A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

05 March 2013

LTUE Wrap-Up

I don't suppose any of you are really sitting on the edges of your sofas wondering what happened to two days' worth of posts from LTUE: Life, The Universe, and Everything Writing Conference. But there may be a couple of you interested: well, I wish I could really tell you. Unfortunately, the morning of Day Two dawned with some manner of gomboo bug inhabiting my body.

No, really. It was almost as if I had one of those Alien face-huggers latched onto me.
I was exhausted and I felt as if I'd been stuffed in cotton. I had a really powerful bad cough. Congestion. My eyeballs were practically throbbing, for crying out loud. I had aches and pains all over. Developed a weekend-long migraine by Friday night.

But I went anyway, because it was important to my wife. Despite my illness, I think she had fun. I don't remember anything about any of the panels, except for remembering listening to Larry Correia talk about writing action scenes. I think I may have dozed off in other panels. My sickness, unfortunately, meant that we didn't travel back down for the Saturday session. Apparently I wasn't the only one; some Typhoid Mary apparently attended the Conference because I got reports that there were quite a few attendees and possibly even some presenters that wrote off Saturday and didn't attend. I still feel bad about my wife missing out on Saturday, though, and need to find some way to make it up to my her.

One highlight that I do remember was having lunch at a little sandwich shop talking shop with Tracy and Laura Hickman. Great people and a great conversation. It had been awhile since we'd lunched and had a good chance to talke and catch up, so it was definitely a highlight of the conference.

The second highlight was this:
I was finally able to procure my copy of XDM: X-treme Dungeon Mastery. And I was able to get it signed by both Tracy Hickman and Howard Tayler. I've been trying for a couple years to get this, but the financial stars, the times, and the places have just not worked out. Until 2013.

Descriptive blurb:
The cure for the common game! Throw off your chains! Too long have your role playing games been held in the bonds of substandard gamemasters, bound in needlessly complicated rules sets, and enslaved by players who will avoid doing anything unless it counts toward leveling up! It is time to take a stand!

Learn from the masters the ancient secrets of how to:
Officially become an XDM and impress dates. (Do-it-yourself secret initiation rites included.)
Master the secrets of designing adventures that tell stories.
Create magic illusions that can even make your players disappear!
Use actual fire in your game properly.
Hijack the game as a player, and how to deal with a player revolution as an XDM.
Plus loads more!
Perhaps the best description comes from the book's Wikipedia entry: "The book is written as though from the perspective of a secret society of game masters passing on ancient secrets of role-playing games beginning in Babylonian times and extending to the present. Within the satire, the text offers advice on performance techniques, adventure game design and classical story structures." The book prescribes a system called X20: rules-light in that everything is decided by a roll of 1d20 and a decision by the XDM as to success/effect. Such a system would definitely frustrate rules lawyers, as the only rules are what the XDM decides are the rules.

It's an overly simplistic description of the book, but a good one. The book is full of humor, tips, tricks, suggestions, and great illustrations by the creator of Schlock Mercenary, which is arguably the best and funniest webcomic Space Opera on the internet. Howard autographs his books with customized artwork and this book is no different; the last page in the book was left blank just for this purpose. And here's my own, personal autograph from my book. This is Boric as seen through Howard Tayler's eyes.

Anyway, back to the face-hugger gomboo.... It pretty well put me out of commission for over a week. Then it's taken a week more to get caught up with leftover work at the office. Hopefully I can get some of my random thoughts out on paper. I still owe Tim Shorts some critters for issue #4 of The Manor. So I have a bunch of stuff to do, and Guilder to blame for it. I'm swamped.

At least I have my health...kind of. As you know, If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything.

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