Showing posts with label real life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real life. Show all posts

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Back after a bit

Sorry for the lack of posts.  I am learning a new language and it is taking up a lot of my time.

Sadly, learning R will have nothing to do with anything I post here or with my games, but it is good for me to stay current in my day job.  Plus I am soooooo tired of dealing with SAS and SPSS.

Friday, April 13, 2018


Sorry for the radio silence folks.

Had a computer die on me and needed to get this new one up and running.

Back to normal posting next week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Importance of the *Correct* Research

I have been fairly quiet here I know.  Not by choice, but I have some projects I want to get done and get out to you all.   Today is the tale of woe of one such project.

A few weeks back I had this GREAT idea. No, it really it was. It was a game that I really wanted to play and write.  I am going into a lot of detail about here now because the game will not happen now, or at least not in it's current draft. 

See I did my research.  I have a Ph.D. (two in fact, but I am ABD) so research is something I know well and love. And I did do my research.  I looked into economic issues of the time to try to get a good idea of a monetary system.  I reread news items that I thought would give me better insight.  I also put together a must-read list of fiction and a must watch list of movies that fit the genre.
I even prototyped some characters.

What I *DIDN'T* do was see if this game already existed.
Which, as you can guess, it does.

What really sucks is that this game is also really, really good.  They went with a different vibe than I was going for, but what they did is fantastic.

Well.  Shit.

So now I have notes, drafts and a cool name.  Some friends suggested I go ahead and make it, but I don't want to field questions of "Hey have you seen BLANK?" or "How is this not a copy of BLANK?" 

So the ideas will go into ... well, I don't know yet really.

After talking with my kids I think I have some ideas for this stuff, but the focus will have to change.  So goodbye economic data. Book lists will need to be revised. I think the movies are fine though.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Production Will Be Down

Posting will be down in November here at the Other Side.
Normally November is a lighter month, but it will be even lighter than normal.

I have about four major projects due to four different publishers now.  Nothing I can talk about yet, but it is good to be wanted.  When I can talk about them be assured I will!

I will say this
One is about witches (of course)
One is for White Star
One is for D&D 5
and one more I can't talk about at all.

So know that the wheels are still going here and the lights are on. But I just can't come to the door right now.

Hope to talk about these all soon!

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Friends of the Library Score

Just a drive by.

Went to our local "Friends of the Library" used book sale at my local Library.

Found these laying in the "Computer Games" area.

Te Basic book is in poor shape, but the PHB is in fantastic shape!

Best $3.50 I have spent in a while.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Rosaleen Norton: The Witch of Kings Cross at a 100

Rosaleen Norton would have been 100 years old today.

She was an occultist, artist, nude model, bi-sexual, and self-proclaimed witch all in a time when women barely had the same civil rights as men.

I first discovered her art back, like many things with me and witches, in the 70s at my local public library.
I am not sure what book it was.  I was convinced that she had done a lot of drugs to get these images onto canvas, but I certainly underestimated her.

Recently I had read a bio about her, not a very long one, and how she seemed to have been born to create the life she really wanted. She had numerous obstacles thrown at her, but none of those kept her from being who she was.
You have to respect that.

Even if you do not know her name it is likely you know her art.  She had painted a number of images over the years including one of my favorite pictures of Lilith (below). 

She had even been charged with obscenity in Austrailia.

Does this remind anyone of Orcus?

You can find out more about her here:

One of Rosaleen Norton's most controversial images was that of a demon she called Fohat.  Representing male sexual power the demon has a goat's head, a man's upper body and a snake for a phallus.  Describing this work, she stated that "The goat is the symbol of energy and creativity: the serpent of elemental force and eternity."  Needless to say, it got her into some trouble.

In the writings of Theosophy Fohat is a force of male sexual potency. Norton obviously knew this background.  The question for us though is Fohat a unique demon or a species?  He is likely an incubus, but given the proper name, I am going with "the Lord of Incubi". 

Here is for use with my Swords & Wizardry Warlock book.

Hit Dice: 13
Armor Class: -1 [20]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d6+3) or 1 weapon (1d10+3)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Magic resistance (35%), immune to fire, Lilim Abilities, dual forms, Wisdom  drain, blood drain, magical abilities, +2 magic weapons to hit, charming voice
Move: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 24/5,300

Fohat is the Lord of Incubi. They revere him, not due to his ability in combat, but by the number of warlocks he has at his command.  There are others though that do challenge his title, but none that are willing to go to war over it.
Fohat appears as a lare man with a goat's head, a man's upper body and the lower portion of a goat. His phallus is a large snake.
While evil, Fohat is the epitome of a "Lover, not a fighter" and he would rather charm his way out of a situation than fight his way out.  His voice acts as if hee had a constant Charm Person spell cast and anyone listening to it must save vs. Charm at a -3 or be unable to physically attack him.  Even races immune to charming magic can be affected.
His numerous offspring are all Tieflings of a demonic sort.

Fohat is difficult to classify. He shows all the same abilities of one of the Lilim races, but also appears to be part of the Shedim race of demons.  He is old, but none (so far) have postulated that he is an Eodemon.

Pacts with Fohat
Fohat takes on young warlocks willingly.  Some even say enthusiastically.  While he prefers female warlocks, he will take on the odd male warlock with high charisma.  The initiate must summon Fohat into a circle. Typically other warlocks of Fohat will summon him with the initiate warlock placed in the circle.  The pact is sealed with an act of sexual intercourse with the demon.  Warlocks and Witches may form a Grand Coven dedicated to Fohat and they are expected to partake in a Bacchanal on every new moon.
The pact with Fohat is a demonic pact and has all the features of a demonic pact as described on page 7.  Additionally, Fohat's warlocks may impose a -2 penalty to anyone attempting to make a saving throw against their charm spells.   Warlocks of the Lord of Incubi may also cast the "Bewitch" spells normally available only to witches.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mona Dowie, In Memoriam

You may have already heard or read this by now, but artist and friend of the Other Side Mona Dowie lost her fight with cancer this week.

Her husband +William Dowie informed everyone via Facebook that Mona had passed at 9:08pm on September 13.

Sadly the bills for cancer and now the funeral don't go away.
So if you have a few coppers you can spare please head over to her fundraiser and spare what you can.

I feel honored and privileged to have known her. We talked games and our mutual love for witches and Stevie Nicks.  We chatted at length on how she completely got my character Nox.  I shared with her notes from my old Buffy game describing her and she drew exactly what I had without even knowing it.

My thoughts are with her family and especially her husband William at this time.
I can't even imagine what he might be going through now.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Back From Vacation

Last week I took the week off.  We were supposed to travel but a variety of circumstances killed that idea, chief among them we thought one of our bunnies, Amy, was pregnant.
Instead, we did a bunch of mini-vacations mostly up to Wisconsin.

I hit up Noble Knight Games and FINALLY re-bought a World of Greyhawk Boxed set.  I now have completely restored my original collection of *D&D books.   

I also picked up that cool looking "The Witchcraft Reader".  Full of classic tales of witches and witchcraft. Yes, that is a naked witch riding a giant bat monster and holding a snake.

We played a lot of Blue Rose and Blue Rose/DragonAge.  It is becoming my oldest son's favorite game and he has even run a few more sessions.

We went to The House on the Rock and Steampunk Invasion at the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

The biggest thing we did though was...Nothing. That's right I took a complete mental vacation. No reading. No writing. Just enjoyed not doing anything for the first time in a very, very long time.

Though my wife and I gave Game of Throne another chance and we binged all 6 and half seasons.
As of this morning, I am all caught up with the rest of you!  I don't think I'll add much to my games because of this, some things are just best to enjoy as-is rather than what they can offer me elsewhere.  Though I would not count out a possible Basic Witch write up for Melisandre.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

To A2Z or Not To A2Z

So we are coming up on April.  Insane I know.

This is the time of year I start going into blogging overdrive to get posts together for the annual Blogging from A to Z blogfest.

I have participated every year since 2011.  It is a lot of work and ultimately enjoyable.
But it is a lot of work.

In addition to posting something A to Z I have been part of a team that helps other bloggers do their A to Z, I visit scores of sites every day to post on others blogs and try to squeeze in a post or two above and beyond normal.

This year I am just not feeling it.

I have a lot of projects that need to get done that need my attention.
I have other work I have been doing that also is making demands on my time.

Plus I am not blind to my traffic numbers. I see I get a bump from outside my normal postings, but the engagement isn't there.  I feel like with the A to Z I am ignoring my regular reader in favor of new readers that really don't stay on.  I could be wrong about that, but I am basing it on posting behavior and my Google Analytics data.

My plan this year had been Free (or Cheap) RPGs. Knowing what I know about my audiences I wanted to try to get people that are not gamers into playing with a low barrier to entry.    I like being an ambassador of gaming, but I also know I can get more people to play if I just sat up shop a couple weekends a year at my FLGS and ran demos.

I don't know.
What do you think?

Are you going to miss me doing the A to Z this year?

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is, February 2017

Here are the February sales for The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry.

Might need to click to make it bigger.

Comes to a total of $62.97 in Earnings.  I'll round it up to $65.00.

As I promised when I posted about this at the start of February I am donating all earnings to the ACLU.


I would love to donate more next month!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry

Happy Imbolc everyone!

I have been motivated to do something more in the face of what looks like insurmountable odds.  So yesterday while running I came up with an idea to produce something that you all can use and still give me the chance to do some good.

30 hours later I give you

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition for Swords & Wizardry Complete

This is my first big foray into the world of Swords & Wizardry.
From the RPGNow page.

Rise up witches!

The world is in peril.  The forces of evil in the guise of law and weal threaten all lands.

The people of good conscious scream out for champions.

The Witches of the Aiséiligh Tradition hear those cries and are charged by the Goddess to be Her hands and Her mortal representatives on this plane.

And the Goddess is angry.

The Witch: Aiséiligh Tradition presents a new witch tradition for use in Swords & Wizardry Complete. Inside you will find:

  • The Aiséiligh witch Tradition
  • The Daughters of the Flame Coven
  • 70+, new to Swords & Wizardry spells including never before published spells.

Compatible with Swords & Wizardry, The Witch and other retro-clones and other old-school games.

 All profits from this book will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Spread the word!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Break

Taking some time off for the Thanksgiving break.

Only sporadic posting this week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day

It's Election Day in the US.

Don't sit at home and complaining about the election, the people in it or the people voting.
Get out and vote.

Seriously. You can read blogs tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Toll of Depression

I originally wrote this for my atheism blog, The Freedom of Nonbelief, but I think it is better suited here.

I usually don't post a lot of personal pictures here, but this one is important to me.

Me, my son Connor as a baby and his big brother Liam at age 4. They are 13 and 16 now.

Doesn't look like I am suffering from depression here at all, but I was.

This photo was taken sometime in February 2004.  I have to trust the date on the file because I have no recollection of it happening.   I didn't know it then, but I was still about 5-6 months before I started to get well.

Back in 2000 to 2001 I started to hit a downward spiral. I am not really sure what caused it but there were lot of factors that added to it.  By the end of 2001 I was in deep. So deep that I barely recall anything that happened between 2001 and 2005.   Which is really fucking sad to be honest.  My kids were born in 1999 and 2003, this should have been one of the happiest times in my life.

I was fortunate.  Really.  My wife was there for me every awful moment I put her through. Sleeping all day, up all night. Thankfully I never had suicidal thoughts. I never gave into drinking too much, in fact, I think the whole thing cut my drinking down to nothing.  I did get to write. That is plus.
But there were days that just disappeared from me. Hours, even days, lost in some haze that I to this day can't recall.

I used to think that I was immune to this sort of thing. Really.  I had a GREAT childhood. Parents that loved and supported me. Great friends. I always had a job. I may not have been rich but I could afford to feed myself and I had a place to sleep at night.  I knew the warning signs too.  I have degrees in Psychology. I did my Master's work while working a suicide hotline.  I did my Ph.D. work in one of the best cities in the country.  I really had it made.

Maybe that all made it worse. I felt like I was a sham. I didn't have the right to be so depressed. There were so many others out there that had it worse than me.    But that is part of the stigma.
In psychology, we call depression the "Common Cold" of psychological ailments because it is so common.  But what I had was more like full blown N1H1 flu.  I knew the signs and I was bowled over anyway.

The toll comes in from the damage that happens all around you.  I was taking really piss poor care of myself.  Despite trying to get out and exercise I still gained weight. My health in general sucked. Then there are the relationships.  I basically had two personality traits then; catatonic or angry.  Thank goodness my wife and kids are as stubborn as they are. I don't know if I would have stuck with me.

This video by +Wil Wheaton kinda sums up how things were for me too. The first two minutes really captures how the anger was.   I met him in 2009 or so. Had I known all of this we could have at least mentioned it to each other. How we both got out of it.

I didn't go see anyone. Maybe I should have. I might have gotten better sooner.

It's weird.  I have started, stopped and started this post at least a dozen times. I have had to update my kids' ages a couple of times since starting.

In the process of revising this post, this was posted to my feed. (and yet again more evidence of how many time I have started and restarted this).

It is Sex+ and atheist YouTuber and Vlogger +Laci Green.   I like Laci. I think she is great.  This video though doesn't make me happy.

It doesn't make me happy because I know all too well what she is saying.  I have been there.

In fact here is another one.

And one more (see I told you I started this many times). +JaclynGlenn is another fave of mine and she makes a lot of great points.

Sometimes I feel like it is some kind of monster, waiting to draw me back in.  Minus a minor episode in 2007 things have been really good. But yet it is always there, lurking in the shadows.

What do I want to say about this?

I guess to say this is not uncommon.  People all over suffer from this.

The things I learned that I really wish I knew back then:
- It won't be forever.  I knew that, intellectually, but it was hard to process that then.
- Get help. I get shots for the flu, take Lipitor for all chili-cheese dogs I ate as a kid and getting help for this is no different.
- Get a support net. I was lucky.  My wife and kids kept me protected and safe. I never could have made it without them.

I am better now.
But I see the same behaviors I went through in others and I wanted to post this to let them know that they are not alone, they are not unique in their suffering and there is help and others out there.

We have the greatest communication tool ever invented (to date), lets use it to make things better.

(Note: just putting this link here in case I do put it up on my other blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beasties, Birthdays and Bloodstones

Yesterday was my birthday!  Yeah!
But I forgot to get a Monstrous Monday post made. Boo!

I am planning to review "Beasties" the latest monster book from Thomas Denmark. So I'll save that for next week.'s not "Monstrous Tuesday".

In the meantime I was very, very happy to see that two of the four Bloodstone modules are now out.

H2 The Mines of Bloodstone and H4 The Throne of Bloodstone

I talked about these a few months back and it is great to see them in PDF form.  While I have the modules, I might grab these anyway so I can print them out and write on them.

It will be a lot of fun.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blustery Day

So no post today.  I have been writing my posts at night or very early in the morning to post later in day lately.  Last night I could not work on anything because I was too busy working on the Chili for my work's annual Chili Cookoff.

I do a different recipe every year.  This year I went with one my son and I called "The Mississippi Queen".

Well it paid off.  I got 1st Place!

My winning ingredients?  Bacon grease (not so secret) and Ghost Peppers fresh from the garden.

Regular blogging tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

1901: An Æther Space Odyssey

All month I have been talking about Ubiquity and all week about the ether space of Space: 1889.  But while I am off in a world of fantasy the real world of science and space has done some really great stuff.  Below are some artist renditions of the recent New Horizons photos of Pluto.

Then combine that with this video that appeared on my feed today showing the Magnus Effect.

Which lead me to read about the Rotor Ship. All of this has combined to produce something new(ish) in my mind.

1901: An Edwardian Æther Space Odyssey

January 1901. Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, Jedak-Regent of Parhoon, Mars has died.  Her son Albert Edward, now Edward VII, has picked up production of the empire's fleet.  He has decreed the 20th century to be the new dawn of the "Space Age".
Aiding this is a new invention by Nikola Tesla, the Tesla-Magnus Rotor.  This new form of ether space propulsion threatens to make the Edison engines obsolete.  They offer better maneuverability in close quarters to smaller celestial objects and now thanks to super conducting magnets found in the asteroid belt they can be pushed to speeds of up to 4.5 mm/d!

The first of five new ships, The HMS Victoria, has been equipped with this new drive and it will begin the race to the outer planets.  Now the fabled diamond mines of Jupiter and the cloud cities of Saturn are within reach.  Even the mysterious planets of Uranus and Neptune are now within a two year journey.  Who knows what lies beyond? A ninth or even tenth planet!

The Victoria is a long range ship with a crew of 50 and supplies for 2 years.  The ship features 12 Tesla-Magnus rotors. Two each on the fore (bow), aft (stern), dorsal, ventral, starboard, and port sides to affect three dimensions of movement. It is also equipped with a main sail and two secondary sails for normal ether flight.

I never claimed to be an artist.
Now if Tesla can only figure out how to make the radio work at the same time the engines are going.

What is "Space 1901"?
Well there are some very, very obvious things going here.
First off it is a nod to the classic Arthur C. Clarke book 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Like that book, this will deal with mankind's first attempt to reach Jupiter. Though this time with a background of Imperial Colonialism.
Also as much as I enjoy the Victorian setting of Leagues of Adventure and Space: 1889, I wanted to move out of the Victorian setting.   I also was not overly wedded to the Pulp action of Hollow Earth.
The Edwardian period of 1901-1910 seemed like an untouched area in gaming.
And of course Tesla.  How could I not do something with Tesla?
There would be a bit of "Star Trek" to this (strange new worlds) and "Space: 1999" (cut off from Earth).
I am sure I will have more ideas when I am done reading Revelations of Mars.

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