Sunday, November 5, 2017

Arresting The Loading Cycle: The Weekly Update - Sunday, November 5th, 2017

The Indiegogo is funded!!! Woo Hoo!!!

More of Lord Chirine's baggage, courtesy of The Missus

First off, the big news around here is that Mike Burns and Dark Fable miniatures has had the newest Indiegogo campaign fully fund, and we still have three weeks left to run! Five sets of Anubis warriors, one set of the Scorpion Lord's minions, and a two-stage genie that has all of the ladies in the family chortling - she's got a look on her face that tells her summoners to be very, very careful about what they might wish for...

We'll be getting in on this campaign at the 7th level, as we can use all of the figures in our games. (should I do an 'Ancient Egyptian' label to help find things here?) If you haven't looked in on the Dark Fable campaign, may I suggest:

My alter-ego's baggage train also has gotten an addition, courtesy of The Missus and an end-of-season sale; there's a bit in "To Serve The Petal Throne" where the newly-ennobled Lord Chirine's bearers are loading his baggage into the cart for the trip from Meku to Fasiltum, when they find out that their new employer has a chest with a set of cast iron cookware. It's always been a part of our Tekumel gaming to have props around - Phil started it, it's not my fault! :) - and I'd been on the lookout for a sort of camping set for a while; we found this set, 'Fancy Flames' FF240, with all of the cookware needed for comfortable adventuring and a nice chest to load it all into. Coupled with the hand-forged iron fire tripod we got from a blacksmith up on the Iron Range (at the Tower-Soudan Iron Mine, to be precise) we now have all of the campaign / outdoor / camping cooking set for we've always wanted both for ourselves and our player-characters to use.

The Missus is threatening to do a Tsolyani cook-out, next summer. Watch this space.

I still have to replace the little cast-iron grill I used to own, which saw a lot of use on the balconies of the fannish apartment building where I lived and gamed in the late 1970s. It got lost in a move, decades ago, and I do miss the thing. The Missus, Queen of the Internet, says I can get a replacement so that will be something for the future. I have charcoal; she has food; I think we're in business.

One of our dreams, back in the day, was to have a 'trade show booth' where it looked like a Tsolyani merchant or noble had arrived for a visit, and not like the usual 'two-chairs-behind-a-folding-table' routine that we normally had at conventions and shows. We have been collectiong all of the stuff for this over the pat ten years or so, and we can now do this - just for the fun of it, really. When I get some warmer weather, next year, I'll set it all up and post photos of it for everyone. For a 'real' trade show or exhibition, we have the three Skyline displays as seen in these pages; I use these for gaming events and such, as they are quick, easy, and eye-catching.

In other news, the new chests are swallowing up stuff at a truly amazing rate; I have lots of now-spare milk-carton crates and plastic tubs to go back into the household fleet, and I am starting to be able to actually find everything I own. (There's a cordless drill that's been missing for over a year, but I'll find it. Eventually.) The spaces in the game room are getting a lot more empty, which I like as you can see all the good stuff that's down there. Also going into storage will be Castle Tilketl, in it's crate, and some of the large ships in the collection - ever tried storing a 25mm Hlyss nest ship?

So, lots of fun stuff going on; I'm very pleased with the developments, and looking forward to be able to do my own 'call in show' from my game room / studio! :)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Making My Dreams Come True (III) - The Logistics

The Old Reliable: M-1956 US Army cooler
What's in my future...

Ah, the joys of surplus shopping! Once again, my favorite form of consumerism has paid off; I took delivery of ten heavy-duty storage chests this past week. The significance of that, in regards to my gaming activities, is that all of the game stuff I have in plastic tubs out in the shed will come indoors to the basement game room, and all the show production stuff that I've been accumulating for years will go into these shipping chests out in the shed. All of the mains leads, tabletop displays, lighting, graphics, and everything else we could only dream of back in the days of the 'Akbar and Jeff Traveling Tekumel Road Show' (as Mike Mornard used to describe our trips to conventions to sell Tekumel) when we had no money but unlimited enthusiasm will now live in the chests and stay loaded. I.e., I won't have to be moving stuff around in the basement just to have a game, any more.

It also means that for events like Free RPG Day, all I have to do is a quick 'throw and go' to get ready for the events. I have learned the hard way, over the decades, that if I don't have the asset under my direct control, I won't have the asset. So, what's happening is that all my patient building up of resources over the past few years is finally coming together. There are some amazing things on the way, and I think you'll be amused and delighted. :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Making My Dreams Come True (II) - Turning The Tables

30" by 60", 30" tall. Four of, as they say in the army.

One of the age-old issues I've run into as a gamer has been getting the right tables for games. Most convention and event venues have round tables, intended for banquets and other food functions, and miniatures gaming usually needs square or rectangular tables. I ran into this problem as recently as this past spring at the local game convention, where the game's runner had asked for four tables like the one above, and got a five-foot round by the time the hotel set-up people had set the room. I was able to help with that, as I 'speak hotel' and 'convention committee', and so we got the tables we needed.

For over a decade, I've had three of my own 30" x 60" tables - again, like the one above - and I've more or less standardized on them as gaming tables for my larger games. I'd been wanting to get a fourth for some time - like, right after the recent local convention, but prices have gone from $25 to $50 each for these tables over the past decade and that's a bit steep for my wallet. Enter surplus sales: I was able to get my fourth table last week, in very good shape and for $25. I am, as you might imagine, pretty pleased!

So, yet another of my dreams has come true. I can now run any of my games any time, any place, just the way I want them. I have already built and run Phil's two miniatures games that he published in "The Dragon", Chanis and Ry, and I also have our fights at Castle Tilketl and Anch'ke built as well. (Not to mention the fight with the Hlutrgu, too!) I'm going to build our epic fight at Third Mar, which really does need the bigger table, and perhaps some of the other battles we fought out at Phil's on his tables.

So, lots more to come, and lots more fights to win! Hurrah!!!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Making My Dreams Come True - The Weekly Update for Monday, October 30th, 2017

The stuff that dreams are made of...

It was a sort of unhappy week last week here at the Workbench, with some bad news about people we know coming across the wires, but things perked up considerably over the weekend; one daughter helped another move, and after several trips with  four ferrets,  one bunny, and Skipper the Three-Legged Cat, everything got moved and only the cleaning remains. It's her first real house, and it was a lot of fun to get her installed. I also got more figures painted while I sat by Fifth Daughter's game group getting into trouble, which is always relaxing and a tonic.

As I've mentioned once in a while, I've put in the past forty years making other peoples' dreams happen - like in gaming with Dave Arneson at Adventure Games - and I've learned a few lessons along the way. Who can be trusted, who can be relied on when the chips are down, how to manage events, and how to make things both organized and easier to deal with.

Back in earlier years of my working life, I built some of the first teleconferencing and distance learning systems that were being installed here in the Twin Cities. One of my dreams has always been a desire to combine that kind of technology with my gaming, so that people need not travel all the way up here to the Northwoods to game with me.

That dream came true, this past weekend. A friend, who is another one of us surplus bargain hunters, needed some help with a couple of projects; he traded me one of his surplus finds, a video production rack full of equipment, for my time and effort. This rack is one of those stand-alone room systems, and has all of the gear to integrate all of my existing equipment into a complete video production facility; I can wire the game room once,  and then record game sessions and upload them to the Internet - or run live on the Internet, and have people call in on the phone and 'appear' remotely as players. And I can do things like the DVD I've been planning for the new edition of my miniatures rules - a reader noted that I would need to write the rules in such a way as to teach them to players, as I could not be there to teach them. My response was to provide a DVD (or YouTube video, for that matter) in which I run a game to show how the game works 'on the table'. He thought it was an amazingly good idea, so that's what we'll do.

So, that's the first dream come true. Others are as well, and I'll keep all of you posted as they happen - and I get photos shot... :)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Please Consider Helping, If You Can...

No, I don't know Stacy. No, I don't think she knows me, either. We found out about this earlier this week and The Missus, who is a breast cancer survivor, thought I should say something and I agree with her. An RPGer needs our help, and if you can , here's the link to the cancer fund - as we know, copays are pretty expensive.

Thanks for your time in reading this, and if you can help, thank you from both me and The Missus.