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.

28 August 2014

Not Quite Dark

Yes, I have to admit, the blog has gone a bit dark of late. Not through any intentional act, but suffice it to say that depression, family problems, car problems, career problems, and money problems have all descended upon me all at once and have made it hard to really find any joy in anything right now.

Heck, I even tried to map my way out of it and the result came out looking like...well...it wasn't pretty.

One bright spot was being able to sit in the living room of Tracy and Laura Hickman on Sunday and have a nice 2+ hour chat. Catching up, gossip, that kind of thing. I was also able to pick up my Kickstarter-funder copy of their game, Sojourner Tales. I can't wait to get the families schedules all worked out so that we can sit down and play. The final product looks TERRIFIC. Tracy and Laura know what gamers want, know what board gamers want, and this product fits the bill. Just PHYSICALLY you know that when you pick up the box. This thing has heft.

I believe you could kill a kobold with it. Although that might scratch up the box a bit.

This past weekend was my birthday, too. I received a copy of the Hickmans' latest book, Unwept from some close friends. Couldn't wait and stayed up most of the night to read it.

I loved it.

I'd highly recommend it. Great dark gothic work. I told my wife I kept expecting someone to mention how much Rebecca was missed, or "Look, over there. There's Mandalay." (And I mean that as a compliment. I LOVE Rebecca.) I was truly sorry when I reached the end, because of course, there wasn't any more.

Work continues on the Inaugural issue of the Stronghold. Slowly, but surely. I hope to have some more news for you soon.

19 August 2014

Printing Press Installed at the Stronghold

This post serves as the formal announcement. The Stronghold is about to see print.

Well, OK... "about" is a relative term. But it's in the process.

That's right. A 'Zine is on its way. Inspiration such as Christian Walker, Tim Shorts, Dylan Hartwell, and Matt Jackson has made me yearn to have my own musings put into black and white and mailed out to various and sundry parts of the world.

Or at least that's my hope.

There's going to be a definite 3.X Edition focus; that's just how I roll. Of course, there'll be some system neutral stuff, some fiction, some tables, maps, NPCs. Everything that you've come to expect from the Stronghold.

And that'll be it's name: The Stronghold.

Yeah, I was inspired by Tim's "The Manor"--I had a couple other thoughts for titles but he gave his thumbs up (and blessing) to "The Stronghold."

The first few articles are penned. I just need a little more stuff, some art, and then figure out how to assemble it all together. I REALLY don't need to try and learn new software right now. We'll see how it goes. I also have to figure out the whole OGL and copyright thing.

07 August 2014

Bilingual Stronghold

Just sitting here, typing away at my desk, when my e-mail buzzes at me. It's an e-mail from my 13-year-old son, who rarely messages or e-mails me so I dropped everything to see what it was. Now I want to share it with all of you.

Apparently, it says "The Dwarven Stronghold" in Elvish. Now, I have to take his word for it, as I have not sullied my pure, Dwarven mind or tongue with anything Elvish (except that one half-Elvish ranger lass that once, but that's another story for another time). I need to find out from him how and what he used to translate and write it, but it looks like it may have been by hand. No matter. I still wanted to share his handiwork.

It warms a Gamer Dad's heart, y'know?

02 August 2014

Random Table: Picking

In celebration and honor of having my first set of Zocchi dice, I've created my first d2 and d5 tables, for use, obviously, with my new d2 and d5.

Plus, I need to pay a little Joesky tax. OK, a LOT of Joesky tax. Call this a down-payment on my tax payment plan.

Your characters come up against an NPC. He's a bumpkin and a character. You need a little bit more color...flavor...to his description. You're wracked with indecision. I have you covered.

NPC Nose Picking Table 1: Nostril

d2 Roll

NPC Nose Picking Table 2: Hand

d2 Roll
Hand Used

NPC Nose Picking Table 3: Finger

d5 Roll
Finger Used
Ring Finger
Middle Finger

You're welcome.

Mailbag Paradise!

Just a quick post to let you know I'm still alive here at the Stronghold.

I received a wonderful package in the mail this morning: my first (and likely only) set of Zocchi dice.

Yeah, I know, they're controversial with some people. After all, when am I ever really going to need a d3, d5, d14, d16, or d24? I mean, really?  When am I going to use them?

That's just it. I may NOT ever use them. But I NEED them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Hey...dice!

And here they are:
If you didn't know, it appears that GameScience has closed its doors. The website is defunct (at least as far as purchasing goes) and hasn't been updated in a while. There are rumors from online retailers that the last of the d100 (the Zocchihedron) are up for sale. There are also rumors from the same sources that the last of the Zocchi dice 5-sets are now being received and sold as fast as they can get them unpacked. I'm not one to buy into hysteria or rumor-mongering, per se, but you never know. I mean, it's been a LONG time since I've seen a Zocchihedron in my FLGS, and they used to stock them ALL the time.

So I caved in and bought a set. They came all the way from the UK, partly because I trust the seller, but also because I couldn't find a comparable price here in the States. That's right: even with shipping, etc., it was still cheaper to import. I was shocked. Now, I got the uninked set, but that can be easily rectified, even if I have to resort to (gasp) OSR Crayon techniques.

Plus, they're purty. I have a couple other "clear" or "diamond" crystal polyhedron's in my collection, and I wanted some more. My other GameScience dice are ruby red, so these will contrast nicely. These are quite nice to behold, even without colored numbers.

And last of all.... Hey... DICE.

Also purchased at the recent FantasyCon, but forgotten about resting in my pocketses, is my very own, brand-spanking new and shiny d2. Yep. I bought myself a d2. "But why," you ask, "do you need a d2 when you can find any size d2 in your change pocket at any time?" "Well," I would answer, "I don't always have change. I'm a starving business owner."

"And didn't you hear me? It's shiny!" It's for a good cause, too. Proceeds go to my friend Howard Tayler of Schlock Mercenary fame.... Yep, it's an Officially Sanctioned XDM d2! [Aside: Extreme Dungeon Mastery or "XDM" is the book written by Tracy Hickman and illustrated by Howard Tayler. I've written about it before. End aside.] And here it is!

Click HERE to get your own!
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