Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Resolutions Round-Up

About this time last year, I declared twelve gaming resolutions for 2009. With less than a week remaining in said year, it’s time to look back on my good intentions and see how they survived contact with cold reality. This could be ugly.

12 – Buy a copy of Outdoor Survival: Since this resolution just required me to spend a little cash – something I’m no novice at – I met this one early and easy. Stonehell is located on the OS map and I’ve started the business of stocking the outdoor map now that the lion’s share of work on the dungeon itself is completed. Resolution Success!

11 – Read at least six books from Appendix N that I’ve never read before: Like #12, this resolution just required money and time. Although I just managed to squeeze them in before the end of the year, 2009 saw me reading Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword, Lord Dunsany’s Fifty-one Tales, Sterling Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey, A. Merritt’s The Moon Pool, Fred Saberhagen’s Changeling Earth trilogy, and Margaret St. Clair’s Sign of the Labrys. What struck me most about those titles was how unconventionally “fantasy” they were. A more detailed post regarding this observation is sure to follow. Resolution Success!

10 – Assemble and paint Dungeons Invaders kit: A complete failure. The set remained untouched throughout the year and despite my attempts to improve my painting skills, I have no excuse for not even attempting to complete this one. Resolution Failure!

9 – Finish “Whispering Laurels” Call of Cthulhu scenario: Although I did manage to track down my notes for this one, that was as far as it ever went. Even participating in Cthulhu Day at my local gaming store failed to inspire me to complete it. Resolution Failure!

8 – Meet and play with some new gamers: Between sitting in on a CoC game at Cthulhu Day and the addition of three new faces to me regular gaming group, I did indeed spend 2009 throwing dice with new people. Although it was, like many things, a mixed success, it was accomplished as stated. Resolution Success!

7 – Attend a local game convention: Money was the culprit to blame this year. Between the economy tanking and my own sketchy employment this year, not even the local Long Island con was feasible to attend. I’m trying to stay positive for 2010, but I’m not making any predictions as to my attendance at either ICON or GenCon. Resolution Failure!

6 – Get three things published or otherwise distributed: Oh yeah. In all honesty, I thought I had a ringer for this one. The Dungeon Alphabet was already written and submitted when I made this resolution so I thought I had a jump on meeting this one. But since the Alphabet isn’t being released until after the New Year, I’m glad I didn’t rest on my laurels. 2009 saw my work make appearances in the Open Game Table anthology, Fight On! issues #5 and #6, Knockspell #2, and, of course, the release of Stonehell Dungeon: Down Night-Haunted Halls. Resolution Success!

5 – Run a classic D&D short dungeon adventure: This year did see me returning back behind the screen to run intrepid adventurers through the upper halls of Stonehell Dungeon. Lives were lost, treasure found, and mysteries confronted. Plus, I got to knock some rust off of the gears and get me motivated to do it again. Once a few things settle down in my life, I’m going to get a regular group of B/X going. Resolution Success!

4 – Work on a Gamma World sandbox game: Like being exposed to Intensity 18 Poison, I had no chance. Both time and inspiration never coalesced on the Gamma World sandbox this year. I have a partial map and a halfway completed Mutant Future adventure because of it, but nothing I can call “work” with a straight face. Resolution Failure!

3 – Play test Ol’ Nameless: Longtime readers might remember Ol’ Nameless, which was the initial megadungeon I started building at the start of this blog. Although well-loved, Ol’ Nameless was left forelorn after its little brother Stonehell came along and took up the majority of Daddy’s time. Now, bitter and maladjusted, Ol’ Nameless gets into trouble and does stretches in Juvey Hall. Needless to say, the play test never came to be. Resolution Failure!

2 – Finish up Ol’ Nameless through Level Five: By the strictest intereptation of the resolution, this was a failure. I never did complete the first five levels of the Ol’ Nameless megadungeon. I did, however, complete the first five levels of Stonehell Dungeon and therefore met this resolution in spirit if not in actuality. I’ll call this one a draw only because of the sheer amount of work that was required to get Stonehell done.

1 – Find a name for Ol’ Nameless: Finding a name for Ol’ Nameless was top priority when I wrote out these resolutions. Although it took a little time, Ol’ Nameless eventually became Gloomrisk just in time to be abandoned. There’s still a good dungeon waiting in Gloomrisk and I’ve been careful not to borrow very much at all from it for Stonehell. One of these days I will return to Gloomrisk and, with therapy, make it a happy, well-adjusted dungeon. Resolution Success!

Final Results for 2009 Resolutions: 6 resolutions kept, 5 failed, 1 draw. It could have been much worse.


Joseph said...

Good work on getting so many of your resolutions down. Maybe you can find your way out to Morristown, NJ for either Dexcon (February) or Dreamation (July). I'll be running Castle of the Mad Archmage at both...

nothing said...

You should have kept calling it "Ol' Nameless." Make it into a dungeon that just appeared on the landscape one day, and nobody knows a damn thing about it.

Unknown said...

I acutally think that "Ol' Nameless" may be the best name for a megadungeon I've heard in a long time. A combination of familiarity and the unknown. Typing this, I don't even remember the name you chose to call it, but I remember "Ol' Nameless".

The Iron Goat said...

I kind of like Old Nameless, as well. It has the kind of folksy feel you might actually get from frontiersmen and prospectors in the real world. (those kinds of people didn't seem to have time or imagination for names like " The Blood God's Oubliette of Deadly Infernal Death")

Jay said...

Wow, that's an impressive list (and even more impressive that you accomplished most of it!).

And see, I feel a sense of accomplishment if I manage to update my blog....

Anonymous said...

I like Ol' Nameless, it sounds so ancient that maybe it's the primordial proto-dungeon.

just there...waiting