Cool New Dice (now imageless!)

Edit: After fighting with blogger I have given up on getting the images to work. I'm going to go back to imageless posts until I can get a reliable way of displaying the images.
At Gen Con I picked up some new dice.

First I picked up a set of hand carved Fudge Dice at the Q-Workshop booth. They are pretty sweet looking. They have a few flaws (I got the last set) but they are still a really great set.

I also picked up a new Fudge GM set to use when I play Spirit of the Century. I know I am a little geeky about dice but I am super pleased with this set because the sets of fudge dice are all either left or right handed. The last Fudge GM set I purchased had a mixture of left and right handed dice in each set which drove me crazy. [editors note: I am seeking help.] The dice were also super cheap - about 25% less than I can get them locally.

Finally I picked up a World of Warcraft dice set. The dice are meant to be counters for the World of Warcraft card game. The container for the dice is a chest like you would find in the game. The set looks Great.


Gen Con 2007

Edit: Something is going wrong with the images so I have pulled them and I will republish with the pictures once I know what is going wrong.

Edit: Images fixed

I had the pleasure of going to Gen Con this year.

I was volunteering at the tNook booth but I managed to escape the booth and spend a good deal of time and money on the exhibition floor.

Some of my favorite places to visit:

The IPR (Indie Press Revolution) booth. I purchased both Spirit of the Century and The Burning Wheel. I got to speak with Greg Porter about EABA and I got to meet Ben Seth Ezra and ton of others.

I also got to meet a young lady named Julia. Julia Bond Ellingboe write a new game called "Steal Away Jordan". Based on slaves and slavery it is a well written and well done book from all I have been able to see. It might be a bit scary to actually play the game but discovering some of the scarier bits of a life of slavery might not be a bad thing for a middle aged white Canadian. I never got to play the game with Julia as I had hoped to but I hope that this one is a big success for her and that she keeps writing new games.

I also got to meet Rob Donoghue, Fred Hicks, and Lenny Balsera and each of them offered to run a demo of "Spirit of the Century" with me. My biggest regret of the Con was not playing with them. Maybe next year. Each were really great and were good enough to sign my new hard cover. Lenny even asked me to bear his children.

I also got to meet Luke Crane he was demoing Burning Wheel and I got to watch a demo and got to talk to him a bit about the game. He also signed my burning wheel.

I seemed to visit the IPR booth everyday except Sunday. Sunday was the UDE volenteer meeting - more on that in another post.

I also spent some time watching a demo of Fudge by Ann Dupuis. Ann has done more for FUDGE over the years than maybe any other publisher.

I also got to see a lot of pretty cool new toys. UDE had the next raid and expansion set on display. One of the biggest surprises is that the booster packs will go from 15 to 19 cards with the Legion expansion. The UDE booth had a quest challenge with 8 questions and if you were one of the top 50 to complete 5 of the 8 questions you got a Fires of Outland playmat. Since tNook had 5 of the 8 answers in the WoW card database so it was pretty easy for me to complete the quests.

UDE also has BIG plans for VS with the release of a Galactus deck that is designed to be battled like a raid deck in WoW. I am learning to play VS just so I can play against the Galactus decks.

Wizkids had a bunch of really cool things on display including the Halo Action Clix Scarab vehicle. They had the Fin Fang Foom again for sale and it is a really nice looking giant size piece. I can't wait to take a team against him to see if we can tame the dragon.

Blizzard had the new expansion available for people to try and it was almost always packed to the rafters in the Blizzard booth. I got to watch for a bit but did not get to play. They also had Starcraft II and it looks completely awesome. I wish my PC was even close to playing that game.
One surprise was a game called the continuum. I took a quick look at it but later on Sunday both myself and Troy went and got to play in a demo. It looks really cool. It is not a splashy game but the tactics and strategy of the game will keep me interested. I spent close to a half hour playing the demo and it was a lot of fun. I didn't know it at the time but the guy stepping me through the demo was the CEO of the company.

I think some of the most fun came in the tNook booth. After I had purchased Spirit of the Century I put it out on the table and several people stopped to talk about the game or ask about it. Especially after it had won an Ennie award. We got to meet a lot of really great people. Some people would stop by a second or third time to ask more questions or because they had an idea about something else. Now I am in contact with some of those same people as I build new tNooks, which is totally cool - more on that in another post too.

To cap off the weekend I me a young man named Alex at the Indianapolis airport. He had gotten several loot bags at Gen Con and each bag contained a World of Warcraft starter deck. Along with Troy I was able to teach him the basics of the game and coach him in a game against Troy. I hope Alex keeps playing and had as much fun as I did.

The Con really sparked in me a new desire to roleplay on a regular basis again so I hope to have an online game of Spirit of the Century or Burning Wheel up and running in the near future as time allows.


"Gatecrasher" and "Believe It Or Else"

For some reason I missed the part about the recent transfer/sale of Seraphim Guard that said that Gatecrasher reverts to Richard Gazely. I am curious what will become of these games. I really liked the mix of fantasy and technology presented by these games.

I never quite liked the slapstick nature of the setting (I liked the humor but I would rather it be a bit more muted than the books portrayed) but playing the game serious or with a comedic flavor could be done.

There were some things about the setting I really liked:
1. Magic and Technology together.
2. The back stories were great.
3. The humor - Church of the Game and all.

There were some things about the game that I didn't like:
1. It is the crunchiest Fudge game I have ever seen.
2. More technology means less magic and vice versa.

I just grabbed the books from my bookshelf and I am going to re-read them as soon as I am finished reading through "Spirit of the Century".


Writing Software

I am looking at treating myself to some new software for NaNoWriMo this year but I am having difficulty finding a package I like. I am looking at the different writing packages and seeing if they fit my needs. One difficulty I am having is I am not 100% sure of what features I want. I am looking at portable wikis as well as professional writing packages.

I also am looking at what the professionals use. I am more than a little surprised that many of the professionals use simple text editors or plain word processors.

In a perfect world the tool would also let me write blog posts.

For portable wikis:
I have used WikidPad before. I stopped using it when I started using jotspot and google docs. I might give it another try. I liked the tool but I found I was spending a lot of time learning the tool and its secrets. I also struggled with adding a spell checker. I ended up building my own. I know a similar spell checker has now been made for the tool so I might have to take another look at this personal wiki.

Instiki is a ruby wiki. I like the idea of using a ruby based app. I might be able to put it on my thumbdrive too.

MoinMoin Desktop
It might be a bit before I give this one a try as it requires a separate python install.

TiddlyWiki is a javascript wiki with tons of tools and addons. The community is very active and community support is excellent. I have used it before and found it okay but not excellent.

The professional packages I am looking at are:
I am looking at WriteWay which got a very good review. Unfortunately the installer for the demo is failing and I have not been able to reach their support group. It looks like a polished version of the yWrite software. i am really interested in the story boarding part of the software.

yWrite3 is a free tool written by Simon Haynes. It is available at Spacejock software. The software seems very feature rich but I am not sure that it suits my style. There seems to be a lot of pop ups and dialogs. I am going to give it a try but I think I want something simpler.
I like the storyboarding component and may keep it just for that reason alone. I also like how each scene in the story has a rating for Goal, Conflict, and Outcome. So the structure seems to work really well but the writing part to me is too cluttered and busy. Maybe I'll keep this for hte structure and planning and just write in a plain editor.

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