30 March 2020

Lyonesse is coming

The good folk at the Design Mechanism have received the proof copy of their forthcoming Lyonesse book:

Lawrence Whitaker writes:
“It's a big book – 510 pages in total – but this is a complete, standalone game containing everything you need to roleplay in Jack Vance's Elder Isles."
As I’ve noted before (many times), I’m quite excited about this game! Jack Vance’s Lyonesse trilogy is one of my all-time favourite fantasy series, and Mythras is one of my all-time favourite role-playing games. Consequently, I think that this is going to be awesome!

I’m looking forward to bossing around some sandestins while thwarting the Ska…

29 March 2020

Salutations from Limbo

This was the scene from my family's cottage on the shore of Lake Huron (near Goderich, Ontario) this morning:

My spouse and I are in quarantine here. The coast is largely devoid of people right now. Only the soft lapping of the waves and the occasional cries of birds break the eerie silence.

It's beautiful and sad at the same time. I feel like we stumbled through a portal into a forgotten region of Limbo.

Hope all of you are doing well during this difficult time.

27 March 2020

Cubicle 7 to end Middle-earth RPG lines (Updated)

Some dramatic news out of Cubicle 7:
We have some very unfortunate and unexpected news to share. Contractual differences arose recently which we have been unable to resolve, and so we have decided to end our licensing agreement with Sophisticated Games. It is with regret that we have made this very tough decision to withdraw.
This means we will cease publishing The One Ring and Adventures in Middle-earth™ in the first half of 2020. 
Full report here.

This is very disappointing news, as I think that their Adventures in Middle-earth products are among the best books yet published for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons.

Fortunately, C7 is having a sale now so that you can round out your collection before it all sails away to Valinor.


UPDATE (2020-03-27): The discontinuation announcement from C7 is from last November, so this is not really 'news'. (The sale date is for today, and I mistakenly thought that the announcement also was published today.)

However, on March 9th The Free League (Fria Ligan) announced that it will be taking over both lines (AiM and TOR)! So the journey goes on...

(Thanks to Rev. Lazaro for correcting me!)

23 March 2020

Gandalf the Existentialist

Some wise words from Gandalf the Grey for these dark days:
“I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
[J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring]
[Picture of Gandalf by Kent Burles, from ICE's 1993 book Valar and Maiar.]

Hope everyone is hiding out in their hobbit holes as much as possible these days. 

If you must venture out for vital supplies (lembas, pipe-weed, dwarven ale, etc.) or essential work, be sure to keep one wizard’s staff or two hobbit-lengths away from others.

Take care! Mára alma ana tye.

09 March 2020

Max von Sydow RIP

Actor Max von Sydow has died at the age of 90.

His performance in The Seventh Seal ensures his cinematic immortality. It’s one of the greatest films ever made, and von Sydow was perfect in it.

But like many others of my generation and interests, my first exposure to von Sydow’s acting was in Conan the Barbarian, in which he played the bitter King Osric. (Shortly afterwards, he played the evil Brewmeister Smith of Elsinore Brewery in the Canadian film Strange Brew, which, as the name of the brewery indicates, was loosely based on Hamlet.)


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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).