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.

11 March 2015

[The Stronghold 'Zine} The Frugal DM Reviews Issue #1

Many thanks to Christopher over at The Frugal GM for his tremendous review of Issue #1. I'm really humbled and thrilled that he would give me such a great review. I apologize to him that it's taken me nearly a week to recognize his generous words; getting mom home from the hospital and dealing with sick kids for a week have been a little distracting. Please forgive me.

I had a long blog post all prepared explaining my anal-retentiveness and the justification for the quirks and flaws in the 'zine, but mercifully Blogger seems to have eaten it. Suffice it to say the following:
  1. I'm extremely anal-retentive and have high production standards. Just ask +Tim Shorts, +Dylan Hartwell, or the guys over at Pathways Magazine. In short, anyone for whom I've ever proofread/edited.
  2. To some extent, the quirks and flaws were intentional; they were an homage to old-school, Eighties-style 'zines painstakingly crafted on a Selectrix in mom's basement and mimeographed. It took some self-control to overlook these quirks adn let them pass in the name of "homage." There are a stack of "seconds" whose flaws were just too much to overlook; these will never see the light of day.
  3. Some of the flaws were NOT intentional, however. The odd "photocopy" mark on the artwork frustrates me; it was not in the original and whatever error I caused in my software may detract from the awesomely gruesome piece donated to the 'zine. I really regret this error and am doing everything possible to figure out where it happened and make sure it doesn't happen in future issues. It's a lot like the missing apostrophe that jumped out at me as soon as I sent out the first batch of orders.
  4. The article that Christopher called a "WTF Article": I knew this article would give some people pause. It was a re-print of a random generator that I first posted on this blog, a celebration of the purchase of my first "official" d2 determiner. This would be the "Nose Picking Tables" article. I realized when I included this that it wasn't going to be everybody's cup of tea. It wasn't intended to be that. It's simply a little bit of humor that may, somehow, find some usefulness at a table. Consider this to be the printed version of the ubiquitous Monty Python joke or Princess Bride reference at the gaming table. I know those aren't for everybody either, but they're almost inevitable and I, for one, welcome a bit of levity in my games. Wait until you see the next humorous generator/table. THAT one is all Tim Shorts' fault.
"The Stronghold is a bit of an ugly duckling . . . but you know what? I fricken loved it!" "The Stronghold had just enough rough-edges to remind me of those Zines [from back in the day] and clean & modern enough that I'll actually read it." "The contents of #1 vary a bit in usefulness, to me, but I really did enjoy reading it. I've been paring back on my physical collection of RPG 'stuff', preferring the digital, but I have just the spot for this Zine."
High praise indeed. Thank you, Christopher, from the bottom of my heart.

Let me reverse the recommendation: Christopher has some awesome stuff on his blog, not just links to inexpensive gaming stuff, but also his own great maps and gaming material. (My personal favorites are his underground river maps, taken from real-life rivers and transformed into useable gaming resources. These are truly brilliant!)

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