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!

Category: Caverns, Dungeons, and Beyond, Games, Other Games | Comments Off on Kickstarter Spotlight – Unknown Realm
December 10 2016

Kickstarter Spotlight – Papers and Paychecks

Role Play Game systems fall into some primary categories for me when I am picking one. As you dig in deeper, it’s like a skill tree that I follow.

That first option though is always, do I like this system and concept best for:
-A long campaign
-A short Campaign
-Random play (play a game, drop it somewhere and whenever it makes sense pick up where left off).
-One-shot

Optional
-Good for newbies, if we have them?

I can’t answer all these questions about this one yet. It looks like a lot of fun, but based on the concept I CAN remove “long campaign.” This looks like a blast, but don’t think id want to do 6+ months of it!

I also remember this!!

Three decades ago Will McLean brought us many laughs with the “Papers & Paychecks” illustration in the ‘Dungeon Masters Guide’ for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. A cursory search will reveal that on more than one occasion the thought has entered the heads of others that “Papers and Paychecks” would make a great roleplaying game.

It’s almost funded when I write this but could use a tad bit more. So please be sure to check it out if it’s something you may be interested in!

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November 25 2016

Talking About Richard Garriott’s New Book: “Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark”

Wow, that is a long title! Let’s take another look at that. Today we are going to talk about the book written by Richard Garriott and David Fisher titled “Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark.”

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon

Getting the necessaries out of the way. This article will contain some minor spoilers, but I will be hiding them in spoiler boxes.

This book has not been published yet and is being released 1/10/2017 on Amazon. My references are in regards to an Advanced Read Copy (ARC) I won in a random giveaway on Goodreads, and ready this week.


About the book from Amazon:
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I am going to talk about this book first from an overall perspective as a sort of quick review piece. Following that, I will do a quick chapter by chapter commentary which will be hidden by a spoiler box to make it easier on the eyes.

Some of my comments will be of a personal nature while others may be about the content. Anything goes!

Please understand that I am not an objective reader. I have had contact with Richard on numerous occasions in various formats, including in person. From that association and common interests I share with him, this has led into us sharing several common friends, a couple of which are even mentioned in his book!

Thereby my review, while I will try to make it object where it should be, may be colored by biases I do not even realize I have. You have been told!

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon


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As someone who had already been patiently waiting for the release of this book, I was rather excited when I won it in a Goodreads giveaway. This was followed by a slight bit of disappointment at the 30-day timeline only to turn once again into excitement when the book arrived a few days later, which for me was two days ago.

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Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon

While I was very interested in receiving it, I also was worried that I would find it somewhat boring. Not due to lack of being well written or good content but rather as someone who has been following Richard Garriott at some level or another most of my life, I was worried it would all be old news to me.

Quite the contrary, there were only a couple sections of the book that feel this way to me. Areas that I had heard stories about from Richard or seen on Youtube had new insights and revelations. To my astonishment, I even learned about a few of Richard’s adventures in life I had not known of. I attribute this to the fact that as a public personality, time alone in private with him is rare. So topics tend to be the ones that the majority of the public pull from him.

This book allows for a format in which Richard gets to share adventures that may not be as popular, but I find none the less intriguing.

While he certainly offers some advice here and there, it is more narrative and story driven. Recounting major stories, turning points, and adventures in his life with some commentary. I personally, was then able to draw some corollary’s in my own life and learn from his experience.

Being done this way led to a fun story that at many times completely engaged me, drew me in, and made me feel like I was living it a bit. Not in the way a good Fiction Novel would, but well enough to help me feel the experiences he describes.

David Fisher did a fantastic job overall in capturing the nuances of Richards personality in person, in print. I have had the honor to engage with Richard face to face on occasion and many times as I read this book I could easily hear him telling me the story!

There can be a lot of reasons someone may be interested in this book. Hoping to gain some insight or wisdom from a creative individual perhaps. You may be a fan or follow of one area of his life such as video game or space travel and are looking for things specific to that. Maybe you just find him and his stories fun or exciting.

For me, it is a combination of all these things and many others, which put this book was on my wish list. Whichever reason you are considering purchasing it for, do yourself a favor and get on the preorder list. It’s not lengthy which for some will be positive. For myself, that was the only negative.

If you want to hear some of my fun commentaries about the book, the following is a chapter by chapter commentary that overall I keep short. Spoilers will exist but will be mostly minor. I will try to avoid sharing anything that might ruin reading it for yourself!

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon


Chapter 1 – Titanic Mistakes

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Chapter 2
I Was a Teenage Dungeon Master

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The Night Comet Shoemaker Levy 9 Crashed Into Jupiter

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Chapter 3
The Origin of Origin

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It All Begins To Computer

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Risky Business

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Chapter 4 – The Wonders of Wondering

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Chapter 5 – Minding My Own Business

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Chapter 6 – A Universal Language

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Chapter 7 – IV-Play, Or The New Rules of Engagement

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Chapter 8 – Makeing Enemies

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Chapter 9 – The Haunted Beginnings of Themed Interactive Events

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Chapter 10 – The Magic of Science

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Chapter 11 – The Discovery of the Pina Colada

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Chapter 12 – The End of the Beginning of the World

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Chapter 13 – Nothing for Money

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Chapter 14 – We Created a World and Never Got a Day of Rest

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Chapter 15 – Finder’s Leavers: A-Geocaching We Will Go

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Chapter 16 – Playing for Keeps

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Chapter 17 – He’s Got a Ticket to …

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Chapter 18 – Packing (and smuggling) for Space: The Space Kielbasa

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Chapter 19 – Taking Up Space

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Chapter 20 – Don’t Kill Stephen Hawking!

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Chapter 21 – Oh! The Places We’ll Go!

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Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon


I dedicate this article to Richard Garriott.

Richard Garriott has had at least some subtle, yet direct, effect on my life since I have been a child. Sometimes not so subtle. 🙂

It was enjoyable for me to get to read many of his great stories in detail and I look forward to the next volume!

But.. Richard,
J/K

Ankh Quill

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon

November 23 2016

Kickstarter Spotlight – Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Already fully funded with 7 more days to go, at over a Million Dollars, this game has a following already!

Become an Olympian God and fight beside the greatest heroes and monsters to ever live in this beautiful miniatures board game.

$99.00 gets you the most basic pledge which is called the “God Pledge” which may seem a lot, but you really need to take a look at what you are getting! $99.00 for a gigantic miniature plus another 69 (good number!) miniatures, is one heck of a deal in my book.. Wait, AND you get an awesome game? I see why this is funded already!

Category: Games | No Comments »
November 22 2016

Book Spotlight from Stile Teckel

I had recently done a review on the book “Dungeon Born” by “Dakota Krout”, as a book, I would recommend, found a bit unusual from the norm, and just really enjoyed overall. Gave me some great ideas for an RPG system or how I would alter one of my own to run in the future as well.

Having enjoyed it, I decided to try out a similar novel called “The Slime Dungeon” by “Jeffrey “Falcon” Logue.” This one is a two part series (at the moment), and I did read both of them.

I have to report back that I both enjoyed and was disappointed in this series.

Taken objectively it was an enjoyable read. Being that the “slime” was one of my favorite “mobs” in the Ultima Games and Shroud of the Avatar, to read a book in which the dungeon setup revolves around slimes was very enjoyable for me. In fact, some guild members and I were just killing slimes in Serpent’s Mine in SotA a few nights ago!

On the other hand, these books were VERY familiar. To the extent that if someone told me it was the same writer under a pen name, or another writer trying to copy one and change it just enough to get away with it, I would not be surprised at all. That is where the disappointment came from. In some ways it was unique, but in many ways, it seemed very much like a remake… That was not done quite as well.

While I did not enjoy it as much as Dungeon Born, to give it it’s fair due, taken on its own I am glad I read it. I would have preferred to have read these two first, then Dungeon born but you cannot go wrong with any of them!


I hereby dedicate this article to all the slimes I have killed in Ultima over my life!

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Ankh Quill

November 20 2016

All Gamers – Arm UP! Logitech Periphals Up to 50% Off Today!

I usually would not promote a sale going on at another store like this, as a single article content.

Let’s face it, though; Logitech makes good peripherals, and my audience is gamers. I’d hope you would want to know about this!!!

So Click Here to head over to Amazon for the sale if you need any new gaming equipment!

A couple of recommendations from Stile!

I use this WEBCAM and it is the shit! 1080P and is tripod ready.

I use two mice. One is a Logitech gaming mouse; I use when doing a lot of PvE or PvP.

The rest of the time I use this Logitech peripheral because it uses less hand movement, is more precise, doesn’t require wrist or arm movement.

Every person I have ever gotten to try one of these, and use it for about two weeks is converted and swears by them. If you have never used one for a while, you may be doing yourself an injustice. No, they don’t work for everything but 95% of the time they are a better choice.

Category: Tech | No Comments »
November 19 2016

RPG Auction Spotlight – X-Treme Dungeon Mastery by Tracy Hickman


Tracy Hickman has a long life of gaming experience and he puts some of that wisdom to use here.

I personally love X-Treme Dungeon Mastery because the majority of it matches my play style, and how I like to run an RPG game. While tastes and styles can vary, there’s something that will help everyone that likes to game in this book and it is one I tell every gamer I know, that they should have in their library.

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On Ebay
X-Treme Dungeon Mastery by Tracy Hickman and Curtis Hickman (2009, Hardcover)

On Amazon:
http://amzn.to/2fsvBHf

Quest for the Tavern, Story Quest!
http://amzn.to/2g5QOGT


At one time I know that Tracy Hickman was working on a players version of this book. Although I completely recommend this book to all of my players as I feel there are lessons for both the MG and player in it.

I am not sure if that is still the case, but certainly, hope we see that additional volume some day!

November 18 2016

Why I Just Got Excited About VR!

VR is something that I have kept on, as I do for almost anything to do with gaming or technology. It is not something that I have ever done much more than give a head nod to, though.

It’s not that I do not feel we have a place for VR yet, I do. It is that anything that I would be interested in is outside of my access for one reason or another.

That has somewhat changed! I still have a roadblock in that this is not something I foresee being able to budget for a long time, as I need a PS4 first (or another platform choice)! Still though in a couple of years I may be able to bring this into the home. At this moment, is the first VR application I plan to try!

Link to Star Trek Bridge Crew on Amazon


I recently had attended the Griffoncon 40 Convention in South Bend, IN. One of the events that took place throughout the convention was a demonstration fo the game “Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator“.

I loved it! You had five people playing the game at the same time. The way they had set it up was the captain in the center with two crew members on each side of him.

Each player plays one of the roles of the crew from Star Trek. The game is different for each of you, as your goals are related to the position and station you are playing from.

While it looked like a great game, I couldn’t help but think I would love to see a more graphical version of the game.

While it has some differences, it looks like wishes do come true as Star Trek Bridge Crew sounds like it may do a good job of this. Reviews I read about it have been positive so far. It may be a long way away until I get to try it but it’s going on my wish list!

On Amazon: Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator

Category: Games | No Comments »
November 16 2016

Book Reccomendation by Stile Teckel – Dungeon Born

Many of you have seen me mention I have been reading a lot of books in the LITRPG genre over the last few years (do not worry, though, I do not ignore other genre’s!).

One that has passed across my screen as I have ben looking for something to read, many times is “Dungeon Born” by Dakota Krout.

I passed it up many times, not because I did not feel it would be good but after reading the description, it was not a taste I was in the mood for.

Finally felt like this would “hit the spot” recently, grabbed it, read it, and am now talking about it because it was fantastic!

It has the feel of a Pen and Paper RPG but unlike some LITRPG, does not present the story as a game, or use game mechanics to describe things.

The concept is that Dungeons are born as a gem and that the dungeons are an extension of themselves. Or to give it a vibe I liked, you could picture you being the GM in a game, playing the dungeon.

What was fun about this story is it did give a lot of plausible thoughts to the things your party always cry about. You know things like, why is the gold mine always by the entrance? Why is the entrance not hidden? Why does it continually respawn!!!!

All in all, it was an enjoyable read combined with the willingness to let my disbelief go for a bit.

What I would very much like to see, if it’s not already done (I haven’t checked yet so there may be!), is a RPG pen and paper version of this. I think it could make for some great gameplay and ma fun mechanics system for the GM!

Ankh Quill