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.