Friday, January 25, 2013

Race to Monk Mountain

Or, A Mountain of Monks.
Mount Athos.
Credit: Wikipedia.
I can't remember how, exactly, I came across this, but I found this article on Wikipedia a few weeks ago about a place in Greece called Mount Athos, also known as the Holy Mountain. It's on a peninsula and its main distinguishing feature is that it is full of monasteries, about twenty in all. The first ones seem to have been built during the reign of Basil I, Emperor of the Byzantine Empire. Over time, more and more were built, that eventually, the mountain and the peninsula itself were more or less given over to the monks and it holds a unique political status in Greece.
Xenophontos Monastery.
Credit: Wikipedia.

Any hoot, the idea of a mountain full of monks was more than a little interesting and the potential for worldbuilding, RPGs, and wargaming were apparent. Having such an area in a fictional world would add a nice dash of flavor. For RPGs, such a place could be used as a point of origin for clerics and monks. Maybe earning admittance to one of the many monasteries is a goal that a cleric or monk character strives for. Maybe they sent out by their order with the mission of acquiring outside knowledge and bringing it back. For wargaming, it could be an area and a goal for either side: One player has the objective to raiding or capturing the mountain, while the other player has to defend it.
Zograf Monastery.
Credit: Wikipedia.

One interesting bit that would certainly make things interesting for worldbuilding and RPGers would be the fact that women are forbidden from setting foot on the mountain, unless they have prior written consent from the monks. That would certainly be a challenge for female characters.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So I'm reading this book called The Eye of the World, but you've probably never heard of it

It's the first book in a fairly obscure fantasy series called The Wheel of Time by a guy named Robert Jordan.

Via Wikipedia.
Personally, I believe "Robert Jordan" is really a pen name for another writer. I haven't quite narrowed it down yet, but I think it's either Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, or Joe Abercrombie. In any case, it's a fairly enjoyable book and provided that you can find a book store or online retailer that sells it, I recommend it.

In all seriousness, I bought this book back in like 2004 or 2005 by accident. I had gone to the book store to buy Discworld, but had a brain fart and couldn't remember the name of the series. Wheel of Time sounded about right and I didn't realize my mistake until later. I never returned it because back then, I had anxiety about doing that sort of thing. I've made several attempts on and off to read the book, but I've never been able to get past the first few pages. Fortunately, that seems to have changed and hopefully, I'll be able to finish the entire book.

Am I going to read the rest of the series if I finish Eye of the World? It depends on whether or not I enjoy the first book.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Megadungeons? Pfft, megadungeons are so passe.

I keep reading post after post on some of the OSR blogs I'm subscribed to about megadungeons and all I have to say is YAAAAAAAWN! Sure, sure, megadungeons are fine...if you're an old lady and don't have the testicular fortitude to handle a truly manly dungeon: the microdungeon!

Sssh, don't worry, not everyone can handle such a piece of awesomeness as a microdungeon. Just go home and play with your Yu-Gi-Oh cards and hope Santa brings you a bigger pair of balls for Christmas.

So what's a microdungeon, you ask, your voice quivering slightly as you try to man up? A microdungeon is a dungeon that is roughly the size of a shotgun shack.

Floor plan of a shotgun shack.
Credit: Wikipedia.
A "shotgun house" is a narrow rectangular domestic residence, usually no more than 12 feet (3.5 m) wide, with rooms arranged one behind the other and doors at each end of the house. It was the most popular style of house in the Southern United States from the end of the American Civil War (1861–65), through the 1920s. Alternate names include "shotgun shack", "shotgun hut" and "shotgun cottage". A railroad apartment is somewhat similar, but has a side hallway from which rooms are entered (by analogy to compartments in passenger rail cars).
I'll give you a moment to go and change your diapers, because you've undoubtedly wet yourself from the sheer brilliance of the microdungeon. Another feature is that each room contains two thousand chests filled with gold coins* and only one rat. Additionally, the dungeon is populated by old people from a retirement home and will incessantly try to talk to you for hours on end about what things were like back in their day and how Warren G. Harding was a great president.

I'll understand if you can't bring yourself to play a mind blowing, ultra-masculine dungeon. Go and content yourself with your wee little pansy megadungeon.

*Unfortunately, all the coins are the gold plated commemorative ones you see advertized on TV all the time and are each only worth a fraction of the value of a copper coin.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Always love a woman in armor

Credit: Jaemoon Youn.
This is one of my favorite pictures at the moment. She just looks so cool and realistic. I found it on Women Fighters In Reasonable Armor, which was recently revived after a period of inactivity.

I would put her as either a foot soldier in an army, possibly even an officer. If I were to spin a tale, she would be a great warrior who is selected to undertake a mission of vital importance, maybe to save her army from destruction. Or, she's a princess or some other highborn who ran away to escape an arranged marriage (or an unhappy one) and joins the army of a rival kingdom and finds herself having to try and prevent a war between the two.

I really need to write more.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Polls are closed and unlike certain countries, there was no rigging! (Mostly. It's still under investigation)

And your wiener - I mean winner - is The Knight at the Crossroads! I was leaning towards this one myself, so it works out. As for the other pictures, I'm going to use them too as future headers.

Thanks for voting!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

But I get sea sick just looking at a boat

My pirate name is:
Dirty Jack Rackham

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from
part of the network
Aaaaar S T U V W X Y Z!

h/t Gothridge Manor and Really Bad Eggs.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Time for a change

The banner at the top of the old blog is getting a bit musty, so it's high time I replace it. Instead of just picking a new one myself, I'm going to let you pick which of the following will grace the top of my blog.

The Knight at the Crossroads by Viktor Vasnetsov.
Bogatyrs by Viktor Vasnetsov.
Guests from Overseas by Nicholas Roerich.
Funeral of an old Russian nobleman by Henryk Siemiradzki.
Vote in the poll in the sidebar and the winner goes up Monday. Let the best picture win!


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