Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

[APV1005] Hero Art Templates Compendium 5

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Hero Art Templates Compendium 5 from Applied Vectors is a “compilation of character templates that you can use for your character portraits.”

Basically, AV has taken a 3D model of a character, and placed it (her in this case) in twelve different poses. Your task is to place hair, clothing and equipment on the template before coloring it in. I’d be curious to know whether people find this kind of product useful. Personally, I don’t get it… But I’m open to being shown the error of my ways.

Any takers?

Now, the templates aren’t really that bad. I printed out a couple to see them on paper. If you use this product, I’d suggest printing in a light greyscale so that the darker areas don’t overpower the open spaces – the noses, in particular, have deep shading which looks… odd when printed out. After printing, I used a pencil to sketch clothing and then inked all the lines using a fine-point art marker (you can use a sharpie, I guess).

Not too bad, but I still don’t get the point. And I’m not convinced that 12 poses for a single N/PC is worth $2.80.

[AGP01251] Campaign Map 18: Southern Reaches

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

I decided to check out some new maps today, so I went to RPG Now and grabbed one of the Campaign Maps by Adventure Games Publishing. The Southern Reaches map is part 18 of the Wilderlands of High Adventure series. There are actually two maps, sold separately – one for the Judge and one for the Player.

The Judge map is decent. It is detailed enough that a campaign could be set wholly within the Southern Reaches. The abundance of natural boundaries makes dividing up the region into geo-political units an easy task. However, for $3.00 I wish they’d included the Player map, instead of forcing one to purchase it for an additional $1.00.

There are a fair number of large towns on the map, leading me to believe that it is a densely populated area. Furthermore, the proliferation of citadels tells me that it’s not a very peaceful region. I could be wrong, of course, since I have not read the optional campaign material available for use with the maps. Regardless, for $3.00 there is enough here to be worth the price.

The Player map is… lacking. It would work well for outsiders, visiting the Southern Reaches. However, it’s useless if a character grew up there. Newcomers can wait to get a map until they’ve been in the area long enough to learn about the basic geography – at which time a more detailed map would be appropriate. I’d suggest adding more detail to the current one. I’d also suggest shading the bodies of water (Silver Sea and Sea Lion Bay), so that they are apparent in the grey scale format.


Thursday, August 7th, 2008

I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for a year.

When I started talked with David at RDP regarding the Cabbages, I asked him what book he’d like to publish, if he could choose any book on his ‘wish list’. A cyberpunk book was his answer. So, the Cabbages set about making his dream come true.

Interface-Zero is the result of over a year of development by B. Matthew Conklin III, Hal Maclean, Patrick Smith and Richard Clark (among others).

Available from OBS and RPGO.

Presence: Art Exhibit by Edward Reed

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Ted Reed is an amazing artist. You can see his work here: Ashenvale Art.

He’s also a good friend, so I’m proud to say that Ted’s giving his first solo exhibition. You can download the flier. Here are the details:

September 4 – October 9, 2008

theartleague gallery
105 North Union Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Ted will demo in the gallery select weekends during the exhibit.

Gallery Hours:
Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday, 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm
Open every Thursday evening until 9:00 pm

A Touch of Evil: Kobolds

Monday, July 21st, 2008

Liz Courts (), a good friend of mine, has reached a milestone in her freelance career – her first solo cover credit. The book? RDP’s A Touch of Evil: Kobolds.

The Touch of Evil series highlights a single race, giving GMs additional background material, and a number of NPCs which can be used in play. The NPCs are presented at three different power levels, making them perfect for recurring villains.

Liz was born for this project. Her work at DM Tools, for those familiar with the site, has produced a constant stream of great plug ‘n’ play NPCs. Give Liz your support – buy a copy of Kobolds today.

Six Arabian Nights nominated for an ENnie!

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

When I patronized the Six Arabian Nights Open Design project, I was giddy. Wolfgang Baur, Zeb Cook AND Jeff Grubb on the same project? Yes please!

During development, Wolfgang asked Senior Patrons to discuss Siwal, City of Gardens, and give ideas for expanding his original concept. An energetic discussion ensued, to which I contributed a couple ideas. How was I to know that they’d make it into the final draft.

Yes, I’m not a headliner on the project. I am listed in the credits for Chapter One, though. That was awesome for me.

And now Six Arabian Nights has been nominated for an ENnie! And I worked on it. Very cool.

Please go vote:

SIDE NOTE: I also patronized Empire of the Ghouls, which is also up for an ENnie.


Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Digital publishing is changing, and changing quickly.

For some time, publishers have been able to enhance their PDF documents with tracking functions. This enables publishers to learn which elements of their product command the most attention from their customers. If you’re a game publisher, wouldn’t you like to know that your customers spend 60% of their time in chapters three and four of your latest release, while ignoring chapter seven altogether? The ability to learn this information is already here.

What’s more, Adobe Acrobat 9 now has full Flash video integration. Videos can now be embedded directly into PDF documents, and played without the need for a media player. Think of the enhanced gaming products that could be produced. Do you have a cyberpunk game? Why not embed your dystopia TV videos in your products? Sure, throw them up on YouTube as well, but use that rich content to enhance your digital offerings.

Books for the iPhone and iPod Touch

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

I’ve been looking for a way to sell books for the iPhone for some time. Back in April, while chatting with Mike Stackpole at GTS, I mentioned this to him. Mike’s been publishing digital fiction, experimenting with different formats, for some time. In addition to selling his work in a format readable in Second Life, Mike told me he’d been working with a developer to make a platform for serving books for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

On Friday, the wait will be over.

ZappTek is releasing their Legends product. A few of the features:

– Triple tap screen inversion for low-light reading.
– Double tap zoom and text rotation.
– Bookmarking and placeholder memory

Read Mike’s blog post here:

View the images of ZappTek Legends here: ZappTek

The following books will be coming soon to your iPhone:

– Least of My Brethren
– Jed and the Titanium Turtle
– Kid Binary and the Two-Bit Gang
– Once a Hero
– The Silver Knife
– Serpent On The Station

Chiprovski Monastery

Monday, June 30th, 2008

“St. Ivan Rilsky”

In the western Stara Planina, on the banks of the Chiprovska Ogosta River, sits the Chiprovski monastery. Founded during the First Bulgarian Kingdom (10th century), it was one of the bases from which Christianity and Slavonic writing spread throughout ancient Bulgaria. Ever since, this compound has been a center for literary, educational and revolutionary activity.

Destroyed in 1837, the current form was created by hieromonks Dionysius and Gerasim from Berkovitsa. The tower-ossuary was built at this time, and holds the remains of Bulgarian revolutionaries who perished in the Chiprovsti rebellion.

The church is a one-nave three-concha building, with an octathedral cupola and places for singers. It houses many valuable items, one of which is a throne Gospel with silver repousse cover – a gift from the Russian emperor Paul I.

Some Bulgarians believe that the cloister has mysterious healing powers.

Images: Taken 26 June 2008 (click to enlarge)

Lopushanski Monastery

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

“St. John the Precursor”

Lopushanski Monastery is located in Chiprovtsi, in Bulgaria’s Stara Planina Mountains, 17 km from the town of Montana. Erected on the site of an earlier structure, from the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, the four-year reconstruction began in 1850. In 1989, the Holy place was reconstructed and two wood-carved verandas were added. Both projects were financed by the Vidin Holy Bishopric.

The monastery is dedicated to St. John the Precursor. A monumental five-dome building, it has a circular arcade narthex and a pair of side chapels – “Saints Kosmas and Damian” and “Saint John the Baptist.” The facade and the gates are adorned with stone reliefs. The central iconostasis was created in 1863 by Stoycho Fandakov, from the Samokov wood-carving school. The focal icons – of Jesus and the Holy Virgin – were painted by Stanislav Dospevski in 1863, during the Bulgarian national revival. Stanislav’s brother, Nicola, created the rest.

Ivan Vazov, Bulgaria’s national poet, frequented Lopushanski.

Image: Taken 26 June 2008 (click to enlarge)