Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Three Years and Then Some

On August 21st at 4:05 PM, the Society of Torch, Pole and Rope achieved three years of existence in the blogosphere, which, while not being a Herculean task is nevertheless no small potatoes in longevity when it comes to the intertubes. Other blogs have risen and fell since I started posting these scribblings and I’m proud to have been up and around when things started to really get rolling in the OSR. The question that now stands before me is “What does the future hold?”

I’ve stated that I believe this will be the final year for this blog and my recent hiatus confirms that belief. I simply lack the interest to pursue this project much further. I’ve been blessed with a modicum of success and the things that I would once write about for this blog I now scribe for publication. As reasons to stop a blog go, that’s not a bad one. I’m keenly aware that there hasn’t been a lot of useful material produced by the Society in quite some time and that the signal-to-noise ratio is at the worst its ever been. Could I turn it around? Yes, but I don’t really care to.

As you can gather from the title of this blog, I started it with the intention to chronicle my return to the hobby by means of the classic dungeon crawl. My initial plan was to blog about my creating a megadungeon and getting a regular game going again; a plan that succeeded past my wildest imaginations. But alas, the megadungeon doesn’t have the luster it once had and my thoughts are going to places beyond the old Saturday night dungeon crawl. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not condemning it or the dungeon, but after three years of eating the same meal, one desires to sample other repasts. Add in the fact that most of the paid work I’m doing relates to fantasy and/or the dungeon, and I think you can understand my desire to do other things for recreation.

This doesn’t mean that I’m abandoning Stonehell Dungeon. I’m still working on it (unfortunately as slow as ever) and progress accumulates in between other, shorter projects. I will nevertheless be ecstatic when the second book is complete and I can close the Stonehell chapter of my life for a while. I’ll return to it after a well-deserved rest so long as people are interested.

Once I’ve written the final words for the Society, I plan to leave it up for an unspecified duration. I have no plans to burn the place to the ground as I walk out the door, but neither do I intend for it to remain up for whatever passes as eternity in the ether. At some point it will come down, but with plenty of warning—like a year’s worth—so don’t sweat it.

I remain interested in blogging, but I’m not certain if time and energy will allow for it in the future. Once Stonehell is out of the way and I can concentrate on other pursuits with more focus, we will see how things go. I have some cool stuff coming out and another project being discussed at the moment which might scratch an itch that I’ve been having. I’m cheerful about the future, even if the blog isn’t part of it.

This is not goodbye yet, but it is coming in the months ahead. It’s been fun, challenging, annoying, surprising, and enlightening, and I’m glad you all stuck around for so long. It is greatly appreciated by a guy who considers himself very, very lucky. I hope that even after I leave the Society behind that you’ll follow my efforts and hard work in whatever other forms they next appear.

Thank you all so very much,



1-Hit Wizard said...


Owie owie ouch.

Seriously, you will leave a rather large and uncomfortable gap in my daily procurement of all things rpgish. One dude CAN make a difference, and most certainly HAS.

Thank you, Michael, for your deep and priceless creativity shared.

And on a personal note, please please please...

...not fade away.

Anthony Simeone said...

Well, as a purchaser of Stonehell, I once again give my kudos to you, sir. Thanks for all that you've given to the community.

As a fellow prodigal gamer who has worked hard to return to the hobby, I know where you are coming from...but, where you are going, I am not ready to follow! Though I don't have the time I would like to devote to the blog, I've succeeded in my main goal in all of this: returning to actual table-top gaming. It seems like we both have shared that success. And isn't that the true way to "win" at D&D?

Sorry if my ramblings make no sense. Suffice to say that I wanted to share. Thanks again for being a pillar of the community, as it were. I wish you well in all future endeavors, and look forward to the Society being around for a while yet.

Word verification: menders

Zak Sabbath said...

Hey, if you had fun, it's all good. For the rest of us: if your only legacy is people start writing their dungeons in "Stonehell Format" it will all have been worthwhile.

Rob L said...

It would maybe not interest you, but I'd find it useful if you simply kept this blog to announce your publications that appear elsewhere and new commercial gaming materials. I subscribe by RSS feed, so would get them when they were posted.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.
You've been one of my nearly daily hits since I discovered the OSR.
I love Stonehell!
It has allowed me to play regularly when I would not be able to do so had I to rely on my own prep. I am in fact currently running two weekly Stonehell campaigns - one for my son and his friends using a homebrew Fudge ruleset and another online with MapTools for friends I gamed with when BX first came out. We are running Labyrinth Lord. I am gratefully in your debt.
Thank you

Carter Soles said...

Thanks for all the great products and contributions! Stonehell Rules!

Anonymous said...

This was the first gaming blog that I really read, and the one that got me into D&D blogging. That and 3E D&D led me into writing what some call these days my own fantasy heartbreaker. I hit here every time I went a-blogrollin'. It's sad to see you go but you have a great reason to do so; congratulations on your success. It's always sad when a good thing ends. I'll miss reading you.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael, I've been a fan for almost as long as you've been around. If you'll allow me one small imposition on you... please re-consider taking the blog down. The existing content retains its value whether you're posting here or not, and its not costing anything right?

Dangerous Brian said...


Anonymous said...

Please consider this as my reaosning for you not taking it offline, Mike:

Lucas Kain said...

Actually, 3 years is quite a lot. I wish you most of luck and always the maximum throws! Take care.

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Theodric the Obscure said...

I guess three years is a long time. I've enjoyed your (well-named) blog, and I love Dungeon Alphabet and Crawling Chaos! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors, even if you do decide to close the blog as predicted.