Pork Tower

…NOT a new comic strip from John Kovalic

After The Change Came

Series 3

A Day & Night For Getting One’s Game On

If this post stops abruptly, it’s because I’ve fallen asleep after a day on the go. Here’s the fast recap of what went down for me at QuestCon today.

Breakfast with friends at Magic Waffles.

Listened to Roscoe’s keynote speech. He did great.

Moderated the “Pulp Era Quest Design” seminar. It went very well.

Had an hour in the Dealer’s Room, meeting friends and buying stuff. Fave purchase: A full on replica of the Fire Warrior armor from the original QuestWorld series. It cost more than the first 4 cars I ever owned.

Went to the big “QuestWorld Upgrade 3 Update” event. Biggest news of the very little they had is that there will now be single world Quest clusters and the first ones will all be direct ports of the oldest D&D modules! I think many of us oldsters came near to fainting. Still no taking weapons from one world to another, which I think is a good move.

Took part in the “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence” session, with Roscoe and several other folks. Packed house for it and after we covered all of the possible rumors, we started making up really strange ones. The speculation about “Naked Questing” was pretty funny.

Ate lunch with Spike, then checked in with Grace and the sprouts. They were just back from a picnic with Gigi & the pups and my mom & dad.

Playtested one of the surreal Quests from Hot Moon Studios out of Nigeria. All I can say is that Salvatore Dali would have wept with joy. Well, that and if you play this Quest, you never need use hallucinogens.

More time in the Dealer’s Room yakking. Interestingly, found out that my friend Jodi has decided to emigrate to Mars as soon as they allow it. We’ll all miss seeing her at cons.

Dinner with Roscoe & Spike at a little Italian place a couple miles from the con. We swapped stories from our day and discussed what might lay ahead at the Speed Challenge tonight.

Speed Challenge Time! First off, I’ve gotta say that Atlas Games outdid themselves on this Quest. The setting was, of course, The Edge on Al Amarja and it was full blown old school OTE, folks. We were looking to find the Bowl of Truth, but so was every conspiracy on the island. Our characters were a Mover Cell, but we had ties to the Cut-Ups. Yes, at one point we did meet the Cut-Up version of me. That was strange, since he looked like the pre-Change me. Anyway, we completed the Quest in 7 hours, 34 minutes, 26 seconds. This got us (Team Bandana Split) fourth place. Third Place went to the former champs, Team Deadly Sweetness and Second Place went to the folks from Cork, Ireland, Team Salty Dogs. The winning team? Why, that was the team Lily and Marty were on, Team Hella Kitty. Their time of 6 hours 49 minutes, 12 seconds beat the Salty Dogs by 3 minutes, 4 seconds. Well done, kids!

After that, there came a couple hours of drinking and recapping and now will come the sleeping. Doc out.

The Mystery Of The Five Golden Frogs

… featuring that inscrutable detective, Chanley Charles

After The Change Came

Series 3

A Day For Geeking Out

As I post this, Roscoe, Ben and I are on the train to San Francisco for QuestCon. Once we hit the City, we’ll meet up with our friend Spike, with whom we’ll be sharing a suite. Gigi, Lily & Grace will drop into the virtual con later today and many of my East Coast & Midwest friends are at the live con in Chicago. Many more friends are at live QuestCons around the world. Many more will be at the virtual con.

As with previous years, both Roscoe and I will be on live panels that will be carried on the net as they happen. In addition, Roscoe will be giving the keynote speech at the Quest Designer’s Conference. That’s my son right there!

Spike, who is relatively new to the design side of QuestWorld, will be on a couple of panels, too.

Our panels, speeches, etc are as follows…

Roscoe: Keynote speech, “Tips & Tricks for WorldMaker 5”, “My Favorite Quest”, “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence”, “Quests For Non-Humanoids”, “What’s New At ManDog Game Design” and the ever popular “QuestWorld Year In Review”

Me: “Pulp Era Quest Design”, “…And That’s When It All Went South On Us”, “QuestWorld 3: Let The Rumor Mill Commence”, “What’s New At ManDog Game Design”, “Mining Pre-Change Adventures For QuestWorld”, and “QuestWorld Year In Review”.

Spike: “Print Editors Turn QuestWorld Troubleshooters”, “Mining Pre-Change Adventures For QuestWorld”, and “QuestWorld Year In Review”.

Speaking of the just barely announced third upgrade of QuestWorld, it’s due in about 6 months. Roscoe has been asked to be on the design team, but beyond that, it’s non-disclosure city. The hot rumor about QW3 (as of a day ago) is that it will allow for longer and more complex quests in larger areas. That seems pretty logical. The rumor of single world quest clusters is more of a maybe.

I’ll post more from the con later.

Yule Be Sorry!

…sorry, had to be done.

I’ve reposted this entry every few years since 2004, both because it is fun and in memory of our late dog, Roscoe. Enjoy.

The Twelve Dog Days Of Christmas
Words by Roscoe T. Cross

“On the first day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the second day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the third day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the fourth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the sixth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the seventh day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the eighth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the tenth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the eleventh day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…eleven kids to pet me, ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…twelve bellyrubs, eleven kids to pet me, ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

Dark Green Happy Soup

…just like our mom unit used to make

Ho ho bloody ho! Here’s that 12 Days of Xmas meme.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, doccross sent to me…

Twelve pigs drumming
Eleven rpgs writing
Ten chiles a-gardening
Nine animals cooking
Eight zoos a-reading
Seven blues a-travelling
Six parrots a-hiking
Five ani-i-i-imated cartoons
Four wild animals
Three chicken tractors
Two roleplaying games
…and a toon in a nanotechnology.

Get your own Twelve Days:

Toons with nanotechnology? No good can come of that!

And for those who didn’t see it a couple of years ago, here is a doggy take on the 12 Days thing.

The Twelve Dog Days Of Christmas

Words by Roscoe T. Cross (1990-2005)

“On the first day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the second day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the third day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the fourth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the fifth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the sixth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the seventh day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the eighth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the ninth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the tenth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the eleventh day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…eleven kids to pet me, ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

“On the twelfth day of Christmas, my humans gave to me…twelve bellyrubs, eleven kids to pet me, ten pounds of hot dogs, nine cars to ride in, eight bitches in heat, seven bowls of dog rice, six beds to sleep on, five butts to sniff, four yummy bratwursts, three cats to woof at, two pounds of meat and a tree on which I could pee!”

The Sun Is The Same, In A Relative Way

…but you’re older

Tomorrow will mark one year since Roscoe died. I had kinda considered staying home from work with a bottle of tequila, but several things changed my mind. Can’t afford to lose a day of work, can’t drink like I used to, don’t want to upset Grace and Roscoe never did like tequila anyway, being a confirmed scotch drinker. So instead I’ll just go about my daily biz and know that now, once the one year mark has passed, the painful memories will truly begin to fade into the past.

I miss you, buddy. You were a helluva dog.

R. I. P. Roscoe Tiberius Cross (1990-2005)

…our boy

After several months of battling both a heart murmur and Cushing’s Syndrome, our sweet boy’s health took a sharp turn for the worse. This morning, at 9:45 AM, Roscoe was put to sleep by his vet.

Roscoe was about 10 when we adopted him and was an old set in his ways fart. He was also full of love and made us laugh. He was a friendly guy, unless you were a cat. Even then, he’d mostly just give a woof or two, then walk on.

He was a very good boy and we miss him terribly.

Edit from November 23. 2014: It is over a 9.5 years since Roscoe died and it still hurts me to read his obit up there. I miss you, old buddy.

Water Go Down The Hole!

Quote courtesy of Baby Plucky Duck on “Tiny Toon Adventures”

Holy shit! Just as few minutes ago the sky just opened up and dumped more rain in about 10 minutes than I’ve ever seen…even when I was in the tropics. Knocked out the power to everyone except us, looks like. And HAIL fell…a bunch of it. Hope it doesn’t damage my spinach and lettuce.

Roscoe got up outta bed in the middle of all that and wanted to go out and pee. I opened the front door for him (he was on a 16 foot leash) and he looked at the Weather From Hell and then gave me a “You have GOT to be shitting me” look…and then he peed on the porch. Which is what I would have done in his place.

Oh yeah, summer and the dry heat just can’t come fast enough for me.