Len sez, "A few years ago, you posted about my Monster By Mail project. Since then I've drawn a lot of things including Cory for my Geek A Week project. Now I am doing something similar to Monster By Mail with RPG and D&D characters. I'm drawing people's characters for their character sheets. They get an 8.5 x 11 drawing and a 72 dpi version for their character sheet and online use. As long as it is not a licensed character, I will draw it. You can see all the characters I've drawn so far here."
Jayson sez, "Gygax magazine is a quarterly adventure-gaming magazine, created in the spirit of such iconic '80s journals as Dragon, White Dwarf, Adventure Gaming, and Pegasus. At the helm are Gary Gygax's two eldest sons, Luke & Ernest Gary Gygax Jr., along with Jayson Elliot, and Dragon magazine founder Tim Kask. The first issue includes an article by Cory Doctorow on DMing for toddlers, as well as new comics from Phil Foglio (What's New With Phil & Dixie) and Rich Burlew (The Order of the Stick). Gygax will launch its first issue this Saturday at The Brooklyn Strategist. The event, which is open to the public, will also have lots of gaming (including a massive AD&D 1E dungeon delve with the founder of Dwarven Forge) and a video Q&A with the staff. The whole event will be live-streamed at GygaxMagazine.com."
Stefan Jones sez,
One of the problems faced by early enthusiasts of Dungeons & Dragons was a severe shortage of the actual game. Tactical Studies Rules wasn't up to the job of supplying sufficient copies of a game that burst out of its traditional audience of miniatures wargamers. I remember photocopied sets of the first printing were ubiquitous at gaming hang-outs.
There was an alternative. Long before I was finally able to get my hands on a "white box" edition of Dungeons & Dragons, I was able to get my own copy low-rent competitor, Tunnels & Trolls.
Ken St. Andre's creation was sillier and far more casual than D&D, but you could use it to create adventures just as satisfying. Its basic design also made more sense than Gygax & Arneson's mutant offspring of miniature's rules: The characters' attributes played a direct role in game mechanics.
T&T never had the success of Dungeons & Dragons, but it was responsible for one major innovation (paragraph-based solitaire adventures) and has been through several editions. (One of the works of game writing I'm most proud of is Dark Temple, an epic solo adventure published back in 1994.)
After several years of being out of print, a new edition of T&T is in the works. To fund the development work, the original artistic and design team has put together a Kickstarter, with plenty of interesting reward levels and swag.
These 3D printed, hand-painted white nylon miniatures are rather special:
Take a look atTurtleWorks shop on Shapeways that does not contain any turtles, but does contain many more 3D printed miniatures that you can order in the material of your choice then customize by hand painting for yourself. We also have an entire gallery of3D printed miniatures on Shapeways, if any of your models are suitable to be included in this category, be surte to assign them in your product page.
Alain sez, "Artist Jeffrey Beebe's website dedicated to his autobiographical/imaginary world called Refractoria; the website features dozens hand-drawn geopolitical maps, city maps, celestial charts, genealogical charts, etc. profoundly influenced by OD&D/AD&D 1st Edition and various fantasy maps."
Map of Refractoria (Thanks, Alain!)
Robert sez, "Glorantha is one of the oldest role-playing worlds in the history of the genre. Unfortunately, due to many reasons, the world never really found traction after D&D conquered RPGs back in the early 1980s. Now, thanks to Rick Meints of Moon Design Publications, they are finally beginning to get some traction again. Now the company has a Kickstarter raising funds for a complete guide to Glorantha (which has been needed for decades)."
The Kickstarter's already met its minimum, but there's lots of cool stuff in the stretch goals.
Dragonslorefury posted this wonderful D10 RPG-player's engagement ring to DeviantArt, along with these notes:
My Engagement Ring (via Geekologie)
My engagement ring, designed by myself and a reality thanks to my amazing jeweller father. Yes that is a D10 (10 sided dice for those not used to the lingo XP), me and my partner are quite frequent roleplayers and I'm a huuuge geek and odd-ball. I wanted my ring to be one-of-a-kind and personal to me any my amazing finace so I eventually came up with this idea. If I want the dice can also be removed and replaced with a stone of my choice ^_^ Happy to be engaged to my amazing partner and to have my awesome engagement ring. <3
Plagmada -- the Play Generated Map and Document Archive -- is kickstarting a book of homebrew D&D modules made by game-geeks in their misspent youth. The lead title is the remarkable The Habitition of the Stone Giant Lord, created by 13-year-old Gaius Stern in 1981. The book will contain other homebrew adventures, and is seeking your contributions, which you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org, for inclusion in the book, which will be called "The Habitition of the Stone Giant Lord and Other Adventures from Our Collective Youth."
Matt writes in with news of the Reaper Miniatures Bones Kickstarter, which has hit an eyepopping $1M with five days to spare. Reaper makes paintable RPG miniatures and paints, and they're rather good (I have several sugrued to the top of my monitor, bought expertly painted at the Orcs Nest in Covent Garden).
Matt sez, "Even if you just want paints it's a great deal. The paint sets are $18 more for a set of 12, which is half or less what you pay retail. For minis the $100 is up to 182 plastic minis. Reapers claim, and the reviews agree, that their products are flexible hard to break and don't need primer (though you can use it). Among the minis there are some that are steampunk (the Chronoscope minis). Who wouldn't want a cybernetic gorilla? There are pirates and horror as well. You can also add for a little more cash a clockwork dragon, a jabberwocky, and a set including Cthulhu."
Some of the highest pledge levels include minis cast in sterling silver, as well as original molds.
Reaper Miniatures Bones: An Evolution Of Gaming Miniatures (Thanks, Matt!)
I thought Grimm Wisdom's "5 reasons to play D&D" was a great list -- and it made me want to get my 4-y-o out of bed and have a go at the stripped-down version we play with random toys, polyhedral dice, and miniatures. But I blogged it instead -- here's the first three, I'm gonna get the kid up:
1. Dungeons and Dragons is about imagination. It is sitting at a table, with some books, paper and pencil (or their electronic equivalent, PDFs and spreadsheets), and using the power of your mind to throw yourself into a fantasy world. Everything that your characters do is something you decided for them to do. This is no video game designer laying out choices for you. In my 20-plus years of gaming, our characters have started wars, ended wars, rescued people, killed monsters, started towns, started criminal organizations, thrown parades, stopped parades, bought bars, built temples, in addition to countless other things.
2. Dungeons and Dragons is structure. No creative endeavor, be it art, music, writing or performance, can exist without a framework of r
ules and boundaries. Our English language is built on 26 letters and our music 12 notes. It is the creative person’s mission to build something in the context of that structure that is worthwhile and maybe even entertaining.
3. Dungeons and Dragons is social. You can’t play this game alone. It requires at least two people, and typically four to eight. Interacting with other people, especially face-to-face, is important. It just is.
Here's 13 minutes' worth of the old (rather dreadful) Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, overdubbed with plausibly banal and profane dialog from a group of RPG players whose campaign the cartoon depicts. It's pretty danged funny in places, though 13 minutes is a bit much for the one-note joke.
Dadtucks (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Ethan sez, "The personal archives of legendary Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson -- some 10,000 items -- were abandoned by his heirs and lost in storage facility in Minnesota. Now they've been found and catalogued, and they're being auctioned starting this Sunday. Here's a story about it and an exclusive preview of Sunday's auction."
“It was by pure chance that the new owner attempted to find the meaning of some of the boxes of paper rather than deciding that there was no gold or jewelry to be found, and just tossing it all into the nearest dumpster,” wrote Cox on his company’s website.
Cox contacted Stormberg, whose company specializes in handling and evaluating the collections of RPG game designers and artists. They teamed up to buy and save the collection. Cox made an offer to the local auction company. The company agreed and The Collector’s Trove took possession of the materials for processing and auctioning. In an interview with GeekDad, Stormberg would not put a price tag on the collection, but he did say, “it was a substantial amount of money” — more than Cox had ever paid for an entire collection in 18 years of buying and selling for The Dragon’s Trove, which has had its hands on many of the largest and highest quality collections in the world...
...Stormberg said that “About 30% of the items are what I call product: published games, game accessories, periodicals, and books.” The remaining 70% of the collection is “non-product”: all those letters and scribbled notes, maps, objects, and personal and family items. There is Arneson’s Smith Corona: Mark IV typewriter; a set of lead crystal goblets etched with Arneson’s family heraldry; and a model ship made of metal. “Dave loved the age of sail and all things to do with naval military history. Indeed, one of his first published games was Don’t Give Up the Ship which he co-wrote with Gary Gygax and Mike Carr in 1972.”
Among the highlights: unpublished manuscripts that did not make it into the final draft of Dungeons & Dragons that date as far back as 1973. There are even older items from 1971 and 1972 “dealing with the Blackmoor campaign and the Castle itself,” Stormberg said. These may reveal secrets about the game’s origins. Domesday Book Newsletter, among the rarest and highly sought after collectibles by Dungeons & Dragons collectors.