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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Resources for Living and GMing-

James Burke


The Day the Universe Changed

While I do not always agree with every conclusion Burke puts forth, I believe that the two series (of a few he has been involved with) are, without a doubt, two of the finest presentations of the Why's of How Things Work (and perhaps the brainiest and yet most accessible TV educations one could ever hope to receive).

These two 'documentary' mini-series, along with a great set of Encyclopaedia of (then) current technology, not only uplifted my mind from the non-teaching I received in public school, but helped shape my understanding of Humanity, and thus, our civilisation and history.

A GM, of sandbox persuasion or not, could stand to watch the two full series before setting off on a campaign or world-building tear.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

JR's Campaign Questions Answered-

JR over at JR's blog had this set of questions one was to know a few of the answers to before throwing together a new campaign. I thought I would oblige them, and so I have gotten a few locals to answer J's questions:

1. What is the deal with my cleric's religion? --If you worship some particular god, don't be surprised if someone or something else is supplying part of the power that grants you those miracles. Othern' that, we here revere the Emperor.
2. Where can we go to buy standard equipment? -- Trading post or town Shoppe
3. Where can we go to get platemail custom fitted for this monster I just befriended? -- A local unscrupulous blacksmith, maybe. What do you mean, exactly, by Monster? We don't take kindly to no Humanoids in town, I tell you what.
4. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land? -- Wizard? Oh, that guy who fiddles with Ancient Technology? He lives in that weird old house in the back woods.
5. Who is the greatest warrior in the land? -- Well, Dahl is known to be able to take a ten-point buck with his coilstock, shooting from a tree stand, and Qavor, he once fought a Ousumyn with naught but a knife when it got hold of his youngest. We got lots of men, and a few of the gals, who's killed a few Dokirin raiders or muties in recent years.
6. Who is the richest person in the land? -- Which land? Here? Oh, the Mayor, or Mr. Basqon, maybe.
7. Where can we go to get some magical healing? -- Do you mean medicine? Oh, more than herbs, but less than syringes. Dunno. Do you folks have lots of 'magical healing' where you're from?
8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, undeath? -- Lycanthropy is a disease? I think my grandpa had a polymorph, on his back side, once. It was just lanced and set over with a mustard plaster. Alignment change? Oh!, that's what they do to them buggies that don't steer correct, right? Death is just what happens: You gotta deal with that, son. As for not to speak of the dead.
9. Is there a magic guild my MU belongs to or that I can join in order to get more spells? -- You sure do talk a lot about magic. You feelin' okay, mister?
10. Where can I find an alchemist, sage or other expert NPC? -- Paertown is the first place I'd look.
11. Where can I hire mercenaries? -- The Guild Council rents 'em out by the hour, or so I hear.
12. Is there any place on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from Johnny Law? -- Can't righly speak to the magic question (Hey, Bahb, this Tsheff fellah sure is queer for magic, ain't he?) As for swords and the like. It best be a place far from here, I tell you what. If anyone tries takin' my kit away, they best bring an army. An' everyone here feels just the same. Live Vrun or Die.
13. Which way to the nearest tavern? -- We use shingles hung out above the door. See? We got a few, catering to different classes of clientel.
14. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous? -- Well, tell you what. We seen some Xurosen near Old Man Piters' lodge. You and a few of your tin-plated buddies want to trek up there and take a male, we'll throw you a party. That'll make the news in Romers and Kuaietville...maybe even Luxum.
15. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight? -- Hmm. Well, you look pretty soft there, but...hmmm. Well, get in touch with the local GC rep. Maybe you can carry ammo and such.
16. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes? -- We's civilised in these here parts, son. Torether may throw a few unfortunate Durnsmen into a pit, if I recall the stories, but nothin' the children ought to see. Humans too rare to waste on blood sport, y'know.
17. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight? -- > blank stare < You with Mal'shevski?
18. What is there to eat around here? -- We got us the best pan-fried breaded Brach this side of the Stemford, I tell you what. You like the brew, too, dont'cha? You look like you like the brew too much. Haw! Li'l Soniahs will set you up for half a Count. Music's good, too.
19. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for? -- Hells, the whole place is littered with wot tech we need to get offa this soggy rock. Throw a stone out in the sticks and you're bound to hit some old treasure or doodad.
20. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with Type H treasure? -- Type 'H'? I an't that learned about nothin' ceptin' Small Unit Repair, and a bit about Ecologies and Apex Predators my folks taught me. > nearing < You did say treasure, right?

Thanks Bahb, Manyx, and Throq.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

C'nor (O_T): Here's Your Request-


Certain abilities are of such a delicate nature that
even the slightest awkwardness may cause the
enterprise to fail, and the results of that failure may
be greater than even unsuccessfully turning-aside a
sword blow or shielding oneself from a well-aimed
In these circumstances, such as disarming a device
(trap, sensor, or engine, etc.), or attempting to
abscond with an object while under observation (or
steal past a sentinel into an open doorway, etc.),
certain specific skills are required lest the character
attempt a mere Attribute Test at a fixed Target
Number and without recourse to elaborate 'padding'
the odds through such as citing the background noise
decreasing the sentinel's chance of discovering the
trespass, etc.
While Focus may be applied to many situations in
general, it is suggested that if the Percentile Abilities
are retained, the Referee not allow the use of Focus
for such actions, or at most, permit but a single +1 to
the Attribute Test in question -- and this using all of
the Focus Pool during the undertaking.

Possessors of Percentile Abilities add their value to
a Percentile (d100) roll, and hope to achieve a result of 100 or better.
Success is often elusive, but
complete failure need not be the immediate
outcome. Instead, continuing our example of the
sneak who wishes to enter a guarded fortress, the
character may be able to Hide behind nearby cover
(if any), and avoid direct detection should his
creeping be less than perfect. All of this is the realm
of the Referee, based upon their knowledge of all
immediate factors, as well as their forbearance.
In fact, it is suggested that the listed percentages
represent the utmost critical circumstance (such as
direct observation, aware trackers, or the cruellest of
locks, etc.), and that as much as 2x to 5x the value
be secretly added to the player's d100 roll if the
circumstances are more conducive to the attempt.
Again, this is the provenance of the Referee, and is
certainly not to be counted upon.

To purchase each Technical Ability costs [300]
points, this includes Stealth Attack as its own ability
although it does not 'Level'.

[The # following the entry is its per % cost in XP]

Technical Ability- per %
* Technical ‘A’ (Remove Traps) 17
* Technical ‘B’ (Open Locks) 14
* Technical ‘C’ (Pick Pockets) 12
* Scaling 09
* Secret 06
* Silence 14
* Listen 17
* Design 14
* Draft 04
* Repair 12
* Tech Lore 14
* Assay 12
* Concoct 17
* Formulate 14
* Heal 08
* Research 16
* Carouse 05
* Animal Power 17
* Calm/Befriend Animals 08
* Track 10
* Control Undead 16
* Repel Undead 12
* Psychic Tracking 15
* Magical Research 14
* Hack Spell 16

Special Abilities-
* Forage Feast 300
* Death Strike 178
* Disguise / Acting 178
* Poison Use 178
* Shadowing 178
* Waylay 178

Monday, April 25, 2011

Technical (Thieving) Skills-

When I first began this project as a BFRPG product, I had envisaged a substitution of the established Thieves' Skills with something like the following:

Alpha-Tech : Traps : The most delicate of powered technology and micro-precision tools necessary to perform these sorts of tasks. This includes fine surgery, such as brain or heart operations. It is consulted at x2 listed % for knowledge or calculations of this magnitude (Hyperspace Geometry, the properties of Aluvrynial ore, etc.). Hypothetical and currently impossible feats of physics and chemistry are the subjects of Alpha-Tech.

Beta-Tech : Open Locks : Less demanding and more forgiving than Alpha-Tech issues and procedures, Beta-Tech is still a force to be reckoned with, as it represents the best of what is currently possible, even the news of the latest developments as it arrives by post or telegram. Beta-Tech is currently capable of telegraphy and wireless transmission of signals and raw energy via wind and chemical derived electrical current; of seeing in the dark; anaesthesia, and of forging strong metalloids for use in deadly weapons, self-powered armoured vehicles, surgical instruments, and towering architecture on a grand scale. 3x % for consultation or conjecture of known parameters.

Delta-Tech : Pick Pockets : Delta-Tech represents all technology on the order of magnitude from telegraphy and the afore mentioned devices, down to the rudiments of basic tools (wedge, lever, etc.). Technical tasks ranging from picking a pad-lock to pulling a tooth to setting a compound fracture and suturing the wound in as sterile a fashion as possible under the circumstances. 4x % for knowledge checks.

I then went on to list other skills, such as Tracking, etc., each of which had a per %-point cost, allowing for complete customisation, paid for in earned XP. There was even the ever popular, Psychic Tracking. O.o

I abandoned that after I found that players became...obsessed... with gaining percentages in every skill they could lay their hands on. It reminded me of WoW, and I quashed that after about a year of use on several characters.

My current take is confined to ten Spheres, each of which has potential Concentrations (Rank +1), and Specialisations (R+2). Some, such as the tinkering skill sphere, determine one's bare employment income if a job were taken. Others impart small combat bonuses. Not having any skills is no more detrimental than not having high scores in Classic-play games, and none are required to fiddle with or attempt any action -- although brain surgery is best left to the trained Professional.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Adventure Locale Series: 1

"First Coast Weather Control Division, Barracks of the"

THIS locale is intended to familiarise players of other RPGs with the workings of the URUTSK: World of Mystery setting. Classic-play Game Masters are well versed in the need and desire to customise any gaming resource to their own particular tastes and game play, so I will dispense with a lengthy admonition/disclaimer.

MAGIC as it appears in the Classic-play games D&D and T&T are not a great match with the setting, but if the PCs from your game are visiting, I think their weirdly limited though highly powerful (top-end) spells will work well enough. Native M-Us and Clerics and their 'sub-types' should instead follow this procedure:

MU/Clr Adventuring
Level: Thaumaturgist

16th |
15th |
14th |
13th |
12th |
11th |
10th |
09th | +2 HP + Fighter Con bonus thereafter
08th | 8d6
07th | 7d6
06th | 6d6
05th | 5d6 -- Spell Use gained
04th | 4d6
03th | 3d6
02th | 2d6
01th | 2d4* + Fighter Con bonus thereafter

Starting Funds: 5d4x10 gp

Advances As: Assassin

They fight as Clerics; with a single beginning weapon proficiency in one melee weapon-type (axes, blades, staves, etc.), crossbows and all other mechanical or technomantic weapons, however advanced. They are not permitted shields, and may only wear Studded Leather* or lighter armour, but may cast spells if they doff their gauntlets. The Studded Leather must be made with uncommon stones, crystals, and rare earths substituting the standard studding, tripling the suit's cost. Armoured Coats may be worn over their armour, provide an AC bonus of 1, stop 1 HP of damage per attack, and cost on average 175 gp. Thieving percentages as per Assassin of the same level, but the Adventuring Thaumaturgist receives (Dex M. + Int M. + Wis M. + Level) Automatic Successes at these Skills per Day.

Magic is at four levels lower, but uses the Cleric, Druid, Illusionist, and M-U spell lists, however, no bonus spells are gained in any case. If the spell is clerical/druidic in nature then those guidelines for Gaining Spells are required. Magic User and Illusionist spells are kept in a spell book that combines the costs of both the MU and Illusionist spellbooks. Scrolls that contain both MU and Illusionist-only spells also combine the costs to represent the special process necessary for their proper uptake in the caster's mind that day. Where one list makes a spell available earlier than the other, the AT must wait until reaching the higher level to gain/use the spell. The Adventuring Thaumaturgist is part tinker-inventor, part rake, and part spell caster, much in the way that a ranger is part fighter, part 'thief', and part spell caster. They may cast unlimited Cantrips so long as they possess Material Components.

The Material Components of spells are parts and meta-parts of their gear and gadgetry, and elemental compounds of increasing rarity and power. ATs can enchant their firearms and high-teq weaponry exactly as per the rules for magic item creation and/or spell research, with magical properties imbued to ammunition as per scribing scrolls. Enchanted ammunition's bonus To Hit figures over and above the weapon launching it, making +1 To Hit ammo fired from a +2 pistol still only worth a +1, although the ammunition's effect(s) still operate normally, in addition to any effects the weapon imparts (Rifle of Minute Accuracy +2 firing +1/+3 v. Lizardmen is +1 To Hit, but +3 if striking Lizardkin as a Called Shot). Touch spells may be cast directly upon a single piece of ammunition, and should the attack succeed, affects the target as per the spell in addition to any resultant damage.

Magic Items permitted: Any/All by Alignment

I'll be posting more as time permits

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Abbekqorru and their Bows-

The Abbekqorru are a group of species of Bear-Wolf-like starfaring creatures renown for their tenacity, ferocity, and honour. Those that were stranded upon Urutsk during the Latter Summer Era (after having been hired by the Aelbaan to act as peacekeepers) took to the wilds as their military training well taught them. As powered items failed, it became necessary for them to 'go native' with weapons constructed out of re-purposed tech items as well as Urutskan materials. These bows are a cross-section of the sorts employed:

Self Bow: 13 Str/BDY
Damage: 1d6+1d4P
Range: 300' (240' Earth)

Tech Bow: 14 Str/BDY
Damage: 1d8+1d6P
Range: 355' (266' Earth)

Long Bow: 15 Str/BDY
Damage: 2d6+2P
Range: 450' (360' Earth)

Recurved: 18 Str/BDY
Damage: 2d8+4P
Range: 536' (402' Earth)

Mechanically speaking, one can approximate an Abbekqorru in AD&D by adding together the stats for a Bugbear and an Orc, and allowing for levels in either Ranger or Thief, depending upon wilderness or technological bent. Each Ranger level counts as an additional HD, but Thief levels only count as 3/4 HD (+3HD for Thief 4). Ranger Magics should be understood as a combination of Wilderness Rapport and Alchemical Artifice. Clerics are rare (1:100), and each level counts as +2 HD for XP calculations, and would worship Humanoid deities.

Unlike either Bugbears or Orcs, Abbekqorru are perfectly rational and honourable creatures, making them more likely to operate in the L+N sphere of the Alignment spectrum. Contracts are vital to interactions with them, and breach of contract is mightily detested, marking the offending party out as lifetime enemies of the given clans/tribes.

Str 2d6+7, Con 2d6+8, Dex 2d6+5, Int 3d6-1, Wis 2d6+6, Cha = Str

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Urutsken Creature (Dual-Stat):

By house-artist Silvia (c) Alternate Reality Games


:: Seloud 'Subtle Intelligent People of the Waters'

1/2 to 16+HD | (68)HP | 04AC | 1/2HD#d8 Constrict | 80' Land | 480' Swim

Menace Rating: 04 to 144+ (Average listed below)
FD: 8d8 | DP: 64 | DEF: +06 | ARM: 1d8 | DMG: 4d8 Constrict | MOV: 10/60

:: The Seloud ("Seh Lo Ood") are highly intelligent, furred and temperature-regulating, cephalopod-like creatures possessing a seamed cartilaginous brain pod which allows them to squeeze under a gap of (1/4" or 0.67 Snk) per (HD/FD). With any number between five and twelve suckered or 'fingered' highly dexterous arms (1d6+15 Dex/AGL), the Cephalomalian family of creatures are naturally adept at manipulating the most delicate and puzzling of mechanical objects, let alone hunting aquatic prey. While metabolic carnivores, it is well documented that the Seloud ingest aqua-flora, and some types promote the growth of such upon their bodies, both as camouflage, as well as to attract smaller prey to them. The most extraordinary capabilities of the Seloud are their land-crossing and tree-climbing tendency, being able to remain outside of the water for 4 Hours per (HD/FD), although few will ever venture far from whatever water they prefer (pure, brackish, or sea), and their aquatic creature control. This control functions (as per Charm Animal spell at [HD+1] Caster Level) through the flow of chemical-laden ink, and totals no more than (HD/FD) of such creatures (fish, crustaceans, etc.) in a (15' per HD/2 Msnk per FD). In addition, each two (HD/FD) of the creature grants it 1 (HD/FD)-worth of 'pet' that is permanently under its control, like a living tool. The Seloud are clever enough to elude most hunters/fishers and will only show themselves to Human/oids when they estimate they could take them in combat. With such a mindset, Cephalomalians of great size and age will consider business interactions under favourable conditions, but are highly suspicious of others motivations. From 8 (HD/FD) on, the Seloud begin to exhibit Psionic capabilities, and Empathy and Telepathy are common in those creatures. They are fond of alcohol and other Human/oid vices, and are known to 'shake-down' craft transporting such luxury cargo.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Urutsken Creature (Dual-Stat):

:: Xadouvh 'Great Dweller Upon the Waters; a Glorious Fighter'

4HD | 32HP | 09AC | 1d4 Peck | 80' Waddle | 160' Swim | 320' Good Flyer

Menace Rating: 36
FD: 4d8 | DP: 32 | DEF: +0 | ARM: 1d4+2 | DMG: 2d6 Peck | MOV: 10/20//40

:: Mammalavian creatures the size of a dinghy with iridescent green feathers of scale-like properties, Drake rule the waterways of the Marnharnnan Sea and its marshland coast. Fearless of anything smaller, Drakes will buffet boats and attempt to land upon them to eat the catch before flying off. Characters caught in the buffet of the large creature's wings are forced to attempt a (PPP Save/T18 Reflexes CT) or fall. Small animals, children, and the elderly are not safe from predation by Drakes and have been known to be swallowed whole. Drake meat commands a great price (100 gp/10 Ct.) per (Lb.).

Friday, April 15, 2011

The work I am doing on the game is progressing well, with a tangible product in a state somewhere between prototype and galley proof. The colour artwork by Eric Bergeron and Russ Nicholson will compliment the portrayal of the four intrepid cover-characters now made iconic by Peter Mullen's original. I really cannot discuss further details.

It seems you folks didn't care for my fantasy world offerings, so I'll run a few more, and if I don't hear a peep, I'll drop that feature. The power is in your hands. :)

For some reason, last week I felt rushed to have the Players finish their new PCs in that session, and as a result, forgot to institute a revised step in CharGen. That'll get resolved this week.

I hope you weekend gamers have loads of fun.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

LINKS in a Chain-

Cimmerian Chronicles has some great links up on his blog, not the least of which is dear to my heart. :D

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

World of Aediendi Overview-


Multiple lights shine down upon Aediendi from above, and indeed, lights in the great depths of the Black Ocean shine upwards to illuminate the cities of the Axen Coast. These lights are each in a different colour and hue, so that each appears as unique as they seem distant.

The brightest of Seen Lights is named Daygar, and shines with the light of a full gibbous moon at its nearest approach, but is wan in its heat provided. The next three, The Chained Sisters, encircle Aediendi at its equator, each equidistant and moving in step with Aediendi's rotation, although unlike earth's moon, each rotates at its own rate. It is believed that pirates in smoky, steam-spitting ships take harbour amongst The Three, while the women of Ilduria are well known for their willowy frames and inhuman beauty. Their offspring possess marvellous amethyst coloured eyes and hair that flows with a subtle breeze wherever they travel.

Blackheaven and Soot are dim, glowering orbs of red-radiant darkness out beyond the orbit of the Three Sisters. Soot is the dead sun's only stable satellite, and draws away the iron skin of its host in great clumps and perpetual showers of ferrous detritus. This Metal Rain is propelled outwards upon the weak and fluctuating magnetic fields and lines emanating from Blackheaven, and clouds the entire system of worlds and lights. The sight of near constant 'shooting stars' and 'thunder eggs' is as familiar and reassuring to Aediendians as dawn is to Earthers. With this constant enrichment of iron and molecular steel literally falling from the sky, Aediendi is well advanced in metallurgy.

But with all of the ferrous matter also comes disease and madness. Bodies too suffused with oxides begin to weep sticky plasma from open pustules and should the ailment not be drawn out of the victim, leads to insanity as the brain receives stronger and clearer sounds from Blackheaven. Sounds that form songs and words and generate an unquenchable hatred for all life. Armies of the Metal Mad seek each other like filings to magnets, and form War Bands that ravage the lands cursed by their presence. Even in Unlife, Iron Liches drive their emerging legions out of the Redsump Wilds towards the Human and Demi-Human fortresses of Genevian Hills, and only the bravery of naked warriors armed with weapons of bronze have staved off these feints.

Great Palekki (giant rust monsters) are used as beasts of burden and to process the superabundant iron, and their dung is the prime ingredient in Alchemist's Fire, making them both a beloved animal and a commodity. Raiders of the Suribahn Desert will routinely rustle herds if allowed to ford the crystal-pure Envol River, by which the green-blue Gassa flowers grow in unattended splendour. Overhead, dodging the igneous hail, are Ierun Flytes, great raptors the colour of burnished copper and bronze at sunset. With their metal-laced talons and beaks, Flytes are sought after as hunting animals and feared in the wild.

Humanity has not been without its changes since Blackheaven and Soot first appeared more than a millennium ago. Indeed, three distinct breeds of Humans have since emerged:

* ARMSMEN: +1 to Str, Dex, or Con; +1 HP per HD; -1 Cha -- Slightly greater frames with tougher skin tinged a faint terracotta red-orange regardless of ethnicity.

* ERIUDEN: +1 to Int or Wis; +1 Spell per Level and unlimited Cantrips or Orisons; -1 Str or Con -- Average framed with silver, grey, or white shocks in their hair.

* MALKIN: +1 Dex; +1 Level of Thief; -1 Wis -- Lighter framed with a propensity for possessing a second opposable thumb on each hand.

World of Aediendi Druidic Item-

Hello. :)

Here is my first oldskool offering from my new oldskool setting: the World of Aediendi

* Living Lance:
+3 to hit, 2d6 Damage (3d6 on, or receiving a charge) to all non-TN targets while wielded by a Cleric of a god of the forest, all standard Druids, Fighters and Rangers. Anyone taking 7 or more HP from this attack must Save v. Death or die as living splinters course throughout the victim's arteries and veins.
The Lance will shatter only on a confirmed fumble (1 on initial d20 strike, and a failed attack with all standard modifiers on a second d20 roll). If the Lance should splinter, there is a 33% chance that the target of the attack will be struck by a 3d6 Lightning Bolt of 21st Caster Level for MR% purposes.
If a female character of the above listed Classes is mounted on a unicorn, the weapon becomes +6 to hit and does 6d6 damage to all /enemies/ in a 20' radius, Save v. Breath Weapons for half damage. The shatter chance drops to 2 in 2d20 failed rolls, but increases the Lightning Bolt to 6d6 damage and a 67% chance.

All the Aediendi stuff will make sense to oldskool players of the various brand-loyalties, although I make no specific compatibility claims. More importantly to you folks is that this announcement heralds the EisAge License: "You want to write about this stuff and not make a buck off of my work? Go ahead, have fun." License v. 1.0, abbreviated EAL v. 1.0.

Look for more oldskool goodness in addition to UWoM material. :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not the New Campaign: Latter Autumn (1075)-

I have started the 'modern' game, set in a period roughly equivalent to the turn from the 19th to the 20th century; post-Spanish-American War, pre-World War One.

I had started to write one of my lengthy expository descriptions, detailing the period, but then I remembered I'm supposed to keep quiet ("stay in bed or in the kitchen") and talk about more interesting things, like:

Random Torch-sconce Table: 1d4-

4: Diabolically-lewd figures in an orgiastic embrace of a phallic cone of cold-wrought iron
3: Weird carved ivory depicting six-limbed insecto-elephantine gods being wreathed by attendants
2: A crudely hammered-together collection of holy symbols
1: Mirrored 'Glass-steel' affair in an inhumanly geometric and blocky construction

With the JT-paid, I'm announcing that I'm not planning on posting any further campaign details.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Hear You: Logo + Booklet Title-

I have read the eight comments on the previous post after having tweaked this and another booklet's cover. Here is a second go, although nothing is dead-final:

As to the nearness of release, I cannot speak from any certainty, and as others have said, it is best to deliver on promises --therefore no promised release dates. In short: It'll be released when it is meets my compromise between perfection and reality of what a first print, first edition product can be.

I will tell you that the product is not (in all likelihood) what you think it will be, and I look forward to reading the strong opinions about it when it is released.

Work on the final draft of the Referee's Manual will begin soon after the main release, and the cover artwork for that book is stunningly beautiful. It is difficult to contain my excitement. :D

I'd like to take this time to clarify something:

My 'devil's advocate' stance in the OS discussions should never be construed as one of antagonism towards the authors themselves. Like most of you, I have strong opinions, and when I am not with the stated majority, I imagine I am more of a grain of sand in the OS oyster than its shiny pearl. Yet, that's from whence pearls originate: an irritating grain of sand chafing at the soft underbelly of the creature. ;)

If I don't care for you, like Florida weather, wait a few minutes, as it'll often pass. If not, you'll know.
--If you don't like me, may I suggest you use your energy more effectively by doing your own thing more strongly to offset my Annoyance Factor. That'd be like producing a pearl out of a pesky grain of sand. :D

:: Best to all of you out there in Gaming Land

An Updated Look-

At the suggestion of scottsz, I have incorporated the Logo with the Mullen Cover: