Archives: Games

Primeval Thule

thuleI haven’t signed up for as many kickstarters in the last few months, primarily because I haven’t had any big book checks in the last few months. (That’s the nature of publishing — feast or famine, usually with emphasis on the latter.) But one of the ones I DID sign on for was Primeval Thule, and I drop by the web site every now and then to see how it’s coming along.

It sounds like exactly the kind of campaign world I’d want to set a game in or write a story about. This morning I visited the work-in-progress to see if there were any new updates and discovered the tentative TOC. Check out the titles of the cities alone, which just breathes of evocative world building: “Kal-Zinan, City of the Iron Gate” or “Lands of the Long Shadow.” That’s the stuff. I’m really looking forward to this one.

The Day After

Battle Academy in action. Be warned — it is LOTS of fun.

With the children off for a few days, I plan on spending some time gaming or playing music or watching movies with them, although, old as they are, they’ll probably want some alone time as well — playing Minecraft, or in my son’s case, playing piano or guitar — so I’ll get some writing in.

I’d hoped to be coming to a close on the rough draft of this first Hearthstones book by year end, and while I’m closing in, I’m not that close. December, with all its running people to appointments and gift shopping and minor home disasters, slowed down the process. Still, there’s a good chance that I’ll have five of the seven parts drafted (some of which will be finely polished) by December 31st, which will mean a January completion date.

Speaking of the looming end of year, my Arabian fantasies of Dabir and Asim have made a few “best of lists” I wanted to share.

First, they’re mentioned over on Fantastical Imaginations. Second, while you’ll usually find detailed restaurant and wine reviews at The Passionate Foodie, you’ll also find some thoughtful book posts, and I made the fantasy year’s best list there.

December Status

It’s been a hectic few days here, although the kids certainly enjoyed multiple days cancelled (or delayed) by snow. It looks like there’s at least one more. On the plus side, that’s meant more time to spend with them, AND we finally got the gas fireplace replaced. The thing dated from the construction of the house  in the early ’70s and for safety reasons we’d been advised to stop using it altogether. As cold as our living room can be in the winter, the new gas burners are an absolute necessity. (And the new logs and fire look a LOT more realistic than the old ones.)

In the evenings lately I’ve been playing Battle Academy (for Mac, PC, or iPad), which enables me to command divisions of armor and infantry against various WWII Axis powers. So far I’m quite enjoying the game, although I do wish there were more short scenarios. That’s probably more of a feature than a bug for most people, but I don’t have that much spare time. To this newbie war game player, the interface and graphics seem pretty swell.

There have been so many interruptions for the last week that writing slowed to a crawl, but I hope to get in some good work today and finally finish patching part 2 back together following a minor POV change. Then I’ll set it aside and get back to fleshing out some of the other, simpler parts of the book.

And later this week I’ll get back to discussing some more hard writing lessons I’ve learned.

Sword-and-Sorcery Campaigning

While I was wrestling with insomnia and/or lack of sleep over the last months, one of the things I was doing in my down time was leafing through reams of campaign settings and adventures.

If you’re a fantasy reader but not a gamer, you may not know just how much fun can be had paging through a good role-playing setting. The key word there is good. There aren’t THAT many, but there are now many more than there used to be, even keeping in mind that Sturgeon’s Revelation applies equally to gaming stuff. If part of the kick you get from reading fantasy is seeing fantastic and amazing places and the odd people and creatures that dwell within, then you might get a similar kick from a good campaign setting. For instance, I just reviewed an outstanding RuneQuest supplement, Monster Island, over at Black Gate. I don’t play RuneQuest (I don’t even own any of the game’s rulebooks) but the setting got the creative juices flowing. Similarly, I’ve recently picked up Fire in the Jungle, a short but glorious booklet for the generation of jungle adventure scenarios.

Stalking the Martian Beast Rails

Click to enlarge. Barrakesh is near the bottom right side of the image.

As I wind down my edits on the second Paizo Pathfinder novel I’m looking forward to playing a new board game that arrived Tuesday. Regular visitors may recall I was selling off most of my board wargames after discovering Fields of Glory. I’ve put a little of the trade-in money towards purchases of inexpensive Fields of Glory expansions, and am stockpiling the rest for a new laptop… but I also picked up a copy of Martian Rails.