Monday, December 22, 2008

Twelve Gaming Resolutions: Numbers 12-9

Since this week is that of Christmas and the related holiday activities and responsibilities related to it, I’ll be on the road visiting family and friends for much of it. I will most likely have little or no access to the Internet until I return home on Saturday, hopefully burdened with gifts to enjoy and holiday cheer in my heart. Since many of you will also be attending to celebrations and traveling as well, this will be a light week of posting here. By light, I mean one post divided into three parts. So until next week, I wish you all happy holidays and good fortune in the coming year.

As the year winds to a close, it is only natural to reflect upon the year that has passed and to make plans for the coming one. While I have my own plans and agendas to pursue in 2009 in regards to matters of greater importance than this little hobby of ours, I thought that I’d reveal what my goals in regards to things gaming-related are for the next year. While some are grander than others and more difficult to achieve, none of them are outside of the realm of realistic expectations. I hope that around this time next year I will be able to place a big fat check mark next to each, satisfied that my goals were met and looking forward to those for 2010.

12 – Buy a copy of Outdoor Survival: I am not a completist by any stretch of the imagination. I do, however, possess an interest in what has come before as well as the desire to be able to examine artifacts from the past first-hand. These temperaments naturally lead to my career as an archivist, as well as spilling over into my recreational activities as well. So it comes as little surprise that when the means are available to get my hands on such an artifact without unreasonable expense or effort, I simply must pursue such a goal. Outdoor Survival has a special place in my heart as it is the only true “old-school” gaming product that I’ve actually owned and played during the developmental period of my introduction to gaming. That copy has long been lost. Seeing how it’d be cheaper and easier to get my hands on a replacement copy rather than a set of the LBBs, I’ll be practical this year and make Outdoor Survival my old-school purchase for 2009.

11 – Read at least six books from Appendix N that I’ve never read before: There been a lot of talk on the blogs about Appendix N from the 1st edition DMG this past year. While I am familiar with most of the more influential works on that list, there are noticeable gaps in my reading history. Thanks to the Internet and a greater understanding of the inter-library loan system in my area, it’s now time to start plugging those gaps. By this time next year, I hope to have finally gotten a chance to peruse at least six titles from Appendix N that I’ve never laid eyes on before. Perhaps untapped wellsprings of ideas wait to be uncovered.

10 – Assemble and paint Dungeons Invaders kit: This is another piece of gaming nostalgia for me. I originally owned my very own MPC Dungeon Invaders diorama set back in 1982. I painted and assembled the kit with as much skill as possible for a 10-year old boy who possessed absolutely no artistic ability whatsoever. The result was interesting to say the least. About five months ago, I saw another one of these for sale on eBay and snatched it up for a very reasonable $20. Now it sits waiting for me to take another crack at it. Hopefully, with greater patience and planning, the results will be somewhat better than my original efforts.

9 – Finish “Whispering Laurels” Call of Cthulhu scenario: Just before I dove back into this hobby with determined interest, I had started to put together a Call of Cthulhu one-shot for Halloween. The scenario was going to be a mix of two of Chaosium’s published CoC scenarios set inside the Haunted House published by Steve Jackson Games. Ol’ Nameless took center stage in my design efforts before I got a chance to finish that scenario, which was to be entitled “Whispering Laurels”. Since I’m probably 75% done with that scenario, I should just finish it up and get it off of my plate.


Mike Mearls said...

Outdoor Survival was printed in huge numbers, so it's still possible to find copies for reasonable prices online. I think I paid less than $20, including shipping and handling, for the set I bought about a month ago.

It'd be great to see pics of Dungeon Invaders. I've been meaning to track down a set for a while.

Michael Curtis said...

I've seen OS for about the same. It seems that eBay has them available through several stores rather than as auction. I figure that it's the most realistic old-school product to pick up for the coming year.

As for the Dungeon Invaders assembly, I'll keep in mind the idea to snap some pictures as it goes along. That will largely depend on how embarassingly bad the project goes...

thekelvingreen said...

I'd love to see the Cthulhu material completed. While I'm enjoying the recent old-school renaissance, it's all a bit D&D focused, and my retro tastes lean more towards pale librarians battling cosmic horror. If the retro-blogosphere produces half as much CoC as it does for That Dungeon Game, and of comparable quality, I shall be a very happy Keeper.

Michael Curtis said...

Unfortunately, the "Whispering Laurels" scenario is mostly a combination of the classic "The Haunted House" sadventure which was included in most versions of CoC - retitled "The Haunting" in the sixth edition, combined with "The Books of Uncle Silas" from H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham supplement. I patched some of the holes with background pulled almost wholecloth from the story "The Shunned House" with the serial numbers filed off. Since I already owned a copy of S.J. Games' The Haunted House map, I just switched things around to use that layout for the house instead of the one in "The Haunted House" CoC scenario.

As such, it's mostly just a reworking of previously published CoC stuff designed to give the investigators a home base in Arkham and some access to mouldering tomes to spin into a larger campaign. I'd make it available if this wasn't the case.

Like you, kelvin, I've got a love for pale librarians standing against unknowable evils. I'm very bi-polar when it comes to my favorite rpgs, counting D&D, CoC, Gamma World, and Wraith: The Oblivion in my top four favorites. Hopefully, I'll be able to address some of these games at a later date, but for the moment, D&D and an upcoming Gamma World nod are my sole focus around these parts

thekelvingreen said...

Fair enough. I will be patient. I'm not familiar with the "Uncle Silas" adventure, as those Lovecraft Country supplements passed me by, but I might look into it.