Three Cute Chicks And A Fat Guy In Drag

…Halloween, 1978

World Building Game News

1: smalley_smoot, if you have recovered from your illness, I need your turn.

2:  All of you will get a GM’s reply to your turns (telling you how things went, plus any other info about what happened in/around your village) and then a Royal Reply to your actual turn letter.

3: I’ll be shortening the time from when you get your Royal reply to when I want your next turn letter from 3 weeks to 2 weeks. I have no doubt that this will be plenty of time.

That is all.

The Doclopedia

About this character:  This week, our theme is Pulp Era Women and our first tough skirt is a high flying two fisted adventurer.

#15: Daisy O’Donnell

Stats (using a d10)
Physical: 7
Mental: 7
Psychic: 2
Magical: 0

Skills:  Aviator (2d8)  Aviation Mechanic (3d4)  Brawling (2d6)  Intimidation (2d4)  Pistol (2d6)  Language, Spanish (2d6)  Language, French (2d4)

Daisy’s dad, Will O’Donnell, was a WWI flying ace and he taught his only child everything he knows about flying airplanes. Nowadays (1933), the two of them (with help from Daisy’s mom, Erin, and her mechanic uncle, Sean) run “Lucky Ace Aviation” out of Austin, Texas. Daisy takes jobs flying passengers and freight anywhere in the world. She has also been known to hire herself out for more “interesting” jobs…jobs where the risks are as high as the potential rewards. When she takes these side jobs, she is usually accompanied by her co-pilot/boyfriend Charlie “Cowboy” Haggard and her best friend/mechanic Deb Dugan.

In her spare time, Patsy likes drinking, dancing, shooting the breeze with other pilots and “turning Charlie every which way but loose”

Dark Matter Aardvarks

…they’re heavy, man

World Building Game Stuff

 Ok, guys, submit your first months report. Arn’s report is below, so use it as an example when posting your reports.

Monthly Report #1

Your Highness,

I am glad to hear that things are going well back home. Everyone here misses the old country, but we are also finding much to love here in our new lands. What follows is my monthly report. As you will see, we are making great progress already, with much more to come. Indeed, I expect a first shipment of goods to find It’s way to you in about 60 days. I am sure you will be pleased.

Our military detachment, under the leadership of General Warren, has not only done an excellent job of providing security, but has proven quite useful in the digging of irrigation canals to our fields and pastures. As per our orders, a squad of 7 soldiers spent a week doing mapping and exploration in the forests and hills to the north of us. They took with them Mr. Xanders (a blacksmith/miner) and Miss Goldeneye (our apprentice mage). While no magical energies were detected, Mr. Xanders did not several ore deposits that might prove worthy of further investigation. Many new animals and plants were sighted, as were several new streams.

Our farmers tell me that this rich soil will yield bumper crops this year. While our vintner, Mrs. Blaine, will have to wait until next year for a proper crop of wine grapes, she reckons that she should be able to produce several barrels of wild berry wine this fall. Our barley and hop crops are growing well enough to make our brewers, Mr. & Mrs. Wickett, positively giddy with anticipation. They have already revised the size of their brewhouse.

Master Pandemonius, our Wizard, has finished his daily enchantment of the southern wall of the village. He assures me now it will be many times stronger and fire resistant than any normal wooden wall. He is about to start on the western wall, with the remaining walls following after that.

Our engineers, builders and lumbermen are well into the construction of a bridge across the Swift River, which lies to our northwest. It will take near 6 months to build, but will open up new farming and grazing areas.

The Howard family (our millers), along with some help from the military and our builders, are more than halfway towards finishing our grain mill. Once it is finished, it will be ready to handle our summer grain crop.

Our other folk, from our teachers to our hunters & fisherman, are keeping quite busy. There is much to do here and they are eager to do their part.

Two days ago, I sent a soldier (Corporal Timmins) and Mr. Xanders back into the hills to give those ore deposits a closer look. They suspect their might be a silver vein nearby.

As for my own progress, I am kept busy both running the village and running my vegetable farm. I expect great things from both over the next year. I await any orders you may have and I am, as always,

Your Humble Servant

The Incredible Adventures Of Dr. Tempest During His Trip To Mars

…from the October, 1897 issue

Message to my World Building Game Players

I’m delaying posting Arn’s turn until tomorrow afternoon, so you all get an extra day to get your turns ready.

The Doclopedia

About this character:  This character popped up as an NPC in my OTE based Special X Unit supernatural investigators game. As you can guess, he was partially based on my dog, Roscoe.

#10: Special Agent Roscoe, FBI

FBI agent and paranormal investigator

Medium sized Basset Hound/Beagle mix, 7 years old, 50 pounds, reddish brown & white coat, brown eyes, long ears (right one has a small bullet hole in it), does not wear a collar

Agent Roscoe is one of two non-human agents assigned to Special X Unit of the FBI. His duties usually involve reconnaissance, tracking and surveillance, but he also has extensive knowledge in the fields of cryptozoology and animal behavior. He became an FBI agent at age 18 months and joined the X Unit shortly after his second birthday. He loves his job.

Although he has some telekinetic power, Roscoe only uses it in times of great peril, since the use of it leaves him very tired. Lacking opposable thumbs, Roscoe does not carry a gun. However, if needs be, he can administer a very painful bite. Like both The Andalusia Dog and the evil Rex, Roscoe is a talking dog. In fact, besides English, he is fluent in Spanish, French, Russian and Japanese..

In his spare time, Agent Roscoe enjoys people food, chasing bitches, reggae music, reading pulp magazine reprints and napping.


Incredible Senses (4 dice) Roscoe has superior senses of smell, taste and hearing. (He’s a dog)

Inconspicious (3 dice)  Roscoe can go many places where a human would be noticed right away. (He’s a dog)

Stamina (3 dice) Both bassets and beagles have great stamina when tracking their prey. (He’s a dog)


Non-humanoid Form  (3 dice)  While being a dog has many advantages, it does have some severe drawbacks. The most notable would be no hands/thumbs. (He’s a dog)


The Rare And Colorful Feathered Tree Pig Of Potawango Island

…don’t walk under the trees they live in…messy

About this character: This was, as near as I can remember, the first Toon character I ever created.

The Doclopedia #6
My Earliest RPG Characters: Willy Wabbit

Madcap Toon
Muscle: 7
Smarts: 9
Zip: 8
Chutzpah: 9Shticks: Quick Change/Disguise, Bag of Many ThingsBeliefs & Goals: Everybody else is a chump, so you can feel free to mess with them. Being crazy is FUN! Drop everything if you see any yummy carrots. Stay away from cops and dogs.

Natural Enemies: Dogs, Cops, Psychiatrists

Background: Willy is a small white rabbit who wears green sneakers and a green vest. He is nuttier than a bag of walnuts and hyperactive to boot. Despite his strong addiction to carrots, Willy is very hard to trap, much to the dismay of the local police. He carries a big mallet, chewing gum and dynamite in his Back Pocket.

In his spare time, Willy likes eating carrots, carrot cake, glazed carrots, mashed carrots and carrot cookies with a big glass of carrot juice.

NOTE TO MY WORLD BUILDING GAME PLAYERS:  Your first monthly report will be due on Friday. Post it as a reply to my LJ that day. I’ll post Arn’s monthly report (since he gave it to me yesterday after our game session) as an example in the Friday LJ.

And now, I’m off to pick up my new glasses, then head to work.

Seriously Tripped Up By A Pair Of Big Blue Eyes

…dames…what ya gonna do?

Hey, World Building Game Players, here are your General Orders!

Mayoral Duty Orders

Effective Immediately


My Friend,


It is with great pleasure and the utmost confidence in your abilities that I now write these orders that officially begin your tenure as Mayor of our new mainland outpost. Our fellow citizens and our allies in other countries share my feelings, you can be sure. The hard work of all of the First Settlers will be a source of pride to us for many generations to come.


As you know, the chosen area was scouted remotely by our Master Wizards. Using a variety of devices, they have found you a place far from home that should be ideal for farming and building a village. In addition, you have plenty of water, nearby forests and a lack of any dangerous peoples or animals nearby.


You are lucky in that your village and the surrounding farmlands have been started for you, once again via the talents of our Wizards. This should give you a good head start on things. I have included a map of the village and surrounding area with these orders. And now, on to your General Orders.


1: Your primary mission is to establish a self supporting colony that will be, in no less than 1 and no more than 2 years, capable of supporting the initial settlers AND 100 new settlers. After that, you should expect a minimum of 100 new settlers per year.


2: Once you have achieved self sufficiency, you shall begin working towards establishing a surplus of good for trade with us here at home, as well as with our allies.


3: You will seek out valuable resources and exploit them for both the benefit of your colony and trade with others. This shall include, but by no means be limited to, minerals, wildlife, forest products, plant life, sources of mana and ancient artifacts.


4: You will, as you see fit, establish both outlying hamlets and military outposts.


5: You will, as time and resources permit. do cursory exploration of the wilderness around your village. However, any in depth explorations will be done by either a Scout Force detachment or by the Corps of Discovery (if they are nearby at the time).


6: You will assign people to catalog and get samples of the geology, plants and animals in the area.


7: You will act as a Diplomat in any peaceful encounters with new civilizations. In less peaceful encounters, you shall consult with your Military Commander on an appropriate course of action.


8: You will, at all times, act as an Agent of your Homeland and it’s People and Ruler.


So there you are. I rather envy you this new adventure. Go forth and prosper, my friend.

Ok, there ya go. If you have any questions, ask me. You will each get some orders specific to your Mayor…along with the above mentioned map…in a day or so.

As far as your first turn goes, You will simply write a letter to your Ruler telling him/her what each group of people (Farmers, Teachers, Military, etc) are doing for the next month. You need not go into alot of detail if it’s not really necessary. For example, Teachers will pretty much teach most of the time, so you’d just say something like “Our teachers continue to do an excellent job” or somesuch. If the Teachers do something else, like help catalog animals and plants, you can note that.

You have THREE WEEKS from today to get your reply back to me. Take your time and think things out…and have fun.

Doc Tempest And The Stairway To Heaven

…from the July 2008 issue

Ok, World Building Game players, I’ll have Mayoral Orders posted in a day or so. You will have up to 3 weeks to reply. No need to hurry. The Corps of Discovery portion of the game will start next week.

Grace and I have made a decision about our 2007 GenCon trip that, while sure to be fun, does border on madness a bit. More on that later.

Gotta go to bed now. More stuff later.

Riding A Harley Through The Dreamtime

…alone, cos this bike ain’t got a p pad.

World Bulding Game Update

mnemex snoozed and lost on getting info to me, so the entire Kartanian civilization was destroyed in a single night by the Evil Duck Brotherhood.

So, to my remaining 5 players…

smalley_smoot and doc_mystery still need to get their village population info in. And do put the replies on the same post  as the other Mayors did, gentlemen.

First turn will start with a letter from your King/Queen/Whatever, with your basic orders. You will reply to it and that will be your first turn. Then, after a couple weeks, I’ll do Turn 2. With any luck, things will progress smoothly and fun will be had by all.

On Friday, I will post Arn’s Adventurer Profile, thus allowing the rest of you to see the format I want. I’ll expect your Adventurer Profiles by the following Friday.

I will send pictures (with explanitory text) of your starting Village to you as soon as I get done creating all of them with Campaign Cartographer. After that, I’ll only send you pix every 6 turns or so.

It should be noted that, while your military detachment can and should do some cursory exploration of the area near your village, any in depth exploration will need to be done using the Adventuring Party (henceforth known as the Corps of Discovery) from the Adventuring part of the game. Please do understand that the services of the Corps of Discovery might be a long time coming, what with then out in the Great Unknown most of the time.

As always, if you have any questions, ask away.

And now, since I haven’t posted any song lyrics in awhile, here is a tune by Jethro Tull (from the “Aqualung” album) that very nicely sums up my feelings on the scourge that is organized religion.


When I was young and they packed me off to school
and taught me how not to play the game,
I didn’t mind if they groomed me for success,
or if they said that I was a fool.
So I left there in the morning
with their God tucked underneath my arm —
their half-assed smiles and the book of rules.
So I asked this God a question
and by way of firm reply,
He said — I’m not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
So to my old headmaster (and to anyone who cares):
before I’m through I’d like to say my prayers —
I don’t believe you:
you had the whole damn thing all wrong —
He’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.
Well you can excomunicate me on my way to Sunday school
and have all the bishops harmonize these lines —
how do you dare tell me that I’m my Father’s son
when that was just an accident of Birth.
I’d rather look around me — compose a better song
`cos that’s the honest measure of my worth.
In your pomp and all your glory you’re a poorer man than me,
as you lick the boots of death born out of fear.
I don’t believe you:
you had the whole damn thing all wrong —
He’s not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays.

Harry Potter And The Vibrating Broomstick

…Hermione stole it from him.

Doc Update

My leg infection is responding well to the antibiotics and all the resting I’ve been doing, so I’m back to work tomorrow. Hopefully, I’ll be back to my nightly walks by next weekend.

Picked the first of this years tomatoes, an orange hued smallish tomato variety called “Flamme”. Pretty tasty, more like a cherry tomato than a regular slicer.

The Mayoral part of the World Building Game will have it’s first for real turn in a few days. I’ll also send each Mayor a picture of the initial layout of their village. And speaking of those rascally Mayors…

MAYORS: Your village starts with 100 people…total…that includes children and soldiers. You must now tell me how many people work in how many professions. Generally, children are assumed to help in the family business, including the military (altho, of course, not as fighters). To help you out, here are Arn’s answers for the Village of Riverside.

Mayor Guy Martin: Village Population

25 Soldiers (1 Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 2 Sergeants, 4 Corporals, 16 Privates) 


30 Farmers (8 families)


2 Mages (1 Master Wizard, 1 Apprentice)


4 Blacksmiths/Engineers (1 family


2 Healers (husband & wife)


4 Millers (1 family)


10 Builders (3 families)


3 Hunters/Fishermen (father, 2 sons)


9 Craftsmen (1 family of 4, 2 single women, 3 single men)


2 Teachers (husband & wife)


1 Priestess (widow)


1 Mayor (Guy Martin, who is also head of one of the farming families)


3 Brewers/Vintners (husband, wife, nephew)


4 Loggers/Lumbermen (1 family)

The Light Blue Negligee Of Doom

…and other spicy stories

Doc Update

Hey, kids, remember how I said in my last post that I hadn’t walked on Thursday night because of a sore ankle? Well, it turns out that it was a recurrence of my cellulitis. So now, my infected leg and I are forced to sit around the house, take regular doses of antibiotics and generally be grumpy.

On the good side, I caught this attack VERY early on…earlier than any previous episode…AND it’s the first incidence of cellulitis that I’ve had since the ill fated GenCon 2004 trip, 23 months ago. Hopefully, I’ll be back on my feet in 2-3 days.

World Building Game Stuff

Regarding magic: For many centuries, the only way to use magic was via enchanted items. Items had to be made and enchanted inside strange pyramid shaped magic shrines that dotted the countryside. Once completed, the magical item, be it a ring, sword, plow or self propelled wagon, could be used out in the wider world.

But since the Dark War…and especially since the ManaStorm…the few mages left in the world have found that they can channel magic directly through their bodies. This is risky and unpredictable, especially at medium to high levels, but low level spells are much more stable. Over the last 20 years, the Society of Wizards (who, despite being thinly spread out over Calandria and its surrounding islands, manage to communicate via Varralonese Comm Crystals) has compiled a  list of various spells and how they are cast. The training of Apprentice Wizards has also been stepped up.

How does this affect the Mayor and Adventurer games? Well, in the Mayor game, your village will have one Master Wizard and one Apprentice Wizard. Guard them well, since they would be damn near impossible to replace. In the Adventurer game, if you choose to be a Wizard, I will give you a list if spells from which you will choose 7 that you can cast. I’ll also let you have 3 magic items.

Any questions?

Fried Seaweed Sandwich

…with extra mayo

Miles Walked On Thursday: None, due to a sore ankle and the garden needing my attention.

Note to the Players in the World Building Game: If you have not answered the Mayor questionaire, please do it by Monday. Failure to do so will result in a severe beating:)

BTW, the Adventurer questionaire will go up about Wednesday.

Ok, so yesterday I mentioned 365 Days, 365 Characters. Allow me to expand upon this…

My plan is to start creating a rules systemless character a day, every day, for a year. I’ll start in August, exactly one year before Grace and I intend to start our driving trip to GenCon 2007, and I’ll post the last character the night before we leave. I will take reasonable requests for character types…and they don’t have to be archetypal RPG characters, either. I already have ideas for (among others): a working mom who has a single superpower…an animal cop (as in, he’s a rabbit)…the only sentient robot on Earth…a guy who runs a hotdog cart in a city full of superheroes/villains…and a bunch more. As I said yesterday, we’ll see if I can do this for a whole year. Oh, yeah…you will almost certainly see some characters who are based on (and have the same name as) real life people…including my family, friends and me. Well, assuming they give me their OK,

In gardening news, I am finally seeing an orange/red blush on some tomatoes! YAY! Soon, the BLTs and tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes will be a daily joy here at Castle Cross.

And now, off to work for me.

Walking My Pet Ankylosaurus

…pray that he doesn’t start wagging his tail

It has come to my attention that James Wallis, a fine fellow and close personal friend of Baron Munchausen, has started a blog about his upcoming charity trek across the British landscape. Clicking the link can only bring you enlightenment and amusement, so you should do it.

In other news, with the start of the World Building Game and the upcoming start of The Adventures of Zora, I seem to be hip deep in roleplaying goodness. However, not content with that, I am formulating a plan to put myself neck deep in roleplaying goodness.

“How so?”, you ask with mixed fear and curiosity.

To which I, obviously having descended into madness, reply… “365 Days, 365 characters!” (insert deranged laughter here) 

More later.

Mrs. Wangdoodle And Her Trained Hedgehogs

…they sing, they dance, they delight the children 

Miles Walked On Tuesday: 2.3 miles in 28 minutes
Miles Walked Tonight: 2.5 miles in 35 minutes 

To The Players In The WBG…

Congratulations! You have been assigned the position of Mayor of the new settlement of Long Bay, by Queen Dianthus of Chantapho-By-The-Sea.

Congratulations! You have been assigned the position of Mayor of the new settlement of Blue Meadow, by High Governor Bolo Lightfoot of Hobbit Island.

Congratulations! You have been assigned the position of Mayor of the new settlement of Tazeem, by Sultan Kasimir of Suraq.

Congratulations! You have been assigned the position of Mayor of the new settlement of Riverside, by King Brant of New Varralon.

Congratulations! You have been assigned the position of Mayor of the new settlement of Twelve Trees, by Queen Elspeth of Kartania.

Congratulations! You have been assigned the position of Mayor of the new settlement of White Rock, by King Wulfgar of The Kjodervolk.

And now, please reply to…

The Village Mayor Questionaire

1: Are you male or female?

2: What is your name?

3: What is your age?

4: Are you married?

5: Do you have any children? If so, how many and what are their ages?

6: Before being appointed to the post of Mayor to this new settlement, where you a member of the Military or the Government and what rank/title did you have?

7: Give a short physical description of yourself.

8: Give a short personality description of yourself.

9: List any special skills or talents you possess.

10: Before your initial settlers are a assigned to you, please state what percentage of them make up your military detachment.

Note: Your starting village will be big enough to comfortably house 200 people (although you’ll start with fewer than that), with farm plots/pastures located outside the village walls. Do you wish your village walls to be laid out in a square or circular shape?

The Man With The Golden Blog

…kiss kiss, bang bang

Who Will Be Playing Whom In The World Building Game

Ok, Players, here are the cultures you will be playing in the Village portion of the game.

antiwesley will be playing the Hobbits
mnemex will be playing the Kartanians
doc_mystery will be playing the Suraqi
smalley_smoot will be playing the Chantaphoans
unclelumpy will be playing the Kjodervolk
Arn will be playing the Varralonese

The Mayor questionaire goes up tonight.

Got questions? Ask me.

Live And Let Blog

…ya gotta give the other fella hell

Miles Walked On Saturday: 1.4 miles
Miles Walked On Sunday: 3.7 miles
Miles Walked On Monday: 2.6

World Building Game: PC Cultures, Part 2

The Suraqi: The Suraqi people were transported to Calandria from their homeworld many hundreds of years ago. In fact, their central homeland, the Al Kaziri Hills, was transported with them. The whole shebang appeared in the center of the Dune Sea, a broad expanse of trackless desert. The Suraqi people most resemble (physically as well as culturally) the Arabic people of our world, with two big exceptions: No Islam (instead, they worship the First Ancestors) and their society is matriarchal. Mages are relatively common in Suraqi society and most of them prefer to create items with strong elemental powers.

The Hobbit: Alone among all the nations of this world (and certainly all the nations on Calandria), the Hobbits are the sole form of a representative democracy. That said, your average Hobbit is still not much of a lover of politics. They consider it a necessary evil. What they do care about is farming, brewing, winemaking, crafts, cooking and generally enjoying the frruits of their labor. Hobbit wizards, of which there are quite a few, tend to create devices that protect, defend, mend or alter things. Culturally, Hobbits resemble the folks of rural England, with just a touch of Irish wit and American curiousity. One final note: Hobbits have a disproportianately high tolerance for alcohol. The odds of a human drinking a Hobbit under the table are slim indeed.

The Chantaphoans: Their homeland is called Chantapho-By-The-Sea and these people are first and foremost sailors. Culturally, they have the manners and attitude towards life of the Spanish mixed with the sense of duty and honor of the British. The Chantaphoans have the best educational system on Calandria, top notch medical care, are skilled breeders of animals and give great honor and rewards to their scientists. As for magic, the Chantaphoans, have relatively few wizards. Most magical devices are enchanted with elemental or divination spells. Their navy is the best in the world and they are very keen on exploring. Physically, they resemble Spaniards and other Latin people.

Bedtime now…more stuff later.


…No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to blog.

World Building Game: The PC Cultures

Here is a quick look at each of the cultures that will be played in the game, with references to the real world cultures they most resemble.

The Varralonese: Originally a farming society, the Varralonese culture underwent massive changes once they came to Calandria. While still for the most part remaining excellent farmers, they also became top notch explorers, developed a strong military and became the most magically powerful culture on the continent. However, the bulk of their magical creations fell into the realm of Tenchnomagic…the creation of useful machines or weapons that used magic to (at least in part)operate. The Varralonese are average sized folk of a generally western European appearence. The culture most resembles the United States, minus the arrogance and representative government.

The Kartanians: Before coming to Calandria, the Kartanians were a wandering folk, with clans of up to 1,500 people moving from one area to another. They would farm in one area for a generation or so, them perhaps move onto logging in another area, then working in a large city. Every 50 years, all Kartanians would gather at the Kartafest, where clans might increase, decrease or, rarely, break up and cease to exist. Kartanians are known to be hard working, honest and devoted to their families. Kartanians are fascinated by magic, most likely because they have almost no knack for it. A Kartanian wizard is a very rare thing. While they bear some similarities to Gypsies, the Kartanians also have much in common with the Japanese, who they physically resemble.

The Kjodervolk: If you think Vikings, you can pretty much picture the Kjodervolk. Big, fair haired and fair skinned, these folk are farmers, traders, warriors and sailors. Altho they are relatively new to the ways of magic, the Kjodervolk seem to learn it quickly…and then use it mostly to craft powerful magic weapons or armor. Kjodervolk culture is also known for its Trade Guilds, most of which are at least partially subsidised by the government and which hold competitions each year to find out who among them is the “best of the best”. Altho outsiders find them a bit rough and blunt spoken, the Kjodervolk are actually quite sophisticated in many respects, especially in art, music and drama.

Gotta go to bed…more culture stuff tomorrow

Butterfly Knife Ballet

…with bright red highlights

Walked Last Night: 1.7 miles in 21 minutes

Some More Info On The World Building Game

I’ve finally decided that each player, in addition to running a village, will also create and run an explorer character who is part of a multinational team. In actual fact, I’ll be running the actual adventures the team goes on as sort of a solo adventure…BUT, my choices (and some random events) will be very heavily influenced by both the choices the players make when designing their characters and the input they give me each turn. It should be fun for all of us…or at least an interesting experiment in roleplaying.

And since I’m on the subject…


I’m looking for 3 or 4 new players. You’ll be playing the mayor of a small village (this part is basically a Sim City type game) AND an adventurer/explorer in the above mentioned RPG. I’d love to say we’ll have 2 turns per month, but most likely it will be 1 turn per month. Right now, I’m thinking 1 turn = 1 month of game time, but that could change.

And yes, this IS a Play By Email Game. If you are interested in playing, let me know.

More bloggishness later.