Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Weekly Update for Sunday, May 18th, 2014 - An Island of Serenity in a Confused World

It's quiet, and I like it that way.

It has been a quiet week, but a very busy one. I have finally managed to locate all my bins of tools and model-building supplies in our very crowded little bit of reality, and moved everything back into the workshop. There's a  lot of new storage around The Workbench proper, and I have finally - al long last! - sorted out the huge piles of unpainted lead into 'keepers' and 'surplus'. I am keeping the bulk of the stocks of Tekumel figures I have been accumulating for the past decades, but the majority of them will be organized into full cohorts and integrated into the military figures; the gods may no longer be on the side of the big battalions, but I am.

At the same time, though, I am also reorganizing what used to be the 'role-playing' portion of the collection - basically, the individual 'personality' figures - into bins and separating them by era and RPG group. Dave Arneson's merry crew of "honest seafaring merchants" now has an individual bin-tray to itself, with the kindly old Captain himself and his four officers joining them. I think that having them all together is kinda cool; the crew figures are relatively new, being only a decade old, but their leaders are the originals I did for Dave and Phil back about 1980. It will certainly make gaming with them easier - which is the idea, after all!

The 'heavy industry' portion of my own Ditlana is now done; I am moving the table saw and related tools back into 'ready use' storage, and all the spare lumber I didn't use on the game table is also being stored. I still have a shelf unit to build for the A/V rack in the game lounge, but that's a simple 'weekend' project.

I have to say that I am very, very pleased with how everything has turned out. The rooms look good, I can get to stuff for gaming, and I don't have to bust my butt for three hours to reset the basement any time I want to run a game.


I am sorry to have to report that the Dell computer we use for our Skype and Google+ connections is out of service due to a hard drive issue. I will not be able to originate either type of video call, but I can still receive them by prior appointment on The Missus' super-duper smart phone. I will keep everyone posted on this, of course.


There is a hot rumor floating around the Internet that the lawsuit "Sweetpea Entertainment vs. Hasbro, Inc." has been settled; the case was supposed to go to trial on March 26, but that date came and went with no news. I have a couple of legal news sites that I check for this kind of thing, but nothing confirmed has appeared yet.

This lawsuit stems from the 1994 agreements regarding a proposed D & D movie, and is more then a little complicated to describe for the non-legally-minded. I'll post more, when and if I get hard news on the subject.


Not a hot rumor, but a reality; the Tekumel Foundation has finally published something, I'm told. I'll know more when I get the notification from, and I'll post more when I see it. I'm told that they have republished the Tita's House of Games product, "Tales from the Thursday Night Group", part of their long term plan to republish all of the Tita's and Adventure Games backlist of old titles.


On the subject of publications, I have been asked when I will be submitting my two projects, "Qadardalikoi - Advance Standards!" (the updated edition of my old miniatures rules) and "To Serve The Petal Throne" to the Tekumel Foundation for their approval, editing, and licensing. The short answer is "Not any time soon; I can't afford their fees."

To summarize the recondite details, I was quoted an annual sub-license fee of $5,000 (renewable every year), a requirement for the Foundation to have unlimited editing powers over the manuscripts, a five percent royalty on the gross sales of the books (in addition to the annual license fee), and a requirement for me to pay the Foundation for research, editing, and legal services at the rate of $200 per hour - the Foundation to be the ones to determine how much work is needed at these rates. The three- to five-year "processing time" that I was quoted by the Foundation for their approvals process, as well as the usual stipulations about the Foundation having unrestricted rights to the works (as set forth on their website), has led me to conclude that doing the works for myself (and my kids and grandkids) and simply giving them away to people is going to be the most economical course of action for me. I don't think that there is anything like the commercial demand needed to raise this kind of money and still pay for hard copies - even print-on-demand copies.

While, personally, I think that somebody is being wildly over-optimistic about the commercial possibilities of Tekumel as a  commercial property in this day and age, as far as I am concerned the Foundation has priced themselves right out of the market. I'm not the kind of "Big Name Author In The OSR" that Chairman Dr. Raymond of the Foundation feels gives the Foundation and the Board of Directors (as he put it to me in person) the sufficient "Prestige" and "respect" that they need, so I don't get the kind of favorable terms that such a Big Name Author would receive.

Not that I'm annoyed, really; as Chairman Doctor Raymond said to me several times, "Their business model doesn't concern me." Over the past winter, it's been slowly dawning on me that I have achieved all of my own long-term goals relating to Tekumel; I can now settle back to enjoy life and get on with the things I want to do in gaming and with Tekumel. Let the Foundation do their thing; they wanted my job very, very badly during the 1980s and 1990s, and now they have it. My brain bleed was caused by the stress of dealing with them for several years, and I have no interest in repeating that excercise; let them go forth and conquer, I say, and more power to them.

I am, I am delighted to say, retired.