Monday, July 23, 2012

DriveThru Christmas in July.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


I call this photo 'A Salute to Dreamers.' One can imagine a mouse looking up to see the fluffy whiteness of dandelion and wondering if it was the stuff of clouds. The dream leads to action which lead to success as the mouse touched the sky.

Some days I wonder why I do all this. By 'this' I mean writing. It takes up a great deal of time and there is no real compensation other than the act of creation itself. Often times I feel as though I'm grasping at clouds.

I've wanted to be a writer most of my adult life but a childhood spent in rural Texas, where proper grammar and spelling are considered uppity made that dream difficult. Still, I had stories to tell. Gaming gave me an outlet and I exploited it to my great joy. To this day some of my best stories have been co-authored by my fellow RPGers.  But still that wasn't enough. I wrote short stories and even novels that I shared with friends. They commented how much they enjoyed them so I wrote more. Eventually I hit upon one that many said should be published and so I did. It was much more difficult than I imagined and I feel very much like a mouse on a dandelion; both scared and in awe of what will happen next.

Thanks to all of you for joining me on this journey. Thank you for supporting this blog and purchasing my book. It's been a wonderful climb.

So here's to the dreamers. God bless us one and all.

In other news: a link for those who like going into diabetic shock. The 50 Cutest Things That Ever Happened.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

ENnie Awards Voting

You can now drop by and cast your ballot in the ENnies. Please remember our friend, Jonathan Roberts. His work's been nominated in the category of Best Cartography for The Shadowlands Conversion Guide. Other votes we encourage is for the Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition from Pinnacle Entertainment Group for Best Game and Agents of Oblivion by Reality Blurs for Best Supplement. Of course we also encourage voting for Pinnacle, Triple Ace Games, GRAmel, Reality Blurs, and Arc Dream Publishing in the Fan's Favorite Publisher category.

A word about voting: you're able to vote for first, second, third, etc. Don't vote for a product if you don't like or know it. No vote is better than a low vote, if you catch my meaning. Remember, vote early and vote often. Well, strike the last one but do encourage your friends to vote.

Regarding the vote in November, consider this write-in candidate

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ace of Aces Kickstarter

I loved Ace of Aces when I was a kid. It was a great picture game of WWI biplane action and has been out of print for over twenty years. Please consider supporting the kickstarter to have it reprinted. It's a great game to play with your kids in the car or on an airplane.

From the Kickstarter
32 years ago, a phenomenon hit the adventure game convention circuit. Alfred Leonardi had invented a game about World War I planes dogfighting, a subject that should have had limited appeal. But it used a unique (and patented) system - each player had a book of pictures of his plane and his opponent, in various combat positions, and the game was played by calling out numbers representing various air combat moves. It was like a two-player computer game, without a computer. It became hugely popular and spawned several follow-up games using other aircraft. In 1993 it was added to the Origins Awards Hall of Fame. You can play this game anywhere with just the two books - no dice (or batteries) required. But eventually the novelty wore off, the publishing company closed up shop, and Alfred retired from the game business.
But now Flying Buffalo games has gotten permission to do a reprint. At the time of this posting they only have $250 more to go before they fund. Please help us kick this thing over the edge!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Review: Last Sons - Deadlands Plot Point Campaign

Product: Last Sons - Deadlands Reloaded Plot Point Campaign
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment Group
People: Shane Lacey Hensley, Matthew Cutter
Price: $34.99

Pinnacle continues their release of Deadlands’ plot point campaigns with Last Sons, adventures in War’s domain. The story picks up with The Flood left off taking your posse into the Disputed Territories of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and the Sioux Nation.

For those those of you not up to speed on the Deadlands setting, below is a little alternate history.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mono: Prospero Rising. The 1939 hero lives again with new art by Gary Gianni. And more Cthulhu!

Mono, the gentlemanly ape-man, spy and adventurer, first appeared in his own self-titled pulpagazine between Jan 1939 and Mar 1941, published by Struth and Shaw Pub. NY. Originally written by the elusive and enigmatic Englishman, Anthony Brock, with later novellas from 1968 to 1974.  Mono was created to cash in on the success of Doc Savage, The Shadow, and The Avenger but he never achieved the same popularity despite the superior prose and enigmatic protagonist. [ Adapted from the Introduction by Liam Sharp  ]

The Troll and I really like pulp adventures. We've been playing a Savage Worlds Pulp adventure for years and its always fun to discover a new (to me) pulp property.  I was stunned to discover that this isn't a new but actually quite a vintage find.

At the Spotlight on Gary Gianni panel in room 4 on Saturday at noon, Gary shared his new projects. His recent departure from the Prince Valiant strip freed him to explore new projects. His discovery of MadeFire and their partnership brought us Mono, Prospero Rising. The original words by Anthony Brock have been published with new Gianni art, previewed here below. Of note, MadeFire is working on a web comic app for iPhone / iPad that really expands upon the capabilities of comics on these devices. Some motion is involved in the demo we saw but its more like the iPhone or iPad screens were windows that you can move around in and see more for an immersive feel.

Gianni's remarkable pen and ink's have a classic look and feel that first drew me to his work on Solomon Kane. If you haven't seen his Solomon Kane work, take a moment as it inspired my Savage Worlds of Solomon Kane adventure one sheet I wrote. ( I'll link it up soon!)

In the past year he illustrated a short story by Ray Bradbury called the Nefertiti-Tut Express that is also visually stunning. I won't give the story away but maybe you shouldn't use old mummies for burning in your steam locomotive.

The panel also shared Gianni's next project: The Illustrated Call of Cthulhu. Here are some sketches in progress:

Until next time!

Step Dancing Zombies at J. Michael Straczynski's New Studio JMS Announcement

Step Dancing Zombies at J. Michael Straczynski's New Studio JMS Announcement! Only at Comic-Con.    Saturday, July 14th, 2012

With much anticipation, J. Michael Straczynski (of Thor, Babylon 5, etc..fame) announced his new studio's launch! Studio JMS is his baby and he's excited to have full control over all his properties. One of the new properties is Living Dead: The Musical.  I am not kidding. He teased us with footage of Riverdance, while  under cover of darkness, a Zombie Step Dancing company shambled in and lined up on the wooden floor in front of the stage.

We knew something was us as a crew came in and frantically quickly put a wooden floor down before the panel began.  I began wondering if the Robot from Lost in Space that was in the Sails Pavilion all week was going to run in on the new floor.

Here is the video I took and put up on YouTube:

Crazy fun at Comic-Con!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012 Buck Rogers Panel ends with a Crazy!

The Savage Duck continues his San Diego Comic Con Trek. Be sure to check out the YouTube video at the end of the article

Hermes Press presents Buck Rogers: Past, Present, and Future panel took place from 6p to 7p on Friday the 13th, in Room 4. The big news was Howard Chaykin is doing a new 4 part Buck Rogers comic book in 2013. They were kind enough to hand out a promo poster and Howard signed it. The panel was moderated by Daniel Herman, Publisher, Flint Dille, Erin Gray (if I have to explain the connection...), and the excellent artist Howard Chaykin.

[Editor's Note: Any geek male between 45 and 50 will admit to having a huge crush to Erin Gray from her portrayal of Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers from 1979-81 - Troll]

Flint, Erin, and Howard
My inital draw was I could finally get Erin Gray to sign a picture I have of her and Gil Gerard as Buck Rogers and Wilma Deering on the 1980s movie and TV show. I was successful!!!

Daniel Herman had a short movie prepared going back to the original newspaper, radio, and serials including a very special 1935 reel shown at the Chicago Worlds Fair of a Buck Rogers episode made in Flint Dille's uncle's basement with neighborhood friends. I have the audio of the session and will have to put it up so you can get the remarkable story of how the reel found it's way to Flint 60 years later. Chaykin insisted he tell the story. 

We all asked questions and got wonderful answers. Lots of on set stories from Erin Gray were alot of fun including how she almost wasn't cast! The last question was asked by a self identified "Tycho". He was recognized by Flint and his conspiracy theory rant began. I immediately popped on my camera phone and recorded this which captured all but the first sentence of "you all know what's going on."   When Tycho was grabbed and escorted out, he dropped some of his conspiracy posters and I was able to grab 3 of them. Here's a mystery to solve for sure. Nothing like a little crazy to spice things up!!!

Here are "Crazy Tycho's" posters. They are signed Tycho: 3 of 5 (green headless), 4 of 5 (bottom), and 5 of 5 (blue '2 will die?' on top right).

And now for the crazy. 

[Editor's Note: A convention goer believes there is a grand conspiracy wrapped around Buck Rogers involving actual portals to other realms. I just hope the gentleman gets his medication adjusted to the proper levels. - Troll]

Friday, July 13, 2012

World creation panel by Maxwell Alexander Drake - 10 Thinking points

The Savage Duck continues his trek at Comic Con 2012. In this mini-blog he fills us in on World Building with advice srom Maxwell Alexander Drake.

A packed room listened intently as Drake worked thru his 10 "thinking points" of World Creation. You can find his writing guide online along with the forms he uses. Drake made clear that almost nothing will be directly used for your novel but it will give you all you need to make your world real. "Remember,"  he said, "you aren't creating an RPG adventure." 

"Well," I thought, "what if I am?This is an excellent exercise for world building for an RPG setting."

You can find his site at His guides are located at

Look for his 10 Thinking Points and Building characters.

His advise is excellent if you just ignore the  obvious novel specific info and stick to the world and character building advice.  He does several panels here for fantasy writing.

The Savage Duck

Savage Duck at San Diego Comic Con finally meets Cheyenne Wright!

Savage Duck at San Diego Comic Con  finally meets Cheyenne Wright!

Thursday late: I finally got back to my excellent room at the Sheraton Marina with a beautiful skyline view of the home of Comic Con!

This is my postcard to you. The 5 to 7 right most buildings are the hotels clustered around the Convention Center.

Hotels become huge posters for upcoming computer games, movies, and TV series.The Marriott just to the right of the convention here is home to Anime and many sessions of DnD and Pathfinder as well as others. But no Savage Worlds!  I have to work on that.

The Hard Rock Cafe and Hotel was covered with Total Recall!

Once inside, the madness begins.

The Trolls from the upcoming Hobbit loomed large over the crowd.  I wish pictures of the Hobbit posters at the pavilion they built could convey the awesome 3Dness.

 I found such imagination inspiring things. Weta had Greg Broadmore's excellent Victorian Ray-gun wielding Lord Cockswain zapping Moonmen and Venusians

That's Lord Cockswain on the right again taking target practice.

Now this I'd love to have as a poster!

Lastly and most importantly, I caught Cheyenne Wright at the Girl Genius booth with an excellent limited edition print from Pinnacles upcoming Deadlands Noir. Naturally I picked it up.

He also had a sketch book with drawings of badge and robots from Machination: A Game of Evil Genius that I supported on Kickstarter. Nice!

Several of his badges were for sale. I'll stop back by tomorrow and pick some up!

Until Then!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Savage Duck at Comic Con

Tales from The Savage Troll contributer Derek Brown aka The Savage Duck is at Comic Con having a wonderful time. Luckily he survived the Zombie Horror that awaited him.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Lost Podcast

The Savage Duck and I produced a post cast a few years back. We never published it but thought we should share it here for those interested in how we began using Savage Worlds and MapTool. Forgive the initial roughness. The middle part is actually pretty good. Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

The Podcast!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

d20 Cartographer Strikes Again! Mega Townscapes - Human Town

Product: Mega Townscapes: Human Town
Publisher: D20 Cartographer
People: Joshua Bennett (artist and author)
Price: $9.99

The d20 Cartographer strikes again with a massive town map for use in your fantasy RPG. This huge map features a walled town with multiple shops, temples, guildhalls, barracks, and houses. There's also a bazaar for your characters to explore. You can even go inside the city walls to defend the town from invaders.

The map is beautiful with rich colors and textures making it highly appealing to the eyes. You can print out the sections to make one large map or print out individual buildings for use in any town.

The true magic happens when you use the map in MapTool. First of all it comes with a set of Devin Night's villager tokens allowing you to populate your town quickly. The MapTool campaign file has two maps representing the interior and exterior of the town's buildings. As you move across the entryway the token is taken to the other map for further exploration.

The image above show the map in MapTool. As the token moves over the steps it is teleported to an interior view of warehouse.

The level of detail on these maps is amazing. You can see the sunlight hitting the floor on the image above coming in from the windows. On top of that, the maps already have the vision blocking layer populated so your PCs have no idea what's around the next corner or in the next room.

By The Numbers

I hate to sound like a cheer leader but this is what you get for $10.
28 Tokens
12 Highly detailed buildings with Vision Blocking and Fog of War
2 MapTool campaign files, one with the entire town on one map and another with a map per building
100+ object png files to use for set dressing on any other map you care to draw

The Savage Troll considers this town map a must have for any MapTool fantasy games. You simply can't beat the price for all that's in this product.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Review: Hell on Earth Reloaded

Product: Hell On Earth Reloaded
Publisher: Pinnacle Entertainment Group
People: Shane Lacey Hensley (Author)
Price: $24.99 for full version, $14.99 for player's guide

My second experience with Savage Worlds was in a Post Apocalyptic setting of my own creation. I documented some of the action on the forum. Thus I have a special fondness for PA settings combined with Savage Worlds.

I was pleased to see Pinnacle released another setting book in their award winning line of Deadlands products: Hell on Earth Reloaded. Like most Savage Settings, this one takes the a genre and applies a Savage twist. Aside from the normal PA problems with mutants, psykers, and road gangs - the players must also contend with horrors from another dimension and their minions.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Space City Con - Houston August 10 – 12

Space City Con is an all-ages festival of comics, sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, literature, and art, in the spirit of Houston, Texas! Envisioned as a "geek festival with free parking," SCC is conveniently located at the Westin Galleria convention center & hotel, August 10 – 12, 2012. Their goal is to put on the best convention possible for current generations of fans, and instill a love of , comics, Sci-fi and fantasy in the next generation.

Space City Con is the Gulf Coast’s newest fan culture convention, offering a robust mix of authors, artists, sci-fi, fantasy, comics, gaming, fan group networking, literature, writing workshops and more, in a venue meant to be more approachable to families and children. It was founded in 2012, and will be held at the Westin Galleria convention center & hotel, August 10 – 12, 2012. Conceived as a “Geek Festival with free parking”, the event is attached to the 4th largest mall in America, in the 4th largest city in America—Houston, Texas. The grand Galleria Mall boasts 375 stores, a large food court, ice rink, various restaurants with a taste of Texas.

For the inaugural year, Space City Con embraces the Kids Need to Read foundation, since their founders consider these elements as fuel for creative thinking, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and most of all, expanding the boundaries of what is known, into dreams and a yearning for what is unknown, what is unseen . . . but can be painted by the incredible human mind and spirit. Space City Con wishes to pass on the torch from one generation to the next, echoing the cry for “Inspiring Imagination!”

You can follow Space City Con on Twitter or Facebook.

The Savage Troll will be there! Will you?