Doc Tempest And The Sword Of Satan

…from the April, 2011 issue

The Second Website Poll Results

Ok, gang, time to look at your answers on the second poll concerning my upcoming website. Once again, thank you to all of you who responded.

There are several ways to present world settings. Which do you prefer?

Quite a bit of detail in all aspects of the setting 3 (30.0%)

Lots of detail for some parts, but less so for others 4 (40.0%)

Loose detailing, so the GM has room to add things 3 (30.0%)

While some of you want TSR style massive detailing, more of you want varying degrees of detail, allowing for some GM room to mess around with things. Fortunately, that is how I was planning to writev these settings.

What gaming genres would you most like to see settings for?

Steampunk (50.0%)

Space Opera (40.0%)

Swashbuckling Adventure with Fantasy Elements (40.0%)

Pulp! (useable for Hero, Horror, Espionage and other pulp styles) (40.0%)

Gothic Horror (30.0%)

Gritty Post Apocalypse (30.0%)

Fantasy (30.0%)

Hard Science Fiction (20.0%)

Post Apocalypse Fantasy (20.0%)

Alternate History (10.0%)

Espionage (10.0%)

Superheroes (10.0%)

Humor (NOT Toon based) (0.0%)

Swashbuckling Adventure (0.0%)

1950’s Monster Movies (0.0%)

Steampunk is the winner here. I’m rather surprised that both straight up swashbuckling adventure or 1950’s monster movies failed to get a single vote. Anyway, it looks like the first settings I do will be steampunk, space opera, swashbuckling with a touch of fantasy and pulp.

Regarding humor pieces: Choose your favorite level of humor

A bit risque (some cursing, some racy bits) (70.0%)

Adult (cursing, adult topics) (20.0%)

Family friendly (no cursing, no sex or violence. good clean fun) (10.0%)

This one actually did not surprise me. PG-13/R rated it is!

Ok, for stuff like Characters, Creatures, Adventure Seeds, Stuff, etc…

Mix it up each time you post something, Doc. (50.0%)

Theme Weeks! (30.0%)

Theme Months! (20.0%)

Different themes for each type, each month. (0.0%)

Different themes for each type, each week. (0.0%)

Looks like I’ll be mixing it up each time I post. I might still do a theme week now and then, but not for everything.

About the selling of finished, expanded PDFs: Assuming you like the subject matter, would you buy it?

Yep (57.1%)

Only if regular donaters get a price break. (28.6%)

Nope (14.3%)

No surprises here, either, but I would most likely give regular and/or generous contributors a price break. Or maybe free “special features” stuff. Or a possible annotated “director’s cut”.

Audience participation via polling: Which two of the below would you most like to vote on?

The serial fiction (50.0%)

Everything, Doc! (30.0%)

Subjects of Theme Weeks/Months (30.0%)

Characters (20.0%)

Places (basically, villages, towns, small areas) (10.0%)

Larger Settings, but still smaller than the World settings (countries, kingdoms, geographical regions) (10.0%)

Creatures (0.0%)

And it’s serial fiction for the win! Theme week/month subjects might also get some polling love, as would the odd week of letting y’all decide on everything in a future weeks postings.

Next time I poll, I’ll be narrowing the focus even finer. Right now, however, it’s time for Miss Lucy and I to go walking.

Hollow Eyed Vampire Babies

…yikes!

Ganked from em_gumby

• Leave me a comment saying “Resistance is Futile.”
• I’ll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions

1. Why “Doc” (been wondering for years, but never asked – I figured it was one of those things that “everybody knows”)?

Actually, very few people know the truth of how I got the nickname. Maybe 7 or 8. Most other people only think they know. One of my favorite answers is that I was a hospital corpsman in Viet Nam. This works on young folks who don’t know I’m not quite old enough to have gone to ‘Nam. Another answer is that I’m a Freelance Gynecologist:)

2. As a GM, what is the single, evilist, most horrible thing you have ever done to a player, that you feel good about having done?

The player was a loudmouthed, argumentative dickhead who just happened to have a 12th level fighter/thief that he really loved. After about 3-4 sessions with this asshole, I began setting him up for a long hard fall. When the fateful session came, he was slowly and systematicly stripped of his magic items, potions, loot, armor, weapons and, eventually, 10 of his 12 levels. Oh, yeah, and one of his eyes. Also, he was cursed. The dickhead player was close to tears. He never played with us again. And there was much rejoicing.

3. Favorite dish containing meat?

Hmmm…that’s a toughy…probably tacos.

4. What is the single most wretched experience you have EVER had within a roleplaying game?

Playing a session of Champions with a group of rules lawyers.

5. Name one art form that you don’t currently practice, but always wished you could.

Assuming music is not included, only visual arts, I’d take almost any, since I cannot even draw a stick figure. To be specific tho, I’d like to be able to draw.

IF music is included, then I’d like to be able to play piano.

The Ice Cream Dwarves Hate The Pancake Goblins

…it has something to do with enchanted syrup.

The Adventure Building Poll, Third Phase: The Army Of Terror

During a pitched battle with the attacking Aztec Mummies, Our Heroes discover that immersion in water will paralyze these horrid undead long enough to rip out their withered hearts. The forces of good triumph.

Later, the group splits up, half going with El Santo and half going off to follow some keads with La Bruja Blanca. Not long after the split, El Santo is attacked by eagle sized vampire bats. Fortunately, luck is on the side of Good and the group escapes by using an old tunnel.

Meanwhile, the other group finds out that even as he is growing more powerful, the Super Creeper is starting to deteriorate. His skin is rotting and he is beginning to look zombielike. This may give them a clue on how to destroy him.

Also, in twin strokes of luck, both groups find out that Nazis have arrived in Mexico City. These Nazis mean to kill the Super Creeper AND the Our Heroes.

Another poll later today/tonight.

If Adventure Has A Name, It Must Be…ADVENTURE!

…sheesh, do I have to explain everything?

Grace and I figured something out after watching “Heroes” Monday night: Claire, who heals really fast and is a virgin, WILL ALWAYS BE A VIRGIN. Well, physically, anyway. After every romp in the hay, her hymen will grow back. Grace’s reaction to that whole idea: “To hell with that. No fucking way!”

Also, we have learned in recent episodes that Claire cannot get drunk, no matter how much she drinks. So, no getting drunk and losing her cherry for Claire. It’s probably for the best that she missed her senior prom.

The Diagon Alley Cat Blues

…who knew that Arthur Weasley could play such a wicked sax?

The Second Website Poll

Yes, I have another website poll for you to take, Gentle Readers. this one gets into a bit more of the specifics of things. Thank you in advance for your participation.

But first, some information. Longer pieces of writing, such as world/setting descriptions, will be presented in smaller pieces, such as General Description, Geography, History, People, etc, etc. Audience participation is these longer pieces will be limited to selecting the genre or sub genre. The exception to this will be 1 or 2 serial form stories (such as On The Road With Violet, when you will get to vote on each chapter.

Once a longer form piece is done, I expect it will be put up for sale as a PDF. Such PDF products will include more content (probably much more) than was available on the website.

Shorter form pieces (Characters, Creatures, Stuff, Adventure Seeds, etc.) will be split between the free side and the pay/donation side. Most likely, this will be evenly done. One free, one pay.

Con reports, rants, etc, will always be free, as will short humor pieces.

If I’ve left anything out in the above or on the poll, please let me know.

More bloggage later.

R.I.P. Aunt Shirley

This morning, at about 2:30, Grace’s cell phone rang. By the time she woke up, the call was dropped, but I knew what it was about. My Aunt Shirley had died. At 8:10 this morning, my mom called again to confirm it. An infection that had popped up earlier in the month and had necessitated the amputation of one leg about 10 days ago finally killed her.

Aunt Shirley was mom’s younger sister and my favorite aunt. She was big and boisterous and opinionated and always a lot of fun. She and her family were at our house all the time when I was growing up. I’ll miss her.

Pogobat Sunrise

… no, I don’t know what a pogobat is

The Adventure Building Poll, Third Phase: The Army Of Terror

In this thrilling episode of our adventure, the meeting between Our Heroes, El Santo and La Bruja Blanca is suddenly disrupted by an attacking group of six Aztec Mummies. During the fight, the Good Guys will hear the maniacal laughing of the Super Creeper, but will not be able to see him.

And now, more pollage…

Wanted: Dancing Elks

…must have own tap shoes

Book Reviews: Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders andSherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery both by Larry Millett

These two books are, respectively, numbers 2&3 in a five part series by Larry Millett that tells the story of Holmes and Watson’s adventures in America, primarily in Minnesota around the St. Paul area.

In Ice Palace Murders, set in 1896, the Great Detective is called to St. Paul to look into the disappearance, then murder of a wealthy young man from one of the cities most powerful families. This book introduces Shadwell Rafferty, an Irish saloon keeper and part time detective who proves to be Holmes mental equal. It’s great fun to watch these two men, so different in most other ways, one up each other in the mystery busting game. Although I had the murderer figured out by about the 2/3 mark, this book was still an excellent read.

Rune Stone Mystery is set in 1899 and once again, Holmes and Watson are off to Minnesota. This time, however, it is at the behest of King Oskar II of Sweden, who wants proof that a recently discovered slab of stone covered in runes is really of Viking origin. Naturally, there is a murder…several in fact…and then the game is afoot. Aided once again by Shadwell Rafferty, Holmes unravels a twisted mass of clues to solve the case. There are some really great characters introduced in this story and I didn’t figure out who the killer actually was until he got what was coming to him.

Millett does Holmes & Watson proud and I highly recommend these books. I can hardly wait to read the rest of the series.

The Rare And Beautiful Bug Eyed Mouse Ferret Of Potawango Island

…they’re tiny, but creepy looking

These Dreams Go On When I Close My Eyes

A pox upon all alarm clocks, I say! Three times this week, that infernal device has awakened me from a great dream. The first time, I was dreaming about having hot jungle monkey sex with Alyssa Milano. The second dream, the next morning, found me flying Superman style over San Francisco while eating an eclair. A COCONUT ECLAIR! Finally, this morning, I was smack in the middle of a dream about winning many tens of thousands of dollars in some sort of contest. Just as Grace and I were dancing about merrily in a big pile o’ money, that cursed timepiece rudely brought me back into the land of wakefullness and poverty.

Fuck you, alarm clock! Where you a human, my hands would still be tightly gripping your throat while I laughed maniacally. Instead, I’m awake and jonesing for a coconut eclair.

In The End, We Decided That The Eels Were A Bad Idea

…and the exploding watermelon was not well thought out

The Adventure Building Poll, Third Phase: The Army Of Terror

Our Heroes, having pursued the Super Creeper to Mexico City, learn from Federal Agents Robles & Moreno that panic is sweeping the city and there has already been one attemp on the life of El Santo. Fortunately, the plot was foiled by that vivacious vigilante, La Bruja Blanca. The feds assure Our Heroes that they have everything under control. Our Heroes, knowing that government agents are as much hindrance as help, just smile and nod.

Later, they meet up with El Santo and La Bruja Blanca near an abandoned church just outside the city. No sooner have they agreed to work together, with El Santo acting as a sort of living target/bait, when the shit hits the fan.

Mrs. Wangdoodle Goes Down Under

…to see the funny animals

The Website Poll Reviewed

First off, thank you to the ten of you who took the poll. It helped me figure some things out and helped me know what I was not clear on when I composed said poll. There will be another poll about things website related coming soon. For now tho, let’s look at your answers…

Would you be interested in a website by me featuring roleplaying stuff, short speculative fiction, humorous writings and MAYBE a webcomic?

Yes: 7 (70.0%) Maybe: 3 (30.0%)

Since most of you voted yes and nobody voted no, I am feeling encouraged about this website idea.

Considering that I have a day job, wife, etc, How often would you like to see the site updated?

2-3 times a week: 3 (30.0%)

Once a week: 6 (60.0%)

A few times a month: 1 (10.0%)

The winner is once a week, altho to be honest, I’d probably do twice weekly updates.

Now, what stuff would you most like to see me put on the site?

RPG Worlds/Settings/Cultures: 10 (100.0%)

Humor pieces: 9 (90.0%)

Characters: 8 (80.0%)

Adventure Seeds (a few sentences long): 7 (70.0%)

Adventure Frameworks (more detailed than seeds, but very open ended): 7 (70.0%)

Con reports, with pictures/video: 7 (70.0%)

Generally useful and/or off the wall ideas: 7 (70.0%)

Stuff (gadgets, spells, etc, etc): 6 (60.0%)

Short fiction of a fantasy/science fiction/pulp/whatever nature: 6 (60.0%)

A webcomic: 6 (60.0%)

Places: 5 (50.0%)

Creatures: 5 (50.0%)

Here we start hitting the meaty questions. All of you want to see settings/worlds/cultures for RPGs, so that will be priority one, but I was surprised that humor pieces came in second. Still, I am nothing if not a spinner of funny stories, so they will be a big part of the site.

Characters came in a strong third, which is good because I have a shitload of them to share:) Adventure seeds & frameworks, con reports and generally useful ideas were all big winners with y’all. Everything else got near or exactly half your votes. I’m glad nothing was rejected outright.

You do realize that the gaming stuff will be rules free, right?

That’s ok by me, Doc: 9 (100.0%)

Somebody didn’t vote on this one, but it’s still apparent that no rules is ok with you.

I’m thinking of starting with one free goodie for each one you have to donate to see. Sound ok to you?

Yep: 9 (90.0%)

Nope: 1 (10.0%)

So, majority here is in favor of the 1 to one ratio. Good, cos so am I…at least at first.

Speaking of the donation thing, the current formula idea is: more $$ = more stuff + more time to see the pay area. Good idea?

Yeah, sounds right: 5 (50.0%)

Clarify this, please: 5 (50.0%)

Ok, this needs clarifying. The idea, which could change greatly before things go live, is that the more money I get, the more stuff I put up and the longer donaters will have access to the stuff that isn’t free. For example…

So, let’s say that the first month, I get $100 donated. That might prompt me to put up 2-3 new things each week. BUT, of that $100, three folks donated $20 each, three more donated $5 and everyone else coughed up a buck or two. The lowballers would get paid access for maybe 4 days. The $5 crowd might get access for 10 days. But the $20 high rollers would get acces for the whole month, plus maybe some cool bonus stuff.

I should also note that if the site ever brought in enough to equal my shitty day job, I’d update at least 3 times a week, create special super secret goodies and give donaters a discount on anything that got compiled into a PDF for sale at RPGNow/Drive Thru RPG.

One more thing to point out quickly, altho I’ll expand upon it in the next poll, is that this website will also use variations on both Greg Stolze’s Ransom method and Wolfgang Bauer’s Open Design…especially the latter, since I want to continue the audience participation that I’ve started on here.

Oh yeah, would you like the site to have forums?

Sure: 4 (40.0%)

No: 2 (20.0%)

Whatever you want: 4 (40.0%)

Hmmm, mixed reviews here. I might just go with a connected LiveJournal or a something, instead of forums.

Finally, we come to the subject of filthy lucre. How much would you consider donating for each month of access to everything, free and pay?

$5.00 or less: 1 (10.0%)

$5.00-$10.00: 2 (20.0%)

Not a damned cent, you capitalist motherfucker!: 1 (10.0%)

I’d have to see what your offering, cutie: 6 (60.0%)

Truth to tell, the wait and see route is how I would go, too. I reckon the first month, like a first dose of heroin, will be free with the hope you’ll get addicted to it. After that, it’s up to you, the donating public.

As I said earlier, this poll has gotten me clear on some things and thinking about other things. The next poll will come along once I’ve done some cogitatin’.

No Pokey Fingers In The Morning!

…even in dreams

Insert comment here about how much Mondays blow.

So, if you have not taken a look at my Website Poll, please do. If you have, thank you. A new, more detailed poll on the same subject will go up in a day or two.

Speaking of polls, the Adventure Creation Poll will continue tonight. What fun pulpy action awaits Our Heroes in Mexico City? Tune in tonight to find out!

Gotta go get barbecued in the UVB Chamber Of Doom. More blogging later.

This Just In: Tom Lehrer Is Poisoned By Angry Pigeons

…you don’t EVEN want to know what the tango dancers did to him

Damn! My mug of tea this morning was so strong that I almost sent it off to perform 12 labors, rather than drink it.

The Adventure Building Poll, Second Phase: The Army Of Terror

Here are the latest poll results.

The terror hungry monster is part man, part spider. It kills several Nazis, and nearly kills Our Heroes, before being apparently destroyed by high frequency sound waves. Unfortunately, those same sonic waves have triggered the volcanic activity of the island and hot magma is starting to bubble up in many places. This will, within a day or so, cause the caldera to fill with lava. Despite some violent earthquakes, the island does not sink.

With Our Heroes in hot pusuit, the Super Creeper…who could be Karloff…escapes the island in a plane. Our Heroes are mere minutes behind him, but their plane is much slower. In a last minute stroke of good luck, a dying Nazi tells them that the Super creeper is heading for Mexico City.

More blogging and polling tonight.

Chapter 357: In Which Our Hero Inadverdently Triggers A Werewolf Apocalypse

…it’s time to move on from zombies and vampires

The above lycanthropic micro-rant was inspired by cappadocius

Adventure Poll Update: 12 of you have voted. More of you should. Poll will close tonight.

Website Stuff: I have found that my stores of gaming writing stuff are indeed of legendary proportions. I should be able to start the website with lots of gaming goodness. Actual startup of the site will depend upon My Sweet Angel, Grace. She is a very busy and very stressed woman these days, but I think this weekend will see our first sit down discussion about the site. Mostly, that means I tell her what I want and she replies to me in a mix of English and Techese, to which I mostly nod as tho I understand her.

Expect a poll about the website very soon. I need to get a hook on what people want to see and/or lay down cash for.

Gotta get ready for work. More blogging later.

Are Two Women Aged 20 The Equal Of One Woman Aged 40?

…I think not, but I’d really have to try all three:)

Ugh! Slept for shit last night due to going to bed at 1 AM and then being awakened 4 times throughout the night. Winker woke me twice, Grace woke me once and that middle aged need to get up and take a leak got me once. It’s gonna be a long day.

In the nearly inevitable other news, I’ve decided to re-read books I’ve only read once or haven’t read in at least 25-30 years. First up is The Hobbit, followed by The Lord Of The Rings. I’ve only read them once, back in late September 1976, while I was waiting to get out of the Navy. Thanks to some creative thinking and decisive action, I managed to have 10 days with nothing to do before I got out on October 4, so among other things, I read those books. It will be interesting to read them again at a more leisurely pace (I read them in 4 days flat the first time) and with movie images now firmly burned into my brain.

In final news, I still have not watched Doctor Horrible’s Sing Along Blog yet. Will do that tonight.

The Place Where Kittens Have Tentacles And Ducklings Eat Your Eyes

…EWWWWWWW!

Stuff On A Sunday Morning

1: When I announced the upcoming RPG related website, I forgot to mention that everything I’ll be putting up there will be system free. That’s right, folks, no system mechanics to be found on any of it. No D&D of any flavor…no GURPS…no HERO…no any rules systems. Just delicious content, free of rules crap. Why? In a nutshell: because gamers are a very diverse lot and any rules system I might pick would piss off somebody. Also, I hate fucking around with rules. Finally, it pleases me to do it this way, which in the end is the most important thing.

2: Despite having a couple of mystery shops and a bunch of grocery shopping to do, today is the day I begin Garden Renovation Project #1 (code name: Bouncing Algae). This will entail, over the next 4-5 months, digging up all the plants I don’t want dead, then killing everything else (99% of which will be weeds), then redoing the entire front and east side gardens, including adding hardscape features and a 15′ x 12′ “dog yard”.

3: The west side yard will get redone later in the spring. The back yard (insert shudders of fear here) will get slowly renovated between now and this time next year. Or not.

4: I must harvest some herbs today. Sweet basil, thai basil, chocolate mints, peppermint, chives, French tarragon and sage are all on the list.

5: Is there anything cuter/funnier than watching dogs & cats making noises and/or movements in their sleep? I’m thinking Lucy is chasing that big red cat that lives next door:)

6: My brekky is done, my tea mug is drained…I must go now and enter that great barroom brawl that is life. More blogalogabligblog later.

Not In This Issue: Gym Spocks, Global Worming, Sax & Violins, LOLrats Or Buysexuality

…man, even for me that was bad

Ok, so here is my big announcement, followed by a bunch of other stuff behind the cut.

I’m going to put up a website that will have a big bunch of RPG related stuff on it. Characters, settings, gadgets, creatures, cultures, adventure seeds, adventure frameworks, series ideas and musings based on 33 years as a (mostly GMing) roleplayer. Some of what I put up will be free and some of what I put up will require payment. Right now, I’d guess that it’ll be a 50/50 split. You’ll also be able to just plain donate funds to keep things going and new stuff coming. LJ Friends, please note that some of what will be on the website will be stuff I’ve done here over the years…but it will be expanded, polished and better.

But that’s not all. I’ve got a bunch of fiction bits on my computer and I’ll be posting short stories. I also have a bunch of scripts for a webcomic, which I may do either on my own (no small feat since I have a -10 when it comes to the graphic arts) or with the aid of a cartoonist (if you are a cartoonist, let me know if yer interested).

I’ll probably also include some humor pieces and the odd rant.

And anything else even remotely gaming related.

So that’s it. Once things are up and running, I’ll let y’all know so you can visit the site and decide if it’s worth a buck or two.

Now, if you want to read WHY I’m doing all this, go behind the cut.

Right this way, folks!

My Zombie Romance

…it was great until she tried to eat my brain

The Adventure Building Poll, Second Phase: The Army Of Terror

By overwhelming vote, the Nazi bastards have built their Creeper training center in the caldera of a dormant volcano. Naturally, after a series of thrilling brushes with death, Our Heroes infiltrate the base.

But wait! Some of the good guys have realized that this whole island is more geologically unstable than Herr professor Baden realizes.

Meanwhile, Baden is testing a new terror gas on hapless prisoners.

And then, the strange killings start. Killings that leave the victim’s corpse petrified and with the most terrible looks on their faces…and their eyes melted.

Next poll tomorrow.