Monday, February 18, 2019

The 8-bit Barbarian


So, I came across this article on CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/17/tech/30-year-old-apple-computer-work-trnd/index.html, and I thought, "This is news?  I do this all the time!"

Why, just the other day, I was climbing down an old dry well, and at the bottom I spied a box, so I climbed down for a closer look.  To my surprise I saw an old Commodore Vic-20 box!  What a find!  except it was surrounded by snakes... and fire.  Fire snakes actually!  As I got closer, the fire snakes were all like, "You shall not have this biz!"  And I was all like, "Oh yes I shall!"  So I climbed back up and got a bucket of water.  Needless to say those fire snakes ran like crazy when they saw me coming back.  I grabbed the box and climbed out before they got any more ideas.  Fire snakes can be kind of dumb.

When I got out of the well I opened the box and to my surprise, there wasn't a Vic-20 in it at all, but rather a Commodore 64.  It was pretty nasty too, having gotten all dirty and yellow sitting at the bottom of that well.  So I took it home and cleaned it up.  Even clean though, it was still all yellow from being in that stanky old well for who know how long.


 Before I invested too much time in this thing though, I figured that I should check to see if it worked, so I plugged it in, powered it on, and got exactly nothing.  Well, not quite nothing.  The power light came on but the screen was blank.  "Hmmmm", I though.  "Seems like it might be a memory problem."  So, I used the old tried and true, "feel the ram chips" method of testing, and sure enough, one of those chips was hotter than a fire snake!  That usually means that the chip is bad.   Breaking out my trusty soldering iron, I replaced the bad memory chip with one that I had lying around (yes, I have that sort of stuff lying around), and voila!  I had a working Commodore 64.


After giving myself a few chemical burns while restoring the plastic to its original color, I was ready to play Temple of Apshai!

Take that, Attic Guy!  (I'm just kidding.  It was awesome that his apple was still working) Original Nerds, represent!;-)
So maybe the well was Ebay, and maybe the fire snakes were the people trying to outbid me, but the rest is fact. :-)

Friday, February 1, 2019

Where to find me when G+ goes away


For those that are interested, when G+ goes away Skullsword's tower will become my primary residence:  jrl755.blogspot.com.  I can also be found over at MeWe: https://mewe.com/profile/5bbc2157a5f4e532ebcad681

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Savage Sorcerers of Sungor: Or how I embraced my derivative nature



For a long time now I've wanted to run a sword & sorcery campaign, but a number of things have held me back, and all of them were crap.  First, I couldn't decide on a systems to use.  The Hero System?  GURPS? Fate Core?  Savage Worlds?   The truth is that the system doesn't matter much, so it turns out that decision was just a stall tactic.  The next obstacle was that I needed a world to run my campaign in.  I didn't want to use an existing world such as Howard's Hyborian Age, or Leiber's Nehwon, because I wanted something different.  Well, maybe "different" is the wrong word.  What I wanted was a combination of a lot of things.  Some Conan, with some Elric, with some Heavy Metal, a bit of Nehwon, a dash of the Roman Empire, a sprinkling of Warhammer Fantasy, at little Thundarr the Barbarian, and maybe even a little He-Man, plus some Yor Hunter from the Future.  Essentially, I wanted a derivative soup made from the stuff that I loved as a kid and still love today, but I didn't want it to be derivative, because being derivative is lame. 

Or is it?

Let's face facts.  I'm not here to do some totally original game world that I plan to publish.  I'm not trying to be a game developer.  I want to run a game for my friends in a world that is fun.  If people call it derivative, then so be it.  I want barbarians, and ancient ruins.  I want ancient technology, and dark sorcery.  I want evil chaos gods and gladiator fights.  I want pirates and witches.  I want dudes flying on insects, and dudes riding on snakes. 

So I took all of those things that I liked, stuck them in a bowl and mixed.  What I wound up with was my setting for Savage Sorcerers of Sungor, and it will be good enough for me, I think.  I came to this point by finally embracing my love for the derivative and just going with it, and I feel a whole lot better now.  I was holding myself back by trying to be original and missing out on the fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Crom laughs at your mail!


I decided that I was tired of getting paper cuts opening my mail, so I bought this nifty letter opener fashioned after Conan's father's sword from the 1982 film.  I'm rather pleased with it.

You can get one here.  $29 is a bit steep for a letter opener, but it is pretty cool

Monday, October 29, 2018

Miniatures Monday: My Stable of Gaslands Cars

I've finally managed to complete 5 Gaslands cars, with two more waiting in the wings.  Now I just need to play the game! ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Inktober: day 17

Ok, so I'm 17 days late in starting this, but here is a sketch that I just did of the assassin robot Stabulon 5.  #inktober


Friday, October 12, 2018

Vale Greg Stafford (1948 - 2018)

Whoa.  I'm completely shocked. :-(

Vale Greg Stafford (1948 - 2018): The shock and grief the Chaosium family felt at the news of the passing of our beloved and revered company founder, Greg Stafford, cannot be measured. Greg died yesterday in his sweat lodge at his home in Arcata, CA. Mercifully, his passing was painless and quick. He died as he lived, on a spiritual quest of enlightenment.As one of the greatest game designers of all time; winner of too many awards to count; and a friend, mentor, guide, and inspiration to generations of gamers, “the Grand Shaman of Gaming” influenced the universe of tabletop gaming beyond measure.Greg founded The Chaosium in 1975, and from the outset (to quote his own words) “was never content to imitate, but instead published games that were original in their style of play, content and design”. Under his leadership, the company quickly became renowned for its originality and creativity, and was responsible for introducing numerous things to the hobby that are standards today. As John Wick (7th Sea, Legend of the Five Rings) memorably said, “The older I get, the more I hear young RPG designers say ‘Never been done before!’ And then I just point at something Greg Stafford did a few decades ago.”Greg’s work in roleplaying games, board games, and fiction have been acclaimed as some of the most engaging and innovative of all time. There will doubtless be many valedictory messages over the coming days from the countless ...

Monday, October 8, 2018

Miniatures Monday


A halfling chicken butcher done for a friend.  It's been a while since I've painted a figure this small, but I think that it turned out fairly well.  I just need to seal him and he'll be ready for the table.




Monday, October 1, 2018

Miniatures Monday

A dragon among the ruins

Here is a green dragon that I'm pretty pleased with,  I could have done a better job on the shattered stone that he is standing on, but that is something that I can fix later.  I don't paint many dragons, as I don't have much call to use them in games.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Friday Five (Swords)

Five "magical" swords:

1.   The Invisible Blood Sword of Devouring Dismemberment
2. The Platinum Horror Sword of Sacrifice
3. The Wondrous Vapor Sword of the Veteran
4. The Hell Sword of the Sepulchral Maiden
5. The Living Moon Sword of the Hunter

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Weird Adventure Wednesday (Now with more stuff)!



On A Brisk Afternoon you are stopped by a young adventurer in the slums.  The adventurer tells you a forgotten tale that nine days ride to the northeast, across The Loathsome Ravine of the Stargazer can be found The Crumbling Village of the Vile Veterans.  It is whispered that there can be found The Iron Sword of the Fateful Dictator. The adventurer tells you that an acolyte will pay a small fortune to those who can retrieve that Sword. But beware, for the adventurer admonishes you that  The Unholy Troubadour of Visions enslaves all who come near!

I added the possibility that someone may be willing to pay you to undertake the adventure. I figured that there needed to be some incentive to go after these horrible items. ;-)