Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

Happy New Year, one and all. Here's hoping that 2009 is the best yet for everyone. Inspired by Amityville Mike's list from last week, but with much less insight and forethought, here is my own list of gaming related resolutions for the upcoming year.

1. Complete The Upper Levels of The Dismal Depths: I feel that the heavy lifting is done here, now comes the actual map drawing and inking, then the compiling. I'll figure out how to merge all 12 maps, the Bestiary, and the one page Guide into a single file, create a PDF, and figure out what to do with it from there.

2. Consider revising and trimming down Ulin-Uthor, The Dim Expanse: While Ulin-Uthor will never be distilled down to the granularity of The Dismal Depths, I can certainly edit the existing work in order to dispense with much of the detail which has forced that project to the back burner. As my current gaming vehicle, The Dim Expanse might never reach a completed state, but hopefully in 2009 some section or the entire work will be finished and into PDF.

3. Finish Solstice as a Campaign Setting: Inspired by Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa, I hope to actually finally settle on some union of Solstice, No Future and Walpurgis that will yield a unique setting which encompasses The Dismal Depths, Ulin-Uthor, and many other homebrew projects I've been working on this past year.

4. Finish the D&D Cover to Cover series: And from those notes and comments write an OD&D Companion. I'm currently on Volume 2, p. 31 with my re-reading of OD&D, so there is light at the end of that tunnel now. I've received so many excellent observations and comments from my readers that have forced me to reconsider how I approach this hobby that I feel something needs to be done with these words of wisdom. I might call it The White Box Companion or something. Hell, I don't see why I couldn't call it The Dungeons & Dragons Companion. It's clearly a review of the books, so I doubt there should be any fear of copyright infringment.

5. Finish Lower Caves of The Darkness Beneath: I've made great strides with this future submission to Fight On! My problem now is which direction do I take? Do I continue with the wordy, detailed writing that I've used thus far (one room is a full page of text) or do I take the buther knife of word economy to the whole thing and attempt to let readers sort out the many indepth themes within?

6. Attend some Cons: This is a must for me. I'm so removed from the living, breathing face to face aspect of D&D that it sometimes makes me wonder if I'm fooling myself. Besides, I wouldn't mind actually meeting some of the other members of this online old school renaissance in person one of these days.

7. Expand my face to face gaming circle: This goes hand in hand with the above resolution. Playing is an extrememly important facet of the referee design process. Given the far flung proximities of my old gaming crew, expanding my circle of players will help engender more real face to face gaming and learning.

8. Encourage my 14 year old to finish his dungeon: And then plunder it with my own Entourage. For so many reasons, I truly hope that my 14 year old son catches the D&D bug. I cannot even begin to list the ways in which this hobby has expanded my mind.

So there you have it. I'm sure I've left a few gaming projects off of this list, but the above resolutions would certainly constitute a very good year of gaming in 2009.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee

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