Yes, it’s May and the month-long A-Z meme has come to an end. At last, I feel free to emerge from my cave, blink the bright spring sunshine out of my eyes, and eat a hiker. For those of you who participated, I’m glad you all had fun. It wasn’t to my liking because I thought it was too forced and too long a meme (I thought the same about “Hot Elf Chicks” but that was only a single day so I grinned and endured it). Happily, I get to have my own opinions without caring what everyone else thinks or needing to justify them just like you do. I nevertheless hope this turns out to be a one-time experiment.
While everyone was alphabetizing themselves, I decided that it was a perfect excuse to dodge out of the blogosphere and attend to other business—and I got a hell of a lot done. I didn’t miss composing posts at all, leaving me even more certain that my decision to draw things to a close here on the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope is the right one. It’s definitely getting to be time to move on to the next thing for me. What that is, I’m uncertain, but this is the final year of the Society for sure.
April saw the near completion of the two projects that stand between me and committing myself full time to the Stonehell sequel. There likely remains a little cleanup work to be done on those, but I anticipate that in the next few weeks, Stonehell 2 will be my main concern. It’s time to finish that once and for all. More details on the mystery projects will be forthcoming when I’m allowed to speak openly about them.
Somehow I managed to fit in a sci-fi and fantasy convention during the 90k words I was writing, and I spent three days annoying the hell out of Frank Mentzer and the rest of the gaming guests at ICON 30. Having first attended ICON 7 or 8 and sporadically returning throughout the years, this was the first time I felt that I was on the other side of the wall. I was not attending as a fan, but as someone with a vested interest in the state of gaming. In the past, I’d be doing the celebrity Q & A thing. This time, I was attending workshops on the future of RPGs or how to sustain your interest and finish a freelance writing project in order to keep yourself and your publishers happy. The last one was responsible for one of those “Holy shit, I’m actually a writer” moments. Ending the convention by playing OD&D with Frank Mentzer was a nice way to bring the weekend to a close, although it didn’t really end then. I left the con to run my Labyrinth Lord game and promptly killed the entire party when negotiations with a young red dragon broke down.
Between the TPK and breaking for Easter, I think the year-long campaign has started to lose momentum, something which can be terminal for a game if not corrected. Today’s game had to end early because I was in too much pain from an old back injury to keep things going until our normal stop time. Plus, we lost 3 of the 6 replacement PCs on the first level of Stonehell (exploding flame toad & two potions of poison) so it was time to call it a night. With Mother’s Day next weekend and a playtest of something else the week afterwards, it won’t be back to Labyrinth Lord until May 22nd. That’s a long break and I hope we can recover.
A lot of my uncertainty about the future of the campaign can be blamed on the fact that it’s now spring. My long-time friends know that as soon as the weather changes, I get spring fever and go a little flaky. The last thing I want to do is sit inside and pretend to be outdoors when there are woods to be walked, beaches to be visited, and friends to see. But I can’t pretend this is the sole reason. I’ve been running hot and cold on vanilla fantasy for a while now and it might be time to do something very different. I’ll have to see how things play out in the next couple of weeks.
On the “News of the Highly Implausible” front, due to some strong suggestions by unnamed individuals, I finally broke down and got on Facebook. Some of you have already discovered this and sought me out. I’m pretty open about befriending fans and contemporaries, but don’t expect exciting insights into the mind of Mike and whatever I’m working on. I did join the Stonehell fan group though, and I might release advance looks at the dungeon through that page a week before I post them here. We’ll see.
The blog roll will be returning slowly starting tonight. I’ll undoubtedly overlook some folks, so please don’t take it as a slight if I do. There’s just so much more out there now and I can’t (and don’t) follow everyone’s work. There are more comprehensive lists than my own.
And there we go. I hope we have some fun again together before I turn off the lights and lock the door.