Showing posts with label TBBYANR. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TBBYANR. Show all posts

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 A Look Back

It is already 2017 in some parts of the world, but here 2016 is staying around like that last guest that just won't leave.  So let's look back on 2016 on The Other Side.

D&D 5
Without a doubt D&D 5th Edition was the biggest game this year and D&D5 posts here got the most traffic. D&D got a big push in the media this year and D&D 5 benefited from all of that.  Closer to home I played a lot of 5th edition this past year. I ran games for my kids and various cousins and my oldest son ran three different campaigns. Ok, they were all roughly the same adventures, but with three different groups.
Not everything was all 5e all the time. I managed to work in some Basic (B/X) D&D as well and even a little AD&D 1st Ed. Back in October, I reignited a Blue Rose game too and even worked in a little Castles and Crusades.
I have caught some rumors of some very interesting 5e related news I can't share yet.  But 5e is going to have just as much of a good 2017 as it did 2016.

Geek Culture
This is a wonderful time to be alive if you are geek. Really. In 2016 we got more superhero movies than I can recall (ok Civil War was a bit of a let down compared to comic), Star Trek AND Star Wars in the theatres in the same year. Doctor Strange came out, a movie I wanted since the 70s, new Ghostbusters, new Jason Bourne, a new movie in the Harry Potter universe!  And that is just the movies.
On TV we have super heroes, scratch that, DC Super Heroes every night of the week! Luke Cage on Netflix. STRANGER THINGS! So much great content that I can't even keep up.  We have an embarrassment of riches here.
Speaking of DC. The rebooted, reboot of DC's Rebirth in comics is doing fantastic. Not just in sales, but also in terms of story. While the DC movies are hit and miss (I am a fan, but I am also realistic here) and the TV shows are nailing it night after night (still a fan) the comics, especially the "New52" had been iffy. Not anymore.



Bloggin'
My output decreased this year and it is likely to decrease more next year. More on that later, but mostly it is due to me needing more time for work, family and other projects.  I had a lot of fun with my deep dives into Victorian RPGs and Blue Rose. The stats show you liked them as well. I said goodbye to some regular features like Zatannurday and Friday Night Videos.  I have mostly retired Class Struggles and "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading", but I retain the right to post something with them in 2017.
I was nominated again for "Best Blog Ennie" for 2016. I didn't win, but I had a lot of fun going to awards show.



Personal
Things are good here at home. Family is healthy and good. My wife and I launched into a new exercise plan where I run every day and exercise in the evening.  I am healthier now in my later 40s than I was in my 30s. My weight is way down and my blood pressure (something I have had issues with since I was a teen) is also down. In fact, save for a minor respiratory bug last week 2016 has been one of my healthiest years on record.
Work is going fine. In 2017 I have a new graduate program whose curriculum I am redoing, so that will keep me busy for the next couple of years. I got a promotion (of sorts) and a raise (of sorts) and a new boss.

The Other Side Publishing
2016 saw the launch of my personal imprint The Other Side Publishing.  I am not trying to take the RPG world by storm here, I just want to put out a few books of things I want to play.  My biggest success so far has been Sisters of the Aquarian Order (currently a Copper best seller!) for White Star.
I am making enough here to keep going and I can keep myself in other people's books too.  That is a success in my mind. Actually, people buying my stuff and getting enjoyment out of it is much more of a success than the actual money, but the money does buy more art.



And Then There Was That Other Thing...
Yeah 2016 had it's fair share of suck too. More than it's fair share to be honest. The election was shit-show and the outcome was pretty much to worst of all possible outcomes.  I have mentioned before I am less of a "Social Justice Warrior" as I am a "Social Justice Veteran" or, more to the point "Social Justice Terrorist".  I was in the trenches before Facebook, before Twitter and back when letters and phone calls to Congressmen, Senators, and Judges were a common thing for me. I got back on the phone this year to my Representatives and other elected officials. 2017 might be the year that pulls me back into social activism.  In fact, I have already started to put my money where my mouth is, so I am also going to put in my time.



We had a lot of our icons die this past year. Not much I can say about that really. I am going to miss Bowie the most I think. I just liked the idea of being in a world that also had him in it.

So here is to 2016. The good, the bad and the ugly. And there was a lot of bad and ugly!
Here is to a much better 2017! Though it is really 2020 I am looking forward to the most! ;)

Monday, July 21, 2014

TBBYANR: The Power Score

Up next on The Best Blog You Are Not Reading is The Power Score.
http://thecampaign20xx.blogspot.com/


I discovered the Power Score last week via the RPG Blog Alliance. The site's author, Sean, had posted a bit on the Demonomicon of Iggwilv that got my attention.  I stuck around and read the rest of his blog.

What I liked most was how he moves from the various incarnations of D&D with ease. There is no edition war here, just different ways to play to the same game and all the material is good for any edition.

He goes into some detail in the posts, so they are longer than your average blog post.  But they are worth the read to be honest.

The blog only really got going this year, but has done a pretty good job to be honest.

Go by and check it out.  Worth your time.



HEY: Like his blog?  Go visit and say hi.
Like my blog? Go vote for it at the ENnies award voting for "Best Blog"!  Thanks!
http://www.ennie-awards.com/vote/

Friday, December 6, 2013

TBBYANR: Old School Edition

I have not done one of these in a long time so I thought this might be a good occasion.  There are a few old-school blogs out there I follow and really enjoy.  I think you should add them to your reading list.

Halls of the Nephilim
http://punverse.blogspot.com/
I have talked about Justin Issac's blog in the past.  He recently hit 200 posts so he has been chuggin along doing his thing for a little bit now.  Justin spends his time looking for a good Old-School game to play, currently he is trying out the home team favorite from Elf Lair Games, Spellcraft & Swordplay and Pathfinder.  He is know currently working through the 30 days of Dungeons & Dragons, so that will be interesting. Other topics that come up are Doctor Who, Mutants & Masterminds and one of my favorites Succubus Sunday.
If you enjoy my blog then check out Halls of the Nephilim. Justin is doing a lot of cool things.

Dark Corners Of Role Playing
http://darkcornersofrpging.blogspot.com
Eric Fabiaschi runs this and Swords & Stitchery - Old Time Sewing & Table Top Rpg Blog.  Both are great, but I want to focus on his Dark Corners blog today.  DC is a great resource for anything vaugly D&D-pulpy.  The blog mostly focuses on the Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea RPG.  Maybe it is my new-found love of this game, but everything posted here is brilliant. Recently he has posted links to a number of out-of-print pulp mags for use in your games. Also a good number of new monsters, all with a pulp-D&D feel to them.  Sure they are all 100% compatible with any Basic-era D&D clone of your choice, you miss a bit not using AS&SH.
Eric is right around 230 posts or so, but there is a lot great stuff; so a high signal to noise ratio.

Both of these blogs are great resources and both are currently tackling a lot of the same topics that interest me.  So there is more value there too.

My advice is to take some time and go over both blogs. Read their past posts and comment.
But most importantly add them to your reading lists!

Special Note: If you are looking for other blogs to read Dyvers has a huge list of gaming blogs he has linked to and reviewed. Go there and check it out! http://dyverscampaign.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-great-blog-roll-call.html

Friday, June 21, 2013

TBBYANR: Old School Plus

I enjoy Old-School gaming blogs for a couple of reasons. First is most of them like going over the roots of the hobby, talking about how things were not just out of the dreaded "N-Word" (Nostalgia) but more of an academic foray into games and the applications of those games.  Sure the the is a bad signal to noise ratio at times with many blogs covering the exact same ground in the exact same way (and this blog is no exception to that) I am still entertained.   Also the authors tend to be from the same gene-pool as me; metaphorically speaking.  Not that I always want to listen to a bunch of middle aged white guys, but their interests are the same as mine; so if it veers "off-topic" into family, jobs, kids what have you, I don't mind.  In fact most times I am nodding in agreement.

A couple of these Old-School+ blogs are the subject of todays The Best Blog You are Not Reading.

Billy Goes to Mordor
http://billygoes.blogspot.com/

Billy Goes to Mordor has to win some sort of prize for the blog name that always makes me smile.  Plus any blog that can put up a still from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal and not get all maudlin about it is doing something right.  Around since 2011 and hitting half a dozen or so posts a month you can read through all his posts in a dedicated afternoon.  There are thoughts on D&D, Horror and playing Pirates.  Though I think his notes on Game Design are the most interesting.  Insight on how another guy does his game.
A lot of thought goes into each post and really I think he is just a few dedicated followers (and regular commenters) away from really growing as a blog.  Or maybe it is fine the way it is, but I bet some more followers would be appreciated all the same.

The Disoriented Ranger
http://the-disoriented-ranger.blogspot.com/

Another Old-School blog around since 2011.  This is a solidly OSR blog with links to free resources and notes on his RC based game.  There are a lot of world building articles with his recent ones exploring "Karik Thel - The Island of the Floating Trees" which could easily be used anywhere so very much worth the read.
What got me into his blog was the day we both posted the same Racial Class within minutes of each other, Feline Humanoids vs. Cat Girls (I think it is easy to tell on name alone which is mine).  In truth combining the two would make for a great class!
Like Billy, JD also posts more than just gaming material.

I would encourage you to check both blogs out.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

TBBYANR: RPG blogs

A couple of RPG focused blogs today!

Cross Planes
"Or how I learned to stop worrying and love D&D"
http://crossplanes.blogspot.com/
I gotta admit I love the alt-title.  It is something I have said in the past myself in connection with getting out of the Edition War mindset.  Cross Planes/Mark Craddock is also very much a non-participant in the Edition Wars.  He talks about D&D Next (and he was the first place where I found out the new packet was out).  He is also into Dragon Age and I'll admit that reading over his site today has made we want to check out the RPG or computer game again. So much so I did this even:

What Dragon Age: Origins Character Are You?What Dragon Age: Origins Character Are You?
Hosted By theOtaku.com: Anime

Well was there ever a doubt?

He also did a couple of witch builds for D&D Next a Maiden and Mother.  Don't know if he did a Crone at all. What I like about this blog is Mark covers a lot of topics and games.  Single purpose blogs are great, and if I want to do a deep dive into a system that is what I need.  But I also enjoy the daily reading of the general purpose blog (like this one and my own) to get a variety of topics.  Plus he playing his games with his two daughters, how awesome is that?

Silver Divinity
http://silverdivinityrpg.blogspot.com/
I actually found this one from my Monstrous Monday Blogfest a while back and again on the Blog Blitz.  One of my favorite monsters from the MM Blogfest was his Zombie Cow.
The author of this blog, John, is working on a game project "Silver Divinity" and the blog is his proving ground/sounding board/beta tester.
So far the game itself sounds very cool.  It feels like a Steampunk meets Spelljammer sort of thing if I am reading it all right.  If so then that is cool.  The stats for the races look like d20/OGL so that makes that easier to understand.  The blog is only 7 months old and he is still posting ideas to flesh out.  So I expect to see some more interesting things in the future.
In the meantime stop on by and see what he has done so far.



This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

TBBYANR: Author Friends

The next two blogs belong to two people I consider friends. Both were huge help to me when I was working  on Ghosts of Albion.

Bobert the Hoosier expatriate

http://bbovenguy.livejournal.com/
Robert Black is someone I have known for more than 10 years.  We were both deeply involved involved in Willow & Tara fandom over at the Kitten Board. It was in my discussions with him that helped me formulate a lot of the ideas I had for the Dragon and the Phoenix and Season of the Witch.  Bob also came up with the original idea for the Sisters of Paradox.  Tara's father Robert in Season of the Witch is named after him. So I owe the guy a debt of gratitude for all the work we did back on the Kitten.
Bob is a YA author. Something he learned well as a writer on the classic "You Can't Do That on Television" back on Nick.  He is the only writer of that show to have dumped green slime on Alanis Morissette.

Dave Chapman's Autocratik
http://autocratik.blogspot.com/
Dave Chapman was working on Conspiracy X 2.0 the same time I was working on Ghosts of Albion.  I used to comment that only Eden hires a guy from Chicago to write a game about Victorian England and an Brit to write an American Conspiracy game.  We helped each other out a lot and then he had come in and do some playtests on Doctor Who.
Dave talks about a number of topics, but mostly related to games he likes.

I say pop on over and check them both out. If you like what you read there pick up one of their books and tell them I sent you.


This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Monday, March 25, 2013

TBBYANR: Aggregate Cognizance

You might recall some posts I have made about the horrible vampire game by Mykal Lakim.
Well a lot of what I know about it all I owe to Wil Hutton and his blog Aggregate Cognizance.

Well he is known for a lot more than being a constant thorn in Paul Cape's side. He has some cool stuff on his site too. So that makes Aggregate Cognizance today's Best Blog You are Not Reading.

Aggregate Cognizance
http://rivetgeek.blogspot.com
Obviously there is the whole Dark Phoenix Publishing/Mykal Lakim/Paul Cape drama to read and I would be lying if I said I didn't find it all fascinating.  HE also has quite a bit of FATE going on his site and he is quite the Tribe 8 fan as well.
I have to admit that his Search Alphabet Soup made me run to my own search keywords to see what people were using to get to me that was worthy of sharing.
The writing is clear and honestly I think with some time this could be one of those cool blogs to read that posts on a bunch of topics but has a central core.  When I pick up FATE again this summer I am going to make a bee-line to this blog and try somethings out.

So come for the FATE but stay for the vampire. Especially vampires.

If you are into Tribe 8 then he does have another blog dedicated to that, Dreams of Flesh and Spirit.
Tribe 8 was always one of those games I wanted to try, but never did.  Of course given my juvenile brain I always think of tribade and might not get out of one session without pissing off someone.

Anyway. Go over to his blog(s). It's good stuff.


This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

TBBYANR: Movie Blogs

I love horror movies of all sorts.  I have a special place in my heart for sexy, cheesy euro-sleaze horror from the 70s to the early 80s.  So for the first set of "The Best Blog You are Not Reading" I would like to pick two film review sites that feature a lot of the movies that would be in my personal Appendix N.

The first is The House of Self-Indulgence

http://houseofselfindulgence.blogspot.com/
Truthfully HoSI breaks a lot of the rules of TBBYANR. It's not new, not small and has over 300 followers.  But it is also not one I see listed in the blog rolls locally, so I am going to let it pass.  Also the film reviews are so in-depth that I imagine that the author, Yum-yum, sits there in a private viewing room, whisky in hand with a leather bound journal and an Aurora Diamante fountain pen writing notes and witty insights to later be given to a secretary (who looks like Lina Romay in her prime) to be put on the blog.  Or something like that.
The reviews are long, in-depth and contain a surprising breadth of knowledge.
So yeah HoSI doesn't really need me to sing their praises, but I am anyway.

Another movie review site is For It Is Man's Number.
http://foritismansnumber.blogspot.com/
Again the focus here is horror, but a lot of other types of movies are covered. Owner Kevin Mathews has some solid old-school tastes. What attracted me to this blog was his coverage of Dracula AD 1972. One of the weakest Hammer Dracula films to be certain, but one I have used in my own games over and over.
Honestly this is one of those blogs where you want to start at the beginning of his blogging and read all the way up to the present day.  The reviews though are also the right size for getting a good feel of the movie.  He provides some Amazon links (which is nice).  I particularly liked going over all his Dracula movies.
What I find odd is that Kevin has been posting quality reviews since 2011 and he still only has 30 followers.  I think that is a crime to be honest.

If you enjoy movies then these are both worth your time.


This week I am running my irregular feature "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading" every day.  If you can instead of replying here, go to the blogs I am featuring and reply there.  I think the owners would like that.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Best blog You Are Not Reading!

Next week I'd like to run a week long features of "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading".

I have run this in the past, off and on, but I really want to get some focus on some blogs that I enjoy that you may not know of yet.  I have five ready to go but I also wanted to give you all the chance to send me your recommendations

Preferably the blog should be newer and/or have only a few subscribers.  Alternately it can also be one that is far outside the normal reading you usually do.

Yes of course you can choose your own blog.

So let me know in the comments below and I'll take a look.  If I like it I'll mention it next week!


Friday, November 30, 2012

TBBYANR: Two "new" blogs

Well they are new to me.

D20 Dark Ages
http://d20darkages.blogspot.com/

D20 Dark Ages is run by Stelios a writer and historian.  The blog mostly focuses on his one gaming exploits from the time period of 1989 to now.  There is a strong old-school vibe to his blog and details on what really were the Dark Ages in my mind as well, the period of the death of TSR but before 3.0.

Interesting site and I hope to see a lot more.

Comiccritique
http://comiccritiqueblog.wordpress.com/

Coniccritique was turned on to me by an old friend.  It's not an RPG blog, but as the name suggests, a comic review blog.  There is quite a bit of good critical insight.  It is a work in progress, but the writing is good.
I enjoyed his reviews of Batwoman and Justice League Dark and honestly he reminded me why I was reading two of the best New52 comics.

So go out read them, follow them.  I am expecting them both to get bigger and better.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

TBBYANR: Beyond the Pale Gate

I was reading a post over at Pork's Expanse! about taking this time during a lull (lull? what lull I am blogging my tail off over here!) in blog posts to read or find a blog you don't often read.
http://theporkster.blogspot.com/2012/10/find-that-blog.html

Frankly I think that is a brilliant idea. There are a lot of quality blogs out there waiting to be read.

So to that end I wanted to revive an old favorite feature of the Other Side, "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading"

The idea behind TBBYANR is simple. Find a blog in my blog roll that has under 40 followers and let you all know about it.  Why 40?  Because back in the early days I languished at 40 followers forever.  While I was appreciative of every single one (and still am) sometimes it felt I was talking to myself.

Today's TBBYANR is Beyond the Pale Gatehttp://ramblingsfrombeyondthepale.blogspot.com/
Very much an oldschool blog, focusing on the OSR.
The author's (David) style is self-described as train of thought, but that is fine with me.



What really made choose this one was his recent post on Copyleft, http://ramblingsfrombeyondthepale.blogspot.com/2012/10/im-copyleft-type-of-guy.html
I don't totally agree with him on all points, but I agree with what he is saying in principle.   Plus my current "game" computer is running Linux now as well so I can relate.

I also liked the fact that despite his self professed Old School leanings he professed to really enjoying the Pathfinder Basic Box, http://ramblingsfrombeyondthepale.blogspot.com/2012/09/blasphemy-from-my-month-of-madness.html

And he likes Jimi Hendrix! So that is always a plus in my book.

If I had one complaint it is the background to his blog. It looks awesome, but it makes it difficult to read some of the posts.
ETA: He has changed that and it is much easier to read!  My old eyes are thankful.

So please. Check this blog out and if you do, drop David a note and let him know what you like about his blog.

If you have a blog that you think would be be good for TBBYANR, let me know!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Drive by posting

Can't spend a lot of time here I have kids that willing got off the Xbox and Skyrim because they want to play some D&D with their Dad!

But I wanted to point a blog today that has absolutely NOTHING to do with writing, games or horror or anything like that.
My friends Jody and Beth used to be suburbanites with my wife and I till they decided to pack it all up and go live off the land.  Please have a look at their blog, http://cdrvalleyfarm.blogspot.com/.

While my experience with farm life is a vague idea that is where my food comes from, my wife grew up with Jody and Beth, so I get what they are trying to do out there.

So stop by for something different and leave a comment or two to encourage them to post more.

Friday, October 14, 2011

TBBYANR: Thoughtcrime Inc.

Once again it is time for another entry of The Best Blog You Are Not Reading.
Which really is an excuse for me to tell you about blogs that I like that off the beaten path of what you normally see around here.

This time around I want to draw your attention to Thoughtcrime Inc.
Run by artist David Reynolds of Shadowgirls fame it features his art and thoughts on cartoons, animation and comics.

If you are a regular reader here then you have seen David's work.


and this



D.Rey has been talking a lot about the DC 52 and some of the issues going on there.
Plus he has an undying love for the Batgirls and that is ok in my book.

He has been talking about a faux comic/fan comic "Batgirls: Hope Prevails" which has all the Batgirls in it.


As well as a favorite of mine, Power Girl,

I like his purely Atlantean take on her.  Or Lemurian.  Which also has lead to the creation of his own character: 

I like her, and the lemur is a nice touch.


He also has a Deviant Art page. http://machsabre.deviantart.com/ and his Journal there talked about a lot of the same things he talks about on his blog.

If you like comics, comic art and thoughts on cartoons, then Thoughcrime Inc. is a great place to start.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Best Blog You Are Not Reading

Time for another installment of "The Best Blog You Are Not Reading".

This time I want to focus on a writer's blog that helps you figure out what your characters are all about.
The Blog That Helps You Diagnose Your Characters

So if you are not into role-playing and see your character only as a collection of numbers and no name, then this is probably not for you.

The author, Joshua D. Hoyt, is a writer and also has a Master's Degree in Counselling Psychology and working on another on in School Psychology. I have a Masters and Ph.D. (ABD) in Educational Psychology myself and working on a Ph.D. in Curriculum Instruction myself, so I appreciate what he is writing here.

Now most people reading my blog are not writers (though some are) and most are gamers.  But we all deal with characters of some sort.  Players might want some sort of insight as to why things are done and GMs in particular (who don't have time to RP a character from tabula rasa) will gain some help in making their NPCs more life-like.

Some of the work is rather simple stuff, his run on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs was good, but his Schema and Traits discussion was very interesting.

My favorite so far though has been his working through the Erikson stages of Development.  I liked this since I have been working on a character life-span development idea now for sometime.

I like this blog since it allows me to use both my gamer and academic backgrounds.  And besides that it is kinda fun.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Best Blog You Are Not Reading

I like to read all sorts of blogs.  Not just gaming ones but all kinds.
I have a fondness for horror and special fondness for cheesy monster flicks.

This why one of my favorite blogs is Monster Island News.
http://robojapan.blogspot.com/

Sure there are other horror blogs and other movie blogs, but the aesthetic of this one really appeals to me.
It's just monster news, but a good report on geek culture and life.

Check it out.
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