27 October 2018

G+? Isn’t that worse than an F?

The imminent end of Google-plus is now old news. For some interesting thoughts on this development and its potential impact on the role-playing community (especially the ‘old school’ wing) I recommend this post by Melan at his Beyond Fomalhaut blog.

I vaguely recall joining G+ many years ago, but after a few forays into it, I decided that it wasn’t for me. The interface just rubbed me the wrong way. Among other things, posts quickly disappeared and subsequently were difficult to find. For the life of me, I just couldn’t see why anyone thought it was a better platform for discussing RPGs than forums and blogs.

Anyhow, my sympathies to anyone who found G+ helpful, interesting, or fun. People who were fans seem to be migrating to the (unfortunately named IMO) ‘MeWe’ place. I wish them well.

(Speaking of blogs, I really need to update my ‘blog roll’ here. I removed the old one a few months ago—it was too static [I want the version that shows the most recent posts] and out of date [many of the blogs were ‘dead’ or had become focused on topics of little or no interest to me]. I’ll do it some day—I promise! I just need RL to stop stomping on my soul every day…)

24 October 2018

Ancient ship = Eldritch horrors


“More than a mile beneath the surface of the Black Sea, shrouded in darkness, an ancient ship sat for millennia unseen by human eyes — until the Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project happened upon its watery grave last year.… [T]he trading vessel plied the waves in the days of Plato and Sophocles, when the city-states of ancient Greece had scattered colonies all around the Black Sea.”

Sometimes a real world news event writes a cool Call of Cthulhu scenario for you…

(Though I’d replace the “Black Sea Maritime Archaeology Project” with the “Black Sea Miskatonic Archaeology Project” -- and move everything back to ~1930.)

15 October 2018

Greg Stafford RIP


Greg Stafford passed away on October 11th.
Stafford was the founder of Chaosium—one of the most important companies during the early days of role-playing games (perhaps second only to TSR)—and creator of the acclaimed Pendragon RPG. He helped to create—and provided the setting (Glorantha) for—one of the greatest and most influential RPGs of all time: RuneQuest. In his role at Chaosium during its ‘golden age’, he helped to shape and support two of my all-time favourite RPGs: The Call of Cthulhu and Stormbringer. By all reports he was a generous genius. It is hard to believe that another one of the greats from the mythic era of role-playing is gone.

Here is the announcement at Chaosium.

[Part of William Church's map of Glorantha from RuneQuest 2nd ed.] 

04 October 2018

Saga's Sword

This sounds like the beginning of a fantasy epic: a young girl named 'Saga' finds an ancient sword in a lake...

But it actually happened: "An eight-year-old [Saga Vanecek] found an ancient pre-Viking-era [~500 AD] sword while swimming in a lake in Sweden during the summer."



UPDATE (2018-10-22): Saga describes her experience.

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.