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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hump-Day Hildebrandt: Fantasy Cookbook and the End of the Swords & Wizardry Logo Contest!

Just a reminder that the deadline for the Swords & Wizardry Compatible Logo Contest is tomorrow!  Please have your submissions in no later than 11-27-2014.  Now, I present to you the closest thing to a Thanksgiving Feast that I could find in the Hildebrandt archives.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Post U-Con Post: Part 2

Before I begin, let me remind you that there are only 3 days left in the Swords & Wizardry Compatible Logo Design Contest! Enter today!  We have cool prizes!  Plug, pluggity, plug plug!

Thursday Night
I arrived at the hotel the evening prior to U-con.  As I had planned, I hung down in the lobby with other members of the staff while passing out pre-registered packets.  I then met up with +Jim Wampler  and +Tim Snider for a brief moment.  Both turned in after long drives from Ohio.  We had talked previously about getting a pre-con game going, but with folks turning in early, there was not much chance of that happening.  I notified +Adam Muszkiewicz of the situation.  At the time he was elbow deep in some urgent plumbing, but decided that after that task was accomplished pints full of good stuff would be in order. 
I met with Adam at The Taproom (which turned out to be all of five minutes away from the hotel) around 10:00 PM.  For a short time we were joined by U-Con's own +Shane Harsch. We threw back some pints of Hideout Brewery Hazelnut Stouts and had good, mostly gaming related, conversation.  All in all it was a good night, but I think that when Adam threw a last minute whisky in the mix, he may have overstepped his bounds.  I could not go so far myself, as I had a game to run bright and early Friday morning.  I turned in, possibly, a bit too late for having a game in the morning.
I awoke Friday morning to find that I was A-O.K.  No over-drinking here.  I grabbed a bite and headed to the OSR Track room, where I was to spend most of the rest of my day (14 hours straight mind you.)  I opened up the day running Pacesetter Games & Simulations'  Q2 "Eruptor's Vengence" using Sword's & Wizardry.  I met some really good folks during this game, including +Andrew Moss and +Brett Slocum .  It's actually amazing that I had never met Brett before, as we have both been regulars at U-con for some time.  The session was highly enjoyable, and we ended up with an additional player as another slated S&W game fell through.   To my delight, the first combat of the session nearly ended in a TPK.  That is the proper way to start out your OSR gaming event, just in case anyone was wondering.  I won't say much more about the session, to avoid spoilers, but I will say, that if you are an OSR GM, in particular a fan of S&W/0E or OSRIC/1E this will be up your alley. 

Friday afternoon I ran another module by Pacesetter Games & Simulations (anyone seeing a pattern here?)  This time it was on to Q1 "The Screaming Temple."  The game was quickly thwarted by +Andrew Moss, who alerted all of the temple guards to the existence of the party right away.  The temple burnt to the ground and we only got a 2-1/2 hour session out of the game.  This was a bit of a relief on my end, as it gave me a break in the day.  Unfortunately I was a dumb jerk to myself and, rather than grabbing a much needed meal, I spent time in the dealer room where I met with local friends, along with Tim Snider at the Goblinoid Games booth.  Tim was kind enough to sign copies of both "Cryptworld" and "Deviant Database" for me.   I also met up with +Roy Snyder at the Goodman Games Booth.  I ended up picking us some Goodman merch, along with some old TSR and Judges Guild stuff that I had been missing in my collection.

From my excursion to the vendor room, I immediately returned to the OSR Track room for the 6:00 PM panel discussion about "defining the OSR." The panel featured all three guests that were able to make it out, Jim, Tim and +Doug Kovacs plus Adam and myself.  Overall it went well for what we intended to accomplish, and the audience got involved as well.  Judge Jim was kind enough to record the whole thing and you can listen to it here on Save or Die. 

Following this I "played" in Adam's DCC game "A Tree Falls in the Woods."  By following, I mean directly.  As in the seminar ran slightly overtime straight into Adam's time slot.  Unfortunately, I wasn't any use to anyone in the game, and I felt bad for it.  A full day of activity combined with a lack of any meals had done me in and I was completely out of it.  Lucky for me, my character only had 5 Intelligence!  Still, I felt bad.

After Adam's game I was intent on finding someplace that was serving food all night.  To my delight I found that the catering company that was handling food during the con was serving midnight hot dogs, so I didn't have to go out in the cold to grab a bite.  As I was walking past the bar in the hotel, some of the other staff said to come on over and join in what was remaining of a "Drinks with Rodney Thompson" thing that was going on.  For those too Old School to realize or know, Rodney was the lead designer on both the new iteration of D&D and the Star Wars Saga Edition.  So, my tired butt went over and sat down at the table with them, where I ate some "Happy Birthday D&D" cake.  It probably took my exhausted mind about fifteen minutes to realize that I was sitting next to Rodney.  I listened to what he was saying (most of which in my sleepiness is now lost to me) and didn't really say a word to him about games at all.  In fact the only thing that I think came out of my mouth while sitting there was something to the effect of "I don't really like hoppy beers either, but I had this really good stout last night."  After that, I headed to bed.


For those who don't know, Michigan's own Bill Barsh of Pacesetter Games & Simulations was slated to be one of our guests at the convention.  He even had a special release lined up for the con.  Unfortunately, indie games designers tend to have to have real world jobs as well, and his kept him from making it down.  However, his son was down running his booth.  I had agreed to help out by running his U-Con release, his stead, not having ever read it before.  Saturday morning I headed down to the vendor room to grab a copy that I could use for the session in the afternoon.  Now, this was also slated to run on OSRIC/1E.  Mind you, it had been many years since I had run 1E.  So, never having delved into the module, and being rusty with the system (hey I tend to run C&C and S&W, sue me) I took the module back up to my room and began to delve into the system and module like a college student cramming for an 8:00 AM exam at 4:30 AM.  Lucky for me, I found the module to be VERY cool and sank right in.  The module: GC3: It Crawled From Below was a hit with my table.  I greatly enjoyed running it thanks to both it's author and my players!  Without giving away any spoilers, GC3 is the third part of a "Game Convention" release series that Bill has.  All three parts are excellent can come as in both OSR and 5E flavors.  I highly recommend them, and will likely be doing a review of each of them in the near future.  I also managed to nab a few of the modules from Pacesetter G&S's line that I was missing in my own hoard, due to a great sale that they had going on for the con.

Following this, I had a break for a couple of hours in which I had and excellent dinner with Doug, Jim, Shane, Adam, +James DeYonke and +Stefan Poag.  This was one of the few chances that I had to kick back and just hang out with friends and track guests.   Following dinner I had a big decision ahead of me.  There were two games that I actually wanted to take part in Saturday night (well, three, but everything that Doug was running had been sold out for some time.)  The first was Tim running Cryptworld.  Apparently no one else wanted to play Cryptworld, which is unfortunate, because it really is a great game.  That left me with only one choice, and that was Dave Perrin's Swords & Wizardry game.  Now, Dave has played in at least one of my games every U-con since I began running as a referee at U-con.  I've been meaning to play in one of his games for a long time, but something always gets in the way.  I'm glad that I got to play.  The players consisted of one of Dave's friends and his kid, Dave's own son and myself.  The family friendly game reminded me somewhat of my 2nd Edition days.  It was pretty good, and having kids there helped me to see that in person, as I have a seven year old daughter who is starting to show some interest in gaming. After the game was finished, I tidied up our room a bit while Roy was still running his DCC game for Tim, Adam and +Pete Schwab.  The game was running really late, so Doug and I headed down to grab a beer from the bar.  As a side note, Boston Lager is always a better beer than I ever give it credit for when I'm not drinking it.  We headed back up to the track room to find the game still going on.  So we chatted a bit, which I was glad for, as I hadn't gotten much time to talk with Doug prior.  So, we talked about all of the things that you would expect and old school ref. and an artist known for his art in the gaming industry would discuss.  Chiefly geographical prejudice around the world and linguistics.  Honestly, after the fourteen hour marathon the day before and all of the gaming on Saturday, it was a welcome change of pace.  A little after 1:00 AM we got Roy to wrap it up.


Sunday morning I woke up, checked out of the hotel and got my tired ass up to Jim Wampler's 0-level Mutant Crawl Classics funnel.  I arrived to find the event overbooked due to being late and someone with generic tickets moving into my slot.  It was all good as Shane Harsch offered to share a 0-level with me.  It was fun, but yet again, I was too tired, and possibly focused too much on my 1:00 game that I wasn't much help.  Still, if you like DCC and Gamma World, pick this up when it comes out.  Jim has done a bang up job on this thing!  By the way, my one level 0 was killed trying to figure out how to use "something shiny."

1:00 PM rolled around and it was time to run my last game of the weekend.  For the second year, I pulled out the first module written outside of a rules supplement.  Armed with my copy of the Pacesetter re-print of "Palace of the Vampire Queen" I set about running the classic reprint on the "classic" clone of the original rules.  The table filled up nicely for the now "annual" Swords & Wizardry "PotVQ" game.  This year the party didn't actually get TPK'd.  Well, not in game anyway.  We ran out of time, but knowing what I know about where they were... Anyway, +Forest Ray, a great member of the OSR and long time con attendee, was the winner of the event this year and walked away with a copy o PotVQ that I have picked up as a prize for my winner this year.  Shortly after my last game I said goodbye to anyone that I could find from the staff and headed home.  And that, as they say, is that.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

UPDATE! New Prize Support! Swords & Wizardry Compatible Logo Design Contest


I have received more prize support for this contest!  I have an extra set of dice, as well as Pacesetter Games OSR modules!  Now we have three tiers of winner.  The ideas that we like best will all be played with, possibly combined etc. in the forming of the logo.  The three winner tiers prizes are as follows:

1st place - 8 pc set of out of production Windmill Hobbies dice, Pacesetter Games & Simulations modules: TM4 - Legacy of the Forbidden City and Q1 - The Screaming Temple.

2nd place - 8 pc set of out of production Windmill Hobbies dice, Pacesetter Games & Simulations  module RC3/Q2 - Eruptor's Vengence

3rd place - Pacesetter Games & Simulations module - Q3 - Death on Signal Island

For details on the contest, please See the original message below.  Remember, Thanksgiving is the last day that entry's will be accepted.

Hey everyone.  Some of you are likely already in the know that the artist that designed the Gamers & Grognards logo and I are going to be creating a "Swords & Wizardry Compatible" creative commons logo that you can slap on the stuff that you make/sell for S&W.  I've already thrown my idea at him.  That said, I thought we could have a little fun. 
Starting today, we will be running a contest.  I want you to pitch me a logo.  Like I said, I have one in mind, so you need a good logo.  It's going to be difficult to make me like it better than my own (I'm my own biggest fan you know.)  That said, the idea I like the best, whether we use it or not, will win a prize.  What is this prize you ask?  I have in my possession for the Gamers & Grognards Old School ebay store, a set of mixed Windmill Hobbies sharp edged dice from the 1970s.  These babies are brand new, last made in 1979.  Like all good dice, you have to ink them yourself.  The set is 5 dice 1d20 (marked 0-9 twice, 1d12, 1d8, 1d6, and 1d4 plus an extra d20 and d12 in mixed colors (think of them as Ugly Dice.)  These are yours if I like your idea the best.
Now, here is what I need from you:
1. An description of an image.  Must be something that will be recognizable in a small image (think of the Wizard on the S&W Complete logo or the Old Lizard and Wizard on the 70's TSR logos.)  I only want descriptions or very rough sketches, as +Christopher Arendt will be doing the actually design. 
2. A font and layout for the words "Swords & Wizardry Compatible."  You can just list the font and describe the layout, if you don't care to make it into a sample copy.
3.  Send this off to me at treewytch_at_yahoo_dot_com.  Please list "Swords & Wizardry Logo Design Contest" as the subject if you want me to look at it.

Both the image and layout should in some way reflect that this is compatible with Swords & Wizardry and OD&D.
That's it.  The contest will end one week from today on Thursday, November 27 2014 (that's Thanksgiving day for all of the U.S. Citizens out there.)  Get it in, I intend to start judging when I get back from my Thanksgiving dinner.
Good Luck and Fight On!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hump-day Hildebrandt: More Atlantis

Now for one day's respite from my recounting of U-Con revelry.  I will speak about Thursday and Friday tomorrow.  Until then, enjoy this awesome piece from the Atlantis calendar.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Inevitable Post U-Con Post: Part 1

Hi Everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!)
Unless you aren't a regular reader, or don't belong to any groups/communities that I share with (most will read this as "spam") you will know that I helped to coordinate an OSR track at this year's U-Con.  The con was this past weekend and went very well.  On the OSR Track everything went smoothly (if you were in attendance and saw something contrary to this, please contact me and let me know.)  Most of our games were full and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.  Our track's guests +Doug Kovacs, +Jim Wampler and +Tim Snider were all a pleasure to have, I only wish that I had had more time to actually spend with them, but managing the OSR room and running games takes time. 
I would like to take a moment to thank the people that made it possible for this track to happen, and make it run so smoothly.  I would like to give a special thanks to all three of the guests who were able to make it out, you guys were all great.  Thanks for everything that you did, from you games, to booths to the roundtable discussion.  It was pleasure to have you all, and I hope that you will consider coming back again.  Secondly, I would like to thank the con staff.  The staff at U-Con does such a great job a creating a very comfortable con atmosphere, and are so warm and inviting.  For this and other reasons several OSR gamers decided last year that we should seek to have our own track here.  Without this staff and how they handle the con, we may never have asked.  So, to all of you, thanks for doing what you do and being who you are, not to mention the sheer amount of work that you all put into this con.  Lastly, I would like to thank all of my GMs, Judges, Referees and DMs.  Without you and your enthusiasm for OSR Gaming, there would have been no track.  Thanks for liking what you like and working hard to run it at the con.  I hope that you all want to run again next year.
I'll be doing a follow up synopsis post in a few days telling everyone exactly what I ran and played and an exact count as to exactly how many ioun stones were really in orbit around Doug's head last weekend.  Until then, if you were in attendance as a player, GM or guest, please take time to fill out the U-Con 2014 Survey.  If you have something specific to say about the OSR Track, another game that you played, the con itself, the staff, or anything else PLEASE use the comments section so that we know how your experience was.  You the Con goer are important to the staff.  Without you, we wouldn't have a con.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hump-Day Hildebrandt

Good evening.  Just as a reminder, if you plan to attend the OSR Track at U-con (or anything else at U-con)  click on the link to the right!  Online registration closes this Friday!

Anyway, enjoy my reference to Steppenwolf.