August 21 2018

Keeping up with Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Community, and it’s Developers

Hello fellow Spelunkers!

First I have to apologize. I have been waiting until I had enough pieces to get a new one of these out and a few days ago I realized I was way past having enough and should be posting the second one by now, with what I have! Ooops!

So let’s do this thing.


I mean, what can I seriously say? What words can top this title? Not really fair you know? It’s like looking at a level 6 Rouge and saying, ok go for it, roll your hiding skill to hide from Dragolich the dragon, in a fully lit room, which is also his hoard, after he was just talking to you, and you haven’t moved, and he knows where you are. Unless your Bilbo and have a Ring of Unlimited Invisibility, with Unlimited Charges, forget it!

It Took 26 Years To Find Ultima 7's Lord British Hiding In This Secret Room | Kotaku UK


This article is about Cryptocurrency, but makes mention of Richard Garriott in it and gives an update on his property in Austin.

Cryptocurrency and real estate: Two worlds collide


This is an absolutely fantastic historic write-up on Ultimate Collector!

The history of “Ultimate Collector”, Garriott’s stab at social gaming – Slashie's Journal


Time for Popcorn!!


You have the pieces put out by MMORPG and similar sites, to check out if you missed them.

This week’s Shroud of the Avatar patch includes an R2-D2 lookalike in homage to Star Wars – Massively Overpowered

Shroud of the Avatar’s 56th update is live, with a big PvP update and bug clean-up – Massively Overpowered

Shroud of the Avatar teases Polynesian cosmetics, example player-built dungeons – Massively Overpowered

Player Made Dungeons to Debut in Q4 2018 – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com

Shroud of the Avatar works on global visual improvements, throws Shooter Jennings album release party – Massively Overpowered

A Bumpy Start to Release 56 Causes a Rollback and a Retry – Shroud of the Avatar – MMORPG.com

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July 10 2018

Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Developers, & Community In the News

The last few months I have been unable to publish this piece, but rest assured I am still here and other then the short pause, nothing has changed! Glad to be picking it back up again and let’s just get straight to it!

Starting off, it’s pretty hard to discuss video gaming history without at some point bringing up the name Richard Garriott. That’s exactly what is taking place on this piece, posted at US Game. Exploring Ultima and Teletype RPGs, Plus #24 on Our Top 25 RPG Countdown


Austin game developer Richard Garriott brought a crew of child explorers — including his own — to the North Pole in April. They flew the Austin flag while they were there and presented that flag to the mayor on Tuesday.

If you missed the fact he did this a while back… He did.

You can read more about it on Statesman. Family flies Austin flag at North Pole, presents flag to mayor


If you know the history of Richard Garriott, you know that it all started at a Computerland. Who was the man behind the Computerland? Find out about that and more in a new book coming out, which details the history of Richard Garriott.


About John Prosper Mayer


Massively Overpowered has a nice little article over here talking about some of where Shroud of the Avatar is going now. A quick read, so not going to take up a lot of your time to check it out!

SHROUD OF THE AVATAR OPENS UP OPTIONAL ‘REWARDS’ SUBS, STRETCH GOAL CASH SHOP TO FUND EPISODE 2

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March 18 2018

Is There a Signifigance Between the Ready Player One and Shroud of the Avatar Release Dates?

Hello everyone!

Before I roll initiative and jump into the meat of this topic, let me say I apologize for the blog being a bit on the quiet side of late. As I am getting ready for the spring Convention season as a retailer, I’m having to spend a bit less time on the blog at the moment. Pit traps and giant web’s have been really slowing me down.

As a result, the amount of articles I have I need to put out to everyone is growing quite large. I plan on doing an “as brief as I can” summary piece soon.

In the meantime, I really wanted to get this topic that has been on my mind out there!

Most Shroud of the Avatar players know these things, which is not known as widely by Ready Player One fans.
– Ben Holiday in Ready Player one is at least partially inspired by Richard Garriott.
– Ernest Cline is a fan of Richards work and the reverse has become true as well.
– Richard and Ernest Cline have become friends.
– Shroud of the Avatar has things in the game, taken from or inspired by Ready Player One, such as Fyndors Tablet.

Not as many people from either category will succeed on their lore skill check to know or remember that Richard Garriott was playing around with a game Called Ultimate Garage Sale Collector.

Even more of note that Richard and Cline teamed up and held a real-life contest which involved Richards game. Heck, I participated in it myself as far as I completed it in Ultimate Garage Sale Collector and earned the Back to the Future Delorean replica in the game! Wish I had screenshots. If I do, I have no idea where I put them. The days of pre-blogging… But I was Epic level in that game, lived in Britannia Manor, had all the best toys, and I didn’t even spend any real-life loot!

ready-player-one | Real-Life Easter Egg Hunt

Contest Winners Level Up In The Ready Player One Easter Egg Hunt | Giant Freakin RobotGiant Freakin Robot

Known by no one but probably myself insofar as remembering it and making a connection, unless you have some really weird memory feat. In reference to Ready Player One, Ben Holiday, Himself, and all the similarities, Richard Garriott once made a comment along the lines of “Ben and I have more in common then people know yet”.

I personally believe this to have been an easter egg clue by Richard that there are in fact more Ready Player crossover plans of SOME type, for Shroud of the Avatar planned in the future. This comment was made by Richard after all the other previously mentioned things took place and nothing really has been announced since. In short, if this is a clue to future plans those plans have not happened yet.

I’m sorry, I can’t back that up with a source or provide a date like that, not sure which manual the info was printed in. I’m an encyclopedia of weird things like that I store (whether I want to or not) and then make connections to other things in the future with. I saw it on his Facebook, but it was syndicated over from a Tweet. So if you have a higher point bonus to your Twitter skill then I do, please start a research montage and pull it up! I am so clueless as to how to even start, I’d be rolling with a -10.

(Stone Dice, buy these on Etsy by Caveloot!)


We Bid Ye Welcome by Caveloot on Etsy


So Let’s come full circle on this to “Now”

Anything else more current we need to look at?

With 365 days in the years Shroud of the Avtar officially “launches” the day before Ready Player one? Check.

Are my Liege and Mr. Cline still in any sort of contact where they may have chances to chit chat and hatch plans? Indeed! In fact, Richard was just in the best seating for the pre-release of Ready Player one at SSX!

Unless I am really fumbling my rolls here, I have to think there is some sort of additional plans in store we will be hearing shortly after this “joint?” launch. At the minimum I think we will see some sort of really cool contest, with easter eggs in the game. I really do think that will be just the beginning though.

I’ll be watching! *Peers from Over Gm Screen*

If your a Shroud of the avatar Player and have not Read Ready Player One, you may want to fix that. It’s possible it could have an effect on your future game!

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February 2 2018

Wizard for Hire – Ever Want A Legendary GM to Run an RPG for your Group? NOW YOU CAN!

Ever sit around with your game group knocking around who it would be cool to have run a campaign for you just once?

Or how about going to a convention and pubically playing with an amazing guest GM or attending their panel, and thinking.. WOW! I wish I could have them run for my private group once!

What about just consulting with such a person for your own campaign?

While not every Epic GM out there offers such services, Nystul does!

*PINS A FLYER TO YOUR GAME TABLE WITH A DAGGER*

Check it out!! If you have any interest just contact me and I will put you in touch with him.

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December 7 2017

Tabletop & PC Gamers both, Take Notice at Amazon Today!

Most of the time the Amazon deal’s of the day bore me. Every once in a while they do one that makes me take notice.

Today they decided to take money from gamers, and didn’t want to discriminate between the Tabletop and the Videogamer, from what I can see!

First off a large selection of Tabletop games at %40 off.
http://amzn.to/2zXZRns

Id like to spotlight a couple of recommendations, including one for my Shroud of the Avatar Readers!

including one for my Shroud of the Avatar Readers

Not everyone from the Shroud of the Avatar community was around this long, and I doubt many will remember the videos from the first Kickstarter days! During one of the videos of the early Kickstarter days the Dev team played this game, although perhaps not this version of it! I also carry “Are you a Werewolf” with me at convention booths when I vend for Caveloot.com, it’s a great game!

Takes a lot of people, but is fun, easy to do, and great for social gatherings. Try it at your next party! Now there’s an interesting tidbit about this. When the Dev’s where playing this, at one point Richard made a statement. Something about that statement, and dozens of other things that I knew about him, history, his game making, game interests, etc, all clicked, and it gave me a HUGE insight into the “super secret story” twists planned for Shroud!

I later had a chance to ask Richard about it, and I was fairly dead on. However as time has moved on, a lot of those plans have changed I know based on community feedback and game development. Unfortunately, since I still don’t know what peripherals of that story idea they plan on keeping are, I’ll continue to keep my promises about keeping my mouth shut about my guesses. It won’t be long until I can say what my original guesses where, and what some of the thoughts and Ideas had originally been talked about.

I have not personally played the board game version of this, but being the gamer I am my life is surrounded by both gamers and game developers, and I have heard nothing but good things from all of them!

It certainly looks awesome, and I know I have played the mobile game on IOS of the same theme, extensively. Grr.. in fact I see that happening again real soon now!

If you’re not familiar with the theme/title, you should be. It’s certainly been done in a lot of mediums!
http://amzn.to/2kqNw8q

Yay Cheap Ass Games! For those not familiar with Cheap Ass Games, that’s exactly what they did. They made Cheap Ass games, that you get the bare minimums really cheap to play a basic game.

Now personally, I prefer to pay more for my games, get cool things with it, and more importantly help support those developers in their industry!

I’m not the only person that feels that way and that’s why Cheap Ass Games took some of their more popular games and made nicer editions of them. This being one!

I haven’t played this in a while, but I do have their original version in my game room. A good friend of mine once gave me a present of a bunch of their games, in a nice binder, with cool accessories he put together shopping himself. A lot of good times have been had from that gift! Great Present!

WOW! This game has come a long way! I remnemebr when it first came out, and in fact I still have my first edition in the tiny little box it came in. I think I got the first expansion after that, which came with another 100 zombies or some such.

While I stopped investing into the game (which I am sure would not have been the case if I still gamed as much as I was once able to do), I have friends that have continued to pick up a lot of the expansions and things of that nature.

Bottom line, You will not go wrong with this game!!

If you want to make that gamer’s in your life Christmas this year, GET THIS! Open Gifts early, gather the family around and have an amazing day. Take a break for lunch and keep going, as no one is going to want to leave!


For you PC Gamers, they have some high end Gaming hardware up for sale today also!

http://amzn.to/2ADw2Kj

I have no strong reccomendations in this section, as I can’t reccomend equipment I have not used, and nothing in here is my exact equipment. For the most part my hardware is better (It’s amazing that a build I did 3 years ago has held its value as long as it has!), or the upgrade vs. cost just is not worth it!

If I had money just laying around though, this caught my attention and would be a nice upgrade. Id want to upgrade from my DDR3 ram to DDR4 with it though.

I’m REALLY surprised by the lack of any Video Cards in that selection today! On the other hand, a good thing, as that’s where I really need to do an upgrade! At the moment I can only window shop!

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September 26 2017

Shroud of the Avatar, It’s Community, and It’s Developers in the News

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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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