The Worst Blogger

Easy joke is easy…

Holy shit! Has it really been since January since I updated this here ‘blog? God almighty, yes it has. Well, I’m sorry Gentle Readers. A combination of being busy and apathy toward ‘blogging has been my downfall. But, I’m back now if you’re still interested. It’s been a long and interesting seven months since we last spoke, and shit has most definitely gotten real since then. If you’ve got the time, I’d love to tell you about it.

So. Where to begin? Well, I spent the first part of the year cranking out a bunch of books for Fantasy Flight, playing in my band, and generally being as aggressively indolent as possible. It was a time of ups and downs, strikes and gutters. Honestly, a lot of the time I spent wondering what the hell I was doing, and wondering if I shouldn’t just go to sea or take up driving a truck or something. Then, out of nowhere, came Gen Con.

Gen Con was great to me this year. I came away with three paying jobs, including two rad assignments for FFG and rebooting the Heavy Gear RPG for Dream Pod 9, the potential for some work with Cubicle 7, Third-Eye GamesPaizo and Privateer Press, and a bunch of new contacts. 
Apparently all the hard work and worry and stress I put into my writing over the past two years is paying off and the chickens are coming home to roost. I’ve got name recognition in the industry now, which is at once awesome and weird, and people know me and my work and like what they see. It’s still touch and go though, it’s not like people are knocking down my door to have me write about spaceships and giant robots for them, but it’s a much better showing than last year.
So there, that’s sort of my year in a nutshell. My plan now is for more shameless self-promotion, more blogging, and a lot more book making. Also, I’m going to redesign this site ’cause it’s ugly as day-old sin. Stick around, won’t you? I’ll do my best to update at least once a week and run my yap about games and writing. ‘Cause seriously, if it’s one thing I’ve got it’s a lot of grossly uninformed opinions about gaming!

Friday Mea Culpa: No Excuse Edition.

Mea culpa, mea culpa…

Okay, look. I know going over two weeks between posts is total bullshit. I know I’ve let down my tens of readers, and for that I’m sorry. I don’t really have a good excuse, not one that holds water anyway. Let’s just say that I took a little hiatus, and I’m in good company, but now I’m back. Instead of boring you with what I did on my hiatus, I’ll just skim some important points, starting with what caused my absence, the train-wreck that was Origins.

So, I had this long-ass post all ready to write when I got back from Origins, then once I started I just couldn’t finish. I didn’t have the heart, didn’t have the energy, couldn’t be arsed, etc. So, I’ll give you a taste of the opening. This is how it was to go down…

Cthulhu was my co-pilot

I have returned from the hinterlands, brothers and sisters. I’ve returned from the state of my birth with a full report on the absolute train-wreck that was Origins 2010. Marvel at tales of scheduling cock-ups! Gasp at the sheer audacity of running a major convention like a pack of Ritalin addled tweens! Look on in horror as no one shows up and attendance numbers go in the toilet! All of this and more were the wonders that awaited me when I rolled into Columbus on Wednesday night.

 Good, eh? Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that bad. It was pretty disorganized, though. I won’t go into the details, since I’m pretty over it now. I’ll say this, though.


GAMA needs to get their shit together, and pronto. Whoever is running that chicken shack needs to hitch up their pants like a big boy and make some major changes. Origins and the Gama Trade Show need to be rolled together into one big party. GAMA needs to hire a goddamned web developer who can get a navigable and easy to read website with a usable event sign-up live more than a month before the con. Origins is a good con, a great con, a con with over thirty years of good will and positive feelings attached to it by the hordes of people who usually attend. GAMA seems to be unable to leverage this into anything meaningful, and is apparently content to dither around like a pack of hens while they piss their con away.

Whew, now that that’s over, lets talk about some other stuff. In no particular order, here’s what’s been eating up my time lately.

  • Pandemic - The wife and I and our friends play a shitload of board and card games along with our dice-throwing trad games. Usually it’s Settlers of Catan or Flux or one of the brazillion versions of Munchkin, or something like that train game that Mayfair does. Recently though, we can’t get enough of Pandemic. Seriously, ZMan games hit it out of the park with this one. It’s one of the best designed games I’ve ever played. The gameplay is fast and brutal, it requires the ability to work quickly and smartly with other players, and punishes you for a lack of planning and foresight. Seriously, there are more ways to lose this game than there are to win it. Also, there’s a version where someone gets to play an invisible bio-terrorist wherein hilarity invariably ensues. Go out right now and get the game and its expansion, you won’t regret it.
  • Holiday Travel - Over the Independence Day holiday, the wife and babby and I all packed up and headed out to the west side of the state for a weekend at ace GM Munin’s folk’s place. Once there we had a hard few days of fireworks, shooting guns, going to the beach, floating down the river, playing airsoft, playing disc golf, eating a lot, playing, well, shitloads of board games, watching Zombieland, and generally having a good time. While there, I took the opportunity to talk game design with Munin, Selnaric, Namaimo, and the wife, and familiarized with Dream Pod 9′s interesting mech game Heavy Gear. Of course, that leads me to…
  • Design/Book Stuff - So, remember that novel I keep telling you about? I’m currently in the process of getting the world, which is a hard-science real world setting set 400 years in the future during the human diaspora, straight so I can write in it. I’m also toying with making some of my other settings (AEGIS vs. SPIDER and my Paranormal Police games) into ruleless settings and selling some PDFs. There’s also a non-fiction book about gaming that I’d like to write, and I’m looking into that as well.
  • Bringing up Babby - The Kid is nearly four months old now, and dadding is becoming increasingly labor intensive. Eventually we’re going to have to get some kind of daycare so that I can actually get work done during the day. Speaking of…
  • Work - I’m down to only one Rogue Trader assignment for Fantasy Flight, but more are probably on the way along with (hopefully) more stuff for Deathwatch. Despite Origins being mostly crap, I did have an opportunity to talk with Tara from Catalyst Games about some possible freelancing for Shadowrun 4, along with the guys who do Cthulhutech. Fighting the great old ones? In space? With lasers? Sign me up! I also need to get back into doing those quick essays for Demand Studios, no matter how bad their editors are.
  • Rogue Trader - Since our Shadowrun/Cthulhu/In Nomine game finally ended, now it’s time for me to run my Rogue Trader game. My man Zorak has put a Wiki together for us, wherein we’re putting our characters and ships and NPCS and lots of other background stuff to give the game some flavor, as if Rogue Trader doesn’t already have enough flavor. 

    Welp, that’s it. That’s how I spent my hiatus. Now I need to get back to, you know, writing so that I can pay my bills and buy The Kid shoes. In the coming days I’ll probably post to elaborate on all that stuff up there, or maybe I’ll just talk about spaceships and motorbikes and space-motorbikes.

    Better Late than Never, Eh?

    It’s ours, Precious!

    Today is our birthday, Precious. I know it’s been woefully quiet this week at the Gamewerks, but don’t fret Gentle Readers. The Furnaces are burning and the gears are grinding and the belts are moving in the background as I scramble to finish up a couple Rogue Trader assignments for Fantasy Flight. I’ll make it up to you next week, as I plan to spend the next four days alternating, like Hemingway, between fits of drunken debauchery and furious, inspired writing. Next week we’re going to talk about Dwarves, scale, and my awesome Cthulhu birthday cake. In the meantime, please check out these fine establishments for all of your game blog needs.

    Phoning it in…

    Ironic and/or witty pop culture reference here…

    It’s Tuesday and there’s no new post! I totally have a good excuse for it, though. Want to hear it? I became a father on Sunday, to a beautiful little girl named Katya. So, since babby is now formed and has stolen my brain, I’m declaring it Phoning it in week at the Gamewerks. I’ll make a couple of small posts I have half done, or maybe not. All depends. Anyway gentle readers, if you don’t see anything this week, don’t worry. A little girl has control of my brains.

    Would You Look at the Time!

    Well, hell. It looks like I’ve missed Monday’s MCGW deadline and there will be no post today. Something something spent the whole day tuning my resume something something… Anyway, enjoy this picture of the White Rabbit doing his best Flava Flav impression, and I’ll have something for you tomorrow. Or Wednesday.

    Friday Morning Mea Culpas: or Let Me Rephrase That…

    It has come to my attention that I may have been a little less than charitable in my previous posts. Apparently I’ve painted my beloved Detroit as some sort of post-industrial Land of Wind and Ghosts where itinerant farmers scratch out a living amongst the bones of the auto industry, and my admittedly less than beloved hometown as a meth addled Gothic horror fairyland peopled by unemployed simpletons and radioactive zombie cows. While I suppose there’s an element of truth in each statement, and I’ll let you, gentle readers, winkle out the truth of both, it’s not all starving packs of urban coyotes and babbling madwomen. So, to make up for my vicious slander, please enjoy the following links describing some of the best things to be found in each city.

    Good things in Detroit: 

    Eastern Market
    Foran’s Irish Pub
    Lafayette Coney Island
    Mudgie’s Deli 
    Cliff Bell’s
    Cafe 1923 (Hamtramck) 
    The Guardian Building
    Baker’s Keyboard Lounge

    The Detroit Institute of Arts
    Bureau of Urban Living
    Leopold’s Books
    John K. King Books
    Campus Maritus
    Showtime Detroit
    Fox Theatre
    Masonic Temple

    Good Things in Wooster:
    South Market Bistro
    The Wooster Book Company
    Books in Stock
    Troutman Vineyards
    Coccia House Pizza
    Big Picture Cinema
    Vulture’s Knob
    Broken Rocks Cafe
    Tulipan Hungarian Bakery
    Moorefield Pottery

    See? It’s not all bad.
    Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.