August 30 2017

Portalarium, Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Dev’s, and It’s Community

CONGRADUUUUUULATIONS SHROUD OF THE AVATAR

Shroud of the Avatar has now successfully raised over Twelve Million in funding. That’s worth taking note of! My congratulations to everyone involved in that, something to be proud of.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent going on’s that are involved in that, shall we?


With Richard Garriott having opportunities to talk about it a bit at a Gaming Convention with over 350K people, I hope we will see a few new players!

Gamescom 2017 Keynote Speakers Announced; Includes Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene, Richard Garriott, and More

GamesCom 2017 – Preview

More than 350,000 attend Gamescom 2017 – Thumbsticks

Playerunknown's Battlegrounds Panel Coming To Gamescom – GameSpot

Gamasutra – Press Releases- From Playerunknown's


Speaking of Richard Garriott and conventions.

Devcom to return in 2018 | GamesIndustry.biz


A community continuing to create resources for each other!

Travel journal about the South entrance to Dragomir Mori – Part 1 | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

Travel journal about the South entrance to Dragomir Mori – Part 2 | Shroud of the Avatar Forum


The Rest…

Shroud of the Avatar works on replacing placeholder scenes – Massively Overpowered


Also if you did not see one of my new projects, I am running an online auction site now. Located in my store, Caveloot.com, where you can also find Shroud of the Avatar Items listed under the “virtual Games” category, under the “shop here” menu tab. More products being added all the time!

What’s great about this project is that we sell for the community for a fairly low commission. If you want to learn more about it why not just drop my an email at customerservice@thecaverns.net?

I also have a nice write-up detailing the program over here in the forums:
Online Auction Services at Caveloot.com being offered | Shroud of the Avatar Forum

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March 28 2017

Shroud of the Avatar and it’s Developers In the News

This is a summary piece on both things to take note of for Shroud of the Avatar, as well as some different things that some of its developers may have going on. The latter may be completely unrelated to the game.


First, the Moon is made of cheese… no wait, sorry, I meant let’s talk about the head cheese and going to the moon! That is Richard Garriott and an article posted over at Dailymail.com in which Richard Garriott talks a bit about Elon Musk’s plans for sending tourists to the moon. I found it an enjoyable read.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4338148/Space-tourist-offers-advice-SpaceX-moon-rocket.html


Richard Garriott is also mentioned in this article posted at Skift.

SpaceX Tourists Will Face Physical and Mental Challenges in Trip Around the Moon
Caroline Winter, Bloomberg – Mar 22, 2017 9:00 am

Read it here:
SpaceX Tourists Will Face Physical and Mental Challenges in Trip Around the Moon
Caroline Winter, Bloomberg – Mar 22, 2017 9:00 am


MMO Examiner Posted an article titled “Shroud Of The Avatar Team Gives New Update For Game”.

Shroud of the Avatar is a crowdfunded third-person RPG with MMO elements. It seeks to provide a massive singleplayer mode via episodic content, while also giving the player many opportunities to have multiplayer moments and modes. Due to the size and complexity of the game, the team, comprised mostly of Ultima veterans, makes weekly updates to give players insight into what is going on with the title.

Read it all here:

Shroud of the Avatar is a crowdfunded third-person RPG with MMO elements. It seeks to provide a massive singleplayer mode via episodic content, while also giving the player many opportunities to have multiplayer moments and modes. Due to the size and complexity of the game, the team, comprised mostly of Ultima veterans, makes weekly updates to give players insight into what is going on with the title.


Richard Garriott often attends the Explorer Club meals from what I have noticed. This is an article about one of the recent dinners which gives him a mention.

Ten feet away from the sub drone stands Richard Garriott, whose official description reads “astronaut, author, game software developer.” Garriott and I never actually exchange words, but I spent ten solid minutes eavesdropping on his conversations with other guests and admiring the (real?) spacesuit he’s brought to the Explorer’s Club.

See the images and read the full article here:
Ten feet away from the sub drone stands Richard Garriott, whose official description reads "astronaut, author, game software developer." Garriott and I never actually exchange words, but I spent ten solid minutes eavesdropping on his conversations with other guests and admiring the (real?) spacesuit he's brought to the Explorer's Club.


MMORPG has an article published titled “New & Updated Locations & Vile Weapons Anchor Newsletter”
Read more at http://www.mmorpg.com/shroud-of-the-avatar/news/new-and-updated-locations-and-vile-weapons-anchor-newsletter-1000043692#QiIVbqc22QRqA08d.99


Connectstatesboro.com has an article published with a quote taking place involving Tracy Hickman.

“I don’t like having six palettes of game boxes in my garage waiting to ship out and having to explain to my wife why they’re still there,” added Tracy Hickman, a Utah-based writer and game designer.

Read the full article here:
“I don’t like having six palettes of game boxes in my garage waiting to ship out and having to explain to my wife why they’re still there,” added Tracy Hickman, a Utah-based writer and game designer.


Take a break, watch a movie!


MMO Examiner shows some love to Shroud of the Avatar’s work in donating to charity with this artcile.

The Shroud of the Avatar team is doing their part by donating 50% of their profits from all Water.org in-game items to the organization. According to the post made on their official website today, Shroud of the Avatar has helped raise over $27,000 for the cause. For an early access indie title, that’s truly impressive!

Shroud of the Avatar Celebrates World Water Day – MMOExaminer

Here is another article they posted about SotA Updates!
Shroud Of The Avatar Gives Latest Update – MMOExaminer


Think that was all you were seeing in this piece about Tracy Hickman? Nope! Deseret News is giving you some good writing tips and Tracy Hickman lent a hand.

New York Times bestselling authors discuss their writing process and their journey to success at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX at the Salt Palace Convention Center on March 18.

New York Times bestselling authors discuss their writing process and their journey to success at Salt Lake Comic Con FanX at the Salt Palace Convention Center on March 18.

They also show him some love with a review posting of one of his books!
Book review: 'Unhonored' is a fast-paced sequel full of suspense and mystery | Deseret News


Ok, and if that was not enough for you, here are some other article’s you might want to go check into as well.

Back to the moon? Austin astronaut Richard Garriott talks space travel with Fox 7 – Story | KTBC

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Has Roots in Old Game | Time.com

Richard Garriott de Cayeux Says SpaceX Moon Crew Should Take Drugs | Inverse

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March 8 2017

Shroud of The Avatar & Cuthulu Auction Spotlight


The first auction I noticed today was for a Shroud of the Avatar challenge coin. This coin was originally made by Frank Baxley and was given to Portalarium along with the designs and all that sort of stuff.

Since then they have remade multiple versions of it using different metal mixes and finishes. To the best of my knowledge, the artwork has never been changed, although it will for the reward coin version from pledge rewards.

Given out by dev’s just about anywhere you can encounter them, and if they decided to have some with them (not just Richard himself).

Someone has this one up on Ebay. I wouldn’t say the price is bad, but I think in time you may do better. On the other hand, if you’re trying to get all the metal versions of this, you might want to jump on it. Some are more limited than others.

Lord British Shroud of the Avatar Coin RARE


This auction caught my eye, as I want it for my collection and use! I have most of the D20 Cthulhu stuff as well as a lot of off-shoot stuff (none of which I have used yet *smirks*). One of the few items I have never picked up is the Game Master’s Pack. For a while, it was impossible to get for anything less than $150.00.

I have seen it purchasable for a $100.00 or so a few times now, but this is the first time I saw it listed this low! Fortunately for you, if it is of interest to you, if it doesn’t pay my bills or put food on my table I don’t buy it right now. So I am passing a good score onto you instead!

Call of Cthulhu D20 Gamemaster’s Pack RPG

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December 18 2016

Kickstarter Spotlight – Unknown Realm

Are you a fan of the 8bit RPG classics, such as Ultima? Then this is definitely going to appeal to you! Available for PC or Commodore, it captures that modern-classic feel with 8-bit graphics yet retains some of the modern brains behind the game we have come to expect today. A lot of people I know signing up for this one, even developers!

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August 5 2016

Ultima and Wing Commander Auction Spotlight – Action Figures, U1, and UO Map

I enjoy Wing Commander but my collector’s interest is limited to the console cartridges as I collect retro console gaming. These are pretty cool though and I wouldn’t mind them hanging on one of my walls. So when I saw them, thought I would pass them along.

1999 Wing Commander Action Figure


Ultima 1981 Lord British 5.25 Diskette Progame California Pacific Apple II Game

Look at the photo. Look at the description. Do I really need to explain what this is? *drools* I want one!

Ultima 1981 Lord British 5.25" Diskette Progame California Pacific Apple II Game


CLOTH Ultima Online Map

Even though I just recently did a map piece, I saw this going for a $10.00 minnimum bid with low shipping and decided I HAD to pass it along. No pin with it, just the map. Great bargain though!

CLOTH Ultima Online Map

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March 11 2016

International Business Times Talks About Shooter Jennings and Shroud of the Avatar

This just dropped into my inbox. While I wish I could have stayed longer at the event I am glad I was able to, at least, show up! This could go a long way towards bringing more players into the game as well. It’s a nice write-up with some great info, and it’s a short read!

Why Shooter Jennings Premiered A Country Rock Tribute To Giorgio Moroder Inside A Role-Playing Game

http://www.ibtimes.com/why-shooter-jennings-premiered-country-rock-tribute-giorgio-moroder-inside-role-2334882

If you haven’t ordered your copy of the album yet, go grab one!

Waiting on my CD to arrive but I did hang mine!

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February 22 2016

Lot of cool stuff this last week – Here’s some of note

So I actually started this post on Monday 2/14/16. It is now much later then that, the number of items I want to do on this piece has grown a lot, and I doubt I will get it out for a few days yet! These are pieces that may not quite be their own article but you may want to take a peek at… here we go!


Shroud of The Avatar Developer Tracy Hickman is also involved with his Son on the project” The Void”. Tracy recently gave us some photos and an update on Facebook.

Our team from THE VOID setting up our first public demonstration of our experience at the TED2016 conference in Vancouver.

Posted by Tracy Hickman on Monday, February 15, 2016


Looks like Richard Garriott is giving to be a guest speaker over here at Linda Hall Library on March 16th. So that is something you may want to check out if you will be in the area.

http://www.lindahall.org/event/computer-gaming-pioneer-richard-garriott/


I am sure you have seen a lot of news on Shooter Jennings debuting his album in Shroud of the Avatar. Its spreading in the news like wildfire though, so be prepared to see it all over! This one is posted over at Polygon.

http://www.polygon.com/2016/2/15/10999198/shooter-jennings-shroud-of-the-avatar

If you haven’t pre-ordered it yet, you can. Either CD, /Mp3… OR PINK VINYL! That’s kinda cool.

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February 4 2016

Strike force – with artwork by Denis Loubet

Strike Force is currently being Kickstarted! Well, it is in Kickstarter anyway. Kickstarting it financially does not seem to be a problem as it’s already been fully funded in under 3 days!

A superhero setting like no other. A role-playing game campaign book that includes techniques and lessons from over 22 years of play. A tribute to one of the greatest creators in the RPG industry, created using Champions 6th Edition.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2000633882/aaron-allstons-strike-force

Denis Loubet was one of the original players and made a whole lotta cool art for this stuff!

Now for you Shroud of The Avatar fans I want to point this out.

Chupacabracon Special: You are invited to participate in a special Chupacabracon Strike Force Adventure run by Ross Watson and featuring Denis Loubet, one of the original Strike Force players! This pledge level does NOT include transportation, admission, or accommodations for the convention. (Austin, Texas, May 13-15) (Limited to 6)

So you could get in on this and not only have this great experience, but check into maybe visiting the folks at Portalarium if you’re up to asking them. If it was me Id also see about catching a play at Richard Garriott’s Curtain theater while I was there. Maybe stopping off at his famous geocache, Necropolis.

Let’s summarize:
An awesome game
Kickstarting Fun
Stretch Goals to come
Already funded
A good value
Artwork from one of your (hopefully!) favorite artists
Depending on pledge level, opportunity for much more!

Something that really caught my eye being a fairly experienced Mutants and Masterminds Game Master was this:

In addition, you receive a PDF of character sheets for the heroes and villains of Strike Force for ICONS, Mutants and Masterminds, and Savage Worlds!

Man, that’s a lot of character conversions. I hope they have or write code to do that for them! If you pledge, tell them The Caverns sent you!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2000633882/aaron-allstons-strike-force

Don’t forget your core book(s)!

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January 31 2016

A SotA Pen and Paper RPG.. Just musing of Stile Teckel

So I was thinking a Shroud of the Avatar RPG would be really cool. Pen and paper that is. You know get together at a table, on a google hangout, or whatever your method and roll dice and speak to people.

It’s been done for other MMORPG’s. Everquest has one.

World of Warcraft

Many others. Now sure, I know what you may be saying. Stile, these are some major games with big budgets. Names large enough PRG companies are willing to partner up or they have the finances to hire someone.

Well sure, but that is where some of my musings came into play. If it was to ever happen, who would be involved in it? How could this be done without spending a lot of money?

Well, what if they made themselves and hired people they knew and had worked with to assist?

You have a very experienced team in place already really. Beyond that fact that the majority of the Developer team have some sort of play experience even if minimal all the way to veteran.

Scott Jones has himself published a very solid pen and paper RPG, Shard.

Denis Loubet was also very involved with the project and its artwork. You can find his Patreon over here.

Tortoise and Hare have already worked with Portalarium doing the Shroud of the Avatar comic book. Beyond that they have worked on numerous Pen and Paper projects doing artwork.

Mike Nystul is currently working on creating RPG and tabletop projects and is in that area, has worked with them before, as well has extensive experience.

Then come on, this is a given. Tracy Hickman! Helped to bring Dragonlance to the world just to name drop. Still working hard in the genre with the recent project of bringing us back ravenloft!

I don’t know if Richard Garriott has ever worked directly on a RPG Pen and Paper project. I know he has had extensive experience both playing and in knowing industry leaders such as Steve Jackson Games.


(great game, I highly recommend it).

However I do not believe he has ever been involved in creating one. Again I could be wrong but I think the same goes for Starr Long. I bet both of them could play small but essential roles on the project and enjoy the experience.

There is probally more development experience among our current dev team and their associates I am not thinking about in my current musings, so no one missed intentionally.

Interesting thought though for a side project in the future if this game sees success. You wouldn’t be able to work on it though until the game mechanics are finalized so you can create a pen and paper working comparable.

Although I think in an RPG version, home ownership needs to take a much smaller role and the Virtues a much large one.

Kickstart it for sure.

All I can say is… I’d Play that!

If they ever do though, they better make sure it uses 6-sides in it somewhere. Given out over 2000 of those things to date!

Caverns Dice

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January 25 2016

Ravenloft is making a come-back to D&D – With TRACY HICKMAN!

I definitely did a double take when I saw this. Last I knew (or thought I knew), White Wolf owned the legal’s to Ravenloft and had went under and what would happen to Ravenloft was speculation.

Talk about being out of the RPG loop lately.. BAM – Tracy Hickman is doing Ravenloft for D&D! Check out this article titled “Dungeons & Dragons Goes Goth”. http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/dungeons-and-dragons-goes-goth

You can dig up a bit more on Amazon as well.

So Ravenloft is personally one of my favorite settings. It has a lot of flexibility to do what you want with it and have fun. Entire campaigns or just a visit, it’s all good. It’s a rare D&D campaign that I run that last for any length of time in which my victim.. err, players, do not visit Ravenloft at least once.

At least it has been in the past. Not sure how this will be laid out, but don’t forget.. Books are GUIDELINES. Don’t be afraid to go back to 2nd edition D&D, read up on how they would insert it into regular campaigns for a one-shot, and do the same if you desire.

I have used Strahd’s Castle from the 2nd edition box set in a World of Darkness White Wolf campaign. Just blue print’s mind you. I wouldn’t try to mesh rules from those two systems!

Really happy to not only see it coming back but being worked on by one of the Shroud of the Avatar game developers as well! I will be honest though. I would have rather seen it coming back with Pathfinder *winks*.

YOU CAN PRE-ORDER! This would be fun to have Tracy sign! When you do, be sure to tell him Stile Teckel sent you!


Quick side blurb;

So a while back I needed an Ipad 4 case. My requirements where inexpensive, light weight and form fitting. In short, I was after minimal scratch protection not drop protection.

To all of you it will be obvious I think, why I choose the one I did. I really didn’t care about looks as long as it looked good, I did research and I ended up with about 30 choices for the price range. I picked the one I liked best *shrugs*. That was all the thought I really put into it cosmetically.

Yes I went with a map, because my fondness for maps comes from Ultima.. Obvious as I said!

For some reason it has stopped more traffic in my house when people are walking around, then… then.. anything I have ever bought for decor!

I like it.. I just didn’t think it was THAT cool!

So do yourself a favor. Just buy one of these, stick it where people can see it. Conversation piece taken care of. Tip from the Caverns blog.

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