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  1. VtM cover

    Yes, that is my original copy of Vampire: the Masquerade first edition. Battered but still functional, like its owner.

    This week, I’m flying down to New Orleans to meet up with a whole lot of other people who, I bet, still have their original VtM copies as well. Of course, I’m referring to the 2016 Grand Masquerade being held in celebration of the publication of VtM 25 years ago!

    Not to mention everyone who got into Vampire: the Masquerade with the 2nd, Revised, or V20 editions. And those folks who first tasted the darkness with Vampire Dark Ages, the other World of Darkness game lines, the Minds Eye Theatre live action boxed set and books, the VTES card game, the computer games like Bloodlines, or even Kindred the Embraced on TV.

    It has been one wild ride, with many beautiful and stirring moments, and quite a few ugly and bestial ones in there as well. For me personally, I mean.

    From painting up what was essentially a sequential graphic story in first edition (who put things like that in an RPG back then?), to art directing and designing 2nd edition (some fond memories of how Chris McDonough and I ran alternating shifts outputting the pages 24 hours a day for a week in order to get it to press on time), to approvals and art direction frantically working with Justin during the Revised years (putting out a Clanbook a month, might have been, on reflection, a crazy idea), to the glory of coming back to art directing and laying out RPGs with Vampire: 20th Anniversary Edition (Eddy Webb and his Oxford comma corrections- Grrrr!), to the very satisfying opportunity to take the success of V20 and run with publishing beautiful new Vampire: the Masquerade books after years of torpor.

    Hopefully your connection with Vampire has been equally amazing.

    If you are at Grand Masquerade this week, please come by the booth and tell me about it!

     

     

    Michael Gaydos full page illustration from CofD: Hurt Locker

    Michael Gaydos full page illustration from CofD: Hurt Locker

    Let me go back to that last bit in the big paragraph above: “to the very satisfying opportunity to take the success of V20 and run with publishing beautiful new Vampire books after years of torpor.”

    I’m going to unpack that a bit, because it is actually a pretty big thing. Of the 25 years of VtM, the last five have been under the aegis of Onyx Path. Which is a very different thing than the previous 20 (or, you know, 20 minus the torpor years when the World of Darkness was “destroyed”).

    And it all started with the Vampire 20th Anniversary Edition. The incredibly positive, and, to the higher-ups, unexpected, response to V20 validated the idea that tabletop RPGs are a legitimate way to build (or in this case, restore) a brand and build an audience. It allowed me to pitch the idea of Onyx Path and actually get traction with CCP with the idea that tabletop RPGs could be good for business.

    And then convince them that they should license the IPs to this new company, Onyx Path, in order to make that happen.

    Hard to believe after five years of enthusiastic response to our shepherding the line, but there you go: that was the atmosphere at the time.

     

     

    Brian LeBlanc illustration of a Beast Ready Made Characters character.

    Brian LeBlanc illustration of a Beast Ready Made Characters character.

     

     

    That’s really how we continue to approach V20 and all the 20’s, and Chronicles of Darkness and Exalted as well: as a trust given to Onyx Path to respectfully rejuvenate these lines that were supposedly dead, or broken, or unplayable.

    There were challenges, certainly, because of the limits of the license with CCP, but overall I think we have delivered as planned – and we’re on a roll with the books recently that I’m really thrilled with! I’m particularly happy with how we’ve been able to draw deep on the lore of 25 years while adding more layers of complexity and secrets to the mix. The Red List, Black Hand, and upcoming Beckett’s Jyhad Diary books all do this and are just incredibly engrossing to read.

    And even more amazing V20/V20 Dark Ages books are yet to come this coming year.

    Looking forward to the next 25 years!

    Next week, I’ll be on the road returning from NOLA, so Rollickin’ Rose Bailey is going to step in and post the Monday blog with some thoughts of her own.

     

     

    BLURBS!

    KICKSTARTER!

    We’re looking at our next KS campaign being for Scion 2nd Edition in September. Neall has delivered his voice-overs for the Kickstarter videos to Impish Ian, who will do his video making magic while we wait for a couple more pieces of art to come in. More news when we have it!

     

     

    ON SALE!

     

    Looking for our Deluxe or Prestige Edition books? Here’s the link to the press release we put out about how Onyx Path is now selling through Indie Press Revolution: http://theonyxpath.com/press-release-onyx-path-limited-editions-now-available-through-indie-press-revolution/

    iprlogo

     

     

    Cavs of Mars

    A Festival of Blades, the swashbuckling new Jumpstart advance PDF for Rose Bailey’s Cavaliers of Mars is live and coming at you on DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/191678/A-Festival-of-Blades-A-Cavaliers-of-Mars-Jumpstart

    In this adventure, you’ll find yourself in the city of Vance at festival time. When revolutionaries strike a visiting prince, you’ll need to explore the city’s dark underbelly, before racing across its towered tombs!

    Live, fight, and love on Mars, a world of red death and strange mystery, a world of savagery and romance.

    Includes: 

    • A complete adventure set in one of dying Mars’ greatest remaining cities.
    • The innovative DEIMOS rules, for high-flying, swashbuckling adventure.
    • Four pre-generated player characters, ready to get into the heart of the action.

     

     

    Scion 2 PosterPugmire Poster

    If you weren’t lucky enough to get our gorgeous new Scion 2nd Edition and Pugmire posters at Gen Con, they are now available on DTRPG!

    The Scion 2nd Poster: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/191677/Scion-2nd-Edition-Gen-Con-2016-Poster

    The new Pugmire “Spike and Friends” Poster: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/191676/Pugmire-Spike-and-Friends-Poster

     

     

    Miracles Cover

    Behold the Miracles of the Solar Exalted! Originally a backer reward for the EX3 Kickstarter, but now so much more, with additional Charms written by the developers just for this book! For sale now at DTRPG in PDF and PoD versions! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/184596/Miracles-of-the-Solar-Exalted

    This book contains over 80 new Solar Charms embodying a range of concepts and stories dreamed up by players of Exalted and meticulously crafted and balanced for inclusion at any and all tables.

    Fire an arrow and let it become a waiting judgment upon the wicked. Unleash a sword stroke that can overwhelm the blade of Heaven itself. Train your loyal beast companion into an unstoppable colossus. Effortlessly seed the battlefield with inspiring words alongside arrows and blades. Empower your spirit familiar with the light of your anima. Tame a hurricane with your music. These miracles and more may be found within.

     

     

     

    Promethean Premium

    What was once unliving now arises! The Promethean: the Created 2nd Edition Advance PDF is now available at DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/189395/Promethean-the-Created-2nd-Edition

    You are a pilgrim now, one of the Created. You rose to life from dead flesh or inert matter, under the ministrations of one of your own, or a mad scientist, or perhaps just the power of the Divine Fire. You wander the world, sometimes alone, sometimes in the blessed company of your own kind, driven by memories of events and facts you never knew, all in the service of one Great Work…

    …to be human.

    This book contains:

    • The complete guide to playing a Promethean in the Chronicles of Darkness
    • Reimagined Lineages and Refinements, and a redesigned system for Transmutations
    • A more detailed approached to the Pilgrimage that presents players with more control over their characters’ path
    • New challenges on the road to humanity, including deranged, greedy alchemists

    NOTE: This is the Advance PDF version. A final PDF version and PoD versions will be available at a later date. If you have purchased this Advance PDF, you will be automatically updated to the final PDF and receive a link to enable you to purchase the PoD at a discount designed so that your total price matches our usual PDF and Print combo offer.

     

     

    Front Cover(1)

    The Tales of the Dark Eras , the Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras fiction anthology is now on sale at DriveThruRPG in PDF/electronic and PoD versions! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/187316/Tales-of-the-Dark-Eras

    Walk through the ages…

    As a companion to Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras this anthology reveals secrets of the mystics, whispers rumors of the dead, and shines a light into the darkest corners of the world. Includes historical stories based within the shadowed past of Vampire: the Requiem, Mage: the Awakening, Werewolf: the Forsaken, Changeling: the Lost, and other Chronicles of Darkness settings.

    In the Chronicles of Darkness…

    Explore the shadows with tales by Howard Ingham, Malcolm Sheppard, Pete Woodworth, Renee Ritchie, Jess Hartley, Monica Valentinelli, Danielle Harper, Matthew McFarland, Mike Tomasek, Eric Zawadski, Meghan Fitzgerald, and Dennis Detwiller.

     

     

    V20_RMC_Cover

    Now Available! on DTRPG in PDF and PoD versions: V20 Ready Made Characters. http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/185028/V20-Ready-Made-Characters

    Running a one-night game of Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition? Wanting to start up a new chronicle, but your players aren’t sure what to play? Looking for some examples of how to use the material in Lore of the Clans? Thanks to our generous Kickstarter backers, these thirteen ready-made characters cover each of the vampire Clans. Each character is provided with background, roleplay suggestions, art, and some potential coteries and plot hooks — everything you need to start your endless nights as one of the Kindred.

    This book includes:

    • Thirteen pre-generated player character, with both starting and experienced character sheets.
    • A brief break-down of the character’s history and roleplaying suggestions.
    • Six possible coteries for these characters, complete with coterie charts.
    • Seven plot seeds to help the Storyteller jumpstart her chronicle.

     

     

     

    Ghouls Front

    Servants of the Damned: the PDF and PoD versions for V20 Ghouls & Revenants are now available at DTRPG! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/184039/V20-Ghouls–Revenants

    Ghouls & Revenants includes:

    • Expanded and revised character creation for ghoul and revenant player-characters
    • Clan and Sect write-ups for ghouls who serve them
    • New revenant families including the Rossellini, Kairouan Brotherhood, and more.
    • New rules for ghouls and revenants including new Merits & Flaws, Backgrounds, Discipline Packages, etc.
    • A Storyteller chapter for advice on running ghoul-or-revenant focused chronicles.
    • …and more!

     

     

     

    Awakening 2 Cover

    Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition Advance PDF NOW available at DTRPG.com! http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/181754/Mage-the-Awakening-2nd-Edition

    You are a mage, one of the Wise. You see, know, and explore what others can’t imagine, from the depths of the human soul to the hidden corners of reality. Armed with your spells, driven by an addiction to Mysteries, you delve into the secrets of the world. Knowledge has a price, and the dangers are many.

    This book contains:

    • The complete guide to playing a mage in the Chronicles of Darkness.
    • Reimagined Paths, Orders, and powers to create your Awakened characters and their allies, including an updated version of the most comprehensive free-form magic system in gaming.
    • Five example settings across the world, from Los Angeles to Salamanca, each with a central Mystery.
    • A brand-new look at all the strange places of the Fallen World, from the Lower Depths to the Emanation Realms, and what mages might find within.

    NOTE: This is the Advance PDF version. A final PDF version and PoD versions will be available at a later date. If you have purchased this Advance PDF, you will be automatically updated to the final PDF and receive a link to enable you to purchase the PoD at a discount designed so that your total price matches our usual PDF and Print combo offer.

    You must have your DTRPG account set to accept messages from Onyx Path Publishing before the link messages are sent out, though, so please adjust your settings if you want that discount.

     

     

    CONVENTIONS!

    RichT, Matthew “Gentleman Gamer” Dawkins, Bill Bodden, and Matt McElroy, with special guest Aaron “The Executioner” Voss, will be at the 2016 Grand Masquerade in New Orleans over the Labor Day Weekend both talking about the early years of White Wolf and representing the tabletop part of the World of Darkness! Come play in games hosted by legendary Dave Martin and the Wrecking Crew and demos at the Onyx Path booth in the dealer area! http://www.masqueradebynight.com/

     

    Meanwhile, Ian Watson and Eddy Webb will be at Fan Expo Canada, a HUGE convention in Toronto September 1-4. I hear tell there might be Pugmire gaming there! http://fanexpocanada.com/

     

     

     


    And now, the new project status updates!

    DEVELOPMENT STATUS FROM ROLLICKING ROSE (projects in bold have changed status since last week):

    First Draft (The first phase of a project that is about the work being done by writers, not dev prep)

    • Exalted 3rd Novel by Matt Forbeck (Exalted 3rd Edition)
    • CtL fiction anthology (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
    • BtP Building a Legend (Beast: the Primordial)
    • Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
    • Trinity Continuum: Aeon Rulebook (The Trinity Continuum)
    • M20 Gods and Monsters (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
    • Scion: Origins (Scion 2nd Edition)
    • Scion: Hero (Scion 2nd Edition)
    • BtP Player’s Guide
    • V20 Dark Ages Jumpstart (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)
    • M20 Cookbook (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
    • M20 Book of the Fallen (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)
    • VtM Beckett’s Jyhad Diary (Stretch Goal Content)
    • GtS Geist 2e core

     

    Redlines

    • EX3 Jumpstart (Exalted 3rd Edition)
    • VtR A Thousand Years of Night (Vampire: the Requiem 2nd Edition)

     

    Second Draft

    • Arms of the Chosen (Exalted 3rd Edition)
    • The Realm (Exalted 3rd Edition)
    • Dragon-Blooded (Exalted 3rd Edition)
    • Cavaliers of Mars
    • Wraith: the Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition
    • Pugmire Core Book

     

    Development

    • W20 Changing Ways (Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition)
    • Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition, featuring the Huntsmen Chronicle (Changeling: the Lost 2nd Edition)
    • Signs of Sorcery (Mage: the Awakening Second Edition)
    • SL Ring of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • SL The Wise and the Wicked (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • SL The Wise and the Wicked (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • SL Dagger of Spiragos (Pathfinder – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • BtP Mortal Remains (Beast: the Primordial)
    • Scarred Lands Player’s Guide 5E: Ghelspad (Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • Ring of Spiragos (5e – Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • Dagger of Spiragos (5e– Scarred Lands 2nd Edition)
    • V20 Dark Ages Anthology (Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition)

     

    Editing:

    • Changeling: the Dreaming 20th Anniversary Edition
    • M20 Book of Secrets (Mage: the Ascension 20th Anniversary Edition)

     

    Post-Editing Development:

    • Night Horrors: Conquering Heroes (Beast: the Primordial)

     

    Indexing:

    • Mage: The Awakening 2nd Edition core book (Mage: the Awakening 2nd Edition)

     

     

    ART DIRECTION FROM MIRTHFUL MIKE:

    In Art Direction

    • Dark Eras Companion
    • Beckett’s Jyhad Diary
    • CofD Hurt Locker
    • Mummy Novel
    • V20 DA Tome of Secrets
    • V20 Lore of the Bloodlines
    • SL Wise and Wicked Update
    • Prince’s Gambit 
    • Beast Conquering Heroes
    • C20 
    • M20 Book of Secrets
    • W20 Pentex Employee Indoctrination Handbook
    • V20 Dark Ages Companion (Vampire 20th Dark Ages)

     

    In Layout

    • Secrets of the Covenants
    • Kinfolk 
    • Necropolis Rio

     

    Proofing

    • Scarred Lands PG PF
    • W20 Shattered Dreams 
    • Beast RMCs
    • V20 Endless Ages
    • Promethean: the Created Second
    • Ex 3 Charm Cards

     

    At Press

    • Beast Screen – Shipping has started.
    • Beast Prestige Edition –  Shipping has started.
    • Dark Eras  PDF and PoD versions on sale at DTRPG. Prestige Edition files at printer.
    • Ex 3 Scree At the Printer.
    • Ex 3 core book – From RichT: Expecting samples of the material possibilities for the canvas map this week.
    • Dark Eras Screen – At the Printer.
    • Awakening 2 Condition Cards – waiting on the proof to arrive.
    • A Feast of Blades (new Cavs Jumpstart)– on sale at DTRPG!
    • Handful of Dust PoD waiting on the proof to arrive.

     

    Special- projects on hold in the art and production area until an external factor is resolved

    • Wraith 20 – Art direction and layout can’t go further until art notes come in, still being developed by Rich Dansky.

     


    TODAY’S REASON TO DRINK: To Beth and to starting college! Proud of you, kid!


    View the full article

  2. I aim to go to market with a board game idea based on a traditional quiz but with a twist. All of the plan is made, just need backing!

    Kickstarter - Tabletop Games
    Creator of project: theomk@hotmail.com
    Project goal: £10,000

    like | dislikeof?l=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kickstarter.com%2


    View the kickstarter

  3. Spoiler city here folks, I'm going to brain dump my feelings on A Memory of Light so if you haven't read it walk away...

    ...Seriously.

    Twenty some odd years ... to say that there was some anticipation, and even some dread, going into this book is a grand understatement. After twenty some years could a story that I've been reading since middle school end in a satisfying way? In the end the answer is largely yes. Was it perfect? No, but it was close enough that I can forgive the bits I felt were missing.

    Sanderson did the impossible, he managed to stick the landing on a series not of his own creation after the death of the original author. These last three books might be colored by his own writing style, his own wit, his own method of pacing, but for me they felt like a return to form for the series and A Memory of Light proves a powerful ending as much because of those things as despite it. Sanderson deftly weaves the dozens of characters Jordan left behind into the final threads of a tapestry of humankind's eternal struggle against the darkness.

    Every character of note gets a moment to shine, even if only just that moment. The book is thick with the major players though, with Perrin and Mat anchoring the first half and the second half respectively as Rand faces his destiny. For a book topping 900 pages it reads quickly, incredibly so, as a chapter that is nearly 200 pages long breezes by with shifting focal points and highs and lows that run the reader through and emotional wringer.

    What works? Basically everything, enough so that trying to pin down speaking topics is largely impossible, suffice to say that the major plot points get resolved, for good or ill. Particularly strong are the various fates of the Forsaken and the first and second tier heroes. Not everyone survives, on the side of the light, but even in death ... well, as Lan says, "Death is lighter than a feather."

    What didn't work for me was the final actions and fate of Padan Fain/Mordeth. Considering the implied importance of the dual wounds in Rand's side, the way that Shadar Logoth aided in the cleansing of saidin, and the implied power that Mordeth was amassing, apparently beyond that of the Forsaken, it seems odd that Mordeth doesn't show until the last hundred pages and that he never even comes within spitting distance of Rand's battle with the Dark One. Either he was a red herring all along, or he could have been removed from consideration a few books ago.

    Still. One thing out of so many.

    After twenty years the Third Age is over and the next age has begun, by the time the Third age comes again it will have long faded from memory, and the events after Tarmon Gai'don will have come around again to be the distant past. There is no beginning or end to the Wheel of Time after all, but at long last we have come to an ending, and for me I think that for all its many ups and downs over the years I am satisfied with the ending of this tale, and the implications and glimpses at those tales yet to be told, and long since forgotten.

    Rest in peace Robert Jordan, Brian Sanderson did you proud, and this book can act as a fitting finale for your magnum opus.

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    So every year I go to Thanksgiving out in Wilkes County with my momma's side of the family in the past, me, Momma and my sister would all pile into Momma's Pontiac and drive over to her sister Adie's house in Washington, the county seat, but now that Lou has a family of their own, it was just me and Momma in the car. Adie’s house is just plain huge and very Southern, just a massive Victorian beast with a ceiling fan in every room; she did very well for herself, marrying Montgomery St. Clair, youngest son of a well-to-do Georgia family that owns a large dairy. Uncle Monty wanted to be an artist, but his parents pulled him out of art school and he ended up a vet, a large animal specialist to be exact, which got him in tight with the horsey set. Monty is a quiet little fellow, now retired and meek as a church-mouse, whereas Aunt Adie is a force of nature, let me tell you. Everything is a competition to Adie; who has the biggest house, who has the most grandkids, the whole nine yards. Well let me tell you, if life is a completion, then I suppose she's winning, because she's loaded, has five kids and twelve grandkids. You've won, Adie! So can you stop with all the photo albums already? Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick, as Daddy used to say!

    Okay, where was I? Oh yes, Thanksgiving at Adie's this year. Of course Adie and Monty were there, it's there place, but also Aunt Ren and Uncle Frank. Now Frank has almost as much money as Monty, but as he will no doubt tell you if you give him a half a minute, he earned it all 'by the sweat of his brow'. Frank owns a chain of Ford dealerships throughout southeastern Georgia, though he has little to do with their day-to-day operations; mostly he just sits back and counts his money. Aunt Ren is as quiet as Aunt Adie is loud, but don't let her fool you; she's as sharp as a tack and had a fierce temper if you push her.

    And of course, all my cousins, nieces and nephews were there, so many that even that big old house was nearly fit to bust; kids running all over the place and underfoot, including my sister Lou's two kids, though mostly she just holds on to little Ricky for dear life. Big Rick was there, too, of course, all full of Hispanic charm and New York style; Lou really hit the jackpot when she snagged him, let me tell you. Little Tony seemed to be everywhere at once, chasing after the girls just like his no-good daddy who left Lou in the lurch; of course, Ray was a sumbitch while little 'Tone' is an angel, and yes I am horribly biased; why do you ask?

    So we've got this house just plain packed with folks, and here I come with my head all full of new and improved attachments, and it is like WHAM!, walking into a wall of noise; my eyes crossed and started to water the minute I stepped inside.

    "You got a headache, hon?" Momma had her hand on my arm.

    I waved her off and told her I was fine, but she knew I was lying; of everyone I've talked to since waking up, she's the only one who gets it, or at least comes close. She watches Medium, Ghost Whisperer, that one show on TLC with the lady with the big hair and ugly clothes, all of them. She might not know exactly how I feel all the time, but she can pretty much figure it out

    "How 'bout I get you drink; how's that sound?"

    It sounded pretty great, to be honest, so I let her wander off into the crowd while I leaned up against the wall and took a few deep breaths and just sort of pushed everybody's thoughts off into their own corners. The good news is that since I came back, I have a tendency to put people off, so no one really bothered me as I pulled off my leather jacket and closed my eyes; the bad news is...well, this is my own damn family, and I don't really like them being scared of me all the time! But you can't have one without the other, so I counted my blessings and did my best to become one with the wallpaper.

    I used to like these kinds of get-togethers, I thought to myself.

    "There's our little angel! How are you, Darla?"

    "Hey there, Uncle Frank! Happy Thanksgiving!" I gave him a big hug; at least someone in the family wasn't too spooked to be social.

    "Happy Thanksgiving, Dar! Where's your momma gone off to?"

    "Oh, she's off gettin' me a drink; what else is new, right?"

    Uncle Frank laughed, his face all red from his own little celebrations.

    <My God, look at that sweet little ass! I could take a bite right out of it!>

    For a second, it felt like the floor had dropped out from under me, like on one of those rides at Six Flags, and I shook my head; please tell me I did not hear what I just thought I heard! Well, not 'heard', but you know what I mean. But sadly, I was correct, as a new side of Uncle Frank was suddenly revealed to me; not only was he a letch, but a cheater and a pig pretty much all around. The images that spilled out of his head, all the women he’d been with, naked girls in every possible position, doing all kinds of things-

    "Will you excuse me for a sec? I just need to get a little air?" I gave him my friendliest smile.

    Frank looked slightly disappointed. "Oh, well sure, Dar, but you come right back, you hear? We're gonna be eatin' soon."

    Not if I throw up first, I thought. Momma found me a few minutes later, sitting out on the porch, and she handed me a whiskey on the rocks, which I nearly downed in one gulp.

    "You okay, Dar?" She gently rubbed my back between the shoulder blades.

    "Uncle Frank is a filthy pig, Momma! How did I never see that?"

    She laughed. "You just sussed that out now? Hell, I've known that for years, and I didn't need a bump on the head to figure it out." She jerked her head back towards the house. "That there is a nest of vipers, hon; not one of them is worth a dime." Momma shook her head and chuckled. "Well, except maybe Monty; he's a sweet old thing. And your cousin Danny is just the nicest young man."

    That reminded me of another set of thoughts that had pushed its way into my head a few weeks ago, when Danny and his girlfriend Pauline came to visit. I leaned over to whisper in Momma's ear. "Is Cousin Danny...is he gay?"

    She shrugged and whispered back. "I don't know for sure, but I think he might be; can you imagine coming out to Uncle Frank?" She shuddered. "There may be a reason he moved to Atlanta."

    I took another sip of my whiskey and sighed. "Life sure is a lot more complicated than I ever knew."

    Momma smiled and rested a hand on my arm. "'Bout time you figured that out, I guess. You ready to go back inside? I promise to keep Frank at bay."

    I nodded and followed her back in; the rest of the evening proved to be just as interesting, although the whiskey helped a lot.

  4. Last week, we settled on some important points. I’ll keep an ongoing Q&A page about what we decide for reference in my blog. The link is here.

    This week, we should settle on how big the area we’re dealing with is going to be. There was a lot of discussion on it this week, and it will factor directly into travel time. So I’m going to combine the two here this week to work out what we want, and we can talk specifics, like engines and means of travel, but don’t have to.

    So the questions to focus us this week are:

    1. How much area do we want to cover? In terms of AU (Astronomical Units), what do we want our hard numbers to be?
    2. What is the maximum amount of time for our group to cross from the central world (seat of power) to the furthest rim? I think this might help us set our travel speeds so that we don’t get too fast or too slow – keeping us right where we want.
    3. We have established two types of travel, established travel and “off the path”. How prevalent do we want the easy travel? How often do people have to go off the path?
    4. Are the sizes of groups limited by space or by expansion? In other words, ICly do we cover a sector only because that’s the limit of exploration at this time, or is it because something is stopping further expansion?

    Feel free to talk about these below, as always. I’ll give some of my own answers to get things started.

    I’m not sure what hard numbers I want to see here, but I’d like to say that it doesn’t take more than six months to travel the “empire” or whatever the central group of beings (presumably human) are. I think that if you get much further out than 3 months from the central authority, the ability to hold planets to the governing body diminishes. And since we’re not all Star Trek and we don’t have (as yet, we might) a Federation in which people join for various reasons based not entirely on reality, we have some practical limits.

    I think I’d like around 25% of the planets to be reachable by the easy travel, with up to 75% being a month or less from one of the easy travel points. The remaining 25% are long stretches of hard travel – like going to the northern stretches of Alaska in the early 1900’s.

    I like the idea that there’s some kind of barrier or block to expansion in one direction or another. Star Trek never did anything with it, but the concept of Space Empires is an intriguing one to me. Even a cold war has its interest to me.

  5. We have modified the way that we handle user account registrations for new/alternate characters. Instead of using the standing sign up method, you will now need to use the "Register Alt Character" link in the extras menu. This simplifies the sign up process greatly. In fact, all you need to enter is a unique login and display name to get your new character created. There is no painful captcha to try to decipher and there is no email validation. It is just the 2 simple fields.

    To register a new character you will need to be using an account that has over 50 posts. The new account will use the same email address and password as the account that you are using to create it.

    Alternate logins are limited to 3 every 3 months.