Saturday, August 23, 2014

The GenCon Haul: Breaking it Down

I sent this picture around ye olde social networks the other day, so I thought I'd go ahead and talk about the stuff that's in the pic, since a lot of it has either a story attached or needs some elaboration. Here we go.

  1. Sean Andrew Murray's Gateway: The Book of Wizards. This thing is sweet. Not exactly game related (Sean Andrew Murray aparently does art for some CCG or something, that's the tenuous link), but man, does this thing really have that Ur-Hadad strangeness feeling. It's a book about the wizards of a city that magic built, but which later declared magic to be illegal. Wayne first pointed this one out to me, and Wayne, Doug & I all walked away from GenCon with copies.
  2. Various Strange Dice: Included here are some d12 hit location dice (which we decided we needed after the STOUTFELLAS game at GaryCon; these work great as a "cancer die"), Katie's foreign language dice (Polish & German, see below), some Crystal Caste d3s, various d30s, etc. I've been a fan of Crystal Caste for a decade or so, but that has more to do with their excellent game mats (which are MUCH better than the Chessex ones), but now I'm sold on their dice as well.
  3. More DIZE PR0N! Katie & I both bought sets of GameScience Dice; she bought light blue, I bought green. We "inked" them when we got back on Sunday. Also depicted here are oversized gem-style dice from Crystal Caste. I've been using a set of oversized Koplows for awhile, but I think these are nicer-looking. 
  4. Red Dragon Inn 1: We already own RDI3 and several expansions, but playing this game at GaryCon and Chez Kovacs has gotten Katie & I hooked on this one. Only two more boxes of this game (and then a bunch of character expansions) to complete our collection (which means we're really not nearly complete... yet.).
  5. Harley Stroh's Fate's Fell Hand: This came out at GenCon last year, but back then, I was on this kick where I thought I didn't have to buy a bunch of DCC modules because I wasn't likely to use them. I thought just having everything in pdf was enough. Then, I started picking up the print versions of the modules at GaryCon. Doug said he was going to run this module for the Metal Gods crew (since none of us had ever read it), so I wasn't sweating this one. Then, Jen Brinkman found out her FLGS was closing, so she bought up all the DCC modules they had and offered to send them to DCC community folks; this was the only one I didn't have, so I bit. Instead of cash, I traded this to Jen at GenCon for a copy of Metal Gods #2. 
  6. Harley Stroh's Dragora's Dungeon: Okay folks, here's the part where I admit something that's going to lose me some old school cred. Clyde Caldwell's art actually bugs me. I just don't get it. It feels like the prancetasy version of a Victoria's Secret catalog. Not even that good. More like the prancetasy version of the lingerie section of a Sears catalog. THAT HAVING BEEN SAID, this is a badass module. Harley did a great job writing it and Daniel Bishop converted the HELL out of it. Based on the cover alone, I would have avoided it; knowing that it has the gooey nougat center of Stroh-degree badassery, I couldn't resist.
  7. Goodman Games GenCon Program: A total no-brainer. The Goodman Programs are fantastic and, to my mind, serve the purpose of an in-house magazine or even the oft-whispered annual. Nothing does more to sell me on every product line the GG crew put out than this thing (other than maybe Brendan LaSalle's phrenetic sales pitch for Maximum XCrawl). Also, Joseph Goodman's awesome hexcrawl adventure is an excellent change of pace for DCC.
  8. Scott Mathis's Transylvanian Adventures: There were no copies of this to be had at GenCon, but Doug Kovacs came through with his two personal copies, one of which he sold to me, the other he sold to Edgar Johnson. I've been holding out on this until I actually had a physical copy; I knew this was the sort of thing I wanted in-hand to read, rather than on-screen.
  9. Glipkerio's Gambit Tower Out of Time: I've had the pdf of Tower for over a year now thanks to the World Tour program, but I missed out on Glipkerio. Sure, getting these in print was necessary, if only from a "complete the set" viewpoint.
  10. The classic Judges Guild Campaign Hexagon System: I got this when we got the GameScience dice and got it from Lou Zocchi, who was really pleased to explain that Bob Bledsaw had given him permission to reprint this; I'll assume he did that before he died. This is an amazingly poor photocopy of the original which, to me, makes it feel so much more authentic. I'm a sucker for classic JG material, the crappier-looking, the better, and this definitely fits the bill. Lou didn't even crease the spine. I'd never actually even seen a copy of the Campaign Hexagon System, and finding Lou's bootleg copies really hit the right spot, tickling the nostalgia centers of my brain just right.
  11. Tom Moldvay's The Lost City: This was initially the sort of purchase that was going to be a completionism purchase; then, I read a pdf copy of the adventure and fell in love with it. At GC, I happened to find a copy of B4 in excellent condition; sure I paid more than the $7 I had seen this thing going for at GaryCon (where my hesitation of one hour cost me the deal), but it's in perfect condition.
  12. Goodman Games' 5e adventures: Some folks might remember that my lovely wife, Katie, is learning how to DM. In doing so, she's alleviating my "DM's dilemma" and letting me try out 5e as a player rather than as a DM (I've never had that luxury before... ever). Since everyone and their uncle will have played that poorly-named Phandelver module (poorly-named AND it's Forgotten Realms, so... lots of stuff for me to not like there), we decided to pick up the 5e adventures from Goodman Games. These have to be better than the WotC ones, right? 
  13. Jurgen Mayer's Shinobi Clans! I wanted to buy this at GenCon last year, but I don't think it was out yet. I met Jurgen last year, but got to know him this year, so I was all in for supporting a cool guy I know. Then, I found out the game was remarkably cheap ($25 or so) and I couldn't say no. We still haven't played it, but I'm really looking forward to giving this game of ninja-and-counter-ninja a shot.
  14. The Adventure Time Card Wars game: What surprizes me about this game is how solid the game play is for a game based on a single episode of a cartoon show. The game ends up as a mish-mash of CCG tropes blended with Adventure Time-style humor in a quick and easy-to-learn game experience. A solid game that I'd like to play more; the only real drawback is that it's strictly 2-player.
  15. Judges Guild Heroes & Villains (for the Dragonquest RPG): I've never played (or even read) the Dragonquest RPG. I was given this by Bob Bledsaw II at the Goodman booth on Sunday after I fanboyed at him about how excited I am over the upcoming Goodman reprints of the early JG material. Bob just handed me a copy of this thing (which Joe Goodman later suggested probably came from Bob I's personal collection) and thanked me for my enthusiasm. I'm really excited to see where this collaboration between Goodman Games & Judges Guild goes. 
  16. Hugh freakin' Heftblade: Yes, this is the vinyl Hugh Heftblade poster from the Goodman Games booth. No, we didn't bribe anybody, we rolled for it on their "You're buying some crap at the GG booth, roll some dice!" chart in the GG GenCon program. And no, you can't buy it from us. This guy is going in our DCC/OSR museum for posterity. We'll also probably trot him out for special occasions like cons and game nights, so don't be surprized if you see this guy in the bar with me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not Quite the Inevitable Post GenCon Post

The lovely +Kathryn Muszkiewicz and I got back from GenCon on Sunday around 9-something pm.

The preceeding six days (yes, six; we don't do half measures in Kickassistan) were intensely difficult to say goodbye to, to relinquish to history.

The following day I spent at home because my hoarse throat made it difficult to talk for very long, which is what I do for a living.

Miscreants, all
But everything between Tuesday and Sunday was fantastic. Doubtless, you'll be hearing tales of this GenCon for months to come. Doubtless, folks who weren't there will feel the flames of their envy fanned for just as long. Doubtless, we who attended with wail and gnash our teeth in consternation about how next year can never match up to this past one. And, doubtless, we will be wrong.

I'm not here to enumerate the amazing things that happened this year, that will come later. Instead, let me just express my real and enduring gratitude to everyone I got to spend time with. Thank you for being there. Thanks for rocking with me. Thanks for kicking each and every ass. I wish I'd had more time to spend with all of you, too. So many folks I felt like I only saw in passing, but I had wanted to catch meals with, have a beer with, or bend the ear of with one of my long and punchline-free stories. And then there's the folks who couldn't make it to GenCon who we all agreed needed to be there. The +Jason Hobbses, the +Ray Cases, the +PJ Muszkiewiczes, +Dak Ultimaks, +Cory Gahsmans, and so on.

I'm not sure I know how to go through and talk about each amazing thing that happened during GenCon, and I'm not sure that I want to. That's not what this post is about. Rather, let me say that this past week in Indianapolis brought into sharp focus two clear facts:

  1. The DCC Community is the best damn gaming community I've ever seen, much less been a part of. The Metal Gods team doubly so.
  2. However much I've already made, already created, I'm ready and pumped to make more and better things. We're just getting started, folks. 
And so, I can't even start to parse out what actually happened at GenCon; I'm still busy with this feeling that GenCon left me with. Hopefully soon I'll be able to discuss more, but I wouldn't count on it. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Metal Gods #2 Now On Sale in Print!


The stars are right! Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad #2 is now in the wilds! You can buy it now in print at the Goodman Games booth at GenCon or at Gumroad through this link:

Buy Metal Gods #2 in Print!

Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who has helped support the Metal Gods crew, publishing effort and zine. This issue has been a long time coming and we couldn't have made it happen without your help and guidance along the way. Here's the sales blurb:

You've waited long enough. The second issue of the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad is here!

In this issue, you'll explore:
  • The Secrets of the Serpent Moon 
  •  Bounty Hunting in the First City
  •  Heirloom Weapons for your DCC low-level characters
  •  Magic Items from Ur-Hadad
  • The secret History of the Elder Races
  •  A Wayne Snyder Dungeon Insert: the Starcophagus of the Crimson Prophet!

This issue is produced in support of Purple Sorcerer Games and their excellent web tools for the DCC RPG which you can find at Any donations over and above the sticker price of $4 for this product will go to support the maintenance and development of Purple Sorcerer's excellent tools suite. 

We're also finally enacting a slight price hike on Metal Gods #1. It's going up from $3.50 to $4 so our acros the board pricing is uniform and because we had priced out #1 based on a postage rate that changed the week after #1 launched. We waited as long as we thought reasonable before enacting this slight price hike, and figure it's now or never. 

Believe it or not, Wayne & I are already working on #3, which is pretty easy for us right now since we're both in the same place (Indy! GenKHAAAAAN!) and we can pitch ideas back and forth really easily. And so, you can expect a preview or two of what #3 might include somewhere in the next few weeks. For now, though, enjoy Metal Gods #2! If you're holding out for PayPal and the pay-what-you-want PDF on OBS, we'll be catching up with you next week. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Metal Gods & DougKon Swagnado!

Ladies and gents, GenCon is nearly upon us and, for the second year in a row, +Wayne Snyder and I will be going (along with +Kathryn Muszkiewicz, of course), repping the Metal Gods crew. This year, we'll be joined by our fellow +Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad idiots +James MacGeorge+Edgar Johnson+Gabriel Perez Gallardi and +Doug Kovacs (he always goes to GenCon, but it's only been within the last year that he started gaming with the Metal Gods crew). I'll be running several DCC sessions at the con (one is a playtest of a Metal Gods adventure that will likely turn into the Kickassistan Ministry of Tourism's first non-zine publication, the other is a development playtest of a module the Metal Gods have yet to face), as will Edgar. In addition Wayne & I will be helping Doug with the ever-popular after hours gaming madness that is DougKon (along with +Jen Brinkman+Rick Hull and possibly +Harley Stroh) for the brainsplosion that will be Escape from Catastrophe Island.

For us, conventions always mean an opportunity to pimp new Metal Gods stuff. Well, as of this year. Sure. That's what it is. We love hitting up conventions, and so to celebrate, we've made a bunch of awesome stuff that we want to share with the DCC community. Sure, some of this stuff we'll technically be selling, but we think the pricetag is a fairly small price to pay for the excitement of having this cool stuff around. Here's the stuff we'll have on tap for GenCon 2014:

  • Metal Gods #2 - But you knew that already. If you realize you need a copy of this and the dealer hall is closed, find us (probably at the Embassy Suites gaming with jerk bags) and we'll hook you up. Pricetag $4.
  • Metal Gods #2 Exceptionally Limited Edition T-Shirt - Featuring Wayne's excellent cover art for issue #2. There will be a limited number of these available, but if we sell out early, we'll take rainchecks for a 2nd printing from folks who in attendance. If we have any left over (not likely), we'll offer them for sale here as well. Pricetag $20.
  • DARK RUIN II - The latest release in Wayne Snyder's rules-free, text-free, micro-zine series of adventures. Pricetag $ free! Buy a copy of MGOUH#2 from us or from the Goodman Games booth in the exhibitors' hall and show us after hours and you'll get one of these little guys while supplies last (they may be extremely limited). 
  • DARK RUIN - The original! We're still working on getting this guy out there. Soon to be available in pdf, DRI is like an adventure and "player handout book" all in one. Pricetag $1. 
Other, non-Metal Gods swag that Team Ur-Hadad is responsible for: 
  • Escape From Catastrophe Island Exceptionally Limited Edition T-Shirt - Available to folks who participate in the Cat. Island event at DougKon and in very limited supply! We doubt we will ever make another run of these shirts! Pricetag $20. 
  • Escape From Catastrophe Island Buttons: Designed by Doug Kovacs and made by the fabulous Katie Muszkiewicz (yes, I'm biased), these are freebies Doug will be giving away during DougKon. There are four colors of these, and each night you come you get a different color. Sweet collectable goodness! Pricetag $ participation; you've gotta play to get one of these. 
  • Seven Pits Of Sezrekan Buttons - Again, a Doug/Katie collaboration celebrating Harley's very ambitious funnel tournament. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to play in this. I'm only noting here because these buttons are being worked on at Chez Muszkiewicz right now and will be one of the many bits of swag we're bringing with us for your consumption.
There is a chance that there will be some leftover Metal Gods swag, as I mentioned. Keep an eye open here for further details. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

An Update on Metal Gods zine #2

This morning, +Joseph Goodman signed off on the Metal Gods of Ur-Hadad zine, issue #2. I am literally right now waiting for the UPS guy to show up with the first 200 covers for the issue, so I can get started cranking them out. Well, maybe not SO soon. We have a little bit of editing to do on it yet, after which time, we'll be ready for the press.

Which brings me to the next topic: release schedule. Since we're in the home stretch, I think it makes sense to explain our release schedule to you, dear reader. We plan on having the issues first available at GenCon. That's right, the first place you can get them will be in Indy, where the fabulous Ms. +Jen Brinkman will be selling it, along with the full compliment of DCC zines [Edit: At the Goodman Games booth; don't bug her when she's not on-duty there, bug me]. In addition, the Metal Gods crew will probably have issues on us to sell after hours and such (if you buy them from us, we promise you'll get a bonus thing of one sort or another), probably at the Embassy Suites during DougKon. We might even have some extra swag if you're interested. 

At the same time the zine is released at GenCon, I'll start taking orders through Gumroad, which means folks who can't get it at GenCon will still be able to order an early printing. All Gumroad sales automatically include the pdf, so the folks at home will get to peruse that first thing, since they won't be getting their copy of the print zine for a few days. I'll say this right now: I will not be shipping out any zines during GenCon. I'll be in Indy. I don't think they have post offices there. Even if they did, it's not happening until I get back home. So, if you're one of those folks who order early, you'll have your pdf, but please be patient with your print copy. All Metal Gods zine sales through Gumroad are "pay at least," so you'll pay at least $4 (in the US; $4.50 in Canada, $5.50 elsewhere in the world) for the zine, and you can add money beyond that as a donation to the cause that we're championing with that issue. This time around, we're donating to Purple Sorcerer Games in support of their excellent DCC tools that, let's face it, all of us already use. 

I'll open up PayPal and OneBookShelf (RPGNow/DriveThruRPG) sales the week after GenCon. I can't figure out how to make PayPal let us do a "pay at least" sort of deal, so, if you want to make a donation like the folks using Gumroad, once you buy your print copy of the zine with PayPal, head on over to the OBS site of your choice, where you'll find the pdf version of the zine available as "pay what you want." 

By this time next week, my lovely wife and I will be on our way to Indianpolis, where we'll be spending a night of calm couplehood before the storm of GenCon strikes. Once it does, the Metal Gods zine will be right there, sailing the frenzied seas of the Best Four Days In Gaming along with everyone else.