What's in a name?
As my Iron Heroes game continued to expand into a long running full fledged campaign (3 years now) I was occasionally inclined to invent new areas fairly spontaneously. I would sometimes scan my library of resources and pull something off the shelf and tweak it a little or inclusion. Also I would be influenced by cool things that had recently crossed my path. This created a problem - names of things, people and places in this world I had created were drawn from other game designers source material.
It started with my decision to have magic reborn into the world, and I selected Arcana Unearthed for this. Inside it had a few non-human races which I thought I would modify slightly and implement, thus my world had Sibeccai (and later Mojh, although mine work slightly differently). I've also subsequently imported the various kinds of Faen, although they are simply called faeries in Anthemios.
This continued... I have a city called Port Melnibone and an island nation called Pan Tang. Also a Witch King named Zhengyi, which I now recall comes from an old AD&D module series called The Bloodstone Wars. It's been 20+ years since I played that module series and it still stuck with me and got re-used.
As I continue to formalize the setting - and look at what system to implement the game with - I'm forced to decide how to proceed here. Should I start renaming places, race and people to remove these references or should I leave them in place for the most part? I'm not sure how seriously I want to pursue publishing yet, but if I did want to I would almost certainly have to remove these references.. or would I?
What's in a name?
I recently decided that I would formalize my d20 FRPG setting with an eye toward using the up and coming D&D Next (5th edition) rule set. I had always thought that the first steps would involve codification of the races, classes or organization of skills and feats. Instead I found myself interested in reviewing what I had written for cultural notes, languages and race histories.
My setting currently consists of a main continent area with some interesting areas to the west and an Australia like continent to the south. There is a dominant Human strain on the main continent and two smaller sub-groups. One of those sub-groups, a culture in the north east has a separate faction that split away from them centuries ago, and relocated to the mountainous island chain along the west edge of my Australia-like land mass.
This created some great opportunities to have similar languages that had evolved separately with different pressures and influences. As I sprinkled ruins throughout both land masses, I also realized what ancient languages would exist and as I developed the arcane back story it became obvious what mystic languages would have to exist. From here, I was able to extrapolate what supernatural creatures and alternative (aka "demi" human) races might exist in the world using bits from the source books I had selected during the campaigns nascent stages for inspiration.
About those sources of inspiration; an interesting problem has emerged... As I said, I'm committed to making an attempt to formalize the setting, maybe in preparation for presentation to a game shop or an independent publishing run. Unfortunately I've used some tropes, races, magic styles and other articles of interest from many different source books: Iron Heroes, Arcana Unearthed, d20 Call of Cthulhu, the Conan Role-Playing Game, Oriental Adventures and of course the d20 3.5 SRD which is freely available online. All of this has been mixed, stirred and kneaded into something of my own, but the inspirations are plainly visible.
How to approach getting permission to use the ideas and frankly, the names of those things that I added to my world? I guess the first step is to finish the outline and then fire off a few emails to the right people at Malhavoc Press ;) So, I'll keep poking away at my campaign setting, called "Anthemios" and it's main city-state: Akkadar.
Been far too long since a post.
Reasons for that? Legion... (but they are just excuses).
Anyway, I want to start pooling the resources of the crew to see if we can orgnanize some attendance at a handful of the game cons in 2013. I know it wasn't something you were thining about already, but I have been for years and I bet by the time you're done this article you'll be in.
RUNS: Mar 15th to 17th, 2013
LOCATION: Orange County Convention Center, Hall D
9800 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819
Let's hit the highlights:
- It's a mega gaming convention with all of the things we love: RPGs, Boardgames, Videogames, fantasy and sci-fi art and writing, comics and people wearing strange costumes.
- It's held in Convention Center area on International Dr in Orlando FL, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen to hold an event.
- There are so many other attractions in Orlando worth checking out, I think we extend the CON by a day or three and check a few things out.
But What Next Howie?
I'm glad you asked, but please don't call me Howie.
On the back of this con, there are a few other dates in 2013 worth checking out and I don't know how hard it would be to plan, but it would be amazing to hit 3 conventions in the same year. These are all looking good as 2nd or 3rd stops:
Temple Con (Roanoke)
Technically, this one is BEFORE MegaCon (running from Feb 1 to Feb 3), but hell the name of the post of "Year of The Con" right? So if we have a pre-Mega event planned that works to? This con is held in Roanoke, VI a place that HP Lovecraft used to frequently write about, also featured in several episodes of X-File (that were actually shot in BC, but I digress). The con has games, RPGs and special guests, and who WOULDN"T want to see Roanoke in February?
Origins Game Fair (Columbus)
One of the preimiere conventions of the industry, Origins is always held in lovely Ohio at the beginning of summer, June 12th through 16th, 2013. A con with great depth and history, origins normally draw in 10,000 conventioners or so, and is a short (read: hopefully inexpensive) flight from here.
Gen Con (Indianapolis)
This con runs from Aug 15th to Aug 18th in 2013, and is the premiere RPG convention. Really a no-brainer that we should have made it a goal to get here in previous years, but it just never happened. This is the grand-daddy of all game conventions, being started by E. Gary Gygax himself.
Dragon Con (Atlanta)
Another huge convention of epic gaming proportions, held in beautiful Atlanta at the end of August. This year it runs from Aug 30th to Sep 2nd and always has a great line up of special guests. Atlanta in the end of summer would be hot, but imagine all of the fun? The bummer though, is that this event kinda overlaps with:
Pax Prime (Seattle)
And really who DOESN'T want to get to a PAX? Even if I only made two conventions as my "year of the convention", my first picks would be MegaCon and PAX (sorry Gen Con). Prime in 2013 will be FOUR day event, and I've got a google alert setup to tell me as soon as the weekend passes go on sale. You think you're excited? FEEL THESE NIPPLES!
The date is not fixed yet, but it will almost certainly be the Sept long weekend (hopefully starting on Thursday the week before, not running long after, to squeeze in that extra day).
Okay, how about a table of data?
Right, of course. How impolite of me NOT to have already drafted the critical con names, links, locations and dates in a nice easy to reference table. I should probably mark the premiere events with a star so that they can't be missed. Try this on for size:
|Temple Con||Roanoke, VI||Feb 1st - 3rd|
|Mega Con *||Orlando, FL||Mar 15th - 17th|
|Origins Game Fair||Columbus, OH||Jun 12th - 16th|
|Gen Con *||Indianapolis, IN||Aug 15th - 18th|
|Dragon Con||Atlanta, GA||Aug 30th - Sep 2nd|
|Pax Prime *||Seattle, WA||Aug 29th - Sep 2nd|
Well? I'm looking for some game con worthy traveling companions to make this happen. As you may (or may NOT have noticed) we're not getting any younger, so we better do that before we look like grandfathers and grandmothers compared to the new generation of gamers.
Well, I haven't published here in awhile, but I wanted to start a conversation about Kickstarter and Board Games, and thought this crowd would be a good one for the conversation.
I've noticed (and supported) that Kickstarter is doing VERY well in the gaming categories. A decent portion of these games are board games. Have other Schitters been paying attention to anything on Kickstarter? Do people like this model for things like board games. I've noticed quality of pitch to be largely relevant. My most recent project I supported (The Perfect Heist: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1231159621/the-perfect-heist-a-board-game-for-3-to-6-friends) has the rules posted, a video showing the most recent prototype, is only asking for $12k, and looks like a pretty decent game. The stretch rewards include getting yourself in the game artwork, a character based off you, so forth, which is pretty cool. I have seen pitches where they have a name, and something along the lines of "It's a game about zombies". No meat.
What I'm looking for is some sort of helper network, friends or electronic, to help me keep track of what games are coming on kickstarter I should be contributing towards. I love smaller indie style board games, and I'd hate to miss on a brilliant game just because I wasn't paying attention, and it only had one run. At the same time, it is a gamble, so I'd like to minimize too many duplicate buys amongst my crew of friends. (ie: I have a copy of Heist coming, I will totally lend it out to others to try, so we don't all have to risk money on it)
Anyone have any suggestions to help me / us track who is interested in what games / kickstarter purchases? It would be nice to have an updated Board Game Geek group (I need to update) with what people own as well, so we can share games more often?
End of important conversation:
My board game update: I've been playing lots of Descent 2nd edition, and Risk: Legacy. I'm really enjoying both. What games have people been playing lately, and enjoying?
First off, Paul Reubens is AWESOME. No, seriously.
Secondly if you're not following him on Twitter you're really missing out, he's a pretty funny guy that often finds great tid-bits like recipies for wicked awesome strange stuff you wouldn't think to make, like this: