Monday, February 13, 2017

The Weekly Update - Monday, February 13th, 2017 - A Cold and A Convention

He looks like I feel, today.

I've been suffering from a very bad head cold all through this past week, and am just now starting to feel like a human being once again. Lots and lots of orange juice and bed rest, and getting chicken soup into me by the bucket load. Which is helping, and I need all the help that I can get; I will be at the local game convention, Con of the North, working for Bill Hoyt as the stagehand for his "RPGs in the Twin Cities" display. Bill will be providing all of the content, as he was there back in the day, and I am setting up the smaller of my two Skyline displays for him to use. This is the same one that we used for the "Dave Arneson Day" at The Source Comics and Games, and is easy to set up and take down. Looks good, too, if I do say so myself.

I will not be running games at the convention; I am, to be honest, too space- and time-intensive for most conventions to get the most out of me. Now, that said, I can highly suggest Brett Slocum's Tekumel programming track, which he's been running for a number of years, and this always has a very good selection of events and GMs. I think you can see his program of games here at the convention's website:

If you're going to be at the convention, I'll be in the Fireside Lounge all weekend, typing away on "To Serve The Petal Throne on my laptop, answering questions, and trying to look intelligent... :)

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, February 6th, 2017 - Something Very Cool!

One of the regular denizens of this particular corner of the Internet was kind enough to send along these two photos of the Highborn Lady Vrisa Vishetru, as drawn by Kathy Marshall-Grantham and sculpted by John Winter for Howard Fielding's The Tekumel Project. The original drawing appeared as part of the 'Selected Biographies' series in the old 'zines that we in the original Thursday Night used to do as part of our trying to tell people about Tekumel.

I think that the painter, a very skilled lady from Russia, did a great job on this figure; she's got some other really wonderful figures up on her blog, too:

In the local news, we're still digging out from under the piles of boxes from Zurich, although we can now actually see the floor in a few parts of our little house. I am currently engaged in clearing out the wreckage in the game room and lounge, as this space got used as the 'overflow' from the rest of the house as we cope with all the IKEA stuff coming in from overseas. All sorts of forgotten treasures have reappeared, much to my delight, and I'll start shooting photos of them in the near future.

The big thing right now is the Resident Daughter's classwork!

I did manage to get all of the new clear Plexiglass bases for all of my small-scale ships done; but the very vintage Valiant 'Spanish Main' and 'Ramming Speed' will soon be getting their coats of new paint and be off on more adventures. I should note that the former line is 1/1200, and the latter 1/900, but they seem to mix on the table with no real problems - to my eye, anyway.

The ships from TRE Games do look a little large next to these metal castings, but then I tend to use the TRE ships for smaller fleet actions, and the Valiant ships for larger ones. My usual habit is to have the ships' captains write down their orders, and then I plot the moves out on big sheets of graph paper on a side table. This is per the practice of one Mr. David L. Arneson, who was of the opinion that the best way to simulate the 'fog of war' was to use written orders. He was right; all sorts of things happen, even what the players wanted to have happen, and much fun occurs. (Sailing a ship around is a lot harder than it looks, and there are no brakes on the boat.) I then fight the usual boarding actions on the main game table, with the big ships. It looks great, and lots of swashbuckling happens.

So, lots happening, and lots more to come!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Weekly Update - Sunday, January 28th, 2017 - New Miniatures, and Wonderful Games

The card we got in our order

Fisrt off, we have a new look here at the Workbench; the old Blogger template that I was using seems to have developed a odd bug, and the colors of the text changed yesterday to something odd. So, a new template, and we'll keep an eye on things.

A new source of fun figures: Alex Bates and his 'Forge of Ice'. He does not have a website per se, but does have a Facebook page. Our set of 'Sleazy Merchant and Sleepy (4) and Alert (2) Guards" has arrived, and are simply fun to look at - they will paint up very well, I think, and I'll get photos up as soon as I can. I'll work on the link, too.

Had a great game session, yesterday, with the D&D group I am playing with. I will have a longer report later, but I was out until after midnight and need to take a nap, now that I have gotten my pills. So, more later; great game play by some very fun players; I also got to talk a lot about Tekumel to people, which was heaps if fun.

Off for now; back in  few hours...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fiddler's Recent Comment - A Longer Reply

A Castle in Italy...
I thought that Fiddler’s recent comment deserved a longer reply, so here it is…
One of the things prompting this longer reply is that, over the past decades, nobody from outside my family has ever asked me the question, “What are you really doing?”
People who know me, and the family, already know the answer, so this post is for the people who have been projecting their hopes, their fears, their dreams, and their insecurities onto me for all these years…

            Let it be said that there's nothing wrong with a quiet year / consolidation year. As a matter of fact I did exactly that in 2013, and it proved extremely profitable.

Here are my very specific 2017 "best wishes" for you, Chirine:

1)    to spend some quality time with your daughter;
Exactly. Being a father, and now a grandfather, is the most amazing things I’ve ever done in what has been a long and exciting life. It’s been astonishing, and I’m looking forward to more of this journey.

2)    to add 100K + to your book;
My goal is to finish the book this coming year, and get it into people’s hands for their amusement. This is not going to be a Tekumel version of Jon Peterson’s tremendous book, “Playing at the World”, a new RPG, or anything like that; it’s going to be about a bunch of friends, sitting around a wobbly ping-pong table in a basement room and having a while lot of fun.

3)    to finish the two flyers and the Sakbe road, because these are gonna be so damn gorgeous;
Agreed! These three projects have gotten started up again – I am in the throes of building half a dozen quick-firing radium cannon – and I have now gotten our orders for the new Bronze Age and Forge of Ice figures. New lead always galvanizes and inspires me, and photos will be forthcoming.

4)    to run at least ONE game, just so you can break the spell that weird oblivious dude got you under;
I am hoping to do so as well. As per my ‘rules of engagement’, if somebody wants to organize up a game session, I’ll be happy to host it. Both of my locally-resident daughters want to play in a game like I ususally run, and they may bring some of their friends – we shall see what happens, and I shall keep everyone posted.

5)    and while you're at it (if you DO run that one game), use those splendid new Underworld tiles + lighting, and *film* the whole thing! (Hell, I would drop by the Twin Cities myself just to be in that game, if I had the money.)

That’s the plan. I’ll announce when the game happens, and when we post it. And, you are always welcome, here...

So, there you have it, my friend! A very nice and very rewarding 2017 to you and your family!

Thank you! As I have said many times, all I want to do is paint my figures, tell my stories, and run my games. That’s where we’re going, and everyone is welcome to come along for the ride!

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Weekly Update - Monday, January 23rd, 2017 - The News From The BBC, and Taking My Daughter Shopping For Miniatures

Mr. Mornard is on the left.

For those of you who don't regularly follow the BBC, may we suggest clicking on this audio clip:

This is Mike Mornard, who posts on various Internet forums, and comments - often pungently! - on gaming. For Tekumel fans, he's also known as General Korunme Mnashu hi Chaishyani, Mnashu of Thri'il, and commander of the legion of the same name. It's a fun interview, and highly entertaining.

 I served as the Glorious General's staff officer out at Phil's for years, and we had a lot of adventures; Book Three of "To Serve The Petal Throne" is all about these stirring deeds of mighty valor.

It has been a very busy week, unpacking all of Fifth Daughter's worldly goods; we have an astounding number of very nice cardboard boxes to hand, so anyone needing such things should get a hold of us. As soon as possible, as wwe'd like to see out floors again in this decade.

Along the way, I was asked by her to take her miniatures shopping, so that she could pick out her own 'personality figure' for my campaign; she also picked out one for her older sister, Fourth Daughter. We will need to pick out something proper for 4D's husband - something classically Imperial Chinese, of course - and that will complete the family set. For Oldest Sister / Third Daughter and her handsome man, I already have figures in hand for their PCs. First and Second Grandchildren are also covered, thanks to Dr. M. Burns and his Dark Fable Ancient Egyptians.

The new figures are from Dark Sword Miniatures; DSM-1151 for Fourth Daughter, and DSM-4110 for Fifth Daughter. Pictures of these are on the Dark Sword website:

I use a lot of Dark Sword figures as 'personality figures', not only because I happen to know the guy who owns the place, but because these are truly exquisite figures. They may cost a bit more, but you get what you pay for - I have never had a Dark Sword figure that I have not truly enjoyed painting. The level of detail is a little daunting, but hey - it's something to aspire to. They look great on the table, which is what you want for a figure for those special people in your game.

I am terrified at the notion that, eventually, all of my family will be at the same point in the space-time continuum, and I'll be running that game session.

Not much else to report, so I'll be back later on...