The Family Friendly, Yet Way Terrifying, Story Of Mostly Purple Patty And Evil Zombie Santa Claus

…co-starring her Grandpa Boris

Hello, children! It has been a battle these past couple of days between your kindly old Uncle Doc and LiveJournal and this poor old laptop. Many times have I been nearly ready to throw the laptop away and then crush LiveJournal HQ under my sandaled feet.

Seems to be an LJ vs Opera problem. On Firefox now.

After some thought and comments by both doc_mystery and others, I’m scrapping the idea of a website for my writing in favor of a monthly PDF E-zine with a linked blog allowing for audience participation and comments. More details in the following poll.

Worm Salad On A Stick

…yum yum

Hot Stuff, with Lobster Sauce

1: My last dream before waking up involved erupting volcanoes, tropical islands, gospel singing fish, stupid humans and an escape plane that started to come apart over the mainland. Pretty normal, by my standards.

2: My plan for the “Hogwarts” RPG series that should start the end of January is…

Muggles know all about Wizards, since this is still the same fantasy world we’ve been playing in.

There are races other than Human, most notably Elves, Dwarves and Halflings.

No Voldemort type of baddie, tho there is evil afoot.

The focus will be much more on being students and…

…exploring Hogwarts itself, which is a humongous castle (and grounds) that has survived since before the Wizard Wars 500 years earlier.

Quidditch is WAY different. Now, it’s more like a cross between golf & rollerderby played in an X-Men style Danger Room.

3: I’m halfway thru “The Fellowship of the Ring”, which I’m really only reading a few pages of every day. I had forgotten how much Professor Tolkien liked telling the reader how EVERY FRIGGING PERSON, PLACE AND THING had 3-4 tonguetwisting names. Still, it’s a fun read, especially as I mentally compare it to the movie.

4: My writing prep for the Big Website Debut continues. I have added at least a few sentences to all of the characters I did back in 2006 and in some cases, I have expanded them greatly. Same goes for the locations. I’m now starting on some creatures and devices.

5: Speaking of the Big Website Debut, we are looking at early to mid January. Much depends upon how much time my Overworked Cutie Pie can devote to getting it set up.

More bloggage later.

The Migration Of The Dancing Elks

…it’s a 200,000 elk conga line

Stuff…IN 3D!!!

1: Grace and I both had to work on our anniversary yesterday, but when I got home, I whipped up a dinner of pork chops, mashed potatos, gravy, spinach and tapioca pudding for dinner. It was very filling and delicious.

2: Your Humble Narrator has been working on content for the new website. I’ve polished and expanded characters from my “365 Days, 365 Characters/Locations” pieces on LJ back in 2006. I’ve written outlines for about 4 short stories, including one featuring Sherlock Holmes. I’ve gone through a couple of world settings that need expansion and rewriting. And finally, I’ve been expanding and rewriting “On the Road With Violet”, which is looking pretty good for the serial fiction category.

3: In canine news, every month finds Lucy becoming more adapted to our household. She is much more tolerant and less afraid of Winker now. As for Grace and I, well, we are her favorite Mom & Dad in the whole universe and she is always ready for love and tummy rubs. We still need to get her better socialized with other humans and animals, but on the whole, Lucy is way better than when we first brought her home.

4: Going to apply for a job in a couple of hours. More on that if it pans out.

Now, breakfast and shower. More blog-o-rama later.

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.

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’.