The Return of Harley's Wasted Youth
I was just emailed the rough map of the town of Cillamar, a translation of the scans that I sent to the cartographer. It's very, very cool to see the maps "come to life" as it were, under the hands of a professional. It’s all about people taking the time to make me look good.

Cillamar is the town "home base" for the upcoming Castle Whiterock box set, and my most ambitious urban setting to date. I had the chance to work out a style by drawing up Frog Town, in Zeitgeist's Temple of the Frog, and then Hadler's Gap, in Saga of the Dragon Cult, but Cillamar makes both those settlements seem tiny by comparison. Greyhawk City was a perennial favorite back in the day, so if you’re familiar with the Jewel of the Flanness, chances are good you’ll see design similarities.

Mostly, inclusion of sewers. Can’t miss the sewers. :)

Tonight, rejections/acceptances for the DCC line. The writers have all been terribly, terribly patient with me and my day job, so it’s time to get caught up on my night job.

That and writing up the rough for a 1e (aka AD&D) release. For a long time I've had the sense that the perfect DCC offers THE adventure that we've all always known about, but that was never published. It is hard to convey the sense of satisfaction I get from penning down these missing bits of D&D lore. This one, especially, fits the bill. I hope folks like it.

Summer is looking good. Projects to work on, but no mammoths. Time to kick back and enjoy the writing.



Desolation Canyon
Just back from 5 days on the Green River with 18 8th graders. Amazing group of students, amazing scenery, amazing trip all around.

Everyone got home safe, which was my first and highest priority. Everyone had a good time, which was important, but ranked nowhere close to safety.

The short story is that we flew into the canyon lands on tiny prop planes, landed atop mesa, hiked down to the river then floated our way out through rapids at high water. Being forced to be self-suficient for any period of time is a good experience for anyone to have. If you want shelter, you make it. If you want warmth, you better make a fire. If you want food, guess who cooks it.

That sort of independence gives you a sense of confidence that's hard to find anywhere else. Good times.

Now to get caught up for the week I missed ....



Passing of a Giant

Angus Mcbride died yesterday. He was the illustrator that gave Middle Earth Role Playing its distinctive feel; 15-year old books sporting his work still sit on my shelves.

Moldvay. David C. Sutherland III. Now Mcbride. Edit: And now Lloyd Alexander. Some would argue that there is all the more opportunity for us to shine, building upon their work.

This is true. But there is a melancholy as well. The silence in the air after a giant passes by.



More Random Details You Didn’t Need to Know About Harley
4 of 8 - Wildlife: Once my little brother and I trapped a bighorn sheep in our house.

True story. A real life, Marty Stauffer, bangs-its-head-against-things bighorn.

We were so proud when the door slamned closed. Turned out we hadn't quite thought our plan through to its consequences. Trapping it was the easy part. Getting it out of the house was something else altogether.



So I'm too much of a pain to tag anyone else (the tattoo reads, “Doesn’t play well with others”). Also, just to be a prick, a meme is a "unit of cultural information which can propagate from in a manner analogous to genes.” So while blog tagging might be a meme, not all memes are blog chain posts.

This is my excuse not to tagging anyone else. If the meme is strong enough, it will survive with or without me.* And if it specifically needs Harley to pass it along, it didn’t deserve to make it in the first place. >:)

But that doesn’t mean I won’t take the excuse to tell you 8 things about myself. Eight would actually take some thinking, which would take time, something I don’t have a heck of a lot of. We’ll have to start small.

Random Details You Didn’t Need to Know About Harley
1 of 8 - Most interesting thing said to me this past weekend:

“I don’t know you and already I want to kick your ass.”

Heh. Makes me giggle just thinking about it.

2 of 8 - I sleep walk a lot.
No, really. A LOT. This could be 8 random things you didn't need to know about Harley's bedroom habits. Once I leaped through a glass window to escape a crushing room trap. Most the others involve naked people. Ask me at GenCon.

3 of 8 - I've owned 2 AK-47s.
Had to sell one for bills. My little brother got me the other. Got to love the Saurus. Note that #3 doesn't mix well with #2.

That about does it for today. Must not be a very interesting fellow.


*Though, ostensibly, by reading this, you've been "tagged"/infected anyhow. Funny how that works.


Saga of the Dragon Cult Pre-release
OR Another funny thing happened on the way to the printer...

The boxed set is hung up in China, but you can have the new bits on pdf at RPGnow and the other usual d20 pdf distros.

So that we're clear, while the boxed set contains 4 adventures and a new 32 book by yours truly, this pdf is just the new parts by yours truly. Some setting detail, a town map, and encounters that link DCC #2: Lost Vault of Tsathzar Rho, DCC #6: Temple of the Dragon Cult, DCC #10: The Sunless Garden, and DCC #17: Legacy of the Savage Kings. To get the entire box set, you'll have to wait 'till summer.



A funny thing happened on the way to the printer...
The much anticipated Temple of the Frog is on its way to printers, and is up for presale on the new Zeitgeist Games online store. And when I write "much anticipated," I'm mostly referring to myself. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.

I was teamed up with Richard Pocklington to write this project. Odds are it will be Zeitgeist Games' big push at GenCon, which will be fun, coinciding with the 40th GenCon and all. My portion of the adventure has already been in play in the Living Blackmoor campaign for some time, so there won't be any special MMORPG events, but I'm sure you'll be able to find folks willing running Temple somewhere in Indy. :)



Life is what happens while your friends are writing books.
Hey you! You two girls! You on the motorcyle! My legion of Deathy Minions! Everyone go preorder Marce's book:

Here’s the blurb:

Grisly murders shake the small city of Aruldusk. Both the Church and the Crown send in agents to investigate. But when the body count continues to rise, these rival factions will have to learn to work together to track down the killers -- even if it means hunting a killer in the highest reaches of power.

On an entirely celebratory note, Marce was the first person to post to my blog, way back when I was even less professional than I am today. We both started blogging at the same time --- can't recall who inspired who. Regardless, she's been reigning Queen of the Dead from day one. Which is entirely without consequence except that I can honestly say that I’ve witnessed her rise, from small press one-shots, to magazines, and now to a book all her own.

To a kid that grew up ooing and awing about TSR’s Dragonlance novels, that’s pretty cool.

So give Marce some Deathy love. She’ll be at GenCon this year, so bring your well read copy to Indy and get it signed.

Cheers to Marce!

Mention this ad at the GenCon signing, and Marce will buy us both a glass of wine. >;)