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I'm crazy excited.

Although the category announcement is still not on the Origins Awards web site, my game Cruenti Dei has been nominated for Play By Mail Game of the Year.

I won't be attending Origins this year, since it falls on the same weekend as my niece's wedding, so I won't be able to stump for the game in person to the voting members. This makes it pretty unlikely that I will actually win.

And that's OK. For one thing, the silver slug goes better with the website colours than the gold one does.

However, I'd love to find somebody who is going who would be willing to show off some product or at least get some flyers out (and, you know, pick up the Calliope if lightning strikes).

Is anybody going to Origins this year?

Update: They've posted the category now.
A fantastical weekend.

To LLL's for an afternoon BBQ Saturday.

Yesterday, it hit 91° in Tacoma, so Francine and I scrambled around looking of ways to keep cool.

Now I lived in Tucson for six years, and it frequently topped 100° in March. This didn't seem quite so bad since most every building has air-conditioning. Here, not so much.

At some point after church, Sunday became Geekday.

So we met up with [ profile] singingbarista and her fiancé J and saw "The Expendables".

Here was Stallone's pitch for making this movie: "Remember the 80's? Let's do an action movie like we did back in the day. We'll totally take it over the top and add exploding heads, whaddaya say?"

It was gloriously terrible. I laughed. A lot.

Then we checked out the new location of our local comic book store. The new location seems much larger than the old - you could roller skate in there with no trouble. And it's air-conditioned.

Then off to our friendly local game store where I confess I bought issue 150 of KODT, which includes "Dawg: the RPG".

Today it looks to hit 90° again, so I'll be heading for the local Tulley's to write and look for work.
Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha
On the Sounder Train

Dear Reader,

Work continues to be a succession of crazy deadlines. Our current round of corporate videos required my working until about 10:30 Friday night, and some small edits and corrections on Saturday morning. To clear my head I went for a walk.

In the process of wandering the neighbourhood in pursuit of a pipe rack at no less than nineteen assorted yard sales, garage sales, and estate sales (a pursuit in which I was wholly unsuccessful) I became rather too warm. The temperature was upwards of 85°, and at some point I became dehydrated and simply stopped perspiring.

While the condition did not go as far as heat stroke, I was plainly not doing well by the time I arrived back home. I drank a large amount of liquid refreshment and, fortified by a "MythBusters" marathon on the televisionary engine, I slept on the couch much of Saturday afternoon.

Fully recovered by Sunday, after Mass Francine and I constructed another section of back yard fence.

Work has continued on various Cruenti Dei projects, including Turn 12, a Renaissance Rules expansion, and background for a new continent or two. Francine found a fantastic application called NoteBook by a company called Circus Ponies. It has proved indispensable in the writing process of these new books.

I continue to re-read The Lord of the Rings. What astonishes me about these books is how much I missed on previous readings. In details great and small these are proving extremely Catholic books. Some of the details - as small as odd phrasings that in previous readings I simply glossed over - have changed my understandings of characters and even events.

Of course, it might simply be that I'm more aware at 42 than I was at 12, or even at 30.

One particular detail struck me so forcefully that I searched the very internets for confirmation of my observation, finding it in Paul Kocher's book Master of Middle-Earth. It is just this: that every event in The Lord of the Rings is told from the perspective of the smallest person.

Depending on the chapter, this is Frodo, or Pippin, or even Gimli.

This is a detail easily overlooked - indeed, I overlooked it the previous twenty or so times I've read the books - and yet it completely colours the narrative.

For those of you in the area, I'd like to re-extend my invitation, found here.


10 Dec 2007 12:26
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Galleon)
The Cruenti Dei land grab is over.

Additional players will be able to choose from the remaining open positions on a first-come, first-served basis.

The list of players will be posted tomorrow evening.

And yes, one Kiwi slid in just under the wire.
Just over three hours left in the Cruenti Dei land grab.

If you're interested in playing (or know somebody who might be) now is the time!

Positions for players who sign up after the end of the land grab are on a first-come first-served basis.

I've got at least one Brit - now where are my Kiwis?

Day Two

9 Dec 2007 09:37
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Galleon)
Day Two of the great Cruenti Dei land grab dawns!

We currently have enough players to fill roughly half the available positions, and we've yet to hear from any British or Kiwi contingents!

Let's get on the stick people! Queen and country! Tea and crumpets! Picts and Maori!
Yesterday I received my copy of the maps. The Atlas far exceeded my expectations and wandered right into "best case scenario" territory. It is fabulous!

My one previous foray into full-colour book land was not entirely successful, so my level of trepidation was high. But it actually looks better in print than it does electronically.

The team wins one. About time.

At any rate, if you're interested in playing Cruenti Dei, updated rules for startup have been posted here.

The land grab begins in a few days, so you'd best grab those downloads and make your decisions.

You should order the Rules and Atlas as soon as possible. They aren't required for the land grab, but shipping this time of year can be longer than you think.
Both the rules and the maps are now available at the Sardarthion store.

Instructions for the Turn Zero land grab are also up. Postage being what it is, rules and maps aren't required for the land grab, though they may be helpful.

I'm happy to answer any questions anybody might have.

I'm also interested in knowing how many folks out there in LJ-land are going to play, or are at all interested in playing.
Ladies and gentlemen, Cruenti Dei, a PBeM strategic game of conquest, sorcery, and imperial politics will begin shortly.

Startup information has been posted.

The Rule Book and Campaign Guide is available for purchase.

The Atlas will be available in the next week.

Sharpen you swords. Raise your armies. Summon your Immortals. The game is afoot!
The rule book files have been uploaded to the printer.

I expect to have a proof copy in my hands by the end of the week. Once that occurs (barring any issues) the Rule book will be available for purchase.

The book weighs in at 170 pages and includes a campaign guide and gazetteer and numerous illustrations.

Of particular note are the illustrations by [ profile] amphigori, an example of which you can find below.

I have been unemployed now since All Saints Day, November 1. My state unemployment claim has been denied, so as of this moment I have officially zero income.

OK, that's not quite true. I've been doing some odd publishing and layout contracts, but this is not going to pay the mortgage. Or the wedding.

So I've been going to Tulley's every morning, just to keep a steady routine. They've got a conference room with a great view of the Tacoma streets that I'm using as my own private looking for work office.

I've also been doing a lot of work on Cruenti Dei. I seriously underestimated the amount of work these maps would be. I've got two more difficult ones to do, and then a handful of easy ones, similar to the sample posted.

Come hell or high water, the rule book is going to the printers on Saturday.

For your pleasure, some links to make your day shine.

Lovecraft computer games

Adopt a penguin

Steampunk Dalek

The Castaigne Collection

... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.
We're in the home stretch, now. I'm waiting on two illustrations for the Rule Book. The maps are nearly done, and the stat sheets are falling into place.

I've started writing the Turn 0 Newsletter, which will be included in the Rules as well as being posted here in PDF when they're done.

As a bit of a treat, I've posted the Turn 0 Map, which shows which Realms own what. It will also give you an idea of the scale of the game.

This, combined with the previously posted Description of initial player positions ( will give you a pretty good idea of what the game looks like to start.

So tell your friends! We need to get this game full pretty quickly.

Watch this space for an announcement about the Position Lottery before Thanksgiving.
(Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound)

Two people have now asked me about the use of Latin on my journal.

Since that's a sizable percentage of the readership (possibly half), I thought I'd better address it. Here several reasons. Take your pick.

  • I'm a mediævalist. I like old things.
  • I'm a Roman Catholic. It's our language, even if we don't use it much.
  • I love the sound and elegance of the language.
  • Did I mention I like old things?
  • I am, in fact, a pretentious git.

Is there anything finer on a blustery day than a cup of tea and a good book?

It has been a trying week. On Thursday, I gave a presentation to the Pierce Deanery Principals for which I had been preparing nearly a month. It was just a bit stressful, as Principals are taught in Principal school the fine art of the stony, blank expression.

Only one of them actually engaged, and I later discovered that he wasn't a Principal at all. He was, in fact, assistant superintendent of Catholic schools for the archdiocese. I can't venture an opinion on the Principals, but this fellow was convinced.

To relieve a bit of pent-up stress, I took Friday off and worked on Cruenti Dei. This is not nearly so decadent as it sounds, as I'm only actually paid for 30 hours a week, and I'd passed that mark on Wednesday evening.

The (final) rules draft for Cruenti Dei is done. Now I'm waiting for some illustrations and working on the maps. Stat sheets are next. I'm most emphatically not looking forward to doing those. I'm also studying up on the Little Ice Age. Tremble!

After receiving several earnest inquiries from people (chiefly my relatives) about wedding registries and such, I've added a Paypal button on the right hand side of this journal. There's really nothing we need, of course, but this gives those who wish to give us a gift an opportunity to do so.

(Parenthetically, it also makes it slightly more unlikely that we'll end up with nine mis-matched candlesticks.)

Wedding planning and preparation continues apace. Many details were sorted out last Saturday, and I'm extremely grateful to those who attended. I actually feel like this is going to come off, now. Invites are at the printer, and the various committees have set down to their work. My list, finally, looks manageable.

Yesterday I attended an LMI class at the chancery in Seattle. More on this program and my ongoing formation soon. But not today. The classes are, by and large, utterly fascinating. Reminds me, I need to get some homework done.

In the evening, Francine and I had dinner with Fr. Bryan at Paddy Coyne's downtown. It's the closest thing Tacoma has to a proper pub, since E-9 lost its soul.

I can't go to Paddy Coynes without being reminded of Droyne, for reasons obvious perhaps to several old Traveller hands here.

Somehow, I missed reading Gaiman's "A Study in Emerald" until just yesterday. Ah, what a fool I've been.

Quote of the day: "The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common: instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that need altering." (Doctor Who - who can tell me the episode?)
First, your meme of the day, courtesy of [ profile] literary_equine :

How smart are you? - Intelligence Test

That's 24 out of 25 correct. I wonder which question I got wrong?

We'll move on now to the geeky Church news portion of today's entertainment. Never mind Catholic / Orthodox rapprochement (a thousand years of schism can't be wrong!), it seems the Russians are upset with Constantinople (that's Istanbul, for you young Turks out there). I blame Estonia. If they'd only converted to Unitarianism, none of this would have happened.

And as I've long suspected, the Pope really is crazy like a fox. I won't bore you with his other chess moves (they're mostly liturgical), but for those who thought this would be a transitional Papacy, Benedict is increasingly making Pope John Paul II look like he was the transition.

And when did BBC stop capitalizing God?

On a more personal note, my schedule has really screwed up my praying of the Hours. I'm trying to fix that, but it's been a struggle.

Meanwhile, wedding plans are the chaos that wedding plans apparently always are. Still, we've finally got another planning session put together, so that's a good thing.

My plans for continued employment with Catholic schools in Tacoma is collapsing like a startled soufflé.

Plan A is proving a difficult sell - a month I've been on-and-off working on a presentation to the Principals and Pastors, and it only started coming together yesterday in any meaningful way. Trouble is, the plan only makes financial sense if you assume that the goal is to (eventually) open several more schools. It's rather difficult to get these folks to that view, when their paradigm is built on "can we afford to stay open for another year?"

The demographics support twelve or more schools where we currently have seven, but I don't think I can get them to look that far ahead.

Plan B is increasingly looking unlikely. The Archdiocese just hasn't budgeted for the position I'd fill.

Plan C involves sending out résumés. This, I started yesterday. Looks like Frank Russell is looking for a FrameMaker guru. Why not?

Oh, and my laptop finally died. There went my savings account.

Cruenti Dei continues to stumble on towards the starting line. I'm very pleased with [ profile] amphigori's illustrations. I still haven't seen anything from [ profile] badhairs , which doesn't surprise me given his life situation, nor from [ profile] starkad67 , which is quite worrying.

I'm still trying to get up to speed on Campaign Cartographer 2 - I'm was hoping to have these maps done pretty quickly, but it's proving more difficult than I thought. I may have to go with hand-drawn maps. Not my first choice, but I'm trying to work to deadline, here.

I did get the Preview PDF put together, complete with a couple of illustrations and a silly little sketch map. [ profile] amphigori's Wenemet sketch makes the whole thing worth downloading, though for the final masterpiece, you'll have to purchase the rulebook when it's available.

Speaking of which, the rulebook is pretty much done, except for the tables and the illustration inserts. So that's something.

Did I mention I've been really busy?

I've also not been sleeping very well for the last few weeks, something that I seem to share with a number of people on my friendslist. I suspect that R'lyeh may be poking its wee head above the waves. I've also been having quite the surreal nightmares. Interestingly, I've not been to Carcosa in a while.



Sketch map coming shortly. Well, in a couple of days or so.
The plan:

Sometime on Saturday, I'll be posting a PDF excerpt from the Encyclopædia Sahûl containing descriptions of all the at-start Realms.

There won't be an ISI, I'm afraid, but there might be a dorky little scan of a quick sketch map so you can place them.

Let's see how well the plan does when faced with reality...
I have two artists (you know who you are) that I'm very excited about for the new Cruenti Dei: Sahûl rule book and campaign guide.

If there's anybody else out there interested in doing 15th century woodcuts of Wombats with halberds, please let me know soonest.

Or parasaurolophus. Or really big bugs. Large Renassance-era battle or siege scenes are OK too.

Pay is minimal, sadly, though if I accept your pieces for publication in the rule book, you do play for free...
The big news is that the edits from the first blueline of the rules draft are DONE.

I've printed up the new version, and I'm doing a second edit. There are still a handfull of encyclopedia entries to make, and the charts and tables, but otherwise the text is finished.

I'm expecting interior illustrations from two artists, both of whom I'm very excited about. If there's anybody else out there interested in doing 15th century woodcuts of Wombats with halberds, please let me know.

The maps are moving along slowly, as I try to get past the huge learning curve for CC2.

Putting together stat sheets for 35+ Realms are a little daunting, but even so, I feel comfortable setting a target date.

I expect rules, maps, and Turn 0 information to be available by end of October. Tell your friends.

Cruenti Dei LJ Community

Cruenti Dei Forums


"Our swords shall play the orators for us."
(Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine the Great)

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)

Not a good Monday yesterday. This, however, raised my spirits today.

Order from Amazon

Also - I'm looking for pen-and-ink artists for some interior work on a a project, so if you (or anyone you know) is interested in drawing some wombats or parasaurolophus or insects in 15th century garb or armour, let me know soonest. Pay will, frankly, suck.

It may suck slightly less, depending on your skill.

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
Cross-posted from all and sundry.

Read more... )

In other news, my iBook appears to be slowly dying. The monitor is starting to flicker, and the 3, e, and d keys aren't working. This is not quite as horrible as it sounds, as I have a plug-in keyboard, but it is kind of annoying when I'm on the go.

Comes from dropping it one too many times, I suspect. Laptops should come covered in shock-resistant foam.

So at some point, I'm going to have to hoof it down to the Apple store for the 500,000-keystroke tune-up.

Wedding paperwork continues to roll-in. Fun!

Oh, and thanks to the Archdiocese's arcane contracting system and multiply dysfunctional layers of bureaucracy, I still haven't been paid for August. On the other hand, the folks for whom I'm actually working are doing their darndest to get me paid. On the third hand, the might of mere mortals is insufficient to overcome bean-counter juju.

The fourth hand, as we know, is the dummy.

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)

Attention potential Cruenti Dei players:

I'm now cross-posting the CD Forum publication progress reports to [ profile] cruenti_dei for your convenience.

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
This is my first weekend since July 21, and I think I might actually be starting to relax.

I just posted the latest progress report to the Cruenti Dei forum. Work is humming along!

Today's plan is more work on CD, a nice long walk, some quick edits on a book project, cleaning up the kitchen, perhaps some weed-whacking in the front.

I think Francine might go grocery shopping.

Ah, the bucolic life!

Tomorrow, we've got to tackle some wedding projects. And laundry.

I'd like to share something I read recently:

In King Lear (III:vii) there is a man who is such a minor character that Shakespeare has not given him even a name: he is merely "First Servant." All the characters around him -- Regan, Cornwall, and Edmund -- have fine long-term plans. They think they know how the story is going to end, and they are quite wrong. The servant has no such delusions. He has no notion how the play is going to go. But he understands the present scene. He sees an abomination (the blinding of old Gloucester) taking place. He will not stand it. His sword is out and pointed at his master's breast in a moment: then Regan stabs him dead from behind. That is his whole part: eight lines all told. But if it were real life and not a play, that is the part it would be best to have acted. (C.S. Lewis, "The World's Last Night")

I've been ruminating over this for a couple of days now, and the idea appeals to me as a framing device for a story of this servant's life. Of course, if you buy the argument that Shakespeare was an underground Catholic, the life and death of the "First Servant" takes on a whole other light.

(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)
Does anybody out there have a copy of the last full rule book for Cruenti Dei that I could borrow have?

(And I'm not asking about that CD: Kaldor disaster that was totally derailed by a pair of funerals last summer.)

I ask for no particular reason. I am almost certainly not going to start up a new campaign in the near future on the continent of Sahûl during the early renaissance in the Second Empire period.

Nope. Not me.

But if you've got a copy I could have, it would be extremely helpful, and I'd be grateful.

Startup and five Turns grateful.


(... and therefore I believe the President and Vice President of the United States must be impeached.)