likely. Part of said writing will include the promised Brewerton write up. Once Brewerton is done, I have another poll based idea or two that I will share with you.

For those of you in the Sacramento area, I’d like to point out that the Sacramento ASPCA will have their 4 day long Fall Book Sale starting this Thursday at Birdcage Walk (which, by the way, I can remember when it first opened in the 1970’s had a real aviary at its center). The fall sale is not nearly as huge or as varied as the humongous 9 day long Spring Book Sale, but it is still pretty damned good. Last year, it seemed to feature a lot of cookbooks and mysteries, both of which Grace and I bought bags full of. Plus, it benefits the shelter animals, so your money is well spent.

More bloggage later, after my steel cage deathmatch with SAD.

Chapter 813: In Which Our Hero, Freshly Tattooed And Pierced, Goes Undercover In The Dukes Dungeon

…and virtue triumphs over perversion, mostly

Quick Stuff

Got some writing done today, after 195 chores were done.

They had another “Lady Heather” episode on CSI last night. Damn, that woman is hot.

This Sunday will mark 12 years since Grace and I drove up to Reno and said “I Do”. Poverty shall be temporarily forgotten as we go out to dinner for the first time in, oh, a couple of centuries.

Shortly, we shall be watching “Fuck The Church”…err, I mean, “The Golden Compass”. We’ve never seen it, but I know the general gist of the books.

And now, dinnertime.

146 Erotic Uses For Play Doh

…147 if you have an extra nipple

Day full of stuff ahead for me, considering I’m one of the Great Unemployed Masses. Writing is about 1/3 of it, and may keep me away from LJ for a few days…or not. We shall see.

Along those lines, I may be emailing some of you gaming industry types on the particulars of this whole PDF thing that the youth of today are so mad for. I am woefully undereducated on the subject.

And now, I’m off to frolic in the park with dogs, then undertake many chores of a domestic nature.

Steamed Punks

…angry Victorian musicians?

I’m working on a Brewerton Village synopsis (and the final poll) for later today, but to tide you over, here is a crossposting of something I put up on another blog, where the discussion was writers procrastinating. I have expanded it a bit from the original.

When I have had writing projects to finish, I’ve always found that I write like hell until I reach about 2/3 of the way through the manuscript. Then, I just stop. Why at the 2/3 mark? Beats the hell out of me, but at least I’m consistent.

Anything can distract me…Television, an invitation to go drinking, cooking, sex (well, ok, sex could distract me from treating a cobra bite), a good run of tunes on the radio, a trip to a flea market, movies, birds chirping, a bit of shiny metal…it never fails, something lures me away when I have that last third to write. And by golly, I stay distracted until the deadline is looming on the horizon like the Mongol horde come to trample me into the dust.

Then, feeling the hot breath of Deadline Khan on my neck, comes the panicked rush to the big finish. 20 hour writing sessions, mugs of black tea so strong they could arm wrestle the Hulk, frantic calls from editors who tell me at length about their oncoming coronary problems that are all my fault, bitter cursing by both myself and those who come anywhere near me, blatant ignoring of personal hygiene and the repeated mantra “I suck as a writer! I’ll never be this lazy again!”.

Finally, usually about 24 hours before the deadline (and, one assumes, the last breath of my editor), I send off the manuscript and either sleep for 15 hours before getting drunk, or get drunk and then sleep 15 hours. There would be celebratory sex, but who the hell wants to fuck a stinky, drunk, exhausted, self pitying RPG writer?

A few weeks later, when I even care to think of writing again, I vow to be a better man about it. Which, as it turns out, is a blatant lie.

As for great ways to procrastinate, my faves include…

Concerts by my favorite rockers
Japanese monster movie marathons
Pub crawls
James Bond movie marathons
Obsessive cooking, usually based on one cookbook. (last time, it was “The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines”)
Computer games (most notably anything that starts with “Sid Meir’s Civilization” or “Sim —-”
Reading damned near anything, but often the works of other game writers, where my reading is punctuated by “Oh man, he/she is so good and I’m so fucking terrible”
Masked Mexican Wrestler movie marathons (El Santo rules!)
Gardening (my wife refers to my garden as “Your Mistress”)
Road trips
1950’s Sci-Fi movie marathons

Fully Clothed Mole Rats

…rather nattily, in fact

Ok, so I’m done with fucking politics for a couple of years. Well, except for one last pressing national question…

What breed of puppy should Mr. & Mrs O get for their girls?

Now, normally, I’d chime in with “Basset Hound”, but at least one of the girls has allergies and Basset’s shed constantly. So, the First Pooch will have to be one of the hypo-allergenic breeds. Mostly, that means poodles or poodle mixes.

I say, get the poodle mix (from a shelter, of course) Mr & Mrs O. It’ll be a swell dog for the girls and, like our new president (and a goodly chunk of Americans), it’ll be of mixed heritage.

And if you can find a hypo-allergenic cat, what the hell, get one of them, too.

The Flying Spanaducci Sisters Raise Hell

…and put a jack under it

I’m about halfway drunk here, but I shan’t let that stop me from a bit of political blogging.

So far, my man O is kicking ass on McBush. YAY!
Al Franken is ahead in the Minnesota Senate race.
Apparently, God decided not to vote for Elizabeth Dole.
The Dems are increasing their Senatorial lot.


More later, when I’m REALLY greased.

The Eyeball People Are Waiting For You

…they’re made up of scary eyeballs

A series of short emails from this morning (some names changed for security reasons)

From: Padawangirl
To: Doccross

Good morning, Master Yoda! Don’t forget to vote today!

From: Doccross
To: Padawangirl

Hi! Yes, I’ll be voting when Grace comes home for lunch. How goes it?

From: Padawangirl
To: Doccross

It goes well. The new biz is making money and I’m feeling better than ever. I’ll feel even better once the conservatives get their asses handed to them. I wish I could see my parents faces when Obama wins.

From: Doccross
To: Padawangirl

Hahaha! Yes, I reckon your folks will shit themselves. Glad to here the biz is doing well. And yes, I will also be doing the happy dance when the neocon scum are crushed beneath our heels. Soon, the Evil Empire of Darth Cheney will be a thing of the past.

From: Padawangirl
To: Doccross

LOL Careful, old one, or you might get too excited:-) I have to go now. Appointment with a new client. Take care of yourself and don’t drink too much celebrating.

From: Doccross
To: Padawangirl

Old? Respect you have not, young whippersnapper. Have fun and send me all the details soon. Bye.

The 26 Things You Should Do Before Wrestling An Elk

…#14 is to warm up by wrestling a large goat

Another rainy day here, so I didn’t do a hell of a lot. Fortunately, my S.A.D. has not kicked in yet, so I’m still a pretty cheery fellow.

So far, I’ve done 17 maps for the game world of our “Magic Returns” series. Each map measures 400 X 500 miles. Most of them are coastal maps, but a few are interiors of continents and some are islands (including Freeport). I’ll be doing more as time goes by, so as to have them ready for next years adventures.

I am still on the fence about going to ConQuest Sac next March, but I’m beginning to lean towards going. I may even attempt to run a couple of official RPGs.

I am SO glad the election is tomorrow. I think that in 2012, I’ll spend most of the year out of the country and vote absentee, just to avoid all the bullshit and ads.

And now, I’m off to bed. More blogging tomorrow.

The Rather Scandalous Tale Of Mostly Purple Patty And The Old Man Who Lived In A Tree

…co-starring her pet codfish, Emerson

A rainy day here in Sacramento…wife abandoned me and the hounds to use the college computer lab…watched an old Doctor Who episode from Netflix (“Black Orchid”, with Peter Davison as The Doctor)…read three more Jeeves stories…puttered about the house in a househusbandly manner…cooked a totally delicious dinner…ate said dinner with the spouse upon her return…watched the two hour premiere of “Legend of the Seeker” and cringed all the way through it…goofed off.

Daisy is doing much better today. She’s eating well and pretty active. Her blood test results came back and the vet said that they all looked good, except for a low protein level that was most likely from not eating well due to being sick.

Not sure what’s shakin’ for tomorrow, but considering our impoverished state of affairs, I’m guessing it won’t involve spending much money.